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Take the Midnite Special and DubStep Into Deafness

Due to some house guests that I had to attend to for the past three weeks I haven’t been able to blog at all. Plus I’ve been feeling a little depressed recently and usually when that happens I drop out of things and disconnect from other people. Things are looking better though, I had a great visit with my son when he came up for a week over school break.

When I drove to Cape Cod to pick him up I also dropped off my two brother-in-laws. I get along pretty well with them but after a couple of weeks was happy to be driving them home. My fatal error was bringing the cable I have that connects an ipod to the car stereo. My brother-in-law hooked up his ipad and took control. He’s into, and I mean REALLY into, this reggae band called Midnite. They come from St. Croix, not Jamaica, so that immediately sends up red flags for this Reggae purist and aficionado. Have you heard of “jam” bands like Phish and the Greatful Dead? Well Midnite is basically a reggae jam band. Their songs are like ten minutes long. Supposedly they come out with three albums a year, so much for quality over quantity. My brother-in-law breathlessly exclaims that at the last show he went to in New York they played for four hours straight with only a short break. Uh, no thanks. I’ve never been into that kind of music, so I’m not faulting Midnite fans, it’s just not for me. In any case we all had to listen to how “Rasta to the bone” the lead singer was and other ramblings accompanied by some pretty generic and forgettable riddims. This was at a volume that surely voided any warrantee on the speaker system. I did get turned on to a Reggae artist from Guyana called Natural Black. He’s been around for a while but I never checked him out. He has a nice song called “Life be Same” on the Istanbul Riddim that you can watch on YouTube here.

After that I got to pick up my son and enjoyed a couple of memorable road trips back and forth from the Cape with him. On these drives we got a chance to talk a little about random things that interest twelve-year-old boys. Part of the time was spent educating me* on the new music “gamers” are listening to. They call it DubStep, It sounds a lot like techno to me but I’m just not hip anymore. At least there are no annoying lyrics like you get from pop these days. My son is amused that I’ve become interested in DubStep, and I found out why after reading about it on Wikipedia. Apparently it originated in South London and is derived from “Drum and Bass” and Reggae Dancehall Dj styles. The emphasis is usually on the third beat, just like Reggae, and most DubStep songs include a “bass drop”, which is also employed in many Reggae riddims. My son hates Reggae, and it probably kills him that DubStep is related.

It was sad bringing my son back to my ex’s house after a nice week together; but he had a lot of fun skiing, bowling (the only thing I can beat him at), shooting a shot gun, and exploring the woods with me. He’ll be back for more visits and I’ll get to see his hockey tournament in a couple of weeks too.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year to all!

* Playing his ipod through the car’s speaker system at decibel levels approaching a space shuttle launch.

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I’m giving meaningful presents this Christmas

Hey everybody! I’ll be taking part in Company for Christmas this year, a seasonal blog that provides a place to come and chat on Christmas. Check out this post for more information:

Come for Company

Hello folks.

I’ve been advised by my medical team that my Blog changes direction so often and so quickly that I should provide neck-braces! I can’t afford them, so I can only beg: please don’t sue me for whiplash. I am very poor!

This is not love poetry, political spleen or ridiculous advice on writing, criminality or homelessness. This is my other arm (yes, I have unusual jumpers) known as Company for Christmas.

I’m trying to do something lovely for people who will find themselves alone this Christmas. It requires no money and only a fraction of your time! It may even earn you some Blog traffic.

You can help by simply reblogging this post. Job done.

If you want, you can also read this post and offer advice, thoughts or even volunteer to help out. No matter what, it can be as little as ten minutes.

You can…

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Master of the Universe

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Image credit: Vertigo Comics

My ass is busted. This weekend I got so much crap accomplished I thought I was another person. Normally I’m something of a procrastinator. OK I’m a professional level procrastinator with a lazy streak. If there was a trade organization for procrastination I would be the president, only we would never get around to having meetings. So when I saw myself actually getting things done for once it was hard to believe.

A foot of snow with drifts up to my knees and weather at night dipping down below zero, no problem. My new snow-blower worked fine, although it’ll take some getting used to. I kept getting hung up on frozen rocks in the driveway, maybe I’ll set the skid plates lower. I also didn’t realize until I was done that I had my reading glasses on the whole time. No wonder why things seemed blurry.

I also had to shovel off the deck, and make a little trail to the woodpile. From the woodpile I moved a couple of days worth into the house because I didn’t want to be going outside in the middle of the night when it’s ten below zero (-22 Celsius for you folks that insist on using the metric system, like that’s ever going to catch on).

Let’s see, what else? I made cheese omelets, fed and watered the chickens, baby got her bath (it’s an ordeal, trust me), put plastic film up on a bunch of windows, knocked off some other honey-do items, did laundry–well you get the picture.

Tonight I’m still a little sore. The fire is cranking and the house is all toasty. As I thought about the weekend I remembered a story from Harvey Pekar’s “American Splendor” comic where he fixes a clogged toilet and feels overwhelming pride in this simple accomplishment.  When you have depression problems it’s sometimes hard just to get dressed, so yeah when I get a bunch of stuff done it’s a big deal. I may even celebrate. Now if I could just get that short story finished…

 

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