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