Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It took 10 years...

...but this week, MTV exposed me to music that I actually thought was kind of cool. Don't get me wrong. I didn't actually see them play a music video. That would be breaking news across the land. But, this band, called Gossip performed live on It's On With Alexa Chung. (furlough tv)

This is the song they sang called "Heavy Cross".

It has a real '80's feel. Thoughts?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Encouraging myself

I've been walking every morning for awhile now.

I do it...alone. Early each morning, right after waking up.

Sometimes the dog goes with me, but he's more of a nuisance than a companion sometimes so I like to leave him at home. My walking is for me, and me alone.

I walk under the cloak of darkness, Zune at my side, pushing me, song by song, to finish the course up the hill, then back down.

I would like to think that someday, I could begin running again. That is my goal, but it's a goal I feel won't happen.

The other morning, when no cars were anywhere near me, I tried something that I hadn't tried in over three years. I tried to run. It was more of a jog but it certainly wasn't a walk. I only made it 30-40 yards. As I jogged, I looked at my shadow from the bright moon shining overhead. My form appeared to look normal for an overweight 40-year old guy. But, inside my body, because of my numb foot and the weakness in my leg (caused by the blown discs in my lower back), I felt like Tiny Tim from "A Christmas Carol" trying to quickly get his crutch back from the neighborhood kid who just threw it down the hallway. (That didn't happen in the story, but if it had, and poor little Timmy made an effort to retrieve it, that's how I felt when I was jogging).

This morning, after not walking for several days due to our traveling all over the NE part of the state during the Thanksgiving holiday, I went on the walk again. But today wasn't so kind. My right leg, the strong one, began cramping up. Toward the end, it almost felt like I had shin splints. I remember those from running track. Tonight, my achilles tendon on my left foot, the numb one, is really sore.

Discouraging. But, I'm going back at it tomorrow. I will stay on this course. I will push through the obstacles of minor aches and pains and continue to better myself. I can be a very stubborn person. I need to be stubborn and self-serving with this routine so that one day I can jog to the end of the block...then work my way up the hill. And once I make it up the hill, enjoy the jog back down.

Eventually, I will run. I'll run for the first time, again. One day, I will run a 5K. One day, I'll be able to the sunlight...where people can see me. One day, I will defeat these things that weigh upon me.

But until then, I will walk, knowing that with each step, I am getting closer to a better me. And that makes it, no matter how long it takes, all worth it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Three months later, here I am.

I'm pleased with myself. And, at the same time, deserve a giant kick in the butt. Today...Saturday...I was up too early for a Saturday morning and I chose to go out and walk. The same walk I make during the week. But, today was Saturday. That never happens on Saturday's. I almost went an extra couple of miles but the distant shotgun blasts from the bird hunters were freaking out Sonny and he starts pulling so hard on the leash, I might as well pick him up by his neck and carry him home in a chokehold that would intimidate any MMA fighter on the circuit today.

So yeah, the walk happened. It might even happen tomorrow (dare I say it?) on Sunday! We'll know the answer to that in several hours.

I need the kick in the butt because during the week, I look for any excuse to not get out of bed and take the walk. And sometimes, the bed wins. That means I lose. I don't like losing...uness I'm losing weight!

SIDENOTE...just switched over to SNL. I'm not, and never have been, a fan of Dave Matthew's Band.

This blog entry was really for the Fair Weather Runner who chided me for not blogging anymore. I ♥ blogging! (That's how she would write it.) But, dang it takes more time than I've had. My kids' activities and work assignments have tested our limits and when I have downtime, I don't necessarily want to sit in front of the computer to compose a personal essay. I guess that's why I've been so happy with Twitter lately. If something's on my mind, I can sign on to Tweetdeck, pop off my thought, and away I go. That's why I include my tweets over in the right margin of this blog. Twitter for me is like "Gov's Stuff...The Rest of the Story". On facebook, I'll update my status maybe once a day. On Twitter, you get all kinds of stuff that passes through this amazingly versatile stream of consciousness I'm floating around in. Twitter has been my blog lately. But, doing this is great. I love doing this when time allows. And tonight, time was on my side.

Let's talk music very briefly (because I'm thirsty and my water bottle is all the way upstairs!)

I LOVE the new Switchfoot CD "Hello, Hurricane". I'm enjoying the new Thousand Foot Krutch CD "Welcome to the Masquerade". I enjoy ALL of the music on the hit TV show "Glee" (which I'm proud to say is on the tv network I'm affiliated with!). My newest discovery comes from a friend in Norway (the country, not the town in Kansas). She told me about Aleksander With. Here's the song. It reminds me of Mike & The Mechanics.

What am I watching on TV, you ask? "Glee", "Modern Family", "Cougar Town". We've recorded 'The Office", '30 Rock", and 'Survivor" but have not started them yet. We're still trying to finish up last season's Lost (one more episode to go), last season's "24' and last season's "Friday Night Lights", neither of which we've started. See? We're busy people with no time for the important and pleasing things in life, like television, which is my livelihood. And, I'm dying of thirst. So this entry is done. Until next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life in a nutshell

I'm sitting here listening to "Gravity" radio, a station I made on Pandora. The music that flows from my speakers makes me feel creative, which is why I've been listening alot to it at work.

Work has been very busy lately. It's that time of year in television. This is the time when we are scrambling to prepare all of our new programming for launch in September, so it's only a few weeks away. We are bringing an onslaught of new programs to our station. Because of that, I have to make launch promos in various lengths to let viewers know the show is coming and what day it starts and what time it will be on. I do this for each show on each station. I'm also updating the existing promos for the shows we already have so that everything has a fresh look. I could go on about creating ID's and menuboards, but that won't mean anything to most of you so I'll just skip that mountainous chore description and move on.

Since I've posted last, life has kept me busy. I took my first trip to Las Vegas at the end of July. I went by myself. It was a work trip. The FOX network (not FOX News...those are two entirely separate entities) flies all of the promotions people from each of their affiliates to a conference each year to prepare us for the new fall season. Last year was in Orlando. Never again. This year in Vegas, we all stayed in the Bellagio. You might recognize it from the movie "Oceans 11" when the guys are watching the water show at the end. My room was quite possibly modeled after the rooms in the mansions in Heaven. Holy Cow! What a nice place! I've never stayed anywhere that nice in my life. I flew out on a Tuesday morning to Chicago (which is the opposite way to Vegas) then turned around and made it to LV. Temperature was 112º at its hottest. I went out one day to walk the strip and see the sights. The next day, I went out at night. Much better, but creepier, but crazier, but more exciting. What a place. I spent 3 nights there. The most I spent on dinner was $74!!! Saying that, I suggest staying away from Caesars Palace. I'm not made of that kind of money and feel really uncomfortable spending that much. I don't spend that much to feed my family! Granted, I had money budgeted for all of this, but still, that's just riDONKulous.

During the conference, the network gave away a free trip for two people to fly to Vegas for two nights and get two dinners as well. Skip to the end...I WON! Yes, I found the hidden flashlight! So, now I'll get to take Sara there. We never were able to afford a honeymoon after we got married and now, 15 years later, we finally get do something that closely resembles a honeymoon. Can't wait. It'll be a fun trip for the two of us.

We took a day trip back to Kansas City a few weeks ago to finish up our Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun vacation. We went to WOF in July, but it was so cool that weekend, we couldn't see ourselves playing in the water all day at OOF. So, we found a 100º day in August, right before school started, grabbed Andrew's buddy Caleb, and met Sara's sister and kids and spent a long day there. Pretty relaxing. I just kind of lounged around in the pool and observed all the people who don't have the "I really shouldn't be wearing this in public" gene as well as the people who's "I look really good in this" meter is broken. Really people, take a look in the mirror before you walk out of the door. And the rest of you, you should probably trim those barbs on your feet called toenails. Seriously, you might cut somebody in the wave pool. yuck.

On our way home from KC, we stopped at the legendary Hi Boy by Royals stadium for hamburgers. It'd be a hard choice between that and Freddy's for me. They're both so darn good!

I've been riging my bike every morning about 5 miles. I hate it, but I know it's good for me. Soon, with it getting darker in the morning, I'll have to start walking again. I'd rather ride, but I don't want to become the morning candidate for roadkill star of the day so I'll safely remove myself to the sidewalk for a pre-dawn jaunt. Or, I suppose I could change my bike route to a safer route. That's a thought, but it can be difficult to bike once it starts snowing. Honestly, I love taking a walk in the early morning while it's snowing or just after a snowfall. It's just awesome to me. Love it.

So, that's been life in a nutshell. I've been out of touch with most of the blogs I follow, I've obviously not been keeping my current, but the desire has been there. It's just that time has failed me, or maybe it's time knows I'm needed somewhere else at the moment. Either way, this blog will continue, and it's always in the back of my mind. I think several times during a week that I would love to write about this particular situation in my blog. If blogging could only be telepathic. Until the next post, be well, and thanks for checking in. I'll check in on you when I can.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lifelong friends

Sara's dad, John, had a good friend in school named Dick. They were buddies. Here's what I know about their friendship.

They grew up together. They went to school together. They went to the same church. When John married Margie, and Dick married Frankie, John and Dick built their houses next to each other. They've been next door neighbors for over 50 years. They watched each others families grow in size. They shared in any success and sadness the other one would experience...birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals. When Dick's wife passed away several years ago, I imagine Dick clung to John's friendship like he never had before just to get through each day. He probably didn't need to cling too tightly, because I'm sure John was there for him and put on a fine display of friendship.

Today is the last thing John & Dick will do together. They will attend the same funeral.

Dick passed away this week from cancer. John is going to the funeral of his lifelong friend. It has to be the strangest thing when your friends start passing away...especially someone you're that close to. I feel sad for John. Sara and her sister went to the funeral. Dick was always so good to their family.

I didn't have much interaction with him. I remember him being a kind, gentle person. And what always impressed me about him is that he always remembered my name. When I saw him at John & Margie's 50th anniversary party, he shook my hand and said, "Hello, Mike." When we would pull into John's driveway to visit her parents, if he happened to be outside, he'd wave and say hello, using our names. "Hello, Sara! Hi, Mike!" he'd say. Just the nicest guy. A good man. He was at our wedding 15 years ago and I've probably exchanged words with him just a handful of times. Yet, he still remembered my name. That, to me, is really something.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Today is July 8th, 2009. The seventh month...the eighth day...and the ninth year of this century.

At 34 minutes and 56 seconds after noon today, it was 12:34:56 PM. The numbers lined up.

For one second in my life, and probably my children's life, time looked like this:

12:34:56 7/8/9.

How would we celebrate that one second? I made a point to come home for lunch to be with them for that precious second that we would all experience just once during our time on earth. (Well, if the kids are blessed with good health and good fortune, I suppose they could live to see the next one).

Amber wanted to bob for apples. That takes too long. What else?

Andrew didn't really have any ideas. We needed to celebrate quickly...something that would only last one second, but yet, be something we would always remember. That's when it hit me.

We weren't on earth the last time this happend. Most likely, none of us will be on earth the next time it happens. So, why not leave earth when it happens this time?

So, at 12:34:56 PM on July 8, 2009, what'd we do?

We jumped. All three of us jumped at the same time. Our feet were off of the earth. We were in the air...elevated in space but captured by time. But, only for one second.

For one second, we celebrated...together as a family. A father with his children, celebrating one second of life, one second of being together, one second of joy and happiness.

Sometimes, life gets busy and steals away moments that could easily be spent with your family. Today was a very busy day for me at work, but I found time over lunch to make a memory for me...for Andrew...for Amber. And it only took one second.

That one second is surrounded by so many other moments and memories, but that one second became a treasure for me. It's one second I will always remember.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson - 1958-2009

People keep bringing up the tarnish that surrounded Michael Jackson's life. They're remembering the stranger side of a guy who just wanted to fit in with the rest of us. They're thinking of him as a freak...a untouchable...the sansationalism that surrounded him.

I'm choosing to remember him as a son...a brother...a father...a friend. I think for all that Michael Jackson gave to us in music, he deserves that respect. Can you feel where I'm coming from?

This is my favorite song he performed with his brothers.
Here are The Jacksons..."Can You Feel It".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sweaty, Sweaty Summer

If you know me at all, then you know I'm not a fan of summer. I don't hate it, because I recognize it's place in the grand scheme of things. Also, the more blistering a summer is, the more I appreciate winter which I love love love! Summer is even better when it gets so hot that the people who complain all winter long and embrace the summer heat start complaining about how hot it is.

I use this heat as a tool. The hotter it is, the more I sweat. The more I sweat, the more I feel like I'm getting a workout and the better I feel about myself. And I know I'll be rewarded with a high temperature of 50° eventually, if I can just continue breathing through the soupy mess of air I'm pushing through.

Today was a walking day. Part of the cross-training approach to keep me interested. It was also a way to shut up my foul mouthed legs who have been cussing me since yesterday's bike ride. This morning, when I walked out the front door with Sonny, I stepped back in time to the mid-1980's. Anyone who played football knows what I'm talking about. The dreaded two-a-day practices. One in the morning as the sun was rising, and one in the afternoon as the sun was setting. The time in-between was used to rest and nurse your wounds enough to get you through the next practice and push through the pain. The thick, soupy, hazy morning was waiting for me, just like the upper classman standing in the middle of the practice field who wanted to line up against me during practice because he wanted to "teach me a lesson" since he didn't like the fact I was in choir, band, drama and played sports...and performed well in all of them. Yeah, this morning was like that. But I knew what the morning was up to. I said, "I know who you are. I remember you. You wanna walk with me? Let's go, but get ready for a fight."

Sonny didn't notice the battle going on around him. There were too many things to sniff and investigate along the way. The morning didn't throw it's first punch until I reached the top of the hill, probably so everyone could see what it was up to. I didn't flinch. I kept moving, but I knocked it down and dragged it along with me. It was a struggle to make my way down the hill dragging its sorry butt, but I made it back home. I challenged the morning to a re-match and it said, "It's on!", so tomorrow it is. This could be a long summer full of violent mornings battling with the heat, but I'm gonna win. Place your bets!

Oh yeah...the most important part! So today reminded me of football practice two-a-days not just because of the heat, but because something happened to me that I haven't noticed since those hot mornings at Auschwitz (our name of endearment for the dry, dusty practice field that had no shade, spotty mirages of grass, and only a pipe with five holes drilled in it to provide water during the oh-so-brief water breaks). As I walked into the front door, it hit me. The unforgettable, sweaty, two-a-day odor was part of me once again. Seriously...same smell, same feeling, same everything. See? This whole "less of me" approach is working. I'm already feeling young again, or maybe I'm just smelling that way.


  • Footloose - Kenny Loggins
  • More About You - Eric Champion
  • Uncle Jack - Motley Crue
  • Hold It Now, Hit It - Beastie Boys
  • Mai Ai Hee - The O Zone
  • What Kind Of Joy - Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Table - DecembeRadio

Today's favorite is "More About You" by Eric Champion from the CD Vertical Reality. It just had a nice groove that kept me moving as Sonny climbed the hill with me in tow. Yeah, I said that right.

More About You - Eric Champion

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bicycle, Bicycle!

Today was my first bike ride in a looong time...and I feel it. You know that old saying, "It's like riding a bicycle". I have news for you. Riding a bike for exercise after a year or so is NOTHING like riding a bicycle. It wasn't was hard. My leg muscles are calling me every name in the book, and they're starting to hurt my feelings. But there's another old saying..."Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." True, but my muscles will! I know a guy named Ed...he rides a he is a man! How do I know this? He rode it half-way across the state before his knee gave out on him. Don't mess with Ed.

I've decided to do some cross training of sorts. I'm thinking of riding my bike one day, walk the next, and so forth and so on. When time allows, I'll throw in a swim over lunch at the Y. And as hot as it is, the swim will feel nice.

I'm telling you, if God continues to give me the strength and motivation and I keep my eye on the prize of weighing less and better health, all of this is gonna happen for me. It will be a reality! If you feel like being a cheerleader for me, I think they're having auditions in the auditorium at the end of the day. I'm pretty sure you'll make the team.

  • Katie Wants A Fast One - Steve Wariner & Garth Brooks
  • When You Are A Soldier - Steven Curtis Chapman
  • C'Est La Vie - Robbie Nevil
  • The Things We Do For Love - 10cc
  • I Can't Stop Hurting You - Rick Springfield
  • Silly Love Songs - Wings
  • What Have You Done For Me Lately - Janet Jackson
  • Stand Up - Petra

The song that really got me going today was the first one, and I needed that...more than Katie did.

Katie Wants A Fast One - Steve Wariner With Garth Brooks

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gov Stuff - Round 001

  • Is it strange that as a red-blooded American male, I couldn't care less about the NBA playoffs going on right now? My interest in basketball stops at the college level.
  • I always dread having to work as Field Supervisor at the ball diamonds. It's something I have to do since I'm a board member for the youth program. But, once I get going, it's actually kind of enjoyable. I just don't ever want to have to kick someone out because they don't know how to control their temper when a call doesn't go their way. I hate conflict.
  • I've been tagged. That's all I'm going to say about that. But, because I've been tagged, I've not been able to walk in the mornings lately. I know, you're all like, "what does that even mean, 'I've been tagged', and why does it affect his morning walk?" I already told you, I'm not saying anymore. Just know, I went to the Y yesterday over lunch to get back into a routine there, and didn't experience the same thing I did in the mornings last week. I may give it a try tomorrow and see how things go. It's weird, it's mysterious, and y'all are totally confused right now, I know. Sorry. And, if I happen to talk to any of you on the phone, don't expect much more of an explanation.
  • Along with the morning walk, I'm thinking of throwing in the occasional morning bike ride just to mix it up a bit and not get in a rut. Ed may dig that thought, although I'm nowhere near the stud he's proven to be this week since tackling the Bike Across Kansas challenge. Maybe one day, but right now my challenge is getting through the baseball season without hurting or getting hurt by the twelve 12-year-olds I share a dugout with several times a week. The season ends next week.
  • So, if the morning walk gets comfortable again...and I continue the YMCA Lunchtime well as working in a bike ride to the rotation, shouldn't I be ripped by year end? A guy can dream, can't he?
  • Adam Lambert from American Idol announced he was gay in the new issue of Rolling Stone. I think we all figured that out when he performed with KISS on the show and he did a flawless impersonation of Paul Stanley. FYI, there's been speculation of the KISS lead singer being gay for years now. Here's a video addressing the question: Before you watch it, know that KISS concerts aren't exactly family friendly so be forewarned. You could probably just turn the audio down and form an educated guess on the pictures alone. But, who am I to judge? Why am I even talking about this? NEXT!
  • We've started using Twitter at work for a promotional tool. I'm still trying to figure out what all the excitement is about. Can someone please explain what I'm missing? It seems to take a lot of time for a next-to-nothing return on my investment.
  • I'll get back to posting the Zune Morning Mix soon...first, I need to drag myself out of bed. Where's the guilt, Beka?
  • Final thought, I think I'm better than Larry King at this stuff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My walk with the North wind

It would have been so easy to just lay in bed and enjoy the cloudy, cool, quiet morning. But, why not just get up and throw myself into that mix and surround myself with the clouds, the cool, and the quiet? It really wasn't that difficult to do now that Sara is working her summer schedule and is up getting ready to work. Sonny really wanted to go, so much so that when I let him out to do his thing, he stuck his head around the corner to check on me just to be sure I wasn't leaving without him.

Sonny has picked up a bad habit and I know where he got it. Pete the dog. Pete is owned by a neighbor down the street. Pete is an old labrador who walks with his owner, Jim (who is a retired widower), everyday down our street and through the park along the creek. Pete is not on a leash and just kind of follows Jim and wanders aimlessly at the same time. Pete thinks he owns the neighborhood. He's a nice dog...very friendly. But, if he sees a car tire, a mailbox, a tree, a flower bed, anything that appears to be at a 90-degree angle from the ground, Pete will give it the leg-lift salute and "shower" it with praise and glory. And, if he really likes you, he may leave a "present" for you in your yard. I think you know where I'm coming from. Well, Sonny has seen him do this and as I walk with Sonny (who is on a leash), he'll fall behind to try and "mark" something he feels he can claim as rightfully his. Wrong! I just keep moving and eventually the leash tightens and pulls him away from his carefully balanced act and the deed never gets accomplished in all of the glory he intends. I will not let Sonny become that dog. It's rude. My dog is not rude. So, we'll see if I can break him of that.

The rain that came through last night was wonderful. It not only gave us a night off from baseball, it cooled things off just as it was starting to get warm. Whew! This morning was very nice. It was nice to have the north wind accompany me today, pushing me up the hill as I was just getting started, and cooling me off as I headed the other direction. Come back and visit anytime!

The music today was scattered to say the least. I broke my own rule and hit "next" on a few songs today. They just don't belong and I marked them as such. Those included songs by Michael Jackson, Firehouse, Vince Gill and Paul Davis. What I ended up with was this.

• What I Really Want To Say - Steven Curtis Chapman
• Paralyzed - Strange Celebrity
• Inside - SOiL
• Yankee Rose - David Lee Roth
• One World - Toby Mac
• Renegade - Styx
• What I Can Do For You - The Imperials
• Excitable - Def Leppard
• Feel Like Hell - The Showdown

I'm taking the suggestion from IzzyBubbles and sharing the best song of the day. So, thanks Izzy!

The song that struck me most today was the one by The Imperials. The tempo was right. It's a song that takes me back to Jr. High School when I was first discovering contemporary Christian music. The Imperials are one of the first groups I saw in concert when my church took the youth group to a show in Wichita. I think Farrell & Farrell opened up for them. For all that surrounded me today...the weather, my mindset...everything, this song just worked. Plus, I really like it. It looks like this is only going to give you a 30-second sample but you'll get the idea.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Embed, or not embed? That is the question.

I've been thinking about embedding the music my Zune throws at me during the morning here on the blog. Yeah, would be extra work...probably more work than I have time for, but, if time allows, it might be a nice feature. it would look like this.

• All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
I don't know. What do you think? If I average seven songs per day, would this be too much? Should I just stick to my list? I don't know. I just don't know!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My walk with the South wind

I didn't want to walk this morning. Did it anyway. Didn't want to take the dog. I did it anyway. Was glad I had the south wind. You were good company, my friend. Wanted to try to fast today for a variety of personal reasons I'll get into later....maybe. I didn't. I curse you Spangles breakfast bowls...but I love you! The music this morning was darn near perfect, but with so many songs to choose from, why am I getting doubles on the same artist? Still, the tunes worked and got me home safely and my heart pumping.

• Hope Set High - Songs from The Loft
• House of Love (Classic Philly Soul Mix) - Amy Grant/Vince Gill
• Turn Me Loose - Loverboy
• New Sensation - INXS
• Moonlit (Neon Predator) - Falling Up
• Original Sin - INXS
• Spoilin' For A Fight - AC/DC

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I can feel it coming

The walk this morning sucked. I got up...I invited Sonny to join me...I headed out the door...but something was missing. Something that makes these morning walks enjoyable...something called a cool, south wind. While those are rare, they are very nice. I would've gladly taken a cool, north wind but that didn't move in until tonight with the rain during Andrew's baseball game. We didn't rain out, just delayed about 15 minutes. Back to this morning...I was hot, the air seemed heavy, bugs were swirling around as if warm weather gives them the right to be the pests they are. It was just least for me. It's going to get worse before it gets better, I know. I can feel it coming...Summer. There are some nice things about the season, several actually. But bugs and hot temperatures are not on that list for me. Yuck. I'll just sweat it out and push through the pain and hope the misery I'm putting myself through will deliver promising results.

I spent a lot of time with the Zune over Memorial Day weekend. I added more music and deleted the songs I'd never listen to and skip over anyway. Right now, I'm at 2,494 songs. That should do and the mix should be a little better as time goes by. Today, was not a good mix. Way too mellow to do me any good. Well, it started off with some energy but it went downhill after Family Force 5. Don't get me wrong. I like those songs by Smitty and SC2, but if that's what I'm going to get on these walks, then I might as well wake Andrew or Amber up and have them pull me in the wagon. Crossing my fingers for tomorrow. Good night.

Zune Morning Mix 052609
• Jekyll & Hyde - Petra
• Suicide Blonde - INXS
• Lose Urself - Family Force 5
• Do You Dream Of Me? - Michael W. Smith
• Lost In The Shadows - Steven Curtis Chapman
• Old Enough To Know - Michael W. Smith
• Step Of Faith - Carman

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Church of Arby's

We didn't make it to church today. To be honest, we haven't been to church in several Sunday's. We've either been out of town for a wedding, a baseball tournament, or someone has been sick. Today we're celebrating my niece, Leah's, graduation from Creighton Law School and we have Sara's sister and kids staying with us for a couple of days.

I think that, sometimes, God understands that we can't always make it to church so He'll give us a lesson in some other format than a sermon.

There was a Sunday (many Sunday's ago) that we didn't make it to church and we stopped at Arby's to eat. On the side of the bag were these "Arby's Values". I read them out loud to the rest of the family while we were eating, and we talked about what each one meant to us. These were values that would help us lead happier lives and would make life better for those people we interact with. Click on the picture to read them for yourself. That was our church that Sunday. God found a way to reach out to us through a paper bag at a fast food joint.

There's nothing like getting a roast beef sermon, minus the cheese, when you're on the road. Oh, and a side of curly fries, too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mellow Music Does Not a Fit Walker Make

I pushed myself out of bed this morning to go on Day 3 of my morning walk. Today, I took Sonny with me. He was very excited about getting to join me. Usually he's more work than it's worth, but he kept himself in check today and stayed the same course and cadence I did. And that cadence wasn't much of a test for either of us. The morning Zune mix was heavy on mellow music today.

When I bought my Zune, I just started dumping albums on there, much like a redneck dumps an old mattress in a ditch along side the highway. I gave no thought to how this music was going to be used or how it would affect my future activities. I was using it as a storage unit, and that is so wrong. I hope that redneck realizes the error in his ways, too. So, I really need to do some organizing and get this music in order so I can have the proper mix to move me along in the mornings. I'll be sharing my Zune Morning Mix here so you can sort of experience what the Zune forced through my earbuds and into my body. I try not to skip forward to the next song so I listen to whatever pops up all the way through. So, as you can see from today's list, the selection didn't do much to wake me up or get me moving. Thankfully, Dan Huff and his buddies made an appearance midway through my journey. Otherwise, it's possible that you'd find me sleeping peacefully on the bench next to the sidewalk I travel with a very confused and bored dog sitting next to me.

"Gimme Your Love" - Black N Blue
"Don't Give Up On Us" - David Soul
"Somebody Love Me" - Michael W. Smith
"No Way Out" - Giant
"Turn Down The World Tonight" - Journey
"While I Still Got The Time" - Darius Rucker
"Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" - Hall & Oates
"Matter Of Time" - Michael W. Smith

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quotes and stuff

So this was the first day I actually was able to get out and exercise. I guess pushing a lawn mower counts but that's tied to a chore and it diminishes the purpose and mindset behind it. Yesterday, I bought a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's rather than the fried version or a burger, so that was a start. I also had a lemonade instead of a diet soda. That taxing thing the government wants to do for sugary drinks may help curb that craving. Anyway, today was the first morning I woke up early enough to go on my walk before Andrew got on the bus to go to school. I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep for a while longer, but I couldn't ignore the daylight pushing through the dark curtains in our room used to block out said daylight. Face it, Mike. You're awake. I figured it was God's way of helping me indulge a little less and do what I should be doing instead. So I went for my walk and really enjoyed the cool temperatures. I figured that was God's way of rewarding me for getting up and moving so early in the morning. Most of the songs that shuffled their way to the top of my Zune were mostly Christian songs. I, again, figured it was God's way of supporting me on my walk and inspiring me to continue. So, thanks God for all of that!

Last night, I watched the last part of "Glee" to see if they were going to show a preview of the second episode (which won't air until the fall) and they did. The funniest line is in that episode. One of the characters says ""That was the most offensive thing I've seen, and that includes an elementary school production of 'Hair'". HILARIOUS!!! Love this show! I can't wait for the fall to get here just for this show alone.

At work, I decided to check up on a recording artist I hadn't heard from in awhile and went to their website. At the top of their page, I found this quote and thought it was especially inspiring and wanted to share it with the few of you who read this blog.

Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I intend to use these words to my benefit in my "Less of Me" quest. I'd write it on my hand to remember it, but it's such a long quote I'd have to use my forearm, and I don't want to walk around having people think I have Angelina Jolie-like tattoos on my arms. Who needs that kind of attention? If I'm gonna have a tattoo, it's gonna be a picture of something cool, not something written in a foreign tongue. And nothing that would make my mother cry. That's the kind of guy I am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Conversation with my daughter

On the way home from watching a dance recital that I was taping...

Amber: DAD! I finished my Junie B. Jones book!
Me: That is awesome, Amber! I knew you could do it. I'm really proud of you. Do you like reading Junie B. Jones?
Amber: Yeah! I want to get lots more of her books to read.
Me: Well, I think we can do that.
Amber: Now I'm going to read this Paul Bunyan book.

(a few moments of silence)

Amber: I'm gonna take a break. My head is too full of words from that Junie B. Jones book and my head needs a rest.

Well, it was after her bed time so I understand.

Less of Me

I hate step one. It's sooo far from where I want to be. But, I realize it's an important step in moving me in the right direction. I still hate it, though.

Many months ago, when I learned that my brother was going to get married, I thought that it would be a wonderful time to lose this weight I've been carrying around. He got married a couple of weeks ago. Did I lose weight? No. Well, not yet. I know I'm overweight. I don't like it. I hate it! I can't even sit comfortably in a booth when we go out to eat. Everyone likes to sit in a booth but I have to deprive my family of that joy and settle for a table. Good Lord, how did this happen? I used to be a non-stop bangin' stud! That guy still exists underneath this protective layer of goo. And, I'm going to expose him again.

When I was 38, I adopted a "Fit by 40" mindset. It was to consist of not only losing weight, but also becoming fit in other areas of my life. My faith, the way I drive, the way I interact with people, etc. All in all, it was my goal to become a better person. Not that I'm a bad person, but sometimes we can behave the worst toward the people we love the most, including ourselves.

Well, here I am, almost half-way through 40 and I haven't changed a thing. So I'm modifying that mindset to read "Fit at 40" with a sub-title of "Less of Me". If I'm less indulgent and become more disciplined in the way I eat, the way I exercise, the way I use my time and become a good steward of these things that God has given me, I can achieve a healthier body, a healthier mind and a healthier spirit. I'll be a better husband, a better dad, a better friend, a better employee...a better me.

I don't know why, but this is intimidating for me. Scary. I will fight to not make excuses. So, here I go.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm pretty excited about this show. It doesn't start until the fall, but there's a sneak peek in May.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Good morning, April!

"And what to my wonderous eyes should appear, but falling snow I thought was gone for the year." So, I took a slow walk down the driveway to get the morning paper.

I believe I'm the only one who is enjoying these surprise snowfalls we keep having, but they are great.

Also, I hope to start breathing new life into this blog. Work and that evil (but wonderful) facebook have kept me away. So, for that, I apologize.

But, fear not, I will return shortly. Press On. And if you have it, enjoy the snowfall!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chickenfoot Winter

I want to blog. Oh, yes I do. I have thoughts. I have opinions. I have stories. What I don't have right now, is the time. It is basketball season. Baseball season is knocking on our door and already has a foot inside my living room. Uugghh. So, what do I have to say right now?

First, I'm disgusted that winter failed to deliver this year. It appears we'll have spring for 6 months this year. I am a winter person. I love the snow. I love the cold temperatures. I love the excitement of a pending snowfall. And you know, if winter does it right, I'm OK with spring, and even summer isn't that bad. But when winter hibernates inside itself, I get irked with the weather. I also am SOOOOO tired of the news guys and gals on TV talking about how lucky we are and if the weather dips into the 40's how terribly cold it is and when will we get back to the spring temps. C'mon guys. It's winter. Let winter be winter. You knew when you moved here that we have four seasons here (except this year). So if you want warm weather year round, I can tell you where to find it. Don't curse those of us who enjoy the winter solstice. I don't complain about your 100 degree temps. I understand it's summer and it's part of the game. I will stay inside my air conditioned home. Why can't you put on a sweater and a coat? Figure it out. It's not that hard. Anyway, winter...It'll be glad to see your pale self this weekend, even if it is just for a couple of days. I'll cross my fingers for next year that you'll be able to make a longer visit. Sure, you can have a temper, but you really are beautiful and your mood is usually pretty tender. Consider making a longer stay next year.

Second...well, there is no second. But, I found this video that I thought was interesting. Do you recognize at least two of the people in the video? I know who they are. It'll be good to hear what they do next. And, Chickenfoot....nice. A fresh take on a timeless symbol.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life Question

Why, when you're trying to videotape your daughter performing a dance routine during half-time of the high school boys game, does the lady in front of you, oblivious to the crowd around her, stand up to get still photos of her child performing the same routine? They have no chance of turning out because it's just too dark inside a gymnasium. And why does she continue to stand IN MY WAY? Hello, you're in the second row. I think you can see fine. I know I could before you decided to stand up. By the way, the shirt you were wearing that I have plenty of video of...didn't do you any favors.

I feel better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Term

I've created a new term...term being short for terminology.

Today is Inauguration Day. Barack Obama is President of the United States of America.

There are many Inauguration parties tonight. Most will include alcoholic beverages.

My term for those beverages is "Inaug-Nog". Feel free to mention my name after using the term.

My word, that will eventually find it's way into the slang dictionary.

© 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year...New Music

It seems that lately, I've been blogging about music a lot. Well, if you know me, then you'll know that music plays a large role in my life. It always has...probably always will. So, don't be surprised if you see quite a few entries about a new group or a new song I've heard that I want to write about. Today is one of those days.

Last night, New Year's Eve, I made my famous white pizza for dinner, Sara made a cheesecake, we had chips, popcorn, spray cheese, pop...all the requirements for a New Year's Eve party, even if it was just the four of us sitting at home watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (with Ryan Seacrest) and Carson Daly's New Year's Eve special.

As we sat in front of the fireplace, waiting for the arrival of 2009 by eating pizza and soda and snacks, we were switching channels on the TV always looking for the show that had the better music artist on. MTV screwed up this year. It was an all Miley Cyrus night. She has her place and I can stomach several of her songs, but does she warrant an entire night on New Year's Eve? What sealed the deal for MTV was they didn't have the normal midnight cover song. Ever year for as long as I can remember, I'd make sure to check MTV at midnight to see which band was covering what song. One of the best that I can remember was No Doubt covering REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" in 2000. Well, MTV has let that die as well as any chances of retaining viewers older than 30. The final nail in their music coffin has been hammered. Next...

Dick Clark did pretty well with us by having Lionel Richie perform. I mean, c''s Lionel Richie. We didn't get just a track from a new album but a medley of all of his classics. Sadly, he dampened that pleasure (much to my daughter's enjoyment) by having the Jonas Brothers perform as well. So, he broke even with us. On second thought, he may be in the hole.

Carson Daly won the night. He shared the night with Luke Russert and some other female co-host less irritating than Kelly Pickler over with Dick and Ryan. His delivery was professional and calm and he seemed all-together less frantic than the group over on ABC. But that's not how he won.

He emerged victorious by giving us fresh, new music by a group called The Ting Tings. Sure, the name is enough to scare away any guy with not enough testosterone to walk into the music store and ask for the latest CD by The Ting Tings. But for me, the music performed by this group took me back to the 1980's. The sound was a blend of Duran Duran, Blondie, Chic, Franz Ferdinand and the White Stripes. Top it with a 1980's vibe and you have The Ting Tings. It was something new, and MTV hasn't delivered anything like it since they showed their last Buzzworthy video in the middle of the night sandwiched between another extremely long marathon of Real World or Road Rules many years ago.

So, today...I'm doing some research on the Ting Tings on youtube and I discover something else I'm not even looking for...a band called Alphabeat who also deliver music with a 70's/80's pop feel. Somehow, someway, they're similar enough in style or attitude or hair style or clothing choices that the youtube gods had the foresight to suggest one band when people like me are searching for the other. I saw the message that was being delivered to me from them, and it was good.

The Ting Tings are already beginning to forge their way into American ears and will probably be well known before Alphabeat has a chance to introduce themselves to us. So, I'm taking it upon myself to share new music with you, much like I did when I was a radio DJ. I'll start with The Ting Tings and the video for the song they sang last night, "Shut Up and Let Me Go". Then, the band I discovered by chance, Alphabeat and "10,000 Nights".

Thank you, Carson Daly, for having The Ting Tings on your show because without seeing them, I never would've tripped across Alphabeat. In less than one day, Carson, you have introduced me to two of my favorite songs of 2009. You win, Carson...hands down, not just for bringing me The Ting Tings, but also bringing me Alphabeat, even if by pure association. Oh, and also for sticking it to the pompous MTV execs who think they have their finger on the pulse of everything cool. They totally missed the target. Enjoy the music.

The Ting Tings - Shut Up And Let Me Go