funerals are the for the living

The deceased have passed on.  Thus, funerals are more for the living than for the dead.  Do not wait until a person close to you is dead to show your concern for them.  Spend time with loved ones who are in hospital or in hospice care.  Take the time now.  Don’t wait until it is too late and the opportunity is lost and gone.


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a tribute to Blood, Sweat and Tears

a tribute to Blood, Sweat and Tears

Target: Earth, third planet in star system number 6792.  Begin transmission.

While gathering our thoughts for other upcoming essays, we recollect on some very good music from the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

Blood, Sweat and Tears (BS&T) was a musical group that produced songs with rich sounds and good lyrics.  I would not classify them as either hard or soft rock.  Their music made use of more than just guitars and drums.  Listening last night to their songs that we first heard more than 40 years ago, was as enjoyable as when we first heard them.

We share these links to some of their more memorable tunes.  If you are not familiar with these, you may want to give a listen.  Most everyone has heard You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, and Spinning Wheel.  Therefore, we include some lesser known but very nice songs.

Sometimes in Winter – a haunting song that tells of lost love.  Deeply touching.

Lucretia MacEvil   –  “Oooohh, Lucy, you just so damn bad.”  (at 2:22 of the song) Video features the vinyl LP playing on a turntable.

Hi De Ho

And When I Die  – a great tune to sing along with.

God Bless the Child  –  on this song you hear more of the rich full-bodied sounds made by the various instruments accompanied by the moving vocal of David Clayton-Thomas.

Lisa Listen To Me

And, here is the full greatest hits album now on CD.  (I bought the original vinyl LP back in 1972 with money earned on my paper route.)  As one of the comments on YouTube says:  “This kiddies, is real music. “


End transmission.

sweet music: soothe me and lift my spirit

sweet music: soothe me and lift my spirit

This is sort of a follow up to our Power of Music essay a couple of months back.  In that essay, we talked about instrumental music.  Today, we offer some songs with singing.

This essay is for the young and for the young at heart.

Music can lift your spirits and improve your mood.  I may not have liked the piano lessons my mother insisted that all her children take during elementary school days, but I have always enjoyed listening to music.  As a young child in the 1960s, I can remember the songs that were on the radio at the time, such as Light My Fire by The Doors, and Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.  Last night, while sipping (really drinking) some quality Kentucky bourbon whiskey with water, my mood was improved by listening to some songs we share with you below.  (We also listened to some great instrumentals.)

It has been a very difficult winter for most of the US and Canada.  But, as you can see each day, the sun is getting higher in our northern skies.  Before long, the sun’s warmth will melt all the snow (with perhaps some areas of flooding) and then bring out the spring flowers. Women will shed their winter clothes and wear spring time fashions.  (What ever happened to wearing dresses in the US?  Why do so many women wear pants type outfits?  Bring back spring and summer dresses.)  Then, by late spring, say in late May when temperatures are warm to even hot, we will see the young women in their swimsuits.  And, for those who care to look, one can easily see the beauty of the female form.

We share now the lyrics to the song Easy to Be Hard by Three Dog Night.  (Lyrics were found at  A link to the music video follows the lyrics.

Easy To Be Hard

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, I need a friend

How can people be so heartless
You know I’m hung up on you
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, we all need a friend

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be proud, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Come, on, easy to give in, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Much too easy to say no

Listen to it here:

Help Me by Joni Mitchell is a nice song.  Back in 1974, this song was on the radio every day in the summer.

Listen to it here: 

Pablo Cruise gives us A Place in the Sun

Everybody’s heart needs a holiday . . . .
It’s time to find your place in the sun . . . .

You can listen here:

Beginnings by the well known musical group, Chicago, is still a great song decades after being released.

You can listen here:

From 1972, we have Go All the Way by The Raspberries.  Caution, this song starts up a bit loud before easing up on the decibel level.

This last selection we offer with a disclaimer.  We are not advocating sex outside of marriage.  This recent song treats of a woman’s desire for her man.  It sounds nice and the video accompaniment is appropriate for the lyrics.  Rated PG-13 or NC-17.  You make the call.  (We first heard this on the radio and it did sound nice.)

Cathy Dennis sings Touch Me (All night long)

“Let Your Conscience Go.”

Enjoy!  And, if you feel the impulse to get up and dance, then do so.  Who is to know?

the power of music

the power of music

While listening to a couple of instrumental music CDs last evening, the thoughts for this essay came into my mind.

Listening to various instrumental selections can be, and is, very soothing, very relaxing. The mind can be quieted and worries put aside.  It may be that regular listening and for a time freeing the mind of its worries can be healing spiritually and/or mentally.

Although most of our CDs and old vinyl LPs are of songs with singing in them, we have several albums of exclusively music without singing by various recording artists or musical groups.  When there is no singing, no words to follow or to sing along to/with, the mind can be more relaxed.

There is a wide range of instruments made use of by the various artists to create rich sounds, textured sounds so to speak.  One can hear piano, koto (traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument), flutes, drums, etc.  Electronic synthesizers are used by some musical groups.  Some instrumentals are fast moving while others have a slower tempo. And, since the sounds are universal in appeal, it does not matter if you are listening to Tangerine Dream (Germany), or Osamu Kitajima (Japan), or a musical group from India, or a Native American flute musician.  With just instruments, there is no language barrier. As well, there is good instrumental music in most genres of music including rock and jazz.

You might want to try listening to some instrumental music for an hour or more some evening.  Turn the lights low and turn off the cell phones to create a more peaceful atmosphere and then turn on your CD player or stereo and sit quietly and just listen.  For those with children (or roommates), you may wish to listen after the children are in bed for the night.  This can be done easily if you have a set of audio headphones.  Plug them into your stereo and sit down on the floor by the stereo and listen in peace.

One does not need to purchase many CDs to be able to listen to good instrumental music. There are various compilations or anthologies on the market that feature selections from several musical groups.  For example, the 2 CDs we listened to last evening were Miramar Collection 1 and Miramar Collection 2.  Both are from the mid 1990s.  #1 has 45 minutes of songs on it.  #2 has about 74 minutes of music on it.  Both collections feature several different groups.  We also have a CD entitled Northern Lights on Finlandia Records (Warner Music Group) 1995.  It has 17 selections by various Finnish musicians.

But even bands that are more widely known for their vocals also have done some good work with instrumentals.  Santana comes to mind.  Even on their earliest albums in the very early 1970s, moving instrumentals were featured.  (Caravanserai, from 1972, was almost entirely an LP of instrumentals.  I think only one song had a little singing in it.)

We purchased many of our CDs back in the 1990s through a discount CD club.  Also, is a good source for new and used copies of many CDs.  On Amazon, you can read customer reviews of many of the musical CDs offered for sale.  (For years, I had been listening to Shadowfax’s instrumental album, The Odd Get Even, on cassette in my car. Belatedly, I decided to try to get it on CD for home listening.  There were not many copies of this 1990 album on CD to be found in late 2009.  On Amazon, was found an inexpensive, used copy that was in “like new” condition, and it plays great.)  As well, one can search on YouTube for various songs and artists and sample some of their music before deciding what CDs to purchase later.

There are many groups/artists that produce instrumental music.  You likely know of some. Here are a few, in addition to those already mentioned above.  Jan Hammer, Zazen, Jonn Serrie, James Reynolds, Paul Speer, Michael Gettel.  Shakatak has a few good instrumentals scattered across their many albums.

Here we include a link to Shadowfax’s song, Her Dress Hangs There, from the Odd Get Even album.  (One of the best songs from this album, Changing of The Guard, could not be found on YouTube.)

As to the power of sound, let me add these remarks.  Those who chant the Maha Mantra (the great mantra, the Hare Krishna mantra of 16 words), will speak of the transcendental nature and effects on us of certain sounds.  Chanting the holy names of God awakens the soul’s innate love (longing) for God, and helps to purify and elevate one’s consciousness.  All I can add is that when I chanted this mantra many times in the late 1980s, I was cured of my doubt as to the existence of God.  Now, my periodic struggles with faith are along the lines of sometimes doubting that we humans really were created for a higher purpose, and that we will achieve a higher state (a better plane of existence than living in this miserable world).  Sometimes, I think we were only created to suffer.  But, I do not doubt the existence of God.  (We addressed this mantra in one of our earliest essays in mid 2012.)

Atheists and skeptics may scoff at this.  (We have confronted and challenged the atheist position in a few previous essays.)  Atheists and skeptics need to stop being slothful (lazy) and start putting forth the necessary effort to build their faith.  Atheism is a cop-out and a dead-end.

We wish all readers a safe and happy Christmas holiday/holy day.

We will be back blogging next weekend.

young man blues, the value of masculinity and the new masculinism movement

young man blues, the value of masculinity and the new masculinism movement

The key to the door is within you.  Look for it within.

Two essays today.

It is time to write an essay for young men, and one for masculine men of all ages.  (Women subscribers are welcome to read these, too.  We have previously written on both feminism and the feminine mystique.)

young man blues

This is the title of a song by the British rock band, The Who.  Here are the lyrics and a link to it on YouTube.

Oh well a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days

You know in the old days
When a young man was a strong man
All the people they’d step back
When a young man walked by

But you know nowadays
It’s the old man,
He’s got all the money
And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said nothing

Everybody knows that a young man ain’t got nothin’.
Everybody knows that a young man ain’t got nothin’
He got nothin’

Take it easy on the young man
They ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said they ain’t got nothin’!
. . . . .

Starting out in the adult world is very difficult, especially with a very bad economy and job market.  (We will revisit the troubled economy in an upcoming essay.)

It was that way back in the very early 1980s when I started out into the adult world after college.  Those in my age group and myself experienced much frustration and disappointment during a very bad economic recession (1981 – 1983).  My advice for those young people starting out is not to despair, but to perservere even though the times are very tough now.  Remember that your worth as a human being is not determined by your financial wealth or lack thereof.  It is not your fault the economy is stagnant and is not creating good jobs.  That is largely the fault of the old, joyless, corrupt wretches in government.

The future belongs to the young, and not just to the young women.  The future also belongs to the young men.  Hopefully, the young will make the world a better place than it is now.

the value of masculinity and the new masculinism movement

Here we wish to stress the importance and value of men, of mature and masculine men. We are not talking here about temperamental teenagers.  Masculine men are not brutes, nor louts, nor boorish, nor stupid.  (Even though one can point to bad examples, bad behavior on the part of some men, masculine characteristics and values are not at fault.) Society benefits greatly from the character strengths and contributions of mature and masculine males.

Western society seems not to respect masculine males as much as it once did.  This could be, really is likely, due in no small part to the effects of radical feminism on people’s thinking.  (My wife and I both support the tenets of equity feminism, but we are opposed to the destructive excesses of radical or gender feminism.)  The excesses of feminism have tended to make the sexes adversaries, and that is wrong.  Men and women complement each other as each have strengths the other needs!  We must not overlook the very corrosive effects on the fabric of society of what can be termed “cultural Marxism”.  See Friedrich Engels’ (of Marx and Engels) writings on the family to see how destructive these views are.  Even in many of the elementary schools of today (in the US), there is an attack on boys.  If they exhibit normal boy like behavior (like wanting to play with little plastic “army men”) they are discouraged or even forbidden from doing so.

A personal anecdote here.  While in the third grade, not yet nine years old, I was carrying some of the ammunition while going with my father and 2 older brothers hunting.  A few years later, I took the gun safety training course and was hunting before I was 13 years of age.  There are some who would have liked to deny me these boyhood experiences.  But, consider, did this make me violent and lead me to gang banger behavior?  No.  When cultural Marxism meets the real world, one sees the falseness of that ideology.

The strength of husbands and fathers is needed for strong families and raising up children with character.  Quite simply, it is not fair to them nor realistic to expect mothers to raise children by themselves without a father in the home.  We, as a society, have tried this for the past few decades and this experiment has not borne much good fruit.  You know this.  Single mothers are up against a largely unachievable task when trying to raise headstrong teenage sons.  Doubt this?  Take a look at the black community within the US.  More than 70 per cent of black teenage males do not have a father in the home.  These young males also have some of the highest rates of violent crime.  Coincidence?  Only correlation?  By the way, this propensity for getting into trouble is also largely true for the non-black teenage males without a father in the home.  We are not picking on black people here.

Enough of societal considerations.  Let’s talk directly to the men.

My message for men:  Do not be apologetic nor ashamed for being male.  Do not be apologetic for admiring, valuing, and desiring feminine women.  And, even with all the independent women around who seem to think they do not need a loving man in their life, do not feel bad about wanting to find a woman who you can love and protect and provide for.  As well, do not believe the fiction that you cannot understand or be sensitive to a woman’s needs unless you are effeminate.  (Masculine women seek out such effeminate men for husbands or as “partners” for cohabitation.  We observe this not infrequently among people we know, or know of.)  Masculine men can be gentle.  It is not shameful, nor a sign of weakness, to shed tears of sorrow and grief when you have lost a loved one to the cruel hand of death.

Perhaps, we should start a movement. We might call it “masculinism”.  (Actually, I checked and this tag is already in use.  Others have beat me to the punch.)  This movement will celebrate the values of masculinity and those adult males who live these values.

Here is one possible code for us to live by.  (Yes, this is rather idealistic.)

We, the masculine and mature men of the world, enjoy self-confidence, self-respect, and can be and are chivalrous, generous, and magnanimous.  We value self-reliance, initiative, honesty and self-sacrifice (with courage) in ourselves and in others – both men and women. Because of our self-confidence and maturity, we are team players, and do not try to impose our will on others.  (We do not bully or badger others.)  We do try, however, to counsel others to avoid pursuing courses of action that are self-destructive.  We value and respect individuality and independent thinking as we can learn from each other.  We practice self-discipline.  We naturally have emotions, but work to control them so that we do not victimize others or ourselves through anger or other destructive emotions.  We take personal responsibility for our actions.  We respect women.  We seek (and value) women who exhibit feminine traits as they complement our naturally masculine nature.  We love our children.  We value and esteem our physical strength and our virility.  We are the loving husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, boy friends, etc. that you trust and depend on in your lives.

An ideal worth striving for, guys!  And, as you make up half of adult society, your efforts will help to better society.

As our summer is slipping away here in the northern hemisphere, we share this timely picture of natural beauty.  As masculine men, we admire and respect the beauty of the female form.

beach girl


Santana sampler

Santana sampler

We have not done a music essay in some time.  (Our Christmas essay goes up tomorrow.)

a mandala

I grew up ( or came of age) listening to Santana as they put out album after album throughout the 1970s.  Their music evolved over the years but was always very good.

Here are some links to their music on YouTube.  Some of these songs are not widely known, but are worth listening to at least once in your life.  (We could have included links to songs from the albums Moonflower (1977), or Love, Devotion and Surrender (1973), or Caravanserai (1972), etc., but then there would be too much of a good thing.)  As well, some of these YouTube uploaders have the release dates of the albums wrong.  We have provided the correct ones here.

Santana – Primera Invasion-Searchin’ – “I’m gonna keep on searchin ’til I win your love!”  Searchin’ kicks in at about 2:08….. “listen, my heart is calling, longing to have you near me.” (From the 1981 album, Zebop!)

Stormy ~ Santana (1978 – Inner Secrets album)

Santana from the Marathon album (1979) – Aquamarine (a haunting and enchanting instrumental – Santana had many great instrumentals over the years)

Also from Marathon, Stay Beside Me (starts on an abrupt loud note, you may want to turn your volume down prior to the start of the song for the first couple of seconds):

From Festival (1976) Give me love (a very beautiful song and not widely known!)  Love this song.

From Amigos (1975) Take me with you  (Beware, like life itself, the terror often precedes the peace and joy; worth listening to once in your life)

This instrumental starts @8:13 into the album and continues through 13:34 – having trouble with links to the individual song.  But, hey, the first song, Baila Mi Hermana (Dance Sister Dance) is good, too.

Song for Devadip (instrumental) from Oneness (1981):

Also from Oneness, I am free (short):

Winning (from Zebop!, 1981):