A couple of years ago my son Nicholas commented that he found that if he was down that he listened to upbeat music when he was feeling down. Seems like a simple solution eh? Well I think he said this to ME in particular because he noticed I had stopped listening to MY music and was listening to my girlfriend at the time’s music, or the music that her son listened to. She liked the current generation of POP and he, well he was a self absorbed, nihilistic teenager who hated me. His music was dark, full of violent messages and posturing. This is a kid who once said that the first place he wanted to go when he came to California was Compton.
When I asked him why he said that “…the brothers would recognize that I was a white guy who was black on the inside!” When I pointed out to him that indeed they might, but they also might require further investigation and those would involve a rather large knife I was told that I “Didn’t know NOTHIN!”
Ok…moving on citizen, nothing to comment on here.
I have always been one to embrace what is new in the world, there is so much I haven’t seen and so much I haven’t done, but I have learned that if you take that attitude you risk losing good things you know to new things simply because they are new. That is especially true in regards to music.
Now I am not going to launch into a tirade against the pseudo-sample-clip-beatbox-rap manner in which music is ground out by artists who have never learned to play an instrument because they can do it in Garageband, Acid or Hollywood. Well, I said it all in that one sentence I think. What I will tell you is that I was listening to a lot of Scissor Sisters, international stuff (I love a good French Chanteuse, especially Patricia Klass) when I made a connection. Since going to work for VICTORY LANE I have been doing a lot of thinking about the early sixties when I was learning about the world by climbing around on hay bales at racetracks and reading cast off COMPETITION PRESS. At the same time my sister was screaming at the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (I remember hearing all of them screaming from the car two blocks away where my Dad and I waited for the concert to end so we could all drive back to Rialto). In our house K/Men 129 was constantly playing the Top 40 hits of the time, on Mom’s radio in the Kitchen (it got turned up there when Dean Martin came on, which he occasionally did), in My sister Leslie’s Room when the Beatles weren’t on the HiFi then the radio was on playing whatever. In the room my brother Bruce and I shared it was Stones if Bruce was there, Beatle or Beach Boys if he wasn’t. In the garage, well the music was just background to grinding, pounding, welding and laughing so Dad listened to just about anything.
What everyone didn’t know was that little Marty, always advanced for his years, had a secret crush. I was in love with Petula Clark after I saw her on Ed Sullivan. It was easy for me to fall in love with her because I loved anything English and she was about a perfectly BRITISH as anyone could be. Big bubble hair, clear blue eyes and beautiful airbrush smooth complexion. She was a young would be MOD’s dream girl. In the intervening years there were other crushes and loves, they are the realm of every hopeless romantic’s life, but in the back of my mind Petula was still there.
So a couple of weeks ago I was in a moderately goth state of mind, listening to John Cameron Mitchell sing about the ORIGINS OF LOVE through perfectly glossed lips, when a whim sent me to iTunes. I found myself looking for a lost love, looking for something pure in a world that has gotten scarier of late. There she was, Pet was waiting for me. A quick transaction and I clicked on DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY.
The world got better, I am not kidding. Maybe it was the flowing tones of Pet’s voice, maybe it was the knowledge that the music backing her up was being made by real musical instruments played by real people rather than silicon dopplegangers (there are TAMBOURINES for crissake!). Maybe it’s because I am a geezer and have closed off my mind to anything new, but I don’t think so. Somehow I don’t think 40 odd years from now some other artist will be scrolling through a pneumonic store looking for old recordings of P-Diddy.
Or maybe he will, but at least I can whistle my memories when I head off to Starbucks for some Java.
…if personalities believe that “there is no such thing as BAD publicity”, or if they are simply so narcissistic that it over rides all common sense. Then again maybe they are just stoopid due to over exposure to far too many hair care products.
Anyway here is the Hoff (always awesome, I know, just like Chuck Norris) in a rendition of “Crazy for you” that is the love child of HEART and QUEEN…there’s an image to get the blood pumping eh?
So I haven’t had a whole helluva lot of time time to muse on the vagaries of human existence or the select amount of Pomade in George Clooney’s hair. See I have been set adrift on the see of automotive malaise, albeit in my own home town but still (from a transportation point of view) my wings have been clipped.
Pliedes, my beloved Subaru (who I sometimes refer to as the “Flying Dutchman” due to exigencies of my current existence) threw a shoe on Hwy 101 where as I was cruising through town she began to miss and shake something awful. Since my tools were I here I figured this was a fortuitous happenstance and chose to toss out the hook and go EVA to see what the HELL was going on.
I guess it was because of the tortuous manner in which my life has unfold these past few years I of course figured it HAD to be something expensive. Out come the computer and into the dash it is plugged, codes flashing out their message of redemption like the bulbs on the marquee at the Bijou, photons stream across my glasses like yet another Matrix sequel. Engine Misfire Cyl 3, Engine MisFire Cyl 1. I am looking at everything and suspecting the worst.
…what is that old song “Like an old dog been beat so long you sepend your whole life just covering up!”
In the end, before I was going to drop $145 on a new coil I decided to try one more thing, cleaning and gapping the plugs. In truth this should have been the first thing I did. It would have been the first thing my Dad or brother would have told me to do. If I had done that I would have saved myself time, grief and such like. See the first plug I pulled was the one pictured on the right. I kid you not when I say that a chorus of angels sang unto my soul:
“One of these things is not like the other!”
Now even the cheapest of plugs these days are suppose to last longer than 18,000 miles, but not in this case. A quick trip to the local den of The KRAGEN and Pliedes was her old self. Amazingly back to her old self. Best she has been in MONTHS, which leads me to think that this problem has been stirring for some weeks.
There is a disconnect that comes from making the decision to keep up a vehicle rather than licensing your soul to the bank and the ghost of Harley Earl . For those of you who do not know who that is (or cannot follow the links I leave for you) the best thing you should know is he was the father of “Planned Obsolescence” and the man who first convinced American that hey need to buy a new car every three years. When you decide to exceed that set book of transportation years, and to do the same with your own hands, you have to remember that when you do it isn’t something you “fire and forget”, keeping an older car alive often involves extreme measure involving greasy hands.
A lot of old school gearheads have given up working on their cars because of all the ELECTRONICS and COMPUTERS, which is valid until you realize that human beings fix these machines when you take them into the shop and all of them put their pants on one leg at a time. If their are human, they need tools, we are all just chimps using twigs after all, just some of the twigs have gotten pretty fancy), and if they have tools you can learn to use them.
Brothers and sisters I am here to say that I was one such papist in garden of automotive love, but I have seen the light and it shone bright from the end of a broken spark plug.
Soggy bottom boys sing me out of this incoherent mess..
The past two months I have been working on the Local TEDx for San Jose doing publication design. If you don’t know what TED is then TEDx will be a bit of a mystery. To borrow directly from the TEX site the description of what TED is:
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The way I think of it is simple, imagine a room full of all the intelligent people you can think of and having a comfortable place to sit and hear them talk about what excites them.
TEDx is an off shoot of TED where more affordable localized conferences are arranged by groups of enthusiastic people who have nothing better to do with their spare time than cluster in library conference room around a circle of Laptops and work their asses off on a non-profit conference. If you have never done any work for a no-profit welcome to the majority of America, but if you have then you understand the kind of energy that can be generated by working in tight quarters with a group of like minded people who share the same values and ideas as you do. Sharing something with each other as simple as believing that an good idea is worth sharing.
I just put the wraps on the program book for the event and I feel pretty good about it actually, I set a goal of doing a the best job possible given the limitations I had to deal with. I pushed myself, that is what you do when you care about something or when yo are inspired. The idea of TED inspires me and the speakers serve to stir my creative juices with the effectiveness of a spiritual blender. One “Cogito Margarita” to go PLEASE!
If you are in the San Francisco Bay area I heartily recommend that you attend our event, which takes place this Friday at Via Montalvo in Saratoga. I have added a link in the sidebar to the TExSanJoseCA sight, go check out our list of speakers and performers. I will be posting some videos from past TED events this week for you to peruse, they are all available at the TED site, which is also in the sidebar as well. Rather then perusing farting dogs and idiots on skateboards on YouTube you should go over to the TED site and check out the videos there. None are very long, that is a basic precept of speakers at TED, but all are interesting.
I will close off this posting with an extended TED talk by one of my literary heroes, the late Douglas Adams. This talk is a bit long but when you listen to Douglas the time tends to stroll by like an attractive woman in a low cut dress, you are are of her passing but you hope that it lasts as long as is possible
We need more MArx Brothers! Sorry I have been out of touch but I continue to have no luck finding an “in house” job so I have embarked on a couple of external projects to start generating a flow of filthy lucre to rival the dreams of Solomon…or to help pay Gordon and Normy my rent. Something like one of those.
One of those is an iBook of the original Team Elf BLOG so stay tuned for that. Additionally I have some new shirts coming out, am looking to join forces with a racing buddy to do some publishing and also I may take night courses to become a Culligan man…wait, scratch that last one.
Anyway one thing I have noticed is that everyoine in the damn world needs to chill and grow a goddam sense of humor. When I think of humor I, of course, think of the MArx Brothers (who doesn’t?). So start your day off right, or use it for spice for lunch.
La, la, LA!
So I have been pretty busy of late, as I have said several times (I know! I Know! It’s the early onset dementia, runs in the family), but I am finally settling into my new digs here in R_____d C___. I had to do that last bit due to a retraining order, sorry. Most days will find me with my nose buried in my MacBook working in zBrsh and MODO…or Photoshop…or whatever will get the job done. With all this though I have had little time to write, which makes me sad because I love doing it, it’s like talking only permenent.
Well another thing that I have been wanting to do is to bride the gaps between scribbling with a weBLOG. The trouble is though that I discovered that I had developed a bad case of stare fright when it came to sitting in front of a camera being fatuous. Unlike the majority of teenage and twenty somethings in the world I found myself questioning if what I had to say had any real validity or held interest for anyone at all. In the end though I have relented so here we go with episode #1, comments are welcome and appreciated…
I was looking at @RicharWiseman ‘s BLOG, if you don’t go there on a regular basis shame on you, and he had posted some amazing strobing effects video…which led me to YOUTUBE, which led me to this one in particular. When perception and the artifacts of the digital world collide. Enjoy, I gottta get to the pharmacy.