Category Archives: Uncategorized

Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright

How much water is on Earth?

Does the amount of water on Earth ever change?

One may think in times of drought, that yes, there is less water.

Others may think that after a flood, yes, there is too much water.

As far as the planet is presently concerned, there is simply enough water.

It will evaporate from some areas, then condense and rain into others.

After being locked away frozen for a time, snows will melt in the spring and run down mountainsides eventually finding their way to the sea. Along the way, nature will consume some of that melted snow. When a tree stops growing and ceases to take up water through its roots, the water that was there moves on and some other organism uses it. Or, it continues on its cycle to the sea.

Water is always moving. In and out, over and around, evaporation, condensation, freezing, thawing, it ebbs and flows like a living organism all its own.

When someone leaves a faucet on too long, that water isn’t wasted except in how we view its intended purpose. It finds its way to a municipal treatment plant to be recycled through the system and eventually winds up flowing from a faucet across town.

Consider that the amount of water on Earth, as observed by humanity, has been about the same for a long time. It’s abundant.

How are you thinking about things in life this week? From abundance or scarcity? Is the water that powers your life running out? Do you have too much and are you overwhelmed? Replace water with your thoughts, your mental prowess, your cognition or your willpower. Is your tank empty or full? If it’s running low, are you aware of the ways and means to refill the tank?

These things are like water. An abundance of willpower spins the turbines of productivity.

When your cup runneth over, hope abounds and love spreads freely throughout your life.

And life can change in an instant. If we’re not careful, we’ll start to experience the blindness of scarcity when abundance has moved temporarily out of view.

There is always an abundance of whatever you need if you’re willing to look harder, go deeper, and peek into unfamiliar territory. Whatever is missing in your life is closer than you think. Abundant hope urges you to proceed, while scarcity is a rope that binds you in place.

Hope is eternal and begs your pursuit. Scarcity is temporary and longs for your attention like an untrained puppy jumping in your way. When things are going wrong, ask yourself if you’re experiencing the scarcity lapdog gobbling up your willpower. Shift your attitude and things will improve. Hope gives you that ability.

Some call it a growth mindset. I call it an attitude of abundance.

And with an attitude of abundance, everything, every little thing, is going to be all right.

 

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Merry… I forget

If any part of you feels empty and alone tonight, I feel your heartache. I know the crap that’s dragging you down and I understand when you feel depressed for no good reason, and the rest of your friends and family could care less.

In this moment, I reject the negativity and fight my cognitive dissonance. I hope you’ll join me in consideration that for one night a couple of millennia ago, the power that holds atoms together and causes DNA to form a double helix chose to see the world from our side and became a man; by entering this world as an infant, in defiance of all logic and scientific reasoning.

This man chose to live and operate outside the boundaries of the law and socio-political structure and gave history one of the most powerful stories of good conquering evil. Regardless of your religious views, consider that it was true, it happened.

Now consider that he came for all people, regardless of any of those rules laws, cultural barriers, religions, philosophies or political party. All those people have to do is choose to believe and accept the gift.

I see great people wasting their lives by imprisoning their minds into shallow representations of this concept of the Messiah. Those same people often increase their shallowness by focusing so much energy on temporary or material things. I am guilty of this as well. I find it harder and harder to mentally progress while surrounded by loving people who simply don’t care about such things, or they place more value on that which requires a lesser degree of mental prowess.

At the same time, more and more people I respect for their mental clarity and highly developed intellect, increasingly reject the concept of theism altogether. I understand their arguments all too well, and largely agree with them, save for a few fundamental points. I’m in a period of questioning whether theistic religions were created to serve humanity or control it.

These are the fuel for my version of cognitive dissonance.

So if you’re alone, downcast or outright depressed tonight, Christmas night, I raise my glass to you as a toast to digging deep and finding those positive things to celebrate. You may be the only one in your house who understands, but know that out there, in the universe, at least one more person is right there with you. Peace.

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Why Teachers Deserve Their Summers Off

Interesting. I feel there are some solutions to some of these issues that have not been explored yet, but generally this is a good read.

Boils Down to It

I was trapped in the chair at the dentist’s office, with the flattering spittle blocking glasses on and a glorified grown-up bib strapped to my chest having my teeth cleaned. The hygienist and I were having an extremely convenient conversation about my job while both of her hands were somehow inside my mouth along with three metal stabbing tools, when she threw out the comment that I hear all the time.

“Well at least in your job you get your summers off.”

summer hating

Because my mouth was full,  I was already drooling down my chin, and it was only 7am, I didn’t reply. She’s lucky I didn’t bite her fingers.

There are a lot of reasons that statement irritates me. Having the summers off is awesome, I’m not going to lie. However, before you make teachers out to be the luckiest professionals in the country, hear me out. It’s not all it’s…

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My New Year’s Resolutions

1. Crash a Lamborghini

2. Eat something that once had mold on it

3. Have a couple of keys made

4. Stare at a blank piece of paper and pretend it has words on it.

5. Ponder the invention and development of scissors.

Spotified: Forgetting About A Full-Time Music Career

As a music teacher who has experienced cutbacks, I say it adds to the fire when public schools send the message that music is expendable and not of serious value. The truth is that music is a universal connector of all things, like a sort of gravity. Parents need to ask more of their schools if they want their child’s education to be complete.

Glenn Fink's Writings and Ruminations

(People who grew up purchasing physical music are slowly being outnumbered by people who never have. It’s not a matter of the format changing. It’s a matter of the money disappearing, with no other comparable money source opening up.)

Most of my life has been spent in the pursuit of music. For over 40 years now, I’ve been buying music. I’ve always had an endless list of “must get” records. I used to haunt record stores before Amazon or CD Baby. Growing up in the Boston area, I sometimes had a choice of over 10 different record stores within a 20 mile radius. And I’d hit them all, and go through every shelf, no matter what the genre was.

I made a few serious attempts to get into the business. I didn’t try as hard as a lot of people I know did. Several people I know did very well with it. Several others are currently…

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It’s official: drummers are smarter than you (and everybody else)

If I could only remember how to tie my shoes and avoid drinking paint…

Consequence of Sound

Far too often, drummers have been given the shaft. Second to only, maybe, bassists, they’re the member in the band considered most replaceable: you can just pull some chump off the street, sit him behind a kit, and on with the show. According to science, however, drummers aren’t the mouth-breathing neanderthals humorists have made them out to be. News and analytics site PolyMic compiled a group of studies that indicate drummers are not only generally smarter than their bandmates, they actually make everyone around them smarter too.

The research suggests that drummers have innate problem-solving skills and a positive impact on communities. Researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet found that, after playing a series of beats, drummers who had better rhythm scored better on a 60-question intelligence test. Seems using all the various parts of a drum kit to keep one steady beat is actually an expression of intrinsic problem-solving abilities.

Furthermore, other studies show that…

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Buying a car… Part 5?

DAY 38 – May 5, 2014

It’s Monday, and I don’t have to go anywhere until tonight. My lesson student broke his arm the other day, so no guitar lessons today. No matter, because I still have a loaner CX-9 that gets about 18mpg. I’ve put $40 worth of gas into this thing since last Wednesday, and I was supposed to only have it overnight. So we’re on day 5 of a 1 day repair. Oh that $40? It only filled the tank halfway.

I have had actual possession of my month-old Mazda3 for a total of 11 days. It’s been a downhill slide of bad luck since I signed the papers, and I really want my old car back. 

No, that’s stupid. 

These things happen. I realize that in five blog posts I’ve ranted about my misfortune, played what seems like a “Oh poor me, please feel sorry for me.” card. Wrong. 

The truth is, this string of events was completely coincidental and random. What some might call a string of bad luck is actually a series of events that occur based on previous events. There is no point asking why all this happened. It did. It was nothing compared to the suffering some people go through every day without a word. It’s why I tagged some of these as ‘First World Problems.’ 

We all have something inside of us that calls for attention. The social media age makes this worse, because we’ve replaced human interaction with computers, as I’m doing right now. But do you know what this string of “bad luck” has done for me? It’s forced me to face my own stupidity, my own fears, and my own childishness. Real men will rise up and lead with courage when the chips are down, and I’ve used this time to do my best to get there. I’ve decided that I can no longer be the grown man-child I was before, making fart noises and faces… um… er, OK so I still make fart noises and make faces. I’m working on it. 

Triumph over adversity comes from taking what you perceive as a crisis and remaining calm and collected as you step back and plan a response instead of taking the knee-jerk reaction the flesh desires so much. Some people lose their lives in an accident. Others lose the ability to walk. I lost time and that’s about it. 

At any moment, this life could end. None of us are promised tomorrow. Now I’ll put the computer down and go do something constructive or helpful . Thanks for reading! 

 

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Buying a car… Pt. 4 or 40 I forget.

DAY 21 – April 18 2014

So the car isn’t done and I’m without a vehicle. It’s Easter weekend so maybe it won’t matter. 

DAY 22 – April 19, 2014

I was called by the collision center shop manager and told that everything looked perfect on the car but it would not align properly. Seeing as I prefer a car to steer in the direction I turn the wheel, and I can control it better if the tires are NOT worn out, I told him that I’d be patient and they could do whatever they needed. They overnighted a new lower control arm which would take about 3 days to get there, naturally. That puts the completion date to Tuesday. Not bad, I thought. I could use my wife’s car early in the week. As long as I had it done before I had to go back to the school building. 

DAYS 23 – 26 April 20 – 23 2014

I have a new appreciation for families who get by on one car. We have two boys and my crazy odd job schedule of multiple employments makes the mix exhausting after only a few days. My heart goes out to larger families who have to get around with only one set of wheels. In case you’re wondering, my car isn’t done yet. 

DAY 27 – April 24, 2014 (Thursday)

I had to cancel my after-school piano lesson because I had no way to get to the student’s house. I had plans to watch the boys while Kelly went out with a friend. Since we had a packed schedule, it was natural for the shop to call and let me know my car was finally done. Sure enough, double the original estimate in cost and add almost 7 extra days and that thing was as perfect as the day I saw it come off the truck. I love my wife. She altered her plans to help me get this thing back. If she hadn’t, I would have had to leave my finished car in their possession for an entire weekend. I drove the car home, and it felt as though I was getting a new car all over again. 

DAY 28-33 – April 25-30 2014

For the first time in the month since I let go of my old car, things seem normal. Oh wait, I forgot. The antenna is still a tad loose and there are paint swirls in the top left by the dealership. I better return the salesman’s call he left me a few days ago. 

DAY 34 – May 1, 2014

I have a loaner car. The dealership set up an appointment to repair the paint damage and firmly secure that loose antenna. My salesman set up an appointment and hooked me up with a loaner car. This time it’s a 2013 Mazda CX-9, a massive turbocharged SUV with all-wheel drive. It’s not my cup of tea, but it drives better than those Subarus I test drove. It better with a sticker price of about $42,000.  He told me it would take about a day to get the work done. I nodded as if I believed him. 

 

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Buying a New Car, Pt.3 Yada, yada, yada…

DAY 12 – April 9, 2014

I think this is where I left off. The rental car was a Honda Civic LX, one of the worst cars I’ve ever driven in my life. The design was terrible and it felt like it had a lawnmower engine powering it. It was good on gas though, as I think it had a lawnmower engine in it. Not being smart enough to have rental reimbursement insurance on my own policy, I decided to use a discount coupon and pay for an up to 10-day rental. That’s all I needed anyway. Even with the waiting, the damage estimate came in at about $2000 and 5 days to repair.

DAYS 13 – 20 April 10-16, 2014

During this time period, I learned to hate the rental car even more and wonder why anyone would ever buy a Honda Civic, then I realized that many people don’t have to drive as much as me, and they aren’t willing or able to buy anything nicer. Besides, most people are less of a lunatic than I am and don’t put much into what their cars do. Personally, I want the thrill of having to control a machine that could kill me. I really wish I could drive a car that really does want to kill me, and force it to submit. That’s why I’d really want a Lamborghini someday. eh, the insurance and maintenance on one of those would break many a hedge fund so I’ll listen to the small bit of sensibility I have and believe that a fantasy car is just that. 

DAY 20 –  April 16, 2014

The collision center called and said everything looked great, the repair was coming along well, and that I’d be done on Friday the 18th. PERFECT, as that’s the day I have to return the rental. 

DAY 22 – April 18, 2014

I decided to check in with the collision center and I was told it was still good to go and that they’d call me when its done. I sensed they don’t like customers badgering them to rush a job, which is why I was fine with leaving them alone. I knew they closed at 6 so I went back to the rental shop, turned in my crappy Civic (Note to Honda owners, I’m complaining about a fleet vehicle. I’m sure real Hondas ae much better than this) and got a ride back to the shop. They told me they needed a bit more time and I could hang out or wander around. I decided to go grab some dinner. While I was having a killer burger, I got the call that the car would not be done. I was about 4 miles from home. Man, that long of a walk after a big juicy burger wouldn’t be easy. Thank God my friend Isaac came through and gave ma ride home. This part turned out better than it looked. 

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