Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

Wow!  Where has the time gone!  One would think that not having school for a week, combined with a dead work-week would mean that I would have a lot of time to keep my postings updated, but somehow that wasn’t the case.  Part of it was pure laziness, but a good part of that is because things have been just as busy throughout the Thanksgiving break.  I hope everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving break.  Mine was fantastic.  It was filled with good food, good times with family, and a nationally-televised Broncos win on Thanksgiving day was the cherry on top!

It would be pretty boring to offer a play-by-play account of my break, but I thought I’d offer some highlights and updates:

#1 Update on the Drummer Wannabe Situation

I’ve made many postings about this in the past, but this an update on the situation we have in our choir with the tambourine player.  Well last weekend we played the Mass of a Joyful heart, which has been the primary exposure of this issue, so I asked the guy running rehearsal if we could go through the Mass parts (even though they’re automatic for us), and while going through I finally stood up between the songs, went up to the tambourine player and politely told her that she’s using the incorrect technique.  By not holding the tambourine with your stationary hand, you’re causing the instrument to rattle during the off-beats, which is what’s causing phasing between the group.  I then spent a few minutes and showed her the appropriate way to play tambourine (and yes, there is an appropriate way to play a tambourine groove pattern – you don’t just rattle it around).

At that point I felt pretty good about myself, I took a moment that has been a proverbial thorn in my side and turned it into a teaching moment that was constructive.  I know the other people in the choir appreciated it, because I got a few winks and nods from other choir people. 

Unfortunately, while this effort was productive, we did not produce the desired result. Drummer Wannabe seemed so embarrassed about the "incident" that she put the tambourine away, picked up her mandolin or midget guitar (or whatever it is) and played that instead..  Since then one weekend has passed and while we did not play Mass of a Joyful Heart (we won’t until 2006), she left the tambourine back in the storage room.  I’m happy that we not longer have this issue, but I feel a little bad about her being embarrassed about it.  At the same time I tried to do what I could to constructively resolve the situation, so we’ll see what happens.

#2 Tragedy leads to stupidity

Well tragedy struck on Thanksgiving – and the victim is none other than my iPod.  On the evening of November 24th I broke out my iPod to share some music with my family, only to find that when the iPod powered up it produced this winding sound, as if it was having difficulty writing to a sector in the iPod hard drive.  Hoping that this was caused by a loose connector, I decided to perform surgery on my iPod.  Using a plastic guitar pick as my scalpel, I opened up the case only to find that all the connectors were securly fastened.  This leads me to the conclusion that my iPod’s hard drive is corrupt and needs to be replaced.  Finding a replacement hard drive is easier said than done.  An exhaustive search over the Internet left me with a few options.  I could pay anywhere from $175-250 for an unofficial replacement hard drive that isn’t even guaranteed to work, or I could send my iPod in to be repaired (which didn’t even offer any pricing estimates).

So here’s where the stupidity comes in…  After weighing my options, and taking everything under careful consideration, I found myself back on the Apple web site Friday night, putting a new iPod video in my shopping cart.  I entered my credit card digits in, and by this time next week I should have the new iPod…

Ugh…  So now I’m torn.  It’s horrible that here I am at Christmas time – buying something for myself.  Verrry considerate…  Also, it seems pretty dumb for me to throw money at something that barely lasted over a year for me.  On the other hand, I thought I did a pretty good job of getting my money’s worth out of my iPod.  I take it to work with my every day and plug it into my laptop, blasting tunes while I’m working.  I use it when I’m at the gym (which I need to be doing more during this time of year – but that’s another situation), I use my iPod when I’m practicing drums, the iPod is amazing for car-trips, and when I travel on planes listening to all of my music has greatly shortened all of my flights.  So I built up a little case of justifications to soothe my conscience.  But I still feel guilty and a bit impulsive…

More to come..  This week I am going to have to have a discussion that I really don’t want to have – about NCSC, J23 and where everything fits…  Basically I’m going to have to convince our University/Campus Ministers that we need to stay involved with NCSC.  The fact that I even need to have this conversation is frustrating to say the least.  We’ve been members for upwards of 15 years, and now ignorance is causing us to lag in our support…  My hope is that this is another "teaching moment" where I simply need to help make them aware of NCSC and how it benefits our Campus Ministry.  My fear is that they’re intentionally withdrawing from programs like these, and I’m going to turn this into a Campus Ministry/Parish debate…  We’ll see how things go…