Nashville cats

Nashville is known as Music City USA. It’s much, much more than the Grand old Oprey,  as so very many stars got their start on a local stage inside a bar. This mural on the wall outside of Tootsie’s orchid lounge is one of the most famous venues for starting artists.

Today there are dozens of clubs that feature live talent day and night. I would compare Tootsie’s to the Apollo where the people determine the best talent. The difference is these clubs have band’s in front, back and on multiple floors.

In particular everyone knows Nashville is the country music Capitol featuring music row a road lined with record companies. There are also museums for many of the biggest stars like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and more.

If you’re not familiar with those names perhaps you’ve heard of Ray Stevens. We got to see him perform at his own venue called CabaRay. He said he was a “frustrated architect” seeing all the flaws he encountered over the years. His club was incredible much like the very old Vegas style.

Ray is not only a great singer he’s an awesome comedian. Our faces hurt from laughter. Many of his songs crossed all the genres including Everything is Beautiful, a lesson for today.

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In only a days time

This only goes to demonstrate that a lot can happen in a days time. Seventeen years ago on tomorrow September 11th terror reigned down on the World trade center towers, the Pentagon and another plane was prevented from killing others by courageous passengers.

Some might compare the act to the attack on Pearl Harbor that put the USA in WWII. Regardless, those that perpetrated these attacks, mass murders were self-serving psychopaths. That act 17 years ago began the war on radical Isam.

Where were you during 911?

That week 17 years ago I flew in North Carolina for national sales meetings. On my arrival the airport it was bustling, busy with business nearly elbow to elbow with people. It should also be mentioned that the airlines had their own security there wasn’t a TSA. Then our sales meeting was suddenly disrupted by the first plane and we saw the second one live on TV in horror. After all, we were about 280 miles away from the Pentagon tragedy.

I was supposed to leave on Friday afternoon but all flights were canceled. I called the airline over and over day after day and finally got on the first flight out on Sunday which they claimed could be overbooked.

I arrived at the airport, there was nobody in sight except military personnel. All the stores, restaurants and appeared even airlines were closed. I reported to my gate before my time, I was the only person there. Finally, a few more passengers showed up and more as the departure time drew near. At the last minute, a ticket taker popped out of the wall and we started to board.

The entire experience on my departure was eerie. From the airport to all the passengers suspicious of each other and the plane wasn’t even half occupied. Fear had taken over. The primary function of our federal government is to protect the people. On that day they failed miserably.

How do you progress?

Progress is something that’s desired and acquired day after day. Progress isn’t the same for everyone. Something as simple as a geographical destination for each person using GPS the results should be the same right? No it depends on your point of origin and more importantly if you veer off course your path is bound to be different.

So direction is key in achieving most any goal. Speed is not of importance what is paramount is staying the course putting one foot in front of the other so to speak. When we do that reaching our destination or goals is making progress.

Years ago I used to work as a DJ for weddings and at parties and even a nightclub. I had a set of music that was suitable for the clients and of course I did requests. Looking back it was a lot of fun, setting up all the equipment myself was the most taxing part. At a wedding for example as the day or usually night went on I had dozens of people come up and say, “You know, you’re the greatest.” Generally I know it was the liquor talking but it felt nice to be appreciated.

I closed nearly every show with my best wishes for the bride & groom or customers as they imparted on their walk of life. Then I would play Walk of Life by Dire Straights, an awesome song about where you’re going.

When it rains it pours

Arizona has unique weather. The song from the “70’s” “It never rains in Southern California”  I believe is more appropriate for Phoenix. The above tree damage is one of hundreds if not thousands around the valley. We’re at the peak of “Monsoon” season where we get a dust storm, at least this past week, every night with high winds and sometimes is accompanied by intense rain.

Phoenix has been in a drought for about 20 years or more, we go for six to nine months without a trace of precipitation. But, the summer monsoons always wreck destruction on the valley and while the rain is damaging it’s still a blessing for us.

Anywhere else in the country when it rains people seek shelter but when it’s coming down kids and oftentimes adults are dancing in the street. You have to take the good with the bad. Water is always good, it’s natures way in Phoenix when it finally happens it really pours!

Working for the weekend

Is everybody working for the weekend? Especially if it’s for a holiday weekend the answer would be a strong yes. This year the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday breaking up the week without the three or four day weekend we’re accustomed to. I couldn’t remember the last time but it wasn’t that long ago as it happened in 2012.

This mid-week holiday was not only tough on us but was equally tough on the businesses that count on holiday weekends as their Black Friday sales event. So do you plan on celebrating the holiday on the days leading up to it or after including the weekend? Of course, everyone did some celebrating on the 4th but not to excess if you had to work the next day.

For those planning travel to see relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday together they had to make their arrangements and decided in advance. For those that had vacation days, they had to decide sometimes a month in advance to get off.

Regardless of your plans remember what Independence Day stands for. If it’s taken for granted or you need a refresher course here you go. As a little kid, I remember Red Skelton, though I don’t remember this clip on the Pledge of Allegiance.  It’s so apropos for today.  Enjoy.

 

Concert report

Just over a week ago my wife and I saw Kansas in concert in Scottsdale. I saw Kansas way back in the “80’s” but my spouse hadn’t and she didn’t know they incorporate violin in many of their songs which sets them apart from most classic rock bands. It was great, they did Carry On Wayward Son as the encore!

Late last summer we saw Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and the Edgar Winter Band where Alice who is an Arizona resident was an incredible showman. Deep Purple is the oldest touring group and it’s their final tour. That’s probably a good thing and Edgar Winter doesn’t sing much but he still plays well.

Just over a year ago we saw Ann Wilson of Heart at the Celebrity Theatre which slowly turns ensuring you get a good look at the group. It’s sad that the Wilson sisters cannot mend their fence because they were so good together. Ann is the lead singer and she did most of their hits but carefully selected those where she didn’t have to hit the high notes. We saw Heart almost seven years ago when they were here with Def Leppard, Journey, and Billy Squire. Heart was the best of the show.

At the same venue in Scottsdale just over three years ago, we saw the Moody Blues outdoors which was the coldest May night in history. It was a great show and the Moody Blues said: “We asked our agent to book us in warm climates, I thought this was Phoenix, where’s the heat?”

 

Old fashioned love song

Three Dog Night’s Old Fashioned Love Song is reminiscent of the 70’s culture movement. This old-fashioned or archaic idea is expressed in the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie the board game is replaced by an electronic version. The game has the same effects as the first one but is even more comical than the original with Robin Williams.

Within the title, the Song Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses shows up at the very end in case you were wondering. I’ve seen Iron Man many times but never tire hearing the Black Sabbath song at the end of the Marvel masterpiece.

Just because some ideas are old fashion doesn’t make them archaic in fact a lot of manners that were around in the 1970’s have fallen by the wayside and humanity is suffering as a result. Simple things like opening a door for a lady was a good thing that is seldom practiced anymore. Advancement doesn’t mean you can throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

Suddenly

Everybody experiences sudden or abrupt things happening every day. Let’s say you’re at MLB ballgame and you see the pitch going towards the batter and suddenly it’s stopped. How? A bird flew right into it. This actually happened when “Big Unit” Randy Johnson was pitching for Arizona years ago.

Johnson was known for his 100 MPH fastball and the incident abruptly paused the game. Things occur almost constantly with sudden starts or ends. The adage all good things must come to an end validates this phenomenon.

It no sooner began and it’s over. Let me know an adage that you like.

To be or not to be

Are you the kind of person that responds to questions with short, simple, direct answers or do you elaborate on your response with meticulous specific details? Those that try to answer with a yes or no are often asked to then elaborate further. There’s no problem with either kind of response. Typically the answer can reveal a side of your personality.

Those of us that are generally brief and straightforward generalize a lot. The rest of us tend to be very organized and detail oriented. Nothing is absolutely conclusive but this little test can provide insight into who we are.

If you’re detail-oriented you probably have artistic abilities and/or analytical skills. I know curiosity has gripped a hold on you now. If you were ever curious about what kind of personality you are there are different websites like this “16personalities” that can shed light on your chemistry.

We’re all unique but it’s good to know there are others that share some of our tendencies.

Don’t let life pass you by

Life, so they say, is a game but we let it slip away. Seal’s & Crofts got that right, about life slipping away anyway and many would agree that it’s like a game. From our earliest memories, time seemed to stand still compared to today where it rushes by in a flash.

As a child when time dragged we got bored. When is the last time you had the luxury to be bored? Most adults can’t find the time to be bored between work, maintaining a relationship, kids and maintaining the house with regular chores we barely find time for our hobbies and personal goals.

Compared with our parents or grandparents we had the television as our babysitter.  The T.V. consumes a good part of most of our lives. Sure there’s some good information or lessons, but when’s the last time you sat down and read a book?

Moreover, the baby boomers probably have the best understanding of going outside to play as a kid. With the cell phones, computers, tablets and the game programs era, time is spent looking at the blue light emitted by these devices. This does little for physical conditioning.

Someday when you stop and think back on your life you will remember a lot of the simple things in life. The beauty of nature, the marvel of the stars and of course all the special times or trips when you took the time to see these things. It’s really an awesome world that we have here. Make some memories today.