Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Ahhh… Where Do You Keep The Vinyl Rips and Hi Resolution Digital Files ? ——————————–>Photo Courtesy Of Doc KEYAZA!!!

 

So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases.  The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase.  It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.

All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.

I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes.  In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies.  We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it?  What is the use?

This:

https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub148/pub148.pdf

And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):

http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf

 

Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh?  All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc.  Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).

With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up.  Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms.  Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.

Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what?  With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts.  Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences.  Joy!

 

Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.

  1. We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
  2. Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
  3. It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
  4. The music is only as good as it’s source.
  5. ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
  6. Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
  7. Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
  8. There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
  9. There is more than one type of compression in music.
  10. Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
  11. Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
  12. Good source players are available at many price ranges.
  13. There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
  14. When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
  15. You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
  16. Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
  17. That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
  18. There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
  19. We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
  20. I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be.  It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish.  I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory.  I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
  21. You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly.  Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that.  What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
  22. We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps.  If you’re happy, I am happy.
  23. Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules.  Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design.  Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
  24. Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount.  Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer.  Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate.  The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear.  You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy.  If that’s muddy then it’s all over.  I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
  25. Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉

So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively.  Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point.  I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux.  Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other.  Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”.  In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂

So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome.  I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording.  I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me.  Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty.  I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge.  There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it.  Time well spent!

If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time.  Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash.  I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers.  I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.

Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough.  I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow.  So there will probably be some updates as well.  When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.

From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day.  I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date.  The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium.  One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.

In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really.  I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums.  In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.

In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along.  If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message.  If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back.  Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered.   No disrespect…just being clear.

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support. My Readers Are Awesome!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Canada Unleashed – Montreal To Winnipeg: McGill University Via Rue Ste. Catherines & The Winnipeg Syndicate Via Hostelling International Maskawa Project / Pine Falls (Powerview) – Part 1 Of 2

PNW1d

License: CC0 Public Domain / Free for commercial use / No attribution required

[First Pass Edit 09/13/15] Everything I say, that is all I write, is for the record – I have to get it all out for the record. What else can I say but that nothing, and I stress NOTHING, Is EVER pre-planned travel or otherwise (except that I’m going generally somewhere and for incidentals).  As I write this in the present, about the past, I find myself having to call forth my mid 1990’s mindset.  Where I see all these travelers booking flights and trains and hotels, and I say to myself how and why the fuck would you want to do that.  I never know when I will arrive at any particular destination.  On the other hand I get it, I really do, often hotels and trains are already full when one arrives to try to get to their desired destination (I also have had to do it myself when in “On Tour Mode”)…but I’m not designed that way.  No rooms, go somewhere else, nowhere else, I pitch a fucking tent.  No room on the train, wait for the next one or share a ride from a hostel, bulletin board, or stick out my thumb.  I always get to my destination – at some point.  I learned early on from my life coach, that is in utilising guerrilla travel techniques, that the safest place to stay for the night (in a pinch) is inside an airport terminal (even if I had to purchase and get a refund for a plane ticket).  If in a vehicle, the place to be is at the local hospital parking lot.

Now that the above is out of the way…we have to begin to set the stage with music.  Music is necessary for everything…well except for maybe sleeping, but even then there was a time when I slept all the time with music playing.  Quickly pivoting to another paradigm, the best thing about music has always been when it’s not perfect.  When the live band has a few moments out of synch, a missed note on the guitar, a song played differently every time, vocals without autotune…really singing…yes, it was a thing, really singing live.  That sentiment, the reality of it all, was at the heart of what made rock n’ roll dangerous.  Picture this Guns N’ Roses – “Paradise City” blasting in the backround…”Take me down to the paradise city, where the…”, chugging along like a distorted and dysfunctional shaky fucking choo choo train, racing wrecklessly down the tracks. Same with Aerosmith’s – “Walk this way”…”The Next door neighbor, when the daughter had a favor…”, Led Zep’s – Whole Lotta Love (Hear the swagger from the opening riff in comparison to Plant’s Vocals) , and Nirvana’s In Bloom.  Just like Dave Grohl said at the induction of Nirvana, ‘That swing…during “In Bloom”… , that was all Chad (Channing)’…the drummer Grohl replaced.  Now that’s balls of steel and full of crazy amounts of respect!

All right, all right…now that we have the music let me set a vision.  I remember at the time their was a media blitz in the US for Molson Golden Beer from Canada.  I think their XXX brew was just having it’s re-debut and the commercials were endless with the catch phrase “Mölson Gölden, Eh!”. How stereotypical (heh), but driving all the way across Canada, I would find myself on dirt roads in the nether-regions of the country with my head hanging out the window (fresh air bashing me in face, and my hands on the wheel…screaming at the top of my lungs, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!.  I did it over and over as I drove across the plains of all the major territory’s.  Especially in the middle of nowhere, I would come to a sign that said something to the effect of; Make Sure To Fill Your Gasoline Tank Full At Next Gas Station: NO SERVICES for 700 Kilometers (434.96 miles).  At that I would scream, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!  I did not have one of the early model flip phones (No Smartphones Yet), and usually the sign would appear just before, the Trans Canada Highway West Route 17 (before Winnipeg) or Route 1 (After Winnipeg) respectively, the road would turn from asphalt to Dirt.  YES… the major highway system at the time had hundreds of kilometers of dirt and rocky roads clear across Canada and this was in the mid 1990’s.  I remember my car bouncing around, rocks shooting out from under my tires, and a dust storm flying every which direction…both in front and behind.  I remember thinking, “I’m going to blow a tire…how could a major highway in a modern country have dirt roads…WTF!”  Again I would scream lovingly at the natural beauty and the barren landscape, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!

So with all that chaos going on around me…I just thought, just calm down…and go slow, as I bounced all over the road with no painted lines.  I was on the wrong side of the road half the time avoiding ditches filled with water…so as not to damage my suspension in my little red Honda CRX.  One thing I loved though, once I got the hang of it, using my manual transmission to power around like I was off-roading.  I can’t believe that I just recently read an article in the US that said they were phasing out manual stick transmissions for automatics because no one was buying them.  They go further sticking me with the knife deeper saying, ‘automatic transmissions are more reliable than they used to be.’  Lazy fuckers…I love them even in stop and go traffic…In and out of first gear over and over…but I rule the road.  Excuse me while I digress, in Iceland, manual stick shifts are still the name of the game…talk about doing doughnuts on the black ice in a few inches of fresh snow!  There is no substitute!

Anyway I began my journey in Montreal, I could start in the US where the trip really began but nothing of note happened on my few hours journey through Vermont and across the border into Canada.  I went straight to McGill University where a few friends of mine were attending and stayed in their huge party house just off campus in the city.  They all thought I would be into hitting up the infamous strip clubs on and around Rue Ste. Catherine… sorry dingbats It’s not my thing…they were perplexed, but whatever.  I never got the whole pay for some bodacious “woman of my dreams” to rub oil all over over my ass to get a set of blue balls.  I never got the memo for fake breasts, monstrous booties, and chiseled faces  with botox inflated lips.  I’ll say it now, so many women felt the need to get implants and perfect chiclet shaped teeth and shit to impress men…don’t do it, you’re wrecking your natural given beauty!  This was huge in the US in the 1990’s (in reality even more today), as i said I never got it…not like you need my advice, but women…you are beautiful the way  you are…Natural.  There, I said it.

Don’t buy into the Hollywood hype.  Natural women are trending and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.  All women are beautiful and different in wonderful ways, I just hope they feel the same way about men (Touché’). Yes, they have a brain, some men…I wonder (J/K).  The only way I was going to enter a strip club was is if Motley Crue or Metallica circa 1985 on Sunset in LA were going to force me to go and have fun. That’s it right (one would think)…I know life is not so simple, there are nuances…I would find myself at one point on this adventure Staying in a Boot Ballet Hostel/Hotel/Brothel in Whistler, British Columbia because the HI – Hostel was full.  That is a whole other story for Part 2 of this crazy story.  As a matter of fact there will be a lot in this piece that will just be a setup for the bang in Part 2 of this story (It’s the money shot, and ladies I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve been pwnd, tricky this internet thing…”Hot Mess” means something completely different than you’ve been led to believe. Blame Reddit & 4C) Please keep that in mind if I just touch on something and move on.

So couch surfing at McGill in Montreal was always a great time.  I was on no set time schedule but I did know I was going west as far as I could go (Vancouver Island Ferry) by car and then take another ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State…going through customs there, to get back in the US.  I wasn’t in the best of shape to be traveling, but at the time I did not know any better.  I was on a steady diet of laudanum, absinthe, and speed and I must have looked like I walked off the set of The Walking Dead.  I had cocaine eyes and a drop gun at my side…I was not messing around, I’ll guarantee you that.  Coach was able to legally secure an unlimited supply of USP tincture of opium, so that was waiting on call whenever necessary.

Oddly enough I had a tough time keeping stocked up on REAL Absinthe…Coach had it sent to wherever we were and would patiently wait for its expedited arrival.  Coach had a special source and would get it three day air from a clandestine small batch private distiller in the Swiss/French Jura mountainous region of the Western Alps. Extremely high Thujone content from only the best naturally harvested Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium).  Natural Distillation is the only way to drink real Absinthe…if you or the person that gives it to you does not know the difference between real and fake absinth…then it is most likely fake.  All of all the absinth sold in US stores is NOT real absinthe, containing NO or only traces of Thujone.  There are a couple of private distilleries in the US that sell real absinthe distillate online but the Thujone content is regulated at below 10mg/L,  with either Southern, Oregon, or some other strain of Wormwood that are not as psychoactive as the Grand.  If the person giving you Absinth anywhere in the world does not know that “Maceration” or “Oil/Terpene” mixture Absinths are NOT REAL Absinths, then what they are giving you is most likely fake as well.

I will explain why most people have never had REAL absinthe. The Absinthe that Coach would get from French Switzerland (Swiss/High German), was and is not regulated and technically illegal, having an extremely high thujone content of between 100 to 120mg/L.  For our pleasure Coach had to pay 200$ US for a bottle and he would buy it in cases of 9 (It also took him seven years to get off the waiting list…yup, people had to die of old age for him to get on the sauce).  In Canada,  that same case that Coach would get delivered to his door in the US for 1,700$ US total,  would top out at 2,500$ US with added Canadian Customs fees.  Coach knew this about Canada (Customs fees are outrageous), but we wanted to keep it legal and did not want to take the chance of having the case confiscated at the Canadian border going north from Vermont.  Yep we’re crazy, Absinthe over decent hotel rooms…, priorities!  This stuff could kill you if you drank too much even without mixing other drugs with it as well.  …But as you know this is how I lived my life, up and down.  As a budding pharmacology/neuroscience student I knew what I was doing as a human guinea pig…all in the name of science (You heard it here first).

REAL Absinthe does not make one hallucinate as is touted…it’s basically the alcohol version of a speedball. The alcohol in the Absinthe (all alcohol really) is what is referred to as a GABA agonist which stimulates the release of the chemical (amino acid) neuro-transimitter (GABA) in the brain that induces relaxation by closing off the GABA neurotransmitter receptors at the end of their GABA specific transmission terminals.  On the other end of the speed ball quotient is Thujone, levels from which can only be distilled from natural Grande Wormwood, only grown in certain areas of the world.  Thujone is a chemical that is referred to as a GABA antagonist which works in the neurotransmitter terminals to produce the exact opposite actions of the calming and sedating effects of alcohol, which is to stimulate the GABA receptors and keep them open.  So if you are still with me, REAL Absinthe with Naturally Distilled HIGH Quality/ High Levels of Grand Wormwood sourced Thujone, causes chaos in the neurotransmitter junctions in the brain…the receptors opening and closing in a simultaneous excitation/calming storm creating the “Speedball” or “Green Fairy” like effect.  This is why the real stuff is rare and lends to the creation of all the misinformation and confusion, and further is exactly why the good stuff is illegal.  You get very drunk and don’t feel drunk from the speed like effect.

So I was talking to one of my friends at McGill, saying that I wish I had someone to share the driving with me across Canada, and I was told that there was a bulletin board on campus which had people posting (yes with paper) all kinds of things but one was for rides and it might be worth a look.  So we went there to see if anyone was looking to ride share.  There was one message from a guy named Jason who was looking to go to the West Coast US, but the message had a date two months old.  Anyhow I figured it was worth a try, and rang up the number.  A woman answered ( I came to find out later it was his mother) and I asked for Jason, fortunate for me he was home.  I told him about my journey  and he immediately said yes, he could go in two days.  He figured that he would go as far west as he could with me, and then find a ride south from Vancouver.  I was going to be spending an unknown length of time in Port Townshend, Washington at Coaches House on The Olympic Peninsula across the Puget Sound from Seattle. Then when I got the travel bug I would head over to Aberdeen then south to Olympia for a bit….Seattle…and then finally head down the West Coast Highway south (which I will cover in a future article) to Oregon and California .  I really lucked out because he was not even a student at McGill University…he had posted the message and pretty much decided to go another time because he got no calls.

My life was all about living it to the fullest while very high…full stop.  I was looking to master the art of better living through chemistry without getting myself killed.  As someone who goes to holistic aisle of any expensive whole foods store, I was doing the same as if I was running wild behind the pharmacy counter.  My main objective was to find the perfect molecular combination of psychoactive substances, that when combined could get get me out of my mind efficiently, with long duration, and with the lowest risk for physical and psychological dependence and harm.  I became a master of withdrawal, even while using some of the most addictive substances known to man.  Chemical rules, as I have said before, were the name of the game.

I had to learn these chemical rules through trial and error over many years.  First using the individual substances on their own to master the effects profile.  Then when confident combining them, starting at low doses and then titrating upwards or downwards depending on my direct experiences with the substances.  I always self administered low dosages first, then raising in small increments.  The first rule of Chemical Rules is to never mainline or inject any addictive substance.  Once you do the brain is so overloaded with dopamine that you can never reach that height again (chasing the dragon).  Ingesting or administering the  drug through the skin causes a slow rise in intoxication…allowing one to reach similar results over and over.  There are tolerance issues to contend with but no massive withdrawals daily (just discomfort).  Heroin is out because of the small safety to toxicity window as is Crystal Methamphetamine unless insulflated. Heroin is not affective when ingested orally and Methamphetamine (UNLESS Pharmaceutical USP) will rot your gut quick from foreign heavy metals left over in it’s clandestine production.  Smoking either of the two is out as well…same brain overload, horrific addiction, and leads to eventual mainlining of the drugs. Don’t ever do it, you have been lovingly warned!

Everyone knows that opioids are extremely dangerous because of the small window between efficacy, reaching the highest state of euphoria, and death.  Add into that any alcohol, any opiate addict knows that it is a VERY DANGEROUS idea from the start.  The combination of the two can easily cause one’s system to shut down and overdose, halting respiration.  What I came to find that if I mixed low doses of high strength Laudanum with 2-3 moderately small sipped (louched) Absinthes as the only type of alcohol, adding in a few small bumps of cocaine or ingested amphetamine.  I could stay extremely high with little to no nodding out for about six hours.  Because I was administering (orally) the extremely bitter Laudanum 15 minutes before the first absinthe, the opioid had a low dependence profile.  So that was the trifecta and as long as I did not stray from that…I was golden.  No desperate drug seeking behavior or overdose.  DON’T try this at home, as the levels administered were congruent to my weight, sex, and age…chemistry at it’s best, but what was right for me, the same dose could kill you.

So this was what we did in Montreal while waiting to move on to journey west.  It was great because everyone is not all passed out like at a junkie hotel.  We would play pool and go out on the town to check out the wild characters of Montreal.  What an amazing city, we are very lucky to have so close to the US…a place where everyone speaks French.  My french is shit but I can get by on the little I do know (everyone speaks English anyway).   There are so many amazing restaurants, clubs, and shows every night.  The drinking age is 18 so many in the US travel here for that. It’s a metropolitan city with so much culture and history.  As you walk the streets public art is everywhere from murals to graffiti to sculpture.  The city is seamless although containing areas of particular interest to different people, from Old Town to The Village to The Underground city.  You can’t go wrong in this city wherever you go as long as you have street smarts.

Rue Ste. Catherine’s will allow for walking and getting to the main parks, numerous places downtown, as well as the underbelly of the city.  North and south of downtown take Rue McGill to get to the two subsequent areas I will recommend next.  I love to venture up the heavenly public stairs which traverse the large uphill overseers near McGill University and lead to an overlook in the clouds of the whole city.  Another favorite is to venture down further past Old Town to the St. Laurent River and just kick it on the granite cobblestones and benches. The main Montreal Airport (Pierre Elliot Trudeau International) is easy to get to from downtown and is somewhat centrally located as well if you are flying to Montreal.

I cannot say enough of this city…Montreal is on par with the best metropolitan cities anywhere.  Sometimes the people can be a bit brash but nothing more than you would encounter in say NYC.  The difference, a few proprietors may not be English friendly but I always find they come around especially if you say a few words in French like “Bon Jour”, “S’il vous plaît” and “Merci” and you’re in!  That’s what makes traveling fun…you don’t have to speak a lot of any language to communicate.  Greetings, Salutations, and Parting words will take you anywhere around the world. As they say in blogs ad nauseum, “Live a little!”

So the two days I spent at McGill waiting around was no burden as we just got drunk and high…I even got some good sleep the night before leaving which was great.  We could start off right and drive pretty much straight for two days to get through the second half of the province of Quebec and half way through Ontario to Thunder Bay ( just above the Great Lakes Of The US).  Jason was real cool…and he had an even head as he pretty much just smoked a little weed and drank alcohol.  He was a raver actually, so on occasion he did ecstasy and even better he liked to drive sober.  I found out quick that he was an energetic kid and a really good driver.

So I met him at his house near Parc Maisonneuve in Montreal over near the Parc Olympique.  I even met his mom and she was real nice as well…she had no idea what her son was getting into on this trip.  Better for her to stay in the dark…I could tell he was real responsible right away, which I liked because going with someone I was unfamiliar with was always taking a chance.  I could sense his positive attributes might even get us out of a jam if necessary at some point.  So after he put his shit in the car off we went on The Trans Canada Highway 40 and then took the 417 to Ottawa.  There was really nothing much in Ottawa and it was raining quite hard…I remember passing a coliseum in Ottawa which had digital bulletin board flashing coming acts to the venue.  So we continued a ways on the 417 until we got to the 17 which would take us half way across the country to Winnipeg.

I remember driving along and all there was pretty much was farms with large acreage of flat grasslands and lots of cows, horses, and grain silos.  It reminded me a lot like the few times I travelled across the US (which I will also cover in another future article) where there was not much excitement in terms of stunning land formations from the Northeast Coast till I reached Colorado.  So it was the same in Canada until reaching North West Ontario.  Not that there were not attractions of which to speak of off the beaten path, but it was pretty much farms and expansive grasslands most of the way.

I pretty much stayed sober since leaving Montreal, and after driving through Ontario which was at least a 36 hours (or more) drive.  Jason and I got to know each other better and it was nice we got on well.  So we would switch off driving for the first day and a half until we reached Sault Saint Marie.  We were pretty spent at this time, not stopping to sleep much, in SSM which is right on the border of Northern Michigan.  It was nice to stop there and go grocery shopping at a proper market.  We broke out the barbecue in a park there, and ate some steaks and grilled vegetables for lunch.  It passed our minds to cross back into the US for a little bit and see what it was like in the area, but that thought quickly faded with the thought of having trouble at the border crossing.

Up in this part of the country above Lake Huron, driving along the shore at times.  There was some exciting rock formations and plenty of winding “S” shaped roads with rises and falls in sea level.  At times we would find our hearts in our throats…the only downside was that there were a lot of large tucks, busses, and winnebego’s on holiday at the same time as us.  So there was lots of traffic in an otherwise beautiful landscape.  The great lakes were stunning this time of year and it was very warm, with lots of sun.  Although we were lacking sleep, our bellies were full, and with great excitement we traveled on.  Our goal was to make it to Thunder Bay before nightfall at a Hostel to get some much needed sleep.

There was one town that we stopped at off the highway to gas up and it was really strange because it had a very foul smell.  Extremely foul and none of the nature there looked very healthy.  The waterways there smelled even worse…the trees were all dying, it was really strange.  We were wondering why this small town on the US/Canada border was in a word dead.  At the gas station we asked the attendant why this was so and he said that a toxic waste dump had been breached in the area of the lake of the town and the whole town was toxic.  The strange thing is that he was rather cavalier about the whole thing, it’s safe to say that after gassing up we got out of there quick.  We couldn’t help but feel concerned for the people of the town…it seemed that everyone was going about their lives as normal…their had to be health ramifications in really what I viewed as anytown US/Canada.  Many people cannot just give up their lives and homes to go somewhere else.  It was kind of sad…again we got out of their quick.

Our attempt to make it to Thunder Bay before stopping was futile, we were just too tired, and that meant either pulling off to the side of the road and just falling asleep (hard) for a few hours or get a hotel for the night.  We made the decision to stay at a Home Hostel in Orillia, Ontario that was affiliated with HI – Hostelling International Hostels, it was fortunate because we realized that we were only about fifteen minutes drive from it’s location.  It was pitch black with no street lights anywhere but after a short time of driving back and forth we finally found the place.  It was not too late, around 9pm, and as we pulled up to the house and parked in the large grassy area with other vehicles the owners came out of the hostel.  We asked “Is this the Orillia home hostel?” They replied “Yes, welcome…you can park right where you are.”

So we got out of the car and introduced ourselves and they (A guy and his wife) welcomed  us very kindly.  We grabbed some things to bring in and they showed us into their home and further to the room we would be sleeping in.  It was a small room but quaint with one set of bunk beds…we were quite tired but just making it to the destination gave us a little wind to sit in the kitchen with them and chat for a while.  They were very nice, they offered us some food but we declined…we were exhausted, too tired to eat.  They had a large fish tank and some couches that you would find in grandma’s house, a television, and a lot of small pillows with sayings stitched or knitted on them.

They turned on the TV, and I love watching television channels that are local and located in any particular area of any country.  I remember rabbit ears, no cable…not a problem, again I just love to check out the local channels. CBC was a great classic TV network at the time, I know now that people have said it has gone downhill in recent years.  I almost orgasmed when I got to the French CBC channel.  I love even more watching foreign language channels, wherever I go, just making out the few words I do know.  I don’t know why this is a turn on for me…but it is…not in a pervy way silly rabbit, I just love it even if I have no idea what’s going on.  I just pretend that I do…this would probably drive some people nuts, but that’s just me.  Besides I had no brain power anyway and we were in some engaging conversations with our hosts.  It all worked out great, and soon after, I went to hit the sack. Instant Zzzzzzzs.  Lights Out!

When we got up in the morning stone cold sober but well rested, there was a great breakfast spread of eggs, Canadian Bacon, muffins, home fries, milk, juice, & lots of ice cold beer.  Molson Golden XXX to be particular — just kidding, no beer.  I know some people will be destroyed as their visions of Canadians drinking Molson Golden for breakfast (at any hour of the day) will now be shattered, heheh!  As we filled our bellies a girl came into the kitchen, she saluted with a big “Good Morning”, yawn and stretch.  They said she arrived in the night later than us.  She was Canadian, going the opposite direction than we, to Quebec.  Québécois sunshine!  She was a real cool chick, piercings, tattoos, tough, cute as a dumpling.  She knew her shit and was on the level obviously…their was a lot of great conversation, because not only was she worldly but our hosts were as well.  That’s what I love about travelers, most of them (if they’re not thieves) are really laid back and down for just about anything fun at a moments notice.  It’s great conversation feeling each other out for their unique viewpoints on the world and any particular personal sentiments.  Joie de vivre, “Weltanschauung…Robert’s Dictionnaire says joie is sentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one’s whole being (I copped this from wikipedia).”

After breakfast we went out into the Canadian Country Morning Sunshine!  It was a beautiful day…I think we got on so well with our hosts that the guy who owned the place mentioned that he was a vorascious writer.  Just past the grass parking area he led us into a trailer that he had separate from the house, used for an office.  I don’t know how we got talking about it but he gave me some great stuff he had written (ironically enough) one piece on the modern day twelve *step** program and it’s origins…how A**A had a bad case of revisionist history.  It was not knocking the group per se, but it was an essay which claimed an alternative and interesting origin for the group based on a set of several core principles that had nothing to do with religion.  It was even further interesting that these core principles were pointed out as originated from centuries old concepts, by a Unitarian Universalist’s minister’s testimony in the early 1930’s, again (secular) not having anything anything to do with religion.  If you can wrap your head around that.  The early A**A groups  had adopted these principles and expounded upon them in 1939 to include their religious leanings (as it had helped them).  I have no agenda against the group I know many people who have been helped by them and have turned their lives around.  I’m just relating what I read and how the concepts came to be and the written history of the groups do not seem to include this version of history.  Oh well, who the fuck knows…If it works for you, and if you believe in that sort of thing…Bless!

Anyway after our educational sunrise, we went into the mid day sun, and it was luscious.  Good ol’ Guenther Grotsch (Hostel Owner) saw how my car was covered in mud from all our off roading and told us we could use the hose to wash the car.  He even offered a bucket and some auto soap.  What a gem he was, I had not thought about it till he brought it up, that the mud barely allowed us to even see out the windows…hahah…epicness.  There was cleanliness everywhere after a hot shower, we decided to take off…even at the generous suggestion of our host to stay around.  It was very kind of him and his amazing wife Rita, but we were itching to get to the massive beauty of the Canadian Rockies.  This need could not be delayed…it was time to go.

After setting off in a shiny vehicle, another half day of driving we arrived in the Thunder Bay area (On the shores of Lake Superior) and it was late in the day but the sun was at painter’s light.  Nature was tempting us to move on…we did not need to stay at the Thunder Bay Hostel because we were re-energized.  I began to notice that there were more lakes, more trees…even the smell of campfires waifed through the air.  We passed a bunch of campgrounds which was our queue, as if to pique our interest and recognize this was true back country.

We were officially in the woods, but again as before there were more amazing rock formations with the sectioned colors of purple and orange and white and blue as one would encounter in Arizona or New Mexico in the US.  Tremendous spires of soapstone and red rocks towered projecting toward the bathing clouds.  These puffy drifting clouds from the gentle winds blew smoke signals careening around the edges of the massive cliffs, visible only if to reveal small flat peaks of land, the size of which only a few people could fit on in the dusty sky.  As the sun began to set we pulled off the road at one of the several sanctioned lookouts, which lent to us the awesome deceptive and most confusing illusion of not knowing whether we were on the ground or in the sky.  Winding and spacious Lakes all around for as far as the eye could see, century old white pines hugging their shores, which at a distance looked as if they were placed there in perfect harmony with the land, although only the size of a fingernail.  There would be cities before we arrived at an unknown destination…but they would be fleeting, and little did we know that what we were seeing was nothing of what was to come.

As light moved to dark over the unspoiled splendour in Northern Ontario on the rugged coast of Lake Superior’s Northern Shore (the world’s largest freshwater lake), we began to see road signs indicating we were just above Minnesota.  No time to stop their now, we were excited beyond belief to finally make it to the border of the great Canadian Province of Manitoba (Ontario I will never forget you!), as we passed through a new lakes region in Kenora, ON.  It was not that there was anything special about Manitoba that we knew of yet, and the light of day was getting on anyway, but if you look on a map of Canada and North America our next stop was Winnipeg (150 miles/240km) which is located dead center, exactly half way across North America (Canada/US).  I’ll tell you it felt like forever getting across Ontario (not a bad thing), just an observation, but we were finally making some meaningful progress.

There was one big problem we were really low on cash, we had cards and travellers checks (Yes, travelers checks were good to use back then…not anymore) but we had misjudged our raw cash flow and it was a Sunday, so we could not get one exchanged for cash anywhere.  This was the first time this had ever happened to me, and the Hostel in Winnapeg only accepted cash.  So we were driving in circles around the city limits trying to decide what to do.  All that were around at that time of night was drug dealers and hookers, so being the adventurers that we were (heh), we decided to drive twenty or thirty minutes north through the flat grass and farmlands near Lake Winnipeg.  Little did we know that this would become a horror show…presenting The Maskwa Project!

So we had enough cash to stay at a hostel near Lake Winnipeg but just short of the amount needed to stay at the downtown hostel.  Another problem was that we only had one quarter tank of gas so driving that extra mileage up north would be taking a chance.  In my head I was doing the mileage by the gallon (liters) thing, into how much we had in our tank. It was a little close but I was sure we could make it…you might ask why not fill up using cards?  Well the answer was that we could not find any gas station open twenty four hours.  This was not ancient times…there were 24 hour gas stations all over the US back then but not here in Canada.  So boiling it all down we were not destitute, we just had to get through that night because tomorrow all the banks and gas stations would be open.  It was just a lapse in judgement on our part, after not getting much sleep since setting off across the country.

Before I get into the hell that was to come, I must say in the interest of fairness the Hostel (Which was at the time an approved HI – Hostel, now it is not/ not a bad thing) today…two decades later in Manitoba (Pine Falls: Powerview / Maskwa Project) has seemingly got it’s shit together, has good reviews, and is run well (conjecture).  I do not know if it is the same person that owned it then so I cannot attribute the horrible experience to them.  There were no handheld portable mobile internet devices then so everything had to be done by intuition or planning, and you know my stance on planning.  They now have a Facebook page and a lot of comments and people who love the place.  Also I had two different hostel books…one indicates that reservations are essential, the second book has no such information (I had never had a problem before, but we also overlooked this). So I thought it only fair to let people know all this.  It is still VERY rustic…all the photos look exactly the same as the day we made our attempt to stay there, still spooky as hell.  On a bright sunny day in the middle of summer I can imagine it being a magical retreat, whatever, enough anal disclosure.

Here’s what happened.  With one eye on the gas tank and another on the road we are heading north directly toward southern Lake Winnipeg…it takes about a half hour or more to get there in the spitting rain, overcast voluminous sky, and on the edge of darkness.  We have a hard time finding the road it was on because of the weather conditions as well as its being out in the middle of nowhere.  We knew going into this that it was going to be a budget hostel but we thought we were up for it.  So we find Maskwa Road and it is NOT paved, and a muddy mess…Not having a four wheel drive we pondered if we should attempt it.  At first it was just a little bit of slippery brownish-red mud, but just as a rock climber or adrenaline junkie knows that you have to go with you’re gut as to whether to take the next step…once you commit there is often no going back.  In our case just taking the turn onto Maskwa Road was committing and there was no turning back because the road itself was not wide enough, with all the mud, to turn around.  So as we are going deeper into the woods and the unknown, we realize that the mud is now getting quite deep…I knew that as long as we went slow and did not come to a complete stop we could make it

Next thing we know there is a bend in the road to the right, and right where this bend begins it winds a bit downhill…not good but no turning back now!  So as we fishtail and take on the small downhill, all of a sudden we come to a grinding scraping metal halt.  We had landed directly on top of a huge rock, which was hidden in the mud right in the middle of the road.  So we get out of the car to assess the situation.  No AAA out here for sure..hahahh!  We found ourselves standing in one to two feet of fluid mud…So I decide to go behind the car and push as Jason hits the throttle slowly.  Surprisingly after just a few minutes we were able to shimmy the car off the rock and even more wonderful the road became more stable with less mud and more grip.  I remember thinking how the fuck are we going to drive out of there but one thing at a time right.  So we hop in the car and as we continue on, we see a clearing ahead in the woods and what we would come to find out was the Maskwa river and a large grass yard next to the hostel.

We were excited, we made it… I could see a Hostelling International sticker in the front window so we knew we were at the right place.  Nothing was out of the ordinary until we stepped out of the car…all of a sudden, and I mean instantly we were met with hundreds of biting mosquitoes the size of small birds.  I had dealt with mozzy’s my whole life, but this early in the season in any other place I had ever been, mosquitoes would usually fly around and then land on my skin and I could smack them away with ease, not these killers.  They were vicious (I expect if the current owners of the hostel read this, they’ll have a laugh, I don’t blame them, it’s fucking nature.), so viscous that hundreds of them instantly landed on my arms, legs, face, and neck and bit down hard instantly…no warning.  It was like they were drunk on the blood of a thousand other victims but still had the accuracy of a GPS. So what do we do, get back in the car…it was that bad, we did not make it to the house.

So in the car again, after killing all the mozzy’s that made it in the car because we had opened the doors, we could make a plan of attack.  The mozzy’s that I had smashed on the inside of the windshield of the car, exploded into a big blood coagulational mess.  There was blood everywhere.  I can still laugh about it…it was gross but what can you do, at least we did not get any diseases or illness…just the expected itchy hives randomly dotted on our skin.  So I put on some sweatpants over my shorts and a North Face Jacket that zipped up to my nose and had a tight hood.  We decided that I would make it to the house and check in…there were no lights on in the house but I could see reflecting off the windows a waving fire from somewhere in the house and smoke coming out a chimney.

It was time to make the jump…so i quickly got out of the car with a one…two…three count, go!  I got out closed the door and ran up to the main side door of the hostel.  I noticed that there was campfire smoke leaking out the door, which cut down on the mozzy’s but I thought how could someone live in a house full of smoke without carbon monoxide poisoning…hmmm.  I shouted at half volume, “Hello…hello, anyone here!”, I got no answer.                I then noticed that the door was loose and was just held closed by a latch.  I lifted it to open the door and it swung open about a foot and huge clouds of smoke baffled out all around me.  For a moment I thought, was the owner of the place dead from all the smoke…I guess it’s extreme mosquito control.  Natural yes…no chemicals from sprays, still very odd, at least to me.  Maybe the hostel owner had gone mad from mozzy bites Elmer Fudd style, and was hunting mosquitoes like wabbits with smoke signals and a shotgun.  I went to open the door which was pretty massive and heavy, and as I opened it, I could see a large log tied to a rope swing up toward the ceiling,  The door was being held closed by a wood weight…never seen that before.  Physics lesson, yup!

Anyway the inside was almost completely dark except for a fire on the opposite end of the house, and it was full of smoke as I have already said.  As I called out again for anyone I noticed someone’s shadow as if they were hiding around a corner and not acknowleging me.  It was just then that all the horror movies and acid trips came full circle and hit me hard in the medulla oblongotta, this was very very very abnormal and creepy, wtf!  I stood there a couple of minutes stunned and then said to myself…that’s it, I’m getting the fuck out of here, See ya!  So I trudged back to the car and explained what I saw to Jason…at the moment we were the cast in a horror movie.  We caved, let’s go back to Winnipeg, we agreed to that pretty quick.  Fortunate to us the ride out was pretty straightforward, we were able to slide our way out of there avoiding that rock this time.  The mud was fine as long as we kept at a consistent speed…this is where I reiterate at my love for standard stick shifts in cars, if we were in an automatic we would have never even made it down the road in the first place. we would have been stranded with no phone.  We were lucky, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Yep…so looking at the photos on this link to their Facebook page, someone mentions something about respect for subsequent owners of “The Maskwa Project” Hostel.  So it does seem there is a pulse up their after all.  Our experience, as foreboding as it was I would not trade it for the world.  It is what it is.  As I write this I can’t help but think of “Blair Witch Project” as a similar name…not in substance.  If anyone needs a set for a horror movie go to Maskwa on a Cloudy/Foggy day and see what I mean.  You will not be disappointed, Eli Roth!  It’s Deliverance (The Sequel).

Check it out…Maskwa Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/Maskwa.Project

So there we were on the main highway headed back to the city (Winnipeg), again with one eye on the gas gauge…we were getting low but had enough to get us back downtown where we had started a few hours before.  A little rattled but nevertheless happy that we we were going back to where we felt safe with the hookers and drug dealers.  At some point it started pouring rain…which in one respect would clean all the mud off the car.  We shot like a bullet back to the lights of the city..hoping against all odds to not hydroplane, obsessively staring at the painted lines to stay on the road.  There was fog and we could only see ten feet in front of us.  We were in a time machine transporting back to safety. Hellions screaming to Iron Maiden blasting on the stereo…we were unstoppable, unyielding as well, we were strengthened through our adversity.  It was now time to have some good luck, we could taste it…the world was in our hands.

So as we entered the outskirts of Winnipeg proper, we found ourselves in an industrial part of the city and we were encouraged because the fog had lifted and it was not raining anymore…damn!  So after passing some billboards, we found an empty lit parking lot which had entrances and exits on both sides of the throughway.  We figured we could catch out breath and get our bearings as to what we were going to do.  Sitting on the hood of the car we could smell fumes from the cars and lorries that passed us in the night…for a moment all we had to do was get through till the morning.

It was then that I noticed a guy walking down the road and somehow I could tell he was not from Winnipeg either.  I asked him over to see if he knew where the hostel was.  When he started talking I could immediately tell from his heavy brogue that he was from Ireland and he confirmed this…from Northern Ireland.  I lit up, thinking this guy had to know where the hostel was.  He said he did not, but said he had another place to stay, and after hearing our story he said we might be able to stay there too.  All he needed was a ride! yahoo!  So we got in the car and followed his directions to the place he was staying…there was a parking lot adjacent to the residence and we pulled into a space.  He said that he would go inside and get the house manager to see if they could put us up for the night.  After about twenty minutes he came out and said to grab our things, that we could stay.  Jackpot!

The best way to describe what was going on here, I mean we got the lucky touch somehow, really I don’t believe in luck but you know what i mean when I use it as a form of expression (in terms of how people use it).  So we go inside and there are people milling around everywhere.  Playing music, strumming on a guitar, eating food, watching TV in a common area…it was just a chill atmosphere right off the bat.  So the Irish dude, introduces us to one of the senior people staying there.  He was a guy from India…very hospitable, we told our story of woe and he was sympathetic to our cause.  He let us know that this building was a housing unit used by the Canadian Government to house refugees and immigrants in exile from their home countries.  Meaning that the people housed here were seeking asylum from their home countries, which if they had to go back to, there was a good likelihood they would be killed.  Whoa…heavy shit!  He showed us to a large dorm room with several bunk beds, and said to make ourselves at home.  Even better we were the only two people in the room, we had it to ourselves.  The senior told us that it would cost us some cash per night but we did not need to pay until we got our money the next day when the house official arrived to check on upkeep.

The place was very clean…with excellent facilities, showers, and three meals a day (included)…the only rules were if anyone had to smoke do it outside and to respect others.  The place was open 24 hours a day and everyone was so thankful that no dared to break the rules.  We were the only North Americans, everyone else besides the guy from Northern Ireland, were from countries like Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China, and North Korea.  The guy asked us if we needed to see a Doctor for any physical or psychiatric ailments…as well if we needed any emergency medications.  This place was a sanctuary…an oasis in the desert, damn!!!  We just wanted to get some sleep and a shower and we did just that then went to bed.

We ended up staying for about five days hanging out with these cool people from around the world who were hoping to get Canadian Citizenship.  The worldwide phenomenon FIFA was going on that week and all the people there were glued to the TV watching matches and having a wild time.  I learned more in that one week about their respective countries than I could in a whole year of classes and even then I don’t think that could give me the same experience.  It was life changing…they were mostly muslim but I never saw anyone pray the whole time we were there.  They all spoke great english.  Their religion seemed to be futbol(soccer) and everyone was united by the sport, no matter what their cultural differences.  It was quite a spectacle.

The next evening the government official came to the house and came to see us.  He was very nice…saying it was 5$ Canadian per night and he wanted to know how long we would be staying.  As I said we, paid him for five nights and he gave us a reciept.  He said if there was any problem after the five days and we needed to stay longer we were welcome and could pay him when we made our decision.  We were stunned…in what world does this happen, CANADA!!!

/End Of Part One/

Photos and Subsequent Edits: will be added throughout the week…so check back whenever you want. Cheers.

Part 2 ~ will chronicle what we did during our wild stay in wonderful Winnipeg…and the rest of the journey across the second half of Canada.  I can guarantee you it gets pretty crazy. heheh!

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support.  My Readers Are Awesome!

Cheers and Bless!

CM ☕

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Grateful Dead – Fare The Well – GD50 – Summer Tour 2015 – One last time in Santa Clara and Chicago! tott, travel, nomads, I will keep adding to this post! Peace and Love, Buuuurp!

 

84 Songs Total played & only two songs played twice (“Cumberland Blues”, & “Truckin'”) as of finish, night #5 of 5.

 

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Grateful Dead Setlist at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Jul 9,1995

***LAST SHOW W/ 8> JERRY GARCIA <3 (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)***

Jul 9,1995 ~ Last Show Summer Tour 1995

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Set 1:

Touch of Grey
Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon cover)
Lazy River Road
When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan cover)
Childhood’s End
Cumberland Blues
The Promised Land (Chuck Berry cover)

Set 2:
Shakedown Street
Samson and Delilah ([traditional] cover)
So Many Roads
Samba in the Rain
Corrina
Drums
Space
Unbroken Chain
Sugar Magnolia

Encore:

Black Muddy River
Box of Rain

Note: The Band (Support). Grateful Dead’s last show with Jerry Garcia.

 

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Grateful Dead Setlist at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Jun 27, 2015

Fare Thee Well Summer Tour / Show 1 of 5

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Set 1:

Truckin’ (Bob Weir lead vocals)
Uncle John’s Band (Phil, Weir, Trey, and Bruce sang together)
Alligator (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
Cumberland Blues (Bob Weir lead vocals)
Born Cross-Eyed (Bob Weir lead vocals)
Cream Puff War (Trey Anastasio lead vocals)
Viola Lee Blues (Cannon’s Jug Stompers cover) (Phil, Bob, Trey, and Bruce shared vocals)

Set 2:

Cryptical Envelopment (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
Dark Star (Phil, Trey, and Bob traded vocals)
St. Stephen (Bob Weir lead vocals) (with William Tell bridge)
The Eleven (Bob and Trey lead vocals)
Turn On Your Love Light (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover) (Bob Weir lead vocals)
Drums (with Mickey Hart on mbira)
What’s Become of the Baby? (Phil Lesh lead vocals)
Space
The Other One (Bob Weir lead vocals)
Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson cover) (Bob Weir lead vocals)

Encore:

Casey Jones (Bruce Hornsby lead vocals)

Note: Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti. Soundcheck reportedly included “Althea”, “Brown Eyed Women”, “Truckin’”, “Uncle John’s Band”, “Alligator”, “Cumberland Blues”, “Born Cross-Eyed”, “Cream Puff War”, “St. Stephen”, “The Eleven”, and “Turn On Your Love Light.”

 

 

Grateful Dead Setlist at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Jun 28, 2015

Fare Thee Well Summer Tour / Show 2 of 5

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Set 1:

Feel Like a Stranger (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Minglewood Blues (Cannon’s Jug Stompers cover) (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Brown-Eyed Women (Bruce Hornsby lead vocal)
Loose Lucy (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Loser (Jerry Garcia song) (Bruce Hornsby lead vocal)
Row Jimmy (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Alabama Getaway (Trey Anastasio lead vocal)
Black Peter (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Hell in a Bucket (Bob Weir lead vocal)

Set 2:

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Phil Lesh lead vocal)
Wharf Rat (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Eyes of the World (Phil Lesh lead vocal)
He’s Gone (Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby traded vocals)
Drums (with Sikiru Adepoju on talking drum)
Space
I Need a Miracle (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Reverend Gary Davis cover) (Bob Weir lead vocal)
Sugar Magnolia (Bob Weir lead vocal)

Encore:

Brokedown Palace (Bob Weir lead vocal)

Note: Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti.

 

===========================

 

Poster-Grateful-Dead-Fare-Thee-Well-2015

 

Grateful Dead Setlist at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Jul 3, 2015

Fare Thee Well Summer Tour / Show 3 of 5

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Set 1:

Box of Rain (lead vocals: Phil Lesh)
Jack Straw (lead vocals: Bob Weir and Phil Lesh)
Bertha (lead vocals: Trey Anastasio)
Passenger (lead vocals: Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby)
The Wheel (Jerry Garcia song) (Phil, Bob, Trey, and Bruce shared vocals)
Crazy Fingers (lead vocals: Trey Anastasio)
The Music Never Stopped (lead vocals: Bob Weir)

Set 2:

Mason’s Children
Scarlet Begonias (lead vocals: Trey Anastasio)
Fire on the Mountain (lead vocals: Bruce Hornsby)
Drums
Space
New Potato Caboose (lead vocals: Phil Lesh)
Playing in the Band (Bob Weir song) (lead vocals: Bob Weir)
Let It Grow (lead vocals: Bob Weir)
Help on the Way (lead vocals: Trey Anastasio)
Slipknot
Franklin’s Tower (lead vocals: Phil Lesh)

Encore:

Ripple (lead vocals: Bob Weir [Acoustic Guitar])

Note: Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti.

 

 

Grateful Dead Setlist at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Jul 4, 2015

Fare Thee Well Summer Tour / Show 4 of 5

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Set 1:

Shakedown Street (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Liberty (Robert Hunter song) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Standing on the Moon (Trey Anastasio on lead vocals)
Me and My Uncle (John Phillips cover) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Tennessee Jed (Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby, Trey Anastasio)
Cumberland Blues (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh)
Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon cover) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Friend of the Devil (Phil Lesh on lead vocals)
Deal (Jerry Garcia song) (Trey Anastasio & Bruce Hornsby)

(July Fourth Holiday [U.S.] fireworks show @ Navy Pier visible behind stage during intermission)

Set 2:

Bird Song (Jerry Garcia song) (Phil Lesh on lead vocals)
The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) (Trey Anastasio & Bruce Hornsby)
Lost Sailor (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Saint of Circumstance (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
West L.A. Fadeaway (Bruce Hornsby on lead vocals)
Foolish Heart (Trey Anastasio on lead vocals)
Drums
Space
Stella Blue (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
One More Saturday Night (Bob Weir song) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)

Encore:

U.S. Blues (Bob Weir on lead vocals)

 

 

Grateful Dead Setlist at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Jul 5, 2015

Fare Thee Well Summer Tour / ***FINAL SHOW EVER 5 of 5***

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA

Set 1:

China Cat Sunflower (Trey Anastasio & Bruce Hornsby )
I Know You Rider (Tossi Aaron cover) (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh)
Estimated Prophet (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Built to Last (Bruce Hornsby on lead vocals)
Samson and Delilah ([traditional] cover) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Mountains of the Moon (Phil Lesh on lead vocals)
Throwing Stones (Bob Weir on lead vocals)

[Massive Soldier Field Fireworks @ end of intermission]

Set 2:

Truckin’ (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Cassidy (Bob Weir song) (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Althea (Trey Anastasio on lead vocals)
Terrapin Station (Phil Lesh, Bob Weir share lead vocals)
Drums
Space
Unbroken Chain (Phil Lesh on lead vocals)
Days Between (Bob Weir on lead vocals)
Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover) (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh)

Encore1: (Audience Chant “Not Fade Away” coda until band returned for 1st encore)

Touch of Grey (Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby)

Encore 2:

Attics of My Life (Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti)

Note: Band Finishes With Emotional Hugfest and Mickey Hart tells audience to ‘take what we got from the show and go home to family and do something good with it…Just Be Kind To Each Other. Namaste, Amen.

Final Show?…!!! 8]

 

Predictions???…. “Unbroken Chain”, “Masterpiece“, “China Doll“, “Cassidy”,  “Peggy O“, “China > Rider”.

 

===========================
Click On Small Photos to Enlarge!
===========================

 

[UPDATE #1] July 4, 2015

For Those Who Think This Is A Money Grab…Well It Partly Is…After Giving Us All Their Live Sets & Music & Likeness & Art In A Sense, Copyright Free, Like Forever, Like No One Else In The Industry?!?!

I Implore All Heads…Yup I’m Oldskool… Read this Excerpt from the Recently Released David Browne Book @ Salon Magazine / It should put things in perspective, Cheers~

So Many Roads: The Life And Times Of The Grateful Dead – [Fascinating Excerpt];

SATURDAY, JUL 4, 2015 09:29 AM EDT
“I won’t see the end of the year”: Backstage at Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead’s final shows.
The Grateful Dead were exhausted in spring ’95, Garcia most of all. Here’s the band’s story of those last days…

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/04/i_wont_see_the_end_of_the_year_backstage_at_jerry_garcia_and_the_grateful_deads_final_shows/

As Ringo Starr always says… “Peace and Love…Peace and Love.”

More To Come In This Post…Photos…Art…etc.

Respect.

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #2] July 7, 2015

I will be adding a bunch of comemorative photos this week as well as other memorabilia I dig up.  Stay tuned, but here is a great group of photos from the last final shows.  Thanks to @CrowdAlbum!!!

Night 1 July 03, 2015 Soldier Field, Chicago Illinois:

https://www.crowdalbum.com/album/559641296170704f8b000014/The-Grateful-Dead–Fare-Thee-Well-with-Trey-Anastasio–Jeff-Chimenti-and-Bruce-Hornsby–Night-1_20150703

Night 2 July 04, 2015 Soldier Field, Chicago Illinois:

https://www.crowdalbum.com/album/5599527b6170700d8200066a/The-Grateful-Dead–Fare-The-Well-with-Trey-Anastasio–Jeff-Chimenti-and-Bruce-Hornsby–Night-2_20150704

 

Respect! 

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #3] July 8, 2015

All 5 Final Grateful Dead Shows Available In Glorious Sounding FLAC from Ace Tapers…Massive Quality Sound.

 

Show 1 of 5:

Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years Of The Grateful Dead
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
June 27, 2015

Source: Schoeps MK4’s>Schoeps CMR’s>Naiant PFA>Edirol UA-5 (BM2p+)>Edirol R-09HR
Transfer: SDHC>Adobe Audition>Cakewalk pyro>.WAV>FLAC (5)
Location: OTS ~ 10′

https://archive.org/details/GD2015-06-27.FareTheeWell

 

 

 

Show 2 of 5:

Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years Of The Grateful Dead
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
June 28, 2015

Source: Schoeps MK4’s>Schoeps CMR’s>Naiant PFA>Edirol UA-5 (BM2p+)>Edirol R-09HR
Transfer: SDHC>Adobe Audition>Cakewalk pyro>.WAV>FLAC (5)
Location: OTS ~ 10′

https://archive.org/details/GD2015-06-28.FareTheeWell

 

 

 

Show 3 of 5:

Grateful Dead
2015-07-03
Soldier Field
Chicago IL

Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded from Taper’s Section

Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Tascam DR-680 > 24bit 48kHz wav file > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Please support this legendary band:
http://www.dead.net

Recorded by Bill Walker
Produced by nyctaper

http://www.nyctaper.com/2015/07/grateful-dead-july-3-2015-chicago-flacmp3streaming/

 

 

 

Grateful Dead
2015-07-04
Soldier Field
Chicago IL

Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded from Taper’s Section

Busman BSC2 + AKG 480/CK61 + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Tascam DR-680 > 24bit 48kHz wav file > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded by Bill Walker
Produced by nyctaper

http://www.nyctaper.com/2015/07/grateful-dead-july-4-2015-chicago-flacmp3streaming/

 

 

 

Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years Of The Grateful Dead
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
7/5/2015

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)>Lunatec V2>Benchmark AD2K>
Sound Devices 722 (24/48)
FOB/DFC/KFC/ZFC/AARP Approximately 70′ From Stage, 6 1/2′ High
DSP: Sound Devices 722>Sound Forge 10.0>CD Wave>flac(16)
ID3 Tagged In Foobar 2000
Recorded By: Z-Man
Seeded By: Z-Man

https://archive.org/details/grateful2015-07-05.flac16

 

Huge Thank You To The Tapers  Who Made These Shows Available To All Of Us…Memories For Life!

Cheers & Respect!

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #4] July 15, 2015

Great Article & Vidz: (Note: The Vidz belong to their respective copyright holders. None Of Them Belong To Me.)

 

Great Article Just Published:

http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/844-fake-rainbows-hologram-jerrys-and-the-sloppy-legacy-of-the-grateful-deads-final-shows/

Vidz: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUKAWOVyreRegbpbwVGRluw/videos

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #5] July 22, 2015

Several New Photos Added – More To Come As I Dig Them Up!

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #6] August 01, 2015

Just a heads up about the sound quality of all the live videos on Youtube.  I’ve watched hundreds of crowd captured videos on the tube and as might be expected the sound quality is crap in every one of them as the live mix in the stadiums are extremely poor, disjointed, and over echoed (Both Stadiums Poor Acoustics, Get In The Way Of Enjoyment IMHO).  Sometimes you cannot hear the vocals, guitars, bass is overpowering (Muddy and Congested) …and you can hear every mistake the band makes…so bad in fact that fan videos are almost not worth watching unless that’s all you have access to (No Matter How High The Resolution).

Since then I’ve listened to the Torr’s of all five live shows from the Live and On Demand Webstreams…the sound and mixes of the video captures at 256kbps(Audio) and 720p(HD Video) are absolutely STELLAR and balanced as also would be expected.  So until we can get hold of the box set (Which is reportedly only going to have the 3 Chicago Shows in 1080p) available now in limited edition pre-order/ To be released in November…these Torr’s will have to hold us over till then.

I cannot post a link but just search in the Goog…” Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Kick Ass ” without the quotes and you can access the Shows. The top 2 results are those.  In Total all five shows come to about 30 GB’s (Each contains 4-5 Hours as they were broadcast on the web and P4y P3r Vew)…The first two shows in SC Come Together as one file, and the three Chi-Town Shows come as single separate files (One Per Night).  They are amazing quality…no drop outs that I’ve found so far and worth your time if you should choose to access.  Heads, Keep On Truckin’ On!!!

Peace and enjoy!

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #7] August 02, 2015

Several New Photos Added – More To Come As I Dig Them Up!

 

===========================

 

[UPDATE #8] TBA

 

===========================

 

 

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza ! “The Fat Man Rocks”

 

 

 

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More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless!

 

CM

 

 

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[REWRITE] Schitzo – Manifestation Of A Nomad…Jack Kerouac, Lowell Sun And Bastard Saint (Excerpts Part 2)…[Second Pass Edit]…

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Schitzo – Manifestation Of A Nomad…Jack Kerouac, Lowell’s Son And Bastard Saint (Excerpts Part 2)…[Second Pass Edit]… Just so people know Part 1 has not been published yet, so we’ll start here. These are excerpts from an early version of a non-fiction memoir.  Again this is a true story…the caveat being that what readers take from this may have dissenting opinions of it’s possibility to be true.  For example, some might not agree or believe in the possibility of descriptions of phenomena described herein, and see them as delusional experiences (this is key and left for the reader to decide).  Again that is the point, each reader will see these descriptions as they relate to their own personal beliefs.  It is written with the highest regard to accuracy, and is in relation to the entire story, only a small piece of what the complete story has to offer readers.  This is just a taste, and the final name of this memoir has not been completed as of the date of this being published.  Finally, the text is subject to change with subsequent rewrites.  Enjoy!

 

================================

 

Excerpt #1: Pre-Amble – 

r5768986bbSo I want to be an author, but all I could think of is what right did I have to try and be anywhere near the caliber of a wordsmith as many of the world greats that had come before me.  My writing is shit to be honest, but again it comes back to my belief that this is a long term learning process, always reaching for the sky to attain higher levels of this disciplined art.  What I do have going for me is the many experiences that have been laid out before me to explore, going deeper when there was no shovel to dig.  My fingernails are stained from the soil, my hands chaffed and cracked, dry to the bone from the rare earth and loam.

Each piece that I write is part of a specific set of exercises that I look to explore and hopefully master at some point in the future.  The most exciting part of this experiment, that will unfold right before your eyes, is that each piece is published in relation to how I feel they belong in the overall story since the start of this process.  Each piece calls to me when it is meant to be posted.  What that fully means I do not know, but something prompts my conscious mind, and lets me know that this (whatever that means at that specific moment) is what is to be published next.  Some might see it as just the human mind doing what it’s supposed to do, others may see it as a higher calling.  Maybe it is a little of both, regardless to me at least, it is an interesting look into the creative process.

 

Excerpt #2:

I had been brainstorming for weeks, months maybe, thinking so hard that my brain began to hurt.  I was in transition from being a dreamer to a thinker and it was very very hard.  I had always been a fierce dreamer, the problem being that it was taking all the brain power afforded to me.  After many years, a lifetime really, the dreaming had literally taken over all of my mind.  Even worse, is that through the years I did not even notice it.  Then at some point dreaming became so dominant that I sometimes could not tell the difference between fantasy and reality.  It was as if I lived in a cartoon or was in the throes of full fledged dissociative episode where I was often living vicariously through an outer body experience.  It was not as some have described as looking down on their body’s in a situation where they were close to death, it was for me as if my body was going through the actions pertinant to the life situation and my detached soul taking the ghostly human form, sitting right next to me as my unconscious mind had completely taken over.  My detached self was prompting my earthly self to react as if I was a character in a video game.

I was a sleeper and I loved to lucid dream where I would drift half my life away, just as I had in a previous life as an opium addict, frequenting opium dens where I would indulge and float around, never seeming to reach a complete state of sleep.  There I would explore the universe without having to get off the hard bamboo mat, where my body would lie with my mind shelved on a small pillow.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with an overactive imagination, obviously it is in part, absolutely vital to reaching our full potential.  At the time, more of it the better I thought.  It would help me to experience more of life with an open mind…and for the most part it did.   Having an overactive imagination opened my mind to experience all that I could, and helped me to understand and accept many things that others seem to have a hard time reconciling about the human race and the breadth of differences in people.  There was plenty of logic in there as well, which I now know I had confused to be a full fledged thought process, but logic is only a small part of a robust thinking mind.

I had come to the realization that I now had to rewire my neuronal pathways in my brain to be more of a thinker, and put the data stores in my mind to good use as there was no use for them in an overwhelmed dreaming mind.  Too many thoughts and experiences coming into brain storage and not much of that coming back out with intelligent efficiency.  Think of it like having hard disks or sets of file cabinets in your mind, and they are all overflowing with billions of separate thoughts coming and going into and out of consciousness.  There is only so much space before they begin to overflow, losing and misfiling pieces of paper or data.  At some point when these pieces of information are called forth by the conscious mind, the problem faced is that the data or files are now incomplete, corrupt, and damaged.  You can imagine the problems this would begin to cause…wait, what were we talking about, I completely lost my train of thought.

Now all that might sound foreign to some as each person’s mind learns and is wired differently, but we’ve all heard the old addage as well as the song “Don’t fall in love with a dreamer”…as well as the part about the fool.  It also happens that many people have a more healthy balance and division in their use of brainpower.  For those who do not, like me, I’m apt to say that everything happens for a reason.  If I had not developed the way I had just described, I definitely would not be writing all the things I am now.  So what might be seen as weakness, I am now flipping on it’s head (No pun intended), and turning it into a form of strength.  In the extremes, It is how many people with seemingly devastating and debilitating disabilities, forge on with heroic stamina and poise.  With all that said, we cannot forget that societal stigma tends to deny that hidden wounds and internal mental scars can be just as devastating, if not worse.

In being a dominant dreamer, I can now see how so many are held back by it’s comforting yet deceptive charm.  Also as in many cases we are not taught the difference between dreaming and thinking, that there is a huge psychological and cognitive difference.  The phenomenon is often described that the affected person cannot see the forest for the trees.  As I realize all of this, it’s like a light switch has turned on in my brain.  Spending days, months, and recently years forcing myself to brainstorm, think, and write…I can actually now, as I put pen to page, feel the physical transition and transformation taking place in my head.  The dendrites and neurons in my brain are rewiring as I speak.  I now regularly go in and out of what are commonly referred to as peak experiences, and reaching the tipping point the words come to the page like an avalanche.  I can feel the blood pumping through my veins with excitement, my body a neuro-chemical suit.  As you can imagine it is not easy mentally making that transition, I can assure you that.  There is so much to tell…I cannot get the words out fast enough…It’s going to take me a lifetime (which I do not have) to complete, but I will do my best.

 

Excerpt #3:

The people began to feel lost in the coldest and darkest period in history.  Freewill was their ball and chain and again they were frightened.  The sage began to speak, “Flung into the darkness”, the man continued…”I was given the knowledge that is available to all men and women, all you have to do is stop and listen.  My Father’s Father was a great man.  My Father’s Father’s Brother was also a great man.  They recognized and chose to focus on the hope and the possibility for good in all humanity and became proprietors for the people.”  They knew that they could bring the people great joy and that it was good.  The world had just emerged from one of the greatest threats to all humanity, the greatest war against evil, men and women had ever known.  This was not about religion, or dogma, or God…far from it as a matter of fact.  What is known is that in exchange for winning the most tumultuous war of all time, in defeating evil this time, that it had not under any circumstances been destroyed.  There were many like my family, who had great faith in mankind as well as in the trees, sun, oceans, stones, and soil.  In order for the great war to have been one, it was well known that with all good there had to great evil…thus the world was slung into the universe, and bones ground to dust.

The evil that all humans knew continued to roam the land, taking the weak to their knees as they worshipped instant gratification into a blinding obsession.  The shortsighted were once again unaware and blinded by love, roaming the earth for souls to influence and nurture…but there was a catch.  The catch being that the earth was now slightly more than fifty percent evil, and slightly less than fifty percent good, so evil forces would always have a stronger attraction than good.  The difference seems slight but but paradoxically immense and infinite.  Legend has it that Mother Nature was to watch over this split and further the wisest mind of all time.  Whatever it was that was greater than the Mother was androgynous and absent of human form, and the life and energy and the future and the past and the intersection of all things, held the universe together in a balance (ebb and flow) beyond the conception of anyone on earth.  The equation of this meticulous and benevolent balance (never quite reaching perfect equilibrium), proved order through chaos, encouraging expansive outward movement in the formation of the evolutionary space-time continuum.   The constant tension of opposing forces is key to the development of both the universe and the species.

All that the people knew was that they were naked and flawed.  They felt the urge to compete, and there were no laws.  So the people had to create laws, and although unavoidably flawed, they had to be born out of protection for people who ought not be taken advantage of.  There were many who wanted to be “Gods”, even though there was no proof that there was such a thing.  Some of these self-proclaimed “Gods” were fare and charitable.  On the other hand there were many self-proclaimed “Gods” who were miserable and yearned for more and more power.  They did not care about the people, drunk on the blood and tears on those they held influence and sought to destroy.  This was the cost of freewill.  This was not beset upon the people, the people beset it upon themselves.

The earthly gravitational microcosm was the family, and the intention was good, although flawed. There was tension, but the intention was good, although flawed.  There was learning, and the intention was good, although again flawed.  Until one day when the son of the Father’s Father felt inferior for one reason or another, and that son took the burdens of all of his family that had come before him as personal.  This son saw an opportunity to exploit a weakness, a metaphorical cancer, which he also had the choice to extinguish.  Instead of stomping it out, he let it flourish because he felt slighted and inferior.  At the time he did not distinguish it for a cancer that would grow and swell uncontrollably to magnanimous proportions, fed by the bitterness of his brothers scorn.  There were many incidents along the way which inadvertently spurned and encouraged the disease.  At some point it grew out of the control of the weaker son’s hands, the point at which he had the opportunity to stop the spread had come and gone, and he was blinded by hate.  Some of it was rational but more of it was not. This brother sadly believed that if he waited for just the right time, when no one was looking he could destroy his brother, the people however would be the real victims.  Because he was blind, he could not see beyond his brother.  If he had to spend his entire life (till his dying day) trying to destroy his sibling, he would, even if it also meant the destruction of himself as well all he held dear.

 

Excerpt #4:

One night as the scorned brother was sleeping, in his dreams he came upon a powerful force in the form of a spirit.  It was very hard to see but he knew that it was there.  He felt power and awe and riches, beyond the dreams of any man who had come before him.  He felt compelled to kneel before the force to get a better look, as it was very very dark.  Without a moments notice, as he tried to focus on the spiritual force, he realised he could see the massive enticing power before him if he kept his eyes closed.  It was then then that the dark force seemed to reach out to the scorned brother, and the powerful said to him…

I’m pleased to make your acquaintance,

We have not met before, but you always knew I was there for you.

It was before my stay in the womb that you were conceived.

Taking the position of the blind, with one exception, the ability to feel.

Is it not so quiet with so many around.

People weakened from participating in humanity.

May I touch your face as I cannot see to well?  As my fingers cross the breeze and I feel your scars…

They are smooth and rough as the result of many fine years.

With your eyes closed, is it not true that I let you see?

Does the grass not grow, as we watch, right beneath our feet?

Does the sun not feed, insatiable…Does the water not quench, parched?

It offers me a gentle and pure time, with the dearly beloved.

Wait not, come into me and I into you, let me show you the world!

And you me, know that your secrets are safe with me.

Let me do the walking as you rest, forgotten son.

As we join together in spirit, you keep what you have, and I give you the rest.

The future is yours for all eternity.

It is all about you now and forever will be.  With all of us…

 

Excerpt #5:

I found myself plastered to my bed with fear and agitation.  My musculature was tightly shaking, anchored as if taught rubber bands were wound tight around my bones.  I was in the throes of an uncontrollable full body spasm with no end in sight, grinding my teeth so tight and unable to swallow.  Burying my face into my pillow, I tried to meditate to calm my nerves which were exploding with sharp pains as if I was lying on a plywood bed of nails.  Parts of my extremities were falling asleep and waking with no warning, just as one feels when they get pins and needles in a foot or arm from pinched nerves.  Sweat leaked from my pores, although there was no sign of fever, it was in a word brutal.  I did not know how long i could keep this up as my mind was anxiously suggesting that I was going completely insane.

I was lying in a bed next to the nurses station and there was only one incandescent light in that area with a single nurse doing paperwork.  The room was otherwise completely dark and as my eyes were adjusted to the darkness, I could see thirty other beds in the same room all full with patients, many writhing in different states of insanity.  Some were vomiting and others were screaming out loud in all kinds of noisy agony, the nurse just sat there as if this was normal. The large room was only separated by the warm humid outside air by large screens and there was no breeze.  I was hoping upon deception that a cool breeze would pass over my body, but it was not to be.  Out in the yard, in plain sight, there was an extremely large industrial size bug zapper where hundreds of mosquitoes and moths were electrocuted with every passing moment.  With the constant biological genocide before me,  I found myself wishing to be in their place…just kill me and put me out of my misery.  I thought to myself that if there was a hell, this would surely be it.

My mind began to wander aimlessly, I was not being kept there against my will…mulling over the idea that I could just walk out the main screen door not far from where I was interned at any time.  Then the reality of the situation would hit…where would I go?  It was quite feasable and a bit calming to think that I would probably feel better just getting this out of my system, running off into the black night screaming my head off until I fell to the ground in complete exhaustion.  The problem was that I did not have the energy to make this happen, exhausted from my hopeless quivering corpse. There was a clock on the far wall that would unervingly tick tick tick, every deafening second heard through the cries of despair and agony…every single moment felt like hours.

It was then that I realized, with nothing left in the tank, that before I had come to this godawful place that my father had given me a set of brand new rosary beads in a small leather pouch.  They were in a drawer right near were my head was situated, but I was convinced at what help would they give…none, I’m sure.  As I began to choke on the frothing saliva from my mouth and nose, I suddenly felt compelled to go for the beads.  I removed the beads from the pouch and grasped them tight enough to rip them apart. After wrapping them a few times around each hand, the crucifix fell into the palm of my hands surreptitiously, as if that was the place it was supposed to be.  Also inside the pouch was a small piece of folded glossy paper with prayers and a step by step method on how to use the beads. The instructions indicated what sections of the beads corresponded to each of the individual stations of the cross.  I was not the praying type and did not even know if I believed in any God.  Having no place to go and seeing no harm in attempting to just say the words and go through the motions, even if it only meant helping me to pass the time, anything to ride out this physically emotional and psychological trauma.

The one light in the background of the nurses station helped me to just make out the words on the paper now unfolded and laid out before me.  I first said an opening prayer as instructed, and then began to go through the stations of the cross one by one…it was unintelligible, choppy, and manic, but I soldiered on.  I would forget where I was and lose my spot as I mechanically moved the beads through my wiry shaking fingers.  I found myself tentatively re-reading passages and sentences over and over as I made my way through the process.  Sweat dripping from my hands and forehead, acidic fluid that upon contact with the print on the glossy instructions, rendered the words illegible. As I was doing all of this, I simultaneously was pleading with the universe to please let this pass, please-please-please let this pass.

At some point a few minutes later the shaking began to wane somewhat.  I was ecstatic that just faking it and going through the motions was working.  Suddenly stunned into a kind of stasis, In the air above the other patients right before my eyes, appeared what looked to be a hologram but it was more real than that.  There in an almost indescribable full range of color and motion, appeared a perfectly symmetrical apparition several feet wide.  At first there were several wrapped layers of green interwoven prickled thorn strands, wrapped around a beating heart that had flames shooting out the aortic canal at the crest.  About two feet on each side of the wreath of rotating thorns, the ether seemed to produce a moving universe where time and space were flowing towards but not fully reaching me.  My eyes no longer welded closed, then witnessed a woman appear above the heart in full color, while all the imagery that I just described was in constant motion all around her.  I had to be hallucinating this I thought, but I’ve never hallucinated without drugs before.  Anyway I continued to experience this phenomena as it was quite amazing and in turn began to calm my wretched frame. The woman looked only to what I could recognize as Mary the Mother of Jesus, seated and draped in a blue and white separated headdress and full body shawl, while the flames from the aortic valve flashed in her lap. She had a slight ethereal white halo rotating around her head.

All around her were what I recognized too be visions of men and women saints (if you believe in that sort of thing) and androgynous angels coming and going, propping her up in the air as I just lay there plussed. At some point her lips began to move but there was no auditory projection, nonetheless I somehow knew what she was indicating…that ‘I had to make a choice’.  As soon as I realized this, I could see what I can only describe as the ‘forces of light’ situated to her right side.  For some reason I equated this ‘welcoming force’ with the presence of ‘Jesus’ although there was no sight of what I could impossibly perceive to be ‘his’ likeness.  I actually felt a calm bliss with the ‘forces of light and ‘peace’.  Simultaneously on her left side was also only what I can describe as the ‘forces of darkness’. Similarly there was no ‘demon or satan’ but the  ‘impression was put upon me’ that they were there in the same way that ‘The Son Of God’ was there on the opposite side.  From the ‘dark forces’, I felt ‘power and strength greater than I had ever known’, and it sent shivers up my spine and riddled goosebumps all over my skin.  There were no more words, but the side with the ‘dark forces’ was the only side trying to ‘make its case to coax, convey, and convince me to come to their side’.  It was ‘implied’ that the ‘world would be mine…power and riches beyond my dreams, no more room for pain, and eternal glory’.  Focussing back on the side with the ‘good forces’, there was no hard sell and no promises, but ‘calm, peace, and eternal life’.

As I gripped the rosary tight, I thought to myself I have to make a leap, I had to make a choice (well really I did not have to, but I did anyway), even if it was going through the motions as I said before.  I checked to make sure I was not dreaming…but I was wide awake.  I always could tell when I was in a dreaming state and I was surely WIDE AWAKE!  So I made my decision and ‘click’ everything went black and all the pain and shaking stopped.  As I lay there for a moment, I felt a rush of adrenaline and power.  I wanted to yell out what had just happened or tell the nurse but I was rendered small, minute, and humbled.

Next thing I know I was suddenly stunned and shocked awake in a pool of sweaty white sheets.  The clock on the far wall revealed it was early afternoon the next day.  Exactly twelve hours later from 2 a.m. when the visions occured…I was covered in itchy hives and the clock read 2 p.m.

 

 

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