February 2007


general28 Feb 2007 02:24 pm

don’t tell anyone, but i’m writing again… stealing time in a sense… actually, i’m sitting in a all-staff meeting via conference call and what i hear more than our organization’s president is the constant reminder that “someone has joined the conference”… latecomers… anyway… since i have some time to be low-key and unable to listen to music, much less write about it, i can unload a few thoughts rambling around in my head… a few will be music related of course… but here we go…

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE

since many of you have asked and since i’m so far behind on my album reviews at CMC and since i need to work on shorter reviews, here’s a few quick takes on some of the albums i’ve been listening to the last month or so…

  • The Showdown: i know that this is kind of a “sell-out” album for them in the sense that the sound is much more accessible and pretty much completely overhauled since the last album. Well, i like it a heck of a lot more than Chorus of Obliteration. If i can be so bold, i’ll compare it to when Metallica released the black album. All the die-hard fans were really ticked, but the album has since proven to be a classic and the launching pad from which Metallica reached a far greater audience…
  • TobyMac: this is yet another example of an album that will tick off the overthinkers and artsy folks, but will be loved and adored by people who enjoy music that is (gasp) fun… It’s a great pop album from my standpoint and i enjoy it very much, even if it is on a slightly superficial level… it did take a few listens to really sink in however, so, i’m sure that can be a stumbling block for some…
  • Group 1 Crew: yeah, another fun, frilly group with a straightforward pop sound and slight hip-hop leanings… Black Eyed Peas meets Souljahz meets fun… it’s a good old party listening to this album and i really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as i do…
  • Lost Ocean: i haven’t talked much about this group and honestly hadn’t listened to it all that much until this week as i realized that i need to review the album, but it’s pretty darn cool… at times it feels like an Anberlin album and at times it feels like Mae or something along those lines… it doesn’t surprise me at all that i enjoy it, since there’s yet to be a release from Credential that isn’t top-notch…
  • K-OS: last and primarily on my mind and in my ears… i picked up Atlantis – Hymns for Disco for a mere eight bucks on iTunes… and i know it’s pretty early in the year to declare that if you only buy one album all year… but seriously, this album is amazing… hip hop, jazz, soul, it’s just beautiful all the way through… and fyi this year’s Crazy is called Sunday Morning… more on this album in the near future…

    WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

    This is odd… last year at GMA week i had a minor overlap of my two lives… in that there was a minor presence of my day job at the Dove Awards… this year, the presence will be much greater and i was actually asked about doing work for my day job while i was down in Nashville… the good point would be that i might not have to take vacation days, but there’s so many bad points too… we’ll see… it’s definitely a strange feeling to have what seem to be two completely different jobs aligning like stars… i’m thinking that it’s something of a bad omen…

    ME AND THE MOUSE (PART 1)

    i might as well get started with the whole Disney thing, since i have this time and i know it will need to be spanned across a few entries… so here goes…

    Day One of our trip ended up being Friday instead of Saturday because we were tipped off that the Daytona 500 was Sunday and that traffic could potentially be a real nightmare on Saturday if we got in that area too late… so, Friday afternoon, we unfortunately bypassed the Chris Tomlin concert that i was all set up to attend (including meet and greet and all that good stuff) and instead headed out on a 6 1/2 hour drive down to somewhere in South Carolina, effectively splitting the 13 1/2 hour trip to Orlando in half (approximately)…

    on the drive down, i heard from my brother who was driving his family down to Richmond to split up the 21 hour drive from CT and found out that he had unfortunately opted to go through PA… that was a big problem because PA has the laziest department of transportation in the entire US… all the major highways through PA were closed because none of them had been plowed after the snow (which came down on Tuesday and Wednesday)… needless to say, he had spent about 17 hours on backroads and such trying to get through the state and on to Richmond, where he did eventually arrive safely… my parents on the other hand stuck with 95 and made it to their midpoint destination (somewhere in NC) in record time…

    Oh, if you’re ever in Florence, SC and think about eating at Ruby Tueday’s, don’t… we had the WORST service… and the food wasn’t all that great either… come to think of it, the hotel wasn’t the greatest either… come to think of it, don’t go to Florence SC… it has nothing to offer…

    Day Two took us down through Daytona without too much ado… we continued down I-4 to Orlando and noted the really odd traffic patterns that had us cruising along one minute with no one else on the road and stuck in a mob of traffic at a standstill the next… really odd, but no traffic is much of a concern to me given our surrounding area… Since we were the furthest along on day one, we were the first to arrive at the house that we rented… (apparently, we were the only ones with the common sense to understand directions as well, since we were the only ones to get to the house without getting lost)… Interestingly enough, the house was only like a couple miles from from a hotel that i stayed at on a business trip to Orlando six years or so ago… but, then we entered the house…

    Strike one was that the key code we had been given didn’t work… after a call, we were informed that the code was never changed and that we had to use the previous week’s code… great… strike two was that the house was incredibly dirty when we walked in… not incredibly dirty like there was a mudslide or anything, but certainly not as clean as one would expect from a place that we paid to rent for the week… Strike three is a series of items that all fall under the catagory of false advertising… basically things that were not as promised to us… for instance, the house was supposed to be equipped with hi-speed wireless internet… it was equipped with a moderately hi-speed wired DSL line… fortunately for me, i always try to pack an extra cable… next, there was the “giant LCD television” in the common area that was actually a 32 inch standard tube television… and the “newly remodeled game room packed with foosball, pool, air hockey and darts” that was actually equipped with a pool table (with 3 usable, but broken cue sticks), an air hockey table, and a dart board that included one broken dart… no foosball, but it was in fact “packed” with a few old mattresses, a desk, an empty old entertainment center, a few more standard tube televisions, and a lot of other items that made it more of a storage closet than action packed game room… oh, and it had an original playstation (not to mention sega genesis) unit instead of the advertised PS2…

    Now, i’m a reasonable man and i didn’t come down to Florida to sit around the house and watch a giant LCD television or spend hours doing work online or even play foosball necessarily… none of these are necessarily dealbreakers to me… however, when i pay for a house that has three master bedrooms, it shouldn’t have only two master bedrooms… sure, we survived, but my wife and i ended up sleeping on a double bed the whole week in what was little more than a glorified hotel room that included a sharing a bathroom with the littles… this would all be fine if that’s what i was paying for… also, the pool in the back didn’t seem to have any visible signs of a heating unit which we also paid for… the water was freezing as it was in the 40s that day…

    So, here is my Disney Lesson # 1 (i will hopefully be coming up with a number of lessons/tips along this journey): Nothing is EVER as advertised.

    After we got over the initial letdown of the accommodations and unpacked and woke littler boy up from his impromptu nap that began 5 minutes before we pulled in, we decided to head over to Downtown Disney rather than sitting around awaiting the arrival of our vacation mates… and i’ll pick up there another time…

    AND ONE MORE THING…

    i’m pretty sure that i have officially broken through the funk that has been plaguing me thus far this year… maybe it was Disney, maybe it was just time… maybe i’m fooling myself… but i know that a lot of it has to do with this “secret” project that i’m working feverishly on in my spare time… one that i’m TRu-ly excited about and one that is in fact a dream come TRu… a dream i began envisioning over a year and a half ago… God is good and i think that this will be as well… anyway, it’s something you can all ponder as i get back to work…

    spinning round in circles:

    Anberlin – Cities
    K-OS – Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
    John Waller – The Blessing
    Family Force 5 – Business Up Front Party in the Back (Diamond Edition)

    i’ve got my eye on…

    peace… love… bdg…

  • general27 Feb 2007 01:37 pm

    so i’m back, i’ve been back for a few days, but on my way to work today, i was stopped behind a Ford Focus and i took it as a sign…

    for now, that means i can’t hang out with you guys right now… but have i got stories to tell… and some really exciting… i mean REALLY exciting projects (for me at least)… coming up soon…

    until then, i’ll be watching you…

    spinning like plates:

    The Showdown – Temptation Come My Way
    TobyMac – Portable Sounds
    Group 1 Crew – Group 1 Crew
    Mute Math – Mute Math

    looking forward to

     *[insert picture of Ford Focus]*

    peace… love… bdg…

    general16 Feb 2007 11:47 am

    QUICK FAST IN A HURRY

    Well, the good news is that i got my article done and the better news is that i got that big fat chunky monkey coding project done as well…

    Apparently, i wasn’t exaggerating about the difficulty of it, since i’m now told that several people have been looking for this very solution on the web but no one’s been able to or taken the time to figure out how to do it… i’ve been told that if i release this bit of code as a plugin then i’ll be some sort of a nerd hero for the moment… yeah… that’s not my goal really, i’m just ready to move on…

    Hopefully now that it’s behind me, i can start to crank out my writing projects left and write… oh, i need to do a new left to write… oh yeah, that’s on the list…

    ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TWO ONE INTERVIEWS

    well, i had two interviews to do yesterday and i only got to do one… it seems that the one that’s been paid for stood me up… have i mentioned that that happens pretty much EVERY TIME?… on a more positive note, i got to talk to Mike Nawrocki in the morning… sure he called me ten minutes early and i didn’t have all my questions ready, but he was very pleasant and we had a nice conversation… i think we could be friends some day… or something… but man, that other guy… UGH

    DISNEY, HERE WE COME

    we’re starting the drive today, completing it tomorrow and will be staring at the big castle sometime on Sunday (don’t tell God, but i think we’re skipping church)… maybe i’ll be around once in a while online, but i’m on vacation baby… don’t expect much…

    spinning like plates:

    John Reuben – Word of Mouth
    Listener – Talk Music
    Mute Math – Mute Math

    looking forward to

    peace… love… bdg…

    general08 Feb 2007 12:33 pm

    PICKING UP THE PIECES

    in “parting shots” i mentioned a few things that i’ll elaborate on a little bit… yes, i really am going to Disney World… we’ve rented a house down in Orlando and we’ll be staying there for a week with my brother’s family and our parents… it’s gonna be a full house and a family reality show all in one… one of the coolest blessings about this whole trip though is that i decided to talk to one of my press contacts about the trip and wound up getting free passes for my family at the parks… that’s some sweet perk…

    also, i do like nutty bars a lot, i just now realized that i’m out of them, and i do want more… perhaps there was a tongue-in-cheek jab mixed in there as well, but feel free to take it at face value… i’ll put them on my amazon wishlist…

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY??

    at the end of this month, i’ll have completed a year’s tour of duty over at CMC… if i continue beyond that, i’ll be the longest lasting editor there since Robin who lasted (as far as i can tell) about 3 years… and quite honestly, i’m not sure that i want to take the endurance title… in fact, what i’ve learned most and clearest are the reasons why Robin left, and Janke, and Gerg… well, Gerg’s just plain indecisive – he might’ve just seen a pretty butterfly and forgotten about the site altogether…

    Anyways, since watching the Super Bowl, i’ve realized that i should be doing more than just “surviving” the job, right?… man those are good commercials… they even inspired me to look for new jobs and i’m pondering the opportunity of applying at USA Today… i’d rather work for a real newspaper, but we’ll see…

    FUMBLE!!!!!

    Yeah, that was a great Super Bowl, was it not?… sure, some of you may have been rooting for the Bears, but man, it was a good game from start to finish in my book… and it was great to see Peyton and Dungy get their hands on the trophy…

    i have to ask though, am i the only one who sees the big hype about Dungy being the first black coach to win the Super Bowl as making it seem as though his race was something he had to overcome to win?… every time i heard it mentioned in the media, it felt like a back-handed compliment… kind of like when growing up a guy would tell a girl that she’s pretty cool and then add “for a girl” to verify that she still wasn’t as cool as she would be if she were a boy… it felt like the media was repeating endlessly how Dungy had done a great job coaching “for a black man”… it really irritated me…

    being the first black coach in the NFL is certainly a milestone since it meant overcoming the racism of the league, but being the first black coach to win the Super Bowl… well, it wasn’t racism that prevented him from winning, was it?… am i missing something?… anyway… i appreciated the several mentions of faith from both Dungy and Lovie Smith… that was very classy and tastefully approached… for the most part…

    HANGING BY A MOMENT

    and now for the serious part of the blog… i stuck it down here a bit to weed out the skimmers and the surface friends… now that we’re down to people who actually care enough to read everything… here’s the rub… i’m in a slump, a funk, a something… i’m just not all there… i feel fried… i sit down and look at these keys… and look at this laptop screen… and look… and look… and it all blurs as i zone out and find out later how much time has excaped… i have so much to do that i choose to do nothing and it only gets worse… i’m behind on reviews… i’m behind on interviews… i’m behind on features… i’m behind on an article… i’m behind on my day job… and if i keep this up, i’ll soon be behind on bills…

    i don’t really know what i’m asking for, or if i’m asking for anything at all… i’m not sure why i’m even writing this other than that i hope by venting a little bit, it’ll stir the pot and grant me a new charge or something… i’ve got a ton of work to do for my day job and i don’t believe that any of it is worth investing time into… i’ve got a ton of things to write up for theTRu, but i feel guilty putting any time into that when i know how far behind i am with writing that pays… i need to get back on track… i need to focus… i need to… i don’t know… “the thrill of proving the world wrong is gone, you should move on”… (i’m listening to John Reuben and that’s what he says on the matter apparently)…

    i spoke on the phone the other day with Phil Vischer… yeah that Phil Vischer… the one who started VeggieTales… in the middle of the conversation he shot me through the heart when he said, “if you’re not happy doing nothing for God, then you won’t be happy doing anything for God.” (or something like that)… and i’m just sitting here thinking about that… i’d be happy to do nothing for God, but i want to do something… i want to be something… i want to stop watching the clock whiz by, stop wasting time and make it mine… i don’t think what i want is necessarily where i’m looking and i’m starting to doubt that being there will lead me to any more doors… i used to believe that firmly and now i’m not so sure… never mind, i’m probably just going crazy…

    LOST TIME

    er, Mittelos Bioscience… yeah, Lost was back last night and that was cool… i also enjoyed this week’s episode of Gilmore Girls, but it’s also pretty frustrating watching that dang triangle continue to twist and turn… Logan = good, Luke = good, Christopher = bad… i told you this LAST season… get with it Loralei Gilmore… Prison Break only recorded a whopping eight minutes for me… i don’t know what my DVR was thinking, but i’m not happy with it… still more to watch to catch up with the week’s distractions…

    FROM THE MIXED UP CHAT LOGS OF…

    BuddyName: This CD is Hot
    barrYdakotAgambiT:That’s probably just because of global warming…

    NEAR MISSES AND/OR COMING SOON

    details about “the book”?… memoirs of a burnt out journalist?… abortion… oh, Salem bought Christian Music Planet and why that’s a major bummer for me…

    spinning like plates:

    John Reuben – Word of Mouth
    Listener – Talk Music
    Mute Math – Mute Math
    Echoing Angels – You Alone
    Future of Forestry – Twilight
    Derek Webb – One Zero [aoustic] & [remix]
    Various Artists – Songs from Amazing Grace, Songs from the Voice (Vol. 1 & 2), X Worship 2007
    Brandon Heath – Don’t Get Comfortable

    blurring in the sights…

    peace… love… bdg…

    general02 Feb 2007 04:50 pm

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

    another day, another topic deemed off-limits by the powers that be… seems to be the way of life over at a certain website that i won’t name at the moment… however, it may be interesting to some of you to know that it is no longer appropriate to discuss politics in any context over at the ole’ forums… truly, it plagues me… if i didn’t already have a headache from the throbbing nerve in my tooth, partially covered by a temporary crown, i’m certain that this site would be the new root cause… as it turns out this afternoon, i’m heading into the lair again, this time to leave with a new, permanent (as permanent as anything is) crown… one that hopefully fits… thus, i suppose my headache will find a new cause to blame soon enough…

    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO [*THAT SITE*]???

    this, i presume, may be the question that many people will be asking in the coming months… things have certainly gone downhill… and it’s clear to me that there re only a few strands holding it all together right now… given the right competition, the right failures, the right circumstances and the right offers… i don’t know what it will take really… but, it’s not going to take much at this point… generally, i like a challange, but i’m finding quickly that all my efforts for the positive are matched with negative strides… hey, it’s a paycheck…

    SUPER DUPER BOWL

    yeah, i’m pretty excited about the Super Bowl… though, i have to admit it’s snuck up on me this year… been so busy and so very far behind… speaking of which… okay, wait… one thing at a time… GO COLTS!… and GO BEARS! too… i want to see a good Super Bowl… whoever wins, i’ll be happy…

    LIFE, LOVE, AND ALL THAT

    so, last week was sancitity of life week… and by last week i probably mean two weeks ago… it was two Sundays ago by now at least… but i really had some thoughts i wanted to share about abortion… unfortunately, i don’t have time to explore that further, but yeah, it has to do with life, love, and all that…

    REAL PAGE-TURNERS

    well, January was pretty productive as far as reading went… i think… i finished the Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennon Manning… remarkable book about which i’ll share more later… and i’m currently reading Beattitudes (Matthew Paul Turner), Me, Myself and Bob (Phil Vischer) and Rumors of Another World (Phillip Yancy)… Relentless (Robin Parrish), The Gospel Unplugged (??), Walk On (Steve Stockman), and A New Way to Be Human (Charlie Peacock) have all been “downgraded” to the status of “inactive reading”…

    STILL MORE TO COME???

    i’m going on record as stating that i have actively begun writing my first book… my goal is to be done with the first draft by June… that is all…

    BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

    and i’ve gotta go… i’m sure that there’s a lot more that i want to write… but there’s a lot more that i NEED to write and right now, i’m more concerned with driving home in this frozen rain or sleet or hail or whatever…

    PARTING SHOTS

    i’m going to Disney World… Send Nutty Bars and money…

    currently listening to:

    4th Avenue Jones – Respect
    Listener – Talk Music
    Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Colorblind
    The Roots – Game Theory
    Future of Forestry – Twilight
    Derek Webb – One Zero [acoustic] & [remix]
    The Showdown – Temptation Come My Way
    Daughtry – Daughtry

    keeping an eye out…

    peace… love… bdg…