Saturday, January 24, 2004

If you want in on an intriguing "conversation," visit my friend Scott's blog and check out his post on "Faith Pops." I like the idea and think it's worth consideration and thought. He would appreciate any comments you might want to leave too. We 'bloggers' are into that.

Scott also has a good review on Mel Gibson's upcoming "Passion" movie. Check it out--he's receiving a lot of hits per day because of that post!

(Again, Scott's link is on the right.)


Boys and girls.... please be patient with me as I do some adjustments and try some variations out on this blog. The color combinations and stuff might be a bit... umm... let's call it... AWFUL for a couple days until I can fix this the way I want.

But please keep visiting---and leave comments! I hope this can turn into an interactive event for all of us!!

Thanks again for your patience....


I just sat down to a dinner of breakfast--scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. I've been packing up my house today. It's a strange experience. It's made me realize how much junk I have! I moved a few boxes today that haven't been opened since I moved to this place--that's 4 years ago! Why do I keep that stuff? What kind of mentality is "I'll need that one day?" I wonder if I could have the courage and discipline to simplify my life like my friend Jason who lives with 4 outfits and two duffel bags full of things. There are aspects of that lifestyle that both attract and repel me. Could I do it? The answer, at least for now, is pretty obviously 'No' since I added about 12 more boxes to the collection today.

Some people believe different things about Hell. Some think that Hell is kind of like the Greek mythological concept--Hell is different for everyone, depending on each individual's fears or dislikes, etc... If that ends up being the case, Hell for me would be moving. In "my Hell" (that feels really weird even typing that!!) I would have to take a house full of things and pack them up, move them to another place, and unpack all of the boxes. As soon as I pulled out the final object from the final box, it would be time to move again. So the process would repeat immediately. I would set the final piece down and pick up another one to put in the very same box. Few things I hate worse than moving!

Couple of links added today to check out. I'm especially liking the link! I've loved their commercials and you can check a few of them out on their site. Wondering how the Church can do something inventive and creative like this organization.

Gotta leave you with one music suggestion! A band called Electric Six. Definitely strange and upbeat and fun! Their record "Fire" is worth getting! Check out the singles "Danger! High Voltage" and "Dance Commander." For sure a record to listen to when working out or running!

Speaking of running, I need to get back to Hades.... aka packing and getting ready to move.


So I have a friend....

A lot of times when this is said, it is a dead give-away that the subject of the subsequent anecdote is actually the story-teller him/herself. In this case, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE!

So I have a friend... This friend travels a lot for his job. I've been told that the constant staying in hotel rooms by yourself can be really boring a couple times a week. So this friend had to stay a night in Indianapolis a few weeks back. I actually talked to this friend on the phone as he was checking into his hotel. This must have been around dinner time and I remember asking him "So how are you going to spend the rest of your night?" His response was something simple as I remember it: get dinner, flip channels on TV and go to sleep early so I can leave early in the morning. Nothing surprising.

I find out two weeks ago how my friend spent his night in Indy. (Warning: the following is intended for mature audiences only!) Turns out my friend was so bored that he decided to shave his body hair from the neck down.... (I'll give you a moment to compose yourself before I continue) It was after a few seconds of inner monologue that I looked over and noticed his infant-like arms: completely smooth and hairless. Not just un-masculine; it was un-HUMAN! Looked like alien skin. Human flesh is not supposed to look so smooth and... hairless I guess.

Bypassing the conversation that followed immediately after my discovery, I asked the logical follow-ups: Why? How long did it take? How does it feel? Should I try it? (Well, maybe not that last question....) His responses: "Because I was bored." "Took a while." And the most shocking of all the answers: "It feels GREAT! I love it!!"

So my friend... he has kept up this surprising practice. This jaunt into new territories isn't only for the capital city of Indiana. It has now transplanted itself into his own home! Along with the continued celebration of it's merits.

But recently (in the past 24 hours let's say) my friend gave me a piece of advice. And it's this advice I want to pass along to you. Why? Because I care.

My friend (who has remained nameless, despite my BURNING desire to identify him) has evidently grown tired of the manual labor associated with shaving 96% of his body. So he employed a hair removal creme. (I wonder, am I allowed to use name brands on a blog without Nair... I mean THEIR.... permission??)

So my friend's advice... Evidently this product burns when it comes into contact with one's nipples. I cannot communicate to you (nor do I want to) how many times my friend commented on his painful "place" and the consequences of this unfortunate coming together.

"Troy, don't let (product name here) touch your nipples. It burns like crazy."

Thank you my friend... I think.....


Friday, January 23, 2004

Preparing for a show tonight..... It has me thinking of a recurring conversation this past week. At least two times, I started talking to someone about band names. I've had the itch to get into another band for a while and one of the more difficult aspects of a band is finding a name that all involved like and that communicates something positive to the people who will hopefully come see you.

So, I thought I would both post a few names that I have liked, along with a few that came up in those conversations. But also give you the chance to suggest some band names. I know you are all creative people, so.... Let's hear it! Throw the names out and I just might steal the ideas!

Band Names:
>> Cafeteria Tray (Amish Aaron and I have liked this name for years!)
>> Bump
>> Slow Dance Champs (aLink's suggestion--LOVE IT!)
>> Ooze Machismo (my current favorite probably)
>> Highwire Understudies
>> Tiny Wax Candles

Well that about taps my creativity in the name game. Time for you to play.... Comment back and give us all a list of ideas. (Or just rip apart mine--thats allowed too!)


Thursday, January 22, 2004

OK... I have a confession to make: I have spent the past hour, give or take a few commercials, watching and listening to.... *big gulp* country music! YIKES! And for those who know me well, this is quite a suprise probably. I caught Alison Krauss on "Soundstage" (PBS rocks!!) and found myself gripped by her voice (which I knew was siren-like) and the great songs. And if I didn't try and convince myself "Hey, this is country music you are listening to chump!" All the same, I made it through.

So, congrats to those who have been trying to convince me of the merits of country music: my family and Lisa primarily! Now I need to go back and listen to those CDs you passed on to me again Lisa! Consider tonight a small victory for the country music stalkers I guess.

But I am still not adding a country site to my music links on this page! I've not gone so far as to want to encourage others to listen yet!!


There's this scene from the Seinfeld finale... Elaine calls a friend to ask about her father, who is ill. She is standing on the street with Jerry and George when she remembers and makes the call from her cell phone. Suprisingly, this simple event ends up being a big deal, a very un-Seinfeld occurance. (Written with enhanced sarcasm) Jerry's reaction was that you cannot call someone asking about something serious like an illness from a cell phone. It communicates that you don't care enough to call on your own time, but in between doing other things, "on the street even," he disgustingly says.

I wonder what Jerry and George would say about emails. Or even blogs like these.

Regardless, I'm tossing out to you a question/request. I'm working on lining up some chances to teach and/or lead worship. I have a conference in March and a couple single day leading opportunities already lined up, but I'm trying to look for other things. So, I'm putting the word out to people. And maybe those people will pass the word on to other people, etc, etc, etc.... So friends, will you help a brother out? Keep your eyes and ears open for anything that I might be interested in or anyone who might be interested in me? I would really appreciate it!

And it's alright if these connections happen on a cell phone... I'm not offended.


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Few things more precious than significant time spent with a good and true friend. I got to be with my friend Kreg tonight for a couple hours and I feel refreshed! We ate some fantastic BBQ, had a couple 'adult beverages' and talked about everything from his upcoming marriage and my being light years away from marriage, our mutual love and desire for more chances to earn a living as a musician and future being both exciting and scaring us TO DEATH!

As we were together, I was thinking about something I read in a book by Henri Nouwen. "...we have lost the simple but difficult gift of being present to each other. We have lost this gift because we have been led to believe that presence must be useful." Tonight, Kreg and I didn't have great advice or problem-solving answers for each other. All we did was be fully present and share 22 oz of something "frosty." Reminded me that I don't need to solve anyone's problems. My being there is often enough.

Thanks to Kreg for being there!

Nouwen's book by the way: "Compassion." Anything of his is worth reading.

And I missed American Idol to be with Kreg... just FYI.


I was somewhat inspired by something I watched last night. No, unfortunately, it wasn't The State of the Union address, though I did take it in! It was actually American Idol. Not only did I get a few new put-downs from Simon, it made me think about some things to do with my own musical giftedness.

First, I need to be recording. So, tomorrow night, my friend Jim and I are beginning the process of recording my new EP. Tentatively, it will be called "Couple Skate." The tough part is picking the 5 or 6 songs to include. As of right now, I expect to move forward with these songs:
>> Great Guy
>> Every Name In The Book
>> Bloodless Casualty
>> Tremble Quiver Shake
>> Everybody Thinks You're Lucky
>> The Worst Song Ever
>> Thursday Afternoon, Around 3:30
I will need to figure out how to narrow those songs down.... So hopefully, soon, that record will be done!

Second thing American Idol made me think about: MY FRIENDS HAD BETTER TELL ME THE TRUTH!! I am shocked how incredibly bad some of the singers are on that show. But what is more shocking is that these people say things like, "Everyone tells me I am good/talented/etc...." So heads up to all my peeps: Not just about music, but about everything in life, PLEASE tell me the truth. Don't allow me to be put in any kind of position like those "singers" on that show!

Oh yeah, last auditions for American Idol are tonight. But sorry, not another Presidential speech....

One last thing: I have added the option for you to leave comments about each post. Thanks to Scott (see his blog's link on the right) for the suggestion. Feel free to "talk back."


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Quick entry before I go off to some afternoon responsibilities...

Reading a book called "Girl With Curious Hair" of short stories. In the opening story, there is a quote that made me laugh and got me thinking. "...lovers go through three different stages in getting to really know one another. First they exchange anecdotes and inclinations. Then each tells the other what he/she believes. Then each observes the relation between what the other says he believes and what he in fact does." Hmmm...

Lastly, thanks to my friend Michael Novelli for the GREAT link he sent me today. It's listed on the right side bar: "Fly Guy". Feel free to email me anything you think should be added to the list.


Monday, January 19, 2004

On this bitter cold morning with ridiculous wind chill readings, I decided to stay inside and post something else, listen to Wheat and their record "Medeiros" and read a book that I recently picked up. I came across a book called "American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon" by Stephen Prothero. I was intrigued and read the intro as I stood in Barnes and Noble, deciding how to spend a gift card. I walked out of the store with it after I sat in their cafe and read two more chapters.
I don't end up agreeing with it all.... but I do appreciate how it has made me think and wrestle with how I have tried to "create" my own Jesus, both in my own life and beliefs and also in my "ministry" opportunities. B&N has one copy left (as of Saturday around 12:15) and Amazon has it for 30% off.
Look at this--cementing the value of this post: you got a music AND literary suggestion from the Bald Train. My day's work is satisfied!!
Now, to brave the cold....


Sunday, January 18, 2004

The idea has been there a while---starting a post for people who might wonder what I am thinking and a place for me to toss out various ideas and thoughts and, hopefully, receive feedback from someone.
So here we go peeps... enjoy, disagree, respond, do nothing. Either way, check back every once in a while.

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