Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

5/31/09

Abortion Politicking in the Light of Death: All Darkness

There will be lesser minded people who, if for no other reason, believe the murder of abortionist George Tiller represents the mindset of prolife America, or that the killer is an example of evangelicalism.

Politicians and special interest groups on both sides will jump on this to promote their view. Missed in the tremendous tragedy are the hundreds of children who will die under the supposed name of freedom.

Tiller murderer's views, whatever they are, are not prochoice, prolife or pro-anything. Just a thug with a gun. Whatever his theological stand is, if he has one, killing another human is not it.

But you knew that.

5/30/09

Poetry Performed: YouTube Playlist: Five Videos in One

Poetry Performed
Spoken word performances of poetry. Some funny, some serious. Individual poems linked below.
by Anthony Trendl


  1. Laptop Blogging Blues
  2. Lamb Unto Slaughter, Unto Savior (poem)
  3. The Lord's Prayer, The Pie Version
  4. Love Song for Charlie Parker
  5. Internet Jazz Salvation - a poem for those who love the outdoors but work inside

5/27/09

Cara Speme by Countertenor Daniel Schuetz

Cara speme by countertenor Daniel Schuetz.

It is an odd way he and I connected, far too long of a story to explain here. Let's say we are old friends who only just met.

His voice is amazing. He's a he - this is a guy singing. A real guy, with a real wife. This is unlike anything I have heard, and beautifully done.

I'm not a reviewer of classical music, so I'll let you think through what you hear unencumbered by my opinion. Like it? See his site and download some mp3s.



Cara speme

Cara speme, questo core Dear Hope, you begin
tu cominci a lusingar To flatter my heart
Par che il ciel presti favoreIt seems that heaven lends its favor
i miei torti a vendicar. To the avenging of my wrongs.

Daniel Schuetz, countertenor, holds graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Illinois, where he studied the lieder of Schubert with John Wustman. He has taught at Heidelberg College for nine years. Dr. Schuetz has also taught voice at the Interlochen Arts Camp. His recent stage work includes roles with The University of Akron Opera at the E.J. Thomas Center, roles with Brevard Music Center, Prairie Fire Theater Company, Peoria Civic Opera, Illinois Opera Theatre, Springfield Opera Theatre and Opera Mid-Michigan. Recent engagements include a countertenor recital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a fellowship and scholarship to attend the Bel Canto Northwest in Portland, Oregon, singing the title role in Giulio Cesare in July 2006.

http://www.countertenor.us/
Category: Music

Tags: Julius Caesar Giulio Cesare Egitto Daniel Schuetz countertenor Handel Cara Speme

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5/26/09

King Wok 59 Chinese Restaurant Review (West Chicago, IL)

King Wok 59
956 N Neltnor Blvd
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 231-8881‎

3/4 Stars
inexpensive

The King Wok is a basic fast food Chinese joint. It has a faded billboard menu above the counter with pictures of everything. I only get one thing, the General Tso's Chicken with white rice.

The bits of chicken are breaded, and still crunch with a slightly spicy sweet syrup. This means it is fresher than the places which have a vat of nuggets sopping in the sauce. Tasty without being overbearing. Not the best I have ever had, but close enough.

The rice was perfectly done. Sticky enough to make chopstick usage (Din-How, rounded, wood) easy, but loose enough to appeal to my American sensibilities.

Not one, but two fortune cookies (Shang Pin brand).
  • Today will be lucky and memorable for you.
  • You will always be surrounded by friends when you need them.
Customer service is not why I go to places like this, but in this case, the people are friendly. Food is quickly made, and, as today, we called ahead for a timely pick-up.

Seating is spare, but there are a few small tables. Plenty of parking is available as well.

If you live close, check out the King Wok 59 Chinese Restaurant.

Learn about the perfect drink with pizza.

5/24/09

Time to Grill. Let the BBQ Season Begin!

Time to grill. Let the BBQ season begin!

Give me your wings, your drumsticks, your huddled masses of brats.

Ready your steaks and chops, unfurl the corn husks, prepare the asparagus.

Soak the wood chips. Cherry, apple and hickory. And who can forget mesquite?

Quarter turn those burgers to get those perfect grill lines. Marinate. Flip.

Where's the mustard? The A1? Who has the Sweet Baby Ray's?

Come on, work with me.

I'm firing up the grill. Tonight, it is chicken wings and corn on the cob. We'll eat outside on the porch.

Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbecue Sauce - 18 oz

Perfect Sampler of Milka Chocolate, review, Milka Naps Mix Gift Box (179 g)

Milka Naps Mix Gift Box (179 g)
Perfect Sampler of Milka Chocolate

The Milka Naps Mix Gift Box is a fun, unique gift for those tired of Whitman's and the usual American brands. Nothing wrong with Whitman's, but sometimes a change of look and flavor is nice.

As a sampler, it provides only a few of the Milka options. Four flavors are here: noisette, hazelnuts, alpine milk and strawberry. All are delicious, though I don't like strawberry/chocolate (in any candy) personally, and give those away to eager friends. The Naps box are perfect for coffee tables and as a standalone dish at work.

Milka and its famous purple cow, is owned by Kraft, is an eastern European chocolate originally produced in Switzerland and is available in Germany, Austria, Hungary and other nearby countries.

Distribution is still weak in the United States, but can be found increasingly in larger cities. Usually, then, it is found only in international grocery stores, though it pops up in eclectic grocers from time to time. It has been around 100 years. Whether or not Kraft will change the recipe has yet to be seen. For now, the texture and taste are better than Hershey's and Nestle. It is a smoother, creamier basic chocolate.

I fully recommend the Milka Naps Mix Gift Box.

Anthony Trendl
http://hungarianbookstore.com/

Word:Word Game Goes Global - Join the Fun (repost)

Word:Word - A Game of Relationship

50 members!

For my friends, and their friends, and their pet dog's friends, I have started a new group for playing Word:Word. It is a simple wordplay game that builds on word relationships. What's fun is when one player turns the word into a new direction through homonyms, synonyms, opposite meanings, or strange, yet obvious relationships. Join up, read what others are thinking.

http://facebook.com/group.php?gid=62266847598

I have posted the game as a thread on a discussion board at Amazon.com, and it amassed something like 500+ posts within a few days. Around 1,000 posts so far for each in what was just intended to be a silly little game.

This is the same game. However, both are hard to find - the Amazon one is hardly exclusive, but few know it exists. Usually, it is populated by book readers who have a strange compulsion to tell others what they think about the book. A great group.

My Facebook thread was just the result of my blog (this blog you are reading) feeding in to Facebook through its Notes feature. Strangely, my blog post, in the context of the blog, went unnoticed. Facebook, though, is great connector of all people.

Anyway, starting the group will helps you word addicts keep in vowels and consonants.

Incidentally, the group presently playing is a very interesting array of otherwise unconnected friends, stemming from Bloomington, to online-only friends, to various portions of my Chicago-area life. They might click on each other's profiles, or not -- but I smile, realizing the context behind certain word choices, unknown to the other players.

5/23/09

Connects My Phone and Internet Perfectly, Philips SDJ6360 - Phone splitter, review

Philips SDJ6360 - Phone splitter - RJ-11 (F) - RJ-11 (F) - almond
Connects My Phone and Internet Perfectly
I received mine 20 minutes ago. I plugged in my laptop connection to the internet via a 2Wire DSL filter without a hitch. The Philips SDJ6360 phone splitter is serving as expected, and the price is right (local discount stores are asking more for it).

I happy to report the packaging was easy to open. Plastic on the front, glued to a cardboard back.

I fully recommend the Philips SDJ6360 phone splitter.

Anthony Trendl
http://hungarianbookstore.com/


5/21/09

Acerbic: Word of the Month

Acerbic: Sour or bitter tasting; acid. See synonyms at bitter.

Sharp or biting, as in character or expression: “At times, the playwright allows an acerbic tone to pierce through otherwise arid or flowery prose” (Alvin Klein).

That's what Answers.com says.

Me? I say it is an appealing word this month. I've known it and used it for years to describe people and food. This month, I have used it more than usual.

5/19/09

Time Travel in This Day and Age: Readiness in Getting from A to B

There is a strange distance between two special moments. One moment (A) is the one in which we are ready for the second moment (B).

Before this, there may be evaluations, considerations, concerns, worry, any numerous sorts of things. There also may be ignorance. That is, we don't something is coming, but, immediately, we deal with it and accept it.

Once ready, the distance begins. I say distance and not time intentionally. In a pure sense of chronology, there is only the clock, and, hence, time. However, there is a location-to-location sense I'm reflecting on here. There is a kind of travelling involved. We go from A to B.

This time travel does not involve skipping time, or going back in time. Not at all. It is being present, content, in the moments as they follow one another until getting to the next stop.

Stops, like as with a train, can include marriage, high school graduation, a new job, children, death (yours or a loved one), or moving from one home to another.

If there is nervousness, stress, then readiness is not at play. The person will arrive at B before they are ready. This happens to all of us.

Readiness is a kind of contentment. It does not imply that B is the preferred location, or that there has been passive acquiescence. A good amount of fighting may still be at hand. Readiness is something deeper.

A runner who dreams of Olympic glory, but fails to hit gain a medal despite a fierce chase of the runner in front of him has to reconcile what the result is. He may train hard for the next four years hoping to avoid the same result, yet may land in fourth place again. Medals and glory do not go to fourth place, just to the gold, silver and bronze spots.

That runner knows his ability and that of his competitors going into the race. He is aware that his best so far is not enough to get a medal, but still he tries. Anything can happen in the race, and he did not come to the Olympics to jog. He came to do his best, with the the hopes his best is better than before. Upset victories happen. With this honest audit of the situation, he needs to be ready for victory and for failure, or lose something about himself if he's not.

Readiness is in the family of contentment. No whining. No grousing.

At that ready point, it is a strange emotion looking at what is ahead.

Philippians 4:11-12 (New International Version)
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

5/16/09

Harmonica - Angel Eyes - Matt Dennis - music video

I'm a sucker for a good mouth harp, and looking for a soulful bluesy harmonica version of Amazing Grace I found this guy instead.



Here's what the musician says about himself:
My DVD at http://dvd.12FREEMUSIC.com - Mon DVD sur http://dvd.PARTITION-GRATUITE.com

Please comment on my video.
Merci de poster un commentaire sur ma vidéo.

Angel Eyes by Matt Dennis played on a chromatic harmonica. It's a Hohner Chrometta 8 in C.

Angel Eyes is a 1953 popular song composed by Matt Dennis, with lyrics by Earl Brent. It was introduced in the 1953 film, Jennifer.

Angel Eyes is in the form AABA. The first and the second A sections are almost identical, with only a few minor variations. The composition has a complex harmonic structure throughout. The II - V - I minor and major progressions are employed frequently throughout the piece. The A sections are in the C minor key. It starts with a C minor, D major 7 and G major 7 progression. Over the D major 7 there is an F# in the melody (the major third to the D major chord). It is a tritone in the context of the c minor tonic. This interval is used throughout the song. Another tritone is the diminished fifth in the Dm7_5 chord but it fits so well into the harmonic context of the c minor key that it is hardly recognized as a dissonant interval. The c minor then shift chromatically to the Bridge which begins with a B flat minor and then leads over an E flat major to the new tonic, A flat major.

Because of its colourful harmonic changes "Angel Eyes" is a very popular jazz standard which has inspired many original interpretations. Several performers have recorded different versions of the song, including Don Ellis, Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheny, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington.

If you play the harmonica and have videos on YouTube then join the Harmonica Group:
http://www.youtube.com/group/harmonica
Category: Music

Tags: angel eyes matt dennis chromatic harmonica jennifer aaba ella fitzgerald duke ellington kenny burrell pat metheny frank

5/14/09

"Amazing Grace" Played On Harmonica By Terry McMillan music video

"Amazing Grace" Played On Harmonica By Terry McMillan music video.

Gets right into the grit of it.

Be Thou My Vision as Sung by Michael Card

Here's something I wish was true more often. I grew up singing this at Catholic Mass, and now, wherever. Michael Card's version here is beautiful. Van Morrison's got a great version too, but I couldn't find it on YouTube.



Be Thou My Vision
Saint Dallan Forgaill, 6th Century

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

5/13/09

Irreverence vs Holiness

Irreverence is easier than holiness. Being an iconoclast is not without value, per se, but too often, being iconoclastic is the goal, and not the pursuit of truth. Tossing out as many traditions as possible is OK if the end result intended is baring out the simplistic form of what matters most.

I see this in church life. Too often, those motivated to do so are wrought of real disenfranchisement (racial/economic injustice, not as pretty/skilled/quick witted as their peers, or just sitting with a chip on their shoulder), not a deeply held passion that something broken needs fixing. They may come across as prophetic, or 'rebellious for the Lord', or as jerks.

Narcissisticism? Probably.

Living a life that's true means living counter-culturally. If your life happens to coincide with the popular mode, great. If not, still live the way that Christ would have. And when you don't, stop, have at it, and get back into it. Easier said than done? Oh yeah. Bigtime.

In History
Martin Luther's goal was not to destroy, but to reform. He was a true iconoclast. Accidental iconoclasts like Hudson Taylor just do their thing as they chase God's will, and what comes out is not irreverence, but holiness. In a more modern sense, Keith Green too. Maybe even Billy Graham. He could have lived hugely off of book royalties, but lived an average life financially. Compare him to Benny Hinn, who is making a fortune, and I know which life I would rather known for living.

Be a rebel with a cause.

5/7/09

Jesus Never Used PowerPoint

  1. Jesus Never Used PowerPoint.
  2. Paul didn't book his trips on Expedia.
  3. Peter didn't have a great audio system.

How about that?

5/4/09

Pete Seeger Sings Amazing Grace at 90th Birthday Party

Pete Seeger at his 90th birthday party, leading the crowd through 'Amazing Grace'.

It seems the audience does not know the words, and Seeger is forced to walk them through each line.


Where Have All The Flowers Gone: The Songs Of Pete Seeger




You'll hear your favorites on this album, and you'll hear songs new to you that will blow you away.

Besides being a collection of songs honoring Seeger, these are wonderful on their own. Re-release these as singles, and they will be hits in the folk-music circles, and could hold their own on some more popular stations (like Chicago's WXRT).

For me, I loved Studs Terkel reading "Blessed Be the Nation," Jackson Browne/Bonnie Raitt singing, "Kisses Sweeter than Wine," and the deeply haunting "My Father's Mansion" as sung by Billy Bragg and Eliza Carthy in a celtic flavor.

Hearing Donovan's version of "My Rainbow Race" was refreshing, and Dick Gaughan's dramatic rendering of "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" knocked my socks off. Surprising me was Tim Robbins' "All My Children of the Sun." So he can sing, too? Amazing.

Listen to Greg Brown singing "Sailing Down My Golden River." He has a Johnny Cash thing going on when he sings it, don't you think? Check it out. Very cool.

There are others, some 39 songs in all, and each I honestly liked. No duds, no "why did they put that on the album" songs.

I fully recommend this album.

Anthony Trendl

5/3/09

The Good Ache - Successful Work Effort at CareFest DuPage

My arms ache.

Yesterday, I helped, along with several other churches large and small, in a one day service project for our community.

Our organization supplied through donors everything from mulch to paint, and warm bodies working hard. At least 1,000 such bodies. Multiplied by four hours, that is the 4,000 hours of work. Not bad.

At $10/hour, that's $40,000 worth of work, plus the value of equipment. While my work was worth only the $10, there were genuinely skilled plumbers and electricians and others involved. What do they charge usually? I'll guess the total value of what we gave was close to $100,000.

I was on the job of spreading mulch and weeding at West Chicago High School. My fingers have blisters and are stiff, my shoulders have a dull ache, and my back could use some downtime.

Others on our West Chicago High School team washed their cars and trucks (and at least one bus), and painted garbage cans.

We had no agenda other than helping out. Churches working together is always a good thing. Maybe you are in DuPage and want to be involved next year. Let me know, and I will connect you with the guy in charge.

Follow the CareFest DuPage on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=60667990754

Official site:
http://carefestdupage.com