The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The summer o' Frenz is done...

Well, with a lot of balloon sculptures and some fun stuff (including Vicki and Tyrone, the Snapper Duck), we had our last storytime at Frenz on Plainfield this morning. A good time was had by all.

So, would I do it again next summer? Yes... with a couple of changes. I learned a LOT this summer, and I'd make good use of it next time.

Rich from Frenz in Rockford has been asking when we're going to do some stories out there, so we'll see. Captain Cal may be coming to Rockford sometime this fall.

In the meantime, it was a fun summer, but I'm glad to be finished. Time to press toward the finish line with the new album. :-D

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Anla'shok

I haven't said a lot about it, but I thought I might fill in some details on that which has been ordered, and which I'm waiting anxiously for... The Anla'shok.

"The WHAT?"

Lemme 'splain. No. 's too long. Lemme sum up... (and yes, that is a VERY familiar quote)

This is the model upon which my new bike is being based. The differences being that my bike will also have a fairing...

And, my bike will be extremely customized for my weight and my size. My seat will sit down in front of the rear wheel, to lower my center of gravity, and will accommodate my short legs. It has 26" wheels front and back, which will give it greater rolling efficiency, and should be a bit lighter than my present ride, the mighty ReBike.

The color? Well, it might be purple. Or, it'll be blue. Depends on what paint they have when it's finished. If you'd like to see more about it, and the AMAZING company that's making it, check out Lightfoot Cycles

Oh... the name? Well, this Lightfoot model is called the Ranger. And, being a die-hard Babylon 5 fan, I'm calling mine The Anla'shok - known in the B5 universe as The Rangers. Cute, huh? :-D

(Someday, when we can afford it, Vicki will probably also get a Lightfoot cycle. Hers will be called Entil'Zha, also from B5. Entil'Zha (although there isn't an exact translation for this one) is the leader of the Rangers, also known as The One. And, Rangers are known as those who follow The One. (yes, when we ride, Vicki is usually in the lead...) Also appropriate when one knows the Ranger oath - "We live for The One, we die for The One.")

So, when The Anla'shok arrives from its present location in Montana, there will be a joyous shout. :-D

Yes, Denise - I know... Lots o' Babble today. Babble, Bikes, and Babylon 5 - nice, eh?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Support Local Business!!!

Beanabox is closing. :-( And I'm bummed.

I played there Saturday night, doing my thing as Jeremy Hoekstra's bass player. Also got to hear Julie Belle's sweet voice once again. And I learned the news that Beanabox is closing at the end of the month. Four years of business, and they're closing.


And a good reminder. Support your local businesses. Especially the folks that encourage local musicians like me with a place to play. They don't make a lot of money for providing those extra touches like live music, books to read, games to play, and comfortable spaces to just kick back.

Not trying to put down the franchises. But I do believe that a trip to someplace like Beanabox (or Frenz, or Dillenbeck's, or Mocha 'N Music, etc.) is a nicer experience. Friendlier, more personal, and you'll find stuff there that you don't find at a franchise place.

Support local business!! Support local music!

OK - enough of sounding like some sort of activist or protester. :-D Now off to support local businesses, including Theatricks, Kingma's Market, Kay Pharmacy, and Meijer's. (yes, Meijer. I never I said I was consistent - just sincere.)

Goodbye, Beanabox. Thanks for the music and the friendship and fun. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Zoom... Zoom... splat

"There's a wideness in God's mercy I cannot find in my own. And He keeps His fire burning to melt this heart of stone. Keeps me aching with a yearning, Keeps me glad to have been caught, In the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God." **

It's really hard not to become a die-hard cynic.

We had a buyer for mom's house. For a couple of blissful days, we saw freedom. Thinking about what life looks like without the concerns of everything that goes with having a house up for sale in a market that's down so low, they have to use the up elevator to flush the biffy.

Then, when all seemed like a done deal, at the last moment, splat. The buyer backs out. He had gotten exactly the price he wanted, and he backs out.

(if anybody even breathes Romans 8:28 right now, I'm gonna go postal.)

So, how does one keep faith when in this situation? How does one avoid putting on the heavy-duty armor of cynicism and never believing, never trusting, never hoping again? How many times does the bug get splattered on the windshield before he packs his wings and never leaves the ground again?

"I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands. You are who You are, no matter where I am. Every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hands. You never left my side. And though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm." **

I can't believe those words right now. I can't sing those words right now. I place them here in the hopes that by seeing them, and remembering them, I will eventually believe them again. And my heart will become soft again, instead of stone.

"I will lift my eyes, to the Maker of the mountains I can't climb. I will lift my eyes, to the Calmer of the oceans raging wild. I will lift my eyes, to the Healer of the hurt I hold inside. I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes, to You." **

Sometimes, when the hurt is too raw, when the wound is too deep, when I can't find the strength to open my Bible and hear the words of life, only the lyrics of certain special songs will penetrate the darkness of my thoughts and heart.

"Take me to the place I remember, Take me down the road You've led me through. Help my heart to see this as another way to be close to You. Remind me this is more than just a mountain, it's soon to be a story I can tell... of Your faithfulness. I will not forget. Take me to the place." **

The Spirit intercedes for us at times when we have no words, communicating our hearts to God when we have nothing to say. When we have no way to express our hurt, our bewilderment, our pain, our doubt, our uncertainty.

St. Patrick's Breastplate
I arise today

Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity

Through the belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness

Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ's birth
with his baptism,

Through the strength of his crucifixion
with his burial,

Through the strength of his resurrection
with his ascension,

Through the strength of his descent
for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today

Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In the service of archangels,

In hope of resurrection
to meet with reward,

In prayers of patriarchs,

In predictions of prophets,

In preaching of apostles,

In faith of confessors,

In innocence of holy virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun,

Radiance of moon,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea,

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

I arise today

Through God's strength to pilot me:

God's might to uphold me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look before me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to guard me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptations of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers
between me and those evils,

Against every cruel merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches
and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge
that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that there may come to me
abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness,

Of the Creator of Creation.

Kyrie Eleison

Christe Eleison

Kyrie Eleison

** "The Love Of God" - Rich Mullins
** "Praise You In This Storm" - Casting Crowns
** "I Will Lift My Eyes" - Bebo Norman
** "Take Me To The Place" - Scott Krippayne

Thursday, August 09, 2007

When the story "gets" you...

Well, one more day for my first "official" week of part-time work at CBH Ministries. (week 1 of 6) How's it going? IT ROCKS! I absolutely love the things I'm getting to do.

I've been editing the voice parts for some of the shows for season 9 of Down Gilead Lane, and since editing is one of my all-time favorite things to do on the planet, the days are flying by!

Today, I was working on a show where a Bible story is part of the story line. And I'll admit, as I heard the actors communicating the story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel, I teared up a bit. And I felt a whole lot of gratitude to the Lord, for allowing me to have a small part in communicating that story in such a great way. God has brought me along such a winding path, and along the way He's given me some incredible opportunities. And I am SO thankful. :-D

I've also realized that I want a scooter. I saw Uncle Charlie's motorcycle sitting in the parking lot today, and I thought what fun it would be to park my scooter next to it. (especially when it gets 70 miles per gallon...) Not to mention the leather jacket with the name "Captain Cal" across the back.

But, alas... like many dreams, this one probably will never be. Besides, I can't imagine Vicki as a biker babe. Or a scooter babe, for that matter...

Season 9, show #7. Be looking forward to it, 'cause it's a GOOD one. :-D

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Party on, dude...

We decided that something like our 25th deserved at least a little celebration, so we toddled off to MingTen (which has become our favorite restaurant on the planet... or at least in the top 5) and then went to see Harry Potter in the IMAX. (2nd time seeing it - the last part that's in 3D is VERY cool...)


For the first time, I wore my 2nd "distance" lens. (readers of this little slice of sunshine I call a blog will remember that my contacts are set for "monovision" - one eye for distance, one eye for reading...) When I got new lenses this year, I got a third one - the distance lens for my right eye. So, when on a road trip or bike riding or someplace else where I'm not likely to need to have closeup vision, I can exchange my reading lens for a distance lens, and have full distance in both eyes.

-- END OF BABBLE - Thank you. --

It rocked! It was nice to see the movie without any hint of a blur, especially for the 3D part. Monovision is very cool, but I'm glad I got the third lens.

Lovely anniversary with my lovely bride. She's more beautiful to me every day. (not to mention being T.W.B.K.**)

** that's especially for Amanda - believe me, she'll really appreciate it. :-D

Monday, August 06, 2007

25 years and counting!!!

25th Anniversary = SILVER anniversary
August 7th, 1982 - August 7th, 2007

Does the silver refer to the color our hair is gradually becoming?

Or is it the silver wire that I make jewelry with?

Since Vicki moves like quicksilver, is it talking about her?

We both enjoyed Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - but I don't think it's talking about that...

Silver coins (true silver ones, that is) are very valuable, so it might be referring to that...

We got a silver tray for our wedding - I guess we should haul it out, eh?

Since silver is a "precious" metal, I guess this is our precious anniversary
("Yesssss it is, my precious...)

The Bible says that God is more precious than silver, so that gives me a good idea of its value.

We're not doing anything special today, since we don't have a lot of silver these days... or green for that matter. :-D

So, on this silver day, I give thanks to our precious Lord, that 25 years ago, He brought us together. And that after 25 years, we're just getting started learning how "two become one."

I love you, Vicki Sue.
Happy Silver anniversary.

Life changes...

I've been a little busy to post about this, but here we are...

This week, I begin a part-time job!! I'm going to be doing post-production editing for Down Gilead Lane from CBH Ministries - editing voice parts, helping in sound design, etc. on a 6 week trial basis. I did a couple of days of training last week, and I loved it!!! I've got tons to learn, but it's a BLAST! :-D

So, I'm getting back into the groove of regular hours, and I also have to get into the habit of packing lunches. Haven't had to do that for YEARS, since we had a lunch plan at CU. The idea I'm playing with is the concept of the Japanese Bento Box. (If you've never heard of a Bento Box, feel free to Google it :-D )

A Bento Box, from Wikipedia

The idea is a variety of stuff, presented in such a way that it's both good to eat and good to look at. I think I'll start with good to eat, and worry about the presentation later.

The other good thing about working from a bento box perspective is that since I'm intending to make everything cold (as opposed to having to heat it that day), I should be able to make my lunches for the week on Monday, and have them ready to go for each day. We'll see how that comes off, but I think it should work.

So, this week, I'm going to do some cubed chicken with seasonings one day with a side of cold noodles or some flat bread with dipping oil; maybe a ramen frittata with bacon and peas that tastes amazing cold on another, and add some things like veggies, fruit, a goodie like a brownie or a granola bar for a treat. The idea is variety, and balance in the diet, which can only be accomplished by planning ahead. Something I really need to do, so this should be a good thing once I get the hang of it.

But probably no sushi. You gotta draw the line someplace...

Thursday, August 02, 2007


This weekend, I'll be playing a couple of places... Would love to have you stop by. It always means a LOT when people take the time to come out, enjoy some music, and support the businesses who provide it. So, I'd love to see you at either venue (or both! :-D)

, I'll be in Rockford at Frenz Coffee House, starting at 7pm. I'll be joined by Jeremy Hoekstra, and it'll be a GREAT night of music - c'mon in, enjoy some tunes and a cool beverage from Frenz... an ideal way to beat the heat!

Then, on Saturday Night...