The Magic of Instant Feel Good in the Self Help Section

At least once a week, I find myself walking the isles of the local Barnes & Noble.  Yes, I still browse through sections of book stores and thumb through collections of words printed on a product that forced the unwilling sacrifice of a tree.   There are some books I prefer to have a physical copy of  (I have nearly everything written by William Gibson sitting on my book shelf).  Don’t get me wrong, I still also have a growing collection of e-books that I read across devices ranging from a third generation kindle to my Google Nexus 7.  E-books tend to be competitively priced and convenient to download.  I can grab my tablet and with a few clicks and a quick charge to my credit card, I instantly have a copy of whatever literature I have the urge to read.

Instant gratification has gone from a marvel of modern technologies to a demand of the American public.  Don’t have the time to cook, McDonalds can have a cheese burger and fries in your hand in just a few minutes.  No need to hit up the local Blockbuster in hopes that the copy of whatever movie you want to watch is in stock when any number of services and devices allow you to rent a video from the comfort of your recliner.  Sometimes, instant gratification is a nice thing to have, but at what point does that expectation end up being misguided and even inappropriate?

After I had looked through several art and photography books, I came across the “Self Help” section.  I imagine some of these books may have useful advice for certain individuals, and I really have no problem with that.  For some, a few of these publications may provide assistance, incite, and advice on how to solve issues and move forward with whatever they are dealing with.  The thing I found disturbing was the large number of books that promoted “instant happiness”.

I’ve had my own personal low points and bouts with depression.  I was never to the point to cause myself self harm or felt suicidal.  For an extended period, I never took the time to properly deal with those feelings, and over time they built up and became overwhelming.  I was fortunate that I was able to work through it both on my own and with the help of a couple of friends who were good enough to listen and not be judgmental.  Having someone who can listen and have something constructive to say is extremely important, and offered advice that was not “cheer up”, “get over it”, or whatever clueless shit that some dispense at the drop of a hat.  If it were that simple for someone to just “cheer up”, don’t you think they would have already?

There is no magic answer.  Some people can deal with it own their own, and others may have to seek out professional help.  I’m willing to bet that a true professional will never tell you that they will make you all better instantly.  To think that a book can give you the secret to get over being sad immediately pretty much indicates that it was written by a quack, someone like Dr. Phil (a loudmouthed quack who is very good at self marketing) or some dipshit who uses their writing talents to score a quick payday.  A parasite of the self help publishing world.  They dispense generic advice on how to feel good about yourself probably falls in the same category as someone telling you to just “be happy”.  I simply do not think you can change your entire state of emotional being using a method that obviously can fall into the same category as instantly downloading a book to a portable piece of technology.

I just think it’s a little pompous to sell a product marketed “to people who just need to cheer up” and not treat it the same as any other medical condition.  I know I don’t have the key to instantly turning how you feel around, it just takes time and sometimes, it takes help.

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The Magic of Instant Feel Good in the Self Help Section by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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The Random Playlist Project: April 2014

So, this month, I’ve been listening to a mix of older tracks and some random findings.  Typically, as the weather gets warmer, my listening habits get a bit more upbeat.

 

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Crossfire   Anybody who has known me since I was 15 years old will know the answer to my favorite musician of all time.  I was about that age the first time I really got to listen to the album “Texas Flood”.  I’ve been addicted ever since.  Crossfire appears on the “In Step” album, the first he recorded after embracing sobriety.  It’s a bit nonsensical lyric wise, but still has some killer guitar riffs.
  • ZZ Top – La Grange  Written about the infamous Texas Chicken Ranch (a brothel) outside of La Grange, Tx.  I really just love the bluesy sounds of early ZZ Top, and have seen them perform this song live about seven years ago.
  • The Black Crowes – Kickin’ My Heart Around  Around the end of 1999,   the album “By Your Side” was recommended to me by the owner of the local music/video store.  This album has an interesting mix of southern rock, gospel, and at times some very hokey lyrics.  This track is fast paced and just a fun one to rock out to.  Basically about the history of the two brothers in the band and their constant fighting.
  • Dean Seltzer – Lady Luck  This was a track I discovered downloading random compilations off of Amazon.com for free.  I think the compilation was called “T For Texas”.  I’m not a fan of modern country, but there are some very talented musicians providing an alternative take on the genre that is far superior to what you hear on radio.
  • Counting Crows – Hanginaround  At the time of this albums release, I was working in this shitty Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  The night manager was this really cool individual who was a bit of a Star Wars fanatic and alternative music buff.  Counting Crows was his all time favorite, and this track was responsible for a conversation we had about how people tended to stay stuck in the mediocre small town we grew up around, and our desire to get out.
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Shot In The Dark  My all time personal favorite by Ozzy.  It is obviously influenced by glam rock at the time (most of which was terrible), and if you ever see the video, the way Osbourne dressed on stage was very cheesy.
  • Metallica – Whiskey In The Jar  I managed to get a copy of Garage Inc a few days before it was officially released.  There are so many tracks on that album they covered that I love, and I decided to randomly pick one, and this was it.  One of my favorite cover songs.
  • Sammy Hagar – Mas Tequila  I’ve seen this man play live, and he is bad ass.  This is really just a cheesy, fun live song that gets a crowd going.  It is obvious he lifted the riff from “Rock & Roll, Part 2″
  • 38 Special – Hold On Loosely (Live)  I could not find tracks from the 1999 album “Live in Sturgis”  (which had the added bonus of revving motorcycles in the background).  I’ve seen this band live as well, and while the original recording is good, it falls flat in comparison to this band performing on stage.
  • Led Zeppelin – Over The Hills And Far Away   Years ago, when I first found myself with internet access, a mutual friend introduced me to someone whose screen name was “Zoey Zeppelin”.  She was obsessed with the band and lamented she was born 20 years too late, having been birthed about a month after the death of John Bonham.  This was one of those random people who would join in chats and demand everyone listen to this track from Houses of the Holy.   I also once worked with a musician who I remember sitting at his house while he strummed the opening to this song.
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Based on a work at chadklumpp.com.
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Second Time Lapse Experiment

Finally made a followup attempt at time lapse. This time I set it to manual with Aperture prioritized. Images were captured every other second, over the course of about 20 minutes.

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Second Time Lapse Experiment by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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The Random Playlist Project: March 2014

This project is basically an idea I thought about last night as a simple and easy way to post content to this blog. I’ve always been something of a music nut, and documenting what thoughts and memories I associate with a song is a god way to reminisce. Plus, it’s an excuse to rediscover tracks that I may not have listened to in quite a while.

The original list was 25 songs, that I had to trim down to 10 tracks.

So, here is the Playlist for March, 2014:

 

  • KISS – A World Without Heroes  In 1981, KISS decided to release a concept album,  Music from “The Elder”.  I tend to remember this track originally from a special VH1 broadcasted about the band, as well as it being played as a tribute to a fallen police officer during a local variety music show in my home town
  • Johnny Cash – Hurt (cover of Nine Inch Nails) I first heard Cash’s cover of this track around the time he had passed away.  For a few years, I really went through a down period, and this track just stuck with me.  I still get goosebumps when I hear it.
  • Radiohead – Paranoid Android  While this song was never really on a regular rotation with me, it is a song that I can’t help but listen to.  The music video to this track kind of stuck to me, and I remember having it with several others on an old vhs tape (this was before the internet).
  • Beck – Loser  As the geeky outcast of a kid, how could this song not resonate with me.  It’s also very nonsensical lyrically, and has this odd mix of blues, hip hop and folk.
  • Van Halen – Humans Being  This is far from a great Van Halen track.  Lyrically it is not that good, but musically, I like it.   I remember hearing this in the movie “Twister” and on the Greatest Hits Vol 1 compilation.   This really was one of those tracks that got played while driving down dirt roads going way too fast.
  • Elvis Costello – Radio, Radio  I first was introduced to this track watching an SNL retrospective.  Costello was scheduled to perform “Less Than Zero” and after starting the song, stopped, addressed the audience and began Radio, Radio.  The song is a protest against the commercialization of radio at the time.  I often wonder what he thinks of the current state of radio (as in, it sucks).
  • The Stooges – Search and Destroy  I like Iggy Pop.  The guy is a bit off the wall.  I think someone introduced me to the track with a mix tape he had made for a mutual friend (it was titled with his name and the word experience).
  • Sleater-Kinney – Entertain  I really dig women musicians who perform something other than generic, radio friendly pop music.  I first heard this track after watching an episode of  The Henry Rollins’ Show on IFC.  It is really aggressive sounding and a little unpolished.  
  • Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science  This song reminds me of my highschool art teacher.  I took all three years of art, and she was teacher for two of those three years.  She grew up in the 80′s, so this was her music.  So of course she was playing it for the class during the period before 80′s music was old enough to be retro cool.
  • Deep Blue Something – Breakfast at Tiffany’s  This track from the mid 90′s seemed so disposable to me at the time.  I’ve developed an appreciation for it over time as it gets a good deal of playtime on my wife’s 90′s alternative Pandora station.
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The Random Playlist Project: March 2013 by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at chadklumpp.com.
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The Random Playlist Project

I have been looking for an easy project that would accomplish two goals.  The first is to obviously get me to regularly post to my blog again, as it has been neglected for quite some time.   The second is to communicate thoughts and memories I have associated through music.

I spend a majority of my day with some form of music being played.  I’m very much a music fanatic, and something of a nerd when it comes to knowledge of bands (I miss the days of VH1′s Behind The Music.  Yup, for you young kids out there, VH1 used to play music).  Eccentric is probably the best word used to describe my taste in music.  On a given day, it is not unusual for me to compile a very unusual playlist of tracks that really have little in common with each other.  I know several people who tend to limit themselves to a single genre, or to whatever is popular at the moment.  That is just so dull and boring when you consider how many options are available, and when you combine those options with the access granted to you by the internet, the possibilities are endless.   There is no reason to limit yourself.

*Note:  The exception to what I listen to tend to fall under pop music and modern country.  I find both hella lame.  People still say “hella”?  Right?

Because I am not very creative, I decided just to call this “The Random Playlist Project”.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Ten songs are to be picked every month.  No more, no less.
  2. An artist is only allowed one spot on a particular list.
  3. Cover songs are allowed if the cover has a specific meaning or memory over the original.
  4. No limiting the playlist to theme or genre.  Each track is picked for individual reasons.
  5. A short description of meaning, memory, or thoughts about the song is to be written, even if it is nothing more than a song that you simply enjoy.
  6. A link is to be embedded with the post to a playlist of the tracks created in whatever service you choose (Spotify, LastFM, Google Play Music, Youtube, etc.).
  7. Feel free to add songs that you have never listened to before.  Why limit yourself?  Listen to a song, then document what your thoughts are in that moment.

It’s a fairly simple set of rules.  If anyone else decides to do this, please leave a link in the comments below.

 

 

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The Random Playlist Project by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at chadklumpp.com.
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Zombie Walk 2013 (Lafayette, LA)

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Zombie Walk 2013 (Lafayette, LA) by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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Wizard World New Orleans (Comic Con) 2014

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Wizard World New Orleans (Comic Con) 2014 by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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First Time Lapse Experiment

So this is the first time creating a time lapse video using still images.  150 shots taken, played back at .2 seconds.  Obviously, I need to tweak my aperture settings, but, this was just for test purposes.

 

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First Time Lapse Experiment by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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Broke Ass of the Week

http://brokeassstuart.com/blog/2013/07/11/ba-of-the-week-technologist-chad-klumpp/

batw

 

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Broke Ass of the Week by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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Houston Chronicle Tech Blog Post – CBS, Fox vs Aereo

Dwight Silverman, who writes the Tech Blog for Chron.com posted an article about a threat from Fox and CBS to switch to a subscription model if a California court doesn’t shut Aereo down (Aereo’s primary business is streaming broadcast TV to internet devices Wikipedia Entry )

The link to the blog post is here if you care to read in full. Below is a screenshot of the tweet I sent Mr. Silverman (whom I recommend you follow if you are on Twitter @dsilverman ).

Chad's Tech Blog Tweet

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Houston Chronicle Tech Blog Post – CBS, Fox vs Aereo by CKDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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Stop censorship