Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
If Money Grew on Trees...
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Real Pursuit of Happyness
Check out the real story from 20-20.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
When I was a Kid...
I used to have this album when I was a kid (yep... a real album that I played on a turn-table and everything).
The album had a lot of fun songs on it, like the originals of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas."
But the best of all was a really cool version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" done, of all people, by Art Carney. I fell asleep every Christmas Eve listening to my man Art.
Have a listen to it HERE.
And have a Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Those of us who love Seinfeld remember that today is Festivus. For the uninitiated, here's the details:
Many Christmases ago, Frank Costanza went to buy a doll for George. There was only one doll left and as he reached for it, so did another man. After struggling for the doll, he thought there could be another way. The doll was destroyed, but out of that, a new holiday was born. It was called Festivus. A Festivus for the Rest of Us.
Celebrated: December 23rd
Meal: Whatever you Want (the Costanzas have Spaghetti)
The Festivus Pole
Is there a tree? Instead there's a pole. Requires no decoration. Frank finds tinsel distracting. The pole is aluminum tall, silver, hollow, long and skinny.
The Airing of Grievances
At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the last year.
Feats of Strength
The head of the family tests his strength against another friend or family member. The great honor is given out to a different person each year. In Seinfeld, Cosmo Kramer was given the honor but turned it down to George Costanza as he had an appointment. Festivus is not over until the head of the family is pinned.
If you're really interested in the Festivus origins, here's the SCRIPT from the original Seinfeld episode, "The Strike." Or read the Festivus entry in Wikipedia, HERE (there are some really interesting additional facts in there - check out the one about Coach Brian Billick and the Baltimore Ravens)
For the followers of Festivus, you can purchase your Festivus pole HERE (manufactured in Milwaukee, a city known for its very high strength-to-weight ratio).
(HT: Katherine Willis and Seinfeld Lists)
Thursday, December 21, 2006
NORAD and Santa
For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.
For more on NORAD and Santa, go HERE.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
A Great Weekend
We did our choir Christmas program over the weekend. It really turned out great. We started with a Santana-inspired version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and ended with Michael McDonald's "Children Go Where I Send Thee."
My team worked really hard and did an exceptional job. Special Kudos to Burke, our high school student who flew solo as lighting board op. And kudos to Randy of Blue Dog for the lighting design and for training a great lighting and video team and for lending your show expertise in every area of the production.
Enjoy the pix...
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I am tall. Not NBA tall, but tall compared to most people.
I am 6'7".
Until today, it has been more of a burden than a blessing. Let's face it: stuff is not really made with me in mind.
Most cars? No leg room. I don't know how many times I have gotten into a car and the driver says, "You can put the seat back." Let me let you in on a little secret about your car: the seat IS back. I'm just a big fella.
Airplanes? Forget it. It do a lot of wandering in the aisles on most commercial flights. On one trip to Hawaii a couple of years ago, the woman in front of me actually asked if I could move my legs to she could put her seat back. FOR some reason she couldn't get her head around the idea that legs aren't detachable. She spent most of the 6-hour flight brutally bashing her seat back into my legs. I let the plane cut and bruised! The only exception on planes is when I have had the good fortune (twice) to fly first class. It is a different world up there for tall people. Travel is actually enjoyable.
I'm too tall to work underground, too short (and lame) to play in the NBA, and too conspicuous to be a bank robber. The only thing height has been good for has been for the occasional, "Honey, can you get this down for me?"
But today, I have found my calling! Today, I know why I am tall. I can save dolphins:
BEIJING (AP) The long arms of the world's tallest man reached in and saved two dolphins by pulling out plastic from their stomachs, state media and an aquarium official said Thursday.
The dolphins got sick after nibbling on plastic from the edge of their pool at an aquarium in Liaoning province. Attempts to use surgical instruments to remove the plastic failed because the dolphins' stomachs contracted in response to the instruments, the China Daily newspaper reported.
Veterinarians then decided to ask for help from Bao Xishun, a 7-foot-9 herdsman from Inner Mongolia with 41.7-inch arms, state media said.
Bao, 54, was confirmed last year by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest living man.
Chen Lujun, the manager of the Royal Jidi Ocean World aquarium, told The Associated Press that the shape of the dolphins' stomachs made it difficult to push an instrument very far in without hurting the animals. People with shorter arms could not reach the plastic, he said.
"When we failed to get the objects out we sought the help of Bao Xishun from Inner Mongolia and he did it successfully yesterday," Chen said. "The two dolphins are in very good condition now."
Read the whole story HERE. check out Xishun's Guiness page HERE.
Don't worry dolphins... Big Pat is on the way!
Monday, December 11, 2006
So good, it's back!
Friday, December 08, 2006
You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!
Every year at this time I love to watch Christmas movies. From Miracle on 34th Street to Charlie Brown Christmas to Scrooged to It's a Wonderful Life. I love them.
But the can't miss for me has got to be A Christmas Story. It is full of a truck-load of Americana, as well as the classic line, "You'll shoot your eye out!" (you can play it on online HERE).
What are your favorite Christmas movies?
And what is your top score on Don't Shoot Your Eye Out? My final was 52,000 with 211 bounces and 2 accidents.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I Need This Right Now!
The other day I read this great article called "Schedule a Buffer for Yourself," by Rick Warren. It is perfect for his time of year! Read the entire article HERE.
I'm guessing many of you have no white space in your appointment books. It’s absolutely crammed with appointments and reminders and tasks. You’ve left no margin in your life, no place for rest, and I think God would say, “This is not good!”
The truth is, you can’t hope for space in your schedule or pray for space in your schedule or expect somebody else to provide space in your schedule. If you’re going to free up some space for yourself, if you’re going to allow some down time and build some buffer zones into your life, you’re going to have to make the decision to do so. No one else will do it for you...
Here’s a fact about life: The faster you go, the more margin you need. If you’re going 70 miles per hour down the freeway, you want more than three inches between you and the other car, don’t you...
Why do we find ourselves having to work all the time? The Bible tells us very clearly that if we don't allow space into our schedule, if we just work all the time, we’re foolish. Ecclesiastes 10:15 says, “Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work.”
Don’t you like the Bible? It cuts straight to the point. It’s deals very bluntly and honestly with our struggles.
It reminds me of the guy who comes home with a big pile of work he needs to finish. His little kindergarten daughter looks at the pile and asks him why he’s working so hard and why he always has to bring work home. The father looks at her and says, “The problem is, I just don’t get it all finished at work so I need to bring it home and get it done here.”
The daughter looks up at him and says, “Daddy, I think they should put you in the slower group.”
Why is it we have to feel so important that we have to keep every moment of every day busy? Why do we stress load everything? Why do we have the mindset that everything has to be done right now, and wherever we’re going, we have to get there quickly? The truth is - life is not a race; it’s a journey.
If I really want to last in life, I’ve got to stop and realize there’s a whole journey of life to live. I’ve got to remember it’s not how fast I live that’s important; it’s how well I live...
So who's gonna be brave enough to do it?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
How Long Will You Live?
Monday, December 04, 2006
A Word to the Wise...
Quote of the day:
"If at first you don't succeed, then sky-diving is not for you."
(HT: Kem Meyer on Less Clutter & Noise)
A Star is Born
Our church did its annual kids' Christmas program. It was very cool and very well done. My oldest was a cameraman on the tech crew and my youngest sang and was "Kid 3" in the production (A Star is Born).
I know I am biased... but the kid is cute. The thing is... he knows it. And he works it. It is HILARIOUS! He had one line: "She's clearly overestimating the power of pasta." He delivered it in such a way that he got both the laugh AND the clap (applause, not an STD).
But as we were driving home, he says to me: "Hey Dad... did you notice that I was the only kid that got clapped for after they said their lines?"
He is his father's child. Enjoy the pictures.