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January 2012 Archives

#81 January

January 29, 2012

81 Post-1 Depositphotos_8271639_XS.jpgI've never been a big fan of January. Probably because it's a month with three (3) family birthdays in it, which always seemed to leave me dead broke, coming as it does after the blizzard of presents that is Christmas.

Worse, January was always the preamble to the coldest month of the year: February. Usually, it's a wonderful time for skiing - if you have the money. If you don't have the money, as I often didn't during college and law school, it's a great time to be snowbound, as cabin fever begins to settle in. About the only upside to January was knowing that the days were getting longer.

I do remember one amazing ski trip, in January, to Killington, just after my sister got married the year before. It was way back in 1985, after I had just started at Siena, and conditions were phenomenal. I spent so much time exposed to the elements that I got frostbite on the very tip of my nose and the tips of all ten fingers. To this day, it's difficult to feel the very tips of my fingers. I guess I should be lucky that I sustained a little minor nerve damage and didn't lose parts of my fingers.

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#80 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: January 1972 Playlist, Part 2 of 2

January 29, 2012

80 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgAs you may have noticed, disco and funk were working their magic on me back then (and they still do today. Oh yeah.). And there's a good reason for this. First, some background ...

When I was a kid, on Saturday mornings, all I ever wanted to do was veg-out to cartoons. I always made sure to be up and in front of the television by the time "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour" had started. No self-respecting kid would ever miss that show and admit to it. I remember learning most of the dialogue to the best episodes by heart. Probably the best cartoons ever made for kids. Even today.

Yeah, yeah, I know: that meant having to put up with the mind-numbing dross otherwise known as "Scooby Doo, Where Are You!", whose only contributions to modern American culture were Scooby Snacks, "if it weren't for you meddling kids ...", and "ruh-roh" (and we kids all knew Scooby was just a cheap rip-off of the funnier Astro, from "The Jetsons").

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#79 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: January 1972 Playlist, Part 1 of 2

January 29, 2012

79 Post Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgYeah, I get it: I'm old. But, in many ways, being old is not such a bad thing. For instance, I'm so old that I remember when the Beatles were actually a working band. Yeah. The Beatles. Granted, I was in kindergarten, but, man, even then, I knew what I liked and I could not get me enough of the Beatles. I heard "Revolution 9" when I was 5 and I've never been the same since. But in a good way. It was like dropping acid without dropping acid. The Beatles utterly changed the way I listened to music. Hell, they utterly changed the way I listened to the world. Period. And the weirder the better. Yes, that was me: the non-conformist at age 5.

Times have changed but I find my tastes in music have pretty much remained the same. And I'm ever the non-conformist. So, in addition to listening to all of the wonderful new music that is out there, I like to trip down Memory Lane now and again and enjoy the amazing memories conjured up by "old" songs.

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#78 A Belated Martin Luther King Day

January 28, 2012

78 Post Depositphotos_2501098_XS.jpgI realize this post is almost two weeks late but I wanted to get to it before much longer. I have a great deal of respect for the man this holiday honors and I did not want to let it pass without having my say.

There aren't many holidays or days in the year that make me think about the law - the real purpose of the law - such that I stop and ponder the day itself. Martin Luther King Day is the one day of the year when I think about how precious the law is to each and every one of us - and how much one man accomplished in his short lifetime (he died at 39) in trying to make each and every one of us believe that the law, above all else, must be compassionate, must be equitable, must be just ... must be for all the people, if it has any hope of being considered legitimate.

I see Martin Luther King as a tripartite godhead of sorts: he was a prophet, he was a martyr, and he has since become a saint. In the pantheon of American heroes, above all others, he is America's Conscience. He is The Better Angel of Our Nature. And through reading and understanding his various sermons, speeches, works, letters, and writings, we can come very close to understanding the sort of Promised Land he sought for all of us.

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#77 Fragile

January 27, 2012

77 Post Depositphotos_1626147_XS.jpgIt is not a pleasant thought, realizing how fragile we are. How each day could be our last. So we pretend. We pretend our days stretch out to the horizon, as far as the eye can see. It's how we get through our lives.

I have been quite busy of late, unable to write any blog posts. Duty calls and it has been calling quite a lot. However, just as I got down to writing my belated post for Martin Luther King Day, I got word of a death in the family. Not in my immediate family, mind you, but a close and beloved relative in my extended family. Someone I've known for a very long time.

My father's cousin's wife died. Her name was Roberta. A death that is perhaps a bit attenuated, one might think - as I might think, of anyone else - but every family is different and every member is valued in different ways, very often according to their personalities. Pull a thread and it might not matter all that much. Or you might unravel the entire garment.

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#76 What I'm Listening To: January 2012 Playlist, Part 2 of 2

January 14, 2012

76 Post-1 01-14-12 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgAs much as I love listening to the music I grew up with, and there is a ton of it, there are a number of new artists out there who have produced some amazing music. I'm more prone to alternative and indie rock but I'm open to just about anything. And whenever I'm in the mood for something new, one of the very first places I turn to is the best radio station in this part of the country: 102.7 WEQX, out of Manchester, Vermont.

If you listened to 103.9 WQBK, out of Rensselaer, New York, back in the day, then you remember what an amazing radio station it was between the years of 1975 to about 1985. Interestingly enough, WEQX was getting started right around the time WQBK had passed its prime, back in 1984. I remember getting turned on to EQX back when I was at Siena and I've never needed another radio station since.

I listen to new music on EQX first and, if I like it, and I often do, I click over to Amazon.com for either the MP3s or the entire CD. Within seconds, I've often got the latest music downloaded into my iTunes and iPod nano.

Here's the rest of what I've been listening to this January:

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#75 What I'm Listening To: January 2012 Playlist, Part 1 of 2

January 14, 2012

75 Post-1 01-14-12 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgI find it hard to work if I don't have music playing. And there is almost always music playing. So, in the interest of sharing, here's a slice of what I'm listening to in this first month of the new year. It's a great potpourri of sonic delights, spanning the last decade or so; a smattering of old and new, in many different genres.

In order to avoid falling into a rut, I have a simple rule: one artist, one album, one song, for one month. Times a hundred. That's a hundred CDs by a hundred artists, one track at a time, one month at a time, for as many months as the CD remains interesting. In most cases, that'll probably be something like four to six months. So, over the course of a given year, I'll probably go through about two hundred CDs or so.

And I will play as many tracks from an album as I think are worth hearing, and then move on to something else. Otherwise, I'd become nothing more than a boring old radio station.

The iPod nano's on shuffle but here're the tracks for January, in alphabetical order:

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#74 Happy New Year!

January 11, 2012

74 Post 01-10-2012 Depositphotos_5793536_XS.jpgHappy New Year! Here's hoping that 2012 will be at least as good as 2011, if not better.

After 106 days of "going active" (on September 28, 2011) and 74 posts, I thought I'd do a bit of housekeeping on this blog.

Once I have the time, I hope to be able to provide daily blog posts. Maybe even more than one per day. Obviously, it all depends on my professional obligations.

Sorry about the lack of posts over the last two (2) weeks. However, thanks to the recent changes in billing initiated by the Office of Attorneys for Children, known as "Real Time Billing", I spent the last few weeks of December trying to transition from the old way of billing to the new way of billing. This meant that ALL 2011 work had to be billed out so that 2012 could start out fresh with "Real Time Billing". Top that off with various personal and professional obligations - and being sick - and I had almost no time to post any new material.

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