Black Sabbath Discography - Heaven and Hell

Here is some great comprehensive Sabbath for ya.

Black Sabbath Box Set

Black Sabbath 13

If you are someone who thinks Black Sabbath fathered heavy metal, please, for the love of God, watch this will blow your mind out.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil

Simple Simon Met a Pieman With a Fist Full of Quarters

Joe knew it was just a matter of time before he became a victim of the bully, Simon, at school. He watched Simon pick on the weaker kids, calling them names and sometimes slapping or shoving them. He wished the victims would fight back, but whenever any of them feebly objected to the undeserved punishment, they were bullied even more. The only way to deal with a bully was decisively.

Joe decided to be ready when the day came. He started bringing a roll of quarters with him to school. A roll of quarters seemed innocuous enough. If the teachers found it, they would assume it was harmless lunch money, not a fabulously potent bully deterrent.

After school one day, Joe got on his bicycle to ride home. He was rolling out of the bike corral at the school when Simon rode up fast behind him and slammed his bike frame into Joe's, jerking Joe forward forcefully. Joe still had his opposing foot on the ground, so he didn't fall over. Simon planted both his feet on the ground and glared at Joe.

"You fuckin' turd!" Simon yelled, bringing his face inches from Joe's and curling his lip in a malicious grimace. "What the hell are you doing in my way? I should kick your ass."

It was time.

"I am so sorry, Simon," Joe lied, as he reached his right hand into his pocket.

"You better be," Simon said, pulling backward a few inches and getting ready to leave on his bike. Joe knew it was a test. Simon was seeing if Joe would back down, a sign that he could be victimized.

Joe could not let that happen. If he let Simon go, without acting, Simon would know he had a victim who did not fight back. Joe would become a target for Simon and other bullies, and that was unacceptable. Joe's fingers curled around the roll of quarters and when he had them securely in his grasp, he flung his arm outward and upwards, rotating his torso toward Simon for maximum force.

It was almost too perfect of a coincidence that at that moment, Simon closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out tauntingly at Joe, so he did not see the metal-cored fist on collision course with his face. Joe had been aiming for the vicinity of Simon's nose, but because Simon's bike had started moving forward again, the quarter-laden fist slammed into Simon's chin, forcing his slack jaw to slam shut.

Simon's teeth sliced through his protruding tongue, severing it, and the disconnected piece of muscle spiraled through the air along with a spatter of blood.

Simon's eyes flew open in surprise. He let forth a loud gasp, which was accompanied by a torrent of blood and spittle that spilled down Simon's chin. The impact of the blow destabilized Simon's bike and he fell sideways, his hands instinctively moving to his face where the pain in his mouth was just beginning to register in his brain. The back of Simon's head his the concrete sidewalk hard and Simon screamed in pain as his bike frame landed on top of him, trapping his legs.

Joe leapt off his bike and planted a foot on the frame of Simon's bike, holding the bully to the ground. Simon struggled and writhed in an attempt to get out from under his bike frame but Joe planted more of his weight on it.

A look of terror came over Simon's face as he stared up at Joe. Simon's hands were over his mouth, as if trying to stop the blood and the pain. Some other kids were coming out of the school building and heading for the bike corral. They had not yet noticed the altercation between Joe and Simon, but they would soon.

Simon was trying to say something, but the pain and the severely limited use of his remaining half of a tongue prevented anything understandable from coming out.

Joe stomped his foot onto the bike frame causing Simon to yelp in pain. Some of the other kids heard it and looked over, starting to sense that something was going on. Soon there would be a crowd forming and Joe didn't want to be around when that happened.

"Listen to me closely, Simon," Joe said in his most serious voice. "Don't ever fuck with me or anyone else again in any way, or I will make you my bitch. Do you understand?"

Simon just stared at Joe in terror. "Do you?" Joe yelled, stomping on the bike frame again.

Simon grimaced in pain and nodded rapidly. Joe thought Simon tried to say yes, but the bully still could not form words.

"I am going to go now," Joe said. "You are going to stay on the ground and wait for someone to find you and help you. If you get up before I am gone, I am going to come back and bash in your fucking skull, OK?"

Simon nodded again. Joe saw that a dark stain was growing on the front of Simon's jeans. The bully had pissed himself. Joe shook his head in pity and stepped off Simon's bike frame.

"Like I said, stay put!" Joe asserted. He picked up his own bike and walked it the rest of the way out of the bike corral, away from the other kids who were approaching. Before he turned the corner behind the school building and disappeared, he looked back at Simon, who was still staring at him. Joe pointed his finger at Simon and nodded. "Yeah, you know it," Joe said.

Simon wasn't at school for a few days after that, and when he returned, he had a substantial speech impediment, which made him the laughing stock of the school, especially his former victims. Simon steered far clear of Joe and when they rarely crossed paths, Joe didn't speak to him or interact with him in any way. He just stared at Simon, expressionless.

No one feels any sympathy for a bully.

Passive vs. Active

I have made the observation that the difference between success and failure is whether you are passive or active. Mostly I have observed this with bands. There are two kinds of bands.

Type number one is the passive band. They do the basics of learning songs, having band practice, and playing shows when they come along. They don't really do much more than that. Anything less than that isn't really a band at all. So that is kind of like the passive bare minimum. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, if you are just an amateur band that wants to have some fun here and there.

Type number two is the active band. These bands do all the basics as well. But they go beyond this too. They establish a business model and a marketing plan to actively succeed at playing music, rather than just going with the flow, passively. They establish minimum standards for quality music and live performances (the product). They determine a fair price for the product given their investment of time and resources in it, and they never devalue the product or sell out. And the most active bands even put a considerable effort into marketing and promotion of the product. You can't sell the product if you don't advertise and get customers in the door. The greatest product in the world will never sell if no one knows about it. So the best bands get the word out. It has never been easier to do that than now, thanks to social media, if the social media is done right.

Let me tell you what I have found works best for social media.

I used to have a Facebook page with thousands of "friends." Most of them were not even people I knew. So it was not surprising that my musical marketing and promotion efforts fell on deaf ears.

I eventually deleted that account, because it was polluted with vitriolic people who did not care about anything.

I started a new Facebook page, limited to friends and friends of friends that I at least knew decently well, or was willing to get to know. I periodically drop people from the friends list if they do not uphold their end of the social bargain by socializing.

When I advertise a music show on this new Facebook page, the people there know who I am and they actually care a little bit. Whereas, I might get less than a 1% response from people on my prior Facebook page, I get closer to 10% on my new one. I only have 138 friends on there now, but they are people who actually care and like good music and socializing.

Also, Motorhead's new album, "Aftershock," totally rocks. That was gratuitous SEO right there...but I really am enjoying it and listening to it quite a bit. There is no deterioration in Lemmy's rock-n-roll power, notwithstanding his recent run in with deteriorating health.

The Down Side of Awesomeness

I honestly do not care at all if my bandmates do not do their homework and learn the assigned songs for band practice. I know they are busy people and time is short. I do not hold it against them in any way. Jobs, girl friends, anything at all...those things all have priority and suck time.

No. I am angry with myself for foolishly being dedicated to doing my homework and getting my link of the rock-n-roll chain super solid. I bailed on a trivia night with friends to work on solidifying some rock songs so that I could lay down some good jams at practice. It was overkill. I was over prepared. The band was not prepared at all. Why do I try? I have to suffer through, while they struggle to nail the basic song structure.

Had I simply not practiced at all and gone and had fun at trivia, it would have been fine. I would have been at an equal skill level with my band (very low) and we could have hashed out the songs together, painfully slowly. But that is no way to run a band. You can't work on nuances and that extra little push over the cliff, if you can barely hold the song together and remember the changes.

For all I know, my band was at trivia night. Because they sure as shit were not practicing the goddam songs!

Why do I even try to be awesome? Mediocrity is the American way. 

By the way, Motorhead's new album, "Aftershock," rocks unbelievably hard, notwithstanding Lemmy's minor health problems. Can you believe that shit? The guy is 67 years old and he still rocks harder than anyone has ever rocked before, while partying harder than anyone has ever partied before. He is unstoppable. Truly a ROCK GOD.



Yes, that, my friends, is why I practice my fuckin' songs for band practice. Suck it. Lemmy is my inspiration and my idol. I don't even need the drugs and the booze, just the rock! And bass guitar.

But I am being extreme here. My bands are decent. Tonight's band practice, and the last three before it, seem to have been exceptions to the rule. For a while there, they were nailing songs and building repertoire. This could just be a phase. Maybe it is the Wisconsin winter doldrums.

Like I said, I don't hold it against them. They gotta do what they gotta do. But I guess, I gotta not do what I do so much, if I want to be satisfied. Such is the laissez-faire nature of rock-n-roll. I wouldn't change it. If it was a day job, it wouldn't be much fun.

P.S. Mom, just to be clear, I do not do drugs.


One of the 4 Agreements is "Always do your best." Doing your best is really all you can do, when you think about it. Doing your best does not mean being perfect or being the best. It just means, given everything, you are performing the best you can.

Your best might not be good enough for some people. F them.

Doing your best only means something to you. It doesn't matter what other people think, which relates to another of the 4 Agreements, "Never take anything personally." If you are doing your best and you know it, that is unimpeachable. Other people may criticize your work, but that is their issue. If you know you did your best, you can take any criticism in stride.

Another thing about doing your best is that it helps you not to get anxious or upset about people and things. You did your best and the outcome of that is the best it can be. It may not be a good outcome, but it is the best outcome that could happen because you did your best. Maybe you really suck at something, so even doing your best results in a mediocre result. But that result is still better than if you had not done your best, and you can be happy knowing it is your best possible work.

I applied for a job a few months ago and I did my best at the interview. When they turned me down, I was not upset about it. I had rocked it as hard as I could. They either did not recognize my awesomeness or else someone else who interviewed for the job was just a little bit better than me, as far as what the potential employer was looking for. Maybe I just suck at job interviews, but I did the best I could. I handled the rejection well and I am still on good terms with that company. If another opportunity comes up there, and I apply for it, I will once again do my best and I will hope that it is good enough. But if it is not, I will not take it personally.

I am one of the hardest workers I know, because I always do my best. I am employed by my current job to put in 40 hours of my labor time. When I am there, I crank on my work as hard as I can. Meetings and interruptions harsh my gig, and as the day goes on, my efficiency ebbs slightly due to fatigue. But I do the best I can given all those circumstances.

When my time is up at work, I check out. Then it is my time. I don't owe them anything beyond what they pay me for, and they fully endorse that, which I love. It is a fair and just agreement. I don't work long hours or take work home with me. That's not what the agreement with my employer says. I don't even think about work outside of work, except for how I am going to get to work the next time I have to go, which is quite often via carpool. Carpool also forces me to firmly enforce my work time boundaries, which my employer already respects. But I would enforce them anyway, because I am only getting paid to work 40 hours per week. I think 40 hours is too much time to give to someone else, but that is a topic for another day. I agreed to the terms and they agreed to compensate me with a wage for my contribution of time, during which I do my best possible work. If they ever decided my best possible work was not good enough, they could terminate the agreement. Then I would give them nothing and they would give me nothing. That would be fine. I would not take it personally and I would move on to bigger and better things.

If I were to work for my employer longer than the contracted amount of time, my value would be proportionately diminished and that would be a violation of the contract. When we agreed to the terms, a monetary value was placed on my time. I do my best work during that time, and that's all they get, unless they want to change the terms of the agreement (and if I agreed). During my 40 hours at work, they can throw whatever they want at me, as long as they are professional and ethical. I will kick ass on it as hard as I can, but only during the agreed upon time period. If they give me more work to do during that time than I can accomplish, I don't consider that my problem. That is a management problem.

That is all I can do. I like my job and that is why I am able to do my best there. If I did not like the work, I would still do my best, it just wouldn't be very good because I would not be motivated. Motivation and happiness are factors that influence a personal best. It is my responsibility to be motivated, but it is my employer's responsibility to keep me happy. So far, my current job is pretty cool and makes me happy, so I am highly motivated.

I Like Vacation Too Much to Work

They say if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.

I like my job. However, it is definitely work. It is tolerable work, sometimes even enjoyable work. It's also challenging sometimes.

I think my dream job though would be taking vacations. That would not seem like work, even if I had to write about my vacations, which I already do sometimes and love it.

I am a writer, and when I travel, I like to keep a journal to document my trip. I could see making a living as a travel writer. However, I would not want to do it for hire. I would like to do it for myself, and publish it for whoever is interested. I don't really like the idea of working for someone else. I am basically using my talents to make someone else rich. Sure, I get monetarily compensated for that, but money is not value.

I get value from creating my own art, not works for hire.

At my current job I get to do some creative writing. But there are a lot of rules and regulations on the writing. It has to be that way, because I write for a regulated financial industry and standards need to be followed. But there is no going outside the box. However, within the boundaries, there is still some room for creative wordsmithing.

But, what I would really rather do is write creative travelogues that are informative and entertaining. I am going to start working toward that end with some small exercises. I am going to journalistically document my country band's road trip to Minocqua WI this weekend. The band is playing two shows on Saturday January 11, 2014. One of them is at 3 PM at the ICE COLD BEER FEST, a craft beer tasting event taking place there. After the fest set, we port the gear over to the Minocqua Brewing Company, a microbrewery and restaurant, to play an evening show at 8 PM. The brewery will feed us.

I have been abstaining from alcohol the past couple of months, so I can function as the band's designated driver and also their documentarian. I should remember to bring my travel journal with me. I keep that separate from my personal journal and my book journal.

The personal journal is like a diary. The book journal is all my notes on corporate America for my book on the subject. The travel journal is the one I take on trips. I took it on the New Zealand bike trip and I took it out to Colorado this past Christmas. The writing was good.

I write for work and I write for fun, so I have become something of a decent writer. I can do this.