Monday, February 27, 2012

Hanging with BB King!

This weekend I had the incredible honor of experiencing BB King live in a concert! What a legend!

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No.3 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. King is widely regarded as one of the most influential blues guitarists of all time, inspiring countless other electric blues and blues-rock guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Peter Green, Derek Trucks, Duane Allman, Elmore James and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Famous for introducing a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.

In 2001, King signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underprivileged public schools throughout the US. He sits on LKR's Honorary Board of Directors.

Over a period of 62 years, B.B. King has played in excess of 15,000 performances!

Monday, February 20, 2012

CULTURAL OBSERVATION 892: Mardi Gras!

So, a group of us celebrated Mardi Gras this past weekend at a friends house. The term "Mardi Gras" in English, refer to events, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday; in English the day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess." Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.

Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition. In English, the day is called Shrove Tuesday, associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins.

While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. In the rural Acadiana area, many Cajuns celebrate with the Courir de Mardi Gras, a tradition that dates to medieval celebrations in France. Which gave the perfectly good reason to gorge ourselves on good ol' Cajun food, like Gumbo, Jambalaya, meat pies etc.

Another interesting thing was King Cake. The cake has a small trinket (often a small plastic baby, said to represent Baby Jesus) inside (or sometimes placed underneath), and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations, if he does not die from swallowing and having the trinket lodge in a mayor airway of course...

The "king cake" takes its name from the biblical three kings. The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday;" the day before the start of Lent. Some organizations or groups of friends may have "king cake parties" every week through the Carnival season.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Connections!

In the February 2012 edition of Connections, Mercy Ships (http://www.MercyShips.org) arrives in Togo,West Africa. Watch scenes from the arrival and Grant MacLean, Mercy Ships International Programs Director, talks about why Mercy Ships came back to Togo and expectations of the upcoming field service.

If you cannot see the video below, click HERE

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Same Love - Paul Baloche

A concept video inspired by the Paul Baloche song "The Same Love". Filmed and edited by David Baloche.

How beautiful! If you cannot see the video below, please click HERE!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Would Skeet Do?


I planned to have the last of my car tires replaced this coming weekend after it started leaking air through the sidewalls. Well, when I say leaked air out of the sidewalls, I had no idea what that even meant. 

It was pointed out to me recently by Cody, a strapping mountain of a man who works for the AAA roadside assistance company as he had to help me fix my flat tire. According to him I have an old tire with some sun rot on the sidewalls and with a sudden cold spell, the air contracts and ...

Uhm, okay. I will have to replace it then.

Yesterday, I noticed that the said tire is losing air fast and won’t make it till the weekend and decided to replace it at our local Wal-Mart last night after work.

Now, know this, I am quite comfortable with my acquired level of manhood.

Admittedly, I don’t know a wrench from a spark plug, but at least I know which knife to use when you eat fish.

So, I jauntily get out of my car and to manly converse with the tire swoppee attendant at Wal-mart, who asked me if I would like a doohdah tire with radial blah-blah-blah.

At this point wild panic hits me. I am not sure if he suddenly started speaking French or just Man.

I had absolutely no idea what he is on about.

Shannon, a friend of mine’s dad, Skeet, is the ├╝ber car man. He knows everything about cars. More manly you can not get.

Tire swoppee man is now looking expectantly at me waiting for my answer.

The whole time it flashed in my mind, what would Skeet do? What would Skeet do?

I change my stance and ask him to go through the list again but with adding prices this time.

He started again a bit slower and pointed out that the doohdah tire with radial something cost $79 and the Goodyear with … is a good price at $98 and goes on to end with the Fukupayama or some even more asian sounding name at $138.

What would Skeet do? What would Skeet do?

I realized he stopped talking and is expectantly waiting for an answer. I took a blind stab and said with a more manly assertive tone I’ll have the Goodyear at $98, thank you Bob.

On second thought, his name might not have been Bob.

And maybe I should not have ended my answer with a question mark in my voice as I saw the sudden pity in his eyes.

I hastily handed him my keys and jolted into the shop.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Red Barn Shrimp and Catfish Buffet!


So, last night I got another lesson on how to survive in deep east Texas! I ended up at Robertson's Ham/The Red Barn Shrimp and Catfish Buffet on I-20 outside Wills Point for a friends birthday. WOW. It is the hokey, hole in the wall, on a very busy interstate, out in the sticks kinda place. Enormous inflatable pig and wall to wall trucks outside, Styrofoam plates, plastic cutlery inside. Ugh, my heart sank.

But, oh boy, was the food good! Good company, good food and lots of laughter. Boiled Shrimp, fried shrimp, fried catfish, beans, homemade bread rolls, hush-puppies, coleslaw, all kinds of cobblers, etc. Good honest food as my gran would say.

 No pretenses. Just shrimp being shrimp, I guess.

And of course as an added bonus, there was the people watching! Wow.

I found this gem of a testimony on their website:

Chris L writes: I've seen the signs for Robertson's REAL Beef Jerky along I-20 dozens and dozens of times when trekking my to/from Louisiana and finally was hungry enough on my way home to stop and grab a sammich. Pulling up past the old school gas station pumps (numeric wheels?  Haven't seen those in a decade) into the dirt parking lot took me back to my formative years out in the sticks. Grab a Coke out of the cooler, mosey up to the counter, and order a sandwich.  The most expensive sandwich is $3.99.  My $2.99 sandwich had about a half pound of DELICIOUS ham and a slice of swiss cheese.  I also grabbed a homemade cherry turnover, which was awesome.  It was like a Hostess Pie on 'roids. I ate my sandwich outside on a picnic table listening to the hum of traffic passing by on I-20 and enjoyed the simple taste of a well made ham sandwich.  Good times.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Famous Italians

This made me smile....

 Famous Italians

 Fabrizio 

 Rossi 


Biaggi 
 

 Schettino 

 

Screening for Surgical Patients in Togo

Photos from our recent Surgical Screening in Togo. Initial reports from the Africa Mercy say that the patient screening went very well! An estimated 3500 people patiently waited to be seen of which 1600 were selected for further screening. Keep watching my blog for continued updates throughout this Togo Field Service. Thank you for your prayers and support.