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...