The Logical Song-Midlife Crisis in a Nutshell

Ever sit down and really listen to the lyrics of a song? I mean really listen to them and once you do, you realize how much truth can be found in those lyrics? I did that just now with “The Logical Song” by Supertramp. It encapsulates something I have felt my whole life, especially now that I am an “adult”. I believe it was originally written to describe the writer’s school days, but it fits, almost in a claustrophobic way, to what I feel now. We first come into the world with this bright eyed optimism and a sense of wonder about the smallest things. Maybe it is a thunderstorm, maybe it is the chill of a winter’s night or even just watching the sun set. The feeling of possibilities and knowing you have more years ahead of you than behind. (Although when you are young, time has no meaning; I mean the days seem long and sometimes the nights even longer). We have this free form being, this babe in the woods whose main concern is the thoughts and the feelings of the young. Not that I was this perfect creature of love and light. I had issues, I had depression and I had this deep desire to do something important with my life, whatever that was.

We are then molded, formed by our life and our social and economical place in it. Our parents, Lord love them, fill us with their insecurities and their fears. We see too many drinks taken, too many arguments that ended with anger that sat in the house like a heavy press. School teaches us the basics. Our social circles teach us what they expect of us. We are pressurized and cauterized and made into this being that is expected to follow a certain path, to make better for yourself. Still, that hunger and that wonder still hangs in there. It is your friend. It makes you look at things at a different light. Life is light. You are the the solar panel that is supposed to soak in all in and convert it into the energy, the love to follow your dreams. However, things change.

This is not to say I am blaming the outside world for my issues. Anything that has gone wrong in my life has been my fault. I admit to it. I am saying however, that the world and your place in it definitively marks you and can tilt the scales in favor of losses instead of gains. The bright eyed kid slowly turns into this cynical, unhappy man that has more years behind him that he has ahead of him. I have been crystallized, trained to worry about bills, pay raises and survival. We all have to do that, but it makes me so mad that all of this has come at the sacrifice of the child inside me that is screaming to come back to the forefront. Creativity isn’t dead, but it is on life support and the voice inside my head tells me what I can’t do instead of what I could do. I am not saying I feel this way all the time, but the older I get, these thoughts creep in more and more like the arthritis I have and all the other aches and pains that seem to be increasing with every passing year.

The question I have is how to I get my spark back? How do I kick start creativity when I have suppressed it for so long. How do you break chains that were form more years ago that I care to remember? Our pod cast that Rando and Pancho do helps me a lot. It makes me feel connected to something and to people that I love very much.

My one big issue, which I am sure most people would tell me, is that I refuse to grow up. That is so ironic with all the previous words I have just written. I am a shell of a person some days. We all feel like that. Overwhelmed and under appreciated. That is why I need to keep doing this podcast and to post. I need to make this connection that I cannot make with people I physically live near. I need to try and fire up that spark again. I believe I will, I just need a way to go back to my youth at least spiritually and mentally. Think of the things I can do and not what I cannot. It will happen. Today was just one of those days that a song sparked a lot of thoughts. I am sitting and listening to “Take the Long way Home” now and trying not to get any more ideas.

Anyway, take care and I hope everyone stays safe.

Lefty

The Saga of Owning a KS12-T

Hello! Rando, here. I’m the resident weapons nerd of the group. This will be an ongoing report of an average 50-something owning and using a KS12-T autoloading shotgun. This is part 1.

This shotgun is manufactured in the United States for Kalashikov by Kalashikov USA. It is a 12-gauge, magazine-fed shotgun built on the AK-47 platform. It is an autoloader that can accept 5 and 10 round magazines or drums. It is also compatible with many Saiga-12 parts and accessories.

I have only recently (in the past few months) taken this shotgun for a spin at the range. I tried various loads from 1100 – 1500 fps 1-ounce slugs (only slugs are allowed at the range). I tried to adjust the gas system for the lower power loads, but the gun never cycled correctly until I used 1400+ fps ammunition (1450, if I remember correctly).

This was my first time firing a shotgun of this design. My first time firing a shotgun was a fixed-stock, tube fed “standard” shotgun. Man! That SOB hurt my shoulder! I bought the KS12-T to attempt to mitigate some recoil since it had a gas-powered recoil system. I still needed a recoil buffer pad to help save my shoulder. A: I’m an older man. B: I knew I would be firing some powerful loads. Even with the pad, I got a real workout for my shoulder. But I was able to follow up with 10mm and .22 TCM pistols with little difficulty.

I was, admittedly, disappointed with the initial performance of the shotgun. But I acknowledge that I am a noob and unfamiliar with the weapon. I did some reading online that stated that there was a needed break-in period for the recoil apparatus. So I bought a 250 count case of 1600+ fps rifled slugs. I’m going to try to fire those through the weapon to see of the gas setting behavior changes for lighter power loads once I finish those shells.

This will be followed-up once I take the shotgun back to the range. I haven’t gone recently due to unrelated issues with sciatica. That is a VERY PAINFUL nerve condition that will affect even one’s ability to sit in a chair or stand for even a short period of time. There was NO WAY I would have even been able to use the weapon let alone stand still against the recoil or even holding the thing. Even driving to the range would have been an insurmountable challenge. Now that I’ve received good treatment for my ailment, I will be returning soon to the range and I will provide an account of my experience there. I have high hopes that this weapon system will provide good service once I break it in and learn more about it.

A Deep Dive into Fritz Lang’s M (1931)

In the first of a series in which we discuss good movies, we take an in-depth analysis of director Fritz Lang’s 1931 film M. A masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema that still holds up today from the directory and writer (Thea von Harbou) that brought you Metropolis.

SPOILER WARNING!!!! We go into the story and plot lines of this film, so we highly encourage you to watch it before listening to this podcast if you’re new to it. DON’T SAY WE DID’T WARN YOU!!

How Much is too Much?

This is the question for anyone who is obsessed with collecting. Doesn’t matter if it is comics, albums, movies, action figures, whatever holds your interest. When do you hit your saturation point when you look around and say: “That’s it, I have enough of the thing”.

Thirty-Five years ago, my answer would have been you keep collecting until you have it all; until every little bit of flotsam and jetsam is yours. My weakness, my kryptonite if you will is music. I was always buying music in some form or the other. It actually started for me at a young age. I was always surrounded by music. My brother and sister, my mother and a lot of my family loved music. They formed the building blocks that evolved my love, my obsession of needing to hear a new sound. I remember as a kid I had many of the Disney story records from their movies. The soundtracks from the Jungle Book, Robin Hood, and Winnie the Pooh played on my cheap turntable I had received one Christmas. I also found my brother’s and sister’s old 45s. “Old Brown Shoe” by the Beatles and “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino found a comfortable place next to my Disney Soundtracks. I would sit for hours and listen to these albums. They opened my imagination and they made me want to seek out more. Little did I know just how expensive an endeavor this would be over the years.

I remember in high school Left and Poncho and myself would go buy cassette tapes of everything we could afford and get our hands on. We would listen to these together and on our own. We discovered new music and I can say for myself, I realized just how important music was to me. It was my friend during late hot summer nights when I couldn’t sleep. It was my companion in the car when I would drive around. Picking out music for our trips was just as important as the trip themselves at one time. The right album for your mood at the time. The wonderful thing about music is that it is the one consistent thing you can count on. No matter how sad, angry or happy you were, the music you listened to was the same. For better or for worse, I learned a lot of lessons through the music I listened to. The music was there for you. It was just a needle drop or a pressing of the play button for you to get lost and forget the outside world for awhile.

Now looking back after all of these years and at all of the music I have collected, I find it is different now. The collecting took over of the enjoying of what I bought and sought out. I have probably over 100 cds right now that I have bought in the last few years that I haven’t even listened to yet. The hunt was the important part. The listening would come later, but as of right now, it hasn’t. I don’t get the same joy as I did when I was younger. Write it up to not having the time, depression, age or a combination of these things and more. My main listening area is in my basement and I bet I haven’t sat down there in over 6 months to listen to anything. Mostly my music comes from Spotify either on the computer or in the car. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but that is not the same as laying back after putting a cd in the player, drink in hand and just losing yourself in the music. I still love music, I just do not have that youthful feeling of awe I would have listening to Van Morrison or Stevie Nicks or the Stones. I am trying to get that back, but I am not sure how.

I guess my point is after all of this rambling is to enjoy the present. Do not get so caught up in collecting and wanting that you forget to enjoy what you have in your hand. That is one positive thing I can say about Spotify. Whether you agree with their business model or not, they have made it extremely convenient for me to find something after just a couple of key strokes. It has opened me up to music I might not have listened to normally. I will admit it is a bit “soulless” compared to listening to an album or CD and looking through the sleeves to experience the total immersion that comes with that. It is a trade off for this modern world.

Please let me know how you feel and how you listen or experience music. was it a life changing event for you when you were younger or even now? I’d love to hear from you. That’s all I have for right now. I will try to be back sooner with some more ramblings. Until then, look after yourself and those around you.

Lefty

First reaction movie riff of The Manster!

Join as we watch and react to The Manster for the first time! This was recorded prior to our discussion what was featured in last week’s Trash for the Masses episode. Simply start this recording when you press play on the film! Hopefully it syncs up properly! 😀

Watch for on Amazon Prime (colorized): https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B096FLCNG1/ref=atv_dl_rdr?autoplay=1

Or on YouTube (Black & White): https://youtu.be/Sn2dztCLvL8