I COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER

I must have been brought up wrong. I was misled. I believed working hard and doing my best was the key to success. For decades, it was true. Then the world changed — and I learned otherwise.

Many (most?) companies no longer tolerate excellence, much less encourage it. Excellence upsets the balance of office relationships. It makes less talented workers uneasy. They take your excellence as a personal affront. It makes bosses nervous, too, because they are often less competent and knowledgeable than the people they supervise.

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Out in the marketplace, it’s dog-eat-dog. To be a contender today, you should drink the company Kool-Aid. Fit in with the company culture. Be careful how well you do the job because excellence stands out, and that’s dangerous. People who stand out get laid off first (or never hired at all).

Don’t complain. Turn out volumes of work and keep your head down. Worry about quantity, not quality.

Smile. You’re sure to make it to the top.

FOR MOTHERS EVERYWHERE, A SONG – MOTHER’S WALTZ:

Mother’s Day – May 10, 2015

FROM Serendipity: The big weekend has arrived. Mother’s Day has come around again. The melody of A Mother’s Waltz echoes in my mind. I feel as if it is something I remember hearing my mother sing a long time ago … but of course, it is brand new from swo8 Blues Jazz

The pictures of my family include my mother, me, much younger and my son as a toddler. Pictures of Garry’s family include his mother and father’s wedding, Garry’s dad back from WWII with little Garry on his knee. Garry’s mom as a young woman.

The pictures are family heirlooms that evoke strong and sometimes conflicted feelings.

Music by swo8 with pictures from Leslie Martel (swo8) and Marilyn Armstrong. Memories in music for all mothers everywhere.

FROM swo8: Mother’s Day is May 10th and the great American author and photographer (blush), Marilyn Armstrong and I have worked on another collaboration. To commemorate this day, we have created a photographic montage of families together. It includes eight generations of my family and three of Marilyn and Garry Armstrong’s families.

The song is bittersweet because to be a mother, is indeed bittersweet. Our children bring us our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. The first couple in the video are my great-grandparents. My great-grandmother died in childbirth leaving 3 babies and a husband.

When my great-grandfather remarried the children were sent off to their aunt to be raised. The aunt is the lady sitting by the fire-place. The first photo of children is of my grandmother and her twin sisters. My grandmother being the oldest would have missed her mother the most. In spite of her early losses she became an extraordinary person and had a huge influence on me and my thinking.

To be a mother has got to be one of the most difficult endeavours to under take in one’s life. We are given this helpless creature for a short period of time to nourish, educate and inspire before they disappear into the ether of adulthood.

As a tribute to mother’s everywhere we dedicate this song, “Mother’s Waltz” by swo8 Blues Jazz and Marilyn Armstrong. 


Other posts you might enjoy:

POSTING IN THE TROT BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

FOREVER WALKING BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

FOREVER WALKING BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

I’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

WATCH OUT FOR THAT TREE!

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #18

What type of pets do you have or want? Or do you not want pets?

Bishop Almost Christmas

We have four dogs. I love them all. Eventually, we will have fewer dogs. Meanwhile, as long as they are able to get in and out of the house, to enjoy their lives, they have a home with us.

Biscuit time - All dogs

Two of them were not ours originally, but were left here by their parents who went off to do their own thing.

72-Garry dogs dinner_33

I guess they assumed we’d take care of them. They were right.

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

I was cartoon-deprived as a child. I wasn’t allowed to watch television except for an hour on Friday and Saturday night. Of course, I went to my friends’ houses and watched there, but Saturday morning cartoons were not part of my childhood.

When I because a young adult, I became addicted to George of the Jungle, Super Chicken, and Tom Slick.

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

I usually wear socks in the house. Usually.I know I shouldn’t, but I will go barefoot when it’s warm. In the house only, though. Outside, I wear sandals in summer, Uggs in winter. Clogs in between.

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

Both. I love my home, I love traveling. But I’m always glad to get back to my comfortable bed.

road to skowhegan Rt 201

A MOTHER’S WALTZ: A COLLABORATION OF SWO8 & SERENDIPITY

Mother’s Day is May 10th

 April 23, 2015 by swo8

FROM swo8: Mother’s Day is May 10th and the great American author and photographer (blush), Marilyn Armstrong and I have worked on another collaboration. To commemorate this day, we have created a photographic montage of families together. It includes eight generations of my family and three of Marilyn and Garry Armstrong’s families.

The song is bittersweet because to be a mother, is indeed bittersweet. Our children bring us our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. The first couple in the video are my great-grandparents. My great-grandmother died in childbirth leaving 3 babies and a husband.

When my great-grandfather remarried the children were sent off to their aunt to be raised. The aunt is the lady sitting by the fire-place. The first photo of children is of my grandmother and her twin sisters. My grandmother being the oldest would have missed her mother the most. In spite of her early losses she became an extraordinary person and had a huge influence on me and my thinking.

To be a mother has got to be one of the most difficult endeavours to under take in one’s life. We are given this helpless creature for a short period of time to nourish, educate and inspire before they disappear into the ether of adulthood.

As a tribute to mother’s everywhere we dedicate this song, “Mother’s Waltz” by swo8 Blues Jazz and Marilyn Armstrong. 


FROM Serendipity: It has arrived. The melody of A Mother’s Waltz echoes in my mind. I feel as if it is something I remember hearing my mother sing a long time ago … but of course, it is brand new from swo8 Blues Jazz

The pictures of my family include my mother, me, much younger and my son as a toddler. Pictures of Garry’s family include his mother and father’s wedding, Garry’s dad back from WWII with little Garry on his knee. Garry’s mom as a young woman.

The pictures are family heirlooms that evoke strong and sometimes conflicted feelings.

Music by swo8 … with pictures from Leslie Martel (swo8) and Marilyn Armstrong. Memories in music for all mothers everywhere.


Other posts you might enjoy:

POSTING IN THE TROT BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

FOREVER WALKING BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

FOREVER WALKING BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

I’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

I’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Published on Feb 15, 2015 via YouTube

My collaborator, Leslie Martel of swo8 Blues Jazz did the work. Composed the music and wrote the words. She also put the video together. Posted it to YouTube. I think that’s all the work. I supplied the photographs.

This video is called Winter Blues, a unique, fun collaboration between me and composer-musician swo8 Blues Jazz.

I have more than enough snow pictures. And plenty of snow! Since the end of January, it has been a fury of storms and blizzards, one after another. Before this endless month is done, I expect I will have even more winter photographs.Too much snow and cold.Trapped in a winter nightmare.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s almost spring … isn’t it?

WINTER BLUES BY SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

Published on Feb 15, 2015 via YouTube

My collaborator, Leslie Martel of swo8 Blues Jazz did the work. Composed the music and wrote the words. She also put the video together. Posted it to YouTube. I think that’s all the work. I supplied the photographs.

This video is called Winter Blues, a unique, fun collaboration between me and composer-musician swo8 Blues Jazz.

I have more than enough snow pictures. And plenty of snow! Since the end of January, it has been a fury of storms and blizzards, one after another. Before this endless month is done, I expect I will have even more winter photographs.Too much snow and cold.Trapped in a winter nightmare.

(I hope the guy shows up to shovel the roof tomorrow!)

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
    • I would like to credit the unknown photographers who captured the shots of the Blizzard of 1978.

THE MUSIC OF MY LIFE

Music transports me as does nothing else.

Chopin will always remind me of all the years I studied piano. He was my favorite composer to perform. Nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes. All the sound of growing up and living in music because the world was too painful.

Music. All music takes me to other places. It’s why I can’t listen to music and drive. I’ll wind up in a ditch. Every piece of music reminds me of something. Johnny Mathis take me to my tormented adolescence. Any of Beethoven’s symphonies take me somewhere, I’m not sure where, but it’s not here. I like wherever it is.

Old show tunes — West Side Story especially — brings back memories of my middle and late teens when I thought it was the most romantic story ever. Even though it was a musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but I thought that was swooningly romantic too.

Gigi took me to Paris. It still does. It’s the Paris I want to visit, but can’t, because it no longer exists. Maybe it never did exist.


The Transporter – Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.