The ascention of Bowie and how he left his mark on an earthling.

It is hard to comprehend, as there have been a number of timeless musicians that have been lost in recent years, that only one has taken me to a state of pure shock and having to take time and morn their passing.  Some of recent note that gave me pause and reflection would be Lou Reed, Tommy Ramone, and B.B. King.  Voices and distinctive sounds that have been along for the ride through out my life.  Even more recently, Scott Weiland passing stung somewhat, as Stone Temple Pilots was a leading soundtrack for me for a chunk of time.  I even briefly met him one night at the Borgata in Atlantic City, having no knowledge that Velvet Revolver was playing there that night.

Those artists were are all, in the periscope of my musical reference, dwarfed by the loss of Kurt Cobain.  As Nirvana was a strong presence in a pivotal point in my life where discovering all kinds of music, along with learning to play the guitar and piano.  It was such a system shock, that for me, it had the same effect as previous generations had when Kennedy was shot or Elvis passed.  That effect of a moment in time frozen in memory or your personal timeline of exactly where you were and what you were doing when you found out. Yes, I was alive when Elvis left us, but at 2 months old, it didn’t quite hold the same gravity as the voice of your early teenage years.  For reference, I was cutting the grass at my mothers house, and listening to DC 101 on a yellow, Sony tape Walkman when Cobain’s death was announced.  I was quick enough to click record on the tape player to record the interviews and snippets DC 101 had assembled, which at that time, gave the impression to be a suicide.  That said, Cobain was just a few power chords on the musical road that has been traveled.  Yes, the music was important and changed the landscape at the time, but not eternal, it never was able to quite reach a permanent place.

Eighteen days ago, we lost someone who truly transcended all, pun intended.


David Bowie.

Accepting his passing has been not possible just yet, there is a need to make peace with it.  That notion is hard to understand when I have never met David Bowie in person.  But Bowie, was been there from day one.  His music was so different, unforgettable, and era-less to me.  With Bowie, it was far more than just the music, he brought the theatrical visual impact that no one else had done before that really made everyone notice.  The completely unique looks, with a kind of operatic sound to his voice, along with some real messages in his lyrics that made you pay attention.  He kept producing something not of the expected or always understood.  To add to all of that, for him to be an actor was even more of a factor that created this image.  As a kid, Labyrinth, scared me somewhat, causing it to be ingrained in my memory. In some ways, he is like a Stanley Kubrick character that lived among us.


Even if he was not always understood at the time, I was learning what androgynous meant through Ziggy Stardust, along with how an artist can keep going through Changes while staying on top, and how a man could wear make-up in an effeminate nature and be taken seriously or look so different from one album / era to the next.  The on going saga of Major Tom is powerful, as no other artist that I know of, before or since, has kept a consistent narrative or character over a stretch of time.

David Bowie, to me, was far more than just one artist as Freddy Mercury was really introduced to me through Bowie, as well as Bing Crosby, Trent Reznor, Lou Reed and Brian Eno (both also through U2) Iggy Pop, Arcade Fire, and even Franz Ferdinand.  Taking a moment to step back and realize that is just unreal.


While many people may interpret some of his songs, you would think he emulating other great artists of his time.  But, in reality, I feel like he may have out did those who he emulated at their own style, or you have to question if they took their queues from him.  Almost as if he accidentally surpassed them at their own game due to superior talent or creativity.  I find it impossible to try not to hear Iggy Pop in Queen Bitch, or the Rolling Stones in Suffragette City, or Billy Joel in Lady Stardust, and especially the Beatles in Oh! You Pretty Things for a few examples to ponder.


The Challenger explosion was another moment frozen in my timeline, but there was no real human connection to those that were lost, outside of the knowledge of Christa McAuliffe was a teacher, so all the 3rd grade classes were tuned in to watch the launch and maybe catch her give the first lesson from space.  The irony is not lost on me that 30 years ago today, the Challenger was lost, and I am choosing to put down my feelings about someone who was not really of this earth and told us stories about Major Tom, a Starman who lived a life of Space Oddity all while wondering if there is Life on Mars.

One interesting question I heard in my head, was what would be my answer if Arthur ever asked me what would be the best song to describe David Bowie…. which one really was his sound & voice that was like no other?  I wouldn’t know where to start, though Heroes might close.  A self-inflicted impossible question, as you can not tell someone what color their chameleon is, but Bowie was the opposite of a chameleon.  He stood out, he was so far out there, it was impossible to ignore what he was doing.


This is not meant to inform who he was or how great he was as a complete artist.  This is my way to say so long, by simply putting the thoughts down on “paper” and come to terms with his death.  I feel, in a way, that I need to thank David Bowie, for all the music he gave us, the other artists he introduced me to, the lasting images, and for simply creating many things that will last with me for the rest of my life.  From the spiritual perspective, it is as if David Bowie is finally where he was always meant to be, among the stars…..

Opinion: Why you shouldn’t stance a sports car

The Apex Hunter

I’d like to start with the disclaimer that I’m not one of those “I hate stance” guys. I can totally appreciate every aspect of the car enthusiast world, whether it be stanced cars, track style builds or full-blown race cars. It’s obvious that everyone has their own taste and differing goals, and that variety is what keeps the car scene interesting.

That being said, the destruction of purpose-built sports cars needs to stop.

It’s one thing to throw some low-offset 10 inch wide wheels on your Honda Civic and increase the camber to -10 degrees in the name of fitment and car show competition, but to destroy the suspension geometry of an Evo, STi, S2000, or any other well-built sports car is downright sacrilege. If you want to stance a car, buy something meant to go slow. If you want to race one, buy a sports car. That’s about as…

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Why vaping is ruining the car scene

The Apex Hunter

16161316908_ef962e78c4_o (1) Image courtesy of

You’ve waited all year for this. It’s the day of your favorite annual car event, whether it be V2 Lab’s Mystery Meat, Final Bout, SOWO or that track day you’ve been planning for ages.

You arrive, expecting the smell of burned rubber and catless exhausts to fill the air. Then, suddenly, you’re hit with it.

Strawberry Shortcake.

9.22.15 re edit-9707 We get it, Mike. You vape.

The offender strolls past with his ironic car scene T-shirt, skinny jeans and a bedazzled rosary around his neck. He deeply inhales from a child-sized box mod and proceeds to unleash a mushroom cloud of vaporized vegetable glycerin directly into the faces of innocent bystanders.

He isn’t alone.

His friends, close behind, take turns adding to the ambient haze. Mango passion fruit, lime-a-rita, maple syrup, peaches ‘n’ cream, cinnabon — the scents are endless.  No one else can stand them.

“Needs more camber,” one laughs…

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Stalling in life or just a mid point before something big?

A number of small thoughts have been creeping in lately in terms of where I am going in the big picture.  Much of it comes from being back at Swirnow, knowing full well there is no upward movement in that company and they are not at all known for great pay.  Not to mention the amount of years I have to put back in again before I am allowed to have 3 weeks vacation.  In addition to that, still being at 933 Palladi drive this long.  What was once meant to just be a temporary spot until I could find a job / place closer to Arthur, has turned into 2.5 years.

Yes, that is all complaining about things I can change but haven’t made the big push yet to change them.  To top it off, the long drawn out mess now with the minor fender bender in the blue Mazda wagon, has really drained me as I fought hard to keep the car.  But, it appears as if I am getting screwed by auto insurance once again.  So the next step is to get the nerve up and head over to my mothers to get all my audio equipment out of the wagon and make peace with saying good by to a trusty little friend that treated me pretty well for the last 5 years.  Over that time, I put so much effort into lots of little upgrades and fun improvements.  All of which are making it even harder to let go of the car.  Once I am able to, I will be able to emotionally move on to the next daily driver and put a lot less abuse and mileage on the Rx8.

Last, and also a very important aspect of this feeling of stalling out, is the plateau that SSA has hit.  So much money seems to keep leaking out, and not enough is coming back in.  We are getting surpassed by little crappy start ups.  I have to come to terms with agreeing with Mark on taking out a substantial business loan so we can move on to amplifiers and increase our product offerings.  All of which will make the company more profitable and start to make it worth while.  On the other hand, he is pressuring me to get all the numbers together so we can see the value of the company and potentially sell it.  That is something I am not ready to do at all.  But, if it is worth a lot more than I assume, and it sells, it does allow me huge breathing room for the future, the opportunity to go back to a read deal major career, all the while working just one job with a lot less stress overall.

I know I need to write more in my blog as I can see that putting this major things down on “paper” helps me more than I realize.  All of the above is just hard decisions that have to be made that I have delayed upon.  I have stalled in life and gotten complacent, but I have plenty of time to do something about it right now….

But first, a glass of red, the O’s game and a good night’s sleep.

The Forgotten Birds: A Study of the Baltimore Orioles Cartoon Bird Cap Logos

Cartoon Bird logo break down. Go O’s!

The Cartoon Bird

My favorite team, The Baltimore Orioles!  They haven’t had a winning season since 1997, so lately I’ve shifted my attention to my favorite logo of all time, The Cartoon Bird. That friendly, smiling, feathered chap that perched atop the Orioles caps from 1966-1988.  But don’t let his friendly smirk and soft feathers fool you, he will show no mercy.

The Cartoon Bird logo has 19 out of 23 winning seasons.  That includes 7 trips to the ALCS, 6 pennants and 3 World Series championships. Not to mention, the Orioles were the winningest team in all of baseball during that span.

Here’s a good visual breakdown:

OK, enough with Baltimore’s long gone winning baseball history, lets get to the actual cap and its famous logo:

First the 1966-1974 cap:

This is a Mike Cuellar game-used cap, made by Wilson (Wilson caps were manufactured by New Era).

Here’s a ’74 Topps…

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Another layoff….

I am not sure how many signs I need to prove that I am not destined to succeed working for someone else.  While at the sametime, success working with someone else is also relative, when it comes to personal satisfaction.

The whole ideal of you get out what you put in, or dedication, effort, and going above and beyond etc. seem to be totally not be connected to the end result or destiny of employment from others. There is now a strange understanding that I unknowingly realized after the life altering month of August 2010, which included a layoff, was that I could no longer give more than what is asked of me, or push really hard, or try to move up and advance in the professional world when being the employee. In a weird round about way, it made this layoff a little less painful. If you enter something with the notion of you are only going to give so much or allow them to take so much, when it is gone, you can see that other than time, you limited the amount given/taken. In other words careless at the beginning means not caring as much at the ending.

I do listen to friends and such that love to pour out advice when I tell them what has happened, again. But, when they have not remotely experienced what I have, it is difficult to take it too seriously. On the other hand, I have built a nice string of friends over time from these many past jobs. What is almost comical is when they just are numb to it as they has seen it or been apart of it with me along the way over this last decade of struggle.

A few weeks ago, before this occurred, something inside of me was needing or wanting to just check out for a little while. Unplug and walk away from this life for a short period, before it ate me alive from the inside out. Stress, work load, deepening of internal unhappiness and lack of sleep can only be ignored for so many years.  
I need to find what brings me success and what truly brings a smile to my face, instead of giving my efforts for others to succeed and others to be happy.

‘I will sing, sing a new song. I will sing, sing a new song.  How long, to sing this song, how long to sing this song.  How long, how long, how long, to sing this song……’

Live writer test post

This is just a quick test post on the blog to see if they Live writer program that is still lingering on this older Xp box, works for my blog.  If this works well, then it might be a nice little writer program that will be a tad faster to post up I think.  Other then that, I am trying to get motivated and accomplish something of substance other then just some SSA emails and orders.  But I really could benefit from a full day of recovery. 

Wanting to order a new GPU or two for this older trusty Dell.  I am trying to cheaply bring it up to speed, as someone from the SETI.USA forums is sending me an old stick of RAM to help out.

Maybe some car care and get cracking and find something to do tonight….

A quick weekend at the Gara farm, Warwick New York.

Ferdinand and I spent Friday night and Saturday, off the grid, in upstate NY playing a ton of Frisbee golf with the other godfathers of the Salisbury Ultimate Frisbee team. (Not like if I stayed home it would have been any different as the power went out Friday due to a major storm.) This weekend was a long over due decompression of the soul, away from the pressure, nastiness and endless demands of my normal life.  I run at the limit too much of the time, and I know it’s not good for my body or mind.

One of my best friends bought a 50+/- acre farm right across the street from the Warwick disc golf course. He has a course of his own on the property and lives extremely green, heck I got to feed the chickens and get veggies from the garden. I hope to get up there more in the near future.   The P5 was trusty as always (despite me missing a gear in Philadelphia traffic) and still got me over 30mpg with the A/c rolling the whole way up and back with a FULLY packed car, though it does not have the umph to get up the rolling hills with the a/c on, a full car going under 40mph in 5th, it did well in a nice road trip.

One thing I took away from the weekend was not something of just that when we get together, things are the same many years later, but realizing that what we did in those few short years in college and how many people it effected, is something really unique and very special.  I hope that I can once again, do something of that magnitude and purpose.  Here are a couple of photo’s I happened to snap.  

The Gara course in swealtering heat and very tall grass and such.

Ferdinand taking a break in the shade during golf.

Dorsey winding up for some crazy throw.

Chuck, Hippie Joe, Old Man Roberts, Mikey Carroll (BMC), Dorsey

Me, Ferdinand, Adam, Goat and Danny Clark

Bear in foreground


These are some of those few and far between moments that mean the world and you can keep with you for a life time.  Very grateful to Joe and Becca for having us up, and very grateful to hang out with my few friends in peace, who we changed the world (at least for 4 or 5 years).


Sitting here looking through the play room window….

….. the power of others decisions begin to set in.  Yes, ‘make the best of what time you have’, I have heard plenty of times. But when the reality of it is that much of that time is on the clock as in under a time crunch and soon to be even fewer and farther between, I can’t seem to create self rationalized satisfaction with less then reasonable.  Can someone who has always wanted, strived for or pushed towards something better in almost every facet of life, settle for even less time spent with their child and without choice be farther away? 

By this point, I should be nearly bullet proof right?  Maybe there is guidelines to becoming even more numb so pretty much all obstacles and setbacks have no effect.

On a different note, some part of me did not come home from that concert.  Not sure if the peaks and valleys were just farther compressed to a near monotone personality and demeanor. 

Hold that thought, cookie request.   

Ok cookie done, but time to enjoy the one hour I have left.