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Showing posts from June, 2012

What I learned today #4: About bass playing

When I moved to my new job/church/apartment/life, I decided soon after that I wanted to learn to play bass. That’s because my church has one bassist who’s just beginning the instrument and plays every other week. The media coordinator was all for my giving it a try to fill in the gaps on the other bassist’s off-weeks.First of all, they had to get the strings replaced on the church bass. Once that was done, it could hold a tune and it made sense to start practicing. So I lugged the thing home after church last week, agreeing to try it out and perhaps start playing with the church praise band the following week or three.So, first time I plugged it into a small amp and played with it, it was surprisingly easy (thanks to a YouTube video tutorial) and I fooled around with a few songs out of my old rock’n’roll music book and my worship song collection. I mainly had to practice remembering what notes could be played where.That’s the biggest difference between rhythm guitar and bass – on guit…

Compendium of Links #32: Tech, Lit, Cities and Earnings

My weekend has begun! But I’m unusually tired – perhaps because I had sugar for lunch. I ate carrots for supper to balance it out, but I’m not sure it’s doing much good. So instead of going out to tweak a few things on my bike, I’m sitting here reading through the links that have piled up in my browser and determining which ones to share here. (Nearly all of them.)TechThe Flight from Conversation – This article from the New York Times has been sitting in my browser almost the longest, I believe, and it’s one of the more perspicacious ones I’ve read regarding technology’s effect on socialization:…we use conversation with others to learn to converse with ourselves. So our flight from conversation can mean diminished chances to learn skills of self-reflection. These days, social media continually asks us what’s “on our mind,” but we have little motivation to say something truly self-reflective. Self-reflection in conversation requires trust. It’s hard to do anything with 3,000 Facebook f…

Compendium of Links #31

Ah, it feels good to be back blogging again. I feel a little out of practice, and I’m sure it shows in my posts, but never fear! The ReaderSis is determined to regain her erstwhile effluence! (That’s a word. Look it up.)Anyhow, my poor Internet browser was getting slow, so here you’re treated to the first-ever weekday edition of the Compendium. I’ll likely have another passel of links for you this Saturday.Blessedly Peculiar – My friend Wesleigh has recently launched yet another great blog. And no, she didn’t pay/bribe/beg me to recommend it. I did it all by myself. Aren’t I such a big girl? *grin* But, a summary of why the blog exists:As Christians we’re called to be in the world, not of the world, meaning that we should be a part of the society around us, but not let it define who we are. Hence the founding verse, Romans 12:2. In other words: be peculiar. Don’t be like everyone else; be the person God wants you to be. For when you do, you will be blessed. This blog is all about exam…

What I learned today #3: Three-speed gear hubs

Actually I learned this yesterday. But I don’t care.My bike started having a problem with the gears early last week – they’d suddenly disengage from the pedals. It’s really frustrating when that happens mid-ride, you know, because I end up walking all the way back to wherever I started from. Fortunately I was able to keep the bike engaged in first gear by constantly squeezing the gearshifter, but that’s all I could do. No second gear for me.So I was bereft of the bike for about a week. Sunday morning, I asked the bike repairman who goes to my church what he knew about that sort of problem. And he was able to tell me just what to do.Apparently, on an old bike with all the gears inside this little hub, there’s a special point at which the bike’s gears will catch the pedals. And that’s where the gear cable’s supposed to be aligned. But sometimes, the cable gets stretched – or I mess it all up as I change the inner tube, not sure which – and suddenly, it’s not pulling hard enough on the l…

Life on my own #27: Super-smashers

It’s easier to say super-smashing movies than “movies starring superheroes and supervillains smashing each other to smithereens.” Don’t you think?Among the quirks that my sister and I share in our friendship is the fact that I don’t watch superhero movies without her. Sissy, you’re the one I was always tracking down in the Graphic Novel section of the library when we were little – you remember? I thought they were silly books beneath my notice, apparently, except where Superman was involved. I’m pretty sure I had a Superman compilation out from the library that was the size of a laptop and at least as thick.But those new-fangled superheroes from Marvel and D.C. Comics, I had no patience for them. I mean, really? A Green Lantern? And Batman, to me, had to involve George Clooney (or later Christian Bale) to be interesting.Even the Batman movies were ones that my sis watched before I did, I’m pretty sure. All I remember is that several years ago she was over-excited that something called…

Life on my own #26: Hay bales

What do you call six crazed young adults (all at least 16) throwing hay bales at each other?Trouble. Or cousins.My siblings were over this week for a visit with cousins, and since they were in the same state as I am (for once!) I decided to go visit every weeknight. So after a mad dash home from work for an equally mad dash to make supper and head out of town, I got to spend a few hours a day with immediate and extended family in an alternately relaxing and exhilarating environment.Believe it or not, most of what we did involved watching superheroes smash supervillains to smithereens. Like the alliteration? The movie fest was like old times in college, except that I was related to everyone here and didn’t live with any of them.(Movies are a staple of a young adult’s social life. Just tell me the next time you meet a single young adult who hasn’t watched some movie in the past week. I bet they’re either workaholics some other type of –aholic.)Anyway. In the midst of one such super-smas…

Church camp observations

Growing up, I always heard about other kids at church going to church camp in the summer.They went all by themselves to the campground at least an hour away, for the whole week. Me, I’m pretty sure the first time I went anywhere without my parents was when I was 15 and headed to Chicago with the 4-H’ers. Fun trip, don’t get me wrong. But to me, summer camp was for the whole family.So I guess I never fell into the whole idea that church camp is for kids. Then my family outgrew Family Camp itself, since it didn’t have anything to bridge the gap between childhood/teenhood and parenthood. Maybe camp is just for kids, after all.But I missed it. So when my cousin told me about something people called “Big Kids’ Camp,” I figured I’d give it a try.This camp is held every year at a denominational campground in the woods, along a small river. Lovely setting. There are your typical group cabins filled with bunk beds, your typical pool, your typical church camp tabernacle (which was used for revi…