Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Meanderings - 2.19.2018

I experienced my second African wedding this weekend, as always, from behind the sound desk. I have mentioned before that we enjoy a diverse international membership at Westover, including a large contingent of Africans from several countries.

I wrote about the 1st wedding here. It was an interesting experience. Since this was my second, I was better prepared for what to expect. Like, for instance -

Don't expect any information about what will happen during the ceremony. That's because there is no plan. That means there will not be a rehearsal, as there is nothing to rehearse. The happy couple will (finally) arrive at the church, and they will get married. Oh, and some other people might be a part of the wedding. Or, they might not.

Expect to operate on African time. That means that for a 2 o'clock wedding, a few people - mostly white Americans - will show up by 2; a handful of folks will be there about 2:30. The majority will be there by 3 - but not necessarily the wedding party. They didn't show up until 3:15. Some folks came wandering in after the ceremony was over.

Expect surprises. A week ago the event coordinator at church said, "Some girls will sing. They said they can come at noon for a sound check." I was not surprised that they weren't there at noon, but I was surprised to find a guy setting up a keyboard. He also had a bass guitar with him. And he
confirmed that there would be some singers - maybe 2, maybe 6. I'm good with that. I can handle keyboards, guitars and singers.

Surprisingly, the girls did show up in about half-an-hour - and there were 6 of them. Then a keybooard player and a bassist showed up and we had a real rehearsal. Surprise! Then the keyboardist asked to have his laptop plugged into the sound system; he had some backing tracks and other music he intended to play during the service. This was a surprise and I had to scramble to do that with the setup I was using.

Expect a lot of singing and dancing. Dancing down the aisle, dancing by the singers. Dancing by all when the minister invited everybody up on the stage - to dance! And most especially, dancing back up the aisle. Sorry that it's so hard to load a video in a blog. I have some fun footage.

And, like every other one of the hundreds of weddings I have worked, expect the bride and groom to go home married when all is said and done. Congratulations Patrick and Augustine.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Meanderings - 2.12.2018

Busy week.

Olympics, of course. If you know me, you know I'm an Olympic junkie. Though we didn't get around to watching the opening ceremonies until Sunday afternoon, I have been following the curling late-night, however. The rock is in the house.

Friday and Saturday nights I was busy with sound for the Central Texas Medical Orchestra. The guest virtuoso for this program was a renowned classical guitarist. FYI, classical guitars do NOT plug into the sound system - they must be miked and there is a wide variety of opinions on how best to do this. If I may say so, I think I nailed it.

I'm on chapter 22 of 27 in my current audiobook. See, I am getting better at this whole process. Except I now have a significant problem. Borborygmus. If your low-carb, high protein diet does not fill your stomach (not even close) it signals loudly that it is unhappy and recording comes to a screeching (or gurgling) halt.

We are really excited here in North Austin that TxDot has begun a massive construction project to add new fly-overs to the intersection of IH-35 and 183. We pass through that intersection multiple times during our daily travels. Joy.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday Meanderings - 2.5.2018

Joining the millions of Americans who are calling in sick today. Me? I'm suffering from a quesover.

Go Eagles.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Meanderings - 1.29.2018

The big news this week is that I am back behind the microphone - hard at work on my 2nd audio book. As I suspected might happen, the author of the book I recorded in December contacted me about doing another of her books. I must say, that this book is slightly better than the first. Or maybe I'm becoming enured to the genre. This book takes place in post-civil-war Nebraska - a prairie romance with a southern belle and the handsome sheriff. I just read 'em, folks. I don't write them.

The first book is selling semi-briskly. I actually received my first royalty-share check the other day. So far, I have earned about 2 cents for each hour I spent recording the book. However, as I have pointed out, it was a learning experience, and by comparison, I'm breezing through the 2nd book. Think how I'll do with the 3rd. Yes, she does have more books that need narration.

There was no pecan harvest from our tree this fall, but the Vietnamese lady must think she needs to stay in our good graces for the coming year, because she stopped by the other day and left a bag of tangerines. Satsumas, from the looks of them.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have another chapter to record.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Meanderings - 1.22.2018

Recently, news concerning my Alma Mater showed up, interestingly enough, in the local Austin Statesman newspaper. The attention-grabbing headline was “Abilene Christian University vs. Hooters: Who is surprised by this?"

The article, citing a story in the Abilene Reporter News, describes the tension that currently exists between the University and its just-opened neighbor, a Hooters restaurant.

Hooters, a Florida-based chain of casual dining restaurants, proclaims that it is known for "wings and waitresses." If you have just arrived on this planet, Hooters is the preeminent example of that type of business establishment best described as a "breastaurant." Or so they tell me. I'm pretty sure that I have never patronized a Hooters restaurant. I'm old and I forget things, but I think I would remember dining there if the photo that accompanied the article is accurate. But they it may be fake.

ACU's connection to this stems from a statement issued by the University regarding employment opportunities at their new neighbors. While not actually forbidding ACU students from working at Hooters, they do strongly urge its students not to apply for a job there. The Abilene Reporter-News has reported that the university released this statement: “We have asked students to consider both what Hooters represents, and whether that is something they really want to support in terms of both their faith and the value this business model places on women."

The Reporter-News article then goes on to mention that  that students at McMurray University are free to apply to the restaurant without fear of ramifications. Those Methodists! No word yet from the Baptists at Hardin-Simmons. They are all probably still lined up at the Hooters Employment Office.

That about sums up the Reporter-News story, but the Statesman writer, Dave Thomas, seems fascinated by all the "Thou Shalt Nots" he found while poking around on the ACU web-site. Particularly the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. I left a link for you, if you are interested; I pretty much know it by heart. I had lots of conversations about various topics in the Code with the Dean and others during my tenure there. Purely hypothetical, of course.

About the only thing that was new to me was the section on the Internet, which wasn't around back in ought-sixteen, when I was there. That and the fact that there are now monetary fines for violations. If they had fined me, I might still be paying my college debt. I might have had to get a job at.... Oh, wait. Never mind.