June 17th, 2016

Guadn moing! (“It’s a Good Morning” in Bavarian, spoken in southern Germany!!!)

I turned 64 this week. I honestly never thought I would being saying that. I am not sure when I thought I would die but for most of my life after 30 or so, I have been surprised by the next birthday. And of course, I thought I would live forever. No contradiction there! I have always been a complicated man. But not so complicated as to not appreciate all of the birthday wishes I have received.

Like every other day of my life, I woke up older than I was before but I am not sure wiser. Wisdom is a subject that has always fascinated me. When I think of wisdom, I think of Phillip Toshio Sudo, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Sarah Kay and since yesterday, Adora Svitak. I watched a TED talk given by this 12 year old girl who also happened to be a philosopher and published author. (If you aren’t stopping by TED.com or listing to the TED Radio Hour on your NPR station, you are missing some completely interesting information. ) Adora’s TED talk was about, “What Adults Can Learn From Kids”. I found her assertion and perspective breathtakingly obvious once she pointed it out to me. Her talk was littered with all manner of quotes, delivered with a confidence, passion and vocabulary that belied her years but a wonder and genuineness that celebrated her youth.Here are but a few:
“In order for anything to become a reality you have to dream about it first.”
“Learning between Adults and Kids should be reciprocal.”
She started writing stories at age 4. Her parents got her a laptop when she was six to help her with her stories and helped her get her first book published. She is now 18 and attending UCLA but I suspect that she is still pretty wise. So my birthday wish, is to someday be as wise as the 12 year old Adora but I am not sure I will live long enough.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I tried to make Crawfish Étouffée. I made a Roux based crawfish dish that was very tasty but it was not like the Étouffée that I had in Nawlins! My first Étouffée experience was a deep brown color and the sauce was thinner than my concoction. So I will keep trying. Part of my problem was that I couldn’t find my Cast Iron Skillet and was forced to work with a teflon coated substitute.
• Mindless tasks done in nice environments are relaxing and joyful. This week both Tippy and I worked in our backyard which has been neglected for a while. I enjoyed wire brushing and painting these ornate little fence sections that are on their way back to decorating and protecting our pond and the small plants that surround it from our happy brain dead furry four legged beasties. We live very far away from airports or busy roads so the only thing we hear in our back yard is the wind in the bamboo, wind chimes and the waterfall. Ok sometimes a lawnmower and the crappy little yap yap dogs that live behind us, but mostly its pretty quiet and serene on a beautiful sunny San Diego morning.

Website Update
• Second week for the “New” Vocabulary quiz!

Painting Update:
• I failed again to wet a brush.

Writing Update:
• No progress this week.

• I migrated SDWS.org and all our mailboxes to a new Hosting Service this year. Evidently our old mailboxes miss us because we keep enjoying daily spams from one of them… its kind of like an itch on the ankle of a missing limb!
• This Sunday will be Fathers Day! Being a Father is the only role that I have played in my life that filled me with self-doubt because of its scope and responsibility. When I first held my new born there was so much joy that I almost forgot how terrified I was that I might hurt him or fail him in some way. My children have taught me so much. Every day I feel grateful. I remain inadequate to the task but rejoice in the opportunity to be their Dad as best as I can for one more day. How weird is that!!

Music Update:

• The Beatles – When I am Sixty-Four — This song was written by Paul when he was 16. The lads worked it up during the Cavern days in Liverpool. They included it on Sgt. Peppers because Paul’s dad turned 64 during the recording of that album. I have loved this song since I was a teenager but it feels a little weird now that I am 64 with a Darrian, BJ, Asa and Chloe on my knee, so to speak.
• Doc Watson – I Was a Stranger — Doc Watson was perhaps the best flat picker guitar player ever. I thought we all could use a dose of graceful playing and some yodeling.
• Bruce Hornsby – The Longest Night — This is such a cool song and seems very different from Bruce’s earlier work. Pat Metheny plays sitar on this cut from Bruce’s 1995 “Hot House” album.
• Jude Cole – It Comes Around(Album Version) — This one came up on the magic rotation on my apple again this week. I cannot help but really like this guy and I hope he starts recording again.
• Elvin Bishop – Fooled Around and Fell in Love – This one was Elvin’s biggest hit. Produced by Billy Szymczyk who also produced the Eagles, B.B.King, The J Geils Band, Joe Walsh, etc. I love the song but Elvin just does a great job on the guitar on this one. I really love this lead. Bill is an interesting guy because he didn’t grow playing music he got his audio training as a Sonar-man in the Navy.
• Bruce Springsteen – Lonesome Day – Here is another old favorite from his “The Rising” album. This reminds me of his Born in the USA work ..so tight and somehow chokes me up every time I turn it up.
• Pure Prairie League – Early Morning Riser — From the Vinyl!!!! Another reason why I have always been a sucker for great harmonies, just the “ooooo s” on this song will make you a believer. I fell in love with these guys the first time I heard their “Bustin Out” that this song was released on in 1972.
• Bob Dylan – Hurricane — This is a tragedy of injustice put to song as only Bob Dylan could. This one is from his album, “Desire”. Rubin Carter was sent to prison in 1966 for a triple murder that he did not commit. This song was used to raise money for a series of trials and legal actions that resulted in the release of Hurricane Carter in 1985.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!