Middle Age Angst

I had a road rage incident recently that scared me.

Mainly because after all the years of driving and experiencing every kind of foolish transgression possible to experience

I thought I was immune.

I am not immune and I harbor deep wells of anger

What?

Bad day – happens all the time – it doesn’t matter what I was doing or where I was doing it. Enough to say that on this day I was giving it all I had and seemed to be getting nothing but aggravation back.

But this does not make me special or unique- many people have tougher paths to walk and life is not fair

I know this – I embrace this – I live this

There is nothing I can do about it

So somebody passing me on the road just to pass me should not bother this beat-down hombre

But it did

I punched the pedal to catch up to the offender – I did not know that my poor engine could respond like that – I am surprised that it did not blow up –

Then when he/she (I don’t know who was in that pick-up truck of doom) pulled in to a convenient store I almost pulled in right behind them (thankfully, I did not).

So I could go eyeball to eyeball with the offender.

This would have been bad – logically I knew that nothing good could come from this

Logically, I knew that there was nothing I could do about all the bad stuff that happened to me earlier in the day

But that on the road I could – it is two vehicles going mano a mano – I have control and I do matter.

This scared me – because I have not felt this anger for 30 years – not since I was a young nerd/punk at a Clash concert – not since I started to know better.

But when we are beat-down and unable to express it we lash out in other ways —–

I get pro-wresting and looting now – I am not above both if my situation was different.

And all of this got me thinking about Paul Westerberg  and how he proclaimed on one summer night when no one was listening.

“Here is one more song —–  if anyone cares”

And then The Replacements played this classic.

And the crowd was not impressed.

But I was.

And still am.

They were just the warm-up band for Tom Petty – who would follow and play for the faithful and I left early. To this day I still don’t like Tom Petty.

I have angst.

The thrill is gone – and I missed this boat.

I was sad to see of the passing of B.B. King and I reluctantly admit that I was never a fan.

Which makes me sadder – because that was a defect of my listening

I love the blues.

I have written how seeing Johnny Copeland as a young person changed my life—-the man got up there and testified with an intensity of voice and guitar that ripped my head off – I went from thinking I liked the blues to….to…..   sort of like thinking that tigers look pretty cool, compared to walking alone on a jungle path and having one come up behind you and quietly growl.  The blues were/are that intense to me.

That simple Minor Pentatonic scale and the truth – you can’t mess it up —- I am still rated in the bottom 10% of guitar players worldwide and I can play it – I am pretty sure that if I have two free weeks and a big box of treats – I can teach my dog to play it. So easy, BUT – in capable and talented hands – so powerful.

I dismissed B.B. King as “starter blues” – blues for the masses – slightly watered down so all could drink.

That is not a good way to think.

We should not judge an artist like that – especially when we don’t take the time to really dig into their work.

My bad.

He introduced many to this art form and by all accounts never let his stardom squash out his spirit of compassion.

He didn’t play with the “feel” of someone who was “like” a cotton farmer from Mississippi – he was a cotton farmer from Mississippi!

So goodbye- I am sorry

I am sorry that I never took a ride with the King while I still could.

Forgive me man – you were around 89 years and my entire life.

You would think that would be enough for me to find you?

I am stupid, arrogant and stubborn sometimes.

I need some more blues.

seagull

seagull-44
Sometimes you just need a simple image to make you feel better –  I spent all of Saturday editing photos for a little book about my Mexico vacation —- And I found this gem among the pile – Seagulls get a bad rap because of all the scavenging they do combined with them being just common folk – I can relate to that —- Doing what they have to do to get by.

I like the calmness here without any retouching – no color adjustment – Just a simple bird on a beach.

What is wrong with that?

WordPress World – Mach 2

Jamming on the sketch with some color

wp-world-55

Yeah, it is flawed but I am going with it – I wish I could say it was fun to do – but, I learned a bunch about cartooning in the digital age where there are few rules to follow. I spent a couple hours making a vector me that was really bad and then thought —- “Hey- just throw yourself in the image” – which took 15 minutes—that was fun!

Here is the original sketch:

wpworldThere will be a follow up in which I explain what the things in this strange world mean to me.

Feel free to speculate.

Last of the Buffalo

buffalo-header

The last great buffalo herd was shot in 1898 yesterday.

I saw it on the news before I went to work – 15 bison running next to the highway in frantic formation.

A taste of what we lost.

I know this is a just a small glimmer of what these beasts once meant.

In a former time they were free to roam and they were legion.

And now we got a few “escaped convicts” from a local meat farm answering their instincts and on the run.

They swam across the Hudson River. They ran across interstate highways.

They moved as one – the adults and the young – these tremendous artifacts of a bygone era.

I have to admit when I saw them running – it made me feel good.

This is what they are supposed to do – run from place to place – in a big country that lets you go forever – they are made for this – battering-ram-monsters of freedom.

“Give me a home where the buffalo roam”

This is friggin’ awesome!

But the wheel has turned

Their time is done.

The farm they escaped from employed a few hunters to gun them down (as was their right, according to officials on the scene) – The State police called it “an ugly affair”  – with one hunter possibly facing criminal charges for refusing to “finish off” a wounded animal. In all, 22 animals were slaughtered if you include a few shot earlier. All agree– there was no other choice – these animals are too big to contain and too dangerous to let run free.

The meat could not be cared for and got to the buffalo butcher for three months, (not many buffalo meat cutters around, I guess) – so it was deemed no good for human consumption.

This is shades of Buffalo Bill and the other wranglers that forced the land to submission by killing and leaving the skinned carcasses to rot where they were dropped.

No food and clothing – no life for the native people that depended on this animal for countless generations.

Build the railroads and build the new America.

The wheels are turning – progress – industrial might and other stuff all coming to a suburb near you.

But first the buffalo had to go.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/15-buffalo-killed-in-albany/

The Weight of Love – The Black Keys

Weight of Love

The Black Keys are a great rock bank.

They don’t fight the time they live in – they embrace it.

This song screams old Pink Floyd with nodes of David Gilmour jam over a quiet background of disillusioned isolation. BUT – Don’t sue them please!

This is artistic influence people.

This is taking the clay of what was before and shaping it for enjoyment right now.

This song has weight – it has mass with a gravitational pull that draws you in – you orbit in free fall while your brain gets a gentle waterfall of clarity – you know —- that is what great music is supposed to do —-if it does not do that – it is not great music.

These guys are the Rolling Stones and U2 of today.

Yes – damn it – I said it —- don’t waste your time paying $478 from a ticket broker to see if Keith Richards can still stand up for a two hour show.

Go see The Black Keys

Go see a band that is playing music they just wrote – go support wild “fresh caught” music.

Cooked right in front of you.

I went to the band website and there is a button you click to play this song (along with others)– not 12 seconds of the song – but this entire song. That is embracing the time we live in.

Simple and great.

http://www.theblackkeys.com/

The last remaining landline will be at my fixed location

“I am not going quietly into this mobile era of constant and instant availability.”

I am not cool with it.

Everyone I know except me has ditched their landline. I am the last of the Mohicanslandlinians.

When you reach someone on a home phone in a fixed location – they just might have time to connect and have a discussion in a very human and important way – at least they could have – in a bygone era.

That is gone.

“OK Cave guy, you sound like a Neanderthal now – progress is progress – either get on the bus or get run over.”


Here is what we got with the smart mobile era:

First – what is a “good” number for you? They change so often, it is impossible to keep current unless you are in the “circle” who gets the “new number update” – which I didn’t get because I am still on three numbers ago — My bad.

Second – are you a talker or a text-er?… “Oh, I don’t talk anymore or answer voice mails –  Pls txt me btch.”

Third- if I make it through those first two hoops and don’t get a response … now I am being ignored … which means insulted.

And I still haven’t talked to you.

Yeah – this new system is so much better.

And I just want to talk – you know because we are family or friends and that is how we stay that way.

I JUST WANT TO TALK

(sorry, I’m yelling now)

And here is what happens when you do finally get to the mighty castle of “Connection”.

“Oh Hi Wayne, what’s up – I’m just sitting on the toilet at a thruway rest stop, but I saw it was you so I picked up – no problem, just a little stomach bug – go ahead –  what you calling about?”

“Dude- I was just checking in, nothing important”

“Oh-then you should just text me”

“Thanks-I’ll remember that for the next time (which will be never) – sorry to catch you indisposed”

That is how it goes for me so I have basically given up talking to my friends.

Talking on the phone is a lost art.

Gone.

It is replaced by this endless barrage of texting.

And by texting – I think I mean gossiping with words.

We get inane texts to interrupt our work and become inefficient – then while we are enjoying free time – we get inane texts from work to interrupt that. We are always working and always texting. There is no separation of church and state in our lives.

And it is driving us all mad.

This is so much better – “here let me show you another cat video and I just got this app that makes my face look like a squashed pumpkin- this phone is so cool – my whole life is on it.”

I love this phone

I hate this phone


I just wanted to talk– you know about how things are going for you and how things are going for me, and then maybe we feel more connected – and maybe we can help each other if help is needed. You know life – and how to get through it and stuff – but only when you have a few moments.

And that can’t happen anymore – soooo

That is why I blog…It is as close as I can get.

Here is a 5-pack of my favorite Telephone songs.

 Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

Jim Croce – Operator

E. L. O. – Telephone Line

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number – Steely Dan

Lady Gaga – Telephone

Am I insane on this? And did I miss a great telephone song for my 5-pack? Would love to hear what you guys think.