Saturday, September 08, 2007


I’ve decided to take a week off work to relax, enjoy the beautiful early spring weather, and get a few things done that are inconvenient to do when one is at work eight hours a day.

Since I’ll have a bit of spare time, I’ve also decided to make a commitment to blog every day. Why? Because I can.

Today I went to a Christian conference out on the edge of the city. I’m not usually a fan of such things. Given the choice between spending my Saturday breakfasting in a café then meandering through salvage yards and charity stores looking for Interesting Things, and going to a big Christian conference, I usually prefer the former. A lot of my friends are completely the opposite, which leads me to believe that either they’re weird or I’m a mediocre Christian. Personally I lean towards the “weird friends” scenario.

If you can’t understand the gulf between me and them, witness this conversation I had with The Flatmate:

Me: You’ve been to one of these conferences before, haven’t you?

TF: Yep. If I wasn’t going to be out of the city this weekend, I’d probably go to this one, too.

Me: Am I right in thinking that it’s sort of like a big church service, only it goes for eight hours instead of one?

TF: Well, yes, I suppose that’s technically true. But you make it sound like it’s a bad thing.

Me: Uh-huh.

I had absolutely no intention of going to this conference, but in my experience God has a nasty habit of manoeuvring people into the position of doing the exact opposite of what they want to do. Thus on Saturday I found myself drinking awful coffee and wearing a misspelt name tag, and wishing that God had less time-consuming methods for keeping me on the straight and narrow.

In retrospect, I don’t know if I’d call the conference good, but it certainly wasn’t bad, coffee notwithstanding. The main speaker gave a series of talks on Ecclesiastes, one of the Bible’s more profoundly reflective books, and he was both a talented speaker and a perceptive theologian. Plus at the morning break they served cookies the size of hubcaps.

But the best part of the experience was actually in getting to and from the conference. Some of the guys and I did this in a friend’s newly acquired car: a 1972 Ford Galaxie LTD. Oh, baby! 6.5 litres of brute V8 power dragging around enough steel to recreate the Titanic, and enough vinyl upholstery to smother Liechtenstein. And it had a horn that plays a staggering, drunken rendition of ‘Dixie’. For what more could a man ask?

Best of all, in honour of the occasion, I created this funk/soul playlist on my iPod and used my iTrip to broadcast it to the car’s radio. Take it from me; the only thing cooler than cruising down the highway in a vast 70s car is cruising down the highway in a vast 70s car with Edwin Starr screaming “I like the sound of funky music, cos funky music sho nuff turns me on!

If you want to recreate the 1972 Ford Galaxie LTD experience, here’s my playlist, featuring the master funkmeister Edwin Starr, the early groove of Stevie Wonder, Brenda “The Wild Woman of Soul” George, and a bunch of instrumental tracks that all sound like the theme music from a forgotten mid-70s cop show. Download them from iTunes if you think yo ass can stand the shakin’.

1972 Ford Galaxie LTD Playlist

I Can’t Stand It (I Can’t Take No More) – Brenda George
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’ve Yours – Stevie Wonder
Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On – Edwin Starr
Mo’ Do’ – Mongo Santamaria
Sting Ray – Ray Barretto
I’m Still A Strugglin’ Man – Edwin Starr
There You Go – Edwin Starr
I Want My Baby Back – Edwin Starr
I Was Made To Love Her – Stevie Wonder
Featherbed Lane – Mongo Santamaria


Blogger 2BarRiff said...

Unfortunately I was on child-minding duties and so had to miss the conference.

I've heard Al Stewart before on a similar topic and thought he had some good things to say.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Tara said...

Does it surprise you that I heard about the cookies?

9:44 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

No Tara, it doesn't, but they were very big cookies. I thought they needed disposable legs so that we could use them as temporary coffee tables during the break.

12:34 PM  

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