Thoughts and essays about music, physics, martinis and pretty girls.

[ about the author ]
Name: Roger L. Smith
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Interests: Astronomy, Science,  Bicycle Racing, Music,  Photography, Tennis, and why...
Occupation: Computer Scientist, Software Engineer

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[ contact Roger ]
via email

[ Roger's web site ]
Martini Records

Roger's original music ]

Martinis at Midnight

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Remembering friends (and not that stupid TV show that's finally going off the air)

Every once in a while my memory bubbles up with thoughts from high school and college. I haven't kept in touch with anyone from either place, and now I regret that I haven't. Good friends are wonderful jewels to have. They know your past and remember things that you may not. You see, when friends are together, they bring history closer and make the future more exciting. I apologize to all my lost friends that I no longer see or share words with. I keep driving toward the future, but frequent glances in the rearview mirror keeps me wondering where everything went.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

the inventor of ctrl-alt-del has retired from IBM

how many times have you simultaneously held down ctrl & alt, then repeatedly smacked the life out of the delete key? it's a good thing we don't have to pay royalties on that one.
it used to be that this cantankerous combination of keypushing signaled an unrecoverable state of the computer. now every morning to log into my computer i am required to perform the same exercise. good thing i'm a software engineer and understand these things... maybe one day they'll change the meaning of the traffic signals so red means go, and green means stop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

more mind droppings

if a photon is traveling through space at the speed of light, does it have any measurable length in the direction of it's motion? does it have any width perpendicular to it's motion?
according to Einstein, a photon cannot be slowed. it is always traveling at the speed of light, no matter what the speed is of the reference object.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

what I've learned so far about our universe:
Light travels really fast, but does not move through time.
Moving through space really fast slows down your movement through time.
Motion through space will shorten the object in motion in the direction of motion.
Rotational motion will shorten the circumference of the circle, however the radius stays the same. This movement has just warped or bubbled up space/time.
Time moves faster near a black hole.

Einstein's theory of special relativity:
The speed of light is the same for all observers, no matter what the speed of the observer is.
The laws of physics are the same for all inertial observers.

Einstein's theory of general relativity:
Gravity is the warping of space/time due to some mass. The bigger the mass the bigger the "dent" in space/time.

my own wonderings, ponderings and mind droppings:
1. Maybe the aging process is really the process of moving through light, and not time.
2. Maybe light is actually time, or time is a carrier of light.
3. Why does sound move at a different rate?
4. What does the rotation of the earth or it's orbit around the sun do to the fabric of space/time and that of the gravitational field the 2 masses create?
5. When you die, you might actually begin moving at the speed of light, and therefore exist forever.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I picked up my guitar today and played a couple of my old tunes. I need to do that every day, it felt good.

My daughter is beginning to take an interest in playing guitar. I've set her up with one of my electrics and a practice amp.

She found an injured bird today, and we now have it in the next room. It's being nursed back to health. She is doing a great job taking care of it.... She is really missing her cat that has now been missing for a month. She is a true animal lover.

I hardly ever know what the right thing is to do anymore. Seems like the little problems just pile up, and I don't know how to deal with them. More and more everyday.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Another Sunday for a middle age amateur musician with a family and a job to go to tomorrow.

I'm digging out music that inspired me a few years ago. Maybe it will inspire again.

I think my problem is that I expect every song I write to be better than the last. I need to focus on completing some new songs rather than trying to out do myself each time. It's also hard to find time to work on anything new. Tonight I helped with homework; writing papers, poetry, social studies, and after that there isn't much time for other things. I also tried to burn a few calories on the tread mill. Took a shower, checked my email, and now I'm here. In 6 hours I have to get up and start a new week.

never seem to get in the place where i belong...
silence is not the way, we need to talk about it... if heaven is on the way....
you in the sea on a decline breaking the waves... watching the lights go down... letting the cables sleep.
"letting the cables sleep"
The Science of Things

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Doesn't it seem that all this wonderful technology, computers, Internet, etc. just promotes loneliness? It used to be that people went out on Saturday nights. They had fun. They met new people. They started new relationships. People became friends with other people. Maybe I'm just getting too old for that sort of thing. Maybe it's the Internet. Maybe I'm too old to make new friends. Yes, I'm feeling old today, and a little lonely. Maybe it's the Internet.

I'm excited about Opportunity landing on Mars. It should land within the next few minutes, and I've got my fingers crossed. I wish all the boys and girls at NASA and JPL the best of luck.

It's time for bed. Tomorrow's another day...

Thursday, January 22, 2004


a year of snow fell that day
nary a child could stay away
angels, igloos and men of kinds
creations all from eager minds

and under the pines near the hill
the freshest snow lay quiet, still
there stood a man built from snow
alone, where the wind won't blow

loneliness stands beneath the pines
the snowman waits for Valentines
a heart of ice in a soul of steam
the snowman lives a silent dream

one warmer day, the sun did shine
and found its way through the pine
it touched his heart, a warm embrace
while the smile melted from his face

suddenly in his snowy mind
he knew he'd never stand till Valentines
the love he waited for, may never come
his closest love, was now the sun

loneliness stands beneath the pines
the snowman waits for Valentines
a heart of ice in a soul of steam
the snowman lives a silent dream

and someday... it all will melt
never mind how we felt
life's too short to stand and wait
we have the freedom to make our fate
so if you have a soul of steam
never live a silent dream

loneliness stands beneath the pines
the snowman waits for Valentines
a heart of ice in a soul of steam
the snowman lives a silent dream

copyright 2004 © Roger L. Smith

I've been trying to decided if a person with an music background, a practicing amateur

musician or someone that simply enjoys music would be the most critical of amateur independent


What do you think. Leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Today is the anniversary of my wedding.
Happy anniversary Tracey.
I love you with all my heart and soul.

you are space, i'm time
bound together, forever
love light never ends

Do you think a martini should be made with gin or vodka?
Do you prefer an olive or an onion or something else to garnish your cocktail?

Leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Some new haiku... for all of you

you are space, i'm time
bound together, forever
love light never ends

yellow sticky note
you contain my reminders
hold yourself in place

Today I've begun the design of the new Martini Records website. I've done this before, but this time I think it will get finished. I've decided it would be beneficial to assign dates to the goals I've created. This will include dates for new songs to be written and then recorded, and also dates for the different phases of the website. I'm not sure yet if I'll post the dates or not, most likely not. I'm hoping that the new website will coincide with the first release of my new music, which will be as if we're starting a new chapter, or maybe even starting a new book.

See my post from yesterday for a quick way to win $10,000,000.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Take a minute to learn about X Prize.


Sunday, January 18, 2004

Sunday Paper

the headline reads 'Man Insane!'
He disappeared never seen again.
a bizarre story it begins to tell
about a man afraid to yell

the Empire State he stood on top
as people waited to watch him drop
He stood alone, with something to say
then without a word he ran away

the Sunday Paper reads of mystery
what went wrong, who could he be
the mystery man in the paper today
knew the story, but had nothing to say

on top the building like old King Kong
ready to sing some fabulous song
ready to tell the world around
yet he couldn't make a single sound
stood there still like he was froze
and who he was nobody knows

[verse 2]
reporters flew from Channel Eight
taking pictures before it's too late
they flew up close in their helicopter
pulling a sign reading 'You should've stopped her'

then right there in the Sunday Paper
I realize I should've tried to keep her
'I'm sorry', is what I needed to scream
and maybe last night, wasn't a dream

the Sunday Paper reads of mystery
what went wrong, who could he be
the mystery man in the paper today
knew the story, but had nothing to say

copyright 2004 © Roger Smith

Saturday, January 17, 2004

have you ever heard a sound
that seems to move your soul
that lifts you from the ground
and leaves you no control

have you ever heard the laughter
of young spirits playing free
and wishing some time after
you were still that happy

have you ever heard a cry
from someone so close to you
and wiping tears from an eye
not knowing what else to do

have you ever heard the rain
fall outta clear skies of blue
and felt like life's in vain
then i share this song with you

copyright 2004 © Roger Smith

Friday, January 16, 2004

A couple days ago, President Bush challenged/directed NASA to return to the moon within 15+ years and then head on to Mars. I think most of this is political hype, and the president is attempting to gain support from a growing sector of our society (space geeks). Is there any real reason to send people back to the moon? I'm not sure what elements and minerals can be found on the moon, but I haven't heard that they are worth anything. If some kind of fuel could be extracted from moon dirt, then I suppose there may be some value in setting up a moon base.

I do think sending humans to Mars is an exciting idea. If the United States doesn't do it, another country will. Today I learned the Spirit rover may have discovered some kind of mud at Gusev Crater. Actually, scientists do not know what it is but at this point it looks like it could be Martian mud. Mars is a fascinating place, and it would be incredible to be able to go there and explore. Unfortunately, Mars is like a sunny spring day to a school-age child with a lot of homework. Trying to get through the homework first is the challenge that faces our government.

I hope you checked out my website yesterday.

Today is the birthday of my website, it is 2 years old!

My last post was a self-description with respect to education and career, and in this post I'm going to give you a little view of who I really am.

The most important thing in my life is trying to be the best father I can be to the 2 most beautiful children in the world. My kids are the center of my universe.

I met my wife in college, so I guess those 6 years were not all wasted. Next week we will have our 15th wedding anniversary.

I am very interested in music. I enjoy writing songs and recording them with my computer. I am a self taught guitarist that has been playing for over 20 years, however my playing sounds more like that of a beginner. I also enjoy writing song lyrics, and I hope that blogging from time to time will allow me to get the creative gears turning again.

Another interest that I am beginning to become more involved with is science and physics. More specifically, astrophysics and hopefully some day soon, astrophotography.
I guess I've been bitten by the bug to find out where we all came from and where we are going. I've been reading Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe", and I can say that I finally almost understand Einstein's Theories of Relativity. Anyhow this stuff is very cool, and I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in our universe. It's not Star Trek sci-fi crap, it all makes sense.

I often feel like a college student that aged, but never grew up. College seemed like the hardest thing in the world when I was there, but it was actually the best time of my life. That must be why I stayed there for 6 years.

So, I plan to write things here about pretty girls with martinis, music, lyrics, physics, the stars, where we are going, where we came from and try to pose, in a different light, the age old question, "why?".

Thursday, January 15, 2004

In this blog I'd plan to write about the things that interest me the most.

If you have an interest in anything I write, please let me know.

If you know me, you MUST EMAIL ME! I want to hear from you.

you can contact me at

Take a minute and check out my website.

Who the heck is Roger?

I grew up in Goodrich, a small Michigan town on the east side of the state. I graduated from Goodrich High School in 1982 and then attended Western Michigan University for the next 6 years. I studied electrical engineering, software engineering, and graphics/design.

My first job was with Computer Design, a small CAD software development company in Grand Rapids. I worked for Computer Design (CDI) for about 10 years, developing fabric simulation software. I had the unique opportunity to be part of developing their "next generation" software package which later was known as U4ia. If you've ever used U4ia, or even heard of it, please write to me and let me know who you are!

In 1999 I left Computer Design, now known as Lectra Systems to work in the engineering department of a huge office furniture company. I was baited with cool engineering software projects, but was forced to eat on-call support, red tape, and lots of finger pointing. Essentially on my second day of this job I began looking again for another job. Almost 5 years later, it happened.

This past year, 2003, I was offered a position as a software design engineer with another small software development company. I am once again doing the things that I had hoped to be doing.

Why would I assume that the most important information about me is related to my education and my career? With the next post I'll write more personal information about who I am.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Tomorrow I shall make the first "real" post.
Take care everyone, It's been a long day...


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