Archive for May, 2008

Free Personal DJ!

Posted in Music with tags , , , on May 27, 2008 by Rick

If you had to choose one song to be your personal theme song, played every time you entered a room, what would it be? Chew on that for a minute while I introduce you to the music genome project known as Pandora Radio. It’s not as lecherous as the name implies but it is very accommodating. Simply type an artist’s name that appeals to your aural appetite and Pandora Radio streams a seamless playlist right to your computer containing gems from your artist and artists of similar element. It’s WYOU! The catalog is pretty thick so you’re bound to find your guy. You can give feedback by approving of disapproving selections. You can even skip a song if you ain’t feeling it (that feature has a 5 or 6 per hour limit). You don’t have to sign up to try it out. Registration is easy and allows you to share your playlists and sample your friends preferred listening faves. It is paid for by advertising like social networks and the like so they ask for your age, gender and zip code.  I don’t think it gets more intrusive than that. So stop reading and start listening! Shout out to Derrick Williams for filling me in on a new supplier.

Amp! You SHOULD be ashamed!

Posted in children, Faith & Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2008 by Rick

I am a Christian. No apologies. However I do sometimes want to put as much distance between myself and those brimstone slingers identified as the religious right, conservative Christians or any other uber-fanatic sect of Christianity. I’d prefer that the term Christian represented God’s ideal for the designation. I am one who will stand up and out for the case of Christ but I don’t see that taking shape as a Saturday night Harry Potter boycott, an abortion clinic egg-lobbing, a weekly eight hour throat-bursting praise fest or infiltrating Beale street with a bull-horn and seven foot cross in hand. HOWEVER, when commercials like this are aired I wonder if Jerry Falwell over plays the condemnation in search of a moral middle ground for this morally anemic society. I fear for my children in this increasingly oversexed nation. The good news is that none of this surprises God and He totally expects us, with the Holy Spirit, to resist temptation and live holy before Him. One thing’s for sure, I will not be so quick to look down on those Christians that protest and boycott everything from Starbucks (for the lewd mermaid logo) to Carrier Heating and Air Conditioning (pulling support from Boy Scouts of America for excluding homosexuals). Their fight doesn’t seem so absurd to me anymore.

The Tortoise Was Faster Than My Hair

Posted in children, Life, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 21, 2008 by Rick

As I looked back over my life after turning 32 yesterday I remembered that I had some old pictures from my mom of me as a kid. I figured I’d post a few so you can see from whence I came. Thanks for caring.

My hair was slow growing in and it bothered my mother.

It was hat city for me until…

wait for it…

wait for it…

Bam! It took me nearly THREE YEARS to get a respectable head of hair!

We embraced it for a while. Just in case.

Now about the teeth…

32!!! That’s A BIG Number!

Posted in Birthday, Concerts, Early Death, Music, parenthood with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2008 by Rick

Okay so that may be relatively overstated. Unless you are younger than thirty, in which case I’m spot on. Truthfully, I’m fighting the sudden urge to not feel great about this birthday. It’s so weird when you’ve been conditioned as a kid to celebrate this day as if it’s the greatest day the world has ever seen, then you wake up on the thirty-second anniversary of your birth praying that someone other than your spouse and your mom remembers. When I get out of Self Central I realize that 32 is a true blessing from God and evidence of His sustaining grace. There was a time when I thought I’d be out of here much earlier at the hands of untamed pursuits of pleasure. I’ll never know how much longer I would have lasted had I continued my transgression trek but I’m glad God’s mercy granted me time to surrender and change lanes. I have seen His hand of judgment in my life and I thank Him for caring enough to wield it. God is good.

SO, with that In mind, on May 19th, 2008,  I  want to celebrate year number 32 on this beautiful blue marble by praising God for my incredible wife, my wonderful 15 month-old son Jaxon, my fetal daughter Ashlyn, an awesome mom and dad, three loyal younger brothers, a loving sister, two jobs that I love, and many other important yet innumerable blessings I don’t deserve.

Me and mom 32 years ago.

How does a 21 year old mom celebrate her son’s 3rd birthday in 1979? She takes him to see the Jackson Five w/ Natalie Cole. I can’t believe they let her bring me in that place!

A Gift for My Friends. Enjoy!

Posted in Entertainment, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2008 by Rick

I am a music lover! Those that know me understand this. I sometimes joke that music is my love language (a play off of Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages). With that said, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and befriending a brilliant group of musicians from Colorado called The Autumn Film. If you need details on who they are check their website. If you need an objective opinion of their music accept this generous gift EP and formulate your own opinion. Terrific musicianship, heart-felt lyrical content and a refreshingly unique lead vocalist (I couldn’t resist). Check em out!

The Autumn Film

Also, new this month: Tye Tribbet & GA offers Stand Out. And that it does!

Keys to the City…of Memphis!

Posted in Concerts, Entertainment, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2008 by Rick

My wife and I had a ball last evening at FedEx Forum as Alicia Keys came to Memphis. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Flying Fish Memphis and headed to 3rd and Beale to be entertained. Some folks that care a lot about my family and I blessed us with great seats to the show. Some other folks that we care a great deal for took our 15-month-old, Jaxon, off of our hands. We were still left with one baby but she’s in utero so we couldn’t dump her off on someone else (one day Ashlyn).

We settled in to the pop sounds of Jordin Sparks who constantly reminded us that she was on American Idol. It’s probably part of her contract. Her performance was descent for an opener and an 18-year-old. It was a bit weird that her musicians, who all doubled as background singers, were all male and at least 10 years her senior. All in all the set was good. But in the words of Randy Jackson “dawg…it was just okay for me dawg.” My inner Simon expected more from her at this stage in the competition.

After a brief wait period Neyo took the stage. Though I’m not a fan, I was excited because he had a full band (guitars, several keyboards, horn section) and they were all in nice light-gray suits with black shirts and gray ties. A very clean look that gave the impression that they were there to entertain.  The opening was well choreographed from the dancers to the background singers and musicians. Everyone was moving as Neyo rattled off some non-descript, MJ-esque song. As I watched intently, I drifted into deja-vu as the melodies, dancing, screams, sighs and even the musical production took me back to the early 80’s when Michael Jackson was black and torching the R&B and pop charts with “Off The Wall”. At the conclusion of Neyo’s set I half expected Mike to come up and receive an award after the rousing rip-off tribute.

Finally! It’s Alicia time. The one everyone laid down big bucks or accepted gift tickets to see. Big lights, huge sound, grand piano on a turntable and tight-shiny pants all leading to a good show. Just good. It wasn’t great. I’m sure the broken-hearted faithful that hang on each note to get through the last break-up were not disappointed but casual Alicia fans, yet staunch music lovers, like me were left wondering “So that’s it? That’s what all the hype is about?” Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to love this show. I wanted to walk away saying I had Alicia Keys underrated. But I sat there looking at my watch wondering how much more do I have to endure. It was good music and she performed it well but I was ready to leave saying wow! Maybe I’m out of her target demographic. Perhaps I am a musical snob and only get excited about certain acts. Could it be that I just hyper-extended my expectations? I did miss the Spurs/Hornets game 6 to be there. This was the first big arena concert I’ve been to, in which the headliner did not get an encore request. And I’m glad.

BIG PICTURE! My lovely wife and I (and Ashlyn) had a great time being friends and enjoying one another. Remembering just what drew us together. I love her so much that I put off blogging about the concert until the next day. That’s gold in my book.

Me and My Baby!

…and just like that!

Posted in NBA, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2008 by Rick

Well…? What did you expect to happen? I’ll blog later about why, though this digs the knife of disappointment in a bit deeper, I’m still with my young hawks to end…or something less dramatic.

Positive Take-Aways from Today’s 34 point Beat-down:

-No animals were harmed in the completion of this playoff series (which may seem insignificant but I’m a Falcons Fan).

-We have a proven “take-over”-type player in Joe Johnson.

-Josh Smith gave Garnett fits and he is a restricted free agent.

-Rajon Rondo did not die. Thank you God. That was a bone-headed move on Marvin Williams’ part. He’s lucky he’ll only be serving a suspension at the start of next season.

-We gave the NBA world something to talk about…even if this game was something to forget about.

WARNING to the Celtics:

You’ve been exposed! Pound your chest and chant “We want Cleveland!” but keep in mind that the only first round game 7 in 2008 was played on YOUR FLOOR! It should never have happened. People will conclude that the Hawks didn’t show up in the last game. I wonder why Boston didn’t show up three times in Atlanta. The Hawks fought tooth and nail to scratch out some tough wins in Atlanta. Boston’s wins were miles more definitive. I contend that the Celtics had the abilty to smack the Hawks down at will but where was the fire? The Boston Hawks didn’t deserve to be on the same court with the Boston Celtics. Someone forgot to memo the Atlanta Celtics (You may have to read that again).