Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Random Thoughts 5/31/11

  • Tomorrow is our 15th wedding anniversary.  I couldn't possibly be more in love with that woman. Here's what Shannon wrote on the subject.
  • I'm taking my beautiful bride to the Country Club Plaza tomorrow.  We're eating lunch, window shopping, going to the "theatre" (that's stage not screen) and staying at the Raphael Hotel.
  • Here are the top-10 ways that President Obama has insulted our British allies.  He made a royal fool of himself trying to give a formal toast through the middle of "God Save the Queen."  It was painful to watch.
  • The Hobbit movies are officially: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14, 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (Dec 13, 2013).
  • The World Series of Poker begins today and runs through July 19.  I know that poker was so 2005 but I always watch the WSOP to see the professionals play.  Every time a skilled player wins it advances the argument that texas hold 'em poker is not merely a game of chance but is mostly a game of skill.  In other words, better players win more.  
  • Happy belated Memorial Day.  Make sure you thank veterans and remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom every day.
  • Another Medal of Honor will be presented to a living soldier, the second since Vietnam.  Staff Sergeant Leroy Petry lost his right arm in 2008 getting rid of an enemy grenade which could have killed him and his fellow soldiers.  The Ranger will be awarded the Medal of Honor on July 12.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Divorced from Reality?!

I know you shouldn't feed the trolls but I thought this was really asinine.  Here's a comment on Tuesday's post:
"It's nice of our President taking a European vacation (again) while our people suffer back home. He says he'll get to Joplin as early as next Sunday."

How is attending the G8 summit a vacation? Are you really that divorced from reality?

First, thanks for trolling on my personal blog. 

Second, are you really calling me out for having an opinion about my President's trip to Ireland and the UK days before the G8, drinking at an Irish pub and trying to give a speech during "God Save the Queen," while my former hometown had 2000 buildings destroyed, over 1,000 people hurt, and 125+ people killed in the worst tornado in 60 years? 

I know I shouldn't be bothered by your petty comment, but how am I the one divorced from reality?  Are you really so in-the-tank for President Obama that the reality of Joplin's tragedy escaped you?

And don't bother answering; I think my original statement stands as a legitimate expression of my frustration and I had every right to say it.  Just go away quietly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Random Thoughts 5/24/11

  • Good news, Apocalypse watchers!  Harold "pants on fire" Camping, who predicted the Lord's return in 1994, then revised that to a rapture to have taken place last Saturday (that's strike two for those of you scoring at home), says he wasn't really wrong after all!  He only misunderstood what May 21 would bring: a "spiritual," i.e. invisible to everyone but Mr. Camping, judgement.  According to the 89-year old con man liar false teacher, Christ has judged everyone–it's too late for anyone else to be saved–and the world will still be destroyed on October 21.
  • Get more information about the Joplin tornado by liking Ozark Christian College on Facebook.
  • Just in case you needed the dozens and dozens of reasons why KU is better than Mizzou, check out this website.  StatSmack gives you statistical reasons why any one school is better than another.
  • Harold Camping's first response Sunday morning was that he was "flabbergasted" that the rapture didn't occur Saturday.  Really?!
  • If it rains, our cook out will be a cook-in.  But come join us anyway, 6pm at the church (eat at 6:30).  Bring a side dish or desert or both!  The church will provide hamburgers and hotdogs.
  • 59¢ fountain drinks at QT.  Summer is good!
  • See side by side before-and-after pictures of a neighborhood in Joplin.
  • It's nice of our President taking a European vacation (again) while our people suffer back home.  He says he'll get to Joplin as early as next Sunday.
  • Why can't Benjamin Netanyahu run for president?
  • Former KU basketball player Jeff Boschee is an assistant coach at Missouri Southern in Joplin.  He's safe but got an interview at KUSports.com.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The 2011 Joplin Tornado

St. John's Regional Medical Center

A devastating tornado passed through Joplin, Missouri, Sunday evening leaving a path of destruction through our former home.  Here's a few details:

  • Shannon and I lived in Joplin, year around, for six years while we went to school at Ozark.  Shannon worked as a nurse on the fifth floor of St. Johns Hospital, which is now largely destroyed.
  • Ozark Christian College, which our church supports as one of our missions efforts, is on the north end of town, out of the path of destruction.  We have several church members (and both ministers) who either graduated or attended this Bible college and lived in the area.
  • Good information is flowing through OCC's Facebook page.
  • A Red Cross official said Sunday evening that 75% of the town was destroyed.  This isn't accurate.  But the devastation is widespread and severe, reportedly a six-mile long path through the middle of the city.  Search for Joplin on Google maps and follow the link to see a map of tornado damaged areas.  The latest official number I've heard is over 116 fatalities, making it one of the deadliest tornadoes in history.
  • Several Ozark faculty, students, and alumni lost their homes.  I've heard of at least one student who was killed and also an alumnus who lost his wife and child.  Please pray for these affected families and for those who have not yet received word.
  • Please donate blood.  There are reports of severe shortages.
  • If you've not been to Joplin, it's similar in size and scale to Lawrence, KS.  The population is around 50,000+ with 175,000 total in the metro area but the town serves as a hub for the region and I've heard people say the daytime population (counting commuters) is more like 250,000 but I don't know how accurate that is.
  • Our church's Missions Team is looking to coordinate relief efforts through OCC, especially as time passes and needs continue through the coming months.  Please stay tuned to see how we can help.
UpdateThere are reports that unaffiliated volunteers are being turned away and locals are very frustrated with gawkers who have been bogging down traffic today.

    From OCC about the Joplin Tornado

    An important message from Matt Proctor, Ozark Christian College President:

    As you may know, Joplin was recently hit by a devastating tornado. The campus was not in the path of the tornado, and we are grateful that students had already left for the summer. All of our personnel who live on campus are safe, as are all of our employees and their families. If you wish to register information or inquire about someone, Joplin has established a Well-check phone manned by Americorps: 417-659-5464.
    Several employee families have lost their houses, as have some of our off-campus students. At this time, we know that the Cole, Davis, Eubanks, Hunter, Lazarus, Limkeman, Bill McCarty, Ty McCarty, Morrow, Piercy, Robertson, Rojas and Tepe homes were affected. We are currently available to house any OCC students, personnel and families who are displaced. Missouri Southern State University is working with the Red Cross to house other displaced persons.
    We are also working with the Community Emergency Response Team as they concentrate on search and rescue at present. Our Multi-Purpose Building is being used as the headquarters for the Red Cross distribution efforts, as well as housing a FEMA response team.
    Many have already inquired about financial donations to help in the wake of the storm. We are grateful for these generous offers, and we will post information on how best to make a financial contribution to the disaster relief as soon as possible.  
    For those interested in volunteering help, thank you also for your desire to be of assistance. Volunteer efforts in the city are still being coordinated, and here is important information for your consideration:  
    •    The Community Emergency Response Team recognizes two groups of volunteers. Affiliated volunteers are professional responders such as firefighters, police, EMTs, etc. Unaffiliated volunteers are those who simply want to lend a helping hand in the cleanup efforts.
    •    All volunteers are required to first register at the Volunteer and Resource Reception Center at the Billingsley Student Center at Missouri Southern State University.
    •    After registering, unaffiliated volunteers are currently asked to be on standby and should not enter the affected areas of the city on their own. At this time, unaffiliated volunteers will only be called upon as needed.
    •    While official housing is available for the professional responders, there is no official housing for unaffiliated volunteers.

    Please know that we here at Ozark are seeking to do everything we can to aid the responders and to help those in need. Please keep the entire Joplin community in your prayers, as many grieve the loss of loved ones and begin the process of recovery from this tragedy.

    Matt Proctor

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Random Thoughts 5/20/11

    • The rapture is supposed to be tomorrow at 6pm.  But I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for six anyway.  By the way, Harold Camping is a false teacher.
    • I've been contemplating leaving a set of empty clothes in my office chair at the church and then showing up late Sunday morning… it would be funny.
    • Basketball recruit DeAndre Daniels missed his opportunity to sign a letter of intent to play college basketball.  He can still start the financial aid process at a school, but apparently he's uncertain which school that will be.  Rumor is that his father and coaches want KU, while Daniels wants to play at Texas.
    • Finally, one of the best board games, "Ticket to Ride," has finally arrived for the iPad.  I don't actually have an iPad, but this would be the first game I'd buy.  We have and enjoy the actual board game but setting up and tallying the score can be tedious, so automating the game is an excellent improvement.
    • Amazon announced that e-books are now outselling paper books, 105 for every 100.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    All Your Favorite Shows Are Cancelled, Part 2

    This is the week the Fall schedules for the television networks is announced.  Most of the cancellations were announced already, but now we'll see which shows get moved to "death slots," i.e. time slots where no one will watch, thus killing the shows.

    "Stargate Universe" - this show is making my list of best shows of the year; not that it matters now.  It's ratings went down hill when it got moved to a different night, i.e. a death slot.
    "The Event"  - Who writes this stuff?  C'mon!  This premise could have been TV gold, too.  There's actually a small chance that "the Event" will move to a cable channel or NetFlix but nothing is confirmed yet.
    "Outsourced" - This was one of our favorites, which started out with good ratings at 7:30pm but tanked when moved to a death slot at 9:30pm.
    "V" - I wanted this one to be good but we didn't even watch the second season.  Blech!
    "$#?! My Dad Says" - I like William Shatner but, really, what was CBS thinking?  I just couldn't bring myself to watch this.
    "Smallville" - I probably would have liked this show, which lasted 10 seasons, but I never watched it.
    America's Most Wanted - Though cancelled, it'll still be around as an occasional 2-hr special.

    Also canceled: "Human Target," "The Cape," "Friday Night Lights," Law & Order: LA," "The Paul Reiser Show,""Mr. Sunshine," "No Ordinary Family," and "Caprica."

    "Chuck" - is being put to sleep gently.  It has been suffering poor ratings for most of its existence and now the spy-dramedy is only getting a half-order of 13 episodes and moved to Friday where it's audience may not watch it.  That's more courtesy than most shows get.

    Several 1-hr dramas are getting moved around so that the reality shows like "American Idol" can run two or three nights per week, while other shows are being held in reserve for when some of these productions inevitably flop.

    New Shows I Might Consider Watching:
    "Terra Nova" - A sci-fi, dinosaurs, time travel, survival show?  Produced by Steven Speilberg and run by Star Trek's Brannan Braga?  Okay, I'm listening…  Just please don't be preachy and ridiculous.  The moment that someone "connects" with a dinosaur and it "understands" them well enough to go trample a bad guy who shoots guns and pollutes… I'm getting off this ride.
    "Alcatraz" - Interesting premise… dangerous criminals disappear from Alcatraz 50+ years ago and begin to reappear today… hmmm.  Sounds like a sci-fi conspiracy theory crime drama. 
    "Falling Skies" -  Is this what "V" should have been?  It starts in June.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    KU Wins Some, Loses Some

    Today was supposed to be announcement day for three highly touted KU recruits.  One committed to KU, one went to Alabama, and one postponed until tomorrow.

    • Trevor Lacey, a great shooting guard, is staying home in Alabama.
    • Jamari Traylor, a 6-7, 230-pound forward, is coming to Kansas.
    • DeAndre Daniels, a top-10 stud forward, will announce Thursday morning, perhaps for Texas, possibly for KU.  Daniels is a high school teammate of Traylor and KU walk-on Christian Garrett.
    G Ben McLemore, PG Nadir Thorpe, and PF Braeden Anderson have already committed to next Fall at KU.

    iPhone Video x3

    This is neat video filmed on and played back on three iPhones simultaneously.  Very cool.  BTW, the music is the theme from the classic movie, The Third Man.  Clever.

    Ronen's Adventure: Trapped in an iPhone from Ronen V on Vimeo.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Random Thoughts 5/16/11

    • Is this the next super-soldier or just another great use of our tax money? But consider this: the same technology that enables a soldier to climb a mountain carrying 200 pounds might also allow a paralyzed person to walk.
    • China arrested 49 leaders of an underground church movement. China is routinely listed as the worst country in the world for religious freedom.
    • The Presbyterian Church (USA) has officially removed the requirement that unmarried clergy remain celibate. Why? To support gay ministers of course. Frankly, I thought PCUSA did this years ago.
    • Next Sunday I'm starting a long series covering the Old Testament prophets, especially focusing on the minor prophets. After covering Leviticus earlier this year, I'm trying to hit all the parts of the Bible people never read.
    • Apple posted a job listing recently for a "carrier engineer" to be located in Kansas City. Most people are taking that as proof positive that Sprint is getting the iPhone.
    • This month is also the 10-year anniversary of the Apple's retail stores, which are routinely among the best retail experiences in the country. We're really fortunate to have two locations in KC; they're both neat facilities with great support staff and excellent customer service. I've always been really impressed each time I've visited.
    • Only 5 days left until the rapture (according to false-teacher Harold Camping). I heard about a guy today that spent his life-savings to spread Camping's warnings this week. Poor guy. Part of me wants to think positively – that people might examine their lives and turn to God this week – but I can't help but think of all the poor, disillusioned folks that will be left in the wake of these false teachings. Grrr…
    • Here's a recent picture of my brother and his handsome family. Don't they clean up nice? Dustin has been an active part of our worship team for years now and he has essentially served as our worship minister (with some awesome help from an Elder and other volunteers) for the last two years. I'm thankful for him beyond words.
    • Dustin and family.