Friday, January 30, 2009

Dying Breed...

First off... because this is unusual and I know if I write about it, it will comeback, but for some reason today I am pain free as I was yesterday. It is weird... Trying to figure out what is different...

I got the new Springsteen album and I must say, not only does it include the song he wrote for, "The Wrestler" it is a fantastic album.

Why are there no song writers like this around? It seems like it all stopped. Tomorrow Never Knows is a fantastic song... The epic first song, Outlaw Pete. And to top it off there is that song from the Wrestler at the end. The longer this guy's career lasts, the better and better his entire catalog of songs gets and lasts.

Just freaking good stuff...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I didn't think anything of it. Sirens in the morning outside my home. I lived in the urban area of near downtown Sacramento. It was not uncommon to hear a siren, or see a helicopter search light or anything.

Well, this morning... right before sunrise... or after... I don't know, I didn't sleep due to stress in my job and life anyway, I heard sirens. I thought nothing of it. It was a siren...

Well... it sucks. Some poor little kid was walking to the bus stop to take that long journey to school I did so many years ago up here in the sticks. Someone in a car I guess didn't see the kid in the street or whatever and ran the poor kid over. The kid went to the hospital and later died of his injuries.

My town is beyond rural... with like 200 people. There is the tiny gated community I live in and this is where it all happened. It sucks because, I guess because there are so few people out here... and even that I did not know the kid or really see the incident, it makes you think that we are not always safe no matter where we live or work or whatever we do with our lives. Sometimes if it is our time, it is just our time, period.

You can read about it here and here. (On another topic, what is with the comment spam on the last article)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Indoor Fireworks

The "other" Elvis sings one of my favorite songs. One of the first ones I learned to do on my guitar. I have always gotten a lot of influence from Elvis.

So... I sat wiki'ing prescription drugs I have. Um... One says for, MAJOR depression. Huh... I didn't ever notice or really think about it.

I am a full functioning, hard working, punch the clock punching, 60 hour a week zombie dude these days. I have almost no money but... well.... I shouldn't say that... I actually have little debt but money just seems to fly out of my wallet faster than it comes in. And mainly it is utilities. That gas fire place we all enjoyed in December was $360. I cannot rationalize the use and cost of propane and propane accessories this month. On Monday, I kept going out every hour to see if I had a gas leak.

Well... no gas leak so my house won't blow up like that one in Rancho Cordova did. I am not on PG&E. If my February bill is that high... I am sending my hotel bills into the company to show how much I have been gone followed by the correlating water consumption drop. Also... why the fuck is propane so fucking high when oil is less than $40 a barrel. I know things about the petroleum industry and I know propane follows oil... Don't tell me it is refining capacity... It ain't shit... We have natural gas coming out of our ass in this country.

It is probably the small town joke of a town I moved too. Why are we called a town? When I punch my address into Google Maps it comes up... three towns over!!

Anyhow... I felt like griping...

I did my old job for a few hours this afternoon out in Colorado. It felt good to be a grunt in the field again.

Been go through a very big period of nostalgia lately because of Facebook. I have college friends, high school friends from the sticks and then even pre school friends from the city commenting on the same status updates. Totally weird and freaking but a lot of fun...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Perfect Weekend!

You could not ask for better weather out here this weekend. It was close to 70, no wind... lots and lots of sun.

It was a lot of fun.

I took a drive....

Well it wasn't in the 70's the whole time. It was down right cold in the morning. We went to the Porsche parts place called Part's Heaven in Hayward. I had been meaning to get down and get a few exterior pieces for the car that I had either lost or they fell off the car over the years. I got new plastic lug nut caps and finally replaced the jack hole cover on the passenger sign. That is the dirtiest window you will ever see on one of my cars. I don't like washing this car because of the rust factor. It was awesome. We went down to Hayward then back up through Livermore than into Lodi for a party. Mostly in a T-Shirt the whole time.

Stevenot Winery

This morning we said, "Ah... what the heck... Let's go for a ride again...." So we went up to Starbucks then over to Twisted Oak for some wine. Then we took off up to Sheep Ranch from Murphys. It was warm so we popped the top off and did some hard riding through the hills. The car ran great all the way. Very, very fast... smooth handling... no issues. I have past up the car in age...:)

Heading into Sheep Ranch, which I think has like 45 people there... I expected to encounter, well some sheep...
Unfortunately all I could find was this field full of liberals. Well... we sped through Sheep Ranch down over to Railroad Flat near where Charles Ng and Leonard Lake killed all of those people and buried them in the 80's. It's one of the few things people know Calaveras County for.

Another unfortunate thing... I didn't stop and take more pictures. We jetted down from Railroad Flat through Glencoe and over to Mokolumne Hill. The locals are nice. All the roads have pretty much a rural speed limit of 55 mph and that is cool but a lot of these roads you would be an idiot if you went that fast. However, I can get on it and get down those hills quickly... never really leaving from 2nd and 3rd gear. The old folks actually got out of the way.

After getting through Moke Hill, I got on Paloma Rd and headed down through Campo Seco back over to my house. I actually need to get some pictures of Campo Seco so I can actually truly show my readers there actually is a Chinese Ghost Town up here.

What a fun ride... Perfect weather, not cold and not warm... Just perfect. Smoked a lot of turns and had perfect control. And my little car ran great. I could have sat in bed all weekend. I could have sat at home on the couch or finished hanging shelves in my garage but why? Nothing was more relaxing before a big travel week.

Saw Gran Torino too... Racing cars and Eastwood movies... Now that is living.

Friday, January 16, 2009



Just watch one ball

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My "Hometown"

Look we got a website now.

Okay... let's see, we got a gas station, an abandoned restaurant, a "historical" restaurant that mainly is a bar... A post office... A decorative rock place that takes up one half of what one might call "downtown"...

A Baptist Church...

And that is pretty much it.

220 people and a reservoir... And that pond they call a lake around the corner...

Photo of the month. There are hundreds of these things running around through out the year. Also there are some buzzards that fly around all day long. Canadian Geese are down here flying around right now. Coyotes at night... Rattlesnakes in the summer. Possums Raccoons... Deer...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dream or Nightmare?

I had a dream last night/early this morning that has  freaked me out all day.  

Perhaps it encompassed everything I have gone through the past year or two.  It was so weird... so real and it was like I had complete control and I remember every detail about it.

In a nut shell...

I basically was where I went to college.   I was carrying a trombone and baritone horn and I was off to a marketing/music class.  And I saw this fight break out.  So I ran and threw people into doors to protect them.  I ran into a bathroom and there was a woman crying in the bathroom.  I couldn't make her out.  But she tossed me a cellphone to help call someone.  I was staring through the crack in the door and I kept seeing the mean people's hands trying to get in.  I used the phone and it would not dial 911.  So I went, Wait.. this is a dream and pulled the fire alarm that I thought was to my left.  The sprinklers turned and an alarm sounded and the evil people ran.  It was me I guess being creative and fighting off demons.  Why I locked myself in a room though perplexes me.  

So then we broke free and I ran with people from college to a Home Economics Room.  Which I have no idea what the symbolism behind that is.

So then a bell rang and I had to go take a big test in a marketing class.

The real odd thing... Barack Obama was visiting the school.  So there was all this other activity at the school or what I was told was the school...  And so there were all these people running to go see the guy but I was taking this test.  In retrospect, I think it was me not caring about Obama.

So I get the test and teacher basically hands me a Tablet PC that was really paper thin.  She asked a question and we were to fill in an answer on the screen.  Then she left a question on the board and said she had to go to the other room and start the other test.  So I sat waiting for all the questions and I had this overwhelming fear she was not coming back because I had all the answers.  I felt like I was not being asked.  I feel like this all the time in my conscious life because I feel that people are not coming to me looking for answers like they used to.

Then I ran off to join this music group.  I saw the group playing and all I did was start playing along but kept walking... I was playing a trombone.  I later felt after I woke up that this part of the dream was me always feeling I let pursuing a music performing career pass by.  I always felt like I could be big and haven't yet.  What ever big means anyway.

But as I past the band playing, I felt like I needed new gear.  So I show up at this music store/car wash.  Two things I know everything about.  I walk inside and I am looking for some new horns.  And the owner, Mr. Lee was his name shows me this huge horn that was impossible to play. And it turned out to be a joke that everyone in the store laughed about.  I don't know the symbolism behind this.  But Mr Lee decided to take me to his car to look at new horns.  As I stepped out the door... and at this point it is one of those dreams where you do not see faces.  Someone from behind me... and this trips me out still hours later when reflecting on this dream... yells my name and says... hey remember me, I resized your ring after you got married.  What trips me out is I have no idea who this person was, in the dream I felt this person really knew me... but I could not recall them and I was struggling with it... but this person remembered details that did not actually happen... like my wedding ring being resized.

So then I went to this Mr. Lee's car (by the way the first guitar I bought was at a shop called Mr. C's) and picked out a new horn.  When I stepped into the store to pay... I was basically staring at the exit of the car wash.  And there were all these lights and stuff marketing stuff going on at the car wash and I got extremely frustrated because it was all laid out wrong.  Then my dad was there yelling at me... and all the employees at the car wash were telling me he was mad.  I cannot think of a time in my life where my Dad ever got mad at me.  Seriously... except for maybe when I worked for him at the car wash. :)  I later find it was because I had left a trombone on the driveway "on".  I walked up to the trombone... and this was really weird because I have been around so many car washes that it felt like all the employees were real... but to me they were just your average Hispanic guy that typically works at the car wash.  They are standing around the trombone and it is basically on the ground against it's case humming like a gas weed eater on idle.

Fucking weird.  I woke up at this point.  It was 7 AM.  I grabbed my computer and wrote it all down.  So many themes in my life came up in this.  A lot of my fears... frustrations...  Symbolically why I was at college is because I always felt like I was a stranger there even though I thoroughly enjoyed college and probably miss some parts of that in my life.  Like drinking all night after studying... and realizing you had a midterm at 8 AM and it was 7:30 AM still thoroughly buzzed then aceing the test.  But the symbolism... this was a place that I felt safe... despite in reality I was on a big scholarship and could have been broke off from school because at the time it was $16-18K a year to go there.

The test frustrated me in the dream.  I really had this anticipation of what questions were being asked but not getting the chance to answer them.  I feel like that all the time.  Especially in my line of work where I have to do so much critical thinking.  But I always feel people go elsewhere.  Perhaps I am trying to tell myself something about how people are treating me.  Should I have gone out of the class to try and get more questions?  Hmmm....

I am stuck on this dream... This is probably a dream that I remember most in my life.

I felt weird today too.  Like I was hungover.  My head hurt all day and my left ear and face was all tingly.  I was panicked when I woke up too... all sweaty.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

All the Toys and Something to Play for...

This Christmas, I got some gifts that at first glance may not have been very... well, expensive or something I maybe have asked for or what one may consider to be valuable like an iPhone or Big Screen TV or a watch.

They were simple but thoughtful gifts and have come to mean so much to me the past week.

The first one, the biggie... Willie Nelson's guitar strap. It's hand made. Red white and blue and is featured in this photo. It came from him so I know it is real. It is pretty awesome and special and is made for my acoustic guitars. I definitely will use it when I play.

The next few items were things that were from another time, another place in my life. First was a Michigan Wolverines hat. Back in high school, I was always seen wearing Michigan gear. I had this fascination of playing in the Wolverines marching band at football games and going to their music school. I ended it up settling for the local but prestigious Conservatory of Music at Pacific. But it was my dare to dream, and even though I did not make it to Michigan, I had a rewarding music life in my late teens and early twenties winning solo awards, playing the Star Spangled Banner at my high school graduation and making the California State Honor Band my senior year.

The other thing I got was a small bottle of valve oil for my trumpet and euphonium (baritone horn). I had been saying recently about all my brass instruments which I have displayed around my new house that I needed valve oil to move the valves and even play. As well as needing some silver polish to get the tarnish off the mouthpieces. And then I started playing... After knocking some tarnish off of my sound and embouchure, I got some killer big brass sounds out of my trumpet, trombone and baritone. It was like riding a bike. And then from memory, playing the songs I knew and getting it all back. I have played all afternoon.

The last thing I got was a pair of blue Converse All-Stars. These go way back with me... To when I was a skater back in Frisco, riding my skateboard down the foggy hills, dodging traffic and destroying my knees riding walls and stuff. I had to give it all up when my parents moved me back up to the sticks but the nostalgia of slipping those things and hot rodding around in my Porsche has been fun. What a great thing to bring back to my identity.

One other gift that I got... Not from Christmas or anything was when I put Elijah to sleep the other night in his bed. I was laying with him and I started singing "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley over and over to get him to quiet down. I have found singing works with him to put him in the mood to shut his eyes so I do it. But after repeating the song over and over for about ten minutes, I sang:

"Don't worry... About a thing... Because every little thing... "

And Elijah came in on key even singing... "Gonna be all right."

Tears in my eyes... I kissed him on the forehead and held him tight.

Thank you!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Probably Finally Did It

Happy New Year...

As I crawled out of bed on my hands and knees this morning taking 20 minutes or so to rise to my feet.  Hurts more today than yesterday.

I think I finally fell apart.  Uggh!!!

I had a good New Year.  Just a relaxing steak dinner that I cooked, a bottle of wine and a shot of whiskey at midnight while we watched Dick "Give It Up Dude, You Are So Done" Clark count down the ball drop.  He was off on that count by a second when it first started.  

It was great though last night.  I had a real nice time by a warm fire and a nice meal.