Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Christmas Offering

Every year I spend a couple of months working on something called Tis the Season To Be Cheesy. This year was volume 9. Each Christmas season, I work on putting together a disc of some of the most earnest, but off the mark Christmas music I can find. It's become a bit of a tradition and in a couple days I'll post a link to an MP3 version for those that weren't able to get a CD version. While I like it, and I get a kick out of doing it every year, it's not the Christmas music I listen to by choice. Over the next few days I figured I'd post some of the music that never seems to go away, the stuff that I'm really close to. Maybe you'll feel the same way.

Track 1. Phil Madeira - Christmas This YearPhil might be one of my favorite songwriters. Most of the time he's a songwriter and Nashville studio rat, adding Hammond B-3 to a long long list of records. On the side he's also a singer songwriter. A few years ago he came out with an album called Three Horse shoes, a collection of songs he wrote while hanging out at a pub in the english countryside. One of the songs was this one. Living in Colorado now, I can relate. It's not that I dread heading back to Minneapolis next week, but it's still going to be 34 hours in a car driving back and forth. Someday we'll have the money to just bring everyone down here.

Track 2. Steve Hindalong and Derri Daugherty - Babe In the Straw"One of the first CDs I ever bought was The Choir's Circle Slide. It was one of those CDs that helped drag me out of a very dark place and they've been one of those bands I've continued to follow because of it. Ang and I danced to a Choir song as the first dance at our wedding. In the early nineties, they came out with a lenten mass masquearing as an album full of collaborations from Alternative Christian artists called At the Foot of the Cross. It's one of the CDs I meditate with at Easter, but a few years later they did a similar project called Noel. Every year, Noel is one of the first CDs I pull out around Thanksgiving. I love to light some candles, dim the lights and just soak in this album and the next album I've selected a track from. Even if you think you've never heard of Steve Hindalong, you've probably heard his work. A few years ago he and Marc Byrd collaborated on a song you've no doubt heard or (more likely) sung, God of Wonders There's your 'Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story' moment of the day.

Track 3. Over the Rhine - The First NoelGrowing up in my family, ever year we'd attend the Sunrise Service at Easter and the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve. I really grew to love walking out of the church after midnight and feeling the chill air and the silence covering everything like a blanket. Usually, there would be a few snowflakes floating down through the air. This song is the soundtrack of the drive home. When I listen to it, it brings back those images and I get a little shiver. The album it comes from, The Darkest Night of the Yearranks right up next to Noel on my Christmas album list... and I think it still will fifty years from now.

Anyway the first three tracks. There'll be another three tomorrow, and so on the rest of the week.

Merry Christmas.

I've been reading through some members of the Triathlete Alliance and
while I don't want to be a grinch, I still don't completely understand
why people make out "Ironman" to be something so grand and awe
inspiring. It's a race... a very long day. It feels really good to
finish, and it was for me, I think, a life changing event. At the same
time though, the way some people write about their upcoming Ironman
races I have to think... "GET OVER YOURSELF!"

Blogging has always been a bit of written self-gratification.
Sometimes I just wish there was a bit of a filter. Run your race, be
happy that you are physically capable of running the race, but don't
let me know that you live in a 'magical happy wonderland filled with
transcendental experiences all at the lacing of a shoe-lace'. Again, I

Run your race. Train. But realize that just because you're doing this
doesn't make you better than anyone else. You're still flesh and
blood. You're still going to die. At some point, you're still going to
be decrepit. Everything is little more than temporary and even your
Ironman race will only be a blip on your life. GET OVER YOURSELF and
go do your race. Don't pretend all of this is something that hasn't
been seen before because it's been done thousands of time before and
just for the record, you're nothing special.

I promise I'll be happier and less grouchy later.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

what next?

it's the end of the year, which means personal reflection and
corporate reflection. I just got out of one of those corporate
reflections. Basically, we're waiting for things to drop. If they
don't, and we need to be prepared if they don't, we're stuck, dead in
the water. It's not altogether true that that's going to happen, but
it's not altogether not true. Basically, we're at the point where we
have to make precautionary plans and start to take those measures. For
me, it's been said that I should begin to start the job search, just
in case. That freaks me out. A LOT. I know I have skills, and I know
those skills and talents have grown over the past couple of years, but
it still makes me nervous. Even more so just based on the reasons I
moved out here. I can't go into details, but if you're the praying
type, I'd appreciate them. I have lots of decisions I need to make.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

The view from behind my little sound booth at church. Man it feels good to be done with the yearly project. More blogging later

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

I don't know if you can read this but running through a KFC drive-through on the way to church, this made us laugh. :-)


OK. I'm going to bed. The project is done, or at least almost done. I
got home from the office with the final goodies arond midnight and
have spent the last two hours packing and addressing. Tomorrow, I go
to the post office and get a gigantic postage bill. Oh joy! heh.

I'm a little delirious. Hopefully that will go away once I get some sleep. :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2005


coming into the home stretch... It's been a long day of duplicating,
trimming and packing. Man... it's so much work to get this thing done
every year. I guess I keep doing it because people really respond to
it when they hear it. I handed out the first batch at the Scum of the
Earth christmas party yesterday evening. People were alight when they
saw the second bonus disc. Anyway, all of the first batch got handed
out last night, so it was back to the beginning today. I'm one tired
person... and there's still a full day tomorrow. Blah.