Wednesday, November 20, 2013

thankfulness and sorrow - and songwriting interview with Richard Leigh

Good morning! As we get closer to this holiday season I'm reminded of life and how fleeting it is... Looks like we will not be making a trip to see Kyle before Thanksgiving... He surprised Vanessa last year by driving down without telling her (yes, I knew it) and it was great. We didn't get to see him for Christmas though, and that was hard.

Well this year we had hoped to drive up before Thanksgiving and see him then, but it's not going to work out. Instead we are making plans to go up during December. We miss him, but we are glad that he's happy and making his way in the world. We came so close to losing him a few years ago and we are SO very thankful that he's alive and well! He's actually going to be playing in the Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign I'm preparing. squee :-)

We also had bad news this morning. One of Vanessa's aunts has been in the hospital. She passed away this morning. Remember, folks, life is fleeting... Things can change in a heartbeat! Make the time special EVERY day, not just around the holidays. Do you love someone? Have you told them today? They might not be around tomorrow to hear it... You might not be around tomorrow to say it...

I've finally caught up on my podcast listening on a new podcast I found - Order 66. It's about the aforementioned RPG. Meanwhile my favorite podcast - The Commercial Suicide Songwriting Podcast - has released TWO episodes. Here is their website -

I want to first thank Steve for mentioning me and Vanessa on the show. We had the pleasure of finally meeting the hosts in person a few weeks ago and Steve and I shared the stage during an open mic that night. If you're here from Facebook, you've probably seen this pic -

Moving on to the interview - it was of a great songwriter named Richard Leigh. Here's his site -

As is usual when it comes to the interviews these hosts provide, this one was VERY encouraging! Richard spoke about "critiques" and echoed my thoughts of "don't let someone else tell you what not to do - do what feels right." He went on to say that if it's the truth to you, use it! Again, very encouraging, as I've tended to write what I feel and what I would want to hear. This "rings true" for me so I pursue it. It's not necessarily commercial (note the name of the podcast ;-) ) but that's okay. Richard points out that if YOU like something then there are a million people in the world that like it too. Maybe not 100 million, but still quite a few. Don't sacrifice your art to hit MORE people when you should be hitting the people that DO like what you have. (that last part is my paraphrase, but I think it's echoed by the things he said)

There are other nuggets of greatness in there too - if you are a songwriter, you should already be listening to this podcast. :-) If you haven't before, this is a great one to start with! You'll find yourself wanting to go back and listen to the previous ones too... 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

music, gaming and thankfulness

Well, to catch you up, gentle reader, here's what is going on. James and I have continued to practice on Tuesday nights and "tighten up" our material. We have taken the traditional stuff and arranged it to suit our styles and instrumentation. Most of all, though, we've had fun with it too. :-)

We played at Dyersburg State yesterday for their "company picnic" - staff and their families. We had a great time! Vanessa has been in school on Tuesday nights so hasn't been able to practice with us, but yesterday she brought her percussion instruments and her voice and was a full fledged Bare Basic. :-) She played the wooden spoons on most of the fast songs and used the afuche cabasa on the slower ones and the waltzes. She sang harmony with me as well as singing some lead. I was super proud of her and her talent but also proud to share the stage with her!

Ken Jones, from the college, is an old musician friend of mine too. He used to sit in with the Bare Basics back when we had the full group. He blows a great harp!

This Tuesday night I have an old gospel musician from WAY back coming to sit in on bass and see how it goes. I also invited a dance friend last night to bring his flat top and sit in on straight rhythm. We will see how it goes...

Last night was the third week at the little dance hall in Hornbeak - Boot Scoot. Weather was not the best and I think it kept a lot of people in, but those that did come out had a good time. We ended the show with my latest composition - "I Thought That I'd Forgotten."

Speaking of writing - one of the things I've come to realize, but I don't think I've mentioned it here, is that when I'm spending a lot of time PERFORMING music (and the associated practice) that I don't spend as much time writing. I think I know now why traveling musicians will do their writing when they're "off the road."

And I mentioned gaming in the title. I've been reading the rules for Edge of the Empire and two of my old role-playing friends from high school are wanting to play. I have a third "Car Wars Player" that wants in and am waiting to hear from my third high school gaming friends. Scheduling a time for all of us to get together, even though it's virtual, is proving to be a challenge... But I am determined to make it happen. I have tokens and maps that I've been uploading to so we can do this right. :-)

Haven't played X-Wing nor demo'd games in the last two weeks. No one has shown up for the Thursday night gaming at the FLGS. Maybe this week...

One last thing - we were talking in church this morning about being thankful for different things. I've noticed on Facebook a lot of people are sharing one thing a day in the month of November that they are thankful for. I think these are great things, but I don't normally participate. Rest assured that I AM thankful for the blessings in my life and my friends and family. I miss seeing my boys every day and I miss spending quality time with Vanessa, but I am thankful that all three are doing what they want to do and are happy!

Blessings to you, gentle reader! May you also be ever thankful!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Model Cars (and game stuff to sell/trade)

Someone has bought a few of the ones from the last post. In pulling those out to box and mail I realized I had missed snapping some pics... I also promised the buyer I'd give him first shot at the next ones, so I went to the NEXT cabinet and pulled a few to take pics...

I have also traded some gaming items to the local store for X-Wing product. I have what is left over from that trade pictured below as well. I was actually negotiating with an online store to trade them, but the offer he was making was not quite enough to suit me, so I kept them. They will eventually go to eBay, when I have time. :-)

I really think I bought three of the above model, but I only had one in this cabinet. It has been started and had some painting done - rattle can on the body and sanded. Still needs more paint and maybe more body work. I remember this one being a rough body but lots of potential, so I made some "sprue goo." LOL - it's funny what we remember sometimes...

The body and hood....

Wheels assembled and engine partially assembled...

This is one of the first things I did with an airbrush... The chassis is flat and gloss black mixed to make a semi-gloss. I bought this one on clearance at Wal-Mart and I think that's all I did to it. I'm thinking some of the parts might have been missing though...

This was one of the first clearance kits I bought and it appears to be complete inside. I didn't care about the diorama, but it's in there as well. I wanted it because of the Nomad. :-)

Picked this up on eBay. Supposed to be complete inside but never inventoried. Since I found the two identical ones at Memphis not long after I chose to start one of those.

Remember me mentioning "real vehicles?" Well I also liked anything to do with pickups and trailers. :-) Bought it new - opened but never started.

Only Tamiya kit I own... I actually have TWO of these - this one has a tear in the box but was never started. The other was started and packed away somewhere... Haven't gotten to it yet...

This was a grail and I traded a busted laptop computer to my brother-in-law at the time for it... There was a hobby store in Dyersburg pre-Internet and he had one! Unopened! Of course it because opened as soon as I brought it home. :-)

Pretty sure this came from eBay and is believed to be complete. I couldn't get enough Chevy pickups I guess. :-)

Might be hard to tell what this is... It's an unopened Revell "drop cloth" - Hobby Lobby clearance.

Another Chevy pickup - this one an S-10. Bought several years ago on eBay - another "should be all there" kit. Wouldn't put it together now though as our son was almost killed in a red S-10 a few years ago.

Traded for this one from the same brother-in-law that I got the Gone Fishing set from. This was a Christmas present from years before and was open but supposed to be complete. I was going to make a "Car Wars" car like in the Steve Jackson Games board game. Never got to it... :-)

I have two of these boxes. One has the Hurst Olds in it complete and the other has the Hurst Olds complete minus the clear sprue. The other four cars have since been traded.

There was a Mach I boat & pickup kit that was similar to the Gone Fishing kit. I built the boat, but didn't use the decals.

The 64-1/2 was traded a long time ago. I believe the other two are complete.

Though it's not a true "grail" for me, this one was an exciting one as it was bought new and opened by me and has the light bar and I think all the stuff like the guns from the old Force 440 kit. That one is a grail for me.

This one is still sealed. Bought at Big Lots. Didn't see a lot of kits there but I could never resist them. At that price I'd use it for something. :-)

Here's the new sealed one like the Yellow one I posted before (which has been sold).

Bought this on eBay - didn't know it was small scale till I got it in...

Colton put together a snap rite kit of this and I liked it, so I picked one up at Wal-Mart I think. Supposed to be complete.

This is probably my favorite grail, as it is the last kit I remember working on as a kid. I love the color scheme of the box art and - yep - it's the Chevy Sport again! This one even has the larger mirrors like my dad always used...

Now on to the game stuff...

Above is the unopened Cardboard Heroes set. Still sealed, so not cut at all. Closeup of ISBN.

Softback First Edition of the GURPS Swat sourcebook. Was stored, but still good and clean - and flat. 

This is supposedly hard to find... It's the first of the Deck Plans sets for GURPS Traveller. I opened it to make sure all was good. Still SUPER clean on the inside. Bag dusty from being stored.

Hardback GURPS book - TransHuman SPACE. Not 100% "clean" because it's been in a box for a while.