Cat Tongue Picks

28 04 2009

Over the course of playing guitar I have gone through many picks and pick styles.  I played a lot of electric in high school and played heavier stuff like Chevelle, Bush, and Nirvana.  I used thick picks… REALLY thick picks.  When I started played acoustic and actually stuck with the heavy picks for some reason. Subborn to try something different I suppose.  I have been playing with lighter (.53) picks for the past few years and have really loved the feel of it so much more than thick, heavy picks.  I was at our local music store a month or so ago looking through the pick selection when a guy there pulled out these picks with some grip to them.  One of them had a sandpaper texture to them while the second one really felt like a cat’s tongue.  You know how when you grab a cat’s tongue… wait… you’ve never done that have you?  Well neither have I… yeah… Anyways, I bought a couple of each and now can’t play without the grip.  Cool Picks “Cat Tongue” Nylon Picks are awesome.  They have tiny bumps for grip.  It honestly takes a little getting used to, but I love it now.  I went back this week and bought a bunch.  When I try to play with a regular pick I feel like it’s about to slip out of my fingers.  I highly recommend them.  Check out your local music store or an online store.


SR: 04.26.09

27 04 2009

Our set for Sunday was as follows:


– Welcome
Because of Your Love [G] (Paul Baloche)
Your Grace is Enough [G] (Tomlin)
Here I am to Worship [D] – Through the bridge… then to Wonderful Cross
The Wonderful Cross [D] (Tomlin) – “Love so amazing…” then chorus
Here I am to Worship [D] – Chorus Only, Acoustic
– Message
– Invitation

Amazinge Love [D]
Because of Your Love (chorus)


I’ve been trying to get much more prepared… emphasis on the PRE.  I’m a big procrastinator and so often times I am throwing a setlist together because a secretary needs to have the titles to print in the bulletin.  I actually pretty much had this Sunday’s set mapped out LAST Sunday afternoon… which is a big deal for me.  So that is my goal is to have things pretty well planned a week, or more, in advance.  Will that happen every single week?  Unlikely.  But, if I make that my goal, I feel that more often than not I will at least have it on my mind to get it mapped out in my head, if not on paper or “paper”(meaning Word).  This Sunday went decently well for having introduced a new song and some people having to learn it an hour or so before we played it.  Like I said last week, I’m really wanting practice to be emphasized in the future.  That just didn’t happen last week.  I feel that we are moving in the right direction picking “new” songs.  Because of Your Love is a “new” song to our band.  I had never heard of it till I was going through some different resources and came across it on iTunes.  I did notice it’s 3 years old though so I was a little concerned that people would hear it and say “what in the world is this guy thinking?  This is so 2006.”  OK, maybe not exactly that.  But I did have one person come and say “Man, I haven’t heard that in forever.”  Hopefully that was a positive.  The rest of the set were songs that we had done before.  We did do a different thing on Here I am to Worship of going from “I’ll never know how much it cost…” into The Wonderful Cross “Love so amazing…” then the chorus, then back into Here I am to Worship.  I liked the flow and had some positive comments following the service.

Archers: Bowman’s Battle Free

24 04 2009

Archers: Bowman’s Battle Free (from Wings for Cats) is a game that has been on the Top 5 Free Apps list on iTunes for a week or so now.  I actually only came across it because I wanted to download a few more apps in the hopes that I would win the big 1 Billion Apps Downloaded giveaway.  Apparently some 13 year old from Connecticut won the grand prize… Really?? What is he going to do with all that stuff??  I’ll bet he skipped school just to sit home and download apps all day… OK… ok… going to just let it go.

I downloaded Archers mainly because it was free, and as previously stated hoped to win the grand prize,  but have been pleasantly surprised with this simple game.  The basics are you and another archer (either another human player or the computer) are positioned across a field from each other.  The object is simply to hit the other player with your arrows.  Now, this sounds violent, and to certain extent it is, but there is no blood, only a few groans when hit with an arrow.  They are essentially simple stick figures who were bored and escaped some parking signs.

The controls are simple.  To shoot an arrow you touch a point on the screen away from your archer then drag your finger back to adjust the trajectory and power.  Let go and see how close (or not) to your target you got.  It’s a guessing game until you get locked in.  You take turns shooting.  Hitting certain areas of the body do inflict more damage.  For each new game the distance between you and your target changes.

You are given the option between a Bow or a Crossbow.  I don’t know that there is a difference gameplay-wise, but you can check that out for yourself.  You can also choose from 5 different colors for your Archer.

If impaling a stick figure is just too much for your senses then you will be happy to know there is a practice mode that will allow you to shoot a standard archery target. The game does not have any music to annoy you with, just the sounds of a lovely spring day with birds chirping and arrows sailing through the air.

I have really enjoyed goofing around with this game and for the price you can’t beat the entertainment value.  A few things I would like to see are a scoring mode for hitting the practice target, a way to move the target so you can practice from various distances, and a variety of backgrounds.  Perhaps a castle or a shrubbery…

Archers: Bowman’s Battle Free

Canon HV30 Initial Review

22 04 2009

I had been in need of a second, more portable camcorder at the church for a while now.  For those times that you just don’t want to pull out our big Canon XL2.  I have had my eye on this camcorder for a while now, even for personal use.  Canon HV30It has gotten a lot of great reviews from the casual and professional users.  I had looked into the debate of tape vs. hard drive and for me, I just record way too much random things to use an HDD camera.  I really liked that the HV30 was a Mini-DV driven device so that I can take the tape out and put it on the shelf until I need to capture later.  Plus the fact that there are still some problems with the AVCHD format with many editing programs.  Final Cut Pro in peticular, which is my main editing program.  That alone decided my tape vs. HDD dilimma.  The HV40 is coming out sometime soon (Amazon keeps shifting the release date) and so Amazon had the HV30 for much less.  $999.99 List Price, but on sale for $599.  So far it has been a HUGE help and energy saver as far as just being able to put it in a backpack and go to a location.  As far as a comparison between the HV30 and the XL2, I have only shot one video using both.  The only noticible difference was in the coloring, but I believe that I didn’t have the initial settings matched up.  Nothing some post color correcting can’t fix.  I will report in the future my thoughts on the two working together but don’t foresee any major quality issues.  I also have not shot much in HD mainly due to some computing restraints and the fact that we do not use much in the way of HD, but we now have our first HD camera for when it is needed.  Another major feature is the Mic Input.  This is huge for the videos I shoot.  I plan to get a wireless mic setup this year and that just drives the stock up on this camera even more.  Quality audio is a must.  I will return with a more detailed review after a while of use.

Bottom line: I really like the size and features of the HV30.  The price was just right and I have had great experience with Canon products.  Stay tuned for more…

SR: 4.19.09

20 04 2009

I have decided to give this a shot.  I got the idea from the guys over at Worship Ministry Catalyst.  They post a “Weekend Review” listing their order of service and some notes about the sets.  It has been really helpful for me to see what others are doing and to discover new songs and ways to go about putting together a service.  I highly recommend it.  Plus they post a podcast discussing various topics related to worship ministry and music in general.


This past Sunday we did a pretty standard set.  Welcome, 3 Songs, Message, Invitation, Closing Song.  We had our standard band: Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Drums, Piano.  And then we had 3 praise singers.


– Welcome
Not to Us [A] (Tomlin)
Holy is the Lord [A]
Jesus Paid it All [B] (Kristian Stanfill)
– Message
– Invitation
Oh Lead Me [D] (Delirious)
– Announcements
Holy is the Lord (chorus)


I felt that we as a band sounded pretty strong.  Of course these songs are pretty well known as we have done them countless times.  My desire is for us to learn new songs and really put more energy into each set.  I believe we have done OK up to this point, but now we really needed to kick it up a few notches.  There is TONS of room for improvement, and I have faith that we will get there.  Practice is a huge factor in this.  Sunday nights are the most convenient nights for everyone to practice but we struggle to get the whole band in for a practice.  I know that this is partially due to the fact that we have not been able to have practice on a consistant basis due to Sunday evening programs or holidays and so people begin to schedule things in its place.  This will be my main focus is getting us on a steady practice rotation.  I know that it can be a pain some days, but will pay off in the end.  We can’t move up to that next level without it.  I have much more to talk about as far as the direction I desire for us musically, but will save that for next week (hopefully).

Thrice: The Alchemy Index – Vinyl

17 04 2009

Alchemya power or process of transforming something common into something special”

One band that has really stood out to me the past few years has been Thrice.  Especially in the past year or so with their Alchemy Index project.  They took 4 elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and wrote songs pertaining to them.  I know it sounds a little weird, but the songs are incredible.  They just released the 4 EP’s in a limited edition vinyl set.  They are beautifully packaged. The vinyl is colored based on which element on the album it refers to.  I don’t have much of a vinyl collection, but this is definitely a nice start.  The inside covers feature notes from the band on each song.  Each vinyl sleeve has the lyrics for each album and hand drawn style artwork.

Alchemy Index Front Cover

Alchemy Index Front Cover

Alchemy Index Back Cover

Alchemy Index Back Cover

Alchemy Index Vinyl

Alchemy Index Vinyl

iPhone: Flight Control

16 04 2009

I’m one of those people who checks to see what new applications are out a little too often.  I have quite a few pages of them on my phone, mainly free ones.  Doesn’t hurt!  Well my current favorite game is called Flight Control.  A simple, yet addicting little game.  I love iPhone/Touch games that really embrace the purpose of having a touchscreen device.  You are a “flight controller” with your job being to successfully direct the jets/planes/helicopters to their proper landing area without crashing them into each other.  It starts off simple enough but even its calm elevator style music can’t keep you from stressing out as jumbo jets come in at faster speeds as you try to keep the helicopters from getting trampled as they putter to their helipad.  73 is my best.   This is the only map but I would like to think they would eventually offer a few other layouts.  Would be a very simple and welcome addition.

Check it out for yourself.  Flight Control.

Fight Control Gameplay

Fight Control Gameplay