Poker is a great way of assessing your basic math skills and reputation. In high-level deepstack poker, almost nothing is sacred but intuition.** At lower levels, poker is about when mathematically to fold or shove, plus a bit of intuition.
The problem with the poker community, beyond a fun night at the table, is that you don't want to see most of these people anywhere but at the table.
El Presidente Duterte: how to comprehend? Calling for a return to corporal punishment by hanging, discussing seizing executive powers of the type associated with..... Yet (according to Altermidya) also calling for land reform of a type that makes sense (protecting small scale farmers) and sending a message to mining companies not to exploit the people and destroy the land (guess what is driving 80 percent of unrest in Mindanao). The concept of a three child policy is certainly worth reviewing in this heavily Catholic, old-style birth rate country.
Duterte's "satellite cities" concept could be license for mass-scale environmental destruction––or enlightened, productive, ecotopia, if only... (fabric). He talks in one breath about vigilante justice (killing of low-life drug dealers), in another promises to expose 35 high level generals and police officers who are involved in trade at the Scarface/Pablo Escobar spectrum. Despite the anti-drug, law-and-order stance (or maybe because of it), Duterte appears to be an advocate of medical marijuana.
The Alchemy sampler I posted on Soundcloud consists of three new, original compositions, with the assistance of studio whizz John and guitar pro Rocky. These compositions are part of a nascent concept album I call Chasing the Sun. Why not do what the Beatles, or that guy from Big Star (thanks Hardly Strictly Bluegrass) or Miles or Jimi or Bob did at certain points in their careers? Make higher creation the point.
The first song I call "Lost Upward" and now that I properly take it in, it is laid out like... imagine you've hiked in five miles on the Napali Coast in Kauai and you've seen amazing shit, terraces of ancient Hawaiians, a skull laid out in front of a sacred cave. And you've camped there. And you get to this point where it is just pure determination on goat-eroded path, 100 meter sheer drop to the sea, and you fold into these dark pockets of verdure in crest after crest. Hearing different bird sounds with every bend inward and with every pass outward a look out to sea, infinity.***
Flute roots: roommate (and ace guitar and fiddle musician) Steve Perry's Bolivian flute that I used to play in college, out in the desert fasting during Sierra Institute. That I returned. Fast forward another 20 years before that wish for my own flute was granted (that which I did not know I was seeking) a tala-anding tribal piece from the fabled Red Pirate.
"Zuma Time" is just a wicked summertime groove. I may take John's bass-line from this and use it as the foundation of another song I have in mind, with the lyric "In my youth I used to follow/nearly everybody's orders/that's until I found my wa." This chorus will have a bit of the Scottish high country lilt to it.
The last song "Fly Away Home" I am really working on in a much more detailed way. Taking inspiration from Brian Wilson, Lee Scratch Perry, and other non-music-reading auteurs, I have been trying to rough it up, strip it down to roots soul.
* Dostoevsky had a more extreme version of this going.
** That's what I learned from watching Brian Rast, Jason Mercier, Mike Gordinsky, Dan Colman, and that German kid up close at the WSOP.
***Not even a Great Pacific Garbage Patch in sight.