Friday, September 30, 2011

I Think I'll Pass

Some things that I recently checked out, gave a shot, patiently tried out, but I didn’t care for and am giving a pass:

1. Modest Mouse.

In case you don’t know, this is a band. You know how you kind of hear about this or that band? I’d heard a few people mention this band over the years. So I gave a listen. What I heard, and I listened to quite a bit, sounded like a not so polished garage band trying too hard to be the Rolling Stones with stream of consciousness lyrics that make you bored before the songs end.

2. The “Dots” game.

This is a pencil and paper game, maybe you’ve played it, where there are dots all over the page. You take turns trying to make squares out of the connected dots, and whoever makes the most squares wins. Me and my kids have never finished a game. Ever. After many tries. It’s just too boring and repetitive. Maybe if you were stuck on an elevator you could have fun with this game by comparison to what else you have to do, but otherwise...

3. Marinated Mushrooms

I like mushrooms. Not the psychedelic kind, but the kind you eat because you like the taste, if you like the taste. And I like the IDEA of marinated mushrooms. Seems to make sense. So I bought some marinated with garlic, which were so garlicky that they were practically inedible. I tried cutting them up and putting them in very small doses in some things and they stood out like pieces of glass in a mouthful of egg whites. But maybe that was just a bad batch? So I tried some other marinated mushrooms, marinated in I don’t remember what, but it was the same kind of thing: over powering scent and flavor. So I’m thinking this just isn’t meant to be.

4. REALLY Cheap Toilet Paper

Cheap toilet paper. You need it after the bad marinated mushrooms and, well, it gets the job done. But REALLY cheap toilet paper? Tried it. It didn’t work out. ‘nuff said.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I’m sick.

I have one of those nasty, in your bones, muddle headed colds that invades and takes over. I felt it coming on Monday morning. It was giving me headaches Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday night (last night) I was sneezing and hacking and now I’m in the numb, sore throat and body, runny nose phase.

I advise you to stay clear of me.

I spent some time studying the common cold once. It is a virus, hence it has no cure. No virus has a cure. If anyone tells you different, they’re lying. Viruses are like mosquitos. You can’t (or at least I can’t) explain them apart from the Fall of mankind and the corruption that followed the fall into the creation.

Mosquitos and viruses are a curse. A blight. And a nuisance. I hate ‘em both. Along with flies.

This summer was a big mosquito summer. I’m surprised there weren’t any West Nile outbreaks. Well. Maybe there were, but you didn’t hear much about it. That kind of thing stirs up a lot of noise when it first comes on the scene, then everyone realizes it’s not the end of the world (most likely), and they get back to watching TV. Which is what we all really want to do, isn’t it?

I’m sorry, am I wandering? I do that when I’m sick.

Did I mention I’m sick?

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Reckoning

NEEDTOBREATHE''s new release, The Reckoning, came out yesterday. I normally buy the CD of my favorite bands, but I couldn't resist the price and simplicity of the digital download, so that's what I went with this time. Though I'm kind of sorry that I don't have the CD insert to hold in my hands and read through. I like the details. I'm going to look later and see if they posted it on their website to look at.

One thing about the album art. If you don't know the band, I think you would easily assume that this is a band called "The Reckoning. The band name is almost impossible to see in any online image you find. It's in the bottom right corner, saying "needtobreath no.4" because it's their fourth release. They seem to have done this on purpose, but it might not be a good idea in the long run.

Anyway. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the recording after only hearing it one time. Things change after listening to it a few times. You start to get it. But I was considering my first impression, and here's what I think.

It's very good. It has a more accomplished feel to it musically and the lyrics seem more complex, both in structure and in imagery. But at the same time, these same things make it less immediately accessible. It's not as hooky or radio ready as the last few releases. That can be good because you can listen to it more and it can stay with you longer. It can be bad because it might not grab you and make you want to keep listening.

Some of the best recordings, in my opinion, are a collection of some songs that work to draw you in quick, matched with some songs that draw you in deeper. This release has that immediate draw, I think, with songs like "Slumber" and "Able" and the opening song "Oohs and Ahhs" while other songs run a little deeper. So it's there. But it's not as bright as it might have been. So we'll see how I like it in a week or so.

On the very first listen, the song "Able" was the most intriguing to me. It made me want to stop and really listen and figure it out. But the recording as a whole is excellent, which is no surprise because this band is phenomenal. 

I suppose in the end it comes down to this: It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

© LW Publishing 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011


Woke up this morning to rain, with cool breezy winds blowing in the windows.

This kind of weather makes some people depressed, but not me. Too much sun and dry heat, with the grass turning into brown hay is what gets me down. Rainy days like this make me feel nostalgic and peaceful for some reason.

I love the smell of the air when it’s been raining. I like the way things look shiny.

I feel like a kid when I write the word "shiny."

It’s like God runs the world through a car wash to clean it up a little.

And it could use some cleaning up, don’t you think?

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Everyday this past week, I’d get up and tell myself that I would post something here.

Shows you what I know.

I have been feeling kind of overwhelmed lately. Can’t get things done. Can’t concentrate very well. And I hate feeling this way.

I wrote a song called “Overwhelmed” a while back about being overwhelmed by the glory and beauty of God. That song was a bit of a response to feeling overwhelmed by lesser things and recognizing my need to be focused on the Creator.

Stuff just piles up. Too many projects and tasks and plans. All good and important. Everything seems important.

And people have very real needs and troubles. I feel so much sorrow and pain for the hurting people God has in my life. I want to take them and hold them tight until it starts to feel awkward. Not to feel awkward, but simply so that I’ll know I’ve held them long enough. But I realize that they need to know God is holding them much more. That’s what I want to communicate to them.

To you.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Days with Disney pt05

As would be expected, I spent a lot of time waiting while at Walt Disney World. Waiting in lines for rides. Waiting in lines for food. Waiting in lines for buses and monorails. But there was this one particular kind of waiting that was really tough to deal with: the waiting for my kids to come out of the facilities (a.k.a. “the toilet”).

I don’t get to go in there with them, being of masculine descent, so I can’t say with certainty what they do when they go in there, but I have some ideas. I’m thinking:

1. Secret planning for world domination.
or, perhaps...
2. Long conversations about the meaning of life.

I’m just saying that with the amount of time they spend in there, it breeds big expectations. But, while waiting, I had a little time to consider some things that you consider while you’re in Walt Disney World. For instance, what’s my favorite thing in Walt Disney World? That’s a question we ask the kids, “So what was your favorite thing?” “What was your favorite ride?” And I think I know what my favorite is.

My favorite thing is the architecture and design of the Disney Hollywood Studios Park. I know there were probably hundreds of people involved in this, but from what I’ve been able to find out, it started out as an expansion of Epcot, under the direction of Marty Sklar, a gifted and creative leader at Disney, and then Michael Eisner suggested starting the new park and putting the ideas in place there, which is what they did. The Disney employees I’ve talked to and read about over the years didn’t seem to like Michael Eisner very much, but this new park was a great idea. They used to call it “Disney MGM Studios,” but something didn’t pan out and they changed the name. My guess is that money didn’t pan out, as that’s what really drives Hollywood above all other things.

But when you walk into the Hollywood Studios, the buildings along the avenue and even the layout of most of the ride exteriors – like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – they all have a kind of fantasy Hollywood of the 40's and 50's vibe going on with touches of Art Deco mixed in and very California color schemes.

I wish the real world looked like that section of the park. Well, not exactly. But I wish that in our towns and cities we did things with the same sense of energy and design and attention to detail. Of course, we could never afford it, given the way we do things in the world, but it would be great if we could. They say that’s how Paris, France is. But I’ll probably never make it there.

So, call me weird, but that’s my favorite thing. Something about that environment just clicks with me. Don’t know why. It just do.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Days with Disney pt04

On almost every ride we went on at Walt Disney World, the moment we’d get off the ride, my youngest daughter would say, “Can we go again?” She had, and I think still has, no concept of the size of the parks and how many things there are to do and see. This is true of all of my kids. They had no idea of the potential, and it created a kind of tension that I didn’t handle very well. I wanted them to see as much as possible, to whiz around and laugh and try to take it all in, like the kids you see in the commercials, which makes sense when you consider the cost of the venture and the quality of the attractions. But they just wanted to do whatever struck their fancy, which doesn’t work out well. You end up crisscrossing the parks, using up their limited energy and time. And when you add in all the bathroom breaks, food breaks, and all the rest, including simply getting them up and into the parks in the morning, you wonder how you manage to see much of anything while you’re there.

The sheer size of the Walt Disney World complex is staggering. It’s about 50 square miles of stuff. Just for comparison, the suburb I live south of Detroit is only about 7 square miles, and it's considered a fair sized city around here. The city of Detroit, which is the 11th largest city in the U.S., and just north of our city, is around 140 square miles. So the Walt Disney World properties in Florida are about 1/3 the size of Detroit.


And there was me, with my wife and my sister, trying to rush three young girls through it all in a few days.

I must be crazy.

© LW Publishing 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Days with Disney pt03

It was dinner time. We were at one of the nice, sit down restaurants in the Animal Kingdom park and, when we finished eating, everyone went to use the facilities (a.k.a. “the toilet”). It’s all very clean and nice. They had those nice paper covers for the toilets. And very modern. The toilets have those nice automatic flushers that flush for you when you stand up. So I put down the nice paper toilet seat cover and turned around, but before I could sit down, the automatic flusher flushed away my nice paper toilet seat cover.

Which leaves me, you know, thinking.

So I put down another nice paper toilet seat cover and turned around, but before I could sit down, it did it again. It flushed my nice paper toilet seat cover right down the drain. Which made me laugh. Which made me feel weird. You don’t normally laugh in the toilet of an amusement park. Well, maybe you do, but I don’t. So I went through it all again, but this time I moved very fast, trying to outwit the toilet, and it worked. Going fast apparently confuses the very nice, very modern Walt Disney World toilets.

And all was right with the world.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Days with Disney pt02

A man and woman were in line behind me as we moved through the Swiss Family Robinson Tree house exhibit in Adventure Land at the Magic Kingdom. They spoke with a Brooklyn, New York accent, which immediately drew my attention. Yes, I was kind of eavesdropping on their conversation, but not really because they were talking very loudly. I think it's actually part of the accent. But, anyway, in case you don’t know, the Swiss Family Robinson movie, based on a book, is about a family who are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the early 1800's.

Woman: So this was the kitchen?

Man: Yeah.

Woman: So how would they keep their ice from melting?

Man: Ice? They wouldn’t need any ice on a tropical island. They could get everything, fresh every day, right from the jungle!

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Days with Disney pt01

Me and the fam just got back from the always great Walt Disney World. Did you know that it’s very specifically “Walt Disney World,” not “Disney World.” Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, wanted to be sure Walt’s name was on it as a tribute because Walt had passed away with cancer before they could finish the park.

My sister went with us and put up with our insanity. For that she deserves a medal.

We spent a week seeing things, and I thought I’d do some posts on the experience, from my slightly twisted perspective. So that’s what you’ll see here for the next few posts. Our Days with Disney.

If you hate Walt Disney World, then you go on vacation for a while and when you get back, maybe I’ll be finished with this. Then you can post about some place I hate if you want.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011