News for January 2011

What they said.

This last weekend I had a chance to play in the Jonathan Rundman band at Shepherd of the (entire) Valley (SOTV) in Apple Valley.  It was a blast.  I got to play lapsteel, mandocaster, telecaster, and banjo and I got to play with Graham Peterson and Matt Pearson.  Graham is a fantastic drummer as you will see when you buy my next album (marketing foundation) and Matt is a tremendous bass player that I played with for the first time but hopefully not the last!

About 5 years ago I worked at SOTV and so one of the bonuses for me was reconnecting with some old friends and seeing some of the kids that I knew before they were cool.  Although even five years ago I had my hunches they would turn out awesome…

I also had a chance to see my friend Sean Johnson on Saturday night who is one of the worship coordinators at SOTV.  I first met Sean when he and my wife were seminary students together and we were all members at Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill.  Since then we’ve also connected on a few musical endeavors as well as one trip to Fargo to sandbag for the annual 500 year flood.  Sean is one of my church musician heroes.  And wouldn’t you know he’s got a blog?  So rather than read my dribble for the next 10 minutes I’ll cut my already too long entry short and send you off to Sean and friends and their blog-o-rific blog, Old Worship New.

You’re Welcome.

Posted: January 24th, 2011
Categories: music
Comments: 1 Comment.

Mileage of a Bike Enthusiast

As an independent musician and free lance writer I spend the beginning of each January getting ready for April 15th.  For the most part this is fairly painless and actually I kind of enjoy it.  For the past three years my income has actually gone up! (Coincidentally the amount of parenting I do has gone down.)  I also love adding up all the stuff I get to write off.  Guitar strings, harmonicas, CD-R’s, cables and microphones, and my favorite of all… Mileage.  The IRS lets me write off 50 cents a mile.  I think that’s terribly nice of them.  I honestly don’t get why self-employed folks get to do that and folks who commute to their employers don’t.  But I think it’s sweet of the suits to throw me a little scratch so I’m not complaining.
So I went out to the car and got my mileage book and opened up my 2010 calendar and filled in numbers that  I had forgot to write down and totaled it all up and the number was…
I double checked.  Still small.  Now, small isn’t bad.  I tend to be someone in favor of small.  Of less.  But I also like writing stuff off.  As my tax man wisely says, “Jesus told us to give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser, but he never said be stupid about it.”  I want to write off more!
What gives?  Well, a few things.  A couple times I flew instead of drove.  When I did drive on tour I borrowed my folks car while they were out of the country since Jodi and I have made the switch to being a one car family.  (Full disclosure: we do own an additional vehicle but it’s up on blocks and isn’t up for touring…yet…).  I played more local congregations than normal.  And I biked.
Of these factors the biggest contributors were playing increased local shows and riding my bike whenever possible.
This doesn’t make me a hardcore cyclist.  I’ll never be that.  Hardcore cyclists tend to be either anarchists or tour d’ carbon fiber folks.  In my bio I describe myself as a bike enthusiast. That doesn’t mean I clock hundreds of miles each week, or that I own fancy gear, or that I care how much you spent on your rim set – although if you got a good deal I applaud you.  It simply means I’m enthusiastic about bikes.  They excite me, they attract me, they make me smile, they entertain my imagination.  I love them.
I’m an above average biker but I’m not fast.  I went for a 45 minute ride yesterday when it was 10 degrees out but it’s the only ‘non-functional purely enjoyable’ ride I’ve been on since November.  I’ll ride my bike year round to music lessons and grocery stores and maybe my daughter’s school. But all those things are within 2 miles or less of my house.  I’m definitely proud of these things but they’re not bragging rights.
So why am I blogging about them?
Because I think it’s important to pay attention to the things that enthuse us.  You have those things too.  Maybe they’re bikes.  Maybe it’s woodcarving.  Snowboarding, scrapbooking, hiking, reading, building… whatever it is… pay attention.
It’s how we figure out how we live a life that allows us to be more fully who we are.
In Minnesota in January there’s ample time for slowing down and reflecting.  For paying attention.  I’m going to try and do that.  And maybe do a little riding too.
Posted: January 10th, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 1 Comment.

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