Ricardo Sevilla's Blog

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.


 “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway




Every so often, I stumble upon a song that captivates me. Whether it's the underlying melody or the poetry behind the lyrics, something about the song embeds itself within me. It's as if a part of my being sinks into a warm pool of memories that remind me why I am the man that I am today. Some of these memories ache, but the pain is subtle. Some of these memories are wondrous, and the heart is warmed. It's like losing gulps of air within the interlude of your breathing. These compelling songs are the ones that make me turn off all the lights, sit down on my favorite chair, take a sip of my favorite wine, lean backward, close my eyes, and kindly ask Alexa to play. And in darkness, appreciate every note of a very powerful song.


If I was in heaven with you
I wouldn't cry for a long time
If I was in the middle with you
I would be free to speak my mind

Ooh, would you lie down?
See those clothes I'm wearing now?
Tell me where my faith is
Or is it off the road?

Ooh, would you lie down?
Tell me which birds are in the sky
Or which flowers lie at the edge of the wood

If I was in the garden with you
You would tell me how it turned out right
If I was at the table with you
I would see, I'd see your crown

Ooh, would you lie down?
See those books I'm reading now?
Are you in the dark or are you gone for good?

Ooh, would you lie down?
Tell me which birds are in the sky
Or which flowers lie by the side of the road




Everyday Reminders


Next to the entrance to my place is a wall rack of running medals. They remind me of a time where running marathons and races was the norm for me. This year I decided to go back to this norm. Besides... all my running tech shirts are getting old... considering that I have not done a race in over 3 years. I need new medals and new shirts :). 



Stones and Knives


I was cooking one day, and I went to slice a tomato when I noticed that my knife was rather dull... the tomato fought back! I looked online and found the best knife sharpener I could get. It turns out, the Chef's Choice 1520 was being hailed as one of the best money(consumer-grade) knife sharpening systems out there.





I placed an order and waited for its arrival. While waiting, I kept on looking online about ways to sharpen knives. I came across a forum where knife enthusiasts spoke about the Chef's Choice sharpening system. It turns out, many were dissatisfied with it and said that it damaged their knives. It did not improve sharpness all that much, overate the blade, and the awful scratches it left behind.


Curious, I kept on reading. 


It was mentioned that the best way to sharpen knives is through the use of whetstone. A whetstone? What the heck is a wet stone? I kept reading and started to look into whetstones. NO THANKS. Whetstones are pretty expensive, and I think I would do just fine with the Chef Choice.


It arrived, and I used the Chef Choice Electric Knife Sharpener with one of my cooking knives. I could smell metal being shaved off. I made sure I used only stages two and three to hone and polish, not the first stage that does a restoration. 


Curious about what I read in the knife forums, I place the blade under my daughter's microscope to take a look...



My knife is damaged! DAMAGED! I couldn't tell by only looking at it, but when taking a closer look, it clearly showed the damage this supposed best in class knife sharpener did! I was glad I only ran one of my knives through this thing and did not damage any others. Not that I have the most expensive knives, but I do use Victorinox knives (a great set for amateur cooks).


I revisit the idea of whetstones, and after a day or two of looking into this, speaking with others in forums, I order some off Amazon. The total cost was about the same as the electric knife sharpener. So, during my two days wait, I go on YouTube and start looking at sharpening techniques and tutorials using whetstones. 


I specifically enjoyed this video.



And so, the stones arrive, and I begin the process of repairing my knife.



After following the YouTube video for a bit, the knife started to look a little better, so I took it under Blu's microscope again. 



The first thing I noticed was the lack of scratches at the edge of the blade. It seems significantly more smooth. What a difference! I continue doing this process until the gap is the blade is gone.



Excited after my first repair, I proceed and sharpen ALL my kitchen knives, and all of them cut as if they were just purchased!


The lesson of the story? Never use electric knife sharpeners, especially if you have good quality kitchen knives. 



Greta Van Fleet



After a long day at work one evening, I decided to sit back and enjoy an episode of SNL. I noticed a musical performance of a rock band called Greta Van Fleet. 


They sounded terrible! So bad, that I wondered why SNL would host such a funny looking and sounding band. Wow. 


My curiosity swelled, and I searched on Spotify for more of their music. There has to be, I said to myself, a reason why they played on SNL. 

"Black Smoke Rising" was the song they played on SNL. I put on my headphones and listened. 


"Woah, WHAT!?" I said to myself. They sound so much like the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, in terms of guitar riffs and even the vocals!! I listened to a few more of their songs and did more research on them. 


As it turns out, Greta Van Fleet is gaining massive amounts of traction and at the same time having a polarizing effect in the rock community. On one side of the aisle, there are those who say they sound way too similar to Led Zeppelin and are not offering anything new to the rock genre. However, the other side of the aisle is loving this band precisely for that same reason: they sound like Led Zeppelin.


I came to conclude that this band just had a weak performance during their SNL play time, but their music is good.


In a market that's overly saturated with R&B and Hip-Hop, is it such a bad thing to have a band reviving the hard rock sound of the 70's and bringing it to a new generation of listeners? Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin's lead singer, even acknowledged the similarities between the bands and happens to give Greta Van Fleet a friendly nod of approval. 


Greta Van Fleet offers a high contrast to today's rock offerings and lets' face it, we will never see Led Zeppelin perform live again, let alone produce new music. I happen to be a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, and Greta Van Fleet is creating music that might as well come from Zeppelin. So I ask again, is it such a bad thing that they sound like Led Zeppelin? Absolutely not. I am enjoying their music, and I take a seat with the side of the aisle that applauds the comeback of a style of rock music that has captured the hearts of millions during the '70s. Kudos to these kids (all younger than 22 years of age). They are brilliant musicans, and I hope that as the years come before them, that they manage to solidify their style and possibly step out of the Zeppelin's shadow. I see good things happening for this band.


Welcome back Rock n Roll.