My reason for basic income is probably selfish, but

I know I’m not alone. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many readers have great reasons of their own.

I can’t physically work more than I do. Presently I have arthritis and certainly cannot take time off for the surgery and weeks of recovery it would cost. And I’m Canadian. I know this flies in the face of our “health care is magic” but I can promise you it’s not roses in every case here.
Here in Victoria we have a lack of doctors run off their feet. They no longer, for instance, to check ups as they are considered “a waste of time”. In order to avoid any problems the only thing you feel you can do is improve your diet and exercise.
Now add that to the aforementioned low income, and inability to work more due to arthritis. If you exercise you push against the arthritis that makes what work you do even more painful and if you work more the same so you have to take what little money you have to actually pay for better food which costs more.
This is why there is the modern phenomenon of poor people being obese. It used to be rich=fat. Not it’s poor=fat. Rich people can do a southbeach diet. We can’t.

When you are poor you are eating to feel full. This is starches and low quality food. Food costs are up across the board as well as gas. Again with the interconnection.

This is the part that actually makes me crazy. That I actually studied Sociology in university that in the first term explains how “income dictates health”.

How can poor people pull their socks up or whatever phrases we use if they their situation is built to fail. It’s 2019. We can do better and we do know how.

It’s the basic income model. I just got paid Friday, paid bills and now on Wednesday I have 2$. A supplement to this would not stop me working. It would have me work more efficiently, more effectively and for longer. I’m typing this into a crap phone on a city bus but I have seen and read cases on how when this program has been tested in not only didn’t make “everything worse” but it actually cleared up problems across the board. Medical centers, for instance, notice a significant drop in visits because people’s lives became healthier.

Reason I say my story is because, even though it is specific to me I know I’m not alone. I’ve heard through the cracks in media’s paint.

Most of us are not doing better than we were ten years ago.

If someone told me they were going to make things “great again” I will admit, my hope would be raised to. This isn’t going “that way” now but it’s connected. It all is. When things are impossibly hard in a way that cancels happiness and threatens your existence you grab for any rung. You can blame me or anyone else that “didn’t make it” but that also is logically flawed. We can’t all be the head of the company. The architects just didn’t make the executive washrooms that big.

Also many of us have a “side hustle”. We worry we’ll miss out. Only stands to reason you would be on your phone so much. It doesn’t stem from anger. It stems from trying to make it “great again” yourself. It’s true no matter how you politically alighn yourself. All of us fish see the same nets being used. And it’s freaking the gills out of us.

Please have a look at the different basic income accounts out there on social media and check out what they’ve been saying.

It may be early days for this still grassroots idea, but we got to start somewhere.

There is other gains as well that can occur from Basic Standard Income as well.

Firstly we can kick off we a general feeling of brother love and togetherness in a way that actually matters, and not as an abstract concept.

Secondly the boom in the arts and humanities cannot be overstated. It is at our peril that we discount these parts of our culture as some would do. They are our culture. They are were we step into our higher selves and think beyond the immediate. Examples range from Beethoven to Beckett, from the Charter of Rights to the inscription on the Statute of Liberty.

Supporting these is our “Why?” much as supporting infrastructure is our “How?”. If you can’t stop to think you can’t do it better than before.

This is about not just raising up some of us, this is about all of us. This creates hope and from this joy. Your need to stop violence across the world to within communities and families could reduce too.

This is about humanity’s purest potential.

To quote Jeff Goldblum in the movie Powder “Maybe one day our humanity will overtake our technology”

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Watch “THE ULTIMATE 80’S NAME THAT TUNE – IMPOSSIBLE TO GET! GENIUSES ONLY!” on YouTube

❔❔❔ULTIMATE 80’S NAME THAT TUNE❕❕❕

Warning!! This may make you crazy if you heard it before like myself and others !

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
(And no dissin the piano… going from my memory as an 8 yr old kid here…😅😅😅)
But seriously, now I’m jamming this thing!
Goes much further I’ll call it an original!
But seriously
Still bugging me since I posted before.
I have googled all kinds of combinations of those lyrics.
I have watched sooo many YouTube 80’s compilations.
I have asked Facebook peeps and groups only to find…
Nothing!🤣
🤔🤔🤔nobody including me can get it but *people do recognize it!!!*😕🙃😜
So crazy if you lived through that period and heard it, as I can hear that part and the voice, but the identity of the artist is still shrouded in mystery!
All I know is…
1) Early to mid 80’s
2) Male vocalist
3) Lyrics may not be accurate as nothing comes up and I was 8

This thing should go viral so we can all find it lol!!!

The man who caused the 2016 election and potentially 2020.

Ever read a run on sentence? Like a really bad one? Like a really, really bad one.

Like imagine if you had a twelve year old tabby cat that is rather spry for its age and when you were not looking at about eleven after five the cat went outside and you couldn’t find it and you ran into your neighbors and they said they didn’t see it they did want to ask you if you had seen that really interesting show on television about how their cousin Brian Williams from Albany, New York was going to be part of the US Bobsled team but was actually or at least nearly dropped because he didn’t use the proper sanitary box for his November 5th urine sample and so you decided to go get a beer with them at that new place, you know the one with the red umbrellas that overlooks the Inner Harbour around the corner from where they are still cleaning up the harbour from what use to be a paint factory and everyone is up in arms about because the contractor involved in it which is called Big Beaver Construction that seriously makes everyone laugh anyway…

You get the idea. Hard to remember it was actually about a cat.

That is part of the plan set up by Steven Bannon when he met Donald Trump at a function long before what would be Trump’s second run for office. They were going to do the media equivalent of a run on sentence and now we are all living it.

It’s why when you talk about what “he did” a week ago or what “he tweeted” feels like a different era.

It was planned.

Taken directly from Bannon’s Wikipedia page…

Bannon told journalist Michael Lewis in February 2018, “We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall. This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.” He added, “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit

So essentially, for the base he created straight forward simple talking points that they could get behind. For the media he instructed Donald to keep the media hopping with one specific thing after another specific thing, causing everyone to run defense.

Remember the mallet game at any Chunk E Cheese? It’s like that.

On multiple occasions Bannon made reference to The Camp of the Saints which is a novel published in 1973 by author and explorer Jean Raspail. Not only is this book more blatantly racist than Mein Kempf (and becoming frighteningly popular) but it also anti immigration to say the least as it speaks of the western world being swarmed by “Indians” who kill, rape and worse until the last white person is gone.

As such the idea that this former editor of Brietbart Magazine, which Bannon proudly calls alt-right, would be the source of ideas like “the wall” and “fake news” shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The constant stream of one thing after another is a perfect deflection game, on top of the anti Clinton deflection which they knew they would get supporters to then join in on, a strategy that still continues just as voraciously now despite Hillary Clinton being out of political life entirely since December of 2016.

The influence of Steven Bannon on the current administration, despite him being physically gone can not be overstated.

The character of Sir Humphrey Appleby from the BBC comedy series “Yes, Minister” explain it perfectly…

As such the far more effective thing is counter intuitive. I mean, you’re reading from the guy who slammed social media and is now here after more pushed reactions.

Oh yeah, I was counter-tweeting and liking my side this morning too. I’ve had times when I’ve made a point to not engage as it sets me off and kills my own productivity.

Sound familiar? This is it…it’s hard to do anything like that.

We have to, myself included, get to the point when we know that it’s all about getting your reaction. It’s interesting when you read our news or BBC because you start finding about news you never knew about because it isn’t the Pennsylvania Avenue Soap Opera.

So my advice is to make your own point, ignoring completely the Bannon-built apparatus. Make decisions about how you “can do for your country” and go straight there. If you are running (a) holy cow! Thank you for reading and (b) drop the anyone but Trump thing. Tell us what you are going to do. Say what your plan is in your manifesto. It comes down to that one hard as he’ll thing. Ignore Trump.

Just that. Leave Camp of the Saints, Bannon and Brietbart where they belong…

Forgotten.

Social Media Activism is Dead.

Paul’s dead man, miss him

No matter what the issue the reality is the same. The first has to be that like the guy in Network said “you’re the reality, we’re the illusion.”

Hold my beer, buddy, cause you ain’t seen 2018.

Well here we are in 2019 and still preaching to our choirs so hard their ears are bleeding. Truth is you have met people who don’t share your views and you do actually like them.

As a musician I learned early how people get very tribal very fast in all kinds of things. When I got into Depeche Mode I was a traitor because it was us Classic Rock maintenance guys versus the grunge and generally new music crew at McDonald’s. No seriously, that was a thing. I crossed a line by liking People are People.

I find myself seeing the point on both sides. Truth is 2016 was such a bound to happen political hellscape for everyone that no matter if you were for him or her, the other one really (as they say in the UK) wound you up (got you going, got you ranting).

I have screamed at the walls about issues for utterly no reason. My girlfriend, the poor thing who doesn’t like political discourse at all is just like “calm down”.

Truth is absolutely no clever wording, campaign or meme will make up for her what is done. What do I mean. Ok, here I moronically probably go… Ughh…

My loved one is a First Nations coast Salish person who was of course effected by residential schools, the horrible reservation system, and everything else designed to exterminate her culture. She has endured from that more than she’ll ever say. She’s tough and quiet. But it’s things people say to her that make her sad. If someone stereotypes her, or makes fun of her that’s what counts.

That’s the thing, we can argue the details but not communicating is not who we are. Put a person and a wolf in a cage and guess who wins? We are not fighters, we are organizers. We work best as a group. And ripping each other a new one isnt working. I know you’re right about that thing but we need to show how we can work together.

Don’t even get me started on how communication in this way isn’t effective. We’re not all Hemingways running around spouting The Sun Also Rises. I’m still of the generation that goes “f it” and calls the person. Nuances of interaction are gone in this frenzied type of top of the head creative nonfiction.

And in terms of communication an attack always leads to an equal defense. Considering some societies lob missiles at each other for decades I’d say there is no “ultimate argument” that really takes them down a peg or two. Learning doesn’t happen when someone gets aggressive with the intended student. They just change the channel and your back to your choir again. If we can create the want for learning, actual conversation where we start again and just talk we can do it. It’s social capital. Noone wants to be left out.

I’m a leftie most of the time but there are some who are so far left they come around to the right saying “we’ll always be enemies.”. If you’re on the hard left and the hard right has agreed with you, it’s not working. Or if it is, just launch the big missiles and be done with it. But you don’t want that. You want something else. Besides we are better than this. Watch any video on YouTube about people helping people. We can do anything.

Same with the vote. You can’t type in a way that will convert someone. Just try to create a community in which the right person moves forward. It’s up to you, not politicians.

Here’s a hint. It’s not on this phone.

Put the phone in your pocket. Take off the white ear things. Go outside.

There’s a world of people out there. Talk. Now.

Leave the screens out if it. They are, at best, aggressively pointless.

SJWs RIP.

✌️

A trying to let it go SJW 😛

Tom

Lifetime of Learning

We like to be surprised. If you think of the last YouTube video you watched or online platform you used outside of WordPress (or perhaps within it) the best part was without question when you became enraptured by something.

Why is that?

Why watch a YouTube video of a cat missing a jump and falling out of shot like a cartoon.

I still get caught by those cats, or Simon’s cat.

There was the “double bounce” videos where both kids and cats got shot into the air, or even off camera by a person or preferably two in succession falling on the same mattress.

Someone did this to me on a trampoline when I was a kid. I shot into the air and shrieked.

In all of these cases, maybe even now, we lose ourselves in the thrall of it. In the subject of learning sure, bouncing a cat isn’t exactly a study of the northern Wyoming’s biodiversity but it is still a study nevertheless.

Over the past year I have been more musically focused which is the reason for less of these as I have been over there (pointing to my keyboard, trust me) more than typing these on my phone. But I’ve been enjoying the study of that and I’ve noticed my own growth over the past year. I’m almost 45. Like in two days. I know, it’s scary lol!

But I’ve been making music “seriously” since about the age of 20 or so. (Got my first bass guitar quite late). Anyways I can promise that I am still absolutely enthralled by learning and there is lots to tuck into. My playlist just went to Teru by Wayne Shorter off of his album Adam’s Apple which seems appropriate as listening to that level of musicianship speaks to how much there is still to explore.

Even if it’s what you watch of YouTube. Now some documentaries on there are pretty bland (if there is lots of animations and ‘exciting’ noises it’s probably less of a heavily academic work) but there is some really good ones too. Even though his stuff is a bit of a British cliche by now I would suggest anything hosted by Tony Robinson who has gone from actor to amateur archeologist with programs like Time Team and Walking Through History.

Here’s episode one as a sample.

There’s also Hoopla Audio which is an amazing app you can connect to your local library and can get you music, audio and even plays. For a writing project I’m listening to stuff on Shakespeare including acted plays that are on there.

There’s NPR of course and the Ted Talk series, How I Build This and a variety of other programs on there. I have to mention Car Talk as that has become a early week tradition for me at work laughing along with the episodes by Tom and Ray while I learn about cars. Or at least feel like I’m learning about cars.

And then of course there’s the public library.

Maybe this all starts to get you as you get older but I never was that jazzed about library stuff as a kid. I remember me and my older sister being part of a library kids club back then and she did way better at it than me.

Anyways later later on I wanted to write my first real book based on Lord of the Rings and so I did all this research on everything I could, trying to step up to Tolkien’s level (trying being the key word) and even though, no, I failed to create any languages I really had fun learning about things like archery (which I also did physically-awesome!) and some botany subjects and other things. I remember getting really excited about anything I could tie in like the history of wine. See my Georgia blog for more about this.

So, how to wrap this up! I’d say browse. Browse one of these platforms or the library for something you’d like to know. Make some tea and settle in. No this won’t be something to entertain friends with straight away. Take a quiet moment to settle into this kind of journey.

The world is out there.

Explore!

🙂

Tom

The Potential for Magic

One of the biggest mistakes ever has certainly got to do with dreams.

We tell people to follow their dreams but that is it, which inevitably has them either fail and think not for me or they actually move forward. The second case is sadly more rare.

But the point here is how are you learning something?

To me the classic has got to be when I was in scouts as a kid. We had to learn knots, as in all the different kind of ways of tying two ropes together (or one in the examples) like the bowline, reef knot and so on. It’s been a while since this all happened. I will also admit it is not super magical but bear with me.

I couldn’t do it at all. I could tie my shoes but even then only just barely. I remembered left over right, right over left, but that’s it. (Or was it the other way around? Anyways)

Years later I wanted to help fix up my dad’s boat and have everything perfect and for some reason I decided to learn the same knots by myself. In one hour I could flip through the same knots, the exact same ones, over and over.

What happened? Well, it’s the same as with music. I did take guitar lessons once as a kid and got bored. Years later I’m studying bass, then guitar, then keyboard and I have an album coming out.

What happened was the way I learned. The person is the same. The material is the same. The difficulty is the same. But now as a Adhd person who deep dives into subjects, my self teaching makes it actually work.

That’s the magic here. It isn’t limited to guitars and reef knots. Our approach to anything including how people learn can be opened up. You can become literally what ever you imagine.

If you have the dream you have what’s in you to succeed.

Cheers,

Tom

Gut Wars, A New (leave the house) Hope

“It’s not very rock and roll…”

Andrew Fletcher Depeche Mode

(talking about his depression)

If you feel unwell all the time and feel the need to be near a washroom when you don’t actually need it then know right now that you are not alone.

Three years ago I got to the point that I felt gross and nauseated no matter what, especially if I ate something which being someone who performs regularly was just unbearable.

It had started a few months before that, with me going home sick frequently from both work (luckily for me I soon when self employed for a year so I could focus on it) and at least one rehearsal where I had to leave half way (only to feel better before I even got back home. Ugh.)

I had been to my doctor, walk in clinics and the emergency thing to see what was wrong. They started with tests and then prescriptions that didn’t work. I did that test you do at home that nobody wants to have to do involving saran wrap…yeah, that one. I won’t go there, but it didn’t help either.

Anyway cut to beginning of the year and I tried some anti anxiety meds that not only didn’t work but had the warning of “may cause nausea.” Yeah, right. More like “You’ll pray for the end.”

I was lying on the couch not wanting to move, not wanting to not move…playing Angry Birds made me feel gross.

“Oh, for fu.$@$ sakes!”

I don’t remember the exact moment, but (after quitting those horrible pills) I got my things and went out.

I walked.

I felt like hell doing it but I couldn’t stand not being able to walk around Victoria’s Inner Harbor so I just went there, guts whinging the whole damn way.

They subsided a bit, long enough for me to do this shot…

Yeah, I’m a dork. Anyways…

I wanted more of this and less of the other so I kept going with this, researching my absolute ass off.

I had gained weight after 30 as my usual red hot adhd metabolism had left town so that was a first port of call. I used the Calm meditation app and actually subscribed (I promise I don’t work for them, that’s not what this is about) and did a ten minute meditation practice each day.

I started with a 10 minute walk, 10 min jog, 10 minute jog daily, which eventually I supplemented with the gym membership (Goodlife and the fit fix program. General health training at the Y would be as good)

I discove1red ginger everything. Ginger mint or ginger turmeric teas are my favourite. I quit smoking eventually and tried to cut out pop as it only adds air to your gut (even ginger ale which I was bringing to gigs) Also fennel seeds in tea is ace. Do that. They do that at Indian restaurants for a reason. I have a fennel seed shaker. It is, as Fatboy Slim would say…the Weapon of Choice…

I used the Alkaline app to try and lessen the amount of acidic food. I know this is difficult but one gain was the wonder of steel cut oats with frozen blueberries which are great for digestion, alkaline and a superfood.

And then back to that difficult subject to discuss, but I’ll just say regularity. I cut down cheese consumption and started drinking four of my water bottles a day minimum. I am still working on all this to this day, as I want to keep the weight down and find the best exercise for my gut. I’m not a muscle bound type but at the gym my best machine is now the ab-crunch one. My longest jog is now over an hour but the war ain’t over.

I have noticed how I can be constipated before a run, ran anyways, and my body just puts it aside to bug me later. Just wacky.

So my next thing?

I’m gonna blog about and it’s gonna be this… The Celery Juice craze. I’ve done the cleanse drinks with cinnamon and apple cider vinegar. Now it’s this…

Cheers 🍻,

Tom

Show up to the page. And tomorrow the same.

How do you start something creative? It’s always that first line, that first note, that first brush-stroke that’s scary. It can set the whole tone, can’t it?

What if I’m no good?

I’m reminded of the kept-me-up-that-night excitement of a Abba documentary that I saw. I think the music just got me buzzing all over again, but it could have been this bit.

Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus would keep office hours. Bjorn would make the coffee and hike up the hill to their little cabin/studio in the Stockholm Archipelago where he’d hear Benny was already tinkering on the little upright piano they put in the tiny hut. Sure, gorgeous scenery to write Eagle and Dancing Queen but I don’t think that’s what did it.

I wrote a book ages back and just recently finished my CD The Goldblacks which I’m releasing May 1st, first single out on Friday stay tuned lol (plug out of the way…😜) and I genuinely took a leaf out of their book on both things (with the second knowingly)

Just show up to the page (or the easle, or the keyboard, or in my case my little studio spot of my place.)

There’s something that happens thats true of Goal Setting where even if a goal seems too lofty that it’s worth it just to check it out anyway. It’s like the meta-you takes over and makes it more real. If, like my Mom for instance, you play Irish harp then each day at a time you’ve decided is your most focused, got sit behind that harp (add yours here…it would get way too distracting for me to list them each time)

Where were you yesterday in playing? What haven’t you tried? My note app on my phone is amazing for this. Throughout the day you can give yourself ideas to use at this special time to kick you off. Much as you want direction for your endeavor it’s perfectly ok to just ramble, trying things out. Ricky Gervais on set of the Office called it his “mucking about” that often came up with great natural ideas.

Don’t forget, you’re supposed to enjoy it. I don’t believe in everything being final-end product focused but to be true-you have to enjoy it for them to as well.

Some stuff is certainly hard, and one thing worth looking into is deliberate practice where you can make great stides but first…

Make the coffee.

Go up to the hilltop.

Sip your coffee.

See what your hands do.

Take a chance,

😉

Tom

Week One

It’s the first week for everyone which is partly the reason for the title as it’s also the first week of Goldblacks recording.

And my first time off in about eighteen years, which naturally, I used to work on something.

As I’m writing this, the protest here in Victoria is marching up Fort Street in solidarity with the BC First Nations who are, long story short, being put through the same crap that they did in Standing Rock. Really unfortunate this still needs to be sorted out but great to see such a large crowd of support on a rainy January day.

For those who we should be building bridges with we are quarreling with, pulling Elders (First Nations seniors) out in the snow.

Here’s a link to more about their first week.

For me the first cuts of each song are recorded and now it’s going over, fine tuning, remixing and some rerecording. Just did a live version of Take Me Higher, a song that’s been around for just decades, it being requested many times including at work and on a #4 bus

I also have some plans for a music video for She Lives There and maybe two more. I did that Such a Drag one to kick the year off but Ill have to see. The main thing is to finish the CD in time for this Summer.

First Cookeilidh rehearsal is this week so getting ready for that, with the focus being on Robbie Burns as his day comes up on January 25th.

There is a few shows this year that we’re doing including Craigdarroch Castle with the address to the Haggis. The castle has been a wonderful partnership with us all these years and we are very lucky to play such a beautiful Scottish castle for this date. If you are in Victoria at any point check it out, and especially during Robbie Burns or Christmas season.

Inside Craigdarroch, the last being us two years back!

It has been a politically busy first week, but I think that’s because we are finding more and more that we can’t take things for granted.

We should be all able to enjoy life at it’s fullest or as Freddie Mercury sang

“this could be heaven for everyone!”

Cheers,

Tom

Rainy ride

Bundle up and

Get something warm and

Get your keys and

Stand and wait sip your drink and look out traffic

Pull your hood close and

Wave your pass and

Wait in shelters

Bleary burn stained glass

Look for the white white roof of the

Crosstown connection.