July, 2010 - Having a lot of free time is difficult for me.  I tell myself that I am going to schedule things
like composing, sorting through old files, practicing more, etc. - but the reality of the freedom of the
summer usually gets in the way.  Someone will say - just develop a schedule - and that is good
advice.  The follow through on this suggestion is more difficult.  Even when I am doing what I love -
composing music - the motivation factor to keep working is a constant struggle.  Work is work, no
matter how much you love what you do.
Good to know that the horrendous oil spill in the gulf may finally be stopped.  The whole thing
appears to have been the result of oversight, ignoring warnings, and just plain old greed related to
getting the well pumping as soon as possible.
Attended a great handbell conference in Nashville that included a performance by
Sonos in Ryman
Auditorium and a concert by the
Raleigh Ringers on the General Jackson paddle wheeler.
Seeing and hearing all of these wonderful ensembles sometimes makes me feel somewhat
disconnected, since my area of service in the handbell organization has been through my special
needs choir, the
Denton Bell Band.  We are never able to perform the grand and glorious things that
we hear from the advanced choirs.  It is my hope that someday I may be able to write a composition
for bells that will be considered by one of these more prestigious ensembles.
While in Nashville I got to visit with my old friend and former colleague, Lance Martin.  He has done
very well in the music business there - playing bass guitar with many well know country artists.  He
has been the bassist for
John Conlee for the last sixteen years and also plays with some of the local
Nashville bands.  We had a good visit, and Lance gave me the "musician's tour" of Nashville.
The big flood in Nashville did some significant damage.  Our conference was originally scheduled for
the Opryland Hotel, but it is closed for renovation.  During the flood there was water in the basement
of the symphony hall.  In general the city seems to be bouncing back.

July, 1979 - The most inefficient energy source affecting our lives on earth is the sun.  Only one
two-billionth of its output reaches and is absorbed by our planet, and most of the rest goes out in
space to heat and light the other inhabited worlds we know nothing about.  The ultimate energy crisis
is the scheduled burning out of the sun, which is only about 35 billion years away.
Driving in downtown Denver we got lost because our map was out of date.  After failing to raise
anyone on the trusty old CB radio we came to a building which, from outward appearance and the
sign in the front yard, seemed like a logical place to ask for directions.  The sign said "HELP
HOUSE".  (That's not the punch line.)
One of our party got out of the car and approached the property eagerly.  In a moment he came
running back at a fast pace.  We inquired, "Well, did you get directions?"  He replied, "I couldn't get
past the guard dog."  We concluded that this particular "help house" catered only to persons who
really need help.

RHYME FOR OUR TIME:

Faces making front page news - faces big, faces small.
Faces from all around the world.  Faces tell it all.

Faces of the politicians and all the society set.
Faces of starving children we'd rather just forget.

Faces of the superstars demanding higher pay.
Faces of starving children.  Tell them to go away.

Faces of endangered species - trying to save their skin.
Faces of starving children.  Will there ever be an end?

Faces happy and faces sad confront us every day.
Faces of starving children.  We look, then turn away.