Friday, July 31, 2009

Double L to the H on the Weekend

Some friends are loving Lincoln Heights this weekend.  I'm not sure exactly what that involves, but our family is it's gotta be family friendly, right?
People will be cleaning, running games, helping to setup a block party, grilling out...lots to do.  If you'd like to join us, see here for better details.  Our small group will be helping with the block party from Noon to 3.  If you see me, maybe I'll sneak you a balloon...
In fact, if you're at the block party...all you have to do is go up to Joe and say, "Great Beard" and he'll either give you a dollar, a hug or something from the prize booth.  That seems like win/win.
And as for tonight - Ms. Peg Murphy is performing a classic American tale of intrigue, mystery and laughter in the stage production of...actually I can't remember the play...this is a lousy plug, huh?  Well that's where we're going to be this evening...double date style.  Should be fun.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I saw another professional baseball game last night.  I'd say that baseball is a game that requires some athleticism, I'm just not convinced it's a sport.  Leisure activity?  Sure.  Pastime?  Yup.  But can you really smoke, chew tobacco or wear long pants while playing a sport?
Having said that, I had a great time with the fellas.  Young Jimmy came up with some tickets a long, long time ago...and last night I had the fourth best seats I've ever had at a ballgame.  My worst seats ever were with the Siderits/Lilly party in the last row of the outfield under the scoreboard...but it was the playoffs in 1990....and I still had fun even with the lousy seats.
But yesterday we were about six or seven rows back from the dugout and one section over from Peter Edward Rose.
Apparently Charlie Hustle is a fair weather fan.  He left with his 27 year old escort once the sky started falling.  I was on the fence with the whole Hall of Fame thing...but come on...they didn't even stop the game...
Fun was had by all.  Thanks Sam.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

just wondering

I found myself wondering what the difference is between a church that acts like a school and one that acts like a mission?
Is it a numeric difference?  Is there a percentage of folks on board that makes it go from somewhere where you go, sing a bit and some place where you meet up, strategize and go out?
Would 50% make it a mission?  Maybe it's not a number at all...I'm just thinking writing out loud.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

one minute at a time

I'm really sweaty right now.  High School two a days kind of sweaty.  I've joined a gymnasium and it's really not fun.
They sold me on the two weeks free trial and the sign in process.  When I signed in at 6:30 I just put my finger on a scanner and a little speaker said, "have a nice workout".  It's like I'm working out in the future.
When I started I really wasn't even in good enough shape to step all the way up onto the treadmill (is that bad?)  I found someone who spotted me and finally made it onto the apparatus.  And then I ran for one minute.
Yup.  One minute of running.  I walked 19 and ran 1.  The next day I ran 2, and then 3...and now I'm up to running for a half hour each day and a few miles on the bicycle that remains stationary while I peddle it. 
So it's not much, but my little minute a day routine got me to my goal of running for a half hour each day, and now I'm on to setting my next goal.  So far it's either win the Ironman or beat up Kent Hrbek.  It's still up in the air. (who puts an R after an H?)

And today I walked out of the gymnasium to see a guy in his jeep park in the area not reserved for parking.  It's hard to see from my camera cellular telephone vantage, but if you could see's on the other side of an open parking spot.  He could have had the closest spot in the entire lot...but it wasn't good enough.  "I'm not parking all the way over there and walking all that way to the building to get my exercise!  I'm a taxpayer!"
I'm not sure why he'd yell about being a taxpayer...but it's generally a good go to.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I just don't understand this one...

I wonder if raising the minimum wage will hurt a big chain store more, or a mom and pop store?
I also wonder if raising the minimum wage will slow down how quickly the people right above minimum wage will get raises? 
...and - if minimum wage increases, then the cost of goods will increase (it has to, don't be naive) so will that hurt rich people more, or poor people?  Let's factor in that the great majority (over 2/3rd's) of people aren't making minimum wage, and the great majority of the people making it are in the food service and rely on tips.  We're already at a historic low in the number of people earning minimum wage - and that number is cut by 2/3rds when you factor in tips.
Last thing - Oregon is #2 in the nation in unemployment.  Oregon?  But they don't have the crazy industry blow up thing that #1 Michigan has...what's different about them?  They lead the nation in highest state mandated minimum wage.  So if you care about small business or folks struggling to pay their grocery bills and find a job, would you increase the minimum wage?
To quote Al Gore on another subject, "This is a moral issue" (side note - I thought he was against legislating morality)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Down goes Frazier

Our blue miniature van went kablooey last night.  I'm not sure of the technical jargon, but it sounded really bad.  I'm starting to wonder if Joe was right when he told me that vans didn't need oil like other vehicles???
There are a couple of people/groups I'd like to blame for this little bit of misfortune:
1.  This guy
2.  Triple A - you don't think they profit from my reliance on them?
    side note:  I waited 45 minutes for the tow truck, and they sent a roadside assistance truck.  He worked on it for a half hour and then called a tow truck.  I then waited another half hour for the tow truck.  That's all...I just wanted you to know.
3.  Politics  It feels like people are rooting against my right wing miniature van and its gas consumption
4.  Dave Coulier
5.  CinciKids - it was their incessant insistence on the children getting out there and serving the city.  How were they supposed to get there CinciKids?  You?!?  We're you going to drive them!?!?
This has been somewhat cathartic.  And I get $2 for using incessant insistence in a post.  Win/Win.
you're welcome...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Date night

Parker and I took in Ice Age 3-D last night at the Rave.  It's the first time I've taken Parker to a Rave and it didn't start out so smoothly.
She said, "I want to go home daddy" about 14 seconds into us walking to our seats.  She sat through the 17 previews with her 3 dimensional glasses on and both hands over her ears.
I reasoned with her that leaving before the movie started would be a waste of our $20.  She countered with, "but I wanna go home" to which I explained that money was like lollipops and if we left before we opened the wrapper, it was like someone punching Santa in the larnyx.
I've been biting my nails and have been chomping at the bit to find out what happened to those crazy pre-historic animals since Ice Age 2.  Would you believe (spoiler alert ahead) they've continued to get themselves into the craziest situations?
It's true.  Parker and I made it through the movie, had dinner provided by the nation's most popular Scottish restaurant and celebrated a great date night - father/daughter style.  Also true...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

slow mo garage door - if this doesn't give you chills, you're not alive

This young man just might be the Louie De Palma of our generation...or is it Brian...either way it's a win.

...a tribute to the Seeker, may he rest peacefully...
and never forget that Styrofoam killzzzzz

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing for Freedom

Coop and I took in a Florence Freedom game last night.  He really wanted to go to a baseball game and ended up picking which one based on the mascots.  Thanks to a friend, we had two seats that were four rows back from the dugout and had a great time.
It'd been a while since I'd been to a "professional" baseball game.  It's still leaning towards the notasport on my sport/notasport scale, but it's a nice outing to go on with my little t-ball player.
I was really impressed with how nice and how clean their stadium was kept.  It took me a few looks before I realized that their entire field was fake turf.  I'd never seen baseball played on a field that even had the bases and pitcher's mound made of anything but dirt.  It actually seemed to work really well.  They didn't brush off the plate once and at no point did they have to re-line the base path.
Here is a pic of Cooop on the way to the game...I sort of thought he'd look like this on the ride home.
We were about an hour early because Coop was so excited to get there that he talked me into having us eat there instead of stopping on the way.  Ticket prices were reasonable (our tix were free thanks to Stuart) and it was $1 night for hot dogs, popcorn and drinks.  Turns out those prices were only for one stand on the other side of the stadium...and they didn't sell popcorn or hot dogs...I'm guessing they figured out that that was a problem later.
They played the National Anthem on the organ while I taught Cooper to look around and judge the people who didn't take their hats off.
And then the game began.
A couple of highlights - There's a guy named Rocco who works near the first base concession stand that will occasionally give a little kid a baseball...and Coop had his signed by a real live baseball player.
Coop met the Eagle, Belle and #25 in your program, but #1 in your heart.  And we saw a sacrifice fly that ended up being the game decider.  A great night with Cooper, I highly recommend it...

Monday, July 20, 2009

This is only a test

I want you to do me a favor.  Think about all the people you know that use one or more initials in their name.

For instance - I go by Sean Michael Murphy - some call me Sean, Sean Michael or Murph.  No initials.

Jim J. Bullock uses one initial.  Michael J. Fox does the same.

A.J. Burnett uses two.  I can't think of anyone that uses three.

Here's my theory.  87% (or higher) of the people you know that use an initial, have a J initial in their name.

Mathematically, your greatly increasing the odds of your child going by an initial if you give them a J name of any sort.

Now, keep in mind that I'm not saying there is an 87% chance you'll go by an inital if you have a J in your name (like this guy or this guy) I'm just saying that J's lend themselve to the ultimate abbreviation.

You do the math...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Reunited and I'm feeling good

For much of my life I'd tell friends to have fun at their family reunion.  I've seen reunion t-shirts, hats and water bottles.  I've heard their stories and always sort of wondered why my family was so different.
If family reunions are so common, how come neither side of my family reunites?
Is there something wrong?
Is there a feud that I don't know about?  (it's a war, fight or battle in most cases...but with a family it's always a feud)
Alas, the day has come that our family is reuniting!
So at some park somewhere in Cincinnati, Parker will meet her Pop's cousin Suzy.  Coop will meet cousin Ryan and at some point some sort of mayonaise based salad will be eaten (not by me).
Now if only we could get the Spears family back together...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playing the game

I was asked to be the master of ceremonies for The Dating Game tomorrow night.

Sure, I can try to do that.
Apparently these folks take their games pretty seriously.  I was followed up with four electronic mail messages, one facebook message and several voice mail telephone messages.
I should mention that two of those were from out of state numbers.
Those two states weren't Indiana or Kentucky.
So tonight I'll be in a four hour rehearsal for The Dating Game.  These folks play it big.
I expect to see at least one marriage and three awkward moments if I'm going to rehearse this game for four hours...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Insurance 2.0

I don't think it'd be out of line to provide more and more insurance to those who want it.  I also think we should put together some non-traditional policies that are available for unique and not so unique opportunities.

What about an insurance policy for a guy that pays $500 to rent a hot air balloon and propose to his girlfriend?  He could pay an extra $25 to Geico and if she says no, he's only out his $25 (maybe with a $50 deductible)

You could buy a $1 policy before you spend $10 on the next Indiana Jones movie.  They agree to give you nine of it back if Indiana happens to run into aliens.

I could see spending twenty bucks on a policy that would cover me if I have to sit through 5 or more celebrations of catches that were made after a four yard gain.  Maybe they pay me ocho cinco  if it happens in one half, and $40 if it happens over four quarters.

What if we insuranced against scandals?  I'd pay $100 for a ticket to the big game, but they'd refund the entire amount (assuming I bought they're anti-scandal policy) if we found out that one of the players bet on the game...or shaved points.  Maybe we'd get back what he was paid or won?

I could buy food insurance at restaurants, slow play insurance at golf courses, and long line insurance at amusement parks.  I think there's something to this..

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Insurance companies have taken a beating over the past couple of decades.  You can't throw a John Grisham book on the ground without it opening to some reference of the evil agencies.  It seems like they've become the bad guys in lots of movies, tv shows and conversations.
Here's what I know.  My dealing with almost every insurance agency have been fair.  Twice they've paid me more than I expected for claims I've made on my house and my car.  Maybe I'm the exception, but I've never really had any problems.
Having said that - I talked with three roofing companies after Hurricane Stuart came through and all three offered to help me commit insurance fraud.  "It's ok, because these companies are huge"

I was watching espn today and saw that the Stringer family was suing Riddel because they didn't warn Korey that helmets and shoulder pads make things warmer when you're playing football in the sun.
Some guy making $8 an hour is now going to have to spend more money to pay for his kid's equipment because an nfl player's family wanted a little more money.  My insurance rates cost more because - why not stick it to the insurance companies?  They're rich, right?  So that makes it ok...did we learn nothing from Kevin Costner's portrayal of Robin Hood?

Stealing from big companies ultimately hurts the single mom making minimum wage more than it hurts Wall Street.  Rates go up -because they have to - the cost of products, resources or services cost more... and the poor get poorer...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where would we be without it?

Whatever that magic box outside my house does to condition the air, I love it.
Three greatest inventions of all time?
1. - you've gotta love fire.  I'm going old school and leading off with the flame.  It's the best.  If we learned anything from Survivor, it's that.  You can't have a delicious flame broiled sanwich without fire, and you also can't encourage Foghat while they're bringing down the house without it.
2. - Tivo.  Don't argue with me on this one.  I used to be on your side before, but I was an idiot and I've learned my lesson.  Don't start yelling about a's the same know what I mean.  Stop it.  Now you just want to argue.  What's that all about anyway?
3. - Air Conditioning.  We all saw this one coming.  I led off with this one.  I just wanted to bookend this amazing weblog post with my ode to central cooling.

Friday, July 10, 2009

He shoots, he scores

Conversation from 30 minutess ago:
Me:  I'm going to work Coop
Cooper:  Bye
Me:  Bye, love you.
Cooper:  I love you too
Me:  I love you more
Cooper (without missing a beat):  I ninja love you
and he wins again...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I'm just not sure

If you think the government is more efficient with your money than you are...
...or less likely to misuse it
...or better equipped to make decisions that alter your life
Fine.  I know the kids at MTV agree with you...and what do I know anyways?

I just think there's probably one area where we can all join hands and agree.  We probably don't need the government's involvement in professional or amateur sports.  We're ok there.  I don't really want to see my Senator on tv trying to figure out if Mark Lemke took steroids.  I don't need the President deciding on a college football playoff system.  That'll work itself out.  It's just a bunch of boys and girls playing games.  Let's go ahead and leave that one to the guys that live for watching Sports Center.

I get that they want to talk about it so they can be on tv and take popular stances, but is that really leadership?  Let's put our time and money into stuff that is important and that the free market would never support on it's highways, national defense,  public television and public radio.  How would those ever survive without government help?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

travel day

I'm headed out of state (Indiana - I think?) today.  It's not a good day for travel.  We're starting up a new Alpha tomorrow at a center for folks with special needs.
I have no idea what that really means.  I've been there.  It seems like they do great work.  They seem nice.  I just feel more comfortable with the home court advantage and I'm curious about taking Alpha on the road.
I should mention that I've been pushing to have Alpha play an away game for three years now.  So the fact that I'm starting to have buyer's remorse should tell you how double minded I am.
Either way - I've got a silly amount of work to do, and I'm off to meet one of my favorite authors.  In the long run, I'm guessing this trip will stand out more than prepping a bunch of notebooks and flyers...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I get to meet with someone tomorrow who I've admired from a great distance for well over a decade.  It's kind of sad, but I met his brother about a year ago and didn't have the guts to ask if he was still alive (very confusing...wasn't sure how to write that last sentence...I met Lyman and didn't have the guts to ask if Robert was still with us)

Anyhow, I'm going to Indiana tomorrow to visit with Robert E. Coleman.  If I had a top ten books list, he'd have my number three book of all time.  I'm saying three because I'm legally obligated to put the Bible at #1 (and it's actually a pretty solid read if you get a chance) and I'm guessing there is probably a second book in there too - before The Master Plan of Evangelism.
I know that Evangelism isn't a fun topic for most, and we have given up on the word and the concept long ago.  It's just easier that way, right?  The bottom line is this book should more honestly be named The Master Plan of Discipleship (except he wrote that one too...and it's not nearly as good...but what do I know?).
Anyhow, all Robert did was detail how Jesus lived his life among people.  He had his people and they had their people, and so on and so on... and there were apparently a lot of people involved.  All his chapters end with "..ion" like chapter 4 - Impartation...or 5 - Demonstration...but no "desecration"...
and how can you not like a book with a chapter rhythm?
If you get a chance, give it a's really a great one.  And I'll tell him you say hi...

Monday, July 06, 2009

searching for ideas...and tickets...

I told our three kids that I was going to take them each out for a special day in the next few weeks.  Then I asked them what they would want to do if they could do anything in the world.

Cooper, what would you want to do if you could do anything at all?

Cooper:  Have breakfast

Me:  Well...sure...but if you could do anything at all today, what would it be? 

Cooper:  Put that pillow on the couch.
I didn't want to really squash his dreams, so I made him a pop tart and let him put the pillow on the couch.  Bottom line?   I'm a world class dad.
Later he told me he'd like to go to a Dayton Dragons if anybody has ticket connections - why don't you hook a brother up?
Griffin wants to go to COSI or the Children's museum...or the driving range...or a movie...or putt putt...

Parker just runs around the house yelling, "Yeah, what's up!?!?"  It's a little like living with Flava Flav...

Friday, July 03, 2009

3 Day Weekend

Lots of people have today off apparently.  We've decided as a country that Independence day should be why should you have to work on this great day? 
We've decided that you shouldn't.  It's too important to go unnoticed.  You can't work and celebrate independence...that's just silly.  Luckily this year we don't have to miss work to celebrate, because it's on a weekend.
So we've decided that normally you can celebrate on July 4th, but since that's on the weekend...this year you should also celebrate our freedom from those oppresive Brits for two days. 
And you can't work while you're celebrating your freedom - we've already covered that.
So it's a three or four day weekend, depending on if you decided to take the 2nd off to really get your uncle Sam spirit going. 
Sadly, I'll be working a bit this I don't get a three day weekend.  And it's because of this that I'm going to take a three day weekend from weblogging.  I won't post anything today and I'll enjoy three days without blogging.
I'll see you on Monday...

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I'm stepping into the early 2000's and signing up for some podcasts. Young Annie gave me an itouch for my birthing day and I've been adding a thing or two to my little electronic friend.

I've almost signed up for Jimmy Pardo's podcast - Never Not Funny - a bunch of times in the past year or so, but actually took the step this week and paid for it.  Keep in mind that $20 is more than I paid for gas this week for two cars....I just love Jimmy's wordplay.

I also rediscovered The Phil Hendrie show and still love it.  He has a free show and it brings back the memories of Annie and I boring our friends trying to recreate his show to our friends.  The entire premise of his show is he'll have a "guest" that takes the wrong stance on some controversial subject and he'll talk to them until people call up outraged.  What the callers don't know (typically I assume) is that Phil is playing the guest and interviewing himself...does that even make sense?  Sometimes he'll even be the caller.  The bottom line is that people get really mad while Phil makes awful comments that are really funny.
So I have a ton of I'm looking for more to load up my little pocket sound machine (coincedentally, Fuller's street name).  If you know of a great, and hopefully free, podcast out there...I'm ready to give them a shot.  Just let me know...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What's the deal with paying 9/10ths?

We just bought a tank full of gasoline (petrol for those of you in Ireland) and it costs us 38 cents.
Not per gallon, that would be a rip off.  Oh no, we paid 1.9 cents per gallon X 20 gallons...which we all know comes out to $.38
Not long ago I posted a receipt that was roughly $12 for about $122 worth of groceries.  Turns out that store has bonuses that are paid in the form of gasoline discounts.  We had amassed $2.55 & 9/10ths per gallon in discounts, and gasoline was $2.53 yesterday. 
Unfortunately they only gave us credit for $2.54!!!
And that's why we had to shell out a quarter, dime and three pennies to fill up the miniature van.  It's ok.  I'm not going to call and complain about the screw up with our card.  I'm willing to overlook the .0019 screwup.  I'm even willing to eat that cost to avoid embarassing the grocery mart. 
It's time we tighten up our belts and just move on. 
God bless America
& Oprah...that just goes without saying...but I had to at least write it...