Monday, August 30, 2004

more for your time-wasting pleasure

thanks to the miracle of syndication and blogexpress i have discovered it's a site with a lot of sarcastic geek humor that bills itself as "satire for smart people". some of the techieness of it is beyond me, but some the top eleven lists are pretty funny. things like tv shows spun off from the lord of the rings, signs you're becoming a geek, and reasons to move out of the basement .

it isn't for everyone, but what is? well, besides air... and water... and captain crunch.

off to polish my pocket protector.

attention all creative types

or wanna bes like me. check out this blog article (blogicle?) on how to be creative. take the time to clik on the "more" links to see this guy's cartoons.
a couple of my favorite statements to encourage you to click over.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, "I’d like my crayons back, please."


10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.

check out the rest, then go be creative.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

missed it by that much

ok. had i been born 51 minutes earlier i would have been born on the exact same day as claudia schiffer. how different would my life be? yeah probably not much. as it is, i share a birthday with macaulay culkin - which is not cool at all - and branford marsalis - which is.

of course on the other hand, had i been born 51 minutes earlier i would also share a birthday with regis philbin, monty hall, and billy ray cyrus.
23 hours and 10 minutes later? daryl dragon (from the captain and tenille) and pee wee herman (from.....nevermind)

that collection makes one thankful for macaulay. well almost.

by the way, it is also namibia day so have a good one of those.

i'm going to bed now.

an hour and a half from now

will mark the 34th anniversary of my emergence into the world as a 7lb 2oz ball of possibility. i have found myself wondering today what my parents thought or hoped my life would be like. did they wonder when i'd break my first bone (5th grade - wrist) or have my first kiss (9th grade, no seriously it was)? did they know i would love reading and music and baseball? did they think about my future wife or kids? what did they want me to be when i grew up? what did they worry about? what did they pray for? or were they like me when caleb was born, just trying to figure out which way the diaper went on?

there is no way they could have known or guessed the road i would take to get to 34. here i am. i'm desperately in love with the most amazing woman on the planet. i have three healthy, incredible kids with #4 not too far out on the horizon (at least in time, she's much further out there in miles). i have an incredible community of people that i not only get to be a part of, i get to lead. even with the bumps along the way, it is hard to imagine how life could be better. God is good. i know that sounds really cheesy or simplistic, but at the end of the day it is truth. maybe sometimes truth is cheesy and simplistic.

anyway. i'm glad i'm here. life is good.

ps -- feel free to accuse me of making a shameless plug for my birthday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

ok, one more thing

mad props to lance (i've always wanted to say that so forgive me) for introducing me to blog express. it's like a newsreader for blogs. it goes to all of the blogs you want to check and puts all of the updates on one page so you don't have to surf around to see if anyone updated. then it links you to the blog so can go there if you want to check something else out. if you are one of those (like me) that tries to keep up with reading 20 blogs, this is nirvana.

no, i'm not getting much done today. thanks for asking

words fail

friends, please allow me to introduce you to the quantum sleeper. "the safest rest you've ever had". this is a high-tech, high -security BED that can protect from hurricanes, fire, flood, biological or chemical attack, intruders, and presumably the monster that lives under the bed.

some of the features include: (get ready)
The Quantuum Sleeper comes with options for:
- CD player,
- DVD Screen with PC hookup, (so you can watch the first season of friends while mayhem reigns around you)
- Microwave and Refrigerator

The Quantum Sleeper comes with options for Cellular Phones, CB and Short-wave Radios

Air/Water Tight Sealing (in case of flood it could be a submarine i guess)

Toiletry system (i don't know, i wasn't THAT curious)

The unit can also be fitted with defensive devices customized to the requests of the purchasers such as tear gas spray, robotic arms, or projectile weaponry. (SWEET!)

how afraid of the world would you have to be to voluntarily sleep in a tomb every night JUST IN CASE?

cowering under my weak stick bed waiting for the big one


ok, so i added a hit counter. i just want to state for the record that this is not because i am so vain that i need to know how many people are reading this. the fact is, that part may be more depressing than ego-boosting. instead, i added it because of the feature that allows me to see a little of who is coming and from where. after reading comments the other day from people i've never met in a place i've never been, i got curious about stuff like that.

so there you go.

on the other hand

i love these. enjoy a small sample here and check out more at

Monday, August 23, 2004

reductionist stupidity

ah friends. just a small sampling of bumper sticker / t-shirt / marquee sightings from the past week or so. read at your own risk.

marquee -- we are a for-prophet organization (get it?)
another marquee -- your soul is our goal in 2004 (i'm not kidding - my guess is the pastor is a reformed carny barker. in other newsm this church quotes
yoda on their marquee this week. yes, that yoda.)
honorable mention marquee -- jesus, don't leave earth without him.
at least the summer has been cool so we haven't had the rash of "you think it's hot here" marquees

moving on

bumper sticker -- imagine a little darwin fish being swallowed by a giant piranha-looking Jesus fish with big teeth and a cross tattoo. the text? "survival of the forgiven!" -- sigh
just to prove that christians aren't the only ones with really bad bumper sticker judgement, here's one - "my kid has more chromosomes than your honor student" -- it's for the oklahoma down's syndrome children's society. not sure why that one bothers me so much, but it just seems wrong.

and now for the pièce de résistance (international, huh?) - this t-shirt for sale a your local "christian" junk dealer - "there are two questions you never want to ask 1. where am i going? 2. why am i in the handbasket?" (i literaly stood in shock and stared at this)

i know i go off on this stuff all the time. why does it bother me so much? i was thinking about that and here are at least a couple of thoughts.

1. it further reinforces all of the negative things our culture already thinks about christianity (self-righteous, exclusive, mean, arrogant, stupid, corny, irrelevant, . . .)
2. so much of it is rude or mean or hateful. telling people they are going to hell is not effective evangelism in our culture. in fact, it might encourage them in that direction because at least there they won;t have to put up with church marquees and t-shirts (or will they?). people tell me that Jesus got in people's faces when it was necessary. that's true. those people were either demon possessed or self-righteous over-religious prigs who had missed the point of all of their ritual observance and cultural "faith". hmmmmm.
3. that kind of stuff is completely self-serving. it's "christianity's" way of getting its licks in at no personal cost. (well, except for the $20 dropped down for a t-shirt) you don't have to defend anything or dialogue with anyone when you zip by them at 45 in a school zone.
4. it's pointless. honestly. will a staunch darwinian atheist change his mind when the piranha fish eats the leggy darwin fish? has anyone ever pulled over on i-40 east of OKC and found faith over the "go to hell" billboard?

note -- to those who maintain that this direction of ranting is also pointless, i would like to point out that releasing keeps me out of therapy. so there is a small point.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

happy birthday hannah

six? not possible. it was just yesterday that i held you (all 9+ lbs of you!) at the hospital for the first time while Pop got the inside scoop on who you were and pretended he guessed right. i will never forget giving you that first bath and feeling that mix of thank you God and it's a girl and what the heck am i going to do with a girl?

six years later all of those things still apply. pink is everywhere (and constantly expanding). that huge ball of baby has grown into a tall, beautiful young lady that i couldn't be more proud of. i love the way you look just like your mom and act just like me. well, most of the time i love it. it has led to some epic battles so far with (i'm certain) more to come. who could forget the water dish?

i love to listen to you sing when you don't think anyone is paying attention. i love every show and every picture and every laugh. i love watching you take care of nathan and put caleb in his place. i love that you lead our family in both dance recitals and trips to the emergency room.

you are going to be such an amazing sister to our new little one. she has no idea yet how lucky she will be. i can't wait to watch that.
i love you more than i could possibly say or show. i am so proud of who you are and who you are becoming. happy birthday peanut, pickle, baby girl, hurricane hannah.

i love you

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

one step closer

we got the call today that our application for adoption was approved.
quite the birthday present for hannah.

inching along

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

breathing in

we have been talking at church over the last few weeks about this thing of living in the rhythm of God. specifically (for those who aren't a part of our church) we are working through the idea of breathing God into our lives and then breathing his love out into the world. obviously we have gone a little deeper than that, but you get the idea.

so i've been thinking about how i breathe God in. the ways and things in my life that seem to connect me to God or help me experience Him. we have talked some about how the possibilities are endless because of the infiniteness (yes it's a word) of God and His creativity and the variety and creativity He has placed in us. that whole conversation has caused me to try to be aware of God in unexpected places and situations and also to want to experience Him in ways i haven't thought of before.

like what? well i'm not sure. i know that for me things like story (biblical and otherwise) , music, the world around me, watching my kids, reading about the history of the Church, and online experiences like church of fools or afterlife, seem to be some of the things that help me connect. i am trying to experiment with silence and a more reflective, meditative kind of prayer and some other ideas so we'll see where it goes.

i am curious if others of you have other experiences or things that you seem to find God in. input from others helps stir my creative process. so stir me.

seeking to inhale

look out academia

it's back to school day! i can't believe i am old enough to have a second grader not to mention the second child going off to kindergarten. whoa.

goodbye summer

Thursday, August 12, 2004

my head is still spinning

K and i went to see The Village tonight. unreal.all i can say is go see this movie. if you've already seen it - go see it again. i don't rave much over movies, but this one is raveworthy. wow.
oh, and thanks all wellers who saw it last week and said nothing about it around me. you guys are great.

bowing down to m night

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

fiction worth reading

i'm finally settling in to read life of pi by yann martel. i've seen it at border's for a year it seems and have had it on hold at the library for several weeks. (yes the library, they let you read their books for free...nice huh?) anyway... so far it is really good. without getting too much into what it's about (you can click the link to read a synopsis), the main character is a boy in india. part of his journey is his search for faith through three of the major world religions. he is "born" a hindu, then adds christianity to that and then adds islam to that. he is deeply devout in all three and sees no problem with mixing the three. "I just want to love God" is his heart.
i know that lots of people could get freaked out about the pluralism (please remember it is a novel), but the young man has some great insight into the nature of religion and the search that all people seem to be on to find faith.

some great quotes

on agnosticism

it is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. doubt is useful for a while. we must all pass through the garden of gethsemane. if Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if he burst out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
(emphasis mine)

on Christianity
I knew very little about the religion. it had a reputation for few gods and great violence. But good schools.

on Jesus
I couldn't get him out of my head. Still can't. I spent three solid days thinking about Him. the more He bothered me, the less I could forget Him. And the more I learned about Him, the less I wanted to leave Him.
one more
The presence of God is the finest of rewards.

it really is a wonderful book so far and i understand things get more interesting as the story develops. looking forward to that.

off to watch the Perseids.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

of baseball and sons

i am firmly convinced that God brought baseball into the world to allow fathers and sons to share something beautiful.

i decided that caleb and i needed to head out to the ballpark for a last crack at summer before school starts next week. i called my friend who works for the redhawks (thanks nancy) and asked if she could hook us up with tickets at the last minute. hook us up she did. two rows back directly behind home plate. it doesn't matter what level of baseball you are watching..that's good stuff.

so we get our tickets and walk past the statue of mickey mantle where i get to explain to caleb how great he was - even though he played for the yankees. we get inside and take full advantage of $1 hot dog night. if you've never seen a seven year old boy put away two hot dogs in about three minutes, it should be on the list of thing you make sure you do before you die. then we sit down to find out that chan ho park is making a rehab start before he goes back to the rangers.
so if you are keeping score at home - doubleheader, seats behind home plate, $1 hot dogs, a major league pitcher, just me and caleb, and o by the way, the home team comes back late in the first game to get the win.
i don't know if i can describe how much fun we had hanging out and eating peanuts (to chase down the hot dogs) and watching baseball and laughing and being stupid. if you are a dad with a son, you might know, if you aren't i'm just not sure you can understand.
of course the night wasn't totally perfect, what is? we had the whiny kids behind us who didn't want to be there and griped all the way through the game. it rained on us for a few minutes (which really added to the fun more than it hurt anything). apparently mercy me is coming in concert to the ballpark before a game in a couple of weeks (august 27 if you must) and so they played the first 30 seconds of i can only imagine so many times that i can't imagine anymore. the capper on that deal was when they played the full video for the song between games. nothing says "play ball" like a bunch of people holding up pictures of dead loved ones....but i digress.
tired and happy (and pretty full) we left the second game early. we stopped to watch for a minute from the parking garage and a guy who used to play for the cubs (manny alexander) hit the first pitch we watched out of the park.
walking to the car, caleb grabs my hand and says "thanks for taking me to the game, dad." i know, it sounds like a commercial that i would make fun of, but it happened.
may i end with what terrance mann (james earl jones) says in field of dreams?
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

by the way, on the newly released anniversary dvd i just got (thanks mom and dad), there is a feature about fathers and sons and baseball. i'm telling you, there's just something about it.

thank you God for unexpectedly perfect nights. i can't wait 'til nathan is big enough to join us.