Sunday, September 21, 2008

Busy Busy

I just read what seemed to be a worried comment from Jill on The Queen Mum's blog. She had noticed that neither one of us had posted in a while and was wondering if anything was wrong. Wow, that's just touching and not even a little bit creepy (seriously), nice to know there's people out there keeping track of us.

My own lack of posting was due to finishing out a busy week. Friday was my last day of officially working for my old boss. He's out of the woods on the big project and my successor has things well in hand. I'll be checking in once or twice to make sure everything is cool, but my time there is finally at an end.

Friday afternoon saw me off to mix a weekend conference for the Salvation Army. More on that in a minute. Last I knew the camp where the event takes place had a wireless network. It was known to be spotty, but I was confident I'd be able to get on line so I brought the laptop with me. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised to find not one but four access points available and all at full strength. The downer came when moments into load-in I found that the entire SA network was down for the weekend while the servers were changed out. Cue The Price Is Right sound effect here: Buh-bump-ba-bah Waaaaaaaaah! So no blog posts, no Facebook, no looking up information about tubes for the upcoming guitar amp project. The nice thing was that I found that I didn't really care that much about that stuff and it was no big deal to leave it on hold for a couple days. (OK, I did check into Facebook from my phone onetimerealquick... but that was it.)

Back to talking about the gig. Most people don't know it but the Salvation Army is actually a church. The Salvationists, as they're called, have been at it for something like a couple hundred years and are primarily a world-wide church and secondarily an organization dedicated to helping their fellow man escape poverty, injustice and the like. Bell-ringing outside Wal-Mart, thrift stores and disaster relief are some of the things they do in this country, other places they have schools and such, it depends on where they are.

At first it can be really weird spending time with these people. They actually act like an army to an extent. They have officers and cadets that you're supposed to address by their rank and even wear uniforms sometimes. While that takes some getting used to, after a while it becomes apparent that all the structure has a real purpose and their organization is highly efficient. What is visible from the get-go is that these people love Jesus and are all seriously committed to making the world a better place on His behalf.

This weekend the event was Youth Councils which is a conference for the youth of a given division, at the end of which many commit to becoming a cadet. That's no small thing, it means spending a year in training and another year at a post and then being moved around the rest of your life to fill whatever need the Corps has. This morning I watched fully sixty young people stand up to do just that, either right now this fall or in the near future.

All weekend long there are meetings which range from church meetings to workshops and prayer groups to rock concerts and movies. All of this stuff is particularly well thought out and generally a really good time. One might get the initial impression that a bunch of adults in uniform might just stand in the back and look dour while the kids rock out. Not so! Just this morning I watched two women from the Corps lock arms and start head banging while the band belted out worship tunes. The kids in their group cheered and took pictures (except for their immediate family members, "Mooooom! How embarrassing!") A few years ago there was a high ranking officer, an Admiral I think, standing next to me during a concert performance. It was like, Bon Jovi loud in there and I was considering pushing the bass a little more. I shouted as much to the tech next to me and we both looked at the Admiral who was standing at ease, bobbing his grey head. He saw us looking at him and with a twinkle in his eye gave us two thumbs up and a big grin.

All in all it's a fabulous time. I've been mixing this particular event for them for six years and it's always a highlight of the year for me. A few different people have accompanied me as my assistant and actual fist fights have broken out to settle who was coming along. I'm already looking forward to next May when I'll get an e-mail from Captain Bone (involuntary snicker... sorry Kevin) inviting me back for next fall's event.

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1 comment:

  1. Great stuff mister. sorry to creep you out with my stalker abilities! But when you only read 3 blogs and one of them never updates and your used to the other two updating daily, it caught me by suprise! glad you are not "dead in a ditch" (as my mom would say)

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