I began this blog to share stories of people and events I have been lucky enough to be involved with over the last five decades. Along with my poetry and original music I also enjoyed sharing my pictures and personal observations.

While I am sure there will also be beautiful and exciting things to share in my future, I also want to chill. I need to make life simpler from here on.

I have enjoyed this community and those willing to share everything with total strangers. There were many times when this was the hi-light of my day. I could go on posting my views and thoughts on politics, religion, money and other hot topics but there are too many of us doing that these days. So this is a good time to phase out MIDI Mike.

While the site remains live, feel free to take a look at the topics on the top of the page to find something that might interest you.

I may throw in a post from time to time just to surprise myself. In my usual style, let me show you a few recent pictures I took at a favorite place of mine: Spring Grove Cemetery. We had a heavy rain days before these pictures with hi winds. Before that the fall colors were really starting to jump out. Unfortunately the rain hit a bit early and dropped most of the leaves, but I managed to get some good pictures.

Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 1
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 2
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 3
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 4
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 5
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 6
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 7
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 8
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 9
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 10
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 11
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 12

Image  —  Posted: November 8, 2019 in Photography, Uncategorized
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Thank you for your continued friendship. The story of friends and talented musicians, artists of all kinds was fun in the telling. Followers will know the names and projects I have been thrilled to be involved with. Sacrifices. Heart break. Overwhelming joy.

I have told the story but I also have my archives to share. I started recording with a reel-to-reel tape deck when I was 14. I recorded everything. Everyone. Everywhere (once I had portable recorders lol!)

The medium has changed many times over. Some of the video, for example, was amazing on a small tube television. It just does not stand up to the quality of large screens with high resolution. I did not include the ancient videos on this post because it just looks bad/old.

For some reason I did not take a lot of photographs in this time frame. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the lead vocalist in this recording….. Shoeless Shawn was not with The Chase long before we stopped playing out. So I collected more recent pictures I had taken of group shots of friends, family and fans we have known over the years.

With a little free time on my hands, I have been going through my archives. This is an old recording from my Nakamichi stereo cassette player! I think it is straight off the board. I did not run sound for this recording. Our friend Dave Houston was at the helm.

Everyone stay healthy, and with social distancing, stay at home, grab a drink, and put up your feet. Press play and listen to some live music!

The Chase

Image  —  Posted: March 17, 2020 in Live Sound Reinforcement Series, Photography, projects, Video
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My thoughts for the day. I planned on posting an image to demonstrate each line but there were too many choices so I leave that option to you.

God is good
People are awful.
God is kind
People are mean.
God is gentle
People are nasty.
God is forgiving
People hate forever.
God is all knowing
People are ignorant
God is all powerful
People are usually weak.
God is a mystery
People are predictable
God is courageous
People are cowardly

Was this the Mighty Plan?
Doesn’t that seem a little odd?
Let me help you understand
There never was a god.

Image  —  Posted: March 7, 2020 in Opinions and Observations, Poetry
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The lyrics for “The Border” were posted earlier. There is also a little story to this song using the link above.

…….. for the nerds and geeks in the audience, I created the song in Bandlab’s Sonar (formerly Cakewalk Sonar). This is not a commercial but if you are interested in recording, podcasts, audio to video and a bunch more, BandLab bought Sonar out of bankruptcy and is making this program free to download and use!!! Argh! I paid hundreds of dollars each year to keep current and have new toys.

I am not against commercials or someone making a bit of money but there really is no connection here. If you want to download Sonar, search for BandLab and hit the download button. It is a powerful multi-track recording program with sounds and plug-ins ready to use. I could give you the link but that would seem like I am pushing it lol!

Here is my new song, “The Border”:

“The Border” (C) MSK 2-11-2020

Image  —  Posted: February 17, 2020 in Midi Series, music technology, My Tunes
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© MSK 2-11-2020

Eye candy is all well and fine
Warm fire and a bottle of wine
Waiting, holding my breath at the thrill
Everything’s going super fine: until.

She’s gorgeous, I’m in a state of bliss
Gracefully she leans in for a kiss
I surrender, wave a white flag
My heart and soul vacuumed into a bag.

Beautiful Women are over rated.
I get sick of everyone I’ve dated.
You can’t live with ‘em.
But I can live without them.

She never wants to go for a walk
We get nowhere when we try to talk
Spends her time looking in the mirror
So angry when I try to get near her.

Music plays in my head as we dance around the room.
The things I can remember when I smell her perfume.
The slightest touch, the inviting glance
Music plays inside my head as we dance.

Beautiful Women are over rated.
I get sick of everyone I’ve dated.
You can’t live with ‘em.
But I can live without them.

Eye candy is all well and fine
Warm fire and a bottle of wine
She’s gorgeous, I’m in a state of bliss
Gracefully she leans in for a kiss

Image  —  Posted: February 14, 2020 in Opinions and Observations, Poetry
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It’s a hand grenade of high frequencies
Placed right between your eyes.
Easy to guess now where it came from;
Years of rock and roll caught you by surprise.

So much harder just to sit and talk these days
In a thin blue funk of purple haze.
Forcing the rhyme within tired rhythms
Simple technologies each a new craze.

You’re in it. You’re on it.
But can’t admit that you want it.
You buy it. You waste it.
Much more than a phase. It’s the New Craze.

It used to take talent and a lot of hours
People loved you for who you are.
Now it’s the beautiful, the extreme
Making a grab for your last dollar.

You need a law degree, and some Marketing
Even web design or sound engineer.
Craft miraculous songs but it won’t matter
Without looks and cash there is no career.

You’re in it. You’re on it.
But can’t admit that you want it.
You buy it. You waste it.
It’s just the New Craze.

Image  —  Posted: February 5, 2020 in MUSIC, Poetry
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When my wife and I purchased our first, and only home about thirty years ago, the adjacent property included irregular strips, pieces, an access road and a very old overgrown field. Over the years we cleared some of the vacant land next to our house. We built fire pits further and further out in the ‘wilderness’. It was mostly brush , grapevine and honeysuckle.

We didn’t use any equipment other than hand tools more sophisticated than pick ax and shovel. Each year we cleared more land to the side of our house of the brush and undergrowth. We had been doing this for a couple of years and noticed a huge tree we had not even seen before. It had towered over everything but through past decades the brush and small trees had provided a path for the insidious grapevine. As it does to anything above ground, the grapevine climbs anything it can and then covers it with a blanket of leaves. Each year the plants and trees try to grow new sprouts and shoots but are caught in a strangle-hold by the vines. Eventually the trees can’t bend down enough and break into pieces and soon die looking like a rounded skeleton. The smaller trees were already dead or damaged beyond hope. We managed to save more than we thought possible and we were determined to save the huge cotton-wood tree that was already entangled in vines spreading through the lower branches.

The neighbors thought we were nuts. Then a company came and bought the land we had cleared of debris and undergrowth and the rest of the surrounding wooded area. Years and years went by and they did nothing with the land. We spoke with the owners and told them that if they ever sell the land we would like to be the first offer. We also mentioned our clearing and using of the property and they were fine with that. We continued.

Over the course of our time here we have purchased all the pieces of what used to be abandoned property. Not much total, but a jig-saw of ‘odds and ends’ surrounding the neighborhood we made it our home! My posts often refer to feeding wildlife animals and birds in our tiny sanctuary. A number of neighbors share in the maintenance and care of this land now.

We have owned all the property pieces for a few years and have been trying to get it surveyed. It took them two years after signing the contract but finally the surveyors came out and tagged all the properties including our original house and land. When I came home from work there were orange flags everywhere along our side of the street and throughout the woods. We even discovered one neighbor’s fence was actually in our yard.

I was so thrilled and for the first time I walked every inch of land knowing what was our property. With that lengthy introduction I want to share a poem I wrote after that walk. Thanks again for your visits, and I hope this will be a great New Year for all!

The Border” (C) MSK 1-22-2020

Orange flags everywhere but only where
We are
They disappear through the ages and few
Return

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

Standing for generations before we embraced it
Mighty
Ruins become playgrounds, wilderness a haven
Our home

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

What’s yours is yours thanks for giving back what
Is mine
Fires burned, pumpkins were carved by many
Good night

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

Image  —  Posted: January 25, 2020 in family, Photography, Poetry
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He said you were mean,

And not very friendly.

Filled with confidence

And an extra side of envy.

You don’t want to be cruel

But nothing else gets through.

If I had to deal with this crap

I would be just like you.

It wasn’t funny.

More than a bit perverse.

You should’ve just stopped

But you slammed it in reverse.

Complaints you didn’t listen

More about attitude.

She appreciates the help

But did you have to be so rude?

            Time is reminding us of the trinkets we have earned.

            Too often we avoid them in fear of getting burned.

            You won’t take their advice and I rarely listen to mine,

            But when you finally hear the truth it travels up your spine!

Too bad great things you did

Most gets yet will never know.

You’d give the shirt off your back.

But would never let it show.

            Time is reminding us of the trinkets we have earned.

            Too often we avoid them in fear of getting burned.

            You won’t take their advice and I rarely listen to mine,

            But when you finally hear the truth it travels up your spine!

It travels up your spine.

It travels up your spine.

Image  —  Posted: January 7, 2020 in Poetry
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My friend’s Night-Time Diving video on YouTube under MikeR998

A good friend of mine lives in Florida and does a lot of scuba diving. I asked if he wanted music for a soundtrack to his videos and sent him a few of my instrumentals. Here is the first video he posted using my compositions. Mike filmed this night time dive at Blue Heron Bridge and it is amazing how many creatures are out and about. I hope you enjoy.

Image  —  Posted: January 6, 2020 in My Tunes, projects
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Sunset in Pleasant Ridge Ohio
The ‘leaves’ on the left tree are actually birds.

Playing in the snow

Or climbing in the trees

Not sure which is the more

Important of these.

Siblings came but soon

The family was gone.

Hard to know what pain

Would be felt later on.

Safe and secure I

Always knew I was loved.

Learned hard lessons ’cause

I pulled instead of shoved.

          Everything is everyone

          Everyone is everything.

          We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Just brings us back to Earth.

Singing and writing

Playing in a great band

Gave me more than life           

I hope you understand.

Truth may be out there

But answers never are.

That was the last time I prayed

Or wished upon a star.

                                 

We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Just brings us back to Earth.

The day my kids were born

I was fundamentally changed.

Nothing I wouldn’t do

So life could be arranged

That’s another thing

That didn’t work as planned.

It ripped away everything

I still hope you understand.       

We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Simply brings us back to Earth.

Depression is a friend

Feeding on personal loss.

I’m told it comes down to “42”

But sure their fingers were crossed.

From here nothing matters

Save friendship, love and trust.

What more could you possibly need

When everything turns to dust?

What more could you possibly need

When everything turns to dust?

Image  —  Posted: December 6, 2019 in Poetry
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