Monthly Archives: March 2008

Great New Song: More and More

We introduced Michael Neale’s song “More and More” today at Anchor. People loved it. Get it from iTunes. It’s really a great song.

I heard Michael Neale last September at the MinistryCOM conference in Nashville. The event was hosted by The People’s Church, and Neale is the worship minister there. He led worship each day, and that’s where I first heard “More and More.”

Pam and I returned to that church a month later while on vacation, attending a Sunday morning service. Michael Neale is truly a gifted worship leader.

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Logitech’s Paranoid Protectionism

Logitech is pathetic. I had to reformat a drive, and just needed a Macintosh mouse driver to download. Could I find it anywhere on their website? Nope. Tried searching, tried their tedious help menus. I tell you, they closely guard their mouse drivers. Don’t want just anyone walking in off the cyberstreet and downloading a driver. You open that door, and pretty soon, everybody and their neighbor will be downloading drivers. It’ll be anarchy.

After searching in vain for way too long, I sent a message to customer support. “You sure make it difficult to find a stupid mouse driver. Why is that? I’ve wasted far too much time trying to find a stinkin’ driver for a mouse. This should not take a rocket scientist.” Yes, I had excellent people skills.

BUT, it wasn’t that easy. No no no. I had to copy down the serial number and some other number from the mouse. THEN, before it could be sent, I had to create an account, complete with my email address and other info. Logitech obviously considers it a matter of company security to protect their drivers. I guess they only have so many of them online. If I download one, then that’s one less driver they have available. At least, that’s how their tiny minds view it.

So the automatic reply from Support returned said they received my request and will respond within 24 hours. The other option would be to just make their drivers available where idiots like me could find them.

I used to prefer Logitech mice. But I’ve had lots of trouble with Logitech mice lately, and this doesn’t help my attitude. Fortunately, Microsoft–it pains me to say this–makes some great mice, and I can easily find anything I need from them online. Yes, I’m talking about the hated Microsoft, the Mordor of software companies. I’ve just said something good about Microsoft. This really hurts. And I blame Logitech.

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At The Grind

TheGrind_500.jpg

L-r: Me, Terry, Joe (drums), Tom, and Tim.

The Anchor worship team played for two hours last night at The Grind coffeehouse, over on the east side of Fort Wayne. I’d never been there before. Nice place. The smell of wonderful coffee overwhelms your senses as you enter the front door. In the photo, it looks like I’m playing the keyboard with just one finger. I was probably punching in a setting.

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Baseball Blues

Ah, the start of baseball season. The fresh spring air, the crack of bats, the green grass, the history, the tradition. This is the time of year when I tell myself:

“I’m unbelievably bored. How long ’til football starts?”

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Topless Meetings? I Say Yes.

Last Friday I spoke for an hour about church communications to a class at the Huntington University Graduate School. Ray Seilhamer, the prof, invites me to do that about every two years.

A couple students had laptops open, and paid only partial attention to me. I doubt they were taking notes. Checking email? Surfing? Working on Sunday’s sermon? Is that what professors contend with in every class? Probably.

Merlin Mann, on the 43Folders.com blog, mentions the growing trend in business to hold “topless” meetings. Topless as in “laptop-less.” No laptops, Blackberrys, iPhones, or other personal devices allowed. The result is more eye contact, people connecting with each other rather than with their computer screens.

In a previous post, Mann gave “9 Tips for Running More Productive Meetings.” One was this:

No electronic grazing. Period. Laptops closed. Phones off. Blackberries left back in the cube. You’re either at the meeting or you’re not at the meeting, and few things are more distracting or disruptive than the guy who has to check his email every five minutes. Schedule breaks for people to fiddle with their toys, but fearlessly enforce a no grazing rule once the meeting’s back in session. Emergency call to take or make? They have to leave the room. No exceptions. If you’re too busy to be at the meeting everyone else has made firewalled time for, just leave.

I say “Bravo!” I rarely take my laptop to meetings anymore. Haven’t for years. If you’re going to be in a meeting, I contend, then be there.

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Randy Newman Fans of the World–Go Away, Please

I, like millions thousands hundreds scores several other people, was disappointed that perennial Oscar nominee Randy Newman didn’t perform anything at this year’s Oscar ceremony. Fortunately, there is water in our desert. Newman has released a whole album, based on the movie “Leatherheads.” I’m sure every song is typical Newman: nasally, whiny, generally unbearable, and most certainly Oscar-worthy. Something to look forward to at the 2009 ceremony.

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Feel Free to Ignore This Post

Here are some word-related useless facts. Being a wordsmith, I found them interesting, though I don’t require that you find them similarly interesting.

  • “Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
  • “Lollipop” is the longest word typed with only the right hand.
  • “Typewriter” is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
  • “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”
  • The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • Only two English words contain all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.”
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Celebrities Dressed Like Christians

This is hysterical–photos of celebrities and what “type” of Christian they represent. I especially like the shots of Ryan Seacrest as “The Relevant Pastor,” Diane Keaton as the “Show No Skin Fundamentalist,” Justin Long as “The campus Crusade for Christ Leader,” and Joan Lunden as “The Hot Homeschooling Mom.”

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How Many Five-Year-Olds Could I Beat Up?

This is wrong, just so wrong. But I took the test. And it turns out that I could fight off 15 five-year-olds at once. That does not sound like anything to brag about. In fact, I feel downright wimpy.

15

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What Makes a Distinctive Rock Group

Coming home from Indianapolis Saturday, I listened to Creed’s “My Sacrifice” and realized, “There’s a group I miss.” Then I thought of Guns ‘N Roses, another band with a distinctive sound and a collection of great songs. Miss them, too. Nobody has replaced Creed or Guns ‘N Roses. They were unique.

What makes a band unique and memorable? This is what I thought about much of the way home. I decided on these traits:

  1. Great songs.
  2. An overall distinctive sound, unlike anyone else.
  3. A distinctive front man who is a big part of that distinctive sound.

And I began thinking of other groups that meet those criteria. Groups that, if they went away, would be missed. Or groups that have gone away, like Creed and GNR, and their sound is missed. These are the bands I came up with:

  • The Beatles (obviously)
  • Rolling Stones
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Boston
  • REM
  • Beach Boys
  • U2

And that’s about it. I considered Green Day, while listening to “I Walk Alone.” I considered Bon Jovi (a great body of work, distinctive lead singer, but not a distinctive enough sound overall). Aerosmith, Kiss, Eagles, the Who–no. Heart–closer. Springsteen–great songs, but you can’t pin him down to a certain sound. Styx–real close, but I’ll say no for now. Various singers, like David Bowie, sported a distinctive sound but weren’t associated with a specific band, so they don’t count.

Any groups you would include?

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