Friday, July 29, 2005

100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos

Untitled 2004 (life size aluminium foil guitarist) by American artist, Tom FriedmanPosted by Picasa

Here's a fun project to do - Whether you have Napster, iTunes, or your own LP/CD collection, check out the list of The 100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos and crank up the volume!

Personally, one of my favorite guitar solos "Kid Charlemagne" - Larry Carlton (Steely Dan) only ranked #57. "Freebird" - Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd) is #4, which goes to show one doesn't have to like everything on this (subjective?) list, just appreciate the talent behind it. BUT, hey - hats off to the editors for the compilation!

The criteria: - Guitar solos are the best display of talent by these musicians. Each solo was ranked mainly for the overall quality of its composition. Originality, complexity, influence, and lasting appeal are also considered.

Tons of other music lists as well - this site is worth bookmarking.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Winners Invest in People

Go The Distance Posted by Picasa

In Nashville, there is a ongoing wonderful team building initiative of volunteers to serve at the Promise Keepers Nashville conference August 12 - 13.

Over 800 volunteers (60% are women) give generously of their time to facilitate this life changing event for men. So how does all this happen? (It's simpler than you think if you're willing to be sincere and intentional about it...)

Tim Richards, who is the Assistant Volunteer Event Director shares this wisdom nugget:

As we prepare to build our teams to serve at Promise Keepers Nashville, I am reminded of the wisdom of my good friend, mentor and author, Ed Rowell. In his book, "Go The Distance," Ed shares about the importance of investing in people:

  • Winners invest in others because someone invested in them.
  • When someone believes in us, before we even believe in ourselves, it changes us forever.
  • Winners know that the only investment they can make that will have value in heaven is the investment we make in people for the sake of God's kingdom.
  • Winners see people as they could be, not who they presently are.

How to scope them out:

  • Find people who work hard
  • Find people with whom we have credibility
  • Find people who are willing to dream
  • Find people who have influence
  • Find people who value character as well as accomplishment
  • Find people who can work on a team

Ed Rowell is the Senior Pastor of Tri-lakes Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado as well as an author and lecturer on the topic of leadership.


Promise Keepers Nashville Blog

Ask a Promise Keepers' wife

"If you want to know what's good about Promise Keepers, ask a Promise Keepers' wife."

That's the old slogan of PK from the early days of 1996. It's still true today. PK gives a man the means and opportunity to re-focus on things that are truly important, including his relationship with his wife and kids. The person who is closest to him sees the change.

PK is more than a terrific two-day worship experience. It combines soul-searching with a call to action. Coming back from a PK event, most men re-dedicate themselves to a new level of accountability for their behavior, as well as a commitment to seek God's purpose in their lives.

These things could happen in an ordinary church context, but they usually don't. To really "catch fire" men need to see and feel the energy of God at work in a large assembly of other men. That's what a PK conference does.”

-- Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland

“I knew that all the spiritual benefits my husband received at Promise Keepers would overflow to me. How could they not? Is not his honor my honor? His integrity my integrity? Are not his blessings my blessings?”

-- Judy, Onova, Iowa

a Promise Keeper prays for his wife... Posted by Picasa

O.J. Simpson caught red handed

OJ Simpson Posted by Picasa

O.J. Simpson - you're killing us!

MIAMI (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered former football star O.J. Simpson to pay $25,000 in damages for pirating satellite television signals from DirecTV.

"Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, said Tuesday that the judge 'basically denied us our right to a jury trial. ... This was a decision made by a judge in chambers. They say he did it; we say he didn't. A jury should be able to make that decision.'

'The evidence was overwhelming since the devices seized in Simpson's home were connected to his TV and in operation and receiving unauthorized signals at the time of the raid,' said Dan Fawcett, an executive vice president with El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV Inc."

DirecTV runs about $68.00 per month with multiple receivers and local channels (which is a much better deal than cable). Throw in the NFL Network for $160.00, payable over 4 months and hibernate during football season. The point is, DirecTV is affordable -

Could it be a jury would find O.J. innocent again? Will Kato testify? Is Dan Fawcett a racist? Is satellite TV better than life?

OJ Simpson Told to Pay DirecTV $25G, Fees

Smoking Gun

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Got no rhythm?

RaveDancers Posted by Picasa

Got no rhythm? Think again! rave dancers

Monday, July 25, 2005

Birhan - a symbol of hope and courage

The famous "Face of Famine" shot of Birhan Woldu from 1984. (CBC/ Phillipe Billard) Posted by Picasa

If you were watching Live8 and the Madonna set, Birhan Woldu was the girl onstage with Madonna.

Jo Hale, Getty Images Europe
LONDON - JULY 02: Singer Madonna with Birhan Woldu on stage at "Live 8 London".
Posted by Picasa

Read about Birhan Woldu's testimony - which is a remarkable tale of survival.

Actions speak louder than words - we all can make a difference, collectively and individually.

The crowds fell silent before the giant screen as they saw a hand gently stroking the forehead of a young Ethiopian girl ravaged by hunger and appearing to be just moments from death. Her sunken eyes and parched lips moved almost imperceptibly.

The speakers played the haunting Cars song "Drive", which has become the soundtrack to footage of the Ethiopian famine. The image and music are seared into the mind of anyone who watched the original Live Aid concert at Wembley stadium.

The child was Birhan Woldu and the nun looking after her claimed at the time she had only 15 minutes to live but she hung on and was saved by the aid that flooded into Ethiopia after the 1985 Live Aid concert.

Strange Destiny: in depth Ethiopia

Embracing the face of famine

Birhan Woldu Posted by Picasa

Birhan Woldu is devout Orthodox Christian and is studying plant science at college supported by the African Children's Education Trust, a Leicester-based charity.

Don't Be a Grump! pleazzze...

James Estrin/The New York Times

The cars whizzing past him in the damp heat probably had air-conditioners, but Ajdin Hasan Papa had the median of Pelham Parkway in the Bronx to himself Monday. Posted by Picasa

Ok, I know it's hot and talking about the weather accounts for 75% of office chatter and griping, but don't be a grump! I confess that 72 degrees is warm enough for me - but if you're driving down the road, all grumpy because it feels like 110 degrees here in North Carolina, please don't flip me off - I was just turning left with my turn signals on...

If you've a recipient of a flipper (flippee) disarm that grumpiness and refashion that negative energy into something positive. Suggestions? I would head straight to the local WalMart, Costco or Sam's and buy a case of water, ice and a cooler. So if one should find themselves prone to be the flipper, offer them a bottle of water (with no strings attached). This is a modern day application of Proverbs 25: with emphasis added by me -

If your enemy (flipper) is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty (flippy), give him water to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.

(This is the New International Version (NIV) winter version - let's try the summer version from The Message)

If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch;
if he's thirsty (grumpy and flippy), bring him a drink.

Your generosity will surprise him with goodness,
and GOD will look after you.

My second suggestion? Skip a couple of Chinese buffets (as you shouldn't eat heavy during the heat anyway) and take the money and pick up a couple of boxfans. Offer them to an elderly person - or go to an inner city apartment and bless someone - do it for them, not for yourself - radical generosity without keeping score means much more and I think touches the very heart of God.

Now if I catch someone with a dog or kid locked up in their car in the heat because of one's selfcenterness, stupidity, comfort and convenience, I will go ballistic on you - turn the firehose on me -

From the NY Times: A common theory holds that hot weather is more tolerable than cold. This fails to account for something meteorologists never refer to.

Call it the Grumpy Factor, a phenomenon tied to humidity. In a nursery-rhyme-science sort of a way, the Grumpy Factor explains how unpleasantness can shuffle across the city, lighting tempers and darkening moods.

When a Dog Day Afternoon Starts Before Dawn - New York Times

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Live8 on demand w/o the chatter

Joining hands - Pascal Rossignol/Reuters Posted by Picasa

While in Nashville, I was strolling through a strip mall shopping center when I heard a beautiful rendition of "Let It Be" wafting through the air. Kind of like a Pied Piper scene, I just stopped and listen to the whole song; I was drawn to a Radio Shack store where the music was being piped outside. The clerk and I just talked about Live8 and XMSatellite Radio who was doing the live uninterupted feed. After my errands, I rushed home to take in a huge dose of frustration as I tuned into MTV and watch nothing but chatter from the hosts!

"Television seemed shockingly old-fashioned in how it followed Saturday's worldwide concert for poverty relief. AOL's coverage was so superior, it may one day be seen as a historical marker in drawing people to computers instead of TV screens for big events.

Part of it was simply the way things were structured. Concerts held more or less simultaneously in 10 venues are next to impossible for television to get its arms around.

And part of it was also MTV's failure to really try. There were as many commercial breaks as performances, and MTV's stable of correspondents spent more time talking about what a fantastic event it was instead of showing it." - David Bauder/AP
Well tonight, I stumbled upon AOL On Demand site and I am feasting on some great music for an extraordinary cause! Live8 Concert Highlights.

There are complete performances that I didn't know were slated, photos, blogs... anyway you want to view Live8 is truly on demand. Thanks AOL - suddenly I don't want my MTV anymore...

Sarah McLachlan & Josh Grobin - Samatha Stewart/AOL Posted by Picasa

Sting - Stephen Hind/Reuters Posted by Picasa

Annie Lennox - Scott Barbour/Getty Images Posted by Picasa

Jo Hale, Getty Images Europe
LONDON - JULY 02: Singer Madonna with Birhan Woldu, an Ethiopian woman who appeared in 1985 video footage of famine victims, and whose life was saved (according to Bob Geldof) by donations from LIVE AID viewers. Posted by Picasa

You can Make Poverty History

What It's All About?

One Posted by Picasa

ONE The Campaign To Make Poverty History

Well Done: Earning an M.B.A.

Dave Thomas Posted by Picasa

Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s Restaurant chain, illustrates the learning value of humility in his book WELL DONE: THE COMMON GUY’S GUIDE TO EVERYDAY SUCCESS. He writes, "I got my MBA long before my G.E.D." He continues, "I even have a photograph of me in my MBA graduation outfit -- a snazzy knee-length work apron. I guarantee you that I'm the only founder among America's big companies whose picture in the corporate annual report shows him wielding a mop and a plastic bucket. That wasn't a gag" he continues. "It was a case of leading by example. At Wendy's, MBA does not mean Master of Business Administration. It means Mop Bucket Attitude. It's how we define satisfying the customer through cleanliness, quality food, friendly service, and atmosphere."

Dave Thomas got his G.E.D back in the 1990's, having dropped out of school when he was 15 years old. But he got his M.B.A. when he was 11 years and was baptized and began his journey of following Jesus. He truly took on the role of a servant, even though he was a multi-million dollar executive of a fast-growing restaurant chain. He said that Christianity was more than just a doctrine you talked about on Sunday morning. In fact, his advice was: "Live your faith. Don't wear it on your sleeve; roll up both sleeves and do something about it."

Do you have an M.B.A.? Is your attitude like that of Jesus? Are you rolling up your sleeves and doing something about your faith?

"For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas Bio (pdf)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Grapes of Wrath (don't give up)

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight
Taught to win
I never thought I could fail

No fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face
I've changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose

Don't give up
'Cause you have friends
Don't give up
You're not beaten yet
Don't give up
I know you can make it good

Though I saw it all around
Never thought that I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Drove the night toward my home
The place that I was born, on the lakeside
As daylight broke, I saw the earth
The trees had burned down to the ground

Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up
We don't need much of anything
Don't give up
'Cause somewhere there's a place where we belong

I was just listening to Peter Gabriel's duet with Kate Bush "Don't Give Up", which is a powerful ballad of encouragement while reading John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". I got all stirred up when these two media sources engaged my memory banks and heart!

Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush Posted by Picasa

The powerful lyrics and image of the Don't Give Up Video (RealPlayer) and the book of the struggles of the displaced families meshed together. So I did the Google search and while it may be old info to some, I was blessed to find out that Peter Gabriel was inspired to write the song after seeing a TV show about unemployment and family life, and a photo of a family in the dust bowl depression. 'The basic idea is that handling failure is one of the hardest things we have to learn to do.'

The Dust Bowl Posted by Picasa

"For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life -- breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk -- were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away."

The Grapes of Wrath Posted by Picasa
As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: "And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land."

Rest your head
You worry too much
It's going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Don't give up
Please don't give up

Got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
Going to stand on that bridge
Keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come
And whatever may go
That river's flowing
That river's flowing

Moved on to another town
Tried hard to settle down
For every job, so many men
So many men no-one needs

Don't give up
'Cause you have friends
Don't give up
You're not the only one
Don't give up
No reason to be ashamed
Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up now
We're proud of who you are
Don't give up
You know it's never been easy
Don't give up
'Cause I believe there's a place
There's a place where we belong

About The Dust Bowl:

PBS - Surviving the Dust Bowl

What is the Dust Bowl

Peter Gabriel song facts

Available from NetFlix / Grapes of Wrath movie review

Peter Gabriel-Play: The Videos

GUITAR TOWN - where else but Nashville

Last week while in Nashville, TN, I always enjoy driving around town to take any new sights and sounds from my last visit - and seeing 10-foot tall guitars throughout the city!

What: The GuitarTown Project is a public arts program that features 10-foot tall fiberglass guitars and regular size guitars artistically designed by visual artists and musical artists, sponsored by local businesses and individuals.

When: The sculptures will be on display from July '05 to January '06, after which they will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting designated Nashville non-profit and charitable organizations.

Charitable Organizations: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The United Way, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and the Downtown District.

Here are my two favorites:

GuitarTown WarnerBros Posted by Picasa

GuitarTown William Morris Agency Posted by Picasa

See the Showcase Guitars here


Can you spare a one dollar shirt?

1.00 shirt Posted by Picasa

Saw this over at Lianne's blog on creating your own $1.00 shirt. So what do I do? Run down to the grocery store at 10 p.m. for some crisp dollar bills! The Shirt is easy to make and while I doubt that giving a single shirt would make for a great (yet frugal) gift, they would be cool to use as tip money...

Now if your "ship sails in" and you're feeling rich and ambitious, try building one of these:

Chinese junk Posted by Picasa

Raymond, proprietor of the Mandarin Island restaurant in Mission Hills, California produced this realistic model of a Chinese junk. This model measures about three feet long, and four feet tall. Raymond says that it required over 20,000 modular units and took about six months to make.

Chinese Paper Arts: "China, where paper was invented in the 1st century AD, (Han Dynasty) has a long history of paper arts and crafts. These include paper objects used for decoration as well as items used for ceremonial purposes. Frequently, these would be made from paper money, either real or the ceremonial 'hell money'."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Resilient Londoners keep bouncing back

Tube 2 London PalmOS Posted by Picasa

"I guess when your heart gets broken you sort of start to see cracks in everything. I'm convinced that tragedy wants to harden us and our mission is never to let it."

Here's an example of corporate generosity in the midst of tragedy from Visual IT. They are offering FREE of charge its extremely helpful Tube London navigational software which has been updated post-tragedy to reflect the quickest routes around London. At the moment, versions for Palm OS, Pocket PC, and Symbian UIQ are available.

"Following the tragic events on Thursday 7th July 2005 Visual IT would like to express their deepest sympathies and condolences for all those that have been affected.
This special version of Tube 2 London has been released free of charge to help Londoners get back to normal as quickly as possible. It has been amended to reflect all the current service changes on the London system."

Purchase for FREE: Tube London here

Tube 2 London PocketPC Posted by Picasa

Visual IT also publishes Rough Guide City Maps and Tube Interactive subway maps & guides for many cities.

Rough Guides London Posted by Picasa