Jackie Wilson Knew How

Jackie Wilson knew how to move! Tell me he didn’t influence so many other greats. I only wish I could have been able to groove it like this — ever!

Here’s an interview from Gene Simmons (yes, from Kiss) on MusicRadar talking about his favorite tracks/artists:

““I saw Jackie Wilson perform this on some TV show. The producer had obviously said, ‘Now, Jackie, I don’t want you to do much gyrating ’cos it’ll scare all the folks out there’. Jackie didn’t give a shit!

“He went straight into the whole histrionic song and dance routine, moving his – for want of a better word – cock like I’d never seen a man move his cock before. He moved like the whole earth was shaking underneath his feet.

“Jackie was saying, ‘Music equals sex’. He wasn’t singing about taking a girl home and reading a few passages from Canterbury Tales. And when I saw how girls reacted to Jackie, I finally understood that, hey, girls like sex, too.”

Great stuff — and this old Shindig clip is gear! Or is it fab?! Or cool?! I dunno what we were saying back then. LOL

Jackie Wilson performs on Shindig

Enjoying the New Cello

I recently ordered an NS Design NXT4a electric cello. I’ve held off on my cello playing for years, because the older student model cello that I have is in disrepair. I found that it was going to cost a tremendous amount of money just to get it refurbished. Because I play and record with my band so often, I thought that I should consider purchasing an electric cello to help satisfy both my strong desire to play cello as well as bass and to have an instrument that I could record with easily when the time is appropriate.

image of NS Designs NXT4a electric cello

I have not been disappointed by this instrument at all. It plays very well. Though it’s an integrated composite design, I don’t find that the neck and fingerboard feel any different to me than the cellos I have played in the past. The strings included on the instrument are responsive and have good tone. The pickup on the cello sounds true to tone. I can adjust the tone slightly, but find the middle range to be suited to a natural cello through my amplifier.

image of TC Electronic BH250 amp and Trace Elliot ELF 1x10 speaker cabinet
Amp & Cabinet

The amplifier I am using is a TC Electronic BH250 chained to a Trace Elliot ELF 1×10 speaker cabinet. I have as little or as much volume as I need with no sacrifice in tone. For now I’m not using any effects, but after I have practiced a bit more and am comfortable that my bowing and intonation are solid, I’ll likely add some pedalboard effects. I already have octavers, chorus and delay, among others, so I’ll try these when I’m writing my own material for the cello.

So, to that end, my biggest challenge right now is to get my chops back. I’m rehearsing 15-20 minutes a day. I am careful not to overextend because I don’t want to sacrifice quality over quantity in these rehearsals. Because I also practice bass, I have to be sure I’m not overexerting my fingers and wrists. The bowing is becoming more fluid and I’m getting some of my technique back. It’s been many years since I was proficient on this instrument. I’m happy I’m making progress!

I’m Done Peopling

I’m done with social interactions for the most part. I’ve been so completely disillusioned by people over the past year or so. Online interactions are filled with vitriol and even the conversations that should be healthy and enlightening have become conflicting and bitter.

I was a huge evangelist for online engagement — having been involved in the beta tests of Twitter before they split from Odeo, having had a Facebook profile as soon as it was released from the college student limitation, and even being involved in the earliest formations of now defunct platforms such as Utterz/Utterli and Jaiku.

I’ve all but separated from Facebook due to their increasing encroachment on people’s personal lives and privacy. If not for the few pages I administer for organizations there, I’d be gone. I rarely read much on Twitter and only post there occasionally when I’ve seen something to share. Engagement is all but gone. For a platform that gave us the opportunity to talk with dozens — often hundreds — of people a day, this is now a place to read what everyone broadcasts. There is little conversation. If I actually talk to two people there a day, it’s a miracle.

New networks, like MeWe, are trying to reengage communities, but they’re just not gaining any momentum. People don’t/won’t leave Facebook — even when they’re sacrificing their privacy and personal information — because “everyone is here.” I enjoy the creativity of people on TikTok, but I don’t see that as a place where people have true conversation. It’s fancy show and tell.

Even my engagement with people in public is affected by the negativity that happens online. One cannot attempt a decent conversation without someone referring to a tweet, a post, a meme, et al. that soon becomes a dissenting voice of disagreement or conflict. I find myself biting my tongue and working outside my own personality style just so that I don’t have to get caught saying that one simple thing that’s going to set someone off.

My closest friends and relatives will say things about me — thinking that it’s quite alright to say that I have “an attitude” without any consideration of how hurt I become. They’ll say “Oh, you know Rich is going to have something to say about this” or “I can’t wait to hear how upset he gets when we mention…” Even when I’m trying to be polite and not share ANY conflicting views, they’ll perceive that I’m speaking from anger, disagreement or dissatisfaction. I can state a known factual piece of information — and they’ll respond “what do you want us to do to fix that? Or what can we do to make you happier about it?” As though I’m expecting someone to help me feel better about something I’m not even upset about (or would be)?

I’ve had moments when I’ve tried to act as a reasonable mediator to tense conversations — pointing out both the positive aspects, the misinformation, or the benefits of each side understanding the other — and I’m then judged for not taking a side — or for having the exact opposite mindset that I truly have — just because I’m willing to try to share the benefit of compromise.

And don’t get me started about how people act in public. Oh, wait — this is my journal — I will start it: I see more rude actions in people now than I’ve ever witnessed in my life. In most cases, people don’t even know they’re being rude. They’re asserting their need to get what they want, how they want, regardless of how it makes others feel or the damage they may be doing. This goes for dining out, shopping, and, of course, actions on the roadway.

I’m just done with people. For a person that is identified with Marsten‘s DISC assessment profile of Influence — and one that has the Myers-Briggs type indicator of ENFP — I find this current norm to be very painful. It causes depression, disappointment, and internal conflict.

Even in my career, I’ve found myself asking “if people don’t care about themselves and they certainly don’t demonstrate much care for others, why should I care to help them learn how to be more safe?” I’m sad that I feel this way after more than 32 years of service and while I’m approaching the last few years of this career.

Facebook is Not Your Web Site

image of Batman slapping RobinI simply don’t understand why businesses think Facebook is their “web site.”

I’ve been exploring restaurants in the town where my headquarters is located. I don’t live there, so I’m not savvy to the dining options. I have three national representatives coming in next week. We’re going to start our meeting and socialization by breaking bread on Monday evening.

I begin my restaurant exploration by opening Trip Advisor. Three restaurants in the area have completed their Trip Advisor listing with a link to a web site. When I click these links, it takes me to Facebook via the web. Of course, I’m not logged in.

Because Facebook has chosen to be stupid in how they handle visits of this type I can’t even see the business info. I am required to log in to see the business details. I close the window on EVERY one of the restaurants simply because I am required to complete extra steps I should not have to complete.

Facebook pisses me off with this practice. I’m also frustrated at the ignorance of businesses that don’t realize they are truly not sharing the info they intend to share. A person should not have to be logged in to an account to see business info.

When you run a business and do not maintain your own web presence, shame on you. Using these third party companies is a recipe for failure. When they change policies, change their format or even shutter the operation, you are left to their mercy. Why trust your business brand to this? It’s simply lazy and ignorant.

It’s 15 Years Old; Yes, I Can Sell It

So, I’m selling the car my son has been driving since high school. This car was new in 2004. It was new to me in 2013 — almost ten years later. My son is now driving a different car and we’re tired of paying insurance for an extra vehicle that just sits most of the time.

People keep asking two questions when they respond to the classified advertisement:

  1. Does the car have a clean title?
  2. Is there anything wrong with it?

Okay — first — why would I sell a car that I didn’t have free and clear ownership? Do people do this frequently enough that a buyer finds it necessary to ask? If the car had a salvage title, I would indicate this in my post. I told them everything else I could think to tell in the description of the car. Otherwise, I’m selling MY car. The one I own. It has a title sitting in the file cabinet that’s been there since the day the DMV provided it to me when I bought this USED car.

Second, yes, the car has some stuff wrong with it. Stuff that happens when a car is FIFTEEN years old. There’s some rust forming on the quarter panels. Very little, but it’s there. I indicate this in the ad. The air conditioner needs to be recharged. I indicate this in the ad. It has a small dent under the right rear window CLEARLY VISIBLE in the photos that accompany the ad. I indicate that the car has been driven very little in the past few years and that it still runs really well — with a new battery, brand new headlight assemblies (none of that fogged up plastic nonsense) and a new shift cable installed within the last six months.

But — is there anything wrong with it? Yes. It’s FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Come take a look and see if it’s acceptable to you. Your interpretation of “something wrong” is entirely yours. I, of course, have a Rich Perspective.

If you live near Dayton Ohio and want to see this car, be my guest. I’m selling a 15 year old car for roughly $1500. Don’t expect it to be showroom clean and fresh. It’s FIFTEEN years old. It’s $1500; not $30k.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/558299107951829/

I Wanted to Like It

I truly wanted to give the series 9-1-1 that is airing on the Fox Network a fair chance. After all, I’ve worked in public safety in many capacities for the past thirty years. And, I went to the same high school at roughly the same time with series co-creator Ryan Murphy (he is two years younger than I), so I should want to support his efforts.

The show profile at Fox.com says,

image of 9-1-1 logoCreators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear reimagine the procedural drama with 9-1-1, exploring the high-pressure experiences of police officers, firefighters and dispatchers who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. These emergency responders must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in their own lives. The provocative series stars Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Love Hewitt (“The Client List,” “Ghost Whisperer”). Additionally, Oliver Stark, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Rockmond Dunbar and Ryan Guzman (“Notorious,” “Heroes Reborn”) are featured in series regular roles.

image of Angela Bassett from 9-1-1So here’s the problem: These high caliber actors have been put into a show that is supposed to be provocative and all I can see is terrible scripting, campy acting and unrealistic dialogue. Public safety workers simply don’t talk the way these actors are talking on the show. Honestly, Angela Bassett as beat cop Athena Grant? Someone with her stature should be cast as the mayor, not a street cop. Her delivery is akin to a Shakespearean actor reciting an episode of the Flintstones. It simply doesn’t fit. Most of the characterizations on this show are over-the-top and unrealistic.

The heroic acts portrayed on the show always seem to have some dramatic overture attached to them. In the real world of public safety the participants are gritting their teeth, digging in to the task at hand, and often cussing every other word just to get the job done. They don’t fill their time with grandiose monologues about how the job will be done. They do the job.

As to the relationships between the characters on the show, it just seems forced. The love interests are smashed together out of the convenience of the soundstage, as it were. The struggles of the various public safety workers are stereotypical — just more of the same that we see on every other cop/hospital/firefighter/EMS themed series.

I really wanted to like the show. I simply can’t. Sorry, Ryan. You and Brad have done better.

Sensitive Twitter User

I had an experience using Twitter today that I’ve never had. I’ve been using the platform since 2006. Today I responded to a post from Spotify about the 4 [sic] year anniversary of Miley Cyrus’ album, Bangerz. I noted that I didn’t care then and don’t care now. I even mentioned that I could not care less.

Obviously, a few Miley fans sent remarks, but they weren’t over-the-top or terribly vile. One fellow posted:

I thought it was funny and probably good natured, so I replied:
“I’m good with that.” I included this gif:

I was told to join the tasteless, so I thought the gif was funny. A chimpmunk eating is always funny, to me. He obviously has taste.

My accuser sent a photo back asking, “Wut?”

I provided a screen shot [seen above] of his original post as reference. I was only replying and engaging in conversation. I meant nothing mean; I didn’t intend to upset. I thought we were having a simple, very non-threatening banter.

I was informed I needed to stop harassing him. Okay, friend. My apologies. I certainly won’t respond anymore. I meant no harm. 13 years a Twitter user; lesson learned after all that time. Don’t respond if you don’t know them. I can do that.

By the way, I blocked that user. If they don’t want to interact — and I run the risk of causing them frustration — I certainly don’t want ANY opportunity for the conversation to continue. I can’t afford the negative reputation.

He Said, She Said

I’ve been looking for ways to express my opinion on the Dr. Ford & Judge Kavanaugh hearing in the Senate yesterday. My friend Craig has summed up my thoughts rather well:

I have a lot of strong opinions about the mess going on in Washington this past week. My strongest belief, however, is this: If you believe one person or the other based largely on whether you put an R or a D beside your name on primary day, you really need to rethink your values.
-C. S.

I add this: If a person did not watch the hearing and they are basing their “belief” on the slanted news source of choice, they may want to hush.

Worse yet is if they are only latching on to the musings of another R or D driven person as their source of info, but they didn’t watch the hearing at all. That might be a great reason to just keep their opinion to themselves.

This event was one of the ugliest for this country that I’ve ever witnessed.