Steven Curtis Chapman

last night Patti and I got to go see Steven Curtis Chapman at the dodge arena.  He put on a good show, i could have done without the 3 opening bands.  The first time i saw him perform was at the woodlands ampheater in Houston with Sonnie and Jonny.  That was a really awesome show.  it was in the afternoon, we were sitting on the lawn.  The show as billed, Steven Curtis Chapman with special guest Geoff Moore.  So.. i was thinking Geoff was going to open up for Steven.. well they ended up performing the entire show together.  there were two stools setup on the stage, no band.. just the two of them and their gutairs.  probably the most simple setup i’ve seen in a professional show and also probably one of the best.  They were even using the house sound and lighting.  They just went back and forth singing and talking.  they are both great story tellers.

So back to last night.  first thing i noticed was how much he’s aged.  I remember his “cassettes” from the 80’s.  yeah he looked a bit older now.  They touring company he was using wasn’t the best contractor i’ve seen used.  jbl array, 1k par’s on the downstage truss, nady wireless mics, the stomp-boxes were all individually wired instead of using a cat5 router.  (which seamed to be a continuing problem throughout the entire show) 

The LD had a few nice scenes setup, but that quickly got dwarfed by several really bad ones.  H-Sweeps running throughout an entire song, the only variance was a changeover to V-sweeps.  Just about all the i-fixtures were all spots.  i only saw about 4 washes.  I probably found myself being most critical of the LD only because i’ve been in the LD position at other shows.  you can really set the mood of a show by doing a good job in that seat or a bad job. 

Despite all that, Steven himself did a great job.  He started the show off sharing his heart and pretty much carried that tone to the final song.  If anything, you can walk away from his show having a stronger understanding of the grace and love that’s available even through some of the darkest moments of anyone’s life.  He did a few of his classics.  I will be here, Speechless, Great Adventure among others.  He also did a few new songs.  One of which was Cinderella.  A song that will defiantly be a great cross-over song just like butterfly kisses.  Unless you’ve heard the story he had to tell behind it though, it won’t mean the same to anyone else who hasn’t.  I will defiantly be looking for his new album in i-tunes this coming November. 

end of one book, ready to start another

Yes, it’s true.  I turned in my resignation on Wednesday.  Around January of this year i started watching sites like Dice, TWC and Monster for job openings.  That’s when word started going around about job cuts here at clear channel.  I’ve been laid off before when i was at Mobile (now Shell) It’s a sucky feeling.  Thank goodness i had a job opening already lined up by the time that word came down.  Now that sucky feeling was starting to set in all over again.  I updated my resume and posted it hoping to see what was out there.

6 and a half years ago i was working for TWIN internet as their network administrator.  my sister called me saying she heard a commercial on the radio that they were looking for a computer guy.  i didn’t hear the spot myself but i ended up finding it later on.


I met with Danny Fletcher, Lori and Kevin who apparently was the guy doing the IT stuff around here.  So that interview obviously went well.  I remember when i was young i wanted to work at b104 back when it was b104.  *sigh* In those six and half years i’ve gotten to some amazing things that i am truly grateful for those chances.  built 4 new radio stations, helped install HD, figured out how to run HD2, help setup other markets HD2, installed SatL and figured out how to test them, setup DID and PRI functionality, disconnected about 30 pots from Verizon, EVDO codecs, helped setup a newstalk station, did the live engineering of football games on that newstalk station, setup internet streaming.. and i’m sure lot of other things i can’t think of right now.

I got to work with allot of people who have grown to be more than just co-workers.  I’ve made friends.  and i don’t pick many people to be friends with.  I’ve gotten to see them get married, have their first child, be at their birthday parties.. laugh with them, yell with them (or listen to them yell) and cry with them.

The time has come, to talk of other things.

I did a few interviews.  I’ve always enjoyed interviews.  It’s kind of like being a pushy car-salesman for a change.  Trying to sell myself to these companies.  Back in June of this year i got an email from this company.  Due to previous commitments they were not going to be able to interview until august.  I made an appointment and let time pass.  Well.. the day of the interview came and i can honestly say i had the best interview i ever had.  I didn’t even realize that almost 4 hours had passed.  I made it conversational, i knew my talents and my abilities and was confident from the beginning that I was the best person for this position.  I made sure to dominate the conversations and not pass the control to the other teams.  Until i was exhausted and out of questions to ask.

A few days later they emailed back and wanted a 2nd interview.  We talked again and got into some more specific questions and task.  What if’s and how would you’s mostly.  With the experience i have, i was able to answer most of the questions with.. “well.. when i had that problem once i did this…”

so later that day i get a 3rd email.  This time they wanted to meet to make an offer.  I already knew i wanted this job.  The chance to be a part of a research time on the cutting edge of some of the most exciting things being done today.  A chance to get back in a network admin position.  And the chance to design a network and data infrastructure basically from the ground up.

So the next day i turned in my letter of resignation. Today i turned in my letter of acceptance with the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center part of the Texas A&M System.  My first day is Sept 1.

I am so excited.  September can’t get here fast enough.

a night of hope

Got back from Joel Olsteen’s meeting at the dodge arena this evening.  I went with an open mind and heart, not really expecting anything but left with optimism and hope.  A renewed hope of God’s promised for us and our lives.. and in the changes that are fixing to happen in our lives.

This week is going to be an exciting week.  Friday i got an email from of the places i’m applying with, they would like a 2nd informal on Tuesday, and i got a call from the other company i’m applying with, they were able to meet my salary requirements and would like to talk face to face.  we’re having dinner tomorrow.  So.. i’m confident that by the end of this week- I’ll have a course laid out for my future career.  I’m not looking for temporary work anymore.  i’m too old for that.  i’m ready to find an employer that i can be with for years to come.  an company i can retire with.  Randell is retiring in two weeks from the FD.  24 years of service.  That can be me some day.

Joel had a good message.  He’s a great inspirational speaker.. and has scripture to back up what he says.  It was something i needed to hear.  especially as a kick off to this week.  Now lets see what God has in store..

career goals

These past few weeks I keep finding myself referring back to my three career goals.  I figure it’s probably best if i lay this out.. mostly for myself and giving myself something concrete to look back to.

1) Get closer to mcallen.

I’ve lived in mcallen and the upper valley for a while now.  Buying a house pretty much solidifies that i’m going to be stuck in mcallen for a while.  Grant it the current commute isn’t horrible- that’s about 45 minutes a day i’m on the road from my carport to the parking lot and back.  The expressway has gotten better now that most of the construction is complete.  The drive can be a drag though.  I have over 150,000 miles on my car already and i got it after i started working here.  It would be nice to be able to go home for lunch and save money in going out to eat or all the gas driving across the valley

2) Provider better for my family.

Things are not as comfortable as they used to be.  Clear Channel was in the process of selling to a private company.  They had to cut all expenses which meant no raises for anyone.  Come to think of it, i haven’t gotten a raise a few months after i started here 6+ years ago.  At no fault of the local management, but Corp isn’t spending any money.  Back in december my wife got laid off.  All of a sudden we were living on half our income.  Oil prices fell which was good for gasoline pump but bad for the royalty payments.  With two kids in college now, a house mortgage, 4 cars, a new roof looming and just trying to stay afloat.. it’s been a good exercise of faith for the both of us, but we are both ready for some breathing room.  Also, with the uncertainty of “the market”, who knows how soon it will be before i’m on the chopping block as part of a RIF.  In the past two months i’ve seen a handfull of job openings for computer people throughout the company.  (are IT people jumping ship all over the company?) I’m looking for somewhere i can still be at 5, 10, 25 years from now.

3) Get back into to a service career.

Not just trying to make “the man” richer or put profit on the shareholders books, but to actually do a service.  Feel good about going to work, look forward to seeing what the day brings.  Work in an industry where i can be a part of something bigger and more important.

Of course there are a few other things i’d like to find in a new career but those are the three bigies.