Friday, March 30, 2007

The Cubicle

I should start by saying that I love my job. I was offered a job in a climate that remains between 60-90 degrees year round by one of my great friends in life...and turned it down (5 times so far) because obviously I don't think I'm done here.

Having said that - I was watching a re-run of The Office last night (it's kind of like reliving the greatest 22 minutes of one day last year) and they were talking about switching their health plans. Dwight was put in charge and cut just about everything. The things that stood out to me is that at one point they actually gave some of the details of this new, awful plan...and it's better than mine.

Now they didn't lay out how much in premiums they were paying...and what the specifics of their prescription were....but the three things they mentioned were the same or better.

I'm not saying that I wish Dwight Schrute were setting up our insurance plan. I'm also not saying that I don't wish he wasn't (huh?)

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm sure there's a simple explanation

Maybe I missed it in geography or history class. I'm sure I could do some sort of search on the world wide web...

I've just never understood how Ohio was in the Midwest.

It's not really, is it?

Maybe the Midwest of the Big 10 Conference. It's in the Mid-section of the area between Pennsylvania and Indiana...and it's west of New York....but the Midwest. That's how you'd describe where Ohio is to an out of the country visitor?

Can someone clear this up for me? Please?

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I get to speak to a group tonight on a subject that I've spoken on a few hundred times. It's kind of nice to be able to walk into the room and talk for two hours about something that's important to the folks in the room...and not have to prep. In actuallity, I've "preped" for a few thousand hours on this particular subject...just not lately.

I think we've all got stuff that we know pretty well. There are some subjects that we feel fairly comfortable talking about...and maybe even discussing with others.

There are two or three of these things that I feel fairly comfortable talking about, with just about anybody, anywhere, in any context.

Moving to Cincinnati, moved me away from some of these subjects. I sometimes struggle with moving into a new phase of life, when I feel like I've picked up a thing or two in my last arena. It seems like I've got some knowledge that's just sitting around now.

Lots of us have learned a job or a skill and then moved to the next's just weird. It feels like you spend a couple of years saving up to buy this nice car, you drive it for a few weeks....and then you start saving up for the next car...and the first one sits in the garage.

Anyhow, it'll be nice to take the old car out of the garage tonight...hopefully.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

bad computer week

Our computer is working...
It probably won't be by the time I'm done with this sentence.
I was wrong.

It hasn't really worked for the last two weeks. Our company has told us a couple of times that it'd work fine tomorrow...and yet tomorrow has come and gone.

It's working now, but I'd bet $1 that it won't by the time Annie tries it.

It's hard to blog when your computer doesn't work.

People keep asking if Annie's checking her e-mail (I can at work). She's checking's just not available. It's funny how quickly the computer has become a "must have".

I think we spend so much money on stuff because we've decided that cell phones, home computers, second cars, spare bedrooms and summer vacations are - needs, and not wants.

I've heard that in the early 1950's the average house was the size of a three car garage. I don't think I know anybody that lives in a house that small.

We pay money so that our phones ring with cool songs. We pay for a cell phone that we can talk with when we're bored by the song on the radio and on our 2,000 song ipods. We spend hundreds of dollars a month on fun stuff that wasn't available to even our parents, when they were our age. kids are starving on the other side of the world. I just read that there is enough food in supply right now for everyone to eat 3,000 calories a day. Most food labels are based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet. I wonder what would happen if we all ate in for a week and gave away the extra money to folks who haven't eaten anything in a week?

Not sure how I got off on that tangent...I guess the point here is that my computer isn't working and I'll probably never even get to post this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

red campaign (2)

I wrote a bit about how charities are using products to raise money (girl scouts, red campaign, LiveStrong, etc.) and how they've tapped into the "Me Generation" by giving people something they want, along with the satisfaction of knowing some of the money goes to a good cause.

Some might ignore the fact that some of their money going to other products goes to perpetuate slave labor, child labor, or many political or social causes that they really, really disagree with...but those are largely ignored.

I wonder how this giving things up for Lent factors into the "Me Generation". I know a few folks that are giving up chocolate, sweets, smoking crack....for Lent, and each of them tell me that they need to cut back. The focus of the "fast" isn't a great focus on their relationship with God, trying to cut back on the distractions that keep them from seeking more of God and less of them ("He must become greater, I must become less" - John the Baptist).

I would never say that that is everybody....but I have yet to talk with anyone about giving something up for Lent - where the conversation touched on the word God, the idea of seeking more of Him, or anything other than - I need to cut down on _________.

So I wonder if this has become another thing we do in the name of a greater cause, that's ultimately just about us?

I really don't know - I'm just thinking this through...

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'd listen to him read a phonebook

Jeff Goldblum

If only you were a daily guest on Conan, Letterman and Kimmel. You are the best interview ever because you are fascinating to listen to no matter the story.

You tell a story (a short quip or two) while perpetually make side references (little jokes, interesting asides) and weaving this magical tale (I know a guy with a tail) that, that, that seems to ultimately not have a big punch line (I'd hate to be know what that's like) but still is breathtaking.

You were in one of the greatest movies of all time - The Big Chill. You were in The Life Aquatic, were the best part of the Jurassic Park and Independence Day.

You were also in The Great White Hype...and I forgive you.

Never change. Never stop sub referencing...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It has arrived!

If you don't know Aunt Peg - then you don't know one of the all time greats. She speaks, writes, wears goofy hats, takes Griffin to the park, loves our family, and loses gracefully in ping pong. Her second book just came out and you'll find it at a bookstore (or here) near you...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

our generation

There were the baby boomers
and at some point there was Generation X (also the name of Billy Idol's first band)
they weren't sure if they should call the next group Generation Y, the post modern generation....I think the consumer generation kind of fits.

I have a friend that has a red phone because some of the proceeds go to help people in Africa. I buy the occasional gift off a web site that gives a portion to breast cancer research and another that gives to food for the homeless. There are so many people that bought LiveStrong bracelets that I think they stopped counting.

We love to stuff that will sort of give us something in return.

Tom's figured that out.

If you try and get a few bucks for cancer research, you'll get just that...a few bucks. If you host a cancer research event, pay a few celebrities $35,000 to show up, feed folks and send them home with a gift'll raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. It just works.

The Gap, Apple and Motorola spend over 100 million in advertising dollars to launch their red campaign. They raked in 18 million in profits. That's 18 million more than they would have that's good.

It's just hard to not be cynical about paying $100 for something so that $9 would go to a cause. Would we be better off shopping for a better deal and giving the money we saved to the cause we support? I should mention that if I was on the receiving end of even $18, I wouldn't complain about it. It's just that I refused to have one of those gum ball machines in my shop (yeah, I had one) because I knew that for every $200 raised, they gave on average 50cents. The Leukemia Society isn't complaining because $.50 times a few hundred thousand gumball machines brings them a bunch of money. It just feels a little wrong...
People inherently focus on themselves and their needs...maybe the "me generation" is a better label. We're selfish...but we'd like to help...a little...especially if you hook me up with some new shoes or a cool bracelet.

I guess it'd be better to skip the gum and send the quarter to the Leukemia Society.
....but then we wouldn't have the cool bracelet/phone/t-shirt that let's people we care about cancer/aids/poor people....sort of.
We're not fanatics or anything...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Final Four


I'd love to do a bracket where everyone kicked in $2 and the winner was Young Life in the Greater Miami area...but I don't want to make everyone pay $2 to enter. (but you can if you want to...) (but it's free) (seriously...I do this .... and this ( ) a lot)

So....just click on this link and enter Group ID# (76478) and the Password (murph). It'll take you three minutes if you just keep's a piece of cake.

I've got UC winning it all...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Merton's kind of a funny name

"If you want to identify me ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can determine the identity of any person."

-Thomas Merton The Man in the Sycamore

Thomas was just your run of the mill, Catholic Trappist Monk who lived in a monastery in Kentucky. (you can't swing a dead cat in Kentucky without hitting one of 'em) Did I mention he died of electrocution when he was getting out of the bath. It's the same old story we've all seen and heard a thousand times....

Anyhow, he wrote a bunch of books and he's not a bad read if you're headed to the library.

Monday, March 05, 2007

oh oh it's magic

magicians mess with your minds -

that's not right, is it?

They do something amazing that they could easily explain but they don't

who would pay for that?

they're professional liars...there's no honor in that

They wear a lot of black and arch their eyebrows with that look of superiority...we get know all the get to sweep your arm across the stage and point to tricks that your underpaid and under dressed assistants are actually performing.

Why don't you just tell me how you knew what card I was that so wrong?

the chicken or the egg

So is it -
if you're a child actor, you're going to end up being short


If you're going to end up being a short adult, your parents are more predisposed to trying to get you to be a child actor?

Can you think of any child actors that grew up to be more than 5' 6"?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

intensive weekend

We're hosting a "weekend intensive" and it's a busy weekend.

Our church takes in a bunch of calls every week from churches around the country that ask us stuff...and we try and make up answers. We decided to do these "intensives" every three months and just create an outlet for training/sharing/experiencing. We have a few groups from Kentucky, a few from Ohio and one from we've got that going for us.

So far so good. I'm headed out for another day of And we're also have that crazy ServeFest this morning.

Should be a good one.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Young Life

I was a volunteer leader and later went on staff with a ministry that's in over 50 countries and 50 states - and does a great job of reaching out to High School students. Young Life was a big part of my life even though I was never impacted by it, or even knew it existed, when I was in High School.

Now I'm on the committee of the local Young Life area and want to help raise $500 of their annual budget. I've posted a "donate here" button on the side of this blog that links to their pay pal account, and if you decide to help them reach out to the kids in this area - just hit the button and pull our your credit card.

I've never seen a better return on an investment that what these guys do for so little. They run their area largely by pouring their resources into training and developing volunteer leaders. This keeps the budget down obviously, but more importantly, it's a great way to plug college students into something that matters.

Anyhow, I'm playing in their golf marathon - and only really like golf for about 6 or 7 holes. I'm going to play 75 holes because that's the deal. If it was a walk-a-thon, bowl-a-thon, drink milk-a-thon, or punch a clown-a-thon - it wouldn't really matter. The whole point is to help the area raise money so the staff can spend their time with college and High School students...and not trying to raise support.

I'm looking for 4 people to donate $50, 8 people to donate $25, and 10 people to donate $10....but if you can skip a coffee and muffin today and donate that $3 - we'll take it.

Everything helps. Young Life will send you a receipt for any amount you send in.

Thanks in advance!