I miss the good ol' days of karaoke. My little brother and I have been singing karaoke for over twenty years and over that time we have both won contests individually and as a duet. The most successful of those was the time we sang in a karaoke finals on an outdoor stage at the Benton-Franklin County Fair in Washington State. There were over two thousand people in the audience and we had won two preliminary rounds with "Woodstock" to get there. One of the judges was the lead singer from the Tokens (from "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" fame). Alas, some kid hacking "Just a Gigolo" beat us out for the cruise vacation we were trying to win. [My apologies to my readers who have never heard of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00137TEXI/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk1]
But I digress. Karaoke was hugely popular at one time and audiences appreciated good singers. That just isn't the case anymore. It seems like the purpose of karaoke now is as a platform for the very young to get drunk and embarrass themselves. Those are the people that are appreciated. Most others hardly get noticed.
Times and bars do change, but not always for the better. Smoking bans: GOOD; Uninterested audiences: BAD.
We've lost another icon... Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock, is no longer with us. He did live long and prosper, and for us Trekkies, the world won't quite be the same. I'll let the media do the eulogies, but I will say that he invented a character unlike any before him. Watching the original series in the sixties when it was new was extraordinary. Like many famous duos over the centuries, without Spock, there would be no Kirk, at least not a Kirk we would have enjoyed nearly as much.
Bill Shatner, take good care of yourself.
I had been looking for a way for people to buy some of my best photographs, which is one of the reasons I ended up on this host for my website. I'll eventually be able to sell digital content here and the host will take care of the encryption, passwords, payment, and all those important but difficult to manage details.
In the meantime, I set up account on Imagekind, which will allow people to purchase regular and canvas prints, with or without frames and matting, of the photos I've made available. I've been uploading large-format images and now have over a hundred available. Here's the link: http://HuberJack.imagekind.com/
Don't forget to let me know you bought something and/or what you think of some of my work...
It's sunny this morning, with small gray and white cloud scattered in the sky. The air is calm and it looks like a nice, warm spring day is almost upon us. My bird feeders are filled with sparrows, siskins, and finches, while below them a flicker and a couple of blue jays come and go, feeding on seed thrown down by the smaller birds. My cell phone shows a high today of 50 degrees.
It's a cruel joke, though, as a snowstorm will be hitting Metro Denver this evening, bringing back bitter cold and about a foot of snow (in Colorado we call this 'February'). When I become a writer full-time, there's no way I'm going to stay still and let winter happen gracefully. Our fifth-wheel will be hitched and ready at all times, especially if we aren't in Arizona or Texas at the time...
Writing is a process, one that plays out differently for each writer. In my case, I ruminate about a plot, then about sub-plots, action, dialog and steps toward the finish, all the while brushing my teeth, watching TV, eating lunch, and doing all the other little tasks and events I experience every day. My mind lets me know when I need to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), since I am not able to eat or sleep when I get to that point. Then I think of nothing else until I put that chapter to bed.
I miss being able to take a jaunt into the mountains for a photo shoot anytime I want just because a) it's snowing, b) it's extremely cold, or c) the interstates are filled with skiers. This California boy just doesn't get along with winter-- never have, never will. It's the primary reason we moved from Buffalo a few years ago, and the lack thereof is one of things I liked best about Las Vegas and the desert. I shouldn't complain too much about Colorado. At least here there are several 50-70 degree days interspersed throughout the winter months. Unfortunately, in February, we're so tantalizingly close to spring, that the return of cold and snow after a few 70 degree days just seems cruel. We're supposed to be getting another 12-16 inches of snow this weekend. There goes another road trip...
I've been counting calories now for about ten months and I'm only a couple of pounds away from my target weight. My biggest complaint, perhaps, is that I end up wasting food with the portion sizes many restaurants serve. Have you ever eaten just half of your fries, especially when they are the perfect combination of crispy, soft and salty? Give us calorie conscious diners a break, please?
I woke up to 4" of snow this morning, the wet kind that weighs down your snow shovel. It snowed another few inches while I was at work, meaning I had another round of shoveling when I got home. The good news is that the roads have been pretty good... and also that it's hovered near 30 degrees all day. Compare that with what the east coast has been facing this week and I can count myself lucky.
My wife was complaining this morning about yet another article in the paper saying that we need $1.5 million in savings if we want to retire well. Editorialists should realize by now that if you don't have a significant portion of that amount saved by the time you are in your mid-forties, let alone late fifties, it's an impossible dream. In the older age brackets all we can do is manage debt. Social security can go a long way to providing a comfortable retirement if you have no monthly payments for our material things. No, it's not perfect and it doesn't cover medical expenses well, but it's what we have control over (unless an agent and/or a publishing company discovers me...)
It's not about our ages now;
it's more or less our states of mind.
We have the aches that dreams allow
and pains of life once unconfined.
As kids we dreamed of growing up
and living unlike those before,
while drinking from a paper cup
and nothing yet to answer for.
Reality has taken hold,
and shows us life is often spent
depressed, alone or in the cold,
without the ones for which you're meant.
I thank the stars for my Nadyne
who lets each morning reconvene.
Copyright © 2015 by Jack Huber-
All rights reserved.