church chat

it's all about me!!, music 1 Comment »

i whined to a coworker last week about how i haven’t gotten any feedback lately on my drumming at church (from other than Elaine, my kids and my bandmates). not that i really need it … but hey, i’ve been running a little low on self esteem lately so every little bit helps, ya know what i mean? So, why won’t they just come by and tell me how good i am, I wondered? i could only think of two things: either folks are too awestruck from my abilities and somehow assume that i’m totally unapproachable. …or two, i totally stink and folks are too kind to want to actually hurt my feelings. oh, and maybe a third option which is that everyone realizes that being in a worship band is about being the Lord’s servant and that humility plays a huge part in it and therefore they don’t want to feed anyone’s ego especially the drummer’s.
well, anyway, i guess i whined enough last week for even God to hear because apparently He sent some feedback my way this past sunday. and now as Elaine would always say to me: my head is too big for my own good.
first up was our founding pastor’s dad. He’s a prominent figure at our church and even played in bands himself in his younger days. He came to me before the church family meeting last night to tell me that I was his favorite drummer in the world. you know he could have just stopped at “favorite drummer” and left it sort of vague but he actually said that out of the whole world filled with plenty of drummers, i’m his favorite!! that was definitely a nice thing to say. he’s a shoo-in for our next Christmas Card mailing list!
next, one of the associate pastors came by to say hey. he joined the staff last year and was previously part of our sister church in Manhattan. We’ve already formed an instant connection because he’s Korean and also led worship bands in his college days. He told me yesterday that he feels comfort whenever I’m up there playing. he’s partly refering to the fact that I trade off (a monthly rotation) with another drummer so that Elaine won’t have to deal with constantly bringing the boys to church by herself. OK, comfort is sort of vague but it sounds like a compliment, right? Actually he did clarify to me later that he indeed loves my playing. and this is coming from a guy who’s used to seeing the world’s fastest drummer, Jotan Afanador, play with the new york team.
Our founding pastor is also used to the new york team since he constantly goes back and forth between churches on an almost weekly basis. I spoke to him sometime during the evening and even he mentioned my playing yesterday. One of the songs we played last night had a complex tom-tom fill that runs through most of the song. almost like a drum solo made into a song. anyway, so he mentioned that he loved what i did in the song.
[my head is now as oversized as Mr. Mackey’s from South Park mmmmmkay?]
So, OK God I get it. I can see the connection here. I’ll stop the whining. …for now…mmmmmkay?

long distance runaround…

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well, it’s time to change my long distance phone service provider. it all started back in 2001 when I swore off AT&T because of their numerous fees added on top of what they charged you for actual calls. back then I went with a cheap reseller, zoneLD which started out great as you can see from my old review of the service. but as time went on, the company started adding various fees to our monthly bill. over the last year or two the fees kept increasing. and now they just announced another increase in monthly fees so it’s time to switch, baby! i don’t see why anyone would stay with these greedy crooks. it’s a mass migration, baby! to where? ummm, i’m not sure…. so, what’s everyone using nowadays? I know, i know, most of you are probably using your cell phones to make long distance calls. unfortunately, it wouldn’t work in our household since Elaine and I both have Virgin Mobile which is the pay as you go plan.
hmmm, let’s see now… so, according to consumer guru Clark Howard, americom is a good one to use. anyone out there use americom? let’s see… 3.9 cents a minute state to state. oh, and you get a 100 minutes free for signing up. cool. 9 cents for calling within my state. and 6 cents for international calls to seoul korea. Elaine will like that. and they claim no “hidden” fees so i hope that’s true. we’ll see. …i think i’ll go ahead and sign up. hey, if Clark Howard endorses it, then ya can’t go wrong, right???!!
Does anyone here know a reason why this man and this long distance carrier should not be joined together? If so, speak now or forever hold your peace…

now, mostly dead is slightly alive…

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local news coverage

..Larry Donnell Green, 29, was removed from the morgue at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, where he is listed in critical condition.
Medical examiner J.B. Perdue was documenting Green’s injuries to certify a cause a death when he noticed Green breathing. Green had been declared dead by paramedics at the accident scene Monday after being hit by a car driven by 36-year-old Tamuel Jackson almost two hours earlier at the U.S. 401-N.C. 39 split.
“We were making funeral arrangements, family came by, everybody thought he had passed away,” said Green’s brother, Steve.
Emergency medical technicians declared Green dead Monday night and put him in a body bag for transport to the morgue. At the morgue, Perdue detected an irregular breath and called the same paramedics who attended to Green to take him to the hospital.
…”There has been a terrible error made and we are on a fast track to getting these problems corrected, so we don’t face such a situation in the future,” Franklin County Manager Chris Courdriet said. “It’s an unfortunate happening — no doubt about it.”
Perdue said he has never seen a case like this. He said it was not his job to declare death, but to determine the cause of death.

So whatever you do, just be sure not to get involved in a car accident in Franklin County…

sad but true, foofy-foofy..

music, movies and TV No Comments »

from “hip-hop’s Fool in a grand Shakespearean fashion to reality TV clown”. A boston globe article hit the nail on the head concerning Flavor Flav and his stint on reality TV. Personally, what I thought started out as sorta funny during his appearance on surreal life has turned tragic with his new show Strange Love. It’s pretty pathetic and truly unwatchable. He totally shattered the images i had from his public enemy “fight the power” days sadly. his street-cred is all but ruined. here are some of the highlights from the article:

..Making matters worse is Nielsen’s pet name for Flav. Though she says she prefers the quieter William Drayton (his real name) to the more flamboyant Flavor Flav, she doesn’t call him that. She calls him ”Fuffy Fuffy,” pronounced ”foo-fy foo-fy,” further infantilizing him. If her idea is to encourage the adult William, why call him a name better suited for a poodle?

Then again, that’s Nielsen’s thing — making herself look better by presenting Flav in as ridiculous and unflattering a light as possible. On this week’s episode, she takes Flav to a fancy dinner in Lake Como with her snooty friends. Naturally, they’re disgusted by Flav, done up in a white, black-pinstripe suit and two-tone shoes more appropriate for a pimp convention. Through a translator, a woman asked the fidgety Flav his age. When he says he’s 44, and she rolls her eyes, saying he acts like a 13-year-old. The translator tells Flav the woman said he looked 13, which Flav takes as a compliment. Speaking in Italian, the woman and the translator then laugh at Flav for being so dim he would receive her insult as praise.

At one point, Nielsen leaned over to Flav and whispered, ”These people are not used to a black man at their table, can you tell?” This is the point where viewers are supposed to feel superior to these bigoted foreigners, but, of course, the joke is never really on them. We’re supposed to find Flav just as unsettling.

Designed to laugh at Flav, and never with him, the show offers him as a modern-day minstrel resurrecting all those ancient fears — abroad and at home — about slow-witted, socially inept black men.

sad, sad, sad. as a tribute to better days (relatively speaking…) here’s a link to the surreal life season 3 single (with Ryan Starr, Jordan Knight, Flavor Flav, Brigitte Nielsen, Dave Coulier on mouth trumpet and Charo). heh. it’s so awful it’s totally hilarious. from Flavor’s crappy drumming, to that mouth trumpet and the horrible editing, to Jordan’s ear splitting high notes. it’s classic trash. love it.

waiting for the next move in the DVD rental price wars…

links and stuff, movies and TV 1 Comment »

this little tidbit from hackingnetflix got me perked up this morning.

They are prepared to cut prices and increase marketing if their leadership position is threatened.

I’ve been interested in getting back into online dvd rentals but i’m still waiting it out for the costs to come down even more. so, i’m a little encouraged that they may lower their monthly subscription rate sometime soon. if they match blockbuster’s rates, i’d definitely chose netflix over blockbuster. so, we’ll see.

and hhmmmm… interesting development. peerflix. trading DVDs. i’m not totally convinced that this will catch on but…. anyone willing to be the guinea pig and try this service out and report back to me about it?

it’s time for my close up…

general, ramblings No Comments »

as i’ve mentioned in past entries, i’m working on redesigning/rebuilding our worship band’s website. it’ll eventually include an easier to navigate photo gallery, a section with interviews/personal testimonies of team members, merchandise (CDs, coffee mugs, t-shirts!), and of course the private section for the team to use. i’m working on little bits at a time. so it’ll be a long while before everything gets up and running. i currently have a designated photographer taking photos of us so that we can store up a repository of shots to use either for web graphics or for the team photo gallery. here are two recent shots of us that i just received from Anita.
the worship team

unfortunately, i’m not in frame. you can see part of my drumset but nothing else of me. i’m still waiting for that glorious action shot of me on drums… you know, stuff you see in Rolling Stone or Q Magazine. but you know it’s hard to tell the photographer to get a great shot of yours truly without coming off as vain and self centered. … which in fact i am ..but let’s keep it amongst ourselves for now. :P

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yes, i was there! where were you?

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yes. i was stuck in traffic for 7 hours. you have not lived until you get stuck in traffic for at least that long! and i can assure you that I don’t ever want to go through that ever again!

news coverage:
WRAL : icy roads, gridlock…
News14: predicted dusting turns to 2 inches…
WTVD: the day after..

a few flurries…yeah, right.

links and stuff, it's all about me!! 4 Comments »

the forecast this morning was for a few flurries. nothing to worry about, right? yet once again, even though one of the local weather teams have the gumption to call themselves “accuweather”, they’ve reinforced the belief that no one around here can predict the weather accurately … not even a few hours ahead of a storm. and now everyone is scrambling to get home b/c of all the kids are getting let out of school early! sheesh!
wow, snow again in NC!

well, i guess i’ll be going home now. …or maybe not. there are traffic jams galore out there. i might have to wait it out a little.

before i go, Michael wrote in earlier asking about my opinion on drummers and such so i thought i’d bring back some archived entries from my previous blog about the subject. so here are some links that might be interesting to read over….

here’s the entry where i imagine that i’m being profiled in Modern Drummer Magazine. … hey… it could still happen!!??!?

here’s one about which songs my “cover” album would include. it was sparked by Mandy Moore releasing her history making album, Coverage.

and finally, here’s an entry in which i get all nostalgic about some 80’s british electronica/dance music.


highs and lows…

ramblings 1 Comment »

the highs and lows from the weekend…

  • had friends over for dinner saturday night that we haven’t seen in a long while: High
  • had to spend saturday afternoon tidying up the house: Low
  • Elaine went all out cooking some of my favorite korean dishes: High
  • have to invite company over in order to eat favorite dishes: Low
  • Ethan (our 7 year old) recently hooked up with a great group of kids for the second winter session at the soccer dome: High
  • after a great win last saturday, the kids lost (big time) this past saturday: Low
  • the heels lost saturday to wake forest: Low
  • the band was on fire this past sunday: High
  • my muscles ache now from playing the rhythm-heavy set list : Low
  • note to self - order more drum sticks. Low
  • after suffering from blisters from all that excessive drumming, I finally decided to order special gloves to help prevent the blisters : High
  • since the blisters only occur on the left hand, i may end up labeled as a Michael Jacko sympathizer if i start wearing one glove: Low
  • still waiting for netflix to reduce/match their price in the online DVD rental war with blockbuster and walmart: Low
  • our main TV in the family room is still broken : Low
  • still debating… fix or replace …. and if replace .. then HDTV/widescreen or cheap/conventional : Low
  • december pix added to album

    Family Talk No Comments »

    i finally got around to adding some pictures from december to our photo album

    including these here from the day after christmas when we got some snow…

    plus… as an added bonus, we have a short video clip of the kids sliding down the driveway to share with everybody. click here to view. (windows media format)

    let it snow…

    general 6 Comments »

    i finally got around to updating the family photo album with pix from december. all yous from da north (yeah, you, you, you and you) are gonna laugh … but when we got some snow right after christmas, it was a huge deal down here in the south. it was less than an inch worth but man, the kids in the neighborhood went crazy over it.

    it was the dry sort so not that great for making a snowman or snowballs.

    it wasn’t all that deep either so the snow angels weren’t that impressive….

    ..but Alec noted that it tasted just fine…

    ..and it covered the driveway just enough so that we could slide down it…

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    the perpetually shrinking budget..

    it's all about me!! 2 Comments »

    going through all the christmas-related bills recently, Elaine and I have been forced to decide to do some budget-related cutbacks. what? you mean, i can’t just spend freely at every whim during my weekly trips to best buy anymore? huh? it can’t be??!?! wwwaaahhhh! [sob, sob… whimper…whine…sniff, sniff…]
    ..well, wouldn’t ya know it, just yesterday our sony trinitron in our family room (our main TV) decided to conk out on us. and it definitely looks to be a goner. it’s never worth it to look into fixing TVs so i guess i gotta go to best buy and look for a new one. [heh, heh… hands rubbing together with glee…]

    ..ahem..! [Elaine standing with her arms crossed and right foot tapping against the floor..]

    ..oh, alright… i’ll look for a cheapo replacement…

    i guess the dilemma nowadays is (..don’t even mention LCD/plasma TVs b/c it won’t fit in the ever decreasing budget…) : do you spend the extra dough on HD ready (oopffhhh! look at the myriad of HD-related configurations!) or just get a cheap tube TV and worry about HD when the you know what hits the fan?

    actually it was pretty nice spending some time last night in the family room without the TV blaring away. of course, i’m thinking that it’d get old night after night without watching my shows. shoot. i missed The Amazing Race last night. anybody want to fill me in on what happened?

    …oh, here’s a samsung that was recently shown at the CES convention. what do ya think? should i even bother showing this one to Elaine? :P

    80 inch plasma, drool, drool, drool

    the new years funk…

    links and stuff, it's all about me!! 4 Comments »

    shirley wrote in and said that she’s bored to tears about all this blogging-talk i’ve been doing lately. yeah, i guess she’s right. but.. i’ve been going through some new-year’s blues/funk-whatever you call it plus, i caught a cold recently so i haven’t been feeling too expressive lately. sorry. i don’t feel like going into all the crap i’ve been feeling lately so all this geek-talk has been all i could muster. so, just for shirley, i won’t talk about wordpress or geeklog today… so i’ll mention…. something else… ummm.. yes, … oh, yeah, Roy released the new version of Tabulas over the weekend. (sorry shirley! :P) hooray for him. The new release looks really good and if i didn’t have this here site to deal with, i’d probably still be over there bloggin’ away although i do admit feeling sorta old over there with all those fourteen year olds journalling about school-crushes and how they really despise their math teacher. probably why i couldn’t continue blogging over there. you know, b/c i really don’t need another daily reminder of how old i’m getting!! no thanks. plus, there isn’t a way to export out all the entries from tabulas. so once you decide to move on, you lose all those posts you spent all that time writing. i know this b/c i haven’t been able to re-import any of the entry files i’ve saved from there. but hey, if you’re young and you don’t have a website, that’s the place to be, my friend! … and while you’re there, say ‘hey’ to Roy for me. :)

    still busy getting this set up and customized

    general 2 Comments »

    well now that things are settling down here with wordpress, i have to say that “i like it.” it’s definitely not perfect. but it’s a big step in the right direction after all this time with me struggling with geeklog. the folks behind wordpress definitely kept things simple and straightforward. the set up as well as installing plugins are no brainers here with this system. i’m still reading up on things, getting used to the interface and customizing here and there but the major stuff is done. let me know what you think. any wordpress experts out there? i’m still trying to gauge which of all these plugins available are the essential and/or the most robust.
    anyway, take care and have a great weekend. :)

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