Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Updating the Site

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

I am not moving to a new URL, Changing host or radically changing the appearance of things. But I am making a bunch of small changes.

The side bar has been an eyesore for a while. The page loads to slow. The mp3 player acted like an mp2.3 player. And it is hard to find what I need.

I have already made some changes for page load speed. I moved all of the music from a remote host to my own server. I plan to do the same with many images. I am also considering dumping some widgets. I moved the music player to the top so you can find it easier to turn it off or switch songs. I’ll change the player too, just as soon as I can find one that will actually shuffle all the songs.
If you have suggestions, load up the comment thread. Now is the time.

Childhood Pictures for Stacy

Monday, July 9th, 2007

This is my brother and me.

And check out this little cutie.

Stacy sort of challenged readers to a meme. Go look at her puckish little grin.

Influential Music Meme

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

In my line of work, one spends a fair amount of time waiting and observing.  This leaves me standing in front of a machine for short stints throughout a twelve hour shift.  The operators do a lot of walking as they load and unload many machines.  This all makes for some interesting discussions.

People can only complain about work for a short time before the conversation goes some other direction.  We often have a lot of time to think about responses to the last exchange before the next one comes around.

Well a fellow music enthusiast and I had a few exchanges the other night.  He asked me who I thought the five most influential songwriters in American music were.  I thought, “Now that is a meme if I ever heard one.”  The interesting thing is the number.  Coming up with number one is easy.  Those next few spots make it a little tougher.

So here goes another of my no tag memes.  Participate if you want.  I would appreciate a link.  I won’t tag a soul.  Remember, the key word is INFLUENTIAL not favorite.  My personal favorites would be a different list entirely.

  1. George Gershwin:  I don’t even need to explain this one.
  2. Aaron Copland:  Most of us know him for Fanfare for the Common Man and Hoe-Down (Beef, its what’s for Dinner).  I believe that Appalachian Spring is the finest music ever written for orchestra.  And yes, I do put it above the works of Beethoven and Bach.
  3. Hiram “Hank” King Williams:  Not only is his music timeless but he is the most influential figure in country, gospel and rock and roll music.  Many of those old blues tunes rock artist like to cover were originally country tunes written by Hank.  It is no wonder that his name comes up so often when artist list their influences.
  4. McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield:  He defined and refined Blues music.  His songs are still staples in our American music diet.  He may be gone but his mojo is still working.
  5. This one is difficult.  It is a tie between two contemporary songwriters who have written classics and are strongly influencing the modern music scene.  Merle Ronald Haggard and Carole King are not only great performers but top shelf songwriters.  I put them in this position because of their influence on so many contemporary songwriters in all genres.  My personal favorites are Silver Wings and I feel the Earth Move.  My favorite thing about both of these songwriters is their lack of inhibitions about using weird progressions and their ability to compose both fantastic lyrics and excellent music.  Those dual proficiencies helped put these two ahead of many other writers who were either great lyricist or great music writers.

Where did the time go?

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

I am terrible with remembering dates.  I forget birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and the whole shooting match.  Consequently I forgot this Blog’s bloggiversary.  I started posting on June 1, 2005.

The funny thing about it is how I did not want to do it.  My wife talked me into it.  Sadly, this eventually resulted in her giving it up.   She used blogging as a getaway.  Her stuff was funny.  When friends and family started dropping by to see what she had to say, her worlds sort of collided.

During the last couple of years, I have become acquainted with some wonderful folks.  This has been the best part of it all.  My friend Stacy summed it up in an email once, “We all know entirely too much about eachother.”  I guess we do.  I’m looking forward to writing here for quite some time.  I also look forward to meeting more of you face to face.

Why I Blog.

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Malinda tagged me. Normally I simply sight my meme immunity granted to me by Jeff a long time ago. But I have nothing better to write about so I might as well do it. I will however refuse to tag anybody.  And I won’t follow the list of 5 format.

The meme is wrapped up in one question, “Why do you blog?”

Simple, I blog because I want to blog.

I think too much. I need an outlet. I like having an audience.

I also like reading your stuff. Some of you are truly remarkable. Most of you are extremely interesting. I basically like you folks. I think you know that I am sincere in saying that.

Finally, I feel compelled to say some things to everybody who will listen. I honestly feel that I am blogging for God sometimes. And that gives this passtime a little more meaning and purpose. I hope that some portion of what I write helps somebody. The Lord knows many of you have helped me.


Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I love the internet again.

Kevin from Left Brain/Right Brain has helped me fix a few things around here. The header image is finally the way I want it. And he also pointed out a video plugin that actually works without blowing the place up.

So please let me introduce those of you who do not know to wonderful world of Texas Swing. The King of Texas Swing will always be Bob Wills. My favorite contemporary practitioners are Asleep at the Wheel. Well here is Bob and Asleep at the Wheel doing classic Western Swing Tunes.
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

I’ll turn the tunes back on after a few posts.

Autism, Hope and some Tough Love

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Since I decided to post a little about autism, some things have happened. I have joined the autism hub and that is a wonderful thing. I now have some new friends and they are fantastic. I also picked up some other readers that don’t like me or my attitude very much.

These folks seem to think that they are entitled to argue with me in my comment threads. They get a little hot under the collar when I won’t publish their comments. I am getting a quite familiar with their despair. Their comments are full of desperation.

At first I wanted to rip into these folks. But, I can sense that they are hurt. I have already felt a lot of what is eating them. Their troubles are real and ugly. So I asked God about how to handle this. Long ago I decided to adopt a passage of scripture as my own personal mission statement. In this passage is the phrase, “Comfort oh comfort my people.” I consider preparing a way for the Lord into people’s hearts to be my God given purpose. God typically tells me what to do before I ask. I just have to go look and see what He already told me.

I want to encourage those who have misplaced or misused their courage. I have learned though that people are not encouraged by empty platitudes. Good reasoning is the stuff of hope. Anything else is just pretending.

To the folks who are hurting because of things their children do, let me offer you some of that stuff of hope. Let us reason together.

You may face some difficult times right now. Those difficulties are overwhelming. The big trouble is: you don’t have time to be overwhelmed. You have already come to the right conclusion: life is hard and it is not fair. There is however a way to claim your hope.

When the Israelites faced the dangers of Canaan’s land, they were instructed to remember the Red Sea. Courage is found in recognizing one’s past victories. This courage is the fuel for the challenges at hand. This means we have to consider the progress we have made and the struggles we have survived to face the challenges of today.

If I ask God, “How can you love me and still let me suffer?” I have to remember that He delivered me from suffering before. I have to remember all the ways that He blesses me right now. Then and only then can I look at things from the perspective of the delivered and not the perspective of the victim.

I can not remember a time in my life that I did not know one particular hymn. That hymn contains these lyrics:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed

When you are discouraged thinking all is lost

Count your many blessings name them one by one

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

Sure, my son Tiger has troubles. I pray unceasingly for him to speak. I pray unceasingly for him to stop hurting himself and others. Then, I thank God Almighty for the fact that he has come so far. This boy can dress himself. This boy can relieve himself without assistance. This boy can bathe himself. This boy can use his PECS book to tell me things. All of these things are mile stones to me. They may sound small but to me each of these things deserves a parade trough the Arch. These things are the stuff of hope.

That is why I can put optimism and autism into the same sentence. Many have accused me of not knowing what real trouble is. They say that ignorance is why I can say what I do. That is absurd. I know real trouble. I live with more of it than I will ever share. I face it down and overcome it every day.

And if you naysayers have the spine to try, I will go out of my way to help you do the same thing! So quit assuming you know me! Get over that jaundiced belly of yours, cowboy up and start facing down your troubles! And for crying out loud, get started so I can lean on you sometime when I need a hand!