Thursday, March 31, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/31/11

  • Chad Pennington, the most accurate passer in NFL history and two-time NFL comeback player of the year, known best for sustaining major injuries in alternating years with playoff runs, tore his ACL playing pickup basketball.  If not for injuries, that guy might have been something really special.
  • Is this the change we were hoping for?  Gas prices have doubled since President Obama took office.  The trouble he'll have come re-election time is convincing us that he doesn't want gas prices to be high, which he's stated in the past would be an "green" incentive.
  • Is anybody really surprised that Obama sent in CIA operatives to Libya after promising no American ground troops?  It seemed like a unrealistic thing to promise to begin with and just goes further to undermine his credibility as commander-in-chief.  The president just can't help himself but to sound uncomfortable and out-of-his-league when taking military action.
  • Here's a breakdown of the draft needs for the Kansas City Chiefs.  And yes, as soon as the Jayhawks are out of the NCAA tourney, I turn to football.
  • KCK was selected out of 1,000 communities by Google to receive its first gigabit fiber optic network, i.e. super-fast internet.  It's about 100 faster than most "high-speed" internet and should go a long way toward keeping all of our data and computing needs "in the cloud."  A friend of mine says this will basically be the end of desktop computing as you know it, replacing expensive and powerful machines with cheap, simple interface devices that access the cloud.  Locals are just hoping it'll attract more business and jobs to the area and maybe help stream their Netflix videos a little faster.
  • I don't really use Chrome, so I don't have an opinion on the matter, but here's a case for leaving Chrome and using the new Firefox 4 as your web browser.  Personally, I use Safari for browsing and Firefox 4 for blogging.
  • What will Thomas Robinson decide about the NBA?  I hope he stays, especially if the twins leave.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Like, Share the Air, Dude

You can't make up stuff like this!  I've learned two things from this video: there are people out there who are waaaaay out there, and venture capitalists are the most polite people in the world.

Actual comments from YouTube:

"My theory is that your head is filled with, like, 6% energy and, like, 94% air."
"love the lined paper. I want some air from ATLANTIS"
"This has to be fake... Please be satire!!!!"
"See, this is why you don't drop your baby on its head."
"I want my four minutes back."
"Jars…of air… God help us all."
"This girl obviously has an awesome sense of humor. Or maybe she's one of the dumbest people to have lived. I don't quite care enough to find out"
"I love that she misspelled her own name 18 seconds in."
"And this is why we hate the hippies. Their children are retarded."
"Certified moonbat. Absolutely nuttier than a squirrel turd. Out of her everloving mind. Has all 6 cans, but is missing the plastic thingy that holds it all together.  We're so hosed if this is our future as a society. She actually thought someone would put money up for this loony garbage?"

[Thanks, Dustin]

Random Thoughts 3/29/11

  • One of my favorite radio stations, News Radio 980 KMBZ, is going over to the FM dial.  More specifically, they are going to simulcast on 98.1 FM while continuing on 980 AM.  I've been listening to AM talk radio for over 20 years, so I don't even notice the static and interference that is so common.  But at least if Shannon is in the car with me, I can switch over to the FM station and listen static free.
  • Here are 10 must-have apps for coffee snobs lovers.
  • Here, let me offend you two ways:  Coming soon in the state of Kansas – you'll now have fewer Democrats elected and fewer Democrats killed in the womb!  The newly elected folks in Topeka voted today to require photo ID at the voter's booth.  This is meant to cut down on voter fraud (and the election of Democrats).  Kansas politicians are on a roll, as they are also passing legislation to greatly restrict abortions, based on the premise that unborn children appear to feel pain.  Sorry, Dems, Kansas won't be the Midwest abortion capital for much longer.
  • A French vegan couple is on trial for the death of their baby, which died at 11 months of age of malnutrition.  The baby was breastfed but mother's restrictive diet probably caused the baby's underweight and malnourished state.  The nearly year old baby only weighed 12 pounds.  The parents could get 30 years but I'll be shocked if they are actually convicted.  Being vegan is so much more reasonable than being something crazy and extreme, like a Christian.
  • If you watch "Mad Men", you'll have to wait until 2012 for your fix of 1960's New York.  The show-runner, Matt Wiener is negotiating with the studio and network because they want to save money.  Specifically, they want: "integrating product placement into the series, cutting two minutes from each episode's running time in favor of more commercials, and eliminating/reducing two regular cast members to save money."  I'm betting that Wiener originally just wanted to tell interesting stories…
  • Chad Ochocinco (née Johnson) earned an unpaid spot on the reserve team of Sporting Kansas City's soccer club.  At least he'll stay in shape if the NFL stays locked out.
  • Now explain to me again how President Obama's speech yesterday on Libya isn't also (mostly) a justification for invading Iraq in 2003?  And if Libya is necessary to attack, how about Syria, or Bahrain, or Darfur, or Iran, where protesters are also "yearning" for freedom?  And isn't it talking out of both sides of our mouths to say Gadaffi "must go" and we bomb the military that protects him but then we say we're not insisting on regime change?
  • The President acts, belatedly and indecisively, upon the behest of the UN and not the US Congress.  Is the "Obama Doctrine" a new American indecisiveness?
  • For those scoring at home, Jayhawks returning next year include Tyshawn Taylor (likely) and Thomas Robinson (probable).  The destination of the Morris twins and Josh Selby are as yet unknown.  The Jayhawks have at least four scholarships to give with only of those filled (Naadir Tharpe, 6-0 guard).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet 16 (2011) Round 4

It's neck and neck between Dustin and Bryan; if Kentucky keeps winning, Dustin will pull ahead.

Mike and Dad and I are bringing up the rear.  At this stage we could have as much as 430 points (more if you picked VCU) and we're not even close.  But who knew that the top-8 teams wouldn't make the Final Four?  Only two entries among 5.9 million brackets correctly picked the entire final four in ESPN's online game –– and what were they thinking?!

My new prediction/hope:  VCU beats Kentucky for the Championship!  Then Kansas will have a small part in their inevitable inspirational movie.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rooting for Kansas Makes You a Better Person

Check out this article from The Atlantic.  It argues, quite skillfully I might add, that rooting for Kansas means you're rooting for America and rooting against Kansas means you're pro-slavery and anti-basketball!

[Thanks, Dustin]

Sweet 16 (2011) Round 3

Bryan is once again sitting on a decent lead, though Matt and Dustin are right behind him with possible avenues to overtake him.

All of us are down to between four and six teams (we should have eight left).  For the purposes of the contest, Kansas is irrelevant, as we all cancel each other out with KU ranked first. 

The best possible score for this round would be 372, but technically, if you had picked Virginia Commonwealth, which played a play-in game (totaling four wins now), you could have added up to another 16 points to the maximum score.  Replace one of your first round losers with VCU and imagine where your score would be!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dropping Your iPhone

Here's a great little story of a military jump master who accidentally dropped his iPhone out of a plane.  Using the GPS locator, he later finds the phone, undamaged, at the base of a tree. 

That's just amazing!  I freak out when I drop my phone three feet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/23/11

Talk to your cats.
  • The next Narnia film is moving forward but it's not the one you expected.  You'd think they would next produce The Silver Chair, utilizing the cast from Dawn Treader while they're still young.  Unexpectedly, Walden Media is looking to next begin writing a script for The Magician's Nephew, the "prequel" of the series that tells the story of Narnia's creation.  But without a script, the movie is at least two years away.  Which means The Silver Chair cannot be made with the current cast, who in 5-6 years will be young adults and too old for the roles.  Unless all the parts are recast, that means The Final Battle won't be made either.  So, you've almost certainly seen the last of the current cast and this may be a death blow to the series as a whole.
  • Hollywood hasn't had a new idea in years so this was inevitable.  They are remaking The Thin Man.  Why?  William Powell and Myrna Loy were fantastic in the originals.  Do we need to mess with this?  The only intriguing part is that Johnny Depp is on board to star in and produce the movie.  And Depp can play a somewhat-inebriated hero as well as anyone.
  • Chad Ochocinco (née Johnson?) is in Kansas City today with an ESPN crew to try out for our soccer team, Sporting Kansas City.
  • For helicopter nuts out there, the Marines have announced the first deployment to Afghanistan of the AH-1Z Viper, the latest evolution of the Vietnam-era AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship.  The four-bladed Viper, or Zulu Cobra, is now on par with the latest Army AH-64D Apaches.
  • I know that KU can lose its next game.  It happens all the time and 67 of the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament are going to lose sooner than what they wanted to.  But please, KU, there's no good reason not to go to the Final Four or even the Championship game.  The road has been paved for you!
  • If basketball coach Mike Anderson is leaving Missouri and going to Arkansas, wouldn't it be funny if Arkansas joined the Big 12-ish and Anderson still had to play Kansas every year?  Anderson is 1-10 against Kansas during his time at Mizzou.  If this is true, what does Missouri do now?
  • After such a good first round and a half, my bracket is now mostly dead.  Not entirely dead–I still have Duke, Kansas, and Ohio State in the final four–but mostly dead.  Thanks for nothing, Pitt.  Way to go, Purdue.  Go fly a kite, Syracuse.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Trip to Starbucks

I entered a Starbucks for the first time today.

As a non-coffee drinker, I've never before had the need to venture into this alien place alone.  But today I wanted to buy a coffee for my darling wife, so armed with the words "Venti caramel frap LITE no whip" saved in my iPhone, I walked through the front door.

Then I stopped dead in my tracks.  There was no immediately obvious clue to point me in the right direction.  If the clues existed they were drowned out among the CD's, pastries, display cabinets, and other visual clutter.  Four green-apronned employees glanced at me indifferently.  A customer, lounging on an overstuffed chair, looked at me over the top of his glasses as if to say… "well, now what are you going to do."

I spotted a cash register and took a step toward it, which apparently was the trigger for one of the green aprons to acknowledge me.  She smiled and asked if she could help me.  I turned my phone toward her and said, "I don't drink coffee; my wife orders this.  It may as well be Greek to me."  I almost added that actually I know Greek, so maybe Chinese would be the more apt analogy but I decided that her friendly smile wasn't really that friendly. 

She took the order, said a few words of Itali-gibberish over her shoulder and then walked away from me.  Another green apron, an unenthusiastic bearded young man with bed-head sluggishly approached the register.  "Is that it?"

"Uh, yeah."  This was all I could offer, paralyzed in confusion as to why the first lady left me in the hands of this lethargic young man and how someone could act this exhausted in front of his customers in a place that sells coffee.

I paid for the drink.  Then the languid green-apronned man disengaged.  He literally just stopped looking at me.

"I guess I'll just… step back over here."

And there I stood, awkwardly, for four or five minutes.  The smiling green apron lady looked up from her work behind the counter at me and then to her fellow employees.  "Are you guys done?"  They were.  "Your frap is over there."  She pointed to the opposite end of the workspace. 

I nervously explored my way past the register, the other customers, and the large display case.  There I found a high counter with a single plastic cup and straw sitting alone, ready to be claimed.  I picked them up, looked around in vain for some kind of acknowledgment and left the building without another word spoken.

Now most of this is my fault.  Starbucks has been around for my entire life and I've never bothered to pay attention.  I'm sure that regular customers, who've learned the lingo and have immersed themselves in the Starbucks culture, would not have stuck out like the sore and confused thumb that I was today. 

But I have to wonder what the learning curve is like for the uninitiated, for new converts to pretentious coffee drinking.  Do friends guide them through it?  Are there Cliff Notes or a "Starbucks for Dummies" book?  Does Starbucks lose any customers because the coffee shop is geared toward insiders and not outsiders?

As an insider in my own culture (church, Christianity, married with kids, etc.), I wonder.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/21/11

  • Balls of fire shooting into the air!!!  Check out this "citizen journalism" that a guy recorded and edited on his iPhone and iPad.  
  • Steve Sabol, the head of NFL Films, collapsed and was hospitalized in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.  It turns out that he has a brain tumor and will undergo radiation and chemo.  I've always been a huge fan of "NFL Films Presents" and will pray he gets better quick.
  • So we got involved in another war, killing brown-skinned people from above with an inconsistent application of our "principles."  Why Libya and not Bahrain or Saudi Arabia?  Didn't we move on from this kind of American Imperialism?  I thought only evil Republicans did this kind of thing.
  • "The President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."  Senator Barack Obama, December 2007.  The man has his principles.
  • Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!  The Jayhawks are in the Sweet 16 again!  And they have an easy path, potentially making it all the way to the championship game without having played any team seeded higher than an 8!
  • Our two oldest boys had an overnight stay at a friend's house.  How weird not to have them here!  When I was driving them back, Tanner said, "They let us sleep on mattresses!  That doesn't usually happen."  What?  You sleep on a mattress every night, I think.
  • How much money does it cost Missouri to keep a coach that is 1-10 against arch-rival Kansas?  Looks like about $2 million per year.

Sweet 16 (2011) Round 2

Thanks a lot, Pitt!  You too, Purdue!

Bryan has a narrow lead on the rest of us, with only he and Matt still having all five of their top-5 still active.  All of us have lost 6-8 teams and of the 29 teams we picked to be in the top sixteen, only 13 actually made it.

After the first two rounds, it's still neck and neck.

We've obviously got another year with lots of upsets and a relatively low scoring.  A perfect score, predicting all sixteen of the Sweet 16, would yield 272 points.  We're not quite there, obviously, and depending on the upsets yet to come, we may have a run-away winner by the time the Final Four rolls around.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet 16 (2011) Round 1

Round 1* is done and we had some upsets.  In fact, of the 29 teams the six of us picked to win at least two games, 8 of them were knocked out in the first game.

Bryan and I had the best opening round, with 131 and 132 points out of possible 136.  None of us survived unscathed; Dad and I only lost one team each (thanks for nothing, Louisville!) and Mike and Dustin lost three each.  All of us have our top several picks still in the running, although the top teams look surprisingly similar for six Kansas fans.

I was able to watch the end of several games on my iPhone's NCAA app.  Picking any game and watching the live stream on my phone is the best app moment I've had in months.

*I'm still calling this "round 1" of our Sweet 16 contest, even if the NCAA calls those play-in games round 1.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sweet 16 (2011) Prelim

Here you go.  Good luck!

The picks for 2011.  Good luck!

I'll post the results of the first round late Friday or early Saturday.

Sweet 16 Last Minute Warning

The games start in an hour; send your 16 teams and I'll put them in the spreadsheet, which I'll post this afternoon.

The deadline is almost upon us!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/16/11

  • Happy Birthday Graham-a-lama-ding-dong!  You're five years old!  We love you, squirt!
  • Here's a list of Mac apps for musicians.  I've played around with Garage Band and we use Audacity at the church.
  • President Obama picked Kansas to win the NCAA tourney, for the second year in a row (a lot of good it did last year).  It's good to know that the leader of the free world is working hard on the important issues of the day.
  • I've had three of four radio streaming apps over the last few years and I've just found one that tops them all.  I used to use FlyCast until they broke their app with new "features."  Then I moved to iHeartRadio, which was nice but had a few bugs and didn't carry Kansas City stations (I ended up listening to 55KRC in Cincinnati).  But now I'm using TuneIn Radio and I love it.  They carry all of the AM and FM Kansas City stations and the app seems to have better search features, better live "What's playing" info, archived radio shows, and the ability to record live radio.  If you listen to talk radio, this app is awesome!  If you need a Clear Channel station, use iHeartRadio.
  • We've been trying to support "Chuck" and "The Event" on Monday nights, but it's getting harder and harder.  Both shows hit all-time rock-bottom lows in the ratings this week and, in our opinions (Shannon's and mine), they've been really weak in the writing/acting areas lately.  It's too bad, but it'll give us more time to read books when these shows get canceled.
  • I need your Sweet 16 picks by tomorrow morning!!!
  • So what's the over/under on more colleges re-aligning this summer?  Television contracts are being negotiated right now that might affect whether certain conferences add or subtract teams.  Hopefully, the Big 12-ish remains and adds a few teams.
  • I'm losing touch with my kids and their Wii.  When we first got our Wii I was playing all the time, but in the last two years I got an iPhone, starting watching classic movies, and reading more.  The Wii drew the short straw and now I hardly ever play.
  • I wouldn't try this with a new iPad 2 but apparently it makes a nice refrigerator magnet. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Picks for the Sweet 16 Contest

Picks are due this Thursday morning. Remember that the #1 team earns 16 points for each win, the #2 team gets 15 points, etc.

Here are my picks (and before you laugh I actually used a system this year; there's a method to my March madness):

1. Kansas
2. Ohio St.
3. Duke
4. Pitt
5. SD State
6. Purdue
7. Syracuse
8. BYU
9. Texas
10. Kentucky
11. Wisconsin
12. Notre Dame
13. Louisville
14. UNC
15. UConn
16. Florida

Leave your list in the comments section of this post or the first one.

Random Ides of March Thoughts, 3/15/11

  • Beware the Ides of March!
  • Ding! Dong! The Zune is dead!  Microsoft has officially discontinued the Zune, their brown clunky version of an iPod.  If Apple generally leads in innovative design of consumer electronics, the Zune was at the far other end of the spectrum.
  • I don't even an own an iPad and yet I keep watching these iPad how-to videos.  How hopeless am I?
  • Here's the best grilling tip I've seen in awhile; one I'll actually use the next time I cook hamburgers for the family.
  • The hoot owl that used to live in my backyard is back!  He started hooting after midnight last night, with the TV and stuff off, when I'm just reading, I can hear him hooting away to his hearts content.  He sounds close (like on-my-deck-outside-my-window close) but who knows.
  • Here's an article that asks, "where all the children have gone?"  It seems, the author points out, that postmodern secular nations are committing suicide by not having enough children (the replacement rate is 2.1 children per woman).  Births per woman have dropped in recent decades across the world, even in populations that are normally high.  Religion is a major factor in deciding the size of the family, with secular people having the smallest families (or lack thereof).  We're doing our part to repopulate the world with well-rounded Christian American Republicans!
  • My wife blogs about Spring Break next week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why the Mixed Feelings on Japan?

Do Americans still hate the Japanese?

Even though Pearl Harbor was 70 years ago, I've been surprised by people's lukewarm reactions to the devastating earthquake (now figured to be an historic 9.0) and tsunami in Japan. I've seen and heard a few reactions that amount to a big shrug over a disaster that may have claimed 10,000 lives or more.

So what gives? Nobody likes Sony, Toyota, and Nintendo anymore? Are we really that callous?

In my mind, Japan is an important ally in that part of the world. We should be helping them because it keeps the world safe from Chinese or North Korean aggression for Japan to be strong. But it also makes economic sense.

Japan, which is the third largest economy in the world, had serious problems before this disaster and may be especially fragile right now. We have a vested interest in their economy bouncing back, because Japan buys our corn, grain and pharmaceuticals by the billions of dollars.

We buy products from them at an even higher rate, especially cars. But even if you drive a Ford or Chevy, Japan's misfortune can still affect you. China and other countries buy electronic components from Japan, so disaster in Japan will hurt the supply chain that brings us cell phones, iPads, TVs, and other consumer electronics that are everywhere in our lives now.

Beyond all of these reasons, these suffering people in Japan are human beings. God loves them and we should too, no matter how different they are. Japan is one of the great (relatively) unreached people groups, with a surprisingly low percentage of Christians compared to nations in the region like South Korea, the Philippines, or even China.

So let's pray for our Japanese friends, our military in the area, and the Christian missionaries that are in Japan. This disaster, and its consequences, isn't over yet.

Sweet 16 (2011)

The NCAA tourney starts Thursday (play-in games don't shouldn't count) and people everywhere are filling out their brackets.

But instead of filling out a bracket, try my "Sweet 16" game we've been playing the last few years. Instead of predicting almost 70 games, we pick the best sixteen teams in the tournament and rank them best to worst. The best team will get 16 points for each win, the second team will get 15 points and so on until you get to the 16th team which gets one point per win. If you put them in the correct order, your maximum score would be 477 points.

Last year I finished fifth out of seven, but still enjoyed rooting for my higher ranked teams or against teams that someone else ranked higher than I did.

If you want to play along, just post your list of of sixteen, in order, in the comments section and I'll keep a running tally as we go along. The cutoff is Thursday morning.

Oh, and what does the winner get? As always, the satisfaction of a job well done.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/12/11

  • Today is Anneliese's second birthday. Graham's fifth birthday is next Wednesday and their combined party is tomorrow.
  • Go Jayhawks, beat them Longhorns!
  • There are more videos of the earthquake and tsunami damage here and here. GPS data is saying that the main island of Japan moved 8 feet due to the earthquake. It appears that thousands may have died but we won't know for some time. Also this Japanese newscast about the nuclear reactors shows an explosion at the :25 second mark. Yikes! Pray for the Japanese people.
  • KU sophomore Thomas Robinson announced that he's definitely coming back to school next year. Freshman Josh Selby claims to not be sure. Really? What NBA team is going to give you a sniff after a year like this? Robinson has done much more on the court this year and he should definitely stay, as should the athletic but inconsistent junior Tyshawn Taylor. Of course the Morris twins are the ones with the NBA potential right now and conventional wisdom has them leaving Kansas to both be drafted in the first round. But it sure wouldn't hurt my feelings if they all stayed. We're already losing Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar, and Mario Little.
  • Interesting question: Why are top recruits not going to Kansas? Here's a good answer, along with some info on potential Kansas recruit Ben McLemore.
  • Are you wanting an iPad 2? You might have to wait a few weeks before you can just waltz into a store and pick one up. Just about everybody is sold out. Until then, bask in these how-to videos.
  • The NFL is now locked out. Hopefully the season won't be lost this fall but this isn't a good sign. We'll figure out what to do about Fantasy Football as August nears.

My Little Girl Turns Two

I can't believe my little girl is already two-years old. She is such a sweetheart.

Below is a pic of Anneliese, fresh out of the bath with a new diaper, settled into my spot to watch Dora. I'm not sure why she's gesturing, but I think she was saying, "I don't know."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/11/11

  • Hey, thanks, Jayhawks, for the ulcer-inducing nail-biter yesterday.  I had a meeting yesterday so I went from the radio broadcast to a flickering scoreboard on my laptop, updating about every 30 seconds.  Ugh!  Hopefully tonight will be better.
  • Here's a detailed review of the iPad 2.  I saw the first iPad 2 accessories in Walmart this morning but haven't spotted one of the new tablets in the wild yet.
  • How horrible was the video of the tsunami in Japan?  I was up late, about to go to bed, and the news of the earthquake happened.  Then I stayed up another two hours fixated on the live news coverage of that dark mass of debris sweeping over the Japanese farmland, swallowing houses, cars and everything else in its path.  How horrifying!  Then I was back up at 8am watching coverage of Hawaii and the West Coast, praying that similar damage wouldn't be done.
  • You can find some raw footage of the earthquake and tsunami on news sites and YouTube.
  • Here's a Marine you should know: Dakota Meyer.  He's up for the Medal of Honor and would only be the second living recipient since Vietnam if it goes through.  I mentioned him last July and November, but it seems like the buzz is increasing.  Perhaps a formal announcement may come soon.
  • Which version of the iPad 2 should you buy?  Here's a good rundown on why the simplest (and cheapest) version might be the best for most users.
  • Don't forget Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend.  This is the embarrassing one where people show for the start of church in the middle of the sermon.  Oops.  At least in the Fall, you forget and show up an hour early and everyone thinks you love church soooo much.
  • Military Author Bing West talks about his new book and what we ought to be doing more of in Afghanistan in this video.  I'll only link to it because there's a bit of "soldier language" in the middle of the video, so be warned and be discerning.  But the principles of what he's talking about is going to connect with a lot of people.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/9/11

  • Kansas plays Oklahoma State tomorrow at 11:30 in the Big 12-ish tournament. It's on ESPN2 but I'm going to have to listen to that one on the radio.
  • Speaking of the Big 12-ish, I'd sure like to see the conference expand back to 12. Ideally, it would involve a plan with the universities of Houston and Arkansas, which have both expressed interest in such a plan. That said, I would have been up for any number of other schools to replace the bums who sold out and spat in the face of tradition (I'm looking at you, Nebraska). TCU, for example, would have fit in but they're inexplicably going to the Big East where they'll be over 1,000 miles from their nearest rival. A thousand miles, by the way, is also the distance between Boulder, Colorado, and the Pacific Ocean.
  • We have missionaries from Indonesia tonight at church. Yay!
  • Look, a Dreamworks animation schedule without a Shrek movie! But it does include sequels of Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon.
  • I saw Megamind (2010) the other day. It's a cute movie; we all really liked it. I just kept thinking "this is almost as good as Pixar's The Incredibles."
  • I downloaded and installed iOS 4.3 today for my iPhone. A lot of the new features aren't particularly useful to me but it's always nice to have the latest security patches and such.
  • I'm eager to play some basketball tonight. I missed playing last week, as well as volleyball practice and the volleyball game yesterday. It's still colder than I'd like for cycling, so I've got a bit of cabin fever. We play at Wallula Christian Church every Wednesday night, about 8:15 or 8:30. Shannon told me that there's also a group that plays at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning at the Y. Yeah, right.
  • My mother-in-law is looking at getting an iPad 2 this weekend. I'm really excited about helping her get off the ground, I just hope we can find one as they'll be in high demand.

The Hooligans Eat Lunch

My darling wife sent me this picture from her phone of my brood eating lunch:

I know I'm partial, but I think they're pretty cute!

[Sorry for the low-res thumbnail, I think my phone did that.]

Monday, March 07, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/7/11

  • We're off to a birthday party tonight for my niece.  This is the month of birthdays!
  • My darling wife is doing a great job working part-time at the YMCA as a trainer.  She seems to have a gift for it and the folks, old and young, at the Y seem to really like her enthusiasm and expertise.  I appreciate that she works her schedule around mine.  Shannon manages to schedule her clients at all hours of the morning and evening and on my days off.  And she can take the kids with her a lot of times when I schedules do conflict.  Thanks, Shannon!
  • The iPad 2 comes out this Friday!  I'm not in line to get one myself but I know a few people who are and I'm really eager to see one firsthand.
  • I've begun to move my sermon notes, blog notes, and other miscellaneous info over to Evernote, my new virtual brain.  I've only just started transferring and organizing my info but I'll give updates as I go.  My goal is to have a reservoir of tagged, searchable notes to draw from for writing and speaking
  • Charlie Sheen was officially fired by Warner Brothers today.  Of course, he's still "winning."  Unfortunately there seems to be a growing number of people (I'm looking at you, CNN's Piers Morgan) that think Sheen's antics are harmless and amusing.  There are even some who admire his audacity (or love the idea of an unaccountable self-serving lifestyle).  What I'm seeing is a deluded person who will eventually pay the piper and in the meantime has burnt bridges and destroyed relationships for no better reason than selfishness and vanity.  It's sad and it won't end well.
  • Congrats, Jayhawks on yet another Big 12-ish Championship!  Rock Chalk!  Good luck in the tournament

Friday, March 04, 2011

Happy Birthday, Shannon!

Happy Birthday 
to my beautiful wife!

I love you, I always will, and I'm amazed by you every day (you pretty much rock).  Thank you for sharing the last 19 years with me.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Random Thoughts 3/3/11

  • The NFL labor issues are well explained here. It's interesting that not many people are sympathetic to the players' union. In fact, the poll on CBS has only 21% of people on the side of the players. Unions have their place but I don't think they have the sympathies of the American public right now.
  • The new iPad 2 is "a rockstar from Mars. It runs on tiger blood." No doubt. I wasn't expecting a big upgrade yet the new iPad is much more powerful. The new cameras for Facetime are also a big plus; as well as the same relatively low price points.
  • Tomorrow is Shannon's birthday! Happy birthday!!! I love you so much!
  • The FAA just approved the iPad for use by pilots as an alternative to paper charts. The FAA requires 20 pounds or more of charts and paper work to be with the pilot but that can now be replaced by a 1.3 pound tablet that has built in GPS. According to the article this is just the first step but I've heard from a lot of pilots that are eager to see this kind of transition happen, when organizational and administrative info, pilot and crew scheduling, weather, and other information is added.
  • For the "birther" conspiracy theorists, remember this: There wasn't enough of a case to make for the Clinton machine to find and use. And they would have found it and they would have used it. To me, that's the most compelling argument on the subject I've ever heard.
  • It looks like we have titles for the upcoming Hobbit movies. According to sources: "The first film will be called "The Hobbit: There and Back Again", the sequel is to be called "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."" I'm going to get Brennan and Tanner to read The Hobbit before these movies are out.
  • Oh, here's my QR code. Scan with your camera phone (I use RedLaser) to get my professional contact info. [Thanks, Paul B.]

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

An Old Sniper Can Still Shoot

This isn't new but it's heart-warming:

Random Thoughts 3/1/11

  • The last World War 1 vet died a few days ago at the age of 110.  Here's a good little blurb about it from  We are nearing the centennial anniversary of World War 1; I encourage you to go to the National World War 1 Museam at Liberty Memorial, right here in KC.  It's very impressive and most people know very little about it.
  • Do you want to look at the income statement for the country?  It's only a couple of pie charts, but it's not pretty.
  • Boeing won the contract for the next Air Force aerial tanker (again).  The old KC-135's date back to the 1950's and are some of the oldest aircraft in the inventory.  Their replacement will be the KC-767 based on Boeing's 767 airliner, which are built in Washington and will be modified in Wichita.  The KC-767 is a smidge bigger and much more modern and adaptable, while still using the same basing (which a much bigger tanker couldn't use).  The KC-767 is also the most affordable tanker to operate, which is a rare thing thing these days.
  • Go K-State!  Way to beat Texas (and help Kansas into first place)!
  • We're having a special prayer meeting tomorrow night, in place of our normal Wednesday night classes. The times will stay the same and we'll have our normal meal during the 6 o'clock hour.
  • iPad 2 will likely be unveiled tomorrow!  This may not be a major redesign but rather a modest update, but still, just adding a camera for video conferencing would be awesome.
  • So Charlie Sheen's selfish antics almost cost 200 of his fellow cast and crew $2 million in wages for the episodes that got canceled.  Enter television writer/producer and Sheen-nemesis Chuck Lorre, who created the Sheen's show and wrote his funniest lines, to save the day.  The cast and crew will get paid and have leave to go work on all the new pilot shows that are about to start filming.  A lot of these folks may still land on their feet, which is more than can be said of Sheen.
  • From AppStorm: Here's 10 apps that save you money.

Happy March!

For me, March is the month of birthdays.  In my circles, an October birthday seems to be rare and I've never even met someone with my same birthday (October 4).  But March has a crazy number of birthdays; February through April probably accounts for half of the birthdays among people I know.  Shannon shares her birthday (March 4) with half a dozen people I know.

March birthdays I have to keep track of: my wife, two kids, three in-laws, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, and several friends, and I'm probably forgetting some (that's just off the top of my head).  Thank goodness for Facebook and calendar apps and such that will remind me of all the others.