When Lightning strikes twice

Finishing up the ” Donnybrook lighting storm video” made me think about the few storms up here over the decades. I decided first: It’s ok for me to talk about the video.. It is my friggin post after all but also , the other few big storms that have come through.. I know I have mentioned them over the years but I’m old and like all good Old Timers: I repeat my favorite stories until listeners fish them for me..

“Donnybrook : The Lightning Storm “

I remember starting on this a couple years ago now. I had gone through the videos I had stuck here and there on external storage deciding that , ” Meh… Let’s see what I have and what needs to be tossed to make up some room. ”

Watching the storm brought me back to that night.

….* swirly swirly swirly*……

Winds were literally moving the old house here on Zen as in Boom boom crash , the wind lifting the single wide up and dropping it back down on its supports. I had an attached platform and stairs going to the ” back door” so when I saw the storm coming in , I put my old good camera out on the platform on its tripod.

The camera had an attached cover which was flipping in the breeze making the sound buggered from time to time not to mention the crash of the house as it lifted and fell..If you look close at the video you can tell that my “support ” moves

I stood out with the camera until the lightning got closer , then I got the bright idea that me as a Roman Candle if I got struck could possibly be a bad thing…Slow , not stupid .

Watching out the window , from time to time I went out to rescue the camera from the storm.. A lot of the footage was toast but this little portion worked fine…The storm was , of course, much longer and got closer and more violent … Beyond the Popcorn and Beers stage. At that point , duh , I brought in the camera before it got whipped up in a “Wizard of Oz “ moment.

This was one of those storms that you shut off power , unplug everything and keep away from windows before it was all said and done.

While the storm was raging through , you’re hair was literally lifting and you could feel the tingling in your hands . Not the only storm to do that, just the one I caught on “tape”.

Anyway… watching the video , I started hearing background music in my head..yes yes.. I hear voices..whatever.. ” I see dead people. “…. The music , at the time was just the box guitar I started with. The first year I put together  a couple guitar parts.. I then added Mandolin to it….Which didn’t make the cut in the end  when I decided I had too many parts..Back when there were 10 tracks..Oh silly Boy… The finished has twenty instrument tracks plus synth plus three tracks of actual weather.. strikes and rain of course.

The original had me a little stumped for a while. I hadn’t worked with any of my other instruments in ages . Finally I set up the drums..well beginnings. I have a travel kit of electronic drums plus a midi controller I can also set up to play some drums on… Not sequencing , push the button and boom boom goes the drum… Between the two and days of pushing things around to actually make a beat  I ended up with a basic couple guitars drums , bass, and mando. Once I got to that stage I put the song to the video , cut it to fit each other and watched it together.. That is where things changed.

I will , always , be the first to say that I see things differently than the norm ..well , because where has the normal world ever helped me out ? I have mentioned dragons’ breath that causes the fogs. Put voice to animals , though if you watch  them , it isn’t hard to see their basic thoughts , especially when the same animals are here day in and day out from birth to death. A lot of them see :

” Oh look..it’s a rabbit. ”

“Oh look… it’s a bird.”

“Oh look..it’s those two funny looking yappy animals. “

So , yeah … I see things differently . I pay more attention to where I want to than what annoys me .. when I can.  Coming up with what has a rough translation or a possible thought pattern to what they may do gets easier the crazier..er I mean older I get.

What the hell does this have to do with the story?…which is dragging out….damn it…

I’m getting there …

Watching the video I started seeing another “otherworld ” pattern going on.

At one time , I had big deep drums heralding the coming of the faery troops..Which is what I saw , and began to hear.. That completely changed the direction I was going… The more I watched the video the more I saw it.. I originally had the song so that two factions ( the two separate bands in the song ) swirling left to right through out the song as if they were circling each other… Yeh.. crazy right ?

…I’m not stupid, I know I have already lost several people by this point , skipping to final thoughts .. That’s ok

Anyway…. That was a bit too crazy even for me though it was very cool in headphones. It was too complicated .. not to work with but to listen to with monitors. I had to learn more instruments as well as figuring out how to run what I was hearing..Hell , I had to figure out WHAT I was hearing. IN the end I ran two full groups. Two bass guitars..as in two styles of guitars. One with silk strings and the other a flatwound to which I added effects to. multiple 12 string guitar parts , both acoustic and electric . Slide guitar , a Box six string , multi electric guitar parts. Two separate drum kits then into percussion from congas to chimes .

I dropped the lead in drums for the alpenhorn, which , of course , is one of the two synth parts. The second being a vocal. Digging around I pulled up the thunder and rain.. they all fit better .

I go through all of this for only one reason: This was my first original song I put up anywhere though several have been seen before this one .

To get the ” Zen Mountain ” sound I was looking for took a long time. It isn’t my slow Blues sound .. I am not even sure what category the music fits in.  But this was the song that moved me over to the ” Seasonals” from the normal stuff I have put out on the vids or the midis which some people have and billions more don’t nor are they interested in them.. Meh… Anyway.. That is why this one song is important to me … The collection of chaos it took to make it , and hopefully come together for others as it does to me along with learning a lot about my DAW software to get it all mixed… Let alone that this is where I decided to start working with the other instruments all for what? 5 minutes of song that pretty much only I listen to… Once again …Meh…

That’s WAY too close !

The other BIG lightning storm here on Zen happened back in the 1990s . I was still fairly new to Zen at that time and Zen its self was a little different too. It was before the years of drought hit and before anyone saw the Mule Deer up here…Which once they saw , they killed them off 100% …IN less than a decade citiots moved in to a place or three  around the West side of Zen , saw the Big Bucks , told all their friends and with out a thought , wiped out the whole species ….. Kids in their 20s just not thinking about HOW we have deer up here… They just saw them and wanted the big racks as did all their friends… Now we have a few Black-tail no Mulies . A few of our bucks are starting to show the coloration again but not the size…Anyway… Before all of that and the loss of trees , my well and more…..

The bigger thunder Storms usually came through in August back in those days. I would sit out on the deck watching them go through.. Friend and family ..yes..back then I had both… I am an acquired taste that apparently folks lost ….again..Meh…anyway.. we would all sit on the deck watching storms rage through both states from up here.I had woolen blankets sat aside for when they would hit . Nothing kept you dry so warm is smarter . In moments as the storms came overhead , you were soaked. To the bone….

This storm , however , was during the day. I had just gotten home from work when I could hear it rolling i from the West , slow and steady which meant it wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

The phone rang , I answered it ..That would be a phone with a cord.. Yes.. they were a real thing… My phone , actually , was from the 70s which I drug around with me… I HATE..HATE talking on the phone! Friggin despise it… Yeh.. another story of abuse ..and yet one more time..Meh… So don’t expect me to sit on the phone with you chatting about Aunt May’s hitch in her giddyup …Aint gonna happen .. The phone started getting very staticy and then I could feel the electricity going through the phone… I happily told them “Gotta Go! ”

Lighting started striking around the house…Multiples… All on my property …Most within a hundred to fifty feet of the house….

Now.. I was in an aluminum single-wide trailer … I had an antenna on a iron tube …as winds destroyed anything less..and yes.. that was also pre-internet and before anything like satellite TV was anywhere close …Cable still isn’t close by.  All I could think about was that friggin lightning rod attached to my house. I ran around unplugging everything and..of course.. went out to watch … How much worse could I be exposed ? I was in a wood wood-porch so I figured.. Good enough…

While I watched the storm coming overhead , RIGHT where I was looking, a lighting strike hit . You could feel the concussion from it as close as it was…I was amazed ( because shocked would be kinda the wrong term at the moment eh? ) at what it felt like so close. There was a second strike almost on top of that one hitting on the other side of the house and close enough to a feral cat that it was wiped out…as in BBQed ..

No wind behind the storm meant that it lasted for more than a half hour here at the Zen Homestead ….. It wasn’t scary .. Mmmm probably because I was a dumb kid yet…. But it was well..awesome…. The strikes came through long before the rain did and yet , this was before the age of drought and thus it didn’t start any fires which I was very happy to see…err…not see I imagine ..

I really think that after that first big storm , I saw them differently . They are a force of nature which once you have been in something so powerful but in its own way ; controlled , unlike so many destructive storms , it just gave me that otherwordly look at things up here. That along with several other weird little happenings over the decades.

Screw Corporate America

Ya know…

We who live in the small areas of the US  Enjoy the luxuries of life too just like the Big City Citiots..luxuries like, well.. Canned corn ,whole chickens , toilet paper , and the like and YET 3 out of the 3 places we dealt with in under 3 hours all said the exact same thing :

” Corporate decided we can’t carry that anymore. “ Then they each went on to explain how it just wasn’t making money for corporate ….. See here is the thing.. Each of those is bought to be sold by the companies . Each company is sending a truck to supply the stores.. with the exception of the chickens..which are by the way frozen.. are not perishable..It isn’t like corporate is selling what we have always , for decades. bought from these stores..and for the most part , we buy at least a case at a time and generally clear the stock out when we find them..Having our own storage units helps with that.. Even before corporate decided to completely take us out of the loop , they would only send in so much..Fine.. we generally just catch what we are looking for once every couple months to begin with..which is why we wipe the store out.. not just a can of this or that.. We ask what the store has.. Oh we have two cases of blah blah..Great we’ll take it…and we use it all long before any expiation date might come into effect …which very little of that has an actual date…MAYBE an implied decade …. We generally do see this shit however.. then corporate sees that the store loses money… People go to other stores in the same area for the same thing that THEIR corporate F**KS**TS haven’t decided to pull yet..Well while we are there we buy everything else we need as does the rest of the folks that have been driven off…. Corporate complains that sales are down.. the local stores say well everything on the shelves is sitting there because we don’t have what people ask for as you dumb M**H** F**K*RS pulled all of the items that brought people in… Then Corporate’s citiot brain trust gets fired and we get back what was pulled… Dumbasses…

Final Thoughts

Ahhhh Here we are… I know several of you skipped to this part: The summary of everything…I don’t blame you..some times I wish I might too….

So , in a nut shell…. The DonnyBrook music video is finally laid to rest.. the final cut on YouTube . My original song ..as in the first I decided I would put together , mix down and put to an event from Zen Mountain. well. and yes.. it is my original music as well…duh…

Corporate America are a bunch of jerks , just because we don’t have the population of NY doesn’t mean we don’t have jobs , own homes and well, yes.. need to actually survive. and NO not all of us can go to the big city to buy toilet paper. Ma is very uncomfortable around so much traffic , as am I and with my eye, I can barely stand riding let alone able to drive in that mess. If citiots weren’t well..citiots and I only had to worry about my driving and respectful actual Thinking human beings paying attention to the road instead of tweeting about something they saw on some sales app or whining to their phone insurance while they drive because they are completely useless and couldn’t possibly go online to look up well ANYTHING themselves then, yeah , I could drive in that madhouse..but..well… that would take intelligent life forms wouldn’t it…

weather or not

So far , the weather has been wonderful this winter, but, then again.. we still have a couple more months to go… I remember these winters and have been expecting them.

We will see.. So far the first two storm periods have passed and only minor weather patterns have come through. We’ll see what Early Mid February looks like , usually that is the next BIG ONE around valentine’s day . We do have some snow coming in over the next few days but it wont be what we have dealt with these last several years.


Hummie wasn’t in at all yesterday , no doubt he saw my screen up with the forecast and said

” SCREW that! I’m headed to the Kid’s Townhouse for a few days. “

This is the latest he has stayed up here for several years now. He may have gotten tired of the Mrs. yelling at him every day.. All day long…Or he may have just followed us to town and stayed to visit a bit.

One of his boys came up the other day pestering the crap out of him too… Maybe it is the Hummie version of Hummiemas or New Years …..

Chop Chop

We picked up a case of whole organic chickens.. the only case..yup wiped them out after  no store in the region having any for weeks…don’t get me started again…

I skinned and broke them down into wings, breast strips , dark meat and the carcasses for stock in a high average of three minutes per bird .. * chuckle* I know I am far from the fastest but I hold my own..once the damn feathers are off a bird..

We picked up two Pork Butts , all broke down into streaks , the left overs into a package for Pull Pork and the rest for stews .

Steel-Head , well, that only took moments to break down the three full fillets making another nine meals .

The pork took the longest but it all went fast , Ma was making bags as fast as I was cutting so under four hours we had gone to the stores, got rejected by corporate, made it back home , cut up months worth of dinner entrees and cleaned up .

Mama Mia

Ma made up a ginormous Home Made pizza which we both ate our fill…then looked at the platter to try to find the dent… In all actuality , it’ll probably only last a few days… Probably… Possibly …. I had text Ma on Friday asking what she thought , Sat morn she made up the dough and threw it all together with some of our home canned sauce that eve. I made up some fresh sausage for part of the toppings..zoom zoom Zen fast food …

Zen it puts on the lotion….

If nothing else, winter means we all dry up like a bunch of jerky…. Not just our skin but inside as well…..

It had been a rough couple weeks at work , running a machine the last few days that threw off enough CO to drown the building in it. People complaining about how bad it was and yet it never sunk in that I was stuck at the source for eight hours a day. Trying to complete the job I didn’t have time for any breaks. By Friday night I was sick as a dog and that lead into Saturday morning…..

Ma and I both woke up a little after four AM . I was in the bathroom gagging from the aftereffects of work.. IN between I could hear the coyote kids singing away… Some how I got the feel that they were making fun of me, creating a song to go with my own noises… Possibly it was their version of 99 bottles of beer on the wall as we quickly narrowed the scale. My eye throbbing , vision completely toast and head splitting , I weebly wobbled through my room turning on the subtle indirectly lighting . Meeting up with Ma in the kitchen , we grabbed our cups of coffee , making our way out to the porch.

The morning was still black . Our fog tight to the edge of the deck, I didn’t even bother going out past the edge of the porch . I couldn’t focus well enough to see if the wood was icy.

The pressing covering also dampened all sound as I listened to the utter silent of the mountain top. It might as well have been a small room rather than a mountain with nothing but vista after vista before me. No dripping from the moisture , no call of owl or kids. Simple quiet. Even as Ma and I talked , the gloom seem to eat our words. The press of the mist  grasping towards us.

Minutes later as I sat staring at the wall , it suddenly began to move apart, slowly softly , the mist began to lessen its press… The mountain was once again in front of us. The steps formed below me as I walked out onto the deck , slowly , ever creeping , receding , the grasses began to sprout beneath me . A fence rose from the fog , then sounds began to slip through the fists of the clouds. It seem that our dragons were waking with the morn.

Far to the South East a glimmer in the night began. Just as quickly , it was eaten by the dark..

A doe pressed through the wall to the East of me , the tendrils of water vapors  stroking her back as she stepped closer . A second doe pressing through behind her .

The Cloud began to lower into the Fells of Zen once again as the dragons , now risen , began to wander the groves below.

Although we couldn’t see Gotham below us , we could see some of the plateaus above and beyond it to the East . The levels of the mist would rise and lower as would waves on a gentle breeze. Once again the mist rising we were lost to the rest of the world.

I knew that within the hour , we would be getting ready to make the town run. I also knew that I would be driving as Ma does not enjoy driving in the fog .

Our does below us were feeding , ignoring us as they generally did. We would pose no threat and we had all already said our good mornings.

The cloud rising finally to thicken again into the solid wall cutting off everything some ten feet from my nose simply made me smile. Knowing what I “see” and ” feel” on Zen Mountain makes the normal simply our own world here at our homestead and

Just another day on Zen Mountain








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