Favorite Things

Favorite Preachers:

John Piper: Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN.

Hershael York: Pastor, Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY (he taught me how preach) . His Book; His Blog

Mark Dever: Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC.

Danny Akin: President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forrest, NC.

Favorite Orchestras:

The New York Philharmonic

The London Symphony Orchestra

Favorite Musicians:

William Vacchiano (1912-2005): Former Principal Trumpet, New York Philharmonic (and one of my teachers). He was a superlative musician, a wonderful trumpet player, and an unparalleled gentleman. Link 1; Link2

James Chambers (1920-1989): Former Principal Horn, New York Philharmonic (when I think “horn sound,” his is the sound I hear)

Phil Smith: Principal Trumpet, New York Philharmonic (Arguably the best orchestral trumpeter in the world…and I’d make that argument)

Phil Myers: Principal Horn, New York Philharmonic

Jim Ruffaner: Principal Trumpet, The U.S. Navy Band, Washington, DC. (perhaps the best and most versatile trumpet player I’ve ever heard)

Favorite Pieces of Music (and links to what are, in my opinion, the best recordings)

Copland: Symphony No. 3 & Quiet City

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 & Finlandia

Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (and the rest of the CD will not disappoint. The entire collection is wonderfully relaxing)

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony (Symphony No. 1)

Favorite CDs:

The Beatles 1: What more can I say, it’s The Beatles.

Clifford Brown with Strings: A wonderful album from a giant among the jazz-masters. With superb command of his instrument and the jazz idiom, Clifford Brown plays many “jazz standards.” This is certainly a must-have album.

Kind of Blue (Miles Davis): This CD is a must-have for anyone who considers himself or herself a human being.

I Got No Kick Against Modern Jazz: An interesting collection of the music of The Beatles covered by musicians such as Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval, Chick Corea, David Benoit, Spyro Gyra, and Nelson Rangell, to name a few. I think this CD is out-of-print but it is worth the time, effort, and money to find it. This CD has a prominent place in my collection; it is a must-have!

In Christ Alone (Keith and Kristyn Getty): A wonderful collection of new hymns that are musically superb and theologically rich.

Greatest Hits 1 & 2 and Greatest Hits 3 (Billy Joel): Classic songs by a great Rock & Roll musician (and yes, he is a musician).

Les Miserables: Fantastic show with a good, yet not complete, message of redemption. (The “Original London” recording has Patti LuPone as “Fantine.” Her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” is unparalleled and the performance of this one song is worth double the cost of the CD).

Favorite Movies:

In Harm’s Way: Great John Wayne and Kirk Douglas Navy flick about the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

It’s A Wonderful Life: What can I say? I’m a sap!

Dances with Wolves: An epic tale of a Union officer encountering the Native American Indians. The scenery and the score, by John Barry, is awesome. For a completely different (and darker) movie, see the extended cut.

High Road to China: A fun movie with Tom Selleck as a fall-down drunk WWI fighter ace hired by Eve (Bess Armstrong) to find her father. The score was written by John Barry and it is probably my favorite (or at least top 5) movie soundtrack. The movie is currently out of print, but you can find old VHS copies on ebay.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: A great movie based on the books by C. S. Forester staring Gregory Peck as Hornblower. If you are a fan of Hornblower, A & E Networks did a mini-series of the first several books. This series stars Ioan Gruffudd as Hornblower.

Band of Brothers: A fantastic mini-series done by HBO about The 101st Airborne’s Company E (Easy Company). This series chronicles EZ company from their training at Camp Toccoa through the D-Day invasion through the Battle of the Bulge to V-E day in Germany. There are language issues in this series, so beware.

Favorite TV Shows:

The Deadliest Catch: A show on the Discovery Channel showing the insanity of crab fishing in the Bearing Sea. Although I like all the captains, boats, and crews, I find myself having a special affinity for the Northwestern and her crew.

Man vs. Wild: A Discovery Channel show in which Bear Grylls demonstrates survival techniques. If you’ve ever wanted to eat a grub, this is the show for you!

Survivorman: A Discovery Channel show in which Les Stroud spends a week in the wilderness by himself.

The Honeymooners: The hilarious misadventures of Ralph Kramdem–the lovable looser who is blessed with a wife (Alice) and a best friend (Ed Norton) who love him in spite of himself.

Coach: The life and times of the coach of the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles–Hayden Fox.  Hayden is graced by a girlfriend/wife (Christine Armstrong) and two friends (Luther and Dauber) who love him despite his many flaws.

The West Wing: A television series examining the inner workings of the American Presidency and the supporting staff.  Although this series approaches politics from the left and it does seek to push a left-leaning agenda, it is a phenomenally well-done series.  The writing is great, the acting is superb, and the production is wonderful.

Favorite Retailers:

L.L.Bean:  L.L.Bean absolutely stands behind every one of their products with a legendary guarantee.  Every time I’ve called the L.L.Bean store in Freeport, Maine or talked to someone in a local factory or outlet store, the customer service has been exemplary.  As a retailer, L.L.Bean has repeatedly earned my business, my trust, and my loyalty.  I gladly recommend and proudly endorse their products.

Favorite Computer Stuff:

Apple: Oh yes, I am a “Mac Guy.” Reliability, no crashing, ease of use, and no “blue screen of death” what’s not to like? I am waiting for the day when Macs rule the worldthe computer world, that is.

iPod: My tastes in music are quite eclectic. My iPod has everything from Bach to Bon Jovi to the 90’s. I used to haul my entire CD collection around(some four or five big cases), now I just take the iPod

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