Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Intergalactic Community and Common Courtesy

You might be wondering...where are all the posts?  Well, although I do get page views from time to time, I haven't gotten nearly enough comments to actually have an intelligent conversation with my readers.  I've written quite a few posts, but haven't published them for several reasons that I wish not to talk about at the moment.

Anyways...you know, when you are in the military you are taught about military courtesy.  This is when you walk by someone while wearing the uniform you say the greeting of the day (good morning, good afternoon).  And you also salute if required.  I'm not quite certain why this tradition doesn't carry on in civilian life.  It should be as common as saying bless you after sneezing.  It really would make the world a better place.  Different cultures do different things.  For example...in South Korea it used to be if you are walking down a hall where two people talk those people move far enough apart so that you can walk by them.  In America it is the opposite.  Those two people either are jerks and don't move to the side or force you to walk behind them...not acknowledging your existence.  It's like common knowledge that while walking you walk on the right side...so that people who walk faster can walk or run on your left.  Not everyone follows those rules...however it used to be in South Korea if you don't follow the rules they teach you pretty fast by ramming into you.  Unfortunately, much of South Korea's culture has become more American.  I'm sure some still follow the common courtesy...but when students are hitting teachers and calling the police something is seriously wrong (source of this info is my wife who was Korean.  She is now an American citizen).

It's kinda like back in the day when you could tell other people's kids to be quiet and listen to your parents.  Now it is...oh no you didn't just talk to my misbehaving kids.  Who do you think YOU are?  Don't you tell me how to raise my kids!

This brings me to the Intergalactic Community that we live in, but do not realise it or want to admit to it.  Whether you believe in a God or not, or believe in aliens or not it is very possible that we live in an Intergalactic Community. What does this mean?  Well, what it means is that our seemingly meaningless activities has a direct affect/effect (someone help me out) on our Intergalactic Community.  So as we continue to act like savages, we celebrate people who train to beat people up in a ring, we celebrate or get upset about our local sports team, start new wars over Religion, Drugs, Life, Choice, Money, Power or whatever the flavor of the decade is...the Intergalactic Community shakes their heads in disbelieve.  Why do we even fund space exploration?  Do we really have anything to offer to the Intergalactic Community?

Planet Earth with all the diversity and richness it has...the highest intelligent creature that roams the planet is humans.  With all this abundance we have a constant and seemingly limitless energy supply coming from the sun...yet we continue to struggle with the concept that we are all on the same team, and should be working together.

Our membership in the Intergalactic Community would be like Grenada's membership with the UN.  Perhaps even this is a big stretch because I'm certain Grenada wields much more power that we ever could in our Intergalactic UN.  We are so out of touch that the last time we had contact with one of our Intergalactic leaders was about 2000 years ago if you are a Christian.  If you believe in aliens...well then it would be sooner.  Even if you believe in aliens, the general population hasn't been touched and certainly we aren't any more civilized. 

So, get out there...say hi to people.  Wave at people who stop their cars to let you cross the street.  The next step would be to tell people how to behave properly...perhaps you can share this post with them.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First Elvis Performance and Thanksgiving

It has been a while since my last post.  I have been busy with several other activities.  Mainly coaching basketball for my oldest daughter, and practicing/creating my tribute to Elvis.  My first live performance was for Halloween.  It was a total bust, but I did learn a few things from the experience as follows:
  • Never hold a performance outside when it is cold and raining
  • Test the sound before you get started
  • Make certain you have enough room so you don't hurt yourself
  • Make certain your singing partner is not within arms length
Most importantly...have fun!  Some people live their whole lives watching others perform and entertain.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable performing, or learning something new.  However, there is no reason to learn how to play an instrument/skill if you no one will ever hear you play or use your new skill.

Second, remember that Vegas wasn't built overnight.  It took a long time to become the spectacular place that many people love to visit.  I haven't visited Vegas yet, but someday I will make it out there.  To become a great performer it takes practice.  How long does it take to master a new skill?  Some researchers suggest 10,000 hours.  One of the bloggers made a comment towards this 10,000 hours.  The author suggested a linear learning curve which probably isn't realistic.  This maybe a better example:

* Level 1: Novice (1,250 hours)
* Level 2: Apprentice (3,000 hours) -Working my way here!
* Level 3: Journeyman (4,500 hours)
* Level 4: Adept (6,500 hours)
* Level 5: Master (10,000 hours)
Where does this leave me on my level of mastery for performing as Elvis?  Well, we only have 24 hours in a day...and even if I could practice very day 24/7 I would only have practiced 8760 hours.  I started practicing back in June and spent on average 2 hour per day.  This would be either singing, writing, or watching Elvis, Andy Kaufman, and other Elvis Impersonators perform.  I wouldn't consider myself a good singer or dancer.  I'll probably never be able to master either of these.  I have spent about 4 years total singing either for a chorus or choir.  I've also sang several solo and duet performances.  That said...I probably have about 1800 hours of singing in my youth.  Then add the time I spent on my Elvis Impersonation...around 240 hours.  This lifts me up past novice toward the Apprentice status...or good enough to know I am not that great.  However, with technology you can make up for some of your downfalls.  I have been using the Boss VE-20 vocal pedals, and I have a soundboard. 

The music I use through SingMagic is pretty good as well.  I'm not an experienced dancer, so the time I've spent learning certain dancing moves has been minimum.

That being said...all the hard work paid off when I performed live November 16, 2012 at my workplace.  I performed for about 30 minutes, and the reactions that I anticipated came true.  Not much else you can ask for. 

Well, the title to this blog is Thanksgiving...and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.  I'm thankful for my family and friends.  I'm thankful that I have a great job, and wonderful co-workers.  If it weren't for having such great coworkers...work wouldn't be as satisfying.  Lastly, the true meaning of Thanksgiving...we are all thankful to be finished with this past presidential cycle.  For those who live in a swing state...wow it just gets worse each time around.

I wish everyone a great Thanksgiving!  Till next time!