Pedigree (Time to get over yourself)

Pedigree

The first word that comes to my mind, when I hear the word Pedigree is breeding…
The act of selectively choosing the best mate for an animal to get the most “pure” breed from that specific bloodline…

Seems kind of messed up when you think about it… Although, Royalty doesn’t seem to work too differently sometimes… Taking natural selection out of the equation to keep a bloodline ‘pure’

For the rest of us, what does this word mean?  Nothing really… our parents have their own individual story that includes the birth of a child. By random chance you ended up here.. (Note, I am not devaluing divine concepts, or the miracle of birth.. as both are important to me.) BUT, here you are. You didn’t choose to be born here… and depending on your parents you were dealt a specific set of genes at birth, that make you who you are… Almost like a poker game. Whether you were dealt a pair of 2s or a Royal Flush at birth, you still have challenges you have to face throughout your life… Fortunately, our decisions in life are all our own. You may get dealt random occurrences, be it positive or negative, but the way you respond to those things is what matters.

I had a random thought this morning that I tweeted: “It’s so much simpler to find the positive side of a situation, than to twist any occurrence into a story where you are the victim.”  Which I followed with: “But, I guess some people are just too hell-bent on receiving unjust sympathy.”

In other words, instead of letting anything negative effect you negatively, find the best possible thing about the situation and hold onto it.

I’ve been going through a really rough time the last two weeks, and though I feel like I’m grasping at straws, I feel like I’ve turned a leaf with my ability to see the positive in a bad situation, and it’s pretty much been the only thing keeping me sane lately…

I am so sick of people blaming the world for their situation. If you’re not happy with something about your life, fix it. If you grew up poor and uneducated… read a book, go to the library, get online and educate yourself on something.  Education is the most important gift that we can give ourselves.

I personally never went to college… BUT, I know how to do a plethora of things.. I am a self taught musician, mechanic, wood worker, I can solder and fix guitars/pedals/amplifiers, I have my own recording studio that I learned how to use by experience and reading, I can use photoshop, and just learned by trial and error!

You wouldn’t believe how much happier you could be if you just teach yourself a skill. There is nothing more liberating than being able to do something, looking back on it in a few years, and being proud of where you’ve come!

So, in a cliche nutshell.. you choose your own path. Don’t be a victim of your circumstance… Take a few minutes out of your day, get your nose out of Facebook, and teach yourself something!

Thanks for reading, and I am again sorry that I have been away for so long. Life has been insane lately… but it’s been nice to get some things off of my chest in blog-form.

 

Take Care!

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I can’t figure this out…

This isn’t so much a post, as a “How the hell am I supposed to do this?!”

I absolutely, for the life of me, can not figure out how to get my site to properly display my Twitter feed….

I’ve tried the widget, I’ve tried direct HTML, I’ve tried everything!!

How the heck does it work?! Help!!!

What’s damaging the gaming industry?

I saw a post (and lost it… sorry) edit: I found it!  about how modern gaming is rubbish.

I kind of agree, but for my own reasons.

1. The technology has plateaued 

You can only make things SO detailed.  From the NES’s 8 bit graphics to the SNES 16 bit graphics, you saw a 200% difference, in the quality of graphics. Now, by today’s standards that would be incredible, and totally unlikely. From there, you got the N64, that was 64 bit graphics 400% different from the SNES. You don’t see that kind of technology jump, in today’s world. So, right there, I’m less excited every time a new system comes out.

2. Too many sequels

Look, I love a good sequel, as much as the next guy, but seriously, stop. You’re beating a dead horse… For example: I loved the Metal Gear Solid series. I think they managed to make a few good sequels to a great story (talkin Metal Gear on the NES) and honestly, 4 is too many, but MGS4 would have been a great way to conclude that story. Don’t make a totally different sidequest about Raiden… Don’t make cell phone games and bs like that! Which brings me to my next point:

3. Microtransactions & Cell Phone gaming

Every time you spend money on a game of Angry Birds, my soul dies a little.  In my honest opinion: This is what’s killing the gaming industry.  Game developers found the jackpot, and it’s micro-transactions. Now you are no longer catering to gamers. You’re developing similar kernel apps, that have slightly different interfaces, and marketing them to the soccer mom who’s bored at a game, or the college kid who’s bored between classes. They’re sacrificing quality and the respect of their art, for a simple money making gimmick.

Now, it’s bleeding into our gaming consoles, in the form of DLC.

Do you remember the last time you bought a completed game? I sure don’t… Pretty sure it hasn’t been since the PS2, Gamecube, and original Xbox. Developers have gotten lazy. They’re selling you an incomplete product, at full price, so you can go home and download hours of updates, taking up precious space on your Hard drive.

It’s like going to a car dealer, and them selling you a car, but saying “You can go ahead and pay us full price. Oh, by the way, that car is missing it’d starter, you can tow it home, and we’ll send you the part in the mail.”

You wouldn’t do that.. because it’s criminal.

Am I making sense? Or do we just not care anymore?

4. Games aren’t challenging enough anymore. 

For the longest time, I could have sworn Battletoads (RARE, NES) didn’t have a damn 4th level. I come from a time where kids were taught to work hard, and if you fail, try again and again. The concept that “practice makes perfect” has been perverted by ‘participation awards’ and.. what? “Spend 20$ to unlock everything in the game”? That’s nonsense.

Anywho, those are my thoughts. What do you think?

Response to: Modern Gaming Is A Bit Rubbish – Some might call this a rant — I Played The Game!

Word of the day:

Adrift

I had another post written… and I seriously drifted off topic so badly, that I just deleted it!

How convenient, that I Would go adrift, while writing a blog about the word adrift..

It’s like adrift inception… Adriftception?  I think it would be an awful movie, to be fair… I doubt Leo would do it…

Anywho, The one point I made in my original post, that I think was valid is this:

Physically being adrift, is something that would absolutely terrify me. That feeling of not having control over your destination, is about enough to make my skin crawl.

People see pictures from space, and often comment how beautiful they are… All that’s going through my head is “How can you just, rely on speed & gravity to keep you afloat… No thanks”  I couldn’t admire the beauty of Earth, from space, because I’d be constantly freaking out about where we were going!

Another example, would be to be stuck on a powerless ship, in the middle of the ocean. That’s a situation I could not find the positive side of.. because in certain parts of the ocean, you have no reference point, but the sun… and screw that!

On the flip side of this, I’m one to happily let my mind wander… It’s where I come up with song concepts… My active imagination has its own way of running away with my thought processes, and as cool as that may sound, it sure is distracting… and sometimes frightening.

 

Well, relatively short post, I suppose.. I bet that’s better than having me drift off into meaningless nonsense!

Have a great day!!!

It’s rainy out.. let’s talk about passion!

Good afternoon readers,

Today, let’s talk about the thing that makes you feel awkward, when you get too involved describing the things you love most: Passion.

I am a person of varying hobbies: from working on cars, to playing music, videogames, building things, small electronics, fixing things (mainly my guitar player’s equipment)… The list is endless… and every hobby that I have the ability to enjoy, I am extremely passionate about.

I never realized just HOW deeply I involve myself in things, until the one day I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law about music, at great depths, and he kind of chuckled. When I asked what was up, he simply said “Nothing, I just love the passion that you have for music. It’s very refreshing, that you don’t hold back.”

It was at that point that I realized, I do view my world a little differently, than most people.

I don’t just LISTEN to music. I can’t just hear a song and say “oh, that’s a good song.”  There has to be some nostalgic feeling, a specific chord progression that brings emotion, or just intense lyrical ideas to catch my attention.

I’m the type of person who will listen to a song, for that one moment, that brings the whole thing together. It could be a strong harmony, a well placed syncopated rhythm, remarkable drumming… anything… but when I know it’s coming, you’ll know, because I”ll tell you to shut up and listen.

For example:
In the band Royal Blood’s song “Out of the Black” The chorus has a line that about struck me speechless, the first time I heard it.

“I’ve got a gun for a mouth, and a bullet with your name on it.”

How powerful is that? It’s a lyric, mimicking the idea of your tongue being a powerful weapon, as if you should have a carrying permit to speak, for the amount of damage it can do to a person.
That stems back to Biblical times… take your attention to Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

What he’s done here, is taken an age-old concept, and brought it to modern ideology… Kind of… more of the piercing sword, less of the wise healing.

Most people would just listen to the song and be like “oh, that’s cool.”
The difference between them and me, is passion.

Another one:
I’ve been playing video games ever since I was old enough to hold a controller. In the 25+ years that I’ve been a gamer, I’ve come to enjoy the captivating stories that RPG style games offer.

And you can’t say RPG games, without mentioning the hardest hitting one of all: Final Fantasy VII.
This, is literally the game that made me realize video games have a higher purpose than just being the world’s best babysitter.

I can’t even tell you how many hours of my life have been spent on this gem, since it came out in 1997. I’ve explored every nook and cranny of the title, and never gotten bored with the story. The main character fights this overbearing concept of “Who am I?” throughout the entire story. It’s a very dark story, lots of death and corruption, but always this underlying concept the whole time, and I believe that game came out, in an era where ‘fighting the power’ was a big concept. Teens were viewed as rebellious and confused. We were in this constant struggle to find out our purpose, and to make sure it was fitting to our desires. It came out in a time, where the media was slowly taking over our lives, and feeding us the information they thought we should know, and the world was slowly falling into despair and corruption. It very well mimicked the times.

Aside from that, EVERY character in the game had a purpose, and if you paid attention, you got a plethora of backstory without having to dig too much. Then in the subsequent sequels, prequels, and side-stories; you were met with the REST of the story, that you may have missed, if you weren’t paying attention.

I’m doing me best to not spoil a game that came out 20 years ago, but with the remake on the way, anyone who’s interested is going to come across it.

Again, I barely have touched the surface of how deep and emotional this game is, and I’m already rambling on, like an idiot.

 

So, there it is… Passion, it’s what fuels our creative juices… I think, especially in a community like this, passion is an everyday thing.
What are some things you are passionate about? I’d really like to hear. When people share their passions, you are seeing a deep side of them. You’re seeing what they’re made of.

-Joe

In Response to: What’s that one thing you are most passionate about?

Dehydration and Rock & Roll

Happy Monday…

What. A. Weekend!

My band played the Lifting Little Lives benefit this weekend, and what I remember of it was great!!

Lifting Little Lives is a local nonprofit organization based out of Milton Pennsylvania, that raises money for local children, with big needs!

My band, Audiobox, chose this group for many reasons.
• The money all stays local, So we see its effects in our community

• The people who run it, are some of the best people we’ve ever had the pleasure to         work with.

• The organization helps promote our struggling music scene. (This should be key         for any musician!!)

• All of us are fathers, and we understand that our children are the most important        thing in today’s society.

That being said, they throw one heck of a party! The security keeps it safe for everyone, and the connections I make with other musicians, are generally very long term friendships!

Also, there’s great food, beer for anyone staying there, and just so many great times to be had!

That’s why I named this blog, the way I did. I generally drink a ton of water, usually about a gallon or more a day… This weekend that water was replaced with beer & Jameson. Phew… My poor body is in recovery mode…

Not only did I play an awesome, all original set with Audiobox, I also was the emergency backup bassist for local heavyweights “Aftermath.” I was honored to tickle my 4 strings with them, and it was a fun set!  On top of all that, Audiobox also did an impromptu acoustic set, between two other acts (make things transition smoother.)

Anywho, it was a great time, and if you have a minute, check out Lifting Little Lives, and let them know that what they do, is very important to the world.

Are there any local charities in your area, that you think go above and beyond the call of duty? Let me know! At the very least, I can give their Facebook pages a like!

As always, thank you for your time, sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I’m lucky I could even move!

-Joe

 

I Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart…

It’s a sad day, for Rock and Roll…
As you probably figured out by now, I love music, passionately.

Not just playing it, and writing it, but listening to it…

It boggles my mind, that with 12 notes, you can create endless masterpieces…

People that use those 12 notes wisely, sometimes get to be famous, and influence other musician’s lives.

I have different areas of focus, when it comes to music. On bass guitar, I can do almost anything I want, I’ve been playing for 17 years, and studied the likes of anyone who’s ever used the instrument in a unique way… I’ve taken inspiration from every walk of Bass guitar and formed my own style…

That style translates into my acoustic playing.. I’m not your ‘typical’ guitar player… I approach guitar, like a bass player, and have my own unique style.

But aside from bass and guitar, there are vocals. I take singing very seriously, because it’s something I love to do. As my wife has noted to me: “I don’t think you would be able to function, if you couldn’t play music. It’s like it’s a part of you, an extension of who you are.” roughly states what she told me, not too long ago.. That’s one of the greatest compliments, I’ve ever received as a musician!

That being said, one of my vocal icons passed on last evening. Mr. Chris Cornell, the hard-hitting vocalist from Soundgarden, Audioslave, and a successful solo career.

Cornell had one of the most powerful voices I’ve ever heard… Anyone who’s ever heard “Hunger Strike” has heard that spine-tingling belting in the song…

A lesser known ‘vocal cameo’ is with Alice in Chains, in the song “Right Turn.”
There is this haunting, eeriness about this song, and near the end there is a soul ripping vocal, from none other than Chris Cornell..

“Its hard to believe that somebody tricked you
When you can see as far as I have
Its hard to believe that someone you cared for
Put your face into the fire”

He was not only a man of extraordinary range and talent, as a singer. But he wrote some songs that really hit home, with me…

He died, while on tour… which I think is appropriate… I think anyone who dies doing what they love, dies the most noble death that there could be.

So, Rest in Peace, one of my favorite singers. Prayers for your family.

Thanks for reading!