Fake Bird Life Lessons  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I had a great day yesterday taking my daughter Ella, who is just over 2-1/2, to the Orange County Swap Meet. [I have a long history with the Swap Meet - my family used to go there every weekend when I was a kid, and my second job ever was working there selling pet supplies and oak toilet seats to earn money to go to Hawaii with my high school marching band in 1980-81.]

Ella was captivated by a little $3 fake bird in a cage. It tweets, spins, bobs and looks fairly real to a 2-1/2 year old, I assume. And she hasn't tired of it yet, which is great. So, here's some questions: Does she think its a real bird? And if so, am I lying to her by playing along? Am I a bad dad if I keep up the charade to buy myself a couple years before I have to welcome a real pet into the house? Can I get away with a fake dog? Should I teach her her first lesson in death by letting the batteries wear out?

Parenting is so confusing.

Saddleback Civil Forum  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

In 1960, the very first televised presidential debate took place. John Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared on TV to debate the issues of that year's election, but what was truly important about that event was that no one seemed to realize just how pivital a 'televised' appearance could be.

Because they had little experience in this televised format, they hadn't considered fully the effect of how they "looked".

From www.museum.tv:
"By the time of the first debate he [Nixon] was still twenty pounds underweight, his pallor still poor. He arrived at the debate in an ill-fitting shirt, and refused make-up to improve his color and lighten his perpetual "5:00 o'clock shadow." Kennedy, by contrast, had spent early September campaigning in California. He was tan and confident and well-rested. "I had never seen him looking so fit," Nixon later wrote. In substance, the candidates were much more evenly matched."

People who heard the debate on radio overwhelmingly pronounced Nixon the winner. Those who watched it on TV pronounced Kennedy the winner.

Elections have never been the same. Now, every debate has a laundry list of guidelines from the candidate's teams to control how they look and sound - suit colors, equal air-time, equal stage space, choosing camera angles, candidate heights, make-up artists, etc. Since 1960, televised debates have become very polished, very planned, very predictable, and as a result, I think, pretty unimportant. When everything is scripted, you have no idea whether or not you're really getting to know the candidates.

Last night's televised "Saddleback Civil Forum" changed all that. I believe it has, like the first televised debate in 1960, changed elections forever, and voters will demand this kind of unplanned, open, honest conversation from now on.

I got to be musical director for the event (we did a 'pre-show' concert). I was so honored to be there and be a part of what I believe was an important, historical event.

Last night I was so proud of my church and my pastor, and very proud to be an American.

(Of course, this photo shows the best moment of all the news broadcasts...:)


Posted by Tony Guerrero

One of the things that comes with age is perspective. When you're a kid, the world you live in - your friends, your hobbies, your neighborhood - those are the whole world to you and you picture them going on forever. Summer vacations were an eternity - now three months is nothing.

In High School I remember daydreaming about all the great things my friends and I would do together throughout our lives, so it was a bit of a surprise when graduation came and that circle of friends wasn't together anymore. But I soon had a new circle in college...which lasted until college was over. Then my early twenties circle. Then my music and touring days circle. And so on, and so on, until the place I'm at now.

The fact is, our lives go in phases. Chances are, for many of us, the faces we see regularly today - friends, co-workers, etc. - will be different 5 or 10 years from now - or less. The same is true of our jobs, our living situations, our pastimes...

And while I often mourn the loss of previous 'phases' in my life, I also often wonder what's to come - which new people have I yet to meet who will become integral to my life, or will even just help me create new memories. And who will come after them? How many more phases do I have left?

It all makes you appreciate those people and things that do stay with you during the many phases. FOr example, I have some friends that go back to elementary school - some 33 years back. And throughout my life and all my many pursued interests, my music has been a constant. Those are familiar and safe to me - like home. And my wife and I spoke tonight about how our kids will always be our kids - no matter who else comes and goes.

I'm thankful for the ones still with me, thankful for those who have come and gone, and so curious about the ones to come.

And now, allow me to phase out and go to bed...

I'm Back!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

So, what's been up?
Here's a Top 11 run down of my last few weeks…in no particular order…

1. Spent a week in Austin, Texas at the Nat'l Worship Leader's Conference.
Highlights include:
- Great BBQ forced on me by Pastor Dave. He chided me for putting A1 on a fresh Texas steak. He might be right, but I love me some A1.
- Two nights of Jazz Jam at The Elephant Bar in Downtown Austin
- Hanging with good friends…Phil, David, Scott, Suzie, Sarah, Cathi, Julie, and many more from the worship community.
- Teaching some over-packed classes (actually had to teach a make-up class at lunch one day!)
- Some great concert performances from a veritable who's who in worship music
- The world premiere of El Trio De Amor - ahem.

[PICS: The Elephant Bar, Crowded Class]

2. Celebrated my wife's 29th Birthday…well, sort of. We went to dinner (finally tried that fondue place, The Melting Pot), and she went scrapbooking with her friends (she's becoming quite the artist!). We kept it kind of low-key this year, because next year it's her 30th…and she's expecting big things from me. After my 40th and the Chrysler 300 she got me, there's a lot of pressure on me to deliver. A weekend getaway to Barstow ain't gonna cut it.

3. Took our first formal family portraits…my wife and children are beautiful. Turns out, I'm the ugly one! And all these years I thought I was hot. We're hoping Photoshop will fix me up a little.

4. Did a quick turn-around trip to Nashville. Why, you ask? Oh, just to do a little session with CeCe Winans recording my song!! She cut "He Is Emmanuel" for the upcoming David Pack produced "Rick Warren's Purpose Of Christmas" CD, a joint venture with Wal*Mart. That's right, I'm that cool.

[PIC: Me & CeCe, although she'll kill me for posting this pic since she didn't have make-up on and almost wouldn't let me even take the photo!)

5. The day I returned from Nashville, I went straight to the studio to work with David Pack on his tune for the same CD.

6. Released the new Hi-Fi Quintet CD and started back up doing some gigs with them.

7. Played a new local jazz club (crownsteakhouse.com) that looks like it could be a cool thing.

8. Started the Saddleback "Jazz Under The Stars" series, which is every Sunday night in August, including one night with Hi-Fi and one night with my band from the "Apasionado" CD. The first night was a hit - wonderful night. Check out saddlebackconcerts.com

[PIC: Jazz Under The Stars]

9. Have been fielding a flurry of communications regarding the upcoming John McCain/Barrack Obama Civil Forum (McBama, we're calling it!) on August 16th. I'm the music director for the event.

10. Preparing for next Monday night's Apologetic Panel, a night when myself and several other apologetic teachers will be fielding open questions on evidence for the Christian faith.

11. Had my nieces from St. Louis, Lexi & Alana, staying with us for a few days. Candice took them everywhere. We bought them a Nintendo Wii, because, yes, we're that cool.

So, you can see it's been a little busy. What have you been up to?

I'll be back!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

So much has been going on, I've been unable to blog...but don't give up - I'll catchup in the next couple days...!