Lipinski Stradivarious Found

Maybe you heard about it.

Back in 1715 or so, Stradivarius builds a violin.

Not long ago, Violin is restored after being released of its bank safe accommodations.

At the wish of the anonymous owner, Violin now in possession of Milwaukee concertmaster. Violin carried in a perfectly designed case.

Violin gives concert. People are stilled. Then, they cheer. Such music!

Returning to his car after the performance, conductor is attacked with stun gun.

Man falls. Case snatched.

Violin stolen.

Police later report a minivan being sought and finding the empty case on Milwaukee’s north side. Violin still missing.

It occurred to me that while the discovery was an interesting footnote, the only people excited to hear the discovery may have been younger Case’s parents – Cosmo and Cary. After all, even though the younger Case had been found, he was found to be empty. Ouch! So now, not only not doing his job, he was no longer the purpose he was meant to serve. Looks good on the outside. Designed for performance and yet, of oddly little value when there’s no violin inside.

It also occurs to me that the Violin is in a similar lurch. The violin involved in the snatch-and-grab robbery carries a worth of $5M. Such a princely price tag starts to make a little more sense when you began considering who the violin was; who had crafted her and more to the point, the sounds she made when when the case was opened and she got to come out to play. Music.

Trade offs.

A voter drops off a provisional ballot at the Board of Elections in downtown Cleveland.

Speaking of trade-offs, did anyone notice that this week, in the great state of Ohio, voting rights suffered another sniper attack at the hands of state Republicans. Put simply, the bill’s intents are to “cut early voting, end same-day registration, and make it harder to get an absentee ballot” and “are likely to pass the GOP-controlled legislature in the coming weeks”.  And what is the significance of the first week of early voting? It’s the the week political consultants call the “Golden Week” when a heavy percentage of the early voting comes in. What gives?

Their case is simple. Reduce voter fraud and protect the institution of a clean election.

Really? Your solution for protecting the ballot box is making it more difficult for Citizens to participate in our grand experiment by, oh I don’t know, VOTING!?  The evidence? I find it to be both paltry and seeming to have a certain ‘do-it-yourself’ aroma to it. I just don’t see the problem they say they’re trying to solve.

What I do see is an empty case for having an equally vacant voting queue. Seems to me that keeping those who won’t likely vote like you do, is hardly a evidence for your case of wanting to protect and cultivate a free and boisterous democracy. Your case? It’s empty. No violin.

Califormia Prepares For Flood Of Gay Weddings

And then, there’s the great state of Arizona. Seems Arizona’s legislature has passed a bill to ensure religious freedoms by giving shop owners the right to refuse Customers they deem to be any labels resembling GLB or T. Wasn’t it on “February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service”.

Didn’t we go through this already?

If you’re a baker, your purpose is do the work associated with being a skilled practitioner – making wonderful cake people can’t get enough of. I get it. But after that, your part in the grand line of falling dominos constituting our lives is done.

You’ve made the cake.

You have been paid for your work at a price you set. I would even go so far as to say in some cases, you’ve been paid very well.

So please understand if I don’t remember it being up to you to decide whether I’m worthy enough to swipe my card in your cash register. Isn’t me excited to be doing so one of the fundamentals of being in business at all?

Equally true is once you are away from your counter, it’s yours to decide if you don’t want to associate with someone you don’t understand. It’s cool. It’s your time. Your choice. I fully support your right to decide who you will invite into your home and whose home you’ll visit. Duh!

But don’t open up a stall in the village square with a sign that says “Cake” and think you get to judge whose coin is worth accepting and whose you’ll refuse. What’s going on? You’re not building anything. You are keeping people from your cake. The cake. Remember, the one thing that was the very reason for thinking you could open up your own business. You’ve won! And now, living the American dream, you have suddenly decided you have enough Customers to turn others away on the basis of who they were born to be?


Really? What are you building? What am I supposed to think. There are bakery cases filled with cakes and even now, I can be denied the opportunity of paying for it and taking it to the reception. What was going on the morning you decided this exclusion was a good idea? Why wouldn’t someone want one of their cakes to be present whenever there were two or more of us, all gathered in His name. No cake? That’s almost as bad as a wedding feast running out of wine. Oh wait. That one got taken care of. Miracle or not, no cake is no good. Empty case. No music. How is this helping anyone?

We are wasting time. There are things we can be doing in the circles we move in.

From one day to the next, I’ll admit there are times when I don’t think I have a clue about what is going on or what I should be doing until, suddenly, I’m there in one of those moments that can matter.  Let everyone eat cake.  The more, the merrier…

Things are slowly getting back-on-track. Doing right by others works. Early reports from the Weather Channel say Spring has announced plans to return.

In that same spirit, permit me to pass along my own version of a handy-dandy pocket bu}[$#it detector. All in all, it’s proven to be a pretty good litmus test for doing the right thing in any given situation.


Part One of the equation is pretty simple. ‘Is there any substance to this? Is there anything inside the case?’

Put simply, Part Two is: ‘If so, does it build or destroy?’

With answer in hand, it doesn’t matter whether someone is telling me the case is closed – or not.  Either way, I know when there’s nothing inside and when there is. But wait for it – as significant as the insight is, the real victory comes when we choose  what on the inside of our cases can come out and begin to play.

I have no clue as to what your instrument or melody is. But what I do know is, it matters what we do with what’s inside us. Case empty or closed, ask yourself this week, ‘Where’s the violin?’

Find it. play it. 



Happy to help…


Pharrell Williams – Happy






(July 14, 1952–

February 17, 2014)

Devo Guitarist Bob Casale Dead At 61

Casale, a founding member of Devo, played on “Whip It” and all the group’s albums

Devo guitarist Bob Casale, who played with the group alongside his brother Gerald from the original incarnation of the groundbreaking Akron new wave band in 1973 all the way through their recent tours, died suddenly on February 17th of heart failure. He was 61.

“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” Gerald said in a statement. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.”

Though he often ceded the spotlight to his brother Gerald and Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale played on every single album and was instrumental in their production.

The original members of Devo grew up in Akron, Ohio, and were inspired form a band after personally witnessing the Kent State massacre in 1970. “We came of age in the middle of a huge cultural war. This country was basically in the midst of a new civil war — the lines were drawn very clearly,” Bob Casale said in a 2012 interview with Under the Radar.“

“[We formed the band because] it was a more immediate way of self-expression that required less money and no outside permission. You try to make a film and you have to come up with the money, you need a big crew, you need to ask people for favors and get permission. If you have an idea for a song you can pretty much go into your basement with your band mates and do it.”

FUN FACTS: Bob Casale was born in Kent, Ohio in 1952, and was a trained medical radiation technician before leaving the field to join Devo. Two sets of brothers founded the band in 1972. The Casales were from Kent; the Mothersbaughs were from Akron. Drummer Alan Myers joined the group in 1976, replacing Jim Mothersbaugh.

Sources: Rolling Stone By Andy Greene – February 18, 2014 12:24 PM ET –;; and photo:

 Single Fern



(April 25, 1965 – February 14, 2014)

Son of famed Mupppeteer Jim Henson, dies at 48

(LA TIMES) “John Henson, 48, who occasionally performed as a puppeteer in the famed Muppets troupe his father founded, died Friday of a heart attack at his home in Saugerties, New York. He did not have a history of heart trouble, his sister Cheryl said.

John Henson sometimes performed as Sweetums, a large, hairy Muppet who towered over other puppets and humans. Henson played the character for a while at the Muppet*Vision 3D attraction at Disney World, where near the end of the show he would suddenly run into the audience to screams of delight from fans, said Brian Jay Jones, whose Jim Henson biography was published last year. John Henson also trained others who played Sweetums.

He was on the board of the Jim Henson Co., headquartered in Los Angeles, but had little to do with the company’s day-to-day operations.

“He was more of an artist,” Jones said. “He renovated a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, making every surface in the house interesting and beautiful. He had his dad’s mentality in that he was so detail-oriented.”

Jones said he was “the spiritual Henson.” After his father’s death, he took possession of the cremated ashes for two years and determined where to scatter them. “John and Jim were once driving in New Mexico, near Taos,” Jones said. “Jim pointed to a hill and said he thought that it was the place where he was meant to live.” In 1992, John Henson and other family members traveled there to spread the ashes.

He is survived by his wife, Gyongyi; daughters Katrina and Sydney; sisters Lisa, Heather and Cheryl; and brother Brian. His mother, Jane Henson, died last year of cancer at age 78. His father, Jim Henson, died at age 53 of pneumonia in 1990.”

Sources: Los Angeles Times – David Colker (,0,7261757.story#ixzz2u39NW3lV and Photo




Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.

Visit Eric and see his other work at: or

Read more about: The Great Violin Heist of Milwaukee by Alex Heigl (PEOPLE Magazine),,20781511,00.html; Stolen Stradivarius Violin, Worth Millions, Located by Milwaukee Police (NBC Chicago – The Associated Press’ Dinesh Ramde contributed to this report.):; Lipinski Stradivarius Found:; Voting in Ohio by Michael F McElroy_The New York Times_Redux:–83-34–830×340/public/articles/h_14284643_0.jpg?itok=xDbTbwvN; Voting Law changes in Ohio:; Wedding Cake (81520870):; Sitting for Justice: Woolworth’s Lunch Counter:; Lunchcounter:; Bovine Detector:; Violin X Ray:



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About dan4kent

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dan lives in the Chicagoland area. With a grown son from a previous marriage, he has since built a committed relationship of 33 years with his partner Rick, the Love of his Life. Having written his whole life, he blogged for years because he has to write…he can’t help it. Know the feeling? There’s ‘good‘ to be found in all of it. “If all I do is leave someone (or something) better than I found them, then I’ve done my part. Thanks for letting me grace your screen, if only for a little while.”
This entry was posted in Hope, LGBT, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to VIOLIN CASE

  1. purplemary54 says:

    Laws that allow businesses to discriminate because of “religious” values are destined to be overturned by SCOTUS. Because we did already go through this, and there’s pretty much no way anyone is going to publicly support a return to Jim Crow. The times are a-changing, and the reactionary bigots are trying their best to prevent that. But that’s like trying to stop an avalanche with a snowblower.

    • dan4kent says:

      Agreed, but even the screams of the Dinosaurs died out…no disrespect to the dinos, but maybe there’s a similarity here. One step…one step – pause – one step.
      Travel well, Dan

  2. katecrimmins says:

    Very well said. I wondered when I read about the bill whether anyone saw it for what it was. Could they refuse Catholics next? Or perhaps psychiatrists because we all know they are crazy and both must be contrary to their religion too. Perhaps Wiccans too. Is it two steps forward and one step back?

    • dan4kent says:

      Thank you Ms. Kate. Agreed. While it does seem to be two-steps forward beats one back, it’d help if we had better music to two-step to. Travel well. Eyes open. Loving the trip! Dan

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