Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WATT?

Have you ever come home to find out your landlord stole two stadium lights from Wrigley Field -- then installed one of them right outside your bedroom window?

Okay, I don't have proof about the stealing from Wrigley Field part. But if Wrigley isn't missing lights then some airport somewhere is having difficulty bringing its pilots in at night.

I mean, these lights are Bright. Capital Insert-Your-Curseword-of-Choice-Here Bright. I guess they're for security. The second light is at the back of the apartment complex, and illuminates the entire parking area. And the parking area of the coffee house next door. And the entire parking lot of the church that is behind the complex, but actually on the next street over. Plus the church itself. The first night it was installed, the priests came rushing out thinking God had arrived.

That's the first new security light. The second is now right outside my bedroom window. And it uses the same Visible-From-The-Space-Shuttle lightbulb to illuminate the tiny 6 foot wide walkway between the two apartment buildings. I can now get a nice tan from sitting outside my apartment at night. But really, who needs to go outside for that special night tan when you've got a Klieg light for a night light -- and just two feet from your pillow!

Blackout curtains arrive Friday. I'm looking forward to sleeping without the sunglasses this weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Got It And Going

Front burner project chosen and rolling along. Back burner projects in place. I've even worked out the line-up for future projects.

With that said, it's time for me to get back to work. But before I go, here's your video ditty for the week...

MUSIC MONDAY

The much harder rocking, original version of John Lennon's "I'm Losing You."

Harder rocking thanks to Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos. They worked with John on three songs before Yoko gave them the boot. I believe this is the only one of those three songs to be officially released. There's mystery and controversy surrounding why Nielsen and Carlos were "let go." When asked why, Nielsen often supplies a diplomatic response, while Carlos points to Yoko with an unflattering and blunt description.

Whatever the reason, it sure isn't that the musicians failed to come together and jam. This track rocks! And offers a tantalizing glimpse of a few harder-edged Lennon tunes that might have been.

Compare the tracks for yourself and see which you like most. For me, the second one is good, but the rocker version blows it away. By the way, there's a Cheap Trick video version with much cooler visuals than the one below, but the sound's not as good on that video as the one I'm posting here. To check out the cool visuals video, go HERE.

For the auditorially inclined, just click below...

Lennon/mit Cheap Trick "I'm Losing You"



Lennon/sans Cheap Trick version "I'm Losing You"


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tomorrow's Post Today!

NEW MUSIC FROM PETER FRAMPTON!

While I'm largely avoiding the web and typing away on my keyboard, here's a song from Peter Frampton's new LP, Thank You Mr. Churchill. The song's called "I Want It Back!"

It's got a great, snarly guitar riff. In other words, it rocks!!

So does the rest of the album.

Check it out at iTunes HERE.












Another Day Unplugged

Project Whittle continues. Down to 6 most likely. Meaning most itchy -- the projects itching at me the most.

How far do I have to whittle? Didn't Asimov always have a few projects going at the same time?

Constantly writing and making progress. That's what counts. Right?

What's the best way to pick a project when you have several eating away at your brain?

Coin flip? The I Ching?

Cash?

Call me crass, but cash definitely speeds up my selection process. Throw wads of cash my way and suddenly I've got razor sharp focus. The path is clear!

But I figure I need to keep busy while waiting on that offer of filthy lucre. So I'm unplugging from the net and getting back to The Whittle.

Or better still -- figure I've whittled enough and just dive into writing one of those projects.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whittling And Special Diets

Lost a day. These things happen when you give a shut-in a car for the day. My schedule is inked and sacrosanct. But sometimes… not so much so.

I had to break from routine yesterday for a visit to my doctor. It was just a yearly physical, but since it's been five years since my last yearly physical, I thought I should probably keep this appointment. It got off to an alarming start when I stepped on the scale and the nurse called out my weight. Loudly. "196 pounds!" 196?!

My response, and I quote: "Holy crap! You're kidding."

The nurse assured me that's what the scale said. A number a good 30 pounds over what I just told the DMV they should put on my driver's license. But then the receptionist offered these encouraging words, "Don't worry. That thing is way off."

Ah, good. That made me feel better. Until I realized that means my doctor knowingly uses a scale that makes his patients feel like ginormous, fatty fats. What's up with that? Some sort of cruel psychological experiment designed to rattle those with low self-esteem?

My doctor is one of the kindest people I've ever met, so I can't quite see that. Maybe he's trying to gently nudge his patients towards exercising and eating right. If so, time to reevaluate. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and picked up a couple pints of Haagen-Dazs. Midnight Cookies and Cream. Oh, sweet chocolate-soother of shattered self-esteem! (If you click on the link, don't look at the nutritional facts. Just don't. Haagen-Dazs is for eating, not reading!)

haagendazsframe


Honestly, if I'm shooting for a new target weight and starting at 196 pounds, 200 is a lot easier to hit than 165. Thank you, Haagen-Dazs. You make changing weight so easy! Provided you don't care about terms like "gain" or "loss."

Okay -- now it's back to work on choosing my Batter Box Project. I've whittled the top 20 down to the most likely 9. Time to concentrate on more whittling. And to sticking to my new, cream-based diet.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unplugging From the InterTubes

Brief posting today. And then I'm disconnecting the hose that connects me to the InterTubes. Temporarily.

The Internet is a useful tool, but I find it sometimes turns me into a click-happy vegetable. Maybe the Internet really is nothing more than a giant Skinner-esque experiment designed to keep the masses busy clicking their way towards irreparable repetitive stress injuries.

And there you have it. My pathetic attempt to get my blog noticed by the conspiracy theorists out there.

But for those of you interested in how writers use the internet, here's the secret: sometimes we don't. Writing requires isolation from time to time. A stillness and focus of the mind that isn't possible with the constant bombardment of the Internet. So when I have a task requiring focus, I turn off all the software connecting me to the Internet. And since I'm weak, I have another software program called Concentrate. It makes sure I can't simply turn my internet programs back on with a simple click. I'm considering getting yet another program to make sure I can't change the settings on that program. Have I mentioned that many writers suffer from OCD?

So today's focus-necessary task?
Sift through the several projects I'm currently working on and decide which one gets moved to the front burner. As in the primary project. The one that gets focused on and seen through to completion first. I usually juggle several projects at once. I like the way it makes my brain feel. Alive.

It makes me feel like I'm visiting one of those giant Las Vegas buffets. The kind with 10,000 different items of food to choose from. Only instead of food, I'm at the Idea Buffet. In Vegas, you can spend hours moving along, filling up your plate with twelve different entrees and and a growing mound of side dishes. But eventually, you have to take that plate back to your table and eat what's on it. All of it. Because if you don't, you'll feel guilty when you get up to hit the desert line. And you know you're going to hit that desert line -- several times. So you have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. Loosen your belt and eat your way through to a clear table. Then head back to the buffet's desert selection with a clear conscience.

That's the plan. Which I'll get to right after I have something to eat. I'm suddenly hungry.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What Do You Want From Life?

So what's my blog going to be about? Is there a goal -- other than chronicling my meteoric, 40-year rise to the top?

What makes a good blog?

From what I've seen, a blog is a place to tell the world what you think of it. A platform for calling the good great and the bad despicable. No problem. I'm highly opinionated. I can manage that. But is there something more to it?

According to the many blogs on blogging, I should have a niche, a topic, something to say. Above all, be positive. However, a recent article in New Scientist Magazine reported on a study finding the single most important key to blogging success is to post often. The more one writes, the more successful the blog. Regardless of whether you're a happy-go-lucky Mr. Rogers or an angry old man screaming at the neighbor kids to get off your property.

What matters is bulk. The more words you spit out, the more successful you are.

Which I guess applies not just to blogging, but to writing in general. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to spit out the words. The more words you spit, the more you can sell.

Don't get me wrong. Quality spitting is important. But you're only going to reach quality through quantity. Like Strother Martin's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He's always spitting tobacco, trying to get that perfect, straight stream. Sometimes it's a misfire and it sprays out or dribbles down his chin. But every third time or so, he gets that straight, clean shot. Bingo!

That's writing. A lot of time spent perfecting your spitting skills. Working your way through those messy misfires on the road to more and more of those perfect straight streams. Bingo!

Which brings me back to the main question -- what exactly will my blog about?

I don't know. But my guess is it will involve a lot of spitting.

Now, on to...

Music Monday

Today's Music: "What Do You Want From Life?" by The Tubes.

One of life's great Getting-To-Know-You Questions is: What was your first concert?

For me, it's The Tubes. Orpheum Theater, Omaha, '79 -- the tipper-most top row in the balcony. And they were LOUD. Like Rock should be. My ears rang for a week. Excellent! I was hooked for life.

Their 80s stuff is great, but I have a real fondness for their more free-flowing songs from the seventies. I'm posting two versions of my favorite Tubes tune: "What Do You Want From Life?"

The sound is better on the first version, but I enjoy the live version most. The live video looks like it was shot from a seat high in the balcony -- so it's like I'm time traveling, peering into my past through the viewfinder of a barely functioning chronoscope.

Enjoy!







Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Blog Begins

I spent all my time this week whipping the new website into shape -- and completely forgot I'm supposed to have something to say in the blog.

So for today the blog entry is simply this: The new website is up and working!

Tomorrow I start the daily blathering in my blog.

Enjoy!