Pachelbel's Canon

Classical music, awesome guitar work, what more could you need?



The Absurdity of it All

Has anyone else noticed that disposable razor commercials are simply over the top? Their advertising and marketing claims get more and more ridiculous.

There is something I should say in order to be completely fair and have full disclosure… I am, and always have been, an electric razor user. I think I may have used a disposable razor once or twice in my entire life. So that may influence my opinion. Your mileage may vary. Yadda, yadda, blah, blah.

But have you seen these goofy commercials??? You’d think there was an army of Noble Prize winning scientists working on the immensely difficult problem of how to make a couple of dollar razor. They make it seem like the average razor has more technology in it than the space shuttle. Just consider the names, the Extreme III, the Mach3, the Mach3Turbo, the Quattro (4 must be better than 3 and Quattro is definitely cooler than Four), and now we have (drum roll please, oh and crank the echo effect) the Fusion. The Fusion has SIX blades! Five for a comfortable shave and a 6th one that is on the other side for detail trim work. There is even a Power version that has a battery. The website is a riot. It’s a nice site and all but beware, it takes a while to download. There’s an attractive woman walking around in a modestly short red dress and high heels with a lab coat on. That’s just too much. NO respectable lab rat would be caught in that outfit. Certainly, she must be one of the Noble Prize winning scientists working so hard to give us the most awesome shave ever. Right....

Then there’s a TV commercial about how when a good looking man (at least I’ve been told he’s good looking – I’m not an expert in such things) gets a close shave, that the woman on the treadmill becomes so distracted that she falls off the treadmill. Not once, but twice. Maybe the woman on the treadmill is just uncoordinated, I’m not sure. But I’m not sure if I would ask a woman out on a date who kept falling off the treadmill. That could be embarrassing on your date. She might fall of the chair in the restaurant. She could fall down the stairs in the theater. There are all sorts of potentially disastrous situations that could happen. It’s simply not safe, or wise, to be around her. Furthermore, I believe the man in the commercial would be just as good looking if he used a Fusion, or an Extreme III. Heck, he’d probably still attract the ladies if he didn’t shave at all or so I am told.

So what’s the point? Why spend all the money that the companies do on this stuff? To change our perceptions? To give us false hope? Hey, even you ugly guys can use the magic razor and hot women will fall all over you. Surely no one really believes that. So what’s the reasoning for the multi-millions spent in advertising a piece of plastic with a few bits of sharpened metal? Simple. To encourage us to spend a little more on a better shave. Two blades were better than one. Three is better than two. And the arms race is on. But each time the company has to spend a little more money and do something a little more outrageous to convince us that this model is better than the last one. They have to get us to part with a few more bucks for each new model too.

I wonder what an advertisement for church would look like if it used this model? How would a congregation convince the masses that their church is better than the one down the street? And is that even a good thing? I’ve seen some advertisements for churches on TV. Usually it’s for a denomination, rather than a local congregation. I like seeing the ads. I like the fact that Christians are trying to reach lost souls. However, I must admit to being less than completely thrilled with the ones I’ve seen, but hey, they are giving it a try. I’d like to see my local church do something like that. I love my local church. I’m not sure how I would tell someone in a 30 second sound byte how great our church is. The point is not that we are that awesome – I think the point is God is that awesome. I’d have a hard time telling someone how great God is in 30 seconds. I wonder what that would look like on my TV?



Comments Are Easier

Several of you mentioned that comments were too difficult. Ok, ok... Comments should be easier to do now.

So get busy making comments.


Some White Guys Can Jump

Note, this is not me.



The Main Thing

I love quotes from great thinkers, authors, theologians, scientists, whatever. I like to hear what other thinkers are thinking about. What makes the world work for them? What are the things that they think are important? It's like taking a little peek into their brain.

One of my all time favorite quotes is by author Stephen Covey,
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
It seems a little goofy the first time you read it. But if you think about it for just a minute, it's pretty profound. We often get sidetracked by stuff. Stuff that is not the main thing. Stuff that is less than the most important. I know that sometimes we have to take care of mundane things - we can't always be working on the most important, coolest stuff. But we need to make sure that we aren't distracted from doing our main thing. If you work for Chevy, the main thing is to make vehicles - not burritos. If you work for Taco Bell, the main thing is make food - not vehicles. Simple concept, but how many companies have messed up by spending too much effort on something that was not the main thing? More than I'd care to count.

What is your "main thing"? Is it to be the best in your profession? The best programmer? The best truck driver, lawyer, welder, nurse, mechanic, doctor, preacher, teacher or whatever? I hope we can all aspire to have a main thing that is more important than our career. Maybe our main thing should be to be an awesome parent or a devoted spouse. That seems more worthy of our efforts.

I wonder if I desire to make my main thing to be a devoted follower of Christ, could I still be an awesome parent and a devoted spouse? Those shouldn't be mutually exclusive - should they? Sometimes it seems like we think they should be. That doesn't seem right to me.



My Head Hurts

I’ve been wandering around the blogscape checking out blogs. I must say, there are some good ones and there’s some that are, well, let’s just say not so good. No, that’s too politically correct. Ok, I’ll say it – there are blogs that are down right horrible. But that’s not what is making my head hurt.

In my blogscape wanderings I kind of intentionally wandered around Christian blogs. There are some really nice Christian blogs out there. There are some good ones by various pastors, worship leaders and other church leaders/volunteers. There are a couple of nice blogs that are run by various churches or other para-church organizations. Watch for links to the good sites to show up in the right column shortly. Unfortunately, these good blogs appear to be in the minority.

Now to the part that makes my head hurt.

There are all kinds of Christian sites out there talking about stuff like being emergent, re-churching, being evangelical, being post-evangelical, deconstructing post-evangelism, being missional, being post-modern and I even saw one that claimed to be post post-modern. I don’t even know that means. What are these people talking about? My head is starting to hurt. It’s like it’s a competition of different clubs. Which club is the coolest? No, that’s not correct, it’s more like a competition of different gangs. Our gang is better than your gang. We believe this and you believe that, we are right and you are wrong. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but just a little bit. It’s amazing how the different blogs call each other out and tell them they are wrong. It’s amazing how judgmental they are towards people who hold a different opinion than they do. And who really cares? Do people who don’t know Jesus and need to be told about him care? Is it going to be easier to reach people for the Lord if you are post-evangelical or if you are post-modern? Is this really what’s important in Christianity? It makes my head hurt.

What happened to following the simple words of Jesus? Love one another. Reach out to people who need assistance. Act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God. Pretty basic stuff. I know sometimes it’s easy to say and hard to do. But all in all, it’s a pretty simple thing to understand. I’m not saying we need to be Pollyanna all the time and pretend stuff is ok when it’s not. It is ok to disagree with someone, but why do we have to dwell on it all the time?

It makes my head hurt and my heart break.



Guitar Chords and Transposing

People often ask me how they can learn to play guitar. I always tell them 'take lessons.' That doesn't seem to be a very popular answer. I think many people think there is a magic short cut where they can say the magic words and sleep on a guitar instruction manual one night and they will become the next virtuoso. I wish it was that easy.

If you are looking for a few resources to help you along the way. The following links could be useful. If you come across a chord you can't remember or don't know, this site will help. You can look up chords and see what strings to play. Fairly useful. This site also has some uncommon chords on it. Now you can rest easy knowing that if you forget what a Ebmsus4 is or the fingering for a G#dim/Eb slips your mind you'll have a resource at your finger tips.

If you already know all your chords then maybe you can use this to help transpose your song to a different key.

One last resource is a Capo transpose chart. This chart helps you play that difficult song more easily by using your capo.

Keep practicing and before you know it you will be playing with the worship team.



It's too quiet

For the first time since they blew up the building next to my work on August 6 (see previous posts here and here), it's quiet outside my window. No big machinery, no backup beepers, no sound of crushing cement, no sound of buckets full of debris going into dump trucks, no nothing. It is just quiet. All that’s left is a dirt lot, the porta-potties, a few pieces of machinery (that I imagine the construction crew will use) and the trailer for the office.

Construction should start soon and the noise will be back. I suspect it will take them much longer to build the new building than it did to destroy the old one.

Life is like that isn’t it? A short moment can destroy something that took a long time to build. And once it's destroyed, it takes a long time to rebuild or replace it. Whether we are talking about people or things, it’s still true. A cross word can cause someone great pain and in a moment we can destroy them, or their self-worth. I wonder how many times, without even realizing it or without meaning to, I said something that tore someone down instead of lifting them up? I hope it’s not been too many times, but I bet it’s more than it should be. I think I’d rather build people up instead of tearing them down.

But if we are talking about getting to blow something up, yea – I’m up for that!



Guitar Chords

Just in case that last post encourages you to play your guitar more (sorry I don't know how to play the uke), here's a great link to just about every known guitar chord in the universe.


Thanks to the Worship Guitar Guy for this find.


Cool Uke

We had the ninja drummer and now we have the cool uke. I've never heard a uke played like this before. Pretty cool.



Filed Under the “Huh?” Category

I went to the AMA Motocross Championship at Glen Helen today. I went with a friend and took my two sons. All in all we had a great day. We had a good spot to watch the race and we saw some good racing. It was a good day of guy stuff.

Glen Helen raceway is located in San Bernardino, CA. For those familiar with the area, you know that means it’s going to be warm. Now you must understand that ‘warm’ in San Bernardino would be considered ‘down right hot’ in many places on the earth. However, San Bernardino has its own special definition for hot. Fortunately, it was not hot today in San Bernardino, it was only warm. Warm equates to the mid-90s in San Bernardino. I think the announcer said it was T-shirt weather. Yea, like I’d wear a jacket when it is 95 degrees. I think T-shirt weather starts at about 65 degrees, but I digress.

So as we sat in our chairs in the warmness of San Bernardino, I looked around and noticed that many people had umbrellas or other shade producing paraphernalia. As my brain slowly cooked like a fried egg, I was able produce only one logical thought, “I need shade too.” So I set out on a quest to purchase an umbrella. A short walk brought me to a Glen Helen authorized souvenir stand and there on the counter in all its glory was a big Glen Helen umbrella (think big golf umbrella with motorcycles and graphics all over it). I was saved! I casually enquired about the cost of this highly desired item. I was trying not to show how desperate I was and how much I would have been willing to pay for this valuable item. It must have worked because the vendor quoted me a very reasonable price; far under the 4-digit figure I was willing to pay for some shade. Yes! Success was with in my grasp.

However, my good fortune quickly reversed. The vendor walked around the smallish souvenir stand and then reported that they didn’t have any more umbrellas. What?! I’m standing right here next to this one that is proudly on display on the counter top. But the vendor firmly reported that they didn’t have any more umbrellas. My desperate mind raced for a solution to this problem. Clearly they did have at least one umbrella, even though the clerk was sure they didn’t. In a last ditch act of desperation I suggested that they did have one more umbrella, it was right here and she should sell me the umbrella on the counter. She looked at me like I was crazy. She informed me that she couldn’t sell me the one on the counter, because they needed it to advertise their umbrellas. Huh?!? Even my slowly cooking brain understood the absurdness of that statement. Why would a business want to turn away a sale to advertise for an item they don’t have anymore? Who knows how many more times she was going to have this discussion with other shade seeking individuals? With one easy move she could save herself from having to tell people she was out of umbrellas all day, she could have one more sale AND I could have shade. That seemed like a win-win-win situation to me – but unfortunately not to her. She stuck to her guns and refused to sell that one last umbrella. Denied. No!!!

I wonder how many times I’ve denied someone something that they thought made sense, but I didn’t. I wonder how many times someone asked me for something simple, and I made it difficult. I wonder how many times I was asked a question about God and all the asker wanted was a simple answer, but I made it convoluted and hard. When I think about the stories Jesus told to people when they asked questions there is one characteristic they all have. The stories are simple enough to be easily understood. There is no doubt what the primary point of the story is, yet many of those stories also contain deep truths. That's so cool. But for now my goal is to be simple enough to be understood. I'll defer my desire to be simple AND deep for later.

If you are concerned about me, don’t be. I was able to stagger to another souvenir stand and purchase an umbrella from a smiling vendor who understood the value of making a sale. I had my shade, my brain didn’t cook, and I’m still around to ponder.



News Junkies Unite!

If you love to read the news, then this is for you! The front page of newspapers all over the world.
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Ninja Drummer

My friend over at Krausology.com had a contest a while back about who was your favorite ninja. At the time of contest, I didn't have a favorite ninja. I had never really considered who my favorite ninja might be. Aside from the Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles, I had no idea of who any ninjas even were. Sure there were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I can never remember which one is Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo or Raphael anyway. In my experience, ninjas were always secretive, move like a ghost, anonymous warriors who showed up during critical scenes in Kung-Fu movies to mess up the good guy’s plans. You didn’t have a fav ninja. Most of the time you didn’t even know who the ninjas were, let alone have a favorite. Plus it was preposterous to even suggest that one ninja might be better than another. The losers in the contest could get really upset and that could end badly for me.
As you can tell, I really had a hard time picking one ninja over another in his poll. Crazy I know, but I couldn’t get over the feeling that somehow voting for a favorite ninja was just wrong.
However, my opinion has recently changed and I think I’ve found my fav ninja. His name is Ivan Pacheco and he calls himself a snare drum ninja. I think that counts, doesn’t it? Anyway, I feel so much better now that I have a favorite ninja.



Who Knows the Future?

Seth Godin posted this picture in his blog. It's from a Derek Hill, maybe that's him in the photo. I have no idea where this came from, but it is too funny. If anyone finds a high res version of this pic, please let me know!
This reminds me a little snippet I saw from a cop once. They were talking about all the fortune tellers they had busted (fraud, operating a business without a license, etc.), anyway, the snippet was, "Not one of them ever could tell me that they were about to get arrested."
No one knows the future. I'm not sure I'd want to know, even if I was given the opportunity. I guess I've watched too many time travel movies where knowing the future just messes everything up.
I think I'll just let God worry about the future.