Today is my fifteenth wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that it has been fifteen fantastic years with Julie. Not that there haven’t been rough times…there have…but you hold on and grow through those times. If you fight FOR your marriage (instead of just fighting) you end up closer in the end. I am glad to have committed to spending the rest of my life with Julie…I’m looking forward to the next 50 years!
On our tenth anniversary I took a song by Steven Curtis Chapman, modified the lyrics and sang it to Julie as an anniversary present. The original song was titled “11-6-64” and was written by SCC for his wife’s birthday. That song was included on SCC’s “All About Love” album which was essentially 16 love songs…most of which he wrote for his wife. I am indebted to him for that album. Until now, only a few family members and friends have seen this song.
8-26-95 the sun shone a whole lot brighter
Than ever it had before, smiling down on me
Around 11 am both hands of time stopped turning
And you came waltzing in, to change my world for good
And you were all that I could see, and when you looked at me
Everything just faded
And I, I know I smiled and prayed
Harder on that day
Cause my whole world was changing on
8-26-95, we both said “I do”
And suddenly living life meant so much more
On the day that we were wed.
And I, I woke up with the dew; I was thinking of you
And all that was transpiring
Well, I, I know the sky was blue
And all the world looked new
Cause everything was changing on
8-26-95, we both said “I do”
And suddenly living life meant so much more
On the day that we were wed
Suddenly living life meant so much more
On the day that we were wed.
Original words and music by Steven Curtis Chapman
Adapted by Jarvis Davis
Okay…it has been entirely too long since I’ve posted…over two months. Life has been a little crazy, but I finally cleaned up the rest of the Rod Trent interview to prepare it for posting. Hope you enjoy it. Also…I expect to post the next interview within another week or so…it is with Tim Mintner of the Microsoft Deployment product team!
Last week I spent a couple of days working on creating a deliverable document for a client. Specifically it was for a Desktop Deployment Planning Session that we performed at a client. Over time I have learned that I work more efficiently in certain environments. Home…we don’t currently have a good workable office environment, so there are generally too many distractions…TV, kids, etc. Office…sometimes…but again there are distractions…generally I’m a social person, so I end up getting into conversations that suck time out of the day. And realistically…if I’m working on documentation or training, I can save the commute time and work from somewhere else.
Generally I have found that coffee shops work well for me. I don’t know anyone there, so I’m not going to get into conversations. And once I put on some instrumental music, I’m not going to hear any of the other noise in the place that would distract me. (Favorites for work music: the Gladiator soundtrack and “Acoustic Sketches” from Phil Keaggy. If I’m programming/scripting, I’ll typically go for something more high energy even though it’s not acoustic…”Bloom” from Audio Adrenaline. Although some old R.E.M. or SonicFlood works well also.)
So last week I’m in Dunn Bros Coffee working on the doc. First thing each morning I would buy a small dark roast coffee. Free refills all day. Every time I started to fade and lose focus on the doc, I’d go for a refill. By end of day Friday I was way way over-caffeinated. If you’ve seen the movie “Over the Hedge”…I was Hammy. The following day I was still a little sick. The combination of too much caffeine and being a bit dehydrated was really not good.
But in the end…the doc was finished (approx 20 pages), and it was really good. I was very pleased with how it turned out. Still needs a few more points about Business Value related to my recommendations for the client, but that shouldn’t take long.
Here is part two of my interview with Wally Mead. This section is a bit shorter than the first one…in the flow of the questions this just seemed like the best place to break it up. I plan to post the third and final part of the interview next Tuesday, so be sure to check back for the final ten minutes.
My plan is to do some more of these personal type interviews, so I posed a question yesterday…who would you like to see interviewed? Joey started off a fantastic list of people. (He also emailed me offline saying that he would be impressed if I got his whole list…heck…I’ll be impressed if I get half of his list! Although I do already have one of those lined up!) I’d love to hear from you who you would like to know more about. So…go to the post and leave a comment voting for who you would like. If the person is already mentioned, feel free to throw in another vote for them.
But…without further rambling by me…heeeeeeeerree’sss Wally!
Over the last several months I’ve developed a relationship with Wally Mead. Wally is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft where he works with the System Center Configuration Manager product team. He handled a bug report that I submitted about SCCM (here and here…bug was fixed in SP1) and we connected offline afterwards. He had seen in the bug submission that I work for Campus Crusade for Christ, and he has had interaction with CCC in the past.
This week Wally has been in Orlando at Tech-Ed, so I invited him to come out and let me take him on a tour of CCC’s headquarters. After the tour we sat down and Wally allowed me to interview him. Below is the first portion of the interview. I will post parts 2 and 3 sometime next week.
I’d like to also offer a public thank you to Wally for taking the time to sit down with me. It was a very enjoyable time, and if Chris ends up coming to UCF, I look forward to seeing you more often!
Another thing…who else would you like to see interviewed? Let me know on that page and I’ll see what I can do.
Part 2 of the interview is live now…
[Update 6-22-08: It was brought to my attention in the comments below that if you don’t have the Adobe Flash Plugin on your computer, you will not see the audio player that is just below the “Enjoy!” line. You can get it here if you don’t already have it.]
Most of my friends know that I’m a country music fan. Currently one of my favorite artists is Brad Paisley who has a song titled “Letter To Me” (lyrics and video). The first couple of lines tells what the song is about:
If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at 17
The song explores a lot of the anxiety that many of us went through in high school. Every little thing was huge. Every setback seemed like the end of the world.
Later in the song, towards the end of the “letter” comes this line:
And I’d end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life
My wife made the observation that those are words that high school students (and so many more of us) need to hear. More than that, if there was some way to convince us of it. Whatever you are going through, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t settle for second best. Don’t give up. Don’t do things you will regret simply because you think everyone else is doing it.
These really aren’t the best years of your life.
I’m a man of my convictions. Call me wrong, call me right. … You may not like where I’m going, but you sure know where I stand. Hate me if you want to, love me if you can.
In the important things in life, I am very “black and white”. I have my convictions, and I can tell you why I believe what I believe. You may not agree with me. For that matter, I’m positive that some people despise me because of some of my beliefs. Regardless of how you feel about my beliefs…if you know me…you will know where I stand on core issues in life.
Got a link to this over email this morning. It is an acappella group from Indiana University named Straight No Chaser singing a version of “Twelve Days of Christmas“. I’m amazed at how they keep their parts straight in this. It includes a bit of “12 Days”, “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel”, “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, “Deck the Halls”, “Carol of the Bells”, “The Boar’s Head Carol”, and wraps up with “12 Days” sung to the tune of “Africa” by the band Toto.
Last week, I mentioned a security issue in Leopard (and got a lot of response). This week I take Microsoft to task over something less severe, but a lot more annoying to me. Windows Media Player 11 and DRM (Digital Rights Management). In previous versions of WMP, there was an option to back up the licenses for any music you had bought and then restore on a new computer or after a rebuild.
For some reason that defies logic, Microsoft quietly removed the ability to back up licenses in WMP 11. That’s right…no ability to back up the licenses. So…you’ve bought 100 songs online. The licenses are safely locked away on your computer. Your hard drive crashes…or you get a new computer…or you decide to rebuild your computer. You can copy the music files over…but they won’t play without the licenses. Not exactly customer friendly. Microsoft’s “solution” to this problem? You can find it at this link. Basic gist is to re-download the licenses from where you bought the music…but oh yeah…not all stores allow you to re-download the licenses…you’re just out of luck.
I’ve got a few words for Microsoft.
DRM – Dumb. Rotten. Move.
I have been happy to see that Wal-Mart and Amazon have started to sell DRM free music…256K MP3 in Wal-Mart’s case. Not sure what level of MP3 Amazon is selling. I’ll be going there from now on. Both of them are limited to music put out by EMI or Universal. (Was going to buy some Toby Keith songs the other night, but backed off for now because they weren’t available as MP3s.) Ars Technica had a good article on this recently.
From time to time I have attempted to learn to play guitar. Now is one of those times. Tonight was my first time in years. My fingers hurt. And I sounded terrible. And I realized that what has held me back every other time I have tried to learn guitar (and subsequently quit) has been hand strength. Don’t know that I ever realized that before. I’ve always been frustrated with bar (or barre…not sure which way to spell it) chords. Tonight it occurred to me that my frustation before was most likely tied to simply not having the strength (and dexterity) in my left hand to hold all of the strings down. I’ll see what I can do to intentionally increase my hand strength as I am learning. We’ll see what happens.
Yesterday I took part in a “Day of Prayer” that our ministry takes part in twice a year. During the day we sang a song.
Lord I lift your name on high
Lord I love to sing your praises
I’m so glad you’re in my life
I’m so glad you came to save us
You came from heaven to earth, to show the way
From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay
From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky
Lord I lift your name on high.
Over the years as I have heard that song, different aspects of it have affected me. It takes the whole spectrum of what Christ did and puts it to song. He was in heaven, and he came and lived on earth…during which time He showed us how to live. He was crucified to pay for our sin debt. He was taken down from the cross and laid in a grave. Three days later He rose from the grave and eventually ascended into heaven.
Today the word “grave” struck me. The most vivid memory I have of a grave was at my dad’s funeral. I was twelve when he died of cancer. After the graveside service, I retreated back to the front steps of the church next to the graveyard. I saw them lower the casket into the ground and saw my uncles start shoveling dirt into the hole. That was and still is a vivid memory. It was a “finalizing” moment. My dad was not coming back. He was in a pretty box underneath 6 feet of dirt. It was over…my best friend was gone.
That is how Jesus’s friends and family felt as well. They saw him die on the cross…after being nearly beaten to death by Roman guards. They saw him taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. They saw the gruesome results of the crucifixion. They knew that it was over. He wasn’t coming back. Some of his friends went home and prepared the spices and ointments that were used at that time on the body as it was put in the tomb…so that they could come back later to finish preparing Jesus’s body.
But when they returned on the first day of the week, Jesus’s body wasn’t there. He had come back to life. Yes he had been dead…very much so. But death had not conquered him. He was no longer there. The stone had been rolled away. In our time, I don’t know what it would look like. Would all the dirt over the coffin just move…seemingly on its own? Would Jesus have dug his way out and come out through a hole in the ground? What would it have looked like?
I don’t know…but as vivid as it is to me that my dad is still in the grave…that the dirt that my uncles threw into the hole…that dirt is still there…unmoved in twenty three years. Just as real as that is…it is just as real…even more so that Jesus is NOT in the tomb He was laid in. He is alive; He is in this world; He lives; He touches hearts and souls; He changes lives. He can change your life. This is not some trite statement. He has changed my life in very dramatic ways. Maybe I’ll have to create a blog entry about that. I guess the key question is…since he can change your life…Will you let Him?
From back in Junior High days, I have been impressed with the musical talent of Van Halen. It struck me years later that one of the reasons that I enjoyed some of their music was the fullness of it. They had the same number of instruments as other bands (electric guitar, keyboard, drums, bass), but what they did with the instruments was a step above many other bands in the same genre. Eddie had some classical training, and that comes out in the sound.
One aspect of classical music is the interaction between various instruments that gives the music a “life”. During intense or high energy sections (true classical fans are cringing at my description) of classical music, there is a fullness (don’t know how to describe it better than that) to the music. Each instrument is intimately connected with all of the others to create an auditory experience that the instruments by themselves aren’t capable of.
In a similar way, there are many Van Halen songs that do the same. The instruments combine into a combination where there is no dead space…more than the individual instruments are capable of. That was in many ways the draw of their music to me.
Now…there is another aspect here. Many indications are that much of that music was created in a drug or alcohol induced haze…do you remember the music video for either “Jump” or “Panama”…Eddie certainly appeared to be stoned out of his mind. Substance abuse is something that he has battled for a couple of decades. He just recently went back into rehab for alcohol abuse. I came across a quote from an interview that Eddie gave to Rolling Stone magazine back in 1995 where Eddie tells why he drinks. He said, “I always got hammered to be able to cope. I have zero social skills and I don’t know how to act, so I get drunk. And then I make a real a– out of myself.”
Here is a guy who has been blessed by God with immense musical talent. (Yes…blessed by God. All talent comes from God…how we utilize that talent is another story.) To many in the world…myself included in Junior High and High School…he had everything going for him…successful band, fame, money, beautiful wife (Valerie Bertinelli)…but by his own admission, he had insecurities that he didn’t know how to deal with.
Okay, so I’ve rambled a lot about VH. What can we take from it? What can we learn? Three things come to mind.
- First, let’s pray for Eddie. As he is in rehab right now, let’s pray for him to get to the root issues and kick his habits.
- Second, and more importantly, let’s pray for someone to come into his life who truly knows and loves Jesus. Let’s pray for Eddie’s salvation.
- Third, we can realize that no matter how good or successful someone appears, everyone has insecurities…some are just better at masking it than others.
Driving to work this morning, I was listening to the song “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins.
http://www.rodneyatkins.com/content/VIDEOwy.html (select from the drop-down list)
The song is about a dad and his son. It goes through a couple of episodes where the son is doing things that the dad asks where he learned to do them…one is cuss, the other is pray! In both instances the son responds with:
Let’s take it a step further…Are we watching Jesus? Are we watching to learn what He is like? Do we know his likes and dislikes? Do we care? Are we wanting to be like Him? Do we want to become the kind of person who does what Jesus does…simply because it is what Jesus does?
“HE SAID I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU DAD, AIN’T THAT COOL
I’M YOUR BUCKAROO, I WANNA BE LIKE YOU AND EAT ALL MY FOOD AND GROW AS TALL AS YOU ARE
WE GOT COWBOY BOOTS AND CAMO PANTS YEAH WE’RE JUST ALIKE, HEY AIN’T WE DAD
I WANNA DO EVERYTHING YOU DO SO I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU”
As I listened to it, I thought about what application it could have in our relationship with out Heavenly Father. The illustration breaks down a bit with the cussing part, but we can learn a lot from the interaction that kids have with adults.
This kid had been watching his dad…both the good and bad things. He wanted to be like his dad. He could see the things that his dad liked and wanted to be the same way.
My heart’s desire is to be able to see what Jesus is doing and for that to be what I desire to do as well. I want my life to reflect the work that He is doing in living through me.