Sunday, August 28, 2005

Singing with my kids

Singing with my kids

Today I played guitar and sang in church again with my kids – at least with three out of the four of them. Pastor Marv thoughtfully asked if I would like to do this today since this is the last day Meredith and Bryan will be with me in church for a while since they’re leaving for Calvin College in a few days. I gratefully accepted the invitation. They really did a fine job, as usual. We lead the congregation in Chris Tomlin’s “Holy is the Lord” and then, after the Apostles Creed, sang Parachute Band’s song “Complete.” I wanted a song which featured Meredith and also gave us a chance to use the three part harmony (Meredith, Lynnae and me) that comes pretty easily to us. Plus, this is a song that I’ve wanted to do since I first heard it a number of years ago. It went well and I especially appreciate the chance to do this. Meredith and Bryan have gotten a lot better over the years. It’s going to be different around here with them in college.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More on Bramwell's book

As I said in a previous post, I'm enjoying Tony Bramwell's book, Magical Mystery Tours. The deeper I get into it, however, the more things I find that don't fit the facts that I've heard from other sources. Here's a small example: Bramwell talks about the making of A Hard Day's Night and says something about "what script?", suggesting that it was mostly improvised. Yet, in the DVD of A Hard Day's Night we find the script and it is uncanny how the original script matches the seemingly improvised dialogue. This sort of disconnect happens every once in a while in this book.

I'm still enjoying the book and treat it as someone who remembers a lot but just doesn't always get the facts exactly right. Consequently, I now only recommend it to someone who has read other more authoritative books about the Beatles. This gives some great color but it is clearly one man's story and not a definitive history of the boys.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lazy Blue Tunas - setlist 8/21/05

Lazy Blue Tunas at Fliptfest, Rockford, MI 8/21/05

Handle With Care
Some Of My Lies Are True
Look Thru Any Window
I Feel Fine
A Better Man
It’s Gonna Be Alright
Change The World
Good Lovin’
Golden Slumbers

It’s All Been Done
Hotel California
Don’t Let Go
Your Mother Should Know
You Were On My Mind
Part Of The Plan
From Me To You*
I Want You Back*

Got You On My Mind*

(John Gelderlos on bass)
*with guest drummers from River Rock CRC

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Meet Father Ron

A friend from the internet, Father Ron Hatton, has started his own blog: Musings From A Twilight World. I came to "know" Ron through the Phil Keaggy email list we both subscribe to but I've come to think of him as much of a kindrend spirit. it seems to me that his blog might be a lot like mine. His second-ever post was about Herman's Hermits. What's not to like about that! Check it out!

Mercury is toxic

From my local hometown paper - the Holland Sentinel:

He's not happy about it, but the owner of a local Lincoln Mercury dealership says he's willing to live with the fact that a local autism awareness group's billboard that reads "Mercury is toxic" wound up near his business.
The Holland chapter of Unlocking Autism, a national organization to raise awareness about autism, purchased the billboard on U.S. 31 to inform the public about what the group believes is the danger of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines. Member Joan Reinardy of Zeeland said the organization never intended to be ironic or to cause the dealership any discomfort, she said.

I'll try to get a picture.

Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Chavez

This article describes Pat Robertson's call for the assasination of Venezuelan Preseident Hugo Chavez. This is just plain wrong. If he is guilty of crimes then he should be captured and tried. (Chavez, I mean - although that is true for Robertson too.) Robertson is reported as saying “You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.”

Christians need to distance themselves from this sort of rhetoric.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Magical Mystery Tours

I am in the process of reading Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles by Tony Bramwell, boyhood friend of the Beatles and employee of Brian Epstein. I’m only about 20% done with the book – I had expected more airport time this weekend but I was able to catch earlier flights – but so far I’m really enjoying it. This is a story I know well, having read way too many Beatles books, but Bramwell’s take on it is his own personal story and that adds a layer I have not read before. Plus, the writing is engaging, thanks to co-author Rosemary Kingsland.

Terry Ott has written a few things about this book – how John Lennon is the “star” of the first part – and I’d have to agree. (Terry's review nudged me to get the book from the library). It seems that Tony was particularly struck with how John Lennon was a genius, although a haunted one. The firing of Pete Best was also an interesting part. I find it easier to picture where things took place because of my visit to Liverpool this past January. I was even in the reproduction of the Cavern at the Beatles Story Museum. That helped me put myself in the Cavern with them as I read along. If you’re a Beatles fan (and why not?) and you’ve read other versions of their story or if you’ve seen the Anthology, then this book strikes me as a must read.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A New Semester in Georgia

Bethany starts teaching tomorrow at the University of Georgia. That's just strange. It hardly feels right that she should be teaching already. I have a lot of confidence in how she is going to do because she's been talking (a lot!) since she was very young and this is a speech class but still.

And to make things worse, Meredith and Bryan are leaving for Calvin in less than two weeks. How can this be? It's a good thing Lynnae will still be home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The White Album - again

Long time readers of this blog will remember this post in which I urged my younger readers to listen to The White Album (actually titled The Beatles). I am in the process of listening to all my U2 and Beatles albums again on my commute (in order of course) and last night on my way to and from Tuna rehearsal I listened to the White Album yet again.

The interesting thing for me is that, before this morning, I probably wouldn't have listed this as one of the best Beatles albums (usually my list includes A Hard Day's Night, Revolver and Abbey Road). But this is such an amazing work of songwriting and recording that I can't imagine why I don't hold it in higher regard (like that's possible.) I remembered that one reviewer at the time wrote something like "this album now clearly demonstrates that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest songwriters since Shubert." Now, I don't know about the Shubert part but the sheer amount of great songs on this album is stunning.

Listen to it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The long national nightmare is over.

After probe, Paula Abdul to remain on 'Idol' - American Idol -

who mix

I mentioned in a previous post that one of our traditions is a mix of music by the who on family trips. I told my friend Stybba that I'd post the mix so here it is:

All of these tracks are on the 35 Years Maximum R&B set. We sing "Magic Bus" together and "Who Are You" as well as "My Generation" and "Behind Blue Eyes." On our recent trip to Georgia, Lynnae and I were in one car with Laura and Bethany in another. I gave Bethany a copy of the mix but managed to find "Behind Blue Eyes" on the radio in Tennessee. I used the walkie talkie to contact the other car so we could sing along together.

Laura puts up with a lot.

Here's where we went, about 1750 miles:

Friday, August 12, 2005

West Wing Season 2

I'm working my way through the second season of West Wing and I was really struck again last night while watching the episode entitled "Shibolleth" that someone in Sorkin's organization has a pretty clear idea of faith. The Chinese refugee spoke elegantly and eloquently to the President about his faith in a way that put it in a very good light. He was being asked by the President if he was really a Christian or just faking it to get into the U.S. Bartlett's response showed that he, too, really understood what faith was. In the previous episode he mentioned that he had gone to Notre Dame because he had thought about becoming a priest. Then it struck me - his first name is Josiah. The biblical king who heard the word of the Lord when it had been lost for years and repented on behalf of Israel. Coincidence?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Man dies after 50 hours of computer games

This story is interesting. When I first read the headline I thought that perhaps he had participated in some sort of marathon but no - he just liked playing video games. He quit his job to spend more time playing games. I think it is safe to say that he had an addiction.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


This morning in church we sang "Gather Us In" much as we often do (except this time we sang with organ which is not my favorite way to do it.) However, in the song I was once again struck with the use of the word "peoples." Not "people" - "peoples" with an s. Isn't people already plural? So I did as I always do. I sang "people" instead of "peoples". It's not really a silent protest, but at least no one else notices. Then we sang the old hymn "Sing A New Song to Jehovah" and it is bad enough to have to use the word "Jehovah" in the hymn (since it is merely a made-up word to substitute for the too-Hebrew-sounding "Yahweh") but it also had "peoples" in it. Does this harrasment never end?

But then I got to thinking: does "peoples" communicate something different than "people"? So, I looked it up. says "pl. peo·ples A body of persons sharing a common religion, culture, language, or inherited condition of life." which is, I suppose, the point of using that term in this context.

Well, now I feel a lot less righteous about singing "people" than I did this morning. Too bad that all this thinking about one word in two hymns distracted me from listening to the sermon - I really liked the part I paid attention to.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Back home

Yesterday, after a tearful goodbye to Bethany at about 9 AM we hit the road and began our trip back. We actually had to drive off the road on Georgia route 316 (between Athens and Atlanta) because a truck full of chickens tipped over. Chickens all over the place. 5000 of them - see the picture. Really - it was pretty funny except for all the dead ones. We had to drive on the median because the tipped over truck blocked the entire road. So our trip was eventful pretty quickly.

Then in Northern Georgia I drove over something on the road and got a flat tire. I managed to get the car off the road and we ended up by the on-ramp for a weigh station. Very loud with four lanes of traffic whizzing past us. So there I am on the side of the road in 95 degree heat changing a tire. We drove into Ringold (with the help of the Sheriff) and found a place that could sell us TWO brand new tires. 2 1/2 hours and $200 later we're on the road again. So, after many stops along the way we finally got to Bowling Green (just north of the Tennessee border) at about 6:30 EDT.

Today was much better – we got off to a good start in Bowling Green and then drove all the way home to Holland with no problems. It was good to see Meredith and Bryan again. We talked to Bethany on the phone and she is doing fine. (Ask her about the Sitting Bear kidnapping.) So it was a long trip but we made it and it’s good to be home.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Athens, GA

Greetings from Athens, Georgia It's pretty warm here but this is a nice small city (more like a town) that seems to be pretty much all about the University. Actually, the town reminds me quite a bit of Northern New Jersey, where I grew up. The lush green and the style of houses as well as the rolling hills and curvy streets all seem like Ridgewood. It seems like a nice place. Bethany will do well here but I'm going to miss her.