Bedlam Boys in Estes Park

Photo courtesy of The Bedlam Boys

Photo courtesy of The Bedlam Boys

The Bedlam Boys will be in Estes Park this Saturday, August 20, at 3:30 pm.  Also, for those attending the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Festival in September, come see them at the Barrel Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

The Bedlam Boys are the collaboration of Marty Smith (vocals and bouzouki) and Steve Hart (vocals, guitar and bouzouki), two long time Celtic musicians, performing Scottish and Irish songs and tunes. The Bedlam Boys have been well received by audiences since their start in 2015. In 2016, they will be performing at the Colorado Irish Festival and Celtic Harvest Festival. They are regulars at Bierwerks Brewery in Woodland Park, and have performed at Jack Quinn’s Pub in Colorado Springs and McGinty’s Irish Pub in Divide, Colorado.

Marty Smith has been playing folk music for over 20 years across much of the western U.S. He spent much of that time playing the lively dance tunes of the British Isles on the hammered dulcimer but now almost exclusively plays the Irish bouzouki and sings. He was a cofounder of the popular Celtic music festival, Ceili at the Roundhouse, in Evanston, Wyoming, and has taught at music camps and school outreach programs across the Rocky Mountain region. He’s played solo and in different collaborations in Wyoming and Colorado but most recently his musical explorations with Steve in Bedlam Boys are the most exciting.

Steve Hart grew up playing guitar in Austin, Texas and studied music in TCU in Fort Worth. He fell in love with Irish music in the late 1990’s. In 2002, Steve was a founding member of Ceol Céilí, one of the top Irish bands in the Pikes Peak area, and Colorado’s #2 band in the Colorado Irish Festival’s “Battle of the Irish Bands.”

In the fall of 2015, Steve and Marty began collaborating to create their own interpretive style of Celtic music. Their musical conversations are both intriguing for them as musicians and engaging for the audience.

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The Elders at The Louisville Street Faire This Friday, July 22

EldersThe Elders will appear at the Louisville Street Faire this Friday, July 22. They are scheduled to perform from 6:30pm-9:00pm at 824 Front Street Louisville, CO. This is a free concert.

The Elders were founded in 1998 by six individuals with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock. From the beginning The Elders seemed to be channeling something ancient and enduring – something unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism. Their ability to bring together the art of story telling with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition, has won them a broad international fan base, as well as critical acclaim in numerous publications such as PASTE Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Music Row Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star and many more.

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I can’t believe he’s gone

KilimanjaroJust got the word that one of my heroes is no longer with us. I’ve mentioned Scott Dinsmore before, and the incredible impact he’s had on my life. Reading his blog and following his advice have changed my whole outlook and how I approach life. They got me started on a path so completely different than anything I’ve experienced before that I’m still working out how to put his ideas into practice.

Scott touched millions, but he still seemed to have that personal touch, that connection with each individual. He was a revolutionary thinker, who died doing what he loved. He and his wife were on a pilgrimage around the world, gathering new experiences and conquering new horizons, when he was killed while attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

I can’t tell you how shocked I am by this news. Scott was only 33, alive and vibrant, with so much to share with the world, so much more to contribute. I am glad he lived every minute as if it might be his last, because the end came earlier than one might expect. I’ll be working through the implications of that for quite some time to come.

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Daylight Savings Time?

I was just reading an article called “5 Myths of Daylight Savings Time.” Nice to know it wasn’t actually started to help farmers and such. But the thing that struck me most was the repeated statement that it results in “more daylight.”

You change your clock. Or does it change you?

You change your clock. Or does it change you?

Think about it, we get no more daylight on DST than we get without it. It just happens at a different time of day. We rob the beginning of the day and add the hour onto the end. The sun is seen in the sky for exactly the same amount of hours as before.

So what’s the actual difference?

The clock.

Now clocks are supposed to measure time; they don’t create or destroy it. The daylight doesn’t change, just the clock, and therefore us. Have you ever thought about how dependent we are on clocks? Now, though spring is approaching, which actually DOES increase the amount of daylight, I will again be getting up in the dark, where before I was seeing the beautiful sunrise when I awoke. I will be staring into the newly risen sun on my way to work where before I had suffered through the worst of that and was able to once again see the road. I have to deal with these things twice because we changed the clocks.

I grew up in a rural area, where we worked by daylight and rested at night. I grew up hunting and fishing and camping, where my activities were determined by the sun. This is how human beings were created to live. The sun is our clock.

I can certainly see the value of clocks. I work in a school, and I am a fanatic for setting my watch by the school clock, which doesn’t always match the “official” time on everybody’s cell phone. Without a clock, how do we decide when to change classes or call the kids in from recess?

The big warnings you see on TV and hear on the radio are mostly based on anecdotal research, but there do seem to be some effects of moving our clocks one hour different from our bodies’ accustomed cycle.  Michael J. Breus, PhD, writing on WebMD, talks about coping with the change. He warns that the strategy many people use actually makes the problem worse. Go to bed at the same time, rise an hour earlier, and increase the caffeine intake? That’s where those stories of increased accident rates come from.

The real solution is the same you’d use to cope with jet lag on a trip. Go to bed at a decent hour, get 8 hours of sleep and give yourself a bit of time to adjust to the change. Breus says it takes a day to adjust for every hour of change. So your Monday will be a bit more challenging, but then you should be on the rise.

One more suggestion from me. Get out in the sunshine. Not to increase your vitamin D level, you can get that from milk. But light is the most important factor in keeping our circadian rhythm in sync with our universe. Plus, it will just do your outlook a world of good.

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Interested in an online knitting course?

374756_10150935979170367_1863011718_nI am looking at producing an online knitting course. First, for beginners, but if that is successful, I could do some more advanced ones later. Looking for feedback on my list of topics for each segment. What do you think of this?

Pre-course introductions
“What is Knitting?
”The Knit Stitch”
”The Purl Stitch”
”Garter Stitch”
”Stockinette Stitch”
Ten week course
Week 1—Review knit, purl, garter, stockinette
Week 2—Make a washcloth/dishrag
Week 3—Garter Stitch Scarf
Week 4—Introduction to circular knitting
Week 5—Rib stitch watch cap
Week 6—What is “gauge” and how is it important?
Week 7—Reading patterns and charts
Week 8—Sweater–Front and back
Week 9—Sweater–sleeves
Week 10—Sweater–neck and finishing
Bonus–Cable stitch

I would love to have any feedback on these. Thanks.

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What revolution do you want to lead?

This is a concept from Jonathan Fields. He was studying non-violent revolutions, such as the sea changes in society fostered by Ghandi, and he began to wonder if the same principles could be applied in other areas, such as business or charity work. Now he has a whole plan on how to start your own revolution in whatever area you choose.

I want to start the Multipassionate Revolution. I’ve written before about how I’m discovering my multipassionate nature. In the process, I’ve learned that many multipassionates think they are somehow defective. Others are experiencing the glory of the rainbow life. I would love to connect these and others in one big multipassionate community.

Get more information at, and of course, I’d love to see your comments below.

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What difference do you want to make?

You_Can_Make_a_Difference_by_y3nd0The blog challenge is still on, and today I am asked “What difference do you want to make?”

That’s not any easy one for me to answer. If you’ve followed me much, you know why. I want to make multiple differences. I don’t have one overarching theme, I am Multipassionate.

I want to bring the joy of music and Irish history and culture; I want to bring stories to life, and demonstrate my passions on the stage. I want to write things that inspire and motivate people to do their best, to BE their best. I want to help people break down the walls in their lives through traveling to Ireland and other Celtic nations. I love to teach, because it makes people better, gives them hope and courage, and the tools to live the lives they love.

When I pass from this earth, I want those I leave behind to be better off because they knew me; not just remembering me fondly, but knowing that I helped improve their lives.

That’s the difference I want to make.

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What’s one thing you’re proud of?

This is the latest Challenge from Scott Dinsmore, and it’s perplexing to me. When I first discovered Scott’s teaching about following your passion, I began to enter answers into the workbook he has created. But the first question wanted to know what I am most proud of. As a Multipassionate, I am involved in many things, most of them apparently unrelated to each other.  There is no overriding passion in my life, other than to pursue my multiple passions.

This question is a bit easier. I have to name ONE thing, not THE ONE thing. But I’m not sure I really engage in pride so much as enjoyment of my many passions. I really try hard to have a realistic evaluation of myself and my abilities. I try not to be to proud or falsely humble, but to honestly understand who I am and what I can do.

I am proud of my music, my knitting, my craft work, my educational accomplishments, and so much more. Not overly proud, but certainly finding joy in many different expressions of creativity. How do I choose one? I couldn’t even sit down and name them all. I’ve tried, and I come back later with more than I hadn’t included the first time.

So let’s just say this week, that I’m proud of a talent competition I’ve organized at the school where I work. It’s laborious, but I really enjoy inspiring these kids to get out there and perform. It’s one of the ways I try to contribute to the overall good of the world. That makes me feel good. Is that pride? Love to see some feedback on that in the comments.

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What really makes you angry about the world?

You may know about the 5-Day Blog Challenge from Scott Dinsmore. This is Day 2. Scott challenged us today by referring to a story about Dale Carnegie, the famous motivational speaker. In one of his first attempts at teaching public speaking at a YMCA, Dale ran out of material, so he challenged his students to speak about something that made them angry. The passion that came from their anger took away their fear and made them better public speakers. Dale began to harness the power of that passion in motivating people to be better public speakers.

I say passion, because anger is only one type of passion, and in my opinion, a limited one. It can result in a passionate speech that alienates your listeners. Of course, if you can get people to share your anger, it helps motivate them to action. But I remember that a two-edged sword cuts both ways

I don’t get angry easily or often, so it’s not a simple task for me to think of something that makes me angry. Lies and misinformation perhaps. I can think of many political or theological discussions where I have been told things that are untrue. This makes it impossible to have a reasonable discussion. Reasonable discussion is something I value, so that’s hard on me.

I find it especially frustrating when people misrepresent what I believe or value. I have no problem with disagreements or differences of opinion. I work hard at forming beliefs that are reasonable and consistent with the known facts, but I realize that not everyone understands or appreciates my logic. That’s fine. But when they purposely misinterpret or “misunderstand” my positions, the dishonesty is disconcerting to me.

I really think this is a major part of what’s wrong with our political process in America today. There seem to be two opinions on any subject, which are at the extreme opposite ends of a spectrum, and each side represents the other as ignorant, evil, or at the very least, misinformed.

In reality, there may be a number of legitimate opinions, not just two, and if we discuss them reasonably, it helps us all clarify our own positions and perhaps even learn something from those who disagree. This requires actually listening to somebody else, and not automatically dismissing their ideas because they disagree with ours. That’s a rare commodity these days.

Speaking of discussion, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. Let me know what you think.

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Five Day Blog Challenge

OK, so Scott Dinsmore has challenged me to blog daily for five days. Day one is “set up your blog.” I already have one, so I guess I’m ahead of the game there. Then I’m supposed to: “Write a few sentences about your story/background, why you decided to start a blog and what you hope to get out of it. Add in something unique an interesting from your story too!”

Background: I was born at a very young age in a hospital in a small town in eastern Colorado. I stayed there a few days to be near my mother, who was hospitalized for child birth at the time. My grandfather was the attending physician, so we kept it in the family.

I mostly grew up in that same town, with only a few diversions, so I am pretty rural in my background, though I’ve lived in cities too. Especially since 1982, when my wife and I moved to the Denver metro area so I could attend Bible College and become a pastor. I am an ordained minister, though I’ve never really pursued it much as a profession.

I have found other outlets, such as singing, playing musical instruments, acting, storytelling, and a lot more. I am a creative “multipassionate” and I love exhibiting that creativity in a variety of ways.

I have that same wonderful wife, and five adorable children (If you can use the word adorable for people 20 years of age and up.) and we live in a Denver suburb. I work in a middle school in various capacities and I totally enjoy my life.

With my blog, I hope to clarify my own hopes, dreams and desires and how I can do my part to help others. What is my unique contribution to this world we share? I’d welcome any ideas or feedback on that. Just use the comments box and let’s make the world a better place.

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