Tuesday, February 26, 2008


"busking." intr.verb. busked, busk·ing, busks. busker (noun)

To play music or perform entertainment in a public place, usually while soliciting money.

[Earlier, to be an itinerant performer, probably from busk, to go about seeking, cruise as a pirate, perhaps from obsolete French busquer, to prowl, from Italian buscare, to prowl, or Spanish buscar, to seek, from Old Spanish boscar.]

Edited definition from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 26 Feb. 2008. At www.dictionary.com

Blonde Joke

This came from my father-in-law.

An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter; "Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?"

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent. In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says; 'Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

  1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
  2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
  3. I'm a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
  4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter.
  5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.

Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?"

The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, "No...not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times."

Yes, it's true, I'm easily amused.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Charlie Bit My Finger

Gratuitous cute baby video in lieu of actual blog content

Charlie's got a mean streak...did you see that grin?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Drumsong by Gavin Harrison

More Music By People You've Never Heard Of:

How To Get Revival

This is a very funny post over at AIM. It's about how to use the Book of Jonah as a guide for personal and corporate revival. Good times, good times...

The Anti-Itch Meditation: How To Get Revival

I really like Jonah's story a lot. It is so weird. Jesus likes it too and refers to it directly in Matthew 16:1-4 as He excoriates the Jewish religious leaders for asking Him to do magic tricks. Forget saving mankind from eternal damnation and misery, these guys wanted to see some Him do the Water-into-Wine gag or the Walk-on-Water trick.

Excoriate is an especially good word, if I do say so myself, to describe what Jesus does to the Pharisees and Sadducees, by the way. It comes from the Latin excoriare which means to "flay or strip off the hide".

Anyway, in the Matthew passage, Jesus tells them that the only magic trick they are going to get is what He calls the "Sign of Jonah". He is giving props to Jonah for breaking that trick in with the old "three days in the belly of the fish" act that Jonah was (and still is) so famous for. Jesus is, of course, referring to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection (after three days) that is coming up a few chapters later.

Stupid Pharisees and Sadducees...they never did figure out how He did that.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Palette of Light on a Canvas Grand

My wife has a cool job. She is the Director of Creative Arts at our church. Her responsibilities are numerous and varied, covering basically all of the worship service elements except the spoken message. She works closely with the pastoral staff and with Steve Mathews, our Director of Worship and resident musical powerhouse. One of her principle duties (and joys) is the set and lighting design for our main sanctuary. She is really good at it and continues to come up with fresh, new, and engaging ideas to complement and integrate all of the musical, multi-media, visual, and dramatic components in order to help communicate the Gospel in our little corner of the kingdom.

This is what our sanctuary looked like last week. Those illuminated orbs are Chinese lanterns. They are lit from within and without. One of our best and most gifted volunteers, Phil Lafuze, wired them up and is able to control them from our lighting console. The two large globes on the stage are connected to hoists in the rafters and can be raised and lowered.

This was from a sermon series some months back on technology and it's effect on the family and culture. The Cubist wall hangings are actually paintings. One of our artists, Ben Kenworthy, created several canvases with a "paint-by-numbers" outline drawing. Then, volunteers from the congregation painted in the colors.

This was Christmas 2006. One of the coolest things was the way we had the lights on the trees are wired into the light board. There were actually two colors of light strands on each tree, white and red, if I recall correctly. At different times within the service, the lighting on the stage would change and so would the trees. Pretty cool.

This one, a little harder to see, was for a series called "The Ripple Effect" and utilized a variety of water effects in video and lighting. But the most interesting element was the four illuminated recirculating waterfalls that lined the back of the stage. Conceived by Nancy and brought to reality by Randy Davis, our video department director, and the aforementioned Phil Lafuze.

Here's a picture that shows the waterfalls a little better, behind the guitarists.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I don't have any idea what it means...

...and I don't think you do either. However, for the sake of congeniality, I'll pretend that I think you might know. But only for a little while.

I am, or course, referring to Matthew 16:28 where Jesus says to His disciples:

"I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not
taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

And, except for The Guy in the middle, I don't think anybody in this picture knew what He meant at the time He said it either:
Yeah, I've read what some of those guys that write those big Bible commentaries say. I don't think they know either. I'm pretty sure there are some bloggers out there who think they know. Uh-huh, sure they do.

I'm okay with it, though. I don't know all there is to know about how my car works, either, but I don't let that keep me from driving into town when I need groceries and such.

Yet, I mean....

I don't understand it yet.

And I can wait.

HEMA: Yeah, it's a Dutch thing.

Saw this on Fark.com:


Pretty cool. Click and go see.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Todd Rundgren - Live In Indianapolis

A couple of weeks ago, just after our anniversary weekend, we travelled back to Indianapolis on a frigid Sunday evening to see one of our favorite rock artists of all time, Todd Rundgren at The Music Mill.

I have been a fan since I was 18 and we have been to numerous Todd Rundgren concerts over the years. Some have been big, extravagant rock-and-roll shows and others have been more intimate, solo appearances. We really didn’t know what to expect since Todd is now, presumably, in the sunset phase of his illustrious career. But what a roaring, glorious sunset it is...we were not disappointed. Todd is still clearly in complete command of all of his powers. His vocals were amazing and his guitar playing was probably better than it has ever been.

We arrived early and, as we waited in the crowded foyer, I was initially disappointed to find out that this sold-out general admission concert was standing room only, and by that I mean there were no chairs in the club-like venue. However, this fell to our advantage since after we walked in, we moved toward the stage and, as it turns out, spent the entire concert leaning against one of the floor monitors. It was a great vantage point to view the show and accounts for Nancy's excellent photos. We were close enough to inspect Kasim Sulton's dental work and barely 8 feet away from Todd.

It was a great concert. Todd fronted the classic 4-piece ensemble, and they were killer players, rock-and-roll prize fighters, really. With Kasim Sulton on bass, Jesse Gress on guitar, and Prairie Prince on drums, the groove was just relentless. No backing tracks, no pyrotechnics, no costumes, no fancy stage decorations, just a solid, hard-hitting, full bore rock show.

All of these guys are great musicians and if you aren't familiar with them I hope you'll follow the links to learn about their careers, but Kasim Sulton is really a gem. In his own right, he has played with and/or produced many of the top rock and pop artists. But he has been Todd's wingman for over 20 years now and, as any player will tell you, when you make music with someone for that long, the quality of pyschic communication is uncanny. They couldn't have been tighter if there guitars had been welded together. Kasim is a great singer, too, and was often featured on Todd's albums, as well as with their band, Utopia. It was fun standing at his feet all evening, watching a real pro, a gifted artist hard at work.

Todd is and has always been an outstanding artist. He is a creative singer/ songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist/ producer with a long string of hits to his name and a career that started in 1969. His most famous song, is probably still the old pop ballad, "Hello, It's Me," which, while not a bad song at all, is by no means a definitive example of his work. Other classics include "I Saw the Light" and "Light of the World, and the somewhat more recent "Bang the Drum All Day."

In addition to all of the hits, there is a huge discography of excellent, highly original music that never (or barely) broke into the mainstream radio market. While he is a master craftsman when it comes to creating a protoypical pop/rock song performance, I am really more fond of his lesser known, more visionary, idiosyncratic work. Politically liberal and religiously ambiguous (at best), he is nevertheless one of a small handful musical artists in whose passion, work ethic, and whole-hearted pursuit of new and adventurous things I've always found inspiration.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Looking Presidential

Like many people, and especially Republicans, as I look with growing dread towards the looming Presidential elections, I find myself increasingly dissatisfied with my ever-narrowing range of choices. Barring unforeseen calamity, it appears that we will be compelled to choose between McCain and Romney. Neither muster within me any enthusiasm whatsoever. Here is a telling little chart that I purloined from a recent post by Gatewaypundit who, it seems, got it from Doug Ross.

I don't wanna, but I may have to vote for Mr. Romney. There are never perfect candidates, to be sure, but this season's bouquet, though mostly fresh-picked and carefully arranged, seem more brilliantly flawed than ever.

I know many of the Dems are ambivalent about their prospects as well. Perhaps within this tension and uneasiness we will find some admirable truth, some uniting strength. Lord, willing.