Fearless Dream

reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Category: Music (page 1 of 10)

Independence Day 2012

“Independence Day”. Let’s start by calling it that again. I’ve been trying to break myself of the “4th of July” habit, which waters the holiday down to a phrase that carries almost no meaning.

This year’s Independence Day finds me contemplating and worrying about the significance of the Roberts court ObamaCare ruling, and what it is likely to mean for the future of our Republic founded in Liberty. Have we, as it appears, chosen Safety over Liberty in a bargain that Ben Franklin warned us would yield neither, and thus forfeited the latter to encroachment by an ever-expanding central government designed to take care of us like helpless children? Some smart people who I respect say it’s not as bad as it looks, and I’m weighing their reasoning, but I have yet to feel I’ve reached any sort of confident conclusion on the matter.

That said: Never, never, never, never give up.

Here’s my slightly refreshed Independence Day playlist for this year, which I promise is more upbeat than the above. See my previous years’ Independence Day archives for other song recommendations. Enjoy!

  1. Five for Fighting, “Slice” (iTunes, Amazon)
  2. Five for Fighting, “Note to the Unknown Soldier” (iTunes, Amazon)
  3. Chris Ross, “Liberty” (iTunes)
  4. Krista Branch, “Remember Who We Are” (iTunes)
  5. Aretha Franklin, “Think” (iTunes, Amazon)
  6. Jon David, “American Heart” (iTunes, Amazon)
  7. Stuck Mojo, “I’m American” (iTunes, Amazon, blog)
  8. Rush, “Freewill” (iTunes, Amazon
  9. Madeleine Peyroux, “This is Heaven to Me”
    (iTunes, Amazon, blog)
  10. Ray Charles, “America the Beautiful” (iTunes)
  11. Oscar Peterson Trio, “Hymn to Freedom” (iTunes, Amazon)

ps – The venture I started last year has been progressing nicely. I’m having the time of my life, and working toward an end-of-summer launch for the app I’ve been working on. More to come!

Launch Day

I have eagerly awaited this day for a very long time now. Today, for the first time in years, I own my own time again, and I’m officially embarking on the adventure of starting my own software development company.

I have a million and one things on my mind to do with this precious first day, let me tell you, so allow me to defer to my original announcement of this endeavor, which I think already captured the event’s significance to me pretty darn well:

I’ve had the entrepreneurial bug for a while now, and a new job for my wife that requires us to move cross-country has had the welcome effect of forcing/facilitating Decision Time. We’ve put our house on the market, and later this month will be moving to lovely Packanack Lake, New Jersey. I’ll have a couple months of working remotely for my previous employer ahead, to tie up loose ends and leave my areas of responsibility in the best shape I can, but come October 1st [OK, I ended up sticking around for a bit more loose-end tying than I originally planned on!] I’ll be striking off in pursuit of my own American Dream — which, to me, means taking a chance on myself and my ideas and aspirations, embracing risk and challenge, and developing my talents to their fullest, with the hope of producing things that other people find useful, and in the process making the work I love my living. I’m grateful to have enjoyed something close to that in my current job, but this is an opportunity to own the entire creative process from end to end, to challenge and take chances on my own design sense, and to pursue areas of application that serve other markets.

I’m tremendously excited, and am positively chomping at the bit to get started. There are plenty of logistics to take care of between here and Day One, but I feel lighter with the knowledge that I’ve committed to this new course, and that I’m giving myself permission to do the very things I yearn to. I also hope this change will enable me to do more writing here, and I mean to include among that writing the story of my startup venture as it unfolds.

As I set my sights on this Big Dream (and, when I think those words, Bill Whittle’s “Trinity” (part 2 here) is on my mind as having so brilliantly put into words what I feel about it), in the forefront of my thoughts is a deep and abiding appreciation for a culture that, in its very bones, cherishes, celebrates, and strives to exhort exactly this kind of big dreaming. What I’m setting out to achieve is exactly what a culture founded on the individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness designed itself for. My gratitude for this opportunity is immense, and I mean to make use of it to achieve great things, while always remembering my debt to those who took tremendous risks before me to make it all possible.

As I later wrote, “Day One sitting at my desk in my newly appointed home office, ready to create wonderful things, seems a long way off now, but I’m so charged with excitement about it that it’s getting me through the day-to-day tasks necessary to reach my goal — and that kind of focus is exactly what I need.” Well, it worked, and I made it through, and I’m here and ready and eager to go, and part of me can only just barely believe it. This first day will necessarily consist of some basic logistical stuff — such as getting my workspace cleared and transformed into a de-cluttered environment where I can think — but damn if even that isn’t an exciting and fun task taken in context. This baby is mine. I’m creating the environment I want, the technology I want, the culture and vision of the future I want. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Music has always been a huge motivator and connection to Important Stuff for me, and over the years I’ve accumulated a playlist of favorite entrepreneurial or otherwise inspiring songs that get me in the desired frame of mind to achieve. I’ve been thinking maybe I’ll make a habit of posting about one of them every once in a while.

There’s a lot of good stuff on the list, such that choosing a single Launch Day song to rule them all is no easy task, but when I think about it there’s a natural choice for me: I’m going with the Live in Paris version of Joe Satriani’s “Time Machine”, which I must apologize to my neighbors for cranking earlier today. Not particularly entrepreneurial — purely instrumental, in fact — but this one holds a deep connection for me, one that reaches back nearly two decades to some of my first serious thinking about my life, tugging at threads that have run through my life since, and striking those Mystic Chords of Memory that Bill Whittle has written so eloquently about. Turn it up and I’m back circa 1994, cruising up California’s Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to Malibu to clear my head and think, with the album version (a worthy listen) driving my speakers for all they’ve got. I made Big Plans then, let me tell you, and now, today, I’m keeping promises made to myself long ago, and embarking full-throttle on fulfilling them. The feeling of elation is beyond my meager ability to describe. This is exactly where I need to be.

More to come soon!

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