Ping me if you are interested in joining us on Mar 23-25. There is a Groupon for the hotel we are staying at but it ends soon. A great CAT 2 climb should have our legs begging for mercy.
Selling my 1997 Taylor LKSM-6 Leo Kottke. This guitar is in great condition and has been cherished and cared for. Aesthetically, it possesses clean, minimalist appointments, letting the Jumbo’s voluptuous Spruce top and Mahogany back curves articulate the guitar’s full-bodied beauty.
It has never been left in the heat or the cold, and always cased when not in use. This guitar was re-fretted two years ago by the master luthier at the semi-legendary Craig’s Music in Weatherford, Texas. It was never used in a smoking environment.
It is uniquely equipped two pickups, a Fishman Natural Matrix undersaddle piezo (I am placing this placed back in and removing the EMG piezo). It also has an K&K Mini-Western Pure. Each pickup is routed to a separate output for incredible diversity of sound–each outputs sends independently and blended through a pre-amp or at the mixing board for a huge, natural sound. (For a quick and simple gig, you can simply choose one output straight to the board and it still sounds terrific).
I am including the K&K pre-amp (retail $348), which can blend both pick-ups with EQ or be used on one output if desired. The case is very structurally sound and I had new latches placed on 2 years ago.
This is a stellar touring guitar and was used in the studio on several CD projects.
For the entire package, I am asking $1,795. The guitar alone sells for $2,399 currently. Leave a comment with questions or call to purchase 817-889-1487. I will contact you as quickly as possible.
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Our NASCAR tickets were hot in our hands as my 10-year-old son and I headed out to our first ever race at the Texas Motor Speedway, also known as the Redneck Roohaha. I had tried to get myself psyched up for the vast amounts of backwoods culture we might encounter but no amount preparation could have prepared me for the onslaught.
NASCAR is basically Wrestlemania on steroids. The warriors weren’t the Von Ericks or the Great Kabuki, but sheet-metaled steeds. And the crowd was definitely the same, except there were 100,000 packed into the bleachers each carrying a wheeled chest of highly coveted cargo, Coors Light. As race-time neared, Foreigner took the stage. The creaking rockers belted out Hot Blooded as a co-worker was posting up Facebook pics of herself and a friend on the infield, imbibing Four Loko’s, what I hear is the most God-forsaken drink ever invented.
My son and I flipped on the driver scanner we had rented, but being novices, we had no sound of the sweet serenade of pit chiefs checking their connections with their drivers. I toyed with the radio only to realize I was a victim of my own race ignorance. This was the Sprint Cup series not the Nationwide. The tweak of a button set the scanner crackling to life, as the driver’s introductions began.
I was not aware that there was a universal NASCAR villain, but that became quickly apparent as the name Jeff Gordon echoed over the P.A. A chorus of boos and hisses erupted from all the sleeveless shirted, jort cladded men and women sitting around us. You would have thought this man had intentions to bring down another large American skyscraper, but it turned out to be even worse—he was Californian.
My son was growing impatient for the start. A rousing National Anthem ensued, whereby I realized EVERYONE here was from a Red State as they sang passionately with various food-products-on-a-stick held gingerly over their hearts. After the invocation, my son leaned over and said, “So this is a Christian event, huh?” Please God, I know you love these people dearly, but please don’t leave Christendom solely in their hands.
“Gentlemen–no Danica in this race, START YOUR ENGINES!” Upon this command the rubber pawed beasts roared to life with a noise like that I have never heard before. They eased around the track following the pace car. You could sense each longed for speed as fans stood to their feet. And then it came, the drop of the flag. We sat on curve #1 and as the cars came by a shockwave of sound and wind rumbled over me. My son clutched his earphones tightly to his head, fearful of the exaggerated reports he had heard of instantaneous deafness if his aural precaution were to lapse for even a millisecond.
We watched the race continue with little event. About lap 50 my son said, “All they do is go in circles? Let’s go.” I wanted to get a bit more of my money’s worth so I bribed him with food. “How about a Fletcher’s corn dog, just like the state fair?” Okay he nodded back. I didn’t know if he really heard what I said. We got the golden fried corndog. He slathered it with mustard and ketchup and we headed back to the stands.
And Then It Happened.
Corbin had set down his corndog on the aluminum benches next to him. Behind us sat the king of all things hillbilly, appearing unshaven and unshowered. He had a pot belly, which he filled by drankin’ whiskey straight from a Mason jar. He was definitely feeling like this was his house and his people as he belted out a “Woooooohoooooo.” And then it happened. I had noticed he was shoeless.Probably left them back in the Airstream, no doubt. Soon his shoeless, fungaled feet slipped on the back of our aluminum bleacher. But they didn’t stop quite there. His yellow-nailed big toe wrapped around Corbin’s corndog and just rested there, caressing golden cylinder of processed meat with slow massaging motions as the coolness of the mustard and ketchup oozed between his toes. He just made a face that said, “Man that feels goooood.” Corbin sat wide-eyed in disbelief as I threw up in my mouth a bit. Through the roar, Corbin gave me a look that said, “Dad, please, please, Dad!” Needless to say, the corndog went uneaten and we hightailed it back to the car, having had a thorough enough NASCAR experience to call it a night without fear we had missed something. We have been fully initiated!
The job market is still tough. You must do something to break through the drudgery a hiring manager is experiencing as he goes through cover letter after bland cover letter. (Trust me, I just read through 80 resumes for a position we needed filled).
My recent job landing came through unique efforts and opportunities. It all started with my creative cover letter.
I was determined to have a unique, humorous approach to my job search. I started a temporary Facebook account in which I loaded in the content I wanted, did a screen capture. I then edited the screen capture with Photoshop mock-up of a Facebook wall and used humorous status updates that reflected the true value I could bring as employee. After converting this to a pdf, I then attached this creative cover letter to my traditional cover letter, and my resume and began launching it out. I made sure the title on the pdf file of the creative cover letter had a catchy title. I experimented with different titles including Whacky Cover Letter, Unorthodox Cover Letter, Funny Cover Letter, Facebook Cover Letter,etc. on different launches.
I had for some time sent out a serious cover letter and resume into the black hole of monster.com. Five days after creating the cover letter, I, on a whim, decided to check craigslist for some freelance copywriting opportunities. I came across the opportunity for a social media manager position at a mid-cities public relations agency. I shot my creative cover letter out on a Saturday morning and within 15 minutes had a call back from the company COO. He asked if I could come into their boutique public relations firm for an interview for their social media manager position. During the interview, it didn’t take long for me and the COO to realize I was a “wee bit” overqualified for the position. As we ended our interview, the COO mentioned that he felt for some reason, I really needed to meet his wife, the company CEO. Two days later that meeting happened, and she led off the conversation saying the creativity visible in the cover letter compelled her to meet with me. Her staff had vetted me and she was impressed. I was made an offer on the spot to become Senior Account Executive.
Lessons to draw upon.
Be creative. Do something to set yourself apart. Consider an add-on to your traditional cover letter.
Be willing to use atypical channels (yes, craiglist even).
Don’t fall into the myth that you have to know someone within the company. While it does help, it isn’t always necessary. I had absolutely no connections to anyone within the public relations firm.
Keep up your hope with hope (help one person everyday while you job searching).
Take the interview even if it is a company you’d like to work with but not the exact position you desire. On the other hand, if it is the exact position you want but in a company you’d never want to work for, skip it, unless you merely want to practice interviewing. Get in the door of your preferred companies or businesses, shine in the interview, and trust God with the details.
Taking a break for all the strategic marketing talk to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas! I want to share this video with you as a true reminder of the meaning of Christmas.
Jesus Christ left the riches of heaven to come to the squalor of earth, lived a life in perfect obedience and union with the Father. He was crucified to undo the sinful affects of the Fall and our own failures, was buried, and resurrected from the dead. He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our advocate. He will return to establish a new earth. (If this all sounds farfetched see tomorrow’s post on great reads on the rationality of Christianity). This was not merely to perform an act within history, but so that you and I could be ADOPTED into a new spiritual family. If you are a Jesus follower, celebrate your radical adoption like Meredith, with overflowing gratitude.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of iadoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ… The Apostle Paul Romans 8
After a late night of parties and day of black eyed peas and bowl games, many of us draw a line in the stand, and promise ourselves (and God, at times) that we will resolve to make some grandiose life change. Problem is, this rarely works. Simply look at any gym’s attendance pattern following January for proof.
So why should you then be encouraged to begin your New Year’s Resolutions now?
- Starting early will ease the psychological tension to see your resolution as an all or nothing proposition. If you miss a day at the gym, keeping all your financial records up to date, or steal a smoke, you won’t throw in the towel as quickly by telling yourself, “See I knew this would never work.” Instead, tell yourself, “I am moving towards _________ (you fill in the blank, smoke free living, healthier living, a more God centered life, et al.), and I had a setback today but am getting up and moving forward.”
- Starting now allows you to view the desired action as an experiment rather than a resolution. You can tell yourself, “I am going to try this for a month and see the results. At the end of the month, I will decide if this is a realistic resolution.”
- Stops you from etching another 30 days of negative habits into your mind. Psychologists have shown that we are creatures of habit. The sooner you begin slight disruptions in negative habits, the better.
So begin your experiment today by filling in this blank: The one change I could make which would most make a difference in the way I want my life to look is______________________. (By God’s grace, of course).
What is your blank?
So you were up super late last night. Let’s say it was for a red eye flight and not that MMA fight at the local sports bar. Now you find yourself slapping for the snooze button in a less than familiar hotel room. What? Oh yes, that huge pitch meeting to the multimillion dollar client. You head over to the sink, splash water on your face in a futile attempt to snap to it, and look up in the mirror only to notice, you have bag eyes. Not the normal, I’m getting older bags, but I’m so tired these are the size of cow udder bags. (Yeah, gross). So what do you do?
If you are a smart business person, you realized the potential for this and threw a small tube of Preparation H into your toiletries. You see, no pun intended, Preparation H isn’t merely for the lower regions. This lovely shark oil substance is an inflammation shrinking cream that works wherever you apply it. So a small dab on your finger spread under those tired eye will begin shrinking the bags. I suggest applying it 30 minutes before you shower and letting it sit. Be diligent not to get it in your eye ball or tear duct, as that will create red eyes, which will lead your client to other conclusions. Make sure you wash it off before you leave the hotel room or you risk looking like a prize heavyweight fighter at your meeting. (I also suggest using a separate tube for your eyes if you are also a hemorrhoid sufferer, as it just seems a little risky to use the same tube for both.)
Where did I get this tip? Early morning news anchors often use this little under eye perk up trick to look their best.
Finally, a little relational advice. I wouldn’t mention this practice. Once I was at a church giving a message, afterwards someone saw me in the hall and said, “You look a little tired today.” To which I responded, “Yeah, I forgot the Preparation H.” Her mouth hit the floor and I was in a hurry for the next message and had to head back towards the platform. I tried to find her after the second service but couldn’t. To this day she probably thinks, “TMI, that guy is weird and we are looking for a new church.” Still, it works.
Job searching in the “new normal” is tough. You need a creative cover letter to set yourself apart in these post-recession times. Use your creativity to your advantage whenever appropriate.
Here is my cover “letter” I am using for my current job search. It is a jpeg link that opens in a prospective employer’s browser. The jpeg has the look of a facebook page complete with humorous status updates that all contain a subtle ‘value add’ I bring.
(Disclosure: The text you read above has an embedded subconscious message telling you to ‘call jordan now at 817/889.1487 to schedule his interview .’ If you know someone who needs a marketing/business development person or strategic processes and leadership, send them my resume and a link to the FB cover letter or my more serious, professional cover letter if they are a bit more dour).
‘I can handle this, I am a pencil-necked-aerobic-death-machine,’ recalling a nomenclature ascribed me long ago when my 6’4″ frame weighed a mere 145 lbs.
‘Plus, I have my heart rate monitor to forewarn me of problems. I’ll be okay,’ I told myself in an attempt of self-persuasion.
I considered my route, fully known that if I chose incorrectly I could very well be entrapped in a web of tumbleweed .
‘Perhaps a cruise down Park Vista under the sweet overhanging trees? Yes, that is it.’
I wasn’t 30 seconds in until I realized the sun had set itself up at a wicked trajectory mocking any limb that sought to offer the solace of shade. The grass withered brown and bent having received a deadly kiss of napalm. At one minute, my mouth tongue began to stick to the roof of my mouth and my mind seriously voiced its doubts as to the success of this endeavor. But I am not faint of heart!
‘I am tougher than this. I am a Texan born and bred.’ (and possibly from this effort Texas dead my ever fading will reminded).
I begin to notice a few dead birds, scattered along the edges of the concrete trail. They had succumbed to the heat with no worries of any dog, vulture, or ant braving thermal meltdown to retrieve their sizzling carcasses. But what is this? One of them was not completely done for. His head lifted limply toward me and hoarsely whispered to me, ‘Save yourself man.’
‘Yes, I should.’
Wait, what was this…A talking bird? What is happening?
‘Fight through it, one foot in front of the other. Hands loose. Mind tight.’
When I ran competitively in my 20’s, one of my motivating mantras on a particularly hard run was, ‘If you want to beat the Kenyans, you must train like the Kenyans.’
I would utter this while imagining their lean, dark bodies wafting across the desert floor with sinewed calved from numerous jaunts over sand dunes. I, with youthful certainty, knew a brutal heat based training regime would enable me to beat them. But I am in my 20’s no longer. I am now in the long-toothed 40’s (very early albeit). I am smarter now, despite this exercise in stupidity, and now realize through age-gained-wisdom that the high temperatures in Kenya hover around an agreeable 85 degrees and there are few if any deserts there. For all those years, the Kenyans were probably laughing at me saying, ‘Look at the stupid American pummel himself in his training so much that he will never be able to match my mid-race surge.’ Now in this moment I faced decision. (1)Conjure up a new nemesis who lives in a brutal climate (Ethiopians anyone?), (2)convince myself that Kenyan meteorologists are highly ineffective thermometer readers, or (3)to demur my self-generated plot line of defeating Kipchoge Keino. The heat chose my fate . . . 3.
‘This is ridiculous,’ I thought, slowing as Keino kicks past me off my shoulder, dashing all hopes of a medal in my fictitious 5,000 meters.
Now running in the stark reality of a Texas August, A Marley-esque mirage of a man (Jacob, not Bob) shimmered off the pavement in front of me. I had trouble pinning an identification on this character until I was in conversing distance.
Who should it be but Al Gore, wrapped in chains made from recycled aerosol cans. Not knowing how to approach a globally green ghost, I assumed I should follow the traditional Dickens’ script:
‘Al,’ I said, imploringly. ‘Old Al Gore, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Al!’
‘I have none to give,’ the Ghost of Gore replied in a strangely Kyoto like accent.
‘Elven years dead from your failed candidacy,’ I mused. ‘And traveling all the time?!’
‘The whole time,’ said the Ghost. ‘No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse.’
‘You travel fast?’ I said.
‘On the wings of all wind untapped as alternative fuel sources,’ replied the Ghost.
‘And what message do you have for me?’ I panted.
‘That a Republican is obviously going to win the next Presidential election based on the gruesome economic forecasts.’
‘And what means this?’ I asked.
‘Well, obviously this will lead to more grave climate change. It’s a scientific fact that any Republican elected raises surface temperatures by 3 degrees , ‘ hissed Al with an echo of Floridian venomous revenge.
‘And what should I do?’
‘Invest in thermal protection blankets for future resale and most definitely give up this vain attempt at exercise.’, answered Gore.
Realizing that I could not truly be encountering a Democratic presidential-type poltergeist, I pinched myself and awakened from my heat induced stupor only to realize I was talking to the rusted side post of a soccer goal. Granted the pole was similar in personality to Al Gore, but this was not overly comforting to me on my current mental state.
‘Fight on,’ I told myself, picking up my run for another quarter mile. But I soon succumbed to temptation, entering the doors of my neighborhood Wal-Mart which automatically welcomed me as the Walton family’s chilled, unhumid air beckoned me like a Greek Siren. The sweet waters of the dancing H20 fountains soon glistened on my parched lips, gulp after gulp of cool refreshment regenerating my soul. This was to be my oasis. A respite from this ridiculous endeavor.
And in that moment of cool sanity, I made a simple decision.
I gave myself permission to walk home.
And what a good decision it was.
To live to run another day. Probably about October.
On our family vacation we went to Fiesta Texas because we have Six Flags season passes. Two days of fun for only $15 per day for parking . . . woohoo. (Thanks, Doug, for the free sleeping.) Landry Kate, my 7-year-old daredevil, eyed the large roller-coasters with envy as we walked the parking lot with the sound of screaming riders tickling our ears. Upon entering and looking at the park map, it was my unfortunate dad duty to inform Landry Kate that she didn’t qualify for the 54″ requirement on the biggest rides. She was very disappointed as she is used to riding almost every ride at Six Flags in Arlington, but managed to keep her emotions in check.
Day two featured a day in the Fiesta water park. Thank goodness all the thrill rides there had a 48″ limit. As we exited the park that day, we passed a baby perhaps a year-and-a-half old crying its lungs out. Landry Kate turned to Piper and exclaimed, “I’ll bet that baby is crying because he’s too short to ride big rides.” Classic.