Friday, November 20, 2009

How Twighlight Should Have Ended

Sorry about posting twice in one day, but this is just too good. How Twilight should have ended:

LHC, Higgs Bosun, and Fried Turkey

The CERN Large Hadron Colider (LHC) is getting ready to start up again after a malfunction caused them to shut down for a year for repairs. The reactor has also been delayed because one of the scientists had terrorist ties and most recently a piece of bread was dropped into some machinery. This has given rise to the theory that the "god particle" or future scientists are reaching back through time to try and stop the LHC from coming online.

The Higgs Bosun particle has been dubbed the "god particle" since proving its existence would go a long way toward explaining the conditions at the beginning of our universe.

In related news - other things that seem to be prone to disaster by future meddlers: fried turkeys. More houses are going to burn down this year due to turkey fries. If you're going to fry a turkey, be safe, and don't try to smash any atoms while you do it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mercury Falls


Too often I find that "humorous" books are bland and boring. They try too hard to make themselves easily accessible, understandable, and unoffensive. Luckily Rob Kroese is not afflicted by that desire. Perhaps it's due to the fact that his humor was honed on his blog: Mattress Police - which is one of the funniest blogs online.

Kroese writes about the end of the world due to the Apocalypse. Mercury is an angel who is supposed to play a key role in the destruction of Earth, but he would rather play ping-pong and build snowmen in Berkley. Christine is a reporter who has sold out her journalistic integrity to write about the endless parade of cults prophesying the end of all that we know. The Apocalypse is governed by a huge legal document negotiated by the angelic and demonic lawyers over thousands of years, and orchestrated by the bloated, heavenly bureaucracy.

I don't know how he did it, but he has found a way to slide in hilarious references to everything from theology to science fiction to evolution to physics and just about everything else. There is a joke in here for everyone - Kroese finds a way to equally offend and entertain. I rarely laugh due to reading something - my mind is quick enough to see what's coming so the surprise of the joke isn't there - except with Mercury Falls. His writing is so quick and witty that he's constantly catching me off guard. I've thrown my head back and deeply laughed several times.

This is the funniest book I have ever read. That isn't hyperbole, it's the fact that I have laughed more from reading this book than any other. Skip the sitcom and pick up Mercury Falls for a great time and lots of laughter.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A New Endeavor

I'm starting a new blog about PowerPoint for Preachers. Below is an example of what I've been doing in the field.

I'd love to know what you think.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Remember Me?

It's been a while, hasn't it? I almost forgot I had a blog, what with all the Twitter and Facebook and Twitbook and Faceter.

So, since last we met the wife and I packed up our world, sold off our possessions and drove to Big Sky Country - Helena, Montana. She was laid off from her job and I graduated all at the same time (the same day, even). So when a church in the great-white-north invited me to come and preach for them in exchange for food, shelter, and money - well, we decided to take them up on it.

So on Saturday we rolled up to the Big Sky Church of Christ and moved into the basement of the church building. Then we woke up on Sunday morning and I got to preach for them. I'm still working on getting some pod-castable stuff going on, so I'll keep you posted on that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free at last

Free ice cream at Ben and Jerry's today from 12pm to 8pm

Free coffee at Starbucks tomorrow if you bring in your own mug

Free awesome right here all day every day

Free from grad school in T-minus 11 days

Monday, April 06, 2009

April Fools is over, but

I just saw this product. It's not a joke, but it should be.

Also, I didn't reveal our greatest April Fool's joke sooner because it involved a wee bit of mail fraud.

Check the whole thing here. The short of it is that we sent a letter to some friends of ours in the guise of a product recall for a diaper cream that we know they use. We recommended that they seek medical attention if experiencing any of the side effects listed:
rash, discoloration, mysochonosis, spontaneous dental hydroplosion, anal fissures, mandibular dislocation, acute or chronic hyperhydrosis, partial or complete bifurcation.


They totally bought it, and didn't figure it out until we called them to find out if they had heard about the product recall. They even noticed that the letter was from someone with the same name as me.

We are the champions my friends!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

All Instant - All the Time

I just found out that with a certain coffee company's new instant coffee breakthrough and the climate of the global economy they have decided to only brew instant coffee in their stores.

I'm not very happy about this. I joined up, in part, due to the love of coffee and the beans. Even though this is pretty good for instant coffee, that's like saying the Dixie Chicks are pretty good for country music - it's still bad, just not as bad.

So, unless the people rise up and do something about this, all the coffee (both drip and espresso drinks) will be instant. When they tried to stop breakfast sandwiches the masses rose up and changed their mind, we can stop this too. Just click here to sign the petition and help preserve good coffee for all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

iTunes is a virus


Is it just me or is iTunes just like a virus? iTunes tries to make my computer do things that I do not want it to do. The last time I dealt with a piece of software like this was when running AOL. It tries to install other programs that I don't want. Then if I try to get rid of it, it's incredibly difficult to uninstall all of the components. But there really awful thing is that is nearly impossible to live with out this software. Thanks, Apple!

I guess the definition of making things easier is to control all the aspects of someone's existence - then they won't have any problems.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Super Colon

The Prevent Cancer Foundation was in my neighborhood today with their giant inflatable colon. It is an awareness raising tool to promote colon screenings.

Many of the people involved in running the event came into my store to get some coffee this morning, so I got to learn all about the giant colon (F.Y.I. there are 9 of these colons around the country and they cost $10,000 a day to rent). I thought this was fun and interesting, so I brought it up with other customers who came in.

One customer came in wearing scrubs, from which I could deduce that he works at the hospital. He had come in immediately after some of the people working at the aforementioned event. I proceeded to engage him in conversation about the event of the day.

I asked, "Are you a member of the colon brigade?"

He had nothing to do with the event.

And I'm pretty sure he's gay.

I think I sexually harassed one of my customers today.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

"Manvotional"

Over at the previously mentioned blog: Art of Manliness, they have what they call "manvotionals." This week's gave me chills:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

~T. Roosevelt

Monday, February 23, 2009

Milking the issues

This is a post about the Oscars, so if you don't care, then you can stop reading right now.

At the Oscars last night the movie "Milk" won for best screenplay and Sean Penn won for best actor.  Heath Ledger won for best supporting actor as the Joker in "Dark Night."  

Here's my issue: the academy doesn't want to recognize truly great work, they want to recognize what is popular.  I haven't seen "Milk" so I can't really judge whether the performance was that as good as they say.  However, it is my opinion that the win had a lot more to do with the subject matter of the movie than with the actual performance (I call this the "Brokeback effect").

Additionally, Heath Ledger had to win for playing the Joker.  Since he died there was no other option.  I genuinely think he did an amazing job in playing the Joker, but no one else had a chance of winning because they didn't die.  Now they can't be upset that they lost otherwise they will be jerks, and they can never know if their performance was the best or not (because they didn't die).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Skip it


Seth Grodin just blogged about skipping to the good parts:

You can watch "the good parts" of a baseball game in about six minutes. The web has become a giant highlights reel... the best parts of SNL, the best parts of a speech, the best parts of a book . . .
As consumers of information, though, I wonder if the best parts are really the best parts. Yes, you can read a summary of a book instead of a book, or watch the trailer instead of the movie, or read the executive summary of the consultant's report instead of the whole thing... but the parts you miss are there for a reason.

Real change is rarely caused by the good parts. Real change and impact and joy come from the foundation and the transitions and the little messages that sneak in when you least expect them. The highlights of the baseball game are highlights largely because the rest of the game got you ready for them.


I hear what he's saying, but I'm not sure I agree.  We have gotten really good at skimming for a reason.  There is just too much information out there for us to meaningfully interact with all of it.  How can we know what is the good stuff without skipping to the good parts?  

He uses SNL as an example, I've tried watching it recently and it sucks, a lot.  I just don't have the 1.5 hours a week to kill waiting for the potential of one or two good sketches (a season).

I feel the same way about many books and websites, I just can't spend the time to read every word.  Words are too cheap.  You're skimming this right now.

Seth is right, we do miss something when we don't absorb the experience.  There is less drama to a sporting event, less impact to a sermon, less transformation from a book.  But there is more.  I can deal with more information if I refine my skimming skills.  The trade is depth for breadth.

I think that there are times when our hyper-refinded skimming skills need to be put on the shelf.  Seth speaks an appropriate word of caution to those of us who may be skimming through our world at ever increasing speed.

Take a deep breath.

Slow down.

Pick something that is really good (because you skimmed it and you know) and dig deep.

Enjoy.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Don Miller thinks you are a fat loser if you use a Mac


Don Miller just blogged about Mac users.  Check out some experpts:

Apple, having been a minority share-holder in the market branded themselves as aloof outsiders, swimming upstream in a culture of conformists. But in all reality, those of us who have fallen for this campaign are the worst offenders. I would even argue the use of Apple products, to some degree, mark us as the most insecure about our identities.
Apple products are defended with near-religious zest. But in our zest are we defending a company or our own identites? Perhaps what we’ve been offered is a brand to associate ourselves with, a brand that triggers our survival instincts, revealing we don’t believe we have enough to survive without this association? Perhaps the use of Apple products reveals insecurity more than it reveals confidence. . .

If you think about it, the most confident of counter-culture heros aren’t talking on i-phones, wearing designer jeans or jumping in the air in their facebook photos (why are all the hipsters suddenly jumping in their facebook photos? Why didn’t anybody call me to say we were doing that?) but instead are the people most of us might not notice. The reason we don’t notice these people is because they offer us no beneficial association. They buy products because the products work, they buy jeans because they cover their asses, and coats because a certain coat will keep them warm. A true counter culture is not manipulated by the whims of fashion and therefore is not made up of fashionable people.

I recommend reading the entire post, but that short quote will probably be enough to get mac fanboys doing some drive-by comment-flaming.

On another note, I like the way Don organizes his blog so that the first sentence of each paragraph is in bold so one can quickly scan the post and get the jist of things.  Good job DM.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Question

So this weekend the wife and I are going to engage in our annual State-of-the-Marriage weekend.  We try to work through any big issues that have come up during the year and to set some goals for the year to come.  We usually look at budget stuff, job stuff, housing stuff, married-people stuff (you know what I mean).  This year, however, we're going to try to decide whether or not to have children.

When we got married we said we didn't want to have any kids until after we had been married for five years.  Well that was in July.  So now we are trying to make the call.  

I'm posting this here not to ask for advice (opinions are ok though), but mostly to ask for prayer and wisdom.  We don't want to make this decision lightly.  It can't really be based on a list of pros and cons.  We're trying to seek God's will for our life and for our marriage.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Matrix Trilogy: Good or Lame

So Jason and I were talking about the Matrix just the other day and I made it my goal to convince him that the second and third Matrix movies were, in fact, good and have philosophical depth.

Jason's contention (correct me if I'm wrong) is that while the first movie did in fact explore some deep philosophical issues, the second and third movies only had the appearance of depth without the actual substance.

I refered to this site where there are several philosophical essays which the Wachowski brothers released alongside the second and third movies.  I feel that this is the best evidence that I can show that they considered more than just the surface of the philosophy that appeared in their movies.  Other than that all I can offer is my opinion, for what that is worth.

I think that the Matrix trilogy moves us from grey to black-and-white to a multi-colored world.  The grey is the meaningless fog in which Neo lived as a software developer.  Then Morpheus and the gang (jinkies) led him on a journey of discovery where he saw that there is a conflict going on that is much greater than what he had known.  Finally, Neo continues on this journey to learn that in this battle there is not a clear distinction between good and evil due to "race" or "religion" as there are evil humans and good machines.  The world is full of color, the fog has been lifted and the details are becoming more clear.  Smith wants to keep the world in the grey/black area, thus they must fight.

What do you think?  Good or lame?

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Stealers

It must suck to be a Stealers fan with a concience (if one exists).  They are consitently rewarded for dirty play and given unfair opportunities by the refs.  The good news is the Willis McGahee is expected to make a full recovery from the helmet-to-helmet hit that he suffered last night.  The bad news is that there was no flag from the refs for an obvious rule violation.  

Earlier in the game the refs handed the Stealers some points by calling pass interference in the end zone when there was clearly no foul (and they didn't call similar fouls against the Stealers).  

I hope you're looking forward to a Superbowl where the refs do more of the same so their precious Stealers can win a seventh title.  I wonder how many they would have if the game were called according to the rules.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Can't it be both?

The question: "Can't it be both?" has become a common refrain in our house.  It works so well as a response to many questions.

"Are you making fun of me or do you really hate the yarn fest over in Sisters?"

"Do you want cake or pie for dessert?"

"Are you going to take a nap this afternoon or sleep late tomorrow morning?"

See how well that works?  It's a great response.  But since we've been using this to confound and confuse one another, we have found our joke to have a more serious meaning.  Too often religious questions are posed as "or" questions in order to separate groups.

"Do you immerse or sprinkle?"

"Do you use instruments or are you acappella?"

"Are you conservative or liberal?"

Why do we have to limit and confine ourselves by these either-or questions?  So much of our religious discussion has turned divisive when that has very little to do with the ministry of Jesus.  When he was asked either-or questions his responses were often similar.

"Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?

"Will there be marriage in heaven or won't there?"

"Did you come to unite us or divide us?"