Archive Page 2

25
Jun
09

I Do: 9 Years Ago

On June 25, 2000 Lyndsay and I stood before God and man and declared our vows to love and cherish one another until death do us part.

I met Lyndsay in 1999 at a coffee house in Macon where my band at the time was performing. I had met her once before with no sparks flying but there was something magical in the air that night in Macon, I suppose. I remember thinking how pretty she was. After that night we were inseperable.

Us

We are consistently amazed at how God is continuously making us “one flesh.” She is my best friend in the whole world. If I had to live in seclusion with only one other person for the rest of my life and I could choose any one living or dead, famous or common, I would choose Lyndsay without flinching. Spend enough time with any one person and you will find things that annoy you. Lyndsay is the only person that I could spend 24 hours a day with and never grow tired of her company.

And our interests have been made more and more alike. Before we met she was sure that she would marry either an Airforce man or a baseball player (and definitely did NOT want to marry a musician). I am a guitarist of 15 years who is terrible at sports and has never served in the military. The other day I was talking about my guitar and she said “I’m glad I married a musician.”

By the day we made our wedding vows we had already discussed divorced. We decided it was never, ever an option. No matter how vicious any argument, no matter how deep a disagreement. It was never the way God intended marriage to work therefore it did not exist as an option. We have never come close to wanting a divorce, but just in case things ever get that bad, we are in this “for better or for worse”, come Hell or high water, and yes, even if the creek does decide to rise.

But the more we work, grow, and cultivate our marriage, the more we find that we can not live without each other. We both love home improvement, cats, Macs, rock music by Christian artists, sci-fi movies and books, short stories, DIY projects, theater, C.S. Lewis, audiobooks, classic films, Back to the Future, and we both have surrendered our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ. And we look forward to a life together full of many more conversations consisting of “I sure like/dislike _________.” “Yeah, me too!”

17
Jun
09

U.S. Senators’ “Trust Busting”–Why?

I recently posted to Twitter an article from PCWorld.com reporting that a group of Senators have sent a letter to the FCC urging it to consider regulating device/carrier exclusivity deals in the mobile device industry. The most obvious one that comes to mind is the iPhone deal between Apple Inc. and AT&T. If you want an iPhone you need AT&T. However Apple and AT&T are not, by any means, the only companies with such a deal.

There is a term in the business world that explains what agreements like these create: a competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is any inherent or created edge that a company possesses that sets it apart from its competitors. A competitive advantage may be created by partnering with another company.

First of all, the only Constitutional power given Congress that is even remotely related to business is the regulation of interstate commerce (Article I, Sect. 8, Clause 3). This enumerated power applies to commerce between states or with foreign powers. Phone/carrier exclusivity deals do not fall into either category.

On the night of Obama’s election to the presidency I wrote an article borrowing heavily from “Nineteen Eighty-Four” imagery. At the time I considered that perhaps I was too hasty had not given the new president enough time to prove himself. Well within the first six months of what is sure to be a long and grueling term, he has proven me right. And now it seems that liberals (and big government folks in general) are emboldened by the leftist presence in the Oval Office.

03
Jun
09

Federal Takeover of GM and Chrysler

Today I was pondering the possible implications of the Government’s ownership of two of this nation’s largest auto manufacturers. Part of having a realistic outlook on any situation is being able to see the possible long-term effects of a given decision. Unfortunately the Washington establishment can not learn this lesson. All they seem to care about is what works right now and screw the future effects.

First of all Obama has stated that the federal government (except when it comes to the “most important” decisions in the company) will stay out of the way of the new GM execs. I say, FAT CHANCE. Does this sound like the federal government to you? All citizens have been saying for decades is stay the heck out of our business yet the government encroachment on our lives has only grown. This is a pipe dream, Obama. Anytime the government is given an inch it will always, without fail, take a mile.

Second of all it has been promised that the $50 Billion in taxpayer dollars that has gone toward this effort will be paid back. That of course is another Obama pipe dream in itself. But this also means that the government (namely Obama because it could effect his political legacy) has a direct stake in making sure the new GM is a success. And with the U.S. Treasury backing him there is no limit to the money Obama could throw at the new GM. Our money.

And with the U.S. Treasury backing the new GM this means the company can undersell any other non-government-controlled company. And with political success hanging in the balance the government has motivation to see to it that it does. Imagine an America where Toyota, Honda, and other foreign auto makers have pulled out of the American market because they can not compete against “Government Motors.” And where domestic auto makers like Ford have been sunk for the same reason. Who will we buy cars from? Let that sink in.

I know God is in control. I am not afraid of what the future holds. I just can not understand which part of “obey the constraints of the Constitution” is so blasted hard to understand.

18
May
09

Becoming Cynical about Government: A Personal Journey

I love America. That’s why I study American history as a hobby. I am amazed at what unbelievable success this great experiment has had. We rose from a rag-tag group of loosely associated states to the world’s greatest and richest superpower.

I first started paying attention to America’s greatness when I was in school. I do not remember what grade I was in but it was early. I remember a particular social studies class in which the teacher began the lesson by asking “Which is the most powerful country in the world?” A few hands went up and the students offered a few answers. I could see that other students were thinking about the question. I raced through all of the great countries I could think of. Let’s see, there’s Russia. It’s really large and didn’t we have a cold war thing with them? And Japan. Like Marty McFly said “All the best stuff’s made in Japan.” England. England’s pretty important isn’t it?

The teacher eventually gave us the correct answer, “The United States of America.” It is strange to say but I was shocked. I can remember this sense of wonder as I thought “Really? My country holds the distinguished honor of the most powerful nation in the whold world?” I had never thought of it before.  And I was blessed to be born and raised here.

Ever since then I have had an extreme pride in my country. I believe the founding fathers were great and brilliant men who understand the grave task they faced in designing a government system that would insure freedom for all. After all they were pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the purpose of doing so. I have always prayed for and sought to give my opinion to my elected representatives and have trusted them thinking that they (whether or not their were on the correct side of the aisle) were interested in freedom as much as me and as much as the founding fathers.

However somewhere along the line I become distrustful of the federal government. There was a time when I would scoff at folks (usually older people) who would make wisecracks about crooked politicans. Yes, there are some bad, bad men in Washington but you can not call an entire class of American citizens corrupt. But I have begun to see what they mean. Except for a precious few it seems that every single politician is out for one single solitary goal: Not to insure freedom, not to protect liberty, not to serve Americans, but…

to get re-elected.

It is a sad but true fact. Every government program, every photo op, every spending program, every campaign promise, it seems, is the work of men trying to stay gainfully employed. Nothing more. I can see no other reason for such wreckless dismissal of Constitutional law and principles as we see today. Therefore I have joined the lot of Americans who eye politicians suspiciously. I do want to be this way but I feel that I can not walk through life a blind dolt. And I do not think the President or any members of Congress are actively trying to institute socialism or to erode individual freedoms but their vote-buying schemes and programs lead to that end. They either do not see it or do not care.

Furthermore the modern federal government of America has destroyed the sovereignty of the individual states and governors and legislatures have stood by and let it happen! I am sorry but what is good for Massachusetts is not necessarily good for Georgia. And what is good for Georgia may not be good for Iowa. There are only a handful of issues that would need to be regulated across state lines and these are thoroughly described and outlined in the Constitution. Every other issue should be a state and local decision. If the people of Georgia vote that they do not want abortion performed here then that is the way it should be. This is not a Federal issue. If the people of the Peach State do not want homosexual marriage nor do they want to recognize it then it is their prerogative to vote it to be so and there is nothing the Federal government should have to say about it.

Unfortunately most state governors and legislators seem to be kowtowing to the almighty, all-powerful federal government. As an aside, this is why I am supporting Ray McBerry for governor of Georgia because he not only upholds Conservative Constitutional principles but he believes that a state’s governor should also be the one to protect his state from an encroaching federal government through interposition.

I still believe America is the greatest country in the world and the best place to be and live. This is why I still fight to preserve the Constitution that makes it so. Sometimes that means putting pressure on very ones who have been elected to do that!

10
May
09

When Did the 80s Start to Rock?

In the American vernacular there are several words and phrases that have changed meaning as culture has changed. Consider the word “cool.”  No longer does it refer to the temperature of a room only.  It also describes an attitude, a state of being.  To be “cool” is the ultimate goal of every high school student (and it’s not because the GAP has some great sweaters on sale). 

Another word that has (unfortunately) changed is “gay.”  It once meant “of good cheer.”  Now it of course refers to homosexuality (as do the words “funny” and “queer”).

So when did “dude, that is so 80s” go from an insult to a compliment.  There was a time when one would say “dude, that is so 80s” and it meant “dude, that is over-the-top, outdated, wussified, and/or a bad hairdo.  Now when  you hear “dude, that is so 80s” it is liable to be followed by a high five.

It happened slowly. I remember the 80s somewhat. I remember the hair,the clothes, and of course the music (new wave, hair bands, spandex, classic MTV when they actually played music videos). Then came the 90s and grunge and alternative music rendering everything 80s as dorky and excessive.   However now in the 21st century, twenty years out from 1989, I am starting to see the 80s come back.

I first became truly aware of this phenomenon when I was watching an episode of “Psych.”  A staple of the show is each episode will begin with a flashback from the youth of the main character Shawn Spencer and his best friend Gus.  Usually the year of the flashback is 1987.  During these flashbacks viewers are shown an event in Shawn’s life that will shed light on some of his behavior and ideas as an adult.  The flashbacks have 80s pop culture refrences galore. Everything from kangaROOS shoes (with the pocket on the side) to Shawn and his best friend Gus dressing up as the Tears for Fears guy and Michael Jackson, respectively. 

Another example of the 80s comeback is the clothing that I see many people starting to wear and that I myself am drawn to. Think thrift store.  T-shirts with screen printing or that depict colorful logos (usually advertising an event of the past that the wearer is unfamiliar with).  I recently found a shirt that said “Walking In Memphis” on the front and the backside depicted a guitar with the words “Interact Fashion Show 2005.”  I bought it. I simply liked the way it looked. And tight jeans is another fashion that is coming back especially among young people (who are the only ones who can really get away with it). 

Personally I am in the market for some ROOS.  When I saw that episode of Psych recently I exclaimed “I forgot about ROOS!”  I was never able to own any so I will revisit my childhood and purchase myself a pair of kangaROOS.  With any luck I will be able to find some that are navy blue with velcro straps. 

Dude, that would be so 80s!

07
May
09

Songs I Wish I Had Written

Question 1: What ten songs (that currently exist, of course) do you wish you had written?

Here’s another topic submitted to help me fight off writer’s block.

Hundreds of thousands of songs have been written. Many are on the radio for a while and then go away to the boneyard. Others are never noticed. But every so often a song becomes a worldwide hit. A select few are destined to become consistent favorites that folks love and remember years after their release. For different reasons and rhymes here are the ten songs I wish I had written (in random order). And if you are not familiar with some of these songs you can look them up on YouTube. Let me know if you agree with me about how great or important these songs are.

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana: When I first heard this game-changer in the earlier 90’s it was on MTV. I had never heard anything like it before. It was like punk but dirtier and more modern. There was so much raw grit to it. Nirvana broke all the rock band norms. They were unattractive. They looked sloppy. Their guitar parts were simple. Kurt Cobain was no rock god. Their lyrics were strange (they were not about girls and partying), the singing was not smooth, and the production was not slick. But they helped change the face of rock. They may not have been the innovators of grunge and alternative but they were the first to break upon the scene in a big way and it was with this song. So I wish that I had written the song that changed the face of rock.

2. Hey Jude by The Beatles: I knew as I was writing this that such a list would not be complete without George, Paul, John, and Ringo. Of all of their songs Hey Jude is probably the most famous. I have not met anyone, regardless of how little they know about music or The Beatles, who has not heard this song at least once. If nothing else they recognize the anthemic “na na na na NA NA NA NA” part. It’s a simple song with a simple origin. Paul wrote it for John’s son Julian (or Jules, but he changed the song title to Jude). It was a song of encouragement to a young boy seeing his parents’ marriage fall apart. I wish I had written the most recognizable Beatles song.

3. Where the Streets Have No Name by U2: The Joshua Tree, besides having a cool name, was U2’s best album in their entire catalog in my opinion. It marked a turning point in their career and I believe this record is when they officially became the greatest rock band in the world. Go ahead and Google it. I am positive that you will recognize at least the first three tracks. But it is the first track that I wish had my name in the credits. The story goes that in Ireland (or some place that Bono had in mind) that certain streets were known to be where the affluent and “good people” resided. However there were some streets where if you lived there you just had to be scum. But perhaps you were an upstanding, God-fearing, hardworking man whose lot in life was such that you had to live on one of those latter streets. It had nothing to do with your character but you would be painted in negative way for living on the wrong street. Bono, in his typical idealistic way, imagined a time and place where streets have no names. Not sure yet if that can happen this side of Heaven, but it makes for a great song. I wish I had written the first track of the greatest U2 album.

4. Down Under by Men At Work: I am sorry but this song is just fun. It’s about the singer’s touring throughout the world and how different cultures and different types of people have reacted to him when hearing the way he speaks or acts. I am not sure if any of the occurrences mentioned in the song are real or not but come on! It has a flute in it! I remember loving this song as a kid though I could barely understand a single lyric. And even later I had to look on Google to see what was meant by “a fried out combie.” I wish I had written this song about a land down under.

5. Your Love Broke Through by Keith Green: This is one of the first Keith Green songs I ever heard and I fell in love with it instantly. This is mostly because it is my story. It is about a man who was blinded and lost and without hope. He working and building the house of his life and existence…on sand. But like the apostle Paul and a million others down through history one day the light came on for this man. The voice and love of God of which he had been heretofore ignorant finally broke through the wall that divided him from his Savior. I wish I had written this song about a man awaking from a living dream to real life in Jesus Christ.

6. Dixie’s Land:Everyone recognizes this familiar tune from the 19th century. This song, credited to Daniel Decatur Emmett (though its authorship has been challenged and debated since it was written), became an anthem of the Southern Confederacy during the War Between the States.

Even if you do not recognize the name you will surely remember the fact that the first measure of “Dixie” was the tune played by the horn of Bo and Luke’s car “The General Lee” on “The Dukes of Hazzard.” I wish I had written this catchy, richly historic tune.

7. On the Brink of It All by Ever Stays Red: My readers know that I am a huge fan of the group Ever Stays Red for their neo-new wave sound and this in my opinion is their best song. It is an anthemic and emotional tune that will move you and groove you. I wish I had written this great pop neo-wave song.

8. Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns n’ Roses: It is a little known fact that when guitarist Slash first came up with the memorable opening riff for this power ballad that he was simply noodling around and was not trying to seriously write anything. In fact he thought the riff sounded hokey and did not like it. The band however thought it was great and wanted to write a song around it. But Slash was no fan.

Unlike the originator of the tune, the music-loving world went bananas for the song and it proved to be one of Gn’R’s biggest hits. Slash is the guitarist that inspired me to play over 15 years ago. I just wish the guy would get saved. I wish I had written this Gn’R hit from their debut album “Appetite for Destruction.”

9. To Hell With the Devil by Stryper: People on both sides of the church doors did not know what to do with this Christian metal band from the 80s. They performed with big hair, loud guitars, makeup, yellow spandex and Bible-tossing antics. They looked like MTV, but their lyrics sounded like TBN.

“To Hell With the Devil” (from the album of the same name) recalled the passage in the book of Revelation which speaks of Satan being cast into the lake of fire. One can not help but get a chuckle from ironic nature of this phrase. Plus its descending metal riff makes it a great song for rocking out in arenas. For its headbanging goodness, I wish I had written this Christian metal classic.

10. Smoke On the Water by Deep Purple: If you play guitar you are probably already humming this in your head and maybe even riffing it on your air guitar. The main riff for Smoke On the Water is typically the first riff any rock guitarist learns. This was certainly the case for me.

There is nothing else particularly special about this song, which describes the catching fire of a venue where a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert was going on. The members of Deep Purple were present when the fire broke out. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore delivers his slick blues lead style as always. I wish I had written the song (or at least the riff) that has been the first learned by millions of rock guitarists.

25
Apr
09

A Survey

Thanks to Kev for posting this survey and giving me something to blog about.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
“Now the flood was on the earth 40 days.”
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What can you touch?
A bowl of cut up angel food cake. It’s for a dessert for my sis-in-law’s wedding
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Wii bowling. Does a video game count?
4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
10:00am
5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
11:22am! I’ve gotta get moving.
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
My nephew eating a cinnamon roll
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
This morning. Running.
8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Lyndsay
9. What are you wearing?
Jogging shorts and t-shirt that says Monk on the back.
10. Did you dream last night?
Nuttin’
11. When did you last laugh?
A minute ago when I typed “weeding” instead of “wedding” on number 2.
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Pictures and culinary artwork (I’m in a kitchen).
13. Seen anything weird lately?
No.

14. For some reason Kev skipped 14. So take a moment to get something to drink. Okay. Ready?

15. What is the last film you saw?
Casablanca. On my laptop.
16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I’d pay off my bills. Then I’d buy Lyndsay her own Macbook.
17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know.
Lyndsay started calling me Monk when we were dating.
18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or 
politics, what would you do?
Insert Miss South Carolina-type answer here.
19. Do you like to dance?
Take it or leave it. Does headbanging count?
20. George W Bush:
has W for a middle initial.
21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Sally Avey
22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Joshua Lewis
23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Only to get away from the U.S. Federal government’s over-reaching and violation of the Constitution. That was a mouthful.
24. What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gate?
“How’s my favorite created being?”
25. Four or Five people who must also do this quiz in THEIR journal?
Is that a question? Whoever wants to. I just desperately needed to blog something.




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