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Cruise to the Edge

I made reservations with my good friends Robin and Laura to ‘Cruise to the Edge‘ this November. We will leave out of Miami on a four night cruise listening to old and new progressive rock bands featuring my all-time favorite Yes.

I last saw them just last summer with Robin in Orlando. It’s a shame that lead singer Jon Anderson has left the band but the singer that they replaced him with Jon Davidson does a a great job as well as having the same first name!

 

Sammy’s 11th Birthday

My best buddy Sammy is 11 today! Happy birthday to my best fur-friend and constant companion.

Sammy at 11 years old
Sammy at 11 years old

Sammy (Songsten’s Loyal Companion Samwise) was born 11 years ago in Fort Meyers, Florida. Both mother and father were champions so he’s quite the specimen. He’s a Dhoki Apso – commonly called a Tibetan Terrier.  There’s actually nothing at all Terrier about the breed and they were unknown outside of Tibet until a little over 100 years ago. As an ancient breed they live a good lifespan and I hope I’ll be fortunate enough to be with him for many years to come.

Sammy and I had a big year in 2014 moving to Florida after many years away (39 for me – 10 for him). He was previously with other dogs who tended to dominate the household for attention so Sammy was always a bit shortchanged in the attention area. Since moving here his personality has really blossomed which has been a delight to see.

He’s my constant companion and loves more than anything (other than eating) to ride in his car. He even sits in in when it’s parked in the garage hoping that I’ll take him somewhere. We get a couple of good long walks a day either to the beach or at our favorite park nearby where I swim in the mornings. I always take him on a long walk after my swim.

Happy birthday buddy!

Holidays 2014

Sammy & I spent nearly two weeks at Dave & Lisa’s house in Panama City. Mom has been staying with them since early 2014. Rick came up for New Years. I got to spend two days in the ER with kidney stones – no fun there. Other than that we had a great time!

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Here we go again..

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the journey continues….

Sammy and I wish you a wondrous and magical 2015 as we travel approximately 1.3 million miles per hour (the Milky Way – as shown – relative to the rest of the universe) towards our destiny.

We leave you with this prayer and our wishes for you for 2015:


Creator, keep me from the habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details – give me the wings to get to the point.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I might be mistaken.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of other’s pains.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people and give me the grace to tell them so.


Peace be with you – live everyday as it is a miracle – tell someone you love them – if someone does something for you and you know their name thank them by name.

Treat everyone you meet with courtesy, compassion, respect and dignity as is their worth as a child of creation.

Love, Sammy (woof!) and Eddie

North Carolina Thanksgiving 2014

I visited my brother Dave, his wife Lisa, their son Adam and my mother Betty at Dave & Lisa’s mountain in Scaly Mountain North Carolina. We woke to a white Thanksgiving and the next morning it was 19 degrees!

 

Cars & Coffee in Celebration Florida

Earlier this year I happened to meet up with a local BMW owner. He turned me onto Space Coast BMW – a Facebook page run by one of the club members. Yesterday I met up with some of the members and we caravanned to Celebration for the monthly Cars & Coffee event.

I was impressed at the turn out of some of the very cool cars there including a Ferrari Enzo – the hit of the morning. Sammy had a great time too!

 

New Music

Over the years I’ve found that my musical interests change and evolve over the years. This year I find myself less interested in Modern Jazz and more back to my original roots in Progressive Rock. For those of you unfamiliar with this genre think bands like Yes, King Crimson & Rush.

Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)KSCOPE241

In last months issue of Prog Magazine ran the top 100 Progressive Rock Albums of the year (or there abouts). I had heard of Steven Wilson as the leader of Porcupine Tree but really didn’t know anything about his music. They listed his 2013 release The Raven That Refused To Sing (and Other Stories) at #7.

Remarkable is one word for this album. Compelling is another! The musicality displayed here is nothing short of genius. From odd meters & Mellotrons to CSN-like vocals this guy and his band mates are nothing short of phenomenal in my book.

Check him out here.

Late September update

As September comes to an end I thought I would post some pictures of the past 3 months (almost) that Sammy & I have been living in Florida.

Satellite Beach -  Grant Avenue
Satellite Beach – Grant Avenue

Sunrise & sunsets

I get to the beach with Sammy generally twice a day. Some mornings we get there in time to watch the sunrise. We also get some great sunsets from the backyard or if we are out and about.

Brat Update

I had some time to kill after I got here before I went back to Atlanta in late August. I’ve wanted to put some driving lights on the M Coupe for a while. I also did a detail, added some stone guards and – of course – got the new license plate!

Electronic Drum Set Upgrade

I bought my Roland V-Drums back in the early 2000’s when I had to live in an apartment for a while. I always loved the ways the drums sound and the different voices you can get but never cared much for whacking on a pad instead of a cymbal.

Enter the new Zildjian Gen 16 Electronic / Acoustic cymbals. These are reduced volume cymbals (due to the matrix of holes on them) and have an electronic pickup which feeds to a dedicated processor to get 25 different variation of the cymbals natural sound. They play exactly like a regular cymbal and sound great.

Combined with my Roland SPD-SX sampling pad (in front) I now have dozens of different, configurable sounds. My next step is to start recording my percussion instrument for playback.

 Sammy

Sammy’s doing fine – especially for being nearly 11 years old (this January). He had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the move and being a ‘single-dog’ family. He’s terrified of the thunder storms and I am extra careful to make him feel safe during these times.

Roll

We all know how Sammy loves to roll in anything stinky. Well – he loves going to the beach twice a day to ‘Get his roll on!’

 

Sunrise and Sunset

Thank God that’s over

After a surreal weekend back in Atlanta I am happy to say that I have successfully extracted myself completely. Surgically one might say – ouch! Once I complete my Georgia tax return for 2014 I’ll hopefully never have anything more to do with the state I never intended to live in. 19 years later!

I am so grateful my Creator has this wonderful sense of humor and has placed all these children of his in my path to learn from, love and – in some cases – touch their souls. I am grateful that I have had that gift given to me and I will cherish the good and grow from the less-than-good.

It’s taken me a long time to understand that my only role as a human being is to be of maximum service to my fellow man. To love my fellow man and treat everyone as a child of God and a person of worth. It’s taken me a long time to understand that to love another means to treat them with respect, show compassion & empathy, provide encouragement, lack any ill-will or manipulation, and to be honest in my relationship with everyone I know. It’s taken me a long time to understand that I am no better – or no worse – than anyone. We are all the same in the eyes of our Creator.

I could have never understood this without all that has brought me to this point – all the beautiful souls that I have known. I understand now that life is a gift – not some kind of burden to be born. I understand that every moment I have a choice to look at things as if nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle. I understand that I have a choice to be right or to be free and happy. I understand it’s my choice to let go or be dragged until the road rash is painful enough.

Honesty, Acceptance, Humility, Faith and Love. These are my goals now. Look at each moment as a miracle, each moment as a gift. To turn my thoughts and actions to the positive and avoid the negative.

And to my detractors I can only say that the truth will set you free. I harbor no ill-will, no hatred or resentment – that only hurts me. I don’t answer to anyone but my Creator. Live long and prosper as Mr. Spock would say.

0.2 Miles

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I will be moving from Atlanta to Satellite Beach Florida next month. The map is my walk to the beach.

I am so grateful that my job with IBM allows me the freedom to live anywhere. As a new chapter unfolds in my life I am looking forward to this dream I have had for a long time of moving back. I have lived in some beautiful parts of the US (and Germany) but have felt the tug back home since I left nearly 40 years ago.

I have had to make some of the most difficult choices in my life recently. Yet somehow I approached these changes – at least in part – in a way I have never done before. I am grateful to all of life’s experiences, my friends and especially my family in my journey.

I leave Atlanta with my buddy Samwise, now 10 years old, to start this new chapter in my life. I leave here in Atlanta my best friend, my canine girlfriends and all the people who have touched my life the past 18 years. For never intending to live in Atlanta I ended up living here longer than anywhere else in my journey. I’m grateful that I have made these connections. Most importantly I have let others touch my life here like never before in my lifetime and I intend to nourish these friendships for as long as I can.