Saturday, October 31, 2015

"Harvest Moon" - Leon Redbone (video)

Leon Redbone was singing in this style from the start and he was still performing not so many years ago as I saw him play in a jazz club in Rhode Island in, maybe, 2003 or 2004.

You take the music where it didn't go before and this seems like some Ancient School but that was the wizard part of it because he got started in the sixties and seventies, running dead square opposite to psychedelia.  He created contrast and some wondered, man, what the hell is he doing ... but, guess what, he's still doing it and I would go to his show any old time.

As you may guess, he doesn't switch to electric midway and say, hey, strap yourselves down because it's time to launch.  You can hear for yourself he is much more than stylin' ... but he's got plenty of style too.  Leon Redbone was unique and still is.

Polyphony and Multitimbrality

Multitimbrality is achieved by having a synthesizer with more than one sound producing module. In a fully digital system, each sound module is virtual, since in reality algorithms combine samples together in real time for output to a single D-A (digital to analogue) circuit.

Synthesizers that can combine n timbres together are called n voice multitimbral. For example, a synthesizer capable of playing eight voices or timbres at one time would be an eight voice multitimbral instrument.

Multitimbrality is distinct from polyphony, which is the number of notes which can be played at the same time, not the number of different timbres. All multitimbral instruments are polyphonic, but not all polyphonic instruments are multitimbral.

WIKI: Timbrality

Even after all these years, I still get these borked in my head and I did that, since corrected, in an article earlier today. (Blog: Erotica Psychotica)

Polyphony means playing many notes and that's more significant on a synth because ... more fingers. The most at one time with a guitar is six or twelve but, with twelve, half of the notes are an octave up from the other half. Therefore the twelve-string has a more interesting taste but it's really not any more polyphonic than a six-string guitar.

Note: that's being completely rigid about it because one note is different from a note at the same pitch an octave higher. For me, the difference in polyphony between a guitar and a synth is so great that the only really important part is what the synth brings.

Playing the Galaxy Guitar with MIDI active also does not increase polyphony for the same reason as a twelve-string does not. The guitar synth will play the same notes as the guitar but the magic, for me, is it does with synth voices and, thus, is multitimbral because the Galaxy Guitar can sound like an electric guitar and a synthesizer at the same time, with whatever voice(s) you like, to greatly increase the number of active timbres.

Note: Godin's MIDI process is most likely as fast as you will want. This is nothing like what it was in the early days when you would hit a note and take a smoke while you waited for the MIDI pickup on the guitar tried to figure out what it was.

Yah, this is massively geeky but I learned of this from Bob Jones in Cincinnati (not his real name but he went by it) who is one of the most incredible wizards of synth I ever met. That was, say, thirty years ago ... and I still mix it up. So, yah, the lesson is for me as well and maybe this time it will stick.

What's Hot on the Blog 10/31

Oct 30, 2015

Orchids - video from about 1995 featuring orchids morphing in various ways.  My niece, Jennifer, morphs into an orchid in one part

Fixing a Widget - outstanding NASA pic

On the Road - video showing Silas playing a guitar with lasers shooting out of his fingers.  This is not from post-processing as the lasers were real

Conviction - pill-pushing doctor convicted of murder and we're damn glad of it

Dreaming - video about a special woman and she sings the lead

Looking - video of visiting Palo Duro Canyon and this is my surreal view of it but consider visiting Palo Duro for real as it's more than tourism

Erotica - video with Silas on MIDI guitar which makes a standard guitar polytimbral or multitimbral (i.e. make multiple voices at once)

Officer - video for fun and hopefully funny about some guy calling police emergency because his girlfriend's cat ate his bacon

Necromancer - video and this isn't a soul-sucking Necromancer, he just likes to hang with the spirit people

Twitticisms 10/31 - 1

10-31-2015 17:45:46 - Ithaka Blog: "The Space Between Things" - Silas Scarborough (video): "The Space Between Things" is for all-out...
10-31-2015 16:49:49 - Ithaka Blog: Silas in Flames - Sometimes That Happens: The product is Motion FX and maybe you can see how the ...
10-31-2015 16:22:47 - Ithaka Blog: Must Be a Work Call: This was in Rhode Island and that's good ... because then I don't have to va...
10-31-2015 14:36:29 - Ithaka Blog: Conviction of Doctor Who Ran a Pill Mill (i.e. fast prescriptions with no questions): The Califor...
10-31-2015 14:02:50 - Ithaka Blog: I Go Out and Look at Vast Horizons - The Martian: There's more misery than can be delivered by a ...
10-31-2015 09:42:33 - "Every day I go out and look at the vast horizons ... because I can" - The Martian
10-31-2015 09:06:52 - Ithaka Blog: "Officer, The Girlfriend Let the Cat Eat Me Bacon" - Silas Scarborough (video): The original sour...
10-31-2015 08:54:37 - My blog is shifting strongly toward making music rather than any focus on those who destroy it (politicians).
10-31-2015 08:36:57 - What passes for wit: Obama's new strategy for ISIS is to allow them to establish their own national airline, ISIS Air, with Russian, etc.
10-31-2015 07:46:34 - Todd Starnes says America is raising a nation of savages and his licking of the boots of police makes him one.
10-31-2015 07:36:09 - "I'm left with only one option. I've got to science the shit out of this." - Matt Damon on Mars
10-31-2015 07:12:06 - Ithaka Blog: Fixing a Widget in Space - NASA pic: The only real life is far above the ground
10-31-2015 07:08:19 - Ithaka Blog: "Making Rainbows HD" - Silas Scarborough (video): "Making Rainbows" is one I wrote a long time ag...
10-31-2015 07:02:25 - Ithaka Blog: "Erotica Psychotica" - Solo MIDI Guitar - Silas Scarborough(video): The Godin xtSA is a MIDI guit...
10-31-2015 06:56:33 - Unless you clean house of parasitic maggots like the Clintons, the Democratic Party will just turn into Republicans.
10-31-2015 06:55:19 - Bill Clinton has a net worth of $80 million. Hillary Clinton has a net worth of $45 million. Where did public servants get all that money.
10-31-2015 06:53:22 - #BlackLivesMatter protest interrupts Clinton speech on criminal justice - Clinton fools no-one.
10-31-2015 06:30:37 - As to what's in the news today ... there hasn't been any real news out of America in at least fifteen years.
10-31-2015 06:29:18 - Ithaka Blog: "Necromancer" - Silas Scarborough - 2009 - Rehearsals (video): This Necromancer does not eat soul...
10-31-2015 06:22:52 - Ithaka Blog: "Waiting for the Peace Train at Union Terminal" - Silas Scarborough (video): The song has respect...

"The Space Between Things" - Silas Scarborough (video)

"The Space Between Things" is for all-out trips because peace only comes through leaving all the toxicity behind.  What remains will be love, light, and music and there's nothing else I've ever really needed ... maybe things I wanted but still not things I needed.  This place I need.

All music and video by Silas RL and Silas SL

Sometimes people talk of 'losing yourself in the music' and that makes sense in listening to it but there's a difference in playing it because then it's 'losing your self in the music' and that's why it isn't important to me if I blow away the image of Silas by using massive visual effects.  The love only needs music and light but does not need me striking a pose.

All that's needed for the trip is the music and practically everything in my videos is toward that.  My purpose is not to disguise being an old codger as regulars know that anyway.  It's the same reason for bringing RL Silas into it along with virtual SL Silas because and, in part, it's because I know the masking trickery to do it and I can but more than that is the thinking it doesn't matter who is doing it but rather what comes to you out of it.


Silas in Flames - Sometimes That Happens

The product is Motion FX and maybe you can see how the motion of my hands triggers the effect while the keyboard isn't affected at all.

The music didn't hit it well enough as "I Love Rats" has to be smokin' fast but I'll do another one to see how that goes.

Motion FX is fun but it only creates 640x480 video so it's only for amusement if your purpose is HD.  It is amusing, tho.  The effect is created in real-time rather than via post-processing in Final Cut.

Must Be a Work Call

This was in Rhode Island and that's good ... because then I don't have to vacuum the leaves from the tree next door anymore which are sucked by a force stronger than gravity into any nearby swimming pool.  This is true for all swimming pools and I definitely do not miss it.  Floating around on a raft while talking crap on a cellphone wasn't too bad, tho.

Conviction of Doctor Who Ran a Pill Mill (i.e. fast prescriptions with no questions)

The California doctor who was prescribing heavy pain medications (i.e. Oxycontin or 'hillbilly heroin') has been convicted of one murder and likely others will follow.

We do not see this as a political matter because the wholesale prescription drug abuse affects everyone.

While we have no problem if the other convicts serve up the doctor for their evening meal, we don't believe the problem is defined solely by some small percentage of doctors which throws out ethics for the money.  Presumably they weren't particularly competent and this was their Plan B.

For the abuse to be possible, Big Pharma must be manufacturing tremendous oversupplies of these pain-killer or psychoactive narcotics ... or ... they are being manufactured by clandestine labs.  It's not clear which is the source, which is the worst, etc, etc.

A crackdown on this pill-pushing is possible if we do something no-one wants to do:  doctor prescriptions are validated at a central database which keeps track of what individuals are taking.  That solution is the complete 1984 package but it remains as a potential solution if nothing else works.

(Ed:  if the Fed registers prescriptions then the pill-pushing doctor can write the script without notifying the Feds.)

Exactly.  So that means you need all the pharmacies doing the same thing so the pill request gets a second level of validation.

That makes a grand package of a large part of your medical history in Fed hands.  Likely they already have it anyway but that makes it official.

The individual plan is addressing the ethics of doctors and crushing them when they fail that standard.  As we saw with Michael Jackson's doctor and his prescriptions, he was busted for it but nothing much came of it.

The object isn't to illustrate the bleakness but rather these are problems to be solved and talking with the Mystery Lady revealed her concern about the staggering abuse of hard drugs.

We're old-style sixties freaks and almost all of us were stoners, some still are (i.e. me).  At first I felt deep guilt that I could have contributed to this wave of prescription downers and illegal narcotics but we're really not sure what did it.  There has been so much campaigning against cigarettes and the decreases in smoking have been impressive ... but still kids do it even after telling them everything we learned.  Therefore, the guilt subsides but a tremendous disappointment remains regarding some failure and we're not even really sure what it was.

What I do know is there are substantive steps we can take toward dealing with the problem and preventing more of this soul-killing addiction.  Stoners don't want this and we never did but something pushes people to get into drugs they know and have been told will destroy them.

Therefore, the proposal is to limit supply.  We can't have the Fed looking at our medical activities because there's a fundamental right to privacy when dealing with doctors, preachers, etc and that goes back, well, to the start of Time, most likely.  However, something we can do is monitor the overall hard drug prescription levels at the manufacturere level and cross-reference to what was legally sold, something of that nature.  From that we glean the actual requirement and put a thumbscrew down on any outfit exceeding it.

The question remains about manufacture in clandestine labs and that's true for meth but we're not sure if Oxycontin, etc is so easy to make.  The downer drugs aren't as obviously destructive as meth and they draw different people because the meth people are trying to light up and the downer people are trying to turn off.  So, we're not clear on how much of these prescription drugs comes from illicit manufacture.

I Go Out and Look at Vast Horizons - The Martian

There's more misery than can be delivered by a Martian dust storm flying through multiple lives just now and I am keenly aware I'm only one of them.  In this situation, it's not only that I can go out and look at vast horizons but I must.  We all need that.

For me, the focus shifts abruptly as if it's not music then it's not anything.  There is no further interest in political matters because I've found the televised debates insulting and the media reaction to them cynical and patronizing (i.e. these yakking cows waste my time and it wastes your time if I moo whatever the yakking cows mooed).

(Ed:  sexist pig)

Not at all, I'm a competence pig.  I admire quality, integrity, and the ability to look at vast horizons, none of which I see in the talking heads on television.  It's the same reason I criticize my music so harshly ... it must meet a standard I see rarely anywhere else and it's the same reason photographing orchids drew me.  It's the pursuit of perfection, elegance, and subtle beauty which is so woefully absent in the tv-cultured, genteel masses and particularly what is served to us as truth.

Note:  the above has nothing to do with comparison in any way with other musicians.  All have the same struggle and all want the same thing, to play whatever it was we heard that got us doing it in the first place and hopefully play it in some new way.

Sorry if this sounds preachy but it's to myself as much as anyone else.  The only conspiracy of any significance is one which is sucking all of us into a dark whirlpool.  It makes all kinds of promises and we want to believe them even if that compromises what we set out to do.  Getting hypnotized by the whirpool means leaving more and more things behind, things which never should have been left behind ... things like the old ways, the traditions, the music, the cooking and all the things which define a tribe and a people.  These are the things to keep as nothing else matters until it becomes part of those ways.

Philosophy doesn't mean much when you're twenty but it means one hell of a lot when you're completely fucked.  You're The Martian and now what will you do.  The same situation exists for multiple of us so what will we do.

The purpose in continuing to make videos is, in part, to make a lesson which only comes from watching (i.e. this is my life and you're welcome to watch).  I don't want to emphasize how difficult it is to do them but it needs to be understood to get the why of it because it's the only chance any of us have.  No matter how completely screwed you are, there isn't any other choice, at least not one which will really work for you.  If I'm not playing then I'm dying and the regulars know there is no exaggeration in that.

I have not abandoned anyone even if it may seem so.  When Barbie threw me out, I felt abandoned and walked away.  I never spoke with her again and now it's too late.  I do understand abandonment and have for quite a while.  I've been feeling quite a bit of abandonment but that lesson burned hard and I have no intention to abandon anyone.

It does no good to tell you music is the answer if you don't play but perhaps mine is something to hear while you think of what your answer may be.  There's no way I can know what it was to motivate you to do whatever you do in your life but I do know there's only one direction to steer when things start disintegrating and that's the same one you chose at the beginning.  This isn't about bucket lists and fantasies but about life.  All I can do is show anyone that I work maybe even harder than I ever did to achieve mine.  When everything else breaks, it's the only thing left but it's an excellent thing to keep.

At the end of the "Hey Baby - Lasers" video it says we have nothing else to give but love ... but neither does anyone, not really.

"Officer, The Girlfriend Let the Cat Eat Me Bacon" - Silas Scarborough (video)

The original source was a recording of a police emergency call.  Other than slicing and dicing that track, it was not modified.

These kinda ones aren't what I consider making music but it's entertaining for me and sometimes funny.  For me, if I'm not bending strings, it just ain't real ... but it can still be fun.

Vocals:  some crazy coot with a cat and no bacon and an incredibly-patient police dispatcher
Music:  created but not played by Silas.  Made by stacking audio samples in GarageBand.
Video:  image is from who knows where.  Compiled by Silas.

Fixing a Widget in Space - NASA pic

The only real life is far above the ground

"Making Rainbows HD" - Silas Scarborough (video)

"Making Rainbows" is one I wrote a long time ago and title really hasn't changed from the original of "Epitaph" and why would a musician want words for an epitaph anyway.

All music and video by Silas
Recorded:  March, 2015

"Erotica Psychotica" - Solo MIDI Guitar - Silas Scarborough(video)

The Godin xtSA is a MIDI guitar which means it can send conventional audio signals but it can also send MIDI signals and this permits multitimbral play such as you will hear in this one.  There is nothing pre-recorded, no post-processing to fiddle with the audio tracks, everything is real-time.

All music and video by Silas
Recorded:  January 2015

"Necromancer" - Silas Scarborough - 2009 - Rehearsals (video)

This Necromancer does not eat souls.  You're thinking of Creflo Dollar or Oral Roberts.

All music and video by Silas

"Waiting for the Peace Train at Union Terminal" - Silas Scarborough (video)

The song has respect for the soldiers but has no respect for politicians who get soldiers killed with their political hubris, humbug, and hogwash.

All music and video by Silas

"On the Road with a Mouse and a Chicken" - Silas Scarborough (video)

Silas Scarborough shooting lasers from his fingers in the Fort Worth Rockhouse around 2010.

All music and video by Silas

Friday, October 30, 2015

Twitticisms 10/30 - 2

10-30-2015 21:59:02 - The 'Collective Mind' of the Termite - remarkable view of termite ‘personality' via @LiveScience
10-30-2015 21:50:28 - Study of sequential speciation in fruit flies and consequent speciation of three predator wasp species.
10-30-2015 21:46:54 - 8:46 is a 9/11 simulation for Oculus VR and puts you inside the North Tower of the WTC. Obscenity knows no limit.
10-30-2015 21:16:11 - Syria decision the latest blow to Bush and Obama Middle East legacy
10-30-2015 20:59:29 - We don't like DINOs any more than we like RINOs. Learn the material or stay home and read comic books.
10-30-2015 20:58:44 - Obama's order to send troops to Syria also sent Clinton into GOP corner because she has to say she will get out or is GOP and will continue.
10-30-2015 20:31:52 - Weather Alert for Tarrant County, TX, of more big bangs with the current storm but no mention of tornadoes.
10-30-2015 20:30:13 - Love equals Music times Light Speed squared - Scarborough Theory of Relativity
10-30-2015 20:21:54 - Ithaka Blog: "Orchids at the Krohn Conservatory" - Silas Scarborough (video): The Krohn Conservatory in Cincin...
10-30-2015 20:09:37 - Ithaka Blog: "Dreaming of the Mystery Lady" - Mystery Lady w/Silas Scarborough: The most complex video I ever ...
10-30-2015 19:58:02 - Ithaka Blog: "Looking for the Spirits of Palo Duro Canyon" - Jams with Silas (video): Palo Duro Canyon is a pl...
10-30-2015 19:50:42 - GOP asks if Marco Rubio is the GOP's Obama but Obama is already the GOP's Obama, King of the Drone Bombers.
10-30-2015 17:04:11 - Chris Christie said yesterday, 'I can tell you this - I am not going anywhere' and he sure has that right. Maybe he needs a litter?
10-30-2015 16:40:43 - GOP says questions were designed to embarrass but those candidates embarrass themselves with little difficulty by themselves.
10-30-2015 16:39:05 - GOP candidates will suspend the NBC debate unless the network will guarantee only scripted questions.
10-30-2015 16:32:56 - Ithaka Blog: Politics or HD Hummingbirds - Decisions, Decisions (video): If you haven't seen a slo-mo hummingb...
10-30-2015 16:10:11 - Hillary Clinton net worth: $45,000,000 --- ninety times net worth of Bernie Sanders at $500,000
10-30-2015 16:08:00 - Ted Cruz net worth: $3,500,000 - not bad for someone who was a state attorney general and a Senator for a few years. Where did he get it?

"Orchids at the Krohn Conservatory" - Silas Scarborough (video)

The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati is a wonderfully beautiful place which is sustained by the Cincinnati Park Board and a crew of unpaid volunteers.  Thank you to all of them for what they do because that made it possible for this.

The video was created using a number of different techniques back around 1996 and it's one of my first which was more than just taking pictures of some guy playing a guitar.  For many musicians, it's not musically valid to dwell too much on video and, fair enough, my view is different as I believe fervently in the integration and my drive has always been the integration of music and light.

Love equals Music times Light Speed squared - Scarborough Theory of Relativity.

You don't believe it?  Well, watch Jennifer G (my niece).  Don't get too crazy about her, boys.  This was twenty years ago.  She may be a bit out of yer league these days.

All music and video by Silas

"Dreaming of the Mystery Lady" - Mystery Lady w/Silas Scarborough (video)

The most complex video I ever made and it was so much to show respect for the Mystery Lady who makes this song live.  Silas sings up front but, whoa, the Mystery Lady comes into it and lights it up.

Vocals:  Mystery Lady and Silas
Music and video:  Silas

Mystery Lady, it was a lovely call today and thank you.

I love you.

Sometimes people say I live in dreams but I say it's a shame everyone does not.  It's incredible what we find in them that we can't find any other way.  People say it's not real ... but we were married for twenty years and the Mystery Lady is always one of the best friends of my life.

"Looking for the Spirits of Palo Duro Canyon" - Jams with Silas (video)

Palo Duro Canyon is a place which was a hidden sanctuary for Indians ... until the Army found it.

At about 2:30 into it, the Canyon starts revealing itself and then its spirits.

All music and video by Silas.

Politics or HD Hummingbirds - Decisions, Decisions (video)

If you haven't seen a slo-mo hummingbird in-flight today then here's one at HD 1080p.  This was shot in Tennessee but I'm not sure of which year I did it but most likely within the last five years.  It must have been fairly recent or it would not be an HD video.  The audio track was something I recorded for the "Illusion of Gravity" CD which was released around '95 or so.

Note:  this is not a hustle to buy a CD as there are none available.  Enjoy the birds.  These creatures fascinate me.  Because of the speed of their metabolism, they need to go into a kind of hummingbird suspended animation overnight or they will starve to death.

All music and video by Silas

Twitticisms 10/30 - 1

10-30-2015 14:18:02 - New Mexico only state prevents police from using civil forfeiture (taking your money without cause) via @voxdotcom
10-30-2015 12:52:21 - Trump says he carries a gun - let's see Cowboy Bob wave it in a speech and see who runs. via @usatoday2016
10-30-2015 12:49:49 - Springtime for Grifters
10-30-2015 12:46:52 - Young Britons face worst economic prospects in generations, human rights study finds — RT UK
10-30-2015 12:34:55 - If you remember how Vietnam started with 'special advisors' assisting troops, it shouldn't surprise you much what comes next in Syria.
10-30-2015 12:09:17 - Stoners won't give reefer to kids. If for no other reason, we don't want to waste it on them and we don't want to hang with them anyway.
10-30-2015 12:08:27 - Number of kids who received 'pot-laced' candy on Halloween in Colorado last year where reefer is everywhere: zero -
10-30-2015 12:00:18 - John Kasich, OH, gets win for which party am I? 'Look how much better Ohio' does than a few years ago. That'd be before Obama, Cracker Boy.
10-30-2015 11:42:12 - Ithaka Blog: Will Anyone Still Love Doc When He is Sixty-Four: Well, we don't rightly know but he will tomorro...
10-30-2015 11:10:27 - Ithaka Blog: Harmful to Children: The following article will upload to Facebook and it will probably display t...
10-30-2015 11:03:19 - Ithaka Blog: Say Yes to Nipples and No to Turks: Or maybe that's Say No to Nipples and Yes to Turks ... or ......
10-30-2015 10:28:15 - Ithaka Blog: When Democrats AND Republicans Hate You -- Then You're on the Right Path: Both primary parties ar...
10-30-2015 08:52:57 - Christiane Amanpour is an outstanding journalist ... no wonder she left CNN.
10-30-2015 08:41:32 - American news is nothing more than a televised catfight between competing females. (T/F - 5 point question)
10-30-2015 08:40:08 - CNN journo tries to say Fiorina does not look like a Halloween mask ... and fails. Still laughing -
10-30-2015 07:52:51 - Ithaka Blog: CNN PlasticJourno Whines She is Offended as a Journo and as a Woman - Very Funny: "The View" shre...
10-30-2015 03:55:09 - Ithaka Blog: Audio Video Sync in Final Cut: The problem of audio sync between an audio track captured as an au...
10-30-2015 03:27:42 - Ithaka Blog: "Burning Down the House" - Talking Heads (video): Don't look now but the House in Washington alre...
10-30-2015 03:19:03 - Ithaka Blog: Nothing Recorded Tonight: What the hell, if CNN and FOX can fill the news with nothing every day ...
10-30-2015 02:58:37 - Paul Ryan can't 'fix a broken house' when is part of the reason it fell apart. Blind obstinacy isn't politics but rather obstruction of it.

Will Anyone Still Love Doc When He is Sixty-Four

Well, we don't rightly know but he will tomorrow.  Yah, Halloween is his birthday.

He never seemed to really get off on that too much but, whoa, what a fantastic day for a birthday.  Every year is a party, no matter what.  Even if you don't show up, they will do it anyway and you can watch it on TV.

For yesterday, I did not know what to say.  The birthday reminder came up and I knew the day comes anyway but that was just a calendar reminder like I need to change tires or something.  Silence seemed the best observance and remains so.

The time is solemn but that doesn't strike as a good observation overall.  The object isn't to compartmentalize it but rather get a grip on something not understandable.

It's probably not so solemn for Doc as sixty-four is the year of the song from The Beatles.  Sixty-five is, holy shit ... fucking Medicare.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Read more: Beatles - When I'm Sixty-four Lyrics | MetroLyrics

It's not a matter of getting old as there's ample evidence my corpus is somewhat busted but rather there's the betrayal of it.  Sure, you can have Medicare ... but you can't afford the copays.  The first betrayal was with military and discovering for real that everything the government says is bullshit.  This one is of the same order in which there was already not enough income to live on it and they reduced that to give me a Medicare insurance card.

There's nothing wrong with Medicare, so long as you can afford it.  I can't.

So, we're sending Doc some happy birthday wishes but we don't think 'happy' really means all that much.  Cat and I spoke of it yesterday and this was emotional stuff because no-one wants that kind of discussion but it's still necessary.

From that I made it clear I'm not living in fear of death.  Every day I wake up is a gift even when my circumstance sucks.  I still believe I haven't played my best but if I keep working then I will.  I'm not at all waiting for death and I am definitely living life as much as my abilities permit.

Happy?  For me, I'm happy to be breathing, albeit not very well.  I'm not exaggerating my circumstance in any way and it's likely worse than you imagine, assuming you imagine it, for a number of reasons.  Happy doesn't mean anything in that context but it means a lot for what you will do to break out of it.  For me it's obvious.  If I'm playing is good, if I am not ... well.

Doc loves cars and I mean really loves cars to the point of making them so over-powered they're practically not legal anywhere but a drag strip.  Unless I miss my guess, he still thinks of the ultimate kick-ass trash car he can build.

Note:  the origin of 'trash car' is not clear to me and the definition isn't so clear either but the general program seems to find some vintage car and clean it up with a pretty restoration on the body ... but ... trick the living hell out of its performance.  These were called 'sleeper' cars at one time.  Maybe some kid wants to race you out of a light because he thinks you're some old goober in a waxed-up Sunday garage car and you say, oh sure.  And then leave him in the dust with the kid having no idea of what just happened.  Va-rooooomm....

Happiness is not practice but rather happiness is the fact that you can.

(Ed:  is this about his birthday or yours?)

Both.  Mine is the following on (cough) All Saint's Day.

(Ed:  bullllllshit!)

Fo' real, matey.