Thursday, September 14, 2006

There was a fanfare blowin' to the sun
That was floating on the breeze

"After The Gold Rush," by Neil Young, still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, even after hearing it several hundred times.

Something about the piano and french horn, and the burned-out basement, the full moon in my eye, thinking about what a friend had said, hoping it was a lie.

Does anybody else get that?

A few songs do that to me.

"In My Life," by the Beatles does it. There are places I remember. People and things, I still can recall.

Actually, I have requested that song be played at my funeral.

Kurt Cobain singing, "In The Pines," for their Unplugged show.

At the end, he sings, "In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don't ever shine,"

And he looks up and opens his eyes before he belts out, "I will suffer the whole night through."

That moment, when he looks up.

It's haunting.

If you have seen it, you know.


What else?

Coltrane doing "My Favorite Things."

That'll knock your dick in the dirt.

"Moonlight Mile?"

Check it, like I said yesterday.

Scenes in movies do that to me as well, no matter how many times I see them.

In Saving Private Ryan, at the very end, when Tom Hanks grabs Private James Francis Ryan, from Iowa, and with his last breath, tells Private Ryan, "Earn this."

That always does it.

In Braveheart, when he rides his horse up and down the lines, yelling,

"Fight and you may die.

Run and you will live...

At least a while.

And dying in your bed many years from now,
would you be willing to trade all the days
From this day to that,

For one chance,

Just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives...

But they will never take
our freedom!"

That does it.

When I make the turn, and see Lone Peak, covered in powder... that does it, too. Big Time.

Seeing a bear does it.

Seing the sun rise over the Bridgers does it.

I have more examples, but what does it for you?


Well, it damn well should.

No, but seriously.

An ass-load of people are reading this.

Leave a comment.

Don't be scared.

You can do it anonymously.

What gives you goosebumps?

P.S. Remembering last Christmas also gives me goosebumps.

Ain't nothin' wrong with a powder day. Especially on Jesus' birthday.

Here we are now, entertain us.

Here is the inexcusably delayed final European Guest Blog from The Eck:

When I was a senior in high school a girl from Yugoslavia lived with my family for a semester as an exchange student. Through the years we have kept in touch and visited.

In 1991, another friend and I drove from Munich into Yugoslavia, just weeks before Slovenia was the first region to gain independence in a 10 day war. She and her husband attended my wedding. Yugoslavia has since divided into separate countries, one of them being Slovenia.

Yugoslavia was a messed up country to begin with. Prior to world war one, the regions that became Yugoslavia were loosely coupled under the Austro-Hungarian empire. Following WW1, the regions of the Balkans were made into Yugoslavia, basically because they were neighbors. These areas shared very little other than location. For more about Slovenia in general click here Slovenia.

Enough background, simply put, Slovenia is my new favorite foreign country (it was formerly Costa Rica). Geographically, Austria lies to the North, Italy to the West, Hungary to the East and Croatia to the South. The Slovenes are very friendly, like tourists, speak better English than we do and are highly educated.

Here is a picture of my friend Petra’s town (Skofja Loka).

Slovenia has somehow managed to have all the amenities of a 21st century country without losing the quaintness of an 18th century one. Streets are narrow, castles are plentiful, food is outstanding and cheap.

Did I mention that the women are beautiful?

The senora’ and I at a castle.

Here are some pictures of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana.

Slovenia is small, only about the size of Vermont. Packed into this tiny country are the foothills of the Alps, large forests, a dry area that’s famous for wine that reminded me of Napa/Sonoma Valley, and coast along the Adriatic Sea. What this means is that you can hike in the alps on one afternoon and be swimming in the Adriatic the next.

Here are some pictures of the coast.

Other highlights packed into a week included, white-water rafting, swimming on the Croatian coast, and drinking wine in a 500 year old wine cellar. This picture does not do it justice.

The owner of this restaurant was bombed, and since our friends dine there often, he agreed to show us (the 4 of us) the wine cellar. It is, obviously, in the cellar and the wine is kept naturally cool. When we thought we had had our fill of wine, the old man opened another bottle and threatened to dump it on the floor if we didn’t finish. What were we to do? Then he sent us on our way with another 5 bottles.

Slovenia is for now, a hidden gem. It would be a great place for any kind of vacation. It remains somewhat exotic yet highly accessible. It would be an outstanding honeymoon destination.

Things to like about Slovenia: The people, wine, coffee, street Café’s, Homan (anyone in Skofja Loka will know this), hiking, the coast, castles, Lake Bled

Things not so great about Slovenia: Traffic can be difficult on weekends to the Coast, many tourists from Austria and Germany travel through at this time.

Thanks, Eck, and sorry for the delay in posting it. See you next month.

It's really too bad
Movin' on before he understood

Here is a guest blog from Husker.

Husker and his daughter, Erika.

Without further ado:

On a road trip last fall I started a little list I called “Too bad…”

… Some radio ads are so bad

… I have to listen to the radio

… I don’t have an I-pod

…people drive slow in the left lane and have no clue

… Road construction ruins an otherwise great view

…cancer affects so many lives in so many ways

… I can’t calculate the difference between worry and independence with my children

… I don’t take time to enjoy the small things

… I’m not a superhero

… Plumbers chew their finger nails

… I’m always in such a hurry

… You don’t retire from 40 to 60 and then finish your work life out until death takes over

… Sons and Fathers, Daughters and Mothers still die as the price of freedom

… My brother lost his childhood baseball card collection with the Mickey Mantle rookie card

… I don’t make more money

… Some people take advantage of others with out an ounce of guilt

… I don’t see members of my family more often

After reviewing this list on my return home it hit me, why all the negative BS, can’t - don’t - not ; so I quit the list with one final… too bad I don’t think more positively. I’m on my way Lincoln to watch the Huskers play football and I can’t think of better things?? Hell, shit happens all the time to everyone and you know what -- we move on.

There are truly sad things that happen in peoples live. There is seemingly no explanation for why some things happen, especially tragedy involving death and needless suffering. But the other things in life that come our way, hey get over it, move on, or insert your favorite cliché.

Ray lived in the big house on the corner; it was a group home for the mentally handicapped folks. He spent his days sitting in his favorite chair watching the traffic go by and giving a big smile and wave anytime someone would honk. I honked all the time just thinking it made his day. When Ray passed away, the drive down Center St. didn’t seem the same. No more crooked little smile and feeble wave of the hand that apparently made my day as much as my honking did Ray’s. I think at his level Ray had life figured out. Do what I enjoy, smile, wave, and make a difference for others.

They put a bench on the corner in Ray’s memory. He obviously made a difference for others. So I end my “too bad” list with a final entry…Too bad I’m not a little bit more like Ray.

Thanks, Husker.