Pages of Life (17)

Over the weekend, I saw my Dad.  It was enjoyable for many reasons, but he surprised me with a gift.

The Seventh Child of a Seventh Child, by Louise Hansigne Frederikke Norgaard Hagensen Beyer.  In short, this a book my great-grandmother wrote about her life.  The book covers a short period of time, but she lived from 1895 – 1993, and I remember her well.

I sort of remember the time when my father acquired this manuscript.  Although, through life’s lovely journeys this project of assembling her writing and formally putting it together in a binded form, was put off for many years.  Until recently.

I have been anxious to read this since I knew about it.  Now that it is done, my Dad is very proud of this accomplishment.  I am als0 very proud of him.  I look forward to reading through this manuscript and getting some insight on her life at the turn of the century -20th century, that is.

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Today was a good day.  The weather was exceptional, and I felt as if i accomplished some things today.

My wife leaves this Saturday, the 2nd of June, for her school journey for 10-weeks.  It will be difficult, just the boys and I.  But, deep down, I am relaxed.  I am excited, and I am ready.  I am usually the one leaving for short periods for work, why should this be any different, just a longer period of time?

Hopefully I will get into more writing, more photography as the weather fairs, more movies, more late night catching up on TV shows online, more song writing, maybe some outdoors stuff, and of course, more time with the boys.

This is a journey for her, but also for me, and this will be a great growth time for both of us.

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As I learn more about myself, and learn more about my family history, may the pages of life read me like a story by the water.

Talk soon.

Memorial Day… con’t

Well, we made it home. I thought I would be smart and try one of the back roads to get home. After leaving Coos Bay we headed south. Through Bandon, to Gold Beach! A nice town, by the way! From there I took a road on the South side of the bridge there in town going over the Rogue River inlet. It was named something like Jack’s Flat Rd. On the map, it headed straight across to Grants Pass! Yes, that is correct! Forget going from HWY 42 East to Roseburg and then South on I-5! Oh no, I am going to take the road less travelled!

That’s exactly what it was. This road was getting interesting. Is was windy enough I was averaging about 30mph, on a good stretch of road! Then there was a sign: One Lane Road Ahead With Turnouts. “Okay,” I thought. “We’ll make this work!”

Boy were we in for a treat! The next 2 and a half hours got us about 80-miles, climbing through the mountains! Up, down, around, and around again! Mostly paved, but some spots where the road had washed out a little and hadn’t been repaved… there was some traffic. That was interesting! Oh, I could have blasted through this road, but not knowing if there was a car of the other side of the bin on those rare occasions was not something I wanted to find out the hard way.

The enjoyable one lane road route…This really should be part of my pages of life, but since I am writing twice in one day, especially this day, I will call it what it is.

Even though the road was narrow, the cliffs were steep, the view was beautiful! I couldn’t believe my eyes some of the time! I kept thinking how badly I wanted to just stop and take pictures! I want to go back and camp up there. It was amazing! It was nice to know the forest areas still exist like I remember and there are plenty of seemly uncharted territory there to explore someday.

We finally made it to the junction to cut off to Grants Pass – 55 miles. Half an hour later, we pass a sign, Grants Pass – 45 miles. Boy, that’s some horrible time.

This road was occupied enough apparently because there were mileage signs in some rare places! There were plain white, city provided signs that pointed back the way we came that read, “Coast,” with an arrow pointing up the road. So, people really to take this way! In front of us at one point was a truck with a camper and pulling a small boat on a trailer! At another point, come the other way, was a caravan of about 7 vehicles. Each one of them had one person driving, and not one of those drivers was under 70!

At the end, we came out at Merlin, then hit I-5 and came home. What an adventure! My oldest boy, who was more into teasing his younger brother and singing to his music CD, also claimed a few times that we were lost. Admittedly, we laugh at things like that because these two boys are the worst back seat drivers! But, that’s for another day.

Hope everyone had a great, and safe weekend!

Memorial Day…

When I was in the Army, for nearly 5-years, I was in the band.  Yes, the band.  Some laugh, but those in the military understand the importance of musicians.  For ceremonies, special events, and ultimately for moral boosting when  needed.

Memorial Day was always a tough day.  Regardless of where I was stationed at the time, we would be at a cemetery site bright at early setting up and warming up for a major Memorial Day ceremony.  Between th  music played, the stories told, the prayers said, it always brought tears to my eyes, even if I was playing.  This day is always an emotional day for me.  It also reminds me of why I was in the Army and why I was proud of that position.

Regardless of how much I have been teased about being in the band, I am very proud of that part of my life.  Even as a bandsman (or to be p.c., bands-person), I was trained regularly in hand-to-hand combat, and even riot control (when stationed in Panama, preparing to hand over the canal).  We were essentially infantry and MP support, so we had to know what we were doing.  I was even manning M-60’s in training exercises.

Before my current job, I was considering returning to the military.  However, because I have enough disability, it would take almost a year to get through the “red-tape.”  Plus, there weren’t any openings in the jobs I wanted at the time.  Of course now, with the war as bad as it is, I wouldn’t even consider it.  I still have a drive to serve and be a part of something of that nature, and that has fed my desire to be a part of the police department.  But again, right now is not the right time for that;  not for me, anyway.

So, on this Memorial Day, at some point, take some time and stop.  Close your eyes, and think of those people currently serving in the military.  Regardless of their jobs, they are all critically important to the entire picture, and ultimately and collectively are protecting our culture and freedom.  Be proud of that!

Even if you don’t read this on Memorial Day, take a moment when you do read this and think about the world around you, and say thank you to the people involved in the military.

Celebrate and remember.

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This is the last night of our coastal excursion.  We are staying in Coos Bay.  In the driving around, and things to keep me energized, I have been day dreaming.  Thinking about owning a boat, or running a coastal resort, doing lake fishing, and chartering morning fishing trips.  I think about a simpler life, enjoying cycling on HWY 101 for fun weekend trips, having a big enough house to invite family from the city to stay with us for days at a time.  Of course, if I have that resort, I could just comp them places to stay – give them an incentive to come.

Starting next weekend it will be just my boys and I for 10-weeks!  My wife, Idalie, is going to Tucson, AZ for a summer research program.  Without going into detail, this program will be a major benefit for her as she gets to the end of her Bachelors degree.  Of course, from there she will be pursuing her PHD, which also means a great chance of leaving Medford, where we are now.

This options, I am sure, I will discuss much later, as that time gets closer.  In the meantime, we press on.

Talk to you later.

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:::: Pages of Life :::: (15)

I am posting this later than the actual date I wrote this. Unfortunately, by the time I got internet connection, it in fact wasn’t strong enough to stay connected. So, I still wanted to write something, but this is being posted at a different time, that’s all.

It’s Saturday, May 26th, at 9:59pm, and I am in Florence, Oregon, taking a few days with the family at the coast.

We left Thursday night, headed to Eugene. Friday morning my wife took her GRE test for college, then we headed north to Portland to see family. We stayed with my grandparents that night. My youngest boy was suffering from his animal allergies, so we medicated him and “greased” him up with Vaseline. He did okay. All four of us slept on a single queen size bed – really not very comfortable. Somehow, this morning we felt pretty refreshed, although I was ready to get out of there. Mostly, I was eager to get on with our day. The goal was to make it to Florence and head north to the Sea Lion Caves, but we didn’t make out there until too late. So, realizing we weren’t going to make it in time, I took a detour to get us off of I-5 and into driving some beautiful back country.

In my pursuit of hoping to get into a really nice digital camera and trade in my film camera, I decided – no luck. So, I packed my 35mm film camera bag with all of my stuff, and I am eagerly getting back into it! It’s pretty exciting! The natural outcome is great! In using my film camera I am getting excited again about the “rawness” of it and the fact that I have to think about the pictures I take. The cost of film and developing are things I have to figure in to the hobby, whereas with a digital camera, you can delete pictures, and pick from a larger collection of pictures from the same scene. Anyway, you get the idea.

At this point in the trip, we will get a good nights rest tonight. In the morning I will do a Dutch Brother’s coffee run before breakfast (which includes hot cocoa for the kids). After breakfast we will be heading back North back to the Sea Lion Caves. After that wonderful experience and some more pictures, we will go back South, and this time head to Coos Bay. If all goes well, we will be there around lunch time. After lunch we will find a public beach and let the kids get sandy and dirty. We brought our buckets and shovels. I will take more pictures. Once they are warn out, we will head home. This will make for a nice completion of a weekend, and be able to enjoy another full day at home! Thank God for holidays!

Now that I am getting back into film photography, I hope to eventually share some pictures on here soon!

Until next time.

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I want to share.

I learned a new cover song: Lips of an Angel, by Hinder. A very well written song! I play it a little differently because they have their guitars tuned to open D – I don’t. I need to be able to play other songs. Although, the progression is easy and the lyrics are good. I found the chord progression online. I had to modify it to be more accurate to the actual song, but other than that I am excited to play it live.

I put together a 4-song set, under 20-minutes, for the Musician’s Jam night my work is having (www.musiciansjam.org). I am going to do 2 original songs, and 2 cover songs. Other than Lips of an Angel, I will do Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young, another song I recently learned. I am trying to expand my cover song list with songs I am more interested in rather than the typical bar cover band line-up.

For this event I will be running sound and managing the mic’s, so I will already be busy, but the folks organizing the event said I had to play – twisted my arm.

Upcoming fun things I hope to blog about:

– Gibson Acoustic factor tour/trip

– Summer NAMM Session in Austin, TX

– Tuba shoot – video shoot, that is…

– Sabian Cymbals factory tour in Canada

– Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 2007 – NY

(http://www.rockandrollfantasycamp.com/website_/new_york.html)

– And so much more!

I want to add pictures to these blogs, by the way, but I need a good digital camera – something I can feel good about. In order to raise funds for that I am trying to sell my old 35mm camera – if you know anyone interested, let me know – I have a handful of beautiful lenses and filters, and the camera is in great condition!

Tah tah for now.

:::: Pages of Life :::: (13)

As you can see, it has been over a month since my last post.  I want to get back into this.  I guess I was hoping to have some pictures to show here.  Me personally, I enjoy blogs with pictures.  I just need to acquire something that takes reasonable pictures.

So, an update.  Well, the recording – slow but sure.  In fact, tonight I was supposed to go out and work on some mixes but it just didn’t work out – my schedule, not theirs.

Writing stuff, like the book?  Well, it’s still sitting on my dresser completely organized, but I feel I can get rid of some *fluff* content if I had someone to help read through the writings.  It’s hard to edit your own stuff, even if it is 15-years old.

Other things.  Well, I am trying to round up a few more bucks to get some bicycle parts to get my old road bike in to shape for me to use it for commuting and hopefully organized rides.  It’s a really nice Centurion Accord.  They are not even made any more.  It actually used to be my Mom’s – yes it’s true.  She used to be a long distance rider, too.  Back then, 15-years ago, I was shorter and owned a Bridgstone RB-2 – boy, what a great bike!  I put plenty of miles on that bike for being a mid-teen.  But, I grew.  Well, later in life, my Mom doesn’t ride anymore, in fact, hasn’t ridden in many years.  This bike went from storage, to my sister’s place for a few years, and now with me.  I actually want to ride it, I just need to get it worked on a wee bit.

What else.  Work is good.  Working on a documentary piece of the Martin Guitar factory, incorporating the wonderful heritage living and breathing within this company still.  It’s going to be a couple more weeks before it lives on the web, but stay tuned.

I am hooked on the TV show, Jericho.  But, I have been hooked on watching it on the web.  I have also been getting more and more into Joost (www.joost.com).  Other interesting web elements are Twitter (www.twitter.com), and it’s related site, Twittervision (www.twittervision.com).

Alright.  Good stuff.  Drinking a beer, enjoying late night TV.

‘Till next time.