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Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Joke

I will preface this by saying that all the women I asked think this is hilarious... and all the men laughed nervously.

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with a spear lodged in his chest and tape over his mouth while he is on fire.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Church Update 2

Randy posted these pictures on his blog from our Grand Opening. Randy is an incredible Lighting Designer and Technical Director - the boy knows his stuff! I had this cool idea for using draping on the back wall. Randy took that idea and turned into these cool "flags" that he hung at different depths on stage and then up-lighted.

The effect was stunning... these pictures don't do it justice.

It was a great morning!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion."

-Richard Louv

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Church Update 1

Last Sunday night we had a pre-grand opening service. It was a really cool night. The mood of the core crowd in attendance was electric. When we walked out on stage to start worship everyone jumped to their feet and started clapping. It was a rock start moment. I'm glad that doesn't happen all the time... I'd get WAY to big a head!

Here are some pictures. More to come on the grand opening that we had on Sunday.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Facts

Last week, it was all about word origins. In this week's edition of Monday Facts, we're going to look at the wonderful world of insects.

Drosophilia Bifurca, a species of fruit fly, produces sperm that is nearly 6 centimeters long when fully uncoiled. That's roughly 1,000 times londer that human sperm and 20 times longer than the fruit fly itself.
There are roughly 144,000 mosquitoes for every person on earth.
Malaria mosquitoes are attracted to ripe Limburger cheese and smelly feet. The odor-protein given off by the cheese was found to be structurally similar to human sweat.
Mosquito repellent doesn't repel mosquitoes; it blocks their sensors so hat they don't know you are there.

And now you know.

From "That's a Fact, Jack" by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Funny Video

It's all about "neck agility." And having a stupid gullible friend.

HT: Big T-Licious Speaks

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

How Could This Be Bad?

I found this amazing post over at Slashfood. I haven't tried it yet (I need to buy some non-microwave popcorn). But it really sounds good!

You can find the full recipe HERE.

Step #1: Make some bacon.

Step #2: Use the bacon drippings to pop some popcorn.

Step #3: Add the crumbles bacon back into the popcorn.

Step #4: Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Step #5: Enjoy.

HT: Nosheteria via Slashfood

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Surf's Up!

Can you say "pororoca"?

Twice a year, between the months of February and March, the Atlantic Ocean waters roll up the Amazon river, in Brazil, generating the longest wave on the Earth. The phenomenon, known as the Pororoca, is caused by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean which meet the mouth of the river. This tidal bore generates waves up to 12 feet high which can last for over half an hour.

The name "Pororoca" comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it translates into "great destructive noise". The wave can be heard about 30 minutes before its arrival, and it's so powerful that it can destroy anything, including trees, local houses and all kind of animals.

The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim. However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the margins of the river (often, entire trees).

Surfers have only recently realized the extreme challenge of surfing the pororoca”, despite the fact of the large risks involved; ship waste and wreckage, poisonous snakes, to name just a few. This massive wave gives them the chance to surf and stay on their boards for an extremely long time.

For more info on this incredible wave, check out the National Geographic article, HERE.

Bonus info: The Qiantang River, China, has the world's largest bore. It is up to 30 feet high and travels at up to 25 miles an hour!

HT: Fogonazos

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Facts

Last week we looked at smells (some good... some not so good). This week, let's take a look at word origins:

Although he word "ghetto" today connotes impoverished urban centers, it originally pertained to centers, it originally pertained to quarters where Jews were forced to live, irrespective of social class. In Venice in the early 1500s, Jews were housed on an island with an iron foundry. The Italian word for foundry is gheto.
Pretzels originated in Northern Italy around A.D. 610. An Italian monk gave them out to children who had learned their prayers. He called the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the breast, prestiolae - Latin for "little rewards."

And the word for the study of word origins? Etymology (not to be confused with entomology)... which by the way, comes from the Greek words, "entymon,"which means true meaning (which comes from the Greek word "etymos," which means truth), and "logos," which means word.

And that is a true word (to ya mutha).

From "That's a Fact, Jack" by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mac UK

The Brits have a great sense of humor.

See the rest of the ads HERE.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

How was it?

How was your free coffee?

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Get Your Free Starbucks Today!

Today is the day!

Last week, I told you to mark your calendars for today (between 10 a.m. and 12 noon). Now, go get your free coffee! And remember... be patient... be nice... leave a tip!

Get the details HERE.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Music and Coffee

It's official... Starbucks has their own music label, Hear Music.

Read about it here: Starbucks Press release, Seattle Times, New York Post

HT: Starbucks Gossip

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Facts...

Last week we went from coffee to civet cats (and coffee that went though civet cats... yikes!).

This week, we're gonna look at smells (starting with smells that come from civet cats).

Civet, a honey-like secretion from a civet cat's genitals, gives off an unpleasant odor, but in the right proportion transforms perfume into an aphrodisiac. Civet helped create the allure of the original Chanel No. 5.
In 2005, New York Times carried the headline, "Good Smell Perplexes New Yorkers." The reported phenomenon was a mysterious maple-syrup scent wafting over the city. The smell's source was never identified.

I'll take come Chanel No. 5 with a side of waffles, please.

From "That's a Fact, Jack" by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Free Iced Coffee

Mark your calendars... again!

Not to be outdone by Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts announced that on March 21st, the first day of spring, Dunkin' will "put winter on ice" with their first ever Free Iced Coffee Day. All day long, Dunkin' Donuts locations all over the US will be giving away free 16-ounce iced coffees. Their iced coffees are "double brewed" for smoothness and come in nine different flavors, in addition to regular coffee.

The company reports that iced coffees are their second most popular menu item after hot coffees and that they sold over 150 million cups last year alone!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Your Dad is a Rockstar

The youngest blonde boy has career day at kindergarten next week. They will be dressing up as what they want to be when they grow up and doing a report on it as well.

Here is an excerpt of how the conversation went this morning:
ME: What are you going to say your career is going to be?
HIM: I'm going to say that I want to be a cool guy.
ME: Oh... so you want to be a rockstar like your dad? That's cool!
HIM: You aren't even a tiny bit cool.

So I spent the rest of the morning singing:

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Free Starbucks!

Mark your calendars!

Next Thursday, March 15th, plan on stopping by your local Starbucks between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. During that time, Starbucks will be holding is 2nd annual Coffee Break.

All company-operated and licensed Starbucks stores in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Greater China will be giving away free Tall (12-ounce) cups of coffee to anyone who drops by.

Starbucks Coffee Masters clad in black aprons will be present during each of the coffee breaks to kick off the company's spring brewing sale and to answer any questions you might have about the coffee or coffee brewing. Last year, many stores used the coffee break period to sample some of their pastries out to customers waiting in line, as well.

For the location of the nearest Starbucks, you can look at their website or text your zip code to "MYSBUX" (697289) for a return of the three nearest stores.

Don't worry... I'll post a reminder next week.

HT: Slashfood via Starbucks Gossip

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Things that Make You Go Hmmm.....

Let this be a lesson to all you would-be cash-a-check-from-God scammers:
HOBART, Ind. (AP) - Kevin Russell found out it's not easy trying to cash a check from God. The 21-year-old man was arrested Monday after he tried to cash a check for $50,000 at the Chase Bank in Hobart that was signed "King Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Servant," Hobart police Detective Jeff White said.

Russell was charged with one count attempted check fraud and one count intimidation, both felonies, and one count resisting law enforcement, a misdemeanor. He could face prison time.

Police were called to the bank after Russell tried to cash the check, which was written on an invalid Bank One check with no imprint, White said. Russell had several other checks with him that were signed the same way but made out in different dollar amounts, including one for $100,000.

Russell struggled with police as they tried to detain him, White said, and then threatened police as they transported him to the Hobart Police Department.

"I've heard about God giving out eternal life, but this is the first time I've heard of him giving out cash," White said.

No court date has been set for Russell. He was being held Wednesday at the Lake County Jail on a $1,000 bond.


HT: Drudge Report via The Wonderful Noise


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

That's Quoteable

Teddy Roosevelt said...
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, 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 have never known neither victory nor defeat.

That's what I'm talking about.

HT: Perspective

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Facts...

Last week, the facts were about potatoes. In keeping with the food theme, here are some more food facts:

The steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amount of antioxidants as three oranges.
Too much coffee can kill you. A lethal dose of caffeine for the average adult is somewhere around 10 grams, or the equivalent of drinking between 50 and 200 cups of coffee in rapid succession.
Caphe Cut Chon (Vietnamese for "fox dung coffee") is made from beans that have passed through the digestive system of a civet cat. With its long sensitive snout, this finicky eater sniffs out the ripest coffee beans. Only the hardiest survive the digestive process intact and, according to aficionados, when brewed exhibit notes of wine, blueberries, caramel, and chocolate.

This coffee is also one of the most expensive in the world - it goes for $160/lb. If you would like to buy a smaller sampler pack (or an entire pound), check out the order page on AnimalCoffee.com.

For a review of what to expect when you drink it, check out this post on the Life After Coffee blog.

From "That's a Fact, Jack" by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

It Wasn't Just About the Bands

We went last night to see Aaron Shust, Audio Adrenaline, and MercyMe. The concert was good. But it wasn't just about the band.

The concert was at Fresno's Warnor's Theater. The Warnor's was originally a Pantages. The Pantages Theatre opened in 1928 and was constructed by Alexander Pantages, one of the most prominent managers of vaudeville entertainment and a renowned theater magnate. An immigrant from Greece, Pantages came to the United States and later spent time in the Yukon. He brought the money earned working as a bartender and providing entertainment for the miners back to Seattle, where Pantages purchased his first theater. Before he retired, he owned sixteen large theaters outright and controlled forty more.

In 1929 the theater was purchased by Warner Brothers, and its name changed to "Warner's Theatre." Fresno thus became the second West Coast city to have a Warner Brother's motion picture theater. The theater was used primarily for motion pictures until 1973, when it was sold to the present owners. Since that time it has been used mainly for concerts. Its name was changed to "Warnors Theatre" in the 1960s

Take a look at this beauty!

The second amazing part of the concert came during Mercy Me. The little girl behind me - she was probably 9 or 10 years old - was sing along, worshiping God at the top of her lungs. There is nothing more beautiful than a child worshiping without inhibition.

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What Not to Wear

She could have called the site Church Fashion Sucks. But Beauty Tips for Ministers works, too. Victoria Weinstein, a Unitarian Universalist minister who goes by the handle PeaceBang, launched the fashion blog to encourage the "defrumpification of the American clergy."

Weinstein makes it clear in a recent Boston Globe story that fashion isn't the greatest concern for clergy, but it still matters:

"Anyone who is in a position of leadership has to consider what image they're projecting, and that goes for clergy too," she said. "The problem with frumpiness isn't so much aesthetic as it is a problem of looking as though you are not paying attention to the world and that you are not part of today's world ... They will not be willing to hear us in the same way if we look like we walked out of 1972."

While I don't necessarily agree with Ms. Weinstein's doctrine, I do agree with her sensibilty regarding the need to look good.

HT: Church Marketing Sucks

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Video Fun

Well, that answers that question.

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Just Mustache

Just Mustache is a band from our church. They recently opened for Phil Wickham and Shane and Shane.

They are great guys with a passion for worship. They will be interviewed and play an acoustic set on-air today on Alice 96.7 at 11 a.m. 8 p.m. You can listen on-line HERE.

Check out the boys MySpace and give a listen to their music. Congrats, guys!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

A True Leader Takes Responsibility

When you are a leader and you make a bad decision... own it. Don't try to spin it. Don't try to sweep it under the carpet. Don't try to gloss it over with the good decisions you made.

Just say "I blew it."

I applaud Starbucks Chairman, Howard Shultz, for doing just that. In this e-mail to CEO Jim Donald earlier this month, Shultz demonstrates the great leadership of owning his mistakes.

This memo has been confirmed as authentic by Starbucks.

From: Howard Schultz
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 10:39 AM Pacific Standard Time
To: Jim Donald
Cc: Anne Saunders; Dave Pace; Dorothy Kim; Gerry Lopez; Jim Alling; Ken Lombard; Martin Coles; Michael Casey; Michelle Gass; Paula Boggs; Sandra Taylor

Subject: The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience

As you prepare for the FY 08 strategic planning process, I want to share some of my thoughts with you.

Over the past ten years, in order to achieve the growth, development, and scale necessary to go from less than 1,000 stores to 13,000 stores and beyond, we have had to make a series of decisions that, in retrospect, have lead to the watering down of the Starbucks experience, and, what some might call the commoditization of our brand.

Many of these decisions were probably right at the time, and on their own merit would not have created the dilution of the experience; but in this case, the sum is much greater and, unfortunately, much more damaging than the individual pieces. For example, when we went to automatic espresso machines, we solved a major problem in terms of speed of service and efficiency. At the same time, we overlooked the fact that we would remove much of the romance and theatre that was in play with the use of the La Marzocca machines. This specific decision became even more damaging when the height of the machines, which are now in thousands of stores, blocked the visual sight line the customer previously had to watch the drink being made, and for the intimate experience with the barista. This, coupled with the need for fresh roasted coffee in every North America city and every international market, moved us toward the decision and the need for flavor locked packaging. Again, the right decision at the right time, and once again I believe we overlooked the cause and the affect of flavor lock in our stores. We achieved fresh roasted bagged coffee, but at what cost? The loss of aroma -- perhaps the most powerful non-verbal signal we had in our stores; the loss of our people scooping fresh coffee from the bins and grinding it fresh in front of the customer, and once again stripping the store of tradition and our heritage? Then we moved to store design. Clearly we have had to streamline store design to gain efficiencies of scale and to make sure we had the ROI on sales to investment ratios that would satisfy the financial side of our business. However, one of the results has been stores that no longer have the soul of the past and reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store. Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter, no longer reflecting the passion our partners feel about our coffee. In fact, I am not sure people today even know we are roasting coffee. You certainly can't get the message from being in our stores. The merchandise, more art than science, is far removed from being the merchant that I believe we can be and certainly at a minimum should support the foundation of our coffee heritage. Some stores don't have coffee grinders, French presses from Bodum, or even coffee filters.

Now that I have provided you with a list of some of the underlying issues that I believe we need to solve, let me say at the outset that we have all been part of these decisions. I take full responsibility myself, but we desperately need to look into the mirror and realize it's time to get back to the core and make the changes necessary to evoke the heritage, the tradition, and the passion that we all have for the true Starbucks experience. While the current state of affairs for the most part is self induced, that has lead to competitors of all kinds, small and large coffee companies, fast food operators, and mom and pops, to position themselves in a way that creates awareness, trial and loyalty of people who previously have been Starbucks customers. This must be eradicated.

I have said for 20 years that our success is not an entitlement and now it's proving to be a reality. Let's be smarter about how we are spending our time, money and resources. Let's get back to the core. Push for innovation and do the things necessary to once again differentiate Starbucks from all others. We source and buy the highest quality coffee. We have built the most trusted brand in coffee in the world, and we have an enormous responsibility to both the people who have come before us and the 150,000 partners and their families who are relying on our stewardship.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge all that you do for Starbucks. Without your passion and commitment, we would not be where we are today.

That's leadership.

In a follow-up to Shultz's memo, as reported by The Arizona Republic:

Jim Alling, president of Starbucks Coffee U.S., embraced that message on Tuesday, saying there's no better time for the Seattle-based behemoth to return to its roots. "It's a good time to be introspective. It's a good time to attack ourselves. It's a good time to get back to your core when you're successful," Alling told 280 students, faculty and staff members during a visit to Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale. "We recognize our success is not an entitlement; it's something you earn every single day."

HT: Starbucks Gossip

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Poerty and Office Politics


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

“But if I don’t blow my own horn, how will anyone know what I’ve done? I’ll never get ahead.”

It’s become somewhat of a truism that if you don’t call attention somehow to your own achievements, no one else will. But the rules of logic would say that’s simply an assertion. Let’s look at the facts.

To Be Level 5 or Not to Be
Probably the most compelling work I have seen on the subject of self-promotion vs. humility is the discussion of Level 5 leadership in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. Collins’ goal was to identify why some companies can make the transition from being just pretty good to being truly great performers.... They found that one of the essential factors in the leap from “good to great” was a form of leadership based on humility and a focus on the organization which Collins and his team dubbed “Level 5 leadership.” Look at a brief synopsis of the findings in a comparison between the two “successful” types, with Level 5 being clearly superior to Level 4 in overall results:

Level 5
  • Builds enduring greatness
  • Personal humility—does not seek the light
  • Ambition for the purpose of the institution
  • Sets the successors up for success
  • Looks out the window—credits others for success
  • Looks in the mirror—assigns responsibility for failure

Level 4
  • Builds commitment to a vision
  • Stimulates high performance standards
  • Large ego – high level of personal charisma
  • Does not provide for the successors
  • Looks out the window to place blame
  • Looks in the mirror to claim success

What they found rather amazed them. Many of the companies that actually had the best sustained results over time and that at some point had begun that trend upward were actually somewhat obscure. One reason they were obscure was that their CEOs were people who shunned the limelight and tended to talk in terms of “we” not “me.” It was not that Level 4 leaders were poor. They did succeed, but they did not succeed as fully as the Level 5 leaders. And more importantly, their organizations did not sustain the success after they left....

The Derailment Conspiracy
Yet our eyes do not deceive us; self promoters can and do get ahead. Although Level 4 leaders are more about personal charisma, blaming others and taking personal credit, they do get results—mostly short term. But, they also derail at a relatively high rate...

The Lesson
It turns out that the lessons of leadership are as old as Ozymandius or Achilles: pride generally goes before a fall. You do not have to toot your own horn, but you should persist in acting with both humility and a resolute focus on the mission. Don’t get discouraged by lack of recognition or early success. Build up the people around you and give them credit—and do the same for your boss. In the long run, at the end of the marathon, you will be working in a better organization with better results and people will love coming to work with and for you. That’s a legacy well earned.

Excerpted from "Getting Ahead Without Tooting Your Own Horn" by Ray Blunt. Read the entire article HERE.

You can also read another take on the subject by John Maxwell's Leadership Wired team regarding "Humility or Self-Promotion," HERE.

Ozymandias was published by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1818.

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