Posts Tagged ‘celebrities’

If you have read any other posts you may recall that I enjoy listening to music in the morning on my i pad. I really love using the songza app to listen to streamed music . If you own an i phone, i pad or i pod and like music get this app. This morning though I couldn’t because my I pad was dead.  (Insert sad face here)

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I looked down at the I pad and saw the dead battery symbol then watched as the screen went to black. I imediately thought about my dads favorite song. American Pie by Don Mclean. I remember many days listening to the song sang by my dad while waiting at the school bus stop. At one time I had almost all the words memorized.

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There is a line in the song that says “The day the music died.” The rumor is that was the day that Buddy Holly died. Everyone has an opinion, trust me everyone has an opinion to this songs meaning. Just do a quick Google search for “the meaning to The American Pie lyrics” and you wil see everyone weighs in. Don Mclean wrote and performed American Pie in 1971 and fans throughout the ages have been entertained, confused and inspired to thought by the song ever since then.  The fact that there are many ideas and thoughts as to the songs meaning to me makes the song even better it is a wonderful mystery in that it is so close but so far away and can be applied to things like a legend in fiery plane crash, a beautiful woman with a raspy voice (Janis Choplin (I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away )) and an I pad out of juice. Well played Mr. Mclean.

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You wrote a wonderful song I hope my children enjoy it as much as I and my father have. The song tells some of the story of America. Story telling is important. With each story we tell we pass to our children concepts like resolution, endurance, compassion joy and sorrow. We equip the next generation through the narrative so that hopefully they will not make the same mistakes  as our generation (the trial of the Chicago Seven and the Vietnam war (The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned)). The list of his the story telling in this song goes on and on and, this morning I heard nothing, on account of the Ipad being dead but I remembered the song the story and as I got ready for work I smiled so thanks dad and thanks Mr. Mclean.  Enough with my words I leave the rest to the great song writer singer…


“American Pie”

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a whileBut February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 1]
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 2]
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx
A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 3]
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 4]
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die”






I read an interesting article this morning titled “11 Celebrated Artist Who Didn’t quit Their Day Job”. When you get the chance do yourself a favor and read the article as well (very good piece and short, I like short articles). The article was about some brilliant artists, accomplished artists, published and pretty well known artists who were more than just artists. One of the 11 (no I will not tell), wrote poems, books and had some of his books turned into movies, he also sold cars, for Saab. Another poet worked full time as a publisher list goes on (well for like, 9 more people).  The article got me to thinking about the duality of man and woman. How we can be so much more than our jobs.

It can be easy to pigeon hole someone or yourself. “Hello Jim. What do you do for a living?” When I was younger those words, that phrase, they bugged me. I would make stuff up at the family reunions. “Oh Hi Jim. I sell drugs for a living.” Most of the family members did not appreciate the joke and my mother killed the jokes life by threatening to kill me, but I could feel myself being pigeonholed. Measured and boxed up and I didn’t like it. I suppose a more proper response could have been avoiding the question. “Why hello uncle Jim, so nice to meet you. I am son to Tammy and John. I heard an interesting story about you and cousin Bob involving a bb gun. I had a similar thing happen to me once.” Or I could have attacked it head on “Hello uncle Jim. I am so much more than my profession let me tell you about myself….” I didn’t do that I handled it with my weapon of choice.. humor (albeit bad tasting humor. selling drugs is nothing to joke around about). When I think about the duality of man and women and the multiple talents they employ on a daily basis, two things come to mind.  First it is foolish to define someone by their current career choices and second I can come up with multiple instances beside these 11 were men and women have many talents and use them concurrently.


I began to run through my mental Rolodex to find examples of men and women doing multiple jobs and all I could come up with were individuals I personally knew.  I considered enthralling my one reader  (hello dad) with a personal anecdote, but I had already gave him the one about the family reunion. So, Google search to the rescue! I Googled it and found a gem of a story about 8 celebrities with multiple talents (do yourself another favor and read that story as well (ohh look at that that story is like this one, a wordpress blog, man wordpress is awesome!)).

So many people you know, and many people I know have multiple talents and do many things. We should make an effort to never sell ourselves short. You are more than your day job and I am inclined to believe you can truly do anything

“If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

― William Arthur Ward

Second, so can I. So next time you see me ask me something about me and not my career.



So today the court will decide the fate of Bradley Manning, and while I try hard not to get political on my blog, it is hard not to say something.

Yesterday I watched an odd movie with my girlfriend. The movie was called Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst and Keifer Sutherland. Before I turned the movie on it was pitched as “A beautiful movie about the end of the world by Lars Von Trier.” I don’t think you can describe it better. The movie was odd and really great.  In the movie one of the actors starts crying because it is the end of the world. The sister tells her not to cry for the earth because it is a wicked place and not worth saving. She lets her know she ins’t crying for the earth but for her son.

Now to my political rant. After seeing the shameful, trial results of Bradley Manning I went over to the website and I have to agree with the actor who said the world was evil and it can be easy to believe it is not worth saving. Our only hope seems t be in our children.

Bradley Manning is 25 years old. A baby really a child still and he had the courage to speak up and know the justice system has found him guilty of 20 charges against him.

Like I said I am not political and I am not trying to be political, I don’t want to argue for against war. I simply want to state that the one hope we have is our children and today the justice system will decide whether or not to destroy that hope.

Is the world worth saving well it depends I guess. I hope that this verdict and sentence will not stop people from speaking up, when they see something.



I know many people have strong opinions but before you comment I ask that you read and view the files Manning released on

Oh the power of the ellipsis.  What does it mean? The … it means there is more to follow.

have you ever watched the film “Back to the Future”? The movie is an American classic. The film is a must watch and if you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and go watch it. Buy the dvd and watch it. If you have seen the movie, then you will remember, doc Brown and Marty. For those who haven’t seen it and are still reading instead of watching,  Marty and Doc Brown are the two protagonist in the movie. Doc mentors Marty and tells him “If you  put your mind to it you can do anything.” Guess what? Doc was right.

The human being is an amazing animal. Man has walked on the moon, been to the bottom of the Marianas trench, basically eradicated polio.  All this has happened and yet 65 % of the world has gone un- explored. Seems impossible right?  Well 71 % of the world is covered in water and of that 71 % only 5 % has been explored by man.

Why does any of this matter? Because, sometimes in life, we can feel like Alexander.

“And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

But, weep not there are so many worlds to conquer! The world the universe seems to have no end. You can dream as big as you want! You can do anything, and (instead of but) there is much work that needs to be done and there is no end of discovery for the brilliant, imaginative and intrepid.

Do not weep and “if you put your mind to it, you can do anything”.



Not for the money

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

At work there I received an email from the ever-changing HR department attached is the, once again, new Performance Appraisal form and a mandatory meeting to discuss the new pay for performance model. Not being of fan of paperwork or meetings I began to feel my blood pressure rise as I read the e-mail/ meeting invite. I consider e-mailing the head of HR an e-mail with links to multiple studies which demonstrate that pay for performance models do not work.  I decide, because I really for the most part enjoy working, to not send the links. I also hope that maybe the meeting will highlight that HR and the board of directors have abandoned the ineffective pay for performance model.


I send the links to my home e-mail and read through the studies that night and discover some interesting facts about people and one fact that overrides all studies is that quality work is less about the money and more about the people doing the job. This is something that seems simple enough but often gets overlooked. Quality professions despite their pay will give you quality work. Crazy right.

I then wonder am I providing quality work to my employer? I certainly hope so. I want to be remembered for something good at work not something poor. This concept of pride in ones craft is something HR will only be able to instill with quality in their work as well. Their has to be a culture established at work and establishing this culture will not be accomplished through gimmicks like the pay performance model. A culture of high quality work and workers can be established with an employee employer relationship that is both respectful and transparent. Let all employes know how the company is doing. What the years sales and profits look like. What direction the company would like to go in? Engagement will cultivate this culture not bribery. You should not  employ a carrot and stick philosphy and expect good results.

When will we all realize that the singer Jessie J had it right when she sang “Price Tag”

Okay, Coconut man, Moon Heads and pea
You ready?

Seems like everybody’s got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop for a minute and smile

Why is everybody so serious?
Acting so damn mysterious?
Got your shades on your eyes
And your heels so high
That you can’t even have a good time

Everybody look to their left (yeah)
Everybody look to their right (uh)
Can you feel that (yeah)
We’re paying with love tonight?

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag
Ain’t about the (uh) Cha-Ching Cha-Ching
Ain’t about the (yeah) Ba-Bling Ba-Bling
Wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag.

[Jessie J]
We need to take it back in time,
When music made us all unite!
And it wasn’t low blows and video hoes,
Am I the only one getting tired?

Why is everybody so obsessed?
Money can’t buy us happiness
Can we all slow down and enjoy right now?
Guarantee we’ll be feeling alright



Yeah yeah
Well, keep the price tag
And take the cash back
Just give me six strings and a half stack
And you can, can keep the cars
Leave me the garage
And all I, yes all I need
Are keys and guitars
And guess what, in 30 seconds
I’m leaving to Mars
Yeah we leaving across
These undefeatable odds
It’s like this man
You can’t put a price on a life
We do this for the love
So we fight and sacrifice
Every night
So we ain’t gonna stumble and fall
Waiting to see or send a sign of defeat
Uh uh
So we gonna keep everyone
Moving their feet
So bring back the beat
And then everyone sing
It’s not about the money

[Chorus 2x]

[Jessie J ‒ Outro]
Yeah yeah
Forget about the price tag




There is a new and alarming trend among teens in the UK and the United States. The name of the trend is illicit and I don’t want to retype it here. If you want more information follow this link. Basically peers use social media to encourage other peers to stop being and dressing as a promiscuous teenager, however as with almost all unsolicited advice this has become a huge form of bullying. When reading the story in the UK’s Telegraph I immediately thought two things one this is sad and two is this our generations “Scarlet Letter“.  The Scarlet Letter is a romantic novel written by Nathaniel  Hawthorne. In the book the hero is a woman with a husband a country away became pregnant. She is forced by the authority in the town to wear a Scarlet A on all her clothes and becomes a social outcast. Another part of her punishment for her sin is to report to the town square where the town ridicules her for her transactions. The baby is born and the reader realizes who the father is (it is a big twist in the book I will not give it away).

More than just a romantic novel this book should serve as a lesson for the overzealous who wish to force their morals onto a population that may or may not want it. I am not a fan of sexual promiscuity. STD’s unwanted pregnancy and abusive relationships can form because of it. However because of puritanical views on sex and draconian enforcement teenagers brought up in this environment are more likely to engage in clandestine sexual promiscuity, less sexual activity but clandestine and shameful sex.

The jury is out on sex and it is a personal decision formed at an early age. It is best to keep sex personal and not public. If you are attempting to shame a person into becoming more prudent, you are a bully and wrong this I am sure off.  I have kids and they are different ages and I find myself correcting them quite often for all kinds of infractions. One infraction that seems to happen often is correcting the children for correcting their peers. I may be somewhat of a smart-alec (and I know shame on me for it), so I ask them “are you their mother?”

I don’t want to spoil the Scarlet Letter, but I will tell you this the book did not end well. Anytime we bully someone it will not end well and unsolicited advice is bullying, unless of course you are their mother than it is law!


Next time we decide to “fix” someone who does not share our same view about anything we would do well to remember some wise words from the author of “Women are from Venus Men are from Mars. ” To offer a man unsolicited advice is to presume that he doesn’t know what to do or how to do it. Generally, speaking when a woman offers unsolicited advice or tries to help a man, she has no idea of how critical or unloving she may sound to him.” John Gray speaks to the pitfalls of offering unsolicited advice between partners in a marriage, however it seems unsolicitied advice can and is toxic in any relationship dynamic. See the scarlet letter.

The best piece of advice when we are tempted to “fix” someone with advice is probably that of  the new queen of daytime television. “Don’t give advice. It will come back and bite you in the [butt]. Don’t take anyone’s advice. So, my advice to you is to be true to yourself and everything will be fine.”  Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane Commencement Speech, 2009



Almost every Friday and sometimes on Wednesday or Thursday, me and my girlfriend go into the local BlockBuster video store and rent a movie. Last Friday we went into the store to rent a movie and we were hit with some bad news. The video rental store was closing it’s doors. Blockbuster was and is having a going out of business sale. Everything must go. I was a little upset the ritual was lame but kind of fun of course we will find another way to pass our time and I got a really killer deal on like five movies, but still it is kind of sad. As I was checking out I realized that my despondency had to be at least matched if not surpassed by the staff at the closing store. So since misery truly does love company, I struck up a conversation. In my conversation I quickly realized that the store staff was not despondent at all. The young man was excited about getting back to school and the older lady was ready to “move on to the next step in her retail career.” Maybe they were just putting up a front, a strong facade or maybe they really were excited whatever it was it kind of empowered me a little bit.


Life throws us curve balls. It truly seems the only thing constant about life is change and we can embrace the changes and roll with the punches or we can get ran over by the changes and knocked out.