Tuesday, October 31, 2006

sound the alarm

So we had a nice dinner/evening with the Alexander family, followed by getting the kids to bed..and then waking up to Griff in our bed throwing up....in our bed....in the middle of the night.

That's the all time worst alarm clock.

The second worst alarm clock is waking up to, "Sean! Get up! You missed your _______!"

The third is, "Hey, you've got to see this! Gallagher is about to squish the watermelon!"

So I'm a little tired right now. I couldn't get back to sleep and you need that I hear.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mr. Fix Everything

I was watching House this morning (on my DVR from the House-a-thon) and at some point the four doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with the patient.

Keep in mind - every episode starts with an obvious problem that House doesn't want to deal with. He then figures out that things aren't quite what they appear to be, he takes the case, guesses wrong, insults people and then right before they do a major procedure he storms in, gives the patient some sort of shot, everybody yells, "what are you doing? that will kill them!" and then the patient gets better.

Anyhow, I was watching the show and I caught myself trying to figure out the problem.

Here is my medical expertise.
1. You should ice most things that hurt.
2. People tend tend to put heat on things because it might feel better, but it's often making things worse (see rule #1)
3. Aspirin fixes just about everything.
4. you should apply pressure to whatever is bleeding

The patient on the show I was watching had the black plague. I seriously tried to figure out the problem while watching...

I have a problem. You know how when you're 22 you feel like you have the answer to every problem? Every person that's been around longer, has a little wisdom, and disagrees with you just doesn't get it? Everything is black and white?

I still think that way...often.

I can't solve every problem, and that sort of bugs me. I don't know everything, and that drives me nuts.

I can't stop.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random Murph

I never type lol because I rarely laugh out loud. I'm more of a LIUDTHBS (laughing inside unless Dave's telling his Bumper story).

I was just given back something that I had written by the editor with the note, "Sean, this is fine!" and thought that it should either read, "this is awesome!" or "this is fine" but fine probably shouldn't be followed by an exclamation point. I'm guessing that she meant to say, "that was the single greatest article that I've ever had the pleasure to read!" or something like that...

Today is bring your dog to work day...I'm guessing this will end up being referred to as a terrible, terrible idea never to be repeated. I'm suggesting we make next Tuesday Bring your Dawg to work day. I'd probably bring Dan, because he's my dawg!

This is kind of fun....and so is this....and this.....and this

Interesting and this...

a couple of more if you're still reading this and still reading

I just keep reading these

My computers not really working today, so rather than type anything with some sort of cohesive thought - I just keep restarting this thing and adding random musings....

maybe I ought to just go to my meeting....

one last one - or maybe not - computer won't let me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm rich!?

If I lived in Florida and mowed 3 lawns a week throughout the year, I'd make $3,120 ($20 per lawn, but I do a good job) If I was 15 and mowed 3 lawns a week, I'd be in the top 14.74% richest people in the world.

If I was making $6/hour and working 40 hours a week, I'd make more than 87% percent of the world. You could make an argument that I was rich. We just don't look at it that way. I know that I'm personally used to living in a home that's way bigger than I need. We have two cars, three tv's, air conditioning, heat, electricity, indoor plumbing, an awesome cardboard cut out of Jerome Bettis and a two car garage.

Can you imagine going somewhere where they have to walk 7 miles to get water that's probably contaminated and telling the locals that you have indoor housing for your car? As they're splitting a 4 oz. glass of dirty water you could explain to them that you give your lawn gallons of water every week and you're using water to clean your car.

"Your car gets water to stay clean and then lives indoors?" "Yup, I'm in the top 10% of the world's richest people!" "And that's how you spend your money?" "Yup"

It's strange to me how jealous we get of rich people and all the stuff they have. Last year in the movies and on tv, rich guys were the go-to bad guys. There was a group that actually went back and tracked the characters on tv and on film and identified the profile for your typical bad guy. Apparently, he's a 30-something, rich, white guy. They are awful, awful people.

It's easy to point to them and say they're not doing much.
Here are a couple of questions I have for you:

How many tv's do you have (do you have more than one for every person in the house?)

How many square feet do you have to live? How many feet per person living there?(Pre-World War II the average house was the size of a three car garage)

Do you spend more on clothes and travel than you do on helping to prevent disease or poverty?

What percentage of your income do you freely give to those in need?

What percentage of your income do you spend on cable, movies, the internet and your entertainment?

Is there any chance Fuller could score double digits against me in ping pong?

Do you spend more money eating out or helping others to feed their families?

Maybe it's time to stop pointing the finger at others?
Maybe I'm part of the problem?

How are you doing?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I read Sports Illustrated because I'm incredibly smart. Oh sure you might read Dostoevski, Kant and Geisel....but me, I like to handle the heavy lifting.

I ran a little behind in my reading (who can keep up with the one magazine a week pace?) and, as I often do, I read the predictions for the upcoming football games after the fact.

There's a guy who picks who will win games. He's the expert at the most successful sports magazine of all time. He makes a living by studying film, stats, game conditions, and momentum. He's batting around 500.

Griffin is a five year old kid that lives with me and occasionally walks by the tv when I'm watching a game. Typically he'll ask, "can I watch a cartoon?" Griffin is right around 500 in predicting who will win the games.

This past week Sports Illustrated pointed out the players you should definitely start and definitely bench for you fantasy football team.

They said that you should definitely bench a certain wide receiver that ended up having 3 touchdowns and 40 fantasy points (7 or 8 is an average game).

They said you should definitely bench a quarterback who ended up having 4 touchdowns and 45 points (10-15 is pretty average).

I guess that's one of the problems with being an expert or a leader of something. You have to put your neck out there and give your opinions. As soon as you're wrong, some drop dead good looking blogger out in Ohio is going to point out your mistakes to the whole world (or at least 2/3rds of the English speaking world who probably read, copy and frame his blog)

So is it worth it to be a leader? Is it worth it to lead the way with your opinions? Wouldn't it be safer to just be a second in command type of fella?

With great risk comes great.....?

I think it's probably worth taking some shots at the end zone...what about you?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

it's a new day

I was asked what my all time favorite sitcom was last night. The first show that popped to mind was Ed - and then I was told that Ed wasn't a sit com.

My first thought was that it was clearly a comedy. I'm guessing that most people wouldn't list it as a situation comedy because it was an hour long. Thirty minutes equals sitcom, 60 equals a drama. A rules a rule.

There were plenty of episodes that were pretty romantic and/or full of drama. I'm just not sure that that makes it a dramedy.

MASH was on the 100 greatest shows of all time and listed as a sitcom. It was as hard hitting as any show and touched on social and political topics much like All in the Family (another of the 100 greatest shows and comedies of all time)

On Friends there were certainly a bunch of episodes that dealt with romance and drama.

Seinfeld was just pure comedy...and genius.

Eventually I just said The Office because it'd be hard to argue against what might possibly be the greatest comedy of all time.

Here's the thing - it's now my second favorite show on tv.

I loves me some Studio 60. It's just a great show. They push their political views through subtle and not so subtle jabs. They're a bit obvious on some points. There's certainly the typical formulaic pace of the show and you know the guy that loves/hates the girl is going to almost get back together with her on the last episode....but it's still the best show I watch each week.

I know, I know...I've only watched one episode of 24. I had a bunch of people tell me that I wouldn't get it - and I was shocked that there was a blonde main guy that was chased by bad guys with guns....and somehow I was able to figure out that the guys wearing dark clothes who were always giving sinister looks were the bad guys. Anyhow, if you like helicopters and car chases...it's probably a great show.

I've never watched Lost. I had two free nights a week when that show started...and no tivo. I haven't rented the first season, nor do I have any great desire to do so. There's plenty out there to keep me entertained.

Monday, October 23, 2006


You can now buy a digital camera with a built in slimming feature.

I wonder if friends would see a picture and say, "wow, you sure are fat in real life....but look at how great you look on film!"

I had an idea years ago for what I thought would be a great product. I wanted to produce day timers that already had the dates filled in. You'd have on Monday, "meeting about the Johnson account" and on Tuesdays, "finish the Marconi report and begin preliminary plans on the east coast range accounting"

This way any time someone asked you if you could meet with them, you'd pull out your daytimers and ask, "what day works for you?". As soon as they named a date, they'd see you flip to that on your calendar....only to say, "sorry, I'm in Buffalo watching my kids in some dance recital. I really wish I could make it"

This would solve people's need to look busy (ergo - important) and also get them out of meetings they don't want to attend. The best thing that could happen would be that you pull out your daytimer and say, "well on that date I've got this regional conference, but I'll get out of it and we can meet" You then make them feel important and you get extra credit for skipping something to meet with them.

Ultimately I decided that this was a fun idea, but about as deceitful and silly as a camera that took pictures of you the way you wish you were...and not how you actually are.

Friday, October 20, 2006

flat tax

I get that flat taxes aren't completely fair, because you'll still have people paying much more for the same amount of government services.

I'd like to propose a flat tax on all of our time. Each of us has to give the government 15 percent of our spare time. If you work 40 hours a week, you have to spend 15 percent of the remaining 128 hours (or 19.2 hours) directing traffic, filing papers for the IRS, digging ditches, filling in pot holes, fighting fires....

This will please the socialists (as if that's possible) because everyone starts out with an equal amount of time. If someone works longer hours, they're rewarded by getting a little more money in their paycheck...and don't have to work towards their "tax time" as much.

You work 50 hours - you only owe the government 17 hours of work. You work 60 hours - you owe less...

It'd be interesting to see who then starts fighting for lower taxes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the greatest of all time

People give Tiger Woods way too much credit. On every list I've looked at, Tiger is ranked as the number one golfer in the world.

Apparently the PGA doesn't read the papers. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is easily the greatest golfer, the world has ever seen.
Pyongyang media say North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il enjoys golf, having shot multiple holes-in-one during his first try at the game. He reportedly aced five holes and finished 38 under par on the golf course. The "Great Leader" routinely shoots three or four holes-in-one per round, the government-controlled media reported.

Tiger Woods has been playing his entire life and has never shot five aces in one round.

Tiger has won six consecutive PGA tournaments, but has never shot 38 under.

I can't even imagine how good Kim would be if he quit his day job and really hunkered down and focused on golf. The world might just be a better place...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

2 Tim 2:2

Annie now has her very own blog because Tim O'Brien has one.

Tim showed me his blog and how simple it was. I started one and started telling some friends about the little fella....several of them are now writing them...and so on...and so on...and so on. All because Tim showed me his one day. One day I asked Annie to write something in my blog...

That's how life works. We show things to people. They sometimes follow in a likewise manner...and so on...and so on....and the next thing you know, Annie has a blog.

I had a meeting - the person was a jerk - it's all I could think about - later in the day I couldn't concentrate when someone was telling me about whatever was happening in their life - I was a jerk... and so on...and so on...and so on...

So I'm going to head into my next meeting looking to compliment, encourage and spur on others. My hope is that will become contagious....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


My first ever blog interview:

SMM: I noticed that you were a founding member of the sketch comedy group "the sickies", whatever happened to the sickies?

Mike Birbiglia: I don’t really know what happened to the group. I hope my high school still supports sketch comedy. I think it’s more important than many subjects, like “math.”

SMM: I'm guessing that Cincinnati is by far your favorite place to perform, but where else do you love getting on stage?

MB: Cincinnati is definitely among my favorites. I also really enjoy performing in Seattle and San Francisco. A lot of stand-up depends on having the right club surroundings, like a good sound system and low ceilings.

SMM: How is your secret public journal different than my not so secret public blog?

MB: You got me! My online blog is the posting of a radio piece that I do. Many people miss the radio segment, so the email and blog are great for that. I really enjoy writing those pieces, sometimes material from them winds up on stage.

SMM: If you opened a pizza restaurant, what would you name it? And will there be coupons?

MB: I would call it Bahooskis, and we would serve Greek-style pizza and Gyros. I won’t have coupons, but I will accept competitors’ coupons.

SMM: In your act you cover gay cats, panda porn, and Busta Rhymes. From where do you draw your inspiration?

MB: I draw inspiration from a lot of places, but in recent years I’ve tried to keep my material more and more personal. By keeping my act grounded in honest stories, it helps to connect with the audience. That being said, I still try to leap to absurd places from these true stories.

SMM: You can guest host on Letterman for a week, or have your own failed sitcom - which do you choose?

MB: I think I would like to star in my own failed sitcom called “Small Wonder Returns.” I would play the boyfriend of a 25-year-old robot woman, except I won’t know she’s a robot. But everyone else would know.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I'm headed to a banquet tonight. That is almost never a good thing. When I used to run banquets I hated them. When I'm asked to speak or somehow "perform" at them, then I feel the pressure of the person who is running them...and hate them. When I'm asked to attend, sit, eat, and possibly pony up some cash....then I just sit there and wonder, "why would they set up the room like this? Why would they have that person speak? What's the deal with this music? Didn't they say I'd get out of here by 8:30?" stuff like that...

I have some hope for tonight's banquet. Young Kevin is running this one and he's a sharp cookie. I'm banking on this one being solid. I know the main speaker. It'll be fun to see some of the folks that I haven't seen since we moved back to Ohio, and I have some fun people at my table.

This is actually a banquet at a place that I tried to move our banquet to for years...and couldn't make happen. Kevin made it happen. I also tried to get a golf tournament together for years...and Kevin made that happen also. All those years he was probably sitting back and thinking, "why would they have this here? Why don't they have a golf tournament? Why are they letting that guy run this thing?" And now he gets to make it all work. He's good...

The one thing I'd like to avoid is the hotel lobby where they're having this banquet. It's fairly nice, but they either still allow smoking, or the place just has that smell from 50+ years of smoking. I always feel like I'm walking through an ashtray when I first get there.

I guess it'll all be worth it once I bite into that chicken dinner.

If you're looking for a good use of your pre-tax charitable giving, I'd recommend YoungLife OH22

and if you're looking for a good time, I'd call Dave Wolfenberger - because he's fun to hang out with and can play a mean game of ping pong...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Super Group

How amazing would it be to put together the perfect schmaltzy super group?

I'd put in Rod Stewart to sing, spin around, play air guitar, skip (he does all of these things and much more on stage) and just go way over the top.

I'd have David Lee Roth with that incredibly fake, yet huge, smile on his face trying to get the crowd to clap along.

You'd have to have David Hasselhoff on there to pull a lucky young lady from the audience to dance with, and then kiss her on the cheek as she goes back into the crowd.

I'm missing one person though....not sure who, but I'm convinced I need four.

We need to get some talented musicians to back them. We could have the guitarist from Cheap Trick. I have a local young drummer in mind who makes sex faces when he plays...and we could get the original bass player from My Book Your Sandwich to keep the same thing going...maybe have Elton John in one of his outfits contorting his eyebrow as he plays the keyboards.

I still need that fourth person up front though...

Friday, October 13, 2006


The official stats of Griffin Murphy's football career:

Two balls passed his way. The first one was an illegal forward lateral from the wide receiver. The second one was a pass to an ineligible receiver. He was one for two on receptions, although in this game it didn't matter if you caught the ball - as long as you were the first to pick it up off the ground and start running.

One tackle. After a bunch of kids grabbed onto the running back, Griffin grabbed his second flag.

In this game everyone went out for a pass on every play. The quarterback didn't have flags on so it wasn't much use rushing him. So on offence you were a split end, flanker, tight end, wide out, x back, y back, wide receiver or some other guy they throw the ball to. There were no first downs. There were no kick offs. There were no extra points. It was just, "everybody go out for a pass" and "everybody try and cover one of the receivers". You've got to start somewhere.

Hopefully this will help Grif understand football a little more. This way if he decides to play again, he'll know a little bit more about what he's getting himself into. I didn't start playing organized football until the 8th grade, and I felt like the idiot who had no idea what I was doing. I'd watched it on tv, but never played. I felt like I was as knowlegeable as the next guy....but until you've actually gone out and put on the uniform and studied a playbook, you're not quite there.

It's like teaching something that you've never really experienced. I've heard business people scoff at some of the things that are taught by business professors who have never actually gone into that world.

A friend of mine says, "you can't export what you're not importing". He's basically talking about people in ministry who might know some of the right things to say or do, but aren't really living out a relationship with God. I think people can see that, and it just sort of rings a bit hollow.

So I'm glad Griff decided to get into the game. Participating in something is a far noble task than sitting back and writing a blog about it at 6:30 the next morning.

Maybe I should go find my old pads...

PS - we're tailgating at his game next Thursday - you in?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

bummer, huh?

I keep getting these e-mails from "PayPal" telling me that the $699 charge is about to go through on my account. Near the bottom of the e-mail is a big, bold CANCEL THIS TRANSACTION. In theory I'm supposed to click on that link, log into my account and cancel the transaction that I never initiated in the first place.

That's where they get you. You log on and the bad people have your log in information...and get access to your credit card. That's bad.

Here's what I don't understand. I forward the e-mail to PayPal and they should be able to set up a dummy account, trap the bad people, and then lock them up in some rat infested, no cable tv, pink bars and jump suits kind of jail.

It seems like an easy scam to catch people on. So why would they do this?

also....anybody else sadly disappointed in 30 Rock last night? I've come to the conclusion that Tina Fey is a much better writer than performer. The problem is, everybody wants to be up front, on stage, in the limelight...and not many people want to use their gifts behind the scenes.

I don't know how many people I've heard talk about how they're a gifted speaker, but I've heard that more than I've heard gifted speakers. The problem is that no matter how bad you do, three people will come up to you and tell you how good you were. I think a good indicator ought to be how often do you actually get asked to speak or perform at organizations outside of your own.....

The point is, I'm sure that Tina wrote all those funny commercials for 30 Rock - she should probably just put someone else in as the lead character.

what do I know?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm not working today

Donald Trump on Regis: You should first of all find a job that you love. You can't be successful if you don't love what you do. (I watch Regis when I take the day off) I'm not 100% with the Don on this one, but I do think it's pretty darn difficult to be successful at something that you don't really love.

I've always found that jobs where people feel somewhat insecure or embarrassed about are interesting.

Chiropractors have to deal with the question of, "are you a real doctor?" I've read a lot of interesting things about chiropractors at their offices. Did you know they take more anatomy classes than someone going through medical school? I didn't either, until I read that at an insecure chiropractor's office. He had mountains of evidence to show everyone that he was a real doctor. I didn't really care because I was already there and obviously thought he could help. I've had chiropractors fix my shoulder, jaw and back bunches of times when my primary doctor couldn't do anything more than prescribe medicine or recommend surgery. I love chiropractors. Be secure doctors of chiropractic medicine!

waiting tables - One of the stand up comedians was busting on waiters the other day and I couldn't help but think, doesn't this guy know there are a few here serving food and drinks?

Youth Directors and many others in ministry. I don't think they're necessarily insecure about their jobs, they're just sick of people asking, "what do you do all day?" If your job was to build relationships, encourage, teach, love, guide and generally be a friend to a group of people - that'd be a great job. It just wouldn't look like work a lot of the time. Taking a couple of hours to plan a talk...and then giving it, looks like you just worked for a half hour. People don't factor in the planning time. "you just worked 30 minutes". No, I just spent half a day planning this talk, putting together video, slides and notes...and then went to Johnny's house because he's dealing with his parent's divorce and trying to make it on the soccer team....and then had Johnny's dad who happens to be cheating on his wife and ignoring his son call me to ask why we only have 38 kids coming to our meetings each week. Tonight when I get home there will be three kids in my yard putting 3,000 plastic forks into the ground and then I'm up at 6:45 to meet those same kids to buy them breakfast and talk about life. Bottom line - it's one of the hardest jobs you could ever not get much credit for...

telemarketers - They probably should be defensive about this one. Maybe just go by Customer Service Rep.

secretaries are now assistants. Fine. Either one is good. We don't have rename every job that somehow seems beneath people. Secretaries often work harder than their bosses. I used to have a boss that had a secretary and the word was, "Never, never call her that" She saw herself as our boss because she worked so closely to the main guy. She wasn't. She was his secretary. That's fine.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sleeping in

Today is day two of my three day vacation. Slept in until 6:30, watched a taped episode of Studio 60 (great show, no matter how screwy their writer is) and made the boys breakfast. It'd be nice to sleep in sleep in...I just don't really have that ability.

Making breakfast is made all the more difficult because I haven't eaten in two days. I'm going to the doctor in four hours and will soon be able to enjoy eating anything that isn't fried, made from milk, have red meat, pork, caffeine in it....
It was fun making pizza last night.

I'm looking for something to cap off my vaca (half a vacation?) tomorrow. I have the whole day to play with and I'm thinking movie...still haven't seen Talladega Nights and I'm hoping that's still in some theater in Ohio. Maybe I could snag a babysitter and treat Annie to dinner and a movie she'd probably end up loving even though she'd rather go watch someone paint their front door.

It's somewhat ironic that I'm taking my one year anniversary at the Vineyard off. I've had a great year. I met (I just erased the 320 names I wrote here because I was so paranoid that Craig was going to call me and say, "why did you leave me off the list? Don't I count!? Didn't you meet me?" Craig isn't really a person that I met this year. It's sad really that in 365 days I haven't met one new Craig.)

Anyone know a Craig that I can meet?

Monday, October 09, 2006

smoke up Johnny

I get that smoking cigarettes is cool. Maybe it's like your little flammable security blanket...and it's doubly important that you get one while you're drinking. I was just hoping you wouldn't have to do it around other people.

Heres the rub. You can't look cool, and there's far less need for a security blanket, when nobody is around. A lot of people will carry around their security and personality in a bottle or a glass, so maybe that's worth a try?

When you drink around others, you occasionally say something dumb, offensive or just embarrassing. When you smoke around others, you might say something smart, funny or just encouraging...but we're all still sucking in smoke by being around you, and we're all going to take that taste and smell home with us. That might just be all more memorable as we go home at 2 in themorning and have to take a shower before bed.
thanks for that...

I know you didn't like it the first time, but you thought that if you just stuck it out....it looks cool enough to make it worth it. You made it over the hump now you don't want to stop. I get that. It's like when you learn to play guitar and then bug everyone by constantly bringing it everywhere and breaking into song. You just can't help yourself.

I've seen more cigarettes thrown out of cars than all other trash combined. Would you mind throwing those in your ashtray, and then occasionally just emptying that out in a trash can?

I've driven in cars with someone smoking who either turns the car into a traveling bong, "I know you can get lung cancer just by sitting in the backseat, but I don't really care" It's like having someone eat an asbestos sandwich while sitting on your lap. Sometimes the kind ones crack open the window as if to say, "now you'll just get a little lung cancer to go with the cold you're going to get because now you're freezing...but I don't care because it tastes so good"

I want to smell like an ashtray - so smoke next to me, will ya?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another couple named their son ESPN

I'd like to think that if Annie and I had a son and named him Espn, that some of you would be good enough friends to us to come over and punch me in the larynx.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mike Birbiglia

Last night was like an audio version of the evolution of man chart. We started with the caveman comic...he didn't really have the confidence to look at anybody and made jokes that kids get in trouble with in third grade. Sadly, the last couple of times I've gone to a comedy show the MC has been slightly less funny than the end to Hotel Rwanda.

What was really funny about the second guy was that he was the same guy who checked our I.D.'s when we came in. He was actually pretty funny, although he came off as hysterical after the Hotel Rwanda guy. On the evolutionary scale, he was the comic who was walking, starting to use his thumbs and could grunt and point out the occasional funny thing happening in the cave.

And then the show really started. Mike Birbiglia took the stage looking like someone had just pushed him out of bed. He was a perfect picture of disheveled...and you knew that he didn't really care. He was wearing his typical uniform of a t-shirt covered by a zip up hoodie.

It's always interesting to watch when a bigger name comic comes on stage. You can tell that the audience desperately wants to laugh at them. You could hear people murmuring (especially to my immediate right) some of their favorite lines from his act...and he was great.

He told one crazy story after another, peppered with great one liners and little asides. He was rock solid for an hour and never let down. He got big laughs throughout and was just a far superior comic than the fist two. I saw Frank Caliendo a few months ago and he got a standing ovation...and Mike Birbiglia did not...and Mike was just way better. Frank went off on a riff of impressions that were impressive, but just not that incredibly creative or funny...just impressive. Mike is a completely evolved comic that blew away everyone last night, and pretty much everyone I've seen since the Dane Cook and Gary Gulman show.

It was a good night for laughs...and smelling like an ashtray.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

breakfast with the boys

I'll be sitting down to breakfast with the fellas in about 20 minutes. Breakfast out for me is hard because I can't eat red meat, pork, anything fried, dairy, caffeine...and a few other things (think anything delicious)

So I might be sitting there chomping on a bowl of fruit while they carve up some bacon, sausage, hash browns and coffee. I'll be there an hour before work denying myself of all that is good...and it's worth it.

It's worth it to me to meet with these guys once a week and have them share their lives with me. It's worth it to me to be completely honest with them and lay out all my garbage. It's worth it to me to sit and listen to their advice.

Getting up early, eating old grapes and having to talk about real stuff is worth it. It just is.

I've lived out the alternative. I'd rather live my life invested in others and knowing that they're invested in my life.

It's not so bad...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

That's not my job

The bigger the organization, the more prevalent this attitude.

Hey, why is this place such a mess?
Because it's not my job to clean it up.
But if you just threw those two things in the trash and wiped down the counter, it wouldn't look so bad.
But that's not my job.
Don't you at least want this place to look ok?
It's not my job to make this place look ok!


This is one way you can determine whether or not you're living out something that feeds into you, or just collecting a paycheck. Just see how often you think or say, "that's not my job".

When you say that, you're saying that you don't care what happens to this place...you're just doing the few things that you HAVE to do. You're not really concerned with how well things are going in the big picture, you just want to get your stuff done and leave.

Things would change radically if this wasn't a part of our every day existence. We wouldn't have trash all over the place, customer service would shoot through the roof, people would look to help out others in every situation, and Bragg would come over and fix my roof....even though it's not his job.

makes sense to me...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


There's something sort of exciting about writing out some goals. It almost feels like you're actually working. There's the excitement that comes with the hope of something accomplished in the future. You can almost picture how that little segment of your life will be different as a result of accomplishing the goal.

It's fun to set goals. It's exciting.

Gary Gulman talks about how much he hates the alarm clock in his act. "Anything that makes you cuss as soon as you wake up can't be a good thing" He goes on to talk about how he'll set his alarm for 5 AM so he can get up, go on a run, have a big breakfast, get the band back together, do his taxes.... and then hits snooze 27 times.

That's how goals are. They're exciting, hopefull, and incredibly difficult.

If you aim at nothing, you'll surely hit it. It's been said so many times I feel like a cheeseball even repeating it...but it's pretty close to being right on. Occasionally we drift into something that seems like progress. Woody Allen says 90% of anything is just showing up...there's some truth to that. Ultimately though...to really grow in a way that gets us fired up - means we've got to set some goals, we've got to start working towards them, and we've got to pick ourselves back up when we fail the first couple of times.

It takes 21 days to make a habit and 3 to break it. If you believe that study, then it's seven times harder to start a good habit than it is to just sort of fall back into living life on auto pilot.

Today I'd like to turn off the auto pilot. I think it's time to start stretching and see where that takes me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sean's book corner

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day comes out today. It was written by Mark Batterson, who serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington , DC.

Here's a basic description from the author:
Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will regret the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized, and the dreams not pursued. Stopping running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture (II Samuel 23:20-21): Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.

Unleash the lion chaser within!

I've only read the first chapter, but I love the idea of the book.

I remember reading years ago about the three biggest regrets of folks over the age of 80. One of the top three was that they wished they'd taken more risks. That's what this book is about....and more.
"God is in the resume-building business. He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities." The scary thing for me is having to go through those experiences.

I love feeling healthy, but I don't want to go through the work. I love gaining insight into a situation, but I hate having to live through the rough times that end up giving me the insight.
Consequently, I spend a lot of energy avoiding situations that, in the long run, would probably serve to shape who I am in a much more significant way than....doing all the stuff I do to try and grow.

The part of chapter one that I've highlighted had to do with "sins omission". He makes the point that we're far more concerned with not doing bad things (sins of commission) than we are about regretting the things we should have done. He calls it "Holiness by subtraction". It's as though we can lead the lives that God has for us simply by not doing bad things.

That's half the battle....maybe.

One of my favorite books is God's Smuggler - and in it the author makes the statement, "I'm not against anyone or anything, I'm for Jesus" He's not definining himself by what he's against. He doesn't want to live his life in protest lines...

Batterson is making a similar point - We shouldn't define ourselves by what we don't do.

We should be risk takers, knowing that the risks we take will shape us in a way that playing it safe never would or could. We should define ourselves as Lion chasers.