Blog

I hate to get political twice in a week but there is some serious shit going on.

Friday the US Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage had to be observed by every state, as everyone knows. This is something I have been outspoken about since I first heard it was an issue, probably in eighth grade or so.

No one was ever able to explain to me what morals had to do with it in the first place, and in the second place how it was immoral without bringing up religion, and specifically Christian religion.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Every year, about 2 million teenagers attempt suicide, and about 2,000 succeed.

I was one of those attempts. I wouldn’t say it was a very serious attempt, but I would say that the fact that I survived made me question my previously held skeptical views on God and religion.

I had been depressed for months and months before I ever considered suicide. It was before I knew I had a condition, and before I had been in counseling for depression or anxiety. At the time I didn’t know that not everyone felt the way I felt or thought the way I thought. I just assumed it was normal.

Blog

I love the rain. It is my favorite kind of weather.

I remember when I was young I always wanted to live in Seattle and the one thing I constantly heard was that it rained a lot and how terrible that would be. I never thought much of it. Someone probably should’ve tried to convince me that living thousands of miles from home and family and friends and everything I love in my life would be hard, not the rain.

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Blog

Well, I think I want to touch on what happened in South Carolina.

There are a number of issues that deserve to be talked about, and so I guess I will put in my two cents.

First and foremost, this was a racially motivated hate crime. The website that popped up that apparently had his manifesto on it was an interesting read. Assuming those are in fact his words, then the kid was fairly intelligent, articulate man who had clearly thought out his opinions for a long time before coming to the conclusion that he had to do what he did.

I am not sure why he had those opinions. I do not know if there is a lineage of racism in his family, I do not know if he was disenfranchised at some point and blamed it on racial minorities, I do not know anything about that. He stated on his website that his racial awakening was the Trayvon Martin shooting. He said when he read the report he believed that Zimmerman was clearly in the right and didn’t know what the big deal about it was. He then went on to research minority crime in several countries and came to the conclusion that the media unfairly represented crime against minorities.

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Blog

I had particularly bad news last week, my best friend since elementary school lost his father.

I felt terrible for my best friend, obviously. And I hated to see him in pain. And I am still trying to do everything I can for him and his family. But at the same time it was a large loss for myself as well. This man was much like a father to me when I was young.

I’ve mentioned before that my father and I at times did not get along great. And I am not sure if I have mentioned or not that my mother moved away when I was young. So there were times in my life where parental issues were front and center in my life and it was difficult for me.

During those times I always looked to my best friend’s parents as a steadying force.

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Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander pitches for the first time this season tonight against the Indians.

It should be a time to celebrate. It is not every day that your $28 million a year ace comes off the disabled list. However, everyone at this point, I think, is aware of Verlander’s struggles for the last few years.

Last year Justin had a stat line something like this: 206.0 Innings Pitched, 159 Strikeouts, 104 Earned Runs (the most in the American League), 4.54 ERA, 6.9 Strikeout per 9 Innings Pitched, 1.398 Walks Plus Hits per Inning Pitched, and a 1.1 WAR.

None of those are very good numbers with the exclusion of how many innings he tossed. Some of his advanced metrics show that he might have pitched better than his numbers, including a 3.74 Fielding Independent Pitching ERA.

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Bipolar Thoughts

“Line, Speed, Beauty” is a philosophy I learned while reading an interview with a well-respected guitarist.

The concept is simple. Perfect your line. Make sure your run is clean, your chords are voiced clearly, and every note is there.

Build your speed. Once you have perfected your line work on playing it perfect as fast as possible, or at least up to the tempo of the song. The important thing most people forget about practicing is that it should be at half speed or slower. Once you can play it slow, work on playing it fast. It isn’t easy.

Make it beautiful. Once you can play it note for note and it is perfect, then add your artistic inflection to it. Add trills and licks and slides and permutation, change your strumming or pick pattern or dynamics and inflection. Make it your own. Give it your own style. Make it speak for you.

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