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


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 if by some sort of voo doo.

It captivates me.

Monday, November 26, 2007


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 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.


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...


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 keep their no writing without compensation thing going...

just a thought

Thursday, November 15, 2007


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 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.


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)

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 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.