the saddest song

This song….originally by George Jones and covered by many competent vocalists through the years….is one of the saddest songs ever recorded.

It is “tear you up sad”.

No joke.

It’s probably the perfect country song….and I guess that if you do or don’t like country music, that thought probably holds true no matter what side of the conversation you’re on.

It’s a big story told in a couple of minutes.

Here’s George singing it….just so you have an idea of how it really sounds.

Sorry, Mountain Man.

more dudes doing a job

Here’s a documentary about the construction of the Alaska Oil Pipeline.

Look up “Peak Oil” and another wormhole opens up….and this video was included in the collection.

Just a bunch of dudes doing a job….and if the Keystone thing goes through, I imagine there’ll be a new bunch out there, “gettin’ it done”.

I drive around.

I live in a house made out of wood.

I like doing both of those things.

I can’t come down on the loggers cutting down forest or the welders connecting big pipes together.

It’s their jobs.

I’d only be increasing my already substantial “hypocrite status” if I came down on the people supplying me with the things that help me enjoy my easy life

I do hope that they’ll leave the forest close to me alone…and that I don’t have a big pipe stretching across my backyard someday.

I can deal with it as long as it all goes down somewhere else.

I don’t want to chain myself to a tree and then drive my vintage VW bus back to the condo when it’s all said and done….after I’ve managed to shut the big project down and get these guys back on the unemployment line.

Of course, I wish that we could come up with some viable alternatives to destroying the environment.

It always seems that the areas that are most beautiful to me….because there aren’t many people around….are the most desirable for the “world rapers” to attack…because there aren’t many people around.

Who’s it going to hurt if nobody lives there, right?

Who’s going to fight the man if nobody’s around to do it?

It’s funny how willing we are to take a dump in our own nests….if it keeps us on the road and keeps the price of gas down.

All these dudes….just trying to continue getting a paycheck…..what are they going to do if we shut some of this stuff down?

Learn how to cook meth?

I do like the wide open spaces, though.

The land looked better without that big pipe rolling across it.

“fight the power” Public Enemy

All this cheap gas! (Burn it while it lasts)

I drive around a lot with my job.

I deliver mail.

My route is over 60 miles per day.

I burn some gas.

I can’t help it.

I burn gas.

AND THE GAS IS GETTING CHEAPER!! JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!!! EVERY PENNY THAT GAS GOES DOWN IS ANOTHER DOLLAR IN MY POCKET!!

EVERY DOLLAR IN MY POCKET IS ANOTHER TRIP THAT I COULD NOW AFFORD!!!

I guess that we can thank FRACKING for that.

Fracking must be good to make my oil cheap.

Thank goodness for fracking.

That’s a conclusion that I guess I can arrive at.

I suppose that I should adopt an attitude of “whatever it takes”.

Whatever it takes to get me out on the road and doing what I do unconsciously.

I don’t even worry about the other metal boxes hurtling towards me at 60….or 70….or 80 miles an hour….passing me, going the opposing direction, everyday…..with feet to spare.

No matter that they might be old and falling asleep on their motorized couch….or young and absorbed in the latest cute text (LOL!) from their sorority sister….or challenged in some way that takes their attention away from avoiding the metal box that I am riding down the road.

They might spill some sauce from the McRibb they’re enjoying….and crash into me as they furiously try to get it off their white polyester pants.

Something could happen.

Now, they/them/the ones are talking about the Keystone Pipeline getting “real”.

All this cheap gas….makes me join the folks saying, “GO!!! Give me the cheap gas! Keep me on the road!!”.

Damn the environment! I need progress!! I need motorvation.

I’m kidding….I kind of like the environment.

You can’t back up from some of this damage that we do.

But I like to drive….I like to go places.

I like to stay employed.

I wonder if this cheap gas is just a timely way of convincing us that some of these damaging events….like encouraging the pipeline construction or continuing to expand fracking operations….aren’t really all that bad?

If they make the gas a little cheaper, why not?

We’re swayed by what we have to spend our money on.

Financial concerns are big motivators.

I don’t trust what I can’t really understand.

I’ll still fill up my Jeep when the gas gets cheap.

Here’s a video about Cuba….and how they responded to shortages in gas.

It’s a little more hopeful to see how the people cope with a problem than it is to watch the videos of the Mad Max gas thieves cutting each other up.

wonderland

I went to high school with this guy.

That’s a really irrelevant piece of information.

I don’t know why I mention that occasionally.

I rode Travis Tritt’s school bus, too.

Maybe I should say that Travis rode my school bus.

Maybe I should say that I let Travis Tritt ride my school bus?

I have a friend who’s in a Doritos commercial, too….but that’s irrelevant also.

It’s not something that I’m doing….it’s just another somebody that I know…who’s doing something good.

But I really did go to high school with this guy.

Angie Aparo wrote “Cry”….the “Faith Hill song”.

This song, Wonderland, that he’s performing is a great song….one of many that he’s written.

This performance comes from a show called Turner South that he appeared on a while back.

I remember that Don McLean was on that show….and after he finished performing “American Pie”, I asked Jenny, “Now, who’s going to have to follow that?”.

The answer was….Angie Aparo.

He sang this song.

At some point in the video, you can see June Carter Cash lean over to the person sitting next to her and pay Angie a nice complement.

Anyway….this is a beautiful song…..and…he was this good in High School, too

I know this guy, too….watch for him at the Super Bowl.

Marc Farley….at the Super Bowl.

what eyes?

P1060647My father used to live around here when he was younger….before he moved away and had a family.

I think that my daughter took this picture on a trip out West that we took a couple of summers ago.

I don’t take too many pictures while I’m driving….so I think that it was my daughter who snapped this one.

I get so caught up in living my own life that I forget what other people have experienced.

My father was here….and he saw this.

My father didn’t have a very vocal “poetic soul”.

He wasn’t somebody who talked a lot about what beauty he’d seen in this world.

I remember at his memorial service that his minister said that she’d look up while delivering the lesson and see him sitting in the back row….tearing up a little while hearing the Gospel message one more time.

That was a pretty telling statement for all of us. We knew that part of him.

I have a feeling that he was moved by a lot….but kept quiet about it.

He was never one of those, “Let me tell you….” kind of guys.

He played the hand that he was dealt…but kept his cards close to his vest.

I don’t know where I’m going with this….I guess that maybe I’m feeling sentimental or something….nostalgic.

Maybe what I’m thinking is that by the time you start to understand someone and their experiences a little….they’re gone.

They’re gone and you don’t have a chance to tell them that maybe you can relate to what they went through a little more….because you’re going through some of the same things yourself.

That’s not the kind of conversation you’d probably have, though….even if you could.

It’s clearer what someone means to you when you can’t tell them.

It’s safer somehow when you can keep it all to yourself….and play your own cards close to your own vest.

There is so much beauty out in the world.

Some might think that the world is going to Hell….and maybe if you looked closely enough with the wrong eyes, that may be true.

My father looked out on this beauty….beauty like these hills in this picture….eyes shaded by his hat….and remembered what it was to be here…and know that the world was pretty good.

Sometimes, it’s enough just to “know”.

I guess that you don’t need to talk about everything.

 

glimmer

P1060397

It’s pounding down rain here this morning.

Monday morning and heavy rain are a hard combination at the Post Office.

It’s hard to put the needs of all that paper…the letters, the magazines,the catalogs….and the extra-large, smart-shopper pre-Christmastime packages that come in this time of year….what was I saying? Oh….it’s hard to keep all of that stuff dry. No….it’s hard to not be selfish and put my needs ahead of the paper.

I like dry weather.

Dry and sunny….warm….that makes for an easy day of delivering the mail.

I heard this new Neil Young song on the radio the other day….and it just about broke my heart.

That’s a dangerous thing….to drive around with a broken heart.

Anyway…here’s the song….

“glimmer (orchestral)” Neil Young

Ah, Neil….what the heck? You tryin’ to break my heart or something?

It was pretty sunny a couple of days ago….and now it’s rainy….pounding down rainy.

All of these changes….and the weather is no different.

Like these kids, for example.

It would drive me insane if they stayed little for a really long time.

It would drive me plumb, freaking insane if they stayed little and kept dragging the yogurt…. that I set on the table for a second while I cleaned up their face in between bites….off onto the carpet when I reached down for the wash rag.

That would drive me crazy.

Who’s that stone guy? Sisyphus!!

I’d be like a yogurt based Sisyphus if they stayed little forever.

Sometimes, though, I wish they could stay little for a while.

There is something about innocence that feels really appealing when you’re looking in the rear view mirror….and noticing something that you left behind like forgotten luggage….while you speed along down a one-way highway.

I guess that the thing about a one-way highway, too, is that if you’re on it with a bunch of other vehicles, you really can’t slow down….and it’s hard to pull over to take a rest. You’re pushed to stay with the “flow”….you’ve got to go….go….go.

Somebody’s always tailgating you…beeping their horn, yelling “C’mon!!! COME ON!!! GO!!”

What the heck….you don’t figure out much when you’ve been driving as long as I have….you sure aren’t going to figure out everything when you’re just on the “on ramp”.

You just can’t back up sometimes.

But, you can’t stand still in the middle of the road, either.

I guess that it’s important to pick the right road.

That’s a hard thing to do while you’re trying to pay attention to all this living.

Somebody’s going to knock down some yogurt if you get too distracted for a second.

Watch out.

 

God Only Knows

I heard Bonnie Raitt’s version of this yesterday and thought that it was a pretty beautiful song….and searching for a version of that on YouTube led me to the guy who wrote the song….Joe Henry.

“The world is always beautiful….when it’s seen in full retreat.”

I complain about my job sometimes….something about the constancy of it….the day in and day out “all the timeness” of it….but I get to drive around and listen to music while I deliver the mail….so what do I really have to complain about?

If I didn’t have the constancy, I would probably worry and complain about that.

I should always count my blessings.

Being able to constantly listen to music is a perk that covers a lot of evils.

I wonder how many times I was sustained by good music growing up?

At least a couple of times, I’m sure.

I’m probably not alone in that.

It’s colder here this morning than it’s been for a season… Winter must be getting ready to come around again.

Here’s Bonnie Raitt’s version….not for comparison, just because it was the first version that I heard.

There’s a voice to break a heart….

“God Only Knows” Bonnie Raitt

 

follow the yellow bricks

Here’s an old performance by Bobby McFerrin.

Check out the VHS squiggles.

My youngest son and I listen to a channel called “Kid’s Place Live” on our way to his preschool.

What a great channel that is!

It’s kind of like watching Spongebob….all the elements are in place for both of us to enjoy the show. I get to hear a lot of great “kid’s music”….really clever and funny and creative stuff….and Nate gets to hear a lot of….great “kid’s music”.

They played this the other morning and I got a chance to remember how amazing Bobby McFerrin really is.

Of course, when you say his name you think of what was really kind of a novelty hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

That song got played so much that I think that some people got kind of sick of it.

His voice is so supple that he can do things with it that seem a little freaky.

I can’t think of anyone else who can do this with their voices.

Maybe the “freaky” element lets people forget how good he really is?

What do I know about Bobby McFerrin, anyway? Not a whole lot….I just enjoy his music….appreciate that he seems to enjoy his life.

Here’s a song that was on an early album…..that I like a lot.

I think that he sings it pretty “straight”….no whoops or weird hollers….no squeaks or funny shouts.

Just some good singing…..and good whistlin’.

“sightless bird” Bobby McFerrin

OK….he does use his “instrument”/voice like an instrument in a couple of places in the song….but it suits the song….enough that, after not hearing it for a while, I’d forgotten the stuff at the end.

It suited the song.

And the “whistlin’ ” is great.

He’s a great entertainer.

home sweet box

OK….so what do you do if you’ve chosen to live in an area of the country where rent is 2600 dollars for a one bedroom apartment….and you’re feeling the financial pinch of trying to meet your housing needs affordably?

You rent 1/2 an acre and develop a shipping container commune.

That’s what you do.

Easy.

You buy a shipping container for 2300 dollars and convert it into a place to live.

You buy a couple of extra containers and convert them to rent out to other people to cover your lot rental…..and you’re self-contained and, pretty soon, living rent free as a shipping container landlord.

Sounds like a plan to me.

All the crazy stuff that people do…if it pans out, the idea is commonplace in a couple of years….commonplace and accepted…not turning any heads anymore.

I like a house and a porch and a good view and the sound of a rooster crowing somewhere.

That’s nice for me.

But, if I had to live in the city, it’s good to see that there are alternatives to what people see as possible places to live.

I guess that you can live anywhere you want if you’re willing to live where no one else wants to live.

The Woodman’s Cottage

I love different.

I love it when someone is able….through skill and hard work and imagination and TIME (it’s a slow way to build….you can’t just crank up the compressor and get out the nail guns and build a neighborhood of “tiny boxes” when you build like this) to build a home with such ART behind it.

Of course, I can see the beauty behind working in a way that allows you to FINISH a house quickly.

I understand how nice OSB board and laminate flooring and house wrap and vinyl clad windows and even…..vinyl siding….can be when you need to build quickly and you don’t have a lot of money (or time) to get too creative with.

There are materials that make sense if you just want to finish something and move in.

There are materials that don’t have much to do with “ART” and creative houses like this.

There are “fast tools” that let you do a bunch of familiar work quickly.

All of these materials are good…they just aren’t really “creative”.

I love air tools now that I have some. Air tools are great.

A hammer is great….but it’s fun to pop a million nails into something “lickety-split” with a nail gun

It just is a different sort of mindset that I can get into if I can do something fast….with these “fast tools”.

This guy is doing something different than that, though.

He built in a way that demanded consideration of materials and methods. It’s a slow way to build….but the end result is pretty beautiful.

To top it all off….flowers and sheep!

Talk about “staging”.

I do wonder how it would be to build a home like this in a place where inspectors were coming around throughout the building process to shoot down anything that didn’t look familiar to them?

Maybe we shoot for a “lowest common denominator” because people, in general, don’t have a lot of imagination….and the people who would be drawn to these “inspector” type of positions might have the least imagination of all?

Maybe that’s not fair to say?

I don’t really know.

It’s kind of silly to ponder how hard something might be if you expect to butt heads with….buttheads….before anything even happens.

This is a beautiful home….and a good-looking life.

Anything is possible if you don’t expect it to be impossible before you even get started.

Here’s the first videos about this fellow’s cottage…..