purple fish guts

Friday, April 29, 2005

I've been slacking....

Sorry.... I've sorta been out of the blog thing for the last couple of weeks. I've been spending less time in front of a computer and well... I guess my thoughts have just been elsewhere.

For starters, we've changed churches in the past few weeks. With the change comes bits of sadness and loads of happiness. It's kinda hard (and sad) to explain to people you know and love that you're going to be going to a different church. No... it's nothing personal... and yes... we still care about you. But... it seems like the church has wandered off course... and there doesn't really seem to be much of an effort to get back on course. We wish you the best of luck and all... but I think we're just gonna grab the last couple of floaty-rings and swim for it.

And the happiness. Our new church rocks! It's like there's a buzz in the air. There's optimism all around. It's so cool to be around people excited about church.... and to be excited about church again. Not to mention.... they're letting me play my electric guitar in the band. --cheesy grin--

I've also been reading two books. The first is for a money management class I'm taking at church. It's called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It's a good book. It's not really a financial type book. I mean... it doesn't really tell you how or where to invest and stuff like that. It's just plain old down to earth stuff with a very strong emphasis on living a debt-free life. The concepts in the book really aren't new. They're just stuff you don't hear much. Stuff like.... get a job.... make money.... and then spend less than you make. Cutting edge.... huh?

It's also full of testimonials and interesting bits of info that sorta open your eyes to things you never really thought about before. I particularly like the stats about car payments. According to this book... the average car payment is something like $378 a month. And a lot of people who buy or lease new cars all the time will always have a car payment. But... if you were to put $378 a month into an average-yielding mutual fund from age 25 to 65 (normal career span) you'd retire with 4.4 million dollars. Hmmmm.... makes you think... huh?

The other book is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solos and Improvisation. I've been looking for a book like this for a while now. You see... it seems there are 2 schools for learning to play electric guitar. There's the "Oh my.... you shouldn't even be filling your mind with that solo stuff until you've learned this and this and this and this and this.... and it wouldn't hurt to learn to play the accordian first." approach. And at the other end of the spectrum is the "Put your finger here and here. Yeah..... Now play Smoke on the Water. Dude... you rock! Yeah...." school. One side is way too anal and the other just teaches you to play songs that you may or may not know. I find both schools to be quite frustrating. This book seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Idiot-proof... but with more info than you probably really need to know. I like it.

Well.... there you go. That's some of what's been going on in my mind.