Friday, July 3, 2015
Partly, I blame Courtney Kirkland for that. I discovered her website when a Facebook friend shared her article called "I Don't Want to Be a Christian" on her wall. I admit to being skeptical when I read the title of the article. I nearly didn't bother to click on it. But then I did. I read the essay. If I had not, I would probably never have discovered Kirkland's writing talent. On the link above, this video was embedded. I nearly didn't watch the video, but I did.
I felt joy.
I truly wish that faith in God would be something that would unite every person on earth with the person next to them. Unfortunately, there's division. Whether you believe there is a "War on Christianity" (as Bill O'Reilly talks about every Christmas season) or you believe there is not a "War on Christianity" is not really important. Label it a war or a conspiracy theory - whatever suits your whim at this precise moment. I believe in God and I believe that God sent Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I've read essays by atheists. Often, these essays criticize Christians for believing in what cannot be seen. To me, that is precisely what my faith *IS* - the belief that there is a God and that God is bigger than anything my feeble mind can comprehend.
As I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I am Catholic. Being a member of the Catholic church is not easy. After all, I am a human being and - shocker! - I sin. While there are prescribed guidelines for avoiding sin, as described in this article, I will be the first to say it's not always that simple. I believe that my relationship with God is personal.
People I either know or have learned about struggle with their faith. Former Catholics point out that the Catholic church is comprised of hypocrites and that they cannot be a part of a religion that has hypocrites. Former Catholics are classified as "former" because of a divorce. Others - including a priest that helped baptize a nephew - have left the Catholic church because they were victims of sexual abuse by priests. Those are big issues and not for a split second do I think they are trivial issues. They can't be reduced to the level of being at a general store in Elkader and trying to decide whether to have ice cream in a waffle cone or in a bowl.
Life is about choices. I will be the first to describe the lack of good choices I've made in my life, but God loves me, despite all of my sins and despite all of my human traits. I don't understand God's plan, but I believe that when the time is right, I will. I don't understand why Mom - a woman with a Master's degree and who spent 40+ years in educating the youth in Cedar Rapids - was reduced to not being able to communicate during the last few months of her life. Mom was left handed so it doesn't make sense to me why God chose her left hand to be the one to contract, causing her to learn to do every thing with her right hand. And I don't understand why God chose me to be with her the last days of her life, including when she passed. I hope that someday I will.
I'm not a Hillary Clinton fan. I hope she is not elected as our next president. I don't necessarily believe that she would be a bad president, but I do believe she would be a continuation of President Obama. Maybe. I don't know what she intends to do.
Videos like this are on Conservative websites:
The fears of Republicans come to light when they continue to try and make the attack on the Benghazi embassy a controversy. The latest tactic is to review emails that Clinton turned over to the Benghazi committee and Democrats are unhappy, pointing out in this article there isn't a "smoking gun" about blaming a video for the attack in her emails. Instead, it makes Republicans look like loons because there's an email about Clinton requesting some iced tea.
Someone smarter than me has got to find a way to make our country stay united. The problem is that the issues we face as a country are divisive. Race, politics, gay marriage. Yes, about that last one. I find myself divided about gay marriage. This article describes the gay rights rally that was held in Iowa City on June 26. Could that gay editor I mentioned in part 01 be right? Do I really not understand why that rally was so important to the gay community in the Iowa City area because I am white, male, and heterosexual? That may be part of why I wouldn't go.
The other part is that for all this talk about wanting to be treated equally, groups that are marginalized, and I'm speaking in dangerously general terms now, expect to be treated unequally. There were an abundance of scholarships for minorities, but not nearly as many for my daughter Megan. There is a movement called "Black Lives Matter" that responded to the Supreme Court decision by tweeting that the decision shouldn't take away from the "real" issue in our country - that "Black Lives Matter" more than any other skin color. To me, if you want to unite our country, you don't call it "Black Lives Matter" - you call it "All Lives Matter."
Because that's my truth. All lives matter. All human beings poop, pee, and breathe. Whether you are rich or poor or somewhere in the middle, those are the things in life that are common.
- the Supreme Court's ruling that grants a gay or lesbian couple the right to have their marriage recognized in all 50 states (not just those that previously had passed laws that did this)
- the wretched scum that are racists who believe that a man of one color can be superior to a man of another color
- the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag and whether it should be displayed any more.
Many want to do just that. I'm trying to be very careful to not make this a "Democrats are loons; Republicans are sane" essay, but when I read articles about a college professor declaring that all white people should commit suicide because white people owned slaves and another article about a gay editor declaring that all straight people should cease making their profile picture have an overlay of a rainbow because there is no way straight people can know what it is like to struggle with sexual orientation, it makes it hard to not adapt an "us versus them" mentality.
If only life were that simple. Life is not that simple. Republicans are not making it easy for me. According to this article, Rick Perry said:
When it comes to race, America is a better and more tolerant and more welcoming place than it has ever been. We are a country with Hispanic CEOs, and Asian billionaires, and a black President.Perry was doing so well until he pointed out that it's the Democrats that black families should blame for their discontent. While I suppose he had to say that because he is a Republican candidate for president, I don't think blaming someone else - whether it's the same political party or a different one - coincides with Perry's stated goal of "to help black families" because since when did blaming someone else help resolve an issue. In other words, blame is not action. What is Perry going to do, if he sincerely wants "to help black families" and improve their situation? Action, not words!
So why is it that even today, so many black families feel left behind? Why is it that a quarter of African-Americans live below the poverty line, even after the impact of federal programs like food stamps and housing subsidies?
The supplemental poverty rate for African-Americans is nearly double the rate for other Americans.
Democrats have long had the opportunity to govern in African-American communities.
It is time to help black families hold them accountable for the results.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
700 music CD's for sale! All for $1750.00. Average of $2.50 each, will not separate!
50's through 90's Rock, Blues, Country, Big Band, etc.
Serious inquires ONLY!
It's so cute that the person who posted the ad thought they would get $2.50 for a used CD. There's no way in hell I would pay that. At $.50 / CD, these 700 CDs would cost $350! I paid $.20 / CD when I bought the 200 CDs for $40.
When I discuss drummers that shaped my perspective about playing drums, Tommy Aldridge is a name I always mention. Aldridge caught my attention when he played drums on a Tony MacAlpine project called "Project:Driver" on Shrapnel Records.
I'm still mesmerized by what I hear! The first time I actually saw Tommy Aldridge play was the Whitesnake video "Still of the Night" on MTV. It was mind-blowing because I realized what a drummer could do with visuals could go beyond Rikki Rockett (Poison), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), and Bobby Blotzer (Ratt). They had been influencing me with this idea that drummers could incorporate visuals into their drumming. When I write "visuals", I'm specifically thinking about stick twirling and raising the stick high into the air prior to striking the drum. Upon seeing Tommy Aldridge in the Whitesnake video, though, I remember being captivated by him. I had gone back to his recordings with Ozzy Osbourne when I heard "Project:Driver" so I already knew he was a powerhouse drummer. Watching this video below inspires me to try to incorporate similar visuals into my drumming.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
As O'Reilly points out in this article, the Democrats are united. One simple example is that Jeb Bush has released 33 years of tax returns to show that he's transparent. While it draws a contrast with Hillary Clinton, any other Republican candidate that doesn't release 33 years of tax returns is going to give the appearance of hiding something. Another example is Dr. Ben Carson is telling anyone who will listen that he is not a politician, which implies that he is the choice for voters who are tired of politicians. One final example is that from what I understand, if you are running for president, you have to have a lot of money. Each candidate that has announced their intention to be the next president is trying to tap the same voter base. How does one choose now who will be the actual candidate at least 18 months prior to the election? In the past, candidates who have been christened "the likely candidate" have ended up not being the actual candidate. What all this does is waste money on candidates that will not actually be in the election.
And that brings me back to the appearance of being united. I'm going on record today, July 1, 2015, that unless the Republican candidates unite, the 2016 presidential campaign will be a joke.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I emailed Megan, since she has gone with me to see Bayside twice - Iowa City & Des Moines - and she wrote back, "Can we go?!?"
I had to phrase my words gently. "Uh, it is the Tuesday after Labor Day. You will be in Cedar Falls..." I really don't think she saw the date. I also emailed Chris, who likes them as well.
Four months ago, Bayside posted this video:
This is what The Early November sound like live.
And this is what Better Off sounds like live.
I think it will be a good show.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
The other day, I got caught up in watching the intro to the Metallica DVD called "Cunning Stunts" on youtube.com. I watched the band enter the arena, with the house lights on and a circular stage. They would emerge from their dressing room and sprint around the space between the security wall and the stage, slapping high-fives with the fans. Lars Ulrich then began playing a beat and was joined by Kirk, Jason, and James, playing the riff to the 8th track on "Reload" to the delight of the crowd. What intrigues me is that "Reload" is often dismissed as a terrible release but if you see the crowd, they are not reacting to the song as if it was a piece of music that is garbage - the heads are bobbing and the fists are pumping in the air. In a twisted, unconventional way, that seems to be where my head is at - I don't like the idea of gay marriage as a nationally accepted "normal" but I also don't like the idea of two people who love each being able to live in "some" states, but not in others. I know that Facebook has exploded with rainbows as an overlay to all sorts of profile pictures and national monuments, including the White House. I'm not really on board with all of that, but it is unsurprising that those feeling passionate about the issue of gay marriage are acting passionate.
The joke about this comic is that you have to assemble every thing when you purchase anything from IKEA - I've never purchased anything from the store so that is knowledge I don't have personal experience with - so part of assembling the crucifix that the priest in the comic purchased from IKEA is that the priest has to nail Christ to the cross. It's a funny comic because it reminds me that IKEA requires assembly for every thing, but it is also a reminder that Christ died for my sins and when I sin - hello? I am human - I am essentially helping Christ be nailed to the cross. God sent Christ to die for my sins.
While I'm unsure as to where this blog post will take me, I'll start with a simple fact. My oldest child, Megan, will be a freshman at UNI in the fall of 2015. I won't say what dorm she will live in, but I saw her dorm room, empty except for the lofts, desks, and chairs that come with it. Compared to what I lived in at Mount Mercy College, her dorm room is really tiny. That's okay, though, because my mind seems to think that means the move-in process will not be extensively intense. She moves in 3 days after her 19th birthday, on a Monday in August - 50 days away.
The number of days from her move-in day is not meant to indicate I am eagerly awaiting her departure from our house. It simply means that there are 50 days remaining of her being my little girl. David, a psychologist at the UNI counseling center, said that the son / daughter you drop off in the fall and pick up four years later is not going to be the same person. That made me pause a little to reflect upon my own college career. I wasn't the same person I was when I moved into the Regina dorm room on the Mount Mercy College campus in September 1988. Sure, I kept some character traits, like loving Metallica and loving to write. Other traits changed. For example, when I began college, I was very confident that I would never, ever, drink booze, but by early November, I partied with 2 liters of Strawberry Blush, a wine cooler made by Sun Country. Another example is that I was very confident that I would have a long career as a high school English teacher, but at some point during my student teaching, I had decided I did not want to spend 40 years as a teacher.
The thoughts I continually return to are that I have no idea what character traits Megan will retain, adjust, or adapt once she begins college. No one knows, including her! The unknowns in life will present themselves to her over the days and weeks and months and years. While some parents may fear the transition of their child from a caterpillar to a butterfly, I find it exhilarating and exciting. Will every aspect of Megan's college career be perfect? Absolutely not. I know there will be bumps and potholes. I also know that each bump will eventually be smoothed out and each pothole will eventually be filled with some substance that will make her a better person.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
It's not "Democrats" are walking contradictions; human beings are. I'm known to contradict myself, but I have Republican tendencies more often than Democrat tendencies.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Friday, June 19, 2015
Speaking generically, if Alex (who at 16 is almost as tall as me, but not quite) says, "Dad, it's a problem that we're not going to every single hard rock concert that comes to Iowa," and I look at the check book and say, "No, it's really not a problem," we haven't agreed upon the problem even existing. How likely am I to, for example, take up a second job in order to go to every hard rock concert that comes to Iowa so that I can fix a problem only he sees as existent?
Speaking of an existing band that I may / may not end up playing in, their current drummer is the problem. I'm told that the current drummer doesn't do his homework and learn a song prior to a rehearsal. Because of that, he needs to be replaced. The current drummer's perspective seems to be that there isn't a problem. After all, the band has gigs lined up with a full set list. Why learn more songs? On the flipside, the other three think that it is a problem because they want to play newer songs or different songs or more easy songs or more challenging songs, meaning, in some way, they want to change.
Life is about agreeing that there is a problem.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
- Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential race yesterday.
- This article, Rachel Dolezal, Bruce Jenner, and how we’ve solved all the really hard problems, was worth the time I spent skimming it.
- This article, Studies Show: Conservatives are More Tolerant Than Liberals, made me smirk. A Conservative website is going to say that liberals are more tolerant of Conservatives? Is MSNBC going to criticize President Obama? Is a Catholic website going to post an article about how great Atheism is? Of course not! The readers of Redstate.com want to read articles about how great they are and how awful "those other guys are" - which is short-sighted. There should be a dialogue, not global dismissals of an opposing point of view.
* For what it's worth, here is some quick research about the the question, followed by an explanation.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I hated Shakespeare. I had a 9:30 T/R class and was criticized for yawning. I was yawning because I was up late, writing a paper for the class! Payvandi was my professor's name at mount mercy college.
Years later, I was working on a scoring project. One of my coworker's was her son. When I told him about what his mom had done, he chuckled and said, "I am not surprised."
All that said, yes, I am okay with reading Shakespeare.
This video was published on Mar 16, 2013 and shows JP Cappelletty playing drums behind stage before the show with Machine Gun Kelly in Billings, Montana on the Hostile Takeover Tour.
Monday, June 15, 2015
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
I admit I'm a little bit conflicted regarding whether to take my laptop to Elkader with me for the weekend. Part of me wants to test out the "new & improved" Wi-Fi that will be at our campsite during our month residency to gauge whether I could actually stay in Elkader during a week and work remotely. The other part of me doesn't want to bring it up so that I can authentically "unplug" for a period of time. I'm leaning towards "unplugging" this weekend and bringing up the laptop next weekend. There, I just decided.
I've never been a fan of the opening track on Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" release. I remember wishing "Fight Fire with Fire" would be the last track so I could stop my cassette player and fast forward. I may be thawing a bit in my harsh regard for the tune because when I watched the video below, I found myself gravitating to the intricate synchronized guitar solo. It made me think of the way Hetfield & Hammett are really a great duo on guitar.
I also have to say that I really enjoy watching the MetonTour videos. I like watching how the members interact in the tuning room prior to the gig... and watching Kirk Hammett untie and then retie his shoe.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Monday, June 8, 2015
Will transfer your CD collection to digital backup - With PRICING!! (Somerset County)
I will move all your CD's to digital format.
This is considered a "backup".
You need to tell me how many CDs you have and I can give you a quote.
All media removed from the CD will be in the best quality possible.
I don't take shortcuts and I pride myself in the work I do.
VERY AFFORDABLE RATES!!!!
I'M THE CHEAPEST PLACE YOU'LL FIND!!!
$0.60 cents per CD.
If you have any questions, please call, email or text me. I will get back to you within a day.
Let's just think about my 38 spindles of 100 CDs each. Using math I can actually do correctly, 38 x 100 = 3800 CDs x .60 = $2280. Sometimes, I see ads for 10,000 CDs, which means to have this person rip those 10,000 CDs at his rate, it would cost $6000.
That's a side business I would absolutely love to get into doing.
Or scanning pictures. In Cedar Rapids, there's this ad:
I'll digitize your photos for 10 cents each, minimum charge $20, includes up to 200 photos and a CD.
Additional photos at 10 cents each. Sorry, no quantity discounts.
Scanning is done at 600 dpi.
Additional services: DVD slide shows (with or without music) from your scanned or digital photos.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Friday, June 5, 2015
We just lost our drummer and we need to fill the spot fast! We're based out of San Diego, CA and on the last leg of a four month tour and have shows booked up to July 27th. We're currently stranded near Dayton, Ohio. We need a good drummer over 21, who's not a dick, and has no drug or alcohol problems to learn 10 easy songs within a week. Every day that passes is another show that we have to cancel so it's hard to say when and where our first show together will be. The shows we need you for are mostly on the Central, East Coast. Georgia, the Carolina's, that area. Music sounds like Rancid, Distillers, Adolescents, all the good stuff. Hit us up if you're crazy enough to jump on this train wreck with us.
show contact info
Text, call, whatever works. Here's a link to our music. http://somekindofnightmarepunk.bandcamp.com/
This would be awful! If I were anywhere close to them, I would offer my services. Matthew had a great idea - send each band member to an area music store and watch for anyone buying sticks. Ask a qualifying question - "Have you heard of the Sex Pistols?" - and find a replacement drummer. Of course, if I were buying sticks in Coralville and someone asked me if I wanted to go out on tour until the end of July, the drummer in me would say, "Oh my gosh! Yes!" while the realist in me would say, "Are you kidding?"
I hope they find a drummer soon.
Meanwhile, closer to home, there was this ad:
Rock Drummer Wanted (Cedar Rapids)
Previously established hard rock band "Mogolith" from the 1990's looking to re-establish ourselves today. Guitar and Bass player looking for a drummer to finish off our three-piece band. 75% instrumentals and 25% vocal songs, 90% originals and 10% covers. Covers include "Voodoo Chile," "Hocus Pocus" and "Mr. Scary." Interested drummers who contact us will be given 2-3 of our songs (MP3's) to listen to. If interested, learn 1 or 2 of the songs and we will give you an audition. Serious inquiries only!
"Mr. Scary"!?!? Wow. That'd be interesting.
Price: $ 297,500 | Bedrooms: 3 | Bath: 2.0
This close in acreage is a must see! Only minutes to North Liberty, restaurants, shopping, Lake McBride, the Reservoir, Sugar Bottom Beach and much more! A true gem in outstanding condition. 3 Bedroom , 2 Bath and over 1,600 sq ft finished. Loaded with updates and priced at just $297,500.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
UpdateIn contrast to the picture above, this is what my desk looks like now. I have my desk configured so that I stand as I work. I did that in September 2014 because I felt like I wasn't 'getting away' from my desk often enough to feel healthy. The picture below is an eye-level view of my spot at work.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
I have (roughly) 1500-2000 Cd's - All artists. Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Santana, Ramones,.etc. 9 HUGE crates of Cd's . Need to sell them. Will take offers.You could resell them and make your self a ton of $$$$$..I have them in storage and I am moving. Cant take them with me. Email for more details.
Too bad NCYC isn't during the summer!
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Made me pause and think about "what Christians are commanded to do" and whether I am heeding that command (to forgive) in my day-to-day life.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Saturday, May 23, 2015
What tunes do they play? Well, pretty close to what I would describe as a perfect set list. Recently, this is what they played:
Set One1. SMALL THINGS – Blink 182
2. HURT SO GOOD – John Cougar
3. HARD TO HANDLE – Black Crowes
4. CANT GET ENOUGH – Bad Company
5. LITTLE MISS CANT BE WRONG – Spin Docs
6. THE MIDDLE – Jimmy Eat World
7. GIMME SHELTER (DAVID) - Stones
8. 3AM – Matchbox Twenty
9. TAKE IT ON THE RUN - REO
10. ALL SUMMER LONG – Kid Rock
11. AUTHORITY SONG – John Cougar
12. KEROSENE – Miranda Lambert
13. COUNTRY GIRL – Luke Bryan
14. Mountain Music - Alabama
15. SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG – AC/DC
Set Two1. HIGHWAY TO HELL – AC/DC
2. SUMMER OF 69 – Bryan Adams
3. I WANT YOU TO WANT ME – Cheap Trick
4. MY OWN WORST ENEMY - Lit
5. CRAZY BITCH - Buckcherry
6. LIVING ON PRAYER – Bon Jovi
7. COWBOY – Kid Rock
8. TALK DIRTY - Poison
9. JESSES GIRL – Rick Springfield
10. DONT STOP BELIEVING - Journey
11. SAVE A HORSE – Big & Rich
12. KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF – Ga Sat
13. JENNY 8675309 –Tommy Tutone
14. YOUR LOVE - Outfield
15. HICKTOWN – Jason Aldean
16. DIRTY DEEDS – AC/DC
Set Three1. EVERY ROSE - Poison
2. HATE MY LIFE – Theory of Deadman
3. TNT – AC/DC
4. NOTHING BUT GOOD TIME - Poison
5. ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE - Scorpians
6. HAVE A DRINK ON ME – AC/DC
7. BAD GIRLFRIEND – Theory of Deadman
8. FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT – Beastie Boys
9. SHE HATES ME – Puddle of Mudd
10. SURRENDER – Cheap Trick
11. ROUND N ROUND - Ratt
12. STONE IN LOVE - Journey
13. LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT – Judas Priest
1. HEY JEALOUSY – Gin Blossoms
2. SIN CITY - ACDC
3. MAN IN THE BOX – Alice in Chains
4. YOU REALLY GOT ME – Van Halen
5. RIDING THE STORM OUT (DAVID) - REO
6. RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL – Van Halen
7. SEMI CHARMED LIFE - THIRD EYE BLIND
8. DRINK IN MY HAND -Eric Church
9. WHY - Jason Aldean
10. HEAVEN - Warrant
11. HEAVEN - BRYAN ADAMS
12. CANT YOU SEE – Marshall Tucker
13. BEST SONG EVER (ONE DIRECTION Punk Cover)
14. LETS GO CRAZY - Prince
15. FOLESOME PRISON – J. Cash
16. WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER-DAVID
17. BANDITOS - Refreshments
18. ROCKIN IN THE FREE WORLD – Neil Young
19. WITH OR WITHOUT YOU – Punk Cover of U2
20. WERE NOT GONNA TAKE IT – Twisted Sister
21. BEVERLY HILLS - Weezer
22. FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES - Weezer
23. WILD THING – Ton Loc
24. SWEET EMOTION - Aerosmith
25. ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR – Bryan Adams
26. MELT WITH YOU (IN C) (DAVID) – Modern English
27. KISS - Prince
28. BLISTER IN THE SUN – Violent Femes
29. MY SHARONA (DAVID) – The Knack
On their youtube.com channel, they have these videos posted.