Saturday, April 05, 2014

Digitally Remastered


There are parts of my life I am good at and parts I am not. The following, from November 9, 2005, highlights one of my real weaknesses.

A new term has become vogue the past several years in basketball and football: clock management. I introduced the concept with my junior high girls this morning in practice, keeping it to one simple rule: If we are ahead late in the game, keep the clock running. If we are behind, stop the clock. Failing to use the clock effectively and conserve time outs has cost pro and collegiate teams games and as a result, their coaches their jobs. The Rolling Stones sang, "Time is on my side." I would add this proviso- only if you're winning.

Clock management is an issue in my life. My obligations only increase and my time only decreases. We live by routines: it's the only way we finish anything. Every minute of my work day from the moment I get up is ordered. Each task is consistent in the time it takes to complete. From pre-dawn weight lifting to shaving to flossing teeth to eating breakfast to reading the Bible, I am efficient in use of the clock. My student aides (Viri, Beverly, Bouba) take care of much of the paper work and errands that fill my school schedule. But when I get home in the afternoon or early evening, my clock management goes out the window. I don't watch much television; I don't have cable. At one time I did but prayer intervened. I was teaching/coaching in Tennessee and found I wasn't getting much accomplished. I asked the Lord to help me use my time better. I'm not kidding- lightning struck my cable and caused my TV to suffer internal damage. It had to get fixed and I am cheap so I had the cable company remove their services during the repairs. Immediately, I started reading the Bible more, praying more, and getting things done. When my TOSHIBA set was healed and returned, I never had the cable hooked back up. With cable, I always found something interesting to watch, from Nickelodian to ESPN to CNN. I would find myself watching Headline NEWS back to back to back even though it repeats itself. With only three or four local Nashville stations, there was not as much temptation. Our God answers prayers!

Now in Houston, I have about six English speaking stations and two in Espanol. You know what half the programming is? INFOMERCIALS! Get rich kits, cure your arthritis shows, fitness gurus- they are relentless in their pursuit of dollars. (I admit, I bought a Tony Little Gazelle machine after watching the pony tailed wonder proclaim the best workout in the world- "YOU CAN DO IT!") Those specific infomercials don't get in my way but I have a weakness: the Time-Life Music Collection commercials. I can't get enough of them! From The 70's Music Explosion to Legends of Rock, from The Folk Years to Superstars of Country- I've seen them all. That's not the problem. The problem is I watch them over and over and over. All have the same format. One former star (Davy Jones, John Sebastian, Kenny Rogers, the guy who played Greg on the Brady Bunch) is teamed with a cute lady co-host. All show 10 second film clips of singers/groups lip synching hits, often in black-and-white, from forgotten TV shows. We're told we could never find all of these hits by ourselves. But the best part is this- THEY HAVE ALL BEEN DIGITALLY REMASTERED! I confess I have no idea what that means but it fascinates me. The collection being shown now is The 70's Music Explosion. I used to give an extra-credit listing in my history classes on tests. One category was Coach Hawley's WORST SONGS of ALL-TIME. The amazing thing is, all the songs in my bonus question are on this infomercial, from "Billy, Don't Be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods to "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace. How can we forget the truly awful Vicki Lawrence smash, "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" or Terry Jack's depressing "Seasons In The Sun?" They are all there- and 146 more! I have no interest in purchasing the set but I have the 30 minutes memorized. What a waste of time! I could be doing something productive instead of watching guys with bad haircuts sing songs I can't stand. The Bay City Rollers aren't going to improve between now and the next screening. I need to just put down the remote and walk away.

Is there a Time-Life Music in your world? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns of things that cause stumbling, saying we need to toss them away. Hebrews 12:1 speaks of "throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." I would not classify infomercials as sin but if they keep me from doing good, if they are entangling Steve, then to me, they are sin. I'm making a vow- I'll never watch again! (If they come out with a new one, say Time-Life's Great British Invasion Groups, I may watch it once.) Solomon spoke at length about time, saying there was a time for dying, planting, mourning, loving, hating, but he never said there was a time for wasting. My favorite moment in all the Time-Life commercials was a clip in The Folk Years. It was the Byrd's using Solomon's words from Ecclesiastes 3 in their huge hit "Turn! Turn! Turn!" That's what I need to do- turn it off. The last words of that classic? 'I swear it's not too late.' Clock management of our lives: words of wisdom by way of Solomon and Time-Life Music.

Applicable quote of the day:
"We don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we have here."
Susan Taylor

To hear one of my all time least favorite songs ever, 'Billy, Don't be A Hero,' copy and paste the link below!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqfIKqW2ZPo


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com 

2 comments:

Devin Turner said...

Hey coach, Okay all the songs in your blog that you mentioned i've never heard of! But i'm sure if you like the ones you like that they're good! I hope you have a good rest of the day and that your sermon for Sunday is understood by the congregation!!!!!
-Devin
P.S. your last comment was so nice THANKYOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!

lar said...

What about "Muskrat Love?!" I'm pretty sure that was on your list of worst songs as well.

--Leigh Brooks Reaves