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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Oceanic Flight 815

If you are a Lost junkie like I am, then you already know that Oceanic Flight 815 is the flight that crashed in the first episode of the show. If you didn't know that, don't quit reading this is still pretty cool.

At the end of every episode of lost after the credits and everything they flash the website www.oceanicflight815.com I just noticed it tonight, but evidentally it has been there since the beginning. If you go there you will see a very cool design for a website. You will also have the opportunity to get absolutely lost in all the information about the show (you can get caught up or learn before you start watching if you're new)

One of the first things I noticed was this little bar code looking thing at the bottom of the screen. I didn't click on it right away, I wanted to explore, so I flipped through a dozen pages of information and even read some of the message board titled "theory board" Very appropriate because it's filled with theories that would rival the X-files. One guy actually estimated the number of tally marks on the wall and tried to calculate how long the guy had been living in the hatch. I like the show... but get a life.

Finally I click on the little bar code and up pops a request for a code word. Being the internet hound that I am, I quickly find that if you enter "theislandiswaiting" without the quotes you get to see part of the script. But after reading the script, I can't figure it out. I don't remember any part of the script from the show, and yet it's titled "Man of Science, Man of Faith" the first week's title. It even describes things chronologically in the story that don't match up, like Jack running out of the hatch, yet he hasn't left the hatch yet. And then.. And then.. And then..

My brain hurts from thinking too much about this. Hope you enjoy the link.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Seasons Changing

Yesterday I woke up early for my morning jog. It was beautiful out. The air was starting to feel like fall and the temperature was cool. Then I met my friend Steve at the Rec center for a lunch time game of racquetball. It was part of the "I'm going to loose 20lbs by Christmas" kick I'm on. By the time I got home that night, the day was still incredible - not summer any more, but not quite fall yet. As I sat down at the dinner table, a soft soothing thing happened...

Every muscle in my body screamed out in agonizing pain. Evidently my exercise ambition went overboard a little and I sent myself into Lactic Acid overload.

That evening, crisp air of the evening cooled the house and made it just chilly enough to enjoy the first dip in the hot tub for the year. Ahhh, soaking in the hot water with my hot wife and with jets relaxing my muscles as the seasons change. The perfect end to a hard day.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm a Man and I'm Thankful For It

I am frequently reminded that I am thankful God made me a man. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the womanly things women can do like kiss a child's skinned knee and make it all better, but there are some things that I want absolutely no part of.

Child birth - way too painful.
Menopause - mood swings and hot flashes.
Fashion - way too many pairs of black shoes. I have one.
Never standing to pee - way too inconvenient.

Granted I'm an uneducated man about most feminine things, but one thing I never have figured out is why don't they make a flushable feminine product?

Why must women place them in a small metal can next to the toilet?
If guys had to place a used masculine product in a metal box, bolted to the side of the wall, you know some product engineer at Playtex would have developed flushables years ago.

Women - I applaud you, yet am strangely intimidated by you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My Regular Programmed Schedule

It's fall again. You know what that means? The premier of all my favorite TV shows! I've spent the past two nights and am going to spend tonight lounging on the floor, watching the newest installments of what will once again consume my evenings to come.

On Tuesday @ 8 I watched a new show called My Name is Earl. WOW I was laughing so hard. My wife didn't get it so much, but it was my sense of humor exactly. This guy, Earl, has a more than bad life when he wins the lottery for $100K he then instantly gets hit by a car and looses the ticket. While in bed, doped up on morphine, he hears Carson Daly talk about karma and decides he has to do go do good deeds to make up for all the bad ones he's already done. It's a very dry, cynnical look at this guy's life. And it's a half hour so I still have time to watch a movie afterward.

Then I started watching The Office, but while I very much understood and appreciated the humor, it seemed to move a little slow for me, so I got bored and put in my movie.

Wednesday night... one word "Lost" For those of you who watched it, all I have to say is I knew the guy with the accent from running the stairs would be the same guy at the bottom of the hatch. Not only that, but my original theory of government conspiracy on the island still is holding true. Did anyone notice that the quarantine sign was on the inside of the hatch lid. If the hatch was quarantined why wouldn't it be on the outside to warn people from entering. Instead it was as if it warned the people inside not to leave. And when was the last time you saw a computer that old? Like 1982 maybe? If you haven't ever seen it, you need to watch with a first season follower or get a hold of one of the synopsis shows that explains everything.

Tonight, Thursday, yet another season premier. Again I can't wait. The show is Alias. I'm a little curious to see a pregnant woman repel off of a helicpoter while shooting a machine gun with pinpiont accuracy and then roundhouse kick a terrorist to the head. But this isn't reality it's TV! I'm about to curse with all the rumors of Vaughn leaving the show. Can't Michael Vartan and Jennifer Garner get back together romantically so the show can go on? Who needs Ben Aflec anywa??? He's a dork compared to Vartan. Who tries to marry two girls with the same first name? I mean really - such a dork. Jennifer Garner can save the world from glowing balls of water that will kill everyone, but she can't figure out Ben Aflec is a dork and make up with Vartan to save my favorite show.

Anyway - happy viewing. I hope you have found your premiers as enthralling as I have mine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Production on a Dime

One of the 342 hats that I wear on my job is to make videos. This includes pre and post production as well as the shoot itself. I've become quite savvy with Adobe Premiere, and I'm doing it all on my HP.

I'll give all the Mac and Final Cut users out there a moment to gather themselves and climb off the floor and back into their chairs... Okay... better?

Because our video budget here is basically beg, borrow or steal whatever I can to make it work, I want to share the best two articles I've read on lighting for a shoot.

First is this one which gives a beginner's termed explanation on how to set up lighting.

Second is an article titled "Lighting ont he Cheap" Great name and a great resource. I just shot a video using its suggestions and showed it to a couple of professional video people and they were impressed on how well it looked.

Whether you are a home video shooter or a mediocre hack like me, you will learn a lot about making your video look much better.

I love the editing and shooting, but I can get completely lost in it all and find myself working at 11:30pm perfecting some part of my video that should have taken 30 minutes to do.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Are You a Clicker or a Skipper

It is human tendency to assume all others are like you until you learn that they are not like you. This has happened to me when it comes to clicking on links in blogs I read.

For example, if I said
"A corrections officer was arrested for beating Scooby Doo. (click here for article) Imagine what he would have done if he got a hold of Scrappy."
I assume that because I would click the link, so would everyone else.

But that just isn't the truth now is it?

So my question is this.
Are you a "Clicker" - one who clicks on every link you read?
Or are you a "Skipper" - one who skips over all the links and just reads what's posted on the screen?

Me... I'm a hard core Clicker.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lilia Griffin

As most of you know, I usually don't promote, plug or sponsor much of anything from my blog. Normally I use it to share my life and poke fun at what ever I can. But, I honestly have to say I was moved to promote this individual.

Lilia Griffin came to our church tonight and sat in with us for worship, then shared her purpose for her upcoming missions trip and sang a couple of songs. First of all, it was nice to have young and trendy at our church, which is mostly made up of people like my parents. Nice, but not young and trendy.

Then her voice. I have no idea how to write a music review, so I'll just share my feelings. I loved her voice. It made me feel totally at peace. I just wanted to be sitting in a coffee shop in Chicago with it raining lightly outside, maybe even snowing, but melting on the street. When I closed my eyes her music took me there. (side note to Lilia - We're still looking for a worship leader so maybe God has led to you to prepare for this missions trip so you would come to our church and have an opportunity to sing for us. - Just a thought)

Finally her purpose. A year long missions trip to Calcutta to minister to orphans, prostitutes and HIV/AIDS victims.

Tomorrow she plays Tazabellas, the local coffee shop (not quite Seattle or Chicago, but it will do)
So my promotion / plug is this.
Check out her blog which updates her travels
Check out her website which is worth checking out. Love the design
Buy her CD here. You can hear samples of her music too.

Seriously - I mean it. You won't be disappointed.


You ever have one of those "Uhh... WOW!" moments?

Usually when an incredible string of events occurs. The indivdual events don't by themselves amount ot much, but put them all together and WOW.

Well one employee in the office is finishing Thursday. She's moving to Tulsa to be with family and go to Tulsa University. No problems. Then another employee resigns last night. No problems. Then I try to rework the entire flow of the office to accomodate the new employee just starting Tuesday and the now 2 employees leaving. Now I'm looking to hire another employee, plus maybe a part time IT employee too (we can't afford or justify a full time one yet) We're also hiring a new associate pastor and associate youth position. Still looking for a Music pastor as well. Add that all to the regular stress of life and the fact that I'd rather be golfing in the beautiful 70 degree weather and all I have to say is "Uhh... WOW"

Maybe I should become a Human Resource Director or Recruiter ;)
Submit your resumes here

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Useless Knowledge

My wife thinks I am a walking book of useless knowledge. I can remember the dumbest fact, but can't remember to pick up the loaf of bread she asked, then reminded me twice to get on my way home from work.

Well, I figure, go with it, develop your strengths, not your weaknesses right?

So, here's one for you at the next social gathering you have. When you're standing in a group of people and you hear that common stomach gurgle coming from someone say "Sounds like you have quite the case of Borborygmi".

You will sound absolutely intelligent and they will wonder how you've amassed such a deep knowledge of all things. Oh yeah... don't forget the bread.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekly Poll

Another weekly poll on the way.

Last week's poll results are as follows:

Is it wrong to get pleasure out of another's misfortune?
25% Yes, absolutely
8% Only if it is a minor misfortune
50% As long as you don't know them or they don't get hurt too bad
17% The bigger the misfortune the better

This topic brought much discussion and thought from many people. Let me add another twist to this for more discussion.

Shortly after posting about my rental adventures I searched my website on Technorati just out of curiosity to see who was linking to me. I found my usual friends and then one that surprised me. Some lady I don't know at all commented in her blog about my posting saying that she found it "disturbing" that a pastor would do this. We exchanged a couple of e-mails where I found out her reason for thinking it was was disturbing. She had some valid points, and some I didn't agree with. But it was her opinion, so what could I really say?

Then yesterday, after our first Sunday service was over, I had a congregation member come to me and say she didn't agree with something I said. When giving the offeratory, I used the term "hard earned money" when I refer to people's giving in the offering. She felt it was wrong to call it hard earned and that it made her feel uncomfortable.

I would like to think I don't let this sort of thing influence me, but do I? Does it seep in my mind while I'm writing? Should I let it seep in or should I just keep writing / speaking the way I normally do? The lady disagreeing with my rental post may be one person, but does she represent a segment of readers I haven't considdered? Same with the woman in our church, one person, but does it represent more?

My question isn't about validating my or the other's opinions, but rather, how much do you let someone else influence what you say from a public platform. In other words, if someone leaves you a comment or sends an email challenging what you say, do you hold back the next time you post or speak so you don't offend. So check out the weekly poll and leave your comments here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Emeril Lagossi move over, I have a new favorite chef. Giada de Laurentiis is this girl next door looking, midwest talking, pure Italian cooking chef that captures my attention almost every day during my lunch hour.

I come home for lunch, make my usual sandwich, banana, yogurt and diet soda lunch. Then I sit down and turn on the Food Newtork and enjoy Everyday Italian.

The thing I like is that her food truly is everyday. In fact to prove that point, my wife made some absolutely outstanding Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders for supper tonight. WOW very good and she said "very easy to make" It was kind of like chicken parmesean meets chicken strips. Plus it was baked not fried, so very diet friendly.

Check her out. And can anyone explain why she goes from talking with no accent to this super Italian accent at the flip of the switch when ever she says an Italian word?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Weekend Update and Excuse

Well a holiday weekend and a lot happened.

Friday we camped out with our young married group from church. Lots of fun, little sleep and an adventure with 2 kids and a dog in tents.

Then we went to Iowa City on Saturday to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes destroy the Ball State.... uh, whatever they are. It got to the point about half way through the second quarter that I actually started feeling sorry for them. Not that sorry though. I'm still glad we won. It was probably my only game of the season. Compared to 2 years ago, when I made every home game it's kind of a drag, but still - GO HAWKS!!!

Then we left Sunday afternoon to drive to Des Moines and see Deann's dad and step mom who were visiting from Colorado Springs. We had a blast. I really miss seeing them. Maybe someday soon we can see them more often, until then... we'll have to be patient.

Then Monday (Labor Day) drove home from Des Moines, stopped to see our good friend in the hospital. Her water broke and she's not due for a month or so. Got home, unloaded, unpacked and cleaned up.

Why do I tell you all this. One simple reason. It's my excuse for not blogging today. I was too busy getting caught up from a wild weekend to blog.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Organized Crime in Pleasantville

Many don't recognize it, but it is a fact that there is a strong presence of organized crime here in our normally pleasant community of 8500 people. I am somewhat hesitant to even blog about this because of the power they hold over the town, but I feel I must let the world know.

Every year at this time, the organization begins shaking down more than the 50,000 visitors for $7, but if you're willing to pay them $15 they won't bother you for the rest of the week.
Then they go to business owners and charge them "rent" to allow the business to have a space to operate, but they don't stop there. They actually take 50% of the profits that the business makes. What really upsets me is that while a good portion of these businesses are for profit, many, especially those providing food and refreshment items, are operated by nonprofit charities trying to earn some extra money to support themselves throughout the rest of the year. Local food banks, community assistance programs, and churches are who I am talking about. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. The people who come to volunteer their time for the various charities have to pay a member of the organization for the privilege of safe travel to the location where they are going to donate their time.

Pretty amazing that this sort of thing happens in our tiny, otherwise simple town. The thing is, it happens every Labor Day weekend and people come from all over to support the organization. The organization otherwise known as Midwest Old Threshers is some kind of retired farmer convention that brings people from far away. Today I spoke to people from Ohio, South Carolina and we were supposed to meet someone from Louisiana tomorrow, but obviously with all that's gone on there, they decided to stay home.

The shakedown is for admission to the event, which you are not exempt from paying even if you volunteer your time. Then your church / charity does pay rent and share profits with Old Threshers.

Maybe I just don't get old men in bib overalls walking... no hobbling around to look at steam powered tractors older than they are, but I truly dislike it. But that didn't keep us from renting out our basement at $45 per night for a couple to come sleep in after spending 12 hours a day looking at tractors. Hey - just because I don't like it doesn't mean I'm stupid.

Have a happy Labor Day weekend and don't tell anyone you heard this from me. I wouldn't doubt it if their power goes so far as to get me fired for my comments.