Music Snob

Yes, I’m a music snob.  If you’ve followed for a while you probably already know that, I’ve mentioned it in a couple of my music video posts.

For those of you that haven’t been following long, or are forgetful like me, I played in several bands during my high school and college years.  I even seriously considered moving to Seattle to go to school for Audio Engineering, they have some fantastic schools and the music scene there is incredible.

Being a musician, even if I don’t play much anymore, I’m very picky of “popular” music.  Really picky, to the point where I can’t listen to the radio (doesn’t help that there are only a couple stations here and they’re terrible).

The problem is, most music getting played on the radio these days is all done on computers.  It’s crap.  I’m talking pop mostly, they’re the biggest offenders and get played the most.  They slap a computerized drum track down, throw on some synthesizers, (maybe) have one or two real musicians for things like violin, and have someone sing over it all.  It’s not real music.  That would be like equating a photoshop expert to a painter, maybe his photoshop skills are art, maybe not, but they’re definitely two different things. Continue reading

A Dangerous Precedent?

It seems like every time I check my news feed I see half a dozen articles that piss me off.  I should really just stop reading the news, it always puts me in a bad mood.

Today I read a piece on the Huffington Post, “Why the Boy Scouts new policy on gays sets a dangerous precedent.”  Article.

Before I go into the wrongness of the article I’ll give you a little background on myself.  I was an active member in boy scouts for many years, during that time (fifteen years or so ago) were the first debates about homosexuals in scouting.  I came down firmly on the side of gay rights.  It was too early then, the changes were shot down.  Many boy scout troops are also sponsored by religious organizations, mainly Christian, something else I was not a fan of, but that was the driving force behind the ban on homosexuals in the organization.

However… I think the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) just made a step in the right direction and opinion pieces like the one in the Huffington Post are steps in the wrong direction. Continue reading

How to fix your icon in the reader

I mentioned previously that I really hate the new changes to the WP reader.  Well, at least we can fix one small part of them.

When WordPress made its most recent changes all the sudden our Gravitar stopped showing up next to our names by our posts.  WP stopped putting the Gravitars up and started putting up something else (Why do we have Gravitars if they aren’t going to use them?), which is stupid on so many levels and took me forever to to fix it.  I thought I should show the steps here and maybe some of you can avoid the headache.

In your reader click “My Site” on the top left.  On that page, click “WP Admin” to go to your dashboard.  Yes, you cannot fix this stupid update in the new blue screen.

Once you’re on your dashboard scroll down on the menu on the left hand side to “Settings”, a window will pop up with sub categories, select “General”.

On the general setting page, upper right will be a section for “Blog Picture/Icon”.  That’s where you can add the pic that will show up next to your posts.

My Site > WP Admin > Settings > General > Blog Pic/Icon

**Your experience may differ but it took WP about 12 hours to ‘accept’ my photo and update it in the reader.**

Know the rules

This is not a blog about writing, however, it is a place for ranting.  Many of the bloggers that I follow also write stories, some even write books, but over and over I see the same mistakes and it’s driving me nuts.  If you’ve been following me for long enough you might remember the series of posts I did about poets last year, I’m just as hard on fiction writers.  What bugs me is how few of these writers really focus on learning their craft before putting it out for the world to see.

I’m not talking about a missed comma here and there, I never pay much attention to them and as long as it isn’t frequent it’s forgivable, I’m talking about the style rules.  If I see a book blurb, a first page, or the beginning of a post that violates these rules I don’t even bother reading further.  Nope, it’s not worth it, the rest of the story/poem/book is probably just as bad. Continue reading

CV on our sleeves

You ever have one of those days when you feel like everyone in the world is stupid?  A bunch of self-centered pricks?  And what’s worse is when they decide they need to share their wisdom by providing advice, either online or in real life.

That got me to thinking, There are so many bloggers out there that provide advice about relationships, life, and just about everything under the sun, myself included.  But should they?

If you were going to get financial advice, you’d want to see someone with qualifications, experience, and with a lot of financial success.  You’d want to see degrees on the wall, a nice car parked out front, and a suit that isn’t off the rack.  You’d want to know they’re the right person to give you advice.  They need to be a representation of the place you want to be.  They’ve made it, so they can advise you on how to make it.  On the other hand, if you showed up and noticed a bunch of overdue bills on the desk, an eviction notice on the door, you probably wouldn’t take the financial advice very seriously. Continue reading

Writing as introspection

Blogging has always been in some form or another a kind of introspection for me.  I never wrote for an audience, I wrote for myself.  It was all about finding a way to understand and explain myself to me, dig into my life, my feelings deeper.

More recently, I’ve found interesting parallels in my fiction writing.  By interesting I mean borderline scary.

Several months ago I went to see a therapist for the first time.  It’s something that I’d wanted to do for a while, I hoped that it would be like an interactive form of writing…  me finding ways to explain things to someone else (like writing) but then having that person ask questions that might give me another perspective in a safe environment.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I take my anonymity, my secrets, quite seriously.  The only way I could really talk to someone about anything, everything honestly was in a situation where I could trust their discretion. Continue reading

Observed first date

So, I’m at the coffee shop where I normally go to write and I find myself distracted by the patrons.  This shop is never busy, that’s why I come here.  Today, there are two people in particular drawing my attention.

Have you ever seen a couple that are obviously on their first date?  Yeah…

This particular couple irritates me. I really want to walk up to this chick, shake her, and tell her to go home and lose his number.

I’ve mentioned to you readers a few times that I’m pretty good at reading people and situations, and what I see this afternoon is so irksome that it’s distracting me. Continue reading

What is blogging?

“Blog” is short for “Web-log”, an online log book.  For most of us it’s a kind of journal, a place to share recent events in our lives or what we’re thinking about.

So that’s what a blog is, maybe the more interesting question is why do we do it?  I mean, it’s one thing to have a journal or a friend to talk to, but why publish all of this?  Why put our inner most thoughts, feelings and experiences out there for the whole world to see?

Each of us probably have our own reasons.

For me, my blog is like a best friend, a journal, a collection of short stories and essays, and a therapist all rolled up into one.  Some stuff I just write for fun, other stories I write to record a memory, but the real stories are the most important.

I’ve often said that I don’t care how many people read my blog, I write only for myself.  I don’t care about approval or stats.  For me, it’s the publishing, not the reading, that’s important.  I’ll explain.

If I was writing a journal I’d probably be recording events and how they made me feel.  I wouldn’t have to get in depth or explain why I felt that way.  But if I’m publishing the story I have to sort through the scene, explain the characters and motivations, figure out how to explain the actions and reactions in a way that makes sense to someone who wasn’t actually there.

In other words, writing a post that’s going to be published forces me to be more introspective in my writing.  When I get introspective I understand it better myself, I process it more thoroughly.

For the really difficult stories mentally and emotionally, the more processing I have to do, the better.  I figure it out, write it down and let go of it.  It’s like a weight that gets lifted off my mind.  I break it all down, sort it out, figure out what’s important and what isn’t, write it down and let it go.

So, it doesn’t matter how many people read it, just that people can read it.

That’s why I web-log.  It is also why it doesn’t bother me to switch back to blogger where there are far fewer readers, commentators, and the bloggers are fewer and farther between.  Sure, the support and feedback is nice but that’s not why I blog.

Cat and too much history

I’ve written a bit about the open marriage with Cat and how it was the best two years of the marriage.  Well, whenever I write about it I get the inevitable question;

“If it was so great, why did you end up getting divorced?”

That’s a great question, it really is, and not one that is simple to answer.

During the open period Cat and I might have been able to get along, trust each other again, be happy and healthy, but ultimately our shared history was too much to overcome.

When you first meet someone they’re like a blank canvas, full of potential, one big mystery.  Each experience with that person adds something to the canvas.  Nothing is ever removed from the painting, good or bad, it’s there forever. You can’t take back memories. When you have mostly positive experiences the collage is bright and colorful.  When you have mostly bad experiences the collage is darker.

collage s Continue reading

What’s acceptable online?

What’s kind of ironic is that this post was started days ago and recent events have just added further incentive to finish it.

When I wonder what’s appropriate online, my first thought is whether or not it’s something that I would say to someone’s face.   Or, how would I feel if the roles were reversed?  This post I’m writing, who could be offended?  Is this something I would tell them in person?  This comment on a post I’m writing, is that something I would say to someone’s face?

If I said this to someone in person, would I get punched in the face?  Or vice versa.

I see a lot of stuff online that wouldn’t pass any of those tests (or shouldn’t, at least).  I see it and wonder what the hell is wrong with people.  Sexist, racist, disrespectful, hateful comments that people would never (should never) say to each other in real life. Continue reading