Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pain is a Given, So What Else Can You Create?

Ever have one of those days when everything is going your way; the world is beautiful and all is right? Yep, me neither, or at least not for a long time!

Life has a way of plotting its own course. We look and expect one thing and while we are not looking, something wonderful happens but since we didn’t see it, we miss it. The best things in life are unexpected surprises. Those people who have a grand plan and following to the letter are missing all the fun. It’s all about the journey man!

Yesterday I woke up with aches and pains which is normal for a man of my age. So I took a little time to deal with it all and placed those aches and pain on the back burner. Trusting my gut, I focused on a positive activity I very much like and before I knew it, the day was over and I couldn’t remember all the problems. I slept like a baby last night and yes, woke up to those aches and pains.

I’ve been writing songs for an upcoming album and have about half of them completed. The creative process is so much fun, however, the frustrating part are the changes. Wow, that sounds good, but someone already said the exact same thing in another song. Or I get some great suggestions from the Alpha Critics I have trusted. It’s all worth it as long as plan is going forward.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Please Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

I was in south Florida when hurricane Andrew hit. We were renting a house Kendal. One block south the destruction was devastating with two story houses reduced to one floor. We were extremely fortunate as a renter and were able to move in a week. With natural gas service, hot showers were possible the day after the storm hit. Still, the experience shook me for many months to follow. The people in Sandy’s way are not so fortunate. Some have lost everything and do not have the luxury of moving away. Life is very unsettling when the basic needs of modern day life are ripped out from under you. No heat with nightly temperatures near freezing. Struggling to survive on a daily basis. Total uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring. Please find it in your hearts to do whatever you can to help these people now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Free Speech or Inciting Riots?

I usually don’t speak out in public about world events or politics. I believe each person has the right to believe in whatever they deem important, no matter where they live. People need to believe in something. Whatever race, sex or ethnic background to which we are born gives us no more or no less human rights.

Any religion we choose to believe in is fine as long as it does not interfere with other people’s rights. Now this anti-Islamic film does fall into the freedom of speech category, although I have not seen the film and never will. However, what a sad misuse of such a precious right. From what I hear, and it is only what I’ve hear on the news, it’s a blatant ploy to incite riots.

What appalls me the most is that there is no news coverage on the Muslim reaction in the USA! Inciters of violence get press across the Middle East. US, German and UK embassies are attacked. Property is destroyed. However, the insult is to a global community.

Perhaps the best response to the idiot film maker is just to ignore him. Also, those people inciting violence across the world should be ignored. It’s a grave insult to Muslim beliefs, but is one man worth killing over? I say no!

I consider myself Christian and grew up Catholic. Yet I believe everyone should have a right to their own version of God or way of life.

On behalf of the sane Christian community to which I belong, I apologize for what one radical has done to the Muslim community across the world.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Where in the World is Joe?

Okay, it’s been a while since I posted anything.  I’ve been writing more music than anything else.  Someday, maybe next year, I’ll have enough good music to release a new album.  Check back and I’ll keep you up to date, but please don’t hold your breath!  It may be 6 months or more.

No quips today, just some sage advice. 

If you screw up, just ask for forgiveness, don’t screw up the same way again and move on.  Sorry doesn’t cut it sometimes.  Don’t forget everyone is human and don’t ever apologize for being one.  Never apologize for how you feel, just don’t cram your unwanted feeling into someone else’s face.  Enough said, take it or leave it!

When all else fails, get a dog.  A well treated dog will reflect your needs and go a long way toward solving your life’s issues.  Just remember, a dog is a child that never grows up. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mistakes Have Been Made

If a blind man gets lost in the woods, he will use any tool available to find his way home.  Unfortunately, the balance of nature may be upset in the process.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Conversation is Like a Wood Spoon in a Deep Pot of Hot Tomato Soup

I suppose everyone has an idea what a conversation with someone else is about.  You exchange words with the hope of conveying an idea for feeling.  Most people fail to grasp just how little information is actually conveyed during a typical conversation.  You think you understand what the other person is saying, but do you really? 

Conversations between two or more people with a similar experience about the subject matter have a greater chance to send or receive the message.  In some cases, just a few words, not even in a full sentence, can convey the meaning if the people involved are truly close.  Other times, the most eloquent speech, can be lost in the moment.  The speaker needs to have something to say and the received must be open to the message.

So when I say a conversation is like a wood spoon in a deep pot of hot tomato soup, here are the similarities I see.

·        Stir it slowly and the liquidity will mingle.
·        There is always some stuck to the sides that won’t mix in.
·        Stir too fast and you could get splashed and burnt.
·        Stir by just moving the bottom of the spoon and you create undercurrents.
·        Remove the spoon and the mix stagnates with more sticking to the sides.  As an outsider, you can taste the soup, but you could get burned.
·        Stop stirring and the soup stagnates.  What is the use of the spoon?  Some of the soup will get burnt.
·        Turn the heat up too high and you could get splashed and burnt.
·        Turn off the heat and the soup gets cold and distasteful.
·        Stick your finger in where it doesn’t belong and you get a red, bloodlike finger.
·        Break up the soup into smaller bowls and serve and you could start a conversation.
·        Cooking, chopping and cutting vegetables and tomatoes with an interesting conversation can be the start of a deep pot of hot tomato soup.
·        Stir slowly and the liquidity will mingle…

Friday, June 15, 2012

Is It Really Greener on the Other Side?

I’ve hear the quote “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”.  But just remember…

·        Your side may look just as green for the other side.

·        You may be looking in a mirror and seeing your own side.

·        It may only be your sunglasses.

·        All grass is green at night.

·        Unless you’re a cow, you can’t eat it so who cares.

·        The Kentucky Blue grass may look greener than the Bermuda grass, but not in the heat of things.

·        If the green grass looks perfect, beautiful and health, it’s because someone is taking good care of it and they don’t what you to trample it.  Nor does the grass want to be trampled.

·        If you’re standing in a barren, muddy field, the few clumps of grass on the other side may look greener, but you are most likely in a desert during a monsoon.  Run for shelter!

·        You may be up-wind and not smelling the cow manure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strategy Against Going Crazy

Take a deep breath, close your eyes and imagine your somewhere else. Maybe with other crazy people...

Getting Senile

One should never fear getting senile, you’ll never know it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why Do We Do Stupid Things

Seems all of us at one time or another does something that embarrasses us, hurt people and hurt ourselves.  Just think back to your first date or even further back when we got caught with our hand in the cookie jar.  Okay, maybe not so long ago for some!

Are we ignorant, confused or na├»ve?  Well maybe yes, but boundaries are set either by us of by other people to let us know what acceptable behavior is.  And how do we really know where these boundaries are unless we test them? 

A child is told he is grounded and must stay in the house at all times.  So why do they sneak out to play with their friends?  After learning where the boundaries are, usually by a harsh reality, the child grows and learns to accept consequences.  Some of us learn hard lessons along the way.

With more compelling force, a drug addict or alcoholic continues to abuse, even though they know the consequences.  The lucky ones get help and have family and friends to keep them on track.  Most, however, live all their lives fighting daemons only to succumb to the peace of death, hurting everyone alone the way.

Now add love to the picture and we get even more powerful forces to be dealt with.  After all, love is the most powerful force in the universe.  How may stupid things have you done when love was involved?  Add all the different types of love with the lesser forces and I sometimes wonder how we ever get anything right.  When love is involved, we take our fears and insecurities and can justify almost any action.  We amplify minor events, expressions or read some information and let our imaginations go while.

Love of a child – we do stupid things to protect them, only if in our own mind.  Love of a sibling – we do stupid things and even hurt then intentionally in our awkward with of expressing our feelings.  Love of a spouse – we do stupid things to proclaim our love and somehow expect something great in return.  Love of a friend – we do stupid things to express the love, sometimes in inappropriate ways. 

We all need boundaries to contain our lives and guide us in the right direction.  We need to test the boundaries so we know exactly where they are.

So to all the people, past, present and yes future, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for all my stupid actions.  I’m only human, but as a human, it’s my responsibility to learn where the boundaries are.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Retire – For your car, fairly simple and somewhat expensive. 

For us humans, not so simple and extremely expensive….  May create the need to get a new job!!! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Personal Freedom

Never fully appreciated, we Americans have opportunities and freedoms that most people in other countries cannot even imagine.  Most of us have access to technology and resources to make our lives easier on a daily basis.

Yet a few of us feel locked into a way of life with limitations.  Unhappy with the humdrum of the daily grind.  After all, we must have a source of income or call the streets our home.  So we make the best of it and in fact cherish the routine.  We do this so special events in our life are in fact special.

Still the frustrations can mount and be burst out every now and then; try something radical or profoundly different just for the thrill and experience only to discover we are still the same person.  We are who we are; creatures of habit.

Freedom is all in our mind.  It is simply the way we perceive our lives and deal with daily events.  Personal Freedom comes from focusing on the positive, working hard toward our personal goals and loving someone special.  Having that special person to share our deepest secrets and that person still respecting and loving you regardless of what we have done in the past.

No matter what happens in life, there is always something or someone to throw you a curve and something or someone to bring you back. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Say What We Mean and Mean What We Say

Ever notice when talking to someone that we hold back what we real feel because we are afraid of what the other person might think.  What if we said it anyway?  What if the other person felt the same way?

What we say during a conversation gives insight into our thought process.  Depending on the person receiving the message, they may or may not know your true intensions.  Sometimes our deepest personal thoughts are exposed by accident and the other person may not get the idea.  Other times, they know exactly how you feel.  With the right person, we can make a very personal connection. 

I suppose if we always spoke our minds, thoughts and feelings, as human beings, we would be far too vulnerable.  This is basis of privacy.  Some people would take advantage and use the information against us.  Maybe we can leave this approach to the poets who can weave elegant words into a special message to the right person.

Everyone needs a close inner circle of friends, a set of people who think the same way and have similar experiences.  When times get tough, we can turn to these people for support.  We help each other through hard times.

The next time you talk to a close friend, speak your mind and maybe something wonderful will happened.


While you are wading in the shallow waters near the safety of the shore, you will feel a gentle breeze guiding you toward the still, deep waters.  That breeze is me. And that’s where I will be.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sorry I'm late...  I saw a sign on the side of the road that said Watch for Ice on Bridge.  After waiting 2 hours, I didn't see any so I just packed it up and continued on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living Age Appropriate

Too many times in our lives we try to or recapture lost experiences or relive the good old days.  These desires can come at any age, sometimes called a mid-life crisis.  Driving forces can be sadness, anger or any number of strong emotions.  It’s your life and you can do whatever you like, however, it’s you responsibility to get the most out of it.

While in some cases this can actually be healthy for short periods of time, in general we should all live age appropriate.  Think of it this way.  A middle aged man in a life crisis gets a sports car in an attempt to feel young again.  What age appropriate experiences is he missing out on during that period?  The truth is lost time can never be recovered. 

There are great times to be had during any phase of life.  The process of maturing should be something to which we look forward.  We have nothing to hold us back except our childhood.  Past experiences can be viewed as mistakes or learned lessons.  Attitude, it’s all in your attitude.

Now I’m not saying our friends need to be around our age.  Quite the contrary, having close friends at a variety of ages keeps us in touch with reality.  The young can learn from elders or at least they should.  The elders can look to the young to get a fresh perspective.

For the younger crowd, you can look to experience for some answers.  Respect those who came before you and those around you.

Age gracefully and cherish you senior years as a time when clarity and perspective prevail.  Embrace change as best as you can.  We are only renting the earth so make it a better place and pass it on.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Okay, let’s clear the room!  I can’t breathe with all these elephants.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parents – Can’t Live With Them, Wouldn’t Be Here Without Them!

Okay, I promise not to get too deep in the emotional swap, but I have to say my peace.  Don’t agree, that’s quite alright, let me know.

We are all born with a set of tools to get us through life.  These tools are in a raw form and need development.  Our parents have a great deal to do with developing these tools for life regardless if we can own up to it or not.  The tools can be used as a negative or positive influence in our lives. 

The most important influence our parents provide is an overall view of life, love and relationships.  Parents who are loving and nurturing toward each other and their children set a good relationship goal for us.  How they handle conflict shows us a way to handle it also. 

That being said, parents that don’t get along or have problems bleeding into the family life can set improper life expectations for us.  The learned home values color our outlook for the rest of our lives.  Unfortunately, it’s up to us to break out of the cycle and create our own life path.

So what about the rest of us with only a single parent?  I never knew my Dad as a parent or a person.  So it was up to me to find my own definition of being a father and what a relationship is all about.  My Mother worked hard to provide our basic needs and a safe place to grow up.  She did the absolute best she could.  She was a person with hopes and dreams of which most of the time were set aside for her family.

The true challenge in is to see our parents as human, with strengths and flaws.  Then we can understand their influences upon us, taking the best and molding a home zone for ourselves.  This zone is where we go for inner peace.  It is not an easy task and most fail to get it accomplished.  One must say “I see why it happened, accept it and forgive them, however, it doesn’t work for me”.  We can look to other people for the attributes that best fit our own life, what makes a safe and loving environment for us.

We are all prone to fail.  However, we can start again, learn from the failures and hold on to the good things.  Surround ourselves with like minds, find and keep close friends and look for that soul mate.  They do exist as long as we don’t expect too much.  Be a friend to keep a friend.  Consider your friends as human also and not exactly like you.  They need room to breathe too.

So regardless of who our parents are or were, make peace with the past and know that we have just as good a change to screw up our children.  Hopefully they will grow up and see us as human with strengths and flaws.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Words of Wisdom (or not) – Edition 1

The well adjusted person has taken their unique tools given at birth and learned to use them to navigate life, love and be loved, help other in need and let others live their own life. 
If you ever find one, please let me know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Political Outlook – Obama Care

Fair warning!  Democrats, Republicans and Independents may take offence.  (I’m an equal opportunity offender, it’s just the Gemini that I am.). 

Let’s face it, all politicians have an agenda and are crooks to some degree.  How else does one get into major political office?  Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.   And sometimes it’s not the back…

Up until very recently I’ve been a fan of Obama Care, mainly because it did not affect me.  I had a job which provided Heath Care at a reasonable cost to me (if there is such a thing).  The thought is that my cost would go down if everyone was forced to have health insurance.  Maybe it would have.  So now that I’m unemployed and maybe retired (and in good company as I am learning), I need to get my own insurance.  I am truly blessed that I can afford it.

Today I met up with a friend who is not so fortunate.  Self-employed, doing okay but not great, forcing them to take out insurance would be a great injustice.  A considerable portion of earnings would need to be spent on something not necessary needed in the short term.  Now this friend is a person who works hard and is responsible.  Just caught in society’s web and getting by.

Somehow healthcare in the United States must be made more accessible, to anyone contributing to society and those unfortunate who truly cannot.  Everyone getting insurance will only line the pockets of the insurance companies.  Somehow the cost of medical expertise, malpractice insurance, life saving drugs, needed diagnostic testing and education must be contained. 

In today’s United States culture, it’s become everyone’s goal to make as much money as in-humanly as possible.  Herein is the root of the problem (pun intended – money).  Rewards for success should not only include money.  What happened to pride?  Knowing we have done a good job?  Why can’t we take a little and pass the rest on?

Now I’m not totally idealistic.  There will always be an upper class, middle class and lower class in our society.  This works well because not everyone wants to be in another class.  Some people have other priorities and a simple life suits then well.  Others struggle to better themselves with an eye on middle class.  The journey is the real reward.  While still others are born to be stars or need some reassurance through monetary value.  Tragically many are left behind with little opportunities and support.  Regardless of what class you are in or thing you are in, MAKE SURE YOU SPELL IT WITH “CL” AT THE BEGINNING!

So to cut short what is quickly becoming a rambling pile of something other than a meaningfully point, I’ll end with this.  Compromise!!!  Hold strong to your beliefs but please don’t cram it down my throat.  Take some time to teach others and let them flourish. 

I would like to hear from anyone on this subject.  I’ve put everyone into just a few groups (bad me).  Tell me your situation and what Obama Care means to you.
Ever wonder why you have to stop at every traffic light on side streets?  Do you think businesses pay the city so you have to stop and look around?