"I asked for a car; I got a computer."

Looking for a commentary that uses big words and ponders the deeper meanings of various topics? Well...you've come to the wrong place. This blog is all about extolling the greatness of Christ, the joy of marriage, the rollercoaster ride called parenthood, the supremacy of the 1980's...and doing all of it at a fifth grade reading level!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

10 Questions

My almost-five year old, Elijah, is the perpetual question asker. Our routine trip to Fort Worth from Abilene is filled with questions such as "What city are we in?" "How long will we be in the country?" "Is Ranger bigger than Abilene?"...and other wondrous variety. So here, from the home office on 634 Gill, are the top 10 questions asked by Elijah in his 4+ years on this Earth...

10. Can cats laugh?
9. Why do you like Diet Coke better than Sprite?
8. Who does God want to win? (asked while watching the Abilene High-Odessa Permian football game)
7. Why is tomorrow tomorrow?
6. Why did you and Mommy name me "Elijah?"
5. Where did the angels get their wings?
4. Does Dairy Queen have a husband named Dairy King?
3. How did Baby Jacob get in mommy's tummy?
2. Why isn't (insert random friend's name)'s name in the Bible like mine?
1. Did God make himself? (if any of you would care to help me answer this question please feel free to chime in)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Rambling Memories

My five-week old son refused to go to sleep...so I'm mindlessly staring at my PC and listening to some tunage.

I was driving in my car the other day, and the greatness of Styx graced my radio (even though Abilene is lacking MANY things, we have a GREAT classic rock station). Anyhow, the song was "Best of Times" from the magnificent album (yes I do mean ALBUM) Paradise Theatre.

I was instantly taken back to the 4th grade on Overton Avenue in Fort Worth. Blake Hawthorne was my best friend, and we would spend the weekend at each other's houses. He had an awesome setup -- an upstairs bedroom that ran the length of the house. We would stay up late playing Atari and listening to Q102, "Texas' Best Rock" (KTXQ) or "The Zoo" (KZEW, 97.9). "Best of Times" would ALWAYS come on...and even though neither of us sang real well, we would belt it out with all we had...until his mom or dad would come upstairs and throw a shoe at us.

So that got me to thinking about other musical memories...and they go something like this:
  • "Too Much Time On My Hands" (also from Paradise Theatre) -- this song was always the boys "fast skate" song at Rollerland in Fort Worth.
  • "Reunited" (Peaches & Herb) -- the "couple skate" song...which I NEVER got to skate to.
  • "Stone In Love" (Journey) -- my cousin, Bart, had a make-shift drum set...and he taught me to play drums to this song while he played the guitar. We TRIED to record it...but I think the Lord intervened.
  • "Drive" (The Cars) -- the song that was playing on the radio at the moment of my first kiss.
  • "Only The Lonely" (The Motels) -- After a devastating breakup in college, I went to the old Dairy Queen on Hwy 80 (alone) for almost two months where I would go through the same routine. I would order a Butterfinger Blizzard and a small water, ask for a dollar's worth of quarters, and play this song on their jukebox. One night one of the workers, thinking I was contemplating suicide, called the ACU Police.
  • "I Will Follow" (U2) -- The first song I ever danced to...in public. It was at a party my senior year in high school with a girl named Chris Murphy..."and that's all I have to say about that."
  • "Stranglehold" (Ted Nugent) -- This one is a stretch...but it reminds me of my grandfather. He was a HUGE wrestling fan, and this was the song that Kerry Von Erich would make his dash to the ring to.

There are others...but I'll bore both of you with those another time.


Monday, October 17, 2005

JamFest Rocks

JamFest 2005 was AWESOME!!! For those of you who have never checked out TJ McCloud or Zane Williams, you need to MAKE time to track down some of their work. TJ has an awesome message in each of his songs, and he's an extremely talented musician. Zane -- well, there's not a funnier guy with a guitar in his hand -- what a hoot! Best of all, ACU can claim both of them as alumni!

The student bands were equally impressive...and let me throw out HUGE props to Homer Hiccolm & The Rocketboys. These guys re-arranged their entire performance to go sans-percussion (their drummer was in the Homecoming musical)...and these guys rocked! Granted, this is coming from an old dude...but I know good music when I hear it. Click on the link to get a taste of what these guys are about.

The rest of the student lineup was awesome as well. Clad In Scarlet -- not only do these guys sound great, but they LOOK great! I even saw a couple of girls get all Elvis-teary-eyed during their performance (I REALLY should've learned to sing!). Streets of Simon Lee -- these guys have only been playing together a couple of months, and they are INCREDIBLE...and have already developed quite a following. Takisha Knight -- the voice of an angel! A Something Hypothesis -- call me insane, but they kinda sound like Simon & Garfunkel. Joie de Vivre -- best vocals of the night, no question. Jennifer Fuentes was magnificent.

MOST impressive is the attitude that each of these "kids" has. Each of them gladly extols the fact that their passion for music and the gift of performance comes from God through Christ. What a joy, honor, and privilege it is to work with students of this caliber. Only at ACU!


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yearning for Yester-decade

Friday, October 14th, is JamFest on the campus of Abilene Christian University. One of my roles in the Alumni Office is acting as the staff liaison for those students coordinating the event...so I've been fortunate to be close to the inner-workings of this whole event.

The musical talent of the students on this campus is incredible...and it has taken me back to the Spring of 1990 when ACU held its second (and final) "Battle of the Bands" competition. A time when I (lead vocals), Mark McAllister (percussion), Lance McAlip (bass), Deeb Pipes (keyboard), and the greatest brother axe-duo in the history of modern music, Jeff & Jay Isler, formed what was quite likely the most magnificent band to never cut an album. That's right music lovers -- nothing but bootlegged recordings of that single great rock show that was TIENEMAN WEEKEND has carried over into posterity.

I remember our set like it was yesterday. We began with "Orange Crush" by R.E.M. We followed that up with "Girl Like You" by The Smithereens, "Melt With You" by Modern English, and "Good Lovin'" by The Young Rascals. From there we went into the Van Halen-inspired rendition of "You Really Got Me"...and concluded our show with quite possibly the greatest song ever written -- "Superman" (R.E.M.).

Though I'm sure few of you witnessed that performance, rest assured that it was a mountain-top experience that all would enjoy.

So....come out to JamFest this year if you can. It begins at 5:00PM on Friday. T-shirts are being sold in the campus center for $5. Attached is the front and back of the t-shirt. I've also included an idea that we REALLY wanted to use...but for some reason the ACU Administration wasn't on board with it.