Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It.....Is......Finished

You have absolutely NO idea how long I've been waiting to say that.

Yes, that's right, in my hot little hands, I hold a box containing 100 copies of Voice of the Spirit. It is ready for sale/distribution, you name it. You can own a copy today! Click on the link on my right sidebar to purchase.

It's been nearly 2 years since I began recording tracks on For the Love of Miss E, the first song of the project that turned into this CD. It's been a very long and interesting process. And I'm glad it's done.

So get your copy now. As I've said before, $7 of the $10 cost will go to charity. The remainder will pay for the printing of the CD's. I'm making ZERO on this project so I promote it to further my music ministry for God.


Monday, January 30, 2006

And Now the National News

The Wife sent me a link to this story. It's long, but a MUST read. It concerns the effort of CONSERVATIVE lawyers in the Bush administration to reign in the President's power. More specifically, a gentleman by the name of David Addington, formerly counsel, now chief of staff to the vice president. Here's what it really boils down to: Addington beleives the President should have absolute authority in a time of war to do whatever he wants with those prosecuting the war on the other side. Meaning, the war on terror. He's been the one behind all of the memos and policies that gave us the infamous "terror memo", which resulted in Abu Gharib, and the current domestic spying scandal.

The story talks about a group of Bush administration appointees in the Justice department that are just trying to uphold the law. It seems that Addington has been an advisor of Cheney's for a long time and has learned that the "system" works too slow. So Addington has gotten what he wants by bypassing anyone that might disagree with him and promoting or dealing directly with only those that do agree. Addington's problem is that he championed the appointment of someone he thought was on his side, but was actually on the LAW'S side. While he agreed with the need to wage a war on terror, the thought Addington and the administration (actually read Cheney, with Bush agreeing with whatever Cheney said) was going too far and actually BREAKING THE LAW!

I'm sorry, but you got to be really out there for other Conservatives to say you've gone too far. And I'm not surprised the Bush thinks he should be able to do whatever he wants. That's the biggest problem with this Administration, that cowboy attitude that they know what's right and we should "trust them". I feel so much safer knowing that our President feels the rights guarenteed in the Constitution only apply to certain individuals and don't apply at all if your a SUSPECTED terrorist.

In other news, you've probably heard about the two ABC newsmen that were injured by a roadside bomb. I feel sorry for them and thier families. While they knew the danger, it's still tragic. ABC has been referring to them as Bob and Doug. Now, the Wife got a little chuckle out of it as it reminded her of Bob and Doug MacKenzie, of The Great White North (SCTV) fame. Now, every time ABC mentions Bob and Doug, I can't get the thought of the two SCTV characters being in their place. I think the first broadcast when they recover would go something like this:

"Hi, I'm Bob and this is my producer Doug."
"Good day, eh."
"Good day, eh. So like, I'd like to talk about those hosers that tried to like, blow us up, eh. I understand that some sort of IUD was planted by an Islamic Muslim femminist or something, eh. What a hoser! We were like, just hanging with the troops, eh, taking a little informal poll on which kind of beer they've been drinking. Cause, like, you can't get and good Canadian beer in Iraq, eh? Those hosers wouldn't know good beer if like, fell on them, eh. And we were also trying to promote a little hockey. Cause, you know, even though its like 1000 degrees, eh, you can still build an ice rink. They got them in Texas too, eh. So anyway, those stupid feminists blew up that IUD, eh. It's not like we get involved in that pro-choice debate or anything..."
"Uh, Bob, I think you mean like, IED, eh. Stop being such a hoser. You're ruining the report eh."
"Shut up, eh. You're such a hoser!"
"No, you're a hoser!"
"Take off, you hoser! And get me another beer, eh."

Ok, I'm so going to hell for that. But I can just see the bit. It would be a riot. Coo roo coo coo, coo coo coo coo.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Random bits

Nothing special has been going on the last few days, so I thought I'd post just some assorted tidbits of what's been going on the last few days, in no particular order.

- Went to get the car inspected Saturday. I've had a check engine light on for a few months, but for the most part it wasn't affecting the performance of the car, so I ignored it. Except lately it has been stalling. Turns out that one of the air pumps needed replacement. So over $700 later, the repair shop says the problem is fixed, but the check engine light still won't turn off. So of course the it wouldn't pass inspection. They told me to fill the tank half way and drive it for a while to clear the light then bring it back. Instead, I took it to Advance Auto and had them clear and read the code. If the light doesn't come back on by the end of the day tomorrow, I'll bring it in to complete the inspection.

-I painted the back hallway as well on Saturday. I'd dropped off the car Friday night (so I wouldn't have to get up early). The Wife had to get up early for a 9 am hair appointment. Which means she needed to get out of bed around 7 to make it on time. Since morning sex was out of the question, I decided to paint instead (after getting up at a reasonable hour, of course). We did it in a color called Biscuit, which is a very light tan. The kitchen that ajoins it is closer to a butternut squash color so we figured having it a shade lighter would work nicely. The Wife was very pleased with the result. It looks much better than the flat white walls. And all the dirt is covered now too!

-I think I need to start practicing my guitar more. I was doing some scales to warm up before Mass, and I was REALLY bad. I was sloppy and the scales did not feel comfortable. Now that I'm not spending all this time in the studio, I need to find some practice time. I've also written a new Gospel Acclamation for the Lenten season. For those non-Catholics, we normally sing Alleluia just before the Gospel reading. However, during Lent (the time leading up to Easter) you don't say Alleluia during the Mass. So instead of looking for something already written, I've come up with something of my own. I'm going to try and write a Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest), and propers for the Mass (Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, and Lamb of God). I'm waiting for the Spirit to stike me on those.

-We're trying to figure out what to spend one of my bonus on. My company merged with another company and I'm entitled to a retention bonus as part of the deal. Since we've moved into the new house, all bonuses/tax refunds have gone back into the house somehow. Some on the mortgage, the rest on appliances, decorating, whatever. This year I've told the Wife she can either use this bonus to purchase window treatments or go for the front loading washer. I think she's leaning towards the washer.

-Looks like we're going to Dearfield Village this year on vacation. The Wife has been looking at several location. When she showed the boys what they could see at the Henry Ford Museum and Deerfield Village, they were very excited. We're looking at the April Break so hopefully the weather will be good.

-I hope to have some good news tomorrow. I'll wait to give details until everything is in place. So stay tuned.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. I'll touch base with all of your blogs this week. Rock on!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!

Today was a momentous occasion in the annals of Grasshopper history. He EARNED his Yellow Belt in karate. He was very proud of himself. He knew his kata down pat and was able to demonstrate it no problem. One of the instructors even had Grasshopper stand next to him to help demonstrate to the new white belts that were just learning. He was quite the little man.




















Here's Grasshopper demonstrating his fighting stance. Notice the serious look on his face. They play a game where the instructors try to make the kids smile or laugh. The student can only breath and blink, not move. Grasshopper wins all the time now.





















This is Grasshopper with his bestest pal ever, Tyler. You'll notice that Tyler has also earned his yellow belt. These two are inseperable. All other pals may come and go, but Tyler goes with Grasshopper no matter what. Tyler's a pretty good dog, but sometimes is a little loud.

Before you know it, Grasshopper and Tyler are going to be black belts and kicking all of our asses. So watch yourself, or I may "release the hounds" as it were and get Grasshopper and Tyler to open a can of whoop ass on you.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Why it pays to proof read

I was listening to the audio proof of my CD (Voice of the Spirit, on sale now, click on the link to the right {end shamelss plug} . I was listening to the song I named Matthew 7:25. It's based on the scripture of that passage. I thought I would use it as a teaching moment and got my Bible out to have Grasshopper read the passage. He likes the song so I thought it would be good for him to know what it's about. Imagine my surprise when I realized Matthew 7:25 is not the verse I wrote the song about. It's accutally Matthew 6:25!

OOOOOOOPS!

Luckily, the full run of CDs didn't begin. I've quickly changed the title of the song on everything to the correct verse, sent updated JPEGs to the duplicator to fix the back cover and CD, and updated my website (www.vincefranco.com, where you can purchase Voice of the Spirit. Order now while supplies last!). I've been going the last year and a half calling the song by the wrong name. Luckily I got it in the end.

On a completelys separate note, I need a cool idea for my "Something to Ponder" section. I can't think of anything good, so I'm looking for suggestions from the blogverse. What inscrutable mystery of the universe should I put up for all to contemplate during the small hours of the night when slumber eludes you? Winning entry gets a post dedicated to their greatness, or at least, how they're nearly as great as me.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Updated blog

In case you haven't noticed, there's a link to the right to order my CD. Does this mean it's finished? Unfortunately, no. However, I should have the audio proof on Monday. That's a copy of the CD with artwork and graphics on the CD just like the finished product. I'll need to listen to it to verify the copy process went properly. So assuming I do get the proof on Monday, by Tuesday (if there are no problems) I place the order. It should take 3 to 4 business days to complete the order. So I'm looking at the end of the week to have finished product, ready to ship out the door, in hand THIS WEEK!

So if you happen to have $10 lying around (plus shipping and handling) you too can own your copy of the best CD I've heard in the last 18 months. I can't go on about how good this CD is. No matter how many times I put it down becasue I think I'm getting sick of listening to it (and I've listened to these tracks MANY MANY TIMES, beleive me) I always pop it back in very quickly and still enjoy it. I highly recommend purchasing a copy. I give it 6 out of 5 stars. The CD makes a great gift as well.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogs.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Are they insane?

I've been meaning to post about this for a week now and haven't had the chance until now. The Wife had a surprise for me when I came home one day last week. It was a flyer that came in the mail. I was from American Compass. In case you haven't heard of them, their tag line on the flyer is: Books you can believe in, American Compass, The Conservative Alternative! Yes, true beleivers, I, the practical DEFINITION of American Liberal, was mailed a book list for conservatives.

I simply could not believe the trash they're selling. It nearly made my blood boil from looking at the titles and synopses. Here's some of the gems you can get:

Rebel In Chief - How George W Bush is Redefining The Conservative Movement and Transforming America. It contains this lovely quote by the Man himself: "You can't worry about being vindicated, because the truth of the matter is, when you do big things, it's going to take a while for history to really understand." Because, you know, we're too stupid right now to figure out what he's doing for us. Because he's like SOOO much smarter than us.

Herding Cats - The autobiography of Trent Lott - Nuff said.

Men in Black - Former lawyer and talk show host Mark Levin "throws the book at out-of-control judges who ignore the Constitution, dismantle citizen's rights, and make up their own coercive law." You know, like giving women the right to choose and blacks equality under the law (neither of which was in the Constituion I believe).

The Truth About Hillary - "Despite more than a dozen years in the national spotlight, Hillary has managed to keep many secrets from public view - especially about her turbulent marriage." This book purports to expose the truth. So can someone explain to me what the fuck her turbulent marriage has to do with anything? It makes her less effective as a Senator because her husband cheated on her?

Condi - The Condoleezza Rice Story. Sure to be a barn burner of a book.

Against All Odds - The Chuck Norris story. Again, nuff said.

Now, there are actually some books in here I might read. There's a new book about Pope John Paul II. The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman looks interesting (at least from what I heard from the author on Bill Maher). The biography of John McCain might also be interesting.

I think what annoys me most about this thing is that there is a section on "Living Faith" which is, guess what, all Christian books. Because any good conservative is obviously a Christian. We must not have any Liberal Christians or Non-Christian Conservatives. At least it doesn't appear that Conservatives want any Non-Christians to associate with them.

I must say, though, that my favorite book in the list has got to be Thank You, President Bush. It is a group of essays by such notables as Jeb Bush, Colin Powell, and Focus on Family's Dr. James Dobson. The comment on the success of the Bush administration. I'm going to assume it was published prior to 2004 when Powell was still part of the administration.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My poor fragile ego

This morning I was going through a musical high. The CD was ready for the duplicator, final art approved, I began to transcribe music for church I've been dying to do, and I actually came up with some very cool music that may turn into another song.

So today at work I'm talking to a co-worker of mine that is also a musician. I gave him a copy of the CD to get his opinion. I was very proud of the work and thought it was in very good shape. His opinion, "Not bad, I think the final mastering of the CD could be better. Don't send it to the duplicator yet. I think I can make it better."

Can you see the hurt and crushed look on my face? Can you see that little bubble of mine bursting? Can you see the doubt creeping in to my brain? Can you sense my feeling of failure when my greatest musical work to date is not lauded as the greatest CD ever?

Yes, that's what happened. He was trying to help and make the CD the best it could be. But damn it still stung. You put a ton of effort into something and think you got it as good as you can, and realize perhaps it's not. However, now that I've had a chance to calm down a little, I'm going to give it a chance. The duplicator has my current master (which I think is very good BTW). My co-worker is going to do a little tweaking and I'll see if it's better or not. It will delay getting the whole thing finished by a few days. But you never know. Maybe it will blow me away.

Now I'm off to pout some more. And if anyone else has anything negative to say I'm going to take my CD and go home. I won't play with you guys any more. So there.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Education in America

I watched an interesting program on ABC Friday night on education in America. John Stossel hosted it. Now, he leans very much to the right, and "balanced" the report was not. He's obviously in favor of school vouchers and was beating up anyone that was against the idea. However, he did have some interesting points during the broadcast and made me think about the subject of education more deeply.

Having 2 young children, education is important. The one thing the show validated, and which I already knew, is that those with money (ie, live in the suberbs) pretty much don't have to worry. They have the luxury of moving to a neighborhood where there are good schools. And in general, suberbs have enough money to afford good schools and good teachers. The problem is in the cities. Many of those people don't have a choice and there's no guarrentee the school is good.

Much was said on the program about schools being a monopoly and that the only way to create excellent schools was to open them up to competition. The Belgian school system was given as an example of a system where education dollars follow the student (meaning "vouchers"). Parents could send their children to any school they liked, public, private, secular, or religious. The religion itself didn't matter as all faiths have a opportunity to send their children to a religious school of their choice. Schools work hard to make sure they are challenging and rewarding for students, since if no kid wants to go there, the school will close. While this sounds very good on the surface, the report didn't go into any detail of any drawbacks of this system, or how it would work in the US. For example, it didn't mention who actually pays for it: local, state, federal, etc. Implementing that system here would totally screw up the method by which you pay your taxes. And I'm sure it would end up that rich people pay less in school taxes (since they're usually based on property value) and poor people would pay more. Imagine that.

The report also stated that spending more money doesn't guarentee better schools. Several charter schools in inner cities were held up as examples. They spent less per student, had better average grades and percentage of students going to college, and paid their teachers better. Some even required the teacher to be on call for their students 24/7. Being a charter school, they didn't have to follow all of the rules that regular public schools must. And the reason they spent less per student is that they didn't employ janitors (students set up and clear tables), kitchen staff (volunteers and teachers pitch in). Gym class was doing laps around the block. But the curriculum was very interesting and fun.

The reason that charters schools could do all of this is that the teachers were not a member of the unions. Now, I've long believed that unions are a double edged sword. Growing up, both my parents belonged to unions and they provide a valuable service for thier members in safeguarding employees from abuse by employers. However, there are many unions out there that have created such good contract for their workers, that businesses can't compete any longer. Look at GM as a great example. Labor and benefits is such a huge cost in making a car that the company is in financial trouble. Lot of good a union does for you if you place of employment closes down.

Stossel tried to paint the unions as this rigid system that rewards bad teacher and prevents schools from getting rid of poorly performing teachers. They did site some interesting "abuses" from the NYC teachers union. The process by which a principle needs to go through to fire a bad teacher (even one accused of sexual abuse) was a flow chart that was about 10 pages long. The school district pays something like $2 million a year to have teachers that shouldn't be around students sit in an empty room (called a rubber room) getting paid because they can't be fired. The best line I heard was by a teacher that said there are no bad teachers. I'm sorry, but in every profession there are people that are bad at their jobs. We all can site an example. And some of them shouldn't have their job.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that I think there are all these bad teachers out there. Because the majority of the ones my kids have had are wonderful. I have no complaints about any of them. But this belief that teachers are somehow more special than any other worker is nonsense. If a teacher is coming to work drunk, abusing students, is insubordinate, then principles and school districts should be able to take the same kind of disciplinary actions that apply in any other industry.

To kind of wrap this up, what I really came away with was that for those school districts that are having trouble reaching students and being able to teach them, just throwing money at the problem won't work. Parents/teachers/educators should be able to be creative to foster the proper atmosphere to allow kids to learn. I think if kids feel safe in the school and the teacher makes the subjects fun, then kids will learn. I also think that tying performance to financial penalties if students don't perform well enough is the wrong approach. Schools will then teach kids to pass tests, not to actually learn. There's no one magic bullet solution here, much as John Stossel may think so. I've only touched on some of the themes that go through my head on this issue since there are so many. Most importantly, issues surrounding parents with special needs children, an issue near and dear to my heart.


Friday, January 13, 2006

So close I can taste it

I have in my (figurative) hot little hand right now a Master CD called Voice of the Spirit. That's right, faithful readers, I am DONE recording my CD. As in, all the mixes broken down, having copies of all the files, I don't need to go to the studio any longer. It's been a long process, and it's good to have it complete. The next step is to get it printed into CD's I can sell. I'll be working on that next week.

I want to thank The Wife very publicly for being so understanding during this process, especially the last few months. I've been in the studio 2-3 times a week since September getting this thing mixed. It's been a tiring process and she never (well, almost never) complained. She's the best and I love her to death (even if she is old now).

I would also like to thank Brian Labanowski, my co-producer and engineer. His guidance was invaluable in making this CD come out the way it did. Whenever he suggested something I was doing wasn't working, he was right. While he never told me anything I did was bad, he would point out when perhaps a different approach was needed. Technically he made me sound really good and was the key to the songs sounding the way they do in the final mix. I wish him luck in his move to Maine. Perhaps one day we'll have a chance to work together again. It was a great pleasure doing this CD with him.

I'm looking forward to moving on to other musical projects, all related to my church band (which really needs a name, BTW). The Wife will be happy to know I've been cured of recording music in the studio for a while. While it was fun and exiting, I'm worn out with it right now and don't have the desire to do it again for quite some time. I also don't thing I'll do another one with me doing all the instruments. Damn if that isn't a lot of work.

Depending on the CD duplicator, finished product ready to put in your hot little hands will be ready within the next 2 weeks. Once I get final proofs approved, they'll need about 7 days to press the copies. So be patient just a little longer. It's coming, really it is.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm still alive

I have not been checking anyone's blogs the last 2 days. My live the last 36 hours has revolved around faxing. We did an exchange update on Tuesday that broke our ability to utilize electronic faxing. I've been working to get it all fixed since then. Last night I got out of work at nearly 7 pm. It's mostly resolved today, though I have a little more configuration work to do. I'm quite worn out mentally. Right now I'm going to take a break before finishing up the recovery, after which I get to put together the plan to prevent this in the future. You should be hearing from me again soon!


Monday, January 09, 2006

Birthday update

First a quick update on the Birthday Gal. She got lots of good stuff today, including flowers at work, a treadmill to get into condition for walking miles and miles on vacation this year (can't get wiped out like in NYC), and lots of birthday cards from Grasshopper's Wolf Cub den. Also, Nanner could not believe the Wife was 40. I must fess up that the picture on my left column was from 1992, when she was 26. However, to show that she has changed not at all since then, here's a picture of her from just a few weeks ago (though not yet 40):



Other than wearing glasses instead of contacts, does she not look just as hot and young as in the glamour photo? That's what I thought. Don't hate her cause she's beautiful ladies, she can't help the way she is.

On a muscial note, the clip for For The Love of Miss E (an instrumental to the Wife) is on my site. I hope to have the final song done this week. The CD Duplicator is putting together proofs for the CD Cover art and disk art. So I should have a finished product in a week or so. All depends on how long it takes to get the duplicates made. They tell me about 7 days. So hang in there, music fans, nearly 45 minutes of the most amazing music you've ever heard can be in your hot little hands very soon. I must admit, I wonder why more bands aren't making music like this. All modesty aside, it rocks and I wish more bands played stuff like I write.

A final Happy Birthday to my Sweet Little Lady. Hope this momentous occasion was as special for you as I tried to make it. Now enjoy sleeping in your chair.


Happy Birthday to the QoC!!!!!!

I'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to the Wife! Today she has reached a milestone birthday. You know, one of those ages where you don't ask a woman her age and birthdays become anniversaries of a previous birthday. I will say that she looks totally hot for a woman who is older than 25 but younger than 50. I know very few women that look as good as her after two kids. I would like to also mention that though the two of us were born in the same year, she's 3 1/2 months older than me. But I've always liked older women. And I don't hold being old against her.

This weekend I threw a surprise birthday party for her. My two nephews have birthdays on the first and thirteen of January so my sister usually throws one family party for them. I used it as a cover to get her to my sister's place. It was perfect. She had no clue that the party was for her until we entered the kitchen.

We even had some drama at the event. I had mentioned to my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) that I was planning a surprise party and that my sister would give them the final details. I didn't tell my brother because then everyone would have found out. Well, this week my brother was talking to my mom and asked about the details. He was under the impression that invitations were going out. My sister and I decided that since only family were going to be there, no invitations needed to be mailed. Well, he and my mom were getting confused about whether the party was for the Wife or my nephews. My mom thought he was talking about the newphew's party, and said it wasn't this weekend. He thought she was talking about the Wife's party. So my mom called him right after the party started to find out when he was going to get there. He got all pissed off about nobody telling him anything. When he got there, he made sure to make a HUGE fuss about the whole thing to anyone who would listen. Of course, my mom had to beat the thing to death for about an hour. I believe she brought the subject up about 4 times last night. Not only that, but after church this morning (my mom came to Mass with us because it was a special event at church), she brought it up AGAIN. People in my family have a hard time letting go of stuff.

Anyway, the Wife had a good time. I gave her one of her gifts that night, a red Mandarin dress. She tried it on when we got home and I promptly informed her she had to remove it before I jumped her bones. She looked completely HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT in it. Smoking doesn't even come close. She got her other gifts from myself and the boys this morning.

So again, I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to the most beautiful woman I know. She doesn't look a day over 29 (ok, 32) and is more beautiful now than on the day I married her. Love you Old Lady!


Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm better now

I should probably explain yesterday's cryptic post. At the time, I didn't really want to go into details. If the Wife read the post, she knew what I was talking about. But today I don't mind sharing.

Yesterday morning Maverick and I butted heads bigtime. Yes, I got into a major power struggle with my 9 year old. Getting him up in the morning is a struggle. Between the ADHD and the fact that he doesn't wake up very quickly, it makes getting him ready on time tough. I'm one of those guys that gets out of bed within 3 minutes of the alarm ringing and can be ready to leave the house, all showered and breakfasted in about 20 minutes. And I prefer to be left alone while doing it. So we have your classic clash of personalities.

Maverick was having a very hard time getting up and getting rolling. So what did I, the sensitive, concerned caring parent that I am, do? That's right, yelled at him and told him he'd have to have breakfast at day care instead of at home because he wasted his time and didn't get up when he was supposed to. Why didn't he get up on time? Because he had trouble finding the arm holes in his robe. When he told me I didn't help him, I said something to him to the effect that he surely wasn't helping me that morning.

Then I get to work and read the letter from John. You can now understand the smack on the head I took. The Wife was already kind enough to gently (or perhaps not so gently) remind me what an asshole I was being. As I said yesterday, I hate it when she's right. Then when my man, the Big J, starts shaking his finger at me, well, you know you done wrong then.

Interestingly enough, this morning Maverick actually got out of bed early without being prompted and was ready before Grasshopper, which almost never happens. Kids, what can I say?

On a lighter note, Grasshopper came up with an amusing nickname for the Wife. He was playing a game where everyone was the King (or Queen) of something. For example, Maverick was King of Saxophone. When he got to Mom, he pronounced her Queen of Craziness, being how he and his brother drive her crazy. This was shorten to QoC, which I thought was a cool acronym. So I send a quick shout out to my main squeeze, the QoC with the M and the G helping her keep her crown. Word.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

What I hate

You know, it's bad enough when I know that I'm wrong, and the Wife reminds me I'm wrong. But I really hate it when Jesus then kicks me in the head to remind me as well. From today's readings (1 Jn 3:11-18):

Beloved:
This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another,
unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One
and slaughtered his brother.
Why did he slaughter him?
Because his own works were evil,
and those of his brother righteous.
Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One to Go

I've finished the 11th song for the CD, which means there is one more to mix and then it's done! A clip of For The Love of Miss E will be up soon. It's an instrumental piece. It reminds me of a Baroque piece. Listening to it I get the sense of 6 guitarists on a concert stage with lutes and mandolins (and electric guitars of course) doing chamber music. I'm quite pleased with the result. This one was probably the hardest to record. It was easy to loose count of where I was in the song when recording the rhythem tracks. For the lead tracks, if I made a mistake, I had to do the entire lead section over again (there are 4). There was no way to correct a note if it sounded bad without being really obvious. It's not perfect, but it sounds like a live recording. Not bad for just one guy doing all the work. I'd love to actually do this song live, but I need 5 other guitarists to do it right. Somehow I don't think I can find that many to do one song.

I should have the last song complete by the end of next week. After that, I need to get the CD pressed with the artwork, which should take about another week. It should be ready to sell by around January 21. If anyone wants to pre-order, you can go to my site and go to the order CD link. Of the $10 cost, $7 is going to support the music ministry at my church. The rest is to cover the cost of pressing the CD. I'll be making $0 on this CD as all the proceeds will go to my church. Below is the cover. Maverick drew it for me and I think he did a very nice job.





Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Santa was very good to our household. I got an early "present" Christmas Eve from the Wife, and lots of the normal kinds of presents on Christmas. One of my favorites was a box of chocolate cherries from Harry and David. Yummy! I also got a new comfy chair for the computer desk among other things. The Wife recieved a nice bracelet and earings, as well as some kitchen gadgets she's been wanting. Santa was very good to the boys. They got plenty of toys. Their favorites change from day to day but Maverick really likes the putting set he got with the auto ball return. Grasshopper is very fond of the Transformers he recieved.

No real news at this point. We're basically getting ready to go back to our routine. It's been a nice break. Sleeping in, no activities for the kids, time to do little things we havn't been able to do. I've done some work on the graphics for the CD jacket and disk. The Wife has had a chance to clean our kitchen cabinets. It's been a pleasant week off for me. We both agree that we need more weeks like this.

The other nice evening we had was last Tuesday. All of us in the group of high school friends we hang around are celebrating the first anniversary of our 39th birthday in the next 12 months. (You may thank the Wife for the name of our celebration.) So we all got together for one celebration, since one of us will celebrate this anniversary each month from December to May. There's one oddball whose birthday is Halloween, but we invited her anyway. We hung out and did a gift exchange where we regifted things around the house. The Wife got some nice Mary Kay samples and I got a stuffed skunk. I love the skunk!

We get back to our normal routine on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it in a way. We had a good 2005. The Lord blessed us in many ways. Hopefully 2006 will be even better. I have a feeling there's very good things on the horizon and I'm looking forward to them, both personnaly and professionally. Hope everyone out there has a great 2006 as well.