Friday Fives – fate and deities and ghosts and Bono and all that – edition

Do you believe in luck, fate or a higher being?

Yes, yes, and no.  That may be wishy washy, and contradictory.  It’s like how I feel about ghosts.  I don’t necessarily believe in them, but I positively don’t NOT believe in them.  Did that make sense?  If I had to choose, I would err on the side that there are ghosts.  Here is my logic; Einstein said energy can be neither created not destroyed.  The human body is ALL electrical.  Everything that happens to keep you alive is electricity based.  The matrix had an insightful twist on it, that we are just batteries.  There is some truth to that.

Plus, full disclosure, I have had some mild ghost experiences in the past.  Why are we talking about ghosts?  That wasn’t the question at all.

As for a higher being, I am an atheist.  NOT an agnostic.  I know there are a million arguments how there could be no atheists.  I do not believe in a magical, cogent higher power.  Here is the thing, though.  I wish I did.  I would love to believe in heaven.

My buddy Mike made an incredibly insightful point about atheists in a Facebook discussion a few years ago. It sounds flippant at first.  He said “for you to say there is no god acknowledges a god.”  Get it?  He is saying that for me to say “there is no god” means I am at least acknowledging the concept of god.  It’s truly thoughtful, and to that I say this.  I understand your concept of god very well.  So, I am speaking to that.

You may say “how could you look at a puppy or the grand canyon and not see a higher power?”  Easy, I see science and evolution.  It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I appreciate it more than you.  You just think this is god’a magic paintbrush, whereas I see thousands of years of all these things happening to create this perfect moment.

Are you in control of your own destiny or someone else pulling the strings of your life?

Geesh, we are getting heavy today.  I have a dog dying on me this very minute and you are getting all philosophical on me.  I do believe I am in control of my own destiny.  I also acknowledge that outside things beyond my control impact that.  I believe it is called the ‘Butterfly effect’.  That how a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the Earth could impact me.  I could go much more into my thoughts on that if you would like, but I feel you understand me.  Oh.. it is also called ‘Indra’s Net’ by Hindu’s.  That concept is like a spider web that shows anything touched anywhere impacts everything else.  See the pic above. That is maybe why I am so fascinated by Mandalas.  They are my connection to myself, and everything else out there.

What are your lucky charms if you own any?

I have this necklace I am wearing that I call my lucky necklace.  However, that is absurd.  I don’t feel bad or good things have happened as a result of my possessing it.  However, I still make sure I have it every day when I leave the house.  It is a rune of my birthday month from the Mayan calendar… or some such nonsense.  It is my physical connection to Mexico, which is my spiritual happy place

Is the world really just a stage and are we merely actors on that stage?

No.  What kind of stupid shit is that?  That is some twilight zone thinking.  I get that we are small on scale, and our lives will be ultimately insignificant… but I don’t believe there is some grand puppet master directing things – be it god, or society, or the Pentaverette.

Describe what happened on your “luckiest” day (positive or negative).

Just two days ago I had a seriously amazing and epic day.  I was in San Francisco, which made it awesome to start out.  San Fran is such a cool city.  One of the great cities of the world.  I was at a business conference with my wife, and they had the street shut down for performances.  Huey Lewis was playing all his hits right there in front of me.  That awesome twist is that everyone he was supposed to be playing for was in business conferences.  So, it was just me and a couple hundred other people.  I took this pic with my phone.  Shows you how close I was.


So, that was pretty great.  Always appreciated Huey.  He makes great music and always seemed like a decent and regular guy.  Plus, his 80’s album ‘Sports’ still holds the record for most number 1 singles on an album.  Wrap your head around that.  Most #1 singles from a single studio album isn’t Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.

So, after seeing Huey (and already feeling like I am having the best day ever) I run into Bono.  I am in a huge ass conference room the size of a football field with all these tech companies pimping their wares.  I enjoyed it.  I noticed a disproportionate amount of excitement out of the corner of my eye… so I investigate.  I pride myself on this kind of situational awareness.  It’s how I got bum rushed by Sen John Kerry and his goons once.  That is another story.

So, I see a few people gathering around and taking pictures of someone.  Who could it be?  Huey Lewis?  Sean Penn?  Billie Joe Armstrong?  They were all there for the conference.  It was Bono.  Thee Bono.  That Bono.  He wasn’t at a booth, or anything like that.  He was just walking around as a participate.  He has no crew, no entourage, and no body guards.  Just this lady.  I take a pic of him taking a pic with someone.  Then, he walks right by me.  Do I leave him alone?  I don’t want to be a stalker ahole, but when will I get this chance again?

bono and some lady

So, I tap him on the shoulder and ask if I can take a picture.  He smiles and TAKES my phone.  He takes two selfies of us together, one even at a cool and arty angle.  Those pics are below.  That is me***, with Bono.*

me and Bono 2013

So, I am walking on air.  Truly, this has been one of the great and fun days of all time…. And this was just two days ago.  That night, we have tickets to go see Green Day and Blondie for free.  That concert was so amazing I wrote about it here, on my music site**.  I also got free food all day from the conference.  Here is what made it bonus fun.  It wasn’t even my conference, it was the wifey’s.  I was just glomming on for the free hotel room in San Francisco.  But, I work for a major major tech company, so I was able to weasel a pass to all the events.

* turns out it probably wasn’t Bono.  Just some weirdo he cruises around and soaks up the adulation the world has for Bono.  Thing is, I am a big fan of U2.  Seen them four times.  I have also met a lot of rock stars.  There was no reason to believe this wasn’t Bono.  I mean, intuitively – yes.  Why the hell would Bono be cruising around a tech sales conference?  Why wouldn’t he have body guards?  I am telling, though, this guy looked 100% like Bono.  It was still a great day, but I am a little sad that maybe it wasn’t Bono after all.

** that piece isn’t up yet.  it is written, and I am editing it. I should have it up some time today.  update to the update – that piece is up now.

*** this is the first time in ten years, and over a thousand posts, that I have ever posted a picture of myself.  I am pretty cagey about that stuff.  You will also never find my real name anywhere on here. 


Friday Fives

1. This week, in 1881, the American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton.  The Red Cross provides aide to people and communities in times of need.  Describe a time when you helped someone. (first aid use is optional.)

well, that is easy.  I volunteer for both the Denver Red Cross and the Dumb Friends league (Denver’s humane society).  For the former, I do disaster services and presentations, and for the latter I am the maintenance guy.  So, I am covered there.

2.  Go to  Wikipedia, what pops up when you click the Random Article link?  Upon reading it, any thoughts come to mind?

I got an article on ‘Bryaxis‘.  This was a dude who was a greek sculptor in 350 AD.  While known as a great talent in his time, we later learned just recently he cribbed all his moves from Frank Lloyd Wright.  Bummer, total hack, that Bryaxis.

3.  Speaking of  random, we do this about every six months or so.  What are the first five random songs that pop up on your MP3 player?

Awlful – Hole (Celebrity Skin)

Though I find Courtney Love an abhorrent human, this CD is amazing.  Five stars.  Plus, I admit, I have the hots for her.  Don’t act like you don’t, elitist.  Of course, Billy Corgan wrote half the CD, so maybe that is why I love it so much.

In the Jailhouse now – Soggy Bottom Boys (Oh Brother soundtrack)

just a great CD all around.  Regardless of the movie, it stands alone as some great folk and mountain music.  A few years ago, we got to see Dan Timmons play.  He is the voice of the Soggy Bottom Boys (and so singer of Man of Constant Sorrow).

Ring of Fire – DJ Brian

I can’t speak to this version of the Cash classic.  The reason is, for my birthday, Roy (author of these here said questions) gave me a DVD loaded with about 50 versions of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.  This then, is one of them.

Hello in There – John Prine (Session at West 54th)

John Prine absolutely rules.  I just discovered him a few years ago, also thanks to Roy.  One of my favorite songwriters, who you may not have heard of.  This disc is one of my favorites.  Incidentally, I am going to see Prine this summer at Red Rocks.  Pretty stoked about that.

Something – Beatles (Abbey Road)

George Harrison finally gets some airtime.  For almost all the Beatles records, there are almost no George tunes.  The only track he got was ‘Taxman’.  Later, the really set him free.  We got ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Something’ and some other gems.  Not tough to see how that happened though.  it can’t be easy pitching a song to Lennon/ McCartney.  George absolutely remains my favorite Beatle.

ok, there you go. The iPod was on full song random, and we pulled from 4552 songs.
4.  Saturday is “Penny Day.” Many people believe that if you find a penny face up, it might be lucky and you should pick it up. They also believe if you find a penny face down, you should leave it on the ground. What are your thoughts? Do you think there is such a thing as a “lucky penny?”

Frankly, I am beat from the barrage of questions above.  It became the ‘Friday Tens’, which I haven’t seen any of you guys pony up for.  Plus, that question is boring.  I will say this, you make your own luck.  Ponder that.

5.  Wednesday is Roy’s Birthday.  What is up with that?

well, I reckon this fella ‘Roy’ you speak of will head out and have a beer or two.

Friday Fives

1. Do you believe in good and/or bad luck?

I actually very very much believe in the old saying “you make you own luck”

2. Do you believe there is one man/woman luckier than all the rest?

you are treading into Gladwell’s latest treatise.
  That is mostly over my head, and too thinky.  I would say, generally not.  I do believe some are born with more talent than others… which is pretty close.  An example?  Justin Timberlake.  I do not own a single Timberlake song or track (other than ‘Dick in a Box’).   So, I don’t know about his singing.  I do know, however, he is extremely funny, and a terrific actor.   Dude is great looking and extremely personable.  I ain’t gay, but Timberlake is hot, talented, funny as well, and a fabulous dancer.  That’s all I am saying.  I call that talent, you can call it luck.  Nothing gay about that, eh?

3. When was the last time you considered yourself lucky?

just about every day I pull into my driveway.  really.  drive up in my nice truck to my own house where my wife and dogs and all that are home waiting.  Life is great, I have no complaints.  Ok, maybe an occasional bitch… but no regrets.

4. What is the most unlucky thing to ever happen to you?

being born a Democrat in Arizona.

5. Where do you think luck (good or bad) comes from?

1.  luck   2.  hard work  3.   a positive attitude