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Social media can offer tremendous value while at the same time offering pernicious abuse. When you go on a forum such as FaceBook or MySpace, you collect an audience called “Friends”.   When FaceBook started, it was a way for college students to network with their “Friends”. That seemed innocent enough.


Then everyone from TV Stars to the girl you sat behind in your sixth grade math class started showing up on FaceBook. So you sent a “Friend request” to see how things have gone with someone you use to know 25 years ago. Many guys looked up old girlfriends to see what they missed out on. (Or not). I think the first public figure I had as a friend on FaceBook was Katee Sackhoff from “Battle star Galactica” and “24”. From a musician’s POV I allowed everyone to be my friend. I’m beginning to think this was more bad than good. CD Baby had a great article on drawing a line between your fans and your friends. As a musician you say you love your fans because without them, you’re nothing.


Terry Anderson, a songwriter that I admired quite a bit wrote a song called: “Stay away from your Heroes”. I believe he was talking about Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry may be the father of Rock and Roll but from what I’ve heard from those who know him personally, you are not missing much if you’re not friends with Chuck. Let me say that I’m quoting others. I’ve never met the man. He could be as nice as Santa Claus. Terry and I were friends for a while and when Obama was elected to the oval office, he accused me of being a racist because I didn’t like his socialist policies. I liked Terry much more before I got to know him. I did learn how to write good songs during my short friendship with Mr. Anderson and I owe him for that. But it saddens me to know that he is a stereotypical leftist who hasn’t grown up yet. If you disagree with the leftist, they will go from “Wanna get together for a beer”? to “ You’re a F’n racist and other names” in 5 seconds or less. If you’re not as radical as the leftist, the leftist wastes no time dumping you as a friend. Unlike the conservative who wants to show respect, kindness and understanding and is willing to give you a second or third chance.


As a conservative, I will tolerate a great deal of “Snark” or “rhetoric”. There is a fine line between joking and disrespect on-line. The old saying: “It’s not what they say but how they say it” has no meaning in a text format. You can’t insult someone and justify it by putting the ubiquitous “LOL” after it. Perhaps the leftist is spot on. If someone shows you disrespect on line, waste no time in trashing them. (Unfriending them) Unfortunately, if they haven’t grown up, you’re wasting your time.





Mark Twain once wrote: “Never let school stand in the way of your education”. ~ Brilliant!

Why would a non-believer read the Bible? Why don’t self-proclaimed believers read the Bible? It’s good to know a little bit of historical background about this best seller. I am writing this article to both the self-proclaimed believer and the proud secular self-centered atheist.

The Bible was put together from writings in 325 AD, 12 years after Rome’s Emperor Constantine received a dream. Here is the short version of the dream: In a dream, Emperor Constantine (Who was facing great odds in the battle of the Milvian Bridge) was instructed to put the cross of Jesus on his shields and his men would be victorious. The dream said: “in hoc signo vinces.” Translated from Greek: “Through this sign, you will be victorious”. This was in 313 AD. He did and he was.

Emperor Constantine ceased the persecution of Christians and wanted a manifesto for Christianity so he formed the “Council of Nicea”. They were a group of Rome’s Christians that sorted through the “Sand Scripts” and put together that which was deemed appropriate and approved by the Roman government. So to the non-believer, yes, politics was involved. This is why we don’t see the book of Enoch in the Bible.

The Bible, throughout the years has been given the moniker of “The inspired word of God”. That is for you to accept, reject or consider; *Note, It doesn’t say “The spoken word of God”. Nonetheless, it has been accepted by Christians and Jews as the documented communication between God and man.

We were all created with the gift of Free Will. With this gift comes the albatross called “Responsibility”. You may have heard the phrase: “I’m a grown adult. I can make my own decisions”. I say: “Yes you are and you best be prepared for the unintended consequences”. (Because they belong to you). Remember this sentence: “You are where you are because of who you are”.

You have to take responsibility for your actions for even being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if you take your god out of the equation, and you are the self-proclaimed arbiter of your own criteria of right and wrong; you are still responsible for your outcome. You may say: “I’m not responsible for being in a car crash, the other guy was on his cell phone”. That may be true, but there will always be other guys on their cell phones. If you’re a pro-active person, you have insurance and you move forward in life. (Hopefully without lifelong sustaining injuries). I always look for distracted drivers on cell phones and consider them legally drunk.

At that point, some choose to blame life, blame their god, blame the other driver, blame Steve Jobs, and blame the police for not catching the text messenger on his phone. But blaming others doesn’t allow you to move forward. Accepting that rain falls on everyone at one time or another will. It’s the cost of Free Will. Bad things happen to good people because God let us run our own lives, rather than creating us “Humanoids”. You cannot have love if the other person does not have the free will to reject you. So those of you who are radio evangelist Christians that think once saved always saved, remember this: “You cannot lose your salvation, but you can willfully walk away from it”. God will not force anyone into heaven.

The Bible is full of rules; “Thou shall nots” and “Thou shalt”. Sometimes if you ignore the “Shall nots”, you’ll suffer the unintended consequences like divorce, which leads to screwed up children that repeat the cycle. Yes, being a human does come with a manual. It’s up to you to find the one you want to base your human experience on.

To the Atheist that reads the Bible as a “Self-Help” Book, I can only say that you will find nuggets of wisdom in the book; however you’re not getting the full benefit of this nice collection of letters and historical accounts of a person who professed to be the One and only God of eternity in the Flesh if you are not open to the idea of an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Power. In the first five books of the Old Testament which Jews refer to as the Torah, you have the spoken words of God written by Moses. In the New Testament, you’ll find the words of God spoken through the Son of God in the human called Jesus the Messiah.

You’ll find wisdom that you use every day and you probably didn’t even know it. For example: “You reap what ye sow” is another way of saying: “What goes around comes around”.

The Bible is a good book for the Atheist to determine right from wrong. The hardest thing for the Atheist to understand is that God allows evil to happen. Bitter non-believers are always saying: “Why did God allow this madman to gun down my child on the playground”? Or even more accurately spoken: “How can a loving God allow this to happen”? What we as humans don’t understand is that death might not be “The End”. We often see the suffering of a person and associate that with death thus giving death a negative connotation. When we were a fetus in the womb, we thought that once the cord between our mother was severed, and we were kicked out of the warm womb, life would be over. We didn’t know any better. Then we saw what was our journey for the next 70 to 80 years.

It boils down to this:

It’s harder to get HIV from Heterosexual sex.

It’s easier to go through life not having to remember lies.

It’s easier to work for something and buy it than do 10 years in prison for robbery.

It’s easier to live longer if you don’t fornicate your neighbor’s wife.

It’s easier to be happy if you find your happiness from within rather waiting for someone else to wipe your butt.

It’s easier to go to the store if your name is not on a “Wanted for Murder” poster.

If you create false gods like Golf, Cars, money, self-admiration, Pornography or whatever you worship, you have a greater chance of being disappointed.

If you worship the one God who is the father of Jesus and the Creator of the Holy Spirit; the worst that can happen is you’ve sacrificed worldly pleasures which ARE finite and disposable. (Read the book of Ecclesiastes written by King Solomon, the richest man to ever live) He did it all. He owned mansions and had cool things called “concubines” (look it up) and he did drugs and alcohol. He had treasures and gold as in: “The riches of Solomon”. I think that’s where the term: “It’s good to be king” came from. Wait that was Mel Brooks. In the end he realized that the only constant in his life was not baseball as James Earl Jones says, rather a relationship with the Creator.

The Bible offers insight into what’s next. The Bible offers you a map that shows the bifurcation in the road and how one leads to green pastures and the other a steep deadly cliff.  It invites you to be more than Pavlov’s dog.  It introduces the concept that there is more to life than that which you can see, touch, smell, taste and hear.  Perhaps it borders on “Quantum Physics”.

If the Bible is wrong, and you were a believer, the worst case scenario is you’ve lived a decent life with minimal regrets. If the Bible is right and you were an Atheist, the “after-life” might not be so good a place, ya know? It’s your choice. I could add that when you get to be my age you’ll understand, but you’re not guaranteed tomorrow so don’t worry about judgment day, worry about today.




Sometimes he comes across as simply obnoxious. His favorite interaction is an insult. If you’re lucky, you’ll get off with him whispering under his voice: “ah blow it out your ass”! If you’re not so lucky, beware. When Mr. Hate goes into silent mode, he is internalizing. That means Look Out for MR. HATE


Many of you may be working next to Mr. Hate and not even know it. He doesn’t always look like the comic character with a red face and eyes about to explode. (And steam coming out of his ears) Sometimes Mr. Hate is a really quiet person, until he takes his hate out with his car on the sidewalk or a car bomb.

 Golden Key

God gave us one fantastic gift. It’s a special key. It’s called free will. But I’ll keep this story on the secular level. (For the sake of the non-believer). Here’s a sentence that can change your life if you think hard enough about it. You are unhappy because you choose to be unhappy. Happiness is an inside out principle. Many of you who have watched the movie “The Secret” know about the law of attraction. That law is “Free Will”. One of the secrets in the Christian religion is to be “Thankful” for your blessings. Sometimes your blessings are hard to find, especially if you’re angry because you’re driving a BMW and you really want a Ferrari. Think about how nice your BMW is compared to a Geo.


Mr. Hate got his name because he never found out how to use this key. Have you ever noticed how some people can get stuck in any situation under the worst circumstances and they learn to adapt, improvise and overcome? (ooo-rah) Yes some people it seems were born with the knowledge of the key. Good things happen as a result of knowing the power of the key. The key or free will is based on the concept of Isaac Newton’s theory that for every action there is an opposite, opposed reaction. If you cover a Chimney; the smoke will find other ways to escape. In Mr. Hate’s case, it’s often sarcasm, cruelty and sometimes just bitterness.


In Mr. Hate’s situation; He’s hateful because he chooses to be hateful. When you choose to be hateful you resort to blame. You blame everyone else because of basically three reasons: It is not how I was brought up, (Blaming your parents is often at the top of the list) I’m Irish or German or Swahili and have a short temper, or my boss is a jerk. Your boss can be your coach, spouse, tax account, anyone you rely on for some form of interaction.


How does Mr. Hate manifest his hate or anger? Sometimes it starts out with just snarky little jabs disguised to appear innocent. Sometimes, Mr. Hate uses his hateful persona in the form of fear or intimidation. How many of you have heard someone say: “You don’t want to get on their bad side” or “Just go along with her, it’s not worth listening to the rant”. If Mr. Hate is materialistic and bases life on the amount of toys they have when they die, they tend to neve understand that someone will always have more “Stuff”. Sadly, these people see your Stuff as Crap, while their crap is stuff. (An old George Carlin joke)


Yes you could be driving a Ferrari 308 while Mr. Hate drives his Geo, but in his mind your 308 is worthless because it’s not a 275GTB NART (Current sale price 25 Million and only 10 ever made). Lincoln once said: “You’ll never elevate yourself by trying to bring others down”.

 Dino Nart

Don’t be fooled, Mr. Hate knows the art of denial. Yet his biggest enemy is himself. Not because there is anything wrong with him, but because he’s chosen to stew in his anger rather than pull himself up by the bootstraps and do something about the crappy cards he was dealt. Sometimes you get dealt a deuce, a four a five and a pair of sevens. Sometimes you get 4 Aces dealt to you. When I look at the former I see a possible full house. Mr. Hate didn’t get four Aces so he throws all 5 cards back. Warning, only Mr. Hate can help himself.


The Secret Power that makes the Special Key work is …………….. Responsibility.

You are WHERE you are because of WHO you are. You choose to be there.



It was one long night and one I wish I could forget. I had just finished a “bar gig”. It was my 3rd to last “bar gig” before I moved up to the big times. (Opening for people like Clint Black). Unfortunately, that’s as famous as my “Almost Famous” career took me. But I’ll not cry about water under the bridge, but speaking of Water……


I had played my ass off and was tired at 3 in the morning. Bar gigs (performances) are no fun. Sure you get free drinks and sexual proposals, but you quickly outgrow that. The bad part is the work that you don’t see. Bar bands don’t have road crews. So you need to load and unload the van. So a 9 to 1 show is really a 7 to 3 show because set up and break down takes about 2 hours. (The drive is also an extra hour or so)

Setting up isn’t just plugging in your guitar cord and microphones, but rather taping down your cords so nobody ends up in the Emergency Room. (That’s another story for another day) But it includes a sound check, lights, monitors etc… This is time consuming and if it’s not done right, the rhythm guitarist will drown everyone out all night until the club manager comes up and say: “All we can hear is your strummer”. Breaking down can be quicker, but you do so at the risk of ruining your expensive cords. You really need to take your time when putting your stuff away. Most musicians put their cables in a place that will make it easy to get to the next time you set up. (Lots of Rubbermaid bins)


Thus you have the extra two hours coming and going.

I had found that if you “get your shit and get gone” at the end of your performance, the police will not bother you. I also had a bad habit (back then) of having a Heineken and a shot of “Corazon” Tequila at midnight. That’s two ounces of alcohol. I always felt that if I was playing hard during that last hour, then working to put my stuff away, the alcohol would be gone by the time I got behind the wheel. And like I said, most PDs will leave the band alone because they don’t want the responsibility of 40,000 dollars’ worth of gear, plus they don’t want to be accused of driving off business in remote areas.

I was tired that one night and after loading my gear into my van, I took a break and had a glass of “Ice water” and just sat in a booth to relax. This put me into the “DUI” hours of the night. Sure enough I got pulled over by the CHIPs. They made me blow and I came up at .069. (or so I was told) I think .07 was legally drunk. I could go into a rant about making a hard working guitarist pretend to be a ballerina on the side of the road, but the next thing I knew, (and I still don’t think this was legal) I was at the CHP Satellite station where they had more accurate testing means. Oh, and hand cuffed to a bench. Since they had a responsibility to protect my gear, they didn’t want to take me to the tank, but they also were upset because I wasn’t legally drunk.


By this time it’s 4 in the morning. The sun is peeking over the hill. I’m sober and hungry yet still in cuffs. They had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to volunteer my blood at 4 in the morning. They said if you can call someone to come get you we’ll let you go. My ride who knew nothing about the area got lost trying to find the cop shop in their sleep and it was creeping up on 5 AM and the new shift was coming on. So they were taking me to the drunk tank and as we pulled out of the CHP station my ride arrived. We went and had a sandwich at an all-night grocery store, came back and got the van and drove 85 miles home. The county D.A. refused to press charges.

That was my night in Jail for a glass of water.