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The Wrap-up, 2013 Edition: How was your year?


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Okay I may add more later since I`m at work, but I`ll say it right off-I have no problem saying bye bye to 2013. I had some very nice experiences, saw Thailand twice, had a fun as heck extended weekend in Hong Kong and debuted as a solo singer, in a way I never would have guessed and to really really nice audience reaction. But, I know life is full of plans that don`t work out. What pisses me off is when ALL plans don`t work out. I did not accomplish one thing I set out to do. Not one. I`m flying out of here tomorrow and among the festivities with family and friends I have to check my belongings for fire damage. I have been without supplemental income for most of the year, the company that owns the building where I live seems to have a think tank dedicated exclusively to finding new fees they can charge the tenants and I recorded not one thing. I have been pissed off so much of the time that beer has gone from a refreshing beverage to liquid anger management.

However the new year is already off to a good start-I will be conducting my very first martial arts seminar in Minnesota in January, with my friends`s karate/kobudo group. I also have an invitation to be a guest teacher for another friend`s aikido group, I think it`s in Chicago. I`ll also have another vocal performance in mid-January, that should be fun. I want to get back into playing electric, still love acoustic but gimme a break, it`s time to rock. But I`ll have to cut back on travel-and pretty much everything else-if I want to accomplish anything next year. Austerity has never been my strong point but it`s coming down to that or piss away another year-that is unacceptable.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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For me and my immediate family, we had our ups and downs. But we were like the eye in the hurricane as compared to what happened to some friends & family,

 

IOW, I am NOT complaining about how 2013 went for me.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Into martial arts are ya, Skip?

 

So the audience at your gigs BETTER like the music, eh?

 

Finally went on SS this year. It took away half my pension, but the amount of SS I get is MORE than that half. Combine that with finally paying off some debts which had some hefty monthly payments, I finally have enough left over every month to finally get out of the "payday advance" maisma. Was finally, after several years, able to get some people decent Christmas gifts this year. Health-wise, nothing much has changed. No great, if any, improvements, but not worse. So there's that. Even the dog got more complacent it seems. No big improvements on my guitar playing, but no problems with the instruments. They're still in good condition and sounding good. My only complaint is after two years of practically NO discernable winter, here in Mich. we already got more snow so far than we got the LAST two.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Very good & very bad.

The good: Got to meet Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, & Brian Eno, worked with Laurie Anderson, worked the Kronos 40th anniversary gigs, engineered tracks for a Kronos 6 CD box set, mixed & mastered a Grammy nominee, started a guitar duo with long time friend & acoustic fingerpicking wiz Jim McAuley.

The bad: my wife was diagnosed with cancer & has been between slightly ill & seriously ill from the effects of chemotherapy & radiation since May. My touring buddy Larry, the Kronos production manager, who I've shared more dinners with in the last 21 years than with my wife, was diagnosed with cancer in November, has undergone major surgery twice & had to miss recent Kronos tours. My ex underwent heavy chemotherapy this year, with unsuccessful results & may need more chemo or a transplant.

 

Right now my assessment is the bad is outweighing the good. Really getting tired of having almost everybody I love being sick.

 

ps, really sorry to be a downer at a time when we're supposed to be full of cheer.

Scott Fraser
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We can't help/pray for those having a bad time if we don't know they're having a bad time.

 

Like I said, we've been in the eye of the hurricane. All around us, friends & family are having it rough. That we have largely been spared any major tribulations means we've been able to help those around us.

 

So, my prayers to you and yours, Scott- it sounds like you're going through a hell of a time.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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2013 has been . . . interesting, in a Chinese proverb sort of way, as in, "May you live in interesting times.".

 

Life has been challenging, money's been very tight, work's been, well, at least there's been work, but life goes on, as they say. April, in particular, was full of surprises. First, we lost our regular slot at a local farm market, through a series of mishaps more Python-esque than Orwellian. It had been a PITA job, but nonetheless, it was some income. Next, my wife got her first ambulance ride, when she sliced her palm open with one of her chef's knives, getting ready for a catering job. All's well now, but it was pretty scary at the moment. We adopted a little mutt dog, in April, as a friend for our terrier mutt, and if you want to see a vision of pure joy, it's a little dog who's spent most of his life in animal shelters, running loose in a big back yard, with a dog friend at his side. Finally, I had my first live radio show, and that was a lot of fun. Very cramped space, some interesting technical issues with the studio gear, but still, a lot of fun.

 

I did another live radio show, back in September, and joined a local Noise/EM band, soon after that. We had our first show back in November, at the National Electronics Museum - very interesting place for an EM show. Finally, I've started trading out gear, to upgrade and downsize my collection, at the same time. I've always felt that there's a very fine line between collecting and hoarding, and I don't want to cross it, in my old age.

 

Any other bad stuff, well, it's just not worth recounting for everyone here, and fortunately, most of it is behind us. Looking forward, my wife and I will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary next month, right before I turn 59. I don't how she's put up with me all this time, but I'm very grateful.

 

All in all, it's like Roger Waters sang, "Sun is the same, in a relative way, but you're older . . ." Okay, but I'm not ready for the Great Gig in the Sky any time soon, thanks, and I hope that holds true for everyone here. All the best to all of you in 2014.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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Life here in 2013 is good for the wife and I, we spent this year without any major health issues. (Which is a good thing as I am 71 years old)

 

I did have to purchase a new air conditioner (a necessary item here in the Arizona desert) That was $6,308. I bought my wife a new Honda Fit which cost me 4 grand more than the car I sold. I took her old car and had to put in $2,800 to fix oil leaks and emissions problems, total $13,108 outta my savings account. But all financial things aside, we had a good year...... We got to vacation in Northern California at the Sister in laws house, and back east on Long Beach Island New Jersey (my home area) We also spent several 3 day weekends in Del Mar and Cardiff By The Sea California so the gals could beach it.

 

We have been hiking the White Tank Mountain Regional Park every weekend. I walk to and work out at the gym 3x weekly and ride my bicycle the other 3 days, trying to stay healthy.

 

So for us oldies but goodies, no health issues means a good year. Looking foreword to staying healthy in 2014.

 

I practice my sets every day and amuse myself playing guitar. I also work as a masonry estimator part time in my climate controlled shed. So I am back at work part time. Life is good around here.....

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2013 had some good and bad moments, but the bad ones weren't too bad, and the good ones were great. I own two businesses, and for one of them, the first four months were ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I couldn't have dreamed anything that good. Then in May, I had hip surgery scheduled. The doctor postponed the surgery three times, so I found another doctor, and finally got operated on at the end of July. That ruined my whole summer.

 

In my other business, I'm suing someone, and I will eventually cash in nicely. It should have happened three months ago, but my high priced highly experienced lawyer doesn't like to return phone calls unless I literally call him every single day for at least a week or two.

 

All in all, this has been one of my better years, and hopefully, 2014 will be even better.

I rock; therefore, I am.
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We adopted a little mutt dog, in April, as a friend for our terrier mutt, and if you want to see a vision of pure joy, it's a little dog who's spent most of his life in animal shelters, running loose in a big back yard, with a dog friend at his side.

 

That is enough to thank 2013 for, right there.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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2013 is the year I decided this planet really doesn't have any gravity, it just sucks, and I won't miss it when I finally do leave it behind. My mother and her sister died within a month of each other, my band has been in limbo trying to find a bass player worth working with that isn't already juggling other commitments, the guy who ripped me off for the equipment year before last came back and talked me into asking the DA not to lock him up, then stiffed me on close to $200 in overdraft fees his bad checks cost me, the arthritis in my feet is worse, and my bills outstrip my income every month.

ON the other hand, I'm still alive, mobile, playing music I like when I DO get to play, my heart is in good shape, and I have some nice friends.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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In short, 2013 was a year of a lot of positive change and growth and moving forward for me, even if at first look not much seems different. It has been a very good, even wonderful, year for me, and I think that in time it will prove to have been very pivotal, and for all of that, I am very thankful.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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2013 was a great improvement for my business. From 08 till last year it was pretty tough going.

The worst thing about this year is that we lost our God Daughter in a terrible and tragic accident back in July. She was a star soccer player at Iowa State University and was an amazing young lady. I miss her.

 

But I am optimistic about 2014.

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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Well fire damage is not good, I lost a lot of weaponry. At least my handmade spear survived. Don't know about my books yet, I had a lot of the original Lancer series of Conan paperbacks. Books don't even mix well with air. Much respect for firefighters but, guess what mixes with water even less well. Still really happy to be back.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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First off to Scott Fraser, my prayers go out to you and yours. I hope everything will works out.

 

As for me, I woke up on this side of the grass as did my wife of 34 years, for the entire year :thu: We had no health issues and I had a job to keep food on the table, plus health insurance. I also get to play with a couple of different groups on the weekends and for a 63 year old, I'm thankful I can still do it.

 

Next year will be different. I was informed a week and a half ago that we will no longer have health insurance and our pay has been cut as well. I work on a commission basis and the last 2 years have been my worst in 15 years anyway. So with just a few weeks to go, I'm trying to get signed up for insurance so we won't be without and I'll be looking for a new job. Problem is, not too many people are looking for 63 year old mechanics.

Les Paul Studio Deluxe, '74 Guild S100, '64 Strat, JCM 900 Combo, Peavey Classic 30 1x12, Peavey Classic 30 Head, CBG
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Well speaking for myself, I appreciate everyone who has told the whole story-of course I am happy when someone has great news to share but, choosing between being positive and being honest, I will choose honesty every time.

My dad was downstairs watching one of his relatives score a touchdown for New England. Unfortunately the guy got injured too. His dad is in charge of our family reunions.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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