Saturday, March 14, 2009

Great Progressive Music

If you were a teenager in the mid 1970's and you weren't into disco then you may be remember a genre of music that was labeled as "progressive". You usually found these progessive music stations up at the upper end of the FM dial around 104 to 107. You could easily identify these stations with the 15 minute instrument rock songs heavy with keyboard and synth. Usually the DJ spoke with a low voice (probably higher than a kite of the truth were known) but it was rare that the dj spoke. A single musical set could last an hour at a time and there were very few commercials.

Tonite I am having some serious flashbacks as I have found a station on WinAmp that is as progressive as they come. It is called Stellar Attraction and their website is, you guessed it,

I have my headphones on and I am taken back to 1975, sitting on my red bean bag chair with my ear covering individually volume and tone controlled Sony headphones, lost in another world. My room was often lit by either a blacklight or a large red globe light I had hanging over my bed. Yes I was the perfect 1970's "head". So here I am now at 49 years old with my modern earbuds in listening to those familiar progressive bands like Tibet, Caravan, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and others.

I have always had an appreciation for music. That is one of my lifes disappointments. I have always wanted to be a musician among other things. I have played some guitar and took piano lessons for a couple years. But I suppose I am a perfectionist and if I cant get it perfect then I dont want to do it at all.

So tonite I am taken back in time to a world where there was no stress, no worries, just endless nights of teenage mind tripping to the songs and music of the minstrels of the day. Very cool

Monday, March 9, 2009

Alone With 5000 Other People

Have you ever been with thousands of other people but felt very alone at the same time? I am a loner by nature. I have no childhood friends that I grew up with (military brat). I have no brothers or sisters. I never know my grandmothers and only briefly my grandfathers. I spent a lot of my childhood alone and as a result I feel very comfortable when I am alone.

It is possible to feel alone and still be near others. I was on the USS Constellation, an aircraft carrier while in the navy. We were between Hawaii and Midway on our way north to the Bering Sea in November. I was standing in the starboard side catwalk as far forward as possible on the bow. We were in transit and not flying any planes that day. The sky was a dark gray with the gray clouds hanging low. Large rolling swells of almost black water seem to stretch endlessly to the horizon as we plowed north. Our ship was big by most standards with our flight deck 80 feet from the water line and almost 1100 feet in length. With each giant swell that we came across the ship would rise high up the front of the swell then crest and ride down the back side. As the ship rose the water fell away and it seemed almost as if we were airborne but as we started to slide down the back the water rose so quickly that it seemed as if we would surely go straight in. But then at the last moment with surface of the water only 10 to 20 feet away I could feel the deck heave upward again and the water was back to 80 feet or so. Up and down we went in the gray sea where you couldnt tell the horizon from the sky.

At that moment, on a ship with 5000 other people, and me on the very front of the bow I felt alone. The wind rushing through me, the salt spray bathing me in a fine mist, the deck rolling beneath my feet was a feeling that cant be imagined. There I was facing out into the distant vastness of the northern Pacific ocean feeling all alone and feeling very comfortable at the same time.

Sometimes I long for that type of day when there is nothing in front of me but the gray empty sea.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why Am I Like I Am

I ask myself that question a lot. I realize that I am not like most people in that I am sometimes hard to figure out, let alone get along with. My life experience has been so drastically different than most of the people I know that sometimes I have a hard time relating. People tell me I should write a book about my experiences. I have been fortunate to see and do many wonderful things in my 49 years. Now as I close in on 50 I am beginning to wonder will I ever regain some of that old life.

There was a time when risk and adventure were a part of my everyday life. Taking chances was the norm and I never knew from day to day what would happen or where I would wind up. I have a good life now, don't get me wrong. My family is wonderful and I have a great job with a great group of people and all in all life is very good. But there is always that itch way down deep inside for one more whatever you want to call it. I suppose my biggest fear is I will never leave this town I live in. There is a huge world out there full of both wonderful and terrible things and fortunately or maybe unfortunately I have seen a great deal of it. I want my kids and my wife to experience what I have seen an done and with each passing day that desire gets further out of reach as my kids get older and I get older.

I'm not afraid of getting older. On the contrary I am enjoying my age. It affords me certain freedoms that were not available before........... some of you know what I mean. So what should I do? Time will tell I suppose.

How did I get here....... I started out as a military brat moving all the time from place to place and from country to country........ 16 school changes in 12 years between two countries and 5 states. I have been to 47 countries from Europe to Asia; from Alaska to Australia and from Africa to Nebraska........ (look out South America and Rio - you are next on my list). I have been to art school, learned to fly an airplane, spent time in the navy and sailed around the world several times, worked for an interesting government organization, and a whole lot of other things. I have met several presidents, been shot at more times than I care to remember, have eaten bugs and other weird things, survived two life threatening operations, and realized that I had never done something as simple as change the oil in my car.

My wife says I am jaded. Things that should shock and bother me don't even phase me anymore. I don't know if that is good or bad. Like most military brats I feel at times like a chameleon. I can fit in any social situation whether it is jeans and a plaid shirt in the hills of West Virginia or black tie at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I am just as comfortable at a summer dirt track auto race as I am at the symphony or opera. I like baroque music and I like rap. Being like that can sometimes be a curse because you tend to lose your own identity as you try to fit in with those around you.

I suppose the only time I am truly at east and comfortable is when I am around other TCK's. (look it up if you don't know what it is). I have found myself at places in time during my short life that have given me personal views into history. I say President Kennedy in Germany as a little boy just weeks before he was killed. I was at the flightline at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. the day President Nixon made his final farewell and left on Air Force 1 after resigning. I have shook the hand of two former presidents and stepped on Sir Lawrence Oliviers foot one night in the hallway of an apartment building in London.

There are hundreds of other things I have seen and done and I suppose I need to start writing about them and that wayI can feel that a part of me will preserved for anyone who might be interested.

Why am I rambling like this? I have no idea but I might just do it some more. If you want to comment then feel free to. If you have a question ask and i'll answer as honestly as possible......... if you are a friend from the past contact me so we can hook up. If you are friend from the future on this same journey then contact me.............

hhhhmmmmmm more than I had inteneded for tonite but oh well................... later