Archive for June, 2011

June 25, 2011

Me and My Guitar

I’ve said it before. I’m stuck in a rut. I know the basics but just don’t know how to move forward.

When I started playing a year ago I struggled with playing left or right handed. I finally decided left which limits me. I bought a Fender 100 because that was the only left handed guitar they had in stock which was fine because like all things I didn’t know if I would stick with it. Kind of like writing. I love doing it but time always seems to be a factor. There just isn’t enough time to do everything and my daily chores. As I played and practiced I played more, and then more. The laundry didn’t mind waiting and I was grateful for the extra time to play.

Seven months into playing I got sick which put a real damper on the whole thing. Had I hit the spot where commitment was lost? Was I just over it and wasted a couple hundred dollars on guitar I wouldn’t play again? Did I want to play? I just didn’t know where to start or where to go. The rut had found me. Little by little I picked it up every day and strummed a chord or two but the interest wasn’t really there. I know all the basic chords and have put together a couple melodies. But still I felt lost.

Writing is a different story. You almost always have pen and paper. The waste factor is unusually low if you set it down for months, even years it’s no big deal. At least not for me. I almost certainly did not want to see my guitar end up that way, so I broke down and bought a program.

guitarjamz.com. Marty Swartz is my saving grace. I joined his guitar coaching club which in just two days has taught me a great many things, including some music theory. I’m very self motivated when it comes to something I want to do. I love to research my interests so I had been watching his free videos on You Tube since I started. Of course there’re a great many teachers and programs out there. I like Marty the best. He is easy to understand not to mention I like his hats. The hats are important because who wants to look at some aesthetically unpleasing sap.

Now I look forward to playing everyday even if life only affords me fifteen minutes. Now if I could just get motivated to take some writing classes my life would be complete.

June 20, 2011

A sexy man with a hat

Have you ever seen a good looking man that looked bad in a ball cap. I haven’t. Now call me southern but a good looking man in a ball cap is a good looking man in a ball cap.

Baseball hats have a long history. They were originally designed around 1850 and serve the same purpose today as they did then. They shade the eyes from both natural and artificial light.

Here’s a few stats.

* 121 million hats sold every year
* 85% have nothing to do with baseball. Not surprising.
* 1.04 billion is the market share. At $40 a hat that seems rather low.
* The market has increased 5 to 15 percent every year since they were invented.

That’s a lot of hats. I actually can’t stand baseball, but the baseball hat is one of my favorite accessories for the whole family.

What I really love about baseball hats is what they tell. A flat billed hat may indicate a mm with a love of extreme sports while a bent in brim may indicate a love for the outdoors. No matter what they tell they all say one common thing, “A good looking man looks good in a ball cap.”

June 20, 2011

Cheating

If I can’t beat you I’ll cheat you. What a philosophy. You see this far to much and every where you go. It’s the easy way out. The losers glory.

In my kids first year of motocross he won every race. We spent time with our son at the track because winning is about the honest time and effort you put into it. We made sure his bikes were with in regulation. We got him trainers because he was good and loved what he did. You can race beginner class for one year and then never race it again on any bike no matter the size. The beginning year is the hero moment if you embrace it. We did. About eight months into his first year he was almost lapping the other beginners. He was making a name for himself.

Towards the end of the year I was watching him cross the finish line half a track or more ahead of the other riders. Standing next to me was a dad who’s kids was coming in fifth or sixth place. He says, “Wow, that kids really fast. He shouldn’t be in this class.” I replied with great pride, “Thats my kid. He trains every day for this win. This is his first year riding.” I walked away a proud mom.

I have meet lots of people in motocross most I wouldn’t care to have as friends for the protest and cheating reasons alone. One family protests their way into wining. Another has their child kick other riders on the track. Others put their kid in classes they no longer qualify for just to get some cheap trophy. I have seen bikes sabotaged, stolen. If you cant beat them cheat them.

This doesn’t stop on the track. It applies to the whole track facility. If one track is making more, people like it better then the owners call the county to serve papers, submit fines, check permits, and raise a ruckus. They try to get it shut down. In So Cal where I live there are 6 public tracks and a few private tracks within an hour or so of me. Some are better than others, but we hit them all pretty frequently. Kawasaki, Yamaha, pro riders and trainers do the same. It’s the whinny cry babies that ruin it. The cheaters. The last place losers. Most of us just want to enjoy a day with our kids. A life with our families.

I’ve heard that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. It’s the parent that doesn’t like our flag, our god, the rules, the constitution. It the complainer who’s kids sucks out on the field of glory that gets the winner disqualified for wearing the wrong colored cleats. It the prisoner that has more rights than my kids. The baseball team that has to change there logo because some Indian was offended. Look around it’s everywhere you go. In everything we do. It’s the whiners and complainers that have become the winners. If you can’t beat them cheat them.

June 16, 2011

On you

I was reading though you blog today. I subscribe so I read your writings quite a bit. Im stuck in the whole I seem to be digging deeper. Even my blog post on being stuck is un-profound. I found a similar post on your site, of course and found that even when your stuck your still profound. Bravo.

If appears that you only started blogging March 2011, but I’m on an iPad so I might be mistaken. Random and surprise there’s a link to my blog. That’s really nice thank you.

You know I woke up this morning thinking about you. Not in a creepy way. No not like that. Out of all the blogs I read you have to be the most mysterious. Like what city do you live in? It seems a bit hard core, but I have never lived in a city. You don’t appear to have a car as you take use public transit a lot. You volunteer a great deal. I respect that but don’t understand why you put up with the bullshit. Your soul is very kind.

I can’t even find the words to describe you. The first post I read I thought, “Quit your damn complaining”, but you had a valid point and I would have been irritated to. As I read I realized this, I’m being judgmental about a face, a women, a place I had never been or known. I would like to say that as I read I get to know you. I don’t. You always leave me hanging waiting for the next adventure. Your next life experience.

Now maybe I didn’t read the one that states all the facts. The who, what, where, when, or why. Though in little bits and pieces you lay them out as any good writer should. I am always in suspense. What the hell is going to happen next. Quite frankly it’s better than a novel because there is no end in site.

My life is pretty boring. I live in a nice house, go to work, have kids, do my thing. In an epic sort of novel way I’m not on the New York times best sellers list. There is no drama, no suspense. Just an average life. You on the other hand are a best seller. Well…..at least to me.

Honestly I trying to pay you a compliment. In fact several compliments. Sometimes, on some days I find my self wanting to change worlds with you. Does that shit really happen. Are you kidding me. Man my life is boring though I love my life. You probably don’t see it, and if indeed these are true life stories. I like to think that they are. Then you have an amazing sense of the pen. They way you describe your world makes me feel like I’m there though I don’t know where there is. As you walk though the city, watch people out the window, describe the dress, and the cup of tea. No it’s not that the tea has gone cold. It’s that it wouldn’t taste the same if you reheated it. So true and I envy that I didn’t see it that way.

It’s the detail. The description that brings me into your world. The weather, the people. I have to wonder; I really do. How educated you are? Have you taken writing classes or does writing just comes naturally. You say you have low self esteem at times, but honestly….. I think your fine. That’s not a judgement. From where I sit your talented, you have this incredible way with the world. The way you perceive it, relate to it. Your a strong woman. I admire you. I know your looking for a job and may I suggest free lance writing. You would be good at that. I

You know who your are. I’m quite sure of it. I’m not the best with words. I don’t have your talent. It’s a compliment, all of it. So here’s to hoping I didn’t stick my foot in my mouth as I often do.n fact you would be great at that. Write a book. I know I’m not the only person that thinks this.

June 16, 2011

Where’s my ink.

For days now I have been trying to think of something to write. Oh I have written, but nothing really jumps out at me. Half way though I lose sight of where I’m going and what I want to say. Let’s not forget what point I wanted to make. Taking in consideration I do this for me, I should have some kind of motivation, will-power to follow through.

I suspect that I will every be a great writer. I like to write and that’s enough for me. I didn’t think it would but my Pages on my IPad is filling up with tidbits of this and that. Words floating around and around. A few little stories here and there. I have written responses to posts, my kids and life in general, though none seems worthy of posting.

I’m stuck in a rut and I seem to be digging a whole. The first few days of not posting didn’t seem so bad. Aw I will get to it later. I’ll finish that post after I water my garden, run on my treadmill, fix breakfast, play my guitar. I haven’t. Now don’t think I have nothing to say. I’m that girl. I always have something to say regardless of the topic. I have an opinion, but right around 250 words my opinions, thoughts, writing just clicks off. Now I’m stuck right here in this very spot.

June 9, 2011

You should be superman

When is it our responsibility?

I’m currently watching Waiting for Superman while I run on my treadmill. I haven’t seen the whole movie so my opinion may be bit premature. I doubt it. Realizing that the movie is about our tax dollars, unions, and government. Its failing the people. It’s failing our children. Out of this failure lottery, charter,and private schools have arisen. I send my kids to charter school. The school is currently full. Every year there are more and more charter schools popping up. Two elementary schools in my district have closed. With great hope the union will collapse here.

I am no different than parents that live in poverty, or wealthy areas. I want my kids to have a decent education. I want my kids to have better, be better off. We all do.

The statistics are frightening. http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/movies/24waiting.html

Consider the following statistics cited in the film: the annual cost of prison for an inmate is more than double what is spent on an individual public school student. Eight years after Congress passed the No Child Left Behind act, with the goal of 100 percent proficiency in math and reading, most states hovered between 20 and 30 percent proficiency, and 70 percent of eighth graders could not read at grade level. By 2020, only an estimated 50 million Americans will be qualified to fill 123 million highly skilled, highly paid jobs. Among 30 developed countries, the United States ranks 25th in math and 21st in science.

Just consider the last sentence. 25th and 21st does not make us pioneers. It makes us lazy, complacent. Every parent no matter how poor or wealthy can afford pen and paper. We have resources: library’s, Internet, Discovery channel. We have the power to educate our kids. We have the power to change. We have the right to expect more, demand it.

Its summer and my kids last day of school is Friday. Their education doesn’t stop there. I provide summer school. They write their times tables, division, and this summer algebra. They read, take comprehension tests, write book reports, write stories, work on computers, take field trips. If money allows work a little magic with Lego mind-storm. They learn what the school has failed to teach. I hope.

Our society is passive. We have let the unions, the government, the powers that be use our tax dollars inappropriately in every possible way. We are being bullied into a socialist system. Dependent on the power. But………

We can make a change. Have your children write, read, do math instead of watch tv. Watch educational programs about science, the universe, cooking, animals. We the people can make the change. Together we can demand accountability. Take your children out of public schools. If there is not room demand more charter.

If second place is the first loser then what is twenty fifth place. This is what I see from where I sit. Mommies coddling their children. Poor Johnny’s work is to hard. Poor Johnny needs a trophy for second place. Teachers expect to much. Mommies don’t expect enough. Dude, man up! This is what I see. I say it over and over. I know to many mom like this. I had a mom once tell me I needed to put my mommy hat on. Are you kidding me. How can you achieve great things if your expectations are so low or swaddled in a baby blanket.

June 6, 2011

Ipad

To buy or not to but iPad

First let me say I love my iPad. I have the original one 16gig no wifi. I bought it the day after the iPad 2 came out. I had been on the fence for months, in fact since the day they came out, about buying one. When the price dropped a hundred the enticement was to great. I did it. In fact I bought two and when the time comes I will buy two more and give the current ones to my kids. One for my husband and one for me.

My husbands apps:

News
Flipboard – free
Abc news – free
Fox news.- free
USA today – free
Newsy – free
Pulse – free

Games
Angry birds HD – 2.99
Miscellaneous free one.

Music
Pandora – free
Soundhound – free

Lifestyle
FML – free
Epic Fail – free

My apps
Pages – 9.99
Numbers – 9.99
Instapaper – 4.99
Penultimate – 1.99
Abc Tv – free
Various kids educational programs – up to 4.99

For most apps there is a free or lite version and a pay version. To reduce the cost you can get the IPhone or ITouch version which will expand 2x for the IPad. The resolution in a bit hazy though, but it might save you a buck or two.

Pages and Numbers sync easily with your desktop which makes transferring docs a breeze. Instapaper saves articles from the Internet which makes taking them on the road where there is no wifi simple. This in one of my favorite app. Im am an article reader and this has made my life perfect. I also recommend Goodreader. If I understand correctly you can make notes within pdf’s.
There is nothing I don’t do on an iPad. Write, watch, learn, bills, read, the keyboard is perfect for my hands. It’s easy to take in the kitchen when I’m cooking, or out to the garden when I need advice from a pro about bugs, vegetables etc.

Did I need it. Probably not. I defiantly wanted it. I can now sit on the porch, in the garden, on my bed, at my treadmill, at Starbucks with free wifi, go anyplace or be anywhere. It’s been a freedom maker. I don’t have to sit chained to my desk anymore. I use less paper and save more time. My iPad is worth it weight in gold, and if you’ve read my other posts you know love Apple.

Just for the record I have used Droid products. I don’t like them because in my opinion their a hackers mess. The apps are not as clean. The operating system glitchy and the customer service crappy. That’s justly opinion though.

June 4, 2011

Disposable

I’m convinced that my generation is disposable. We have disposable everything: beverage containers, storage containers, cookware, razors, water bottles, utensils, phones, electronics, etc.

Some items are just plain use once and throw away. Others you can get several uses out of. While still others last quite some time, but still they are disposable.

I bought a VCR it lasted a year that broke. I bought a new one. I buy my son shoes they last three to four weeks. I buy new ones. I buy a t- shirt it lasts the summer. I buy a new one. I buy a phone. It lasts a year or two. I buy a new one. My daughter buys a $70 pair of knee high converse and the zipper breaks after she wears them twice. I’m pissed.

The average American generates 4lbs of trash a day, 1460 lbs a year. Some statistics say as much as 1 million pounds. That’s a lot of trash. In fact one stat states we dispose of 3.5 billion pounds of carpet in our quest for cleanliness, and 3.7 trillion pounds of construction debris in the name of progress. What are we progressing towards. Have you seen the amount of homeless, poverty stricken.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for saving the planet. I do my part. In California you pay a tax on cans and bottles. If you recycle you get that back. It benefits me. They don’t get to keep that money. They take in every way they possibly can pass a law to, so I take back what I can.

Back to the converse shoes. If I get them fixed by a seamstress who’s barley working these day because were so disposable. It’s going to cost $30 for one zipper. Are you kidding me. It makes more sense to just buy a new pair or at the very least stitch the zipper part shut. Of course, you understand it’s a plastic zipper. The cheapest kind.

Both you and I know the cost of running a business. The fines and fees from the state alone can cause your house to foreclose and your business to shut down. I get why companies go overseas. It’s basic math.

At what point do we stop wasting and start repairing, fixing, mending. Those are as respectable jobs as any. At what point is it going to be cheaper to wash you dishes than throw them away. There raising my water rates by the way. I have a huge vegetable garden. I grow most of my food. The rate hike will tarnish that quickly.

Being disposable means being dependent. Being disposable means spending more, using more fuel, making more trips, shopping more, buying more. Being disposable doesn’t benefit the individual it benefits the powers that be. Just think about the water bottling companies and how much they make on disposable bottles. Huge.

We don’t eat out ever. There is the occasional fast food stop, but not if I can help it by packing food. We don’t go to movies ever, although my daughter goes occasionally with her friends. We grow most of our food, and I love to cook. We use coupons. Look for discounts and are now trying to fix what is broken before we purchase another. It’s a good life.

I flopped around a bit on this one. It was hard to stay focused but I think I said all I wanted to.

June 3, 2011

Talking on kids.

When my kids were about five years old I stopped buying them toys. They had plenty and I just didn’t see the point of buying they something every time we went to the store because it was shiny and new. One should learn to appreciate what they have. Accept that desire, and wants should have limits. This doesn’t mean my kids have gone with out. They haven’t. They just had to work for it. At five there were simple things like helping pick up, or doing an educational lesson to earn a toy.

Now my kids are ten and eleven. I want them to grow up with a work ethic. Life isn’t free to me so I don’t think it should be free to them. My son rides motocross. There is the fuel for the bike and truck. The maintenance on the bike. The cost of the gear. The price to get into the motocross park. My daughter has a social life, dance and she is into electronics. Every thing costs money. Needless to say it isn’t cheep, and I have to work to pay for it. I think they should to.

I decided the other day that I shouldn’t have to clean house anymore, or at the very least not have to do all of it. Now I’m not a super clean freak so their best effort will be enough. Their chores include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, picking up their stuff in the living room, and putting away their laundry. These chores earn them the right to play on the weekend. I don’t often harass them about their rooms, but ask that they take dirty dishes down stairs and clean it on occasion. Any other chores they do can earn the money to spend and I’m pretty generous if they have done their best.

Summer is upon us and lists have been made both for chores and homeschool. Yes, they get home schooled in the summer. A teacher told me once that kids fall back three months over summer break. I would like to deter that and maybe advance them a bit, so getting school work done is mandatory above all else.

It is just my belief that since I brought these children into the world I should make every attempt to teach them morals, ethic and values. I should make sure that they are educated, so they can function at a higher level. They should know how to cook, clean and be able to sustain their life. They should have a sense of duty and responsibility. They should be mentally, and emotionally stable. Very important, they should be able to handle and communicate in any given situation.

My kids play on an average of two to three hours a day after school. They go to bed by eight because studies show that a well rested kid makes better grades, reasons and rationalizes situations better, has a better attitude, and is more likely to be well adjusted to society. I believe this. There are no alarm clocks in my house. Once or twice a year they oversleep. We are late for school, but they have had their rest and that’s important. Waking up naturally means the brain and body have finished all functions and the body is ready to take on the tasks for the day.

As a parent I have chance to make an impression everyday. Time is fleeting.