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Showing posts from December, 2012

I give up on acoustic amps . . .

Well, I made a decision today.  I am willing to accept the positive or negative consequences of my decision either way.

I am simply giving up on acoustic amps.

I've got a very good Fishman Loudbox acoustic amp.  It's for sale as of today.  Nothing wrong with it. I've used it for 3 years.  Carted it easily around with me to inside and outside gigs.

Why?

Well . . . I just can't get the sound I want dialed in.

What is the sound I want?

I want to hear the sound my guitar makes acoustically when I plug it in to an acoustic amplifier.

Trouble is . . . I can't get it to sound like my guitar, in fact I can't get any of my 6 string guitars to sound like they do when plugged in to an acoustic amp.  My Guild 12-string sounds fine . . . go figure.

To my untrained ear (emphasis on "untrained") I hear too many "effects."  However, I don't hear the sound my 6-strings make, which is the reason I got them in the first place.

So . . . I guess I am movin…

Merry Christmas to all!!

Despite my recent / current cancer journey ... I come into this Christmas of 2012 with a great deal of warmth, love and appreciation for the season. I am blessed with loving family, friends and an ever increasing faith.

My singing voice grows stronger each day with the help of the Vocal-Ease exercises that Jim Newton is mentoring me through. My speaking voice gets a first major test this Sunday as I provide the sermon in the downtown campus sanctuary at 11:15 AM at FUMC-Grapevine.

What a blessing ... 2 Christmas celebrations today with daughters and their families. Here at home this morning with Maranda and Dustin, and this afternoon/evening with Meredith, Chad and Briana. And then home later this evening before ice forms on the streets and highways. A possible white Christmas for us in the D/FW Texas area. A little snow would be nice.

Right now just a lot of very needed rain and a lot of wind!

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Despite the horrific news of recent days ... Chri…

Doing pretty well . . .

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I'm doing pretty well.  I just completed my 3rd full week of work, etc., with no ill effects.  It seems my ability to pull off long days (my "normal" Thursday begins at 5:30 AM and I usually don't get home until after 9 PM) is still in question.  Long days require that I take a nap or a long break where I can rest up.  I have forgotten a time or two to pace myself during the day.  On those days, I usually fall asleep in my recliner before going to bed.

Alas, I have a patient family, and they are helping me along.  I love having them by my side.

Advent here at the church has been very special.  We've taken a very hard look at Christmas as a church this year.  The shooting in Connecticut this past Friday were heavy on our hearts yesterday as we came to worship on the 3rd Sunday of Advent to light the candle of joy.  But light it we did, because as Dr. Cindy Ryan put it . . . "we had to."  If we didn't, we would hav…

Translating "Doctor talk' into more understandable "English" . . .

What a difference it makes when you have someone who can "translate" something into a language you can understand.

My oncology nurse called me this morning, after receiving a long list of questions I sent to her on Tuesday night by email. She shared that as she read my email, she realized that there had been a miscommunication ( and it truth, the miscommunication was a lot my fault.)  My emotions got pretty scrambled at the doctor’s office on Tuesday morning, and neither Liz or I correctly understood what my oncologist was attempting to communicate to us in “doctor language.”As a result, I “heard” that I was having another treatment in April and I panicked a bit, and I “sort of / kind of” got mad at the doctor. Seems that when I get mad, I stop listening . . . something that is probably not news to those who know me well. Seems that when I get mad . . . people (including doctors) often become afraid of me . . . So . . . here is the translation . . . In reality, I am not having a …

Not what I hoped, but still some good news . . .

My visit yesterday morning to my oncologist’s office did not go as smoothly as I had hoped . . .  but I believe all is going to be good in the end.

The results of my recent full body scan showed that I do not have any metastatic disease (in other words, the thyroid cancer did not migrate anywhere else in my body).  That is very good news.
However . . . the scan, according to the oncologist, “lit up” a section in the upper left area of my neck, indicating there “may be something” in the lymph node region.  He wants to address this “cautiously,” meaning I will receive another radioactive iodine treatment (smaller dose) during the 1st or 2nd week of April 2013.  I will receive more info on April 2nd.   I will probably be out for several days related to all this.
The take-a-ways from this are a bit mixed but mostly good. The bad take-a-ways . . . -I will not get what I really wanted for Christmas . . . the "all clear" report. -Another treatment, meaning the process that I hoped would …

Body scan results tomorrow morning ...

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday December 11th ... 3 months since my ENT called to tell me that I had thyroid cancer, I will meet with my oncologist to get the report from my recent full body thyroid cancer scan.

I am a bit nervous and apprehensive ... naturally so ... however, based on how I have felt the past 2 weeks, I am expecting something positive.

The entire process beginning with my experiencing regular fatigue in my voice and noticing a lump in my throat to the present time has has taken about 6 months.  Half-a-year dealing with cancer. Not as much as most people with cancer that I provided pastoral care to over the years, but every journey is different I guess.  The last 2 weeks are the first I've worked a regular schedule since the last week of August.  That's a long time to me.  In my own mind, I've not accomplished much In 2012, and I'm pretty much calling this year a wash.  I've have managed to accomplish a few personal and professional goals I set.  At the…

Help Make This World a Better Place . . .

The new "Playing for Change" music video is out!   A great message.  A call to to "arms" in fact . . . a call for us to join up and connect by our arms to sing a loud enough song that we can all work for change.  We can all work together to make this world a better place.

Check out www.playingforchange.com/episodes and click on episode #72.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Traynor amp . . .

Since accepting delivery of my Taylor T-5 last month,  I asked Sean Simon at Grapevine Guitar Works to look for a small electric guitar tube amp that I could use to play it through . . . something easy to operate, as I only put it through a tuner pedal.  I'm  really new to electric guitar playing, and wanted to keep things really simple.  Mostly because I don't like carrying a lot of equipment around.

Sean put me onto a Traynor Custom Valve YCV20WR that belonged to our late friend, guitar player and church member, Mike Pueppke.  Mike was a wonderful young man who finally succumbed to cancer last year after a long and courageous battle. I miss him daily still.  He was a good friend

I used to go to the hospital and visit Mike.  I did this many times over the years.  Mike was super intelligent, was working on his doctorate in English Lit . . . he could very well have become a college or university president . . . of that I have no doubt.  He was also a pretty decent lead rock-n-r…

Resources for Creative people . . .

Some great websites with great products for creative minded people . . . these are really good resources for artists, musicians, authors . . . and others who find it easier to manage their personal and professional lives when they see all aspects of their lives as individual projects. 

I have found these resources to be a great help to me.

Action Method
Behance.com
Creatives Outfitter
The 99%

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

A great new song from Joe Walsh . . .

"Family" is a great new song from Joe Walsh.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>