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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What City Are You?

Here's a little Tuesday fun. What city are you?

I Am Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

HT: Dan Drezner via Dynamist Blog

Monday, February 27, 2006

Get out the Kleenex...

I just came across this amazing story and video from CBS News. Read the story then watch the video. Amazing!

Here's the story:
(CBS) It was the stuff of Hollywood, but it was real.

Senior Jason McElwain had been the manager of the varsity basketball team of Greece Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y.

McElwain, who's autistic, was added to the roster by coach Jim Johnson so he could be given a jersey and get to sit on the bench in the team's last game of the year.

Johnson hoped the situation would even enable him to get McElwain onto the floor a little playing time.

He got the chance, with Greece Athena up by double-digits with four minutes go to.

And, in his first action of the year, McElwain missed his first two shots, but then sank six three-pointers and another shot, for a total of 20 points in three minutes.

"My first shot was an air ball (missing the hoop), by a lot, then I missed a lay-up," McElwain recalls. "As the first shot went in, and then the second shot, as soon as that went in, I just started to catch fire."

"I've had a lot of thrills in coaching," Johnson says. "I've coached a lot of wonderful kids. But I've never experienced such a thrill."

The crowd went wild, and his teammates carried the excited McElwain off the court.

"I felt like a celebrity!" he beamed.

McElwain's mother sees it as a milestone for her son.

"This is the first moment Jason has ever succeeded (and could be) proud of himself," reflects Debbie McElwain. "I look at autism as the Berlin Wall, and he cracked it."

His teammates couldn't be happier.

"He's a cool kid," says guard Levar Goff. "You just get to know him, get used to being around him. A couple of weeks ago, he missed practice because he was sick. You feel different when he's not around. He brings humor and life to the team."

Jason's next goal: to graduate.
Now watch the video HERE.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Here's Johnny!

According to NerdMom, Yahoo has now "unbanned" e-mail names that contain "Allah." So big Pat is back! (Actually, I was never there... I was just making a point).

Here's the full story from the Register:
Yahoo! has reversed its decision to stop people registering Yahoo! IDs which include the letters "allah".

The Reg was contacted yesterday by a reader - Ed Callahan - who was having trouble registering his mum - Linda Callahan - for a Verizon email address - provided through a Yahoo! portal.

But Yahoo! got in touch with us this morning to say it is now accepting Yahoo! identities which contain the letters "allah". The Callahans will be overjoyed.

Yahoo! said in a statement: "We continuously evaluate abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo!'s Terms of Service.

"'Allah' was one word being used for these purposes, with instances tied to defamatory language. We took steps to help protect our users by prohibiting use of the term in Yahoo! usernames. We recently re-evaluated the term 'Allah' and users can now register for IDs with this word because it is no longer a significant target for abuse. We regularly evaluate this type of activity and will continue to make adjustments to our registration process to help foster a positive customer experience."
Read the full article HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Funny Video

You may have already seen this. If you haven't, this is hilarious. Check out the clueless guy in the back!

Check out past videos...
  • Why you need insurance video HERE
  • "Never scare a brutha" video HERE
  • SuperBowl videos HERE and HERE
  • Animal blondes HERE
  • Herding cats HERE
  • Honda Civic choir HERE
  • Dancing in WalMart HERE
  • Narnia super-trailer HERE
  • Christmas lights HERE

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm banned!

It turns out that I am banned from Yahoo.

What did I do? I had the audacity to have "Callahan" as a last name. Still confused? So was I, until I realized that hidden within my last name is the word "Allah." Yahoo has decided to ban all e-mail names with "Allah" in them - even if the letters are included in another name.

I would also be banned if my last name was Calosamahan (no osama's, please). Calbinladenham is also out.

This was uncovered by Reg reader Ed Callahan whose mother Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for a Verizon email address. She could not get it to accept her surname.

Enquiries to Verizon revealed that a partnership with Yahoo! was to blame. Yahoo! will not accept any identies which include the letters "allah".

Ed Callahan said, "On one level this is just silliness. But we have a war on terrorism and it's migrating to be a war on Muslims - this just shows the confusion there is between the two and how pervasive this is."

The Callahans are still waiting to hear back from Yahoo!

A spokesman for Yahoo! UK said: "This sounds like a glitch. But we will get back to Ed and Linda Callahan with a full answer as soon as possible."

Read the full story HERE.

HT: NerdMom via Dommynicius

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quote of the day...

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Awesome Sunday!

This Sunday at NewCov was one of the coolest stage setups we've had for a "normal" Sunday we've ever had. On Saturday there was a wedding at our church. They used a bunch of cool looks, and as a favor, allowed us to use whatever we wanted on Sunday.

The end result was that we had 6 Vari-Light 2201'ss and 4 Vari-Light 2416's, in addition to some chandaleirs at our disposal. Add a little haze, and viola! You have a rockin' Sunday morning. Here are a few more pictures. More pictures will be posted on Randy Parker's blog. Randy was the genius behind the awesome morning we had. Check out his picture, below, as he mans the Hog 3.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Olympic Cheerleaders?

Did you know about this? I guess I haven't been watching enough of the Olympics, but I guess there are cheerleaders at the events. Have the IOC lost their collective minds?

Here's the full story from AP writer, Deborah Hastings:
TURIN, Italy - The Dutch oom-pah band had just finished Queen's ubiquitous rock anthem "We Will Rock You" and the crowd was on its feet Sunday night, stamping and clapping. Then the Olympic cheerleaders ran onto the skating oval.

Dead silence. Followed by boos.

The official cheerleaders of the Winter Games just can't seem to help it. They're not exceptionally good. Ranging in age from 15 to 26, these Italians were hired to entertain audiences at each Olympic venue. They practiced for four-and-a-half months. It just doesn't look like it.

They have a lot of heart, but not much rhythm.

They also don't yell cheers. In fact, they don't say a word. In glaring orange skirts and shirts, waving one orange pompom and one of gold, they dance a few unsynchronized steps and jump up and down.

In the true Olympic spirit of competition, they rejoice when anyone scores, in the same contest. Sometimes they misinterpret the proceedings and cheer over a disputed medal, or a penalty in a hockey game.

On Saturday night, the Czech Republic's hockey star Jaromir Jagr was down on the ice, blood streaming from a cut to his forehead, while a fight broke out between his teammates and Finland's players.

The uniformed young women lined up in a nearby aisle apparently thought it was a showtime cue and began rattling their pompoms.

And during Canada's 16-0 victory over Italy, the biggest rout in Olympic women's hockey history, the Italian cheerleaders popped up from their seats on the stadium steps and rejoiced against their countrywomen in the opening competition of the Winter Games.

Divided into three groups of 20, they perform during breaks in competition. At enclosed venues, they line the stairs in the stands. Their routines, to disco music that includes the theme to "Flashdance," do include some classic high-school squad maneuvers such as cartwheels and round-offs — which they can pull off without a hitch. Not so with more sophisticated dance moves such as a scissors leap.

Which is not to say audiences are always unappreciative of their efforts. In some venues, they clap and gyrate along, and seem amused by the spectacle.

"I think the crowd is very excited about what we are doing because they cheer and dance with us," said Julia Bianco, an 18-year-old cheerleader from Turin. "The crowd has been very passionate about what we are doing, and we are so grateful for that."

She then trotted into a line of cheerleaders just before the puck dropped in Sunday's U.S.-Sweden hockey game.

Leon Kersten, a 33-year-old fan from Holland, shook his head as the cheerleaders paraded in front of him.

"It's silly," he said. "I am here to watch what is happening on the ice, not what they are doing."

Back at the women's speedskating showdown, the Dutch oom-pah band Kleintje Pils ("small beer"), was pumping out "Volare" as fans in the audience yelled the only words they knew: "Volare," "whoa-oh," and "oh, oh, oh, oh."

Plenty of lustily singing Dutch had come to see if the Netherlands' Marianne Timmer would claim Olympic gold again in the 1,000-meter after winning the same event eight years ago at the Nagano Games (she did). They were the ones who booed when the cheerleaders had the misfortune to follow the band's rousing version of Queen's anthem.

Several Canadians, who'd come to watch Cindy Klassen, were wild about the oom-pah band, which was wild about Timmer.

"They really are the best," shouted Mike Murray of Ottawa, trying to be heard above the tuba. "We saw them at the World Cup."

His wife, Beth Clark, felt compelled to put in a few good words for the rah-rah girls.

"Considering they don't have cheerleaders in Europe, you have to give them credit for getting out there," she said. "They're not like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders — they're fully clothed."
Read the entire AP story HERE.

HT: Randy Parker

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Wrestling with doubt...

Two weeks ago...

Two weeks ago, Shaun spent some major time wrestling with doubt. His honest journey is chronicled in his blog in a series of installments, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

If you have ever doubted or wondered what it was like to doubt and wrestle with your faith, give SHLOG a read. His posts read like a Frank Peretti novel... excpet that it's real.

Thanks, Shaun, for your honesty and vulnerability.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Video Fun

Everyone needs insurance. Universal health care advocates need only to use this ad to make thier point. Key line: "He was injured... injured bad."

An understatement? I don't think so.

Check out past videos...
  • Never scare a borutha HERE.
  • SuperBowl videos HERE and HERE
  • Animal blondes HERE
  • Herding cats HERE
  • Honda Civic choir HERE
  • Dancing in WalMart HERE
  • Narnia super-trailer HERE
  • Christmas lights HERE
  • "Pimp My Church Van," HERE.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Only 95 days left...

The big 4-0 is fast approaching. That's right... only 95 days left as a 30-something.

So what do you get a guy who has everything he needs? How about THIS.

For a mere $11,995 (oh, alright, that is quite pricey), you can have a powerful HDTV-ready video projector, and an enormous sound system which comprises a 400-watt subwoofer and 300-watt top speakers. So far, so good. But the best bit is the VersaStretch screen, which is 20-foot wide and 12-foot tall, with an INFLATABLE frame. Oh yes. Roll it out, attach the blower, and within five minutes you're ready to rumble (complete with ropes in case of strong winds).

Think of it as a ministry tool for the neighborhood (or even our end of town!).

(HT: Dave Barry's Blog)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two Blonde Boys Valentines' Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. If you forgot, trust me... it's too late now.

I had an especially good Valentine's Day. It actually started on Monday (would you call that Valentine's Eve?) when Mrs. Two Blonde Boys and I went to see Walk the Line. What an awesome movie. If you haven't seen it yet, go.

Then on Valentine's Day I got cards from the Two Blonde Boys. The first was from my Number One:

I case you can't read it, it says: "Dad, you are the best and most loving Dad ever. I know that I am the luckiest kid ever because you are my Dad." It doesn't get better than that!

Then I got this card from my Sunshine:

It says, "I love you dad." I love you, too bud!

This was a good day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

One more re:create blogger

I forgot to mention Justin Adams on my previous post. Check out Justin's blog HERE and all the other re:creaters' blogs HERE.

Nick and Jessica

I admit it... I was a "Newlyweds" fan. I really enjoyed watching them and remembering back 18 years to when I was a newlywed (although Mrs. Two Blonde Boys knows that Chicken of the Sea is tuna and that buffalos don't really have wings).

Now that Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are splitting up, future episodes are unlikely. However, that doesn't mean you can't keep the Newlywed love alive. For a mere $3,750,000 (that's $3.75 million, folks), you can own a piece of television history.

Sotheby's International Realty says this about the house:
Contemporary Mediterranean Estate featured in MTV's 'Newlyweds.' Spectacular Custom detailing offers soaring ceilings, open floorplan, stone floors, Luxurious Master Suite and Bath. Enjoy the Infinity Pool and Spa with breathtaking Views. Screening Room and Music Studio. Extensive upgrades and finest quality construction and detailing.
If you buy this house, please invite me over.

Check the listing out HERE.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Friday Video Fun (one day late)

Remember these words: "Never scare a brutha."

Check out past videos...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

re:create Bloggers

Here are the guys (and gals) from re:create that I know are blogging. check them out...
  • Pat Callahan (Two Blonde Boys) - That's me!
  • Randy Elrod (Ethos) - Randy was, in a way, the guy who got me blogging. He brought Hugh Hewitt, author of Blog, to re:create last year. That started the whole ride.
  • Carlos Whittaker (Ragamuffin Soul) - This is one of my favorite blogs. Carlos is a great young man of God with a great heart for God and people. I love this guy. Los also has a podcast on iTunes (search for worship leader)
  • Heather Whittaker (Whittaker Woman) - Heather has a great perspective on being a wife to Carlos and mom to two of the most adorable girls in the world.
  • Bethany Gaddis (Perspective) - This one is a new find for me. Bethany is a great writer with a great heart for God.
  • Randy Parker - I love me some Randy. Randy is a NewCov guy and makes me look GOOD every single Sunday.
  • Brian Petak (Heart, Soul, and Might) - Brian is a writer and worship leader in Franklin, TN, who met his sweetheart after the very first re:create conference.
  • Rich Kirkpatrick (Rich Kirkpatrick's Weblog) - Rich is a great guy - he has some of the best pix from re:create on his blog.
  • Troy Kennedy (NewWorship Blog) - Troy is a gifted worship leader and a great guy. He is slacking a little on posting, but keep an eye on it... when he posts, it's good.
  • John Machowski (ArtsPastor.com) - Come on, John... it's time to post again!
  • Whoops! I forgot Chad Jarnigan (*Blogstar) - Chad is a worship leader at The People's Church in Franklin, TN. He is a talented singer and has a great heart for the Lord. Check him out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Disney, Walden Media, and The Chronicles of Narnia

I am sitting in a session right now with some of the guys who were responsible for bring The Chronicles of Narnia to the screen. It is awesome to hear these guys share how their faith affects their work and has been able to impact the world with this movie (which is one of the most quiet blockbuster in history - to date, Narnia has outpaced King Kong by over $80 million... that almost ANOTHER WHOLE MOVIE!).

How can you make an impact in your profession for Christ - and to do it like Narnia... without being preachy?

BTW, if you haven't seen The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, check out this super-trailer on a previous post.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Church of the Masses

Today we had a session from Barbara Nicolosi from Church of the Masses. As a recent Godspy interview said, "Barbara Nicolosi is on a mission from God. Literally. The founder and director of the Act One: Writing for Hollywood program is a modern day anti-Jonah, passionately crashing the gates of today's Ninevehs - —Los Angeles and New York - —on behalf of an interdenominational campaign to find and train Christian artists to work in the entertainment business."

All I can say is, "Wow!" I feel like we could stop all the sessions now and just spend time unpacking what she talked about: the church (again) becoming the patron of the arts. I also had the opportunity to hang out with Barbara at dinner.

I really resonated with Barbara's discussion of Aristotle and his views on truth and beauty. I have been challenged on taking our church art to a new level.

I encourage you to check out Barbara's blog, HERE, and the Godspy interview, HERE.

SuperBowl Ads

If you missed the SuperBowl ads yesterday, don't fear. Google Video has packed them for you HERE, or from iFilm, HERE.

(HT: Just Charlie)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Out of town (but still blogging)

I'm in Nashville, TN for a week at a conference (re:create). I'll still be blogging, though.

Update: I have arrived at the conference. It was 69 degrees when we left California. It is 34 and snowing. DANG!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Why the Steelers will win the Superbowl

SI's Rick Reilly has some thoughts on why the Seabirds will lose the the Steel Curtain this weekend's Motown Showdown.

Okay, Seattle, grab a grande, skinny, no-foam, half-caf Espresso Macchiato and let me explain why the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to grind you up like a Sumatra blend in Super Bowl XL.

You suck at sports.

You always have. You make nice motherboards, but you're dweebier than Frasier Crane's wine club. You've had the big three pro sports for 30 years now--almost 40 for the NBA--and you have one lousy championship to show for it. Uno. The 1978 Seattle SuperSonics. My God, you people have fewer parades than Venice.

What's amazing is, you do college sports even worse. In the 70 years that a mythical national championship has been awarded in college football, the University of Washington has one half of one title: in 1991 (with Miami). Zippo in basketball, baseball, track or field. O.K., the Huskies are good at crew (three women's titles, one men's). Wonderful. Somewhere, three salmon cheer.

Your most famous athlete is a horse, Seattle Slew. Your most famous athletic moment was Bo Jackson's turning the Boz's chest into a welcome mat on Monday Night Football. Your greatest contribution to sports was the Wave, the fan-participation stunt that screams to the world, "We have no idea what the score is!"

And do you know why you stink, Seattle? Because...

1. You're too damn nice.

Look at your Seahawks. Your MVP halfback, Shaun Alexander, teaches kids chess. Your scariest player is named Pork Chop. My God, last week, you offered valet parking service to reporters at Seahawks headquarters. (Seattle fans: If you see valet parking at Detroit's Ford Field this week, they're trying to steal your car.)

Nearly every five-dollar-steak-tough athlete who comes to Seattle leaves--Gary Payton and Randy Johnson for instance. Consider Seattle's two favorite athletes--Steve Largent and Fred Couples. Those guys wouldn't complain if somebody extinguished a Cohiba in their ears. Your sportswriters are more forgiving than Hillary Clinton. If they covered Jeffrey Dahmer, they'd refer to him as "a people person."

You Seattle fans don't just accept mediocrity. You crave it. You support your boys come hell or low water. You show up at the rate of three million a year for the Mariners, who never fail to let you down. Even the stadium sounds cuddly: Safeco Field. You pack the house for the underachieving SuperSonics, led by the NBA's nicest loser, Ray Allen. Your Seahawks went 21 years without a playoff win, and the fans didn't so much as clear their throats. Everybody just goes, "Well, that was fun. Let's kayak!" Hey, you can't spell Seattle without settle.

The whole town is 100% June Cleaver. I once walked into Nordstrom, the Seattle-based department store, and sheepishly asked if I could bring back a shirt I'd bought a month before in another town. The clerk said, "Sir, this is Nordstrom. You could wear it for 10 years, throw up on it and roll down a mountain in it and we'd take it back." Ask that at Neiman Marcus and they call security.

It ain't happening. Walruses don't do triple Salchows, and Seattle teams don't win titles.

2. You're too damn geeky.

Your owner, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, looks like the kid in high school who always got taped to the goalposts. If Allen wins, will he call all his friends from band camp? Throw his slide rule into the air? Plot his joy on a scatter chart?

Look, your average Seahawks fan drives a Prius. Your average Steelers fan drives a Ford Excursion, which has Priuses in its tire treads. Seahawks fans own poodles. Steelers fans eat them.

3. You're too damn wet.

Seattle is a great place if you happen to be mold. It just rained 27 straight days and it wasn't even a record. Seattle is basically a lot of guys waiting for a bus with rain starting to seep into their socks. Most kids are seven years old before they realize the umbrella is not an extension of the right arm. No wonder most great athletes leave. Ken Griffey Jr. left, basically saying, "I want my kid to be able to play outside once in a while."

In short, you people are too damn peaceful and happy in your Emerald City. You ever know anybody from Pittsburgh? You want this Super Bowl. Pittsburgh needs it. You're going to get smoked like a platter of smelt.

(But do you mind if we come live there?)

Transcribed from Rick Reilly's column, "The Life of Reilly," in the February 6, 2006, edition of Sports Illustrated.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yes... there are blondes in the animal world, too.

This week's Friday feature is reminiscent of the joke, "Two blondes walked into a building... you'd have thought one of them would've seen it!"

Check out past Friday videos features:

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Deep thoughts...

Dr. John Hannah is a professor of church history at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a self-proclaimedly quirky man, but also a man of great wisdom and deep spiritual insight. He also has the keen ability to create great sound-bytes of Christian wisdom.

For many, church history is not a subject that gets their motor running. In fact, when I was attending Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, OR, and had to take Church History 204, I mostly paid attention because (a) I realized that understanding the past can give you insight into the future, and (b) my grade depended on it.

The students in Dr. Hannah’s class are probably no different, although they may have a third reason to pay attention: they never know what he’ll day next. Some of Dr. Hannah’s students take two sets of notes: their class notes with diagrams, charts, dates, etc., as well as a set of notes for “Hannah-isms.” Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes they are serious. But they always make you think.

Here are a few examples:
  • Seek more than excitement. It is a shadow of eternity, but that is all.
  • A friend is a person who never believes the best things you say because he knows you're a liar, but never believes the worst things you say because he thinks better of you than that.
  • There has never been a time in our history when there were so many of us who have had so little influence.
  • If you're a Christian and willingly disobey God, He will judge your sin and break every bone in your body. In that day, thank Him for His grace.
  • A man is simply not equipped to meet the needs of a woman.
  • People preach toleration when they don't have power. Once they get power they stop preaching it.
  • Committees are places where minutes are kept and hours are lost.
  • You can get away with sin, but not forever. You can also blindfold yourself and walk across the interstate safely a time or two...
  • If God has called you to be a janitor, you should not stoop so low as to be a clergyman.
And my favorite…
  • Don't think too highly of yourself. The best this world will do for you is to build a statue of you so the birds can come defecate on your face.

(HT: Chris Freeland)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Big Ben's Blog.

I am a Raider's fan. Not a member of the Raider Nation - I just like the team. Call me crazy.

The Raiders had another poor season this year. I am missing them in the post season. How weird is it, then, that I am going to throw my AFC hat in with the Steelers? I pulling for Bill Cower and his boys. I never thought the day would come that I would be rooting for the Steel Curtain.

I like them even more now that I discovered the Steeler's QB, Ben Roethlisberger has his own blog. How cool is that?

Check out Ben's blog HERE.

(HT: This Guy Falls Down)