Year of the Rabbit

It gave me a smile when I learned that 2023 was to be the Year of the Rabbit in Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The last Years of the Rabbit were pretty good ones for me, so I took that as a good omen.

Little did I know that the Year would go flying by as quick as a Rabbit! Holy smokes, where has January gone?

That being said, so far so good, even at “warp speed”.

We had our gnarly couple weeks of storms, but other than 3 days without power and losing some perishable foods, no real damage sustained on our end.

I’ve started a new book, which I may write about down the line… I’m only about 15 pages in thus far, and it’s a different kind of read for me, so I’m not sure how I’ll take to it.

I’m getting slightly more consistent in getting to the gym and my strength seems to be coming back after the last year of poor overall health, which is very encouraging.

One of my music projects is starting to make headway, which is super exciting. Last night we auditioned a new bassist and she (yes, she!) was pretty great and we seemed to gel very well right off the bat. If you’ve ever tried putting a band together, you’ll understand how important that is, but also how incredibly RARE for things to click right outta the gate. We’ve got another bassist lined up for next week, who actually seemed like a better fit “on paper”, but now he’s really got his work cut out for him! But overall, I’m extremely inspired right now and just want to keep pushing myself musically as much as possible for as long as possible.

I’ve got a lot of work to do around the house, as I got pretty lazy and overwhelmed during the holiday season, but I’m chipping away at it and making progress, so I can’t complain. Just gotta put one foot in front of the other, as they say…

This weekend we’ve got an outing up to SF (I’ll be writing about that Sunday) and a plan to pull out our emergency bags and “regroup” after the lessons learned from our bout of storms. And if time allows, I’ll be working on putting together my IG profile. Yes, very, very late to that particular party. I’ve completely ignored social media up til now, but I’m finding that if I want to keep up with what’s going on in the world of music, I’ve got to have access to it, as that’s where all the kids these days are putting out their info. And when it comes time to put out our music, it will be a necessity- for better or worse. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em I guess…

And last but not least, we have a new addition to our family as of last weekend.

Now don’t get me wrong. This is NOT because it happened to be the Year of the Rabbit, it was just a timing thing. I used to raise rabbits waaaay back in my Boy Scout days, and my wife and I have had “house rabbits” almost our entire 30 years together. There have been some gaps in between them, just like any pet it takes a while to get past the grief when you lose one, but this little guy is our 4th house rabbit in 30 years. Our last one lived to be about 12 years old, which was staggering. He doesn’t have a name yet, we like to get to know our critters before bestowing a name upon them, but he’s already getting real comfortable in his new home.

Well, that’s really about it for now. I try not to go so long between posts, so forgive me. I appreciate all of you stopping by and sharing your time with me. Hopefully next week will bring something a little more interesting!

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading!

Thank goodness it’s over!

The year 2022 will go down in my personal history as the worst year ever, and I’m glad to see it go!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun moments this year. I made some improvements in certain aspects of my life, and I got to hit the road a lot and do some traveling, so the year wasn’t entirely without some silver linings.

BUT! I’ve been sick more this year than in the previous decade COMBINED, which completely wrecked the excersize regime I worked so hard to establish in ’20 & ’21. Lacking the consistency at the gym led to a really lackluster year for surfing. Not surfing really did a number on my mental health. The decline in mental health made my job all that much more difficult to tolerate and made my productivity in both my “side hustle” and general “around the house choring stuff” fall off a cliff. And to top it all off, I’m starting to feel the old, familiar financial squeeze that I (fortunately) haven’t had to deal with since I started this job nearly 5 years ago. I also lost a dear friend this year, completely unexpectedly. I could go on, and really get down in the muck, but this blog isn’t really about spewing bitterness, so I’ll stop right there.

So yeah, I haven’t exactly had a banner year…

But instead of bitching and moaning about what a craptastic year ’22 has been, I will review the good stuff that happened and the good stuff I’m looking forward to in 2023.

First, as I mentioned, this was a great year for travel. Aside from all the local stuff, we hit Hawaii, Los Angeles, Napa and Oregon this year. And all those trips were great. Tons of fun, no bad vibes, nothing negative happened on any of those adventures. Who knows what ’23 will bring, but I DO know that a trip back to Oregon is already in the planning stages for late Winter/early Spring.

This was a big year for music too. Not only did we get out to a bunch of shows (most of which were FANTASTIC!), but I also started getting my groove back – both figuratively AND literally – spending a lot more time at the drum kit than in the previous years. Thankfully the drums help fill the void left by the lack of surfing. It’s not the same certainly, but both activities put me in that Zen mind space, which is something I found myself in desperate need of this year.

I’ve also had a bit of a regrouping with some old friends this year. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or a general sense-of-mortality thing in this post-Plague era, but I’ve been back in touch with a lot of old friends this year, which has been pretty cool. It also helped take the sting out of the passing of my other friend…

This blog has been one of my highlights as well. I just jumped into it without much of a plan or direction, but I’ve found that it’s been a great outlet for me, which has helped me keep some equilibrium mentally and given me an opportunity to work with the written word again after a decade’s worth of slacking; another bonus in the positive mental health arena! I’m coming up on a year now of writing here and I think I’ll keep at it, simply because I’m enjoying it. Much to my surprise I passed 500 visitors a short while ago. I never expected that considering I have no “presence” on the ‘net to publicize this page, and I’ve only told 3 or 4 people about it. I realize that’s a tiny, miniscule number in the grand scheme of things, but considering my circle of people is very, very small it feels like I’ve talked to a whole bunch of new people this year and made a few new friends, which I can appreciate.

Looking forward into 2023 I see some good things on the horizon – of course I say that with the caveat that the “powers that be” running this psycho-circus don’t A) bankrupt us, B) starve us, C) make us all glow in the dark or D) all of the above…

When Congress is in session…

I’ve got a few different music projects starting to heat up, which is super exciting for me.

Ready for business!

More travel to places I’ve never been are on the itinerary. Getting back into the swing of things at the gym is another good thing I’m making happen. And I’ll keep plugging away here – more comcert, book and product reviews, more musical flashbacks, and hopefully continued improvement of my writing overall.

And lastly, a potential new business venture that could be a “game changer” for me and put me on a whole new path.

Will all of this actually happen? Who can say? I can’t predict the future any better than any of you can. But what I DO know is that without plans, drive and a sprinkle of good luck, we all just stay in the same spot, wallowing in misery.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve had more than enough misery over the last few years. It’s time to really start living again!

Thanks for stopping by and reading. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023!!

As the mad-dash escalates this week…

Keep this in mind when you’re facing lunatic drivers, overly congested parking lots and long lines that move at a snail’s pace…

The last few years have been so weird that it seems like people are going out of their way to make up for lost time the Christmas, which I can understand. But becoming a stressed out mess in an effort to “get back to normal” is defeating the true purpose and meaning of Christmas.

Take a breath. Relax. Love your loved ones. Enjoy your time together if you’re lucky enough to have someone to spend the holiday with.

And most importantly, be nice to your fellow humans. Everyone I know could use a dose or two of kindness bestowed upon them, it’s been a rough year.

Just my 2 cents…

Thanks for stopping by!


It’s that time of year again, hard to believe, but true. The “holiday season” is upon us!

These past few years have been a non-stop dumpster fire and quite frankly I’ve found it difficult to maintain a positive attitude, not to mention being grateful. But when I stop to think about it, I DO, in fact, have a LOT to be grateful for.

Part of the reason for starting this blog was to help me remember the positive things, to give me something to look back on when things are not going so well. And honestly, it’s worked that way when I needed it. I have focused on maintaining a positive vibe, and have tried very hard to keep this blog from becoming a toxic rant-fest, as that’s where my head has primarily been over the last few years. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to stop myself numerous times from spewing angry stuff, calling out both the imbeciles and the grifters, and just straight up bitching about the (many) things that have been getting under my skin. Not that I always succeed, but I always make an effort!

But today, I want to “give thanks”, because when I stop to consider it I am pretty fortunate and have come a long way in the last decade.

First and foremost, I am grateful for The Mrs. We’ve been together for 34 years now and just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this year. We’ve been through some really rough times over the past few decades, but we always come through the other side intact, and we’re still best friends. After spending more than 3/5’s of my life with her, I can’t imagine it any other way.

I am thankful for our daughter who has grown into a fine young woman. She’s very responsible and pretty self sufficient, especially compared to her cohorts. She’s never been in any kind of real trouble, she’s helpful and just a pretty nice person. That we share a love of music and soccer doesn’t hurt either!

As much as it drives me bananas, I am thankful for my job. Being healthcare “adjacent” during the “pandemic” took me to the edge both mentally and physically, and it certainly left some scars. But the fact that I didn’t have to worry about a paycheck when it seemed like the whole world was going up in flames was something to be grateful for. And while I can say whole heartedly that I have no love for my job/career, I have learned a TON being here and I’m always grateful for new knowledge. And honestly I’m grateful for my team too. They test me and sometimes aggravate me beyond belief, but overall they are a solid group and when it comes down to it, they will come together and perform amazing things to keep this facility afloat.

I’m thankful that my parents are still around, even though I don’t see them very often. I was very concerned about them during the whole Covid nonsense, and I am very glad that they both came through unscathed. Now, if we could just convince my Pops to retire…

I’m thankful for the friends that are still in my life. They are few and far between, but those guys have been with me a long, long time. Some of us go back to the 1970s, a couple from the early 80’s…my “newest” friend came in to my life in 1990, so yeah I’ve got a lot of years clocked with these gentlemen and I’m grateful for all of them.

I’m thankful for my health. In spite of the fact that I’ve been sick more in 2022 than in the last 10 years combined, I’m grateful that I am still “healthy”, still able to hit the gym and have been able to steer clear of pharmaceuticals into middle-age. No small feat.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for still being able to get out and play music. It’s been feeding my soul when all else seemed misery.

All in all, I have a lot to be thankful for, I just need to remember to remind myself of the fact from time to time.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, good health and serenity!

Thanks for stopping by!

My Favorite Bison is Still Missing…

Roughly 15 years ago I became involved with my local C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) and while I considered myself to be living the Boy Scout’s motto “Be Prepared”, after going through the training for C.E.R.T. and working with our local LEOs and EMS/FD, I recognized that while I was better prepared than most, I was not even close to where I needed to be.

This lead me down a very long, twisted, sometimes horrifying rabbit hole in the world of preparedness, survivalism, resource depletion, world events and politics.

In the course of study, I ran across a website by the name of “BisonPrepper” and was immediately intrigued.  This guy was unlike EVERYBODY in the “preparedness space” on the web.  He was living proof that “conventional wisdom” could be thrown right out the window, and survival could still be possible on next to nothing financially.   All you had to do was unlearn everything we’ve been taught was ‘necessary’ and learn to embrace frugality.   How was he living proof?  He was doing it,  living off grid on ‘junk land’ in the wilds of NE Nevada, living without an automobile, without plumbing, without ‘utilities’, basically living without most modern conveniences that the majority of people in “first world” countries deem essential to life.  Like refrigeration, for example.

I followed his blog for years and would comment frequently,  and James and I would exchange emails occasionally on things that were too big to discuss in a comments section. I bought (almost) all of his books, and while I didn’t agree with him 100%, I enjoyed his point of view and his out of the box thinking enough that I kept coming back for more, year after year.  And besides, he was funny as all get out (unless you’re easily offended, that is).

Fast forward to June 2020 and Lord  Bison (as he was affectionately called by his loyal minions) announced he was going really off grid, discontinuing his blog and moving to a monthly subscription newsletter via snail mail, so naturally I signed up.

It was at this point Lord Bison and I became friends.  We used to correspond frequently via the Post Office, and I’d send small gifts and holiday greetings and what not, anxiously awaiting every new monthly installment.   Then suddenly it stopped. 

I’ve sent a few letters, sent a few emails and all have gone unanswered.  I tried the phone number I had for him and got the old “this number has been disconnected” recording.  His last newsletter was in May of this year, or maybe it was April,  with a May electronic update (he started doing one post a month after a year or so of Mail only, but I digress) and not a peep since then.  Not even a comment on my blog here, which were frequent before his disappearance.

Have you seen this man?

It’s a weird feeling, not knowing what in the world happened to someone that you “talked” to almost daily for a dozen years or so.  It’s unsettling to say the least.  It’s difficult to wrap my head around how someone important to you can suddenly be gone without a trace…

Jim, you magnificent bastard, if you’re still out there, know that your presence (and your majestic hair!) is missed.  Sido mentioned your disappearance a while back, and a few of us chimed in (including Wilder) in concurrence that none of us had heard from you, which is worrisome. 

My hope is that you’ve ‘gone to ground’ out in the BiPOD you told us all about, but it gets harder every day to convince myself of that.   My pessimism, so finely honed under your tutelage, keeps telling me otherwise.  Six months is a long time for someone with as much to say as you do, to keep quiet.

If you’re reading this, let me say Thank You once again for everything you did for me and the greater collection of Minions. Living through these crazy times we find ourselves in is going to be a bit less frightful thanks to you and your life’s work.  I agree with the notion that nobody is ever “fully prepared”, but I can say with 100% certainty that I’m miles beyond where I was when I found you, and my fear of the unknown has DEcreased by 90%, at least. And that is because of you.

Whether we meet again in this life or the next, your next jelly-filled donut is on me Buddy!

Thanks for reading.

Back in the water!

Today was a monumental day- my first time back on a surfboard since December of last year! (That’s right, us crazies out here on the west coast still surf at Christmas!)

2022 has been a rough year for me health-wise. Not only did my 5-day a week gym routine go out the window, but my surfing came to a screeching halt. Over the past couple months I’ve been making strides at the gym, but still haven’t felt I had the strength for surfing.

The conditions weren’t great, but then again I’m not a great surfer, despite my passion for it. But it felt incredible just to be back in the Pacific, paddling out under squadrons of pelicans. And in the end, I did catch a nice wave and managed to get upright for a short but sweet little ride.

It was glorious. I hope to do it again tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip: Manresa State Beach

The Mrs. and I woke up and realized we didn’t have anything pressing, so we threw some cold drinks, some mixed nuts and beef jerky in a cooler and hit the road to the coast.

We didn’t have a specific destination in mind, we kinda let traffic lead our decision making, and we ended up at Manresa State Beach in La Selva Beach, CA – about 20 minutes south of Santa Cruz.

Manresa was one of my haunts as a teen, first learning to surf. Later it was a family favorite where we often took our daughter. But today was the first time back there in a dozen years at least.

It was a little overcast when we first got there, but it burned off by 11:30, and was just gorgeous after then, a perfect day at the beach!

I’m inclined to head back tomorrow with my board, for old time’s sake…

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Birthday Prince!

It is hard to believe it’s already been 6 years since we lost Prince, nonetheless his music and spirit lives on!

I remember the first time I heard about Prince, it was a write up in BAM (Bay Area Music) Magazine, when he opened for the Rolling Stones on their first of Lord-knows-how-many Farewell Tours. He was panned mercilessly for his performance. I recall them saying he was “booed off the stage” by the Stones fans…

Rolling Stones fans didn’t know what hit ’em!

It was maybe a year or so later that I actually heard his music for the first time, and I was immediately hooked. We suburban white kids didn’t get turned on to Prince until the “1999” album, which was released in 1982 (my Freshman year of high school).

Prince was one of those artists that transcended genre, trends, race, orientation… everything. The man changed music and the expectations of musicians. “One of a kind” is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’d been a big fan of Prince for a good decade or more when I learned that we shared a birthday – he was born exactly 10 years to the day before me – and that he threw big jam sessions at Paisley Park on his birthday (in spite of being a Jehovah’s Witness). It was my dream to one day reach a level of drumming notoriety that would get me invited to one of these all star jams…Alas, it was never meant to be. In fact, he’s one of the legendary musicians that profoundly influenced my own musical journey that I never got to see live. Nevertheless, without Prince I wouldn’t be the musician I am today.

So, Happy Birthay Prince! You were before your time, and beyond your place in the Universe and I am eternally grateful for what you bestowed upon us mere earthlings. You will be forever missed, you Sexy MF!

This guy gets it!

Thanks for stopping by!

And it’s only Wednesday…

I had a nice weekend and came in Monday morning feeling recharged and “ready for battle”. By the end of the day I felt like I’d been pummeled, but I went home and played my new bass for a while to calm the nerves and went to bed in good spirits ready to have a good Tuesday.

Tuesday came along and was busy as all get out, but around 3pm I’d just finished a grueling, nearly 3 hour meeting on a big project I’ve been working on for months. I sat back and thought to myself, “alright, that was some progress, I’m finally getting somewhere!”

Less than 10 minutes later, one of my most solid and dependable employees comes in and gives me his resignation.

I’ve been short 2 employees for nearly a year now – it started back in June of ’21. Now I’ll be down 3. We still have to have 6am -10pm coverage, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and the remainder of the team is getting burned out and certainly less willing to “pick up the slack”, now that we’re 11 months in to a “temporary” situation. I can’t blame ’em.

Last night talking with the Mrs., I said “just once, I’d like to have a day when NOTHING goes wrong. I don’t need anything good to happen, just nothing bad.”

Well, today ISN’T that day. I’d just pulled in, hadn’t even turned off my car, much less exited it, and I’ve got the big cheese of the place yelling at me about an incident that had just happened.

It took 1000% of my willpower to stop myself from putting the car back in “drive” and leaving. Forever.

Thankfully I happen to have a couple hours booked in the rehearsal studio tonight AND a good friend/very talented musician is joining me for some noisemaking. Sometimes it is the little things in life that help get you through the s#!+ storms.

Hope y’all have a good day out there. If you’ve got dark clouds hanging over you, like I do, find something, anything to bring you a little joy. Self care is necessary, especially these days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Well, that’s good news!

According to the Associated Press (AP), California lost 117,552 residents in 2021.  That was the second year in a row of dropping population, bringing us a current count of 39 million and some change.

For politicians and economists, this is terrible, frightening news.  You see, relocation is expensive.   The people leaving?  Yeah,  they’re the ones with assets and high paying jobs or retirement accounts.  And they’re taking all their taxable income with them!  Huzzah!!

That dark red color comes from bleeding us dry!

As someone that was born and raised here, as well as raising my own daughter here, I welcome this news.  There is very little left of what made this place awesome.  And what IS left, you can’t get to without spending half your day in traffic, and then you’re surrounded by the hoarde.  It’s just become extremely overpriced and crowded, and since less than (I’d guess) 20% of the people here now are “natives”, there is NO culture or pride anymore.  Nor should there be. 

Just another day in paradise…

The recent culture is “money” and the pride is all about “how much money do you have”…it’s kinda gross.  I’ve lived within 30 miles of where I’m sitting right now, my entire life.  And I’ve never felt less “at home” anywhere.  California dreaming has turned into nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme and it has destroyed the state.

Now if we could just come up with a plan to shed another 15-20 million, this state might be a nice place to live again!

Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?

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Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

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The Boring Old Man

The ramblings of an old weirdo about whatever crosses my mind...