The Prodigal Altar Boy

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Prodigal Altar Boy Blog - Why I will not pause

Why I will not pause
Today we celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday and my email inbox is jammed with references to the holiday; some are inspiring, while the shallowness of others is sad.  My friends Jeff and Wendy Elkins published a great post on Dr. King, including a YouTube clip of one of his most memorable speeches.  Please check out the post andthe blog, because they have a lot to say.  

A recurring phrase headed into the Dr. King holiday is the suggestion for people to “pause and reflect” on Dr. King and what he means to America today.  While I reflect on Dr. King and his legacy, I will not be pausing.  

I will not pause because although today leaders in business, government and religion espouse the greatness of Dr. King and that we should all aspire to implement his ideals, I was alive when Dr. King criss-crossed America fighting for those ideals and I do not remember many politicians, Republican or Democrat, state or local, endorsing Dr. King.  I also do not remember many religious leaders, white or black, jumping on Dr. King’s bandwagon. 

Looking at many of today’s “mainstream” endorsements of Dr. Martin Luther King, I see most of them as shallow concessions to convince people to support the endorser’s agenda, often far removed from anything Dr. King would have supported.  

I will not pause because all those in America still seething about Dr. Martin Luther King, seeking to stagnate if not reverse all the gains from his era have not paused, and never will.  Today, words such as “white rights,” “entitlement mentality,” replace “segregation” and “Jim Crow.”  The vocabulary shifts, but the hatred behind it stays the same.

I will not pause because pausing sends the wrong message.  Pausing says the path to declaring his birthday a holiday was a smooth road of consensus, respect and love.  Check the facts.  During the last election, the Republican nominee for President came from a state that refused to acknowledge the holiday. So even in 2008, those opposed to Dr. King’s ideals when he was alive and fought making his birthday a holiday since before Ronald Reagan signed it into law in 1983 had not paused.

Pausing says the unprecedented levels of vitriol aimed at the current President of the United States and his family is acceptable.  It is not. Pausing says the near continual questioning of the President’s birth, his religious beliefs and his motives, hinting at deceit (“he’s not an American citizen”) and malevolence (“he’s a socialist”) with no supporting facts is acceptable.  It is not.  More importantly, pausing says we will not call the hatred directed at the President the racism it is.  I most certainly will.  I will not be pausing.   

There will be no shortage of excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches today.  Most of them are well known.  I leave you today with a little known speech he gave on 4 April 1967, one year to the day before his death.  Reflect on the speech, but vow not to pause.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog - First Week of the New Year

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
8 January 2012

Movie Work
5 January
Decision Time:  Will take 17 and 18 2012 off, tack them on to the Martin Luther King Holiday, and use the Mon-Tue-Wed to do the assembly edit. 
6 January
Email exchange with Zachary Davidson on writing press releases.  Set appointment for Saturday.
Email exchange with Drage Vukcevich on art show mechanics.  Bottom line is that he is more involved on the sales/representation end, but is willing to share his knowledge.  Will set up a meeting for next week (9-13 January)
7 January
Read Documentary (magazine) Cynthia Close review of the new book, “Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright” by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi.  Patricia is the Director of the Center for Social Media at American University.  The Center for Social Media will have a conference, “Media That Matters 2012” February 10-11 2012 at American University. 
I will post that article to the Advisory Board later this week with notes. 

Met with Zachary Davidson to discuss the strategy for press releases over the next six months.  Zachary asked great questions and we are in harmony.  We laid out a plan for five initial press releases and a tentative schedule.  The first release is due at the end of January. 

Watched Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary Week 8 module:
“Building Suspense with Storytelling Devices.”  Took notes.

8 January
Sketched out ideas for art show.  The goal is to integrate licensed photographs, the artwork derived from the photos, clips from the movie, and live music.  One idea is to take interview clip of TQ talking about funerals, particularly his comments on “Dies Irae,” (“Oh day of wrath, that wonderful day.”) and use that as a launch point for a live performance of “Dies Irae” (arranged for screaming rock guitar).  It will be a short clip from the move integrated with a very

Music Work
5 January
Pulled chord charts for Grace City Sunday service. 
Transposed charts into performance keys. (Sounds technical doesn’t it?)

6 January
MojoCaster warm-ups
Covered Grace City Set list songs.  Played along with tracks

7 January
Grace City practice at Sky Loft (9:30 – 11:00)
Evening music practice
Rig assembly
Play along with recording from Sky Loft practice
Patch selection
Notate chord charts
Book prep
Rig break down and pack

6 January
10:30 Grace City Service

5 January
Viking Warrior Conditioning
15:15 Protocol
7 reps per set with 16kg kettlebell
50 sets – 25 minutes

6 January
Modified “Round Up From the Ground Up” workout
50lb Kettlebell
Super set:
Single-arm kettlebell swings – 5 reps per side
Kettlebell squats – 5 reps
Kettlebell Cleans – 5 reps per side
Kettlebell Overhead Military Presses – 5 reps per side
Kettlebell snatches – 5 reps per side
Kettlebell Rows – 5 reps per side
6 Supersets – 18:20

First week of the New Year.  Bit the bullet and started scheduling time off to work on editing.  I am hiring Zachary to take the press release burden off my shoulders.  I planned to use his releases to feed into PRWeb, but he brought up the idea to target individual publications, so I may incorporate both. 

Big music week, learned two new songs (“In The Sanctuary” and “Total Praise”), and was able to work out a pattern for “Trading My Sorrows.”  Sunday service was awesome and Advisory Board member Joyce Cheatham made a surprise visit at Grace City. 

This week will be about preparing for the assembly edit, which should mean doing some more footage review, and note taking.  Scheduled to attend an Accelerent Breakfast event on 11 January at the American Visionary art Museum.  The scheduled speaker is Robin Crow, listed as “Author, Speaker, Business Owner & Innovative Guitarist.”  “Innovative Guitarist,” eh?  Sounds like fun.  I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog 4 January 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
4 January 2012

Work on the movie:
Emails to Advisory Board Members on possible film festivals.
Emails with Zachary on upcoming press releases.
Karen Everett Week & module, "Strategies For Crafting Your Film's Opening Act"

Work on music:
Warm up on the MojoCaster (new strings)
Pat Metheny Etudes, Exercise #1 bars 1-4 20X
Pat Metheny Etudes, Exercise #1 bars 5-8 5X
Bars 1-8 together 5X
Total time:  30 minutes

Kettlebell Lower Body Superset:
KB Squat - 8 reps with 50lb kettlebell
KB Contra lateral Lunge - 8 reps (per side) with 50lb kettlebell
KB Suitcase Deadlift - 8 reps (per side) with 50lb kettlebell
Total of 5 sets
KB Two-hand Swings 5 sets of 8 with 50lb kettlelbell
Total time:  20 minutes

Work on the score:
"Dies Irae" - 25X
"It's Your Thing" - Isley Brothers
"Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing" - Living Colour
Total time:  30 minutes

Open Letter to My New Gym Mates (cont.)
Welcome back.  If you are really serious about making progress in the gym, take some time to read this piece Charles StaleyTarget Focus Training founder Tim Larkin posted this article by Charles entitled "7 Questions People Ask Me about Fitness"

If this is your first attempt to "get in shape," remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.  The first thing is to get specific about your goals.  "Get in shape" is the squishiest of goals you could have, and while a squishy goal is better than none at all, do yourself a favor and narrow the focus of your goal.  What does being in shape look like to you?  Do you have a goal weight, or better yet a goal body fat percentage?  Do you want to run a 5k or your first marathon?  Do you want to bench 300lbs or knock out the Secret Service Snatch Test (SSST)? 

  • After specifying your goals, what kind of training do you need to achieve those goals?  What resources are available to help you design a suitable program?  
  • Once you have your program, what commitments will you have to make to follow the program?  How will you document your progress in sticking to the plan? How will you hold yourself accountable?
  • What milestones do you have to ensure you are progressing toward your goals?
  • These are some preliminary questions to keep in mind as you start out.  I will flesh out some of these questions and add other components as time goes on. 

Good luck and hang in there.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog 3 January 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
3 January 2012

Movie Work

Prepared edit bay area.
Collected postproduction paperwork.
Total time:  One hour

Music Work
Pat Metheny Etudes – exercise #1 bars 1-4 20X
Pat Metheny Etudes – Exercise #1 bars 5-8 5X
Dies Irae – 20X
Total time:  1 hour

Viking Warrior Conditioning
15:15 Protocol
7 reps per set with 16kg kettlebell
50 sets
Total time: 25 minutes

Open Letter To All My New Gym Buddies

Any of you who work out on a regular basis probably noticed the influx of new gym users at the start of the New Year.  Yes, we see them cram the floor in January, and know the bulk of them will not make it to Valentine’s Day.  The rest will be gone by April Fool’s Day, with a few reappearing in the spring for bathing suit season.  By Memorial Day, we’ll have the gym to ourselves.

That sounds harsh, and I only say it because I have seen it year in and year out.  If you are a long-time gym member, you know what I mean.  If you are new gym member, let me offer some advice so you can make it over the long haul.  Follow these rules and not only will you last, you might just see some results.

Learn from my mistakes
I know now that when I first started working out, had I re-prioritized how I exercised, I would have made more progress in a short amount of time.  Specifically, I would have:

  • Prioritized resistance training (weights) over cardio
  • Prioritized free weights over machines
  • Prioritized compound moves (squats, deadlift bench press and rows) over isolation moves (bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, and calf raises)
  • Prioritized heavy weight over light weights
  • When it comes to cardio, I would emphasize interval training over steady state training
  •  I would have spent less time in the gym and more time enhancing recovery

I will give you some more advice in the next installment. 
 Stay Tuned