Tuesday, November 4, 2008

6 Word Memoir

I read about this on a blog that I like to read. modesty.blogspot.com

The idea is to sum up your life in 6 words. It took me a LOT of thought, but this is what I came up with.

Insatiable dreamer discontent with contentment. Alas.

Now that I've actually put it in words, I'm realizing it's pretty spot on. It's the story of my life.

I'm going to vote today. I'm ready for this election to be over with.

I've also finally chosen a title for the book I've been writing (that I'm nowhere near done with). It will be called "Driscoll."

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Today was also one of my favorite days of the year. Daylight savings time, fall edition. I LOVE the extra hour.

I finished another book. You should read it.

"A Crime so Monstrous" by Ben Skinner. Heartbreaking to say the least, life changing if you let it sink in.

I also ran into the band "Lydia" at a gas station in Hershey, Nebraska today. I talked with their guitarist a bit. He talked to me like I was a fan boy but that's alright. I probably would have done the same if someone struck up a conversation with me at a gas station by asking what band I'm in..

A Good Weekend

The guitar I've always wanted and now I have it. I rule.

A 1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst. Let's just say someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Now I'm faced with a tough decision. Do I sell my absolute favorite high dollar Larrivee acoustic guitar that I don't play that often to pay for it, or do I unload 3 of my other guitars I play a lot but that are just so-so? It's a tough call. If I sell the 3, that leaves me with only 1 stage guitar. If I sell the Larrivee I'm selling a part of my soul....

Beyond that, I spent the weekend in Colorado and realized that I really want to live there someday. It's just a different world than Nebraska. I love the mountains and I love the way of life. There seems to be a lot more activity everywhere you look. Everyone is riding bikes and there are trails everywhere, and most people even like dogs. Mindy and I sat outside at Starbucks with Henry and didn't feel like a nuisance for once. In fact, there were at least 3 other dogs there the whole time. I've been to Colorado many times before, but it took this weekend to finally make me realize that I truly want to end up there someday.

This weekend also solidified that another one of my favorite places to be is Goodwill. Mindy and I stopped at one on a whim and after another failed attempt to find me some cowboy boots, I retreated to my favorite section of the store. The books. 99 cents for paperback, $1.99 for hard cover. I had a pretty amazing find to tell you the truth. I found what I believe is a First Edition Hardcover Copy of "You Shall Know Our Velocity" and it's actually signed by Dave Eggers, the author. I was pretty excited.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Books and Human Trafficking

Well I finally finished the Narnia books which put me at my goal of reading 15 books for the year. Since then I've had a pretty veracious appetite for other reading and have finished 3 other books.

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist - Roger Lowenstein
A biography on the life of Warren Buffet up until about 1995.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki
Good book on personal finances.

The Tao of Warren Buffett - Mary Buffett and David Clark
Lots of Warren Buffett quotes. Very insightful.

I'm working on finishing another book in the Rich Dad series called "Loopholes of the Rich," it's about how the rich legally work the system to pay less taxes. Tomorrow, I'm going to be checking out a book called "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life." I've been on a Buffet kick as of late. I figure there might be a lot I could learn from one of the richest men in the world, though I think "The Snowball" is the last book on him I'll be reading for a while. I'm also going to be picking up a couple books on the topic of human trafficking. This is a subject I'm very passionate about. If you have a chance, you should check out the following website to gain a little perspective.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Future?

Here's an interesting article I read today. Can't say I agree with it 100%, but it does seem to highlight some of the fears I have about the future.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Dear America:

Happy 300th Birthday!

It's 2076 and we've just invented the time-fax machine. (Actually, "we" didn't invent the time-fax machine, the State did -- they pretty much control everything now.)

I'm faxing this back to you in 2008 because that seems to be the year we had the best chance to reverse our course and get back to the vision laid out by our founding fathers -- a vision that didn't include the government being in the insurance business.

I don't have a lot of time (the State only gives us one 30-minute break per day) so let me give you some advice: Stop worrying so much about who runs the country and start worrying about who runs your towns, your states, and your Congress.

I know you're all distracted by the presidential election, but for all the money and time poured into it, the truth is that you're choosing between two roads that will lead you to the same destination. Sure, one may be the Autobahn and the other a two-lane highway, but you'll end up at the same place either way.

Decades of Republicans and Democrats alike have all chipped in to lead you to where you are today. Believing that one person, from either party, can change that by themselves is a big mistake.

Presidents are like captains of a large ship: They can map out a course and shout out orders, but without the trust and hard work of the people who actually move the rudders, their commands mean nothing.

In retrospect, the lack of trust and confidence you now have in your leaders was really the root cause of everything that's happened since. While our founding fathers designed a brilliant system of checks and balances, separation of powers and democratic elections, trust was the one thing they couldn't mandate in the Constitution.

Unfortunately, it's also the foundation upon which everything else is built and once it began to erode, our whole house inevitably began to crumble.

Looking back now, it's pretty obvious that our trust in government declined at about the same rate as our partisanship increased. People became so concerned about getting their party into power at any cost that the truth didn't even seem to matter anymore.

That's probably one of the reasons why George Washington hated the idea of political parties so much. Here's what he said about them in his 1796 farewell speech:

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty."

I know that George had a habit for using big words, so allow me to translate into 2008 English: Political parties that put their own success over that of the country's will be the death of America.

If you don't believe him yet, just wait a few more years...you're about to see firsthand how right he was. After all, if power corrupts, then the kind of absolute power gained by political parties (and feared by Washington) corrupts absolutely.

The best advice I can give you is to stop thinking in terms of left and right and start thinking in terms of right and wrong. Demand the best leaders possible, and then demand the best out of them.

Believe me, when you see what's coming your way, you'll realize how little the donkey and the elephant really ever mattered. Oh and while we're on politics, one quick thing that I'm sure you're curious about: Yes, Robert Byrd is still in the Senate. He's 159, but doesn't look a day over 91.

Now, let's talk about the economy. Let me see if I have this right: Money and power made people greedy, so you decided to hand over a bunch of money and power to greedy politicians instead. Smart! After using that money to nationalize a bunch of banks, mortgage companies and insurance companies, they moved on to bigger things.

The airlines came first -- we just couldn't live without them. Then it was the automakers (Detroit would've died), health care (they said they could manage it better), and eventually, the oil companies (I'm not sure where all of those "windfall profits" have gone).

The idea behind it all (an idea that was eventually turned into law with the passage of the Securities Exchange Act of 2011) was to "socialize losses" by spreading them out among all taxpayers. The pain, our leaders argued, would be minimal that way.

They were right. At least until the bills came due. See, we didn't actually have any of the money we were promising everyone; we were borrowing it.

It didn't take long before so many of our tax dollars were going toward interest payments that we couldn't fund even the most basic of government programs without massive tax increases on everyone. People now work most of the year just to pay Uncle Sam (or, as we now call him, "Comrade Sam").

I hear the State censors coming, so let me leave you with a few other quick things:

• Good call on not worrying about protecting our borders. That works out really well for you in 2019.

• You might want to spend a little less time worrying about carbon and a little more time worrying about Iran. We're now in a new mini-Ice Age but, believe me, Iran isn't using their nukes to warm any homes. (PS The International Atomic Energy Agency just revealed to you that Iran appears to be refitting their long-range missiles to carry nuclear payloads. Did you think they were joking or were you just too busy with lipsticks and pigs to notice?)

• The currency of the future is energy. Those who have it are thriving and those who don't -- well, let's just leave it at that. Drill for all the oil you can, but you also better start seriously looking for some other options.

In closing, remember this golden rule and you should be fine: Your Constitution will never fail you, but your leaders will. Be wary of anyone who tries to convince you that it's the other way around.

Best wishes (you're going to need them),

Worker 2744A

PS It's not all socialist doom and gloom here in the future. We just thawed Ted Williams' cryogenically frozen body and he hit 87 home runs for the North Team!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

14 down, one more to go...

That last 2 months or so I've taken a break from reading. The first tour, starting in June, was pretty good for reading. I would wake up in the morning, play the first set, and then read in the shade for an hour or 2. The Locked and Loaded tour on the other hand was not good for reading. When we were in the van, there were 12 of us in the van, and when we weren't in the van we were either setting up or listening to loud bands all day long.

The break has done me well though, and since I've been home, I've finished up 2 more of the Narnia books. That puts me at 14 books for the year and I'll be finishing "The Last Battle" hopefully this week which will put me at my goal of 15 books. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop for the year.

Next year the goal will be 24 books. 2 a month. I'm confident I can accomplish this.

One thing I have noticed while reading the Narnia books though, is that CS Lewis has an amazing way of detailing food. So much so that I often times put down the to make a huge meal for myself. This morning after reading only a chapter of "The Silver Chair" I found myself making and then eating a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, coffee, orange juice and milk. It really was amazing.

Just to give you a taste, I'm going to type out one small passage from "The Silver Chair" where it is explained how a Centuar eats breakfast.

"Why Son of Adam, don't you understand? A Centaur has a man-stomach and a horse-stomach. And of course both want breakfast. So first of all he has porridge and pavanders and kidneys and bacon and omelette and cold ham and toast and marmalade and coffee and a beer. And after the he attends to the horse part of himself by grazing for an hour or so and finishing up with a hot mash, some oats, and a bag of sugar. That's why it's such a serious thing to ask a Centaur to stay for the weekend. A very serious thing indeed." CS Lewis "The Silver Chair"

I don't know about you, but even reading about the horse breakfast makes me hungry, and I'm already full.

I would guess that Mr. Lewis had quite an appetite back in the day as there are descriptions like this all throughout the book.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day of the Squirrels...

Ever since I was in 6th grade and we went to my friends house in small town Nebraska to play with their pet squirrel, I've wanted one for myself. Even before that, some of my earliest memories were of my grandpa taming black squirrels in his back yard so that they would take walnuts from his hand.

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to tell a squirrel story of my own.

It started simple enough, I was letting the dogs out, and like normal I was sitting and watching them from a concrete step in my backyard. I wasn't paying much attention until I noticed they were both looking intently at something on the tree, and that something, just out of the reach of their nose was a baby squirrel. I really wanted to capture the moment so I grabbed my camera phone and tried to snap a picture. The dogs were to excited so nothing came out, but I decided to take a closer look anyway. Upon further investigation I noticed that the poor baby had a bloody nose and was very wobbly on the side of the tree. As soon as I noticed this he stumbled forward into the reach of the dogs, and Ringo, my puppy, had the squirrel in his mouth on a second. I yelled "Drop it" as loud as I could and rushed over to stop him. He dropped it on command but went after it again. I grabbed his collar and pulled him off and the squirrel made its way up the tree again, half in a daze. Just to make sure the baby was ok I stuck my head up the tree and gave a look. He was huddled at the fork of two branches and looked kinda beat up. Since I'm stupidly fearless around animals, I slowly lifted my hand up near the little guy, and to my surprise he climbed right in my hand. I slowly lowered the both of us out of the tree and had Mindy put the dog away.

Since I wasn't sure how hurt he was, I decided I should keep an eye on him, so I brought out my 25 gallon aquarium and put him in with a little dish of water and some almonds. He wasn't interested at first so I decided to leave him alone for a bit. I went upstairs and had dinner and came back down a little later. He still hadn't touched anything so I decided there wasn't anything else I could do but let him go. I tipped the aquarium and he crawled out, but instead of scampering away, he started hopping towards me. I took a step back and he hopped towards me again. Another step back, another hop towards me. Finally I sat down on the ground to see how it all played out, and Mr. Squirrel decided to climb in my lap. I cradled him there for a little while and took some pictures with him. Finally, since he seemed to be feeling better, I decided it was time to set him free. I picked him up and started heading over to the tree again but as I did, another baby squirrel came crawling across the neighbor's yard to the same tree I was headed to. As he climbed up he chattered at me a little bit but wasn't afraid as I came closer. Since the baby I had in my hand wasn't interested in getting on the tree again, I thought maybe his little brother would help. I held him up and they nuzzled each other. I was even able to pet the brother and the thing almost fell asleep on the side of the tree. Finally after knowing I was getting too attached, I set the baby on the tree and he started to climb again. They nuzzled each other again and I considered my work to be done. I walked away and went back into the house.

10 minutes later I decided to check on them again, this time from my deck. When I walked out, one of the little guys was clear up above my eye level, but when he saw me, he started down the tree again. When he got to the bottom he started squeaking really loud and then scampered towards my house. He was squeaking and squeaking and actually trying to climb the side of my house, then he decided to sit on the stoop of my basement door.

I went downstairs once again and opened the door, and there was the little brother squirrel sitting and looking at me. I gently picked him up and took him back over to the tree and let him go again. He looked at me once more and then went up the tree again.

I saw them playing later that night. When I went outside again, the brother was in the neighbor's yard again, and squeaked when he saw me, but chose not to come say hi again. I'm hoping maybe I've made some friends that will come back and visit me. If not though, at least I had the experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Biting it...

Well I did it. I finally got a facebook account, and ya know what.? I kinda like it. I don't have to worry about trying to make my page look cool, I just log on and talk to people. It's real simple.

I also got a new phone the other day. My phone went haywire when we were in Minnesota and considering we were still a week away from being done, I really needed a new one. I went to the store and looked at several and decided on a Samsung Alias. It flips open Sideways for a keyboard to text on, and then normal like a cell phone. Well I kept it for the rest of the tour and was just un-impressed overall. If I wanted to keep more than 50 text messages in my inbox I was going to have to buy more memory. Not what I expected from a $100 phone. So when I got back to Omaha I went and browsed Nebraska Furniture Mart. The one stop shop for the best prices on anything you could ever want to buy. They had the SAME phone and after the rebate it would have actually cost me negative one penny. They would pay me a penny to take the phone. Then I played with the LG Dare and was faced with a moral dilemma. I loved the Dare but it was more than the first phone cost and I know in a matter of months the price will be cut in half, and even more. So do I get a phone for free that was ok, but unimpressive or get a phone that I really really liked, but spend money on it just to watch the price go down in December. I called Mindy up to get her opinion and she was helpful. I walked away with the Dare, and so far I love it!!! It's pretty much an iphone and it's smaller so it fits in my pocket. I would suggest it to anyone who wants an iphone, but doesn't want to switch to AT&T.

Other than that, we're headed to Dallas next weekend for the Feedback Conference. That'll be fun. Next month we'll be venturing down into Alabama and Tennessee. It should be a good time.

I'll have a few more videos to post here pretty soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Life on the Road

If you want to know what life has been like on the road for FOA this tour, this video pretty much sums it all up.

Have I written anything lately? I can't even remember. I was in the van today and was trying to figure out what day it was. I had absolutely no point of reference. I tried for a good 5 minutes to figure it out on my own but couldn't come up with anything. Luckily my phone has been keeping track. It's Wednesday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day One

Sorry for the lack of writing. I've been so busy putting together the video that I didn't want to write about it to. The video gives a better description of where we've been anyway.

Today is the first official day of the Locked & Loaded Tour. We're here in Columbus, Ohio right now. We took off on Thursday, July 17 and drove through the night. We showed up at Pendlwood Studio B around 6 am and stayed the night. We all woke up about noon and went and had lunch with our producer CR Pendelton. After that it was work all afternoon. We had several boxes of merch and merch display stuff sent here so we spent the afternoon putting it together and getting shirts rolled and rearranging the trailer. After that it was off to a late dinner and then a mad rush to see "Batman: The Dark Knight" and it was freaking amazing. I'm going to go and see it again. Heath Ledger was awesome at the Joker and I'm especially sad over his death now because we won't get to see him do it again. There is Oscar buzz around the performance I think it's well deserved. The Joker was amazing.

Anyway, we got back from that around 2:30 and went to bed. Now the 30 people (all the members of Fate of Angels, Anacey, Divide the Sea, Alli and I, and A Life Echoed are all here) are all getting around to leave, and that's what I need to do.

I'll catch you later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My favorite place in the world...

Well here I am again this summer in one of my favorite places in the world; the mountains of Montana. We’re out at Camp on the Boulder this week and it’s amazing. We were here for a week last year as well and fell in love with it. This place is so remote, there’s no hope of cell phones working and the internet connection is barely a trickle. I’ll be lucky if I can up load the pictures I’ve taken. It’s made a couple other things difficult as well but I can’t complain. We’ve been playing music a couple times every day and relaxing in between. Today we’ll be hiking it up the side of the mountain as far as we can go. It should be awesome.

Saturday we leave here and drive straight on through day and the night and then part of the next day to get to North Carolina, which is probably one of my second favorite places in the world.

So far the tour has gone well. There have been a couple close calls. Luke caught a bass headstock in the nose at the show in Wisconsin, and then clothes-lined himself the other night playing capture the flag. John has had a soar throat, and we’ll all worn out, but it’s a good worn out. The kind that says you’ve actually been doing something with your day.

We’ll be posting the mastered versions of the EP songs online here in about a week. The new mixes are pretty sick. I can’t wait to get them out.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Done, Done, on to the next one...

Well the first week of the tour has come and gone. Despite the fact that I've slept less and worked more in the last week then I have in a long long time, the week went by extremely fast. We left Carlinville, IL yesterday at about 2:00 in the afternoon and headed north to Wisconsin. It was supposed to be an easy 8 hour trip between destinations, but thanks to the flooding in Wisconsin, I-94 was closed and we had to take a detour, along with the other thousands of vehicles that normally use I-94. In the end, the trip took a solid 12 hours and we got to Eau Claire around 2 am. We stayed the night at the apartment of some friends from Survive the Drive and it was a bit crowded, but it was a lot better than the van. This is what the scene looked like this morning.

Tonight we play in Durand with Bensonwells. It should be a good time. After that we take off for the drive across Minnesota and North Dakota for the 13 hour drive to Billings, Montana

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well it's day three here at camp and the Jr. High drama is starting to hit the fan. It seems like almost yesterday that I was there, living it out myself.

Yesterday was a sad day. A newly acquired friend of the band here at camp was asked to go home for certain reasons that will go unmentioned. If you're reading this man, I hope you're doing well and make sure to keep in touch. I apologize on behalf of all the fake bands out there and hope that you can see what really is important in this life.

The girls here at camp are being girls. Not much more can be said about that. If you've ever spent much time around Jr. High girls, you know what I'm talking about. They're great though. I can't complain.

Overall, The Zone, here in Illinois has been an awesome time, and we're only half way through. The weather has been awesome and the food is really good. It's a good thing these kids are so active or I'd put on a lot of weight, really fast.

Can't say I've slept a whole lot though. That's my own fault. We tried to hit the hot tub last night after all the kids were in their rooms. The water was clear, so that was good, unfortunately, it was more of a luke-warm tub than a hot one. We lasted about 5 minutes and called it good.

Tonight we play an actual rock concert, so that should be fun. It also means another late night, followed by another early morning. Thankfully there is coffee within arms reach almost 24/7.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Well I finally did it.

I'm a full time musician.

We took off last night from Lincoln, Nebraska and were packed in like sardines. Considering gas is the price it is, we chose not to pull our 10x17 trailer and instead stuff everything in the back of the van. That left us 2 bench seats , the driver seat and the passenger seat... for 5 guys. Keep in mind, that's where we had to sleep last night. The back bench seat had suitcases stuffed underneath it so there was no place to put your feet. That's where I slept, wedged between my backpack and a rolled up sleeping bag. To make it even better, Luke's cowboy boot that was wedged up above kept falling and hitting me in the head through-out the night, and the AC was/is broken. Anthony ended up sleeping on the floor of the van for most of the 9 hour trip.

Overall though, I think it was worth it. Now I'm sitting here in a hotel room in Illinois, in my own bed, with a nice cold air conditioner blowing on me. The resort area we're playing this week is pretty nice. It's definitely not a place for people who don't like kids though. There are probably 700 Jr. Highers here as well (as evidenced by the yellow hot tub water, no seriously, I didn't have my phone at the time or I would have taken a picture. YELLOW.)

We're here until Friday and are playing for a great group of kids. Friday night we take off and drive through the night up to Wisconsin for a single date show, then drive through the night again to hit a camp in Montana. I'm really looking forward to that one, It's in the middle of nowhere in the awesome Montana mountains. There won't even be cell phone coverage for a whole week.

After Montana is the killer, a 30 hour trip, across 2 times zones, to North Carolina, but once we get there we'll be spending 10 days in one of my favorite places in the country, Lake Junaluska. Once Junaluska is finished we drive to Georgia for a day, then play a couple dates in Tennessee and finally its back home (more than a month after we left).

That's only the first leg by the way, the easy leg. The second leg will be 23 dates in 23 days over a span of 10 states. Then after that will be the 3rd leg. That one's still being booked.

I've probably done more work in the last 24 hours than I did in a week at my job, and I got paid about 98% less, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. This is the dream I've been trying to accomplish for the last 5 years. Now I just need to make sure and keep it alive.

I'll keep you updated.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This week has been an interesting one to say the least. I'm not even sure I know where to start. I'll just give you an overview.

Thursday - Leave work early, brother comes to visit, doggie wanders into our yard and we call the humane society, then we go to a comedy show.

Friday - we go to the humane society and fill out pre-adoption papers for said doggie, drive to Lincoln for practice, go to Anthony's going away party, stay the night

Saturday - drive to a small town in Kansas and play a show

Sunday -  get home from show at 4:30 am and decide not to go to bed and just go right to church to play at 6:30 am.

Monday - go to work at 6:00 am, then leave work at 7:00 am feeling crappy. On a whim I go to the doctor and have him look at a bump that was growing on my arm. I walked away from the doctors that day with whatever it was cut off. They're going to run tests to find out for sure, but now I've got 3 stitches in my arm and am going to have to figure out how to get them out when I'm on the road in a week. Later that evening I become an UNCLE for the first time, as my brother in law and sister in law welcomed Alaina Gisele into the world. I am going to be the COOLEST uncle.


Tuesday - THEE BIG DAY. Tuesday was my last day of work. I left work for good at 10:00 am to pursue my life as a musician.... and it was terrifying.

Wednesday - We find out that the doggies owners came and picked it up on Saturday. It was a sad/happy occasion. I also found out that my grandma is going to have to have surgery to remove a lump from her adrenal gland. This was frankly better news than I was expecting, but still a little frightening since grandma is getting older and I'll be on the road thousands of miles from home for the next 2-3 months. Just for good measure and to mark such a momentous week, I also went out and got my nose pierced. I really thought I might die cause my nose is so sensitive, but I barely felt it. I'm not trying to say that to be tough. He slid a tester ring on my nose to test the placement and that stung like crazy. I thought there was no way I was going to make it through, but when the time came, I really barely felt it.


Notice the ghost swimmer over my shoulder. We were actually driving down the street when I snapped this picture with my phone. I have no idea where the swimmer came from or how it came to be perfectly placed next to my head. If for some reason I'm found drowned in my bathtub tomorrow or later this week you'll know that the movie "Shutter" really was true.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring and I'm definitely not sure what next week will bring, but I must say I feel more like me today than I've felt in a long time. I don't have to be two different people anymore. I don't have to keep 2 separate wardrobes in my closet or an ID badge in my wallet and that's an amazing feeling; one I've been waiting for for a long time. Let's just home we can sustain it.

Until next time...

PS I've been thinking about starting to post a short story of the month on this thing. I've been writing a lot more lately and I think it would be a good exercise for me. Hopefully you can be looking for that here in the next couple weeks.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Frontiers

I've decided to take a new path in life. The more I do this music thing, the harder it gets and I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things. Who really cares about guitar players anyway. 

From now on, my sole purpose in life will be to become a cellular phone company mascot. You know, like the "can you hear me now" guy, or Chad, or Joan Cusack, or even  something like that crazy group of guys that symbolizes Alltel's competition.

Last time I checked, AT&T was in dire need of a new icon. That globe thingy, or whatever it is, has about run its course. Sprint Nextel, I'm looking at you too. Yellow lines? Come on. At least back in the nineties you had Murphy Brown. 

I have a good feeling this new career path is going to be a lot more promising than the life of a traveling musician.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've recently discovered that I do not take enough pictures of myself.

Being in a band, I spend a lot of time on myspace making friends, and most of the people I make friends with have dozens and dozens of self portraits on their profile.

This causes me to feel inadequate.

The strangest part about this revelation is that being in a band, I've sat through at least 3 professional photo shoots in the last 12 months and already feel a bit narcissisitic.

I guess I'm going to have to step it up in order to keep pace with this generation.

Sheesh. I never knew it was so tough staying relevant.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books books books

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to read at least 15 books. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but reading really helps calm me down. I’ve always described myself as having “duck on the water” syndrome. Though it may look calm on the surface, the feet below the water are constantly moving. It’s the same with my mind. I’ve been told on a couple occasions that I am a “calming force.” It’s hard for me to understand cause I don’t usually feel calm. I’m usually on edge and thinking very hard about something. That’s why I have a hard time finishing sentences, speaking loudly, or driving anywhere without making at least 2 wrong turns.

Anyway, the 15 books goal is one I actually think I might meet. So far the books I’ve read this year are…

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

The Orphaned Anythings – Stephen Christian (the singer for Anberlin. Great book and brief. New readers will be able to finish it in a couple days)
Black – Ted Dekker
Red – Ted Dekker
White – Ted Dekker

(These 3 books were actually bound into one book, the first book I’ve ever read with more than 1000 pages. I don’t usually read modern fiction, let alone modern "Christian" fiction, but this was a gift and it proved interesting. For the sake of my goal, I’m counting it as 3 books ;^)

So there you have it, 6 books in the first 4 months of the year. I’m currently reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and am about 1/3rd of the way finished. I also hit a gold mine yesterday and found "The Invisible Man" by HG Wells, "Dr. Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak, "Ivanhoe" by Sir Walter Scott, and "The House of 7 Gables" by Nathanial Hawthorne at a thrift store. I spent $2.16.

For those of you who would consider me a bookworm, I would have to argue otherwise. The bulk of my reading is done about 1 to 2 hours before I go to work. The mornings, in combination with the time I spend reading in the van are the only times I read.

Not that I care about labels, but you might, and if you think reading more might earn you this title, I would suggest you can do it without anyone knowing (unless you blog about it) and you’ll be better person because of it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My foray into vegetarianism

Yesterday, April 25, 2008 I became a vegetarian.

Only for a month though. Are you kidding, this is PRIME grilling season. I couldn’t last any longer.

I’ve actually been thinking about doing so for quite a while. I’ve noticed myself eating less and less healthy over the past couple years and doing less and less exercise. To top it off, I don’t have near the time or motivation that I used to, so trying to fix these problems has been next to impossible.

I understand myself though and realize that the only way I’m actually going to do something difficult these days is if I build it way up and then force myself to be accountable by writing a blog about it.

Now I don’t actually think that eating meat is wrong, but I do think the US eats more than its fair share.

I found some statistics at http://www.youthxchange.net/main/b223_food-supply_meat-h.asp, and they’re a little disturbing.

Each year, the average American consumes nearly twice his/her weight in meat…

• 195 pounds (about 88.4 kg) per person of red meat + poultry + fish (boneless, trimmed-weight equivalent);

• 57 pounds per person more than in the 1950s;

Consequences on human health:

• a global epidemic of lifestyle diseases (such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers)

• increasing pressures on land and water resources (water pollution, global warming, etc.)

Consequences on the environment:

• In the United States, over 90% of all agricultural land is devoted to livestock agriculture in some form. Most water consumption goes to livestock agriculture;

• the waste generated by livestock is 130 times that produced by humans, livestock wastes are implicated in waterway pollution, toxic algal blooms and massive fishkills;

• the US uses twice the energy per capita on food production than the less developed countries use per capita for all purposes. Meat production typically uses 5, 20, or even 100 times the land, water, and energy that plant food production does.

Personally, I don’t really buy a lot of the hype these days that our environment is doomed. If you read in the history books, there have been many periods when weather conditions have been extremely harsh and unpredictable and the earth has always adjusted.

On the other hand, I do feel that we as Americans are extremely wasteful and should be much more considerate. We act like a greedy pig that devours anything and everything it gets in its path. We feel we somehow deserve it. If someone tries to take it away or tell us otherwise we complain as if there were no tomorrow. We are consumers to the utter most. We take away far more than we give back, and personally I'm doing my best to reverse this trend in myself.

Maybe this is why I’m going to be a vegetarian for a month. Maybe I just want a challenge. Maybe I want to inspire someone else to live a healthier lifestyle by proving it’s not really that difficult. Maybe it’ll just be a story to tell in the future.

Whatever the case, I’m going to be getting a lot more familiar with the plant kingdom in the next 30 days.

I’ll keep you updated.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Three Cheers..

...for uninsured drivers.

I was in a car accident today.


I was driving to work and an S-10 pickup pulled out of a gas station in front of me. I had no time to react and hit the other car at probably 20-30 miles an hour. We filed a police report and the other driver was cited with failure to yield. I was not cited.

Everything seemed like it was on the up and up until I got home and called his insurance company to file a claim. The insurance policy for that vehicle was no longer valid. There is still hope that the other driver may have switched insurance companies and has a policy elsewhere, but I won't know for a while. I am hoping this is the case but am skeptical.

Though I'm annoyed at the whole ordeal, I do need to step back from the situation and take a good look at it.

If in fact the other driver is not insured, what do I really lose? I've been driving my truck for 5 years now and it has served me well. I have no outstanding debt on it, and if push comes to shove, my folks have a car I can borrow until my vehicle is either fixed or parted out. Really it boils down to an annoyance; nothing was lost that can't be recovered.

What about the other driver though, what does all this mean for him? First off, he was cited for the wreck so he'll have to pay that fee for starters. Second, if he really is uninsured, then his license will be suspended, and who knows what that means for him. Third, if he's uninsured, his vehicle, like mine, is now inoperable and he'll have to pay to have it fixed.

In this scenario, it sounds like he stands to lose more than I do.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing uninsured drivers. It's illegal, it's irresponsible and they pose a serious threat. If I had been seriously injured today and didn't have good medical insurance, I could be facing a crippling amount of medical bills. (It's for reasons like this, you yourself should be responsible and have an emergency fund set up. We never know what tomorrow may bring.)

Despite all this, I can't help but at least have some compassion for the situation.

Even though it was only an old beater, I really did love the Bruiser (Blazer). In the winter, there wasn't a hill icy enough that she couldn't tackle with a little effort. Other than when I first bought her, I've never had to make a payment and though she's broken down a couple times, she's actually been a very dependable car. I'm hoping this situation turns out better than I'm expecting it too, cause I'd love to be able to get her fixed back up to live out the rest of her life.

We'll just have to see. It's not in my hands.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Parts 3,4 and 5

I grow tired of this series...

The last 3 pet peeves are

3. Things that break right after you buy them (even under normal use).

Just because a pair of sunglasses only costs $15, does it really mean that it's only allowed last for little more than a week?

4. Being interuppted.

Is there a bigger sign of disrespect. I understand if it happens accidentally, but when someone blatently cuts you off, there's no excuse.

5. Repeating myself.

Yes, yes, I know. A guy complaining about repeating himself that chooses to work in a call center. Well, I didn't really "choose" it, I really don't enjoy it, and I'll be done with it as soon as I possibly can be.

There you have it. Now we can start talking about something productive.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

2 of 5

I really don't like being interrupted when I speak. To me, its a sign of disrespect, as if what I have to say doesn't matter. I can't remember which book I read it in, but someone said that most people aren't really listening, they're just waiting for their chance to speak. I'm starting to notice this more and more, and strangely enough, even in myself. It's funny how something can be annoying when it's done to you, but completely acceptable when you do it to someone else. I'm working on changing this habit in myself. I'm definitely better at it than I used to be, but I could still use some polishing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Part 1 of 5

Today I’m going to start a five-part series on one of my favorite topics; my pet peeves. If you know me at all you’ll realize I’m OCD in some areas and therefore have a lot of pet peeves. The five that I’m going to touch on in this series though aren’t just little annoyances; these are five of things that annoy me the most.

This will be a completely selfish series of rants, void of any compositional value, but my hope is that getting the thoughts down on paper will at least help me not hate these things so much.

I also hope you’ll be able to find some sort of humor in my insanity.

Pet Peeve #1 (Ladies, this is one you probably won’t have to deal with so be thankful.)

I HATE it when men feel that they must spit while urinating.

Guys always seem to end up side by side in the restrooms and it’s inevitable that at least 2 or 3 of them will be spitters.

What’s the point? What do you accomplish? Does it make you feel manly?

I was next to a guy the other day that spit 4 times in one standing. 4 times!!! Why on earth would a person need to spit 4 times in 60 seconds? Is there some sort of spit quota that needs to be met everyday and the bathroom is the only place it can be done? Is there some sort of salivary disease that 60% of men have contracted but to which I am somehow immune?

Maybe I just don’t understand. Honestly I don’t want to. All I know is that I’m not a violent person, but today someone came in and spit immediately and it took all my strength not to punch them in the side of the head.

In the future, if you happen to read on cnn.com that some poor schmuck in Omaha, was viciously attacked in the bathroom, you’ll know who the prime suspect is.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Death to PC!!!

Hopefully this will be the last post I ever write from a PC.

I finally decided to get with the program and ordered an Apple Computer this week. This has been a move I've been looking forward to for quite some time now. I wasn't able to order the brand spanking new Macbook Pro that Apple just released, but thanks to that release, the Pro I ordered was discounted quite a bit. (I'm ok not having the latest and greatest if it saves me $600. Besides, Apple will just come out with another latest and greatest in another 6 months.)

When I talk about hating PC though, I'm not just talking about the guy with glasses or the personal computer he represents. Recently, I've come to realize how much I hate Political Correctness. Don't get me wrong, I don't think racist, sexist or other offensive speech should be tolerated, but the level to which political correctness has been taken is ridiculous. PC has gone beyond censoring what we say and is now trying to censor what we think and believe.

For example, if I were to look at the world through the PC lens, in order to be "tolerant" of my friend who is a Jehovah’s Witness, I would have to agree that both of our views is equally valid. This is impossible. For me to believe what I believe, I cannot think his beliefs are equal to mine.

If it were up to PC, I think John 6:14 would read something like this:

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” *

* Keywords “I”, “Father”, and “me” as found in line 6 of chapter 14 in the book of John are subject to interpretation based upon individual preference and/or sentiment. Furthermore, “Jesus” as established in the aforementioned passage is the topic of elucidation and is considered interchangeable with such figures as Allah, Confucius, or Chuck Norris (any figures not mentioned are similarly viable). Moreover, it is the conclusion of the board that the statement “no one” as found in the text, is insensitive and, if inclined, one can replace the word “no” with whatever adjective one deems acceptable.

I haven’t read any other holy books, but my guess is that few are this vague.

According to PC, my friend and I shouldn’t be able to get along, but somehow we do. I’m not surprised. I respect him as a person and he feels the same about me, even though our beliefs are vastly different. I’d love it if he believed what I believe because I think I'm right, but that doesn't mean we can't coexist peacefully and even beneficially.

Maybe I'm just extra sensitive these days, but it seems that anyone with an agenda can make a little noise and force the rest of society to bend to their will. If this is the case it's time for me to to get noisy about mine.

For sake of the pun, let's replace PC with Mac; The Mutual Agreement of Consciousness.

Mac users will be conscious of the cultural, ethnic and religious differences inherent in the world, but won’t feel pressured to adopt a “universal” mindset. We won’t be afraid to hold fast to our beliefs and share them with others, but won’t expect a conversion to extend our friendship and respect.

Besides, if PC gets his way, 1984 will only be about 30 years behind schedule.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Next Big Adventure

So I'll be taking off for Columbus, Ohio this weekend to record a couple songs with the band. It should be pretty awesome. Once this trip is done I'll have officially traveled through 13 states so far in 2008. Not bad for a month and a half. I remember the days when a trip to Kansas City was a big deal and was the only time I got out of Omaha for 6 months or more. I much prefer these days to those days.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not indie enough :*(

I am not feeling very indie today. I just realized I own nothing from "To Write Love On Her Arms" or "Invisible Children."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today I had some free time at work and decided to browse some of my friends myspace pages. I like doing this every so often so I know what to talk about the next time I see them in person. But instead of being greeted by all their latest news, my myspace friends served me only a sobering moment. Of the 30 or so friends whose accounts I browsed through, a good 70% haven't even logged into their myspace page for at least a month, some of them even longer. Have they all grown up and no longer feel the need to log in and update their profile? Am I a loser because I log into my account multiple times a day without fail to check for messages or comments? Or maybe it's something altogether different. Maybe they've simply migrated to the newer, trendier Facebook.

Recently, several of my friends have been hounding me to get a Facebook account, but even after I spent all last week on my couch, sick, with nothing to do, I couldn't bring myself to do it. As it is, I consistently log into 4 separate social networking accounts on a regular basis. My personal myspace page, the band's myspace page, the band's private myspace fan page, and the old band myspace page (Nobody seems capable of reading the notes I plastered on every inch of the page stating that the band's name has changed and "The Livingstons" no longer exist. I still get booking requests weekly, and though most are fruitless, I don't want to miss any opportunities.) This isn't even including the band's purevolume page, Bebo page, Oaktree page or any of the other 13 pages we've set up that I never log into. One more social networking site to log into just might drive me insane.

Let's say I do sign up for a Facebook account, what do I do next? Well I have to go out and find all my friends that I'm already friends with on myspace and add them to my Facebook account. Then I've got to pimp out a completely new profile (you do that on Facebook too don't you) so all my friends (or whatever they're called on Facebook) don't think I'm a nerd. Then I've got to upload all the same pictures that I uploaded on myspace and type a whole new description of the same me that has an account on myspace. Where does it end? Do I need to set up a Facebook for the band? A private facebook fan page? A Facebook page for "The Livingstons" just in case someone comes looking for the old band?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my friends and want to keep in touch with them, but how much time should in invest in maintaining the perfect online medium?

I suppose I should just accept the fact that myspace is slowly fading away considering I predicted it would happen in a blog a couple years ago (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=5689225, entited "What I Really Think of Myspace"). Never-the- less I didn't think it would just fade away to make room for another different, but basically the same social network.

So where do I go from here? Is knowing the latest, up to the second info on all my friends important enough to double my online social networking accountage and bow to the throne of mighty Facebook? When I think about it, the times I do eventually run across a long lost "friend," it's a really good feeling. I get to see their latest pictures, catch up on all I've missed out through the years, and shoot them an email telling them how much I've been thinking of them. But then, once that minute and a half has passed, I understand why it is we fell out of touch in the first place. I care about them, but not enough to maintain a chain of more than 2 or 3 emails a year.

For now, I vote "no" to Facebook. I've got nothing against it, but I've probably got better things to spend my time doing then chasing down a bunch of people just to fall out of touch with again once the new latest and greatest network appears. I can do that on myspace for the time being, at least until their "most recent log in" prove that they really are long and lost again.

On a different note, John and Anthony are blogging again. Check their stuff out while it lasts!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

101 and rising

My day started around 5:00 am at 99.5 degrees. I wish I could say that was the temperature outside, but that was measuring in at 9 degrees. I am warm in my bed and my skin aches. I'm sick? I think. I haven't been "sick" for years. Yes there's been days I've called in sick because I didn't feel good, but I haven't had a temperature in over 2 years, and I haven't had to go to the doctor for about 6. Today is an exception the the rule. I drag myself out of bed after an hour of hitting the snooze button and get ready for work. I'm going to tough it out I think to myself.

2 hours later I'm a collapsed puddle of human on my desk. I'm not going to be any good to anyone today.

I call the boss and get bundled up to go back home. My head is throbbing and I can't stop coughing. By noon my temperature is 101. This is groundbreaking. The last temperature I had (2 years ago) never reached 100. I've heard that the flu has yet to make it to the United States and am wondering if I'm the carrier of the next pandemic. I put on my pjs and melt into the couch. My faithful dog Henry falls asleep on top of me. This would be a perfect day if I wasn't infected with Ebola.

I do not feel like writing right now. I'm crabby and tired and smell bad (even though I took a shower this morning). My dog is still cuddled up on top of me and it's starting to get annoying. Art at the expense of my well being I tell myself.

If I die, give my guitars to at risk kids, my record collection to the cast of "High School Musical" and bury me with my limited edition Neil Diamond scented candles.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy ..--..--..--..Television The Drug Of The Nation..--..--..--..--.. One nation under God has turned into one nation under the influence of one drug [chorus:] Television the drug of the Nation Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (2x) T.V. it satellite links our United States of Unconsciousness Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive The methadone metronome pumping out 150 channels 24 hours a day you can flip through all of them and still there's nothing worth watching T.V. is the reason why less than 10 per cent of our Nation reads books daily Why most people think Central Amerika means Kansas Socialism means unamerican and Apartheid is a new headache remedy absorbed in it's world it's so hard to find us It shapes our mind the most maybe the mother of our Nation should remind us that we're sitting too close to... [Chorus:] Television, the drug of the Nation Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (2x) T.V. is the stomping ground for political candidates Where bears in the woods are chased by Grecian Formula'd bald eagles T.V. is mechanized politic's remote control over the masses co-sponsored by environmentally safe gases watch for the PBS special It's the perpetuation of the two party system where image takes precedence over wisdom Where sound bite politics are served to the fastfood culture Where straight teeth in your mouth are more important than the words that come out of it Race baiting is the way to get selected Willie Horton or Will he not get elected on... [Chorus:] Television, the drug of the Nation Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (2x) T.V., is it the reflector or the director ? Does it imitate us or do we imitate it because a child watches 1500 murders before he's twelve years old and we wonder why we've created a Jason generation that learns to laugh rather than to abhor the horror T.V. is the place where armchair generals and quarterbacks can experience first hand the excitement of warfare as the theme song is sung in the background Sugar sweet sitcoms that leave us with a bad actor taste while pop stars metamorphosize into soda pop stars You saw the video You heard the soundtrack Well now go buy the soft drink Well, the onla cola that I support would be a union C.O.L.A.(Cost Of Living Allowance) On television [Chorus:] Television, the drug of the Nation Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (2x) Back again, "New and improved" We return to our irregularly programmed schedule hidden cleverly between heavy breasted beer and car commercials CNNESPNABCTNT but mostly B.S. Where oxymoronic language like "virtually spotless", "fresh frozen" "light yet filling" and "military intelligence" have become standard T.V. is the place where phrases are redefined like "recession" to "necessary downturn" "Crude oil" on a beach to "mousse" "Civilian death" to "collateral damages" and being killed by your own Army is now called "friendly fire" T.V. is the place where the pursuit of happiness has become the pursuit of trivia Where toothpaste and cars have become sex objects Where imagination is sucked out of children by a cathode ray nipple T.V. is the only wet nurse that would create a cripple [Chorus:] Television, the drug of the Nation Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (4x

Friday, January 4, 2008

First thing's first...

Well, there's not better way to ring in the New Year than with a big change. I don't think I'd have it any other way.

I posted a blog a while back mentioning that Jared had quit the band and that my friend Todd had decided to join as the new singer. Well after giving it a whirl for several months, and putting on several thousand miles in our van, Todd has decided FOA is not where he needs to be at this point in his life. He's going to continue playing shows with us for a little while longer, hopefully until we're able to find someone else. I'm not upset in the slightest about his decision. Actually I'm happy about it. I think we were all beginning to understand that we weren't the ideal match for each other. This ministry requires an extreme amount of commitment and time away from home, and it wasn't meant for him. Todd will continue in his ministry at King of Kings Lutheran church and FOA will find another lead singer. I think we will all be more effective this way.

If there are any youth pastors or promoters reading this, have no worries. We will continue to play shows as scheduled. I'll be calling you all personally to fill you in when I have more info. Todd didn't leave because we couldn't get along or because his heart wasn't into ministry. This just wasn't the right ministry for him. We will make sure that the next singer, whoever that may be (and we have some exciting candidates at this point) has an extreme passion for youth and for ministry and will be able to live a life on the road. We will be unwaivering in this resolve. The next singer will be THE permanent singer for FOA.

I'm excited about the possibilities and will update everyone when we get something established.

Happy 2008!