Papa Loves Mambo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.” What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

1 (5)Music was flowing through the house more fluidly than water. The way my mom remembers it, my brother and I used to ride my dad’s Gibson guitar like a horse. I learned to play on that thing, carefully plucking the high 3 strings with a G note on the high E. It really was a G chord but before I took a lesson from my dad, it was just some ethereal staccato sound made into an open chord. When I teach younger kids guitar now, I always share that pattern of picking I discovered/invented on my own by simply “playing around” on my dad’s guitar.

Early on my parents exposed me to Kenny Rogers. He was my first real influence on playing and singing. I learned and performed “The Coward of the County” or my 4th grade talent show. For decades after that, people would tell me they remembered that. My parents were also big into John Denver, Jim Croce, James Taylor, and Neil Diamond. The poets/songwriter types were in heavy rotation but of course they played other music. Bluegrass came later and I learned the classic “Under the Double Eagle” that would be forever etched into my style. I owe a lot of my musical prowess and understanding to my parents but at about age 13 I began to explore my own favorite artists.

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

That’s an old saying and it’s about having patience. What if you were Rome? Would you listen to that advice and have patience with your own growth? You ought to. We are all in process. I think we yearn for that feeling of completion when we try new projects or expectations of ourselves. The truth is however, we need time to complete most things we set out to do. For example, they don’t give High School graduates the high paying science jobs right?

Got a vision or desire to do something with your life? Congratulations … cherish it!

Relationships, college, reading a book, … these are just three things that take a while to complete. Other endeavors can take months or years longer at times, like adult acne, just to name one. Just because it takes a long time to treat, should a person not try? Patience here is the key. There can be great satisfaction in knowing where one wants to go. This is true despite the fact that things take time.

I think the best way to go through life is to learn to be thankful for goals and directions you make for yourself. They are really where accomplishment begins. If you can be “at peace” along the journey.

Bloggers from Whom I Learn the Most

Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?

Below is a post I wrote mid 2007.  It’s funny how I still agree with some of this and other stuff I once swore off I now tend to do.  This is a cool by-product of blogging, you get to go back and read your own hopes, dreams, and goals to see if they’ve changed or not.

A while back I blogged about the people from whom I learn the most. Tonight I want to talk a little bit about the bloggers from whom I learn the most. Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?  I have my favorite “types” on my Google Reader.  I spend a lot of time (my wife often tells me too much and she’s probably right) trying play my part in the game. I think of it as my “contribution” and whatever I do in my life I always aim to do right by my contribution. Anyway, as I peruse blogs and read posts out there in the vast nothingness, I learn what I like and what I don’t. I thought I’d list 5 and 5: 5 blogger “types” (no need to name names, though names exist!) that I glean things from and then 5 types that teach me what NOT to do.

First, Bloggers from whom I learn the most:

  1. Writers of short posts. Long posts, unless they are very well constructed . . . bore the hell out of me and I rarely finish them. If the title isn’t “amazing” then I will prboably move on before I even reach the end, ergot the point, of the post.
  2. Writers with a “#### you” attitude. The rugged individualist has always been my arch-typical hero in modern culture. The day I lose my attitude, is the day they’ll be lowering my casket into the ground. I identify with other bloggers who share that perspective.
  3. Bloggers with original layouts.
  4. Bloggers who post often.
  5. Bloggers who comment on my site and re-comment when I visit their blogs. Also those who respond in the form of a comment to comments on their posts.

TIP: Usually you can go back to check replies to your comments on other blogs by checking their “subscribe to comments” box. Sometimes they don’t have that feature. In that case, I have a dedicated folder on my bookmarks list where I save links to posts I comment on. This makes going back much easier and much more probable.

Second, Bloggers from Whom I learn what generally NOT to Do:

  1. Any blog on monetization, seo, or “how to grow your traffic.”
  2. Angry bloggers that never come up for air.
  3. Pity party posters.
  4. Careful bloggers who explain too much.
  5. AND . . . (of course you had to know this was coming) OVER-THE-TOP AD WIDGET FOLKS. (sorry, just callin’ it like it is!!!)

*If anyone feels personally attacked by this post, please don’t. I write posts of all these types. None of us will ever be perfect at this but I’m aiming at perfection anyway!

Be Deliberate with Conviction

The world is full of people, some of them are aimless while others have lofty ambition. It’s hard to know where to fit in. I like to think of myself as the latter but I see so many aimless people that seem happy in this world. Life is simple if you are lucky enough to … Continue reading Be Deliberate with Conviction

The world is full of people, some of them are aimless while others have lofty ambition. It’s hard to know where to fit in. I like to think of myself as the latter but I see so many aimless people that seem happy in this world. Life is simple if you are lucky enough to … Continue reading Be Deliberate with Conviction

Weekendend

I have no affinity for Sunday nights. I do have a couple 3 day weekends in February, so those Sundays will be nice. I’m a firm believer that relaxation breeds creativity and productivity. If employers believed this, weekends would last longer than 2 days. It was a wonderful weekend and I am set to have the best Monday of my life.

AtoZ: Daddy Dear Song

The is referred to as the “Daddy D Song” on Sesame Street. It’s also called in the comments of youtube: “Sesame Street Acid Trip to the Letter D.” I know I remember it fondly from my childhood, playing on TV in heavy rotation. It’s a minute long and I know you’d enjoy watching it. Happy Blog ABC’s.

The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Do you recognize that title line? It’s from an amazing song that Kermit the Frog made famous in the 1970’s, “The Rainbow Connection.” I find the music clever and entrancing. The lyrics are even more mesmerizing. I glean strength from this song now at 40 years as I did as a kid growing up chewing Star Wars cards bubblegum. Since then, songs come once in a while like it, but so far … nothing QUITE like it.

If you’re new to the song, check out these lyrics. If the song is an oldie but a goodie for you, see what you think of my notes:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

The line “Rainbows are visions but only illusions” is powerful to me. When Guns and Roses released their monster huge album “Use your Illusion” it had be thinking why they named it that. I get it. It’s because our “illusion” is like the rainbow and it can lead us to all-time great heights if we follow it. We should never let anyone tell us it isn’t real. That is the rainbow connection between all of us.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it’s done so far.
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

Same type of thing. We all marvel at the idea of wishing on a falling star when we’re young, but why not now? Why not now?

All of us under its spell,
we know that it’s probably magic….

I get this from it: We follow the visions of others and they follow ours. It IS magic and it IS the way of this life in this world. If you can see the beauty in it, it is a great thing. If not, I suppose it could appear as black magic. Follow your vision though. We are all counting on you.

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Folks, this is the section I wrote this post for. I have rarely heard such a hauntingly beautiful piece of poetry and music. What is the arcane “sweet sound that calls the young sailors?” It could be the robust desire to conquer the seas. BUT, I can’t help but get an inkling that it could be the legend of the lusty, sweet singing sirens luring them to their deaths. How is that like the rainbow connection?  I can think of a few ways.

The rest of the paragraph seems to connote he is captivated by the sound. It is as if he accepts his fate: bad, good, or otherwise. This is the rainbow connection in all of us. It is what binds us together … since I stated Star Wars ’77 earlier, it’s a bit like force indeed. Go do a YouTube search and give it a listen. Who knows, it may be what you’re missin’ this week. Do you have any impressions of this song to share?

New Blog Post at my Teaching Blog: The Role of Video in Education

I remember as a kid there were movies at school but nothing like the movies we have around us nowadays. How much should we as teachers weave video into the classroom? I’ve just finished a blog post on this subject entitled How Much Video Should We Use in Education? If interested, you’ll find it over at my teaching blog. Thanks!

The Green-Eyed Lady Only Takes

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Lady.” Early in life, I would have never admitted I was a jealous person. Unfortunately for my pride, over time and after a few relationships I’m out of denial. I think my jealousy in the past has stemmed from insecurity. People who know me, even my … Continue reading The Green-Eyed Lady Only Takes

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Lady.” Early in life, I would have never admitted I was a jealous person. Unfortunately for my pride, over time and after a few relationships I’m out of denial. I think my jealousy in the past has stemmed from insecurity. People who know me, even my … Continue reading The Green-Eyed Lady Only Takes