Dedication

Phubbing. An American Epidemic. You May Already Have It!

I knew the ex-wife was lying about screwing around. She kept her phone held to her chest like it was the only thing keeping her heart from stopping. She was cheating. Erasing all messages, never setting it down. Texting late. Plus she was stupid and gullible and I tricked her into spilling the beans. She never was the sharpest tool in the shed.

02phonelove-master495I absolutely hate my phone. I despise it. When it rings I don’t answer it. I don’t know hardly anyone who answers the phone. If I know you then you will know to text or send an instant message. I don’t always reply like I should but I set my phone down when I’m home and I don’t have it tied to me like a house arrest ankle bracelet. I’ll check it when I get to it.

I work on a computer so Facebook is up all day. Even I check it multiple times a day. Only on the computer. Never on my phone. My phone is used to hold music and give me directions. Other than that I don’t want it. When I do call, my friends answer because they know I wouldn’t call unless I had to.

I see them at concerts all the time. Why did you buy a ticket just so you could watch the show on a shaky distorted phone? The action is in front of your face. Are you really going to watch it again? I doubt it. Just sit back and watch Def Leppard the old fashion way. With your eyes and ears.

quote-people-are-always-talking-on-their-phones-or-looking-at-their-phones-because-they-don-martin-amis-137-42-85It is an empty feeling being in a group who would rather …. Well I guess I really don’t understand what is so important? I spent most of my life without one and I still am here. If you wanted to hang with another friend, go there. Don’t let me stop you.

Dating. If a woman who has no children, pulls out a phone, we might as well ask for the check. I can eat alone at home. If you have kids leave it out by all means and I have no problem with you checking on them. Taking a picture of your food and chatting with your bestie while I’m buying drinks is a no-no. It’s rude, it’s disrespectful, and I resent it. If you don’t want my company why are you here?

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I had a great time this evening, would you like to go out with us again?

I’ve walked out on two dates in my life. One of them was texting the dude next to her as I bought drinks, (because I’m stupid and wouldn’t know *eye roll*), I told her I figured she could catch a ride home finished my drink, put on my coat and left her at the bar. We are good friends for sure, but you know what you did.

There have been a few tests meant to stop phone addiction. My friend Bugs told me “When you get to dinner, everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table. The first person who checks their phone picks up the check.” Genius

Some alone time with my phone.

Man I want to party with these guys!

If you want to show a true test of integrity and trust, swap phones with your partner for the day. You can dig through mine all day long. You’ll realize I don’t know what I’m doing and what most of my apps are for. I have 30 pictures of the inside of my pocket, the rest of the cat.

If you want to show attention, put it away. The world is passing you by and your messages, food pictures, and the mandatory prayers will be there when you get back. If I learned anything this past month is Facebook won’t replace the time spent offline. That is where the treasured memories are. I’m glad I had real face time with those I love. A hug beats a thumbs up anyday.


My friend and musical brother Dirk Baker passed away this week. A tall, lanky ginger. All my love Dirk. The hole in my heart where my friends that I have met and lost through music is getting larger. Like everyone else who knew him, there is a little less light in the world. I’m happy for the time I did have.

Here’s to you Dirk.

Dirk Baker

Dirk, you are truly missed.

I raise my glass and I wish I had someone here to grieve with. To tell the stories and good times we had. I know that many of my friends  have gathered and are helping each other.

I feel farther away from friends everyday. loneliness, helplessness, and my shrink doesn’t want to hear it. I’m not sure the cat gives a damn either.

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I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I NEED A JOB!… So why does this guy get the offers? Hello! San Francisco!

Mr Cropp was serving a two-year jail term for aggravated robbery when his brother did the facial art using a makeshift needle and fermented food.

He went to Facebook and pled his case. “No one will hire me because I have a tattoo all over my face.” He received 45 offers for work and he’s just waiting on the right one…

I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I can’t find work due to my prison tattoo

I’ve been living in California for over a year and since everything cost five-times what it did in the Mid-West, I love it.

I have been hitting all the recruiters who alert me to Graphics jobs. I apply I hear nothing. Yes or no. I don’t even know if these alerts are real.

I replied to my recruiter to one of my daily recruiters today. Phil from Ziprecruiter.com

Hi Phil, I hope you are real. I get your updates.

I have been living in CA for over a year. I have applied many times through Ziprecruiter but never received a single bite. I have never heard back. I’m not even sure the position is real.

I am good at my job. I have freelanced for Disney, Warner Brothers, CNN, I have worked at a newspaper. Talk about deadlines. I’ve always met if not exceeded my client’s expectations.

I can list off abilities all day. I can design your next product, brand it, make a graphic for the container, animate it, and build a website from scratch. Take your ad for the product and design a wrap for your car plus a design for the business card and the billboard.

I could stay in and work pre-press making sure files are up to  par. Then separate it into CMYK and print it in a magazine that I have laid out myself, import the Excel file of addresses and walk to the post office to send them.

While I’m there I can work on a forklift and a coal boiler. I can show your children magic tricks at a professional level, teach you to play a guitar or bass, write and record an album, book a tour, and come back with the cash. I can juggle. Where am I going wrong?

I’m going to  Petco tomorrow and asking them for a job. I’m college educated, 20+ real world years of skills to offer, I’m reliable and dependable and I’m going to be cleaning up Parrot crap. I will give it 100% like I do everything. It’s a shame Petco is going to get one of the finest graphic artists you’ll meet.

I have a bad ass sister also looking for work. One day Fortune 500 Company where she managed hundreds of employees with her hard head, smart mouth, and the ability to get things done, the next day going over job boards. I have to shake my head when I hear of her troubles with work. Some company is going to luck out when they hand Michelle (my sis) a job. Stand back, you’ll only get in her way. I think they have a Pet Smart in Mattoon, IL. I hope they are hiring. Gonna be some lucky Parrots in clean cages.

I’m frustrated Phil.
–Samuel Roan

mark-cropp-facebookSo Mr. Moog, while waiting for the right position to come along. You know; desk job,  secretary with a face tattoo.

Forty Five offers were given to this guy while Forty five people who never held anyone at gunpoint, made the decision not to tattoo their face in prison with a makeshift needle and vegetables as ink. Forty five people who were at a disadvantage because they were wise enough not to do what Mr. Moog did.

Plus Moog hasn’t taken a single one of the offers.


My Dad died a few weeks ago. He wasn’t the man he should have been, an alcoholic with a penchant for going to town for smokes and coming home three weeks later. I think back and I really don’t remember doing much with him.

I played little league on year. I remember going with him to the local parts store and sportsman supply shop in Greenup. He bought me a ball glove way too big (You’ll grow into it) and went home and put 3 in 1 oil all over it and I think we put a ball in it and put it under my mattress. I don’t think he saw any games. I remember calling him when I got on base the one time. Michelle and I used that glove for years during P.E. class. He took us to see King Kong (70’s version) and Jaws at the drive in.

18816215_1166151936828489_2122914391_nI could go on but it hurts a little too much and the guilt is a little heavy and my great support team is 2500 miles away. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of best friends, the community of Greenup and specifically the kindness of Priscilla Schrock who had a ticket waiting for me within an hour of being told to come home. The Greenup Southern Baptist church who got me back and helped big time with the rent. My family. Michelle and Mom and Jim.

I didn’t tell anyone I was home even though I’m sure they knew. I spent two weeks 24/7 with a sober, funny, and frightened father. Not that he ever showed me he was scared. My old man doesn’t get scared.

I’m an Atheist so I don’t imagine Pa sitting back with his brother and best friend John Roan tossing back Busch beer and telling Navy stories. I also know energy can’t be destroyed. So somewhere the energy that was my father is floating around in the either. I don’t think I ever did much to make him proud. I’m all music and art, he was carburetors and beer.

18838444_1166146326829050_1056582043_oI think those were the best two weeks I ever had. We became close again and of all things nightly, we would watch Frasier, the A-Team, and Miami Vice while smoking cigarettes and telling stories. I never knew my dad was in Italy, Greece, Jamaica… He never spoke about it and wasn’t one to take pictures.

We laughed a lot. I get my vision of absurdity from him. Michelle and I both got our sense of humor from him. I got his curly hair, which was always too long for him. Does that shit matter today? No. It’s just hair and too many wasted years.

If I can ever get my favorite singer Brandi Yagow to sing my version of an old Iron Maiden tune “Wasted Years” I will record it. Mine isn’t heavy, fast or angry. It’s just me missing my dad. I can still hear him telling me to “Turn that shit down!” and ironically I’ll be dedicating one of those tunes to him.

Here is the original. Mine is nothing like this except the words and the chords. Until I get it done it’ll have to do.

If you want to do me a solid, follow and share, and get me a freakin job doing what I do best!

What Was the Best Day of Your Life?

The election has taken its toll on me. I look at people differently. Maybe this simple question will realign how I look at the world.

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My 2000th Sound Check….Ugh!

I’m pretty lucky to have had a life of being an entertainer. My job is to make you happy. I’m in the smile business. I’ve always given 100% when it comes to me giving you your money’s worth. I didn’t hit it on the head every time but I sure as hell came into the game with that on my mind.

I picked up my guitar and played it and winked and smiled. I slapped hands, snuck people backstage, told stories, and wrote songs. I juggled; I did magic tricks (I’m a fairly good magician in case you didn’t know) I did it even when there was a party I wanted to go to, or my depression had kept me in bed until I left for the shows. Hiding anxiety and sadness many times so that I wouldn’t let down my band mates or my audience. Some days I hid it better than others, but those are stories for another time.

So let’s think about this. What were the best moments I have known….

My first kiss. I won’t embarrass the young lady that gave it to me. As they said in Stephen King’s “Hearts in Atlantis”; It is the kiss that all other kisses will be measured by.

I was at the Cumberland Co Fair when a girl I knew asked if I wanted to go uptown with her other two friends. I said ‘Sure!” Having a crush on the gal superseded the “Don’t leave the Fairgrounds” instructions that had been laid down by Ma.

3cb9dd7c4449b87759645e740542e92aWe hopped in the back seat and somewhere along that ride she laid a kiss on me that curled my toes. I was so scared. I didn’t give her a feel up or anything, just kept kissing.  I was IN LOVE! I couldn’t sleep for three days. I wasn’t hungry for a week.  It was the last kiss I ever got from her. I’m not sure why? Like it matters. It was perfect for a few minutes.


For my birthday my Mom bought me a boom box. I was about 13-14 probably and was obsessed with music. I listened to the radio constantly. The radio tuner quit working after a few months.

My Dad wasn’t around much and when he finally came home I asked him to fix it. He’s a handy guy. Got it to working in about ten minutes. About a week later it quit dialing again. No telling when the Old Man was going to show back up at home.

Ma got the screwdriver out and took the boom box apart. She fixed it.

14938220_10211416113624679_3024598311309867963_nI guess it was at that moment I realized we were going to be okay without my Dad around. Mom and Michelle and I were going to be OK because we didn’t have to wait around for the old man to reappear when he decided to.  Fuck him. The three of us were a pretty good group of people. Better than the barflies and whores my dad spent most of his time with. We didn’t have much but we never felt unloved. Mom made sure of that and I know sacrificed a lot for us and still does to this day.

I played a lot of gigs in my day. Some with huge arena crowds and some to the bar staff. The ones that stand out were the ones that happened when I was coming up.

My first band Bootleg, were playing a little knife and gun club outside of Greenup, IL called El Patio. I had found two huge bags full of these hollow plastic balls with faces on them. They were like a whiffle ball in size and weight. They were called “Ugly Balls”

832d925da7220111148bb36d5ef3e285Bootleg is pumping out tunes like  “All right Now” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” while dodging  Ugly Balls that were being tossed full speed across the bar. I was playing with my best friends Rod, Doug, Bugsy and George to about 50 people who were having a ball. It was the first time I found out I could make OTHERS happy with my limited knowledge of the guitar.

I have always believed that every night the best band in the world is playing their best show ever. The band changes from night to night. I’m happy to say I feel like I have played in the best band in the world a few nights.

My first big indoor show was opening for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in Mattoon, IL. Sold out show and my R&B band Dr Wu was opening the show. That band had a great set that we had honed to a razor’s edge. Pat the sax player always said, “Give this band 45 minutes and we could take on anyone.”

fee9bef7a4073cae14a2db0a60049c2fRight before we were about to go up the ramp to the stage, Doug Evan’s, my best bud from High School and band mate shook my hand. We started playing together knowing two songs. “Wipe Out” and “Paranoid” All that work was paying off with high paying gigs all over the country and then some. Doug’s handshake that night was different. An epiphany that we had surpassed our dreams. The next 45 minutes we tore the stage up with swinging horns, great tunes, pounding drums and classic R&B music blasting out as only a clueless all white rock  band could. A standing ovation for the open band.


I met a gal in San Francisco. We saw a jazz concert featuring Esperanza Spalding. I could have sworn once those lights went down, Esperanza played just for the two of us. Lisa agreed. Amazing feeling.


My main girl Susan came over for my birthday a couple of years ago and made lunch and spent the day just talking stupid stuff. Meeting Susan was one of the best days of my life.


A buddy sat in on bass one night at a show in Greenup. I asked a girl to dance. It was the closest dance I ever had. Silently two people held on for dear life as we danced to Van Morrison’s ‘Into the Mystic’


Hands down though, the best day I ever had in my life was the day my girlfriend and future wife, Shannon told me she loved me. She was painfully shy and quiet and the nerve it had to take to say those words had to be one of the toughest things she ever had to say. It was returned in spades.

57d19a2c7af888af166edd1cde724a91I will always love her even though we aren’t together anymore. Shannon is one of the greatest women on the entire planet. I miss her sometimes at unexpected moments. She loved me without condition. I screwed it up and a lot of self loathing comes along with it. If I had only not been so scared to get help with my depression instead of running from it till it was too late. She’s living a better life than I could have ever given her. She’s remarried to a good man, she has adopted two babies and I have no doubt those kids won the lottery when they came home with Shannon. A mom who knows nothing but love.

I have love for all my friends, some helped me get up when I was broken down I treasure them for it. I do have the best friends.

So there it is.

Tell me about your best day and let’s forget about hating each other for a minute just to relate a story. I’ll protest tomorrow. Today is all about us. We are all on the same side of the fence when it comes to the best day ever.

Below the video is a link my last album. It’s your’s for the taking. I hope you enjoy it.


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Inner Beauty…Everyone Will See it if You Lose Weight

Passion. Motivation. Inspiration. Sacrifice.

We see these words and what pops into your mind? Blue tinted glitchy films of athletes drenched in sweat while their faces scream of agony as they cross the finish line, or lift an unimaginable set of weights over their head.
I’ve read recently about a wave of body acceptance crossing the nation. Gas Station food, sitting on your ass, not getting enough exercise. I should be ashamed of the extra weight I have put on since my depression has subsided a bit. There is no secret to losing it. Eat less, move more.

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Dedication!

Exercise has never been my favorite thing to do. The thought of walking out the front door in 100 degree heat and running never crosses my mind. The thought of lifting something heavy over my head doesn’t seem like a priority. I don’t want the athletes to think that I don’t respect what they do. I do want them to realize there are other ways to sacrifice that are just as hard, take just as much dedication and don’t give you shin splints or constant surgeries to get there.

I’ve heard it for years and to this very day it’s brought up. “I thought you’d get in shape with me! You never want to do anything.”Inner-Beauty-Best-Demotivational-Posters

Not exactly true. They don’t see that I don’t like the gut. They don’t see me cringe when I have to buy clothes. They don’t see me taking a brisk walk or skipping the snack that I’m craving. They don’t know the ache I feel in my lungs and heart from my smoking addiction which I have avoided through will power and an electronic cigarette. Right now I’d love to light up and read what I have written.

I was married to an Ironman triathlete. She could swim 2.4 miles, hop out and ride her bike 112, and then run a full marathon, 26.2 miles. We have no love left between us but I’d never take that achievement away. I saw it; I was always in awe of her and the ability to do such an insane race. I was at the finish line every time. A few times she even appreciated it.

She had the passion, motivation, and inspiration. She sacrificed time with her family, with her kids, ballgames, proms, birthdays (yes she went to London UK over her daughter’s birthday, and she forgot mine totally on a race trip.) Is it sacrifice or selfishness that guided her? She didn’t feel like she sacrificed anything. Who cares who you neglect as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you? THAT is the reason no love is lost between us. Narcissism and selfishness. Life went on while she was sweating; just she wasn’t a part of it. She chose not to sit on her ass over the needs of everything and everybody else. The sacrifice was given by her family, not her.

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Success!

She couldn’t tell you the name of a single one of her “best friend’s” children, but she would work any conversation back to herself and her abilities. Which were being a damn good singer and an Ironman. It sure didn’t make up for character and honesty let alone respect.

Why do passion, motivation, inspiration and sacrifice only apply to athletes and upper management? Could it be that possibly my passion has nothing to do with being an athlete?

I’m passionate about art, learning new artistic abilities and programs, activism, reading, writing, songwriting, guitar playing, great movies, mentoring, and fighting for the rights of children, far out thoughts that lead to skills that I’d like to try. New things, new experiences, fresh ideas, wrongs that need corrected. Bad behavior that needs corrected. Documentaries about subjects I know very little about but want to know more. I have a passion for learning and exploring. I want to know how Ravens use tools, and why the laws of nature break down at the quantum level. I want to know how Robert Crumb thinks and what his process is when creating a comic.KK-254Who'sAfraidT.jpg

I’m motivated because I want to please myself. I’m curious. Recently I have tried and failed twice at sculpting and mold making. I know two ways NOT to make a mold. I know why and will solve the problem or realize I know how to solve the problem now and I might just move on to the next project.

I’m inspired by artists, writers, dreamers, good music, great songwriting, great animation, original ideas, and seeing an artistic medium that I’d like to try. I might not be the best at any of these things but I strive for them.

Sacrifice? Through the years I’ve sacrificed everything I’ve had at one point or another. I sacrifice my time to listen and laugh and cry with friends. I’ve sacrificed things that I love and moments of joy to do what someone else wants to. No one sees that.

I’m a guitarist and a bass player. I sacrificed every party, event, and good time to go out and entertain. I’ve sacrificed money and time to charities. I’ve sacrificed relationships and left myself open to ridicule by people I love. I’ve sacrificed time doing what I love because I have this built-in guilt that I’m supposed to be hiking backed up by society and friends who love to hike. I think hiking is ok, putting me down for not wanting to seems like a reasonable solution for not loving it though.

I write a new song. Record it and I can’t get anyone to listen to it. I recorded a whole album and even my best friends didn’t buy it. I’m giving it away now. Ask and you can have it. It took a year to make. It took a lifetime of heartbreaks and good times to find the words to write. Isn’t that dedication? I opened my veins and bled for you openly showing what goes on behind these tattoos. Maybe I should run along the highway with a sign advertizing my little collection of songs and a peek inside of me. If I show a little sweat maybe the songs will have some value.

v1_7Passion? I sat in my room as a kid learning to play a guitar. I still practice for the love of playing. Not for you but for me. No one saw it. No one heard the out of tune guitar trying to smoothly play Crazy Train. I worked for every note that comes from my guitar. Then through motivation I started working my way up the musical ladder until I was standing on a huge stage, or playing nose to nose with a guitar god and holding my own. You get to hear the results and never think about the dedication it took. Mainly because you don’t see the sweat dripping off a kid when he finally can play the opening lick from Layla.

My passions don’t involve a sport but unless they do, society, some friends, and strangers looks down their nose because I have a Buddha belly. I’ll finish with a true story.

I belong to a Facebook group of internet *Trolls. They gathered together to make fun of the Militia occupation of a bird sanctuary/gift shop in a Federal Park. Thousands of random people from all walks of life joined this group. No one trolls each other. They are just a group of clever, witty, sarcastic do-gooders. Many are activists and have been for decades. I have trolled hate groups for years. No regrets. These folks troll for good, not evil.

A young early 20’s gal hopped on the message board one day and started body shaming other ladies about fat asses, smoking, lack of will power, and no motivation. She’s a distance runner. She knows pain, she knows sacrifice, she knows dedication.

I came to the ladies aid and replied to her; “These people have been helping others since before you were born. From civil rights, to Save the Whales. Years of writing congressmen, marches, spreading the word and making the world a better place. Personally I researched and implemented a program that would help locate missing children after a tragedy in my old home town. I told them I wanted NO recognition. It was my duty as a citizen of the world.”
“What was it you say you do? Run really far? That’s nice.”

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Am I off base in thinking this way? Leave me a comment. Tell me what you think. You may get a discussion but you won’t be met with hostility.

Be sure to Follow, Like and Subscribe. I have low self esteem and could use the extra bump!

*Troll- (noun) In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.