Wednesday, June 29, 2005

forgiveness and golf

i just had a random epiphany about forgiveness. to forgive someone is to act as if each time you see them, it is the first time you have ever met them in regards to their past. no premonitions, no judgements, no opinions, no defense. it is to have a clean slate and a serving heart. and yes, it took me this long to really form a true understanding of this.

i played a round of golf after work yesterday. it was fantastic. getting outside after a long day and knockin the little white ball around is a good way to experience the outdoors after being asphyxiated by recycled air all day. never mind the two-headed-retina-burning monster of fluorescent lights and computer monitor positioned at .27 meters from my face. after the first 9 holes, i was 3 over. this is a personal record i think. great start, but on the back 9 my game revolved into the more typical scoring of a +11. still, pretty good round for me.

alright, back to work. i have to deal with fort hood (texas), fort lewis (washington), and the city of brownsville, tx permit department today. have a good one.


song of the day: "ball and biscuit" by the white stripes *must be listened to at high volume

Friday, June 24, 2005

friday golf

go ahead, have some fun today. its friday.

my current high for putts made in a row is 29


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Louisiana, Bombs, and Counseling

I went on a business trip to Louisiana last week. Among the highlights:
-Travelled with Rob Mathieu from our office. Amongst his best qualities is the ability to trade ridiculous stories with rednecks. He drove almost the entire way. Number of U-turns over 4 days: 38. Those that were my fault: 4. We drove from Houston to Lake Charles, to Shreveport, to Lafayette, to Baton Rouge, to New Orleans, and back. My level of frustration was amazing, as was Rob's ability to suck down a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's in under 7 seconds.

-Upon entering the plant at CF Industries (south of Baton Rouge) we had to watch a plant safety video (fairly common) and then had our car searched. (Also common) In the back of the car, Rob and I each had large duffel bags, hanging clothes, and laptops. We also had miscellaneous electrical parts and systems per customer. Among these: a large stainless steel enclosure (approximate size 1.5 ft per side, cubic with a sloped top, hinged to open.) This enclosure has two things coming out of it. A controller and a large red light. (Which is big enough to look like a button) The guy searching our car looks under the hood, checks out the car, then goes around back. Of all of the things to look at he chooses my duffel bag. Amazing. Big steel enclosure with red button and controller- nothing. Not even a glance. If anything could look more like a bomb without actually being a bomb, this would be it.

-The French Quarter is smelly, but fun. But only fun for two nights, a third night would have sucked.

-LSU would be a cool place to go to school. Baton Rouge is a good town.

I have also decided to cave in and go to counseling. It has been a long time coming, and I've got to figure out how to reason with hating the place I live in, being undateable, and spiritual torture. And I mean all of that seriously. More to come...

the beast list

on one very important night of the history of the legend of 1210, circa 2:07am, a masterpiece was created. actually created is the wrong word, it was "discovered". myself, along with andTim, trav, terry t, and the double/triple bach gathered in committee to develop the first official "beast list". this list was comprised of the top 50 manimals of all time, all honored due to amazing courage, achievement, tuffness, strength, and raw beastliness. the list is composed of people from all times, of all ages, and all backgrounds. the only real criteria being that each beast/manster (combination of man and monster) has exhibited something that is far beyond the capacity of achievement for the common man. i will track down the official beast list and post the 50 manimals as soon as i can.

i would like to officially nominate a new beast. i listen to the sports radio 1310 "the ticket" almost every morning on my drive to work and today they were going thru unusual news from around the world. most were funny, this one particular story was amazing and worthy of notation. a 74 year old man from kenya was out in a field on his property (he is a farmer) and was hacking some brush. he was in some tall grass with a machete when a leopard had been hunting him and was on a sprint directly at him and pounced on him. it happened so fast that he was unable to swing his machete and ended up dropping/losing it in the grass. somehow before he gets mauled by the leopard, he manages to RIP OUT THE TONGUE of the leopard, after which aforementioned leopard halts attack and ends up bleeding to death. kenyan duder is certainly a bit hurt but survives and chalks up a killed-leopard-with-bare-hands to his name, and saved his own life. solid effort kenyan leopard duder. you have earned your nomination and will be under consideration for the 2005 induction into the beast list.


Friday, June 10, 2005

sorry couch, i owe you one

it was only a matter of time before there was a post on the total waste of time that is incorrectly labeled as "reality tv". my wife was watching some show where they follow around britney spears and her husband kevin and video their daily activities. this is not interesting. please remove it from the television. purge my cable subscription from the Malignant Time Vulture (mtv) and give my coax relief from this pain.

not that this is a risky statement, but this show has zero value. in fact, it has negative value. it could be described as a no-value circus of crap. think of all the things one could be doing instead of setting up camp on the couch only to allow the mtv time thieves to pilfer minutes of your life. i have such passion about the level of suck that these shows embody. i actually left the room and went to pay bills, and had a smile on my face while doing so due to the change in my mood after removing myself from the contemptible emporium that was sucking the life force out of my living room. i actually felt bad for the couch. i mean, it didnt get a say in what channel it had to watch. i would be willing to bet the thing would have rather been set on fire, or peed on, or maybe even taunted with near-caustic sarcasm. couch, please consider this my formal apology for not removing you from the room. i will buy you a lovely decorative pillow on my way home to make up for the hurt.


Thursday, June 09, 2005


every tuesday i meet with 4 of my buddies for a bible study/small group study on a particular book. right now we are nearly finished with Celebration of Discipline, a book by Richard Foster. it is a very good book and i recommend it to anyone.

this week's chapter was about worship. in truth, this chapter was a bit less interesting to me...that was until a certain point was made by the author. i often forget that worship can come in so many forms. i have been very moved and effected by worship thru music, some in ways i cant even really explain, but in general i did not have the right idea of what worship really is. i know that worship is not restricted to music, but it is usually the first form of worship i think of, probably due to the common use of the terms "praise and worship" for singing songs in church. worship is doing anything for God. the author references Jesus's command of "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37 and Luke 10:27) this is worship. if anyone wants to know the definition of worship, this is it. this was Jesus's answer when someone asked him "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of the law?" in Matthew and "Teacher, what must i do to inherit eternal life?" in Luke. so, my first reflection on this is "what is more important than that?" and the answer...nothing.

so i have these questions...
do you worship God?
why do you worship?
how do you worship?

worship doesnt have to be singing nor does music have to be invovled. it is a realization of your Creator and your relationship to Him, and doing everything that you do for His glory. so isnt the most important thing in life is to be worshipping God?

i believe that it is.


Monday, June 06, 2005

The Burden of Creativity

So... being that I am a single guy and routinely meeting random people (girls, etc.) people often ask a few different questions.

1- Where did you grow up?
2- Where did you go to school?
3- What do you do for a living?

These are simple and obvious questions, and I generally don't mind answering them. The ones that have become problematic are:

1- What do you do in your spare time?
2- What would you like to do in the future?

The problem is, I would like to be a pastor, and I am currently writing a book. Both of which are very honest endeavors, but both of which instantly kill conversation with most people. My book is about the sociological effects of modern technology, and the Church just scares the average person to death. (Or mention of life-long ministry) So what should I say?

"Uhhhh, I like to uhhh, work-out and stuff."
"Uhhhh, I play the guitar sometimes."
"Clean house and pay bills."
"Find on-line sites about weird little bands that no one else in my demographic is remotely familiar with."

Which are truths, except that working out has taken a backseat to laziness the past month. The other thing is, when people actually attempt to be somewhat interested in the book you are writing, the actual explanation of why I see the Walkman as being a source of the retardation of communication skills in our nation is enough to put the average person to sleep. You see, I don't expect anyone to actually read the book. It is almost completely for self-gratification.
And while I have a good job which I enjoy, the description of what I actually do is so difficult that most people cringe or fall asleep at my attempt to try to explain it. So what to talk about? Should I cease to try to be creative solely to appeal to the majority of women, or just people in general? And the answer is no. But that doesn't mean it doesn't suck to have to explain myself.


como esta amigos

if you happened to read my 2 part epic blog on my more-or-less failed attempt to run a 5k a while back (i had to stop and walk due to exhaustion), you will be happy to hear the following blog. this past saturday i entered into my second 5k of the year, another Race for the Cure 5k that donates proceeds to breast cancer research, and i finished. i will not go on much about this, because i do not feel it is much of an accomplishment to report that i ran an entire 5k without walk, but my time was sub 28 minutes (not sure exactly since we crossed at 31:30 but we started the race in the back/middle. no telling how long it took us to cross the start line and officially begin our time) and i am happy with that. i will continue to train as one of my college roomates, Sir Wolters of Naughty, and i are running a half-marathon this fall. scary.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Destruction of Golf Balls

So, a few weeks back I volunteered to help with a computer system overhaul here at the office which included working late on a Friday night, then coming in until a little after lunch on Saturday.
And yesterday I was rewarded by getting a half day off to play golf. Which was great. The first few holes were a little rocky, as I hadn't had a chance to warm-up properly, but once I got going- wow. Beastly drives. I drove a Par 4 in one. 313 yards. Unfortunately, my putting left something to be desired, as I did not one-putt a single hole. But, my gosh was I able to mash the driver. What a great feeling. Every par 4 or 5 on the back nine I put drives out beyond 270, several of which were closer to 300 yards. Anyway. I am not the world's greatest golfer, but man is it fun when you're on. My tour dreams are still alive.

monty got a raw deal are ya? thats lovely. forgive someone who particularly annoyed you with how they were driving on your way to work today, then continue reading.

last night i went to a free concert in the downtown dallas. artist: monty montgomery. very few people have the control of a guitar that he does. he is really talented. however, i don't really like any of his music. he is not a very popular musician, i mean, i hadn't heard any of his songs before last night and he certainly isn't on the MTV video countdown. oh wait, MTV doesnt have music or videos anymore so i guess it would be the VH1 video countdown. the point is, this guy has a good voice and amazing guitar skills and is not making it big and probably never will. he probably has 100x the talent of matchbox 20 or hootie and the blowfish but will not sell even 1/100th of the albums they sold.

"but wait mike...what is the disconnect?" you ask. i believe there are three facets to the most unrecognized and immeasurable forms of talent that brings success.

1. newness/fresh-like/uniqueificity - the "NFU" is huge. this is most noticed when this stems from the lead singer. if a band/artist has NFU, you can usually tell. take the Red Hot Chili Peppers for example. they have multi-dimensional NFU (MDNFU). is there a single band out there that you could actually mistake the singer's voice to be anthony kiedis? no way. i would also contend that flea, john, and chad all have NFU as well. you can tell if flea is the bassist. you can recognize the raw sound that john frusciante rips on the "i could have lied" solo. great stuff. and chad smith...andTim can verify my appreciation for the snare drum sound he gets on their albums. i love it.

2. songwriterability - this is the most difficult to measure. whatever it is, monty doesn't have it. he has a great voice and ridiculous guitar talent, but i get bored with his songs. they are way better than i could even think of writing, but since the blog is all about criticism i think monty just doesnt write good songs. matchbox 20 is the first band that i can think of that makes great sounding music that people love but their level of difficulty is at the very bottom. rob thomas has no range. if you don't believe me, take another listen. and if you still don't then listen to "hang" on their first album and note that the guitarist sings the chorus because rob just cant sing that high. and it is not high, andTim could hit it no problem. i think it is in the song "real world" that the guitarist actually plays a "guitar solo" that is the same note hit about 30 times in a row at the same rhythm. somebody at least get this guy a wah pedal.

3. the storyteller - if your words cant be understood, you are out of this equation to 99% of listeners. to the musicologist, this is where a band can really turn into an inspiration. many a lyric is completely overlooked and is a good part of the art form still left in music. after all, music (and any other form of art) is about expression and communication. i think some of the best storytellers include adam duritz, bruce springsteen, and bob dylan. songs become classic when they allow the listener to relate to and/or appreciate the lyricist and if the songwriter really pours their heart/mind/soul into a song. this is what makes music so great.

monty montgomery really doesnt have any of these. many musicians can rip up a guitar in guitar center like eddie van halen, but if they do not have any of the 3 intangibles listed above it will have a tough road to the top.

longest blog ever.