Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 winding down

It appears that I haven't posted here since this time last year. Well, i haven't really felt like I had much to say on this platform.

So here it is, the last day of 2016 and boy, what a year it’s been. Rather than get philosophical or whiney, I’m just going to share some “Goodness from the Internets” I’ve found over the last 12 months.

For starters, the band I bang drums in known as 50 Breaks released a new full length album. You can get it right HERE.

You can send me an email regarding Fox River Forge work at chris@foxriverforge.com thanks to my dearest Jessie. You can also check out whats happening there by visiting www.foxriverforge.com.

We have continued releasing episodes of one of the best tabletop RPG game analysis podcasts ever in the form of Plot Points.

I have started using Google Now as a useful Android extension on my phone. This is another tip from the Sunshinewonder aka Jessie. I like the way this extension assists with my smartphone usability.

Speaking of smartphone usage, i have entered the world of online gaming by playing a strategy game called Plague Inc. This is a game where you attempt to grow and develop a number of different plagues in order to wipe out humanity. A great release when life gets you down.

Wrapping things up is a whole list of YouTube videos feature some truly excellent covers of popular music by some incredibly talented people!



I would like to extend my sincerest wishes for a happy 2017 for everyone. I look forward to seeing what lies ahead on this path.

Truely
Chris

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

So, here we are. At the end of another year. Much of the year has been dimmed by the fact that I recently got into a relationship with a wonderful woman named Jessie. That story is a post in and of itself. What I can remember of the rest of the year was also pleasing. There was much music, creativity and friendship.

I have made great music with “50 Breaks” and “Francesca and the 440 Hum”. 50 Breaks has established itself a premiere musical experience, playing gig after gig with anyone willing to share a stage. I look forward to recording first quality CD starting in January.

The 440 Hum went on what has turnout to be an extended break. For several years we maintained and incredible schedule of performing while working on our cd entitled “Forever”. We finished the CD in very early 2015 and played a few shows in support of it. We are still discussing what the future holds for us but rest assured, the fire hasn’t gone out.

Beyond music, Rainbird Studio has been the home of a successful RPG gaming podcast called “Plot Points”. Recently, Ben Riggs and I started an additional podcast called “HyperCulture” which is dedicated to the broader geek community and has more of a produced feeling about it. We are eager to see where this one takes us.

Fox River Forge had a good year as well. We added a mobile forge to our arsenal and were able to partake in a couple public blacksmithing demos. It was quite fun and I look forward to doing the same in 2016.

In a few hours, Jessie and I will join our friends in greeting the new year. I wish nothing but the best for all of you. The secret to the survival of this world lies within us. There is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that had gained enormous fame in bumper stickers and motivational posters across the planet. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This is a phrase I embraced the instant I heard it and one I refer to when I’m making difficult decisions. 2016 promises to be a very challenging year for the people of this little ball of blue. It is my hope we can work our way through these days with a little less cruelty and a longer view of the challenges before us.

Time will tell. Until then, I look forward to making my way, left foot, right foot with all of you by my side.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Four Decades

Forty years ago today (which was a Tuesday) at around 9am I pulled my first breath and let loose a howl that informed everyone in the vicinity of my arrival. I have been noisy ever since.
I would really like to pound out something profound or charming, I’d even settle for witty but here I sit staring at a blank screen; a screen on a device that was all but Science Fiction when I was born. In fact, as I look around I inevitably start listing what didn’t exist when I made my entrance. Since profundities are coming up nonexistent, here are a few things from that list.
• Microsoft
• Bic Disposable Razors
• Fax Machines
• Bar Codes
• Saturday Night live
• Star Wars
• Punk Rock
• Cell Phones
• Public access to the internet
• MTV
• Scratch n’ Sniff Stickers

But a list of things that didn’t exist is easy and sometimes predictable so I began to think about what was going on when I was born. Things like,
• The Vietnam War
• Skylab
• The Rumble in the Jungle – Ali vs. Foreman
• Nixon is impeached and Ford takes over as President
• Rush releases their self-titled debut album
• The Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes its debut (just 21 days before I do!)

So, all kinds of cool things were happening when I arrived but I’m still not delivering anything on this page that is really ground breaking. I’m just showing how adept I am at using Google.

What about me. What have I done with 40 years which equates to
• 2,087 weeks
• 14,609 days
• 350,633 Hours
• 21,037,950 Minutes
• 1,262,278,080 Seconds

Well, let’s see,
• I can play a garden hose like a bugle
• I quake like a Pomeranian on Red Bull when put in a canoe
• I can talk ceaselessly about Farscape and strange interactions with Best Buy employees
• I can skip backwards
• I can recite a truly fantastic supply of trivia about Star Wars, Heavy Metal and methods of scaring people

Yeeeaaaaahh… so that’s a wonderful little resume. Man, is there anything about the last 40 years worth writing about?!?
AH!
Yes, there is!!
You.
The people who are reading this are the highlight of the past four decades of sand through the glass. My existence is justified, defined and fulfilled by the wonderful people I’ve have the “Rock Star” luck to share my path with. I am continually overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I’ve met in my life. You have taught me, guided me, supported me, loved me, laughed with me and consoled me through everything that has led to this moment. It’s with a lump in my throat and slightly blurred vision that I that you for being here with me regardless of physical proximity. This is truly a happy birthday because I get to share it with you.
I love you all.
Chris
10/22/2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Out of my element

So here I sit, in a bar in one of the more hip parts of Milwaukee. I'm meeting a friend for drinks and conversation.  We agreed to meet at a place called The Nomad World Pub on Brady Street and due to the wonders of technology, I am writing this post as I wait.

I am waiting because I got here obscenely early. I arrived here obscenely early because I am very unfamiliar with this area. I've only been in this area a hand full of times and most of those were gig related amd my experiences have left me feeling out of place.

I am comfortable in a bar setting after spending so many years performing in them but most of them were run down dives looking for anything to bring in a couple extra people by having live music.

Brady street seems populated by a college/artist/bohemian crowd and that demographic is not one I identify with easily. I usually perceive myself as a rural, blue-collar working man with some artistic hobbies. Set me up with a shot and a beer or a whiskey and Coke and I'm good. I like good solid rock or antique country music on the radio, dark corner booths, neon beer signs and a bartender who knows when to and when not to chat.

This place is dark and I like that and the bartender made my whiskey and Coke strong with no banter. However, I am sitting beneath a poorly lit disco ball, there is soccer, baseball and basketball on the large TV's on the walls and I haven't recognized a single song that has played in over an hour. A couple of them were kinda catchy though. After a couple hours, I finally recognized the song "Royals" which I became aware of after seeing a YouTube video of a girl singing and clapping and banging a plastic cup and then again when Weired Al did his cover called "Tin Foil".

Over the past few years I've, I've been attempting to expand the mural that captures the narrative of my life and tonight is an example of that effort.  I am enjoying myself here in unfamiliar settings and I'm also looking forward to hanging out with my friend. So tonight is going to be a total winner. 

I am living my life.

I encourage you to as well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!!

Greetings everyone!!
You might notice some changes to the blog here. I have decided to make it the home page for Abretok Industries. You will notice buttons just under the header labeled “Fox River Forge” and “Rainbird Studio”. These buttons will take you to pages for those “branches”. That way all you have to do is go to www.abretokia.com and you are connected to my slowly growing empire. I looked around the web, pestered friends, and randomly interrogated the IT professionals at work and ultimately came to the conclusion that this is how I want to represent things in cyberspace. I hope to be more vocal on these pages so that I might deliver slightly better content than a quick blurb on Facebook. Thanks to everyone who reads this stuff. I enjoy creating it.
In Truth,
Chris