Monday, July 31, 2006

Scam's Club

So you pay $30 to get a chance to shop here?
Why don't they charge me $30 to shop anywhere else?
um....because here we sell you things in great big quantities at prices you just can't beat!
I can beat them
no you can't

I can get 24 cans of pop for $6.59 here. I can get 24 cans of pop at the gas station across the street for $5

But can you buy a tree house over there?
No, can I buy gas here?
no, but can you buy 5 pounds of bacon there ?
no, but I can buy it at Krogers for the same price and I don't have to buy a second fridge to store the stuff I buy over there.

I keep wanting Sam's club to be great. I have a membership card through work (which is the only way I'd get one) It's the only place between work and home that will sell milk, paper towels or bananas. It drives me nuts to go out of my way to pick stuff up we need for dinner...and having a membership to a store just seems wrong.

I know that aspirin is cheaper there. It's so much cheaper that I can see myself having a conversation with someone saying, "you can buy tons of aspirin at Sam's for half the price" and there will be another convert. People just seem to assume that things are cheaper there because you pay to walk in the place and their stuff is in really big packages.

They're going to charge me not to bag my groceries? So I have to bring my own, or take 37 trips from my car to my kitchen?

All for $30 a year...

Friday, July 28, 2006

what to do what to do?

So we're hosting a block party today - that's good.
It's rainy outside with a 70% chance of thunderstorms - that's bad.

If it clears up, we can load up a lot of heavy stuff and go out and work really hard - that's worth it.

If it stays like this, we will load up a lot of heavy stuff and go out there and keep asking, "so you think this is going to clear up?" - that's awfull

So it'd be great to give hotdogs, snow cones and free games to kids that can't afford a day like this...but it's so much work only to have it cancelled. It's also a bit of a stretch to wear this particular shade of yellow and not be leading the Tour de France. (our Cincy Kids t-shirt)

That's the rub. Sometimes doing stuff that can help others- takes work...and still doesn't end up working out.

I guess I should go start loading up the trailer.

guest blogging today....Annie Murphy

Well, there is quite a bit of pressure heaped on me at this point knowing the likes of Sean, Steve and Dan may read this. It may take several hours to get this written between diapers, crying and getting food. And taking care of my kids too, ah ha ha, see what I did there?

I feel like this could be my big shot at responding to all the posts I've never commented on and prove that I am always right, people should think like me and I have figured out the world. But I fear I may be labeled ethnocentric, egocentric and fanatical so we will go with...

I have learned over the years that I love lobster, irises, laughing until no sound comes out, I have freakishly good hearing, I am moody (I am in a good mood now so I can say that), and I have good friends. Great friends, no incredible, fiercely devoted, sacrificing, generous, dog loyal friends. I have also learned for years and years I had no idea what "friend" meant. I used friend when I should have used acquaintance or contact. I would comment on how "____ is a great friend" or "awww, I love her" and Sean would respond "Have you even met her?" I realized in my brain, I really think I am best friends with all these people. I have learned that when I meet someone and feel connected, I am eager to pursue that new person. I want to spend my time with her and get to know her and get into her brain. Maybe I need to learn I am a stalker or a bit psychotic. I also learned I didn't have a real friend until I was 22. I had people who I knew and hung out with and did illegal things with. But when something hard came into the relationship, I jumped ship, or walked the plank into aloneness. I had no idea what it meant to be a friend, to have a friend and especially what it meant to fight for a friendship. In the last several years, I have learned that it is ok to say I love you, ok to confront, ok to say that something hurt me.

---Hang on, Cooper just got my gum out of the trash and I have a little mess to clean up.---

So I saw on some news show yesterday that the typical American has 9 friends to which I thought it would be 90! But again with the confusing acquaintance and friend. The average friendship is 3 years. The average age difference between friends is 5 years. The average person feels they have 0-1 best friends. I was flummoxed (I love that word). I honestly feel like I have 50 friends, granted I call them friend and they might remember my face. I have 7 best friends, three mid 20's, three in their 50's and one my age in 2 different states and 5 different towns. In addition to my girlfriends, I have the best, most creative, passionate, funny, loving, smart husband who is an incredible father and friend.

Because of all of this, I am more convinced of this than anything else, that we are just not meant to do this life alone. We are created to be in relationships, to love, to encourage and to receive. People do not get healthier the more alone they are. Healthy people don't aspire toward isolation.

As I began to learn friendship maintenance, I began to feel like I understand a little better things about my friendship with Jesus. I saw that there are things that I need to do, expect and give and through that began to experience life and life to the fullest. (John 10:10) So before I say go find a friend, know that honestly these are words I never would have thought I'd write. I am a person who cherishes aloneness and quiet. I am not at all one who meets people easily or comfortably. There was a period of time that I didn't even want to leave the house so friendships just weren't priority. I am such a huge believer in being mentally healthy and believe that friends are a huge prescription for that. I really wish everyone could have and be the friends that I have.

So, who is your best friend and why?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

just wondering

I joined a health club the other day with a friend. We both filled out our applications. We both signed up for the full service. The thing is, he makes more money than me and they ended up charging him $25 more a month than me.

We both have access to the exact same machines, pool, racquetball courts and gym. He might not every use the pool...doesn't matter...he still pays for the pool. I might live there...doesn't matter, I don't pay any more. We both just pay once a month, no matter how much we use or don't use the club.

They just charge him more because he makes more.

Does that seem fair?

He pay 3% of his monthly salary, and I pay 1%.

You could argue that we should both pay 2%, but that's not really fair either. We'd still both have access to the same things. His 2% would be more than my 2%...and why should he pay more for the same thing?

You could argue that he can pay more, so why shouldn't he? But that just seems like the club is sticking it to him because they can.

Maybe they're jealous that some people have more money....and why shouldn't they pay more if they have the money? That just seems a little off to me. Maybe they see it as the right thing to do...but then they'd be making a moral decision for him, and I'm not sure they can regulate morality.

The whole situation just seems a little strange....although it's not that hard to figure out the motivation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

just a fan

Fan is short for fanatic - right?

I hear that being a fan is good, but being a fanatic is bad.

If you go to church and say you believe something, "I'm Lutheran" that's good. If you're a religious fanatic (meaning, you really believe something and it affects your life) that's bad.

If you don't like fur because it's mean, that's good.
If you don't eat meat, wear leather or snake skin boots...well you're a fanatic, and that's bad.

It seems like if you kind of believe something...then that's ok. Lots of people show up at church once a week, drop 3 dollars in the collection plate, and bow their heads when they pray. That's ok. Even when the preist/pastor/rabbi is saying that God is God and we can talk to Him through prayer from the main stage...well that's ok.

Tell people you talk to God...they'll look at you a little funny. "But you were bowing your head too....when we were praying in church last week!" Tell them you read the Bible every day and they might wonder if you're a "Bible thumper"

"but if this book is true, it's life changing. Doesn't it make sense that I'd read it and have it affect how I live?" "Yeah, if you're one of those religious fanatics" "but it's just saying the same kinds of things they say at your church" "Yeah, but I just go there once a week" "But you have a big 'ol Bible on that shelf" "Yeah, but I don't read it!"

"So you believe that there's a God and that we should be connected to Him....every seven days?"

that's when you go from religious fanatic to Holy roller....still not sure what that one means...

It seems like if you believe that fur is mean, you'd also believe that leather is not very sweet either. And eating a burger is carnage. Wouldn't that also be true? Killing animals for fur coat is the same thing as killing them for steak and purses...(I'm not signing people up for Peta by the way...I'm just typing away while my sausage is cooking) Fur being mean is a nice little stance to take...but to give up burgers and leather belts? That's just crazy. That's fanatical.

Showing up at church is a nice thing to do...but to change your day to day life because of a relationship with God, that'd just be silly.

what am I, a fanatic...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


There's a lot of pressure on this day. My friend Paul starts working with me in about an hour. He's worked for over a decade for Hamilton County, but today you'll find him at Vineyard Community Church.

I asked him to apply for the job for a couple of reasons. He's way over-qualified for the job...and I think those are the best kinds of people to hire. I've never understood the concept of not hiring someone because they're too experienced? smart? good?

It's one thing to beg your friend to apply for a job. It's the whole next level when he fills out an application, writes a resume, turns his stuff in alongside dozens and dozens of other people, gets interviewed a couple of times, gets offered the job, then leaves the job where he was Hamilton County Employee of the Year and had some serious seniority...and comes to work with us.

So if this doesn't work out, I'm pretty sure that Carrie Smiley is going to try and kick my teeth in. I say "try" because....who are we kidding? I would own her.

This has to work out. Not only for the sake of the Smileys....but also to convince a certain young bearded chap to come on board and help us in some capacity.

So, as you see the new signs, posters, brochures, luggage tags and door mats at the Vineyard - you'll know they are there because of our new communications director - Paul.

Monday, July 24, 2006

seeing stars

I was reading a magazine that was talking about creative ways to reach out to people (feed them, help them out, take care of them in some way...). They were trying to capture new ideas and came up with a trophy for best original actual trophy for best events, ideas, etc. The entry fee is $50.00 per entry. How awkward is it that you have to spend $50 to try and win an award for yourself?

It's a great deal - start an award show, market to people who want to put trophies on their shelves, and charge them more money to apply than the trophies cost. I can't really imagine taking pen to paper and writing in to this company asking them to take my fifty dollars and consider giving me a trophy for this great idea I had 4 months ago.

I love seeing celebrity's win an award and then talk about how the award isn't really a big deal....they don't really care about awards...knowing that they actually applied to be considered for the award.

I remember when I first heard that you actually have to apply for...and PAY for your walk of fame star. (the one that sits in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

I've heard the speeches, "it's quite an honor to be thought of in the same breath as Wesley Snipes, Vanna White, Judge Judy, Lassie, Daffy Duck, Keanu Reeves" (they all have stars)

You have to pay $15,000 to get your star....

talk about paying your dues.

I wonder how much money I'd pay to get noticed? I own a Ford Windstar miniature ok house in an ok neighborhood...I spend zero dollars on tanning....but then I spend a few minutes every morning typing one of these. So maybe I'm not spending a lot of money to get noticed, but a decent amount of time.

Maybe I ought to put my time into making some money so I can buy a star on a sidewalk in Hollywood?

Friday, July 21, 2006

big day

Big day in the Murphy household. Today we receive a 3/4 horsepower, belt drive garage door opener with remote keypad, laser light indicator to let you know when you've pulled in far enough (our old system was watching to see when the lawn mower started moving) and a motion detector light.

Griff is constantly going out the garage door to play with the neighbors or on his scooter. In the old days (Tuesday) he'd hit the button, crank up that weak 1/2 horsepower chain drive garage door opener - waking Coop, Parker, Rich Franklin and disturbing passing traffic on 75.

That extra quarter of a horse is going to make all the difference. Who'd want a half a horse opening their garage door...that'd just freak people out.

Today is a new day. The old will be gone and the new will come. Sure I'd feel a little more manly if I was actually installing the opener. The problem is that I grew up in a family that fixed everything with a phone. This has cost me tens of thousands of dollars over the years in auto repair, home repair, bike repair and one file cabinet on wheels.

I bought the files on wheels doo hickey for $20. As I was putting it together - one of the wheels broke. I was faced with either shoving everything back in the box and driving it back to the store...but I figured I'd just fix it myself. So I glued it. That didn't work. Then I melted a plastic spoon to create a plastic weld. Apparently that doesn't really work either. I put some duct tape on it....some medical tape....all for naught.

I ended up spending abour $43 on this $20 file on wheels thing.

Today I will spend a bunch more than that so my 5 year old can get his scooter out and play with's a big day in the Murphy household.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

America has talent?

So dinner for 9 last night turned into two babies with fevers (102.5 and a pedestrian 99). Much more crying than we originally planned for with dinner. Taking the opportunity to catch up on the theater, I turned on the television only to find this lineup:
ABC - The One - Making a Music Star
CBS - Rock Star Supernova
NBC - America's Got Talent
FOX - So You Think You Can Dance

Creativity is officially dead. The new worst job in Hollywood is to be a writer. (just down from -Trims Wolf Blitzer)
ABC is trying to rip off American Idol
CBS is trying to rip off American Idol
NBC is ripping off...Star Search? Every high school talent show?
FOX is trying to make American Idol into a dance thing

All you have to do is audition people, film it, and then have people call in and vote - voila - all that's left to do is sit back and count your money.

Now they don't even go after folks with the most talent. On Last Comic Standing they left some great comedians at home opting instead for a diverse cast that would create some crazy shenanigans in the house for the "reality" part of the show. Turns out people stopped watching it and the show lasted about four episodes.

All of this is happening while they're canceling shows like Ed, Love Monkey and Northern Exposure (ok, that one's been gone for awhile now)

Let's bring back the situation comedy. Perhaps they could come out with one about a group of grad students all trying to find their way amidst the daily grind of teaching classes, finding love and grading papers. There would be a recurring gag about the goofy guy that offered to not sleep with a teacher if they gave him an A. At some point they could steal every Urban Legend about things that have happened on college campuses. This thing is practically writing itself.

I'd do it, but I'm off to watch Hasselhoff tell someone they aren't talented...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What's up?

Does anyone know what's going on in the world? Should I listen to talk radio? CBS? FOX? The New York Times? NPR? That crazy guy selling grapes on the side of the road while wearing the t-shirt that says Britney Spears knows who really shot JFK!

Floyd Landis is winning the Tour De France and I'm not that interested. I'm told that makes me ethnocentric (to not like a sport that's really, really popular in other parts of the if you don't like that're ethnocentric? really? what if you just happen to think the sport is kind of boring?)

Israeli troops clashed with Hezbollah guerrillas on the Lebanese side of the border Wednesday...and that can't be good. Should I pick a side or would that be America sticking it's nose into other people's business? Who appointed us the police of the world, right?

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are going to fill the void left now that Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro have announced that they're ending their -former playmate/musician marriage.

Still in the news - The Bengals still have never won the Super Bowl. Some things just never change...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

heat wave

I was shocked to see my neighbor's window open yesterday. (not in a UC professor with binoculars and a sketch pad kind of way) I was actually a little sad. I was confused. We don't live in the worst neighborhood in the world (Saratoga Farms of Beckett Ridge in the Dub C). Everybody has conditioned air. They have the technology, yet they refuse to use it. They were relying on the wind to cool their house???

In my mind, the best money I'll ever spend is the money I put into our electric bill this summer. I get out of my car and my glasses get fogged up from the humidity. Sometimes I'll wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt because Annie keeps our house at a cool 54 degrees, and my "office" is suitable for hanging beef and housing Ted Williams. I would argue when people say "why are you wearing long sleeves" that I'll spend 99% of my day in rooms that are around 70 degrees. That's an ok environment for long sleeves. In fact I pay a silly amount of money to be able to wear long sleeves in weather like this. If I get warm on my 7 step walk to my car, or my 17 step walk from my car to my "office" well that's just the price I'll have to pay.

But my neighbors opening their windows? Doesn't that mean their air conditioning is off?

Why would anybody do that?

It just hurts me to see it so close to home. I'd liken it to watching the guy who is incredibly funny telling knock knock jokes....the artist drawing caricatures in the mall....the college student passing up a free vacation....Bob Saget doing voice over work on a mediocre sit com.

We have the goods, let's use them. It's time to max out our resources. Turn on that A.C.

you could even make an argument that we have internal resources that some of us aren't maxing out. We've got encouragement just sitting in our heads...words of kindness that are left unsaid....acts of generosity that are left undone. Might as well use 'em while we're thinking about it.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I hate to say this - but I really like Adam Sandler's new movie Click. Steve Buscemi and those two other guys that are in every Adam Sandler movie....and only in Adam Sandler movies weren't in this one. Frodo is the new guy that's in every one of his movies now I guess.

Anyhow, Sandler still can't act. His jokes still revolve around him yelling and then making poop noises. Having said that, this movie really was interesting.

I used to daydream about what it would be like to go back to when I was a kid. I wondered how I'd live my life over knowing what I know now. I wonder what it'd be like to be in sports having coached for over a decade. I wonder how I'd treat my friends knowing now how goofy the teen peer pressure thing is....and how easily manipulated it could be. It would be interesting to have conversations with adults, as a twelve year old, and not have them be able to keep up.

Ultimately you can't go back...and I wouldn't want to. I look at my two kids in diapers and wonder how frustrating it would be to have to have someone notice when I was carrying around a pound of human waste. I wonder how frustrating it must be to not be able to communicate. I wonder how much it bugs Griffin (age 5) to have to ask when he can go out and play and when he can eat, sleep and watch tv.
That would drive me nuts.

As cool as it would be to know more than my teachers (in some cases) I think it'd be annoying to have my opinions summarily discounted because I was seven.

None of this really has anything to do with Click. His deal is more about fast forwarding through the rough times. By doing that, he misses out on life...and really living.

I wonder how much of life I miss out on by skipping by the great challenges? How different would my life be, going forward - if I embraced the challenges and dove straight into them, and took some greater risks...

Friday, July 14, 2006

tort reform?

so there's a guy that's suing Michael Jordan and Nike because people keep asking him if he's Michael Jordan.
Seems fair. I'm not sure why he's not suing North Carolina or the Bulls though.

Christopher Roller of Burnsville, Minn. Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their secrets to him -- or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and $2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using "godly powers" -- and since Roller is god (according to him), they're "somehow" stealing that power from him.

Sure. Why not?

So they sue Copperfield, Blain, Jordan and Nike. I end up paying $400 for tickets to their magic shows and $300 for their shoes. I pay more for a Big Mac because somebody spilled coffee on their lap. There was a lady who sued two teenage boys who were delivering free cookies to their neighbors...and they scared her by knocking on her door. She won $900, by the way.

I was on Jury duty when a lawyer asked, "does anyone think that this lawsuit against this insurance company could affect insurance rates?"

me:'s a real expence that the company has to pay to be here, to pay their lawyers, to possibly have to pay....

Lawyer: that'll be all - We ask that this juror be excused your honor.

So the flip side is some company getting away with horrific things, all the while knowing that they'll only have to pay so much if they're caught. (if there were some sort of cap on these lawsuits)

According to USA Today:
CEOs didn't even escape this summer's sci-fi releases: Halle Berry becomes Catwoman due to skin cream made addictive; Dr. Otto Octavius turns villain in Spider-Man 2 in a gone-haywire attempt to make a profit; and I, Robot exposes the ultimate warranty hassle when products made by U.S. Robotics start killing humans because sleazy executives in 2035 try to cut a few corners.
About the only villains left are terrorists and CEOs -- and terrorists will probably be portrayed as sympathetic long before CEOs, says Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University.

So is tv right? I've grown accustomed to drawing most of my opinions from conclusions I've come to after watching episodes of Entertainment Tonight. If Oprah tells me that lawyers are good and corporations are bad, shouldn't I trust her? She's Oprah after all...

So what's a boy to do?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I watched the all star game last night. It was a nice showcase for the best stadium in baseball. It's more or less a popularity contest. They always leave out players who should have made it and invite guys that just aren't that great. It's sort of frustrating if you look at it that way.

It's also kind of puzzling why they have an all star game in the middle of the season. Every year there's some guy who bats 260 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI's during the first half....not great, but not terrible. Then the guy bats 370 with 30 more home runs and 70 more RBI's the second half. He's just a slow starter, but over the course of the year, he's the best guy at his position. So to have a great year and not make the all star game is kind of a sham. That's how it's set up though.

Here's the one thing I noticed during the game. There were two seats - the best two seats in the house - right behind home plate. It was a row of two. Nobody sat in them for 8 1/2 innings. There was one guy in one of the seats for a couple of outs during the 4th inning....but other than that - nada, bupkis, zero, zilch....empty, unused, vacant (I'm guessing you're getting my point)

WHAT A WASTE! Whoever owned those seats could have given them to a sick kid, sold them on e-bay and given me the money, put up a sign that would have been on national tv for a couple of hours, held a cell phone up while waving to whoever was on the other line into the camera. Nothing. Empty. Unused. Wasted!

I sometimes wonder how much money I'd have it I snapped my fingers and had all the money that was wasted in the world for one day. I get all the money that people lose, spend on stuff that they'll never once use, spend on stuff that doesn't work but they won't take back, all the unclaimed rebates, all the money that they're overcharged at supermarkets but don't notice, the money they spend on products that don't work the way they thought they would.....I get it all. I'm guessing I'd be a mega-billionaire with just one day's waste.

I wonder how much I would have if I could snap my fingers and get all of the money I wasted in my life. Same kind of stuff....rebates, overcharges, stuff that doesn't work, money I took out of investments to waste on stupid stuff.....I'm guessing I'd be pretty happy, yet sad, with my new money.

Which brings me to my final point - I wonder how much of my time/talents/gifts/energy I wasted yesterday? I wonder how I could have maxed out what God has given me to help others, inspire, encourage or instruct? I wonder who I would have helped, had I really died to myself and given of myself completely? I wonder how my day would have changed????

I don't want to live a life of empty seats, unfulfilled expectations, mediocre results. I want to be spent, completely...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

everywhere a sign

I just read a deal about a sign company that specializes in church signs. They had a signed testimonial from the Pastor of this church talking about how his church quadrupled in size after they put up their new sign.

They went from 200 to 800 people by putting up a nicer sign.

What hurts my brain is that this full page, back of the magazine ad must have cost a bunch of nickels. These guys have to know a little something about business to at least be in the position to purchase this ad. They have to know that this ad will actually work with some people.
Somewhere there's a member of a church board saying, "Well shoot, we need to be blessed with one of this beautiful signs and see our church quadruple in size! Let's go get us one of these beauties!"

I see youth groups have the "world's largest pizza party" or "longest slip n' slide" and that's how they get the little ones to show up. I've heard about meetings that are centered around what kind of signs we should put up to attract the most people. I've now read about the power of signs that can quadruple the size of your church....


That's how it works?

People aren't interested in relationship, they're interested in reading?

I get that signs help. I understand that it's helpful to have a sign that tells you what's inside the building...or when that building is open. I just wonder how much we should focus on these helpers.

What if our strategy for reaching the world was billboards?

What if our way to connect with high school students was by luring them into events with bands, halftime speakers at sporting events and the world's largest lawn mowing party?

Events can be fun.
Signs can be helpful.

Relationships can encourage, build trust, be instructive and develop a sense of belonging.

Spend the day working on an event - or spend the day with the people you're trying to connect with?

What do you think we should focus on?

Monday, July 10, 2006

world cup

Not only does Italy have the best food in the world, now they've got the best soccer team in the world. I've decided that I'm pretty indifferent about that.

I watched the game yesterday and can honestly now say that football is way better than soccer. Sorry.
It just is.
It's more physical. It's more exciting. There's more strategy.

I was watching the game with a former all state soccer player who said, "I hope it comes down the penalty kicks"
me: really?
former all state soccer player: yeah, it's the best possible ending

So it wasn't about the craftiness of a defense or the intricacies of how they pass the ball back and was about seeing a ball go in a net and not watching the ref say it's no goal because of off sides.

They ought to go ahead and make off sides legal. There'd be more scoring. People who don't understand the rule wouldn't get mad every 2 minutes when they called it. It would change the dynamics of the whole sport.

"You just don't understand it. If you did, you'd appreciate it"

I think I understand it. I watched some games and , apparently, you have to kick, head, knee the ball toward a net in the hopes that the other team will accidentally kick it in for you. If someone from the other team sneezes in your direction, you should fall down grabbing at your knee as though it might come off.
Yellow cards are bad.
Red cards are worse.
If you score a goal, take off your shirt.
If you're on the bench, get comfortable.
Repeat after me, "this is the most popular sport in the world" Keep saying that until people start to believe it (NASCAR is trying the same strategy)

It's fun when they once or twice every three hours...but other than that????

Friday, July 07, 2006


I'm looking at a room full of books that are just sitting here. They're not being read, so is that a waste? They could be in someone's home that would love and care for them. Annie and I will most likely not re-read them. Eventually we'll throw them in boxes and put a sign on them that says, "hardbacks 50 cents and paperbacks a quarter"

I have four computers. Two don't really work, but I'll bet somebody could get them going. One's a laptop and one sits in my basement next to all the boxes of books. I have two lawnmowers - an electric cordless and a 6.75 hp gas powered one.

We have tools that are seldom put to use (although Buddha and I used a pipe wrench to fix the garage door last night - figure that one out).

We have dishes that are only brought out when we have more than 4 guests. We have a table that fully expanded with all the leaves inserted comfortably seats 10.

I'd like to have the books around in case I ever want to reference or re-read them. I'd like to have the tools, dishes and leaves around in case we need them. I like having extra stuff...even though I don't really need it.

I just haven't gotten around to giving away our two foosball tables, extra lawnmower, or dorm fridge.

Clearly some of this is excess. It's obvious that we're wasting space and possessions.

What's a guy to do?

I have time that I don't maximize. I have a bedroom that's spare. I have gifts/possessions/talents that have been given to me that I'm not always a good steward of...

So should I just start giving stuff away? My time, my energy, my books, my couches (we have 5) How much is enough? Should I have two hours a day to just sit around and play with my kids....or one hour? We have food that goes bad in our pantry and fridge just about every month. So, should I not have two couches in the room that nobody ever goes into? Should we sell all our books and donate the money to charity?

I hear people that are rich in time complain that those who are rich in money should pay more in taxes, share the wealth. Should the rich complain that people who work 40 hours a week giving more of what they do have...time? Should both groups complain that I have 5 alarm clocks in my house?

I always say that I want to spend my life doing stuff where I get the most bang out of my buck. I want to do stuff that will see the greatest possible change. So maybe it's time I start wasting less and spending more.

Maybe a good start is for me to take care of my stuff. I can start with the basement. Just start going through boxes and send off the stuff that I obviously haven't needed for the past 8 months and give them to someone who would appreciate them.

So what do I do with my wasted potential?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

the big question

If you could ask God any question, what would it be?

I'm guessing we'd all have some similar questions and then a few unique ones.

If we took all of these questions and figured out which one's are answerable and separated those by the questions that only God could figure out...we'd have a lot of questions. We'd have a whole big 'ol range of questions that we're dying to know.

So why aren't those questions answered in the Bible?

So now God makes a bigger Bible that answers all of our questions about how old the Earth is, how he did the walking on water deal, what's the deal with Fuller's dating life...and now we have 73 books in our Bibles.

If our knowledge of how things works was represented by a big circle...and there were all these question marks outside of our circle - and God expanded our circle...wouldn't we just come up with then new question marks that are outside of our new circle? If he made us a bigger Bible and answered more of our questions, that'd just lead us to more questions based on our new understanding.

Until we're as smart as God, we'll always have questions. People will come up with theories that answer our questions. People will argue about these theories. We'll create bumperstickers stating the different arguments. We'll make fun of the stupid people that don't agree with our theory. People will get condescending, and announce their superiority.

I'm guessing that no matter how big our circle of understanding gets...we'll always find things to doubt God with...and argue over.

Aren't we awesome...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Something strange happened to my blog in the last day or two. I've lost all my links, my little counter deal, $50 and my profile.

If you've seen any of these things, please let me know so that I can see my little blog the way it was meant to be seen again. And if you see fifty dollars on the street, in one of your pockets or your wallet - that's mine.

thank you and good night

5 minutes later....

um...never mind. It's back. Apparently this thing has a mind of it's own. I guess I'm showing my computer savy side today. Maybe Bill Gates has heard that I've switched to firefox.
I still love you Bill

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Fireworks, in my opinion, are good for about 57 seconds. A really good show might go a minute, but at some point you realize that it's just more of the same.

Adding music was a big improvement. That took it from the 29 second range to more than double the entertainment value.

Me at a fireworks show:
first 5 seconds: Hey look they've started!
next 10 seconds: Wow! There's a big shiny red circular one! Look, it's spraying out at all angles!
Next 20 seconds: Now they're mixing up the red ones with the loud banging ones and the blue ones!
next 15 seconds: I think we've seen just about all they've got....wait a second....that's a different, squiggly one!
next seven seconds: I wonder if there are any different ways to make red, white or blue fireworks do cool stuff....
next second: nope

next 20 minutes: They're still shooting them huh?

Monday, July 03, 2006

comparison game

Is comparing yourself to others good?


It feels like a no-brainer, doesn't it?

A girl that never feels skinny or pretty enough has trouble comparing herself to some girl on a magazine cover that doesn't actually look like that without the air brushing, plastic surgery and half pound of makeup.

A guy that makes $4/hour has trouble comparing himself to Bill Gates, Donald Trump or Bob Saget.

Someone who lives in stereotype paranoia is comparing my last two examples and wondering why I chose the girl for the physical comparison issues and the guy to financial. Fine. I'm probably way off with that.

So comparison is bad, right?

What if I'm frustrated that I only make $4/hour, but then I think about all the people who make $3/hour doing manual labor? What if I think about all the people who are born with physical or mental disabilities, without a dad or live in a rough situation... and it helps me to keep a healthy perspective on my lot in life? I've got it pretty good...that's where I'm going with this.

Can we use comparisons to help us to appreciate all of the good things in our life? Is that good to do?

It's hard for me to compare my blog to Steve Fuller's. On the one hand, he talks about a lot of interesting stuff...but then I remember that he likes Jim Rome. So should I envy his blog, or feel better about my brain enjoying dialog that doesn't involve the words, "War goes out to D Bus - props to the pimp in the box - bang your monkey - I'm out!"

It can create envy. It also can give us perspective. Often the perspective is a bad one. Everyone feels like everyone is "basically a good person" and that tends to lend itself to overcrowded prisons, and a society that just keeps sinking lower and lower. If everyone gets by with the, "well he's no Hitler" or "at least he's not killing anybody" - well that doesn't really help.

Envy - Healthy perspective?