Houstonia

“The great misfortune is that a notion obtains with those in power that the world, or the people, require more governing than is necessary. To govern well is a great science, but no country is ever improved by too much governing…most men think when they are elevated to position that it requires an effort to discharge their duties and they leave common sense out of the question.” Sam Houston

“Govern wisely, and as little as possible.” Sam Houston

or from JRR Tolkien;

“My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remain obstinate!… Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people.— The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”

Somethings get better with age

In particular the old western spoof, Rustler’s Rhapsody, from the mid 80s. The two sidekicks Jim and Jud, played by Bran Von Hoffman and Christopher Malcom, deliver some of my favorite straight faced, matter of fact, droll punchlines. These types of minor characters don’t often get much attention, but they really add a lot of depth to the film. Here’s a few of their lines

Colonel Ticonderoga: You missed! How could you miss?
Jud: Even with these sights we have a target a hundred yards away, maybe more, we’ve never fired these weapons before, there’s a definite wind factor, AND we have a problem with the sun!
Colonel Ticonderoga: Just shoot, okay?

Colonel Ticonderoga: You say this stranger shot Blackie in the Back?
Jud: Yes sir, and he got everybody in the bar to say that we done it. Can you believe that?

Jim: Howdy stranger
Rex: Howdy
Jim: We’re looking for some one named…Betty

Collision

You can keep your picture perfect life. Keep your lies and see if I care. I’m not the one you’re fooling. Clean the outside of the cup and ignore the death you’re drinking. Oblivious to the blood on our hands. Go ahead and wipe that smudge from your face.

You tread your freedom underfoot and so bind yourself. Indulgence is your pleasure. Why should you restrain yourself. Dive in to the pool of destruction. You loathe the whitewashed, but your filth and pride are no better. Jaded? get over yourself. Despising naivety we have adopted our bastard ways.

A world dies outside, but we both ignore it and cling to our selfishness. Forgive us this heart of stone.

We bicker over who is more wrong. Fools. We all go down to the depths.

O’Hare O’Hare have my Starbucks gone?

So what would you do with a 5 hour layover in Chicago? Play Angry Birds, maybe watch a movie, go grab a bite to eat, or check your Facebook and update twitter? Well today my status updates/check-ins would have been something like this.

Checking in at E1
B14? – Bingo there’s a Starbucks
B5 was before B9
K4 Kato, watch out for Inspector Clouseau
G14; my first co-conspirator, that dude was rad
H1=Coolest peeps in Chicago
F9…disappeared, there’s not a Starbucks here.

What you say?

That I visited and took a picture at every single Starbucks in the O’Hare airport. BTW 5 of 15 is the official statistic which indicates that amazingly 1 out of 3 Starbucks employees are willing to be good sports and get their picture taken with a random bearded stranger in the Airport. Thanks to the few that were a part of my lunacy; you guys made my day! It would have been 16 total, but F9 is a dirty liar(there’s no Starbucks there). So here’s the photographic chronicles of my adventure w/ Starbucks in the O’Hare Airport. How many can you get your photo taken by during your next visit to the airport?

….maybe this’ll be the next planking ;)

–edit–
Crapola, I found only too late there was an international wing with Terminal M. I have no idea how I missed it. I literally walked the entire length of the airport more than once.

Man I can't believe I missed out making it to the M wing terminal 5

Zelda Step

So I’m pretty new to dubstep in general. I’m not sure I even would have given it much of a chance had I not already been listening a bunch to Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack which is in a similar vein though I don’t think is technically dubstep. For those of you so new you don’t know what that is, hey no diggs I was there too, its a rhythmic, bass laden, electronicly derived music genre very popular with house music hipsters, DJs, and geeks. Anyways tonight I came across a remix that I especially loved because it evokes nostalgic memories of playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Nintendo for hours and talking about Zelda for hours, and thinking about Zelda for hours. I’m sure it’s a pretty unique niche of people that like both dubstep and zelda, but for those of us that do here’s the link for your ear holes to enjoy.

Another thing I’d like to praise is You can’t find a cooler music distribution website out there. Very artist centric and it allows for people to pay a minimum amount for music, but also makes it easy to pay more if you’d like to show your support for the artist. They basically have every digital music format available for download; both lossless(FLAC, AIFF & ALAC) and lossy(mp3,ogg,aac, maybe even wma). No one does that. So take a gander over there too sometime.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sufjan put out a video a few years ago with his Christmas albums and I just randomly rediscovered it on my Mom’s Mac today. Which was quite the coincidence because some friends of mine were just talking about his Christmas albums last night. It also truly feels like Christmas is here now after watching Chevy Chase and Christmas Vacation. I love the movie, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a good time watching it as I did the other night. Seeing Robyn just completely beside herself with laughter was worth the price of admission. There’s only a few Christmas movies left to see till maximum holiday cheer is achieved ;)
1. Muppet Family Christmas (running gags…the best)
2. Ernest Saves Christmas (them’s pythons in there)
3. A Muppet Christmas Carol (gonzo you’re my hero)

Download video: MP4 | Ogg | WebM

I’m looking forward to this Christmas as well as the new year. I’m content and hopeful and encouraged and ready to see what will happen this next year.

10 acres of quiet contemplation

This summer I bought 10 acres on FR 45 between FR 120 and 116 just west of Bois D’Arc. For anyone curious the French translation of the name Bois d’Arc is “wood of the bow”. Bois D’Arc also known as the Osage Orange is one of the best woods for making a long bow.

Now that I have some land I’m one step closer to being able to start on a number of things I’ve really wanted to for a while. Building a house, keeping bees, restoring my Fiats, having ducks, getting a dog and maybe a cat, keeping goats, shooting guns in the woods, chopping stuff, burning stuff. I’m very interested in learning any sort of woodsman, frontier kind of skills that helps you live off the land without modern technology or at least with less of it. I want my life to slow down and not speed up. We’ve created all these methods of increasing our work output, but we’ve completely missed the physical and psychological benefit that the work provided. Ask any kid and he’ll tell you about the first tree he chopped down with his own two hands and an axe or a machete. I probably spent 3 hours when I was in elementary school over at Jeff Rice’s house chopping down a tree in the woods, but it was awesome! My nephew Cael just had a similar experience cutting down his first tree at my property. There’s something gritty and good about outdoor labor without the sound of machines. Maybe I’m sick and twisted, but I really enjoy using my scythe to cut grass out in the field and I have no intention of getting a mower. Working by the sweat of your brow not for any person or a paycheck, but for yourself is an awesome feeling.

Fiery Italian….where’s mine?…um the car I mean

Fiat has a pretty seductive commercial for the new Abarth 500 coming to the states in 2013. For the extra Italian flair you could refer to it as the Abarth Cinquecento(pronounce Chean Qwe Chentoe)
Here’s a rough translation:

What are you looking at? Uh!?
What are you looking at?! (slap)
Are you undressing me with your eyes?
Poor guy…you can’t help it?
Is your heart beating? Is your head spinning?
Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever?

Download video: MP4 | Ogg | WebM

–edit–
so I don’t know if you noticed, but the superbowl ad differs ever so slightly from their originally released commercial. The song cut off is placed just slightly earlier in the song on the original(which I have posted here) than in the Super Bowl version of the ad. I think the original is a more dramatic cutoff and the changeover from the dream world to the real world is more pronounced by the notes that the original cuts back to reality on.

Fast Cars and Loud Music

and also curvy roads can be great medication. Not lasting, as nothing in this world is meant to be, but fitting for the right moment to let out pent up energy and simultaneously fill you back up with energy. Also encouraging when you meet a like minded spirit to whom even in defeat you can wave to and acknowledge you both hold on to something much deeper than win or loss in a drag race, but that you’re both there to drive. So Mr Asian guy in the BMW hats off to you for enjoying the drive first and the competition second, the world needs more people like you. Yes your beamer is much faster than my Civic, keep on trucking.

Sometimes I go opposite

No shave November this year took a slightly different course for me. To some degree I wear this hairy visage as a testament that I stand out from the crowd so I suppose it is only fitting that while the world turns one way that I should turn another. The beard is gone. Impressive as it was this time and even though I’m normally nearly a spokesperson for beardedness it is a fitting change at this moment for more reasons then I care to delve into. However much like Frosty returns each Christmas, my beard will surely return in its full glory even if only for a time.

Sweet Pea the menacing behemoth, the car of all cars and I spent Saturday out on the farm burning brush in the rain. She was a bit nervous when I popped that first road flare, but in no time and just a few more flares, she could see that her old man had things under control. The crackle of the fire along with the hiss of the rain soon rose from the pyre. My neighbors must have wondered to see such a sight as a man standing in the rain tending his fire. Brisk the wind blew, but hot the fire burned and so went my day. Sweet Pea’s looking forward to the day when she can spend these kind of days indoors and out of the elements that is for certain, but no complaining no sputtering just faithfully whirring and puttering in the background.


I went to see Matisyahu the other night at the Gilloiz and was sweetly rewarded by an absolutely great show of which I captured a little bit for you here. It’s shaky at first, but I promise it settles out quickly.

Download video: MP4 | Ogg

I also came across some photos that my mom had and much to my surprise and chagrin I was apparently a hipster back in the 8th grade. Who knew I was so ahead of the trend.


I have some other great pictures, but that is enough of the nostalgia for now.

Aish Tamid

Matisyahu came and performed tonight in Springfield at the Gillioz Theatre. It was a low key night as he was only accompanied on guitar by Adam Weinberg who is really quite a phenomenal guitarist. I’ve listened to Matisyahu a bit over the last few years, but getting to see him in person allows a chance to see beyond just the music and get an idea in small degree of who he is. Piece this all together and you see a really interesting dude. His skill to beatbox is absolutely amazing especially when seen in person. He creates such cool beats without the need for any synth or bass and he just lays it down. The performance was great, but I was a bit disappointed in the crowd. I don’t know what it is about the Gillioz and Springfieldians. It’s like all courtesy and inhibition evaporate and you’re left with heckling, rude, moronic people shouting and interjecting without any respect or care given to the artist on stage. This same attitude happened when Lyle Lovett played the same venue a month or two ago. I don’t know when it became ok to try and be a part of the show along with the performer, but come on people cut it out. Continuing to yell out for some song you prefer to be played along with 50-75 other people basically doing the same thing honestly doesn’t paint our community in a very good light. How about keeping the suggestions to yourself, enjoy the show and simply cheer and clap and let the artist pick their own direction for the performance. Now Springfield looks like it’s filled with a bunch of turkeys and I can’t imagine either artist would even remotely consider returning. The thing that amazes me is that I don’t see this behavior to this degree ever at any of the rock shows that I attend. You get one or two people that’ll shout out Slayer or Stairway, but it pretty much stops there. I will say seeing Matisyahu totally dismiss some pretentious goof that tried to ask him about his opinion on occupy Wall Street was pretty dang enjoyable and there was one cool fan that got to come up on stage and get a hug which was a smooth move. Springfield if I could slap some sense into you I would. For now the beards of Springfield are one greater while Matisyahu is in town.

Life as I know it

Some times living life single is filled with contentment and can be far preferable to being attached. Then at other times it can feel overwhelmingly daunting and the weight almost unbearable. How close these moments seem to follow one another is strange indeed. One minute I’m able to appreciate how truly free and unencumbered my life is unattached and I rejoice greatly for the joy of being adaptable and able to change direction in a moments notice. The silence and simplicity of solitude appeals greatly to me, however, while I do enjoy this time alone it can gradually turn into isolation and then the deep yearning for closeness rises from within. There is this great desire to be with a kindred spirit or for someone to help hold fast when almost to failing to stand.

In a months time to have considered two opposite directions so closely together would seem incongruent. First the commitment and devotion of a monk like solitary existence in order to gain better focus appeals greatly to me. Second, but 180 degrees opposite of it that I should also have been considering the pursuit of a young woman must seem strange. To have coupled so closely these two lines of thought and reasoning I’m sure is perplexing to others, but they both came up very naturally at the same time and in parallel for me. That I should consider them in tandem, but then that I should decide which direction to aim and to pursue it whole heartedly whatever the choice should be. That I should decide to pursue singleness when the option of this wonderful woman was still on the table seemed to me the greatest form of offering or sacrifice that I could make to the Lord. However when I reached my decision and chose to pursue her only to be waived off, excused away and rejected was overwhelming. Only after the hopeful option of a possible romance exploded in my face could I see that the choice of monastic pursuits even after rejection should prove to be the more difficult form of sacrifice. A route that even now I hesitate to walk although I would have gladly chosen it as the first option before ever pursuing the other. The choice is discouragingly more difficult to make now even though it is the only path before me. I stand here looking from side to side, looking back upon paths that cannot be unwalked, looking ahead, but my vision is obscured so I pause here and wait for another way to be made known or to be nudged forward. Is my breaking complete? Have I been brought down to death in order to be raised to new life? Does my hope and trust increase in the Lord or will my spirit remain downtrodden within me? Oh Lord you know your servant and what his heart requires. Do not call him forth to trial and testing without strength enough to face it or dashed upon the rocks will he be found and his spirit shattered to pieces.

Though he slay me…[I do not know why]
yet will I…[with whatever strength remain]
trust…[hope and be found]
in Him.

MUTEMATH – Oct 11, 2011

Earlier this week I drove down to Little Rock to catch MM again on their Odd Soul tour at the Revolution Music Room. At the show I met a couple of people who of all things are friends with Joe Copeland. As we talked a bit more we found out that each of us had been at the same show back in 2006 at Remingtons in Springfield which was the first time I’d ever even heard of them let alone seen them. MM has been playing smaller venues this tour so it was cool getting to be so close. It’s cool that they have fans that have been with them since before they were MM I mean I’m one of them, but I really wish fans would stop bringing it up at shows like it is some sort of badge of honor to yell out the old band name. The guys take it pretty good, but you can tell their inner reaction is like “Really…really?” And who can blame them for wanting to get some distance from an old project that they moved on from years ago and hope that people would recognize them for what they’re working on now. I can imagine it’s tough enough to make any band endeavor successful, but it’s got to be extra challenging if your fans keep you stuck in the past. I wonder what is the best way to interact with a band member when you run into them in real life outside of a show without bothering them that still lets them know that you appreciate their music? Do you just say hey when walking past? Is a high five or shaking their hand appropriate? Do you even call them by their name or is a hey dude or hey man more appropriate and less like a creepy stalker or teenie bopper? Thoughts anyone?

My pictures aren’t the greatest, but here they are none the less for your enjoyment.

Along with a compilation video from the night.

Download video: MP4 | Ogg

Download video: MP4 | Ogg