Posts Tagged ‘#friends’

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

One night I was struggling with the towel over my head breathing in the incense-like vapors. My older brother David walked by and mentioned that it smelled a lot like marijuana. I was not familiar with his reference at the time. So when I was feeling better he filled me in on what pot was and that it was illegal but lots of people thought it was fun to do.

A few years later I was walking around in the city parks on a hot summer day (as I have a tendency to do). I met friends hanging out on the hill side and stopped to talk. One pulled out a joint and asked me if I wanted some. No personal experience here, but I knew more than years ago so I said sure. Almost immediately I felt comfortable and not scared or worried. After smoking I did not feel ‘buzzed’ or ‘stoned’ or ‘hi’. In fact, I felt almost nothing. Almost.

For almost a year I smoked marijuana and never did get the affects people talked about. At this point you are probably asking, ‘well, then why did you continue to smoke the stuff?’. I am not a doctor and even if I was US laws prevent doctors from testing pot. But when I smoked I felt relaxed. It reduced the panic I felt not only during an asthma attack but also doing things that were known to trigger them. During an attack I quickly calmed down after smoking it and I could lose my concentration on trying to breathe and focus on other things that did not make me panic. I stopped taking the other medications and tests.

After about a year I walked around a small pond at another local park and like a number of other people and animals….. I started walking in the shallow pool to cool down and enjoy the day. As I mentioned, there were a number of people and animals in the water at the time the police drove by, but only four people were pulled out and threatened with being “taken in”. Looking back I should not have been surprised that each of us ‘criminals’ were young and had long hair.

After the police men finally let us go (while others were still walking in the waters) I naturally started chatting with the others. They asked me if I wanted to hang out with them. I did not drive yet so I joined them on a beautiful day. They drove around and one of them mentioned wanting to get stoned. They were older than I was (college kids, I think) and they took really good care of me and checked to make sure I was OK. We stopped by one of their friends houses and bought some hash. I was not familiar with this but basically the same stuff only concentrated. We drove to their house, put on some music and then they got out the pipe.

That was when things really changed. The road got a little bit shorter that day, but the story continues.

(C) MSK 11-8-2018

Intelligence is not the answer,

Though wisdom certainly is.

I might be waiting for the cows to come home

But I don’t have time for this.

 

It doesn’t take a genius to know,

Facts are the same for everyone.

That doesn’t mean it’s all black and white

Or can be changed with a gun.

 

It’s often a matter of perspective.

And that makes it hard to understand.

Why someone turns grey into black or white

Without experiences of the other man.

 

If you have been supported by faith

Then religion can be your guiding hand.

Survive Jihads, Inquisitions and pedophile priests

You might begin to feel nothing but hate.

 

The police are always there to serve,

And get you home safe at night.

In my neighborhood it ain’t like that at all

So it’s safer to take your chances and run.

 

Intelligence is not the answer,

Though wisdom certainly is.

I might be waiting for the cows to come home

But I don’t have time for this.

 

All the experts seem so smart,

Until you hear from the others.

Sooner or later we have to realize

It’s time to stop killing our brothers.

 

Smart people become rich people,

Their answers bring cash and fame.

The poorest will always be poor; just look at them.

There’s no one else to blame.

© MSK 10-2017

This song has taken a while to finalize the arrangement.  It is only part of the song it started out as.  Diced, sliced, edited and rewritten, I hope this first mix sounds like it belongs!  Sometimes you are guided.

I will play other sections in the future.

Please enjoy “Deep Inside”

Deep Inside me, Deep inside the eye of the storm

Deep Inside you.  Deep Inside the eye of the storm.

Deep Inside me, Deep Inside.

 

Sometimes you are guided

And sometimes you are not.

The road is long; it never ends

No matter what you thought.

 

The place you are standing

Was never meant to be.

Lost when your memories

Created what you see.

 

Pound after pound

Life gets laid upon you hard.

Sound after sound

As the dealer plays his cards.

 

Sometimes you are guided

And sometimes you are not.

The road is long; it never ends

No matter what you thought.

 

Deep Inside me, Deep Inside the eye of the storm

Deep Inside you.  Deep Inside.

 

(C) MSK 9-14-2018

She looks so happy

From the outside, many of us do.

Sure and in control

Man, I wish that were true.

 

For every question

So sure we have all the answers.

Act as if we’re immune

To weakness, disease and cancers.

 

He stands there so calm.

No sign that he’s ready to explode.

Sleeves rolled up: digs in

This close to just running down the road.

 

There is no training for this.

Won’t find it on utube or Internet search.

There is no training for this.

                 No help from lawyers, police or church.

 

For every question

So sure we have all the answers.

Talk as if we’re not human

Just crazy, drugged up dancers.

Letter # 305 

I like to drive around cities and country sides.  It becomes obvious after a bit of traveling that some cities are better planned and have more logical systems in place than others.  I would love to have the ear of some city planners because it is clear they do not PLAN for growth and other transportation needs early enough.  I would like to share some of my thoughts with you, and hopefully you will share yours here as well.  Who knows, maybe we can get the attention of a few city planners while we are it!

One thing I would really like to see changed is the location of many schools.  I know there are good reasons, but all too often they are located on the main strip through towns of all sizes.  I thought about posting pictures as examples, but we have all seen them.  My guess is this makes the land rather expensive for all tax payers.  Or to look at it another way, the land is of commercial value and interest to local businesses.  A number of businesses could pay fair price for the prime locations and exposure the real estate could provide and that would translate to higher tax collected and business success in the area.

Now consider if the schools would be located a few blocks away from “the main drag” going through town.  Your children will be safer crossing the streets and playing in the area due to reduced traffic around the school.  People that are not supposed to be there would be more obvious if they are loitering around the area.  This would reduce risk to students.

Now that the school is not on the main road, traffic flow will be improved by not restricting speeds in school zones, reducing congestion in parts of town most people will have to travel through daily or at least quite often.  I understand this might mean a loss of revenue by reducing speeding violations through school zones, but I think we can live with that!

What do you think?  Do you see more reasons to adopt this policy?  Do you think there are reasons or situations where this would not be beneficial?

Let me know what bothers you about travel through your city and in other locations.  Who knows, maybe we can suggest changes that will help a lot of people.

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The songs in this session are simple two-channel recordings.  These are not multi-tracks of isolated instruments to be mixed down later.  This is down and dirty history.  I enjoyed recording and listening to each of the gigs.  The rest of the band were ok with it, but they were really into the performance and live audience vibe.  As a result, I did not get much assistance or cooperation with my projects.  We never did a sound check for recording levels.  We did not set up differently or use additional gear.  I usually taped separate mixes from their sound board or by using a combination of mono mix and single hi-quality microphone up on stage.  See my LSR series for recording configurations.

Unlike the other players I have jammed with, I had not been playing in bands since I was a teenager.  I did not start playing in front of a ‘real’ audience until I was probably 31 or older.  I started playing keyboards (technically different than playing a piano or organ) when I was 30.  Before that I wrote songs and played my 12 string guitar for parties and such but that was about it.

Lacking confidence and years to sharpen my skills, I tried to make up for it in other ways.  I practiced a lot                     compared to the other players.

I helped in tech – light – sound – marketing.  The recordings were for me, LOL!

This is a live recording of a medley we came up with.  None of us really liked disco, but no rocket science to keeping guys in the club is to keep the girls on the dance floor!  We smashed together popular dance songs and other select songs toward the end of the 2nd set.  Enjoy.

 

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Here is another song my brother David recorded at a studio years ago as part of his Studio Way project.  My brother wrote the lyrics and is the vocalist on these tracks.  Terry Boehm played keyboards.  Tom Collier wrote the music and played guitar.  This one is called, “Focus On Your Feet”.  A fun toe-tapping song that sticks in your head!

The songs were being finalized in the studio as each came up to record.  The rhythm tracks were recorded first, with lead instruments and vocals added later that day.  A lot of people ‘freeze up’ their first time in a studio with the tape rolling (yes, this was back in the days when they used tape!) so recording can be very stressful – but with a bit of focus you can come out with great memories.

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I may have some free time for a little bit and I would like to catch up on a bunch of things that have been on the back-burner for a while.  I also hope to pull up old band and other video projects and push them hard into the hi-def age.  It will be a lot harder than it sounds as some of my media is very old tech.  We shall see.

I also wanted to share with you some of the songs my older brother David did in a studio years ago.  I was not involved in writing or recording these songs.  My home studio was meager by today’s standards and I was only set up for one-man songwriting stuff.  I was not able to record an entire band at one time back then.

My brother’s band was doing some original songs and jamming pretty often.  Tom Collins and David had an inspired writing session for a couple of hours before practice.  The band mates were so excited with the new material they made calls and booked time in a recording studio the next week!!##!!

I will detail the studio experience and give the band members and authors their due in future blogs.  Here is a tune from the Studio Ways session that will kick things off well.  “My Dog Loves You Too” is a heart-warming love song with a pleasant twist of humor.  David was faced with a challenge to write a funny love song.  His ex-wife Cynthia came up with a few guitar parts and the song writing took off!  Like this one, all the songs were literally finished and arranged in the studio the day they were recorded.  It gives a great live feel to the collection.  Tom Collins wrote most of the music for this recording and my brother wrote the lyrics.

Please enjoy “My Dog Loves You Too”.

 

Those that have visited my site from the beginning to those that have read my posts and comments over the years will know that I started a musical path early-on in my childhood.  From my parents selecting musical instruments for Christmas and my birthdays to my older brother David writing poetry that I would turn into beat and melody (using whatever toys I had available at the time!).

As my interest in poetry grew I tried to soak up what he already knew.  Younger, I did not have training, but I had a natural feel for timing/rhythm and melodies.  I picked up theory, arrangement, recording techniques and a million other things from people way smarter than me in later years, but early it was just experimentation and the fun in creating.

We shared a lot, critiqued a lot, and bounced around things as they got better and better.  Writing lyrics is funny.  We use them to tell a story or create a mood.  Vocals can put us in a trance or allow us to laugh ourselves silly.   Lyrics by themselves they are often trite or ‘nothing, really’.  But put them in front of the right music and performance and they can become life altering.

Over the years there were countless songs we co-authored in one way or the other.  I often leaned on my strong points in the beginning and created the chord progression and melody, but David learned to play the guitar and we later played piano/keyboards.  It is difficult if not Impossible to know what parts originated where.  I stopped trying decades ago!

I have posted songs that we are particularly proud to have been even a small part in writing.  (I think there might be one or two more I have not posted yet, I will have to check LOL).  In the following weeks I would also like to post a number of songs my brother wrote and recorded years ago.  He and a few friends went into a recording studio and laid down his new songs even as some were being finalized.  As I did not record or perform in his “David K and Studio Way” session, it was great to hear this completed project for the first time.

Here are a few of the favorite songs I posted on this blog.

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/205

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/173

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/116

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/50

I will do a little research and post a few tunes from “David K and Studio Way”.