Saturday, April 30, 2011

The End of Being Culturally Relevant

It's over.

I was the guy who had all the film references. From "Game Over, Man!" to "Welcome to the party, pal!" to "Bring out yer dead!". Obscure Lyrics? Had 'em. Song recognition? Unbeatable, thanks to eight years of working on the loading docks at Dayton's Ridgedale with KQRS blairing 50 hours a week.

But it's now over. Why? I hit my limit. I had to put down one of the most popular books available today because I while I found it funny, it was too crass and vulgar for me to read on.

"In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks", by Adam Corolla. A book with all the manly answers and opinions to life's current hot topics.

Me? I laughed all the way until the choice of words started burning my eyes (I'm not sure why he thought all the word choices were needed. His PG versions on the radio were just as, if not more, funny).

I'm just not able to deflect the constant barrage of language and word pictures described without it seeping into my every day thoughts. When my first thought response to a news story or co-workers opinion is lifted straight from the most colorful parts of the book, I know something needs to end.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm not as strong to compartmentalize my exposure to media like I was used to, or if I'm finally realizing I never was able to compartmentalize and I'm just now beginning to see what I read is lodged deep in my thoughts waiting to come out (By the way, do you find that what you read is lodged deeper than any visual? I sure do).

Music is the same way. I LOVE the Cee Lo Greene song. Yep...THAT song. But I listen to it once and it stays with me for days. Even the clean version. By the way, who was the snake who convinced the world that "clean" versions are, well, clean? Any eight year old with public bussing instinctively replaces the bleeps or "Forget You"s with the real thing. Maybe it was well-meaning parents like me? Well, it backfired.

Films? Ditto. I'm either more squeamish, more of a wuss, or less manly (probably all three). Or, maybe I'm finally tired of having a gory or titillating scene replay in my mind during my work day, family night, or in the middle of a worship service. Yep. It seems the most intense culture clips pop up most during a worship service.

What does all this mean? I don't know. But it make me sad.

I'm sure some would say...

..."You're growing as a Believer"
Maybe, but it still makes me sad. Which makes me doubt any growth.

..."You're nicely not loving the things of this world"
But it seems less fun. The alternatives seem more boring and less engaging. And for me there’s a lot to love in this world.

..."You now can fill your thought life on what really matters"
I don't know. I think my God-o-meter is broken. My faith is sound, but it just seems so dull right now.

..."The culture is trash, and you should be happy to be out of it"
I seem to find something meaningful and reflective in most everything I watch/listen/read. To me, the Truth can shine just as brightly in a Rolling Stones song as it can a Keith Green song (and sometimes be more effective because it’s less preachy). To just cut out current pop culture makes me less able to have open conversations with others and just isn't that appealing.

The problem is that the bad parts are cutting into me too deeply to continue to participate.


At this point, I'm supposed to have some inspirational twist that leaves me feeling good, and hopefully you, too. Not this time. I feel a loss...almost like a part of me died that I already miss. I should probably do something overt like start a side-blog called "365 days to find what really matters". Possibly. But I'm so weary I'm afraid it'll be day after day of "didn't find what matters today"   "not today either"  "nope"  "Found despair today. I hope that's not what matters".

Can you relate? *

(*note: I was going to end with ‘Can you relate?’, in hopes to start a conversation…and all I ended up thinking of was that I’ve succeeded in referencing an obscure Prince lyric. Sometimes my mind plays some pretty cruel jokes on me.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Technology That Matters - #32

You already know that I'm an inventor. Having such a pulse on the edge of technology, I feel it is my duty and privilege to bring you up to speed on the latest technologies I come across that inspire me.

This one made me gasp…

So simple…

So elegant…

It is something I could have used every single day, no...several times a day, during my world travels last year (especially in Bangkok).

It is...

The toilet seat handle.

IMG_2461-1 The Anti-bacterial coated toilet seat handle.

How could I have not thought of this pinnacle of technology? This should have had a "Powered by HinterVision" label on the side.

Admit it. How many times have you danced the one-footed I'm-at-the-airport-but-i-was-raised-to-raise-the-seat-when-I-pee-so-I'll-lift-the-toxic-coated-green-and-slimy-seat-with-my-foot-while-pondering-who-pees-green-and-what-country-did-that-guy-just-visit dance, only to find that the required agility can only be matched by Michael Flatley or Chris Angel...and lets face it, neither would put themselves in that position because while you're peeing with the commoners, they’re in the  executive suite in the Admirals club complaining how Heathrow’s stalls have solid wooden doors and floor-to-ceiling walls compared to the "ridiculous" attempt at luxury found at Charles De Gaulle.

The caste system could be leveled, and courtesy preserved, with the world-wide adoption of this simple innovation.

MY conspiracy theory is that the anti-bacterial hand cleaner consortium are actually very much PRO-bacterial...otherwise they'd be out of a need for their they suppress this toilet handle technology and force us coach-weary travelers to help the next stall occupier…resulting in either scrubbing our now leprociaic hands until they’re raw, or by attempting one-footed contortions that while a manly show of dexterity, usually ends with a deafening ‘spa-looshing’ sound of our iPhones spelunking to the depths of its watery grave.

Only the freedom fighters (bacterial insurgents to the aforementioned consortium) at the local Gymnastics club are bold and brave enough to flaunt this technology in the face of the evil suppressors and fly the handle high into the bold sweet night as an example of freedom that can be found if we…


Let …

Science …

Be …


If you truly care about freedom, post this on your status and share in the fight to liberate technology that matters!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What You See vs. What I'm Thinking

 210055_1337644418119_1741407067_573979_6149382_o I know what it looks like:

I walk on stage with confidence...  Pick up my guitar and prepare for worship...  Adeptly adjust the volume, tone, pedals... Glance at bassist, drummer and whisper encouragement... Wink at my singer wife... Nod with the 4 intro drumstick clicks...

...Slam into a clear, musical, rockin' solo to kick off a great morning of worship.

But did you ever wonder what I'm really thinking?


I walk on stage with confidence...  
It's sure dark back here. I wonder where I put my guitar case? OW! There it is. That sure was a good cup of coffee. I hope the doughnut hole didn't leave goo on my playing hand. Picking hand would be fine...keep from dropping the pick. This black curtain would sure look nice in my studio. Sweet. The goo cleaned right off! Poor curtain. Next coffee is only 20 minutes away.


Pick up my guitar and prepare for worship...  
Here's Commander Hinter mounting his 70mm Gatling gun preparing for battle! PEW PEW PEW. Out of the barrel shoots lasers right at the sound guy..."Don't make me sound sucky" bullets on their way! Hmm. Did I just mix 19th and 22nd century technology? Should I have thought a more manly sound than PEW? Maybe BLAM?


Adeptly adjust the volume, tone, pedals... 
Uh oh. Singer isn't on stage yet. Time to pay homage to my "Tone for Jesus" Facebook fan page by fiddling with my perfectly working gear so it's not obvious we're waiting. Wow. This floor sure is dirty. Maybe I should bring a rug so my gear can rest on clean surfaces? Should I have washed my hands after that doughnut!?! Wait. I didn't have a doughnut. It was a doughnut HOLE. Big difference. But it’s not really a hole. It’s a sphere. A beautiful, sugary, tasty sphere of goodness. What if they sold Latte’s as spheres? Latte innards with doughnut outer shell? OK. Singer is ready.


Glance at bassist, drummer and whisper encouragement... 
Wait. What? I don't recognize any of this music! I know we just rehearsed it 20 minutes ago...but this is the 2,637th song I've played at crossWinds and they ALL have G  D  C  Am  Em chords and an occasional Cm thrown in. Dude, telling me to read the lyrics doesn't help. They're filled with the same “God”, “Desperate”, “Wonder”, “Forever”, “Fall”, “Here I am” words as the other 2,636 songs! I AM GOING TO CRASH AND BURN!!!


Wink at my singer wife...
Maybe I can get my wife's attention. She can hum the melody in my ear like she does most other mornings. At least it's not like the evening worship where I start the song on acoustic with NO idea of tempo, time signature, nor melody, and the charts are actually laughing at me. Don't mock me, Mr. I'm-really-an-evil-upside-down-smile-not-a-sign-for-a-long-pause-Fermata. They need to invent a printer that adds a snippet of the song like the Hallmark cards so I press the paper and voilà…memory restored. DANG! Particles from the just-erected 15ft foam cross just lodged in my eye. Wife sees me in distress...she's mouthing the beat and lyrics but I can’t make it out…she looks funny… I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS SONG SOUNDS LIKE!!!


Nod with the 4 intro drumstick clicks... 
"CLICK"   OH SWEET LORD IN HEAVEN please help me remember how this song starts! "CLICK"  Then again, Is this meant to be a life lesson? I see "Big Solo" scribbled at the top of the charts. Is God trying to teach me how to be humble and not show off in church? "CLICK" That serving in a band is all about helping those in the audience to connect with God during worship and not about personal fulfillment? That is profound and God driving this teaching momen… "CLICK" AHA!!! I GOT IT! HERE WE GO! YEEE HAW!!!


Slam into a clear, musical, rockin' solo to kick off a great morning of worship... this is where we meet. Where we connect. I know it may look like I'm showboating to others, but I truly feel it is You and I dancing together on the fretboard...sharing private moments where any excellence I portray is clearly a gift from you…for the sole purpose of worshiping you through my playing. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!!


How about you? What goes through your mind when everyone is watching you?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Song Insight: “Hello, Happy!”

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2007
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2007 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Hope, Happy, Smiles, Anticipation, Summer Fun


Other song insights


Sometimes I'm happy.

Really happy.

Like an un-tethered burst of happy that celebrates everything around me. I love those times. Like today…or like the day I wrote this song.

Now, there are times when I’m sad, too. I honestly think my range of moods is a pre-requisite for being a Hinter. I also think it's a gift. When I'm blue, I get really down, but that’s when I get thoughtful and write a good blog post...or a good song. I also think that without the blue, I wouldn’t know the happy like I do.

When I do find Happy, happy songs come this one. It's just piano, so don't get all distracted waiting for the guitars...There's enough of those in other songs. I find it a challenge to write for a single instrument so every note has to count.

To celebrate when I get to say hello to Happy, let's raise a mug and toast, in no particular order, to some things that make me happy:
  • Composing
    The elation when it all comes together and I’m hearing music I love…and that I wrote. It’s jump up and fist-pump happy
  • My wife She adds the sparkle to everything on this list
  • Guitars
  • Adventurous travel
  • Oceans
  • Lobster
    Or any sea-faring food, really
  • Dark beer
  • More guitars
  • Lost
    Especially season 1
  • Late night talks with my oldest son 
  • Really dark beer No, not a duplicate. this is a rare find.
  • Safaris
    The real African kind
  • My youngest son He's a lot like me. I’m so stinking proud and amazed at him. Also makes me sad because I fail him a lot, but that's for a later post
  • Playing piano Especially my 'pretty' arrangement of Raiders of the Lost Ark during a wedding prelude. That was some serious Happy
  • Driving fast Specifically, driving fast while listening to Eddie and the Cruisers II in my college-days sports car on my way to surprise my then-girlfriend now-wife in Eau Claire
  • My music collection …See “driving fast”
  • Tequila
    Reposado or Añejo preferably
  • My daughters I call them Spitfire and Pistol.  What a journey they’re taking me on!
  • Concerts
    Actually depends on the performance. Always worthwhile, but sometimes I get blue because I’m not up there playing with them
  • Working outside
    Mowing, gardening, trimming trees, love all of it
  • Campfires Marshmallows wrapped in tortillas grilled in campfire pie-maker. Amazing!
I could put a hundred more items in the list.

Funny, but nothing in that list includes technology…something that I spend MOST of my time interacting with during work and while at home.

Maybe that should tell me something.

My faith isn't listed in there, either. But there's a reason for that.

I personally find that having a faith in Jesus makes everything in that list stay Happy. With my faith, I have an anchor, a sense of purpose (that I many times forget but eventually remember). That anchor makes the list fun! Without it, those things in my list would be potential sources of purpose…and would quickly be removed from my ‘fun’ list and move to my ‘obsessive’ or ‘destructive’ list.

So here’s to life, to fun, and to faith.

Here’s to Happy!

Oh, and enjoy the song :-)

Technical Specifics: 
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Piano: RD-500

I composed this for a live theatre production at the Rochester Community and Technical College called “Imperfect Apple”. It was the opening number where we see the young lead character for the first time giving her wonderful, and happy, outlook on life. We soon learn she faces cancer, and the rest of the play revolves around her thoughts and journey through her treatment.
It was an awesome show!
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