Archive for March, 2008

Guitars & Mandolins

March 2, 2008 1 comment

Music has been a passion for as long as I can remember and I feel blessed and fortunate to have some ability to express myself through the music I play.  I’m primarily a fingerstyle player and enjoy arranging and playing a variety of old hymns to jazz standards to The Beatles.  I own a couple of nice Taylor guitars (GAMC, NS62CE) and a Breedlove Alpine mandolin.  In addition, I have a Baby Taylor guitar that is currently undergoing some “reconstructive surgery” wherein I’m trying to convert this small-body guitar into an octave mandolin.  I’ll post some pictures and stories of “the learning curve” on that project soon.   A favorite “therapy” hangout place is The Podium, in Minneapolis, where they have a great collection of world-class guitars and mandolins. 

Faith Matters

March 2, 2008 1 comment

Over the next few days I hope to post some items related to the will of God in the life of the believer.  This has truly been an area within my faith in which I have struggled for some time.  I’m currently reading a couple of books (“Is God Really in Control?” by Jerry Bridges, and “Is God to Blame?” by Greg Boyd) that take different perspectives as to whether or not there is a divine reason for the things that happen and also that each event in one’s life happens because God willed not to prevent it.  Please stop back if this is an area of interest.  Also, I’d welcome comments and references to any good books that anyone has come across that relate to this topic.   

Musings about a lawsuit related to the death of Amanda Jax

March 1, 2008 3 comments

searchHow sad and tragic that Amanda Jax died from alcohol poisoning last October while celebrating her 21st birthday with friends at a Mankato MN bar. I’ve sympathy and compassion for Amanda’s mother, Jenny Haag, because I’ve two college age daughters.  Now I read that Jenny Haag is suing the bar owner along with the friends who bought the drinks that Amanda consumed.  I’m not a lawyer and perhaps don’t understand the issues related to liability. Still, it’s readily apparent from a 2/29/08 Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper story that Amanda Jax had an obvious drinking problem that had been going on for a long time.  One of the defendants, Hannah Becker, 21, is quoted as saying that Amanda “used to drink all the time”. Another defendant, Kathryn Lensing, 21, told police that she had seen Amanda drunk about 100 times in the past year.  Per this same article, relatives of Amanda thought, “Jax had her life under control”.  In addition, Amanda’s mother is quoted as saying, “I’m not going to say that she (Amanda) didn’t drink, but it wasn’t the hundreds of times that they said.” 

I can’t help but think that this lawsuit is a poor attempt to suppress the lack of personal responsibility that Amanda Jax exercised and maybe even some guilt that Jenny Haag feels from overlooking obvious alcoholic tendencies in her daughter’s more formative years.  I personally don’t see how this lawsuit will prevent others intent on binge drinking from suffering a similar fate.  Rather, this lawsuit has the appearance of greedy lawyers coaxing a distraught mother to make things “better” with a large lump sum of cash.