Friday, January 30, 2009

one for the thumb...on the other hand?

Defense wins championships...sometimes...sort of.

I'd argue that offense, defense and special teams win championships.  I think I heard that this is the eleventh or twelfth time the best defense in the NFL has been in the Super Bowl.  That means that more often than not, Defense didn't win the championship...or even play in the big game.

If this was college football, I'm not even sure these two teams would be in the National Championship.

It would be Tennessee vs. Baltimore, Indianapolis or Pittsburgh based on wins.  Probably Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh based on records + strength of schedule. (the Steelers played the toughest schedule in the league based on opponents '07 record & played a tougher schedule than any of the above teams - based on this year's records)

Doesn't matter.  They have playoffs to match teams up head to head to see what team has lasted this long and is playing the best when it matters. 

You rarely hear arguments (at least among coaches and "experts") when they talk about what team was the best in a particular year.  They point to the winner of the Super Bowl more often than not.  It's the standard.

The Super Bowl is like the Super Bowl of football...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I just saved you $240 a year for ten years...that's like...well, you do the math

Here's two things that are true:
1. I hate absolute statements
2. You are absolutely crazy if you don't order a ShamWow right ShamNow.

Every time I see Vince I reach for my wallet. 

A couple of simple questions:
-Why would you want to work twice as fast?
-Camera guy, are you following Vince?

If you're already spending twenty dollars a month, this will pay for itself inside of a month.  Oh sure, you could buy some sweet Viva paper towels with coupons and not spend nearly that much, but what does that have to do with Vince and his amazing presence? 

Nothing, that's what.
I say you buy both.
"you know the Germans always make good stuff"
-Vince

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I still think this is funny



Brad says this is the best movie he's seen in ten years...I haven't seen it, so I can't vouch...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

on mission...

I just wrote a Chris Day length-ed (I'm coining a new term) post about the difference between a mission and a job.  I'm going to try to put in a little more than my allotted seven minutes and spend some time on this one before I post it...

Having said that - what do you think the difference is?

Monday, January 26, 2009

$480 an hour

Annie and I are trying to figure out our finances. The number one struggle most married couples have is over their finances. It's number 3 on our list, just under the over/under toilet paper argument of '07 and the improper use of the term "gandy dancer".

So we're taking a class and our homework for week one was to put together a simple budget. That was actually an incredibly helplful thing to do. The simple act of putting together our monthly bills for things like - food, utilities, mortgage, blow torch rental, phone etc... It forced us to see, and on some level, understand where our money goes.

I think I can count on one finger how many people I have had in my life that were really good with their money. He was the guy that everybody called cheap and then later asked for a loan from. Having said that, I've never really taken any classes or had anyone sit me down and talk about the basics.

It's interesting how many people go into great debt in college or shortly after, and yet personal finances aren't a priority at most high schools. It's the number one cause of divorce and the number three cause of under funded Saget movies...and yet...nothing about it at Worthington High School (Home of the Cardinals)

So I made two calls on Friday. I asked my cable and my phone guys to hook a brother up. I made them both around 9 - 10ish and they both knocked $20 a month off our bill.

Twenty dollars isn't really that big of a deal to a guy like me. I'm not lighting my cigars with them, but let's just say I spent a little more than that on my last anniversary. Now I know not everyone throws around money like that, but I just need a starting point to let you know that a Hamilton for me just isn't so much.

$480 on the other hand is a big deal...and that's what I saved this year by making those two phone calls.

We also cancelled two of our memberships (gym and Costco) and were given a $100 cash refund from one and saved $720 a year on the other.

That's $1,300 if you keeping score at home.

So if you want to give more money to your favorite charity or skinny jeans dealer, maybe you ought to take a looksie at the old budget this week. You'll be glad you did...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Call Boy

I'm on call today.  That means at any moment I might have to stop typing this visual gold and...

I scared you there for a second, huh?  Someone from Detroit was just screaming at her laptop, "NO!  Sean, don't stop typing!"
That was just a warning.  At any point I might take A call and find out it's THE call.  "Sean, you're needed up front"  Thats' the call.  I'm not literally on that call right now....but strangely enough...they say that I'm "on call"

I'll straighten them out on that later.

I've had some friends over the years that would work somewhere where they'd be on call.  I was always confused/horrified by the concept.

Typical conversation:
Me:  Hey let's go see Footloose
On Call Person:  I can't...I'm on call.
Me:  You mean they're paying you to stay home?
OCP:  No, I'm not getting paid right now, but I can't go out and have fun or do anything I'd like to do on my day off.
Me:  Cool...well I'll be turning it loose...later.

Our on call is a bit different.  I'd explain it, but it's clearly laid out on page 47 of your manual.  Gotta go...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Viral

I've decided to make a viral letter.  I'm going old school with this.  Viral videos have been done, that's so 2004.  I'm going nostalgic.  I'm playing the game they way they did in Agnew's day and throwing a saliva sealed stamp on an envelop before handwriting an address.

This thing is going to be huge. 

There are a few key things you want in a viral letter:
1.  Some sort of threat
or
2.  Some bit of hope of something better
3.  Fake statistics
4.  A reference to an obscure 80's celebrity

Dear Joe,
   I'm sure by now you've heard about the skyrocketing cost of cable tv and blue star ointment.  If you would like to kiss those problems goodbye and live the life you've always wanted, simply send this letter to 19 friends/co-workers/relatives or neighbors.  Keep in mind that Herve Villachez received this letter as a young child and refused to send it to even one friend/co-worker/relative or neighbor.  He stopped growing that very day.  Do you want to have the same thing happen to you...or worse?
  I didn't think so.  Over 14% of the people who send out a letter within fifteen minutes of receiving one win at least $17,000 in cash and prizes.
  Do you hate cash and prizes?
I didn't think so.
  I have no idea why you're still reading this letter and not getting addresses.  Maybe you do hate cash and prizes...
  It's up to you.
Merril Hoge

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Praying for the new fella

The President of the United States begins for real today.  It feels a bit like New Year's Day - you're not exactly what is going to happen in the coming days, you're still a little surprised that your Aunt Pelosi got that drunk yesterday & you wonder why they kept playing that Prince song even though it's 2009.

The guy in charge and I agree on a few things (college playoffs and...) & don't agree on a few issues, but I know I'm supposed to pray for him.

I'm going to choose to believe that he really wants whats best for this country and I hope his plan(s) help us to move forward.  I also believe that the best bet for us to do that is to get a little help from the Guy that's always been in charge... So maybe we should talk to Him about him. 

So that's what I'll do right now.

(I'm not actually going to type out a prayer or anything...that doesn't seem like me, does it?)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rhonda the Honda?

It's time to give a name to our 2000 Honda Civic.  This is the first and last car that we will ever buy new.  I'm convinced that if we ever have the money for another car that we'll still try to use the 'ol noodle and buy a car that is worth 100% of what we paid for it two weeks after we bring it home.  Having said that, I feel like 100,000 miles is a good time to name the little fella.

So the car is at roughly 99,600 right now.  This is the time when a car goes from a boy to a man, or girl to woman...I'm not sure.  Either way I want to give him/her a name.

The problem with naming something when you first get it is that you have no idea what it's going to be like.  You name a kid Butch and then what happens if he doesn't punch people out and steal their lunch money?  It wouldn't fit.  You get 100,000 with a car to really figure out it's personality.

Here's my problem - I haven't really figured it out.  I've largely ignored the little guy and now I feel like our relationship has drifted.

I've got some thinking to do...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

worth one picture

By now you've probably seen/conributed/heard about young Brad Wise's weblog.

It is truly a thing of beauty.  If you haven't checked out his list, take a few minutes and see where you can't help but agree.

As I read the list, it occured to me that there are worse things I can focus on than something deemed "beautiful".

Of the thousand +, I added maybe a dozen or so.  I honestly think everything I put on there is something beautiful.  Reading other comments, I felt like an idiot for not thinking of bacon.  Seems like a no-brainer.  You could start and end your list right there (well played Liz)

My personal favorite was #375 - A good Woody Allen impersonation.  I can't help but agree.  I liked most of Dan's items actually (how could you beat a good hooded sweatshirt...or a shirt right out of the dryer for that matter?)  (Actually, I'm thinking of putting a Reece's spin on this and suggesting a good hooded sweatshirt right out of the dryer for the list in 2010)

I fought for days against putting in the simple word:  Saget.  I didn't want to belittle all of the other things of beauty by overpowering the list.  Honestly, I had a whole list of things that I thought might be worth a laugh, but this seemed like something better than that.

Anyhow, if you haven't had a look...what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fuzzy Math

I heard a radio montage today, so I'm not sure who exactly said this (I think it was Tony Kornheiser) (You'd like him if you like Jim Rome but wish he was smart, funny or interesting) He said that "Sometimes one plus one equals three"

He used peanut butter and jelly as an example.  Peanut butter is good.  Jelly is good.  Put them together and they're great.  I'm not sure I agree.  I say that if Peanut butter = 1 and Jelly = 1 then Peanut butter & Jelly = 1.5.  That's just my opinion on the sloppy sandwich though.   I do agree that sometimes two people can come together and equal more than two.  I know that Annie makes me a better man and a better dad.  I know that a team of five that works well together can do far more than five individuals.

I once said that our team was actually getting stronger because a few people had quit.  I told our team that it was addition by subtraction and I remember one guy looking at me like I had on a Frankie says Relax T-shirt.  He'd never heard the expression and didn't quite understand that sometimes asking someone to leave makes the group better.  You see it in sports all the time.  If you get rid of a great player that brings down the work ethic of those around him....now the average players aren't working as hard...and now the team isn't getting the little things done that make them succesful...even though the great player still has great stats.

Sometimes we point to ministry that's huge and use it to rationalize our lack of real community or depth.  We don't have to get close to people as long as we impress from a distance enough to attract the crowds.  It's the curse of growth.  It's the curse of bad leadership.  It's the curse of small thinking.  One of my favorite quotes from E.M. Bounds is "God is not concerned with programs, He's concerned with people"

Unfortunately it's much harder to invest in people's lives.  A small group is often much more work a big group.  Putting together a cool show is much easier than sitting across from someone and listening to their story.  I believe that one conversation might be more significant than the 400 people who came to your "world's biggest Jenga party". 

Numbers don't always tell the real story.

Numbers can lie.  I once had a four tell me he slept with Lindsay Lohan.  Whatever.

baby steps to the elevator...

I have a friend who tried going on a coupon inspired shopping trip and ended up spending more than she normally would.

Just a review. 
Everybody asks:
Don't you end up buying stuff you normally wouldn't buy?
and
Where do you get all of your coupons?

or they don't ask questions, they just tell you stuff like:
I don't have that kind of time.
and
I'm too ticked off about the whole mess in the Middle East to focus on coupons.

I've heard it a million times.

A little knowledge can be dangerous.  The thing that gets press...the thing that people talk about, is the big hauls.  I spent a little over $5 recently and came home with a little more than $100 worth of groceries.  I also came home with money the store gave me to take their products not too long ago.

So someone hears that, buys a paper and wonders how come they aren't being given money or saving over 90%???!?!?

Because most of the time you don't win the Super Bowl.  You get a paper, cut out 20 coupons and maybe use 3 that week.  You save $3, which pays for the paper.  You have 17 coupons left over and you use them along with the 20 you get out of next week's paper.  Maybe that week a couple of your coupons line up with some sales and you've got twice as many this week....so you save $10.  It snowballs.

You figure you can save more than $1.50 with each paper so it makes sense mathematically to buy more than one paper.  With each paper you get another 20 or so coupons.  And then you find free sites (like the one linked to the right) that let you print their coupons on your home computer.

Maybe you figure out ways to organize them so it's not any slower to go shopping than before the coupons?  Maybe you have a week where all of your coupons match all of the sales which match all of the things you want...and you save 95%.

You don't win the Super Bowl every year (or even once in some team's history).  You just keep plugging along and you save money every single time without fail.  It pays off every time a decent amount, and every once in a while a ton.

I hope that this has been as inspiring to you to read as it has been for me to write.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

stuff on my frontal lobe

Best sound in the world?  It's a tie - Griff, Coop, Parker or Annie's laugh.  Not the - we're just laughing because Alton raised his eyebrows in an obvious laugh here moment and I feel like I should.  I'm talking about an uncontrollable laugh...like when he does his Harry Carrey....or when NPH says, "what are you allergic to timing?" in reference to his arch enemy - Fred Savage.

I'm thinking of starting a fan club, but many of the greats have already been taken.  I don't want to be just another member of the Craig T. Nelson fan club.  I want to have "Founder & President" next to my 250 Vista Print business cards I'm soon to have printed.  It's just a matter of who I should be fanatical about that nobody has grabbed yet...
Best taste in the world?  Right now I'm craving a Herby Turkey on a toasted salt bagel. (hold the lettuce)
Ask me tomorrow and it'll either be sesame chicken or a gyro...either way it's supporting our global economy.

I would have thought Andy Samburg or Jason Sudeikis would have been in a great movie by now.

If I had a dollar for every dollar I've wasted in life, I'm pretty sure I could pay off my house and yours.  You must be pissed.

The Amish might be right on this whole simplicity thing - but they'll never read this and feel my validation.

If you held my feet to the fire and forced me to pick one or the other, I'd have to put microfiber in the "overrated" category.  I hate to do it and I still can't believe you'd actually hold my feet near fire and force me to put items in categories.  What's that all about anyways?  ShamWow on the other hand - well we live in a golden era if you ask me my friend...


Monday, January 12, 2009

Google this NBC!

I get to be a part of a group discussion that happens fairly frequently and there are always a bunch of questions that get thrown around the room.  The group is always different (except for me) but the questions tend to be fairly consistent.

Here are a few of the big ones:
What is God's will for me life?
or
What should I do with my life?
or
How can I make my life count (or matter)?
or
Why would they have cancelled Ed?  Tom Cavanaugh is a terrific actor with great timing, funny patter and an unassuming charm that makes you want to invite him over for Powerade and Cheezits.
I'm just not sure.
I do know that you could do worse than to love God with everything you've got (heart, mind, soul, strength, free time, etc.)  That seems to be something that would fit into each of our lives.  You could even argue that by doing that, you'll naturally do the second biggie - you'll love the people He loves (think neighbor...but of an incredibly large neighborhood) as much as yourself - and that even includes your enemies...and that guy from accounting that gets hands every time you talk with him about Mork & Mindy.  I think it happens because as you love God, you start to see the world in the same way that he does (on some small level) and you'll see the love He has for that Mindy loving lawsuit waiting to happen.
I also think that you'd be hard pressed to do anything bigger than to spend your life rescuing.  In a moment of desperation, to have someone rescue is one of the all time great moments of freedom.  We often don't appreciate a situation until we're faced with a crisis, and when that crisis is averted or overcome, it's just the greatest.  I think it'd be a great life's calling to help folks in crisis - big and small.
You could become a lifeguad and save people's lives....but that seems a bit on the nose.  Let's dig a little deeper.  You could rescue someone from financial ruin.  You could rescue an incredibly awkward conversation that started with a lawyer joke and moved onto Steve defending his best gal's honor.  You could rescue a moment of boredom for a child...or your friend with A.D.D.
I really believe that every day provides moments of possible rescue.  We can either choose to rescue in those moments or not - we can proactively look for uncomfortable situations and swoop in for the rescue...or not.
In a strange way we can all live the lives of super heroes that rescue people in real pain.  You might not be able to lift 150 pounds over your head, but you could help lift someone's burden by offering to babysit while a mom runs some much needed errands. 
You can't fly (except for Bragg) but maybe you can take a few minutes to ask/pray/think about the folks around you today that might need a little bit of rescuing.
And remember people... no one was there to rescue Ed...just let that one sink in for a while...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Back from Staycation



Amd we're hitting the ground running...

Annie put together our family/work calendar and it looks like we have two free evenings this month.  Part of the fun of that is that we're doing a couple of shows with the Q City Players and we're also cranking back up our next Alpha session.

On a not so great note, Griff's basketball season starts this Saturday.  I love watching him play, but they scheduled most of his games when I'm working (cue 'Cat's in  the Cradle)
and this is where having a full schedule isn't so fun.  Luckily his game this Saturday is at 8 and I'll see at least half of it.
So if you're looking for some great athletic competition to enjoy as a spectator, I'd watch the Steelers - Chargers game...are you really going to drag yourself out of bed to see 8 year olds play basketball?

As for me and my Tribe (I'm jumping on the trendy word of the moment) we'll be watching Aunt Peggy and our neighbor Tammy do impromptu cheerleading drills (what do you really call what they do?)...and then I'm off to work...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

on thin ice

I found myself reaching for my car when I was still a few strides away.  The parking lot was icy and for a moment I stepped outside of myself and wondered, "who do I looked like?"

I could see the way I looked shuffling along afraid to slip on the ice.  I knew I'd seen a scene or many scenes like this before.  Who was it?  Who shuffles their feet trying not to pull a Yamaguchi in the Olympics?  Where had I seen someone reaching for something to grab onto several steps away from their destination?

And then it occurred to me - every old person I'd ever seen walk on slippery ground.

I blame Spencer Sweeting.  A few years ago I left his house and when I stepped down onto his slanted wooden step I did a Fred Flintstone.  My feet went up higher than my head and I landed hard on my back.  It was straight out of a Three's Company episode.  Unfortunately Mr. Furley wasn't around to pick me up and I just laid there moaning.

I actually moaned.

And now apparently I walk a bit more tentatively on the ice.  I don't want to fall.  I don't even want to slip.  I'm playing it safe.

I don't want to live like that.  I want to occasionally fall knowing that I fell because I was walking unafraid.  I want to experience failure knowing that I only failed because I wasn't afraid to fail.  I want to live out my faith in a way that doesn't worry about how it will look or what other people will think. 

That half hearted pseudo-sensitive faith meant to be attractive to others (or at least to not offend) comes off as watered down and as fake as the people we make fun of on tv.  It's certainly not hot, but it's not cold either...it's sort of a luke warm thing we have going on.  It's a little faith like, but not so much that people are going to stop inviting us to the fun stuff.

I can think of three people, off the top of my head, that are living out that - no fear of man/ballsy/risky/new testament - kind of life.  These three take daily risks and get made fun of because of it.  They take a lot of falls on the ice.  It's a rare thing.

I'd love to stop shuffling through life worrying about falling or looking silly.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hey Buddy

It's hard for me to get around the feeling that someone is talkinig down to me when they call me "buddy".

I'm not sure why or what that's all about...it just feels that way.
On a related note, somehow "chief" feels empowering...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Quote of the Game

"If it's a battle of the band uniforms, then it's no contest.  Texas looks like they took the whole family and just got off the log ride at Wally World"
-whoever was doing play by play during the game last night

I thought it was a great game, by the way (even though my team didn't win so much)

Political Quote of the year
"Then why are you following the Nationals?"  Ralph Nader talking with a reporter who told him his paper wasn't covering the Nader campaign because they had no chance of winning.

Monday, January 05, 2009

dinner with my people

Dinner with the Scotts this evening.  This means I'll be saying, "huh?" and "what's that again/" and "I'm sorry..." a lot.  I spend most of my time trying to figure out different and new ways of letting them know that I don't understand about half of what they're saying. (They're from the "old sod" by the way)
Do you remember the movie where Brad Pitt plays a boxer with a crazy thick accent?  It's sort of like that without the boxing.

I'm convinced that Americans have accents too.  I have friends from north east Ohio that have sort of a Michigan-Wisconsin kind of thing going.  I have friends from the south with sort of a Bo and Luke thing happening.  People in Boston, New York, Philly...they all have a regional thing going.

But not in Columbus, Ohio.  That is the vanilla of all the English speaking world.  If you were building a delicious ice cream of all our verbal gems, you'd start with a Columbus base.  Cincinnati is close, but we've got a case of the Kentucky that we can't seem to shake.  Nope, it's Columbus that really is the heart of the heart of it all...in terms of not adding R's in words that don't have R's.  They say it the way you hear it on those dictionary sites that have the audio help.
Because of this I think someone from Columbus probably stands a much better chance with the witness protection agency.  You've got a solid foundation to work with.  It's like starting from scratch; you've got a blank canvas from which to work.  There aren't many idiosyncrasies that you'd have to unlearn before you learned how to add an "eh?" or "don't ya know" to your sentences.

Yup, I guess what I'm saying is this is the perfect place to commit some sort of mob crime and then sing like a bird to the D.A.