10 November 2005

One more quick personal update

I want to say a very sincere thank-you to all the well-wishers who have expressed concerns and suggestions about my health. I'm still feeling the buzz from Tuesday's dose of Benadryl, but the good news is that it rained yesterday and is raining hard this morning, and my allergy symptoms have mostly subsided.

LAPDI spent all day yesterday (Wednesday) in an orientation seminar with the illustrious Pecadillo, who enters the Police Academy this month. The hiring process for LAPD is long and arduous. For every 1,000 applicants who are considered, fewer than 50 are selected. So I'm very proud of Pecadillo for all he has gone through to get this far. He won't want me to blog much about it, because one of the cardinal rules for a recruit is not to stand out or call attention to yourself in any way. (And this rule of thumb was stressed repeatedly. They are not kidding.)

Even the normally upbeat and jovial Pecadillo sees no humor in any of this, and I don't blame him for taking it so seriously. Every one of his training supervisors intimidated me, and I'm not easily intimidated. That includes a couple of petite young women who I'm absolutely positive could beat me into a coma in a matter of seconds without raising much of a sweat, take great delight in doing so, and yet never even crack a smile in the process.

Since some of my readers are also fans of Pecadillo, I thought I'd mention that he might be putting his blog on hiatus or posting very sporadically for a while. Life for him is not going to be all that funny for the next 8 or 9 months. Nor will he have a surplus of spare time. His mornings for the next few months will be starting at 3:30 AM. That's not a lifestyle that is very compatible with writing a humor blog. I think he'll blog at least once more before officially launching his new career. After that, I predict his posts will be pretty spotty and perhaps even nonexistent—at least until he gets back into a less stressful routine.

The Illustrious PecadilloIncidentally, when he was a little kid, Pecadillo was the least literate of all our sons. He hated every minute of school. He struggled with learning how to read. His two elder brothers loved Sesame Street and learned the alphabet and basic reading skills before entering kindergarten. Pecadillo's tastes ran to the Three Stooges, and he didn't read anything voluntarily until late Junior High, when someone gave him a biography of Curly. He was the least likely person in our family to blog. He started his blog quietly, without even mentioning it to me, while Darlene and I were out of town a few months ago. I have been amazed by his latent literary abilities. It took me completely by surprise. I honestly don't know when and where he developed his writing skills, but—wow.

I just wanted to put on the record how proud I am of him.

Finally, an iPod update: I'm still ripping CDs and will be for weeks. I own some 1,500-2,000 CDs, and I've never had them well organized or easily accessible all at once. So I absolutely love the iPod. I got one of those docking stations that plays music from the iPod through speakers, so I can program several hours of music and let it play through the night. I've always liked music in the background when I sleep, and the classical radio station is at best unpredictable. Occasionally they'll play something with a screeching soprano that's impossible to sleep to. On the other hand, CDs are too repetitive. With a 5-CD changer, I wake up to the same thing I went to sleep to. Then it's in my mind all day. Boring.

I already have 9 solid days' worth of nonstop music (no repeats) ripped to the iPod, with only a tenth of my CD collection uploaded. That's amazing.

BachLast night I started the process of ripping all my Bach cantatas. Bach's cantatas are without a doubt the finest anthology of sacred music ever produced by a single composer. (How did Protestants ever get from Bach to the insipid stuff we call "worship choruses" today?)

Anyway, I've just begun to appreciate all over again how much great church music Bach produced, and I'm realizing for the first time how large my collection of Kantaten had become. After ripping CDs for three hours last night, I had some 10 hours of Das Kantatenwerk in the iPod. So I put it on and fell asleep to Christ lag in Todesbanden ("Christ Lay in death's bonds") and got up this morning to the triumphant strains of Wachet Auf ("Sleepers Awake"). Is that a perfect night's sleep, or what?

Look for the next post in the "Modern Prophecy" series within 12 hours. We'll get this blog back on track ASAP.

Phil's signature

29 comments:

Micah said...

Have you ever noticed how "random shuffle" on most music players is anything but random? Maybe that's not the case with the ipod, but itune plays the same "random" set every time i start it up. You'd think they'd build it with a better "randomizer"...

just... venting. BTW, Pecadillo's site is fantastic. My coworker's are sure I'm insane now.

MTG said...

I sooooooo agree with the tid bit about Bach. We did the Jesu Mein Freund (spelling??) in high school. I still remember every word..in German!!!!

Kim said...

I have enjoyed pretty much every post you have written, Phil, but this one has to be, hands down, my favorite. To hear you speak about your son with such pride is really cool.

Steve said...

Phil: It's great to read of your pride and joy over your son!

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.

Proverbs 23:24

Scribe said...

Bach is the 5th Evangelist. Great article.

ThirstyDavid said...

I'm a big fan of Bach. The cello suites are my favorite. I've never gotten into his choral works, but I'd like to. Could you recommend a first choice to start with?

Phil Johnson said...

A few of my own favorites.

Theteak said...

I was moved by what you had to say about Pec. I'll be sure to pray regularly for him as he goes through his training. He is a very able writer, I'll miss his posts - as I'm sure many will.

Libbie said...

3:30 in the morning?! Good job he isn't a fancy-boy, imagine what that little sleep does to your complexion..

much respect for giving your boy much respect - I'm sure it's not something new.
And stop pluggin ipods, I've already got my husbands christmas present, and we're trying to learn contentment...

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Phil:

Consider posting sometime - on where to begin with the classics. I'd like to get more into classical music, and only have a couple of albums on my iPod (my iPod is a "sermon machine"). Anyway, can you recommend a classical "starter kit" and the best place to buy these albums?

Thanks,
--Jim Bublitz

forgiven said...

I loved it about your boy too.
That's what the Lord wants us to see ..nothing.. just believe and He will do the rest. As you can see in your family..in your boy.. in your life... isn't He cool. Jesus you are Lord, lord over us.

ThirstyDavid said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I definitely concur on Copland and Sibelius. In fact, I've had Sibelius playing this afternoon. "Tapiola" is playing right now. My present mood is serene.

Mike Perrigoue said...

Bach, huh? Thanks. I recently have found a taste for classical music (I've always liked it but never enough to actually pay attention to dudes producing the stuff) and was wondering where I should start.

Any other suggestin besides Bach?

Mike Perrigoue said...

...nevermind...it's good to read all the comments first before posting one...

(A practice I don't always employ at Pyro...because of the number)

TheBlueRaja said...

Don't forget to jam your ipod with as many lectures and sermons you can find! The YadavPod is at least half full of them. I've linked some audio sites for your convenience.

Christopher said...

If it takes you 3 hours to rip 10 hours, you may want to try a better piece of software.

I use Music Match, and I sprung for the full version. (its faster) I can rip at between 20 and 40x.

Hope this helps.

Jeff said...

(How did Protestants ever get from Bach to the insipid stuff we call "worship choruses" today?)

Amen Phil! I've asked that question for years. Nobody seems to get it...

Janet said...

I'll come out of lurkdom for this post. I agree with Kim, one of your finest.

Way to go Pecadillo!

wordsmith said...

Phil: "How did Protestants ever get from Bach to the insipid stuff we call 'worship choruses' today?"

too true, too true :(

there's a reason why Bach's works have stood the test of time. on the other hand, does anyone really think that "Shine, Jesus, Shine" or any of the other tripe will still be around in 300+ years? methinks NOT.

candyinsierras said...

Bach is the very best. He totally glorifies the Lord in his music. Handel's Messiah and Water Music are also wonderful. Vivaldi's Four Seasons is beautiful. Classical music is timeless. Ravel's Bolero is a personal favorite only because I grew up with it. My mother played it all the time. Of course for the people who stated they liked cello music...go with YoYoMa playing Bach. For those of you who attend weddings and wonder at that one particular piece that sounds lovely, most likely it is Pachebel's Canon in D. Baroque is my favorite! Don't like the more modern finagled classical pieces.

William Dicks said...

Phil,

I also have a son, albeit only 8 years old. He also appreciates the funny things in life and is also not much of a reader. He will let us read to him, but to get him to read is another thing. He loves soccer and so we bought him a little novel all about boys playing soccer. Maybe that will get him to read.

I must say that when I was a kid I also did not like to read. I only really started reading when I went to Bible College. I am now a sucker for reading and I get withdrawal symptoms when I do not have enough time to read. I have been in withdrawal most of this year since my daughter started 4th grade (our school year here in South Africa starts in January). She now has so much work that we sit up till late many nights making sure that her work is up to scratch or that she has studied suficienlt for the next day's test. So, that does not leave much time for reading.

Enough about us! It was really great to see how you expressed your pride in your son. It is always so good to see a father's love for his children. This is really a heartwarming post.

All the best to Pecadillo for his new career. It surely is an honourable career.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Phil,

How about Archangelo Corelli?

I bought a double disc set after viewing a series of Francis Schaeffer tapes. He used Corelli as his intro music.

Wayne Hatcher said...

Okay, I just can't stand it any longer; a second post about your iPod (maybe a third by the time I get back home to post this comment). Here's my G4 Powerbook and 20 gig photo iPod , and here is my story about John Piper's podcast and Athanasius that you unwittingly scooped ahead of me on Wednesday. My post didn't show up until Thursday morning. I'm glad you got an iPod. I just wish you had waited until today.
On the road, pwh

Gaddabout said...

Your kid is a chip off the old block, Phillip. I've written humor columns for 10 years, and I've never written anything as timelessly funny as Pec's stuff. He's clever with a great sense of timing and rhythm. I hope, when he gets his legs as a police officer, he finds time to return to writing. I believe his real future is there.

Cindy said...

I'm a huge fan of Pecadillo. I'll miss his blog, which I think is vastly entertaining. But I have some understanding of what he'll be going through, as my brother is a cop (now in Baghdad training Iraqi cops). Pecadillo's chosen career will no doubt keep you and your wife on your knees,Phil, as my brother's has ours--but it will also make you justifiably proud. All my best wishes to Pecadillo!

Student of History said...

I agree with Kim! The love you have for your son, and your pride in who he is - it is really beautiful. I didn't even know that he was your son. Such wit and talent all wrapped up on one family!

Warmly,
Kate

Dominion Family said...

Our son, our slowest reader,is currently blogging and studying at a police academy in Fl and we are terribly proud of him, too. It is far harder to be the parent of an adult child than a toddler. I will pray for Pecadillo when I am praying for my son.

Frank Martens said...

"So I'm very proud of Pecadillo for all he has gone through to get this far."

So question about this... and maybe you can post about it at some point: At which point is saying "I'm proud of blah blah blah" ok?

I'm not calling you out here, however I hardly ever use the words "I'm proud of such and such" or "I'm proud of blah blah blah" because I felt like Paul always put a strong emphasis on Humility....

Cheers

pgepps said...

Phil,

Small thought about how we got from Bach to "I Can Only Imagine" (the longer version goes by way of a Watts/Newton/Cowper interaction with Wordsworth/Coleridge and the Wesleys on the way to Crosby/Sankey, right?):

We probably got there along some path that included the ability of my Japanese (Dutch Reformed founded) "mission school" to un-ironically have an unbelieving conductor lead an unbelieving orchestra in playing Bach to lead an unbelieving student body and a predominantly unbelieving faculty in a compulsory "evangelistic" religious exercise with a sermon titled (in translation): "My Friend, Jesus."

Cheers to you,
PGE