Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gettin' Hitched

I'm off to officiate a wedding in St. Louis! Zach and Maeve are getting married!

Important definition of terms: I'm not marrying these guys. They're obviously marrying each other. Even in Missouri they only let one guy marry one girl. Thus I'm only officiating their wedding. I'm already married, thank you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blog Paralysis

I'm preparing for a wedding in St. Louis this week (and to be gone from the office for almost three days) and it's just killing me in regard to my usual routine. The good news is that I have my sermon and other responsibilities for next Sunday about 90% done. The bad news is that today, Wednesday, feels like a Saturday.

I've also been limited in my blogging. I think this would have been a three-posts-a-day week but I've just not had the time. I have done a little more on the church blog and sermon podcast page (you can know subscribe through iTunes). I have pictures of the kids and other stuff going on that I want to post here on my personal blog but I just can't seem to get to it.

(BTW, thanks to folks who send me stuff for the blog. I almost always like and would use it – if I have the time…)

I guess that's how blogging goes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Thoughts 7/29/08

  • The Army has announced its Top 10 Inventions of 2007. It's an interesting mix of weapons, vehicles, systems, and even a medical procedure. Click here to read the list, as well as inventions from 2006 and 2005.
  • I'm in the process of planning my longest sermon series ever. It's episodic instead of serial, i.e. they're not directly connected to each other, which should help keep it interesting. In fact, I'm rather excited, each sermon is different and unique but they're all connected – it's cool and intriguing. I'll post some more info about it when I'm finished over on the church blog.
  • Richard Branson has revealed his new White Knight 2, the mothership that will launch his new commercial spacecraft into space. The White Knight 2 is quite a bit different than the first White Knight, though they both are bizarre looking aircraft. It'll only cost you $200,000 to get launched into sub-orbital space, coming to you in 2010.
  • Did you hear that Rush Limbaugh might want to buy the St. Louis Rams? He probably doesn't have the money and the team isn't selling right now anyway, but what an interesting prospect. This Friday is Limbaugh's 20th Anniversary of his show.
  • You must read this editorial on Obama. What does he mean when he speaks of "economic justice"? He means radical, sweeping socialism. A complete re-engineering of America. That's the quasi-marxist change he believes in. Mercy me. I'm about this far from writing an epic rebuttal of the whole Obamanation phenomena.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just One

For the past few weeks I've been wearing a white bracelet with the inscription "Just One" on it.

Here's why. Ozark Christian College is challenging everyone to recruit "just one" more person to Christian service. Too few people are answering the call to go into the spiritual harvest fields. But think of what just one more person could do… they could plant dozens of churches or baptize hundreds of converts. Just one more could have a profound impact for the kingdom.

Will you pray for just one? Will you look for just one? Will you speak to just one?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recommended Reading

Want to read a short book that may change your life?

Read Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris. I asked Jay-rod if it was a good read and he suggested getting about 150 copies of it (for everyone at church). I read it this afternoon and it's fantastically honest about how most Christians treat the local church – without commitment or depth or passion.

Find out more here. A copy is available in our church library but you can also find it online for about $10.

63,000 Hits

We passed 63,000 hits today, so here's my usual mile-marker post.

Thanks so much for reading!

How Nintendo Tracks You

Here's a quick little video that explains how devices like Nintendo's Wii track physical movement using accelerometers and gyroscopes. Very cool.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Thoughts 7/25/08

  • The FBI has a nice little Top 10 list of Myths in FBI history. Sorry to you X-Files fans. Of course if you're a conspiracy theorist, this is nothing more than lies, lies, lies!!! There also a brief little story about the Kansas City Massacre of 1933.
  • Today I received my fantasy football trophy! Yahoo! It's very cool, after about 15 seasons of fantasy football, with several 2nd place finishes, I finally won the championship last year. We've often awarded the trophies at the following year's draft (the only time we have everybody together), but being commissioner has its advantages.
  • This Wall Street Journal article compares President Bush and Batman and asks, "Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?" Read the whole thing here.
  • If the software is "prettier," would that inspire you to use it? That the premise here, as Linux gets a two year total makeover to "make it prettier than the Mac OS." Pretty is good, but it better be intuitive, productive, and effective as well. [thanks David T. for the heads up]
  • Yesterday we had, including our own, seven kids under seven years old for about twelve hours. We were babysitting our friends' kids. And it wasn't that bad! The logistics were more of a challenge but it wasn't any more stressful or any less doable from a parenting point of view.
  • The Chiefs start training camp, and in many ways start over, in River Falls, Wisconsin. I wish I was more excited. But the truth is Chiefs fans are thinking long term, two or three years from now. By all counts, this year will be rough.
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that Microsoft is going to copy the way Apple does things. Hmm… interesting.
  • The Seattle Supersonics, which at one point we hoped would move to the Sprint Center in KC, may have a new name when they move to Oklahoma. The rumor floating around this week is that the team will be called the Oklahoma City Thunder. Really? Thunder?

We Are the World

In the funniest thing I've heard this week, Michelle Malkin called Obama's speech in Berlin his "Ich bin ein beginner" speech.

For history nerds, that's high humor.

As a student of history, Obama scares me like me like none other. Would we really elect a naive political novice at this point in history? Would we really elect the single most liberal member of the Senate to the Presidency? Seriously?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Podcasting Sermons, Part 2

Okay, here's the new and improved podcasting service. I don't know if it's the final version yet, but it's likely very close.

The new location (just click the sermon to listen within your browser) is within the church's current website. However, since the website is currently undergoing a re-design process, there's a chance that things will look different sometime in the near future.

Sermons will be added each week, along with some sermons from the past.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Replacing the M-16

Here's about everything you ever wanted to know on the evolution of the military's most common weapon, the M-16 (and the shorter but increasingly common M4 carbine). This rifle has evolved over 50 years to become a very effective and accurate weapon, but some folks say the Army needs to replace it.

The article says:

The latest developments? The M4 and 3 competitors, including one M4 variant that can be converted from existing rifles, come out of a sandstorm reliability test – and the M4 finishes dead last, with more than 3.5x more jams than the 3rd place finisher. But the US Army publicly says that it doesn’t care, and orders more.

I was always a fan of the XM-8, which contrary to popular opinion, I thought was a beautiful looking rifle. But in the end it may have been overreaching, so perhaps something like the HK416 would be a good compromise? There's also a debate on whether the caliber (5.56mm) is sufficient. So perhaps a slightly bigger 6.8mm round in an improved rifle is what we're looking for.

Maybe some military types out there have an opinion. Anybody care to comment?

Podcasting Sermons

[Note: things are changing rapidly and these links may no longer be valid. The final version of our podcast service is almost ready.]

We're now podcasting sermons! We've edited the sermons and converted them to MP3 (and by "we" I mean Jay-rod). You just have to click on the links at our podcast blog or follow the link there from our regular church blog and voila!

It's not really podcasting until we have the RSS feed (which Jay-rod is setting up as I type this) and we'll change the interface a bit, so that people can listen or download from the church website, the church blog, or the podcast blog itself. The podcast blog also has the advantage of labels, which means you can search for and sort sermons by topics and keywords.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Grandpa's Unit

A picture of my grandfather in uniform sits beside my chair here at home. He served with the 28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron in World War 2, part of the reorganized 6th Cavalry Regiment. The 6th Cav was an important and highly decorated part of Patton's Third Army, which marched across Europe to defeat Nazi Germany.

However, precious little of this information came from Grandpa while he was with us. He avoided most serious talk of his time in the Army. So I've been doing a little research.

Here's the current Wikipedia article on the 6th Cav. It covers the history of the regiment from the Civil War to the Indian Wars to the Battle of San Juan hill alongside the Rough Riders in Cuba. It shows the unicorn lapel pin my grandfather wore on his uniform and gives a brief description of the units history in World War 2. More info here.

One of those actions was during the Battle of the Bulge where the units of the 6th were recognized for bravery in the Harlange Pocket. This painting depicts the action. The unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, which is a prestigious award.

The units of the 6th Cav are now aviation units spread throughout the army, mostly flying Apache helicopters.

Random Thoughts 7/21/08

  • Today was the second time in five weeks that I've had a monstrously awful sick-headache. I start getting a headache while I'm sleeping during the night and by morning I'm so ill I can't function. It seems to be the perfect storm between allergies/sinus pain, severe fatigue, a sore neck, and carsickness. The first time was the second day at camp this year while I was the dean (thank the Lord for capable friends while I was down for half a day).
  • Bad news: Ebert and Roeper at the Movies (formerly Siskel and Ebert) is being taken in another direction by Disney. In other words, they're firing Roger Ebert and changing the show into an Entertainment Tonight kind of a show. Ebert hasn't been on the show for a few years because of a surgery that left him unable to speak, but I watched it every week. Yet I was watching for the movie reviews – I have no interest in yet another Hollywood gossip show.
  • Now is a good time to re-read Tony Snow's essay from last year, "Cancer's Unexpected Blessings." It was published in Christianity Today.
  • I saw the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, on opening night last week. Wow, that's an impressive movie. If Heath Ledger doesn't win Best Supporting Actor, the movie should at least be nominated for a best writing. It's a dark movie for sure, but the quality of the acting and writing is surprisingly adept for a "comic book" movie.
  • The boys are eating root beer floats as I write this. What a joy it is to watch these little critters spooning mouthfuls of happiness. They live a charmed life for sure.
  • Speaking of treats, Graham (two) calls a cookie a"bookie." He'll march around the house demanding his bookie like a drunk gambler with money to spend. He's hilarious.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Watermelon Befuddles Altic Boys

Who knew that watermelon could be so complicated? Grammy just wanted to know what to do with this summer treat. So he looked for guidance from his brothers…

Does Tanner know how to eat watermelon? No, Tanner doesn't know.

Does Elijah know how to eat watermelon? Apparently not.

Can someone show this little boy how to properly eat watermelon?

Another Convert

From this Wired interview:

"Software engineer Satoshi Nakajima, the lead architect of Microsoft’s Windows 95, picked up a Mac for the first time two years ago. He was so impressed, he says he’ll never again touch a PC again."

I understand. My past experiences with Windows have not been that great, confirming me as an unrepentant Mac-addict. But it goes the other way too.

We had an IT guy come in to the church office to set up our new copier last week. The guy was probably a computer genius, but when he saw my Mac he froze. He didn't know what to do and left us with the drivers uninstalled (Jay-rod and I set it up in about two minutes). If you've invested time and effort into learning things one way, the other way can seem daunting.

That said, anyone I know who wanted to learn to use a Mac learned it quickly, used it, and liked it. And for those who use both systems they tend to strongly prefer their Macs or at worst have no preference. I've never met the guy who uses both machines regularly that prefers the way Windows works.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Not a Complete Waste

At least one good thing came out of writers' strike earlier this year: one of my favorite writers, Joss Whedon (Toy Story, Titan A.E., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc.) couldn't help himself and produced a short movie for the internet.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is web-based show on the internet this week and this week only (it'll be available on DVD later). It stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day in three acts, the third of which airs on Saturday. Typical of Joss Whedon productions, it's funny and quirky – it's a web-based supervillain musical – but after watching two-thirds of it, it's better than most of the stuff on TV.

Dr. Horrible is only available for free until July 20.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spirit of Kansas in Flames

Here's a couple of pictures of the burned out hulk of the B-2 bomber that crashed in Guam last February. It was the Spirit of Kansas, 89-0127, that crashed and the accompanying article explains why.

The plane is largely constructed of carbon fiber, which creates a nasty situation when it burns – the fibers get in the air with the smoke and can be dangerous if inhaled. The carbon fiber construction also creates a wreck that looks a lot different than a wreck of an metal aircraft.

A JibJab in the Ribs

JibJab is a website that became famous four years ago for it's animated political cartoons, specifically this one, "This Land," and my favorite, "2-0-5."

They have a new one, "Time for Some Campaignin'," out for the 2008 Presidential Campaigns. Like most JibJab stuff, it has an occasional crude word or two, so be warned. This is not a Christian site (it's not even a conservative one - but it's funny).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random Thoughts 7/15/08

  • Have you seen the videos from Forefront Christian Church about their small groups program? They call them "Gel Groups" and have modeled the commercials after the Geico insurance commercials. Pretty funny! Some of Forefront's video promos and announcements can be a little off-color but I love their video promoting the change from two services to one.
  • Here's more info on that new, high tech, Russian fighter, the Su-35. It's not the only high tech Russian weapon that is supposedly on the horizon. The Russians are also touting the T-95 main battle tank, or something like it, a super advanced mystery tank supposedly superior to anything else out there. Hmm… we'll see.
  • Check out this article on homeschooling! The data is in: homeschooled kids score higher on all kinds of tests and grow up to be more civic-minded and well-rounded adults that have more success in college. The article notes parents' interest in providing "a better academic education, a safer environment, or a stronger set of moral values." Homeschooling is not for everyone but it's not the fringe, aberrant, anti-social behavior some people make it out to be.
  • Don't forget to keep up with our favorite flying missionaries.
  • I've fixed the "blog roll" in my sidebar. It should work now. I think. Some of these deserve a disclaimer: I'm not responsible for nor do I endorse the content of the these sites (but I'd stand by 99% of it).
  • Check out the picture of the new decor at church. We had a couple ladies up on scaffolding for several hours putting that up. You can't tell in the picture, but that's about fifteen to twenty-five feet up in the air.

Monday, July 14, 2008

When Little Boys Shed

I'm used to living with a long-haired family member, routinely finding Shannon's hair on my person and around the house. I've even gotten used to the dogs and cat, cleaning up animal hair from the carpet and such. But I'll never get used the what the boys shed.

The boys pass through a room and leave behind a debris field of Legos and Bionicles. Die-cast cars and plastic whatchamajigs are scattered across the floor. They don't even have to be playing with the toys – they carry them around and randomly slough off hard pieces of plastic for me to step on later.

These boys are conditioning me to never go barefoot around home, that's for sure!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pleading Innocent

We were at a party/reception for Shannon's brother and new sister-in-law tonight and trying to keep track of the boys. It was at a house out in the country and the boys were playing outside with some of the other kids there.

At one point I tracked them down, my boys and three or four other little kids, and found them tearing apart the landscaping in front of the house. They were digging out the gravel and throwing it onto the sidewalk and into the air conditioner. I yelled at them, "Brennan! Tanner! Elijah! Graham!" (which together sounds like a hundred syllables escaping from my mouth in one quick burst). "What are you doing?! You get over here right now!"

I was livid that they were tearing up that landscaping, but I'd also seen that the other children were doing just as much damage as my kids.

As I marched my four off to a solemn time-out, a little girl, one of the ringleaders whom I had caught red-handed, said, "My name is Brooklyn. I'm not really very bad. My mommy let's me do whatever I want."

Really? It doesn't show.

Toddler Cage Match

Here's Graham, ready to rumble!

Random Thoughts 7/12/08

  • Today is my grandfather's birthday. He passed away several years ago but his impact on the family is still felt.
  • Here's a concise article on global warming – it's a good time to be skeptical about man-made global warming. Never mind the fact that man can do little or nothing to change the climate, temperatures have been steady for a decade and have even dropped a little in the last two years. More in-depth info can be had here if you want to know the facts.
  • The World Series of Poker Main Event is well under way, today is day 5 of the multi-day tournament (the final table to be played later this year). From 6844 entrants, they are down to the top 180 players, including a few well-known professionals such as Phil Hellmuth, Alan Cunningham, Gus Hansen, Mike Matusow, James McManus, Hoyt Corkins, and many others. As a fan, I'm eager to see the pros do well (rather than some snot-nosed kid that learned to play last month on the internet). Hellmuth is the only former champion still in the field.
  • We're leaving this evening to attend a wedding reception for Shannon's brother, Jason. Congrats, Jason and Erin!
  • I love to play poker. I don't play for money. In fact, I've never gambled any money on anything; I don't even buy lottery tickets. But poker, specifically no limit Texas Hold'em, is one of the best card games out there. I like the challenge, the math, the patience, the psychology… it's fantastically balanced game. I adamently discourage anyone and everyone from gambling, you're just throwing away your money, but I'm always up for a good game of Hold'em.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Irish Twins

Brennan (almost 8) and Tanner (6) are quite the pair. Everywhere we go people assume that they're twins, being nearly the same size (Tanner, the younger brother, is actually slightly taller and heavier than Brennan). Here's some pics of the two brothers (who seem a shade or two more redheaded this summer).

Another Busy Camp Day

I was gone to church camp for about 14 hours yesterday. I taught a class on apologetics in the morning and preached in the evening. We played some staff-on-camper basketball and had quite a bit of fun through the day. I so much enjoy spending time with the other ministers and volunteers.

Not having any internet access however prevented me form blogging, or checking my email, or reading the news… Ahhh! Camp is tough on an internet junkie. Anyway, I'm back… sunburned and exhausted. But back home in KC.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

62,000 Hits

We passed 62,000 hits this evening. Thanks so much for reading this blog!

I'm not sure why the list of sites (the blogroll) isn't working properly but I think its a problem on Blogger's end of things. As for the other malfunctions on the site… well, I may have to reinstall a few things.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Random Thoughts 7/9/08

  • Congress has a new all-time record low approval rating of only 9%. Impressive. Way to go Nancy.
  • Here's a video of one of Russia's advanced fighters, the latest version of the Su-35. It does some impressive slow speed maneuvering that will impress airshow buffs.
  • The Iraqi Prime Minister has announced that the terrorists have been defeated! The Iraqis are leading the final purge of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Why didn't that make the news last week? Read this short blog post for more.
  • I've been working on classic movies for the last year or so and I've discovered some fantastic new genres that I've not had that much exposure to. Silent movies of all types were new to me until a year ago, now I've seen probably half a dozen with more waiting in the queue. I've also watched more classic westerns in the last year, lots of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and Clint Eastwood. I've seen almost every Hitchcock feature ever made and I'm working through some fantastic old romantic comedies. I've also seen some great film noir, such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Double Indemnity (1944), and Gaslight (1944) among others, all of which I've seen in the last year. Come to think of it, that's a lot of cynical private-eyes narrating about the "dame" they can't trust but can't stop thinking about…
  • Is the polar ice melting? Apparently not. The total amount of ice in the Arctic: 10.9 million square kilometers, the same as 30 years ago. In the Antarctic? A 21% increase in ice over figures from 1980. Follow the link for satellite photos and more info. Meanwhile, here in Kansas we're having our third mild Summer in a row (it's 81º today on a July afternoon). In fact, this was probably the coolest 4th of July I can remember.

On Baptizing Our Children

I added a picture to the post on the church blog about Hannah's baptism. Sunday night was pretty special as Hannah, 10, was the first grandchild in our family to make a decision for Christ. We're all elated.

I feel strongly about not pushing our children to make a decision too young. We want these kids to make a mature, lasting decision and we want, as parents, to be effective in guiding and mentoring them in their faith. What we want to avoid is the all-too-common "my friends were doing it" or "I want to please the grown-ups" kinds of decisions that well-intentioned children sometimes make. Too often, these decisions fade to irrelevancy as the child enters adolescence, causing the supposedly "safe" child to drift from the faith or to create an internal crisis when the Holy Spirit actually does move in their hearts.

There's no exact science here. It's a careful, case-by-case, ongoing evaluation that requires sensitivity and trust in spiritual matters that can't be measured with certainty. But as parents and ministers, let us prayerfully discern what can be discerned and teach what can be taught. To treat the spiritual formation of these children with any less care seems reckless.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Worst Aircraft Ever?

Wired has a photo top-ten of the worst aircraft in history:

10. TU-144, the Russian Concorde.
9. De Havilland Comet, the first British jet airliner.
8. Spruce Goose: Howard Hughes' folly, too much, too late.
7. LWS-4 Zubr, an ugly, nearly unusable Polish bomber.
6. The Christmas "Bullet": two flights, two dead pilots = perfect record.
5. Beechcraft Starship, the most photogenic of the bunch. One of Burt Rutan's great ideas that didn't take off.
4. Hiller VZ-1, personal hovercraft.
3. A-12 Avenger II, the overly expensive naval stealth fighter that Dick Cheney killed.
2. B.E.2, the WW1 British biplane that made the Red Baron famous by providing ripe targets to shoot down.
1. XB-15, the underpowered, jumbo fortress.

  • Many of these are merely prototypes, where their notable flaws or other circumstances caused the to be canceled. The most obvious exception was the B.E.2, which should have been replaced before 3500 were built and pressed into service over the trenches of WW1.
  • Though failures in their own right, some of these prototypes provided important innovations to the aviation industry. The XB-15 and Rutan's Starship come to mind.
  • Other planes, especially Hughes' Spruce Goose, were victims of politics and/or bad timing.
  • If I were making the list, I would limit the list to aircraft that actually went into production. Still on the list: B.E.2 and the Polish Zubr. Added to the list: Antonov An-10, the Brewster Buffalo, the Blackburn Roc, ME 163, et al.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rotten Tomatoes for Everyone

I enjoy watching old movies and I love talking about movies. So I signed up on Rotten Tomatoes to review movies. You can see my ratings and read some of my reviews (mostly just reposted from this blog but conveniently collected in one place) by clicking here. Click on ratings to the growing list of films I've rated.

Some of the films I've seen in the last week or so:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan in The Westerner (1940). This was Brennan's record setting third Oscar for supporting actor.
  • WALL•E (2008) was fantastic. It was different than previous Pixar films but great nevertheless.
  • I was horrified to watch The Last King of Scotland (2006). It's actually a well acted movie based on the real-life dictator Idi Amin. But it's also an abuse of the soul to witness the horrors that evil man perpetrated on Uganda.
  • Similarly, I watched The Killing Fields (1984). I've now officially had my fill of third world dictatorships killing innocent people en masse.
  • How long has it been since you've watched Tootsie (1982)? It was better than I'd recalled. Still more than a little unnerving (a guy in drag will have that effect on you) but still a good story.

Glass Jaw

In college I broke my jaw playing football. It was a clean break in two places, just right of center and midway up the left side. I had my jaw wired shut for almost two months and, with the exception of undoing a little orthodontic work, there have been no lasting consequences.

But the other day I took a shot to the jaw that nearly rivaled that fateful blow in college. I was wrestling with the boys and as I tickled Tanner he reared his head back and clocked me right in the jaw. The crown of his head hit me right below the zygomatic process and it was a show-stopper. It staggered me and I did one of those open, shut, open, shut "does this still work?" kind of things. (No, Shannon, I did not check for blood.)

In the end, I'm sure I'm fine but it's still throbbing 48 hours later; it was quite a shot. Do boxers feel big hits two days later?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pointing At My Brain

Here's another look at Brennan… my eldest, my most intellectual, most serious child, a son after his father's own heart.

Or maybe he's just a typical seven year old.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Random Thoughts 7/4/08

  • Happy Independence Day!
  • I'm blogging this in Firefox 3. The new web browser set a record for most software downloads in the first 24 hours with over 8 million downloads. I think Firefox is a great browser. I was using Safari about 80% of the time but now it's about 50-50, depending on whether certain sites (like Blogger) function correctly.
  • Do read Imprimis? You should. I'm going to use some of these articles for my boys civics and government lessons as they get older.
  • The Office returns with a series of webisodes next Thursday. I know some of you are dying for this.
  • We saw WALL•E today with the older three boys. It's a fantastic little movie, which Shannon and I and Brennan and Tanner all enjoyed. Elijah, who is only four, just wasn't interested. The little guy fidgeted and hemmed and hawed through a good portion of the movie. WALL•E just isn't a good movie for toddlers – great for everyone else – but not for toddlers.
  • We also had my family over for the Fourth last night (July 3 is also Alanna's birthday). We had barbecue chicken and lots of fireworks. It was a good evening, capped off with Dustin and I lighting a nice array of mortars shells from the street by our house. It's the most fireworks I've lit in probably six or seven years. Thanks Dustin!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Four Amigos

Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)!

If you're not sure what's so great about this country… I offer you exhibits A thru D: four innocent, happy, polite little boys who love each other.

These four boys can grow up to be absolutely anything they want to be. They can travel freely, believe freely, and live freely. They do not know tyranny, racism, or oppression. Only in America can children be so happy and free, this side of Glory.

Dog Tired

Here's my puppy, Sophie, taking a cat nap. We love her when she's unconscious.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Random Thought 7/2/08

  • reports on gruesome golf fatalities. Perhaps that's why I don't play golf.
  • Brett Favre has an "itch" to play another year. For Pete's sake, please just retire already. Or don't. But stop going back and forth!
  • The surge in Iraq has been an undeniable and resounding success. It's truly an historic moment. But that's not what everyone was predicting a year ago. Do you remember who the naysayers were?
  • Speaking of historic moments, I read the other day that 25-40% of the news in 2007 was about Iraq. Now that violence is down and the Iraqis are taking charge of their own country, only about 3-4% of the news in 2008 is about Iraq. Nobody seems to know that we've done something incredible in the Middle East. I guess it doesn't fit the "America is bad" template.
  • If you're one of the Fantasy Football owners in my league, the WFFL, and you haven't been talked to yet, please call me. We need to establish who's playing this year and there's a waiting list of folks wanting in. The Draft is August 25.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Big Red Leaf Day

Happy Canada Day, eh.

Learn about the Canadian Flag here, eh. But it's not that great, eh. So take off, you hoser.

The real party (where we blow stuff up) is in a few days.