Jamming!

This is a photo of me taken by my cousin and good bud JD at our latest jam session last Sunday.  JD plays drums and he’s kind enough to sit in as me and a bass player named Adam start to work on my next musical endeavor.  More info to come in the near future…

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Leap Day Birthdays- A Shout Out to all You Leap Year Babies!

Today I was visiting a local tax establishment to get my tax return completed.  When filling out the paperwork I couldn’t for the life of me remember the date.  I asked the gentlemen what the date was.  He replied “February 29th, my Wife’s birthday.  We always remember to celebrate because she only gets one every four years”.

I was taken aback.  I had never thought of the predicament of someone being born on February 29th.  I will admit I thought about it most of the day.  I had questions that needed to be answered, so I decided to do some reading.

Do people who were born on leap days celebrate a birthday every year?

Apparently some will celebrate on March 1st, or February 28th.  Some will celebrate only on actual leap years.

What about the legality of the situation?  When does said “Leapling” reach the age of majority?

It of course varies by country.  Some laws state February 28th, some state March 1st.  I couldn’t locate anything on my specific country which is Canada, but I’m sure I could with a little more time put into it.

Is someone who was born on February 29th, 1952 60 years old, or 15 years old?

Technically they are 21,916 years old.  21,916/365= 60.04 years.  So technically speaking they are 60 years old.  This is also true legally speaking.  Technically they are celebrating their “15th birthday” though.

Garfield Minus Garfield

A while ago I stumbled upon (or was shown, I can’t quite remember) an website by the name of Garfield minus Garfield.  Now if you’re like me, you always read Garfield when flipping through the news paper.  In fact I rarely read any of the other strips.  As a kid I had a few of Jim Davis’s Garfield books on my shelf, and always enjoyed reading them.  However, I will admit that as I grew older my mind began to numb to much of the humour in your average everyday Garfield strip. This site has reignited the passion that I once had for this comic strip and you should all check it out!

Quite an accurate description is already provided on the main page of the site and I choose not to paraphrase:

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

It is quite an interesting premise.  Jon Arbuckle is already a pretty depressing character who spends most of his days confiding in his pets.  With the pets and other characters taken out of the picture we begin to really understand Mr. Arbuckle, and perhaps we see a little bit of ourselves in those lonely eyes.  It’s both disturbing and comforting at the same time.  Comforting in the fact that we are not alone.

This site is genius.  It reminds us that the human mind can be a vulnerable thing, and all of us could end up in the same state as Mr. Arbuckle.  If we can’t laugh at our own vulnerabilities, then what can we laugh at?

 

People Worth Listening To- Big Bill Broonzy

Perhaps one of the most prolific blues performers of all time, Big Bill Broonzy (Lee Conley Bradley) began his career in the 1920s playing country blues.  Broonzy draws influence from the many styles of music he heard growing up in the rural south.  The folk musics, spirituals and blues that he heard locally.

Moving to Chicago, Broonzy’s sound became tougher.  This paved the way for later “Chicago Blues” artists such as Muddy Waters.  There is no denying Big Bill Broonzy’s importance in the world of music.  One of my favourite Broonzy tunes is “Key to the Highway”.  It’s a wonderful “8-Bar Blues” and has been covered many times by many artists.

This recording of “Key to the Highway” Is also available on a compilation entitled “The Big Bill Broonzy Story”.

Shit I See On Netflix- Cashback (2007)

Netflix became available in Canada in September of 2010.  At that time I was excited to see what it had to offer, so I subscribed fairly quickly after that.  The pickings were slim at first, but they were enough to keep me going for a couple of months before I ended my subscription.

Just a little while ago I decided to give Netflix another try, and was pleasantly surprised with the selection.  There are many excellent films and TV series available for viewing, and I think I’ll continue to subscribe to the service.   What I like about Netflix is the fact that there are a number of truly excellent films I end up watching that I probably would never have come across elsewhere.   It’s worth the small monthly charge for that reason alone.

Cashback is the 2007 debut feature film from director Sean Ellis.  The plot centers around a Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) an art student who is dealing with a recent breakup.  As a result of the breakup Ben develops a case of insomnia which prevents him from getting any sleep at all.  Ben decides to use his new-found free time to take up a night shift at his local Sainsbury’s (a British supermarket).  His egotistical “big fish, small pond” boss and classic slacker co-workers add to this film’s quirkiness and lightness.  Ben soon discovers that he has a unique ability to freeze and restart time although the film leaves the actual technicalities of this purposefully vague.  This allows Ben’s art to flourish and he soon develops a new love interest in the form of Sharon (Emilia fox).

The film is light, quirky and intelligent.   It does take a little while to get into it, but once you do you’re hooked.  The cinematography is stunning, and the acting is convincing.  It was quite enjoyable to watch.  I give it an 8/10 and highly recommend that all of you watch it.

Goals

This will be my first real post on this blog in a while.  The truth is, I needed to clear my mind.  I wasn’t getting the same enjoyment out of posting and I needed a break.

These past few months I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life.  I switched jobs, I’ve become more social,I’ve gotten a much-needed haircut, I’ve carefully examined my past and above all I’ve set goals.  Goals are something I’ve always struggled with in everything I do.  Even in my music I’ve often sought after instant gratification and it’s held me back.  I’ve always approached much of life in that way.  If I couldn’t accomplish something quickly and easily, than it wasn’t worth trying.   It may have taken some words of encouragement from a friend and a little counseling, but I now realize that I’ll never be happy living in limbo, and I can’t rely on other people to create or provide that happiness for me.

Goals are the most important thing in life.  Learning how to make them has been one of the hardest things I’ve done.  I’ve struggled with my fear of setting out to accomplish something and then realizing I want something different.  The bottom line is that goals aren’t static, they are dynamic.  They can change and adapt to me as I myself change and adapt as a human being.

I’ve set a few goals over the last little bit.  Some of them concern my music, some my finance and others my personal life.  Above all I finally decided what I want to do education wise.  Six years from graduating high school I have finally completed my first college application and it feels great.

Sometimes you just have to get your feet wet.