Saturday, October 27, 2007

Music, food, & drink

Somebody has probably done a study on this, but there seems to be quite a difference in what the fans of different performers eat and drink. At Homer’s Coffee House, for example, some are a bit predictable and some are not.

It is not surprising that when Randy Davenport plays that we would sell a lot of brewed coffee and apple pie because he plays country with patriotic themes. More surprising is that Kenny Gamble fans would eat so much carrot cake.

I don’t know why Bob Jenkins fans drink decaf lattes. I don’t know if it is because Bob is stimulating enough without caffiene, or they just are planning on getting to bed early.

I would be surprised if the high energy guitar sounds of Sky Blue would bring in the soy drinkers. But soy and herb teas seem to fit The Subs just fine.

Mission Blues fans drink a lot of milk shakes. Maybe it is because they heat up the place.

Maybe I will do a more detailed survey. This may be a whole new branch of science.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Disposable vs reuseable

It is a common misconception that young people are more environmentally conscience than older people. My experience shows the opposite to be true. College age and younger people are about ten times more likely to request disposable plates and cups than older people. But last night was still amazing.

Three young people (college age) came in and ordered pie. As I began to serve them pie on glass plates with stainless silverware, they asked if they could have them to go. I put the three pieces of pie in styrofoam boxes (which I hate to do), put them in a plastic bag and tossed in plastic forks. They paid the bill and immediately went over and sat down at a table, took out the boxes and began eating out of the styrofoam boxes with the plastic forks.

I went over and told them that I would be happy to put the pie on plates or give them "real" forks, but they said no, they were fine.

This is not that unusual. Eating out of plastic boxes is uncool enough, but the intentional waste of resources is inexuseable. With this sort of cavalier attitude toward single-use items, it is no wonder this country consumes far more than our share of natural resources.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Keep the main thing the main thing

The new Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City opens this week; the same week that Gary Forsee lost his job as the head of Sprint. In addition to spending millions for naming rights for the new arena, Forsee oversaw the merger with Nextel and was well respected in community affairs circles.

Unfortunately he missed one little issue – Sprint telephones don’t work. I was one of the thousands who left Sprint for another carrier after years of frustration with weak signals, dropped calls, and just plain lousy sound quality. I now enjoy talking on the phone again since I can understand what the other person is saying and I don’t live in constant fear of missing calls or loosing the signal in mid-sentence.

The lesson here, for the rest of us, is simple. Remember to keep the main thing the main thing. Don’t get distracted by side issues while ignoring the basic product or service you are trying to provide.

The same is true in our personal lives. Our relationship with God and others is the main thing. It is easy to get caught up in less important issues.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Praising vs Performing

I play in the Christian blues/rock band, “Sky Blue” in addition to my church’s praise band, so, I think a lot about the differences. The purpose, and therefore the focus, of the two are quite different. The purpose of the praise band is to lead worship, to help people see God more clearly. The focus is on the Lord. The purpose of the blues band is to entertain and the focus is on the audience. This results in some dramatic differences in the approach.

At church we do simple songs that the audience can sing along. We do not want to detract from the worship with either bad playing or virtuoso playing. We want the music to be transparent. The challenge is to keep the music from being a concert.

In Sky Blue the opposite is true. Even though a secondary goal is for people to see God more clearly, the primary focus is on the audience. We want them to know that Christians can have fun and make great music. We want them to go away thinking “What a great band!”

Two bands, two purposes, two approaches to performing – it can be a challenge to keep the two sorted out. Granted, it is easier for me because in Sky Blue I play a lead instrument and sing. In the church band, I play bass and don’t sing, so the two are dissimilar to my brain..

Most of the people reading this are probably in the same situations. What is your experience?