Monday, November 27, 2006

Stranger Than Will Ferrell

Actually got to go to the movies over the holiday weekend. Go see Stranger Than Fiction. It's excellent. It's a lot of fun. It's hilarious. It's intelligent. It's the kind of movie you want to see again to see what you've missed. Ferrell plays against type. His belly doesn't hang out, he doesn't run around in his underwear. He doesn't have a cowbell. So don't go expecting to see that. Just go see it.

On the other hand, don't go see Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. If I remember correctly, I laughed a lot more in RV. Which is saying a lot.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Expensive Jewelry

I never thought I'd be going jewelry shopping with my daughter, but I'd been wanting to get a beaded bracelet ever since the one broke that Krista brought me back from Mexico. And Julianna, well, she likes girly stuff. We both picked out something we liked yesterday when we were out shopping.

Well, not so much "picked", as "had to take what came out of the machine" after we put in our fifty cents. But I thought it turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Are You From Michigan?

Ok; I almost never take these internet quizzes, and I never post them, but this one was so dead on, it was freaky. So I figured I had to. Plus, it'd be interesting to see how all my southern friends score.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I am from Michigan (in the midst of the Great Lakes, of course), and the only reason I don't call it "pop" (anymore) is because I've spent nearly half my life outside of Michigan learning to call it "soda" (Baltimore) or "coke" (the South).

Plus, I do think my English is pretty darn good...

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I think I better have a talk with Krista about what kind of talks she's been having with our four-year-old, Julianna.

With that, I'll leave you with a quote that I overheard tonight as we were decorating the tree.

Quote of the Day
Mommy, is Wonder Woman a hoochie mama? Look how she's dressed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cultural Death

Tonight was Higher Grounds (that's #4, I believe) at Crosspoint Church. It's nights like this that put my faith back in people of faith that we haven't completely lost all culture. Another night of live music - local talent, Crosspoint talent, even Famous People. Brad Crisler started by singing a song with his wife, Dawn, and followed it up with Hillbilly Deluxe - the new song he wrote on the Brooks & Dunn album of the same name, and everyone's favorite, Sweet Southern Comfort.

But headlining tonight was Amy Stroup. She's simply amazing. Unfortunately, I haven't listened to any of the CDs that Krista has - I guess I'll have to put them on my mp3 player and listen to them in the car. Amy is coming out with a new album in a couple of weeks - Chasing Greenlights; she sang the title song from it and I was blown away. She's very talented. This is also the only decent picture I was able to get tonight.

You can check out her current albums on iTunes (as this cool mint advertises); her new album will be released there, too. Check her out.

But back to what I started on about losing culture. It seems that lately, we don't seem to have our own culture. Everything I see has been commandeered from the "world outside". It's almost like we don't have any creativity. Of course, if we were created in the Creator's image that makes no sense.

I look around everywhere and I see people wresting bits and pieces of the surrounding world in an attempt to be cool or relevant. Here are a couple pictures I took on the way home the last few weeks. The one on the right should be legible: Body Piercing Saved My Life. The other one attests to my photography skills. It's a bumper sticker that says CSI: Christ Saves Individuals.

At least Christian music is finally coming into its own, slowly but surely. But, have we spent so long "trying to be different" that we've included in it our ability to create? I know some amazingly creative people, but much of their creativity is all but forced out of their spiritual lives. Is it the concern that if we combine creativity and spirituality that, all of a sudden, we're trying to entertain instead of follow God? I guess only the 3-point sermon is God's way to get a message across on Sunday morning.

We took Julianna to Mars Hill Bible School's Pumpkin Day the Saturday before Halloween. (People aren't allowed to call it Halloween anymore - I think because it's a Catholic holiday.) I found a card game that was so silly I had to buy it. It's called Betrayal, and it's based on Old Maid. Except in this version the cards are the apostles of Jesus, and it's not the Old Maid you don't want to get stuck with, it's Judas, who betrayed Jesus. The funny thing was, it cost me $5 (on special from the regular $5.99), and 45 minutes later, I found the same cards in the school's bookstore, buried in the back clearance room, going for $4.12.

Another fascinating item I found in the bookstore was the Evangecube. You don't have to actually say anything when you can use this nifty puzzle to Bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Life.

But my favorite were the Holy Folks dolls. They're "Always Faithful! Always Smiling!". Because, as you know, if you're not always happy, you're not really following God.

Just looking at my bookshelves, I even have a copy of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. But this is the comic book version put out by Marvel Comics and Nelson Publishers. I was just thinking the other day - what's happened to all the amazing writers? Who has made a worldwide impact since C.S. Lewis? Not to say there aren't creative people of faith today, but it just seems to me that people who follow Jesus just aren't the creative force they that have been in the past.

But I think, and I hope, and I pray, that's changing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pure Religion

It's funny how widespread The Call comes from.

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
-James (the brother of Jesus)

So the next time a bum tries to cadge a buck out of you, at least have the courtesy to pull the earbuds out and engage him as a fellow human being.
-Tony Long, Oh, the (Lack of) Humanity, Wired Magazine

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On Thin Ice

The Thin Ice

If you should go skating,
On the thin ice of modern life,
Draggin' behind you,
The silent reproach,
Of a million tear-stained eyes,
Don't be surprised
When a crack in the ice
Under your feet.
You slip out of your depth,
And out of your mind,
With your fear flowing out behind you,
As you claw the thin ice.

-Rogers Waters, Pink Floyd: The Wall

Cool Internet Stuff

I thought this was pretty cool.

And it works just as well on Firefox.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Told You Not to Ask Dad For a Car

Remember when I talked about (some) college football fans going overboard. This story takes it to a whole new level.

Man charged with attempted murder

PINSON, Ala. -- A Pinson man was charged with attempted murder for holding a gun to his son's head and pulling the trigger in the midst of a tantrum after Alabama's double overtime loss to Arkansas Saturday.

The bullet narrowly missed 20-year-old Seth Logan, who said he picked the wrong time to ask his dad for a car, sheriff's spokesman Deputy Randy Christian said Monday.

Joseph Alan Logan, 46, surrendered to police Saturday and was charged with attempted murder and domestic violence. He was released from the Jefferson County jail Sunday on $7,500 bond.

"I know we take football serious in the South," Christian told The Birmingham News for a Tuesday story, "but that's crossing the line." [This is my favorite line. --Jim]

The request upset Joseph Logan because his son has already wrecked several vehicles, Logan told investigators.

"He claimed he was just trying to scare his son," Christian said.

According to the police report, Joseph Logan had been drinking alcohol and began slamming doors, tossing boxes and throwing dishes in the sink after the Crimson Tide lost its football game to Arkansas 34-31 in double overtime Saturday.

While Joseph Logan was throwing the tantrum, Seth Logan asked for a new car.

Joseph Logan then retrieved a 9 mm pistol from his car, grabbed his son by the collar and pressed the gun to his son's forehead, the report said.

Logan threatened to shoot his son in the head, then pulled the trigger.

Seth Logan moved his head just as his father fired and the bullet whizzed past him, the report said.

Seth Logan fled to a neighbor's house to call police. He told police his ear was numb and his head ringing, but he was OK.

Sheriff's authorities called the SWAT team after discovering the armed father still had a 13-year-old son in the house with him.

Joseph Alan Logan walked out of the house with the other son and turned himself in to police just before the SWAT team arrived, Christian said.

Ok, so what if the story is 3 years old? I just heard about it on the radio on Friday. This story made it around the world - I found it in an Alaska and a New Zealand paper.

"Some", Mark, "some". I put that in there for you - you know I don't think all fans are like this...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Ugly White Underbelly of North Alabama Politics

Good grief, the ads are getting old. I'll be glad to see Election Day come and go. Interesting that it seems like every single candidate is a white, middle-aged man. Well, I guess except for the one white, middle-aged woman.

This time around the mudslinging has gotten way out of hand. You know things can't get much worse when you see mudslinging about mudslinging.
Don't vote for this candidate - all he does is bad-mouth everyone he's running against; he's a no-good, lying, cheating rat-bastard whose only platform is to insult his opponents.

And how about this trade-off? Alabama State Senate Candidate #1 (Bobby Day) suggests that Alabama State Senate Candidate #2 (Arthur Orr) may have caused cancer in a little girl due to leaky tanks at gas stations he owns (or something to that effect). Candidate #2 (Orr) responds that Candidate #1 (Day) is exploiting cancer for the sake of the election (or, actually, the young-sounding female cancer survivor on the radio ad I heard today said that Day was exploiting her cancer). The irony is that, now, Candidate #2 is exploiting a cancer survivor to return the favor.

My favorite, though was the radio spot I heard on the way to work this morning. I almost ran off the road, I was laughing so hard (not really - that's just a little hyperbole).

Speaker: If you want to know the truth about Bobby Denton, just ask the people who know.
Person Who Knows with an accent about as Southern as you can imagine: He's born 'bout 5-6 miles from Coon Dog Cemetery. That area don't turn out anyone bad.

I kid you not. I swear I heard that this morning, and that's a near-verbatim quote (as well as I can remember). Coon Dog Cemetary is a real place somewhere near Cherokee, AL that I've never heard before this commercial. This was nearly as funny as The Doll Named "Poopy". Come to find out, Bobby Denton is the Singing Senator. Good grief.