Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top 50 of 2010

My favourite radio day of the year - the year-end countdown show!

I remember listening to 1050 CHUM when I lived in Toronto. The 1969 countdown was my first. As I recall "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" by the Fifth Dimension was #1. I sat there with my crappy cassette player, recording the songs I liked. After that, I spent almost every New Year's Eve listening to the radio, writing down the songs and keeping track.

Some people never grow up. Now I am the host of the countdown. The 50 best songs of the year, played in a row, with artist interviews. What could be more fun??

Here's the LIFE 100.3 countdown list. Enjoy. (a larger version is here.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ski Lift Derailed!

Have you seen the movie “Frozen”? It’s about three friends who go downhill skiing. The hill is about to close for the night but the three people take one last ride up the hill before closing. Then, the ski hill lights on the hill go out, the hill shuts down and the skiers are stuck on the lift - for days! They battle storms, dehydration, lack of a bathroom and - well, I won’t spoil it.

Caution - ignore the lousy movie reviews by other people - I found it very suspenseful!

On a similar note, the other day in Maine, the ski lift busted. The cable derailed and the lift chairs came crashing down. Unbelievable! What is more unbelievable is that a CNN reporter just happened to be on the lift. He video taped the action and did live commentary. Ha!

Here’s the story.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

McDonald's Is Confused

What on earth is going on with McDonald’s?

You haven’t heard? They’re selling thai food! That’s ridiculous! They’re also selling wraps? At McDonalds? Yes! And - there’s a McCafe - for coffee!

And healthy apple slices!

Ok, that’s enough! Something has gone horribly wrong!

Restaurants specialize and become known for their specific product. At McDonald’s it’s hamburgers!

Like, if you want a great steak you to go The Keg, you don’t go to Harvey’s. If you chicken you go to Swiss Chalet, not Red Lobster. And if you want a coffee you go to Tim Hortons. That’s how it works. That’s how it’s always worked.

If you want a Beamer you don’t go to a used car lot.

If you want to buy a bicycle - now listen to me because I’m an expert - go a bike specialist like Bikeland. You don’t buy a buy at Canadian Tire - ever.

If you want to buy trendy clothes (ok, we’re getting personal, here) you go to Pinstripe or Le Chateau. You don’t go to Winners.

And - if you want a hamburger? You go to McDonalds. So what is this deal with thai food, wraps, apples and the McCafe? Are they confused?

Ray Kroc must be rolling in his grave!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from Billy Graham

Billy Graham is 92. He made a surprise appearance at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Watch this video to see Billy give a Christmas message to the staff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the station
Not a DJ was stirring, there was no conversation.
The antenna was hung by the transmitter with care,
In hopes that the CRTC would always be fair.

The DJs were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of backstage concert passes danced in their heads.

Now Junky! Now Evan! Now Scott, Steve and Jen!
On AJ! On Tim! On Woody and Ben!
To the top of the charts with music for all!
Now download, and blog it and post on the wall!

Santa is fun but Jesus is real.
He’s the reason for every season - and that’s deal!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

(It's cheesy, I know. I'm a cheesy guy.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Top 10 - Songs, Movies, Concerts & Moments

Top 10 Favourite Songs of 2010

1. Down And Out/Hello Kelly w/To Tell
2. Impossible/Anberlin
3. iContact/Group1Crew
4. Avalanche/Manafest
5. Before The Morning/Josh Wilson
6. Lifetime/Kris Allen
7. Secrets/One Republic
8. Forest/Number One Gun
9. All We Need Is Love/Dominic Balli
10. Far Away/Lecrae

Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2010

1. Remember Me - Robert Pattinson
2. To Save A Life - Randy Wayne
3. 127 Days - James Franco
4. Extraordinary Measures - Harrison Ford
5. America - Rosie O’Donnell
6. Me And Orson Welles - Zac Efron
7. The Last Song - Miley Cyrus
8. Karate Kid - Jackie Chan
9. Unstoppable - Denzel Washington
10. Frozen - no stars

Top 10 Favourite Concerts of 2010

1. Relient K “Christmas” at Rocketown, Nashville
2. Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill, St. Louis
3. To Tell “CD Release” at Gateway Pentecostal, London
4. Manafest at Air Raid 18, Timothy Christian School, Barrie
5. Anberlin at the Sound Academy, Toronto
6. One Republic at the Phoenix, Toronto
7. The Light Division, Newmarket Alliance
8. Tommy James & the Shondells, Casino Rama, Orillia
9. The Rocket Summer at the Opera House, Toronto
10. Dashboard Confessional at the Phoenix, Toronto
Top 10 Moments of 2010
1. The hill at Woodstock
2. Running up the Rocky steps in Philly
3. Chuck Berry in St. Louis
4. Tour of Rocketown
5. Publication of my book
6. Sabbatical
7. Grand opening of BBR in Nashville
8. Callie
9. Something Orange

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

If you're a google, amazon, blogging, social media kinda person - watch this. It's worth it! (Thanks to my friend Pat Lough at POWER 93 for sending it.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Real 12 Days of Christmas

Only 5 days til Christmas! LIFE’s producer, Tim vanDyk, forwarded a You Tube video I thought you might enjoy. It’s a parody of “The 12 Days Of Christmas”. Two American Djs who work in mainstream radio re-wrote the lyrics. I hope this starts your Monday off with a laugh! Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010


For ever, I’ve been a summer kinda guy. Love the heat! Love the beach! Love biking on the hottest day of the year. Sit on the patio, sleep, listen to music, bask in the glorious sun!

And forever, I’ve been an “I hate winter” guy. Hard to breathe. Too many layers of clothes. Scraping the ice off the car and getting covered in snow and going to work soaking wet. Don’t like skiing. No winter sports. Stay inside til Spring.

This year - it’s different. Why? I dunno. Granted, it’s only been a couple of weeks with snow. It’s still fresh. Still white. Maybe I’ll wake up and start hating winter.

But so far, I find it refreshing and beautiful. (This is not me!) I haven’t minded shovelling the steps so the dog can go outside. Scraping the car hasn’t bothered me a bit. The heavy armour of clothes keeps me warm.

Even my poodle likes the snow. She doesn’t like the extreme cold but she likes the fresh snow, leaping like a gazelle in the powder. Callie is white although next to the snow she looks beige!

As we transition from one season to the next I think of it as “a guarantee”; there will be snow, then flowers, then heat, then a colourful Fall. We’re gonna get them all regardless of which season we enjoy most. Actually, it’s nice to have variety because without it, I’m pretty sure I would be bored - even of summer.

The other day I heard someone say “this is horrible weather”. When your car is crawling through the slush, ya, I guess it’s horrible weather, but God made this horrible weather and I don’t think he thought it was horrible. God doesn’t make a horrible anything. Besides, lots of people love it.

Listen, I reserve the right to change my mind about this, but for now, winter is good. Winter is my friend. And so is my remote car starter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Story of Jonah

I seem to be in a mood to post videos this week. I dunno why.

I saw this video at church last week. It was hilarious! It's long, but the end is even better than the beginning.

Check it out. Tell me if you like it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rear Gear

They've thought of everything. I can't believe this! It's a "holiday butt cover". Now you can buy a patch to put over your dog's brown bum so it isn't so - icky! It's called Rear Gear. Only five bucks! Lots of different designs! (seriously??)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Rock Stars

This is a pretty funny music video by Tim Hawkins. It's called "Old Rock Stars". Well known mainstream songs, lyrics re-written about the artist getting old.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Pure Heart

Notes from today at church, visiting Calvary:

Pastor Lawrence said: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” Matthew 3:2

And when you do all heaven will break loose.

I can have my nice stuff as long as it never has me.

Turn off the noise and get alone with God.

You mean I have to put something into this relationship to be a disciplined follower of Jesus? Haha!

Baptised, membership, etc. But am I growing?

Don’t be a lone wolf. Stick it out together.

I should want a change that is so drastic on the inside that I can’t keep it secret on the outside.

Getting away from sin is like Jesus shouting to me “The house is on fire and I am desperately trying to take you to a place of safety. Change your ways!"

Repentance is a U-turn.


Music: A Pure Heart/Rusty Nelson
Prayer: “change my life, 100%”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Devotions Without Distractions

Devotions. When is the best time to do them?

I much prefer late evening for anything requiring brain power. If there’s something to create for LIFE 100.3, the late evening seems to welcome ideas and strategy. Except devotions!

Devotions at night? Even though my brain is ready, I often put it off “until just a little later”. Later, seldom happens. The PVR has something recorded I can’t wait to see and it seems to haunt me until I watch it. Or there’s preparing for the next day schedule - work, life. At night I over-analyse scripture; it confuses me; I try to make sense of it by cross-referencing or asking a friend by email and end up giving up.

Morning devotions are working better for me. I’m in a positive, receptive frame of mind but while reading or praying I often daydream about the project of the day at work. Getting derailed with other thinking is very common so I have a blank piece of paper with me and when I get a non-devo idea, I scribble it down and refocus on devos. I seem to be clear thinking and most receptive to understanding God’s will, reading the Bible and spending time thinking about the word if I do it before work. Like now.

“God help me to focus on You. Please teach my mind to shut out the junk of the day.”

Thinking About: Steve’s new son, Aiden
Reading: Matthew 13 (the mustard seed)
Listening To: The Fold “Christmas”
Praying: Great hunger for the Word, employee with vertigo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coke and Christmas

Christmas music is everywhere. Do you remember the Coke commercial on TV in the 70's called “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke”??

It started as a commercial, then it was recorded by the New Seekers and became a radio hit.

(Mmmm. My throat is burning for a Coke right now! Ahhh...)

Coke. Christmas. Peace and love. Hippies. And, a hit song. Love those 70's!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

John Lennon - 1980

December 8, 1980. Today is the day John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman. For music fans, this is one of those “I remember where I was” moments.

I was on the air at CKLC in Kingston. It was the late evening shift. I had to break the news to my listeners. It was 11:20pm. The news came across the wire that John Lennon had been shot. I starred at it thinking “Wow - what do I do? This is big. What if it’s a journalistic mistake?”

John Lennon signs an autograph for his killer Mark David Chapman, hours before the murder on 8 December 1980. Photograph: Paul Garesh/UPI, Popperfoto

I hesitated and the next song played while I pondered how and what to say. Then, the wire followed up with the official death announcement.

Before I could crack open the microphone, the studio Batphone lit up. It was Terry Williams my boss. The national wire service was scrolling the news across the bottom of the TV screen and Terry got the news as he watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

“What do I do?”

“Just read the wire copy. And whatever you do - don’t play “Starting Over”!

"Starting Over" was Lennon’s new release on our playlist. I guess Terry thought it would be in bad taste.

My shift ended at 1am. Between 11:30pm and 1am I announced Lennon’s death only twice. That’s it. Twice! It scared me to talk about it on the air in case I didn't sound sincere, or real, or however I was supposed to sound.

A couple of days later there was a candlelight vigil in many cities, showing unity of mourning. Kingston held the vigil at Confederation Park by the waterfront. It was cold and it was packed. Janice and I were there.

Lennon’s death was the first rock star death of my generation. I was too young to remember the passing of Jimi, Janis and Jim, although since then I become a fan of each and have visited Jimi's gravesite in Seattle and Jim's in Paris. It makes them real to me. I guess I think that's as close as I will ever be to them.

Today, December 8th I can recall the event and my announcement of the murder with complete clarity. And to this day, whenever I hear the song “Imagine” - I cry.

Upside - The Movie

I watched a new movie release called “Upside”, produced through Outreach Films. It’s much like “To Save A Life” in that it’s a story of a high school athlete, (in this case lacrosse), and he gets hit on the head and his vision is flipped upside down. The kid finds faith in Christ later in the movie.

Randall Bentley plays the star who you may have seen in the TV series “Judging Amy”.

I watched the “extras” on the DVD - the main characters are all strong Christians in real life, which is an added bonus to me.

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns says - “Upside is an inspiring film about faith and love that challenges us all to follow the unique path God has for us."

The film is not yet released in Canada. Bandito had no idea what it was. Fortunately, I bought a copy in the U.S.

(FYI - the evangelical message doesn't come until after the first hour.)

Check out the trailer.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Me, Relient K, Rocketown and Nashvegas!

A short 48-hours in Nashvegas!

Went to see Relient K - one of my favourite Christian bands. Haven’t seen them in a few years and this show was the “acoustic Christmas show”, that wouldn’t be coming to Canada. It was great to hear “Must Dave Done Something Right” and “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”. Awesome songs about becoming the people God wants us to be.

The Relient K set also included a series of Christmas songs, with the Relient K flavour that makes each song unique and original. “God Rest Ye Weary Gentleman” is not a Christmas song I enjoy, or understand, but Matt Thiessen is a pioneer at reinventing a tired old Christmas song. And he's Canadian, so that's a bonus!

While my visit was based around the Relient K show, it also included an indepth visit to Rocketown to meet with their staff and find out what makes Rocketown so special. This is their third location. It is one street away from location number 2, which they were forced to leave to make way for “city progress”.

The new location on 5th Avenue gave them a chance to re-invent the floorplan. The concert venue is 9,000 square feet, complete with band green rooms, lighting and staging that is all modular.

Another major part of their ministry is the indoor Skatepark - it is a skateboarders dream! There’s a skateboard merch shop, as well.

In the main doors is a cafe/lunch area. And beyond that are project rooms for breakdancing lessons, art lessons, Bible Studies, tutoring and more. In their “White Building” is a second smaller venue for shows and a bay for “Gears” where people come to work on cars. All of this - the entire Rocketown vision, is designed to build relationships with youth, regardless of their faith, family experiences, or extra curricular problems, and introduce them to the love of Christ. It is a ministry that some churches frown upon because it is not “nice, clean church” but rather reaching the unloved misfits that the church snubs. (I think that is the entire point.)

The Rocketown staff are loving, creative, hard-working and daring. I admire them all very much. I was blessed to have the one-on-one attention. I would love to lead a ministry like this in Central Ontario. I wonder if it is viable? If Ontario has a heart of the misfits outside the church and will welcome them in. More on that another time! Haha!

Leaving Nashville was once again, a sad experience. I love the city. I love the southern hospitality. I love the mirade of Christian concerts. I love AC Jazz 8033!

But, where God has me is the best place to be, right? Am I right? Somebody remind me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Accountability Partners

I've heard alot of sermons about the value of having an accountability partner. It sounds great. Have you tried it? I have - four times. It failed every time.

As I understand it, the concept of an accountability partner is to help you lead a disciplined life for Christ by asking the partner three questions every time we meet. “How is your walk? Are you lying to me? How can I help you be more disciplined?”

I chose each of the four guys based on my assessment that each guy was further ahead of me in his spiritual journey and each could pour into me the stuff I had not found on my own.

We failed. One guy canceled on me more often than we met. (Boy did I feel unimportant.) The others faded into fellowship. All four stopped asking me the tough questions. Being a partner, I guess I have to share the blame.

Frankly, I think we’ve made our own lives so busy that we don’t have time to spend time pouring into someone else on a regular basis. Or, maybe we really don’t care about other people as much as we tell God in our prayers. (I know, I know - you hate it when I verbalize what you are too scared to say yourself. Sorry. No I’m not.)

I highly doubt I will try the accountability partner deal again. Four times is a bust.