Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Career Changes (#BOTB)

Changing Careers

         More than what might typically considered career changes, my work experience has mostly been a matter of job changes or temporary spans of working to pay bills.  Few of those latter jobs were occupations that I would ever have strongly considered as a career choice though I'd have likely been willing to have continued working at some of those jobs had the money and circumstances been right.

          We often work at jobs that come our way while others of us might pursue the passion which we burn for the most.  A dear friend of mine started working during his high school years at a factory where his parents worked.  That friend recently retired after nearly fifty years working at that same factory--rather unusual in our time.   I don't think he ever seriously considered a career change during his working years.  Now that he is retired, he seems content to sit on his deck drinking coffee on summer mornings and watch the sunset while nursing a tall beer.  He piddles about the house during the day or just relaxes listening to the radio.  For him life is just fine and after fifty years working at the same place I guess he deserves to do whatever provides his happiness.

        Having a restless spirit, I sometimes think about moving from retirement into a new career.  Fortunately those thoughts don't last too long or become overly obsessive for me.   There is an option to retirement, but the money and circumstances would have to be right as has always been the case for me.  Money and circumstances likely plays the biggest role in a good many career changes.  I'm probably not going to rush out of retirement any time soon.  A career change could be heading my way, but I'm not making a serious effort at job hunting either.  If something did happen then it would likely fall into my life like so many things have.

         If any, what big career adjustments have you made in your life?   Would you ever want to completely retire into a quiet sedentary life staying mostly at home?   What drives you most when it comes to taking a job:  money or circumstances?

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Artists Who Changed Careers

            Recently I watched an episode of Penn and Teller's Fool Us TV show and my attention was particularly drawn to one rather eccentric magician who had previously had a career as a singer in a moderately successful rock band.  Though this factoid was mentioned in the show, Penn Jillette failed to explain who the artist had been in his previous life when he sang vocals on a minor hit that eventually charted at 58 on the Billboard Pop chart.

            With my music interests such as they are I had to Google the magician to discover his previous career incarnation--a band and song completely new to me.   However, reading about this artist made me think of another artist that I enjoyed in his short career as a rock star before he went on to a different career.  This in turn inspired my current round of Battle of the Bands.

Cliff De Young  With All In Mind  (1966)

          Clear Light was an album I used to listen to frequently after it came out in 1966.   I still have my vinyl copy of this album.  Lead singer Cliff De Young later went on to an acting career, not a far cry from singing.   For the Battle I offer up this song from Clear Light's only album.

Rob Zabrecky  "Watch the Girl Destroy Me" (1993)

       Possum Dixon is a new band to me.  Lead singer Rob Zabrecky has multifaceted interests including his current career as a magician.

Time to Vote!

o you have a preference between these two choices?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands



'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday July 21st

       I might be struggling to make it through Battles this week, but hoping I make it through and making it to my next winner announcement next Friday.   Still truckin'. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

One Valuable Lesson (#IWSG)

      I'd learn a lot more if I didn't forget so much.......

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

Co-Hosts for July are:   Tamara NarayanPat HattPatricia LynneJuneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan

Question for July:

What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

         Through the years I've taken writing related classes, read many writings about writing, and involved myself in other educational and recreational realms about the art of writing.  Somehow writing seemed to be in my blood from my earliest memories.  I've enjoyed reading since I was a young child and was motivated to write by reading.  And if movies count, then I've watched plenty to get some kind of an influence from those.  Life itself is an education for many subjects and in some sense we are always in school though the classrooms might be a bit different than what we normally think of in respect to classrooms.

        A brain is like a sponge.  We absorb everything around us and within the realm of our own thoughts and reasoning.  In life we learn a lot of stuff, but it's mostly an amassing of subtleties that are in turn processed according to our life experiences and interests.  

        One valuable lesson learned?   Where does one start?  So many lessons have been vital to me in my writing endeavors that it would be difficult to single out what is most important to me.  In fact I'd dare say that the most important lessons are those integral aspects of writing that I now take for granted and can't particularly name.

       However, let me go to one thing that has been weighing upon me over the recent months (or is it years?).   We live in an age of extreme sensitivity to differing opinions.   There is so much divisiveness in our society that being genuine and expressing oneself openly can work to ones detriment both from a social standpoint as well as being commercially viable.  I'm seeing this in my blog writing.  I enjoy expressing my opinions and generating discussion.  Sadly, disagreement is rarely met with tactful intelligent response to the point where a sensible discussion can ensue and dissenting parties can be open to learning and understanding each other.  Being on the "other side" can get ugly in many cases.

       Some of my blog readers have asked me my opinion on certain issues, but I believe that they, knowing my stance on other issues, are essentially baiting me into an uncomfortable situation where they can attempt to discredit my opinion because they think they are the ones with the right answers.   I happen to think that in a good many instances both sides bear truth and those things perceived as falsehoods are merely different ways of looking at something.  

         Most of my writing does reflect my beliefs (political, spiritual, or what have you) and I don't think I am much different than a good many of those who write.   Though I try not to be preachy or overbearing in my writing,  there is almost always a message that I'm trying to convey.  I like stories, but I like enlightenment as well.  My favorite books, stories, and movies have all had that quality to them.  Escape is fun, but enrichment can carry far greater rewards in the long run.  

         More than ever before, we seem to be in a time when an opinion can label a writer as a pop star or a pariah.  Writers fall into niches, as perhaps they always have to a certain extent, but never as noticeable as it is now.  Categories and subcategories run rampant and if you toss in a writer with an opinion that others don't like, that writer can face consequences.

           It's not something I'm going to worry about much.  I'll write what I want to write and believe what I want to believe.   Look for it here at Tossing It Out.  I might offend more visitors to my site in months to come, but I must write what is in my heart and on my mind.  That's life--especially in this crazy social media age where little absurd things can rile people as much as big deep ideas.  It doesn't matter really.  That is until the question of marketability enters the picture.  Then I guess we have to accept that we are all jerks to some people while others will cheer us on.  

           Is this a lesson learned?   I think so.  And it's one that I'm still learning about and trying to contend with.

           Do you avoid reading about "issues"?    Would you rather be challenged to think about what you are reading or do you just prefer to escape?    Are you somewhat afraid to express your opinions about major issues for fear that you will make others angry with you?



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Come Back after I Go (#BOTB Results)

Et Tu, Arlee?

      I'm soon going to do that which I never thought I'd do regarding this blog.  I'm going to take a break.  Seems like a lot of bloggers have done this or will be taking breaks for the summer.  And now me.

        No big deal really because I guess it's not really that much of a break.  After all I'll still post for #IWSG on July 5th and August 2nd.   And in July and August on the 15th I'll still take part in Battle of the Bands with results posts for each posting a week after each Battle.  So it's not like I'll be disappearing and actually I'll be posting pretty much as I have in the past month or so.  However I will presumably be back in some expanded form by September and hopefully that will be my blog and not my waistline.

         So I guess I'm not really going to be all that inactive on this blog. But I will be offline a lot more than I have been.  After all, it's summer.

         What kinds of things are you doing this summer?   What is the longest complete blog break that you've ever taken?    When it's raining where you are, does it feel like it's raining all over the world?

Battle of the Bands Results

       Last week's Battle was Aretha Franklin versus Barbra Streisand singing their renditions of "Lover, Come Back to Me".   I've grown to dislike Streisand in recent decades, but not because of her singing.  Listening to her version of this old standard I recalled how much I used to like her singing.  On the other hand, I've never been a big fan of Aretha Franklin.  I had no idea that she sang more in a jazzy style before she started singing soul.

       Like some voters also expressed, Aretha's delivery of "Lover" was a pleasant surprise.  Although I liked both versions a great deal, I thought Aretha edged out Barbra for my vote.  The total vote outcome came out much the same way with Aretha taking a few more votes than Barbra.

Final Vote Tally

Aretha Franklin            13

Barbra Streisand          10

I'll Be Back

         My next appearance here will likely be Wednesday July 5th with a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  That's my plan at least.