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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture

2007

January February March April May June July August October November December

December

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Another Jason Silver

A few days ago I stumbled upon a web site that mentioned someone named Jason Silver... and it wasn't me.

Now, I've met a few Jason Silvers before, so that wasn't what amazed me... what was so cool was that this Jason Silver was also a pastor. In fact, he was also a musician, and a worship leader! What are the chances that someone out there has your name and is doing the same job as you, with the same talents and abilities as you? I know this world is a big place, but come on! This is crazy!

Here's a link to his web site, where I first stumbled upon him. (He's since changed his name to Jay Silver). Here's the church he works at, where the attached picture came from.

Here's a link to an MP3 from his new album, called "Broken," which will be released in September of 2008!

How cool is that?
~Jason
Tags:music
Saturday, December 15th, 2007

CBC Radio 3

Tonight I discovered that CBC radio has a section for Indie artists-- no idea if I'll get any exposure this way, but it can't hurt to try. Here's the link:
CBC Radio 3 / Bands / Jason Silver

~Jason
Tags:music
Thursday, December 13th, 2007

House Concerts

Hey, quick note-- I wanted to ask you if you'd ever heard of house concerts? If you're in Canada, you'll find more here:
http://www.acousticroof.ca/

Otherwise, you might want to check this one out:
http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/

The basic idea is that people who like music, open their home as a venue for house concerts... they decide the type of music they want to host, how many people they can seat in their living room, and then put their venue online for artists to see (on one of the sites above).

Artists can then contact these hosts, and if it's a good fit, you've got a concert! The artist and the host work together to publicize it, decide ahead of time how much to charge per visitor, that kind of thing.

I'd love to play in this type of a setting, so if it seems like something you'd be interested in, let me know! Maybe I could come to a concert in your living room?!?

Thanks muchly,
Jason
Tags:music

November

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

First Interview for Incubator Records

Incubator Records asked me to submit a demo to them a few months ago, and tonight was my first phone interview with them.

So far, so good-- although I was a little skeptical of their label at first, I pretty sure they're the real deal. I'm encouraged by the things their company stands for, particularly:

  • setting an environment of trust and vulnerability between themselves and the musician
  • being up front and honest from the start-- both sides,
  • and understanding this is going to take a lot of personal effort as well as a financial commitment to work.

Speaking of finances, they warned me that my financial investment would be in the neighbourhood of $400 a month. This is for things like travel expenses to gigs, buying miscellaneous equipment, making phone calls, etc. So if you're interested in sponsoring me because you believe in my music and support the part I'm to play in this regard, that would be terrific.

As I know more, I'll be sure to post it here, so stay tuned.

~Jason

Update:
Well today I received three cassette tapes-- THAT'S RIGHT, CASSETTE TAPES from Incubator, with four or five hours of talking that they wanted Joanne and I to listen to. This is OLD material, with references to movies and TV shows from the mid eighties! Some of the material was good, but they have an image problem, I'd say. Here's an interesting link that says you have to pay them $300-$500 per month!
Incubator Records Asks for Money

There are other links I've found through Google that don't sounds good:
Message Board Conversation About Them
Some Insights Into Their System
Another Message Board Conversation About Incubator

Pretty much everyone says "Stay Away," so that's probably the direction I'll take. I'll hang in there for a bit more to see what they say, but it sounds suspicious. At my next interview in a couple of nights I'll just come out and ask what the deal is.
~Jason

Another Update:
After almost finishing the cassettes, he's finally getting into some good meaty suggestions and advice, and it's excellent. Apparently he says they put money up for a new album if they feel it's a good investment. I'm curious to see where this goes.
~Jason
Tags:music

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Daddy's Lullabye

I've always wanted to write a little lullabye that I could sing to my kids-- and have actually drafted probably 10 or so -- on the spot while I try to sooth a crying child. But this one started Wednesday night with the guitar, and I put down some words to it last night. It's really simple, but I think it comes across really gentle and soothing. I hope you like it!

Here are lyrics below-- Click the play button above to hear the song's first take.

~Jason

Daddy's Lullabye
By Jason Silver

Close your eyes and don't you cry
Go to sleep my darling
Daddy's lullabye

Just goodnight and not goodbye
Sweetest dreams my baby
Drift off to the sky
To daddy's lullabye.

Sleeping sweetly
Let me hold you tight
Breathing deeply
Soon the morning light

(c) Copyright 2007 Jason Silver Ink. All right reserved. International Copyright Secured.

Tags:music song_bios

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

THE tEAM Network - Prayer for Sick Kids

I just finished designing and developing a new web site for a group who pray for sick kids with cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. It's called The tEAM Network, and they make it their mission to mobilize as many people to prayer as possible.

Take a look at their web site, and maybe even get involved!

~Jason


Tags:webdesign
Thursday, November 8th, 2007

SALE! Moving On Again - At CD Baby

I just got an email from CDBaby.com, so I'm taking a quick break from work to let my fans know: my latest CD is now available for instant purchase-- it will ship immediately.

There is a SPECIAL SALE: 30% discount if you buy more than one copy of it today!

Emotional and moving, this CD is a pleasing blend of Celtic whistles and acoustic piano. Some tracks are combined with natural woodland sounds drawing the listener into an experiential moment.

Let me know you like and support my music by getting a CD today!

Thanks so much,
~Jason

Update: 12 Girlfriends is now available too! Click here to listen to the entire CD... it's also on Sale today!


Tags:music
Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Afternoon Is Haunting

I finally wrote a new song tonight. It came out really fast: I think I was long ovedue to sit down and write or something. I know that not doing music for a living is taking a bit of a creative toll on me. I hope to focus more intentionally in the future.

Here are lyrics below-- I put up a scratch track of the song as well-- so you can hear how it goes.

~Jason

Afternoon Is Haunting
By Jason Silver

Midnight now, I'm waiting, wondering
Why you haven't called?
One o'clock Lord, I must close my eyes
Two goes by, then three, four, five,
Still you are nowhere near
Sleep would be great, but it's already eight,
And the afternoon is haunting.

Chorus:
Every afternoon I think about that place
I remember how the moon, it shone upon your face
I can still recall your eyes; they burn into my mind
And I can't forget the lies, but baby,
How I want to.

I can't believe the time, God
It's already half-past nine
I fell asleep at ten, just closed my eyes
I'll wait until noon, then one and two,
Man, has it been three years?
Four o'clock, I go for a walk
But the afternoon is haunting.
[chorus]

(c) Copyright 2007 Jason Silver Ink. All right reserved. International Copyright Secured.


Tags:music song_bios

October

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Visiting Kingston/ Sydenham for Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow afternoon, right when the traffic will be at its worst (probably), we're piling the kids in the van andheading for Kignston area to visit my family for Canadian Thanksgiving! I can't wait for turkey, and cranberries, and mashed potatoes, and squash, and turnips!! Yum!

If you've been itching to get one or more of my CDs, maybe we can meet up this weekend! Email me through the contact form on this site and we'll get in touch. Or call my cell phone: 905-923-7874.

~Jason 


Tags:music
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Facebook Status Updates

I haven't been blogging as much as I used to-- and I'm finding I'm more interested in people's status updates on Facebook than I am anything else they post. I figure if I'm interested in that, maybe you are too... it's a good way to stay in touch with the day-to-day life details of your friends.

So, I've written a Perl script which fetches my Facebook status updates and inserts it into my blog. It's especially appropriate for Blosxom, so if you use that blogging software, send me a note and I'll hook you up.

~Jason 

 


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts

August

Friday, August 31st, 2007

A Chanter!

I'm so excited! My friend Kevin Bousquet bought me a gift which came in the mail yesterday!! It's a chanter-- the part of a bagpipe with which you make the notes. 

I've wanted to learn to play the uilleann pipes for a number of years now, and I'm this much closer! Thanks Kevin! You rock!

~Jason 


Tags:music
Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Saturday Night Online Concert

As promised, here's the letter sent out to everyone about how to listen to the concert online tomorrow night.

First, check your time zone, so you can be sure to tune in at the right time. I'm going to try to do two hours from 9:30 EST to 11:30. We'll see how my stamina holds out. I'll likely take a break about 10:30.

Feel free to come and go.

Please visit the chat room to say hi.
http://www.jasonsilver.com/chat/

'll be checking for song requests at the chat room every 15 minutes or so (about every 3 to 4 songs).

You'll need a video player like WinAmp or Windows Media Player to watch the stream. The resolution is a little on the low side so that it doesn't skip. You can make it fill the screen by double-clicking the image in Windows Media Player.

To make my stream connect to your video player, you need the peer-to-peer software. You get it at Peercast.org.

Here's the download link:
http://www.peercast.org/download.php

After downloading and installing, go to the yellow pages link below, and search for 'concert' or 'jason'. Then click the PLAY button.
http://yp.peercast.org/?find=concert

The sound will start first, and then the video will kick in later. It usually takes about 15-30 seconds before you'll see any video. Be patient.

If that doesn't work, then don't give up! Come to the chat room URL above, and I can give you a back-up link to start the concert.

I'll have the video stream up and running late afternoon, so that people can tune in to make sure it all works.

See you then!
Jason


Tags:music
Friday, August 24th, 2007

New CDs Arrived

The new CDs arrived in the mail finally, albeit two months late! But better late than never.

I took a listen to the tracks last night, and I must say it sounds fantastic! I'm a little disappointed in the on-disk printing quality... at least the one I opened didn't look quite right. But overall the package is great.

So if I sell 70 of these babies, I've broken even--- so come on by the house and pick up your copy today! If send me $10 via PayPal plus about $2.50 shipping, I'll drop one in the email for you. My PayPal email is 'jasonsilver@crookedbush.com.'

To my wonderful fans out there, thanks for supporting my music!


Tags:music
Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Two More Absolute Books

I'm so excited -- Joanne picked up two books for me at the library! Jack Absolute, and Absolute Honour.

I've already started biting into the first. I want this reading meal to last, but I just can't slow down!

I wonder-- can a person get reading-indigestion? haha-- that was really bad.

~Jason 


Tags:books
Friday, August 17th, 2007

The Blooding of Jack Absolute

I finished this book last night-- one of the best stories I've read in a long time... what an adventure!! And all the better because there's a sequel. Rather, this is a prequel to Jack Absolute, which I've yet to read. And I can't wait!

The Blooding of Jack Absolute is a story set in the mid to late 1700s. Jack starts our as a child, and our book follows his life into Canada, where he is a soldier for England in the battle against the French.

It's an adventure story for every-boy. The tones, colours, sounds, and accents come alive-- what a story!!

WELL worth the read!

~Jason 


Tags:books
Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Fantasy Betting in Your Language

I've been doing some small changes to Fantasy Betting, and am just about complete a new version which includes the ability to be "translated." 

So far it's been translated to Italian, and people are reportedly working on French, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Norwegian. Taglog, Korean, Russian, and German. 

How cool is that? 

I'll be raising the price when this version is ready, so if you're interested in FB, this would be the time to get it-- everyone who registers early gets the current price for the new version.

~Jason 


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Monday, August 13th, 2007

Scott Orr Interviewed on the Radio

My good friend, Scott Orr, was interviewed on the radio five nights ago-- it's worth a listen! You'll hear the background behind many of the songs on his new album, and get to hear some great music!

It was exciting for me too, not just because I'm proud of Scott, but also because I'm playing on a few of the songs. Check it out and leave Scott a comment!

This CD is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Congrats, my friend.

~Jason 


Tags:music
Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Tuesdays With Morrie

Tuesdays With Morrie was okay-- not the best thing I've ever read, but not terrible.

My mother-in-law gave it to me, and my pal, John Harvey said it was a worthwhile read (though somewhat simple)...

I agree. It's a quick read-- maybe took me an hour or two altogether, but I read it in little spurts. It's a little overly-gushy for my liking, but I still managed to shed a soft tear or two.

The basic story is that a young successful student finds his favourite professor again-- just as the old man is dying. They begin having regular meetings on Tuesday, and the student documents the teacher's life lessons. If you've got a spare hour, it might be worth reading.

3 stars.

~Jason 


Tags:books
Sunday, August 5th, 2007

A Neat Suprise

I just stumbled onto this:

EMusic Selling 12 Girlfriends

Neat! I didn't know other sites were selling my music... I guess that's connected to the licensing I do through the company that puts my stuff on iTunes.

So just for fun, I looked around a bit more and found this:

Rhapsody selling 12 Girlfriends, and AOL Music, YottaMusic, Connect.com, and Puretracks!

Neat, eh?

~Jason 


Tags:music

July

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This was quite an interesting novel-- my wife, Joanne, and I actually listened to it on CD while we drove 2000 miles across Canada.

It took a while for me to get into it: there are a lot of unusual character names to get used to and the point of view keeps switching from one heroine to another. But overall very compelling. I was especially amazed at how it changed my views of Islam.

I highly recommend it.

~Jason 


Tags:books
Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The Testament

I just finished another novel, called "The Testament," by John Grisham. This is the second Grisham novel I've consumed, and I must say I like his style.

In this story, an extremely wealthy man dies, leaving all his money to an illegitimate child (a missionary woman) instead of to his crazy children. A washed up lawyer is chosen to travel to her remote village and get her to sign some papers-- and suprised to find she doesn't want the money.

Five stars!

~Jason


Tags:books
Sunday, July 15th, 2007

The Shape of Snakes

The Shape of Snakes was, I think, my second (or third?) Minette Walters book, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It took a while to really get going-- I found the narrative style a little confusing at first. As one reviewer put it,

The first-person narrative of The Shape of Snakes is broken up by documents, letters, and statements of various kinds, which provide our only alternative source of information when we start to wonder just how much the narrator's account is concealing. We never learn her first name — she is just M. — and she remains surprisingly distant...

Once I got used to the style-- I think maybe 150 pages in, I started to really enjoy it. It means one can't take the narrator's descriptions at face-value. The reader must interpret the narrator's opinions based on the other character's responses.

All said, I recommend this book. It's an entertaining murder mystery. 4.5 stars.

~Jason


Tags:books
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Fishing at Poplar Point

Yesterday, grandpa Sawatzky took we boys up north, to Poplar Point on Cowan Lake for a bit of fishing. Over the last few years, I've really started to LOVE fishing.

Joanne's brother-in-law, Gerald Zacharias, stayed behind, but Richard, Lucas, Seth and myself enjoyed a day of angling, boating and laughing.

We caught 20 of our limit of 30 fish. I was fortunate to be the first to catch something, but right away Seth caught the next two. Lucas  lost a couple at the last minute, and then it was a race between Seth and myself. (I loved that his first real fishing trip went so well-- there's nothing worse than being introduced to fishing and coming away empty-handed).

Within the first couple of hours Seth was leading the catch-count with four fish. These were big, (well sort-of big), mean-looking Northern Pike, with rows of teeth waiting to take off a finger.

Grandpa had a little mini baseball-bat which he used to knock the fish on the noggin. It was hillarious that Seth wanted to do that himself. He's such a little man.

Then it started pouring and we made a bee-line for the shore. I had noticed that Seth's green spoon-lure was doing better than the red and white ones, so I went up to the store and bought myself a green one. That was a bright move, because when we went back out, it seemed every time I put my lure in the water I pulled out a fish. That's one terrific spoon!

So the fish are all cleaned and de-boned and we're having a fish fry tonight. I can't wait!

~Jason


Tags:hobbies fishing
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

By The time yoU reAd this

I finished my novel last night before bed-- it was a really enternaining read by Giles Blunt called "By The Time You Read This." The coroner and police have ruled Detective Cardinal's depressed wife's death as suicide, but he's convinced it was actually murder. Not only is he struggling to discover the truth behind her death, he's trying to convince his friends and coworkers that he's not crazy.

This was another page turner, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. The characters are so believable: multi-dimensional, full of passion and heart-ache, and the intricate story line is at once convuluted and captivating.

Great book! 5 stars!
~Jason


Tags:books
Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Looking Good Dead

One of the things I love most about being on vacation is that I get to do lots of pleasure reading. Last night I finished my first book of vacation, called "Looking Good Dead" by Peter James.

Joanne had read it first and though she enjoyed it, she wasn't overly impressed. But I really got into it-- breezed through the short chapters, and couldn't put it down.

I'll be looking for more Peter James books.

I've just started my next novel, "By The Time You Read This" by Giles Blunt.

~Jason


Tags:books

June

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Handed in the Keys

Well, today was the official last day of work-- though I haven't been in the office much over the last month. I handed my keys to Lane.

It's weird-- I never would have predicted the course of events that have occured over the last year. But I'm SO GLAD it's all over. I feel tremendously free. I'm going to seriously take a break from church for a while. I'm all churched-out.

~Jason


Tags:church_work
Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Party at the Harvey's

Last night we had an amazing celebration with many of the people from the music team... it was wonderful. There have been hundreds of musicians involved since we started seven years ago, and my closest friends among them came last night to support us and encourage us.

Working for a church is such a weird thing. Every time we 'move on' from a ministry position, I'm reminded of how unbelievably non-organic it is. Yet somehow you all made us feel very loved, and I know that we'll stay in close contact over the years to come.

Thanks to all of you who came, and for the wonderful gifts! We love you all very much, and will seriously miss serving with you!

~Jason


Tags:church_work
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Previews Available for Moving On Again

I've uploaded the 30 second previews from my Moving On Again CD. Keep in mind that these mp3s are not mastered, but I think they still sound great.

I'd love a comment or two-- take a listen and tell me what you think!

~Jason 


Tags:music
Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Moving On Again

Two nights ago, I stayed up until 3 a.m. completing the latest album, which I've entitled, "Moving On Again."

It's a kind of re-release of a CD I produced and sold back in 1999, except I've rerecorded all the parts and used real live instruments, instead of synthesizers.

The reason I did this, is that someone bought a copy of the CD a few weeks ago, and I was too embarrassed to send it to her. So I emailed her that I was rerecording the whole thing, and asked her if she'd be willing to wait.

I'll upload a few samples here, so stay tuned-- I hope you like it!

Jason

p.s. Thanks to Jeremy Siemens, who took this photo at an online web-concert I held a few months ago.


Tags:music
Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Download Access

I've finally created something I've wanted to have for a long time! Now when you purchase a script at Intelliscript.net, a special download page is created just for you. You can come at any time, login, and re-download the files.

This is great for me, because it can be so overwhelming to keep track of who has purchased the software, if their license has expired, etc. With over 40 separate scripts for sale, it was getting really hard to manage with my old system. And now when I release a new version of any script, I can instantly mail everyone who has purchased that script.

I used to have a similar, although manual system a number of years ago, but it was a third party script, and it was written in PHP (yuck!) and it was very SLOW. I love it that my script automatically create accounts when new purchases are made, and sends out people's login and password too.

~Jason 


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts

May

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

The Brendan Voyage

I finished a fantastic book a couple of weeks ago, and forgot to mention it here on my blog. It was called The Brendan Voyage, and was a log of a journey that Tim Severin made as a reenactment of St. Brendan's legendary journey to, perhaps, North America.

It was fascinating reading-- the whole notion of rebuilding an ancient Irish boat out of leather to sail across the Atlantic; of using all the materials medieval people would have access to, even tanning leather in the same way. Tim Severin writes in a compelling manner, so that I could hardly wait to find out what happened next from chapter to chapter, page to page.

If you like traveling stories then you'll love The Brendan Voyage.

~Jason 


Tags:books
Monday, May 28th, 2007

Instruments Are Us

I keep adding to the instrument collection here in my basement studio. Friday after Lucas got home from school we bought a drum set through Kijiji.com from a young lad who wanted $275 bucks -- he was saving up for a motorcycle.

So now I've got two acoustic guitars, two electric guitars (and an amp), a banjo, a bass guitar (and amp), two keyboards, an electric and acoustic piano, two accordions, miscellaneous percussion instruments (shakers, bongos, hand drums, etc) and a few dozen penny whistles. There are a couple of pan flutes here too, a picolo trumpet, a Bb trumpet, and some harmonicas. And now a drum set!

It's fun collecting instruments, and now I hope my recorded tracks will sound even better with real drums! 

I want to have friends over for jam sessions too-- my basement is perfect for that kind of thing! So come on over!! :)

~Jason 


Tags:music
Friday, May 25th, 2007

Recording Some More With Scott

Today I had a great lunch with Scott Orr. It was really refreshing to talk to him-- in fact, you could say it was the highlight of my entire month! Suffice to say, things are not what they seem and I have a burden lifted.

We also did some recording and worked a bit on a couple of his other songs, including the one I wrote the string quartet parts for. It's going to sound awesome. This is one album I just can't wait for.

Scott, you're the best. I think you'll win a Juno for this one!

~Jason 


Tags:music
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

ReadSheetMusic.info

Back in like, 1999, I wrote five chapters on how to read sheet music. I did it to draw attention to my web site, www.notationmachine.com, and my intention has always been to flesh it out and add more chapters.

The response to those originals sections have been overwhelming. For years people have written me, thanking me for this free course, and wondering why the rest of it wasn't finished yet. In fact, if you type "How to Read Sheet Music," my site is listed number one in Google. That's a pretty big deal.

But it's been eight years since I've even looked at this part of the site and I hadn't finished writing it! (In fact, I did write the rest back in 2000, and accidentally deleted it. Ever since then I have not been too interested in doing all of the work again... until lately).

A couple of years ago, when the .info extension came available for domain names, my registrar, namesecure.com, gave them away for free for one year. So I grabbed www.readsheetmusic.info back then, thinking I'd someday make a site dedicated to learning to read sheet music.

Two or three years later and I've finally written the missing chapters, and put them up on this new site. Check it out, and see if you learn anything new about how to read sheet music!


Tags:webdesign
Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Fight Fair

This is a great reminder, and worth using to set the ground rules from the top of any conflict:

HOW TO HAVE A FAIR FIGHT!

Keep your time-frame short
Keep your communication honest
Keep your tactics fair
Agree on time and place
Lower your voice
Avoid terms like never and always
Don’t dredge up past conflicts
Don’t say mean/hurtful things
Listen – don’t just wait your turn
Reconciling is more important than winning

Hat Tip to Glenn Teal.

~Jason 


Tags:church_work
Saturday, May 12th, 2007

She Loves Me Not

She Loves Me Not
She Loves Me Not is a little bit of a country song. It's got the typical country cutesy lyric and a kind of play on words.

The man is watching petals fall from a bouquet of flowers, and as each petal falls, he remembers a lost love.
She Loves Me Not

I'm not able
To take these roses off the table
It's been three long months of watching
Every tender petal dropping

Red is the colour
Of firey passion for a lover
Scarlet's turned and walked away now
Like this flower, I've lost my way

Chorus:
She loves me, she loves me not
She wants me, or she's moving on.
There is just one petal left and I can't call it
And I dread the day that this last one is falling
She loves me or she loves me not.

The dust has settled
It's covered eighty crimson petals
But eighty-one has got a hold,
And like my heart, it won't let go

Time has frozen,
And I feel my heart closin'
The flower dies, the moment's gone
But in my eyes, the memory lives on
[chorus 2x]
Please leave a comment! :)


Click to Listen

~Jason


Tags:music song_bios
Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Are You Leaving Me

Are You Leaving Me
Are You Leaving Me is a song I've been working on for one of my "next albums." I put that in quotes, because it seems to be taking way too long to get anything finished.

So take a listen to this early mixdown. I'm not sure yet if the "synth drums" really work, or if I should just pay to have a real drummer play on it. I still need to add electric guitar and background vocals as well-- I have some ideas about that.

If you can spare a minute, I'd love it if you left a comment. I get thousands of visitors a month, and only a handful of comments. What gives? ;)


Click to Listen
Tags:music song_bios

April

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

On Leaving

On Leaving
On Leaving is an improvisation I did last night in the basement studio. I started with making up a piano part-- not really knowing where it would go, just playing from the heart. I pulled out the whistle after that, and recorded one take of a melody to go with it. I grabbed my new bass, wrote out the bass notes from the piano part, and laid down that track next. Finally, I added a guitar part, using both the pick-up and a ribbon microphone.

I've had a few requests from some seniors at the Tuesday morning "games day" to record an instrumental hymns CD. I'm thinking of doing it this way, with whistle and piano parts.

Click to Listen

~Jason


Tags:music song_bios
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Easter 2007 - Orchestral Worship

This is the first we've done something like this since the 1940's, and it was quite fun. I did all the arrangements just for these people and this instrumentation. We had both the traditional service folks and the contemporary service folks in the same service-- and so we decided to do something unlike both services.

Below is a video of the five songs we did, three hymns and two contemporary songs. The two "choruses" are less tight than I would have liked, but the hymns came out really well.

Enjoy!

Jason 


Tags:church_work
Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Resignation

Well, today I made public my resignation from Philpott Memorial Church. I've been there almost seven years (it will be seven years to the day to my last day, if you count the month I worked from home back in August of 2000).

I've felt a huge variance of emotion. On one hand, I'm sad to leave behind many friends and relationships, to see a fun ministry draw to a close. On the other hand, I'm excited about what's in store for us in the years to come. I'm disappointed things needed to be wrapped up there, but glad to see a year of challenges finally over. 

I will be working until June 30th, and then taking the month of July as holiday. I then start my new job, as a computer programmer for David Chan through McMaster.

If you're a Philpott attendee and are a regular reader to my blog, I hope we can continue to stay in touch, either through this medium, or even face-to-face for lunch, or to grab a drink together some evening. Philpott will always have a dear place in my heart.

Following is my resignation letter:

Dear elders, staff, and congregation,

Joanne and I have had the most amazing experience worshiping with you in this church over the last seven years. We've connected to you in heart and mind, and feel very much like this body of believers is our own adoptive family.

That's why it's so difficult to announce a change in direction in our calling and ministry. We've grown to love so many of you deeply. We can hardly imagine what God has for us that could be better than our time at Philpott!

We've done what God has called us to do here. God has helped us to start new ministries, to hold up the banner of outreach and friendship evangelism, to connect musicians together in new ways, and to try new things with technology. We've been amazed at how he's used us, frail, broken, and wounded as we are.

As we move on in other areas of ministry, we ask that you would continue to love us, to pray for us—lifting us up to the Father regularly. May we be like extended family to you; out of sight, but rarely out of mind.

Thanks again for this wonderful experience of serving with you. We bless the work that God is doing here at this church.

Jason and Joanne

~Jason 


Tags:church_work
Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Children of Men

Joanne and I watched a fantastic movie this evening, called "Children of Men." It was one of those "what if" movies set in the future. It imagines a world in which humans have become infertile. It's been eighteen years since any woman has had a baby, and governments have gone to extreme measures to try to maintain peace and instill hope for its citizens. This causes rebellion groups to form in an attempt to shake of government control.

We really loved this movie. The first few minutes were hard to figure out, but it isn't long until the plot gets a real kick start.

Unfortunately, we found the ending a bit disappointing. I'm not sure whether that's because a sequel is on its way, or if the writers just couldn't figure out what should happen; but it was still quite entertaining. 


Tags:movies
Friday, April 6th, 2007

Worship March 24

A couple of weeks ago we recorded another worship service-- it was a great time of focusing on God and enjoying Him! I hope you enjoy it too.

~Jason


Tags:church_work

March

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Ray

Joanne and I watched the movie "Ray" the other day, which is a biography of Ray Charles life. Jamie Foxx portrayed him, and did a fantastic job. Many times I said to Joanne, "He looks just like Ray Charles."

The theme of the movie was inspiring as well. I didn't realise that Ray was tormented with so many personal demons, that he felt responsible for his brother's death, that his mother's love even after she died, kept him going, and that he struggled so much with drug addiction and marriage infidelity. I also didn't realise he loved country music so much. Actually, all of this stikes a remarkable simularity to Johnny Cash's life.

That's the thing about being a professional musician, eh? The drugs, the pressures, the haunting pain of personal demons which drive them to perform and succeed and exceed everyone's expectations.

I'm glad I was saved from that drama!

~Jason


Tags:movies
Monday, March 26th, 2007

I Wrote a Captcha Script

The amount of spam hitting the various sites I design lately has been getting crazy. Some of my clients are getting dozens of ringtones, porn, and scam links posted to their comments boxes and guestbooks.

So this morning I wrote a Captcha-style script, which I've called Cotcha. (Yeah, I know, really original -- an acronym for Coded Objective to Tell Computers and Humans Apart).

What makes this script so cool is that it can be integrated into any pre-existing form and/or perl script to add an extra element of spam protection.

Right now the Cotcha code is only plain text-- the next step of this script's development is to create an image of the "Cotcha" code using ImageMagick. Since most web servers don't come with this program preinstalled, I'm going to leave it off until it's absolutely critical or someone makes a special request for the code to be imagefied.

So if you're having trouble with comment spam, feel free to get this script. I'll be putting it up on Intelliscript.net soon. Watch for updates.

~Jason


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Monday, March 26th, 2007

St Patrick's Day 2007 - Video

This is a video of our March 18th "St. Patrick's Day Service" at Philpott last week.
~Jason


Tags:church_work
Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Spiritual Leadership - Qualifications

I'm reading a powerful book right now, called "Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Sanders. It looks like one of those books I need to read and re-read every year.

The following is a list for the qualifications for leadership. He calls it a criteria for leadership potential. I just had to duplicate it here, because this is a list I want to refer back to often:

 

  • Have you ever broken yourself of a bad habit? To lead others, one must be master of oneself
  • Do you retain control of yourself when things go wrong? The leader who loses self-control in testing circumstances forfeits respect and loses influence. He must be calm in crisis and resilient in adversity and disappointment.
  • Do you think independently? While using to the full the thought of others, the leader cannot afford to let others do his thinking or make his decisions for him.
  • Can you handle criticism objectively and remain unmoved under it? Do you turn it to good account? The humble man can derive benefit from petty and even malicious criticism.
  • Can you use disappointments creatively?
  • Do you readily secure the cooperation and win the respect and confidence of others?
  • Do you possess the ability to secure discipline without having to resort to a show of authority? True leadership is an internal quality of the spirit and requires no external show of force.
  • Have you qualified for the beatitude pronounced on the peacemaker? It is much easier to keep the peace than to make peace where it has been shattered. An important function in leadership is conciliation-- the ability to discover common ground between opposing viewpoints and then induce both parties to accept it.
  • Are you entrusted with the handling of difficult and delicate situations?
  • Can you induce people to do happily some legitimate thing that they would not normally wish to do?
  • Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without considering it a personal affront and reacting accordingly? Leaders must expect opposition and should not be offended by it.
  • Do you find it easy to make and keep friends? Your circle of loyal friends is an index of the quality and extent of your leadership.
  • Are you unduly dependent on the praise or approval of others? Can you hold a steady course in face of disapproval and even temporary loss of confidence?
  • Are you at ease in the presence of your superiors or strangers?
  • Do your subordinates appear at ease in your presence? A leader should give an impression of sympathetic understanding and friendliness that will put others at ease.
  • Are you really interested in people? In people of all types and all races? Or do you entertain respect of persons? Is there hidden racial prejudice? An antisocial person is unlikely to make a good leader.
  • Do you possess tact? Can you anticipate the likely effect of a statement before you make it?
  • Do you possess a strong and steady will? A leader will not retain his position if he is vacillating.
  • Do you nurse resentments, or do you readily forgive injuries done to you?
  • Are you reasonably optimistic? Pessimism is no asset to a leader.
  • Are you in the grip of a master passion such as that of Paul, who said, "This one thing I do"? Such a singleness of motive will focus all one's energies and powers on the desired objective.
  • Do you welcome responsibility?

~Jason

 


Tags:books
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

LIfe is Better in Iraq

Interesting:

From The Sunday Times [U.K.]
March 18, 2007

Iraqis: life is getting better

Marie Colvin

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.

One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today.

Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month.

Related Links
Resilient Iraqis ask what civil war?
Violence slashed as troop surge hits Baghdad

By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.

Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, said the findings pointed to progress. “There is no widespread violence in the four southern provinces and the fact that the picture is more complex than the stereotype usually portrayed is reflected in today’s poll,” she said.

Nod to Proud to Be Canadian.

~Jason 


Tags:politics american
Monday, March 19th, 2007

Irish Sunday

We had a terrific time on Sunday, doing Celtic music (since Saturday was St. Patrick's Day).

Chris Marshall played the bagpipes, Mike Leech played fiddle, Jim Franklin played mandolin and guitar, I played penny whistles and accordion, Tom Bigas and Chris Lasar played percussion, and Scott Orr played upright bass. We did a lot of Robin Mark songs. What a blast!

Derek Wilson, a really great guy who actually hails from the Green Isle, read scripture with a rolling Irish accent. All around it was a great time, and I think many enjoyed worshiping God.

~Jason


Tags:church_work
Saturday, March 17th, 2007

The Prestige

I saw an amazingly good movie with Joanne last night, about two feuding magicians. It was set in the turn-of-the-century, so it was full of all those cool mechanical gadgets. But aside from a great look, it had a really intriguing plot! It twisted all around, and kept me guessing. I recommend it! ~Jason
Tags:movies
Saturday, March 17th, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

This revealing documentary was released in Europe last week. It's quite concerning.

~Jason
Tags:politics global_warming

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Post Blog Script Modified

I've finally done some major modifications on the blogpost script... LONG overdue.

I cleaned up the code, helped it to handle memory a bit better, added some overwrite protection which should have been there all along, added more comments to the code, and put more explanation for the user as well.

~Jason

Update: Today I completely rewrote much of the code as well-- it was way too complicated. I hope people like the changes I've made. It should be easier to use and understand.

Another update: Last night and this morning I rewrote some of the code again so that the script communicates with the web server and presents error messages, alerts, and confirmations without loading another page. Instead the alerts appear in an "iframe" and go away when the user resumes editing. I'm beginning to develop a new system to program Perl scripts which are more asynchronous... in other words, not only can the script communicate with the server, but hopefully the server can communicate with the browser independently. At the most simplistic level, error messages and alerts will appear from the web server without the user leaving the page. A real-world example of this style of web interface would be Gmail or Flickr. It's about time I started programming in this manner, considering how easy it is. Stay tuned!!

And More: I finally replaced the HTMLAREA WYSIWYG interface, (which only worked on Windows using Internet Explorer) with a new WYSIWYG interface called TinyMCE. This HTML interface uses JavaScript and works on all platforms and many browsers including Opera, Firefox and IE. The HTMLAREA interface was very lite, didn't use much server space, and was super easy to configure. The TinyMCE interface is more complicated-- but the cross platform benefits are obvious. Soon I will be replacing HTMLAREA in AutoFollowup and other scripts which require WYSIWYG.


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts blog
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Bono

This man is annointed. God bless him!

~Jason
Tags:faith

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Scientists Threatened for Climate Denial

Interesting:

By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:24am GMT 11/03/2007

Scientists who questioned mankind’s impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.

They say the debate on global warming has been “hijacked” by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.

Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate change.

One of the emails warned that, if he continued to speak out, he would not live to see further global warming.

"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor.

I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal.

Last week, Professor Ball appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a Channel 4 documentary in which several scientists claimed the theory of man-made global warming had become a “religion”, forcing alternative explanations to be ignored.

Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who also appeared on the documentary - recently claimed: “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges.

"Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."

Dr Myles Allen, from Oxford University, agreed. He said: "The Green movement has hijacked the issue of climate change. It is ludicrous to suggest the only way to deal with the problem is to start micro managing everyone, which is what environmentalists seem to want to do."

Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said: "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system."

I don't know what the facts are, but there is no harm in being sensitive to environmental issues-- as long as the big picture of economical health is always kept in mind.

~Jason
Tags:curiosities

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Manna From Heaven

I'm often suprised at the good lessons available to us in the Old Testament. If we will look with eyes ready to see, God can show us our character, our failings, and present a faith alternative.

One example I read today. This was the thousandth time I read it, and yet today something special jumped out at me.

They spoke against God, saying,
  "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
He struck the rock so that water gushed out
  and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
  or provide meat for his people?"

Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath;
  a fire was kindled against Jacob;
  his anger rose against Israel,
because they did not believe in God
  and did not trust his saving power.
Yet he commanded the skies above
  and opened the doors of heaven,
and he rained down on them manna to eat
  and gave them the grain of heaven.
Man ate of the bread of the angels;
  he sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
  and by his power he led out the south wind;
he rained meat on them like dust,
  winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
  all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
  for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving,
  while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them,
  and he killed the strongest of them
  and laid low the young men of Israel.

The lesson for me today was simple: when I am in my "figurative desert", do I trust God to provide? Do I pine for the old days of abundance, or cheerfully anticipate how God will supply my needs today?

I choose faith.
~Jason
Tags:faith

Friday, March 9th, 2007

God and Science

We've been putting together a "God and Science" series over the last month, and last Sunday was the first message on that topic. For this occaision, I suggested to Lane (our senior pastor) that he consider a blog to elicit feedback, questions, and more. I set it up for him, and it can be found here.

I also made a video yesterday to go with the message this Sunday, concerning God's existence. The video is on YouTube, and can be seen and you can leave comments, by following this link.

~Jason


Tags:church_work
Thursday, March 8th, 2007

The Ministry of Presence

My cousin through marriage, Darren Friesen, left a terrific quote from Henry Nouwen on his blog today (which he picked up from Jordon's blog). I just had to reprint it here:

More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn't be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.

~Jason


Tags:faith
Monday, March 5th, 2007

String Quintet Sunday

This last Sunday we did something different for our music-worship time. Instead of a full band, which usually has drums, bass, mandolin or violin, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and keyboard, we had only two cellos and three violins.

I spent the week arranging seven songs (I only finished the last one Saturday evening!). I really made them complex, with extended harmonies and lots (LOTS) of counterpoint. Part of my plan was to communicate the ideas of a full band-- with bass lines and percussive 'snare' beats, and other similar elements. Overall the effect was very good.

We'll try stuff like this again. I think Adam was hoping to have strings and brass for the Easter service.

~Jason


Tags:church_work

February

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

TrueCity Coffee House

Tonight at 9 p.m. I'm playing 15 minutes of music at the TrueCity coffee house. I'm doing some TrueCity style songs, like "That's Just the Way it Is," "Another Day in Paradise," and others. If you're available, feel free to drop by-- it's at Philpott Church, across from Copps Coliseum, in the gymnasium. I believe the admission is free, though not sure.

~Jason


Tags:music
Monday, February 5th, 2007

Kijiji Classified

If you haven't yet heard of the Canadian web site, Kijiji, then you are missing something pretty awesome. Kijiji is a simple Classified ads site that actually gets used, and one which is getting used by the people in your home town!

I'm often suprised what the people of Hamilton are selling! There are cars, mp3 players, musical instruments, computers... the list goes on. Probably the one thing you're wanting to buy is available on Kijiji. And not only that, each custom search you do on Kijiji is available as an RSS feed! That means I can look for a used Pontiac Sunfire, grab the RSS feed, and put it in my news reader Bloglines. Then every time a Sunfire goes up for sale, it shows up and I can drive down the street to see it. I've done this for pet turtles, musical instruments, and a Pontiac Sunfire!

Ebay is great for hard-to-find items, but for most things, by the time you pay shipping and handling, and duty, you're hardly saving money. Plus, you're buying "sight-unseen." Not so with Kijiji.

In fact, I was finally able to replace my broken electric guitar yesterday, thanks to Kijiji. The young guy who was selling it brought it over for me to try out first! It's a black Yamaha, and it sounds great! And it was a great value.

So check out Kijiji... you'll love it!
~Jason
Tags:music
Monday, February 5th, 2007

Unanswered Questions of Science

Wired News posted this great article covering the questions science is still unable to answer. Check it out.
~Jason
Tags:curiosities

January

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Live Concert a Success

Yesterday I decided to do a spur-of-the-moment live concert via my webcam (using peercast software).

I sent out a bulletin and commented on my closest MySpace friend's pages. I set the time for 9 p.m. and was especially careful explaining how to not miss it because of time zone differences.

It was last minute-- so I was suprised to see almost 200 viewers last night. At one point 140 Japanese people were reported to be listening! How cool is that?

I've already sold two CD's to people who tuned in last night! And I may have sold more through iTunes (I won't find out until the end of the month).

You know, I've just got to say something here; this is so much better than a live gig in a pub. Every time I do these, it is so much work!! I typically have to make the calls and do the schmoozing to find a venue, then advertise it, then lug my gear (piano, mic, speakers, etc) to the location, then play for an audience that really just doesn't care because they're there to eat or get drunk. I put up with requests from patrons who have had too much to drink, and then lug everything home at 2 in the morning.

But a virtual gig is in my home, on my terms, on my time, and I don't have to lug equipment around! I often sell more CDs than I do live, and make fans who actually want to visit my web site, sign up for my newsletter, and download my stuff... it's so much better! What pub out there brings in 200 fans?

So I'll be doing another one soon. I know a lot of North American fans were annoyed that they couldn't connect, so I'll try to trouble shoot that problem before the next one. Thanks to the Japanese fans who mirrored my live stream!!

~Jason


Tags:music
Friday, January 5th, 2007

New Free Scripts

I decided to give away a few more Perl scripts on my Intelliscript site, including Link Engine, Shopping Cart, Dictionary, and RoomReservation. If you're interested in any of these free scripts, come on by. Be sure to add the web site's RSS feed to your blog reader so you know when prices change and there are new updates.

~Jason
Tags:webdesign perl_scripts