Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"It Is Finished"

I got a new tattoo. This pic was taken five hours after, so the scotch tape marks that held the padding in place is still there. But you get the idea. They say it hurts the most on your ribs but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. And no, I'm not putting a full torso shot on the Internet!

Who's next?

Ah forget it.

What's next!??

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dark Night Of The Soul

(If you're a happy, "Jesus is my girlfriend" type of Christian, then I would recommendyou skip today's entry)

The last few days have been very gloomy. Saw two concerts - that was cool. but rapidly, I fell into a pit of emotional dispair.

I read a story on CNN.com about the Captain of a ship in the Gulf, employeed by BP, who woke one morning last week, kissed his wife and kids goodbye, went to the ship and shot himself. He wasn't depressed - just a normal guy, in a very, very tense situation. He snapped under the immense pressure of oil clean up and BP's lengthy procedure of paperwork - and he just snapped. His wife and kids have no husband or father. I am grieving for a family I don't know.

I wonder where the line of snapping is for the rest of us?

Christians wants this to be a "spiritual battle" - like a Christian "hokus pokus" magic fix. Put on the armour of God - yada yada. Just what I wanna hear.

My psychiatrist rhymes off a series of weekly questions about diet, concentration, amount of sleep, whereby I give the same answers week after week. He isn't zoning in on my situation or how it envelopes me. My psychologist talks about "The Dark Night Of the Soul" - which is about Christian isolation from God in the wee hours of the night. Like right now.

There is no music, no TV show, no book and no friend that provides comfort. Well, junk food helps.

Once I fall asleep after many stupid hours of lying awake, the morning is surprisingly fresh and the Dark Night is forgotten.

Amazing, after three fabulous weeks of feeling positive about life, I get whacked in the face with rapid depression, (a panic attack - which my shrink says it is not.) I'm still not sure why he tells me how I feel? I'm the freaking patient!

When the panic attack comes - I don't care. About anything. Nothing. If right now you imagine dark thoughts, you'll be getting warm to how I feel right now.

I understand a lot of people have depression for weeks on end. I'm lucky - for me, it's a half a day a week, more or less. In those moments, relationships, the hope for tomorrow, the love for my job, the care for a loved one - is faraway. I don't care.

I watch a lot of positive, happy movies, many Christian-based. I try to avoid any movie that deals with revenge, especially guns. I won't watch violent news reports at night.

I do devotions nearly everyday, seeking new ways to keep my devos fresh and interesting and recently they leave me uplifted. I used to read about Kings and Chronicles and Job but I stay away from anything about the wrath of God which depresses me.

Then, by evening, my attitude has shifted to negativity on the very same topics that uplifted me in the morning. Why?

I promised myself to not blog at this hour because I tend to say things I regret. Well, I am writing at 2am, because it's "the dark night of the soul".

I suppose a public radio personality should not be sharing initimate information but I know I am not alone - and neither are you.

It is a dark, sad hour but relax, I am safe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Daily devotions for me are not really a "daily." thing. I'm not a morning person so focusing on reading and responding without drifting or being distracted is nearly impossible.

I promise myself I'll do it at night. Something interrupts me. American Idol,or the gym. You can see where my priorities are. Hmmm!

Going thru my journal, I can see how my devotional time has wandered from daily to weekly, and on occasion - monthly.

Jesus used the A.C.T.S. acronym for the Lord's Prayer and I like that concept. I like it because it's a format and radio people love formats!

Adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication/requests.

But, with adoration starting the sequence, I can't get started without sounding trite.

One friend told me to use the Psalms in prayer but I really don't talk in David's style so it sounds insincere. I tried "the message" version, which is better, but, well, not me.

One friend told me to skip "A" and go to "C" and leave the "A" til the end. The order doesn't matter. I tried that. Not bad.

Another friend told me to take a Psalm of praise and re-write it to suit my own thoughts and circumstance. Not a translation, but a thought-starter. It works! It's awesome!

And because I journal my devotions, I have my own "adoration" words to get primed for what's to come!

Very cool!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Road Trip!

Off to London and Chatham! London for the CD release party for "So Much More" by To Tell and a visit with my radio friends Al Baker and Malcolm Hunt at 89.3 UCB Chatham/Kent.

Starting in Chatham, Al and I hung out in master control, from the third floor with a mega-window over the street. Ah, the envy of a studio window with a view! In this photo Al is showing me the computer software system that navigates UCB music, commercials and, if need be, a shuttle launch. Very high tech. What a great set-up!

Posing in the lobby is my buddy Malcolm Hunt, who just moved to Chatham from Edmonton where he worked at SHINE-FM as CEO or something very important. And Al Baker - the heart and soul of UCB in Chatham. He also has a large political button collection which is a little weird.

After the radio tour and a bunch of handshakes, we took off for London to catch To Tell's CD release party where I offered some "ideas on loan". To Tell performed the best I've seen them! Super-tight band, great new songs, which you probably hear on LIFE 100.3. Add to that a video of the band recording, food and the Light Division, $5 admission including the full length CD....! Man, it was a hot night in London. (Ya, the photo of me is the real colour - we had the roof off during the four hour ride from Barrie and I think I got a little sun!)

Wishing Zach, Nate, Josh and Jordan lots of summer success! And, so much more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nashville - Blackbird Studios - "Yes, A Big Deal!"

Sabbaticals are great! Everyone should take one!

I know I sound like a cocky rock star but - ahem - "I just got back from Nashville."

Actually it was the grand opening of BBR Studios. In his pursuit to put Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K's producer) out of business (my words, not his) my son Brett built a recording studio in his house. There's a live recording floor for drums, guitars, cellos, singers etc. which is connected to a mixing studio on the other side of the wall.
Friends and clients stopped by to visit and see the studios, unveiled for the first time.

I'm really proud of Brett. He aced his audio engineering class at S.A.E. and is now interning at Blackbird studios.


Oh, it's kinda like the "Abbey Road" of the 21st Century. (Little plug there for the McBrides! You're welcome.)

Brett took us on a tour of Blackbirds eight major studios early one morning before the rock stars arrived. (Rock stars don't wake up until noon.) I can't begin to describe the decor, the number of expensive microphones, the boards, the reverb chambers.

If you want to put some sound effect, like reverberation on your voice, like the sound you get in a big empty bathroom, you could turn on the reverb unit on a computer, or, you could go in this 4x4 foot room with a tall ceiling and have real reverb - I could barely understand my wife speaking next to me. It was like yelling in a cave! It was nuts!

Brett told me about his job as an intern, mostly running errands but being part of Blackbird is really quite an honour and giving him the ideas to build his own studio.

"Hey Brett, who's recording at Blackbird today?"

"I can't tell you - I signed a confidentiality agreement."

"Brett - you tell me! I'm your father!"

He wouldn't.

But he let me sit in Studio D, with the (ahem) 90-channel board! (who need 90 channels? Ok, maybe Rush. Ooops, wasn't supposed to say that!)

Ok, this is Nashville. Blackbird. The studio the other studios talk about. You won't find a gold record on the wall - anywhere. Why? Because every country song that gets a gold record was recorded at Blackbird! So, it's kinda cool that they don't show off their records. Nice.
The photo above is me in Studio D is where Nick Jonas spilt his coffee all over the glass engraved Blackbird counter.