Friday, December 27, 2013

Critical Mass

I've reached a critical mass -- amassed enough stuff to not want more but to want more from what I have (not including upgrades, of course). 

My wife told me that I should spend my birthday money on something fun for myself. Lately, "fun" has meant something different than usual. It's not coming from gifts or dinners, beer or wine. Fun, for me, has been coming from an awareness of truly feeling content. Overweening ambition can be a bitch, or so I've experienced.

How much is enough? At what point do we find ourselves at the bottom because our desire has led us down a road of darkness, of empty relations with our stuff? Not trying to be a downer in this time of giving, but the mall activity and visits from gift toting relatives has me thinking, reevaluating my next move into the depths of maturity. 

My patriotic side is rapping about the role of the consumer in a capitalist economy. But not to worry, the stuff we do with our stuff and the stuff we need to fix our stuff will need to be purchased. We'll also need to browse the Web to click on things and get sidetracked on social media while we learn more about how to find the stuff we need, ever increasing the value of ads and making some 14-year-old YouTube genius rich. 

It's a new world with new issues. Google has already sold us out. Apple will have to continue to come up with something that looks cool to keep consumers interested. And ObamaCare websites will continue to strategically suck through a White House effort to redirect the tension from political to digital and give everyone a sigh of relief when the sites work well enough to give the citizens shitty health coverage. After all, every four months we forgive and forget.  And another thing, haven't any of the Facebook political gossip idiots (usually neocon housewives) ever read Ray Bradbury? Our stuff and our government will takeover in publicly acceptable ways. 

It could be worse. We could have gained Canadian lands in the War of 1812. Oh, the American dream. Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Question of When

On one of a few ice driving missions, I had a premonition or just a funny feeling about how difficult it was to satisfy basic needs. It got me thinking about global warming, a topic my daughter has been talking about lately.

It's important that everyone understands the implications of a few fundamental conditions that we cannot escape. (1) The Atlantic Ocean regulates the global climate and weather patterns. (2) Earth has done this before. We are a catalyst for changes that happen anyway. (3) Warming will lead to freezing. It's not a question of if. It's a question of when.

The iceolation of 2013 -- some called it the icepoclypse -- was a glimpse at what could happen more regularly and likely will. We'll have to come up with ways of prepping for specific small problem conditions before we worry too much about the catastrophic stuff.

Were you ready for the icepocolypse? Will you be ready for the one that bears down harder?

"Like they say in the Klondike, 'Lessons cost money. Good ones cost lives.'" - Tony Beats

Friday, December 6, 2013

You Don't Have to Be Famous

I tweeted. I guess that's how you say it. It's frozen outside in North Texas. Hasn't done this in years (maybe 10). So I decided to work on social media and website stuff. I'm not famous. Not a legend. And, according to my daughter, have no business with a website URL that's my name But I did it anyway.

It's been my experience that doing what other people think I should do is a bad idea. Not that people don't give good advice; rather, people only give us pieces of what we need. The more we recognize positive relationships among the pieces, the better we can put together this life many of us want and deserve.

We deserve to be connected. We deserve to know interesting stuff about one another. And we deserve to break the rules and share it with the world.

You don't have to be famous. How many people can tell you who won Oscars last year, the World Series, music awards, or Nobel Prizes. Some could. But I bet almost everyone could tell you the name of their favorite band you've never heard on the radio, a teacher that made a difference, a coach that encouraged them to keep it up, a friend who understands them, a parent who always knows what's wrong, or car that runs better when they drive it.  

Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, Youtube, Blog, eat, drink, and be merry. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grandview City Limits

Last Sunday, we shot Clay Thrash's music video for "My Heart," his first single (released October 14). Clay is currently in the middle of a radio tour, but despite the grueling schedule, he was able to deliver some good energy for the shoot. The people of Grandview were the best, as always. The extras stayed late when we went overtime and shared their excitement with us during the breaks.
It's off to Stephenville for City Limits this Saturday night with Six Market Blvd. It's TSU homecoming, so it should be a blast.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Playing Good Morning Texas this past September 6 with Clay Thrash was another check off the bucket list. Some of my students thought it was cool. I didn't tell them when it was actually happening. Some things are best discussed when others bring them up. Plus, as cool is it was to be on live TV, to be completely exposed, and not know if it's coming through on the other side well enough to warrant the time spent programing the x32 digital board is stressful enough. I didn't need to add any more drama. Luckily, if you believe in luck, it sounded really good considering the lack of sound check. In fact, the level was too hot going to the station, which was adjusted by the second stick click of the count off. Nice work old dude sound engineer. My in-ear mix was a different story. I ended up holding back on a lot because I had no idea what it sounded like to the audience. In the end, it was another feather in our caps, and Clay Thrash and all the guys at Grange Records were appreciative of the response and support from the fans.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Gruene Guadalupe

The Beaver made it down to Gruene Thursday evening to get ready for the First Annual Clay Thrash River Bash. We parked at Rockin R and walked up to the Gristmill for a steak and then to Gruene Hall for some Texas shufflin rockin blues.
This morning we're setting up for sound check around noon at Billy's Ice House and floating the river before we feast on some Hammer and Dick barbecue at the river bash. The show starts at 8:30. Clay Thrash goes on 9:30. We have some new songs since our last show in New Braunfels. It's gonna rock.
I'm excited about some new microphone configurations, especially the Beta 91 and Beta 52 on the kick. That particular idea came from Rascal Flatts drummer Jim Riley. All I need now is a Bum Chum throne to really experience the kick drum and some dual or triple driver in-ears to replace the singles I'm currently maxing out.
The band is working hard to polish the live show, prepare the first single for radio, and expand our connections with our fans through social media. This is only the beginning of Clay Thrash and the Texas music scene. With his heart-felt rockin love song "My Heart" to the cool funky grit of "Ain't No Law," Clay's music has something for everyone. Wait till you hear it!