Wednesday, September 26, 2012

26 SEP 12

Avengers assemble ...
Watched "The Avengers" on Pay-Per-View
last night. It was a pretty good flic ...
I can see why the grandchildren were all agog
when it premiered.
My opinion ... it could've just as well been called
"Iron Man 3: With a Little Help From My Friends."
For all the hyped "super powers" of the others in the
group, seemed to me that it was Tony Stark's fancy
exo-suit that saved the day rather than the efforts of
any of the others ... with the probable exception of
The Hulk.

Just sayin'.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

19 SEP 12

Nice day ...
Today was beautiful, after the storms of yesterday.
High was 68 ... blue skies with scattered, fair-weather clouds.
Were it not for the leaves and branches strewn everywhere,
one would never know there'd been a storm.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

18 SEP 12

Bad news ...
A child lays dying.
This child is the son of a friend ...
a friend of my daughter's.

The impending death of a child
is always hard to take ...
promise lost ... all that is loved
soon to be gone.

His mother's words can be read here :
(She's a strong woman ... stronger than I.)

I have nothing more to add.


PS: 17 OCT 12 - The child, Ty Campbell, died this day.
       RIP ... RIP, little one.

Monday, September 17, 2012

17 SEP 12

Another week, a new start ...
Am yet playing around in Photoshop.
Don't really know what I'm doing
but am having fun.

I'm still finding subjects to photograph
out in the yard and adjacent wood lot.

I've expanded my subjects of interest
to include my drum equipment.
A trap set can make for a fine still-life.

(Before the music world adopted the British
terminology of, "drum kit," a set of drums
was known as a "trap set"
... and I'm old school.)

Check these out:

                                         Yellow Begonia - from the rear deck

                                        Vintage Rogers trap set with Zildjian ride

                                   Strawberry Geraniums - from the front yard

                               Flat ride with Vintage Rogers ... on stage, ready to play

                                Bandito Orange Sunrise - from the rear deck


Friday, September 7, 2012

07 SEP 12

Notes to myself ...
and to my facebook friend, Kanani.

On veterans returning home ...

there's this:

... a point of view that I still hold to.

Further thoughts as to the "Why" of my opinion:
  • The returning vet went.
  • The other remained behind.
  • The returning vet dared.
  • The other kept safe.
  • Except for family and friends, the other forgot that the vet had ever been.
  • The stay-behinds feathered their own soft nests.

This is perfectly portrayed in the film,
"The Best Years of Our Lives."
Dana Andrews' character, Captain Fred Derry,
had been a bombardier on a B-17. He had flown all
of those gut-twisting missions, hanging on to his
sanity by his fingernails ...
(with a lot of help from the whiskey bottle.)
Post war and the stay-behind 4-F drug store manager
can now lord it over Derry and offers him the job of
soda-jerk at the store's fountain. He then proceeds to
monitor, and criticize, Derry's every move, explaining
that things have changed ... Derry was no longer a big
shot Air Corps bombardier ... and so on.
(Watching this movie years ago, I wanted to take this
snotty pencil-neck out back and kick his ass royally.)

Then, there was the true story told by Vietnam vet
Lynda Van Devanter in her book, "Home Before Morning."
The one point that struck me, while reading, was her efforts
at trying to find a bit of romance and instead finding that all
the young men she met appeared to be two-dimensional
characters to her, now with her war-born perspectives on life.
Life does get lonely when one cannot find another of one's own

There's a chasm between the veteran and the non.
Time slowly narrows that chasm, drawing the two
back together. The key word, here, is "time." In today's
reality of multiple deployments, there seems no time for
the soldier to fully adjust to civilian thought patterns,
civilian expectations.
The civilian has absolutely no clue about what it is that
drives the veteran's feelings and thought processes.
Communication is possible only after much contact and
Post-return disagreements, generally, cause this chain of
thought in most vets ... "Dumb Fuck! Back in the 'Nam
I coulda capped your ass and finished this up real fuckin' quick."
(Insert "Back in the 'Stan ... " to bring this quote up to date.)
The poor civilian probably has no clue that this is going
on in the vet's head. The vet never plans on acting on this
feeling ... it's just an automatic reaction upon meeting up
with actual callous stupidity face-to-face.
(God's truth ... can't tell you how many dumb-fuck civilians
I encountered, and dearly wanted to butt-stroke, after I returned
home from Vietnam.)


PS: Checking family files back through WWI,
I've noted the following:
Family members in the military ...
  • U.S. Army - 5
  • U.S. Navy - 6
  • USMC - 2
  • U.S. Air Force - 0
  • U.S. Coast Guard - 1

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

05 SEP 12

Summer's over ...
Outside, we have intermittent rain and distant thunder ... the remnants of Isaac. There's been the diesel rattling of school buses going past the house all morning. Leaves have just begun to turn ... some falling to earth.

Change is afoot ...


Time passing ...

My stint with The Midnight Blues lasted from 2006 til 2009.
It was a good run. I enjoyed it ... was sorry to have quit the group.
A friend from the Rogers Owners Forum who lives here, in Mahopac,
took my place as drummer (Ed Heinzinger).

Have been going through photographs and found a bunch that I'd
forgotten about.

Top Photo:
2007 - My 1st gig with The Midnight Blues at the Town of New Fairfield, CT Quarterly Coffee House. From left - Jamie Ratzken, Joey Vee, Me, Mikalai Schmatok. This is before the band had a bass player. Mikalai eventually left the group to pursue his first love, Heavy Metal Rock. (He's doing well.)
Bottom Photo:
2009 - My last gig with The Midnight Blues at a Halloween Party held in the Proud Mary lounge at The Inn, Newtown, CT. From left - Jamie Ratzken, Joey Vee, Me, Rob LaSalle. Rob would faint halfway through the night, due to a vasovagel reaction. We ended the night early ... with Rob in the hospital for observation. Later on, in November, I was struck with a heart problem, ventricular tachycardia, that mandated a defibrillator being implanted in my left chest wall. I was too ill to play for over a year's time. I'm back playing now with a jazz group, Artsongjazz. (All brushwork, not very strenuous. Perfect for me.)