Archive for April, 2007

colorado in seven easy steps

A week after returning from the fantastic state of Colorado, it’s time for a quick blog update. There’s no way to sum up even a short trip to Colorado concisely and effectively… here are some highlights:

It’s impossible to quickly find a place to eat in Denver from the interstate, especially if you’re starving. It took us 30 minutes, but we happened upon this little joint called Rico’s Pizzeria… little hole-in-the-wall shop, family owned by Italians, seating for 12, best calzone I’ve ever eaten. I don’t even know how we got there. But I’m going back next time I’m in the area.

If you intend to spend any time in the mountains, spend the extra dollars and get the upgrade to a Jeep (or similar 4WD vehicle). Originally we planned on getting a mid-size car, but then they ran out of mid-size cars and were about to stick us with a minivan… (I don’t know, don’t ask). We weren’t about to be caught dead in a minivan. Get the Jeep, it was an amazingly wise choice.

We love the mountains, so immediately upon arriving (and consuming a calzone), we headed straight into the mountains. Random advice nugget #2 – get the backroads atlas, and use it diligently. Never take the interstates up into the mountains, because that is for boring old people and families in minivans. If you’ve done like I’ve recommended and gotten the Jeep it will be no problem. We went up Jarre Canyon Road, west out of Denver into the front range of mountains between Colorado Springs and Denver. It was snowing. It was exciting. Minivans had to turn back.

Wives appreciate sentimental things, so we stayed in the mountain lodge where we spent our honeymoon. It was very nice, and made us think, “wow, we should run a lodge up in the mountains someday”. Wives also appreciate bathrooms with big huge whirlpool bathtubs.

When looking for something to do, grab your trusty backroad atlas, randomly pick a spot somewhere off the beaten path, and try to find it. You’ll need the 4WD you rented.

Pikes Peak… I’m not very happy with you Pikes Peak. I understand that it snowed 8 inches on top of your mountain and that for safety reasons you had to close down your road for those who unwisely chose to visit you from the comfort of their suburban housewife approved minivans. But come on – we have a Jeep!! Sadness. We went halfway up but were forced by rangers with guns to turn around.

The reason we went to Colorado in the first place was because we went to Sara’s wedding. It was a very nice wedding Sara – thank you for inviting us! We’re very happy for you.

Colorado weekend a success. Points to remember: Rent a Jeep. Buy a road atlas. Stop at Rico’s Pizzeria.

onethousand & 1 albums

As much as I love music, I’m ashamed to say that I am a very uneducated music lover. I’ve kind of found that niche thing that I really like, and now try to find other artists that fit into that niche. It’s a very closed minded way to experience music. As a result, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never actually listened to a Doors, Ray Charles, or Stevie Wonder album the whole way through from start to finish. Yeah… sad isn’t it?

I’m going to venture to change that over the next year. I’m blessed, so to speak, with a job that involves sitting at a desk for 8+ hours per day, which is a perfect opportunity to expand my musical horizons and deepen my education. As any good student I will have a textbook. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery will be my text. I will study perhaps 2-3 albums, every work day, until I have completed. I will study chronologically, beginning in the 1950’s with Frank Sinatra’s “In The Wee Small Hours”. I will end with the 2005 release of The White Stripes album “Get Behind Me Satan”.

Most of this music I probably won’t like…. Somehow I’ll suffer through the 80’s and get through Cyndi Lauper and ABBA. But I’m looking forward to a lot of it… hey, a list with 4 U2 records and 5 Bruce Springsteen records can’t be that bad.

In the meantime, enjoy the new Kings Of Leon record. I’m a fan…. (by the way, these song recommendations that I give are free, full length previews through Rhapsody – you should check it out).

Today you should listen to…
Kings Of Leon “On Call”

why relevant magazine really bothers me sometimes

1. The magazine and, especially, the website have turned into a barrage of advertisements for A). any Christian artist with a new album coming out, or B). every worship conference under the sun

2. The tone of most of the editorials consist of a snobbish, too-good-for-the-church, post-liberal, “check out the new Shins record” theology that is grating and irritating

3. There is an apparent identity crisis within the publication… they’re not really sure what being relevant means. Ben Folds as the cover story? What purpose does that serve? So he throws a couple punches at mainstream Christianity and displays our shortcomings… fine, but why use a blatant non-Christian to do this? Why hasn’t John Piper ever been on the cover of Relevant? How about Mohler or Driscoll… or other leaders that are really shaping what it means to think theologically in the 21st Century?

I have always appreciated the intent of Relevant, but it often seems disconnected. Relevant is a great setting for modern thinkers and theologians to propel real thought forward, but it seems like most of the time modern-thought has been reduced to a little rant about the modern church with a couple of expletives thrown in to cast the illusion of “relevancy” within culture.