Saturday, February 27, 2010
"I thought I'd never see but reality struck. Better find out before your time's out what the fuck." ~ Nas
Death speaks: There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not ﬁnd me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its ﬂanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.
~ W. Somerset Maugham
I have a great friend whose wise words come to me often: "All you can do is put it out there and see what happens." I love that. It's simple, honest and fearless. It's clean, pure fuel and it makes me want to burn. I feel faster than thought tonight. Seattle's good that way. It's 6:06 in the morning and I can't see the sun. I don't want to. I like to write at night and I hate when it ends too soon. Writing puts winter to use. My thoughts run free like phantom wolves through dark and rainy streets. The city sleeps, none the wiser.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Ethikos ~ the state of being, the inner source, the soul, the mind and the original essence that shapes and forms a person or animal.
(And rocks in the dirt!)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
In the universe there is an unmeasurable and indescribable force, which those who live of the source, call intention ... and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. "Sorcerers" are not only concerned with understanding and explaining that connecting link, but they are especially concerned with cleansing it of the numbing effects brought about by all the concerns of living at ordinary levels of consciousness.
~ Carlos Castanada
Sunday, February 21, 2010
What Is Chaos?
In everyday language "chaos" implies the existence of unpredictable or random behavior. The word usually carries a negative connotation involving undesirable disorganization or confusion. However, in the scientific realm this unpredictable behavior is not necessarily undesirable. The scientific meaning of chaos can be summed up in the following statement:
"Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit."
– Henry Adams
Chaos is indeterminism at its best — a concept totally foreign and unwelcome in Laplace's world. The scientific usage of the word was first coined by Yorke and Li in their ground breaking paper, "Period Three Implies Chaos (1975)," in which they described particular flows as chaotic.
In short, chaos embodies three important principles:
* extreme sensitivity to initial conditions
* cause and effect are not proportional (!)
There are two world events that stand out most to me: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers. They are as giant bookends holding together that period of my life between 1989 and 2001. That they were both collapses seems significant. I can only imagine there will be a third, and that it's on the way. The Wall fell on 11/9 and the Towers fell on 9/11. Including end dates, the elapsed time between them is 11 years, 10 months and 3 days. Fast forward that same distance and we arrive at Saturday, July 13th, 2013. As you already know, the world will officially end in 2012, but due to cosmic bureaucracy there will be a six month delay prior to implementation. That's okay with me. I'd rather die in summer anyway.
I keep wondering how much time we have, with no rational way to calculate the answer. Only the arational voice leaps forward with theories as strange as the matrix itself, searching for a pattern in the insanity. Mark Twain said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." My gut says he's right. What, when, and where is the next rhyme? Is there the suggestion of a twelve year cycle? Will the third collapse also be in the Year of the Snake?
There is a symbolic connection between serpents and deceit. I'm reminded of the Gadsen Flag and the forked-tongued lies of a world gone wrong. "Don't Tread On Me" needs to be traded in for "Don't Tread On Anyone," or keep the original motto and trade out the snake for a photo of the Earth.
This feels like a siege. First the walls, then the towers, and finally the keep -- the highest point and center of defense, the strongest and most secure place in a castle. How long until the fortress falls and we crawl out of our old skin?
"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope." ~ Red
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Conditions looked promising to fly on Wednesday, but ended up being just the opposite. After a long, dreary winter hiatus, I arrived at the landing zone in the afternoon hopeful for my first flight of the year, but it was not to be. Another pilot had just swooped down saying conditions were too dangerous. A bit of a bummer for me, naturally, but not unusual given the nature of our sport.
The weather does whatever it wants, and doesn't care if I like it or not. Just because it's a nice sunny day with a perfect 5 mph wind doesn't mean it's safe. Sometimes you don't get any flying in at all, but spend all day on the slope or in the park parawaiting. At Tiger an east wind is dangerous because there's too much trashy air spilling over the mountain that can really cause you problems (death, for one) if you get caught in it. As a new pilot, I take it at face value when the old timers tell me not to fly. They've seen too many accidents caused by poor judgment to be ignored.
Having made the decision not to unnecessarily risk my neck, I drove over to Lake Sammamish for some practice with the wing. I got in a few inflations, but the wind wasn't really blowing so I sat down in the sand and just enjoyed the view. It felt good to be alone, without any demands on me (including those from myself) and just appreciate time and place. For once I wasn't doing anything, but simply being. I feel grateful for the time to simply be close to nature (water, in particular) and recharge. It's really good for the human soul, and I recommend whatever version of it that works for you. I didn't get to fly, but just the fact that it was even possible lets me know I'm getting close. That thought alone is worth savoring, and one that came to me while reflecting at the lake.
There is an inner voice, unique to every person, and the human spirit opens to it more easily when given the right conditions. In an environment of near constant activity and sense bombardment, it's the simple, peaceful and natural solution that works best.
For those who don't know, this is ground-handling, also known as kiting. Everything happening to the wing is information that travels down the lines, into the pilot's hands, harness and mind, creating muscle memory and skills that we use when encountering similar conditions in the air. It's good practice for anticipating the wind and making the same subtle adjustments necessary to keep the wing centered and overhead when we're 5000 feet off the ground. Kiting is fun, sort of a sport within a sport, both meditative and good exercise, that allows me to interact with nature. Every day the wind is different and thus the dance is too. The inherent variety of conditions fosters learning and sensitivity to the elements. I like to think of it as taking my spirit for a walk.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Millionaire selling everything to live simple life
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A millionaire businessman decided to chuck it all and live the simple life. Now he's selling raffle tickets for his luxury villa in the Austrian Alps.
"I have no idea what my life will look like but to be honest, it feels good," said Karl Rabeder.
Rabeder recently took a paragliding trip to South America and saw the conditions people were living in there.
He says he realized there was more to life than just fancy houses and cars, so now he's selling off all his stuff to help those people.
For just 99 Euros, or about $135, you can buy a raffle ticket for his 3,500 square foot villa in the Alps.
He plans to sell 22,000 tickets before the end of the month when he will pick the lucky winner.
All of the money raised from that and his other sales will go towards small business loans for people in Central and South America trying to improve their lives.
As for him, he plans to move into a small wooden hut in the mountains or a no-frills apartment in the city.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. ~ George Carlin
We are at heart so profoundly anarchistic that the only form of state we can imagine living in is Utopian; and so cynical that the only Utopia we can believe in is authoritarian. ~ Lionel Trilling
Monday, February 15, 2010
New Mexico supports local bank movement
JP Morgan Chase
Bank of America
I don't need your remorse. Just get the fuck out of my country, and take your traitorous White House and Congressional bitches with you.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I drank at Club Motor last night (great venue) and woke up with noise hangover today. Too bad it wasn't on behalf of any good bands. Last night was the first time in my life I've had the misfortune of hearing two different cover bands both do covers of Heart's "Barracuda." Lame! Old, tired shit like that doesn't need to be heard anymore, especially live in a club, and old, tired Seattleites in particular really need to let it go. Whatever musical glory days these people are trying to re-live here are OVER, and that goes for grunge too. Jesus Christ, for the last time, get over it. I'm tired of living in the stale shadow of these former bands when there's so much new, fresh, local music that's just as good, if not better.
But moving on...
Today I picked up Fear Factory's latest slab "Mechanize." As I'm writing this I'm halfway through track 5 "Christploitation," and so far so good. Huge fan of "Demanufacture" that I was, I knew every single word of that CD, wore the tape out playing it every day in my truck, saw them twice, and on the second occasion came home hoarse and bruised from their brutal mosh pit at the Mercury Cafe. That show (which I was lucky enough to score a guitar pick from) was directly responsible for the inspiration that brought "The Path of Most Resistance" into being. Prior to the show I was fortunate enough to meet Burton C. Bell (my favorite thrash vocalist) who was hanging out in front of the tour bus talking with people and signing autographs. Cool guy. It felt good to tell him how great I thought they were.
Twelve years later, Fear Factory has delivered another crushing and brutal record worthy of everything on Demanufacture that made me a fan. The quality is excellent. Even on low volume I feel like my speakers are about to explode, and that's a good thing. I don't know if they've broken any new ground, but I didn't really need them to. As previous masters of my favorite style of metal, I'm more than happy to see them continue in the same great vein of classic drilled, double kicked 16th note patterns, crushing power chord riffs, throaty/clean channel vocals, and apocalyptic sci-fi keyboards that characterize their style. I love the fact that they sound just as good as they did back then, but have created something new that is just as relevant and meritorious as any metal out there.
The songs are great and the band rips, period. If you want space jazz, hip hop or Mr. Bungle, this ain't for you. Fans of Gene Hoglan, on the other hand, won't be disappointed. Fans of shredding guitar solos might be, and though I count myself among them, solos in and of themselves aren't critical to the creation or enjoyment of a really good metal record, which this is. I could care less if Dino Cazares ever plays a solo, but there are some here and they're good. I'd like to hear more actually, but having said that, his relentless machine gun-meets-jackhammer rhythmic ripping is enough for me. In contrast, Joe Satriani can play a million amazing impeccable notes at blinding speed and make a unique musical statement -- incredible stuff for sure, some of my all time favorite as far as solos go, but it's still not anything I can bang my head to. "Mechanize," on the other hand, most definitely is.
Lyrically, Fear Factory has always been right up my Orwellian alley. When I opened the accompanying CD book, the first thing I saw was the quote "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism," from Thomas Jefferson. Yet again, Fear Factory delivers the goods, all the way around, and exactly the way I like it. This is the ultimate 21st Century thrash warrior soundtrack. Ten horns up for an ass kicker of the highest order. It's really good to have them back. I can't wait for the tour.
Feared your control and excessive greed
Abuse of your power disgraced me
You want war
You got war
More than you bargained for
I damn you and leave you defiantly
Cut you out and take it all with me
You want war
You got war
More than you bargained for
Always question authority, control my own destiny
Forcing change, breaking free
From the gears of the machine
Changing my world so I can live
I will forge my place in this time
Contention is sharply refined
I will expose you and force your demise
To take control of what is truly mine
Here's one from back in the day...
Fear Factory - Replica
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It's been so long
How can I go on?
Sitting back, hand in face
Looking out the window at the rain
My fingers pause
Thinking, they back up
Chatter through my thoughts do fly
Breathing drying eyes flash by
Sniffle hand face to jean
Stretching the tempo again
Sit up twist and crack the neck
Rub my eyes and blink
A seagull screams
Barking high pitched dog
Flap the wings, flair the teeth
Fold back my arms and sigh
Triumphant sounds the train
Chatter what the birds are thinking
Chirping spring computers
While wood chimes in the wind
I'm cold and thoughtful again
Following the doppler growl of an aeroplane
Though life may mean nothing
I still swing to the flow of the beat
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Simple Ways To Reduce Performance Stress
It's not hard to get on the right road and keep yourself there. Here are some simple things you can do right away:
- Stop saying "Yes" to performance situations you are not ready for, or do not feel you are up to doing for any reason. Not allowing others coerce you into doing performance that are potentially damaging to your self-esteem are one of the first steps in loving yourself.
- Go to your instrument and play what you want to play! Stop playing what others want and start playing what you want. You are not obligated to anyone unless you have created a false expectation in others that you will play what they want. Make today the day that saying "no" to them is saying "yes" to yourself.
- Its not about competition. The great artist professor Donald Walker always said, "In art, there is no score." A true winner does not set out to beat another person; a winner wins at being him or herself. Just because the world is set up to get all "A's," isn't it more important to have the knowledge than the grades?
- Believe it is possible. You are good and you have something to offer the world that no one else has to offer. If you know and admit your weaknesses, your strengths will shine.
- Stop trying to prove yourself and set others straight. Remember that one of the quickest things to take you off of the path of your life will be to please someone else with beating someone else following a close "second."
- It is impossible to learn without error; you learn from the mistake. The bad news is that you cannot learn anything without making mistakes, and you will have days when everything appears to go to "hell in a handbasket," as the old saying goes. Expecting to learn pieces or moves with little or nor error is unreasonable and pretentious. It will only take you down the wrong road.