Friday, February 22, 2008

Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama....

I'm still going back and forth on the two candidates worth voting for...

But with the whole Barack plagiarism thing this week, I thought this video made a great point...

My conclusion: the media spins everything.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Melting metal is quite fun...

I've decided to start hand-wiring and building my own guitar effects pedals. Boutique pedals, as they are commonly called, are normally priced in the $250-$300 range. Expensive, to say the least; but like so many things, you get what you pay for. So the idea is to order the parts and do it myself. High end gear for nothing more than cost of the parts (which generally run in the $75-$125 range--much more tolerable).

I started building my first pedal last night. I finished it this afternoon. I am a complete novice at soldering and was still able to come away with a solid finished product. Needless to say, I'm stoked. This is the first of many to come. I'm hoping they spark interest in fellow musicians and I can build some for other people. If interested, post a comment with your email and I'll contact you about what effects I can build and what you're looking for.

As long as Joneo says its cool, I'm going to use a name he came up with for my first pedal: "The One Inch Punch." Its a small box harmonic distortion. If I build any more of the same, I'll keep the name. I think it fits.

Friday, February 15, 2008

She's my lobster...

I am sitting on the rooftop balcony at the 21C Hotel in Louisville. I am sitting in a fluffy hotel bath robe sipping a fine bubbly from a silver cup. We have a beautiful view of downtown from up here. My wife sits ten feet from me, inside, on the massive king bed, cycling through the iPod that came with the room trying to decide if we should listen to My Mourning Jacket or Coldplay. We enjoyed an amazing meal at Proof on Main tonight--one of my top ten ever. We then enjoyed a nice ensemble's concert down at the Jazz Factory. We have massages scheduled in the morning, after room service brings us breakfast in bed.

Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot.

I thank God daily for the blessing that is my Brittany Marie.

I thank God for weekends like these when we can get away from angry bloggers, jobs, last semesters of college, utility bills and cars that won't run right... to simply spoil each other, do the things we love and think of nothing else.

I thank God for nights like these.

I thank God...

(PS-Brittany has just informed me that the iPod is pre-loaded with some Elton John. We will be listening to Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man now, in case you wanted to know...)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Moving right along...

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

My favorite part has to be when we're hoisting Brittany up on the chair and she's waving her little hands around. I crack up every single time...

JibJab is funny stuff. Go try it out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Curiosity, the cat, and I...

For some odd reason, I began to read Al Mohler's blog/website today. I guess I just felt like starting the week off wrong...

I found it interesting how many times he used very bi-partisan language (ie, liberal, fundamentalist, etc). I know he's an uber-conservative and all, but anyway, I found it odd...

I read through several articles--but his entry on the death penalty pushed me overboard. Read here.

I know a lot of people that think the world of Dr Mohler, so don't take this an an outright assault on him. Mike Huckabee has made this same topic part of his campaign platform. I'm sure untold others would agree with them. But it hurts me inside that men who are in the public eye--men who have the title "Reverend" attached to their name--would stand up and support the death penalty on biblical grounds. Its like supporting war on biblical grounds. It makes no sense. It just doesn't make any sense. Its an outright twisted view of scripture and a sick personification of God. Maybe we should all go back and read Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" together.

Killing someone to teach others that killing is wrong (or making war to make peace) is like screwing for virginity.

Fallible logic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

wisdom from Dave...

It is no secret, my affinity for the David Crowder Band. Their music persistently blows me away. Christian or not, their albums and shows are above and beyond the majority of singers/bands in the music industry. It is also no secret that I am quite fond of David Crowder's books, lyrics and overall writing. His blog is quirky and brilliant. He has recently decided to start answering questions posed on a section of his personal blog. One of the questions and answers from his most recent posts is as follows:

question 6: “i went to the show in cincinatti and there was alcohol being served. i was shocked that it was being served at a christian concert. can you tell me why it was being served?”
yes. i’m pretty sure that the bar was selling alcohol because it is a bar and that’s what bars sell. they typically like to make money and so they buy things, such as beers, from a distributor for a certain price and then mark it up to sell to people so that they will get a profit and get to pay their employees and get to stay open and such. alcohol is usually a pretty big seller for bars. i am sorry this was shocking.

i might add, both historically and currently, there are many people who love jesus, and follow him, that also enjoy alcohol regularly. if you have not encountered these people first hand, you should attempt to enlarge your peer circle and i think you’ll get a clearer picture of the diversity of the body of christ. there are denominations and traditions that denounce alcohol, and there are those that condone it. these beliefs are typically culturally specific and attached to a particular sect's interpretations of a few particular passages in scripture. i should state here that we, as a band and as individuals, do not, in any way, condone drunkenness, as it is stupid, nor under-aged drinking as it is also stupid and against the law, and trust that those in attendance at various dates on our club tour are intelligent enough to arrive at both of these conclusions as well. it is not very difficult to observe the damaging effects of abusing alcohol. it is simple that way; abuse it, it abuses you back, most of the time immediately.

(an aside: in my experience, most conversations about alcohol with those who adamantly reject it as a possible beverage choice, present that it could cause a brother to stumble. this is awful logic. apply this logic to various food items ordered at your next public meal. there will doubtlessly be present various numbers of people who struggle with obesity or high cholesterol or heart disease, who would really love one of your cheesesticks. there will also be those present who are vegetarian, myself included, who are attempting to not ingest meat. i’m sure you see the trouble with this line of thinking. this was the very argument that peter and paul were having regarding idol meat. i will not attempt further argument here since there is plenty to find out there, if one were truly curious, that would present things in a much more scholarly and organized manner than i could hope to present it. i will also state here that i shall not require you to cease your carnivorous ways while sharing a restaurant with me.)

and finally, i should state the reasons we went on a tour that had as its venues bars and clubs exclusively. we wished for the story of god to be experienced beyond the safety of our cloistered church environments. it was our deep hope that many who would not frequent a bar would come join us and experience the reality of the presence of god in an environment that they might not typically suspect to experience such a thing in. we believe, if we are reading scripture correctly, that once the veil was torn, that in an instant, suddenly, god was everywhere. the symbolism and consequences of this moment are epic! the way human beings access the maker of heaven and earth were forever changed. suddenly, once and for all, through the ultimate sacrificial offering, suddenly, he is everywhere. every second is lived in the very presence of god. there is no moment that is not holy. there is no space that is not sacred. it is the awareness of our reality that shifts, not this reality. therefore, all that is needed is for our awareness to change and we begin to view spaces and people and cultures and music and art and eating and drinking and sleeping and waking as moments and spaces and places where god is already active and present. our hope on this tour was to give people a physical, tangible experience of this reality.

I strive to communicate with his poignancy.

Obviously, neither Crowder or I are trying to advocate the consumption of alcohol. His point is so much larger than that. The alcohol really isn't even the issue. The reality of God is.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Jack's new album came out today. My wonderful wife went to get it before I met her on our lunch break so I could start enjoying it as soon as possible.

Before you ask: Yes, its sounds very similar to his last three solo albums; yes, its amazing.

Thus far, my favorite song is the title track "Sleep Through the Static." The lyrics are a carefully written word play. Parts of it are like Wheel of Fortune's "Before and After" type puzzles where the last word of one line is also the first word of the next line. Its written in the form of stream of consciousness. The second verse is as follows:

"Shock an awful thing to make somebody think
That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops
And either you're weak or you'll use brut force-feed the truth
The truth is we say not as we do
We say anytime, just show your teeth and strike the fear
Of god wears camouflage, cries at night, and drives a dodge
Pick up the beat and stop hogging the feast
That's no way to treat an enemy."

Read it a few times to let it sink in. Wow.

So, long story short: Jack Johnson's new album comes highly recommended by me.