Hard questions… hard answers!

Today, my 13-year old son discovered that I was a teenage alcoholic and drug user, and he seems to think that it is the cause of his troublemaking. I spent half the night painfully recapping everything that went on in my childhood starting from finding my father collapsed over a dresser in his bedroom all purple, only to have him die that night. And that was only the beginning. It got worse when my mother re-married and found I had a step-dad who ignored me, unless I turned my guitars up.

I had to go through all of this with Josh, and tell him that the only reason I did those things was not to feel good, but to stop feeling bad. I also told him that booze and drugs only make things worse as well. A lot more things go tangled in my life as I took more booze and more drugs. He also discovered that I had several suicide attempts as a kid, but was totally glad that I was unsuccessful. After all, he wouldn’t be there being totally glad. Neither would have his brothers and sisters.

It was hard to deal with Josh’s older brothers and sisters when they were young, only because I had no idea what a father figure was supposed to be back then. I managed to figure things out a lot better these days after being saved and discovering, or should I say re-discovering, God and how he cares for us, and how we should care for our kids in a similar manner. I do find that I want to be a better father to Josh than I was to his siblings. I also know that the window of opportunity is still there, and I need to grab it while I can.

Although I find I’m better than I used to be, sometimes, going back gives me some degree of pain. And I don’t feel like re-living it anymore. I’m hoping that this will be the last time I ever have to go through it with Josh. Plus, I’m hoping that he realizes what he goes through has nothing to do with what I went through. After all, at this point, he still has both of his parents around that love him very much and are there for him in every way they can be.

One little victory…

Those that have been following my life, or reading up on my FaceBook profile, and are aware of my freak knee accident that occurred demonstrating a weapon (the Bo) to a group of orange belts, and got further debilitated by unknowingly altering my walking habits, weakening my entire left leg, may be happy to know that I scored a tiny victory over this injury this week.

In a way, I have been doing my own form of “physio” on my leg by not only exercising it out on a bike, but also doing some strength training on an bow-flex unit. When I started, my left leg could barely handle 40lbs of resistance and I had a top pedalling speed of 16Km/hr. This week, I am pleased to report that my left leg can almost comfortably handle 50lbs of resistance and I have achieved an average pedalling speed of 26Km/hr. As well, I have been working out the rest of my body on the bow-flex and have not only felt my energy level increasing, but I have also dropped 7lbs.

If anything, it has been a huge step this week, and is just one little victory. To celebrate, I have upped my resistance all over by 10-20lbs, depending on the exercise, and I am ready to start the process over again. I realize that I have a long way to go with my leg, but that’s okay. I’m considering this a long-term investment!

I am looking forward to the next little victory. Believe and achieve!!

Note to self: Don’t take cell phone to bathroom!

If anything, I’m posting this more as a reminder than a blog because everytime I have to go to the bathroom, my cell phone goes off. It just makes me wonder who has that impeccable timing when I’m “taking The Browns to the SuperBowl”. I can’t call them inconsiderate, because they don’t know that I am currently indisposed and I didn’t make any effort to send that message, either by turning off my phone or leaving it locked in my bag.

Or, better yet, why don’t I simply answer the phone and try to hold a conversation in the middle of my “symphonic movement”? I’m sure that the it would not only prove to be amusing as I try to express some words such as “Philadephia” or “Boston” (practice these words in the middle of your chore), but I’m sure that the caller on the other will start thinking twice as to whether it may be a good idea to give me a call.

Until then, it’s time to start taking some cell phone measures before going to the white room. šŸ™‚

Oh me of little faith…

I have a nickname for Tuesdays. I call ’em “It happens Tuesdays!”, or a little stronger language, depending on the severity of it all. Things always happen on a Tuesday, or so it seems, more than any other day for me, and it seems to be a very noticeable pattern. Stuff of this nature happening on any other day, seem to be more of a freak occurrence than anything else. I am starting to think that it often tests my faith, and it puts me through various events with the same lesson.

Today is no different…

Driving in this morning, the 401 was backed up from Wellington County and I thought that it was going to be yet another slow day coming into work. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, I wound up at the cause of the back-up, which was an accident on the westbound 401 involving a white Grand Prix and Transport Trailer carrying a full load of cars. The car was t-boned by the truck, and I am certainly inclined to believe that the car was at fault. My best guess is that the drive believed it could outrun the truck and cut in its lane… and miscalculated. As much as I hate to say it, but I felt that the truck driver did the only thing he could: hit the car. A jack-knife could have thrown the vehicles it was transporting onto the highway causing more chaos.

Sure enough, I was thanking the driver of the car for his totally selfish move causing traffic stoppage in both directions. Even more so, I believed that it was going to be a day to take the 407 in, so I dug out my transponder and thought to myself, it would take a God to get me to Mississauga by 7:30’ish and even that seems impossible to do.

Shows how much I know. It’s as if God went, “I heard that… just watch!”, and cleared the traffic all the way up to Mississauga Road. I got there at 7:34am. I even got here 10 minutes earlier than I normally do. God is hopefully smiling at me going “Oh ye of little faith!”, because when I think of how I challenged God in that manner, I saw myself as having little faith. I’m just glad to have a God that is more than willing to roll up His sleeves for me just to show in His own little ways, and they are little to Him, He is God!

Apple Mail: close and yet so far!

Because I often send my blogs via remote email, I have to use a different email client. Why? Because Apple Mail doesn’t do HTML. This to me totally bites. I had to download Thunderbird just so I can send blogs. That’s all! How ridiculous is this? Mail does everything else for me… it just won’t do HTML.

All I can say is this: C’mon Apple. You build WebKit into Mail and we can read HTML mail perfectly. How about the ability to leverage WebKit and write HTML mail??

The only thing that helps me is that the email box they are both tied into is IMAP’d, so I don’t have to worry about losing any messages to the other email client.

That’s my rant for today!

God is not a vending machine…

This is something that I have been telling my 13-year old son all weekend, mainly because he would often pray to get various things and when they didn’t happen, he would always question why. That’s when I would tell him so. While I believe that everything is God-given, I don’t believe that we get it by saying a prayer and pulling a lever and watch it drop out of the sky.

Funny enough, my daily devotionals dealt with complaining and bellyaching. My Saturday study passage illustrated the very premise that God is not a vending machine and yet everyone in the desert was complaining and whining that things were not going their way, because all they had to eat was manna. They had manna and yet they wanted meat. God gave them meat and then they wanted something else. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. And don’t think that God didn’t give them more than what they bargained for.

Then I stumbled upon one of the questions that asked if God ever answered my prayers which proved to be costly… and sure enough, there was a time. I remember once getting a Lincoln Mark VIII, and while it was a nice car, it proved to be more than what I had bargained for. It became costly to repair. Insurance was a nightmare once I got into an accident with it. It was hard to handle in the winter time. That was only the beginning. All of the costs piled up pone on top of the other and it just got to a point where it wasn’t worth it. Fortunately, at a crossroads, I managed to find the answer and the choice I needed to make and was fortunate enough that God provided a way out for me and managed to get rid of the car. Happily enough, all of the costs went away with it.

I’ve learned to be careful what I ask for… I will get it, and possibly more than what I bargained for!

All the King’s Horses…

… and all the King’s Men weren’t around to help me put this studio back together again. PITY!

I finally got everything all back together last night before having toĀ take down a wedding for Joelle and the first thing I did was plug one of my guitars into one of the tube pre-amp inputs and the first words out of my mouth were “OH MY GOD!” Everything just sounded so alive!
All of a sudden, some of the amp models were just jumping out of the speakers. Notes were sustaining like they never did and there was a certain fire! Talk about music to my ears! I dialed in one of the Marshall amp models and plugged in my ol’ Ibanez Destroyer. I started hearing it the way I used to hear my old KISS albums. It was almost as if Paul Stanley were in the room playing. I even got a treat that I never got out of a straight digital interface… FEEDBACK! Yes!!! The guitar will feed back on a tube interface. It sounded totally mind blowing. I definitely feel a song coming on.

The two day rewiring project was more than worth it. It helped me clear out the gear that I was no longer using as well as helping me find which other gear is nearing the end of its life, such as my ol’ Multi-Verb III, which will probably not be replaced either as my Ibanez SDR-1000 (which is older) is more than worthy for the job and has held out longer and would probably be used in conjunction with my RockMan XPR (if that holds out as well… if not, it’s been nice).

It’s play time!!


I must be deluded if I believed that ripping apart my entire studio and putting it all back together would have taken just one night. If anything, it took me all night to just rip it all apart. Things areĀ starting to go back into place bit by bit, but this is definitely no one night job. Combined with the fact that I promised my son that we’d do some stuff today and that I promised my wife that I would take care of her business while she was gone, this is probably going to take me
all weekend to get done.

Oh well… so much for music this weekend. I can’t even pump some music through my iTunes because everything runs through the rack and the rack is in no state to have any audio through it at the moment. Oh well… I should just shut up and get back to work.

It’s Ripping Time!!

I went to Staples and picked up a little label maker along with some extra label tape with extra strong adhesive. I’m going to get out my screwdrivers and I am going to go into the studio and re-arranging my entire rack, ripping out all of the cables and re-organizing and labelling them. I am also ripping out my old Roland R-8m drum unit that I had for 20 years. It served me well, but it’s time has come.

I’m probably going to be in there all night and probably into the early morning in order to get things running in an efficient manner. This way, I can have easy visual access to my most used equipment and leave the least used stuff in a spot where I know they won’t be as needed.

If anything, the way I have things right now, it’s so inefficient. I can’t see my tube pre-amps and some of my other stuff in not handled as much. I’m also going to label the cables that I hook into the pre-amps because I don’t want to accidentally plug a dynamic or ribbon mic into a phantom powered cable. That would spell the end of the mic.

I am definitely looking forward to a more efficient studio rack… IT’S RIPPING TIME!

What were they thinking???

Finally, a question today that has surpassed my usual “why has someone never invented a sound-proof toilet bowl?” derives from this link:


What were people thinking when they came up with these types of breakfast cereals????

The worst part is that I remember the majority of these cereals from their commercials. I never ate any of them, and looking back, that seems like a good thing. Some of the things that they wrote made me laugh out loud. Here’s a piece:

Honestly, what’s more appetizing than chowing down on some crunchy loggs? Wouldn’t you just love to pop a logg in your mouth and experience its rich nutty flavor? It tastes just like what you’d get if a cartoon beaver took a dump in your bowl. Mmmm…delish.

They forgot to mention that it also looks like a cartoon beaver took a dump in the bowl as well. Some people in marketing positions were probably overdosing on too many Magic Puffs (another breakfast cereal).