Earlier this year I spent somewhere near to 10 weeks in Ohio on an installation job. While I was out there, I got my pinky finger bashed between two metal plates. It was very painful.
Turns out I broke it.
I had to baby it a bit due to pain, but with the aggressive schedule in Ohio and my stubbornness, I never went to a doctor. It healed all wonky like and now I can no longer straighten that finger.
The worst part is that it’s on my left hand. That’s my fingering hand for guitar. Except… my guitar playing has improved.
I have had trouble for a long time with keeping my pinky finger close to the strings. The closer your fingers to the strings, the less time it takes to depress a string – the faster you can play.
Now that I can’t straighten my finger, it is forced to bend closely towards the strings. I can wail!
While it doesn’t speak highly of my guitar playing if broken fingers improve my performance, I find it fitting that metal indirectly improved my ability to shred.
My guitar teacher and I regularly make fun of one another. It’s all in good fun. I should have expected his jab when I wrote a Cb instead of a Bb on some sheet music:
Tony Guitar: that’s Bb.
Mike D: Ahh, right right. that’s what I meant. I’m stupid.
Tony Guitar: You’re not stupid Mike. You’re very stupid.
Ha! Well played Tony. Well played.
One thing I learned from the climbing community was to respect differing risk/reward ratios. Most people scoff at climbing without any gear, others retreat from trad climbing (placing your own protection), and while there are those that have difficulty leaving the security of a climbing gym there are some that can’t think to approach a climbing wall – even in the most protected environment.
I think as a general rule the more you learn about the challenge that’s facing you and the more frequently you push the envelope, the easier it is to blaze new personal trails.
Perhaps what I respect most about Sander is his evolved comfort zone. He’s okay with giving things a go while the rest of us might feel more comfortable taking a back seat to the action. His reward is a life filled with the unexpected.
And thusly I announce Sander’s amazing Australia adventure.
Sander took a month off from work (May 1-27), flew down to Australia, and has been making a solo motorcylce trip across the country from Perth to Sydney. A 2700 mile journey – much of it through Australian back country.
Sander’s been sending me frequent updates of his adventure. I’ll post the especially noteworthy ones here.
So far, he’s reached Ceduna. 8 days in and he is far ahead of schedule. Apparently he’s giving himself some wiggle room just in case it starts to rain. I asked him how he has avoided Australia’s surplus of dangerous everything. So far, no snakes.
Here is Sander’s list:
Snakes: nothing yet, but I remain suspicious.
Camels: After dark they sleepwalk, kinda, and are bad news.
Eagles: They feast on the dead kangaroos on the side of the road. Then when I come along, they take off…slowly…sometimes in my direction. They are gorgeous, but HUGE. Imagine getting hit by a 45lb dodgeball at 70mph.
Kangaroos: Out West the gray roos roamed. Up to 100kg-ish. Out here? Red roos, which get up to 10 foot tall. Spotted a mob yesterday near the road, my heart just recently started beating normally again.
Fun fact: Acceptable collective nouns for kangaroos include: Mob, Herd, and Troop
Sander, I am exceedingly jealous of your trip. Good luck out there.
Tyler recently completed his music video that we endorsed way back here. This video is a must see. Talk about production value!
My favorite parts:
1. The dancing astronaut
2. The sweet piano interlude
3. The impressive “tunnel to city” reflection action at the video’s end
And while this praise is all focused at the video, the music itself is really tight. Sick.
Way to go Tyler, it’s awesome.
My sister is a very traditional sort of lady. In fact, I think she’d fit in really well if you were to drop her into the Renaissance*, progressive, medieval**, or romantic eras. This is opposed to me, who would struggle heartily in any other era but our modern one.
Because of her traditional nature, Theresa is slow to accept some of modern life’s joys. E-books? Not her thing. Her recipes? In a rolodex.
So I wrote a song. It’s called: “Theresa, you need an iPhone.”
*this might be the most annoying word to spell. On the planet.
**you know, this one’s annoying too. I feel bad for history majors. They get stuck with all the tricky words.
A week or two ago I was visiting my folks when my father excitedly beckoned me to the computer.
Back when Dad D was in his teens he was in a band called Love Thy Neighbor. They played mostly honky tonk ragtime sort of covers that were fun and lively. He and his buddies even made a record. When I was a kid, we’d put that record on the record player in the basement and dance and sing along with his group.
It turns out that some music lovers found the Love They Neighbor LP and have talked about it online. One of the guys in Dad D’s band even found one of the two originals posted online. The song is called Manstae. It is delightfully 70′s. Check it out.
How sweet is that? My Dad’s band getting air time 40 years after releasing their LP. Way to go Dad D!