Monday, August 22, 2011

Friend Showcase–Robert the Grump

I like being around creative people and Robert is second to nobody when it comes to easily creating art with words.  He is a gifted writer even though I suspect he doesn’t aspire to write at all. 

Years ago he was reading some smutty fiction on the Internet and he said that most of it was below any acceptable standard and that he could do far better.  In a matter of a few hours he had crafted this well-written and completely disgusting novelette.  On a complete whim he created art that was better and more satisfying than that of a bunch of jokers who took themselves and their writing too seriously.  It’s a complete mockery to everyone who enjoys writing for one person to hold this much talent and not even care about it. 

For work Robert and I have travelled throughout the United States hitting a large number of great, and not so great, cities.  In each city we would see all the normal sites to be seen but would also include areas of historical or architectural note.  His love for history is apparent in that he may be the only person I currently know that I can have a thoroughly geeked out conversation about multiple eras of world history. 

Robert was a podcasting pioneer.  In the 90’s there was an internet radio network called TalkSpot dot com.  It was an early effort, run by some bigtime radio insiders (including the talented James Golden aka Bo Snerdley of the Rush Limbaugh Show) to bring radio to the internet.  Robert did a show called the Game Dive which focused on PC gaming.   The show had a huge national and international following and stretched the available bandwidth of the upstart company regularly crashing servers.

Robert is also a story teller.  He recounts the characters that have come and gone through his life and has a brain that files away the interesting parts about each.  If you have spent any time in Robert’s life, there is probably a folder in the hard drive of his mind with your name on it.

We both grew up in in poor families and he was the first person who ever really stated his feelings on it in a way that reflected my own sensibilities on the subject.

“There’s no virtue in being rich or poor, it’s only important to learn the right lessons from it.” – Robert the Grump

Robert’s friendship to me and my family has, in the last ten years or so, has been a constant through the highs and lows of life…and to be sure in the last ten years there has been some awful lows for both of us.  I’m hoping for a better upcoming ten years filled with more hilarious stories.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Friend Showcase–Dave Johnson

I’ve been meaning to do a series where I talk about some friends of mine that have impacted my life in some way or have a specific talent I admire.  Dave has really none of these attributes, but I’ll go ahead and talk about him anyway.

Seriously though I’ve known Dave Johnson for about 10 years where we have worked together primarily in some role within the video game industry in the Pacific Northwest. 

Dave is a very funny guy who is creative.  I know you can describe some people as creative just because they’re clever sometimes, but Dave is actually a guy that always has to be creating something.  He defines creativity and is able to back it up with his talent.

In the 90’s Dave co-founded a website called Atomic Potato.  It was a great parody entertainment news site that was reasonably popular.  It had advertisers and was threatened with lawsuit.  If that doesn’t say “on the verge of making it big” I don’t know what does.

Dave drew a daily comic strip called Dog Complex which he took as an opportunity to learn how to do a professional strip.   Daily he made tweaks to style and presentation until the point came where Comic Industry insiders said he was “ready” and offered him money in exchange for his work.  I won’t bore you with the rest of the story but you can own over 400 strips in this wonderful collection.

Dave bugged me one day to begin Podcasting with him.  I did and we have been off and on for now about four years.  Our latest effort is the Dangly Bits Show.  We have some shows in the can and will be starting again soon after my life goes back to normal.

Dave is now perfecting his chops in animation.   

Dave shared Spotify with me.  I must give him full credit for it and even if you heard about it from me, you must know that your life is only better because of Dave. 

Aside from Dave being talented, he is a great father, a reliable and faithful friend and a first class dillhole.

Friday, August 12, 2011

10 Busy Days

Life has been interesting the last ten days since I posted. I will try to itemize it here in mini stories...hopefully you find it interesting.
  1. I've been getting the memorial service together. It has taken a great deal of coordination to get all the players in place. My good friend and talented musician/songwriter Mollie Ziegler will be leading music during the service. This is a special treat for me as my mom liked Mollie very much. Click her link to go to her Myspace page which has a few tracks from the New-Agey grooves of her album Seeker.
  2. A fabulous speaker and pastor Jim Shiner is coming from Ocean Shores, WA to officiate the memorial service. I went to a service years back for a friend whose baby had died and Jim performed what I thought was the most touching and comforting service imaginable. Jim is a good friend and was my mom's choice for her service.
  3. Three days ago I was cleaning my garage and my mom's walker was there glaring at me. I prayed ever so briefly that I'd find a meaningful place to donate this walker so it would get to someone who needed it. The next day I was walking out of my new awesome neighborhood pancake restaurant and saw a man who needed a great deal of assistance walking and had his younger and more agile wife was helping him. I asked him if he used a walker and he had one at home but it was hard to put in the car and they said that what they really needed was one that they could take with them to outings and appointments. The wife was smaller than the husband by quite a bit and she was concerned that she wouldn't be able to keep him from falling. I told them I lived just 3 minutes away and I'd get them that exact walker they needed. They were grateful and obviously I wouldn't let them pay me. The woman's son owns one of the best doughnut places in our area and she wrote a note to her son for me to present to get a free dozen doughnuts! Three cheers for bartering and voluntary association baby!
  4. I was called in for jury duty. My verdict: The cop did it.
  5. My cousin Don has been such a blessing to me. We don't get together often enough for sure but I never feel out of sync with him. I was a five year old snot-nosed ring bearer in his wedding so many years ago.
  6. I've been riding motorcycles 23 years without an endorsement on my license. Some people call it riding illegally but I just like to think of myself as an undocumented motorsports enthusiast. This week I took the advanced riders class (one day knowledge and skills class) and finished tops in the class. Seriously.
  7. At the DMV I had a long conversation with a guy from Ethiopia who has lived here four months and is just learning English. He was exposed to English some at the university back in Africa but has only been speaking it for four months. I was able to carry on a longer conversation with him than I'm able to with many people who cobble together some kind of English and live here their whole lives.
  8. I had to cancel a vacation that we had planned a few months back. I haven't had a meaningful vacation to anywhere in years. This is seriously driving me nuts.
  9. Spotify has been a dream come true for me. If you don't have it then you're really just wandering through life like an idiot. Why are you doing this to yourself? If you don't have it, click the link, put in your email and wait for the invite. Install it and then listen to any music you want for free (LEGALLY!) until you puke. Wipe your face, get a breath mint and then email me a kind thank you.
Well, thanks for waiting patiently for 10 days while I got some stuff together. I'll be dedicating some posts to my mom coming up and rooting for Ron Paul in the Iowa Straw Poll tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Memorial Service for Lee Green

When:  Saturday, August 20th, 11am

Where:  First Baptist Church of Monroe
             17922 149th St SE
             Monroe, WA 98272

Kids and family welcome.  Reception to follow.

This is a large church that seats plenty, all are welcome.

Please help me in passing this information along.  My mom was a friend to countless in and around the Lower Snoqualmie Valley and beyond, most I've never met.  As always your help with spreading this information is very important.  (and I'm really grateful for the help you've already given)

Whether you knew her from church, several book clubs, the Duvall Civic Club, the Duvall Historical Society, Sno Valley Senior Center, through her work with Riverview School District #407 or just from her cameo appearances on the Dave and Steve Show then you are all welcome to come celebrate her life with my family. 

If you have any questions, please contact me through facebook or email me at tracy (at) tracy green (dot) com and I'll be glad to help you out.