Friday, December 29, 2006

New Years Resolutions

I'd like to take my one year old and 6 month old to more movies in '07

I'd like to offer up a Knuckle Sandwich to more cops next year.

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and then once I've got all of their attention...I'd like to buy them a coke.

More Oprah

I'd like to watch more tv and read less

I'd like to create a half t-shirt that says "best" and another that says "friends!" and get Ron Palillo to wear one on the same day that I wear the other.

I'll high five someone each and every day. I'll create a secret handshake with Fuller and we'll be the only ones who know we're doing it.

I'm going to be two inches taller

I'd like to make Tuesdays "Amish Tuesdays"

I'll carry around my own spoon and taste test from other people's soup

I'm going to obsess about Jana

I will leapfrog Aaron Wright

Take three seconds off my 40 time

Dance, Dance, Dance

Follow Saget as he takes 1 Vs 100 on the road

I need to somehow add fiber to my diet cokes

Read Aunt Peg's two books (already polished off the first)

thumb wrestle Mr. T

Burn the bacon

Write a fan letter to Danny Bonaduce

Kick the can and can the kick

Turn more phrases around and have them not really make sense

Get a job spraying perfume on people at the mall

have a squirt gun fight with Dan Z and then learn how to spell his last name so I don't have to refer to him as "Dan Z"

race Annie through an obstacle course

say, "I told you so" more

win the lottery and then lose my ticket

Thursday, December 28, 2006

chasing after the wind

I watch Ohio State win the national championship...and it's awesome, for a few hours...and then life goes on. It's not even that fun when you go into work the next day to talk to the guy that was rooting for Miami. He just complains about the officiating and starts talking about next year.

Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl (again) and the next day people are telling me that I'm living in the past "that was last year" "Huh? wasn't that just yesterday?"

I get so wrapped up in some games that I can't watch them around other people. It drives me nuts when some guy tells me my team sucks, but he has no idea how many guys are on an offensive line.

It's great watching your team win a big game...but that's about it. Just a fun time. It's like watching a good movie. Interesting...compelling at times...there's conflict....resolution....a cameo by K-Fed...and you move on.

Sports are a dog chasing his tail. Fun for awhile...but that's about as far as it goes. It doesn't tend to change much on this planet. You win a big game, sell some jerseys....and life goes on.

I still love them though...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

about ready to quit on this one...

First of all I should mention that the huge package of steaks we bought are in a shrink wrapped package and there's that.

Second of all - I'm about to scream.

We've moved the steak day four times so far, and now we're moving it a fifth (after we've connected with a dozen people who've lined up side items)

It's now moved back to January 19th....which means that my next note about moving this event will come sometime during that week.

If you've volunteered to help - THANK YOU - and I'm sorry this thing has been moved around so much.
I'll let you know what we're looking for in a couple of weeks.

thanks...and sorry

a great day

Yesterday it happened.

I've been waiting for Griff to make a legitimate joke, and he did.

I was waiting for him to play some sport that I could go and watch...and he's done that.

The thing that was hard to handle was the games they have for little kids. I can't handle CandyLand. You couldn't make me play chutes and ladders.

Recently we've been moving toward better games. He started playing a card game that is pretty decent...and then Sorry, which isn't the worst thing ever....but this Christmas he was given the game Blokus. It's actually a great game. It says ages 5 and up, but we played with a friend's son who is 8 and he was struggling. I didn't think Griff would get it, but he did...and it's fun.

Once he went to bed we kept playing it. There were three of us (including a guy working on his Masters degree at Stanford) and we all liked it.

I'm looking forward to Griff playing Euchre and being better at fooseball. I can't wait until he's starts making me laugh for reasons other than - can you believe that little fella said that? Two year olds are tough, three year olds are tougher...but six isn't bad.

We're getting there. It's kind of fun.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I love lists
best tv shows of all time
worst movies
tallest Mormon
you name it, I love reading and writing lists

stuff I got for Christmas:
salt and pepper grinders
wallet to hold money
gift certificates
a gravity defying pen
a blanket
stuff I can't remember that I'll get in trouble for not putting on this list...
a Todd Glass C.D.

It was a green Christmas...and kind of a wet one
I saw Rocky Balboa with Buddha
I played Guess Who? with Griff twice

I didn't:
have a snowball fight
go sledding
recite Twas the Night Before Christmas
or receive anything having to do with Bob Saget

Parker's first Christmas
Coop's second
it gets a lot more fun the older they's fun to watch Griff

not a bad Christmas

Monday, December 25, 2006


Believe it or not, I'm up before Griffin.

Griffin is our 6 year old. He's the one who's going to be screaming "Santa was here!" any minute. He'll wake up the two largely disinterested kids who have no idea who Santa is, or what Christmas is all about...opening a ridiculous amount of gifts that you never have to worry about taking back...because you're parents put them all together/buy the batteries for/take back if they don't work or fit.

Griff, Coop and our neighbors put out reindeer food last night. They also put out some Buckeyes (Santa loves Ohio State) and some celery in case they needed a snack when they stopped by. I was a little concerned that Santa wouldn't know how to get in because we don't have a chimney, but Griff tells me that Santa is an excellent lock there's that.

We couldn't find our Christmas stockings, so our kids are pulling candy and toys out of my actual socks. Luckily I have lots of really old, stretched out socks...that are also clean.

I'm hoping that my Christmas wish will come true and I'll be able to go see Rocky Balboa today. Anybody want in?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good Sam Run

There are a group of folks who take food down to Washington Park every Saturday and feed a few hundred folks who are without homes. They call it the Good Sam Run.

I was talking with a couple of the guys a few weeks ago and I asked them about doing a big meal down there. I wondered if it'd be a bad thing. Would it raise expectations to the point that the next week's sandwiches would be a let down?

They said that it wouldn't. It'd go over huge.

So I asked what a dream meal would be.

"chili Dogs" "Really?" "Yeah, we did it one time last year and it went over really big"
So the next week we had a huge grill and did hot dogs....but I asked these guys what a really big dream would be. "what's something that you could do that would go over big - but it's probably outside of any real possibility?"
"I guess that'd be steaks"

So we started dreaming up a big 'ol steak dinner.

And now it's going to happen....twice.

The first one is going to be on Saturday, Dec. 30th. We bought a huge slab of beef, found a butcher who was willing to cut it into steaks for us (which saved us a lot of money and made this possible) and so we're going to make this happen. The bigger issue ended up being the side items. We can't really serve up steak and potato chips.

So we're looking for someone to get us a bunch of rolls (or 6 or 7 people to do two dozen each)
We need a few more people to donate 2 dozen cup cakes. We need 150 baked potatoes....or 6 or 7 people to do two dozen each.

So if you're in the Cincinnati area - and would like to pitch in (this first time or the next) just let me know...

If chilly dogs are a big day, you can imagine how fun it'll be to serve up steaks...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

a tale of two nights

Two evenings ago I had a rough night.
Last night was a joy.
Two nights ago I had 15 people signed up to help with a project.
Last night I also had 15 people signed up to help with a project.
Two nights ago -4 people showed up.
Last night 18 people showed up.
Two nights ago, half of the people (2) showed up a half hour late.
Last night 15 people showed up early.
Two nights ago, half of the people (2) left early.
Last night 16 people stayed late.
Last night was a joy...and I'll focus on last night.
They didn't throw around the word "volunteer". They had a job to do, and they did it with excellence. It didn't matter whether or not they were getting paid. They said they'd do it and they did it.
That shouldn't be applauded, that should be expected. That should be the standard.

That they stuck around late and worked really hard throughout their shift....that should be applauded.

Last night was a great night.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

it begins today...

To me, Rocky was the best of the series. It won the Best Picture Academy Award of 1976 and was just a great movie.

I thought Rocky II had the best fight. It was a better fight than Rocky or any of the others, but most of the movie was kind of boring.

Rocky III was the most entertaining. It had two fights and a wrestling match. It had T. It had Terry "Hulk" Hogan playing "Thunderlips" probably the worst wrestling name of all time. It was worth the seventeen dollars I paid for popcorn.

Rocky IV was kind of a mix. Some have argued that it had the best training sequence. I'm not sure I agree. I kind of liked Rocky three's training...and of course the original one with the beef punching, egg swallowing and kids chasing was pretty awesome.

Rocky V was vile. It hurts me to even mention it on the same page with these other greats. It was one of the Baldwin brothers in a sea of Wilson brothers. It was like watching the new Duke boys after watching the original Bo and Luke for years. It was like watching anything Whoopi Goldberg has ever done. If that movie was food, it'd be cold green bean casserole with congealed bacon fat on top. You get the point...

Today redemption has a chance to play it's sweet sweet clarinet.

Rocky VI is before us. You can call it Rocky Balboa if you want...but we know it's Rocky VI. We owe it to the film watching community to sit down and watch this end to a classic, yet fallen work of art.

It begins today...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

just putting together the latest list...

I know the bravest person of all time was the first person to eat an egg.

I know that Mike Webster is the strongest man that ever lived.

I know that Mr. David Hasselhoff is the most talented (talks to cars, blondes, acts, sings, dances, plays volleyball like an olympian)

the funniest? Mike Chilcoaat

Best Story Teller? Dave Wolfenberger

Best speaker? Tony Evans, Mario Cuomo, Pat Goodman, Tony campolo....and you

Best Actor? John Malcovich

but....who is the:


Most original?

Coolest person since the Fonz?

Best action hero?

That guy who always says hi to me at church that has a beard, but no mustache?

Monday, December 18, 2006

the pride of helping others...

It's funny how helping others can bring out the pride in you (and I'm definitely using the word "pride" as a bad word).

I've also seen this in where someone lives. You'd think I'm talking about some prideful rich person living in a mansion looking down at someone living in a one bedroom apartment....but I'm not. In the past couple of months, I've heard a half dozen people talk about the suburbs as though they were the worst possible place to live. They talk about them to me and I live in the suburbs. It's like they're so bad, that even I must realize how awful my living situation it's ok to rip on my neighborhood right in front of me. They talk about them exactly like some rich jerk might talk about living in the ghetto. It's almost the exact opposite living situation - but both are judgmental or "I'm just superior" - ways of looking at them. It's just that you can talk derisively about the suburbs because they're seen as the "haves"

I know a couple of people who tell me how diverse their neighborhood is, and I always ask, "what are your neighbor's names?". I don't really care how diverse your neighborhood is, do you even interact with your neighbors? Who cares what your neighborhood group picture would look like -if everyone is going to keep to themselves?

There are now more poor people living in the suburbs than the cities.

You can help poor people get jobs, clothes, shelter and counseling in the city or in the suburbs. It's just sad when someone looks at one person helping another and immediately discounts it because "that's not what I do. I'm really helping the poor"

That's not even the point. I don't care where rich people or poor people live...I'm living in my neighborhood because that's where we chose to live. I don't have to rationalize that there are poor people within a mile from here. There are people going through divorce, death and diabetes (see what I did there?) in my sub-division. People are hurting here....but that's not the point.

My problem isn't really with people looking down on the suburbs for whatever reason (they hate trees? all the houses look alike - and they don't in cities? they hate grass?) It's that we all look down on someone because they don't live like us/serve like us/give like us.

We feed over 1,000 families a month at our church. We also wrap presents for people at the mall. I regularly see people look at the folks who are wrapping presents for others and handing out bottles of water in the 'burbs, and complain that they're just helping rich people.

Both are good.

Helping people is good.

One of the hardest things to overcome when you become part of helping solve a problem (mission trip, volunteering to help the elderly/blind/Bragg/homeless) is the pride that comes along for the ride. It can become so all consuming that your passion is this spiteful - they should help out too...just like ME - and that passion steals your passion to focus on helping the elderly/blind/Bragg/homeless.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I knew a guy who was a waiter at the Olive Garden. (jealous?)

He told one of his customers that he could get all of the wine he wanted for $3. He said it with a smile and the guy took him up on it. Later the guy was frustrated that his bill had $15 worth of wine on it. The waiter really thought it was weird that this guy didn't get that he was just kidding.

That was the deal with this waiter guy. He was constantly making jokes that weren't funny. Because they weren't funny, people never understood that he was just kidding.

I know someone else that is constantly throwing jokes around. Constantly kidding...always sarcastic....never funny. Not once. (this is where the paranoid among you are wondering, "is he talking about me?" -but neither of these people ever read my blog...or even know I have one, so it's not you)

What really throws me about this person is they'll try a joke around me and it's so painfully not funny that I won't even give them the raised eyebrow-slight smirk (my version of a fake laugh). It's just that un-funny. What freaks me out is that they'll try the EXACT SAME JOKE to someone else who comes into the room 30 seconds later.

Who does that?

If a joke goes over, and people're still somewhat reluctant to try it again when the people who just heard it are still in the room. So why would they re-try a joke that was so painful the first time around?

It's just a little thing...we all have our blind spots...
a monkey flinging poo that's comedy

Thursday, December 14, 2006

all I want for Christmas...

How great would this be?

We'd just need somebody to buy a big 'ol warehouse where a dozen or so of us can drive around and crash into each other. (My money's on Jana) Of course, you have to be about 7 years old to fit in one of these...but there's gotta be a grown up version of this available to the public (like those grown up pajamas with the feet sewed in)

Who's in?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I've never understood the fascination with cars. In High School when guys would brag about how fast they went in their car, I'd say, "you must really have a strong right foot!"

I just didn't see what was impressive about pushing on the accelerator harder than you're supposed to. When people talk about how cool a car is, I just don't get that either. My car will get me from my house to your house...or to the store...or to the taping of A Very Special Blossom...or to White Castle.

Isn't that what cars do? They get you from here to there... It's nice to have a comfortable car with plenty of room, maybe a c.d. player and a cup holder...but after that?

I just can't imagine parking three miles away just so I can park my car where no one else could possible touch it. It drives me nuts when people park sideways so nobody can park next to them...they're like the three mile people, but lazy-er.

If my car gets scratched - I think, "bummer, now my car is scratched" but it's still just something that drives me to Bob Saget's neighborhood where I can watch him come and go from a safe distance of 200 feet, all the while pretending to be someone waiting for his neighbor or a pizza delivery man.

Cars are just things.

That's the whole deal. They help us to get places faster than if we went by unicycle...or pogo stick...or skateboard.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

not your grandfather's Christmas play...

I don't have much patience for bad church music. I've seen middle aged women who knew how to sing, but didn't know how to lead a song, destroy many a tune.

I had a friend who was a trained opera singer and she explained to me once that most people sing between the key of something or other and something else....(just can't remember). She always impressed me because even though she could really sing, she was more concerned with keeping her voice in a range where others could follow.

There's a church in New York that proudly proclaims that they have the shortest Mass in the city. They can get you in and out of there in twenty minutes. I've often wondered who that'd be aimed at. If you really are just checking the box, why bother? Do people think God is taking attendance and you get into Heaven if you show up at church once a week?

I've seen some horrible skits, awful dramas, bad sermons and incredibly awkward announcements. (and been a part of many of all)

Having said that....The Vineyard is putting on a Christmas play next week that's supposedly funny, original, and well put together.

If you only do one thing this week - don't click on this (that'd be a silly use of your one thing)

Monday, December 11, 2006


I've been wheezing for about six weeks now.

It's never been a full blown's just been a persistent wheezing every time I go to bed. Occasionally I'll start wheezing when I'm just hanging around...but mostly it hits when I go to bed or first wake up.

It's like I'm getting all of the bad symptoms of smoking without that sweet sweet tobacco flavor. I don't smell like an ashtray, but I cough up flem... I don't look like a disinterested person with my own hand held security blanket-cigarette that appears to be cool while just standing around...but I'm probably developing some sort of lung malady by just sitting around and waiting for this to pass.

Maybe I ought to go ahead and start smoking. I could start slow - maybe start wearing the patch until I get addicted....start smoking nicarette gum....see if I can handle one of those candy cigarettes with more filter than tobacco (the kind that creepy com professor smokes when he's hanging out with the students and wanting to be one of them)...and before you know it - presto bango - I'm smoking Camel unfiltered.

just a matter of time...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

weekend of blogging? V

So I'm just kind of wondering...

Was there a new episode of The Office on last week?

What's the deal with overpriced clothing? How do they sell a T-Shirt for $375 in LA (seriously happens)

Why do I think if I was falling in an elevator....and just before it crashed, I jumped up...I'd be fine?

Do you think introverts are born that way?

Do you think Jana is intense?

Wouldn't you agree that we all want to follow someone who is passionate about their beliefs? (or intense)

I'm sort of wondering why Cooper says, "No! and Mine!" 12 times for every 1 time he says, "yes! or Yours!"

Weekend of blogging? IV

I'm off to wrap presents....

and when I say I'm off to wrap presents, I'm actually off to the store to box items - help with supplies, set up volunteers and hand out candy canes.

You wouldn't really want me to wrap your presents. It's still kind of cool to help people out (even if it's just saving them a couple of bucks and a few minutes) during the holidays.

So if you're bored - Annie and I will be there from 4-9ish and tomorrow from 3 - 7ish

come and be a part of our wrapping thousands of gifts and handing out tens of thousands of candy canes.

Weekend of blogging? III

Why don't football teams take these guys that don't make the Olympics...and put them on their teams? Or take them after the Olympics, when their track careers are all but over?

I'd put two of them back to return kicks, take the guy with better hands and have him return punts and play wide receiver.

At Wide Out - the cornerback would have to play back 10 yards just to cover him. You could throw little quick slants and it'd be an easy 6 or 7 yards even if the defensive back made a good tackle.

It just seems like a no-brainer.

The Texans are looking at Justin Gatlin - he runs a 4.1 40. That means he'd be putting on a t-shirt while Michael Vick was crossing the tape.

I'd probably let him make my team, teach him to run a go, a post and a wheel route...and just start chucking the ball his way. I'm guessing that'd help keep teams from putting 8 in the box.

just a thought...

weekend of blogging? II

just lost 2 of 3 to a 6 year old in Trouble...

I'm not saying it was luck - but I was moving my guys into safety, playing good offence - defense when needed (I know I know - defense wins championships)...

I just feel like the little dice in a bubble wasn't on my side this time.

I'll come back stronger than ever...don't you worry your pretty little head about that...

weekend of blogging?

this is just too darn good to not share with the world:

You cook those little rolls/biscuits that come in a can, right? (sure you do)

You typically burn the bottoms right? (sure you do)

So this is what you take them out five minutes early and flip 'em.

You just flip 'em right over.

This way you're not taking them out when they're still kind of raw in the middle, but perfect on the bottom. You just let them cook for another five minutes flipped...and BAM! Perfection...

What you'll get is simply the best darn biscuit/roll you've ever had (outside of O'Charleys, Red Lobster, The Olive Garden or the restaurant of your choice)

you're welcome

Friday, December 08, 2006

day of blogging X

I've had it with Roman numerals...

seriously? You're going to throw those on there? Haven't you heard that we're mostly using ones and twos and get the point.

Super Bowls and clocks....I guess we could let them keep with the Roman numerals...but everyone else, it's time to move on.

(you should know that I have nothing at all against the Italians - I'm a fan - love their sauce)

day of blogging IX

I have the greatest wife. I'm sitting here with two kids that are crying/laughing/drooling/sneezing/and grabbing me all at once.

She's with them all day every day.

I'm with them when she takes Griff to the Cincinnati Children's theater.

She's one on three for 40+ hours a week.

I'm one on two for four hours tonight.


This parenting thing is tough. I'm on my last nerve (not sure what that really means...but I think it means I'm about to throw my remote through the wall) and I've just been playing with them for two hours.

They're the greatest kids, but they're both in diapers. Neither of them speak English yet...much. When you can't communicate, you get frustrated. That just makes sense....

So she's around these peeing and pooping machines that are usually sick and frustrated...and she's so infinitely better at managing it than I am.

I married superwoman - and she's pretty easy on the eyes and funny to boot.

I win

day of blogging VIII

what about this for campaign finance reform:

Matching funds.
For every dollar you spend on your campaign - you have to give a dollar to a hospital, cure for a disease, shelter, clinic or to the poor.

We can leave out religion (although they tend to lead the way on hospitals, shelters and care for the poor). We can leave out giving money to non-profits that don't fall into one of those categories.

We're just going to match the money you're spending ripping on the other candidate - and take that money to help people out.

Let's take it the next step. If you spend money buying a political bumper sticker - you have to spend an equal amount of money helping the helpless.

If you buy a political t-shirt (because what better way to persuade someone than a t-shirt?) you have to buy a shirt for someone who can't afford to clothe themselves.

Two things are accomplished - I don't have to watch horrible commercials, look at as many silly signs, or bumperstickers....and we help some people out.

win win

day of blogging VII

I struggle a bit with camping (and making a fort reminded me of that)

I've seen people lug out a tent, roll out a bag pad, 30 degree sleeping bag, camping stove, lantern and those goofy headband flashlights that are 3 degrees cooler than a bluetooth earpiece.

It seems like what I live in is a really nice tent. My tent has 2 1/2 working bathrooms, a kitchen, a handful of bedrooms and lights that I don't have to lug around or strap to my forehead.

I don't have to settle for something lesser. If I want to see the stars, I can walk out on my deck...I don't have to unzip a flap or peer through mosquito netting to do it.

I've been camping here in the Dub-C for awhile and so far it's been pretty good to me.

day of blogging VI

Cold without snow - no excuse to go outside and ski/sled/have a snowball fight.

It's sort of like looking at a nice picture of somewhere cool - glacier pics, mountain pics, a's just not that great if you can't enjoy it.

I'll enjoy my oldest child getting home from school and building a fort with him. That beats getting snow down my pants any 'ol day...

day of blogging V

it's the little things...

When I feel fine, but have a little cut in my drives me nuts.

When I have a little paper cut on my finger...some little thing at work bugs quickly becomes this all consuming-don't talk to me I'm fixated on this nuisance kind of thing.

I wonder why?

Maybe I put more effort into taking care of the big problems. Maybe I'm a little more proactive about dealing with bigger issues head on. Maybe it's just the little things that add up and end up feeling like big things.

Little by little - you can drip water on something and watch it erode into nothingness.

Little by little you can do little things that'll drive a wedge into a relationship.

I gotta believe that little by little you can form healthy habits. Little by little you can build someone up. Little by little you can memorize great blocks of information - work on large projects - start checking off life goals.

Little by little really does change the world - it's just easier to think about winning the lottery...or getting something big all at once.

I don't think it works that way...

Day of blogging IV

I haven't read a book in you think that's means I'm getting lazy-er or dumber?

I think I need to take a trip to the library. I have a theory that if you use the library more than you use the bookstore, you probably have more money in your bank account than you need to pay off your credit cards.

I also have a theory about the faking of the landing on the moon, who shot JFK and the idea that the US staged 911 - my theory is that people just love to embrace conspiracies.

Maybe I should go check out a book about conspiracy theories....or rent the Mel Gibson movie....or try and find an online The Office episode from last week?

days off are so full of potential...

Day of blogging III

Sweet sweet you've added to my life.

I used to order the diet cokes - and I've moved beyond that. I'm a new man...a new creation.

"Could I have a diet coke and have it made into a cherry diet coke?" I ask innocently. You can always tell the waiters who've been around a bit - "We could add a little grenadine to it sir" "Why that would be fantastic" and life just got three steps better.

"Isn't that a Shirley Temple?" I'm asked in hushed or mocking tones. "Absolutely not! A Shirley Temple is Seven Up and grenadine - this is Diet Coke and grenadine - totally different"

"but they're basically the same thing" "Um...the Seven Up is the Un-Cola. I'm ordering a cola - the very opposite of an Un-Cola. This could be described as more of an Un-Shirley Temple than even the drink you just ordered. It's the very antithesis of the Shirley Temple."


And life just got a little better...

Day of blogging II

Positive/Negatives of working the Mongolian Bar BQ

Positive - you get to cook with a huge wooden sword

Negative - it gets pretty hot back there

Positive - you get delicious Mongolian Bag BQ for lunch every day

Negative - it probably gets kind of redundant stirring people's meat and vegetables all day (if you know what I mean)

Positive - You get to act like the Soup Nazi (your bowl, it's too light! Too much sauce! - both of these things were directed towards me as I slumped back to my seat)

Negative - the distinct possibility of burning yourself on the crotch level cooker drum deal

Positive - did I mention the cooking with big wooden swords?

Day of blogging - and my day off...

I'm a fan of second opinions. When my car breaks down, I'll take it to some place that will find the problem with me and give me an estimate on how much it'll cost to fix it. They'll tell me exactly what's wrong and then give me a quote.

I can then call around and tell other garages exactly what's wrong with my car and get quotes from them. It just makes sense.

Sometimes I get frustrated or lazy and just have the first person who looks at it fix it though.

We were having some problems with our garage door opener a few months ago. I called around and got the best price I could find on a new garage door opener. This thing had a keypad entry from the outside, it had a belt drive so it'd be quieter than my chain drive, it had a laser sensor that let me know when my car pulled all the way in.

I was pretty fired up about this new opener. And then I came home to the same old one. Turns out they said we had a bad spring and some bad for the same price as my cool new opener, they replaced the spring and wheels. They said that'd fix everything.

It didn't. Three times I've had to pick one or two of the wheels off the ground. Three times I've had to call the company and have them re-fix the problem.

The last time they came out they said that'd they'd just be back in two days - because we needed a whole new system.

That's system would cost from $600-$800 for a new door and track.


So we called for a second opinion. A friend of ours knows a guy who is retired and just works on things for fun. He came out, saw that all of the hinges that hold the door together were in the wrong spots. He switched them up, moved the track half an inch...charged us $30....and presto-bango - we have a working garage door!

Life is good when you find the right people to help you out in situations like these.

I still don't have the keypad/laser thing yet....someday though, you just watch and wait....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

the best

Yesterday when I was walking through the atrium of the church - Annie, Liz, Jana, Griffin, Parker and Cooper came down the steps.

For the first time in his life, Cooper yelled "dadda!" and ran and gave my legs a hug.

He's smiled when I've come home. He runs to me often. He's said "dadda" on occasion...

This was just a little different...a little better.

I know that people often wonder why God would allow people the choice of following and loving Him or choosing to not be with Him.

I believe that He doesn't want robots. I've seen the difference between Griffin running into the arms of someone and giving them a big 'ol six year old hug...and when he's told to go give everyone a hug and he just goes through the motions.

When my little boy got so excited to see me...and ran to me....that was the best. He's not a robot - he just loves his daddy.

He chooses to. For me that's just the way I want it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Story

I love the story of Peter walking on water. I love it because it's my story.
A bunch of guys saw Jesus walking on water, and Peter asked if he could go out and be by His side.

I remember wanting to be by His side myself. I'd had enough of religious talk and waiting for religious meetings to end - I was interested in the possibility of a relationship.

Peter didn't know what he was doing. He hadn't figured out a way to displace his weight in such a way as to balance himself on the waves. All he knew was that the one who did know what He was doing was out there on the water.

I had no idea what I was doing. Beyond that, I had no ability to be in a right relationship with the God of the Universe. I hear tons of people talk about praying "our prayers go out to your family" but if you talk about prayer like you believe in it - if you talk about prayer outside of church - well you're just wacky.

Peter couldn't walk on water.

I couldn't fix this problem I had - even Mother Theresa said that we've all turned out backs on God in some way...and she was a pretty good little gal. If she wasn't good enough on her own, well maybe we all need help beyond ourselves...

Peter couldn't walk on water - I couldn't fix the relationship.

God did that by paying the price for all my junk.

All Peter could do was lock eyes with Jesus. That's about all I've got going myself.

Because he was focused on Jesus...not religion...not trying to earn his way into Heaven...not counting how many good things he'd done and weighing them against his junk...he just looked at Jesus - because of this - he got to walk on water. Nice....

Peter got out of the boat. I got out of the boat. He took a step of faith...I took a step of faith... I asked God to take all my garbage and forgive me...I told him I wanted to be a follower...and that was my first step...

That's my picture of following Jesus. Getting out of the boat...

Peter probably looked stupid. I definitely do.

He probably didn't care. I definitely do.

He ended up losing his focus and locking in on the storm that came up. That's the story of my life.

He figured it out and cried out for help.

I really think the walk of a mature believer resembles someone who still loses focus, who still gets wrapped up in the storms in our life...but they're just a little quicker to own up to it and to cry out for help.

We all need help.

I definitely do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Simon says...

It'd be great to be Simon.

You say it. People do it. Simple.

If people don't do what you say...or do something that you didn't say....they sit down.

Simple. Understood.

The problem here is that it's great to work with energetic, creative people who go beyond the scope of what you've said. It's great to meet back and hear, "I went ahead and did that project, and while I was at it I noticed that if we loosened the fetzer valve, it made it easier for the flange to be twice as efficient. In fact I re-set all of them fetzer valves."

I like initiative like that when it works out. I applaud people going above and beyond. I just also want to be able to make them sit down if it doesn't work out. "Why would you loosen the fetzer valves? Don't you know that they need to be tight so they won't let any of the argon gas escape!?"

So I want people to do what I say. I want them to go beyond what I say. I also want to yell and scream when their initiative doesn't end up working out.

I would like that piece of cake...and I'd also like to eat it.

Eventually being Simon would get old. People are robots. They only do what you say...and never any more or less. Simon leaves no room for creativity. Simon just barks out orders or tries to trip people up by getting them to do things he never said.

Simon can be a real jerk when you think about it.

That's it, I'm never calling him again...

Monday, December 04, 2006

bitter cold

on a really superficial level, for me the worst five seconds are moments like...

when you first get brain freeze after eating ice cream or drinking a slushi

when you first sit down in a car on a really cold've been walking a bit, and it's really cold...but at least you're moving....and then you sit down in the car and you have nothing to do but sit there and just be cold

when you press play on your DVR to watch a show and see that the first ten minutes are actually the last ten minutes of some other show. The shows are running late because of some game...and that means it'll cut off the last ten minutes of the show you taped.

When you pour a big bowl of cereal and then pour on the milk, and you think you saw a lump...and it smells kind of funny...and you realized that you just wasted all that cereal...and that milk...

When they play America's Funniest Videos and you first hear Tom Bergeron and you realize that this isn't one with Bob Saget hosting

When you say something that you think is funny, nobody laughs...and then you realize that it was kind of insulting...and you just wasted a not funny joke on a group of people that you'll have to apologize to later....and then you'll have to go and teach communications to a group of UC students while wearing elf shoes after that...

When your football team is winning by 5 and they squib kick it with 7 seconds left on the clock...and the other team runs it back for a TD

When my foot cramps and for five seconds I'm paralyzed by the pain...and it's just a foot cramp...

When you've just gone down a hill on a sled with your kid...and it was a lot of fun, but you realize that you now have a crotch full of snow, a crying kid who has a crotch full of snow...and you have to carry yourself, your sled, and your crying kid back up the hill for another round...

when someone calls you and asks what you're doing...but you can tell they're asking because you're not in the meeting you were supposed to go to....and don't really care what you're doing....they're just telling you that you blew it...

That moment when you realize that even though you worked 56 hours last week...and were planning on taking Monday off, you can't because you're speaking to a group of folks who are getting together solely because you're speaking to them....crap!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sony Bravia Paint commercial (NEW!)

35 seconds in...might be my favorite 1 second of any video I've ever watched...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

it's just basic

I think we would all agree that all women like to shop. That's just a given.

Obviously all guys like sports.

Clearly all of my fellow Irish love the beer.

There are just some things that everyone knows. All games are basically the same. You round the board and get to the end. All houses are basically the same - some combination of rooms. All neighborhoods are basically the same - a bunch of people living in their dwellings.

We just know these things....

don't we?


I'm around enough people that are sensitive - really sensitive - that I know that they'll flip if you ever try and lump two people into the same category. Doesn't matter if you can throw facts or statistics at them....they just don't like that. That's ok. There aren't really any "all of ______ are the same" because we've all got our individuality.


So having agreed with the sensitive people (and aren't we all sensitive? assumming Mike isn't reading this)

I hear this often - All religions are the same
All religions are basically the same
All religions teach the same thing
you could boil all religions down to one thing

I think we make broad or sweeping statements about things (games) or people (men...women...those fighting Irish) largely because of one or two instances...or because we haven't seen the other side. I'd say it's because, to some degree, we're limited by our experience or knowledge.

I've seen people with a passing (I go to church every once in a while) tell me that the Bible is full of contradictions -
"really, why don't you show me three" - Tony Campolo (Clinton's pastor)
I've heard people say that all religions are basically the same...and when pressed to show me how four are the same - we usually end up talking about sports.

just something I think is kind of interesting....that's all.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

a few good things

Here are a few things I'd recommend:

1. Rent 'The Big Chill'

2. Read the best chapter C.S. Lewis ever wrote

3. Watch 'The Office'

4. Babysit Griffin and take him to the pool

5. Eat U.D.F.'s Peanut Butter n' Chip ice cream

6. Listen to Dennis Miller's 'Off White Album'

7. Play a round of Frisbee Golf

8. Get Dave Wolfenberger to tell you the Bumper story

9. Resist the urge to buy a hammock

10. Spend $10 on someone you barely know

11. Take a day and only refer to people as "Pal" or "Big Red"

12. Fight apartheid and then kick the crap out of cancer

13. Re-enact the fight scenes from It's a wonderful life in front of your co-workers

14. Ask Jana what's her favorite movie of all time, and then stare up at the top of her head like she's got something horribly wrong with her hair - but keep insisting that you're just listening

15. Ask Dan Z. if he'll play William Tell with you, but you wanna go first

16. Sit next to Steve Fuller at sensitivity training and repeatedly stage whisper, "I told you you shouldn't say that in class" to him throughout the day.

17. Tell everyone that you're great great grandfather invented carpet and ask them if they'd like you to sign theirs.

18. Dress up like Kriss Kross for the day and jump jump

19. Take a sign that says, "Smith" on it to the airport - and give the first person you can find a ride home.

20. House a Festivus room at your church's Christmas party and see who wins the feats of strength.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

all are good

We wrap presents for people at the mall.

a lot of presents....

People ask why we do it - and we're doing it as a practical way to serve/help people. We give away tons of food, clothes, even cars to folks in need....and we happen to believe that helping folks who have some money (and don't necessarily need help with food, clothes or cars) could probably use a nice gesture thrown their way every once in a while too.

I've noticed that the folks who are really invested in giving to the poor (not people who rant about the rich getting richer while people are starving, but don't really give their own time or money to the poor - I'm talking about people who weekly give time/energy/money to helping) have a hard time with folks who spend their time serving others. I've heard people say, "why are we helping those rich people?" It makes sense that their passion is helping the poor, so it's sort of hard for people who are passionate about something to understand why other people aren't as passionate about it.

What I mean by that is I've seen some frustration coming from folks helping out the poor when they see others helping out people who aren't outwardly poor.

I should mention here that I think both are good.

The bottom line is that I know people living in the upper middle class that struggle with self image issues, not feeling loved, being hopeless to the extent that things are really getting bleak....people are hurting all over the place.

Having said that - I don't have to wait until I run into someone who's homeless to help someone out. I can love/serve someone right in my neighborhood or workplace that might be hurting in another way. I can help people out by wrapping a couple of their presents, helping them move, giving them a ride or delivering them a Thanksgiving meal.

all are good

Monday, November 27, 2006

five days 'til the Festivus party

David Letterman to Jerry Seinfeld, "If you're going to fail, do it while you're doing something you love"

That was his advice when Jerry told him he was going to try doing a sitcom.

A friend of mine often quotes Frederick Buechner, “The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

I'm not sure I completely believe either of these - but they sure sound good.

So the next question is - what do you love? or what is your great passion?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I've decided that I have it pretty good in the friends department (right in between sporting goods and the men's shoes departments).

I used to meet once a month with these guys that are three of the smartest/wisest guys I've ever met. We'd sit around and debate things that I often thought were silly...and then someone would take the "silly" side and show me why it wasn't so silly. These guys genuinely cared for me and it was great just hanging out with them -even when we weren't solving the world's problems. One of these guys now lives in North Carolina, one in Kentucky, one in Dayton...and now I'm back from Pennsylvania.

So today our southern friend is in town and we're all having a 2 1/2 hour lunch together. I'm meeting them in four hours and I feel a little like Griffin does the day before his birthday party...I'm just sitting around waiting.

I've made some good friends since I've moved back to Ohio - I made some good friends in Pennsylvania - I have some good friends that live here in Cincinnati - some in Columbus - you get the point...

One of the the greatest things to happen since I've moved to Cinci is one of my best friends started working with me. I used to see him about once a month because we live a half hour away from each other, both have three kids - and both are bad at making time to see each other. Now I walk into his office and interrupt one of his meetings about 7 times a day (and just plain walk into his office another dozen or so). I get to have lunch with one of my favorite people a couple of times a's really pretty awesome. Another bonus is that one of my other all time favorites works about ten minutes away so we get to have lunch with him about once a week or so.

My cup runneth over (the friends cup that I keep in my dishwasher because I'm always either drinking it or cleaning it...because it's always running over).

It's great that I get to see good friends today. It's great that I get to work with new friends and old. It's great that I have friends so close. None of it compares to the fact that I get to live with my all time best friend.

Life gets busy and our lives get messy - but the bottom line is that she's the best and I couldn't find a better gal to make me laugh and share my life with....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

this is about you...and you know who you are

Every couple of days I'll write something that will result in a phone call and four e-mails saying, "I know I'm being paranoid, but was that about me?"

Here's the secret - it was.

That one thing I wrote about you clubbing baby seals, and that being bad...that was about you Feve Stuller.

The person who steals from the Red Cross - you know who you are -you lawyer in Dayton.

You're ok with punching old ladies and stealing their socks? I'm not so sure - girl who teaches in Tallawanda.

Struggle with stealing from the rich and giving to the even know who you are - wanna be pilot in training ex-wrestler guy.

If you wondered if the thing I wrote about the guy who carves out pumpkins into sadistic mask like configurations, burns a candle and sticks it into the skull like container he's just fashioned....I'm talking about you Mr. poet/artist in State College fella

Several people inspired my blog about howI think it's wrong to speak in pig latin and convince people that pigs actually spoke latin throughout the 19th century. I'd rather not say who did that, let's just call them the nameless heads of a cult that houses a compound of devotees in Clifton.

Follow Chuck Norris around with a group of friends armed with beard clippers and a jar of ether? It's time to fess up - mono-browed bass-playing, father of two in Columbus...

The bottom line is that most of my blogs were inspired by you - the person now reading this blog (and I think we both know who I'm talking about here...)

Monday, November 20, 2006

makes sense on paper

I see things as black and white, right and wrong, logical and non-logical. That's just how I roll.

So it bugs me when I see something that makes so much sense on paper, but it doesn't work. I tend to make quick decisions because that's how my brain works, I'm incredibly impatient, or I like to get cranking on solutions before the problem gets worse.

It drives me nuts when decisions are made that are politically motivated, not very logical or just plain wrong. Some people focus on superficial issues that shouldn't even be a part of the decision. Some ignore major issues that should drive the decision. Some just argue the other side so they can either "win" or stir things up.

All of these drive me crazy.

Having said that - I get hung up on things that I'm so sure are right...and turn out to be wrong. I'm not sure how to get over the fact that occasionally I make bad decisions. Most of the time it's a snap decision that didn't play out the way I thought it would. I'd like to turn on the "patient" switch and think things through for hours and hours...but I can't find it.

I hear that love is patient, kind....and a bunch of other things. I always have wondered if it was listed first as being patient for a reason???

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cuckoo for cocoa puffs

how ridiculous is this?

I get into a situation where I can just predict what the person is going to say. I know based on how well I know this person that they'll react to something a certain way, I'll have a whole list of reasons about why they're either wrong or just being a hypocrite...

and I'll stew in that

and I'll get mad at them

because I just know how they'll react

I literally get mad at them for how I THINK they'll react

and I'll just let it burn....

Some poor soul comes into an interaction with me and can't figure out why I'm mad at them.

It's because of something they didn't say to me...that's why.

How insane is it to get mad at someone because I think they'll say or do something....because I've already had the conversation in my mind and I'm mad at what they said in my imagination?

somebody needs a mental vacation...

Thursday, November 16, 2006



take Griffin to wrestling practice

The Office

That's my typical recipe for a Thursday. Work is good, but sometimes kind of annoying. I love wrestling, but these guys are really new to the sport...and the wrestling room smells kind of like a drawer full of used socks. It's just more noticeable when you're not wrestling or coaching. When you're in the room dressed like a dad who's just there to observe, you really notice that smell...and the heat.

Jim comes back to the Office tonight. I've missed Jim. Oh sure he's had little clips from the other office, but it's not the same. We need him to roll his eyes and smile when Dwight says something awesome. You can't get that from an office in another state. Tonight starts the love triangle on the Office. Jim can't just date Pam because they're both single. He's gotta start dating the new girl that comes over from the other office.

He'll break up with her during the last episode of this season...and you'll thin he's going to finally date Pam (see Friends, Cheers, Ed, BJ & The Bear, American Idol...).

It takes a little of the fun out when you know what's going to happen.

I wonder how this Thursday will surprise me?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taking it for granted

Sometimes I forget how great I have it. I get frustrated by silly things at work and forget how much I missed this church when I was away from it for awhile. I forget that they feed over 1,000 families a month, help prisoners coming home, help build wheel chair ramps, fix houses, sent a ton of people, supplies and money to New Orleans for hurricane relief, counsel folks thinking of getting married or thinking of getting a divorce.

We get folks who have been abused coming to us for help...and we're set up to help them. We give tens of thousands of dollars of stuff away to people around the city because we're sick of saying, "it's better to give than to receive" followed by nothing...

A Vineyard pastor stopped on the highway to help someone who was stranded. He ended up going to the gas station to see if he could borrow a gas can. They told him he'd have to buy it, and when he pulled out his wallet they saw his Vineyard card. "I knew you went to the Vineyard, they're always helping people out around here"

I get to work for that place.

Over 1,000 people have applied for jobs there just since I've started a little over a year ago. I've met over a dozen people that applied for my job. How silly is it for me to forget how great I've got it?

That's what I do...I forget. I focus on the stupid stuff. I get wrapped up in the tediousness of the everyday grind.

I forget.

I'll try and not do that today...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The comparison game

Aren't comparisons grand?

I love it when I hear that someone was arrested for something like shop lifting and they yell out, "you're going to arrest me for stealing a shirt while there are rapists and murderers out there?!". You hear people grumble the same thing when they're pulled over for speeding. Can you imagine the cop saying, "you're right, go ahead and take the sweater...keep on driving 80 in a school zone...I'm going to go capture me some murderers!"?

You hear it all the time. People get in trouble for something and they'll say, "but what about the person who did this awful thing....that's so much worse". Yes it you've both done something wrong.

In sports they'll complain when caught doing something bad about someone else who got away with doing the same thing. They don't claim to be innocent, they're just mad that someone else was allowed to be bad.

We compare everything good and bad. We love it. It gives us a point of reference. It allows us to figure out how we're comparison.

We compare everything good and bad. We hate it. It forces us to live up to other's expectations based on unrealistic standards set in a different era with slightly different circumstances.

There's just no winning for losing...

Monday, November 13, 2006


This is Ohio State Michigan week. This is a game so big that I might not be able to watch it around other people. I care too much about it to have idle chit chat happening all around me. I'll walk, pace and throw things in the general direction of the tv.

Here's the thing though...I might not watch it. I get to be a part of something we do at my church called Turkeyfest. We take 400 Turkey dinners to people's homes that might not otherwise be able to afford it.
We don't make them come to us. We don't line them up and ladel food onto their plates. We give them the food so that they, in turn, can provide a meal for their friends and family.
It's really a great thing - and as big as the OSU-Michigan game is - this is way better.

So if I miss the game...I miss the game. ...

Friday, November 10, 2006


going to work in a couple of minutes....14 hours later I'll leave work. That's my day today.

Tomorrow is better. I get to see some family, go to Griff's birthday party and then hang out until 5:30...and then head back to work for three more hours.

Sunday shakes out a little differently. I'll get there at 8 and leave at 12:30...and then work that night from 5 - 8:30ish.

It's just hours piled up right now. Hopefully I'll fully engage once I get there. I have six different projects or things to focus on, so that'll keep it fresh. It's hard not to look at it as another weekend where I'll barely be home.

It's hard not to focus on the hours.

I don't want to just work a job.

I don't want to count hours.

I want to live out a calling. I want to focus on what I'm passionate about.

I want to live these next 72 hours and not keep a checklist of things I have to do and things I'm done doing...

I'm going to try and live these out with expectancy, a sense of urgency and lock in on the reasons why I believe in the things I'm doing.

And then I'm going to dance, dance, dance!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


It's funny how much I take electricity for granted. Not like laugh out loud, wait until I tell everyone at work about how hilarious that was funny... I guess it's just more interesting than funny.

Our power went our a little before 7 this morning. No tv. No computer. Be careful opening the fridge. No phone. No digital clocks, microwaves or lamps.

Our kid's breakfasts are very toaster or microwave friendly. My morning usually starts with a quick post on the 'ol blog. I like to have light on in the bathroom when I shower.

I thought I was escaping into the electric world when I left for work. That quickly became an obstacle when I realized that my garage door opener wouldn't allow me to get out without power.

Today I learned that I love electricity. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. That's why I love the show Ed now more than I probably obsessed over it when it was on. That's why it's so easy to focus on the things I loved about Pennsylvania and my last job - even though it was so hard to focus on those things when I was there.

I take things for granted. I just do. I probably need to stop and smell the sweet sweet smell of coffee (a much better smell than roses).

I'm going to appreciate my electricity filled office today. I'll enjoy the fact that I get to choose what I'm going to eat for lunch, projects I'll work on, and objectives I get to strive towards that I really do care about.

Oh sweet sweet I so love you.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I gotta be honest here...

In this season of scandal, politics, and war I've had a chance to think through some things and I've come to some pretty hard conclusions. I definitely don't want to start a battle with any major corporation and I hesitate to say this....but the McDonaldland figures kind of freak me out.

Clowns freak me out to start with, so Ronald is just a Whopper hating freak in my way of thinking. The Hamburgler is a thieving malcontent that steals from the rich and poor alike with no thought to the potential repercussions. And that we don't know who you are, you dolt!

And what's with Mayor McCheese and his superior attitude? Who really wears a sash everyday? I know this, I didn't vote for you.

The fry guys are a bunch of carnie side show attractions and the only redeeming character I can point to is Grimace. It's a perfect description of what I do whenever I see these guys prancing around their precious McDonalds.

There. I said it. It's time I moved on...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I wonder...

I wonder why guys wearing tuxedo's tend to walk around with both hands in their pockets so much? Watch a guy in jeans and a t-shirt walk down the street sometime. He'll just be walking with his hands to his side. If he's wearing a tux, he'll have the front of his jacket off to the sides and both hands in his pockets. What's that all about?

I wonder if Diddy will remember to vote today?

I wonder if the winner of the New York City Marathon had to compete in the Tour De France, if they'd say it was the toughest thing they've ever done?

I wonder when Stomp moved into my neighborhood and decided to have their on the street rehearsals at 5 AM?

I wonder if Studio 60 will get cancelled?

I wonder what's in my house that causes my kids to get so sick so often?

I wonder why Ohio State always plays so poorly against Penn State and Illinois?

I wonder how ridiculous it would be if someone put together a white entertainment television (WET) station? Or a white coaches of America association? NAAWP?

I wonder why my back hurts so much right now?

I wonder why Fox catches so much slack when every survey taken since 1962 has shown that the vast majority of journalists have taken the side of the Democrats in every election (even Mondale). I wonder if the same people were up in arms over the New York Times and their balanced views? NBC? CBS? ABC? It's interesting to see they know the political leanings of every newspaper and network - but now there's a network that leans the other way...and people freak out (just watch the comments).

I wonder why the Pirates can't put together a winning season?

I wonder why my lawn looks like there was some sort of rugby scrum that took place in the back yard.

I wonder where bagpipe players practice?

I wonder what I'll have for lunch?

These are the things I seem to be wondering about about you?

Monday, November 06, 2006

the round mound of rebound

In one interview Charles Barkley said:
I've joked about running for Governor before, but I'm really going to do it now.

I've lost around $10 million gambling. I bring about $50 million with me, so it's ok.

We need to stop this divide between the rich and the poor.

How could I screw up Alabama any worse than it already is?

I honestly believe that people will still vote for him...

I just read an interview with a famous local athlete who was talking about his kids being a top priority. One of his kids lives in Florida and one in California.
He sees them "every once in a while".
He's playing to "secure their future".
He owns 5 cars and lives by himself.

My best guess is that he's driving these cars around to make sure they're in ten years he can drive one to California and one to Florida and secure his kid's future by giving them cars.

Who says athletes aren't role models?

also in the world of sports, Fuller beat me in ping pong...repeatedly

Friday, November 03, 2006

Brian Regan

I'm forced to consider the question - should a great stand up comedian tour with a really bad one...and end up looking that much better in the process?

That's sort of what I saw last night. The night started with the single greatest comedic act since Gallagher discovered the sledge hammer. This man was to comedy was Hasselhoff is to half buttoned shirts. He was the thinking man's answer to Dan Rather. He was clever, witty and just when you thought he was all about the verbals...he'd do a little side step, shuffle and make turkey fingers appear on top of his head.

You read that last line right. People paid a bunch of money to see the first comedian of the night (name escapes me....because God loves me) take his hand and put it on top of his head and stick up four fingers to make it look like a goofy hat or turkey feathers. And then he'd make a little "peep" kind of noise.

He was flown in for this performance.

He performed in front of a crowd of thousands.

For 20 spirit crushing minutes he had the general attention of all these people...and was probably paid four figures.

Brian Regan came out and you would have thought you were watching the single greatest comedian of all time. It was like watching the newly re-formed Culture Club open up for U2 when B.B. King is making a special appearance singing "when loves comes to town" with Bono.

It was like eating a baked peanut butter and ketchup sandwich before they brought out the Beef Wellington.

It was like playing putt putt in some parking lot that has worn out green carpeting right before you play 18 at Winged Foot.

You get the point....I'm just thrown a little by how this guy ever saw the stage.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Save Darfur

I'm good thanks

quick note to Ted Strickland:

Ted, I get it. You're running for Governor. I saw your commercials, ads and got your e-mail....and then I started getting 3 a day for the last few weeks. I know that you really want the job. I know you've raised a crazy amount of campaign money. I know you've been in Congress since the early 90's. Apparently you love kids, God, people and the good 'ol U.S. of A.

You really don't have to send me any more e-mails. Nobody else is, so you're winning 73-0 on the e-mail race.

I sort of thought I was good after one.

thanks though - I don't get nearly enough unsolicited e-mail. I should mention that there's a rich prince in a far off land that has millions of dollars that he'd like to deposit in my account if I'd be so good as to send him my bank account number. If I get those millions, I promise to give you $10,000 for every e-mail and spend the rest on male enhancement pills, hair growth pills, online gambling, and all the people who would like me to verify my ebay and paypal accounts.

thanks for the notes,
your buddy,

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

sound the alarm

So we had a nice dinner/evening with the Alexander family, followed by getting the kids to bed..and then waking up to Griff in our bed throwing our the middle of the night.

That's the all time worst alarm clock.

The second worst alarm clock is waking up to, "Sean! Get up! You missed your _______!"

The third is, "Hey, you've got to see this! Gallagher is about to squish the watermelon!"

So I'm a little tired right now. I couldn't get back to sleep and you need that I hear.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mr. Fix Everything

I was watching House this morning (on my DVR from the House-a-thon) and at some point the four doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with the patient.

Keep in mind - every episode starts with an obvious problem that House doesn't want to deal with. He then figures out that things aren't quite what they appear to be, he takes the case, guesses wrong, insults people and then right before they do a major procedure he storms in, gives the patient some sort of shot, everybody yells, "what are you doing? that will kill them!" and then the patient gets better.

Anyhow, I was watching the show and I caught myself trying to figure out the problem.

Here is my medical expertise.
1. You should ice most things that hurt.
2. People tend tend to put heat on things because it might feel better, but it's often making things worse (see rule #1)
3. Aspirin fixes just about everything.
4. you should apply pressure to whatever is bleeding

The patient on the show I was watching had the black plague. I seriously tried to figure out the problem while watching...

I have a problem. You know how when you're 22 you feel like you have the answer to every problem? Every person that's been around longer, has a little wisdom, and disagrees with you just doesn't get it? Everything is black and white?

I still think that way...often.

I can't solve every problem, and that sort of bugs me. I don't know everything, and that drives me nuts.

I can't stop.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random Murph

I never type lol because I rarely laugh out loud. I'm more of a LIUDTHBS (laughing inside unless Dave's telling his Bumper story).

I was just given back something that I had written by the editor with the note, "Sean, this is fine!" and thought that it should either read, "this is awesome!" or "this is fine" but fine probably shouldn't be followed by an exclamation point. I'm guessing that she meant to say, "that was the single greatest article that I've ever had the pleasure to read!" or something like that...

Today is bring your dog to work day...I'm guessing this will end up being referred to as a terrible, terrible idea never to be repeated. I'm suggesting we make next Tuesday Bring your Dawg to work day. I'd probably bring Dan, because he's my dawg!

This is kind of fun....and so is this....and this.....and this

Interesting and this...

a couple of more if you're still reading this and still reading

I just keep reading these

My computers not really working today, so rather than type anything with some sort of cohesive thought - I just keep restarting this thing and adding random musings....

maybe I ought to just go to my meeting....

one last one - or maybe not - computer won't let me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm rich!?

If I lived in Florida and mowed 3 lawns a week throughout the year, I'd make $3,120 ($20 per lawn, but I do a good job) If I was 15 and mowed 3 lawns a week, I'd be in the top 14.74% richest people in the world.

If I was making $6/hour and working 40 hours a week, I'd make more than 87% percent of the world. You could make an argument that I was rich. We just don't look at it that way. I know that I'm personally used to living in a home that's way bigger than I need. We have two cars, three tv's, air conditioning, heat, electricity, indoor plumbing, an awesome cardboard cut out of Jerome Bettis and a two car garage.

Can you imagine going somewhere where they have to walk 7 miles to get water that's probably contaminated and telling the locals that you have indoor housing for your car? As they're splitting a 4 oz. glass of dirty water you could explain to them that you give your lawn gallons of water every week and you're using water to clean your car.

"Your car gets water to stay clean and then lives indoors?" "Yup, I'm in the top 10% of the world's richest people!" "And that's how you spend your money?" "Yup"

It's strange to me how jealous we get of rich people and all the stuff they have. Last year in the movies and on tv, rich guys were the go-to bad guys. There was a group that actually went back and tracked the characters on tv and on film and identified the profile for your typical bad guy. Apparently, he's a 30-something, rich, white guy. They are awful, awful people.

It's easy to point to them and say they're not doing much.
Here are a couple of questions I have for you:

How many tv's do you have (do you have more than one for every person in the house?)

How many square feet do you have to live? How many feet per person living there?(Pre-World War II the average house was the size of a three car garage)

Do you spend more on clothes and travel than you do on helping to prevent disease or poverty?

What percentage of your income do you freely give to those in need?

What percentage of your income do you spend on cable, movies, the internet and your entertainment?

Is there any chance Fuller could score double digits against me in ping pong?

Do you spend more money eating out or helping others to feed their families?

Maybe it's time to stop pointing the finger at others?
Maybe I'm part of the problem?

How are you doing?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I read Sports Illustrated because I'm incredibly smart. Oh sure you might read Dostoevski, Kant and Geisel....but me, I like to handle the heavy lifting.

I ran a little behind in my reading (who can keep up with the one magazine a week pace?) and, as I often do, I read the predictions for the upcoming football games after the fact.

There's a guy who picks who will win games. He's the expert at the most successful sports magazine of all time. He makes a living by studying film, stats, game conditions, and momentum. He's batting around 500.

Griffin is a five year old kid that lives with me and occasionally walks by the tv when I'm watching a game. Typically he'll ask, "can I watch a cartoon?" Griffin is right around 500 in predicting who will win the games.

This past week Sports Illustrated pointed out the players you should definitely start and definitely bench for you fantasy football team.

They said that you should definitely bench a certain wide receiver that ended up having 3 touchdowns and 40 fantasy points (7 or 8 is an average game).

They said you should definitely bench a quarterback who ended up having 4 touchdowns and 45 points (10-15 is pretty average).

I guess that's one of the problems with being an expert or a leader of something. You have to put your neck out there and give your opinions. As soon as you're wrong, some drop dead good looking blogger out in Ohio is going to point out your mistakes to the whole world (or at least 2/3rds of the English speaking world who probably read, copy and frame his blog)

So is it worth it to be a leader? Is it worth it to lead the way with your opinions? Wouldn't it be safer to just be a second in command type of fella?

With great risk comes great.....?

I think it's probably worth taking some shots at the end zone...what about you?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

it's a new day

I was asked what my all time favorite sitcom was last night. The first show that popped to mind was Ed - and then I was told that Ed wasn't a sit com.

My first thought was that it was clearly a comedy. I'm guessing that most people wouldn't list it as a situation comedy because it was an hour long. Thirty minutes equals sitcom, 60 equals a drama. A rules a rule.

There were plenty of episodes that were pretty romantic and/or full of drama. I'm just not sure that that makes it a dramedy.

MASH was on the 100 greatest shows of all time and listed as a sitcom. It was as hard hitting as any show and touched on social and political topics much like All in the Family (another of the 100 greatest shows and comedies of all time)

On Friends there were certainly a bunch of episodes that dealt with romance and drama.

Seinfeld was just pure comedy...and genius.

Eventually I just said The Office because it'd be hard to argue against what might possibly be the greatest comedy of all time.

Here's the thing - it's now my second favorite show on tv.

I loves me some Studio 60. It's just a great show. They push their political views through subtle and not so subtle jabs. They're a bit obvious on some points. There's certainly the typical formulaic pace of the show and you know the guy that loves/hates the girl is going to almost get back together with her on the last episode....but it's still the best show I watch each week.

I know, I know...I've only watched one episode of 24. I had a bunch of people tell me that I wouldn't get it - and I was shocked that there was a blonde main guy that was chased by bad guys with guns....and somehow I was able to figure out that the guys wearing dark clothes who were always giving sinister looks were the bad guys. Anyhow, if you like helicopters and car's probably a great show.

I've never watched Lost. I had two free nights a week when that show started...and no tivo. I haven't rented the first season, nor do I have any great desire to do so. There's plenty out there to keep me entertained.

Monday, October 23, 2006


You can now buy a digital camera with a built in slimming feature.

I wonder if friends would see a picture and say, "wow, you sure are fat in real life....but look at how great you look on film!"

I had an idea years ago for what I thought would be a great product. I wanted to produce day timers that already had the dates filled in. You'd have on Monday, "meeting about the Johnson account" and on Tuesdays, "finish the Marconi report and begin preliminary plans on the east coast range accounting"

This way any time someone asked you if you could meet with them, you'd pull out your daytimers and ask, "what day works for you?". As soon as they named a date, they'd see you flip to that on your calendar....only to say, "sorry, I'm in Buffalo watching my kids in some dance recital. I really wish I could make it"

This would solve people's need to look busy (ergo - important) and also get them out of meetings they don't want to attend. The best thing that could happen would be that you pull out your daytimer and say, "well on that date I've got this regional conference, but I'll get out of it and we can meet" You then make them feel important and you get extra credit for skipping something to meet with them.

Ultimately I decided that this was a fun idea, but about as deceitful and silly as a camera that took pictures of you the way you wish you were...and not how you actually are.

Friday, October 20, 2006

flat tax

I get that flat taxes aren't completely fair, because you'll still have people paying much more for the same amount of government services.

I'd like to propose a flat tax on all of our time. Each of us has to give the government 15 percent of our spare time. If you work 40 hours a week, you have to spend 15 percent of the remaining 128 hours (or 19.2 hours) directing traffic, filing papers for the IRS, digging ditches, filling in pot holes, fighting fires....

This will please the socialists (as if that's possible) because everyone starts out with an equal amount of time. If someone works longer hours, they're rewarded by getting a little more money in their paycheck...and don't have to work towards their "tax time" as much.

You work 50 hours - you only owe the government 17 hours of work. You work 60 hours - you owe less...

It'd be interesting to see who then starts fighting for lower taxes.