Harbinger, Sage or Fool

September 15: Rick Trevino – Learning As You Go (1996)

Posted in Country, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/15

Sometimes the greatest successes are built off the ruins of failure.

I have been blessed with gifts and talents and opportunities for many things in life and I’ve been fortunate to be given chances to make use of those.  I’ve also at times fallen short; tried things I wanted to do only to find that I wasn’t up to the task.  In those moments I had to make a choice: keep trying or try something else.  In different situations I’ve made each of those choices… be it the class as an undergraduate I had to retake, which gave me the opportunity to take it in a very different environment and exposed me to things beyond the classroom… as well as my initial career plan of being a high school teacher which I discovered wasn’t meant for me and gave me the encouragement to go back to college to get my Master’s degree.

I’m concerned about our society insofar as we seem to protect our youth too much from failure.  Obviously not all are shielded from it but an increasing number of young people go through life always having the door pushed open for them even when they haven’t done enough to open it for themselves.  Worse yet, they never learn why the didn’t succeed in the first place and they don’t learn anything about being successful in the future… so when they come to a door that no one can or will push open for them, they are stuck.  Learning to deal with failure is part of life and its a privledge none too desired but necessary in our growth as people.

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September 14: Paul Carrack – Don’t Shed a Tear (1987)

Posted in Rock/Pop/R&B, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/14

A classic driving song, I find the tempo and rhythm of this song perfect for putting my foot on the pedal and taking off.  As I’m teaching my son to drive right now, I’m not sure I want to play this song for him – since I’m not ready for him to simply put his foot on the pedal and then take off.  Thus this song goes here and not in the car…

September 13: Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now (1983)

Posted in Rock/Pop/R&B, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/13

This song has always struck me as being out of position in time; whenever I hear it I always think it should’ve come out much later than 1983.  Some aspects of the instrumentation are representative of its period but the overall feel of the song seems like something comparable to later in the 80’s.

It would be over the top to say the song is timeless but it is certainly enduring and current – something I think most of us would be aspire to be.  I don’t want to merely be a reflection of my place in time (even if part of me must be), I want to be somewhat transcendent with each new year and each new face.

September 12: Michael W. Smith – Place In This World (1990)

Posted in CCM, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/12

This song and video takes me back… I was transitioning between middle school and high school as well as moving back to my home state at the time that it came out.  I didn’t know who I was or where I was supposed to be.  It took a long time before I began to find myself again although I’d have to admit I still sometimes feel this way now.

September 11: Voices of Hope – In God We Trust (2001)

Posted in CCM, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/11

Everyone has a story.  This is mine.

I was in the first semester teaching where I teach now.  On Tuesdays I taught classes from 8 to 10 in the morning.  Between classes around 9 I hadn’t heard anything and was oblivious to what was going on.  I taught that class at 9 like it was just any other day.

By the time the class finished, word had begun to trickle around campus and I found out shortly thereafter about what had happened in New York, D.C., and the confusion of the events in Pennsylvania.  I spent the rest of the morning in my office listening to the news, loud enough it could be heard by individuals walking down the hallway, and scouring the internet for any information I could which I would subsequently print out and post on my door.

With all the rumors that circulated–were there targets in Atlanta? did something happen at the University of Georgia?–I remember the great relief when the college finally closed early in the afternoon and I could go home and be with my family.

It’s hard for me to believe it has been 9 years.  In some ways it seems like only days ago while in other ways it seems like an eternity.  I’m not going to try and give any sweeping thoughts about what happened or how we should look back on it… just be grateful for those things in your life that are meaningful to you and do your best to make the world better tomorrow than it is today.

September 10: “Weird Al” Yankovic – Whatever You Like (2008)

Posted in Novelty, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/10

Like everyone in this economy, the family is having to pay attention to costs and try to maximize our fun dollars.  Over Labor Day we did all you could bowl for two hours… my son and I proved that you can get five games bowled in two hours, although my arm protested the decision greatly.  Still, I bowled a 171 in the last game, marking eight of ten frames.

This allows me to do a tie-in to a flashback involving my wife and I.  When we first met in college, one of our favorite experiences was competing in a bowling league together.  Thanks to her sharp improvement over the season we won the handicap-scoring league.  Now anytime we go bowling we can share a smile and think back to the early days of our relationship. 🙂

September 9: OneRepublic – All The Right Moves (2009)

Posted in Rock/Pop/R&B, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/09

No-thought Thursday.

September 8: Jeff Carson – The Car (1995)

Posted in Country, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/08

This past weekend I began teaching my son how to drive a stick-shift.  Having reached the age to have a permit and having practiced a little in my wife’s automatic transmission car, I realized the time of helping him learn how to handle a manual was at hand.  I have to admit a bit of fear and resistance–none of which was due to him.  Learning to drive a stick requires patience and I’m still learning how to have patience.

I’m happy (and proud and relieved) to say the first lesson went smoothly.  His initial attempt did not but that was okay.  We laughed and listened to each other; gradually he started learning the touch and timing it takes orchestrating the movement of the pedals and the shifting of the gears.  He still needs time, practice, and yes patience, but I feel confident he will get it.  Last night I let him onto the road with it a little bit and, while not perfect, he did a safe and convincing job of handling the car.

I love my stick-shift car.  While I’m not mechanically inclined myself, I respect the inner-workings of the vehicle and those who can work on them to get it going and keep it going.  My father is one of those individuals with a lot of God-given talent for working with his hands.  While this song focuses on the relationship between a father and son where working on the car is involved, I think the greater picture of a car bonding generations even fits me.  As I’ve mentioned a time or two before, I’m thankful for having a good relationship with my son and I’m happy to know that I can pass a little something automotive to him… even if it’s merely how to handle a car that won’t change gears on its own.

September 7: Daughtry – September (2010)

Posted in Rock/Pop/R&B, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/07

I vaguely remember starting school after Labor Day as a young child.  For most of my life growing up, as well as my entire experience as a parent and as someone in education, “summer” has winded down long before the weather says summer is over.  Personally I’m fine with that, although it’s a rather contentious topic in some circles, but I understand the appeal of the first changes of weather signifying the movement from one season of life to the next.

This song isn’t that old but I find that I enjoy it very much because I appreciate the metaphor between the changes of season in life and the changes of season that comes from summer ending.  Life is always moving forward; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking back sometimes as long as one doesn’t get paralyzed focusing in the wrong direction.  There’s also a lot to look forward to if you at least allow yourself to look forward in the first place.

September 6: Little River Band – Take It Easy On Me (1981)

Posted in Rock/Pop/R&B, Songs I Like by harbinger75 on 2010/09/06

So I’m finally back.  A week and a half hiatus ended with a bunch of catch-up songs (all worth listening to celebrating a lot of different styles, artists, themes, and lyrics) along with this new post.  The combination of a rather wicked bout with sinusitis and chest infection coupled with the daily grind of work and life along with the growing challenge of coming up with relevant, interesting information had pretty much kicked my butt and made it where the last thing I wanted to do was post anything new.

I knew from the beginning of the year that this project was going to be a challenge.  There’s a whole lot of days in a year and while I’ve been fortunate enough to have many interesting experiences (along with plenty of time to contemplate life and the things that fill it), I finally hit a brick wall as I feared I would.  I appreciate my loyal followers and hope they’ll understand the time away has allowed me to shake some of the strings that were beginning to hold me back.

I believe completing the year is a goal worth obtaining… I know I have stories left to share.  By the time the holidays come around I may end up finding I have stories left over I forgot to write.  There’s a little less than four months to go now… let’s finish this thing.