“Always trust your cape”

Like so many other fathers, I have a son who can be the bane of my existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love him and really care what happens in his life, but he does make it difficult sometimes. The strange thing with him, when he was in his teens, was that he never gave any hint that he wanted to break out, leave the nest and head for greener pastures. As a matter of fact, he stuck around and stuck around, and even when he left he kept on coming back. Well, finally I guess his inner voice told him to get the hell out and live his life somewhere far away from the safety net of Ol’ Dad. He ended up in Chile of all places, without a job and without money and without any real idea of what might come next. We lost all contact for about four and a half years and all but gave up on ever hearing from him again. Wouldn’t you know it, his sister found him and we reconnected. Will he come home? “No”, was his definitive answer. “I love it here, I love the people, I am learning Spanish, I am a chef in a great restaurant, and life couldn’t be any better.” Well, it relieved me to know that he was all right and had found what he had been searching for. I miss him, but with Skype and Email we can chat from time to time without causing him any discomfort. He’s a grown man now, no longer the kid I once knew, and he has made that ‘leap of faith’ we must all make if we want to take a hold of our own destiny. If it works out…great…if it doesn’t, you have only yourself to blame.

But I digress, let me step back a few years, almost forty now. The stairs going to the second floor of our house had a landing part way up, and the last set of stairs, about 10 of them, ended on the final landing, about a 4’x4′ pad. Young Fred loved Superman, and was very fond of wearing his official superman uniform, complete with cape. One day I heard him talking to himself at the top of the stairs while he was pacing around rather restlessly. I quietly sneaked into the hallway to see what he was up to, when I witnessed the final act of his experiment with flight. Trusting in his cape he took off with a great deal of energetic enthusiasm and became airborne. Yes, he flew all the way down those 10 stairs, all the way to the landing. Well, it wasn’t altogether a landing, so to speak, it was more like a crashing, if you get what I mean. There was no victory cry, just a blood-curdling scream as his head met the wall and he thumped onto the hardwood floor. I ran to his side to console him and to make sure that he hadn’t done himself any serious harm. Six year olds are like rubber ‘Gumbies’, they bounce, and he was OK. Thank goodness, he never tried that again, but somewhere in his psyche he retained this notion that, if he had to, he could fly. I guess we all do to some extend, some of us succeed (we call them entrepreneurs) others fall flat on their faces and must Continue reading

Old dog…new tricks

It seems that every time I turn around I am confronted by another interesting activity that I want to dive into. I must say, blogging, and the need to come up with fresh ideas on a regular basis has been an exciting catalyst in this process. Reading other people’s blogs makes you realize that there is so much to do and to learn about, that the sheer volume is overwhelming. The trick now will be to find the time and to chose carefully which new quests to follow, and which to put on a shelf for a while. Believing that one must never stop investigating the wonders of life, like Alice, I have ventured down the rabbit hole and we’ll see what we find. Music listening and playing, has always been one of my favourite past times. Discovering new performers and new music genres opens doors to so much enjoyment. Just this morning I received notice of a new post from ‘Old Jules’, a fellow blogger who resides somewhere in the middle of Texas. Jules has lived a rich and varied life and can always draw something new and different from his hat of tricks. (new and different for me)

The blues are the closest expression of the human condition we call anguish. Anguish dissipates when we express it and thereby take away its power to intimidate us. Blues singers bring an honesty to their musical expression that is hard to find in most other musical styles. All of this is the long way around of introducing a blues singer who was the subject of Old Jules post this morning, Abner Jay. Never heard of him and glad that I did now. Thanks Jules. I hope you enjoy these two numbers by Abner and a third by someone  we have heard many times , the great Lead Belly.

Assorted Videos

There is an incredible amount of video ‘stuff’ out there. Good, Bad and Indifferent sums up the quality of this aclectic lot. Every once in a while someone sends me something that tickles my funny bone, makes me happy, or makes me think. I invite you to take a look at what I consider ‘Interesting Videos’.

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Happy Hour in Africa

Watch the elephants knock the fruit out of the tree and all the animals eat it off the ground. 
This is a real video from a French documentary about Africa . There are trees that grow in Africa which, once a year, produce very juicy fruit that contain a high percentage of alcohol. The tree is known as the “Elephant Tree,” because elephants have a fondness for the fruit. Because there is a shortage of water in that area, as soon as the fruits are ripe, animals come there to help relieve themselves of the heat.  You will easily know who had over-indulged…on purpose or not!
PS. The tree is the Marula tree. You can buy a great liqueur named “Amarula,” which is made with the fruit and cream.

Jimmie Rodgers:  The world I used to know, perhaps not one of his top hits, certainly one of the most appropriate for the times we are experiencing. It’s good to listen to, and understand, lyrics that have meaning. A pleasing voice and real instruments in support of a good song, are also welcome now and then. Don’t get me wrong, I love all good music but—just listen and enjoy.

Lee Camp:  Stop whining…just work hard. Occupy Wall Street…why are they doing this? I’ll tell you why, they love sleeping on hard asphalt under canvas with the stink and noise of thousands of others keeping them awake. No bath, shower, or toilet; no change of clothes, no cable TV. I’ll tell you why, they love living like that. If you have to ask the question you haven’t been awake for the last decade. Listen to Lee who says it much better than I can:

Sharks: Are they the killers that many would have us believe? Unlike humans, sharks do not kill unless they must eat. Our slaughter of the shark is nothing short of criminal, and must be stopped if we are to maintain the delicate balance of the ocean’s eco-system. This video shows a different side of the shark: