Bob's Conundrum
 
I've had this page set up for quite some time now, but in that time I've rarely had the combination of free time and something to say. After much deliberation it finally occurred to me that I should just plunge in and start writing, and a lot of the rest would take care of itself.

So here's what's been going on in my life of late:

In mid-May my beloved iMac shuffled off this mortal coil after eight years of loyal service. I was, of course, devastated - especially when I discovered that Apple didn't even manufacture the necessary parts anymore. I looked around at options, and eventually found a friend who refurbishes Macs and discussed the issue with him.

The upshot of this is that I will soon be furnished with a new used iMac (excuse me, "previously loved"), and in the meantime, another friend lent me his 2002-era Mac laptop - which is apparently unkillable.

One of the downsides to all this is that I've lost all my old iTunes playlists, and the DVD drive on the laptop is no longer functional. So I've been pulling bits of music from my various external drives, including a forgotten classic, Bob Seger's early-80s live album, Nine Tonight. I've got other tunes as well, but this album has been my steady soundtrack for the past month and a half.

It often gets compared (unfairly, I think) to his previous live set, Live Bullet, which by many yardsticks is one of the best live albums ever made, not to mention a career-defining moment for Seger, who'd been chasing success for a decade at that point (people have since speculated that it was his make-or-break point). But Nine Tonight is pretty solid from start to finish, and it essentially documents the period of Seger's greatest success, from Night Moves to Against the Wind, which is when I first heard of him - as an impressionable young man sitting in my parents' '73 Olds Omega one winter night in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, when "Still the Same" came on the radio.

(Remind me sometime to tell you the story of hitchhiking during a blizzard and the hilarious Bob Seger-fuelled road trip that ensued.)

Meanwhile, I've been putting my next art show together with Bob as musical accompaniment on my late-night painting escapades. If you're familiar with my work, you know I do a lot of complex masking when I apply the final designs. And the more detailed the design, the greater the margin for error - it's all too easy to peel off the wrong piece of masking tape because I've lost track of what I'm doing. And putting the piece back isn't as easy as clicking the undo button.

Very late one night (or very early one morning; I've basically been living on Hawaiian time even though I'm in the Pacific Northwest) as I was encountering this specific problem, Bob was singing "Against the Wind", and he uttered the words I've come to think of as Bob's Conundrum: "what to leave in, what to leave out."

Amen to that, Bob.

And hey, welcome to my Patreon page. At the top of the page you can see one of my recent paintings from the upcoming Superchicks show.

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