Friday, September 30, 2005

I just want some that so wrong?

Where to live...where to live? We're moving to Cincinnati...gotta find a house somewhere within 15-20 minutes from the Vineyard (our new church and place of employment) we can't live in Middletown, can't live in Blue Ball, or Monroe, or Springboro....
ah yes...West Chester, Ohio (yeah, we'll live in the Dub C)
But when should we move there?
I start on October probably on the 9th. The only problem is the house we bought isn't available until November 18th. That's a long time to live out of a suitcase.
Still....gotta look at the positives. Chipotle right around the corner....and Aunt Peggy...and Schlotzskys....and a bunch of pretty solid people that I like to hang out with...
I don't mind telling you that I'll miss the good folks of State College though(it is the Happy Valley).
One more week....and then it's off to the Queen city (sounds kindda wrong, doesn't it? Is there a King city...Minneapolis is clearly the Prince city)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ci Ci ya later!

I used to wonder about this whole Optimist - Pessimist argument. Actually, it's not really an's just that the pessimists seem to always be defending their philosophy...and the optimists don't seem to care much.
The pessimist will say, "it's just that if I don't get my hopes up...then I won't be disappointed."
"but then you're never hopeful..."
"Yeah, but I'm never upset"
"so you never really feel..."
We know that optimist live longer (there are about 437 studies that say that)
and they've gotta be happier...don't they?
I wonder sometimes. I had lunch yesterday with Danny Rose at Ci Ci's Pizza- and there was this girl who greeted us with a way too happy smile and "hello". You literally couldn't go near her if you had diabetes. So as we were with my glasses in hand (I tried to unbend the frame with the help of made sense at the time) she said, "Ci Ci ya later!"
and I think she meant it. There was no manager around. She was just that chipper.
And I'm betting that she's just a bit happier than the rest of us. Maybe the cynics out there
would mock her (through conversations, blogs...whatever) but I'm guessing that she'll always have the last laugh...literally.
maybe there's something to that...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

It's like Robin Hood in reverse

Is it weird that Air America "borrowed" $800,000 from a Boys and Girls Club - this is a non-profit organization that people can donate to....and just kind of kept it?
About three months ago I mentioned to a few folks that I had heard that Air America wasn't doing so well. They both looked at me like I was crazy. Two of their top three markets (Los Angelos and Chicago) had been dropped after they had bounced a one million dollar check....I thought that that wasn't so good...but judging by the "you must be outta your mind!" looks I got....maybe that's not a big deal.
Then I heard about the resignation of the founder and Chairman, Evan Cohen and the Vice Chairman, Rex Sorenson....and how the company had failed to make their payroll....and left over 100 writers and producers unpaid. I figured that couldn't be good.
But what do I know?
Maybe losing two of your three biggest markets, stealing money from the boys and girls club, and bouncing hundreds of checks to your employees and stations isn't such a bad thing... And it's not a big deal that their ratings are down in all of their markets...that's show biz.
I'm just bitter because I've yet to listen to more than a half hour of any of their shows without hearing them trying to belittle people of faith...but I guess I shouldn't expect them to celebrate diversity or to keep an open mind....if you disagree with them, you're judgmental and close minded...but when they do's's just o.k.....because they mean well. I wise man once said, "I'm not against anything, I'm just FOR Jesus" - maybe I should focus more on that...and less on the hypocritical radio guys stealing money from the boys and girls clubs....(there I go again)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

bland chicken dinners

I'm headed to a banquet tonight. It's kind of nice to go to a banquet and not have to worry about the food, how many people show up, how the, and about if the slide show and sound system work.
I just have to show up, throw on the clown outfit (whatever costume they put me in) and say some lines. I won't even have to make small talk at a least I don't think I don't think they'll make me stick around for the food and speaker part, do you? That'd be silly...I think...sure it would.
Tonight I'll be playing the part of Stu Sutcliff, compliance officer of the 3-D (that's tonight's theme) teamsters Union. The joke is (and you'd better not be drinking any milk...) (you know...because when you laugh and drink milk, it comes out....oh, never mind) that their 3 decades celebration....or 3D theme - needs a certain quota of 3-D union workers.
That's where Stu comes in....and yes, that's the name of the guy who was the fifth or sixth Beatle...depending on who you ask...and it's just a coincidence....although I consider myself the 45th Beatle (right behind Gordon Clapp and in front of the replacement guy on the Maytag the repairman commercials- Gordon Jump - purely coincidental on the Gordon thing....and yeah, he was also the Big guy on WKRP and the creepy guy from a very special Different Strokes episode)
So wish me luck.
or that I'd break a leg (what's that all about anyway?)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Regrets...I've had a few

I know that we're supposed to "strain toward what is ahead...forgetting what is behind" - but a friend of mine asked me the other day what I was going to miss the most about State College. I've always said that it really doesn't matter where you live - it's more important who you surround yourself with. If you go to college and your roommate is a won't like that college.....if your roommate is'll love it there. It's just true. Having said that, I'd also argue that in addition to friends - you'll want to surround yourself with one or two Chipotle's.
But I do have a few regrets about these past couple of years.
I regret not playing more racquetball and tennis.
I regret not being able to see Penn State have a decent football team.
I regret never having led a club with Dan Kalbach.
I regret paying $4 to watch Broken Flowers.
I regret doing the Trivia mixer in club my first year here (It will kill this year...I just know it)
I regret not seeing Allie do her first club talk.
I regret not video taping every single episode of "What Would Brad Pitt Do?" (WWBPD?)
I regret having to leave Calvary Baptist Church.
I regret having to leave some great friends, neighbors...and friends who are also neighbors.
I regret not having my basement fixed before I moved in.
I regret having to move Griffin 2 times in his first 4 years.
I regret the fact that Ed was cancelled.
and I'm going to look back upon these past couple of years's not the weather, the basement...or even the lack of's the people I'll miss.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lost in Direction

I still have mixed emotions about last night. On the one hand, I got to go out on a date with Annie. Still on that very same hand is the fact that the movie theater we went to only charged $4 for tickets....and still yet, we ended the night by seeing My Book Your what I'm saying is, this is a very good hand that we're talking about.
On the other hand, we ate at that place on campus that microwaves burgers and their motto is, "Our food isn't very good, but at least we're slow" - and then we saw Broken Flowers.
I have a theory that someone told Bill Murray a few years ago that he no longer needed to act. He could just walk through a movie in a semi catatonic daze. People will think he's being deep. They'll call it a Nuanced performance. If we film him in a dark room just kind of staring....people will think that this is a "thinkers" movie. This way people can walk out and say, "You didn't get it!?!?! It probably just went over your head." Then the person thinks, "Hey, maybe that movie wasn't a waste of my money...maybe I should go back and see it see what I missed." and the other person just feels superior. "It was a muted's art and it doesn't always have to be so in your face." "Yeah, but this was the kind of art that my 4 year old's just bad art. Can you make bad art even if you film it darkly, and have 35 scenes where the main character just kind of stares off into the distance while they play cool music in the background?"
I get that it worked for Lost in Translation. He was really good in that....and I think for the first time in his life he probably was getting good reviews. So he had to think to himself, "I'm busting my butt playing the smarmy, wacky, party guy in all these movies...but the critics don't like it....but if I just play kind of dead and show no emotion....they love me!"
I'm going to go write Jim Jarmusch (the guy who made Broken Flowers ...and also Coffee and Cigarettes - "hey, this must be deep, it's in black and white...and they smoke cigarettes, have jilted dialogue and drink coffee") I need to let him know he owes me $8 plus a free movie rental...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Frankie says Relax

It's funny how an innocent idea like, "hey, let's have a yard sale" can have such a stressful outcome. I figured we'd throw a few Elvis figurines, an old cell phone or two and Annie's entire Kenny G collection out on the front lawn and let people have at it. Apparently there's a whole lot more to it than that. I was out hanging up signs miles away today...."5 miles to Penn State - and to one heck of a garage sale" all up and down the 7 AM. I was cleaning spider webs off old wedding and birthday presents that have been stored in our garage for years.
I was actually panicked by the possibility of selling a table that we don't want....because we need it to pile old clothes that we don't want on top of. You get really excited when you sell something big...but then you wish you had it back when someone pulls into your driveway, judges it, you, the parents who would have brought up someone who is so obviously bad at selling stuff in their driveway...and then drive off because you don't have any big stuff.
...and all for $3.95

Friday, September 23, 2005

blog for the youth...the little ones...the kiddies

It's funny how quickly I get used to goofy names. I rarely think about how weird the name "Young Life" is. It sounds like an insurance company. And "campaigners" is just a goofy name...but we can't seem to get away from it. I used to say that if a Youth Director is referring to H.S. students as "the Youth" they probably aren't hanging out with them. If you did, it just seems like you'd know better. I've always bought into the whole concept of "learning their language and culture" - it just makes sense. That's why it kills me to hear "youth"
I guess I'm kind of hung up on it.
And at the same time, I talk about running a "club" that doesn't have members...
I know it'd be silly to talk with someone about "justification" or "sanctification" and just assume they know what I'm talking about. I fall into that every once in a while. I wonder sometimes where the line between trying to impress people with my etymological skills....and just not being a very good communicator.
I bring this up because just like people don't hear "youth" outside of the church setting, or "campaigners" outside of the Young Life setting....I don't really understand what "off the chain" means...
"off the hook" I understand....but the chain?
I'm pretty sure I can still get by with "that's cool" and even the occasional "awesome" if it's said with the right inflection...but anything that ends with "izzy" just makes my head hurt.
is that so wrong?

Bon Jovi C.D. - 25 cents

We're having a yard sale tomorrow. I've always thought that when developers sell house lots, that they should call that a yard sale. Clearly, I won't be selling a yard...or maybe I should make that a theme and only sell things that are in yard units. I could sell yards of yarn, yards of fabric, yards of....ok, I'm out of yard things.
Anyhow, if you're in the neighborhood tomorrow and want to buy a used footstool, glider chair or my Middletown Wrestling T-shirt...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Here I come to save the day!

I was talking with a friend the other day about a skit (run-on, interrupter). It would be something along the lines of... "First there was Spiderman, next came the Dynamic Duo...then the Fantastic Four. Tonight, we introduce you to the AVERAGE THREE" (also thinking of the Almost Super Three, the Trio of Mediocrity, or The Super Interns!)
Anyhow, one guy would be Change Man - he can make change in any situation. There's also Nose Man - he smells trouble when it's on the way...sniffs out crime...has a nose for evil (you get the point) and 5 foot 9 guy - the worlds tallest little man (because I don't think you're allowed to say midget, dwarf or short stuff anymore...and I think it's about time) He fights little people crime...or crimes committed on preschool playgrounds (because he's a giant in the world of the under 4 foot tall crowd)
My friend wanted a Fart Man - but I think Howard Stern did that...need I say more?
Anyhow, I ask folks every once in a while what Super Power they'd like to have. I've asked this in big groups and small...and the number one answer is always to fly... & #2 is to be invisible Today I figured out how to accomplish the number two most wanted super power.
Just go to Lowe's and look around like you can't find anything. The people with the vests that have their names on them...all of a sudden you're invisible to them. They look up, down, to the side...anywhere but at you.
You know that feeling you get that someone's looking at you? It's almost like you can see behind you... They have that...and it immediately triggers a "LOOK AWAY!" response.
I don't know if they're trained that way. I think it's all that bug killer they have in aisle 4.
maybe it's just me....

Rita is on the way

Hurricane Rita (the 3rd strongest hurricane recoreded ever....Katrina was 4th) is coming to Texas. This is a great time to pray for Texas.

I sometimes tell people that I'll pray for them...and then forget to. (I have alzheimers...I'm convinced) So my new way to remember... is to pray immediately for things. Usually it's after having a conversation with someone on the phone...I get off the phone and pray. It's the only thing that really works for my A.D.D. mind.

Anyhow, this is still a great time to pray for Texas.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Movin on over...

It's a big day in the Murphy household. We just bought a household actually. Our dream house to be exact. I haven't actually seen it....but I barely remember my dreams anyway.
Annie went to Cincinnati two days ago, while I played Mr. Mom ("would you like a beer?" "it's eight o'clock in the morning" ..."scotch?") (this is probably confusing if you haven't seen Mr. Mom) and she picked out a house that we can sort of afford.
-It's across the street from a park...but doesn't have a view of one of the largest stadiums in the world.
-It's in a nice neighborhood...but doesn't have the Sublets within a pitching wedge of our house. (or a driver, if Stacy is hitting it)
-It's got a finished basement...but we're not sure if it's going to take in water every 4-6 weeks.
-It has a kitchen island...but doesn't have those little lights that go above and below the cabinets....although we never really used those anyway.
-it's not available for 6 weeks...but I'm supposed to be there in 3 1/2.
-it's close to Chipotle ... but they don't have pigs that Grif and I can visit.
-It's technically in West now I've got to deal with that whole "West Side - East Side" rivalry....and worry about what color bandana I can wear.
oh how things are changing....

Saturday, September 17, 2005

hangin with my homies

I used to walk up to my TV and turn the dial to one of the three channels whenever I wanted to watch something. There were two weird channels that were on a different dial...and I'd have to twist that around - more like a radio I was trying to tune in. If the channels weren't very clear, I'd adjust the antennae.
Now I'll spend ten minutes walking around the room looking for the remote. I'll walk right by the TV (and all of it's many buttons) and get mad that I can't find the portable button thingy. Once I find the remote, it takes me 3 minutes to turn to each of the 75 channels to see if there is even one thing on that will hold my interest.
I have cable internet access and it really bothers me if I have to wait 3 seconds for my e-mail to pop up. I couldn't believe the difference between a dial up modem and this cable's like night and day. The funny thing is, it took me about twenty minutes to get used to....and then I was spoiled. I have friends who say they're too impatient for they only do I.M. Mailing a letter to them is insane...
If you ever see me next to an elevator...wait 10 seconds...and you'll notice that I continue to push the button that's already lit. I really feel like that hurries it up. I do the same thing with those cross walk buttons.
It drives my wife nuts that I have to turn the channel during commercials. I just have to. Who wants to watch commercials? And who has the patience to sit through them until their show pops back up?
I sometimes wonder how to build up a tolerance for waiting.... It's sort of like building a tolerance to alcohol....or like the guy who built up a tolerance to poison in The Princess Bride. Maybe if I tried a little patience tomorrow....and a little more the next day...and pretty soon, I could put other people's schedules, concerns and emergencies ahead of my own. Pretty soon I could be like one of those old guys that hangs out at somebody else's work...and just kind of hangs out. They don't work there, but everyone knows them. They just like to hang out.
I'd like to like to hang out.
that'd be a good thing to like to do...worth a shot...

Friday, September 16, 2005


Rene Zelwigger and Kenny Chesney are getting divorced after 4 beautiful months of matrimony. They just don't love each other any more. Lots of people do that....they don't love anymore. It's as if the commitment they made to one another wasn't a commitment at all. It's just a feeling they had...and as soon as that feeling fades a's over. I'm not sure that commitment really fits this definition. Clearly "til death do us part" means nothing. It's just something they say. "Til we decide that we're going to stop loving each other"
"Til it becomes obvious that I'm more important than you...and why bother"
"Til I get bored or find someone better"
"because love is just a feeling, not something you actively do"
I hear this "well, as long as it's right for you" kind of babble every once in a while. And sometimes I hear it from people who know how to read, tie their shoes and drive a car by themselves.
"There is no right or wrong...only what's right or wrong for you"
I think murder is wrong! But if I bought into this nebulous, whatever kind of works for you idea....I guess that if I thought it was o.k. to kill people that I thought were stupid, or mean, or just annoying....under their way of thinking, I guess they'd say that it was fine for me to act on that?
It's just a dumb way of thinking. IT'S WRONG. (people hate it when you say something is implies that there is a right and a wrong way of doing things)
But I can see the appeal of that. If I buy into this philosophy...I can, theoretically, live the rest of my life any way that I want.
"It might not be right for you to steal that money, but I need it more than they in my mind, it's the right thing to do." You can see how living that way would be appealing.
and dumb...

Thursday, September 15, 2005


On occasion I'll have to drive somewhere and so I'll turn on my radio. Now, I have a radio at home...but I rarely play it. And I probably play it in the car because I don't have a TV in that's probably least to have one in front of your windshield. Anyhow, what's strange about me is how often I'll get to wherever I'm going...and just kind of park and listen to the radio.
The thing is - the whole reason I got in the car in the first place was to get to where I now am parked. The radio was just a distraction....something to pass the time while I was driving to my destination.
But the distraction becomes more important than the destination.
It's hard to stay "keep your eye on the prize"
I think Peter struggled with this when he got out of the boat...he was focused on Jesus...walking on water...and then he lost his focus...he was distracted....he started to sink.
That's what happens when we're distracted....we start to sink.
Today, I'd like to focus more. Today, I'd like to do the things that are most important. Today, I'd like to not get caught up in the petty little distractions that bring me down.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I have the best family...

Annie, "So who was your teacher in Sunday School?"
Griffin, "Aaron"
Annie, "Aaron?"
Grif, "yeah, like Elvis Aaron Presley"

Coop, "Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
-gets a bottle of milk-like substance
Coop, "gurgle, gurgle, coo (big smile)"
Griffin, "Daddy, I missed you more than the whole world!
Even Egypt!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

so what's it going to take?

I've heard it said that "even really bad people love their friends" (a very rough paraphrase) - but the point's easy to love lovable people. That just makes sense.
I think I'm like a lot of people in that I spend most of my time just kind of living my life. It's what we do. (us people)
Every once in a while a situation will pop up where we might decide to do something nice...and then we spend weeks just subtly mentioning that nice thing we did in conversation "oh, you're from Iowa - did I mention I gave a homeless guy $2?"
But the same guy who said the thing about -even not so nice people love the lovable people....He said that we (those folks who follow the teachings of Jesus) ought to love the lovable people, and even the not so lovable people. In fact, he said we need to go so far as to even love our enemies....
It just makes sense that if you're going to love you're're going to love the people you're sort of indifferent towards. And you already love the loveables....
-So it's kind of a radical love that He's calling us to. It seems to me that it goes beyond "just kind of living your life" - it seems like we're called to a pro-active - get out there and love people kind of life.
There's a verse somewhere in this book I read on occasion (we'll call it Hebrews) somewhere in the 10th chapter...about 24 verses or so into it....and it says, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on...." and then it goes on about encouraging people. What strikes me is the "let us consider" how to do this. I don't know that I spend a lot of time "considering". I just kind of do.
It occurs to me that if I spent a little more time considering (or planning, or just thinking through) how to love and encourage people....even the unlovable people....I might just be a little better at it. Maybe I'd do it a little more often...not just when a situation presented itself...
there might be something in what He's saying... Kind of a Pro-Active love, hmm???

huh? part 2

it's sort of like...
Your dad asks you if you have any homework?
and you say no...
and then he checks, and finds out that you have a report due...
but you keep refusing to do it....and it's not like he can do's not his job
In fact, it's against the rules for him to do it....
But he knows it's really he writes the report for you...and then tells you that you just have to turn the paper in.
But you won't.
You refuse.
So the paper never gets turned in (even though your dad wrote it)
and then the school calls your dad and yells at him..."Why didn't you do the paper?!"
"Because I'm not allowed to...besides, I wrote it...but he wouldn't turn it in."
So if the President calls the Governor and says, "let's declare an emergency, and have a mandatory evacuation - in fact, I've already written the paperwork for just have to sign it"
And then the Governor has a meeting to discuss the political ramifications of this...and then decides not to do it.
And then the President calls her back and says, "seriously, you need to do's going to happen...I CAN'T DO IT - IT'S AGAINST THE LAW!!! HERE ARE THE PAPERS...JUST SIGN THEM - PLEASE!"
and she didn't....she wouldn't.
So naturally everybody is blaming the president for not sending in the troops to bring in aid.
but still....he should have...
it's like arguing about why your kid has to go to's just stupid. "But dad, I want to stay up forever!" "yeah, but you need to go to bed" "But dad, I'm going to be a superhero and fly to the moon or Kentucky"
this is a similar argument to "the president should have solved the problem"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm sortta ready for some football

The NFL season starts for me today. The Steelers and the Titans are playing at 1 o'clock, and what could be better than that?
I'll tell you what.
Sitting in a conference room with 15 people and having a meeting for three hours. We'll have some sort of introduction time, discuss previous meetings, dates for future meetings...and then basically not watch the Steeler's game. This is the same Steelers team that was 16-2 last year. This is the team that has the rookie of the year at quarterback. They have the future rookie of the year at tight end. They have a wide receiver that plays like a linebacker. They have four Lombardi trophy's. They have a coach with the best jaw in all of sports.
I'll be talking about budgets.
It's been a long, frustrating summer without professional football. All I've seen is really bad college football. I did see a great football game last night...that was also an incredibly frustrating loss, and a couple of high school games. When I hear Hank Williams Jr. ask, "Are you ready for football?" I'm tempted to throw something at him. (everywhere we go, "Are you ready for some football?" "yes, would you just let me eat my dinner") I'm clearly ready for some football.
I'm clearly not going to watch any today.
But the bottom line is, I'm going to go to a meeting with folks who want to share incredible news with High School students. Way bigger news than the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. (this is even more newsworthy than the Bengals winning 7 or 8 games)
When it comes down to it...I'd rather spend my days with folks who want to tell people that they're loved...and there is actually a purpose to all this...
maybe that's even a bigger deal than the Steelers playing the Titans?
(and beating them 31-13, you heard it here first)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

leaving no shopping carts behind!

Guilt is kind of a funny thing. There's this funny distinction between conviction and guilt. One can be really good, and the other can be kind of a drag.
I have this conviction that I need to help out the helpless....that's good, right? I feel guilty that I'm not selling my blood to give the money to orphans in Kairo....that can be kind of debilitating...and I'm not so sure that's such a good thing.
I have this thing where I like to take a shopping cart into the store I'm going to. It's just one less cart the guy who works there has to go and get - I figure. A couple of times I've found myself walking around and collecting shopping carts as though I work there. I feel compelled to get them all. I think it's probably a decent thing to do...but it's kind of odd that, on those occasions, I feel guilty if I leave some out there. It's like they're Lieutenant Dan laying in the field wounded and I can't leave the field of battle until I've gone in and brought every single cart back to safety.
You think I have a problem?
Ultimately I have to believe that having a conviction...ultimately builds character - and guilt just tears you down.
So how do we tell the difference?
I just read a book that I'd like to sum up this way: "just think about it for a second"
The author used a few more words (and charged $18.99) but that's basically what he said. And there might actually be something to that. What if I just thought about this for a second. Does this tear me down...or ultimately build me or others up? Two years from now, when I think about this decision...will I be glad I went in this direction? Based on who God has made me, and ultimately who I think He would have me this a smart move?
The bottom line is - do I believe that God loves me and wants what's best for me?
I just read a couple of lines of my Bible... "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I guess if someone were to believe this...and then live their life soaking in that love....there would be a couple of changes in how they were to act.
It just makes act differently when you love someone...and when you know you are loved. I guess it motivates you to do things differently.
Based on this change of might have some convictions to treat others differently. You might be a little more likely to send the Red Cross a couple of bucks. You might help out at a homeless shelter. You might listen more and talk less....
Things might very well be different. This can actually be good stuff....but to soak in the guilt of all of the billions of things that we aren't doing at a particular moment...well, that can very well be debilitating. It's a fine line...but I'd rather choose to live out of the love and see how it changes my actions.
that's just me though...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Country & Rap

If only we could combine the depth of rap, with the soul of country...
That Snoop Dog....he's a wise, wise man...
- and that Garth Brooks, he has soul...if only we could mesh the two...
a boy can dream, can't he?
Well along comes Cowboy Troy!
He's part of the Country-Rap explosion....I call it
I just saw him on a show and now I feel like my soul got just a little bit smaller. It feels like my heart is just a little bit harder. There was this immediate desire to send money, like when you see something terribly wrong and you want to help on some level.
But there was no 1-800 number. I guess somebody has to start something like that.
So, if you would just send 50 cents a day....about the price of a newspaper - to
124 Oakmont Rd. State College, PA 16801 - to the "Stop the Insanity" fund -
Only you can prevent this horrible tragedy from happening again.
It's up to you...

Celine, what would we do without you?

I shutter to think of where we would be in this day and age without actors, actresses and singers... It would be a sad world indeed.
Sean Penn, while riding in his boat looking for people to save, was asked, "how are you going to save people in that boat?" Apparently his boat was sinking from the weight of his entourage...including his personal photographer. But who can blame him. He's an Oscar winner for gosh sakes! If he's going to save some people, he might as well have it photographed so he can show people how awesome he just makes sense.
"Let 'em loot!" was the emotional cry of one singer who is not known for over emotional Celine Dion. Now you know if Celine is passionate about must be important. Looting is apparently her new cause..."let them touch these things, some of them have never touched anything in their whole lives!" But these things aren't theirs.... I wonder what her reaction would be if they took a brick to her window, and started taking her $2,000 purses? I'm guessing none of the looters has ever held a $2,000 purse. I wonder how upset she would be if she borrowed Sean Penn's boat and while rescuing his personal photographer that fell overboard...some of the looters started shooting at them? I'm marking her statement down as the stupidest thing I've heard in '05.
Bill Clinton cut a $120,000,000 hurricane control project in 1995 and 98 different flood control projects - I wonder if that helped?
Kanye West said that George Bush "doesn't like black people" because all the people who were flooded were black...and Bush "wasn't doing anything about it". Kanye is making a run at Celine's "stupidest remark of '05" crown. State and local government has ALWAYS been responsible for natural disaster relief.
"Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves," This was the Mayor's plan...we'll make "special arrangement" to evacuate people. But then, instead of taking city busses to evacuate people....then sent them to the Superdome...where they absolutely no food, no security...but had awesome seats in case the Saints came back to play the 49'ers. It's weird that Kanye didn't say anything about the Mayor hating black people???

"If the CIA slips me something and next week you don't see me, you'll all know what happened."
This is actually what the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin said the other day. Man, Celine is going to have to hold onto that title tightly.

There's no question the federal government plays a major role in disaster relief. But federal officials say in order to get involved, they must first be asked to do so by state officials. This ALWAYS how it works. It makes sense....they're there! A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected. Obviously it was George Bush's fault...he should have put the Governor and the Mayor in a time out...or grounded them...or taken their cell phones from them.
Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His Office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.
The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed.
Celine, Sean Penn, Konye....where would we be without your wisdom....and your entourages?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bob Denver, 1935-2005

No one can look cool raising the roof, we've established that...but did you know that no one can look cool while playing the air guitar?
It's true.
It's like the two things can't mutually coexist. It's like saying, "I'm really full and boy am I hungry." or "That wallpaper was really expensive, but boy was it cheap" or "man do I love great movies, and my favorite movie of all time is Little Nicky."
You can get away with air drums...or just kind of drumming on the nearest surface...but that's where it's gotta stop. I'm not even going to talk about air keyboards. It's just silly.
I would be remiss to not comment on the passing of one of our great actors. Bob Denver, who portrayed the popular character Maynard G. Krebs on "The Adventures of Dobie Gillis" is sadly no longer with us. (he also is somewhat known for his part on that show with the castaways on an island...Gilligan's something or other) The depth of a Keanu, the subtlety of a Pacino or a Nicholas Cage, and the dedication to a role of a David Caruso. Bob (or B.D. as I always called him) could do it all. Goofy, kind of dumb guys. Silly, can't take them serious guys. Oddball, not so smart guys. You name it and he had it in is repertoire.
We'll miss you Bob...
We've lost a valuable commodity in the "Great Actors" stock exchange today...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dustin Diamond
a haiku,
talented, no doubt
is Neil really your daddy?
either way, Bravo!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Picnic is kind of a funny word, huh?

I'm headed to a picnic this morning. I have sort of a mixed history with these.
If it's nice out...there's a pretty decent chance that I'll have fun. If it's's almost 100% that I won't. If it's nice and fun people are there...there's a pretty decent chance I'll have fun. If not....almost 100% that I won't.
So I'm hoping for good weather and good people at this picnic. Now if it's nice out and there are good people there...I'm hoping that those good people will be in a good mood. If not...almost 100% chance that I won't have fun.
This is a lot to consider.
The odds are clearly not with me.
So why take the chance?
I'd argue that it's worth a shot - to play sand volleyball, eat hot dogs off the grill, hang out and laugh with friends & maybe even meet some new folks.
Otherwise I'd be a hermit hiding in my house because of all the potentially bad things that could happen.
And who wants to live like that?
Life is pretty lifeless without risk...
Then again, what if they don't have mustard for the hotdogs?
...better bring my own.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

palm pilots...

I go through more palm pilots than my pastor goes through coffee cups. More than Griffin goes through happy meal toys. More than Mary Kay goes through mascara thingys...
you see what I'm saying??? I go through a lot of palm pilots. I lose them. I break them. Griffin breaks them on my behalf. They just kind of stop working. And yet I continue to pine for them. (do people still say, "pine for"?)
I'm lost without them.
I crave them like a fat kid craves cake. Like Ben craves the outdoors. Like Colonel Sanders craves chicken. You get the point...
And yet, here am I....palm pilot less. I'd go back to my daytimer, but that's like going back to that girl that you used to date...never really liked...but dated until someone better came along. It's not fair to you...or the daytimer.
So what to do? I've been writing a lot of things on my hands lately (the original palm pilot). But then you can't ever wash your hands...and who wants that?
I heard a guy once say that when you write things down that you're giving yourself permission to forget it later. This sort of goes against everything they teach you in school about taking notes. I don't think I buy it...although I was a lot better at remembering phone numbers before I put them all in speed dial.
I keep looking for a palm pilot/cell phone that will do everything for me. I hated carrying around both...but then if I break that, it's double the trouble. (anybody remember Nipsy Russell?)
what to do?
Maybe I just need an assistant. I could keep him on speed dial and just keep calling every 5 minutes to see what I'm supposed to be doing.
That'd be good. People would call and I'd say, "let me put you on with my assistant and see if they can find a place in my schedule for a quick sit down" and then I'd ask my assistant to go and get me coffee...and then I'd spit it out and scream, "I asked for decaf!! What are you trying to do, kill me?!?!?"
Hmmm? There might be something to this. Of course, I don't really drink coffee...
oh well...

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I always look for a church with good music. It's important to me because it's important to other people. You see, I'd like to go to a church that I love to bring people to...and if people like music, then music better be good at my church. That makes sense, right? Sure it does.
The thing is, I'm more AM than FM. This is a tough town for that...because there are 7 AM stations that I can get on my car radio and 6 of them will be airing the same show (and it's usually Penn State girls cross country - "And there goes another skinny white girl who looks like she's about to pass out...and here comes a skinny white girl who isn't quite as fast as the aforementioned skinny white girl who still has not yet passed out!")
Where was I?
Oh...the church thing. So my church (I don't actually own it...if I did, the seats would have cup holders...not really the point though) my church has good music. The only thing is that every once in a while something a little unusual happens (like the words to the song we're singing are actually on the screen) - You know how sometimes the person leading the song will belt out the next line before anyone else? You're singing Duke of Earl (again - at the church that I would own) and you're in the "...nothing can stop the Duke of Earl" part - and the guy yells out "come on! Duke, Duke" and then the Duke Duke part starts....he's just reminding you? Leading you? Making sure the power point of the song is keeping up?
Doesn't matter....
So I'm at the church...and we're singing some song (God is cool? not really sure what song) and the chorus pops up (actually I have no idea if it was the chorus...) but the words were "There is no God like Jehovah" and really, who am I to argue that?
The odd thing was the song leader guy yelled out half the line before it started....and he did it a little earlier than usual so there was an extra long non-singing space after he yelled out "There is no God!" and this is when I realized that nobody really pays attention.
Because nobody even blinked.
I'm looking around....thinking, "Did he just yell out IN CHURCH that there is no God?" then I thought, "yup" then "that's kind of weird, huh?" then I was thinking "yup" then "but hilarious".
Maybe my church has changed some of our Statements of Faith....and if so, why wasn't I in on the decision?

Friday, September 02, 2005

looking for a rainbow

So the basement flooded again. It gets worse each time. We have two futons, two chairs, a foosball table, bumper pool table, treadmill, 3 couches and a life sized cardboard cutout of Jerome Bettis down there. That's a lot of stuff to ruin.
Floods stink. Literally. They also do something to my allergies that isn't very nice. I'll be able to experience that stink up close and personally as I move the furniture and try and rip up the glued to the floor carpeting and pad. The problem is...I have 3 hours of meaningless paperwork I have to do...after my breakfast meeting and 9 o'clock doctors appointment....but before my meeting at noon...and the one at 2...and football practice at 3:30....and my meeting at 5 that I'm leaving practice early to get to....which will go straight to the football game at 7.
So it feels a little like my basement is going to stay wet another day. Oh sure, I'm moving the furniture away from the wetness...and I've got the dehumidifier and fans going....BUT THIS STINKS!!! (again, literally)
What could be worse that that?
I guess maybe if instead of the floor being soaked - it could be 5 feet under water. I guess instead of a bad smell, I could worry about people breaking into my place of business and taking whatever they want. And that whole "bands of armed thugs" that are making a name for themselves in New Orleans right now. Floods stink...period.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Give a hoot...and don't loot

I watched a kid wave to the camera with his free hand...his other hand was pushing a shopping cart full of stuff he was stealing. It was a big day for looters. The police had to decide whether to go and help the rescue workers...and possibly save lives, homes or both...or go chase the 14 year old stealing sneakers.
---I have a friend that agrees with me on most things, but she always uses the excuse that "you can't legislate morality" when I argue for laws that she disagrees with. Actually, I'm convinced that she agrees with me - but her particular political party doesn't...and agreeing with the party means more to her than agreeing with me.
I can see that.
So at some point there's going to be a commission that studies looters and discovers that they're just like you and's just that they loot. It's who they are. It's part of their inner being. For them to to loot. And who are we to judge?
Shame is a thing of the past. It's wrong to feel shame. You should be proud of who you are. "You are the only you you can be" To make someone feel shameful...well...that would be shameful.
Of course this kid was proud that he was ripping off some store. It wasn't his fault. It's society's. They are to blame. Not individuals in a society mind's society as a whole.
"To incarcerate to judge looters...and who are we to judge?" That will be some politician's line. "To make laws against looting is to legislate morality...and who are you to say what's right and what's wrong?"
--You'd have to agree with that if you agree that you can't legislate morality. You'd also have to take rape, murder, assault and battery (why are batteries bad anyhow?), passing bad checks, stealing good money, the books. These are all morality issues.
And who are we to try and impose our values on anyone else?
That would be worse than the crimes themselves...
So have at it's not your fault....go get your toaster ovens - your Nike Airs (do they still sell those...I'm like 50) - go get your microwave ovens and your floor lamps. It's all free.
It's owed to you....and even if it wasn't....if you think it's o.k. for you...then it must be o.k.