Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“Fun” Test + Fail = Peacemaker

It all started with a test.

A test to see how much fun was I having in my life.

I Failed. Miserably.

But that very day God provided a solution…

…become a Peacemaker. 

More specifically, become an international-traveling, life-loving, experience-embracing, concert-screaming, “Here’s To Life!”-saluting Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers fan. Puerto Pensaco 2007 018

Now, 3 years, 9 shows, 7,406 miles, 2 countries, 5 cities, dozens of shots of tequila, 9 albums, and 8 hotels later, I can truly say I am having more fun, soaking in better music, enjoying a better marriage, drinking better tequila, and am more energized to take a big bite out of this beautiful world than I ever thought possible.

How did this happen?


It was May 6th, 2007. My wife was gone on a weekend getaway, and I was home in the middle of another “Hey I’m almost 38 and I need to behave like an adult with 4 kids and a mortgage that won’t quit so don’t tell me I need to squeeze fun into the middle of my busy, career-building, debt-soaked life” day.

Little did I know God had already put in motion a grand plan to put a smile back on my heart.

At church the topic was “God Loves Fun”. The main point was that God loves it when we have fun…good ol’ fashion barn-burning, doesn’t-have-to-be-spiritual-to-be-God-affirming fun. During the service we took a test to measure how much fun we were having in our lives.

I failed, and not just a “hey, maybe you should see an extra movie once in a while” kind of fail, but a “Sheesh, you’re stifling your life by taking it all way too seriously” kind of fail.

Then the cavalry rode in to rescue me…

…with my wife leading the charge, a glyph flag waving in the wind, and a rock n’ roll band singing about Mexican moonshine, contraband, hourglasses, grains of rice, and leaky little boats.

The wife pulled into the driveway happier than I’ve seen her in a long time. She had just experienced her first Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (RCPM) concert the night before (Cinco de Mayo) with her friend Lisa and was already breathing in the good vibrations of life.

I then proceeded to tell her of my test…and how grandly I failed it. Within 2 minutes, the next 36 hours (and really the rest of my life) were set. It went something like this:

ME: …then it said I needed to find something fun. Something spontaneous.
HER: RCPM is playing tonight in Des Moines! LETS GO!
ME: You’re nuts.
HER: (eyes sparkling, smile gleaming, toes bouncing)
ME: What about the kids, catching up on work, and who would want to go with us?
HER: James and Lisa! I know she’ll call within 10 minutes saying that they’re going!
(seconds later)
HER: “Hello? Lisa! …Awesome! …working on him now. See you in 30 minutes”
ME: Ummm…
HER: “Hello? Mom, we need a favor…yes…20 minutes. Thank you!”
HER: All set. Lets Rock.
ME: But…

30 minutes later we were fleeing our mundane home towards a temporary Sonoran oasis in Des Moines to see RCPM. During the trip we got a crash course in the history of RCPM, The Refreshments, someone named Buddy, and listened to as many songs as possible.

3.5 hours later RCPM took the stage.

The quick snare roll led into the infectious guitar riff that offered us a special kind of contraband. We were off on a journey led by an experienced troubadour through the adventures that life had in store for us if we just opened ourselves to the opportunities.IMG_1884-2

The Telecaster started the very next song with a perfect rhythmic riff offering us to go down together while the Les Paul blasted licks that sounded how red wine tastes..we liked that a lot.2010-12-13 Phoenix

By the end of the night, when the songs were mere echoes in our heads, the limes had been bitten, and our back-stage conversations with the band were over, my life-lens had been re-focused. I was given a musical medicine that could mend my attitude when it faltered.

I discovered it wasn’t a mundane home I was fleeing after all. It was a mundane attitude on life. I had everything one could hope for, except the ability to recognize it. The vibrations I heard that night brought me closer to God, my wife, music, and my kids. I began to remember what it felt like to compose a song. How a 2 line lyric backed by the right chords can melt a heart, unify a crowd, and make a soul come alive.

I remembered what it was like to have fun.


I realize now that while it’s hard work to live life with a passion, and that it takes energy to squeeze the most out of this world, the results are well worth it:

  • A far happier attitude
  • A marriage closer and lovelier than I could imagine
  • A domestic adventure worth cherishing (con quatro niƱos!)
  • An expectation that something great is about to happen every day

And here’s the best part: we don’t go to RCPM shows to escape our lives…instead we have infused this life-loving RCPM attitude into our daily living. Going to an RCPM show is our way to add fuel to our peace-and-love-through-rock-and-roll fire that burns in our hearts.

Thank you Roger, Jim, P.H., Nick, Steve for providing the contraband.

Thank you wife for sailing on this beautiful adventure by my side.

Thank you God for showing me how rich and textured a life can be.


Salud. Here’s to life!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My 2010 IBM World Tour – Highlights

While the last post focused my year long “Customer Adoption” tour By The Numbers, this post highlights my favorite memories from my favorite cities.


~~~ Highlights ~~~

4/15 Washington DC
Loved taking an intense walkabout across the mall, Smithsonian, US Capital, Library of Congress,  Supreme Court, and metro. Ended up creating a movie with a surprising list of who's-who that really likes our product!

6/27-6/29 New York
I have two standing destinations when I visit NYC: Rudy’s Guitar Shop, which sells my dream guitar: Paul Reed Smith Tonare Grand acoustic guitar

IMG_0045and The Iridium…where the best music is performed live in an intimate location with available front row tables: Read Detailed Memories of this night or just view the summary photo:


7/14-7/17 San Mateo
I got to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods and Muir Beach, and my childhood home. Amazing places.

Systems Director World Tour2

8/12-8/22 Sydney
Stayed at the Intercontinental Sydney. Just off the harbor at Circular Quay. Blue Mountains, Manly and Bondi beaches, trains, harbors, and the nice people. Oh, and ‘Flat White’ coffee. “Have here or take-away?”

9/10-9/14 London/Warwick
The castles, history, fish and chips, hearing Big Ben strike 12, Warwick castle, and free golf at the Ardencote Manor. This place was on IBM’s approved list, and was a private country club. Stunning!

Systems Director World Tour3

9/15-9/17 Budapest
I absolutely loved Budapest. Buda on one side of the Danube river, Pest on the other. Intercontinental Hotel was amazing and I got to play some guitar!

the guided tour through Budapest inspired me to show everyone what makes my life sparkle…

9/18-9/24 Johannesburg
Went on a real-life safari. Amazing. Oh, and that fence? That’s OUR cage to keep us safe during one of our breaks from the animals on the outside.

My Dropbox

9/30-10/05 Singapore
Little India had authentic street-side curry. Wonderful tasting, and it didn’t kill us! Little China showed us an authentic fish market:

10/6-10/10 Bangkok
Messy, chaotic, lots of bugs, did I say chaotic? And HOT! We had to wear pants on our tourist day. No, as opposed to shorts, smart-aleck, in order to see the temples. Great scenery but I’m fine not going back.

Systems Director World Tour

11/09-11/11 Dallas
One word: Steak. Amazing steak. Oh, and we crashed an HP conference…a good topic for another blog :-)


12/05-12/09 Las Vegas
I Hate Vegas. There. I said it. Why? Because even when I try to capture something nice, like this Eiffel tower, Ms. “Hey-Look-At-My-Nakedness-On-This-90-Foot-Billboard” gets in my way.


The Work
I know what you’re thinking…and you’d be wrong :-)   I actually DID work while on this world tour. I present these photos as evidence.WorkCollage

Those that travel like this can also confirm…while an amazing adventure teaching and communicating our product’s value, my ‘day’ job was still awaiting me when I got back to the hotel.

This resulted in a constant struggle between responsive emails or searching out a new adventure…Decisions

…I guess you know which won.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My 2010 IBM World Tour – By The Numbers

This year I focused on “Customer Adoption” of our product at IBM. Besides the collateral I created while working in Rochester (Facebook page, YouTube movies), I traveled.

A lot.

To illustrate, here is a pin-map of the locations I visited. Want more? Visit my “World Tour Photo Album” image

Here’s another way to look at it: By the numbers.

Days Traveled:   65
Tough on the family and personally, but not one regret – read why

Miles Flown:   77,280
Yes, I got to keep the frequent flyer miles and am now treated like all humans should but few are at Delta :-)

Bags Packed:  1
Yep, one small carry-on plus backpack that carried my laptop and other electronics. I stuffed 2 shirts, 2 show pants, lots of under garments, and toiletries. All of them rolled to maximize space and lasted up to two weeks. Oh, and one awesome pair of shoes I could wear as dress, casual, even with shorts.

Sydney 001

Times I needed to do laundry:   1
But not for poor packing. In Bangkok the cab we took was filled with bugs. I had a choice: Burn the clothes and buy new ones (potentially filled with more bugs) or dry-clean the whole mess. I chose dry-clean. Thank you Finance Dudes for approving the laundry expense!

Gallons of Jet Fuel Used: 386,400
I know. I didn’t fly alone on the 757’s. Although I did have a great time in coach on all those international flights!

Hours of longest single flight: 15
This was to Sydney. Tip: take 2 Benadryl. I slept 7 hours. ‘course that left 8 more hours to eat and watch 4 movies

Hours of longest travel day: 31
9am Thursday – 4:00pm Friday (all CT) from Johannesburg South Africa to home (through London Heathrow). Crazy thing: 5 days later I flew from home to Singapore…another 23 hour travel day.

Continents Visited:  5
North America, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia. Now to figure out how to get to South America. Or, I could honor my internationally educated peers who only recognize “America” as one continent, not two and I will only have one very hard-to-reach continent left to get to: Antarctica

Countries Visited:   8
USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Hungary, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand

Cities Visited:   16
Ottawa, Calgary , Palisades, Washington DC, Toronto, New York, San Mateo, Sydney, London, Warwick, Budapest, Johannesburg, Singapore,  Bangkok, Dallas, Las Vegas

Oceans and Rivers Touched: 7
Pacific Ocean (San Mateo), Atlantic Ocean (New York), South China Sea (Singapore), Coral Sea (Sydney), Thames River (London), Danube River (Budapest), Chao Phraya River (Bangkok)

Hours Taught:   150
This does not count the 49 hours of web conference education I gave this year to customers through the Internet.

IBM $$$ spent:   $25,993.28
Not bad for the potential sales revenue! Although, this only includes my travel expenses, not the catering costs. Catered food costs a lot!

Customers Educated:    730
Some of the best customers in the world.

Meals Eaten:   195 
One awesome perk I cannot deny. I tasted many, many new things and all were yummy! Of course many on-the-go breakfasts (favorite was flat-white coffee and egg sandwich in Sydney). Many lunches were just-OK catering. But the dinners. Ah the dinners. Sushi, seafood, steaks, curry, Thai, kangaroo, alligator, all you can imagine…

World Tour Food and Drink and let’s not forget the local brews…

World Tour Food and Drink1

Days sick from local food and drink:   0
Someone was watching out for me.

Kids I grew to love even more:   4
It seemed that when I was on the other side of the world we could communicate more often…thank you Skype


Amazing Wife who ran the castle:   1
I don’t know how to repay her, but all of my free tickets are going towards her adventures. (like our recent trip to Phoenix for a tequila festival and RCPM show)


As I look back, I can’t believe where I’ve been. It’s been quite a year. I am truly blessed with this job (thank you IBM), these opportunities, my travel companions, my family. The world has become much smaller to me. God gave me the urge to travel the world when I was young, and has provided the means as well.


I think I’m going to take a long nap now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010-12-04: The New Standards

12-04-2010: The New Standards
Where: The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul MN
Went with: Wife, James, Lisa
Times: 2nd

I should title this, “I Want You To Want Me” because after hearing it the way The New Standards performs this song, its been in the forefront of my mind ever since.

Watch and listen:

The big surprise is how it’s forcing me to reflect on friendships…and my lack of them. But more on that later.

The show, our 2nd time seeing them, was even better this time. We were in the 2nd balcony but I love these seats because I could soak in all the action, colors, and musicians all at once.


We even got to hear my favorite Suburbs song “Rattle My Bones” in a very cool style! IMG_1756

I went with the wife as well as our friends James and Lisa. Our evening started with an amazing dinner at Fuji-Ya complete with sushi, saki, weird mushrooms, and great conversation. The show was mesmerizing with special guests, and wonderful music.


Reflections on “I Want You to Want Me”:
I’m starting to wonder if I’ve been shouting out these lyrics myself. Not for vanity (the motivation most people think is behind this song), but for validation…

…and protection

…and fear

Here’s what the song says…
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me

I’m begging you to beg me

Here’s what I hear:

I want you to want me, friend, but I’ll only respond 10% of the time. 90% of the time I’m quite happy alone or with my family. It’s that last 10% that hurts my heart. Will you wait around for me? I didn’t think so.

I need you to need me, church, so I can focus on ‘getting things done’ like being on stage, setup, teardown, tasks in general. That way I won’t have time to feel awkward and hear the deafening silence as I stand drinking my coffee and eating my sliced fruit waiting for someone to want to walk up and talk with me. Here’s my secret: It’s not dedication that makes me tune my guitar twice per morning…it’s to fill the time gap…to protect me from standing alone in the middle of a crowd with no one to talk to…and from fear that someone might actually want to walk up to me and talk.

I’d love you to love me as a close friend, but that scares the crap out of me. I am very uncomfortable making friendships…and keeping friendships alive (3 years on average…then something happens: moving away, drifting apart, …). If I could just magically make you love me as a close friend, that’d be great (impossible, I know).

I’m begging you to beg me to accomplish some task that you think only I can do. I may be too busy for it, but then you’ll say those five words I love to hear, “We need to clone you”. No emotional investment required, but still feel validated as a contributing member of the relationship…at a safe distance.

So…quite a night. Not a fun, happy trip to Margaritaville, but a memorable experience none the less. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.

Who am I kidding.

I think my guitar needs tuning.


Read other robot concert thoughts

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Song Insight: “Be to Me”

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2000
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2010 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Detached, longing, pleading

Other song insights

Usually I write songs based on personal stories or strong emotions that inspire the lyric or music.

Not this time. This song, “Be to Me” is entirely fictitious.

I wrote it to accompany a drama we did at crossWinds church back in April 2000 (my stars…how time flies). The week was “Family Values – Everyone Counts”. The drama focused on a young man in a busy family who isn’t getting his dad’s attention. Over time we see the son being ignored and feeling more invisible. He looks detached and ‘over it’, but inside we learn he is really yearning for a closer relationship.

To fully engage the audience, we needed a song that fit perfectly to express more of the emotion the character was feeling. The actor stayed on stage at the end of the drama while the song unfolded.

This was a great chance for me to get into the mind of the character. I love doing that. It’s like writing the music for a mini-musical. I read the script several times to get the feel of the character’s feelings, then extrapolated as to what he would sing about after the scene ended. The chords and arrangement were critical in moving from this detached acceptance at the beginning to eventually having the character open up and yearn to be noticed.

I had a great time with the lyric writing, too. Since the audience knew the context from the drama, I was free to be a little more poetic. Notice the internal rhyming in line 3 of the verses. Thank you Stephen Sondheim.



Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080
Electric Guitar: Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody II (rhythm and solo)
Guitar Amp: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Guitar Mics: close: Shure SM57;  3ft back: CAD E100
Acoustic Guitar: Ovation 1712 Custom Balladeer (CAD E100)
Bass: Fiama Hollowbody (recorded directly into the board)

Recording Specifics: 
I had a surprisingly rough time mixing this song down. My goal was to have strong, raw instruments that expressed the character’s raw emotions. After mixing and mastering, I noticed some anomalies in the chorus. After soloing the tracks, I discovered a few problems:
  • The drums bled into the guitar track
  • The drums in the chorus contained open high-hats that were too loud and harsh
  • The bass had some clipping in strong parts
What’s really frustrating is that I know better. I think I was so excited to get the song ‘out’ that I rushed through some setup. I usually record guitar direct through my Line 6 POD pro, but wanted a real authentic sound with this song. I ended up mic’ing the Hot Rod Deluxe amp, and I think it sounds great, but that caused the drum bleedover. Why? Because I wasn’t using headphones to monitor the drums…I was just playing them through the speakers. Idiot. I just wasn’t thinking. Normally tracks bleeding through are not a big issue, but in this case, it made those loud open high-hats really shrill sounding…and limited any changes I wanted in the drums as the rough drum track was printed in the guitar track.

All in all, though, I’m still quite happy with the song.


Lyrics ©2000 Greg Hintermeister 
Verse 1:
I never really wanted to be invisible 

it just sort of happened over time 
Began without a word…a small desire to be heard 
To you everything was fine

Verse 2: 
I guess you never noticed I’m amazing 
at never being noticed by you 
It’s just another skill I never wanted to fulfill 
Am I ever on your mind?

I don’t want to be alone…talk to me tonight
any little thing will do…just look into my eyes
so you can see – it’s me…and I’m still here
waiting for you

To be real to me…that’s all I ever ask
is to be real to me

Verse 3: 
You seem to be distracted by the little things
I wish you were distracted by me
Maybe if I changed…the way I look or said your name
you’d spend some time with me

I don’t want to be alone…talk to me tonight
any little thing will do…just look into my eyes
so you can see – it’s me…and I’m still here
waiting for you

I don’t want to be alone…talk to me tonight
any little thing will do…just look into my eyes
Will you look at me – and see…that I’m still here
waiting for you

To be real to me…that’s all I ever wanted
to be real to me

Saturday, November 13, 2010

God, I LOVE This Guitar!

…and I wonder, did You plan this all along?

Then God said, “Let there be Luthier-quality tone-wood”. And God saw that it was good…saw that it was better than good. God saw that it rocked! Thus ended the third day.
Genesis 1:11-12 (GRH Translation)

I know Day 3 was a big day for you, but among creating all the “Seed-bearing plants” and “Fruit-bearing trees”, did you put a little extra love into East Coast maple, Indian Rosewood, and Mahogany… knowing that in 1999 these woods you created would be formed into my Paul Reed Smith Hollow-body II Black Sunburst 10-top?


Did you end Day 3 thinking, “I can’t wait to see Greg’s reaction”?

2010-09-08 Guitar1

When you taught the Eagle to fly on day 5, did your eye twinkle knowing their flight would be honored on the rosewood neck using abalone inlays from the sea shells you made on the same day?


Were you giddy knowing that when I turned 30, and decided to buy my ‘dream guitar’, that you had already planted, cultivated, and grew the trees that would be used?

Did you guide the invention of glossy finish, 000 grit sandpaper, and black-sunburst stain procedures knowing it would only enhance the guitar’s flamed-maple top?

Do you wink when the wood reflects my smile, knowing it also reflects yours?

2010-09-08 Guitar

I wonder…did you gather the angels around your throne to watch (and sing) at the exact moment I first plugged my guitar into a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, turned the gain to 3, and strummed an E chord?


…and did you audibly whisper to me, “Yeah, I knew you’d like it”, or did I just imagine it?

How about when I play? I know you are ruler of the universe and all, but do you smile when I nail that solo I’ve been working on…even if it is during a church service? Or, maybe, especially when it is during a church service?

When the band is tight, anticipating each others phrasing, filling the stage with sonic goodness, and I’m playing more from instinct than paper (and playing far better than I should be), is that you surrounding me? Is that my heart laughing with you?

Greg Plays

Do you bless Jim Marshall when I play dropped-D through my Marshall Gov’nor Plus pedal because it’s the exact hard-rock tone a troubled soul in the audience needs to hear so you can soften his hardened heart?

How about on that cold winter morning when my PRS fell and was cosmetically damaged. Did you shed a tear with me, even though you knew I had to learn that a guitar shouldn’t replace You as the focus of my music?


I wonder…

Do you use my passion for this guitar as your way to help me understand how much you really do love me?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Song Insight: "Alice Wonders"

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2002
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2002 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Hard Rockin’, Intense, Industrial, High-On-Life Energy

Other song insights

Sometimes, in order to take a BIG BITE out of life, to attack a stubborn issue you want gone, or to just remember what it feels like to BE ALIVE, you need the right soundtrack for life. Not some schooshy, lilty makes-you-want-to-curl-up-and-drink-chamomile-tea soundtrack, but an intense piece of music that can meet you down where you are and amp you up to take on ANYTHING.

This is my gift to all those who, like me, sometimes need a kick in the arse to get focused, motivated to finish, and energized to tackle the tough challenges in life. For me, this music is a reminder…

…A reminder that while I may be physically ‘getting old’, I can ‘stay young’ through my emotional, mental, decide-to-engage-in-life attitude…

…A reminder that while I’m here, I can define what is important, love with intensity, and take a suck-the-marrow-out-of-the-beast-of-life adventure and truly live a joyous life.

…A reminder that sometimes, you gotta throw every caution to the winds and you just gotta ROCK HARD! AAAHHHHHHHHHOOOOOO!

P.S.  This doesn’t mean you have to physically scream…although that helps.  Sometimes all it takes is a subtle attitude-defining ‘ROCK HARD’ hand-salute while on a business trip in Sydney.

…or in Johannesburg…

For me, I need a constant reminder that God has blessed me with this present moment. I can decide how to use and react in this precious slice of time. I can complain, wish for the future, regret the past, or live a searing-focused God-is-here-with-me-let-the-adventure-unfold approach to life.

“Alice Wonders” helps me do this. I hope it helps you, too.


I LOVED writing this. It has everything I love about aggressive music:
  • Simmering beginning
  • Great clean guitars
  • Pent-up energy finally getting released through screaming guitars and aggressive drums
  • Tuned down guitars (dropped C)
  • Huge distorted guitars
  • E-Bow, providing infinite sustain for great guitar tones
  • Piano jamming away with those huge distorted guitars. This is my favorite instrument mix of all. I love aggressive piano with aggressive guitars.
  • Many interludes that squeeze out every ounce of energy possible
I wrote this for a Rochester Civic Theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland”, directed by Shane May. He asked for music that was not usually heard in live theatre. I came up with these themes, and I decided the best way to develop the themes and moods of the whole score was to create a piece that tied them all together.

I think the music I ended up providing for the production worked well, but this specific piece was not used. I may have gotten a ‘tad’ carried away with the intensity of this song for live theatre :-)

I am so thrilled with how this turned out.

WARNING: Subwoofers will beg for mercy with the low synth sounds, which may cause ceilings to shutter, water pipes to burst, neighbors to snarl, and teenagers to smile!

If you ever need to get pumped up to fight life head-on, crank this and listen…and GO GET ‘EM!!!

Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080, Alesis DM-Pro
Guitar: Dan Armstrong Model 341 “London Guitar”
Guitar Tuning: Dropped C (C – G – C – F – A – D)
Guitar Tracks: 1 lead track (clean and solo), 3 rhythm tracks, 1 E-Bow track
Guitar Effect in middle: E-Bow. Man I love the E-Bow
Guitar Effects Processor: Line 6 Pod Pro
Bass: Keyboards Roland XV-5080
Synth: Roland XV-5080
Piano: Roland RD-500

Lyrics: No lyrics here. Sometimes they just get in the way of the primitive balls-out energy a song needs to deliver. The melody and harmonies are carried well enough by the guitars and synths.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Of Trees, Love, Locks, and The Danube

Sometimes the romantic in me wakes up. I know it’s been dormant for far too long. The little details of daily living get in my brain and I just don’t remember all the wonderfully romantic things I did when I was courting my Lady Evelyn.

More importantly, I don’t pay attention to the little things that make my life sparkle because of her. It’s not that I need to do romantic things in hopes of making her happy, it’s that I need to do romantic things because she makes me so happy.

I think I just found the perfect way to say “I Love You - A Lot” to my beautiful wife of 17 years.

In Budapest, there is a tree. It has many locks on it.


The legend is that if you write your name and your lover’s name onto the lock…


…then lock it onto the fence around the tree…

Collage Edit

…then walk to the Danube River…

Captured Videos

…and throw the keys into the river…

2010-09-16 Budapest 21

…then legend says your love for each other is permanently locked together in a crazy, beautiful, laughing, passionate, procreative, fun, musical, better-than-movie-ending real-life kind of love.

So…I did.

It turns out that I didn’t need a tree in Budapest to lock in the love I have for my lovely bride. We are two blessed souls that have been given the gift of sharing a lifetime of sounds-make-believe-but-is-wonderfully-real love together. No legend needed here.

But, it doesn’t hurt to show that love in action once in a while.

Love you Lady Evelyn.

You make me a hopeless romantic.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sometimes…Guns ARE The Solution!

Thanks to my friend Steve, I just had one of the most beautiful, exciting, fiercest family-bonding afternoons of my life.

We learned what it means…

…to be responsible
…to have respect
…to laugh out loud
…to share
…to ride

…and to shout “Fire in the Hole!”

Yep. We shot guns.

2010-08-29Lots of guns. Cool guns.

Not just the adults. The whole family (The Nuge would be proud).

And not just at paper targets…

…we shot steel targets
…we shot jugs filled with water
…and shot jugs filled with explosives

That was my favorite :-)

My oldest got to ride hard and fast on a four-wheeler with his buddy.


He learned what it feels like to be free…and to have his life flash before his eyes as he almost falls…but recover and careen back wide-eyed and grinning ear-to-ear. His smiles were priceless. He learned to value and savor moments like this, and to engage the world to take advantage of what it has to offer.

He also learned how to catch air from a ditch at 32 mph.

My girls learned that life can be very dangerous, but with the proper respect and training, that danger can be wielded to their advantage…and high caliber joy can result.2010-08-29 Shooting1They also learned to reload in 2.3 seconds.

My youngest learned patience brings reward, that weapons are not toys, and 4-wheeling is awesome.
2010-08-29 ShootingHe also learned how to double-tap the center mass of his target using a semi-automatic. Oh yes.

My wife got to fire a hand gun. Not just any hand gun. a .357 Magnum. DAMN that was awesome. That bowling pin will never cross her again.IMG_0068

What did I learn?

…the right instructor teaches safety, respect, and fun
…handling a weapon opens your eyes to the real world
…blowing things up is really, really fun. Seriously
…my family is the best
…my wife looks awesome wielding a .357 Magnum
…shooting is the Hope Diamond of quality family time

Life skills result from weapons handling: respect, self-control, knowing limits, joy, safety, fun, friendship, companionship, right and wrong, sharing, connecting with God and nature, all of it. Maybe there’s an essay in the future on this.

Most of all? Everyone will remember this and SMILE!

Enjoy this movie of our adventures…we’ll be SURE to do this again

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Song Insight: “No Uncertainty”

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©1992, 2010
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2010 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Hopeful, Uplifting, Encouraging, Determined

Other song insights

“This song is dedicated to all the ladies out there” was my into to this song the first I played a version of this song…back in 1992.

I thought I wrote this song to encourage the girls in the youth group I helped lead music for…that they would navigate their teenage-trials with God in their sights at all times.

But now I know I wrote it for when I had daughters of my own.

This song is dedicated to them. I call them spitfire and pistol :-)
Girl Photos

These two beautiful, independent, rambunctious, adventurous, insanely stubborn, ferociously loyal, playful, imaginative and crazy-fun girls have turned my life completely sideways with delight.
I pray that they have No Uncertainty as they walk through life.
Girl Photos1

No uncertainty in the joys of life:
They have taken a big bite out of life already and they’re only 9. They don’t let life pass them by. I can’t wait to see how their adventure unfolds as they get older.

No uncertainty in their self-worth, confidence, self-esteem.
I know what can happen if a girl is down and needs others approval to feel valuable. I know the pitfalls, I know the temptations, I know the spiral downwards that can happen. And I know my weaknesses…what boys real intentions are with unconfident girls. My prayer is that they see how valuable they are and use the confidence throughout their lives.

No uncertainty in the love for each other, the love of their parents, the love of their God.
I’m really stunned at how close they are. Yes I know they’re twins but they love each other more deeply than I may ever know. The best example is when Pistol had a heart stent procedure. They held each other, encouraged each other, and couldn’t sleep unless the other was there. Same thing happened when they were 2.5 months old during her heart surgery. 

It’s during times like these that the need to remember their brothers love them, we love them, and Jesus loves them and nothing will change that.
Girl Photos2

No uncertainty in their strengths…and weaknesses:
They’re so determined. They work hard, play hard, train in gymnastics hard, and this flows through all their adventures. I pray they understand their strengths and weaknesses so they know where to focus…when someone is trying to manipulating them…when temptation arises.

…that they walk with God and hold His hand when weaknesses surface.
Girl Photos3

No Uncertainty in their Savior:
I’m trying my best. But I am so flawed. My prayer for them is that I can help guide them through these narrow shoals of their youth. Point out rocky patches I had to struggle through, point out smooth path they could take, and give them my hand when they get stuck in the muck. 

My prayer is they make it through this amazing and soon-to-be turbulent time in their lives as wise young women, confident in themselves, their world, and their Savior.
2008-07-08 Misc 048

No Uncertainty of their dad’s love:
I love you, ladies. I pray you will live how Jesus wants you to live. Don’t think you have to follow any preconceived path I have for you. Don’t change your course for any promise of love or affection from a guy…

…keep your eyes on Jesus, and walk his way. That is the surest path to an amazing, rewarding, loving, joy-filled, adventure of a life you could ever have.

Technical Specifics: 
Recording Unit: Cakewalk Sonar 4 MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Alesis DM-Pro, egg shaker
Guitar: Ovation 1712 Custom Balladeer (double mic’d)
Bass: Fiama Hollowbody (recorded directly into the board)
Piano: Roland RD-500

Mic Specifics:
Vocal Mic: Sure beta58. I love this mic for my voice. When I record others I usually use the CAD condenser mic as it’s more ‘natural’ and captures the authentic vocal. But I don’t like my voice thru the CAD. I sound too drab with that mic. I like how the Beta58 colors my vocal…adds sparkle and ‘spank’…more rock-n-roll.

Guitar Mics: CAD E-100, RODE NT-1. I love recording stereo acoustic guitar. Such a full sound! The CAD is pointed to the 12th fret, and the RODE sits near the base of the guitar pointed towards the bridge. I like how it catches ‘what the player hears’ when the strings are strummed.
Oh, if you listen REALLY closely, you can hear a ‘ladies’ party going on in the background. The guitar was recorded during a party that my wife was having. Figured it was a good a time as any and if lady laughter came through, it probably added to the song :-)

Note: This has copyright 1992 and 2010 since the B section of this song is new. I never liked the old B section as it didn’t further the story, was to vague, and made the lead character sound confused. This B section clearly shows that every person stuggles with some temptation. In this case the promise of fame. I’m actually quite surprised the guitar part successfully rattled around in my brain for 18 years waiting for the right time to come out.

Lyrics ©2010 Greg Hintermeister 
Verse 1:
You’re walking on a narrow highway, you whistle a song
You’re looking up at a billboard, as you pass along
A pretty lady smiles down on you
She says “Every woman wants to be like me, Well how ‘bout you?”

Oh, you smile and say with no uncertainty
“I love the Lord my God, so let me be”

Verse 2: 
A little time has passed, and the sun goes down
A handsome man walks by you, and he turns around
Says, “Baby tonight’s your night for love”
You say you couldn’t agree more – as you look above

Oh, you smile and say with innocence so fine
Well, maybe you lost yours, but I’ll keep mine

But there’s trouble ahead You’re walking into an ambush
They put your name in lights with a promise you’ll be famous
They draw to your side You draw strength from High
They draw streams of lies You draw the line!

Verse 3: 
Daybreak has come, you’re a little worse for wear
You shake the dust off of your shoes, and hair
But you made it though, your battle’s won
You tip your hat to the Father, and His only Son

Oh, you smile and say with no uncertainty
“I love the Lord my God, so let it be”

“I love the Lord my God”
“I love the Lord my God”
“I love the Lord my God, so let it be”

You’re walking on a narrow highway
You’re looking up at Jesus and you walk on home his way

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fireside Chat

Ever been to a funeral where long after the ceremony, friends and family sit around reminiscing and having a great time remembering that person? I have. The only bummer is that the person being honored isn’t there! Since my dad is still alive and kicking at almost 72 now, I knew I had to do something unique…

My dad turned 70 almost 2 years ago. My brother and I surprised him and flew down to Florida (where they live) to take him on a 2 day salt-water fishing trip.

He was very surprised!


…and we each caught some big ones!

Fishing 2008

…and not-so-big-ones…

2008 Fishing Trip1

It was a weekend filled with laughter, early mornings, late nights, great food, hurricanes (just one), unique experiences,  manatees, dolphins, long drives, and three men enjoying each other like they did years ago catching crappies in Minnesota on Clearwater Lake.

2008 Fishing Trip

For a present I created a memory-filled document I called “Fireside Chat”. I wanted my dad to know what an impact he had on those close to him over the years (without waiting for his funeral!) so I contacted family and friends and asked them to send memories, stories, and thoughts regarding my dad. I then compiled it into an imaginary fireside chat.

--> Click Here to Read “Fireside Chat” <--

I’ve always meant to share it sooner, but there it is now. Enjoy.

I love you, Dad. Hope we can do this again on your 80th.

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