“Four Windows” by David Glass is officially available in the Amazon Kindle store

I have written a collection of vignettes called Four Windows which can be found here for the ultra-low price of $0.99.

#comingsoon

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The collection is called Four Windows because it gives the reader a peek into four very different scenarios, each one intended to more or less give you the feels.  Please give it a try and share it with someone you know and feel free to comment here or write a review on Amazon.  Thanks in advance, Dear Reader and enjoy!

Briefly,

Glass

“Men have become the tools of their tools.” – Henry David Thoreau (Part One of Two)

[I like this quote because it is a warning against over-reliance on technology, but also a reminder that one’s tools are an extension of one’s body and should be treated thusly.  Meaning, to me, that you should invest in quality tools that will do the job the right way, and that more tools in your toolbox mean more jobs done well.  Think about it.]

If you read my post from about a week ago, you’ll know that the Family Glass and I have done quite a bit of travelling over the past couple of months.  We travelled something like 3600 miles over the past seven weeks or so, going as far north as Chicago, IL and as far South as South Padre Island, TX which some back and forth on I-35 and I-64 amongst others in there as well (Thanks again, Ike).

We had a great time.  We got to see a lot of America and spend a lot of time with our families.

That being said, it’s hard to be on the road.  When you’re away from headquarters, you don’t always have everything you need and it sucks to have to find and/or acquire new stuff and no one wants to spend money to buy something they already have.  And when you’re pulling up stakes and moving camp, it’s hard to have everything you need handy when you also need everything in boxes.

It was nice to have my Gerber multi-tool with me, and it has therefore become a part of my everyday carry (#EDC).

I actually, by a stroke of luck, found this while I was working at a used car dealership about 3 or 4 years ago.  The dealership would buy cars as trade-ins or at auction or have them shipped from other locations depending on supply and demand.  I found my Gerber in one of these cars that had come from somewhere else and had originally come from a third or even fourth location.  I mention this because I would have, under more reasonable circumstances, from a professional and personal standpoint, attempted to return it to its original owner.  Also, I technically shouldn’t have taken it from work, but if I hadn’t it would’ve gotten throw away and to have such a finely-crafted instrument cast out like common rubbish would have been a tragedy.  I accept the wrong that I’ve done, and I’ve made peace with it.

Moving on.

The multi-tool is mine now and it’s awesome.  As far as I can tell, it’s like twenty years old, but it still works like a charm.  I had it put away for the longest time but it has been super handy lately.  As you can see, it has: a saw, flathead screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, two-sided file (coarse and fine grit), knife, lanyard loop, large flathead, and bottle/can opener.  It also has blunt-nose pliers, wire cutters, 3 inch ruler, and 7 cm ruler.  Overall, a pretty impressive tool which, I discovered today, was the predecessor to the current Gerber 600 series.  In the past 2 months or so, I have used: the pliers to get stubborn nails out of the wall, the knife to open various boxes, the saw to tackle new growth branches that needed trimming, both sides of the file to fashion guitar picks out of a plastic spoon, both screwdrivers for various screws, and the bottle opener for opening beers, naturally.

I realize that this all sounds a little boastful, but the first, most obvious purpose here to recommend Gerber to anyone who is looking to buy a reliable multi-tool or knife.

[I also carry my Gerber Bear Grylls knife in my EDC, which is also the only knife that I’ve bought twice.]

The other purpose here, is a little more metaphorical.  So metaphorical, in fact, that I believe I’ll save it for my next post.  So, I’ll leave you here, with my recommendation and my blessing.

Functionally,

David Glass

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I am a musician.  I don’t mean I play music or that I really really like music.  I mean that music is ingrained in my soul.  The space between my atoms vibrates, resonates, and is amplified through my bones and flows in my blood.  Musical expression has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and it continues to be now.  I used to be in a ska-reggae band and a punk band for a little bit, but now I write dirt rock music, an amalgamation of folk rock, my Texas roots, and the punk/grunge frustration that has, along with me, become more focused and mature.  I have a bunch of songs (that you all will hear soon) with my “band” (just me), David Glass and the Half-Empties.  Maybe one day you’ll see my playing live in your city and you can think back to this moment reflectively.

The following venues are pretty much my dream venues, but they are also damn fine venues that have seen a lot of exceptional musicians.  My intention here is to encourage you to track down the performances of your favorite musician or band and see if they’ve played there.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

KEXP

KEXP is a THE Seattle-based radio station that you should be listening to.  Thy have some pretty intimate sets in their Seattle studio and the studio in Iceland as well as fuller, larger performances that as equally high-quality.  I also really enjoy the interviews that happen between songs.  The questions are deeper than most and offer a refreshing perspective on the artists and their music.  They have their own YouTube channel with a lot of their shows on it, which include some of my favorites like The Lumineers, Dr. Dog, Florence and the Machine and lots more.  Here’s one for you:

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

I tend to watch Tiny Desk performances every day before work.  They are only about 10-15 minutes long at both extremes, but they pack a lot of glorious stuff into that short amount of time.  KEXP and Tiny Desk are actually the two venues that inspired this post, which should give you an idea of how awesome I think they are.  Tiny Desk Concerts are really cool because you get that stripped down, streamlined version of songs that already awesome which is something I usually enjoy.  The crew also does an excellent job of interviewing with meaningful questions and getting some solid info from the bands.  Artists range from indie rock icons The Decemberists, to newer bands like Phox and St. James and the Broken Bones, and even some hip-hop stars like T-Pain and Macklemore.  All around good stuff.  Here Tallest Man on Earth, one of the first Tiny Desks I ever watched.

Austin City Limits

Enough said.  ACL has been around forever and is undoubtedly part of the reason why Austin is the Live Music Capital of the WORLD.  Yeah, I said it.  Of the World.  Here’s an oldie but goodie:

That’s Willie Nelson on the ACL pilot, October 1974.

Stubb’s

I’ve seen a bunch of shows at Stubb’s and I will continue to go there until one of us quits for good.  There is something really special about the layout, location and history of Stubb’s and it really adds to the overall greatness of the experience.  Most of the videos you’ll find on YouTube are from people’s phones and whatnot, but definitely get out there and see a show if you ever have the chance.

Backseat Jukebox

As far as I can find, Backseat Jukebox is in Houston and hasn’t put anything out in a while.  The stuff they do have is awesome.  I put two of my favorites on here because they really embody the experience and show you how, well, the bands are just riding around in the back of a van or car or something playing their music.  I like it a lot.

Sleepover shows

The excerpt from the About Us section of the Sleepover Shows website speaks volumes:

“As well as posting interviews and news, we also film acoustic or stripped down versions performed by bands that we love as they make their way through Boston. Though it started as something we did when bands needed a place to crash on the night of their shows, we now film the sessions before or after a show and let the bands find their own ways home.

Basically, we try to use our spaces as creatively as we can.  We’ve filmed in the back seats of cars, on top of playground equipment, in doorways and alleys, in bathtubs and stairwells.  We try our best to get the bands to take their music outside of the confines of the studio and have some fun.
And that’s the point: to capture some great music that maybe isn’t always as polished, but shows these artists having a good time doing what they love. We’re doing what we love too, and hope you enjoy the videos!

Here’s mewithoutYou, my favorite band of all time.

eTown

I first stumble on eTown on the way to work one day about five years ago.  The San Antonio College radio station was playing one of their broadcasts and it sucked me right in.  What was cool about that show was that it introduced me to Cloud Cult, which since then has been ranked pretty high on my list of favorite bands.  ETown is based in Boulder, Colorado and they have performances in their solar powered venue.  They also do a lot of educational programs and community engagement/outreach.  Awesome.

The aforementioned:

Peel Sessions

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, known by his professional name John Peel is one of the greatest supporters of independent music in its history.  He hosted a radio show on BBC Radio and invited bands and artists to record “Peel Sessions” from 1967 to 2004.  These performances are some of the most intense and emotional that I’ve heard and once again they provide the audience with an alternate version of a familiar song that oftentimes outshines the original.  Wikipedia has a list of bands that recorded with him here so there’s probably a pretty good chance that you’ll find something you like.  Of the top of my head, my top three favorite Peel Sessions would be Joy Division, Interpol, and Clouddead, which I’ve included below:

Weathervane Music

Weathervane isn’t so much a venue as a non-profit community out of Philadelphia that unites a wide collection of independent musicians.  They have a project called Shaking Through that will have highlight individual musicians or brings together people from different bands to do collaborations.  Scott McMicken from Dr. Dog curated one of the very first ones and it happened to include the guys from mewithoutYou and a bunch of other amazing bands from the Philadelphia area.  I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW AND EXPERIENCE THIS FANTASTIC MUSICAL EXPERIENCE!  I tried to summarize it but there are too many people and bands to mention and it makes me too excited to write.  So check it out.

http://weathervanemusic.org/shakingthrough/themansuits

I hope you enjoy these musical adventures!  Please feel free to comment with your own recommendations and make sure to follow for more goodness.

Harmoniously,

David Glass

“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” – W.C. Fields

I used to drink a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  I don’t drink very much any more because it’s no good for a married father my age or anyone who’s married, a father, or my age.  When I do drink these days, I like to class it up a bit and indulge in something slightly higher-end.  The Family Glass was at our neighborhood slightly higher-end grocery establishment and they were sampling Deschutes Brewery’s Zarabanda and Hop Henge IPA.  Zarabanda was delicious but slightly out of the budget, whereas as Hop Henge was also delicious and a very reasonable $5.99 for the 22 oz. bottle.  At a staggering 9.5%, the Double-H packs a subtle wallop, without the back-of-the-tongue flavor that you might find in other strong-beers loitering in your mouth.  Hop Henge is an “experimental IPA” blending FOUR types of hops into a pleasantly and surprisingly fresh brew with subtle floral notes and a springtime herbal spice.  I have always appreciated Deschutes (and the state of Oregon as a whole) and I am delighted to say that Hop Henge has more than lived up to my expectations.

Cheers to you, dear Reader, and may the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

@deschutesbeer Cheers! And thank you for yet another tasty brew!

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“The only true knowledge is in knowing you know nothing” – Socrates

[Socrates is a total trip.  I was first introduced to the Ancients in high school and continued to learn from and be amazed by them through my undergraduate Political Science work.  Their ideas are so grand in the sense that they encompassed such a vast expanse of life and thought.  More on that later, perhaps.]

I like to borrow knowledge from other people.  I think that’s where part of the knowledge’s power come from: transferability.  Or maybe communicability.  Some of the most powerful viruses are the ones that be transmitted from one host to the next with relative ease.  That’s not to say that knowledge is a disease, but more of a helpful bacteria like gut flora or the stuff in kefir.  Anyway, knowledge is great and I love to read.  I’ve put together a list of books that are really awesome non-fiction resources for self-reliance (see previous post) and I would fully recommend them to anyone who’s interested in being in control of more aspects of their life.  I have provided links to author’s blog when applicable.  I have also provided an opportunity to support your local bookstore and explore your local library by not including links to big-name retailers.  Here are the books in no particular order:

The Scavengers’ Manifesto

scavenge

My wife got this and the next book as a present for me on a whim and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both.  There were a couple of harsh reviews on Amazon about this one, but what I think is great is that it helps you to change your mindset on the economic cycle and our nation’s obsession with new stuff that is quickly discarded (but not very biodegradeable).  I think it’s worth the read, whether you scavenge it or not.  The writers also have a wordpress blog at scavenger.wordpress.com that it a great expansion on the book’s information.

Green Barbarians: Lively Bravely on Your Home Planet

green barbs

This one is a mind-blowing dive into the corrupt and misleading world of.. everything really.  The book is well-organized into sections like the “The Barbarian Body” and “At the Barbarian’s Table” which discuss the dangers of and alternatives to conventional deodorants and soaps to the disturbingly damaging effects of soy on the human body, “Barbarian Pets” and “Little Barbarians” which, amongst other things, discuss the dangers that our children and pets are being exposed to just so corporate fat cats can continue to wear their human leather and drink dinosaur blood or something (this last part is from my mind, not the book).  Definitely an informative and thought-provoking read.

Possum Living

possum living

One of the most ground-shaking non-fiction books I’ve read, Possum Living, is a somewhat-biographical passing of homestead knowhow and general information.  Freed is the name the author adopted after she and her father essentially went of the grid.  They lived relatively comfortably on just short of $1500 a year in the 1970s by raising chickens and rabbits, fishing, burning wood for heat, gardening and preserving.  One of the standout parts for me included cures for common ailments, most of which involve homemade spirits and a run.

Backyard Lumberjack

backyard

Backyard Lumberjack is awesome because it not only tells you how to cut down a tree, but how to identify what kind of tree it is, what it’s best used for, and what kind of axe you need to fell it.  There are also a lot of great tips on buying chainsaws and gear.  It’s good for a look and father-and-son team Frank and Stephen Philbrick did a great job organizing and writing it.  I even flip through it sometimes without purpose because the photos are fantastic.

Building With Secondhand Stuff

2ndhand

If you’re interested in the idea of re-claiming, re-vamping, re-purposing, and re-using salvaged materials, then, as the name clearly suggests, this book is a great resource.  Like Backyard Lumberjack, this book does a wonderful job of explaining the equipment that you need to get started safely.  It also helps you to become more familiar with the best materials to re-use and some good leads on how to find them.  Another similarity to Backyard Lumberjack that I enjoy is the stellar photography.

Little House in the Suburbs

littlehouse

This is kind of where it all started for me.  I saw this book at the library and decided to give it a whirl.  Turns out, this fascinating book contains a wealth of knowledge on all manner of topics like raising chickens, goats, and bees; gardening and composting; and making household and personal cleaning items and soaps.  It helped to me visualize the kind of long-term and perpetual projects that I would like to have once we’ve found somewhere to put down roots as a family.

I also want to mention:

The Urban Homestead

urbanhomestead

I am in the processing of reading the first edition of this book and I’m enjoying it so far.  I’ll come back when I’m done and elaborate if necessary.

I hope you get something out of one or more of these books.  Remember, knowledge is power and, as Self-Reliants, it is our responsible to be stewards and users of that knowledge.

-D. Glass