great people I’ve never met and a few that I have

While in a conversation with a very dear friend this evening, we struck a lot of common ground. It’s kind of weird… I think I’ve lived a very charmed life, musically. I’m just an old retired dude, who hacks at playing blues guitar. I’ve been very lucky to have touched bases with a lot of famous names and a lot of names that should be famous, but for some reason or other, are not.

This isn’t name dropping. I abhor that. Well, actually I don’t abhor it, but I’ve learned that there is nothing to be gained by tying yourself to people who have exhibited a more aggressive zest towards bettering life than you. At the same time, sharing the lessons learned from people like this is something I take great delight in sharing.

One of the things that having an ‘Internet Famous’ offspring has taught me is that no matter how well known someone becomes, it’s still all people and the good points they present to you. Call me an eternal optimist, but artistic people are always a joy for me to meet. Musically artistic people tend to top that list.

Case in point: A young man who could be the next John Petrucci… or he could be the first Diego Vargas. I first met Diego when he was about 14 years old. He came to a blues guitar get together, primarily because his guitar instructor was putting it on. Diego might have a passing interest in blues, but it clearly isn’t his focus. He’s a a rare case of someone who understands where a lot of us are at, even though it is clearly outside his sphere of interest.

He shreds, the likes of which I’ve never seen or heard. When I started this post, I was trying to put him into a box, saying he was liked Yngwie Malmsteen or John Petrucci. But that simply doesn’t fit this young man. He’s just freakin’ good!

While he’s more into shred and some jazz, while he was visiting us in February, I managed to capture some tasty licks while placating us “old guys.”

It’s February

Man, I put this site up in December and it’s already February and I’m just finally getting around to changing out the stock images in this WordPress theme. I need to remember to visit here more often.

With a new year comes new ideas, new things, new challenges. I’ve been away from the 8-to-5 grind for over a year now and I have to say there are things I miss about it, but a whole lot more that I don’t miss about it. I’m starting to understand what all my ‘more senior’ friends meant when they say that they are busier in retirement than when they did the daily thing. I think it has more to do with finally doing those things you always put off because you didn’t have time.

My biggest change is that I can get up in the morning and get an hour (sometimes more) to spend with my guitars. That was always an after work thing and often I came home from the office so mentally (and sometimes physically) drained that even though I practiced regularly, I was often not totally present. Now, I get to start the day and get a good session in while I’m mentally present and not physically tired. It makes a big difference. I’ve seen more improvement in my playing in the last year than I had seen in probably any three years before that. I’m still not ready to be a guitar god, but that’s not really the pot at the end of the rainbow. It’s enjoyable and it is very rewarding.

The cool part is, after I get my daily tasks done, there is usually still time to get some more guitar time. It’s also a big motivator to get things done, so I can get back to having a guitar in hand.

There are several things going on this year that are very exciting for me. We have friends from all over the country planning on coming to visit. Surprisingly, in the nearly 30 years we lived in Florida, we had very few visitors.

Current plans are for my wife to take a bucket-list trip with her father, and a few family members to Ireland this year. It’s something she has wanted to do since I’ve known her. I’m not big on playing tourist and this works out well for us. She can go and have a wonderful time. I can stay and take care of our critters. We would have a great time together on vacation, but I know she will enjoy the trip just as much with members of her family along with her. Later on in the year, I have plans to attend a blues guitar get together in upstate New York with some fellow blues players. We had one in 2018 at the same location that was a lot of fun. With the advance planning and notice on the 2019 event, I expect there will be a much larger contingent and with this group of friends, it really is a case of the more, the merrier.

Also coming up this year, our oldest son is getting married (it’s about time). We are very much looking forward to this event. It will be a wonderful time with family and friends. His mother has been waiting for this event for several years, so it’s wonderful that it is finally happening. His fiancee is already a member of the family. We all love her and can’t wait until they make it official.

There’s more probably going on this year, and this blog will be part of the conduit to share it.

-Later-

Yo Mama!

You would think that by now, I would understand how this all works… But no, WordPress might as well be a foreign language to me. I had a blog before at another location. It never got much beyond changing a couple photos around and writing something once or twice a year. Eventually, it went away.

So why am I here doing this again? Beats me, but now that I’m not working a 8-to-5 job any more, it just might work out that I could have a few more activities to share with friends, family and anyone else who might stumble upon this page.

When I decided to do this, it was supposed to be musically oriented, but at times I have the attention span of a gnat (so I’ve been told) and I may ramble on other topics, like living out in the country in North Carolina, vehicle maintenance, farm equipment, ornithology, horses, and what the hell is this plant growing in the south forty(?).

In the future, I’m going to try and flesh out the front page, getting things that might be of interest to anyone who takes the time to read this. Bear with me. It may be a long journey.