Sun.

A couple of weeks ago the groundhog said we had six more weeks until spring. Apparently he looked the wrong way when he was looking for his shadow because Mother Nature has decided to bless us with unusually warm weather this week.

Getting out in the sunshine has been doing wonders for my psyche. I’ve been feeling kind of blah, which is typical for me for this time of year, and being between my two surgeries hasn’t really helped the situation. Luckily my second surgery is a week from Friday and then it’ll be just a few weeks of recovery before things should be normal again.

Stepping out onto the lawn today and not going up to my knees in snow in the latter half of February was very refreshing. I don’t see any signs of dandelions yet, not even the precocious ones, but they can’t be that far away.

Because of the beautiful weather I’m in the mood to look for bright spots and one of them is that as a result of the Trump Administration, we’ll probably be having shorter winters and less snowfall as time goes on. Hopefully I’ll be checked out before the rivers boil.

In the meanwhile I’m just going to enjoy the warmth and sunny skies.

Sides.

Look, I’m not a fan of the current presidential administration. I’ll be the first to admit that. I didn’t think Hillary was a great choice in November but I thought she was the best choice at the time. The majority of voters in the United States agreed with me but logistics made things swing the other way and here we are three and a half weeks into a Trump presidency and it’s a dumpster fire at best.

The thing is, I just want what’s best for our country. We need a stable government in Washington. A raging dumpster fire led by a man that has no idea what he’s doing does not lend itself to stability. Talking about international affairs in the restaurant of a golf club does not lend itself to stability. I could go on about lies and the spinning and all that but anyone with a three-digit IQ can see through the spin.

The problem is that there’s a whole bunch of folks with double-digit IQs out there.

These folks see this as a glorified football game or reality show. One side might resoundingly beat the other side, no matter the cost, even if it means destroying the country as part of the process. The Republicans should be doing what’s right for their country, not what’s right for their party. With all of these ties to Russia coming to light, if Hillary was sitting in the big chair right now the Republican party would be bending over backwards to get her out of there as quickly as possible. But Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to move forward and not even really interested in pursuing an investigation until he obtains more information (which, last I knew, was the purpose of an investigation).

Look, I think Trump should be out of there and I’d be willing to bet some money that the man is not going to make it through his four-year term, but at this point I just want some solid answers and more importantly, a stable government that isn’t consumed by raging partisan politics as teams line up on either side of the aisle. We need to work together to make this better, even if it means making some tough, unprecedented choices along the way.

Don’t pick a side. Choose to do what’s best.

SAD.

I’m starting to really feel the effects of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Every year I go into the winter determined to not feel the winter blues but sure enough we go with three straight weeks of grey skies and I start to bum out a little bit.

There is some sun today, and I feel a little brighter for it, though it is still 17ºF with a wind chill of 8ºF at the moment. This weekend is suppose to be up around 40 and I find this encouraging.

To help counter the winter blues I occasionally start marching around the United States via Google Maps and look at sunny landscapes of places I’d like to visit or visit again.

In 2003 I drove home from Emmetsburg, Iowa after completing a computer training class in that lovely part of the world. I remember driving across the Iowa-Minnesota border on Route 4 and so I just picked a random spot along that route to gaze at for a few moments. I could almost feel the sun and warm breezes on my face again. The smell of the surrounding farms brought a smile to my face.

Every little bit of something helps.

Craziness.

Keith Olbermann released a video outlining the 50 craziest things Trump has done as president. Some of these things are quite horrifying, for example, turning off standard recordings of communications when Trump called Putin.

That’s quite interesting.

Iqaluit.

I just read a Facebook update from one of my in-laws. And so I did this.

It might have been politics related. I really need to stay off Facebook. Maybe I just need to go to Iqaluit, Nunavut. I hear it’s surprisingly beautiful up there.

I mention Iqaluit because a Swiss Air flight from Zurich to Los Angeles made an emergency landing at their airport yesterday after they had a malfunction with one of the engines on the Boeing 777. Everything was fine with the landing, Swiss Air sent another airplane and picked up the passengers and they went on their way after a half-day visit to this little northern town.

This prompted me to “walk” around Iqaluit via Google Maps and it looks quite lovely. Remote, wild, small yet interesting, intimate and friendly. I mentioned this on Twitter and the mayor replied within five minutes that it’s a lovely place.

During supper tonight I mentioned to Earl that I thought we should visit Iqaluit someday. I was surprised when he agreed.

I need to look into this further.

Anger Management.

God, I miss this show. CBS cancelled it when it was still in the Top 20 as far as ratings go because they wanted to put some other drama that was more dramatic on. The replacement show (I don’t even remember the name of it) tanked after 1 1/2 seasons. Then we moved into the “Two Broke Girls” era where idiocy is hilarious.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this clip from “Judging Amy”. I needed to see it. I wish this show would come back or at the very least, come out on DVD because the message of this excellent show needs to be broadcast far and wide.

1 Comment

Anger.


A popular meme on the Internet these days goes something like this: “Sally voted for Hillary. Bob voted for Trump. They realize the election is over now and even though they have disagreements when it comes to politics, Sally and Bob agree to be friends. Be like Sally and Bob.” Several of my friends and relatives have shared this meme and I have to say it just makes me angry.

Then, when I go to Facebook (which I still do when I know that I absolutely shouldn’t be there), I see all sorts of whining and complaining about all the political posts that are flying by on the feeds of folks that I’m friends with. They complain that they go to Facebook to see recipes and happy pictures of people and they wish that everyone would stop talking about politics all the time.

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the Trump Administration has pretty much been a god damn dumpster fire since his mediocre inauguration. We have Executive Orders coming from the White House like they’re freaking decrees. Rights are being stripped away from Americans left and right. Some friends from high school say it’s the whole “one bad kid ruined it for the whole class” mentality but I don’t know if anyone’s noticed or not but the vast majority of Americans are not in high school. I do not need to be treated like some wainked out teenager who gets spanked because everyone in the room is getting spanked. I am an American and a god damn patriotic American at that. I was fairly attentive in my social studies classes when I was a kid. I read. I research. I watch the news. I even listen to folks that have a different political viewpoint from mine if they are able to support their beliefs, just like I support mine. But anyone that rolls over and puts up with the horse crap that is coming out of Washington D.C. should be ashamed of themselves.

My beliefs of what this country should be are very simple. The populace should be working hard, contributing more to society than it takes, leaving the world better than we found it and doing good things for themselves and other people regardless of skin color, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or whatever other label you want to slap on someone. I don’t have to pray to your God and you don’t have to pray to mine because quite frankly, as an American it’s none of my business whom you pray to. If you want me to read your Bible, don’t start out by beating me over the head with it every chance you get. Just because I believe that a woman has the right to do as she wishes with her own body doesn’t mean that I want women getting abortions at Wal*mart (Always White Trash, Always). I happen to believe that abortion is the wrong answer to the question 99.5% of the time but you know what, I don’t have a vagina, I don’t plan on getting a vagina and therefore I should have absolutely NO say as to what a woman can or can’t do with her body. If we want to outlaw something let’s start with face or neck tattoos or something, but that’s a rant for another day.

I’m not only angry about people telling me that I shouldn’t discuss politics, I’m angry that people are telling me to get over it. I’m not getting over it. Ever. I’ve had to listen to that cantankerous old stupid man Mitch McConnell contort politics six ways from Sunday to do everything he can to make President Obama’s term as short and miserable as possible and now I’m suppose to be happy that a man with fake hair, a fake tan and completely without a clue is sitting in the big chair in D.C. Give me a break. When we have a failed reality star who has done everything he can to make himself important in Hollywood since he was big enough to throw his junk around women become president it’s obvious that this country is a raging dumpster fire that’s about one and a half steps away from a completely meltdown to an “Idiocracy” scenario.

And don’t even get me started about any relatives who voted for Trump thinking that I’m going to be happy and cordial at the next family reunion. “But I didn’t agree with Hillary!”  Wonderful. I’m happy that you’re offended by pant suits and that you made the bold choice to vote for a man who was supported by the KKK, is intent on taking away any right I have as a gay man away from me as quickly as possible and has loaded up his Administration with every white, rich, swamp dweller one can name. Draining the swamp? Get the hell away from me with that BS. The swamp is overflowing with raw sewage but Benghazi and an email server. Shall we discuss all the Administration officials using a private email server? No, because they’re not Hillary. Hillary stood by her man. Any woman that voted against Hillary because she supported Bill during the Monica scandal is a woman that would rather have a man make decisions for her. 

On Tuesday night we had some sort of public spectacle to announce Trump’s pick for the vacant Supreme Court position. The position has been open for a year but because Obama was black he wasn’t allowed to get any traction with his nomination because, well, you know, these things take time. So instead we were stuck with an American Idol-type fiasco from the Orange Cheeto making grand gestures to tell us that he’s nominating a man that started a “Fascism Forever Club” in high school. That should be a hoot and half. 

Crimminy.

Look it, I’m an American. I am a 48 year old, married, white, gay American male. I take my hat off when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. I like to believe that the United States of America is land of the free and the home of the brave, but if we continue to be completely stupid and make stupid choices and bury our head in the sand, there ain’t gonna be a country to be proud of for much longer.

Get your heads out of your ass, America, stop telling me to be all Pollyanna over something that is nothing more than a travesty waiting to go nuclear and for the love of God, get a friggin’ clue.

Burnout.

I follow a lot of aviators on Twitter. I follow musicians, I follow fellow bloggers, I follow friends both from real life and those I’ve met online. I follow politically minded people.

This morning I decided that I needed to shut down Twitter for a few hours.

I noticed that I’ve been checking Twitter upon waking each morning to see if there’s been some sort of global catastrophe, because my spidey sense is worried about what looms on the horizon and let’s face it, the country has been a bit of a dumpster fire since the Inauguration.

My Twitter feed has been all about politics. Well, that’s an exaggeration. My feed has been about 98% politics. My tweets have followed the same ratio. My handful of followers know how I feel on any given subject.

Today I just had to step away from it all for a little while and just practice some breathing exercise to get my head back to center.

The reboot helped. I no longer feel overwhelmed and I feel ready to continue the quest to do my part to make the United States the best it can be.

Onward and onward. Now if we could just do something about the dumpster fire.

Hello, Piano.

The first time I went to college (right out of high school), I went to study music education. My plan was to become a music teacher. I went on an instrumental study, having originally auditioned as a vocalist but after being rejected by the school I went and tried again as a tuba player. It was easy for me to get into the music school as a tuba player, tuba players are rare. I had played tuba since the fifth grade. I wasn’t exceptionally good nor passionate about it, but it helped me fill in the “bottom” of a given band, so I was good doing my part.

As a Music Education major I took many music theory classes. In depth study of how good music is constructed was quite interesting to me. In many ways music is math. Musical passages are fractions of the song and a well constructed piece of music makes use of equal fractions. I was always interested in how classical compositions related to modern music, especially dance music of the time. The college had just constructed its first electronic recording studio in the summer of 1986 and was offering classes in music recording, editing and the like. Because I was a music education major and because the equipment in the studio was very expensive, I was denied entry to any of these classes. I sometimes wonder where I would be in life today if I had pursued that line of music instead of the more traditional music education track.

One of the best ways for me to get centered for a work week is to listen to a composition of well constructed electronic dance music. It’s not really EDM in the sense of going to a rave and getting hyped up on E or anything. The intensity of the track needs to be subtle. Lyrics should be minimal and actually I prefer vocalizations that are instrumental contributions rather than the centerpiece of the creation. The use of real instruments, are at least very accurate representations, soothe my being. The track needs to have a “flow”; a logical construction that tells a story.

Please enjoy “Hello, Piano” by Inkfish and David West. This track is near perfection for my ears. Someday I’m going to figure out what the vocalizations are saying but I don’t get lost on trying to discern their meaning. I just let them blend in with the other instruments, the flanging between my ears adding to the bliss I feel when I listen to this track.

Best enjoyed with headphones.