A Massive Thank You

Posted: May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

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I wanted to take this extra time that I have to express my deep appreciation to those of you who are reading this that helped in the assistance of getting a new wheelchair.

I began the goal of reaching a very meager $3,000 but then realized that with fees and what not, I would not receive that amount if I received that equally in donations. So I raised it to $3,500.

To be very honest with everyone, I honestly believed that I would only receive a few hundred dollars.

The $3,500 goal was raised in TWO AND A HALF DAYS! And what was even more shocking than ever was the fact that even though I had reached that goal in such a short amount of time that I still received very generous donations. 100 donations came close to $4,300!

It has been a month or more since the last online donation, and as of last week, I have been talking to someone through Twitter who still wishes to give another $100 via personal donation.

Trust me when I say that I wept for days. Emotional would not even begin to describe it.

For those of you who donated, I cannot thank you enough. For those of you who shared the link to the donation website, I deeply appreciate it. The response was overwhelming.

The donation page is still active. But I believe at this point, I would be shocked to receive any more.

I also was able to set up a different page in which people can order a t-shirt with a hashtag that I commonly use in all of my social media. If there is any interest in that, I can provide information.

In the rare chance that I am wrong about no longer receiving donations, I will add that money to the up keep and maintenance of the new wheelchair that I had to buy in haste as the loaner wheelchair gave out on me rather quickly.

So thank you so very much from the bottom of my butt…. since its much much larger than my heart in size!!!

 

rosieRiveter12“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. “~ Carly Simon
In the mess that is current life, I was feeling very determined to come back for all of you and share a tale during the lull of commotion and weirdness.

A story you may find humor in, and that’s okay. And others might find astounding.

For those of you who watch “The Walking Dead” you might be reminded of the one liner that Negan says: “You got some beach ball-size lady-nuts on you, coming in all kamikaze like that.”

This is one story that I feel would illicit a very similar response.

Last Friday (Cinco de Mayo) I went out to downtown Austin to see some live music. Three varying musical acts in three different venues. The last of which I have spoken about when I was doing concert reviews on this blog.

With most bands comes merchandise. With merchandise comes the responsibility of someone to watch over it all and take part in the transactions of sales.

I was sitting around waiting for the music to begin and I felt something strange come over me as if someone was watching.

I gazed over at the merch tables and a young woman was gazing what I thought could have been in my direction. She seemed happy and content in her little chair. Smiling and waving. But I was not 100% sure if she was waving at me or at someone behind me. I was not very close, probably twenty feet away so there could have been anyone in that line of sight that she was communicating with.

I went past her on the way to the rest room, but I was not paying her any attention and she shouted out to get my attention. However this being a live music venue, I could not understand what she was saying. So I moved on ignoring her.

I returned to my usual place near front and center of the stage and I noticed movement from the table, her eyes locked on me the entire time. I knew she was about to come over to me.

Unfortunately, she had no idea that she was actually invading my personal space. Since I did not know her, I didn’t make a fuss about it.

And then suddenly …………. LET THE GAME BEGIN.

She leaned over into my ear and asked if I knew how to slow dance. The band was playing a slow song so it was an appropriate question for the time. I shook my head no.

The next question was straight to the point. Are you married?

Wow!!!
Time for situation control. Since she was in my personal space and I was actually getting uncomfortable, I told her that I was married. I had hoped she would at least take a few steps back. All I got in response was this loud “Awwww!” and she promptly and swiftly returned to her post at the table.

A little while later in between bands, I stepped outside to watch people and grab some fresh air. Wouldn’t you know it, she came outside and headed straight for me!!! Charging like Custer’s Last Stand. mosit

Again, she wasted no time in asking where my wife was. I simply said “she was not here” and she nodded. Then very sheepishly asked if she could give me a hug.

After lying to her twice… I began to feel rotten. So I allowed her request. To which she slipped her arms around my neck and squeezed very tight. The side of my face buried into her chest for a couple of seconds before she let go.

She stood there, hanging on to my wheelchair in awkward silence. Again in my personal space so I turned my head the opposite direction. Several minutes passed and neither one of us was talking until finally she let go and returned inside.

She and I would exchange glances again and she blew one more kiss. I waved back.

I thought about this experience a few hours later and I began to realize something about her. Something that I felt was very unique and special about this young woman.
We always talk about those creepy people that come after us, but we never hear about those who choose to be respectful in their approach. So much to the point that all these warnings we hear about people that we begin to question every little motive of everyone else.
One thing was for sure. She knew what she was looking for and she went for it. The moment she realized the answer was NO, she stopped and went no further.
At the moment I said to her that “my wife was not here” she honestly could have hinted or insisted on participating in something on the side. But she did not. She left it alone. She obtained the information she was seeking and dropped it.
I also want to point out that she was full of courage in going after what she was wanting or at least curious about. She followed through. And looking back on it now, it was a different and refreshing approach as she had more guts than a lot of single MEN that I know. From personal experiences and listening to other men talking about this issue, there are so many men who lack that kind of confidence.

I want to say that I know a lot of men who could really learn from this young woman.

dollar and Donation Box
Before I dare to mention anything that went on during SXSW 2017, I must address the issue that my wheelchair broke and has rendered me essentially home bound until the situation is taken care of.

Sadly less than two years of having a brand new wheelchair paid for by insurances, the front wheel bit the dust and I went spilling onto the floor H.A.M.

For the past two days, I have been doing what I can to bring this to the attention of many people to help get a brand new wheelchair, as well as have the old one repaired.

I started a GoFundMe campaign and for the first two days has done extremely well. If you donated and you are reading this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my butt, because its bigger than my heart.

The goal is in sight now. It is so close to being reached. It is in the final push now.

If you can, donate. Donate & SHARE. With your help, we can tackle the last bit that is left… the part that will pay for fees and other expenses in addition to the cost of repairs and the cost of a new wheelchair. This time, it is personal!!!

Anything helps. Donate here.

Thank you.

astyu“The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.”~ Douglas MacArthur

I am going to have to keep this rather short. This really isn’t the time or  space for an “all out” post with the steamiest of details.

The past weekend, I traveled to Houston, Texas once again. For the first time in well over a year!! Yes, I went to see SIX MINUTE CENTURY.

But this doesn’t have anything to do with the band, the friends, the love, or the fellowship. It has to deal with the hotel that I was staying in the two nights I was there.

When I arrived in town, the memory of the place came back to me. But I still to this day, cannot remember which side are odd numbered rooms and which are evens. The last several times I’ve stayed, were almost always numbered rooms ending in an odd number.

Not this time though.

Room 120. Important to the story.

As I began to settle in for the first day/night of my stay, I roamed around the property of the hotel, bypassing the swimming pool.. Laughing to myself because of what happened with a swimming pool the last time I went near one.As I gazed up, I saw several people hovering around the edge of the pool. One gentleman holding a hand-held video camera. I knew instantly what was happening.

I ignored it at first. But when I was back in my room, a few minutes later I could hear a horrendous roar of moaning, screaming, shouting, and overall noises of explicit ecstasy. Yep, someone nearby was going at it like rabbits.

Wouldn’t you know it, it was all going on in Room 118.

Yes… right next door to me!!!

Finally, it stopped. And the curiosity was killing me. I heard a door open. I dashed for my room door and yes I was able to catch them all coming out. Two girls wearing bathrobes caked and drowned in make-up all over their face. One man with just a towel around his waist and pink slippers. And another man standing there, smoking.

A conversation began.

I think that I spooked them really bad because I told them that I knew who they were in general, and I knew what they were doing there at the hotel. The looks on all of their faces were of absolute terror.

I had taken the upper hand.

I asked what the name of their website was. They scoffed at me, playing as if they did not know what I was talking about. They weren’t very good at lying.

Then I started to play with their minds even more. I told them that if they needed something larger to work with, to stop by. I said nothing more. I gave one last look at the females of the group and went back inside to my own hotel room and kept my business to myself.

45 minutes later, they knocked. Full of inquiry. And bringing offerings of food…. good timing considering that I was hungry and the obvious plans for dinner that were obviously never going to happen in the first place were not happening.

The next day, I ran into them again as I was getting ready for the day to spend with SIX MINUTE CENTURY and most importantly, my best friends. I heard comments coming from them … something about “That was amazing.” and “I can’t hardly walk straight, or at all.”

These are the things of legend. The things of fantasy. The stories that are told only in magazines, books, and novels. But this honestly and truly happened.

bs2Well then. I may be late for the party, but I find myself a way there. And that is the most important part of it, is finding yourself at the finish line no matter how long it has taken you to get there.

I may have been born at night, but it sure as hell was not last night.

Music is my life. It is in my soul. It has always been there, and it will forever remain.

And because of it, when I find myself surrounded by musicians in my social life, it is astounding to determine those who are fake and those who are real.

For those of you who are fairly new and for those who have foolishly forgotten by now… it is no secret that if I find something in music that I really like.. then I am 100% all for it to the point that I even promote it during my own time. I live it, breathe it, rinse and repeat.

I understand in the music business that there is a product that needs to be sold to the masses. It is a musician’s dream come true for their material to spread like wildfire, and perhaps even go viral for just a day.

The more the merrier as they say.

I am not against anyone in the business trying their best to do that and be successful at it. In fact, as I said… I will do all that I can to help make that happen if I can, if I am totally into it.

But I am on to you. I really am.

Today’s example goes international.

A band was brought to my attention from South America. And I had only heard ONE of their songs and I enjoyed it. So I did what any other human being would do, and started to follow the band on social media from top to bottom, left to right. And stuck it out with the band even though there was not much to offer in the way of merchandise. Plus coming from another continent I thought would be kind of tricky.

But the band was nice to talk about it. They gave several different options and offers that would include international shipping. And dummy-me, I took the bait. Not to say that I did not want what I paid for, but I had no idea of the shit storm that was soon to follow.

A storm that would turn me off of bands in general.

It took over two months to finally arrive from South America. And I wasn’t thrilled about it at all. But then again, it wasn’t like there was something I could do about it any way.

So from the beginning, the South American band wasn’t in a good light when it came to merchandise.

The second round came within a week of receiving my first shipment. In fact, I was asked if I wanted some other merchandise in that week BEFORE receiving that first shipment. And again…. dummy-me goes and buys more. Now I’ve spent more than $50 (including international shipping) on stuff that I bought, but haven’t received in hand.

Eventually the first shipment arrived. The second shipment came just as slow. About two to two and a half months after ordering so easily through PayPal.

Second shipment I was more content with than the first for whatever reason. And then just DAYS after receiving the second shipment, I was again given some particular “special offers” that wouldn’t last for very long.

Guess what? I fell for that sense of urgency. Shipment #3 took yet again TWO FRICKIN’ MONTHS. And yes, I was approached during that two month period with offers of something else.

I finally told this band, “I want a t-shirt and maybe the CD. And that’s all. Nothing more.”

To which I was given this rotten wrap-around about how t-shirts are so expensive and everything. And the blame went to shipping costs from South America. Whether or not that is entirely true, I do not know. I do not have a t-shirt yet.

But more and more and more and more options and offers kept coming. After three in a row, I really needed to stop and take a break. But the offers took no break. I began to feel like if I kept saying “NO” that they would stop altogether.

Needless to say, I am not a fan of shipments taking so freakin’ long. Nor am I enticed or interested in watching a “special concert” via the Internet and paying for it. If this band wants to perform for me, they can find a way to come to the United States of America and do it live in person. I mean after all, isn’t that the musician’s way of life? Isn’t that their ultimate dream?? Travel the world and spread their music to as many people as possible. Isn’t that the point of it all???? If not, it used to be at one point!!!

Here’s where it all fell apart for this South American band. Even though I was a huge fan of the one song that I found on YouTube, the live performances were an entirely different thing. And it was unsettling.

There was some teaser videos made for their performances online. Excerpts of performances from the past that were live. This band sounded awful. Absolutely horrible. And it was so full of cringe.

Some bands sound fine when they play live. Others (like this one) not so much. I understand that bands will not sound like a copied self from the studio. But if you can’t sound remotely close, there’s a big problem!!

Ever since, I have been wondering if I was going to be filled with regret to support what I could consider a “lost cause” in the end.

Just recently I saw that the band was posting photos of fans with their merchandise. To which one fan from the USA had like 30 signed photographs or prints. I exclaimed with a bit of envy of the person, and the band took that as an opportunity to jump me privately.

They were going to offer me various combinations of photographs/prints.

Three photos for $11.90.. international shipping included.

Then it went on from there:

Seven photos for $16.90
Ten for $20.90
Twenty for $27.90

Umm… it got worse from there. The original post was of 30 photos. Wanna know how much 30 of them would cost? $37.90

And the band chooses which 30 photos will be sent. Keep in mind they are not signed or autographed. As you can expect, they are leaving that up to the imagination that signing them would be extra.

However… if I wanted to be the one who selected the photographs, they were $5 each plus shipping. Suddenly, just because I want to choose… $37.90 turned into $150 PLUS shipping.

What in the hell??

They sold it as urgent. This time I did not fall for it. The moment that they realized I was not  going to buy anything, they stopped talking to me.

I went back to the person who had been contacting me all this time and I went back through every time that they had contacted me. I read over the contents of the conversation and suddenly realized that the evidence was right in front of me. This band never contacted me to say hello. They never contacted me to find out how my day was going. Every time they reached out, they were attempting to sell something.

All the times that I had attempted to initiate contact, was met up with silence and them ignoring my messages.

Let me repeat myself by saying that I fully understand that bands have something they want to sell. And that’s how their career works. But there has to be a level of reciprocity between musicians and their fans. At some type of level musicians must communicate with their fans. How else are they going to know what their fans want?

It is very clear that there is no reciprocity by the way of communication. Either you discuss buying some of their merchandise or purchasing the opportunity of watching them in their live streamed gigs…. or you don’t talk to them at all.

That is bullshit. I am on to you and every other band that has done me like that!!! I’ve received something from other countries. South America, step up your game or lose your career.The separation is soon coming.

qa“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”~Voltaire

Truth be told that the idea for this came from the beautiful YouTuber “TorrinPaige” … Sundries are about to become a thing here.

I’ve been spending a lot of free time watching YouTube videos from a wide variety of topics and subjects. And of course I have my rather large list of people that I subscribe to that come out with their daily/weekly content that I am never able to catch up on any more which causes me to think that I may want to cut back on some subscribers.

But something else caught my eye as of lately. There are a myriad of different styles of videos posted with a common theme, tags of any kind seem to be the most popular. But coming in right behind the tag, is the ultimate Q&A video. Viewers will post questions that they want to ask the video creator whether that is delegated to either the comment section of said video or taken up as a collection on other social media websites. Such as Facebook or Instagram.

Allegedly the following video would be of the content creator going through the list of questions and answering those questions in that video.

From what I have experienced this season, is an explosion of Q&A videos being posted. Most, if not all of them, going far beyond the fifteen, or even twenty minute mark in length. Depending on their subscriber count plus their followers.

And as I sit there watching, my mood changes from interested to astonishing disbelief.

I will totally admit that I can NOT keep up with everyone and everything. Neither can I keep up with “the rules” any longer. What is prudent? What is not acceptable?? How do you know what is what???

I will preface the rest of this message by saying that I totally do understand that if a person desires privacy that they are allowed to obtain it. Therefore, at least online, there may not be a whole lot of information available from someone. And that is their choice. In which it is totally fine.

I literally watched a YouTube content creator make two videos (cutting it into two parts) because they received well over 200 questions from people.The total elapsed time for the two videos combined was over a half an hour. A lot of them of course were the same questions asked over and over again. But I think that is really to be expected.

The content creator was female. Described as a model, doing hair care tips. The questions that kept coming up time and time again where:

How old are you?
Where are you from?
What is your relationship status?

The two videos were poorly edited as the creator kept reading these questions and you could see her getting frustrated by the look on her face. And she would totally ignore it. And then they kept coming up again and again and again. Finally, she no longer ignored it and instead kept looking up at the camera and saying that she would NOT answer any of these kinds of questions. And she further commented that she did not understand why these questions were repeatedly coming up. She finally reached the point of no return by looking at the camera angrily and repeating herself that of these three questions she would not be answering them.

Minus “Where are you from?” which was a general location by state. I understand that. I would not want just anyone coming into the town or city that I lived just because. But then again for those of you who have been reading this blog for a while already know its happened!!

Over and over and over again however, YouTube content creators are refusing to answer these similar questions. Not just once, not just twice, not just three times did I watch Q&A videos of this manner, but SIX DIFFERENT YOUTUBE CONTENT CREATORS!! (Not all women either.) shrug224

Has society reversed itself and gone back several decades to a time when it was not socially acceptable to inquire these things? Are we back to keeping these kinds of things to ourselves??

Clearly, the content of the Q&A belongs to the content creators and they have every right to answer or not answer any questions proposed to them. But as I said, the videos were poorly edited. For example:

“Joe Blow asks ‘how old are you and are you single?’… I’m not going to answer that!”

I thought that we were finally allowed to ask questions of people and those people have the right not to answer. So it did come across to me that the creators were going about it and being very rude in how they approached that they did not want to answer the question.

I don’t think that you can fault Joe Blow for their question. But just thwarting it off like that every single time, was just a serious turn off for me.

If you don’t wanna answer certain questions, why not skip them altogether? Or better yet if one slipped into the video, why not edit it out??

So then tell me what is the protocol now in late 2016. We are getting so close to 2017. Do we keep our questions to ourselves or what?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
“I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around.”~ Elvis Presley

It is time to gush once more!

No, it doesn’t really bother me either. I haven’t seen THE REVERENT FEW play live since the end of June of this year. By my own standards… totally unacceptable.

TIME TO GET SEXY!!!!!!

So I busted ass to make sure that I was there for their EP release.

This soulful set confirmed what I had been feeling and thinking all year long since the first time I heard them back in May of this year.

THE REVERENT FEW is the one, the only, the ultimate band that remains true to form and is a constant source or excuse as to why I have tears flowing from my eyes by the time the event is over.

Truth be told that 2016 has been a particularly busy year for me. The lack of posts this year is proof of that. And THE REVERENT FEW never ceases to amaze me at any level. And because of that, I am assured that when I am attending one of their shows that I know this is going to be a wonderfully fun time!

Each time I have made that effort to come out and see them from long and far distances, I have NOT been disappointed!

I was pleased to see that the venue was packed full of people for this event. I was also glad that I had the sense to get there a little bit early to find a front row seat. It has been a very long time since I have seen an engaged audience such as that, especially for a music release show.

This band oozes so much soul and sex… that it will make you nervous for the next nine months. A pure audio orgasm for the senses which takes control over everything and lifts you into a place of ethereal musical delight. The voice of singer Paige DeChausse gets me every time to the point where I am melted down into sheer nothing, and yet inside my body and mind – I am begging for more. SO.MUCH.SEXY. I find it worth the tears.

Some people believe that I am just having fun and kidding around when I refer to guitarist Nick Boettcher as “Your highness… the King of the Strings” but honestly, I’m not joking!! He makes those strings behave so badly that what comes from his instrument is an absolute utopia of sound.

THE REVERENT FEW is it! It is THE one that you must have. No matter what your preferences in life. Such inspiration that I am willing to degrade myself on my own blog so that they can receive the exposure that they rightly deserve.