Don’t Tempt Fate

Changes Ahead

Changes Ahead – Mt. Thielsen

Its funny how life’s surprise changes force you to go through a process. I feel some changes coming sooner than I had expected. There are changes at work, but more importantly, I feel that our move to Oregon will happen at least one year earlier than the earliest that I had envisioned.

Mt. Thielsen is near Crater Lake and we pass it after we spend a night in Ashland on our way to Bend. Ah, the beautiful Pacific Northwest – will be my final home.

The Dead Country Radio Show

Dead Country

The Dead Country Radio Show is the best thing I’ve found on YouTube. Its hella mysterious – I think the fellow who did this ran it from 2017 – 2020 but not often. I can’t find anything about the creator of this, but it is (and he is) totally awesome.

The graphic art for the show is stunning. Since I love bands like The Cramps, Blanche, The Gun Club, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Johnny Cash (especially his last stuff covering bands like Nine Inch Nails and Sound garden), whoa, this opens up more bands and artists that I was unaware of.

I think I find this especially cool because in the 70’s, I loved pure Bluegrass like Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe, but hated the Hee Haw redneck country music and that “shtick”. Southern Country Rock really sucked. Unfortunately, I was jaded because I missed the great stuff – which was the music by artists that never was played on the radio. Later I learned just how awesome Dolly Parton was when I heard her play Bluegrass, and Johnny Cash was always cool. However, by slightly twisting it up a bit – it really gets more interesting. Like Uncle Tupelo or Son Volt doing a Merle Haggard song. Then I go back to the original and voila! Same goes for the blues. Modern covers of old blues songs has me seeking out the original Black artists like Lightning Hopkins, etc.

Yesterday I dove into my “goth” experiences. Not 80’s dark eyeliner and mascara wannabe goth, but Capote “In Cold Blood” stuff. Or perhaps “American Beauty” stuff. I started The Monster Club with my cousins in 4th Grade, where we drew pictures of monsters, and so maybe this is where this comes from? Dark can be beautiful too – it’s a weird thing. I’m betting on Pathos – that feeling sadness at another’s demise is at least part of it.

This YouTube channel is also “Real Americana Goth”. Too cool.

Graveyard Stew

Cave Grave in Newton, NJ

I grew up in a town of 7000 population, near where the Appalachian Trail goes through. That town only grew by 1000 people 50 years later. Its 60 miles northwest of New York City. That fact is the only reason I’m not a hill billy or full frontal bumpkin.

The grave in the picture is on the side of a small hill in the Newton Cemetery. My friends and I walked past it every day on our way to the Halsted Street School, our middle school. At this grave, three young children entered a cave opening and were never found – so they entombed it. At least that is the story ….. But I do believe its true.

I have some other pure “American Gothic” stories – about a Scout Master stabbed 20 times by two boys he abused – I lived next to that Scout Masters Step Mother. I can also tell you a story about my Wrestling Coach, and how I was lucky to feel danger and avoid him like the plague. I escaped.

I’ve stumbled on the coolest Americana / Goth YouTube channel. It’s called “Dead Country Radio Show”. After listening to one show I started thinking of my own gothic stories.

Graveyard Stew - Inspired by Jack Kerouac

Graveyard stew
Nothing but bones
No meat,
Makes your stomach groan

Where can a man
Get a square meal?
Something filling,
Something real

Hungry for knowledge,
Thirsty for truth,
America now insane
A hellish graveyard stew

I do feel that after the previous four years and that nothing has happened to the traitors that America has become its own Gothic story and meatless, sinewy graveyard stew.

No more melting pot …..

Win Every Day

It's not
If you win
Or lose
It's how
You play
The game

When you
Play the game
And do unto others
As you would have them
Do unto you
You always win

Let the others
Win the battles
You will win the war,
Every war,
Every day

Life is a River

Sometimes glassy, sometimes churning
Life is
A River:
Of thoughts,
Of feelings,
Of experiences

One minute glassy
Next minute churning
Through it all
There is our yearning

We hold our truths
To be self evident
Because we
Actually have no say
Life just flows
And we must play

We Have The Power

It's easy
To forget
The power
That we have

Filled with
Self doubt
It's how
We usually roll

If by accident
We rise above
And achieve
Our full potential

Reach for it
It's always there

First Puppet Theatre Photo Shoot

Its a GREAT day – I’ve worked for months to get to this point. In some ways, today is “Day One” as far as this crazy puppet theatre idea goes. Its all started one afternoon – I had several weird thoughts that came together . . . . . take my music and combine it with creepy puppets – somehow. Video? Still Life Photography? YES to both and anything else that I can conjure up.

You will see a skirt around the stage – and also two backdrops – one is the constellations, and the other is a standard stage looking curtain that is maroon. My wonderful wife Kat taught me how to sew this weekend with her cool high tech sewing machine. So yeah – the biggest part of this is that I made everything – from the subfloor that I stand on when building “miniatures” – like the bench the audience is sitting on, to the piano – and the microphones.

Here are 10 photo’s out of a big photo shoot that made todays “cut”:

The cast and audience
TADA! Your Guest for tonights show . . .
The audience with Aunt Hermine – singing her heart out
Skullboy waits for his moment . . .
Radio KLAM is so lucky to have Aunt Hermine . . .
KLAM’s Famous “Here’s Lookin’ at Ya” microphone . . .
Is that a song – or a scream of terror?
Tequila Jack and Patty – she just likes to skate . . . .
The Ed Skullivan Show is over for this Sunday . . . .

Oh well – that was a nice weekend. Guess its back to the sausage factory tomorrow . . . .

Green Apple Man

If you know where I took this picture, leave a comment

I’ll retire in 4 years. After 40 years in IT, I still love my job. I was the 127th employee at Oracle, and that was way back in 1984.

Tempus Fugit!

Puppet Theatre Lighting

Setting up lighting

I installed two very cool lighting extension bars that let me hang my photo lights from the ceiling. I had to do that because there just isn’t enough room for lighting stands and the camera tripod. With the lights hanging down, it also means there are no stands to get in the way of the photo.

I’ll only have one light on a stand – a portable LED array that has “barn doors”.

Next up is a stage curtain and small apron for the stage. Then I’ll create some backgrounds and background things like buildings, trees, etc