Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Resolutions


-sing the National Anthem at a taping of A Guiding Light

-hear "the phrase that pays" and pretend that I didn't

-arm wrestle cajun style

-go back to bar soap

-bring back the show "who's the boss?" and answer that question once and for all

-start with the nicotine patch, then the gum, then cigars, pipes, then just smoke at parties when it feels like it would help me to look cool, and finally I'd like to be addicted

-watch Tango and Cash with no sound while playing The Beatles White Album. (it will freak you out)

-start the Buddy's Carpet Barn bowl (I actually have a buddy in the carpet business, so I think this should be fairly easy)

-more rock

-less talk

-dance, dance, dance

-only speak through a megaphone on Thursdays

-reenact the "What's Up!" commercials whenever someone asks me for the time

-I'd like to learn to ride a unicycle

-tap dance at a bar mitzvah for tips

-box some one's ears

-wear a tuxedo to a swim meet

-start a Christmas tradition where people hang socks from their chimney and pray to a fat guy to come down and fill the socks with candy

-thumb wrestle Corbin Benson

-develop Chuck like fearlessness

-start an online pay per view pac man tournament

-start each Friday with a simple prayer thanking God that it is indeed Friday

Friday, December 28, 2007

the power of story

We haven't made our New Year's plans yet.

There's a lot of pressure to do something fun on this last night/first day of the year. I remember trying to go out to a restaurant a couple of times on New Year's Eve and it's insane. People will sit and wait for three hours to get into an Olive Garden.

I decided a while ago that it's just not that big of a deal to be out doing something awesome during the last minute and first minute of the year. Ultimately I think we really want to do something great because we know people are going to ask.

"So what are your New Year's plans?"
then...
"So what did you do for New Year's Eve?

and we need a story...
We need to prove that we have the ability to go out and have fun. We can stay up past midnight and we don't have a curfew any more!

It's all about the story.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

poppin' and lockin'


I saw the world's second best pop a shot player play last night.

Alton Alexander is possibly the second greatest pop a shot player of all time. I can't say for sure, because I've only really seen the one contest...but he was clearly the second best player last night.

If indeed Annie Michael Murphy is the greatest pop a shot player in the world - then Alton is clearly #2 in the world....or so.

All I really know is that if the two of them were to have a competition - Annie would most likely win. In fact, last night they had a competition - three in fact...and Annie won three of those match ups.

So if you just go on percentages, Annie would win 100% of the time.

I'll just to do the math for you really quickly:

If they were to play seven games - Annie would win seven of those.

If they were to play 111 games - Annie would win 111 of those.

If the world was going to blow up unless someone could make a heck of a lot of short range basketball shots in a relatively small period of time - you'd pick Annie to save the world.

If the world was going to blow up unless you had a guy who could get to the seventeenth level of Galaga - well then you'd take Alton.

Athletic endeavor - you'd take Annie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

not the point

We're actually one day closer today to the day that Jesus was born - than we were yesterday.

That's not really the point though.

When He was born - what day we celebrate it - that doesn't really matter.

I've heard people say when He died -that's more important. Living your life as a thank you - each day - that's the important thing.

That's not really the point though.

If God really did visit the planet and bring the Kingdom of Heaven with Him - well that's something worth looking into. Maybe that will be my December 26th focus...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Today I start my Christmas shopping. I figure I have a few hours after I go to the CrossRoads Christmas play at 10 AM. I don't have to be at work until 2 today (which is a funny thing to write while I'm on vacation) and that gives me a couple of hours.

I'm in charge of stockings and a few other gifts.

I'm thinking of a theme:
a stocking full of stockings...or socks?
Maybe a stocking full of stock tips?
I could fill the stocking with the true meaning of Christmas for me growing up - gift receipts
I could do one of those Russian doll deals and just put a smaller stocking inside of the stocking...and just keep doing that?
Maybe a bunch of stalks of celery....I'm pushing this "stock" thing too much, huh?

One of the great things will be waking up and watching the kids open presents. They each get to open one gift on Christmas eve, and for six years in a row Griffin has opened a pair of pajamas. He still hasn't caught on yet.

We'll be making cookies for Santa and setting our reindeer food on the porch. Should be a great couple of days.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Method


The whole family is nuts. I'm visiting them this evening at Phil's house.
I can barely imagine what he's done to his living room this year. Two years ago he put in paneling...PANELING...and I can only pray that it's no longer a part of the "decor" Seriously? Wood on the wall?


This group is quite the bunch. There's the senior citizens traipsing around the room like a much younger couple of say...70. They spend their time drinking what they refer to as "wine" out of a box. A cardboard box. It's like visiting the Bundys.


Phil will spend most of the night avoiding us, and I don't blame him. He's got his little fort out in the garage where he can pretend to sweep or do whatever one does in a garage, meanwhile I'm stuck talking about American Idol with some girl that's of some relationship to me...of which I have no idea.


My sister really is the saving grace of the whole group. She has the patience to put up with all of them. That's why I go - to be her rock in a sea of Pabst Blue Ribbon.


I'll slip quietly upstairs with a blend of Viognier and Marsanne, and try to remember the south of France.
If only it were true. Someday...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

blog

I've done this web log for awhile now. It's always nice when I hear from an old friend and they say, "Yeah, I've been reading your blog". I've met a few people for the first time who say the same thing.

It's fun to write and sometimes it's a chore, but it's a nice discipline to say that I've consistently done some writing for a couple of years now.

I've wavered a bit on the whole theme thing
how serious or deep do I want to go?
Should I bring up politics and get people really mad, but maybe get a conversation going?
Should I just go fun and enjoy myself without much to add to any real dialogue?
Should I point out the gross injustices, hypocrisy or silly arguments that I see all around me?
Should I take risks?

I've decided not to decide. I'm going to write to write...and see where it takes me.

The next time someone ask me why I blog - I'll tell them, "Because it's there"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

team

Michael Westbrook just became one of my favorite players.

They say Wilt Chamberlain sometimes came into the locker room late because he was at the scorers table challenging them on his stats. There was a guy last year that actually shot at his own basket just so he could get another rebound (they didn’t count it).

In a world of ME-first, the team second, Westbook’s smart little slide was a refreshing change of pace, and I loved it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

my debut

It's go time. I'll be rehearsing for A Cat Named Bruce two more times...and then we're on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.



I'll be playing Arist, the wine snob brother in law. I'm still not sure what Arist would wear, but I do know that for one scene I need roller blading gear...knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet...and I'm not sure I've got any of that in the closet.



So...if anyone out there in the tri-state area has some hockey/broomball/rollerblading stuff - wouldn't it be fun to have it appear in front of 8,000 people?



I'd better go memorize some lines...

Friday, December 14, 2007

two phone pics in a row

Thanks to young Steven J. Fuller, I know have the ability to put pictures from my cellular telephone on my web log. I had a whole phone full of these pics and nowhere to put them...well, no more!

and now...I'd like to share with you the greatest gift I was given in 2007:

I'd tell you about my role in the business, but I'd rather remain SILENT (if you know what I mean, partner)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The greatest

One day I'll tell Griffin's kids about the time I spent with this man.
I'm not sure it's possible to make Elvis Aaron Presley any sexier, but if anyone can do it....
well, see for yourself


This will forever be the greatest phone picture I ever take. With my phone (which is as sharp as a razor, and keeps cutting holes in my pockets) that you actually have to hit the button minute about a minute before it actually takes the picture....

So I was so lucky/blessed/awesome that I timed this phone pic up with possibly the greatest Elvis karate picture ever taken...with a phone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

procrastination

Procrastination seems like a word that on the surface would be more about action.

Pro - like you're for something, you're pro-active, you're pro-ductive, pro-lific.

Cras - like you're the guy who makes the fart jokes

Tin - like the guy with no heart

ation - just some random letters they put on the end of some words

I would be a really bad dictionary

I've had a chance to write for a friend of mind over the past year or so. He's written a bunch of books, and for the last year or so his publisher has asked him to include "talks" with his books. That's where I come in. He asked me to write one for one of his chapters...and then a couple....and then a book's worth, and then a second book, and a third.

It's fun and it's exhausting.

The last time was more exhausting than fun. I was under a big deadline in the midst of taking over another department (sounds more important than it actually is...but that's what was happening) at a crazy busy time of the year...and I had 12 chapters to read and write for....

Fast forward a few months and he sends me an e-mail asking about another book...and another 12 chapters. I said yes. My schedule was light. I wasn't in a play. I wasn't thinking through my overall scheduling.

And now here I am - with 12 talks to write. I've written a few...but the last bunch will be the battle.

Procrastination is not my middle name - that's Michael. They gave me that name before they knew me...

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Cat named Bruce...

I'll be on stage with three actors that have their own agent.

I clearly don't need an agent.

should be fun...

click here for a couple of sneak peaks

Friday, December 07, 2007

weekend


This is something worth checking out if you're looking for something to do this weekend. I'm just sayin'

Thursday, December 06, 2007

mileage

There used to be this funny law on the books. It was basically a tax on your time and energy and it was imposed on people caught standing around.

The law was that at any time a Roman soldier could force you to carry his pack anywhere for one mile. If you ran into a soldier, you were just doing what was expected of you by carrying his pack and going two miles out of your way (one in his direction and one just to get back to where you started). It was what I would equate to picking up some one's pencil or holding the door open for someone. It was just a normal kind of thing - certainly not extraordinary.

Here's where following Jesus gets tough. Jesus told his followers to go the extra (or second) miles. He was telling folks not to just go 2 miles out of their way, but to go 4. He said this in a number of ways - He told us to not just love the lovable people....but to even love people who like the D.H....sorry...the enemies. Basically we are called to more. Above and beyond is considered a starting point.

Mercy is the cop giving you a warning when you were driving 75 in a 55. Grace is the cop giving you a warning (for your safety) and then handing you twenty bucks. It doesn't make sense. It's certainly not deserved. That's grace.

We had some friends treat us to a second mile night on Sunday. They called us and told us they were bringing over dinner. They brought over enough food to feed the cast of the Sopranos. It was awesome. And that was just the second mile. Then they handed us a gas card and some cash and told us they were going to hang out with our kids while we went out and watched the Steelers beat up on the Bengals.

We were kicked out of our house....in a good way.

We have some pretty great friends.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

cinco de dicienbre


My brother is a year and a half older than me. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. Oh sure we could all stand to lose a few, but apparently if you’re a brother…you technically can’t be considered heavy….that’s just science.

We probably couldn’t be that much different. Often we were asked if we were twins, because we were only a year and a half apart and I was as muscular as a 6 year old, even at the age of 4. He’s plans and details and I’m not so much. He has a big screen tv and watches his team, the Bengals on high def. I have to settle for watching a much better team play on a dinky little tv while being excited about this new thing that allows you to control the buttons on your tv in a remote location.

He’s a great dad and makes a silly amount of money doing a job that I couldn’t do even if you paid me a silly amount of money.

We fight argue and disagree as much as not, but I love him…he’s my brother.

Happy birthday Bri-

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

picking up your pencil


Most Christians I know struggle with what I call - pencil picking up Christianity (and I'm definitely lumping myself in with these folks). In fact, I'll go one further, I'll say that most people I know struggle in this area.

Here's what I mean. If you see a news story about someone going to jail or being convicted of a crime in court, often you'll hear an interview of a wife, mom or neighbor who talks about the murderer/thief/criminal and they'll often say something like, "deep down he's a good person" or "he really does have a good heart". And I'm guessing that those people really do believe this. They believe it because the person going to jail was probably decent at loving their mom/wife/neighbor. Maybe they helped them out every once in a while...or protected them in some way.

We all love some people...and aren't as proactive about loving others.

Often the exact same action will elicit entirely different responses depending upon who initiated the action. Huh? Here's what I mean - someone makes a borderline joke about your hair...and if it's the annoying guy that drives you nuts, you'll probably get mad. If it's your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/potential boyfriend or girlfriend...you'll probably laugh along with the joke.

We all choose to extend grace sometimes and to do the exact opposite other times.

As Christians we're called to proactively love people.

We all pick up the pencil that someone drops in front of us. We all hold the door open for the person behind us. We all have moments of loving people when the situation jumps right out in front of us...and is fairly doable.

As Christians we're called to proactively look for moments...and to not just wait for a situation to present itself.

We've done ok with feeding the poor. We've done well with building a silly amount of hospitals, orphanages, shelters and nursing homes.

I'm just not sure how long we can point to all the stuff that proactive people in the past have done and claim it as our own...simply because we have the same faith as Mother Teresa, or wear the same cross jewelry as the person building the Habitat house.

We're called to actively wage grace. I'm guessing that doesn't have a picture of me holding the door open for an old lady at Pondersosa next to the description.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Steelers think they gonna beat dem Bengals


24-10 and life is still great/awful/normal/fun/boring/life. The Buckeyes are playing for the national championship, the Steeler's are having a playoff bound year, and I have a bunch of friends that really don’t like either of them.

The Steelers dominate the Bengals. Life goes on. It doesn’t really affect anything – really.
I was in a Steeler’s Bar/Restaurant last night with some friends. If there were 150 people there, 80 of them had Steeler’s jerseys, 30 had Steeler’s shirts, 35 of them were just hoping they’d win while not wearing the ‘ol black and gold….and you know….there were five other people just chillin. At one point two Bengals fans walked through the place and I got a quick glimpse at how annoying Steeler’s fans can be towards Bengals fans. I’ve experienced the reverse countless times. Apparently we’re all annoying, I just don’t get to see that side of Steelers fans living in this city too often.

I remember talking in my neighbor’s yard this summer as he told me that the AFC North would be the toughest division, “even though the Steelers are going to be awful”. I remember people laughing at the Steeler’s win over the Browns – it was a joke win over a joke team…that later ended up beating up on their team.

One of the comments on Annie’s blog “The Bengals will finish with a better record than the Steelers...”

And after all of this, the Steelers have clinched another winning season - they're 2-0 against the Bengals, and a lot of people went nuts at the Steeler’s bar tonight.

And really that doesn’t affect that much in my life or yours. (unless you’re reading this Big Ben?) We worship sports. We pour our time, money and energy into watching grown men play playground games. It’s actually a lot of fun, so I get it…but it’s just a child’s game.

I can say this because my team won – it doesn’t ultimately matter. If I say this after my favorite team loses, it sounds like the guy that pretends not to care just because my team is awful.
So today I’ll think about, and maybe even pursue, some of the things that do matter… Anybody up for a game of euchre?

Friday, November 30, 2007

the mole


I’ve been eyeing a moleskin journal for a while now. I’ve tried daytimers, recording devices, palm pilots and even calling my phone and leaving voice messages every time a thought popped into my little head.

I’d call whenever I thought of an illustration for a talk.

I’d pull out my palm pilot and jot down notes for a meeting…and hope I’d remember to synch it to something I’d actually read later on.

I’d say little one liners into the mini recorder and try to remember later what the heck, “Donald Trump and Rosie playing charades” means??? And what could I possibly do with this information once I figure it out???

So the latest thing I’ve been debating is the possibilities of a moleskin journal. They’re all the rage. They look kind of cool. You can get little ones that fit in your pocket – so they’re as handy as a palm pilot, but quicker. They’re kind of expensive, but cheaper than a daytimer. They don’t require batteries…so there’s that.

The thing is they’re really overpriced for a simple little notebook. I just have never had any luck with the spiral bound notebooks…they just get battered and bent and make too much noise when you try to rip out pages…and some pages come out that you don’t want to come out.

Some might see this as a cry out for Bragg to buy me one for Christmas…sure, but he installed a hanging lamp in my dining room – and what says the birth of Jesus more than a hanging lamp? Exactly.

No, this is just the plaintive cry of someone realizing that he should just buy a cheap notebook at CVS and find a tiny pen that he can keep alongside it….(sigh)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

yang/yin

love - The Office


don't love - little burns on my fingers from the iron, stove or crackpipe

love - ping pong
don't love - people talking in a meeting to hear themselves talk
love - laughing because of a great story
don't love - guilt
love - conviction
don't love- hopelessness
love - hope
don't love - sitting in a cold car first thing in the morning
love - the remote control
don't love - ill fitting shirts
love - Hasslehoff on stage in full Vegas glory
don't love- the dearth of Saget on tv these days
love - the Beatles' later years
don't love - Coulier, the scene chewing space taker from the house
love - Kramer
don't love - Michael Richards
love - the Duke of Earl
don't love - weak handshakes
love - the option
don't love - the prevent defense
love - this blog
don't love - this blog
love - bumper pool
don't love - a parade
hate - paper cuts
hate - traffic

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

all time great inventions


I think I could add one more complete waste of time to my list of things I could watch for hours.

Right below window washing, I'd add tennis ball picking up to my list.

I could watch people walk around with those little square baskets picking up tennis balls, simply by dropping the basket on the ball, for hours.

Each time I see a ball about to be picked up I think, "oh wait, you're about to drop that basket on the ball!" and then I see the ball become part of the basket...as if by some sort of voo doo.

It captivates me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

smarties


I wonder how you'd find out who the smartest person in the world was?

You could take the guy who won jeopardy a record number of times, but I'm guessing there are people out there that are smarter...they just don't crave being on tv. Ken Jennings might just have a really great memory and spend way too much time studying pop culture.

So is the person with the amazing memory, who devotes tons of time reading - smarter than the person with incredible problem solving skills?

There are some people that are more likely to score near the top on the S.A.T.'S than someone who could tear apart an engine and put it back together. So who is smarter?

I know that being smart doesn't always mean being financially successful. I know people that rule trivial pursuit, but can't seem to win at the real life game of paying their bills.

I know that English majors often seem smart. They read a lot - that's a sure sign of a smartie. They use good english...so there's that. I also know some folks with really high test scores, who read several books a week - who couldn't tell you who their congress person was...or how to take apart an engine and put it back together.
Is the person who is happy smarter than the person with the high test scores who is always miserable?

I do know that an English major is more likely to win at Scrabble than an electrical engineer.

So is a quick thinker smarter than the slow thinker? They're the ones who fix problems in meetings while everyone else is scratching their heads. Is the person who finishes the New York Times crossword puzzle in 17 minutes smarter than the person who took two days to write it?

Is the Math/Science person smarter than the English/History because their job pays more and they wear a lab coat?

I'm guessing that if you took the smartest person in the world and stood them up next to my seven year old son, I could ask some questions that Griffin would know that the genius with the bad haircut wouldn't.

So is it possible that we're all the smartest in the world when it comes to one or two areas? Maybe you're the smartest person in the world when it comes down to thinking through ways to help out that guy at work that everyone ignores. Maybe you're the smartest person in the world when it comes to how to carry 15 packages at the mall while singing 'Who let the dawgs out' and irish stepdancing through the crowds.

So if you're the smartest book memorizer in your neighborhood, I think that's great. As for me, I'm going to attempt to be the smartest person in the world when it comes to thinking about ways to show Griffin that I think he's destined for greatness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

how's about that?

to an audience of one...

I've been thinking a lot about people pleasing. I have some friends that I've always thought struggled a bit too much with people pleasing. It's a hard one to talk about, because why wouldn't you want to please other people? Isn't that part of our deal?

On one hand, the world around us is telling us to look out for number one. That's not a very good strategy (unless you don't care about the kid in Darfur or the homeless girl living on the street a few blocks away)and if we make it our goal to please other people - we'll eventually go crazy.

-We'll make decisions that are based on other people being happy, as opposed to doing the right thing.
-We'll wrap up our significance in whether or not we're liked, and how many times we're told that we're the greatest.
-we'll compromise.
-and don't forget - we'll go crazy.

I have a few friends that are great speakers/performers. There are probably 8-10 people that I have some regular interaction with that get asked to drive or fly to far away destinations and speak or perform in front of groups. Some of them pursue these things, and some of them are just sought out.

They're really good. They have some gifts that they don't rely on. They work on them and get better...and people notice those gifts and begin to ask them to use those gifts at various functions. They're better at these things than you or me (and if you're thinking, "not me" then read chapter 18 of C.S. Lewis' book on the basics of his faith). My point is that they're really good.

Every time they speak or perform on some level, they invariably have a bunch of people come up to them and thank them for doing so. They get great feedback and are often asked back. And they also get e-mails, calls, and ugly evaluations. Always.

I'm doing evaluations for an event we have right now and a dozen or so people have commented on how much they love a particular thing - and one or two will comment on how much they hate that same thing. We have some people rate a particular speaker a 10 (on a scale of 1-5) and some people rate that same speaker a 0 (again, on a scale of 1-5). On some things, it's just impossible to make everyone happy - and that's ok.

YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE

A friend of mine pulled off an incredibly successful event this past weekend. I've seen this event for three years in a row and this was by far the best it's ever gone. I've talked with some folks who were around when the event began, and they say the same thing. She spent a good part of yesterday fielding calls and e-mails from folks who were really mad about the things she had changed. One lady that had two entire turkey dinners delivered to her house told my friend to "go to hell" because she didn't deliver three...

YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE

That lady who called really helped me to put into perspective this whole issue. If you're going to personally deliver two entire turkey dinners - that would feed 10 people - to one lady...and that lady is still going to complain about the two free 10 lb. turkeys...stuffing, vegetables, etc. - this kind of thing will drive you crazy.

And what do you think my friend is thinking about and talking about more? The great comments - or the crazy lady?

me too...
and it drives me crazy

Friday, November 16, 2007

crossing the line

I've decided to scab it up today. I'm crossing the picket lines. I'm going to the other side. I'm fighting the union.
I'm writing my blog.

Writer's strike or no writer's strike, I owe it to the good people on the interweb...

If I don't come over to the good side, why would the writers of The Office ever cross over? If not me, then who?

I do kind of wonder if they're marching in front of the studios holding blank picket signs...you know...to keep their no writing without compensation thing going...

just a thought

Thursday, November 15, 2007

what?!?!


TV Land and Entertainment Weekly came up with their list of the 50 Greatest TV Icons of all time.

Cool. I love lists. Bring them on. Most of these should be obvious.

Surprises in the top 10o? Marcia Cross? Shannon Doherty? And how are you going to put Ted Knight at #82? You try and name 8 bigger tv icons, never mind 81. Apparently the viewers forgot about a little show you might have forgotten...by the name of the Mary Tyler Moore show - and let's not forget Too Close For Comfort - a classic, where Mr. Knight wore a cow puppet as he drew cartoons. Top that Angela Landsbury!

Tony Danza - a no brainer. Don Knotts clearly should be in the top 10 - Barney and Mr. Furley...come on people!!

All of these are mere slights compared to the 2 biggest injustices of all time.

I won't even mention them - but these two should easily be #'s 1 and 2.

AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN ON THE LIST!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

bowl of deliciousness


You hear, “he married up” all the time. You never hear, “she married up”. Why is that?

I get that it’s a funny little line – or at least it was once…and now it’s just something people say. You’re complimenting her while taking a little lighthearted jab at him.

Having said that, I have a friend that really did marry up. I’m not just saying it – it’s a scientific fact. (and I'm definitely aware of how much I married up - believe you me - but back to my friend)

If
he were freshman baseball, she’d be pitching in the World Series. She’s just out of his league.

She’s Rocky and he’s Rocky V. He’s Big K cola and she’s a Diet Cherry Coke at Frisch’s. He’s sledding down the hill in my neighbor’s backyard while she’s skiing Everest. He’s Saved by the Bell the college years and she’s Seinfeld. He’s a sandwich with lettuce and she’s a sandwich with bacon. There’s just no comparison.

And here’s why:
It’s the soup.

Life changing soup. Mouth watering soup. Soup that even a soup hater would love.

She makes the soup nazi look like the soup meter maid. Rachel Ray tasted this soup and slapped Oprah. Nicole Ritchie tasted this soup and asked for a second spoonful.

He’s telling me that she makes more than one soup this delicious. LIES! IMPOSSIBLE! The ravings of a lunatic gone mad. I won't believe it. A world with two such perfect soups? Silly, I know...

So I’ll end with a haiku

cheesy potato
so delicious this soup
rib sticking goodness


I am forever changed...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wal-Mart Bakery, how can I help you?


Yes, I'd like a cake that says, "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that, "We will miss you"

Friday, November 09, 2007

headed to the thumb (I think?)


I'm headed to Michigan today (somewhere near the thumb). Woody Hayes refused to spend money whenever he was in Michigan. He'd rather run out of gas and push his car to the State line than spend money on gas in "the state up North" - he wouldn't even say it's name.

He was a grown man and he refused to say the name of the school rival's state.

I knew a guy who played for Woody. He got a full scholarship and never got on the field. A lot of coaches would get rid of players or take away the scholarships of players who obviously weren't good enough to play for them. Woody found out this guy's father died and drove over to his house to give him his car keys. So he drove Woody Hayes' car home for the weekend to be with his family and go to the funeral. I'm guessing that's now against NCAA rules - and I'm guessing 'ol Woody wouldn't much care.

The OSU team doctor was Doctor Murphy. The funny thing about Doc Murphy was he looked exactly like my grandfather - who coincidentally had the same last name...which led to the occasional interesting/confusing conversation. Well Doctor Murphy knew a few things about Woody that most people didn't know. One big one was that Woody was a diabetic. In fact, Dr. Murphy noticed that Woody was way "off" during one game and desperately needed a shot - but instead he went out on the field and punched a player. He was out of control. He was chemically out of control. And then Woody was fired/retired.

Woody was one of the few full professors to ever coach a major college football program. He was the only one to coach a team in four consecutive Rose Bowls.

He was a great man. He punched people.

That's just kind of how most people are - we have some great stuff & we have some junk. We've decided to love some people despite the fact that they punch people, and not love some people, despite the fact that they go without a car for three days so that kids can go home and visit their families during a dark period of their life.

We all decide to love some people despite their flaws. We actively choose to love some people. That's the interesting thing about Jesus - He actually mentions this. He said that even the really bad people love some people - but He called us to more than that. We're not just to love the lovable people in our lives - we're even supposed to love the unlovable. We're to love even our enemies.

So this weekend I'm headed to Michigan...

Clearly they're not my enemy, in fact there are people living there that I think are awesome - I'm just saying....8 days 'til the Michigan game.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

robots taking over the phone world


You ever wonder why an answering machine would say, “You have reached 513-911-0288, we’re not home right now so just leave us a message”?

That never really helps me. I know the number I’ve reached because I just called it. If I wasn’t sure, I could just hit redial.

I’m also not a fan of the robot answering machines. I always end up leaving a half hearted message, the whole time wondering if I have the wrong number for this person.

How about this one – the phone rings five times, there’s a fifteen second message – then a robot comes on and tells you to hit a button to page the person – hit another button to hang up – hit a third option if you’d like to leave a message – and the whole time you’re just waiting for the beep.

The beep is all we’re really waiting for.

A decent message might be, “it’s me – Sean – BEEP”

I think people would figure that out. Maybe I’ll go re-record my messages.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

moving on


Black and white photos look better than color photos. That's just science. You can't argue with the good people at NASA. Having said that, I've been thinking about our technical "advances" and wondering why we seem to move backwards in so many areas.


The text message. If we had a way of communicating through a small device that we typed through a series of repeatedly tapping pads on a tiny keyboard with your thumb until the letter you desire pops up – often tapping the same pad three times before your desired letter appears. You’d be typing with your thumbs and just dream of the day where some day this process would be sound activated. Just imagine the day when you could just talk into the devise and have the words appear! Even better – what if you could talk into that devise, and someone on the other end could actually hear your words!?!? It would be a glorious day indeed!

The electric can opener is one I can’t figure out. I pull a tiny device out of my cabinet and spin it three or four times to open up the can. OR I can take a much larger device out of a cabinet, plug it into the wall, and then attach and hit the button to basically perform the same action. I’m just not sure that’s better.


This season of The Office. I was talking with some friends about how disappointing this season has been, but it took a much sharper friend of mine to point out some of the subtleties of this last episode that I had missed.


Maybe The Office is actually evolving? Maybe I'm just not quite up to speed yet. Maybe this is actually the greatest show of all time - supplanting Ed and Seinfeld?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

kicking it in the Dub C

I can sleep at night once more!!! The guy who was driving around shooting at houses in and around my neighborhood has been caught. It is once again safe in the Dub C.

According to the story on channel 12, there was no known motive.

Disgruntled Bengals fan? We may never know…

Monday, November 05, 2007

the ultimate


Football is the ultimate team sport.

Here is why I say that. If you were to put a great player, even a Hall of Famer, on a bad team - they'll be mediocre at best. I shouldn't say that. I should say that if you take a great player and put him on a team with a bad system for him...he'll be mediocre at best.

There have always been great players on bad teams. You could make an argument that they played on bad teams that also had a good system for them. Maybe their offense was horrible, but they had a good defensive system that still allowed that linebacker to shine. Maybe their defensive was so bad that you were on the field longer than you should have been....so you ended up with more tackles.

Charlie Weis was the genius offensive coordinator for the Patriots. Then he was the genius head coach of Notre Dame. Then he was the worst coach in the history of football. If you take a look at the Patriots offense now - they're not so bad, even without Charlie. A bad coach looks like a great coach when he has the right players - or the right coaching staff.

Steve Young threw 11 touchdowns and 24 interceptions when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was awful. He went to San Francisco and was a Hall of Fame Quarterback. He was playing in a system where a guy with a mediocre arm and the greatest wide receiver of all time helped make Hall of Fame careers out of quarterbacks.

Mike Vrabel was a backup for the Steelers. He's was one layer removed from the practice squad because he was behind a Pro Bowl linebacker. He was a great linebacker playing in the wrong system on the wrong team.

David Klingler was the 6th pick in the 1992 draft. He was in everyone's top ten that year. Experts across the land said so. He wasn't a sure thing, because there is no such thing in the NFL - but he was considered a legitimate #1 pick by many. He was awful. I'd argue that if you put Joe Montana on that team - he would have been nearly as bad. So either he set all those records in college because he was a pretty good player playing in a great system, or he was thrown out of the league because he was a pretty good player playing in an awful system.

The Bengals were awful. Their coaches were awful. So every year they would get the #1 pick in the draft. Each year they'd get another player and fire another coach. Eventually they improved enough to pull to .500. What you'd want to be is the coach that came along when they were starting to get better just by resting every single postseason and then getting the top draft picks. Along comes Marvin - he, of the one winning season in 5 years.

Put Marvin on the right team with the right personnel and the right system, I'll bet he'd be a pretty good defensive co-ordinator.

Great players playing in the right system under the right coach make for a great team. It's the ultimate team sport.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

the holidays

So the kids went Trick or Treating. Lots of treats and not one trick.

At one point I saw a father and his son and thought it was kind of nice that the dad dressed up in a costume to go out with his son. As they came a little closer I realized that they were both kids, it's just that one of the kids asking for candy was a 200 pound 17 year old.

Cooper and Parker went as monsters. The great thing about their costumes was that they were basically fur jumpsuits. They were covered from head to toe in warm rug-like blue and green "fur". There's nothing worse than covering your sweet Power Rangers costume with a big floppy winter coat. You go door to door feeling like a flasher - you have to expose what's under your coat to get your M & M's. That's no good.

If you want to save a couple of dollars next Halloween - just stick a bowl on your front porch with a sign that says, "Please take one!" Every time you see those bowls they're already empty anyway...just a thought.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

broke


It's no fun being broke. I'd like to buy lunch today, but I'm broke.
I'd like to get our van fixed today...and I'm going to...and I'll charge it on our credit card, something we never had to do before this year, because we weren't broke.
I'd like to buy a nice little funny gift to send to my friend in Ireland (two other friends are going out to visit him today) but I'm broke.
I'd like to surprise Annie with some flowers, but I'm broke.
I'm broke as a joke.
As tall as Manute
As short as Herve
As funny as The Office
as great as Saget
as bad as a Paulie Shore movie
as bad as the Bengals are
as cool as Paul Newman
as stubbly as Brad Wise
as cute as Parker
and short lived as New Coke....
That's how broke I am.

But considering the fact that I'm richer than 97% of the world's population...maybe I should stop whining about what I don't have.

I'm complaining about being broke while I'm typing this out in a heated house on an oak table under a second floor full of bedrooms...and did I mention I'm doing this all on my laptop computer?

Perspective, it's not just what's for dinner

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get Rich Quickly!!!


You'll thank me later...

Here's what you do. First you pull up a list of every coach you can find. Pull up all the division one football and basketball coaches, and then the list of pro football and basketball coaches, and you put them in order of importance. You put the coaches of the big programs with a history of incredible seasons in the middle. You put the coaches of teams that are consistently at the bottom (the kind with one winning season every ten years) at the bottom of the list. Typically those teams don't have much of a following, so they're not as valuable on this list.

On the very top of the list you'll want to put all of the coaches of teams with a great history, who just happen to be really bad right now. This is a very important group to you for these purposes.

Now, go out to Godaddy.com or one of those cheap site name deals and start buying up sites. buy up http://www.firecoachfillintheblank.com/ sites and just wait for the dollars to start pouring in.

The coaches at the top of the list are probably already taken - that's why they're at the top of the list. It's still worth checking, because this is money in your pocket today. Where the real money comes in, the putting your kids through college or paying off your mortgage in 8 years kind of money - is in buying the sites for coaches that are in year one. If you bought one for Charlie Weis a couple of years ago, you're already ahead of the curve. That's the genius of this plan, each site cost $3-$4. Multiply that by hundreds of sites and you've invested a lot of money.

The secret is keeping the money invested. You've got to lose a little up front to make a barrel full in the end. If you keep it in there just like you kept your microsoft stock in there 20 years ago, it'll pay HUGE!!

just be patient....and you can thank me later

you're welcome

Monday, October 29, 2007

so what's for lunch?

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles this way:



“Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.”





When someone asked him which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.”


Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday


Big weekend.
Buddha's in town.
Mother in law is in town.
Our big day away for Alpha is tomorrow.
Hanging with friends on Sunday.
Writing 7 talks by Monday.
Griff is on day three of strep
life is busy...

But thanks to some great friends - I now have a light that hangs from my dining room ceiling...and a roof that doesn't leak. Griff also appears to be getting better...

Life is good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the ears of a 20 year old


They have a new ring tone that you can download now that's only supposed to be heard by young folk. It's called the stealth tone.

It was originally designed as a deterrent for young gang types. They would blare this high pitched sound in areas so that the young hoodlum types would keep their distance and not steal their valuables.

So back to the ring tone. I heard this awful sound that could only be described as a splinter in my mind. It was incredibly annoying and it was driving me nuts. I asked if anyone else had heard it, and sure enough the speaker for the evening - who happens to be a bit older than me - had no idea what I was talking about. Finally a young guy told me that it was his ring tone.

It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about...and then it occurred to me that this was the ring for the youngsters! This was the phone that only the hip kiddos could hear. This is something that was hidden from the man. The po po and all the squares would never catch on. Only people like me....the youthful types....only us kids would hear this ring tone.

It went from incredibly annoying to awesome in that moment of realization.

It was like a little electronic fountain of youth.

I'll take it...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

next?

So I've got a lamp that's not hanging from my dining room ceiling. Tomorrow would be a good day to give that another shot - I'll be home with a sick kid - Griff has strep...so that's no good.

The thing is, I can't really hang up a lamp when right above that ceiling is our upstairs ceiling that has a watermark that's growing by the hour. Me thinks we have a leak...

another house problem that we'll eventually fix and no one will notice. It's like when we replaced the air conditioner or the garage door opener. It's nice to have them working again, but it's no fun to get new stuff that's just kind of the same ol 'thing. I don't like putting in new things just to take care of a problem. I'd rather spend my time putting together new things that make a positive difference. I know having a roof that doesn't leak is positive - but I guess I'm saying that I'd rather put some money into something, or some time, or some energy...and have it be the fun new thing.

I'd rather spend a few thousand dollars on a hot tub or a new deck - than on an air conditioner. "Hey, come on over and see my new cold air!" it just doesn't get me that excited.

This is my struggle. I get way more excited about stuff I can show off.

I'm the definition of superficial...or maybe it's just the society that I live in. I read an e-mail from a guy visiting a family in a country where it's a big deal if you have your very own candle. With a candle you can light a room. Light is a big deal.

I'm complaining about a water mark...so that's me...

did you really think I'd put this on here?



Cool Myspace Generators




Steve is speaking at Alpha this week - if I put his first chapter online I can't imagine what he'd do or say to me...

I'll let you know when the book comes out and paste a link to the website I'm creating to sell friend's books.

Monday, October 22, 2007

yin/yang

I've been thinking about a post I read recently. Here's a couple of lines from the post: I've decided not to write books at this stage in my life because I'm not ready. It's too much about me; it's too much about my fame; it's too much about getting people to love me. Before I write my first book, it needs to be more about Jesus, and less about my personal goals and career aspirations.

This is a part of a much larger post where he sets up and follows this section.
The thing is, I agree with it and think it was well written. What's got me scratching my head is that it was written on a public blog by a fella that has a job speaking in front of big groups, and a ministry where he stands up and speaks in front of big groups.

People aren't buying books like they used to. Blogs are popping up everywhere. You could make a decent argument that if you wanted to have a lot of people read your stuff, you should put together a decent blog instead of writing a book. If you want to attract a crowd, you should speak at events and work your way up into a leadership position with some organization.

I should mention that I actually have a blog. No, seriously...I do. I call it a Web Log, but the kids have shortened that because who really wants to say six letters and two syllables when you can say 4 and 1? Not only do I have a blog, but I spoke at a couple of events this month, and will be traveling a bit to speak at some events next month.

So maybe I can relate to the same sort of struggle that my friend eluded to. I struggle throughout life with motives and intentions.

I know a few artists, and I've never heard of one of them being asked why they paint. I know some musicians and I've never heard of one of them being asked why they play their music. I know some quilters and...ok, I sort of wonder about that one. (but I loves me some warm quilts) I get asked all the time why I blog. A lot of the people who ask me why I would blog end up creating their own blogs. A bunch of them have their own little creative/artistic/interesting little outlets. For some reason, the blog is constantly called into question.

And that's what I'm doing today.

It's a vent. It's a way to record thoughts. It's fun. It's a way to promote. It's a way to communicate thoughts and ideas. It's just something I do.

So back to the post. The idea of staying out of the spotlight and announcing that in a blog just seems sort of contradictory.

I have a friend that has a bit of a following and he really wants to not become the focus of anything. At one point he started a blog as a way to communicate his ideas, but then felt like it was something that he would struggle with (the spotlight of having some sort of a following) So he stopped....but now he has a weekly podcast, so go figure.

So if not wanting to be the focus, or to step into the spotlight would keep me from writing a book...why would I blog? Why would I be a public speaker or leader?

Maybe a book seems like a much bigger thing? Ultimately it's hard to know. I'd hate for my friend not to write his book, because selfishly I'd love to read it. His blog has been one of my favorites for the past year or so. I'd guess that he could inspire many people to action because of his words. He would probably hope the same thing for his blog....so why not finish the book? Why not put himself out there and take the risk? Why not write the book under the name, Michael Scott? That actually would solve a lot of the problem right there.

See what I did? I just started typing and out came the answer...I guess I'm done now?

Friday, October 19, 2007

2 truths and a lie

I once owned a plaid 1974 Super Beetle
The University of Tennessee offered me a partial scholarship in their Ag department
I bungee jumped in Pensacola Florida

you decide...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

an inconvenient post



One estimate I've recently seen has the internet taking over 5% of the World's electricity. Most of our electricity comes from fossil or nuclear fuels - which makes the argument for electric cars interesting.

Having said that - I know people get on Al Gore for touring the globe on a private jet - going from one of his three or four 10,000 square foot houses to another, lecturing on how we're to conserve energy. He rationalizes all that by saying he's putting a lot of money towards things that help offset his using 73 times the energy that an average American uses. It's like the neighbor who waters the lawn even though they're telling everyone to minimize their water use because of the drought - but he rationalizes it because he's also buying bottled water from another county. That argument is getting old. We get the hypocrisy.

I want to suggest another angle.

Over 5% of the World's electricity is from the internet.
Al Gore invented the internet.
I think Al actually created this problem so he could spend his life talking about how bad the problem is, and then travel on private jets and live in 10,000 square foot houses and win a bunch of prizes.

It's like the new Superman movie where Lex Luther builds his own continent and he creates a land shortage in other parts of the world - so he can sell property.

I guess what I'm saying is that Al Gore is Lex Luther.
=
It's so obvious - it's been staring us all right in the face.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

knuckler


I can't figure out the knuckleball. I became a big fan of it when I started following Tim Wakefield when he was a rookie with the Pirates. Tim was about to get cut from his minor league team as a first basemen when he started messing around one day with a knuckleball. His manager told him he'd never even make it to double A as a first basemen, so he gave pitching a shot.

15 years later he's still doing it.

So why wouldn't you go out and see if you could throw a knuckleball? I've met some pretty solid college athletes and one thing I've noticed is that they often have crazy hand eye coordination. They often can do many sports well and it's because of their balance and speed. Having said that, it's silly how stupid a good knuckleballer can make a professional baseball player, by just throwing a 65 mph baseball.

You might be able to do the exact same thing. What if you discovered that you could weakly toss a ball across the plate in such a way that it darts and dives and occasionally even seems to rise? You could be in the bigs one year from now. If you make it onto an American League team (lesser league with the hated DH) you wouldn't even have to hit...because let's face it, you can't hit.

It's just one little thing. You'll get a free hat, jersey and parking pass to the stadium...plus a bunch of cash. It's actually a pretty good deal.

Just thought I'd mention it...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Zombie Haiku


An old friend of mind recently had a book published. He'll have something to put on his shelves for years and when people pass by, he can answer the question, "Hey Ryan, why do you have an entire bookcase full of 350 copies of the same book?" with "Oh, I forgot those were even there...that's just a book I wrote...that's all....I'm surprised you even noticed it"

I went to a conference once and heard an amazing speaker. I went up to him after his talk and asked him what book I had to read. This guy had a silly amount of info up in the 'ol cabeza, so I figured he'd read a book or two in his time. I wanted to know what was at the top of his list.
He mentioned a few that were big influences and we started talking about different things he'd learned. Then he mentioned another book...and hesitated. He said, "Actually that one is out of print..." and then went looking through his stuff. He pulled out the book and said, "here, you can have this one" This guy was a big deal. It was kind of a big deal that I was even able to sneak up and talk with him at all. Here he was giving me the copy of a great book that was out of print....his personal copy.

I figured out later why - his name was on the book. He probably had a few extra copies.

I heard the author of a pretty well known book do a weekend conference one weekend and he took questions in the end. Someone asked him why he'd devoted his life to writing books - and he said, "think of the greats - think of the folks that have changed the way people thing - think of the people who have had the most influence...and then he listed author after author after author....and he was right.

Sure there are exceptions - I don't know how many books (fill in this blank with a few famous names here) wrote - but you can't argue the point that some of our great movements or shifts in thinking have at least started with someone putting pen to paper.

So I wish my friend luck. I hope his book does well. I'm not sure it'll change a generation, but it'll still be fun to see his book on shelves...

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm not responsible for offending you with this blog


I was about 40 feet behind the truck when I read it's sign. "Warning! Stay 200 feet behind this truck. NOT responsible for broken windshields"


200 feet? the letters of the sign were smaller than the license plate letters. 200 feet is two thirds of a football field. I couldn't possibly read this sign unless I was within 60-70 feet of the sign. In fact, the sign was in bold red letters that called you to pull closer so you could read it.


But apparently that's all you need. A sign fixes everything. I'm printing t-shirts that say, "Beware of me stealing your wallet. NOT responsible for me stealing your stuff"

or

"Stay 200 feet from me. NOT responsible for me boxing your ears!"


It's sort of a ticket out of any responsibility. Who knew it could be so easy?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

eval


I was once a part of a group of people that would get together once a month and talk about leadership. We were all doing our own thing, but we'd get together and talk about the things we did that were similar. We'd also talk about new things people were trying and once a year we'd have a big conference.

What always bothered me about the conference is that we always used the same basic template. We'd have the same general talks, same format, same breakout sessions, etc. Every year I'd get feedback from people about what was great and what wasn't. What bothered me was that we didn't evaluate any of the feedback as a group. I'm sure all of us would get feedback from different people, but we never shared it as a large group. We never learned anything or moved forward as a result of our feedback.

I love evaluations.
I hate evaluations.

I love that they can help us move forward. I love that they can help us to see our blindspots. I love that they can be encouraging and instructive.

I hate that there's never a smooth way to do them. I hate that you have to break up the feel of the meeting to stop what you're doing and fill these out. I hate that we sometimes do them before the end of whatever we're evaluating, so you can't fully evaluate everything. I think that some people use them as their personal soap box to rant about stuff that might not even involve the thing you're evaluating.

I love the idea of evaluating something that I was a part of when I thought I did a decent job.
I hate the idea of evaluating something that I was a part of when I stunk up the joint.

I've decided that ultimately I want to have evaluations when something is really bad and I don't feel like the leader gets it. I want them to know it was bad. It's a very important thing for me. I NEED them to know how bad this is and what better way than to do a big evaluation and show them the overall numbers?

That probably tells you a little about me.
I've got some work to do yet...

Monday, October 08, 2007

risky business


I've heard it said that faith is spelled r-i-s-k, but it's not. It's spelled f-a-i-t-h (There are some really bad spellers out there)

I was asked to speak on a couple of weekend conferences next month. One in Michigan and one in Ohio. So the question for me is always how much I should risk when I'm speaking to these fine folks. Every once in a while I'll stick my neck out there and try something new or something different. You can always see people squirm when you do something different.
There are the:
-"We've always done it this way" folks.
-You have the insecure, look at you like you're an idiot because you're not following the standard format folks.
-There are folks who are just in the moment and might even appreciate the new slant you're putting on whatever it is you're doing.
-And lastly you have the folks who LOVE anything new or different.

I have a friend who says, "if it aint broke, break it". He loves the new angles. He appreciates the blowing up the box that everybody else is thinking inside of....and let's take a fresh approach. He's a risk taker.

I was talking with a friend who is evaluated every 4 months. He's consistently been rated #1 in his department and #1 overall since he's had the job. I mentioned to him yesterday that I had a friend that recently had great reviews from dozens of people on a job he'd recently done, but he had the one comment from the out of touch old person stuck in his brain. You could tell it was what was sticking with him. So my friend said, "Story of my life Murph". He went on to say that if he receives 99% good marks, he spends all of his time stuck on that one negative review.

I don't think he's alone. Maybe that's why he's so good at what he does. Maybe he gets great reviews because he's so focused on the one or two bad ones??? I'm just not sure that's the answer.

Having said that - I don't want to be any body's bad review. I don't want to be the one percent that totally discounts the ninety nine positives. I've been that guy. I am that guy. I don't want to be that guy.

There's an old dusty book out there that tells us to, "...encourage one another daily, as long as it's called today..." which is just a cool way of saying - do this every day. Probably pretty decent advice.

I know that I didn't take the risks I should have this past week. I know that one of the reasons was because of the squeaky wheels in my life. It's hard not to listen to the, "we've always done it this way" or to notice the incredulous looks of the folks who are shocked when you do something different.... but I'll give it a shot.

Friday, October 05, 2007

waiting game


I waited in a doctor’s office yesterday and filled out forms. I filled out the date, my name, address, phone number and the various diseases and afflictions that have tragically been visited upon me. And then I filled out Annie’s name, address and phone number – as she is my emergency contact. There was no option for (same as above). You had to write it all out twice.
That’s kind of annoying.
And then I filled out the second page of information where they asked me to write out the date, my name, address and phone number.
That’s really annoying.
I’d rather I just filled it all out once. Keep in mind that this wasn’t my first visit. I’ve been in the office before and you know they’re not even going to talk with you without having all of that info, along with your insurance info, so they can bill you.
If it’s already in the system, it wouldn’t be that difficult to just copy and paste. I do it all the time and I’m not that clever.

Maybe they’re trying to distract us from the long wait or the magazines from ’05. Part of the way they do this is by taking you from the waiting room to a second room…where you wait some more. It’s sort of like the smaller, less interesting sequel. It has some of the same features as the first room, but more gadgets to distract you from the fact that you’re just looking at basically the same thing you saw in the first one. And then you wait.

I always take my magazine in to the second room. It’s just too much to have me get through 80% of an article on who’s going to win Super Bowl XL and then not find out who they’re picking…

Thursday, October 04, 2007

a couple of links


I haven't referenced this blog in a while because I wasn't really reading blogs for about a month (or seeing my family, or not working, or having fun...) and this young man took some time off for bad behavior...but I'd really recommend reading this post.

It's good stuff.

He's one of the best writers I know and I always feel a little sad for him this time of year. So maybe it will cheer him up knowing that people appreciate his wisdom.

I also tend to turn to this blog when I get a chance. I'm not in marketing. I didn't study marketing. For whatever reason, I just really appreciate what this guy has to say. I don't always agree with his philosophy on life, his politics, or his conclusions...but I really like the way he thinks - which might seem strange. Anyhow, I'd say that this guy thinks outside the box...but clearly if you use that expression, you're showing the world that you don't think outside the box.

This guy doesn't write that often, but this is one of my top 10 posts of the year (and I just say top 10 to leave room for the possibility of Mr Bob Saget starting a blog and writing 9 posts). I want him to write more regularly, but he spends all his time listening to emo and hanging out with his wife while people whisper, "what is SHE doing with HIM?"

So I'll leave you with just a couple. Any more and I'd feel obligated to link you to my friend's new church plant, Annie's awesome blog, my artsy friend that writes poetry that I pretend to understand, and end with a list of blogs that have given up but shouldn't have...(too many to mention, so I won't)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

mr handy

I've installed three toilets and two light fixtures in the last month. The toilets were the big deal for me. They're big. They're heavy. It involved plumbing...this was a big deal...to me.

My friends kept telling me just how easy it was to un-install a toilet and put a new one in. I finally broke down and did it. It got old flushing three to five times every time we used one. I'm not sure this is what they had in mind when they changed toilets from 3 gallon to 1.6 gallons.

So I put one toilet in that advertises, "You can flush 36 golf balls in one flush!". That little experiment cost me more in golf balls than the toilet did...

But we love the new toilets. We love our two new light fixtures. I feel like I'm not kind of the incredibly simple, yet to the uninformed outsider - kind of impressive, home repair!

Now if I could just get this hanging lamp installed. It has this old wire box (not really sure what you call it) that I'm trying to hook it up to and it doesn't fit. Not really sure what's next???

Bragg???

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

students

Tuesday has become a very long day for me. It's good because I get to do a lot of the stuff that I like - and it's bad because I barely see my family. It's good because we just hired a good guy who works part time with me - and Tuesdays is one of those days - but it's so busy it feels like I'm just throwing projects at him all day.

The hardest part of my last job was that there was rarely a point of completion. You never felt like you were done. There was always something going on...and when you work in relational ministry - it's not like you're done once you've cranked out some program.

I think that's the appeal of most student ministries that I've seen. The majority of the churches I've seen are more about the world's biggest pizza party than they are about going to where the students hang out. I'd ask someone working with students how many nights they have kids visit and they'd just look at me blankly, like..."why would they come to my house?" And I'd look at them with my, "seriously? You don't have kids in your home a couple of times a week?" and they'd return their, "what does that have to do with me getting a lot of kids to show up at my events?" and then I'd think, "yup, that's too bad" ...or something like that.

There's a great line from an E.M. Bounds book that I'll paraphrase because I don't have it in front of me right now. "God is far more concerned with people than He ever will be with programs" He doesn't care how many are showing up nearly as much as you do. He doesn't get all that excited about the cool video or creative illustration as you do either.

I believe He's excited about the people quietly showing up at the schools 3 or 4 days a week. Folks that are spending time in the world of a student - they're the one's creating relationships that impact students. It doesn't show up in their stats - but I believe it shows up on internal change-o-meter of these kid's lives. (it's a real thing)

Monday, October 01, 2007

H. Ross Perot - watch out


I've been thinking about this for a while now. I know that we're told all the time that it would be bad to do...popular opinion has always fallen on the idea that you "don't mess with Texas" but I think I'm gonna.

I'm going to do it. I know that they say that everything is big in Texas - but does that mean better? If you said you were from Texas, should I assume that your prostate is bigger than everyone else in the room? You have a bigger ego? Bigger Debt? A bigger tax problem?
And honestly, if you have to keep telling everyone that everything is bigger...you might as well get a dye job and buy yourself a convertible. It's just silly.

So I declare my intentions to mess with Texas starting today.

I play on making prank calls, selling them parking passes to non-existent events, asking Texas to meet me at a movie theater and then not showing up, I might stick a kick me sign on a few t-shirts...I'm going all out.

It all starts now. I'll unleash messing upon them...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

wearing a flak vest and my khakis


There's a guy (look at me assuming it's a guy - I'm sort of a sexist that way) driving around the mean streets of West Chester shooting up houses.

There was a news crew across the street from our house two days ago and we couldn't figure out why. It turns out that someone drove down a street near hear and fired a couple of shots into a house with a high powered rifle. I immediately wondered if there was any such thing as a low powered rifle?

Anyhow, the next day he drove down Steeplechase Way (home of the Murphy's, and the letter Y) and shot into the house across the street from us - and two down....you know, the one next to the park where our kids play.

I have this huge bulls eye that I used for a work event about a month ago and wondered aloud about putting it on the side of my house. I thought that maybe that would comfort the neighbors knowing that we'd take one for the team, but nobody so far has thought that was a very good idea.

It's hard to describe what it's like living on the mean streets of the Dub C - this is just a way of life for us. Drive by's and corn hole games - it's just how we do yo...