Tuesday, July 31, 2007

regarding victory

A very good article.
It amazes me what politicians will sacrifice for political victory.
It amazes me what a nation can so easily forget.

Friday, July 27, 2007

No Drive-In Party tonight

I am sorry for the disappointment. Gina decided against it and she's the birthday girl. We'll do one soon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

the drive-in mafia strikes again

Gina told me tonight that she would like to do the drive-in thing this Friday night to celebrate her upcoming birthday. There's no way I can tell what's showing on a Friday night except to wait until Friday afternoon. We've had a good bit of rain lately, so we've got some variables. Considering we've got dry weather that day...considering we've got good movies showing...we'll do this thing.

Gina said to invite any and all who wanted to come, so this is open to all. You need to let'm know how the drive-in mafia does it. We take folding chairs, coolers of drinks, a jam box and sit on the front row. We also like to get there when it opens so we can fellowship while the kids play on the green as the sun goes down. I'll bring a large tarp for the kids, but do bring blankets for the kids to lay on. Sometimes it turns a little cool at night. Bug repellent is good to bring but I usually have that covered.

Usually it's ten bucks a car load, so it helps if people meet at a parking lot and stuff one care with human bodies. If you think you will be leaving after the first show, come separately. Harry Potter has been playing at most of the drive-in theatres and they bumped the price up per individual. Maybe they'll lower it after it's been showing for two weeks, or maybe they'll be showing something different that will be 10.00 a car load. We'll see. I will send out a mass mail as soon as I find something out.
I am pretty sure we'll be going to the Sand Mountain Twin but who knows, we might end up in Piedmont. I go to the www.WQSB.com website to check on what's showing where.

We can't do this on a Saturday night this time because Gina doesn't want to have to drag out two children out of bed for church Sunday morning. So let me recap. If it's not raining...if there's something good showing...we are going to party like it's 1969.

skylight revisited

I was sitting with AJ and Rick at Dairy Queen after the 4:00 service at Vineyard. They asked about Christian Brothers. I gave a ClifNotes version but also mentioned that I'd send the the website URL to read a little more.

I pulled the site together the week of 9/11. I guess at the time I was taking my mind off the terrible present of that day by recording this ministry's past. The URL is at http://skylight.faithweb.com/ and is unfortunately an Ad-supported site. You might want to engage a pop-up blocker because there's pop-ups. There used to be less Ads when I started writing and adding photos into the template. Still, there's a lot of good stuff there.

I had several people share photos with me, Dan Noojin, Lisa Hill and Becky Armstrong. Brooky handed me an large envelope of the photos that was Christian Brother's Association. I had old newsletters and old print media. I haven't added anything to it in years.

I remember being a kid among the initial prayer meeting that later became F.R.E.E. House. I was a tag along to any concert Emory, Don, Jennie or Brook played. The fellowship grew after Emory's death. You can find my account on this blog as well as at the skylight site. There is an image of Emory on this blogspot that I found off an old negative earlier this year. I never posted at the Skylight site. I recorded Brook's account of Christian Brothers from the twenty year celebration Skylight newsletter. There is a page of Michael's account that I pulled from one of his early Greene Street Letters when we were in the process of ending Skylight for good. We gave the building to Gadsden Vineyard.

Even though Christian Brother's is indirectly kin to Vineyard, it would be nice to hear more about the coffeehouse that Michael and Jim were part of back in the early seventies called The Other Door. I never went there but I know that is a story to tell there. How about it Michael? I also remember another coffeehouse ministry back in the early seventies called Living Water. It was Pentecostal and at the time, a strange place for a very young United Methodist boy. I later grew up.

So we weren't the only kid on the block, Christian Brother's did out live the others on through the seventies, eighties and most of the 90's. We seemed to be a magnet for talent and it's odd how the Vineyard is a magnet for artist. The coffeehouse is long gone but today we find a church standing where Skylight used to be. The pastor, Jim Bentley, a retired art teacher and still today, a very different ministry standing in Skylight's place, a magnet for artist. It's a God thing I know.
As most of you know, I never fit within traditional church or normal crowd. Christian Brother's met a lot of needs for me growing up. I didn't have the relationships in high school that most people do. People kept an eye on me in traditional churches. I found a place that I fit in at Christian Brothers. I hung out with oodles of Christians from different denominations that simply loved and desired to serve God. I lived, worshiped, played and LAUGHED between the denominational walls. Growing up among the religious, laughter wasn't very much welcomed. Don't get me wrong, a good chuckle was allowed after a pastor's humorous antidote that preceded every sermon. I could laugh at Christian Brothers, I could make others laugh and it was a good thing.

I learned to write and play guitar during the early years and Skylight gave me the stage to spread my wings and build confidence. The ministry had her flaws but I am compelled to forgive those shortcomings. God used that ministry and let me be used to minister too. The ministry facilitated many ministries in her day, but I reflect upon Christian Brothers as a place where many young people learned to minister, a place to make mistakes...ministry training wheels

Saturday, July 21, 2007

the new Bruce Cornutt action figure

I don't know if any of you have seen this new action figure as of yet. It has life like hair and a kung-fu grip. I have the Bruce Almighty Worship Man set that comes with an acoustic guitar, Vineyard songbook, microphone and a bottle of water.

Friday, July 20, 2007

new made for tv movie: The Brooky Finlayson Story

I might be going to a gun show with Brooky and Dan this weekend. I don't have any money and thankfully don't have any need for a gun in the near future. I mean, not that I know of. I do however like to hang with my bro and bro in-law. Seeing the above picture of John Goodman in the Big Lebowski made me think of Brooky for some reason. I think if anyone were to make a movie of Brooky, you'd need to cast John in the leading role. Not that Brooky is a fat guy like me, but rather he's got this Brooky look in his eye while brandishing a firearm. Is it just me?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

of war

Within the last pages of the book FLYBOYS, James Bradley shares a phone conversation with a flyboy veteran Joe Bonn, who saw last saw his buddy Jimmy Dye descend toward the island of Chichi Jima by parachute. James Bradley had just returned from Japan where he had talked to Hayashi-san, the Japanese soldier who was ordered to decapitate Jimmy. The following is an excerpt from page 332:

...That's the way it was," he had explained. I wondered how he would react to
the news that I had met with the Japanese who had swung a sword at
his friend.

I had explained how Hayashi-san had unwillingly followed an order under the duress of strict command. Lieutenant Hayashi, the meek radar technician had had no animosity in his heart when a drunken Spirit Warrior forced him to wield his untested sword. Hayashi had been just one of Japan's many good children scarred by the Spirit Warrior's non-Bushido mania. Drunken cannibal officers abusing their troops are not part of the samurai tradition.

After I told Bonn about Jimmy's last moments, there was a silence on the telephone line.
"That's a hell of a thing." he finally said.
After a few seconds I asked, "What's a hell of a thing?"
"Well, I don't think it was right to cut Jimmy's head off," he answered.
Now it was my turn to be still. I could agree with Bonn, but just days before I had
had tears in my eyes as I listened to Hayashi-san. I took a chance and said,
"Yes, but maybe the civilians you strafed thought that was a hell of a thing."

Now there was even a longer silence. I wasn't sure if I had gone to far. Finally the former Flyboy sighed, "Yeah, I guess it just matters what side you're one."

Frankly, throughout the entire book, that's the back story that Bradley wanted to tell...that the Americans were just as much the devils as the Japanese were. I believe Bradley actually went too far with the old veteran. James Bradley capped off his telling of his Flyboy book by getting a HERO to pretty much say he was just as bad, just as evil, as the Japanese devils. Those Flyboys, were good, decent young men who were sent to fight and WIN a war they did not start but had to finish. They went to serve their God and country, not as occupiers...but to put an end to an evil empire. I pray that Bradley doesn't disturb the sleep of an old man who probably suffered enough nightmares from a war he fought so bravely so long ago. I am glad that moral equivalence and political correctness wasn't the thinking of the day back in those dangerous times.

Bradley had some pictures in his book of charred citizens that were burned from the massive B-29 bombing strikes over Japan. I think he should have included more images like this one. To my understanding, this was typical Japanese workmanship. Don't get me wrong, Bradley spent much of his book on the Rape of China...a holocaust that out-shadows what the Nazi's did to the Jews. I'll cut the author some slack. Most of the photos I've seen of the rape of China by the heartless Japanese forces aren't very nice to look at.

We have a war today, an evil empire teaching their children to hate America...encouraging them to become martyrs for their little god of hate...little human bombs for Allah. Do we as a nation have what it takes to win a war...to be hard core...do what has to be done? Evil does exist America. I read this book about a time in Japan's history that was simply demonic. I could'nt help but think about our present war, about our enemy out there, and how stupid the politicians who are politicizing this war, struggling for power at the cost of our security and the morale of our service men and women. Evil must be faced eye to eye. Evil must be conquered and there's no such thing as a pleasant war. It's not a popular thing to say but I'll say it. Devils must die for freedom to live.

Do I sound pissed?

Coming soon to a theatre of war near you!

salute the flyboys!

I just finished the book FLYBOYS by James Bradley. He's also the author of the book FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, son of one of the marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. The book FLYBOYS is an incredible read. My only criticism of the book is the author's constant attempt to place blame at America's feet. I'm sorry Mr. Bradley, but America did what it had to in order to break the back and will of Japan.

The book delivered a history of the Japanese culture the preceded the Second World War. Let me put it this way. I don't believe judgement should be withheld toward a serial killer because he/she experienced a bad childhood...the same goes for a nation. A war crime is a war crime. The Japanese were guilty of countless atrocities that surpassed what the Nazi's did to the Jews. The Japan and Germany were the BAD GUYS...not us.

Don't get me wrong, FLYBOYS is an excellent read. The author dug into the declassified transcripts of a war crimes trial on Guam following the war. So top secret, that not even the parents and families of the eight young fly boys shot down over Chichi-jima were told of their son's horrific fate.

George H. Bush, SR was interviewed for the FLYBOYS. There is a powerful interview and his account is touching.

I recommend the book. It played out in my mind like a Ken Burns documentary. FLYBOYS is filled with a great deal of sadness. It's a story of war in the Pacific on a very personal level. I disagree with the James Bradley's premise and conclusion, but there's a great deal to appreciate about this book.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

new from Cheezy Religious Toys, Inc

This post is inspired (if that's the right word from it) from Michael's blog. His posting of the weird Passover Ten Plague Puppets reminded me of the Jesus Action Figure I saw a while back. The above images is of the DELUXE Jesus Action Figure Set, complete with fishes and loaves. You'll notice the water into wine ewers. You can impress your friends by keeping the wine ewer hidden until just the right moment. When they are not looking...swap the water ewer for the wine ewer and get ready for awe inspired moment. You'll be the envy of all your young friends. An action figure that works miracles! Go on a picnic with your friends. Just make sure you've got plenty of Captain D's and rolls stuffed in your back pocket for that miracle.
Where to next? The Passion action figure? It would be interesting to find out if the plague puppets are made by the same company as the action figure.

Monday, July 16, 2007

good one Plato

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."


Some weekend highlights:

I got to have a nice long lunch with Mychael John Thomas. It was nice getting to see him again. It was nice laughing with him again. I came back to the office and listened to some of his music he gave me, particularly, the CD entitled HOME.

It rained. I couldn't mow my grass and got stranded at home. I've been reading a book called FLYBOYS. I'll write about it when I finish it. I was stranded because Gina and I have been working on one car. She had things to do with the girls and I stayed home. Jerry Connell called and offered to rescue me. Jerry, Adria, and I went to see the Stephen King movie 1408. It is reminiscent of The Shining, Christine and Pet Semetery. It was a good movie but there are other better movies out there to watch. I enjoyed it but recommend that you rent it if you are up for something creepy by Mr. King. We had Chinese food afterward and then I had to get back home.

Jose' and Denise wanted me to attend their family reunion. I took my guitar and songbook and played with Jose'. That was fun. It had been a long time since I had played with my friend.

That's the highlights. I'm at work now and need to get back to it.

psychological warfare

I am experimenting with the ants that have been invading my household as of late. I have tried such psychological tests with roaches in the past. With the recent overwhelming presence of ants, I have decided to turn my attention toward my ants. Instead of spraying insects with a killing agent , I am applying bug repellent to the subjects. They are not leaving but do seem to be confused.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

home work

Yesterday I stayed home and did some work around the house that needed doing. I had a leak in my bathroom shower for about two years now. I tried to fix it when the leak first started. I drove to Lowes and then to Plumber's Wholesale to get the correct part. I replaced the whole fixture and replaced the washerless faucet with the required washer. I think it ironic that washerless faucets need washers.

Anyway, after spending my hard earned money, the plumbing still leaked. About a year ago, I called a plumber to come by and fix what I couldn't fix. Glancing at the problem he said that he would need to knock a whole in the wall of our other bathroom in order to get to the plumbing in this bathroom. I told him to forget it. The bathroom in question is the only room in the house that is finished. We had just spent a couple of grand tiling, painting, and wallpapering. No chance in hell was I going to let a guy take a wreaking ball to that room. I paid the man for doing another job I needed doing and decided to co-exist with the drip drip drip each night as I tried to go to sleep.

A few weeks ago the leak got worse. It started trickling heavier and I started thinking about my water bill...even more money literally going down the drain. All that money going down the drain and I was having a harder time going to sleep at night listening to the constant splatter going on in the shower stall. I decided to make a last ditch effort to fix the problem before calling the plumber to do his terrible deed. So yesterday I drove back down to Plumber's Wholesale and the guy gave me a new kit for my washerless fixture. Guess what? It worked. I couldn't believe it. All that shower knob needed was a new washer and spring for the hot water. I held my hand under it for the longest time in disbelief. What do you know...I actually fixed something. I kept going back during the course of the day to check on it. No stream...not a drop...without having a whole in my bathroom wall. I am not much of a handy man. I tend to make things worse. It was a nice feeling of accomplishment to actually fix something. Usually I don't fix...I break more.
Gina also wanted me to shampoo the den floor yesterday. I no longer have the shampoo attachment to my Rainbow vacuum cleaner so I had to do it the old fashioned way...on my hands and knees. My mom told me a while back that warm water with some Oxy-Clean (generic works good too) can get stains out of carpets. I fixed up a bowl and scrubbed down the den and it looks pretty good. Just a helpful hint for any of you out there with a dirty carpet.

I need to go to Lowes and by some trim for my basement. Jose' came a few months ago and helped me work on the studio. It's looking pretty good but we came up short that day. I'm going to sand and stain it and have it ready to go. I also talked to my nephew who's an electrician. It shouldn't take long to get that finished too. Hopefully, I can move back into my office soon. Getting the basement has been slow because of cash flow. Everything has been going toward groceries and the clinic. It'll happen.

There's always a project. After the basement is finished, I need to buy some primer and paint and do something to the kitchen. Our kitchen is 70's looking. Harvest Gold, chipped tile floor, and old paneling. The counter-top doesn't look to good but I think I'll start with a fresh coat of paint and some new cabinet knobs. I really need to get into the swing of doing a little something each week for the house. It needs attention like all houses do.

Monday, July 9, 2007

when God says build

I am sorry Denise. I meant to comment on the movies Jose', Cindy, & AJ and I went to see at the drive-in last Wednesday. I was meaning to get around to it.

***** Here goes: EVAN ALMIGHTY was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't really impressed with it's prequel, BRUCE ALMIGHTY. EVAN blew my doors off. As a Christian I am used to Hollywood's blasphemy and poking fun at God and his people. This movie though, was a funny movie with serious meaning. I don't want to give the plot away, so I'm not going to tell you much. I thought this movie a wonderful vehicle for expressing God's love, how He answers prayers. I've discovered that God rarely answers our prayers the way we think He will. When he leads us, we must follow, even if the world looks on at us as if we are stark raving mad. There was a moment in the picture where I was deeply touched and I wiped a few tears from my eyes. I looked over to Jose' and mentioned to him that God is all over this movie. Jose said, "Yeah, it's had me convicted since it started." I give this movie two thumbs up.

***** The second feature was the new DIE HARD movie. The plot is of course somewhat familiar, but it's a great action from beginning to end. I did miss Bruce Willis and his humor in this picture. Maybe after all his character has been through, he's tired. He takes on the bad guys like a seasoned pro. He's been on the edge three times before and maybe he's just fighting his way to the end without the one-liners. Jose' mentioned while the movie was playing, "Hey David, notice how there's hardly any cussing in this movie?" True, every Die Hard before was full of harsh language. The only thing I can surmise is that Bruce is a dad now, a dad that likes to take his kids to the movies too. Maybe Bruce is trying to clean his Die Hard act up a little for the kid's sake. Bruce would at least have to say Yippee-Ki-Yeah-*&$)#! True, but they actually stepped around it and you'll see how he did it when you go. I can't say this Die Hard is as good as the first but it's as good as the second, and way better than the third.

*****Those were the two movies showing at the Sand Mountain Drive-In last Wednesday night. I do want to recommend another movie I saw a few weekends ago with my family....Disney's RATATOUILLE. This is not just a kids movie but right up there with SHREK, TOY STORY, and CARS. There is one scene in this movie that is my favorite, when the food critic comes to the restaurant to taste the ratatouille. This kind of moment is a scene that is reminiscent of something Orson Wells would have captured. It's a very powerful moment. As a middle aged man, I enjoyed this new mouse animation by Disney.
I'm David....and I'll see you at the movies!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

three guitars

I sat down Friday afternoon and made the final decision on what songs I'd sing for StoryTeller's. I decided to precede each song for StoryTeller's with a poem. I felt that it went well and will probably use my poems more in the future. Poems are something I write a lot of but have little opportunity to share them.

I got to Vineyard and started setting up. Debbie Handy was there when I arrived and told me that Todd wasn't going to make it and that Liz Wood (my niece) may or may not join me. Tommy Puckett came walking in with his guitar and songbook. Liz came in shortly and then we were three. What a pleasant surprise.

No sooner had we started playing, my friend Allan Rhodes appeared in the audience. Allan lives in Huntsville and said he drove down as soon as he got my email. That meant a lot to me that he drove the distance. It was almost ten when it ended and we got to talk a little before he had to go home.

There were not that many questions from the audience last night. Brook (my brother) made most of them, which stirred some conversation about songs and songwriting. It was a pleasant evening and I would love to do it again.

I would love to do a StoryTeller's night witch Brook and Michael. We were once the Skylight Coffeehouse stage band. We'd do original songs but would also do songs of friends who weren't around anymore. I'd like to do a StoryTeller's and talk about the artists and the songs that we admire. I know that it's a little against the grain of what the evenings are about (original songs from the artists that wrote them). I have a few songs that Arnie Sanford wrote. The Guise did a nice rendition of Barry Goss' Jesus Knows All About It. Maybe we could through in a Mark Heard or Pat Terry song. We'd still do some of each other's original work, all acoustic....what do you think Debbie? Hmm? Hmm???

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

coming soon

I've been looking forward to sharing songs at Gadsden Vineyard's StoryTeller night. Friday night @ 7:00. I believe my friend Todd Bagley will be there with his guitar and songbook as well.
Gadsden Vineyard is located at 419 Broad Street. Click here if you'd like directions. StoryTeller night started last month, first Friday, and I don't know how long they will continue. I am looking forward to future nights with other songwriter friends like Michael Bynum and Dan Noojin. June's StoryTeller evening with Brook Finlayson, Liz Finlayson and Debbie Handy was a night to remember. I am delighted to have been invited to share a handful of my personal favorites and the stories behind them.

Do come.

dear old friend

I met Mychael John Thomas back in the late eighties. He's the most prolific songwriter songwriter I've ever met. He is also a very gifted musician. Every time he came to sing at Skylight (Christian Brother's Assoc. coffeehouse) he always brought a string of new songs. I always looked forward to Mychael coming to our little stage. One of my favorite nights was when he asked me to join him for what he called The Blues Brethren number, where we both sang his rendition of Soul Man! What a talent, what a sweet man.

Mychael called yesterday but I was away. I got hold of him today while he was on the road. We talked for as long as his signal permitted. Mychael's wrote a book a few years ago, music used on a motion picture, heading a stage band out in Austin, and even got himself a principle part in a movie. God bless him! He's very excited about making his living in the music industry. It's been a long road for him and he's got the talent to go far.
You can find out more about Mychael at his website http://www.mychael-neondreams.com/. You can also listen to some of his music at his myspace page at www.myspace.com/mychaeljohnthomas. I believe in supporting indie artist because I am one. If you like what you hear, by all means, order his music or download a song if you like it. I am not a big fan of Myspace because of the slut factor BUT Myspace has proved itself the perfect tool for independent artist everywhere. Do take the time to go and sample his music.
Mychael is leaving Alabama for Austin, Texas toward the end of July. He's a very happy fellow and I am so very happy for him. We're going to hook up for lunch before he takes off for good. It's been a long time since I've seen him and afraid that it will be a longer time once he's gone. I look forward to seeing him...I plan on taking a very long lunch break that day. I will miss him and will always love him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

weekend rest

I've never had a backache to persist an entire week. I tried to make myself useful but wasn't. I made three visits to the chiropractor that we could not afford. The chiropractor said that I was too tight and needed rest. I couldn't get much of it during the week but Gina encouraged me to stay home Friday and rest the entire weekend. I took full advantage with great appreciation. I stayed downstairs most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The temperature is cool down there and it's quiet too. Most of the pain was gone by Sunday night but I am still stiff. I rolled out of bed this morning stiff but not hurting which is a good thing. I hope that I am on the other side of this experience. I did not post much last week because I did not feel up to it, nor was my mind on anything but a hurting back. I will probably take one more trip to the chiropractor.

Katie came downstairs Saturday afternoon and asked if she could treat us to a drive-in. She was wanting to see Disney's new mouse movie called Ratatouille. It was a double feature with Fantastic Four. Katie had not seen the latter. I told her that I couldn't do any lifting, that she would have to help load the car. She sprung for the ticket and mom and I sprung for a pizza. We were concerned that it would rain on us but it didn't. It was a very pleasant evening outside. We had a kick ball in the van and it seemed that all the kids present came out to play. They played on the green as the sun went down and until the movie started. Ratatouille by the way is a very good movie. It's not a mind numbing just for kids flick like so many are, but entertaining for grown ups too. I didn't really want to watch FF again but the girls were glued to the screen. I think my kids love the drive-in like I do.

My sister Cindy wants to go out on a drive-in venture this week...probably a weeknight. Maybe we can. The new Die Hard movie is out and I'd like to see Bruce Yippee-Ki-Yea again.