Monday, January 31, 2011

Are You a REAL Hintermeister?

With all my attempts at trying to become less robot-y, I am concerned that I have mis-guided you to think incorrectly of the Hintermeister Brand. After all, we are a unique gene pool that dates back to the year 1370 in Gerlisberg, Switzerland. Here is our family crest:
Therefore, in order to gain full appreciation of all that is true Hintermeister spirit, I have created a self-guided test to determine if you can consider yourself a REAL Hintermeister.
Scenario 1: You are mowing your 5 acre yard and see a small furry critter running away from you in fear.
Do You:
A) Stop the mower until the critter is at a safe distance, then erect a small ‘animal-crossing’ picket fence to avoid future mower-induced fear that might shorten the life of your furry friend
B) Ignore the critter and continue to mow because, well, a straight-lined lawn is a Godly lawn. And, if God had meant for me to care for that creature He would have made it out of an iPhone, a guitar, or made it run a heckova lot faster
C) Swerve wildly in hot pursuit in hopes that you overtake the critter, see furry confetti fly out of the business end of the mower, and celebrate with the same gusto as one would celebrate your brother crashing his car into the family mailbox
Scenario 2: You have 4 or more children. Off in the distance you hear one of them screaming.
Do You:
A) Drop everything you’re doing, find your precious off-spring and have a calm discussion with any oppressor of the benefits of verbal diplomacy
B) Drop everything you’re doing, find out if your precious off-spring’s pain is:
1) If self-inflicted: Tell him to grow a pair and learn to suffer because life is full of pain
2) If bully-inflicted: Declare that jail is going to be a tasty reward fo the pummeling you are about to give his offender
C) Drop another ice-cube into your drink and turn the music up louder. If they were really hurt someone would come running with blood on their hands to prove it. Besides, you are well stocked with extras
Scenario 3: Your favorite band is coming to concert, but your wife is not a fan. Further, it’s on your anniversary.
Do You:
A) Spend quality time with your wife
B) Spend quality time with your wife before the concert. Suddenly complain of a headache…and go see the concert…return with medicine from the store and resume quality time after the concert
C) Inform your wife through her Google Calendar that you have a scheduling conflict from 7pm-10pm that night, and counter with several other nights during the rest of the month that work for you
Scenario 4: You finally got the book/movie you’ve been waiting from the library for 3 months, but you just got back from two weeks of travel and your family wants “connect-with-daddy” time.
Do You:
A) Set aside the book/movie because you realize your family is far more entertaining and fulfilling than any book or movie
B) Set aside the book/movie while you arrange a ‘play-date’ for your kids…and wife…leaving you all alone. Creatively, you arrange to rid the house of your family without them knowing, thereby reflecting any guilt onto them
C) Declare that it’s “Healthy Family Month” and have them all in bed by 8PM…leaving the entire evening to you and the missus…and the fact that she just “doesn’t get” Clint Eastwood and leaves you alone…Well that’s just more chips and cheese for you.
Scenario 5: You are at a family reunion and a new married-into-the-family relative-ette asks, “Why are only the women helping to get the reunion meal made!?!”
Do you:
A) Stand up and offer to help
B) Stand up and move out of ear-shot to a different chair
C) Reply “Because I’m not barefoot and can’t get pregnant. Oh, and while you’re helping, could you top off my drink?”
Scenario 6: Your in-laws are scheduled to come over for dinner on a perfect summer evening.
Do You:
A) Prepare the grill, cook the meat, enjoy their company
B) Prepare the grill, cook the meat, enjoy their company
C) Prepare the grill, cook the meat, enjoy their company
…because a Hintermeister just doesn’t mess with the in-laws. Not only is it good for marital bliss, ANY reason to cook meat over fire while drinking a fine porter is a good decision.
How did you score?
If you chose:
A) You’d better get your DNA tested…I’m not sure HinterBlood runs through your veins.
B) You are a qualified Hintermeister. However, you could learn to unlock some more of the secret HinterMojo
C) HinterMojo runs wild in your blood and you are a honorable representative of the Hintermeister Brand.
Stay tuned for future tests to determine if you are a REAL Hintermeister not just at home, but also at work and while travelling.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Song Insight: “Everything’s Gold”

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©1999
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2011 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Pride, Regret, Despair, Loss

Other song insights

What’s your top priority in life?

This song is about a man whose top priority in life was his career. Somewhere far down the priority list were his friends, kids, wife,  and eventually Jesus. We meet him as he reaches the apex of his career. He’s at the top. Everything around him is gold…hotels, money, power, frequent flyer status, prestige, perks.

…but he ends up filled with regret, loss, and loneliness.

I’ve met some people where I work like this. Some of their casual comments about the hours away from home…their “dedication”…it makes me sad.

This will be my 19th year at my career, and I’ve tried to balance this line between a job I really enjoy and the family I love. I think I’m doing OK since my kids still miss me and complain when I travel. But it is hard. I know there are times I am so focused on work that while physically home, I’m very far away. I also don’t think I take the kids on little ‘outings’ enough. I really need to look more at how my role model balanced his career and kept his priorities straight.

Who is my role model?
Young suited Lyle My Dad.

While he was very successful and sure seemed at the top of the rung in his career, I never felt like he was absent growing up. In fact, what I remember is how much we did together…

I remember our play wrestling (when we were both a lot younger)

I remember playing catch (and a wicked curve ball I could never hit)

I remember the Bible-study parties they’d throw with their friends (and the bursts of laughter as I was trying to sleep)

I remember Saturday fishing trips to catch crappies (Lake Clearwater…so much fun)

I remember the countless hours at his dad’s lake home helping maintain it (and his wonderful decision to stop raking the seaweed off the beach…since it was usually delegated to one of us boys)

I remember the trips he would take with his wife (and, the way-out-of-control parties I threw while they were gone…but that’s another story for another time…)

He always seemed to have his priorities straight.
Recently my dad wrote me that he felt at a loss for words and embarrassed when co-workers talked about hobbies because my dad didn’t have any.

Now that I think through this, I’m not so sure.

I define a hobby as something one spends time doing solely because he loves doing it and is passionate about it; not expecting any monetary reward.

I think his hobby was his relationships. His kids, friends, wife, and Jesus…

…and at the top of the list has always been his relationship with Jesus. I’ve never seen someone pour over the Bible the way he does (then and now).

Thank you, Dad.

You showed by example how to love the challenges of a career, and how important it is to love what you do for a living. Yet you also showed by example that when you put your wife, kids, friends, and Jesus at the top of your priority list…

…that’s when everything truly is gold.


Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080
Percussion: Egg shaker, Tambourine
Acoustic Guitar: Ovation 1712 Custom Balladeer
Piano: RD-500
Electric Guitar: Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody II (rhythm)
Guitar Amp: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Electric Guitar Mics: close: Shure SM57;  3ft back: CAD E100
Acoustic Guitar Mics: CAD E100, Rode NT1
Bass: RD-500

Recording Specifics: 
Since it had been 12 years since I composed and performed this song, I wanted a bit more modern feel to this song. I asked my oldest son to drum along to the chorus while I played. I recorded his drumming then recreated it on the XV-5080 unit. I’m so glad I did that as he provided a great kick-snare beat that I would have never thought of.

I then added piano, keyboard bass, acoustic guitar, then distorted electric guitar. I did record distorted electric for all of verse 3 and the B section but reduced it to just the B section in order for the dynamics of the song to keep growing.

Part of the song sound airy and open and I fought my instincts to fill it with little guitar or piano fills…I love doing those…but I felt the song needed to breathe since the character is really desperate and lost. I am VERY happy with how this turned out sonically. I finally have a decent mastering process using Audacity where I use the Leveller, EQ, Normalize functions, and then export to iTunes.

Composing Specifics: 
This is the first song I wrote for a crossWinds church service. It was performed on January 17, 1999. The topic was “Intentional Living: People - priority #2”.


Lyrics ©1999 Greg Hintermeister 
Verse 1: 
Look at me Look what I’ve done 
I’m at the top of the ladder Top of the rung
Everywhere I go people say to me 
hey, Everything’s Gold

Verse 2: 
Look at me Look what I’ve done 
I’ve spent a lifetime dreaming no time living
But everywhere I go people say to me 
Everything’s Gold Everything’s Gold...

Verse 3: 
Look at me What have I done 
I’ve sacrificed my friends, my kids, the love of my life for the good of the selfish one
Still everywhere I go people say to me 
hey, Everything’s Gold

B Section: 
I’d trade it in a second for a trace of happiness 
I’d give my entire world 
for a glimpse of what I could have had 
instead of loving all I’m worth

Verse 4: 
Look at me Look what I’ve done 
I’m at the top of the ladder it’s so dark and alone
Still everywhere I go People say to me 
Everything’s Gold

Everywhere I go I see it’s all worthless... 
but Everything’s Gold 
Everything’s Gold 
Everything’s Gold
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