Coffee Myths Debunked!!

Tags

I remember hearing a few of these while I was growing up. As it turns out, they belong in the same category as “your face will stay that way” and “you’ll go blind…if you don’t eat your carrots”.

http://www.yahoo.com/food/why-you-can-stop-worrying-and-love-coffee-even-more-72897243362.html

MYTH: Coffee is addictive

MYTH Coffee is bad for your heart

MYTH: Coffee causes cancer

MYTH: Coffee stunt kids’ growth

To Key Or Not To Key

Tags

, , ,

Nah, I’m not talking about putting some scratches in the side of a car that is intentionally taking up 2 parking spaces (I once saw one that took 4). I would NEVER suggest that you scrape your keys down the car door of some clown who is only thinking of himself and his pwecious wittwe car. Not me. Instead, what I’m talking about is a Yamaha PSR E243, a really sweet little keyboard that I just got for 99-freakin-dollars!! Okay, so I also sprung for a kit that has a power supply (the keyboard can run on batteries), a foot pedal and practice headsets for $35, but I think I got a really great deal. It has some incredible sounds and I plan on using some of them in The Bagworms songs. I used to have a nice little keyboard that I bought while I was stationed on Crete back in 1983-1986, but t has decided to go to Keyboard Heaven. I used that keyboard when I played in a band with John George in 1984-1985 and also in a band with Kevin Michael in 1991-1992. So I do have some chops. I just gotta go find them again. Here’s what it looks like: Image

Pretty neat, huh? It only has 61 keys, but I only have 10 fingers, so it works out. I won’t be playing any Keith Emerson-style stuff, just some chords and “flavoring”. On the other hand, I have gone nuts. From time to time. So we shall see. Now here is one of the most calming meditation videos ever, so put on your headsets, close your eyes and go away for a 30 vacation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EQR0hMFbsk

Audition on Saturday

Tags

, , , , , ,

They want me to do a monologue from either a comedy or an action/adventure film. So I may hit them with both: Comedy – Bluto’s rant toward the end of Animal House and; Action/Adventure – Captain Quint’s monologue about the USS Indianapolis from Jaws. That’s gotta be a real Alpha-Omega choice but, when you’re a character actor, that’s what it’s all about…you should be able to play any character and make him believable. Now here, go heal thyself, you scruffy reprobates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMjZFQPnkFw

Writin’ My Little Fingers Off!

Tags

, ,

I am more than halfway through the second act on the screenplay. Brought it to the point where the rest is a roller coaster ride to the resolution. While my hope was to get it wrapped up by today, such was not the case as my body kept making me go to sleep yesterday. I even drank 2 cups of coffee before noon and I still crashed out. Hope you all had a nice New Year’s Eve & Day. Maybe I should stop listening to tracks like these when I write: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN-GcYpZ3m8

Thank God For Coffee!!

Tags

,

Okay. I’ve been a bit lazy. I thought that I would have this screenplay wrapped up and in Joe Anastasio’s hands by now, but, nah. On the other hand, I’m not rushing through it and what I am writing looks pretty good to me. So, today, I plan on sitting in my awesome electric recliner and, other than the occasionally needed cup of coffee (in a Batman mug) and the resultant Call Of Nature, I plan to get a LOT done today, more tomorrow and, since I am off Tuesday and Wednesday, bring it on home. Now, here. Get ready for your day. Remember, do not take your eyes off the elephant’s eyes until the 10-minute video stops. You’re welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmA-dWdaI5k

First band practice in a bit

Tags

, , ,

Today was the first time that The Bagworms were all in the same room loaded up with their instruments since before Thanksgiving. We sounded pretty damn good but that’s what happens when you stick 4 guys who have our experience together. We did an impromptu version of The Who’s The Kids Are Allright aaand…nailed it. Started on one of John’s new tunes as well. And the time I have spent working on playing 2nd guitar seems to have paid off as well. Talked about recording my 4 tunes and also recording new demos for The Bagworms’ tunes. I also got to show off my new Squier Bass VI. It has a GREAT sound and I hope to work it into some of our existing songs. Stay cool. http://www.reverbnation.com/thebagworms

Bye-Bye Facebook and Twitter – for now

Tags

, , , , ,

I have a lot to do in the coming months: Writing; acting (I hope); recording. So I have decided that I really need to free up my online time. This will be my online presence for the time being. I may venture into the other two realms again sometime in the future, but only for things related to writing, acting and music. I think this is the best thing for me. After all, a man’s got to know his limitations.

Einstein’s Other Two Theories

On three…one…two…three…E=MC2!!!

Whew!! I’m glad that’s over. Let’s get to two of his other “theories” that I happen to find interesting.

One:

A reporter interviewed Albert Einstein. At the end of the interview, the reporter asked if he could have Einstein’s phone number so he could call if he had further questions.

Certainly” replied Einstein. He picked up the phone directory and looked up his phone number, then wrote it on a slip of paper and handed it to the reporter. 

Dumbfounded, the reporter said, “You are considered to be the smartest man in the world and you can’t remember your own phone number?” 

Einstein replied, “Why should I memorize something when I know where to find it?”

http://bit.ly/J5qGo4

Now that is a nice and clever thing to say. What else would you expect from Albert Einstein?

Having said that, I would not want to have someone looking up how to perform CPR on me while I’m lying on the floor clutching my chest and gasping for air.

So this theory works for simple things. And it’s much easier today than it was back then what with iPhones & SmartPhones & 4G Tablets. You can pretty much look up anything you want, 24 hours a day, without ever having to resort to opening any kind of book.

And, as it is with all things, that has its Yin & Yang.

Books are great! Anyone who has ever been to my house knows how I feel about books. I think that I have 30+ bookcases filled with books of all types. I know that, when I retire, I could probably read a book a day from the collection and never re-read one book before I shuffle off this non-immortal coil.

But, when you are looking for historical facts, you’ve got be careful when reading a book that has not been written by someone who actually lived through the events.

My favorite books about history are ones that contain the speeches and letters of people who lived at that time. You have to remember that many famous people in the past never considered that their words would live beyond their own lifetime so they spoke their minds.

For example, I don’t ever recall reading this speech in my high school history classes:

http://bit.ly/J5qGo4

It wasn’t until after my wife, Leslie, got me into reading primary history that I found that a lot of what I was taught was a lie.

So, while Mr. Einstein liked to rely on the phonebook as a source of as simple piece of information, I look to other sources for more intricate subjects.

WikiPedia is NOT one of those sources.

Two:

Another story about Einstein that is highly exaggerated but has some basis in reality concerns his clothing. Many say that Einstein wore the same thing every day and had a closet full of the exact same suit, shirts, ties, and shoes. This isn’t true, especially when Einstein’s second wife, Elsa, was alive. Elsa took a firm hand when it came to her husband’s appearance, and pictures of the two of them touring everything from Japan to the American Southwest show Einstein in beautiful silk vests, and dapper neckwear — as well as in a kimono and an American Indian headdress. But after Elsa passed away and Einstein spent his last 20 years as a professor emeritus at Princeton, his clothing did become more, er, irregular. He openly disliked wearing a suit and while already legendary for often going sockless, now he wore sandals. Perhaps the most common pictures of Einstein from that time show him happily shuffling around his Princeton study wearing a big gray sweatshirt. Luckily for Einstein, his life coincided with the invention of the cotton sweatshirt — for he was enamored of the soft warm comfortable garment.

http://bit.ly/XcwJx

I think that, without Elsa’s obviously evil influence, this story WOULD be true and would be the second of Einstein’s “other” theories that I admire.

I did spend 20 years wearing various Air Force uniforms but my penchant for buying lots of the same clothes began when I started buying my own clothes. I was 11 years old and was tired of my folks picking out what I should wear, so I got a job delivering newspapers and took care of myself.

I lived near Boston so my autumn-winter-spring ensemble consisted of flannel shirts, jeans and boots. Fine for delivering newspapers when the temperature was cool and equally fine to wear to school.

I did spend the first 10 years of school going to Catholic schools, so there I had to wear a school uniform. But I got tired of the boys in one class, girls in another, setup and decided to switch to public school in 11th grade.

It was the late 60s and I was just in time for the switch in public schools from formal dress to something more casual. Like flannel shirts, jeans and boots. I did have other clothes and, one day, when I was in public high school, one of the girls said something about how I always wear the same clothes.

The next day I went to school wearing a grey double-breasted suit with a white turtleneck under a gold & black paisley shirt. The day after that I returned to my usual outfit and she never opened her yap again.

Oh yeah, my summer ensemble was usually t-shirts, jeans and boots.

Flash forward ahead several decades.

I now have a job which consists mostly of behind-the-scenes, hidden tasks that I perform along with several other co-workers. People know that we exist, but few people ever contact us unless they need something from us.

And that’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it.

We all work in our Cube City fixing corrupt data, researching possible fundraising prospects and making sure that no one gets access to information if they are not supposed to. I’m on a great team that does its job very well.

And I wear the same clothes every day.

And I keep my work clothes at work for a very good reason. I started taking public transportation 9 years ago, and after a few months, I got tired of getting up from the seat only to see that some foreign substance had attached itself to my shirt that I just got out of the cleaners or my nice suit which I had just had dry-cleaned.

So I wear jeans and a black t-shirt to work. Change there, then change back for the ride home. There is an excellent dry cleaners right outside my office building and that works out very well for me.

My work ensemble is dark blue or black slacks with a gray or black dress shirt. I have a couple of other colors just to keep things interesting (for me, at least), but I find that having that wardrobe is what works for me.

After all, if you see someone who always looks the same way, you tend to feel more comfortable around them. And if I have to go tell someone that they have committed a possible information violation, I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable.

The downside of this occurred when I was going to night school to get my M.A. In Writing. I tended to show up in my jeans, boots and a black t-shirt.

Like the young lady waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy back in my high school days (I graduated high school in 1970), someone made a comment about my style of dress.

But, unlike my high school days, I shook it off.

Until, one day, I was on stay-cation and had to go to school that night. It was cool out so I put on a long-sleeved tie-dye shirt. You can see that shirt here: http://bit.ly/K1TuAA

I got to class that night and a couple of the other guys showed up in jeans and black t-shirts. They were disappointed that I had not worn my usual shirt. And they meant it as a compliment. I should tell you that, other than one student, all the people I took class with in my scramble to get my M.A. In Writing, were some of the nicest, finest human beings you could ever hope to meet.

Now…if I could just get them all to wear jeans, boots and black t-shirts…

What One Thing Would You Change If You Could Take One Trip Back In Time?

I love this question. And I love the usual answers.

There have been hour-long panels at the science fiction convention I go to that have been devoted to this one question.

And those panels often get extended out into the hallways, into the coffee shop and into the wee hours of the night, fueled by one, or maybe two, alcoholic beverages.

Oh yeah.

The usual answers.

 Here’s the list:

Killing Hitler usually comes out right away. This is often followed by saving the people on the Titanic, making sure that 9/11 never happened, saving JFK, saving Lincoln, warning people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki about the bombs…all lofty, all well-intentioned and all wonderful.

Saving JFK. Stephen King’s last non-Dark Tower novel dealt with that one. So I am not alone in my fascination with the question.

But I would like to have your answer to that question along with an explanation for your choice.

Because…

As you might imagine…I’m about to give you mine.

Going back in time, only one time, with the chance to change one, and only one, historical event…

I would save a life.

I would save a life that I think is so important to the world that I would do whatever it took to keep him alive.

I would go back in time and save the life of Jimi Hendrix.

Yeah.

That’s right.

Jimi Freakin’ Hendrix!!

Jimi never had a #1 record in the US. That doesn’t matter.

Jimi changed the guitar forever. He changed the way people looked at writing songs. He changed how songs are recorded in the studio.

He changed lives. Just ask someone you know who plays the guitar.

Case in point, here is my favorite Hendrix song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QptmMGtzo4

Please take a listen to it. I’ll wait.

Like it? It wasn’t Purple Haze, was it?

Now consider that the song was recorded in 1966/1967. I think that the guitar work is still light years ahead of what any guitarist can come up with. There have been a number of Hendrix wannabes, people who could impersonate the style.

But I don’t hear the deep emotion in their work that I hear in Jimi’s. And his was the original. He imitated no one.

He was able to do all that with 4-track technology and a creative imagination.

And how about the lyrics?

May This Be Love by Jimi Hendrix

Waterfall, nothing can harm me at all,

my worries seem so very small

with my waterfall.

I can see my rainbow calling me

through the misty breeze

of my waterfall.

Some people say daydreaming’s

for the lazy minded fools

with nothing else to do.

So let them laugh, laugh at me,

so just as long as I have you

to see me through,

I have nothing to lose ‘long as I have you.

Waterfall, don’t ever change your ways.

Fall with me for a million days,

Oh, my waterfall.

Beautiful, right? Okay. I think that they’re beautiful.

Most song lyrics do not qualify as poetry. These do, in my MA in Writing opinion.

1966/1967. And we’ve progressed to what?

My overt idolatry of Jimi’s writing and playing is not the only reason I would save his life.

Another reason, and I can’t prove this but in my heart-of-hearts I believe this.

If Jimi had lived, we would never have had to put up with the short-lived disco craze.

I was at Ft Meade when that madness hit and I was writing articles for the USAF newspaper, mainly articles on music.

I had just written a review of a concert by The Kinks and got a reply that The Kinks were the old way and disco would forever replace groups like The Kinks. The guy even worked the phrase “ad nauseum” into his critique of The Kinks, you know, just to prove his intellectual superiority.

A year later, The Kinks released a double live album and the first videotaped concert: ONE FOR THE ROAD. They both sold very well and The Kinks were back on top.

Meanwhile, disco was dying. Then it took its last breath. There are still people who love it, though. Ad nauseum.

Back to my point, I think that Jimi would not have necessarily turned his back on disco, he just would have mutated it into yet another Hendrixian form of music that was better than anyone else’s efforts. The result would have been a new musical genre that would stand the test of time.

And I would have loved to hear what he would have done during The Grunge Attack of the early 90s.

But that’s only a wish. It can never be.

Unless some young science geek decides that there are things that need fixing.

My first piece of advice to that individual is to first read Stephen King’s book, 11/22/63.

If he thinks he can escape the butterfly effect jinx, then my second piece of advice is this: SAVE JIMI!!!