Friday, March 31, 2006

My friend

I haven't told a whole lot of people about my friend... but I thought it might be time to introduce you!

Here we are, a modest shot.

We both really enjoy the sun...

Over time, we've really become quite close...

In fact, there are times I feel I'm being followed... (must be because I'm not that hard to keep up to!)

In the end, though, we're just really good friends.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lent and my own desert PART 2

...continued from Lent and my own desert

I made a profound discovery on Monday. It's taken me a couple days to process because I think I've stumbled on something that has played a major role in how I've lived my life.

In the previous Lent and my own desert post I talked about Mark and what he had to say on the subject of Lent being a time of self-discovery... particularly in the area of the uncomfortable, the fearful, the lonely: basically the ugly stuff in our lives. He recommended taking the 40 days of Lent to spend some time in "our own desert" to examine the bits and pieces that we find fearful, anxious, limiting or just plain scary.

After some really serious "mapping" of my habits, views, fears and anxieties, I've discovered a few key things about myself.

I'm a genius.
I'm undeniably intelligent.
I have endless skill
(including the skills that will allow me to get more skills)
I have opportunity.
I have abundance of resources - especially in people.

All pretty positive stuff, right? So what's the problem?

Up until very recently I didn't recognize this stuff about me. It was easily dismissed (especially by me) as just the way things are. "Yah, so what? If I can do it, most certainly anyone can!" was my attitude.

Here's the show-stopper:

I have the knowledge
I have the skills
What I lack is the action. Putting into motion that which will achieve results.

So you're sitting back reading this saying "But Dave, it's so simple! All you need do is... DO! SOMETHING! ANYTHING!"
Yes, but in my mind it's always been "What if?"

What if it doesn't work?
I'll have wasted ALL that time, energy, resource on what? Something that didn't come to fruition.

What if it does work?
It'll be a runaway train - something I can't control! If it (whatever it is) works, it will be of such magnitude I maybe won't have the knowledge or skills to take it on successfully. Then what??!

"What if" has stopped me dead in my tracks for years.

So... wait a minute...
What if it works - successfully, yet moderately? What if the success is something I can manage?

Hey, maybe we're on to something here!

Coupled with this fear of failure/success is this fear of risk. I have somehow managed to talk myself into believing that risk - any risk - is great. Even if what I'm ACTUALLY risking is minimal, I TALK as though it's a risk of huge magnitude. So inside my head I say "Hmm... I'm gonna take a leap off this diving board and chances are there's no water in the pool. This is gonna hurt!" When in reality, hundreds of people jump off diving boards every day into the safe, pillowy cushion of the water below. OK, maybe not always pillowy, but safe.

Somewhere along the way I associated RISK with BIG. So ALL RISK or NO RISK have been my options. MODERATE risk has never been "on the table" for consideration.

What this comes down to is I think I've discovered a way to take action.
I could adopt a MODERATE RISK attitude.
If every chance I take for growth has now a MODERATE risk factor, I think it will drastically affect the outcome of many of my decisions to come.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's all about the toys!

Today, for the first time in ages, I felt a spark of enthusiasm for my chosen vocation. Yesterday, in the regular runnings around that are typical of my weekend evenings, I ended up with a three-hour window from 8 to 11. Everything was so extremely "organized" that I spent much of my evening wondering what to do with myself! I'm not sure this is a GOOD thing, but it was an interesting exercise. The thought of "sitting around" for three hours bugged me.

What could I do?

I started calling.... who would be available at this hour to visit?

I have a friend in the film industry, R., who could very well be on a film shoot - or not - so I called. I got his voice mail... "Hi, you've reached R. I'm on location all this week so leave me a message, I'll return your call."

I left a message.
The phone rang.
It was R.!
"Come on over for a drink - I'm just working on a client's project so I can't leave the office, but come over - we'll visit."

Not only did we visit, I learned! I learned about how video and audio are stored on a DVD and the process through which one goes to master a DVD from raw footage. Cool, very cool.

My friend R. is all about technology and the toys. Today I was doing something completely unrelated, but my subconscious was very active. I started thinking about the time when I was juiced about my business and all the things I did that made it a lifestyle choice over simply a career or a job.

It was the toys. Now, before you get the notion that I'm in any way materialistic, let me clarify: Technology is what grabbed me. The new, the neat, the advanced. I'd be lying if I said there isn't, to some degree, that feeling that every kid gets at Christmas time in anticipation of something new, fresh out of the box. There is, to a certain extent, a degree of that which feeds the excitement. But the toys alone don't feed the growth. They say knowledge is power, they also say that what you DO with knowledge is power. In order to do, you must have tools with which to do. The tools, in this case, are often the toys.

Today I was speaking with a fellow who has hired me numberous times to do sound production for his "little big band". He has a show upcoming in May and was asking me if I was in to no only the live production, but the recording end of things. This conversation got me thinking about all the stuff I could put together to have a really cool - not to mention practically useful - production rig. Dollars didn't matter - my imagination was going wild. What kinds of cool toys could I have on board to make mine the mobile system to be sought after?

In my mind - in toys alone - I probably spent well over $$100,000.00 without really batting an eye. In my current financial situation this kind of outlay would seem frivolous, if not foolish. In my imagination, however, anything goes.

So why not let my imagination feed my dreams, which in turn will create my goals?

Good thinkin', Dave! (you really should be writing this stuff down!)

It's quite obviously time to shift my focus. For too long I've been thinking about the dreaded financial situation... how bad it is, and how to get out.

How about getting back to the dreaming, the wish lists, the goals? Let the crap that is just that work itself out.

Focus on the fun!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Poetic Inspiration

This was in my email box tonight from Ann:

Albert Camus

In the depths of winter,
I finally realized
that deep within me
there lay
an Invincible summer

Inspirational, thank you!

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Fresh Start

All these deep posts as of late - searching my soul, spending time in my desert, scratching the surface of the uncomfortable zones, changing belief systems - they're taking their toll.

I'm worn out, worn down, my wheels are constantly turning, spinning.

I told Sarah at dinner last night that it's all very exhausting. She agreed, and I think her theme words of "Light and Strong" are good guides. I've become myred in over-analysis and digging, digging, digging.

I've forgotten, in the short term, how to lighten up, laugh and enjoy the moment for what it is.

Have you ever noticed how just about anything comes together so much easier when you're genuinely light-hearted, open and care-free?

I had a friend at one time, who was my first basement tennant. His outlook on life was very negative. He would come home grumpy and bitchy every single day. He could tell you just what was wrong with EVERYTHING! Not a positive influence, not a person you find yourself wanting to be around! He couldn't understand how my life was going so well. As he saw it, I had everything handed to me. I had the job I wanted, the house I wanted, the friends I wanted. His life was not what he wanted and I could tell why. He continued to get more and more of what he spent so much of his time focusing on: misery.

True, getting what you want out of life is often a whole lot of work. I believe in my soul, though, that the work seems a whole lot less like "work" when you take a lighter approach to problem solving. Invite people in - it's been my experience that people will treat you as you treat them. Treat everyone with respect, dignity and neighbourly invitation. You'll be amazed at how positively they'll respond to you!

Today the "have to do"s are "get to do"s.

As Mollie has shared with me, and I agree:
" enjoying life, each day, is the main thing. and giving thanks for whatever comes... "

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Life or Death: who gets to choose?

I just had a nightmare. It doesn't happen often - in fact next to never. This particular dream disturbed me to the point I was virtually paralyzed when I woke up.

"Playing God" is something mankind has debated over for ever. Who has the right to take another person's life? Who has the right to decide if it's in someone else's interest to live or die? Who decides if a baby gets to be born? Who decides?

I've heard countless stories about people who blame "God" when a tragedy strikes and takes a loved one from them. If "God" is so readily blamable, has anyone ever stopped to think what "God" might feel about one human being taking it upon themselves to either decide to live or die, or make that decision on someone else's behalf?

When my parents moved to a care facility last year, one of the intake form questions dealt with the decision making process regarding resuscitation. If something serious were to happen, what is my Mom or Dad's decision? Is the staff obligated to resuscitate? Are they obligated to leave the situation be?

Then there's abortion. Not a topic I normally pay any attention to, but I suppose it's ultimately another form of playing "God". Again, who gets to choose? It's the mother's body, the mother's trauma, the mother's responsibility. What about the father? Where's the line? Who gets to choose what?

What about the child?

Having been adopted, born at a time when abortion was anything but common practice - certainly never used as a form of birth control - I'm of the mind that there are other alternatives.

Never, in any case, have I had to make a "life or death" decision - not even to put a pet down. So I hope you will excuse the depth of this post as a simple vent to a dream.

Dream researches say that dreams are often a reflection of one's daily experience, wishes or fears. It caused me to think about what caused this dream to be...

Last night I watched a movie: Speed. In it, a terrorist kills a number of innocent people to drive home the point that he is in charge. He wants money. He uses fear and control to get it. On the surface this film is done tastefully and comes across as an "action/adventure" flick. Everything is OK on the screen because no one really dies.

I wonder if my subconscious was just a little vulnerable last night?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wee Dram postponed...

In my previous post I mentioned I would be taking a break in the middle of my day for an Irish Toast with a few friends. It never happened. I called R. at the appointed meeting time to discover they'd moved the party! It was now to be at a pub that would make it impossible for me to make the timing work. So, it may be um... (when's the next drinking holiday??) a while before I meet up with this particular group of friends. Come to think of it, I suppose I shouldn't have been "dramming" prior to showing up at an Elementary Catholic School dance!

Moving forward...

It was a wonderfully productive business day! My clients were happy, my staff was happy and I am happy!

Life is grand! I'm feeling great! There's so much going for me and I feel on top of the world right now.

...and I just have to say - because we're all one big happy blogger family - I'm particularly pleased with S. She's a wonderful, wonderful lady and I, Turtle, am blessed.

God bless you all, and be well!

Turtles are green, too!

It's early on St. Patrick's Day and I really have nothing to say! I'm not Irish, I'm Scottish (if only by adoption), and Scandinavian & English by blood.

In the spirit of the day, however, I took a trundle via Google to check up on the day. I found a couple extremely heavy Catholic reads, but The History Channel has a bit of light, easy to navigate history.

I'm swamped with work today, so an early start is imperative. I'll be taking a break for a "wee dram" this afternoon with a few friends, and I will drink a toast to everyone in the blogosphere...

...and if you check my blog roll, you'll notice I even have a Patrick! Cheers to you, my friend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You think we have it weird?

Weather patterns may be a little off here, but how about winter in Arizona???

I just received these photos by email - courtesy AZ Republican online via T. - taken 20 miles north of Phoenix...

Imagine... in a place that has seen no rain for 130+ days...

Tequila over ice? (under snow, whatever!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Got to talk techie-talk

Today was full and rich. It demonstrated to me one of the simplest, but most enjoyable benefits of self employment. A last-minute phone call from my friend Norm facilitated an early-morning coffee on my way to a downtown appointment. You don't often get to do these social coffee things on the way to the "office", battling rush-hour traffic, now do you!

I got to collect some money due me today - a "bad debt" turned paid. It's been five months, many "reminder" phone calls and it cost me a trip across town to get the money, but it's done. (One down, two to go!)

Another benefit of self-employment is that the trip across town put me in the vicinity of the Mercedes dealership. I took a few moments out of my day to browse. Now, you would never peg me as a luxury car type - especially a Mercedes - since I'm far more about the practicality of something than the luxury. However, Mercedes makes a car I'm particularly drawn to.

I speak of course of the SMART car!

I drive a one-ton 15-passenger van. Yes, folks, it's my "daily driver". You can imagine the amount of fuel I go through, not to mention it's a little excessive to be considered an "A to B" car!

Turns out a SMART car is actually LESS MONEY than the van I'm driving! Not only is the purchase price lower,it consumes FAR LESS FUEL!

The other amazing thing? It tops out at 135 KM/H using only a 40 HP motor! Add another 100 horses and you've got my daily driver... a lot more mouths to feed!

My fourth and final stop this afternoon was business related. I went in search of technology. You see, I've been contracted to install upgrades and additions to a church sound system. I discovered three new techie bits that excite me:

1 A wireless microphone headset that clips around the presenter ear, not to their clothing. The "wire frame" is beige in colour and literally disappears against the flesh of the face. Now the microphone is in a consistent position in front of the mouth. Cool, very cool.

2 A "smart" mixer that determines when someone using a wireless headset approaches a podium with a microphone on it. Normally what would happen is that BOTH microphones would pick up the voice, causing all kinds of weirdness (yes, "weirdness" is an industry term, collective in nature to encompass all kinds of strange things that can happen when certain conditions are met )- but mostly, an extremely louder signal. This can be disconcerting to the average listener.

This mixer uses a proprietary system that says "wireless shall take priority over podium", so only one microphone is active. Again, very cool.

3 Wireless hearing aides. These units are fed by a transmitter that sends the signal (spoken word, music, whatever) from the sound system to individual receivers worn by members of the audience who may be hard of hearing. Parishioners in the church, if they really like the idea, can then purchase their OWN receivers at a very modest cost.

It felt great to spend some time catching up with technology! I might have to schedule this as a regular thing!

Tonight is babysitting night. Uncle David is going to spend some quality time with family.

Here's hoping your day was as bright, full and rich!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Turtle out of his shell

It's time.
Turtle exposed.
As requested, a file photo for the PSL.

Can you tell which one is me?
(I'll give you a hint: The one jamming on a turntable is DJ-T.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lent and my own desert

I heard a new take on the Christian season of Lent the other day.

Lent is the season that Christians observe as the pre-Easter "fast" - to most I know, this means to give something up: a creature comfort, food, luxury or some other secular thing that would be considered beyond necessity.

Here's what I heard that - to my way of thinking - is a much different consideration.

The Son of Man was led to a desolate, dark and empty place to fast for 40 days. During this time, the Evil One (call him the Devil, Satan, whatever...) continually tempted him with wealth, power and ackowledgement. This was a difficult place to be in - a place of being tested.

We all have our own "desert" - the dark place where we often dare not go. A place of discomfort, uneasy feelings or fear or hate. It was asked of me "What is it you hate the most about yourself?" The man who asked this question revealed to me that the thing he hated most about himself was that he feared of confrontation. He was afraid to "stand up for himself". I found it odd because the man in question was an Anglican priest. Here's a man who has declared publically that he has this moral code, his beliefs that he will defend to the end.

Am I to believe that the same man who will stand by what many might call "abstract" beliefs - believing in what can not be so easily "proven", but what must be "believed" on the basis of faith - finds it difficult to defend HIMSELF? Are your beliefs not a large part of YOURSELF?

Maybe he's afraid of a physical confrontation.

Anyway, the point he made was this: He said "To get from A to C, you must pass through B." A being where you are, C being where you want to be and B being what you have to go through to get there. He said "B is the desert. Your desert. That place that's dark, desolate and ugly." His recommendation wasn't that we give anything up, but rather that we take the 40 days of Lent to explore our desert. Perhaps he knows something I don't yet - perhaps we WILL give something up in this process of exploration. Perhaps we'll give up the fear.

40 days is a long time to face your fears, I figure. However, I have discovered on occasion that once you face your fears, you can deal with them. You deal with them and somehow they fade, they become manageable or they disappear all together.

So here I am in my mid 30s, and what timing. I'm facing fear. Fear of failure, fear of success (odd, isn't it!?)fear of rejection. It's all in there - a whole mix of emotions. So now this man comes along and says "Take the next 40 days to face your fears!"


I must be making some headway. All day yesterday I had this anxious feeling - a feeling of uncertainty, a feeling of fear. There's somthing up. I'm beginning to uncover something. The frustrating part is that I'm not sure just what. Or maybe I do know and I'm just not ready to throw back the cover and reveal it.

I'll keep you posted on this over the next... 38 days or so!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Solo Turtle

It's rare that I see a lot of work on Sundays in my business - unless of course you count Saturday night rolling into early Sunday morning. Yesterday I had a small contract for a sound system rental. I delivered it on time for 3:30. The couple renting the system were thrilled - not to mention very friendly. It just so happened that the food arrived at about the same time I did, so by the time I had their system ready to go I was being invited to sit down for a bite to eat!

Turns out that this fellow's Mom was the cook - and man, could she cook! They loaded me down with ribs, noodles, sauted veggies... and for dessert - candied yams!

The scheduled pickup time was 9:30, but we extened it to 10:00 because "cousin DJ" figured it would be an all-out party. I arrived at the hall about 9:40 in case things had settled down early - and they had. There was but one car in the lot. Turns out the hall custodian was the only one on site - packing away chairs and such.

So there I was. Sound system loaded, 10:00 PM on a Sunday night... and I was restless. What to do...

I thought to myself...

"Hmm... I seem to recall there's dancing at the Latin club on Sunday nights..."

I was greeted at the door by a young lady who picked up on the fact that I thought she was the door girl... this of course was not the case, we had a little laugh about it and I checked my coat. And my $6.00. I flipped out a $20, being courteous of course to ask if this was a problem. No problem. It might have been the fact that I've worked retail, but my first instinct was to quickly do the math and hand over 21, to make the change easy. The lady taking coats and money was obviously sharper than I. She said "There, you have $6 in coin in your hand!"

*sigh* OK... I'll get change tomorrow to wash the van.

Once inside, I noticed a number of couples on the dance floor - just enough to make it interesting and easy to watch. I love watching people. Everyone has their own thing that makes them, well, them. I recognized a fellow I'd seen a few weeks back when S. and I were there. He was busy not only dancing, but teaching. I had to remember to watch HIS feet, not the feet of the poor fellow he was instructing. Having said that, this "poor fellow" seemed to have the basic stuff down.

There was a tall Latino fellow - probably a little younger than I - who had it down. His body just seemed to flow. I could tell he loved to dance. He led his partner with ease - as if he were just "walking down the street"... but with an obvious love for dance. This fellow was dancing from his soul.

Now I don't do jealousy as a general rule - it's a wasteful emotion and it can eat away at you. But for a few minutes all I could think was "Oh, to dance like him!" Then, of course, followed the thoughts of how "clunky" I am.

I can sorta flow, but then I lose the step, the frame, the beat count. It seems I can do one or the other or the other. Multitasking is difficult.

I used to try that "rubbing you tummy while patting your head" thing.
I could never do it.

My Mom could raise one eyebrow up while lowering the other one.
I was more like Burt from Sesame Street.

Anyway, there I was watching people dance. I'm starting to get an idea of what separates a good dancer from an average dancer. I'm still nervous, and I think that's the first thing that has to go. How do you flow when you're full of nerves?

Experience. That's all I need.

So, as I sit here - being mindful of the whereabouts of my cat - I practice.

1, 2, 3... 4, 5, 6...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Been Tagged

On Tuesday I received an email from Anvilcloud
saying I've been tagged here.

Having never been tagged, it took me a second to discover just what a fellow's supposed to do! (Only been blogging since November here, I'm kinda new!!) So once I figued it out, it was like... "Wow, I'm involved!! Woo hoo!!"

So, here are my answers to the following questions. At the end is a list of subsequent tags - just to keep things interesting!

From Anvilcloud's "A Good Tag"

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?

That all depends. I firmly believe that shows like Psycho just wouldn't have the same effect in colour. In fact, with respect to that show in particular, a colourized version would give something away. We'd all realize that the "blood" in the shower scene was simply... can you guess?? Yup, chocolate pudding! Somehow it just wouldn't be the same...

I remember watching the wizard of Oz in my wee years. Even then, the black and white scenes had far more effect on me than the colour ones.

Black and white is an excellent "effect" in modern film because it allows for the impression of "back then", or "nostalgia".

Anything filmed with the intention of depicting "current" times, I would enjoy far more in colour.

2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?

That's a toughie... anyone who knows me knows I can, and do chat... about almost anything!

3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?

Now THAT'S a question I can answer in multiple parts! Excellent.... here we go...

MP3s - Although small, convenient and modern, the "convenience" factor is the only one I can think of off hand. Most MP3 files I've listened to don't even come close to the fidelity of a high-quality CD recording, or Vinyl for that matter.

CDs - Pretty much a standard across the board - everyone has them, knows what they are and for the most part anywhere you go , you can accommodate the format. An all-round excellent format, I'd say.

TAPES - Cassettes have a special place in my heart only because I grew up with them. When I first started DJing, it was very common to buy the records and transfer them to cassette because it was a far more convenient format for "on the road" production. It also kept us DJ types from getting lazy... CDs and digital formats do that. One of the greatest challenges as a DJ was to do a show of 50s and 60s music (generally 2 and 3 minute songs) on 90 minute cassettes. The REWIND time alone was the challenge factor. I knew fellows who would sport up to four or five tape decks just so they could have a few songs ready to go while they cued up successive tracks! Inconvenient, but they allow me to play MY music in the van!

RECORDS - By far, nothing I've heard matches the sound quality of GOOD vinyl on a decent sound system. If the record is clean, free from scratches and such, you are hard-pressed to match the "warm" tones and extremely high fidelity. When CDs first came on the market and everyone was google-eyed over a DDD recording, I was thinking the whole process made the recording sound false somehow... almost too "clean" I mean, what's Stairway to Heaven without crackle and pop overtones??

4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?

Absolutely not. There are things in this world that money can't buy. This includes, but is not limited to "family, friends, everyone".

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?

Just one? That's tough. One that happens to be close to my heart right now is food. The quality of our food is poor. Just this summer I had the opportunity to speak with a farmer friend of mine. He's in his 80s and is so very excited about the newly developed "pesticide-ready canola". The poison is IN the plant's gene. No need for spraying. It's made true the saying "food is for selling, not eating."

6: How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?

It's idealistic at this point, and probably too little, too late. If given the power, I would enforce "organic only" food production.

7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?

The question then becomes: "If I change this one thing, will I end up in the same place?" I dunno... life's pretty good, I'd say. I suppose, given the choice, I would choose, earlier in life, to strive for more... to "go for gold", as it were.

8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?

I wonder what would be the result of sidestepping the great wars?

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole Opry: which do you choose?

The Opera, I expect. No. The Opry. No, wait... the Opera... *sigh*

10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you'd like to solve?

Hmm... a crime of passion, I expect. I'd like to know who made women more intelligent than men. (I'm sure this comment will strike a match somewhere!)

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?

No contest. Sarah Eaton, and I would serve... meat.

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky - what's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?

Celebrate immorality? The first thing I would do? Write a song that expresses the fact that we don't need such a revelation to celebrate immorality.

Seeing as AC tagged Gina, PBS, Me, and EC., I figure it's only fitting that I pass it on. (This is Soooo "chain letter"!) Of course, as tradition holds, you need not reply, I'm simply curious what these folks might come up with.

Tagged are
Zou Zou

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.