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Looking California but feeling Minnesota…

May 22, 2017

Chris Cornell wrote the lyrics “Looking California..Feeling Minnesota for the song ‘Outshined’ photo from yahoo.


Hey Y’all,


Slight departure from what I had planned today but sometimes off course maneuvering towards real life is appropriate.  On Wednesday, look for a promotional article about our good friend of this site, Jacqui Murry as she has written a new book…

The rock world lost a really talented artist on Thursday. Chris Cornell, was the lead singer of two different groups; Soundgarden and Audioslave. Being very honest, I was not a fan of either group, but I was familiar with both groups. That isn’t a slight to the guys in Soundgarden, it is just that they were on the leading edge of the grunge movement in the early 90s. That was the wave that replaced the hard rock music that I grew up on in the 80s more commonly known as Hair Metal.


Metal dudes dont smile, laugh or be happy. They are angry,all the time especially when they are feeding your soul to the devil. This is grunge and I rejected it. photo from yahoo.


Those who know me the best, know that I am a person that can hold a grudge for a long time and since Soundgarden was in the same genera as Pearl Jam and Nirvana, then by default I would never be a fan. That was the music of the next generation and I moved on looking for other forms of entertainment. Yes, I did fall into Nu Metal in the later 90s. Limp Bizkit was an infatuation because I did like to break stuff. Slipknot scared me but not enough to keep me from listening the first time, twenty years later they are still on my must listen playlist on YouTube and Pandora.


Thirty one years later, I still haven’t resolved my issue with these two guys. Don’t go off and buy me a flannel shirt. photo from yahoo.


I was talking to a close friend last Thursday afternoon. He told me about another close friend who is having some health issues, again. Since I don’t officially know, I am going to be very vague but here is a short summary. Five years ago, our friend got the cancer. It a was very serious form of cancer and required a very high amount of radiation and chemo to fight down. There were points along the way where the doctors were not hopeful for a positive outcome. He survived and even came back to work. Hardly a year later, he was on the other side of the world when his doctor called and told him to come home.

My friend said that he would be back in ten days. The doctor said be in my office in two days; it is that serious. Two days after he got back, he was in surgery having his kidney removed. The cancer had returned to a different part of the body. Now, he has another tumor, they don’t know what it is yet but I feel pretty safe in saying that Cancer sucks.

Last Wednesday, my family went over to another friend’s house to watch three of their youngest kids. Their oldest kid was at football conditioning after school, he is a big strapping kid so he doesn’t need anyone like me watching him. Their number two kid, Katie is in the children’s hospital in Cincinnati fighting a serious case of the cancer. I refuse to give cancer the dignity of a name because cancer sucks. If you would like to know more about this incredible family, check them out here or on Facebook.



This is the family before cancer. They are more beautiful today than they are in this picture. I wish I had faith like them. photo from


Saturday afternoon I was thinking about my friend’s new health issue, my other friend’s little fourteen-year-old daughter wasting away in a hospital with tubes of toxic medications flowing through her body and the untimely passing of Chris Cornell. Then I read this from one of the few religious blogs that I follow. I don’t read anything from anyone who writes that “good old time gospel of pie in the sky mixed with the you’re going to burn in hell if you don’t repent” style of preaching. If that is your thing, good for you. Not trying to make anyone mad, I just prefer to hear/read different viewpoints.

Anyway, now that I ticked everyone off.

Reading Jason Micheli’s article really hit home for me. I can’t say that I believe everything that Jason had to say. I’m really not even sure that I am smart enough to understand what he is saying. I know that I don’t have the faith to really believe what he said, which is more about me and not him. If you choose to read it, here it is a copy of his sermon that he conducted for a funeral of a young man who committed suicide.


Jason Micheli. I am not sure if this is pre or post cancer. photo from


This is a book that Jason wrote about cancer. photo from


I don’t know if he put it up because of Chris Cornell or it just worked out like that. But I spend a large part of Saturday afternoon watching Soundgarden videos and coming to appreciate how musically gifted Mr. Cornell and the other guys in Soundgarden are. I realized that I was wrong about them. They not grunge. They are metal.

Another of the groups that I really like is called Machine Head. Started in the early 1990s, I thought they were anti-grunge and I followed them off and on until I heard their album ‘Unto the Locust’ in 2011. Wow, what a great anti-establishment album. If you ever see me on an airplane, sitting in an airport, writing in a Starbucks or walking the streets of your fair town on a layover, you will see me with headphones in. There is a 50% chance that ‘Unto the Locus’ will be rattling around between my ears.

The lead singer is named Robb Flynn. I have never met Mr. Flynn but he is an example of what America is about. He is the driving force behind the Machine Head brand. While they are not commercially popular like Metallica, Megadeth, Slipknot or even Soundgarden, he has managed to make a comfortable living doing what he loves while remaining married and raising a family. It is fun for me to follow Mr. Flynn via a mass email list. There he writes about what is going on with Machine Head and himself in general. He is not doing the straight promotion of the group, but he writes very detailed and long emails about the things that he cares about.


Robb Flynn doing his thing. I bet he is President of his kid’s school parent/teacher organization. photo from yahoo


As you can tell, I like to know what real, honest people think no matter what if I agree with it or not. I feel like it helps keep me grounded, relevant, and current. Anyway, Mr. Flynn sent this out Thursday evening with a follow up Sunday. Mr. Flynn’s words are not for the weak or easily offended. He is real, honest, direct, blunt and lets you know how he felt about Chris Cornell. Read it at your own risk. This is the link to their Facebook page. I hope it works.

He added another article on Sunday about talking to his oldest son about suicide. I bet my wife and I had a similar conversation with our kids about Katie and her cancer. Cancer Sucks and Suicide Does Too.

According to the media, if you can believe them. Chris Cornell was taking an anti-anxiety medication named Ativan. I’m not a doctor and I just go what I am told. But two of the side-effects of that medication is depression and thoughts about harming yourself. My wife had a family member commit suicide several years ago. Lynn, was a man’s man. Big, tough, hard but fun to be around. He was an engineer on the trains. He had worked around trains all his life and he was well respected by the hard dudes on the train lines.

He got hurt on the job and after several surgeries he still had nerve pain in his elbow. The doctor put him on something to help with the pain but the two side-effects were that you don’t sleep and you get depressed. Sometime after starting the medications, he was gone.

The following are the words of Robb Flynn. I totally agree with him. If you are in a bad place and you have nowhere to turn. Give me a call. Trust me, if you are down to my number then you are officially in a bad place. Please talk to someone if you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else.

Seriously, call me and we will figure something out other than hurting yourself.


Robb Flynn said this in his Sunday message:

“Talking about it on our group-text helped a lot, talking about it with my guys at practice helped a lot.  Writing the journal helped a lot, reading you’re replies helped a lot.


And so I’m sharing your replies to hopefully help anyone else struggling with this.


It needs to be discussed.


His suicide, depression, mental health, whatever we want to call needs to be addressed.


We need to get over our uber-macho, alpha-male-society, and be able to talk about these things.  For ourselves, for our kids, for our future.


My oldest son had heard Genevra and I talking about Cornell.


Driving him to school 2 days ago, he asked me how he died.  I told him. He didn’t understand why someone would do that.


It was tough conversation.  And my first thought was to not tell him what it meant, but then my larger fear went to “what if he feels this way already?”  And before you go, “oh kids don’t feel that way, kids are just happy all the time”, I have 2 friends who are going though it with their tween/teenagers.  So we spoke about it, and I told him “I hoped that him and Wyatt never felt that way because THAT scared me even more.”


It was heavy…


How any parent lives through that I’ll never know.”



Lyrics to Outshined. Power stuff. photo from yahoo.

Some Chris Cornell videos.

This dude turned a sugary Michael Jackson pop song into a masterpiece. Way cool.


He was so cool that he got to do a James Bond theme song.


He did about a thousand covers. Everything from Prince to Whitney Houston. He does an amazing combination of U2’s song ONE and Metallica’s song ONE. It is crazy and it makes my brain hurt because it is so cool. I have no idea how he could do that. I hate that I have learned about him like this. Life is good, don’t throw it away.


Until next time, keep on rockin!

From → life, Uncategorized

  1. Good article, Rob. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost loved ones to cancer, myself included. Kids are the worst–again, I know this from personal experience. I’m praying for your friend’s daughter.

    • Thank You Jacqui,

      I hate to go serious but sometimes, that is where we find ourselves. Our friend’s daughter is really in a bad way and they have a big week next week. They will be getting the first series of tests since going max treatment. They really need to see some improvement in her lungs. Any additional prayers will be a great help.

  2. Rob, Yes… cancer sucks! And no matter what is happening in our lives, and when we think the world is crashing down upon us, someone is fighting cancer. I’m not sure if anything gets worse that that. My heart and prayers go out to you and your friends fighting for their lives. Thank you for sharing this post and helping me retain perspective.

    Cornell was talented beyond belief…hard to imagine how or why he threw it all away. Thank you for the thoughtful post, and sharing his rendition of Billy Jean, too. Way cool for sure!

    Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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