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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quote of the Day...

This one is from Steve Jobs:

"The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way. They don't think of original ideas and they don't bring much culture into their product... I am saddened, not by Microsoft's success. I have no problem with their success. They've earned their success (for the most part). I have a problem with they fact that they just really make third-rate products."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Little Drummer Boy...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Heart-Warming News...

The following is from The Life of Reilly by Rick Reilly of ESPN:

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"
And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"
And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


You can read more from Rick Reilly HERE.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fun for Everyone...

Another funny one from Anjelah Johnson...

Fun for the Ladies...

The girls in the office find this hilarious!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Nuns...

At the risk of becoming completely video driven on my blog lately... here is another hilarious offering!

Clint Eastwood is Back...

...and he's mad as hell!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Lights Extravaganza...

Not quite as amazing as that other video, but still pretty cool (and would be fun to do).

Amazing Art...

That was made (except for the paper) entirely of tape. Amazing.

See more of his artwork HERE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photographing Children...

A few posts ago I shared some pictures I has taken. I mentioned that my basic approach to photography was to shoot lots of pictures and hope for 1 or 2 good ones.

Always on the lookout for tips, I came across this site. DPS (Digital Photography School) has tons of great tips, but the one that really caught my eye was How to Photograph Children.

My favorite tip was to focus on the eyes. I can't wait to give it a try with my 50mm lens (thanks for that tip, Tyler).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twittering Shakespeare...

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief:

Polonius, Hamlet, Act II Scene II

Twitter. Social networking. Blogging on crack. Call it what you will... it is addicting.

And interesting. Because you've got to make it FIT in 140 characters or less. Including the characters for who you are sending the post to. Which means if you have a LONG Twitter name, you're cutting into what I can say (you know who you are @shameonyoko and @randyparker).

JP Rangaswami asked the question in his post on Brevity, "What would Hamlet look like in 140 characters?"

Here's his answer:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dinner Sunday Night...

"I got some steaks at a gift exchange."

It's safe to say that most of you won't here that phrase anywhere this Christmas. But then you aren't at the gift exchanges I'm at. I was at out annual Christmas party with our close friends and got 4 filet mignons as a part of the "guy" gift exchange. Meat is always a winner.

So last night I decided to cook dinner. Here was the menu:

  • Filet mignon topped with herbed butter and crumbled bleu cheese
  • Elk bratwurst (recently harvested and processed)
  • Bacon-wrapped green beans
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Hand-dipped garlic bread

The table was set in red and green at lit with Christmas candles. It was awesome. After dinner we walked around the neighborhood and looked at Christmas lights. What a night!

  1. Marinate filets in a homemade vinaigrette for at least one hour. For extra flavor, add lots of fresh pressed garlic and brown sugar to the vinaigrette.
  2. After marinating, wrap filets in bacon. Secure bacon with kitchen twine.
  3. Season with fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt.
  4. Sear steaks over wood grill. Sear for 1-2 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees and sear for another 1-2 minutes. Flip steaks and repeat on the other side.
  5. Move steaks to cooler area of grill. Cover grill and cook until medium rare (10-12 minutes).
  6. Top with herbed butter (see below) and crumbled bleu cheese.
Herbed butter
  1. Soften 1 stick of butter
  2. Add 4-8 tsp. fresh minced chives.
  3. Add 2-4 cloves crushed garlic.
  4. Add fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  5. Mix and spoon onto plastic wrap.
  6. Roll into tube and freeze.

  1. Blanch fresh green beans for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Plunge beans in ice bath to cool.
  3. Toss beans in olive oil, fresh pressed garlic, fresh cracked pepper, and kosher salt.
  4. Make bundles of 5-7 beans. Wrap bundles in bacon.
  5. But bean bundles on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked.

  1. Melt 1-2 sticks of butter. Add 6-8 fresh garlic, crushed.
  2. Halve a sourdough baguette horizontally.
  3. Place on grill to brown.
  4. Remove bread from grill and slice.
  5. Dip slices of bread into garlic butter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More FREE Christmas Music...

Get your copy HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quote of the Day...

“If there were no rocks in the river, the river couldn’t sing.”

HT: Normal Rockstar via his grandad

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Free Christmas music...

Our house was decorated (inside) for Christmas before Thanksgiving. We started listening to Christmas music right after Halloween.

Suffice it to say, we like Christmas at our place.

You too? Then download some FREE Christmas music from Joel Rakes (and check out his other stuff, too).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Men: Beware of the Dog House...

Don't go there!

I've Got A Man Cold...

This is my second day sick in bed. Want to know how I feel?

Women have no idea...

Stuff I've Been Working On...

I enjoy taking pictures. I don't know that I'm all that good at it. I believe in taking LOTS of pictures and hoping for one or two good ones in the batch.

Here are some recent shots:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Life Pix...

America's largest magazine publisher, Time Inc. has announced that access to LIFE's Photo Archive -- over 10 million images in total -- will soon be available on a new hosted image service from Google. Ninety-seven percent of the LIFE photographs have never been seen by the public. Among the largest professional photography collections on the Web, the collection contains some of the most iconic images of the 20th century, including works from great photojournalists Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith, and will be one of the largest scanning projects ever undertaken. Millions of images have been scanned and made available on Google Image Search, with all 10 million images to be available in the coming months. "For 70 years, LIFE has been about one thing, and that's the power of photography to tell a story," says Andy Blau, LIFE's President. "LIFE will now reach a broader audience and engage them online with the incredible depth and breadth of the LIFE Photo Archive from serious world events, to Hollywood celebrities to whimsical photographs." Images can be found when conducting a search on Google.com or on Google Image Search. Users can also search through the LIFE Collection directly by visiting http://images.google.com/hosted/life. LIFE's Photo Archive is free for personal and research purposes. Copyright and ownership of all images remain with Time Inc

The (Church) Office...

HT: Collide Magazine Blog