Friday, February 26, 2010

You'll thank me later

I pre-ordered my copy of Between Two Kingdoms and can't wait to get it.  I love a good book - I love Joe - I love Amazon - so what's not to love?
...ok, I don't really love Amazon, but they are selling his book there, so I like them for not making me go to a mall.

I'm really looking forward to reading this - and think you'll like it click here and give it a go.


Our medium sized group met and started the Free journey together last night.  It was two hours that flew by and could have gone much longer.  I wasn't sure what to expect with this study, but so far I'm a big fan.
If your church is doing the series, I highly recommend jumping on board with a group of friends/strangers/janitors and plugging into the small group study.

If your church isn't one of the 59 churches in Cincinnati going through it - well there are still a few ways that you can connect with Free.

1.  You can watch or listen online to one of the church's weekend messages.
2.  If you don't have a church home, maybe give one of the above churches a six week test drive.
3.  If you go to one of the above churches, but aren't plugged into a can still find groups in just about every one still.  There are also several that have open groups that are meeting on site. 

I'm a big fan of groups, or really anything that happens outside of the actual church building.  I think that's where you'll find you have more opportunities to talk about life, faith, and the things that keep you up at night.

I'm only one week into my Free journey, but I've already gone three rounds of wrestling with the journal... I think this thing has the potential to inspire change.  ...and what could be better than that?

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Tony Kornheiser is in a timeout.  He said some mean things about someone he works with.  That's not good - and it's a little worse when you say it to a few million people on television.

What's throwing me is that, while I'm incredibly manyly, I missed him going off on this particular rant (something he does ALL the time).  Oh sure, I'm a guy's guy...but I didn't see him say it on the Excellence in Sports Programming Network.  Don't get me wrong, I love sports...and red meat...and throwing's just that THIS PARTICULAR TIME I wasn't watching his show when he said that Hannah storm was wearing a sausage casing-like top.  It's not like I was knitting and watching soaps...I just didn't have it on at that moment.  I probably turned it on right after the sausage casing fiasco (or sausage-gate, as I'm calling it)
Speaking of sausage casings - you should know that I love most pork products....bacon, name it.  I'm just saying that it's ok for a guy to occasionally miss a Sports Center.

My point here is that I didn't know this happened...until their boss decided to ground Tony for two weeks and this became a national story.  They work for the same company and they could make this go away...but instead we're hearing about Hannah's short skirt for the next two weeks.  Some of you didn't even know this happened...but now you do.  It seems like the punishment made the crime that much more cruel...that's really what I'm trying to say.  Dock his pay, knock two weeks off of the end of his contract...don't make it into a bigger deal.

Keep in mind that I worked out at a gym today.
Free weights...heavy, heavy free weights.
and then I spit on the ground as I walked to my car
which is a stick shift

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My new buddies

I met Joe and Bob the other day. 
A cynic would say they were fake names.  I mean...If you were coming up with two fake names, those are probably near the top of the list.

Who names their kid Joe these days?  Bob?  Come on...

My friend Jimmy (grown man that goes by Jimmy?   You've got Kimmel and Fallon...maybe it's the pipeline to your own late night talk show) and I played Bob and Joe in racquetball the other day.  These two guys had reserved the court and were good enough to let us play some doubles.

We're friends now.
I think?

I saw them this morning. They were doing a little 6AM racquetball.  I said, "Hi Joe" to Bob and he told me it was the other one.  Doesn't matter - he knew who I was and now we're guys that say hi at the gymnasium.

That's how it starts...I think.
It started at a wrestling practice with my friend Shawn (spell much?)  It started with Fuller and a weblog.  A bunch of others with a job.  Annie with a camp & Stu with living across the street from the Murphy estate.

I might never see these two guys again, and I might ask them to someday help me build a barn Amish style.  You never know...but it's nice getting to know another couple of fellas at the UA.  It started on Monday and continued today...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Parker and I have dove...diven...dived.....we've jumped right into the bread-making world.

We've discovered the joy of father/daughter no-Knead bread baking and the rest of the family is reaping the benefits.  It couldn't be more simple, delicious, nutritious or cheap.  I'm just saying that I'm a fan.
Here's an unexpected side note on the whole deal.  Turns out that making bread is very similar to making pretzel dough.  Who doesn't love fresh, hot pretzels?
Right - nobody doesn't love them.
Also, who doesn't like the occasional double negative?  Again, couldn't agree more.

Two things you should know about pretzels.
1.  They're delicious
2.  They taste the same even if you don't make them in that goofball shape.

Now let me blow your mind.

What if you made the pretzel dough and shaped it into little bun shaped rolls?  Do you see where this is going?

What I'm saying is that we all have the potential of making pretzel bread sandwiches!

Sure, I'm generally reluctant to throw in an exclamation point, but come on...if ever a sentence requires just read it.

Let's just let that sink in....

go on...

I'm saying that you could enjoy a delicious pretzel bread sandwich with turkey and bacon on


You're welcome.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I blame Dave

I heard a friend talking about programming his key fob through a series of steps he found on the world wide interweb.  As he was talking, I immediately thought of my lack of key fob and the $90 fee the local car company wanted to charge me for one.

I was intrigued.

Fast forward to me buying one on electronic bay for $11.  I went out to program the new fob today and went step by step through the process.  To do this you have to hit "unlock" five times in two second increments.  The next step is putting the key in and turning it on without starting the car.  You then press and hold the unlock button for ten seconds.  You then press the panic button for one second while also keeping the unlock button down.  You want until you hear one chime and let go of both.  That's when you hit lock and unlock at the same time.

I did all the steps.  Everything happened that was supposed to happen...chimes went off...lights flashed...and then my key fob stopped working.

We now have two key chain ornaments that are merely just that...ornaments.

Did I mention that this is really Annie's miniature van?
She's a lucky, lucky girl...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bigger is Better?

Healthy things grow.
In the absense of real data that shows us how healthy things are...numbers are a decent way to at least keep some sort of info on basic group info.

I agree.

That often ends the argument and we sort of agree that bigger means better...sort of...sometimes...

Two guys that I think are interesting thinkers have recently touched on this question lately.  They're coming from two very different angles...but I just happened to read them both this week and couldn't ignore the similarities.  This is a lot longer than my typical posts - with less Saget references...but I think worth a read.

The first fella was Seth Godin.  He's written a decent amount on this topic lately.  Here are a few things he's had to say:
No More Big Events   "The reasons? Well, they don't work. They don't work because big events leave little room for iteration, for trial and error, for earning rapport."

Viral Growth Trumps Faux Followers "Many brands and idea promoters are in a hurry to rack up as many Facebook fans and Twitter followers as they possibly can. Hundreds of thousands if possible.A lot of these fans and followers are faux. Sunny day friends. In one experiment I did, 200,000 followers led to 25 clickthroughs. Ouch."

The Best Reason for a Big Event  Human beings respond to emergencies and to hoopla. We like doing what others are doing, and we'll suspend social disbelief if we're being carried along by the pack (or the mob).
The challenge comes when we institutionalize the event and make it normal.

Rob Bell spoke about "the Dangers of Video Preaching":
"In the New Testament, there are 43 "one another" passages, and during a Sunday morning service you might be able to practice three or four of them. And as the service gets large, you can probably do fewer. A massive group setting is also dangerous. You can come, sit, listen, and go home and think, I've been to church, even if you haven't practiced any "one anothers." And with video that only gets more intense. I'm not sure that's the direction we want to be heading.

We want to be calling people to deep bonds of solidarity with one another. We may gather in a massive group, but from the stage I often say, "This is just a church service. Church is actually about caring for one another, and serving one another, and speaking truth to one another in love. Don't get the two confused."

The evidence suggests that video can have a fast and broad impact. So what's the alternative?

There is something more powerful than simply beaming yourself into other locations, and that is raising up disciples. Over time that will go farther and faster, but right now it will be more work and slower. With technology today it's easy to spend all of your energies reproducing your own voice, but there is a longer view that says, what if instead of beaming video to those ten locations, we train ten people who can go there and lead? That's a very basic question that should be in the mix somewhere."

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had a chance to talk with some folks last night about what I think is the top thing.
it's focus

which is ironic that the guy who can't focus on anything would say it's top...but that's what I believe.  I also believe in Crystal light, but that's a whole other thing.

I'm not throwing out the "if you aim at nothing you'll surely hit it" or the classic "don't let your shoes get flattened by an uncooperative mailman"  We've heard those a thousand times.

I just believe that life passes me by because I lose focus.
Focus on the thing(s) that matters.  I get wrapped up in the distractions.  I lose sight of what's important.
I wander off...
And before too long, I've drifted into just sort of doing what comes next.
I don't want to do that.  I want to focus on the One that matters.  I want to focus on those that He loves.  I want to stop getting wrapped up in the stuff...and lock onto what lasts.

I also want a pony.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tweet this

I personally believe that there is a huge, and yet subtle, difference between guilt and conviction.

discuss amongst yourselves..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snowy with a chance of snow

We're setting the all time February record for snow in Cincinnati.  That's the word on the street.
February is spelled funny, huh?
So is Wednesday...
and biscuit

Worst job in this weather?

The camera guy who reports on the side of the road about how slippery the roads appear to be.  Second worst job?  Probably the reporter...but at least they can see the cars coming his way.  The camera fella is staring at someone talking about the icy roads...meanwhile, there are two ton vehicles sliding all around right behind you.

Seems dumb.

Also dumb?  Hanna Montana's brother.  That kid...will he ever learn?

Monday, February 15, 2010

on Movies

I should admit a few things:
1-  I love the motion pictures
2-  I rarely go to them because
      a.  we have 3 kids
      b.  kids like to talk and play and spend money
      c.  it's hard for us to put movies very high on our budget priority list

Having said that, I have a few thought on the talkies.

I'm probably not going to go to a movie with blue people unless it ends in "aveheart"

Any movie with Gary Oldman, Alan Arkin, Phil Hoffman, Daniel Day Lewis or Robert Downey's son is worth $7.
I think there should be one award show that sort of covers movies in general.  Artists aren't athletes.  This isn't a competition.  It feels like there's an entire football season and then seventeen groups have an awards ceremony and give out the trophies....but there's gotta be one, so pick one and go with it.

There should be four categories.
Best Motion Picture - seems like a no-brainer
Best Acting (see above picture) - why have "supporting" or differentiate best actress and actor?  Acting is acting...right?
Best Directing - kind of a big deal
Best Screenplay - this seems like a biggie

I'd also like to have it turn into an impromptu roast of Joan Rivers and what she wore on the red carpet.

These have been my thoughts on movies.
You're welcome

Friday, February 12, 2010

Trying to catch Norway

I'll give you a quick list of Winter Olympic sports that I follow:
-Hockey (sorta...sometimes...but not really)

I'm as into sports as the next guy.  The two of us will get together and watch football and maybe whatever else pops up on the Excellence in Sports Programming Network....but neither of us are obsessed.

And as much or as little as I follow sports, I'm even less likely to watch a parade or a festival on TV.  What I'm ultimately getting at is that I won't be watching the opening ceremonies tonight.  I'd love to hang out with my friends watching the game while shaking my fist at those Romanian Lugers...but I'll be with some other friends improvising and eating pretzel bread sandwiches.

Having said that - I'd love to see a few sports added to the Winter Olympics.
Let's throw basketball and wrestling in there.  Just a thought.

and now I'll leave you with a snow sculpture that deserves the gold.  Take a look at this thing.  This is a Quinn & Griff joint.

(This fella is over six feet tall)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm just not so sure Mickey Mouse was so in love with Minnie

I just downloaded two podcasts that had in the title, " minute..."

I was immediately struck by how many of these were marked 2:28 or 3:17 or..really you can just pick any amount of tiime that isn't 1:00.

   So here is my question:  Should I sue the internet tunes, the podcast or the government?

This really has me thrown for a loop.  I'm starting to question everything.

What if the Earth is less than round and the moon landing was actually the Mars landing (how's that for a twist?)

What if Andy Kaufman is still alive?  How great would that be? (answer: really)

Yesterday I found six snowflakes that were exactly the same.  It's true.

I spoke with five dentists yesterday and they all hate Dentyne.

Fuller's stranger social experiment is about talking to old friends from high school? (another great example of someone willing to change their views on a topic they were once strongly a world full of minds that are rapidly closing)
...and what if pointy shoes that curl up are actually awesome?

Should it not bug me when someone that's not named Murphy starts talking to me with, "son, you need to..."

I'm just not sure what to believe any more...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3 Steps to get yourself organized

If you've ever stopped by my office you've probably thought to yourself, "Man, Sean is a great looking guy.  And now here I am in his office"  You may have even looked around at other non-me things as well.

If so, you're probably wondering what I could possibly say about organization.

Well, here 'tis.
I'm for it.  I'm saying that in the same way that we often say we want to live this revolution, this fighting the powers that be kind of life...but really most of us are kind of doing the same basic things that everyone else is doing.  It looks/sounds good in movies, books and conferences...but to actually do it?  That's too hard...

In that same way, I'm for organization.  It's kind of an -on paper or in theory - kind of thing.

This is what I'd like to have Stevie S invent for me:
I'd like a file cabinet for napkin scribblings.  I need a system and/or piece of equipment that allows me to file away random thoughts that occur to me while enjoying a delicious burrito that's approximately the size of Griffin's head.

That's step one.  You're welcome so far

Step 2?  That's where you come in.  I alluded to the fact that I'm really not good at why not step up and contribute a little?

What are you...selfish?  I've already kick started this thing.  Not only did I give out the first step, but this thing was pure gold. 2???

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

doing my part

A friend of mine owns a recycling plant (I know people).  They recycle plastic, so if you have any extra and live around the Loveland area..give him a call.
He knows his stuff and recently I heard him say that these new fangled electronic cars are going to do more hard to uncle Earth than the 'ol Chevy's that jump broken bridges in Hazzard County.  Apparently disposing of these new fangled batteries is going to be a major issue.  I'm just a simple suburban Pastor from the west side of the tracks, so I'm not sure how that'll all pan out...I'm guessing we'll shoot those to the sun...or Phoenix and that'll take care of the problem.
Bottom line here is that I'd like to do my part and eliminate a few things that I think are a waste. So here's my list:

-a living room and a family room in the same house (pick one).  I'm not sure which is which in my house...but do we really need two hang out rooms on top of the kitchen where people gather, bedrooms where people sit, basements and/or attics where people store stuff and hallways where people hang pictures?  I've heard the average house in the early 20th century were 600-800 square feet. (think a garage)  Enough is enough.

-Pea Soup. 

-Magazine ads that fall out.  I drop a tree on the floor every time I open my O Magazine.

-The hard plastic they seal kid's toys in.  One in three emergency room visits is someone needing stitches from trying to open one of these.

-Bread Machines.  Haven't heard of the No Knead Bread?  Apparently you don't read the Times...or know young Micah.

-I propose we could eliminate waste by actually adding something.  Stick with me for a second.  I say we triple the size of Ketchup packets.  It's triple the volume, but you'll save on overall packaging and frustration.  I know, why have we waited this long for something so simple?

I'm sure there are more ways I could single-handedly save this planet, but I've gotta get to work...

Friday, February 05, 2010

looking for a new name...

I'm fairly certain I broke my hip.  It might just be a crack, strain, bruise or tear...but it feels like Korey Stringer borrowed Griffin's pogo stick and went to town on my right leg...up near my bathing suit parts.
Here's how it happened:
  I'm a basketball coach and occasionally I'll have to scrimmage with the boys.  This involves a lot of running back and forth on the 'ol ballfield (did I mention I don't really know anything about basketball?).  Well at our practice the other day, the other coach decided to give the kids a little incentive.  For every drill that a team lost, they'd have to run sprints back and forth across the court.  My team lost a few.
There was one kid (we'll call him "Trevor") who decided he was going to beat the old man.  I'm a lot of things, but second place in a drill with a fourth grader I am not.

I used to make fun of my dad when he would do stretches before we played tennis.  I stretch out when I go to the gymnasium in the morning...but not before practice.  Most of the time I just high five kids and say things like "way to chuck hoss" and "give me your juice box or I'll bench you for next week's game".  These are activities that don't require stretching...

So when the coach puts me in I'm not going to hold off practice while I put on my terry cloth headband and start my Ashram Yoga stretching exercises.  No chance - I just jump into the mix.

And then coach had us run suicides.

Who named running back and forth across a wooden floor suicides?  Gassers made sense in run out of empty your check the tires...ok, maybe not total sense, but more than suicides, right?

Doesn't matter - not the point.  The point is that my hip feels like Courtney Love's liver.

and for that I blame the sport of basketball...

curse you Jimmy Naismith!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

little piece of genius

If you own a business and have enough money to hire a half dozen employees - here's what you oughta do.

Hire a half dozen + one.

That one will make all the difference.  Hire one person to be your apology manager.  You pay them eleven bucks an hour and tell them that 100% of their job is to say, "I'm sorry about that, let me see if I can help you out".

(run away sentence ahead) We live in a rapidly non-apologetic society where the last bastion of service is going out the window and being replaced with minimum wage employees counting the minutes until they can go spend their paycheck at Game Stop.  Having someone proactively apologize for even the would be so out of the ordinary that your place o' business becomes immediately memorable.

It's just a thought.

I also recommend balloons.

Lots and lots of balloons...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Major Tom is looking for a gig

President Obama is killing NASA's Moonshot Constellation Project.
He's cutting it off at the legs...very expensive legs at that.
If Loyds of London were to insure those legs, we'll we're looking at premiums that make my insurance premiums look...well I guess about the same.  Not my point...he's killing the project and I'm all for it.

We've already put $9 billion into this (if someone just said that to me, it would most assuredly be followed by "that's billion with a B").  My simple guy from the heart of it all perspective on this is simply - if you can't finish your little project with 8 or 9 billion dollars...maybe you ought to take up a new hobby.
Sure I love all that the space program has brought us:
-several David Bowie songs
-all that other stuff

I'm just saying that his encouraging the private sector to take up and start exploring the vastness is a great thing.

Monday, February 01, 2010

sick of bills

The Murphy family visited doctors and physical therapists a total of 11 times in January.

That's a bad month.  Basically we had some ear infections, streptococcus, sinus infections, bronchitis, and a soon to be diagnosed (after three doctors and a physical therapist take another looksy) shoulder problem.

Our insurance is roughly the equivalent of an ok coupon and the bills are racking up. 

Meanwhile, I met with a guy the other day that was telling me about how he has free insurance through medicaid.   I was sort of surprised that this fella even qualified for it.

Turns out that he needed to proved that his family of four made less than $3,500 a month.  Go ahead and do the math...
So a family of four that owns their own home, drives their own cars and make $42,000 a year get free health insurance?  He pays zero dollars for each this isn't even great health insurance, this is free medical care.  He told me that it covered his dental and eye care as well.

I haven't so much as Wikipedia'd medicaid yet, but my first instinct is to ask if we already have socialized health care?  It seems like he's on the receiving end of something that sure looks like it.  I'm guessing that if a guy that lives in Fairfield and makes a decent living can get it...wouldn't this ultimately cover just about anyone who needs it?

I'm terribly confused by the entire health care debate.  I know that the cost of my health care bumped up (in deductibles) 40% two years ago...and almost that the next year.  A friend of mine was just telling me about his cousins who go to the emergency room any time they have a cold, because they're not paying for why wait for an appointment, and why worry about the cost of an emergency room visit?

Somehow and somewhere there's a solution out there...I'm just not sure that I know enough to figure it out. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to sell some blood so I can afford to go to the doctor to take a blood test.
(I elected to end with irony)
-curious in Cincinnati