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Sunday, June 25, 2006

they shaped music in the 70's and 80's Posted by Picasa
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still making music Posted by Picasa
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Although rarely known by his name, "Kool and the Gang's Claydes Charles Smith, 57; co-Founder of '70s group Kool & the Gang is one the pioneers of modern rhythm guitar, along with such legends as Curtis Mayfield and The James Brown Band's Jimmy Nolen. What began as funk has expanded to spice up hip-hop, blues, pop, and rock music. His funky rhythm/lead hybrid style can be heard most clearly in much of Prince's rhythm work, in the blues stylings of Chico Banks' chords, and in much of James Williamson's work with Iggy Pop.

Charles died Tuesday in Maplewood, New Jersey, after a long illness.

Kool & the Gang grew from jazz roots in the 1960s to become a popular musical group of the 1970s, blending jazz, funk, R&B and pop. After a downturn, the group enjoyed a return to success in the '80s.

Charles wrote the hits "Joanna" and "Take My Heart," and co-wrote "Celebration," "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie."

Born Sept. 6, 1948, in Jersey City, N.J., Smith was introduced to jazz guitar by his father in the early 1960s. Later that decade he was in a group of New Jersey jazz musicians — including Ronald Bell, Robert "Kool" Bell, George Brown, Dennis Thomas and Robert "Spike" Mickens — who became Kool & the Gang. Other members would include lead singer James "J.T." Taylor.

I grew up on their music. Thank you, Charles. I know you’re up there with all the other greats like Marvin and Ray and I know you’re still making music.
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There�s something about wearing a salt and pepper beard that makes you �safe� with the girls.
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You�re considered �uncle� material.
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They�ll sidle up to you and hug you
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They�ll cuddle you
 Posted by Picasa
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They may even play with your beard
 Posted by Picasa
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They�ll sit on your lap and tease you
 Posted by Picasa
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Then they�ll go home and bonk their boyfriends senseless
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And leave you sitting there fondling your beard. Weird Posted by Picasa
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Sunday, June 18, 2006


Sometimes, when things get sufficiently weird, subtlety no longer works, so I'll be blunt – lately I’ve been feeling the wheels of time grinding heavily against me.

There are so many things I want to do. So many things I did that I want undone, looking back with hindsight. However, the same time that I took for granted in such a carefree manner in my callow youth now hangs heavy over my head. It is true – time stops for no one.

What is Time?

The dictionary defines it as “a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future”.

Another definition is “the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past”

Science fiction calls it the fourth dimension. Civilization recognizes time as the established rule that dictates when civilians eat, sleep, and work. In short, the concept of time means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Still, any description of the clock must begin and end with that ridiculous projected working life, that insane, heroic, incomprehensible span of time during which it is expected to serenely tick

Most humans are preoccupied with the here and now. Albert Einstein, echoing the sentiments of other deep thinkers of the modern era, argued that one of the biggest challenges facing humanity is to "widen our circle of compassion" across both space and time. Everything from ethnic discrimination to wars, such reasoning goes, would become impossible if our compassionate circles were wide enough.

But what does time mean to the artist? Independent timelines exist in the arts.. Whether they realize it or not, artists, writers, and designers have the unique opportunity to deal with time on an entirely different level than those aforementioned.

The artist creates visual hierarchies that guide the viewer’s eye; the writer tells a tale that spans a year, but takes mere hours to read; the designer arranges elements to modify the viewing/reading experience, influencing the viewer/reader to turn the pages faster or slower.

In this sense, creators are, in fact, controlling time by allowing the viewer or reader to move fluidly through imagined or invented timelines that exist within a given media. However, artists are rarely conscious of their instinctual modifications of timing.

Timing attempts to explore and document a few of the instinctual manipulations and realizations of time through dissection of visual and textual timelines existing on the two-dimensional page. It can be used as a simple guide to time manipulation, or enjoyed as an insight into the instinctual time travel that exists within the human mind.

So what has all the above gibberish got to do with me personally? I’m feeling old at 47. Feeling the deterioration of my body with the passage of time although my mind’s still sharp.

With advancing age in humans the risk of dying increases. I’m not afraid of dying though. Just not achieving whatever I want before I bow out for good. Not saying whatever I want to say to whomever it needs saying to. Not having closure.

How much power resides in that deceptively simple idea? Ask yourself in a week, or a month, or next year.
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Monday, June 05, 2006

what do you see? Posted by Picasa
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The View From The Window

Again, no original stuff from me this week, just a forwarded email message which will take you 37 seconds to read and just might change your thinking:.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was
allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the
fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other
man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their
homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had
been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he
would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could
see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his
world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the
world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, ducks and swans played on
the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm
in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline
could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on
the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band, he could see it. In his
mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to
find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in
his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the
body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved
next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after
making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first
look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window
beside the bed.

It faced a brick wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
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