Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So, the other night my friend Terry from the Herman's Bridge project asked me over to meet a couple of people who were staying with him and his wife.
I had the privilege of spending the next couple of hours hanging out with this really cool family from Portland, Oregon who decided to sell their stuff, get into an RV fueled by used veggie oil and travel around helping different people and organizations.
Check out the Coulombe family by clicking here.
It's been about a year since Justin got his hands on his very own guitar - and he rarely is seen without it, he's even taking a couple of guitar classes at school.
So, now he's got "gigs" lined up - OK, a "gig" - he'll be performing at a local coffee shop on Friday, Nov. 21 - it should be fun.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Return Day is a uniquely Delaware tradition - two days after Election Day, all candidates (winners and losers) - come to Georgetown, Delaware to participate in a parade, enjoy the ceremonial burying of the hatchet, and going from place to place for parties.
This year was kind of a mess - I appreciate the fact that Senator/Vice President-elect Joe Biden wanted to still be a part of this tradition (which he's done for the past 30+ years), but for the first time ever we had to deal with long security lines and limited mobility.
Regardless, we had a good time and even had some of our crew involved with the parade. Oh, our group included my lovely bride, Kristin, the best General Manager in the world, Steven Miles, a respected man-of-the-cloth, Dave Jones, a Sussex County native, Jim Carrey, and a couple of artistic geniuses, Brian Sowards and Chris Stout.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Christopher Buckley is a great writer - some of you might be familiar with the movie that came out a couple of years ago - "Thank you for Smoking" - that was bsed on the book Christopher Buckley wrote.
Mr. Buckley writes great satire and his latest book, "Supreme Courtship" is a lot of fun - especially since he based one of his lead characters on our very own Senator/Vice President-elect Joe Biden (a cosmetically-enhanced U.S. Senator who has run for president in the past and has a habit of letting his mouth get him into trouble).
Mr. Buckley made an appearance at the Free Library of Philadelphia the day after Election Day, and Rick Jensen and I decided to go on up to see him - we heard some fun stories about Mr. Buckley's days as a speech writer for then Vice President George H.W. Bush, writing fictitious book reviews for the New Yorker, and the time he "Shushed" the director of the FBI.
If you are looking for something fun to read, pick up anything by Christopher Buckley - would especially recommend "Little Green Men" - which is apparently in the process of being filmed with John Malkovich.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
So now I'm updating because Jason Boyett just posted a link to here -- and the last time I checked, when Jason links to you, things happen.
I promise to get back to regular blogging soon (with some really exciting news and wacky observations).
So, if you're here because of Jason - WELCOME! tkae a look around and ignore the fact that I haven't posted in a while (you can also sign up for updates to the left - once I get back into the swing of things you'll get an occasional e-mail from me (2 a month, tops).
Saturday, February 23, 2008
- Hillary Clinton helped free two Black Panthers accused of torturing and murdering Alex Rackley
- President Bush paid for the funeral of a 6-year-old boy who drowned near his ranch in Crawford, Texas
- Illinois Senator Barack Obama is a radical Muslim
Two things - First, I have received all of these stories via e-mail several times (and many more like them). Second, they are all verifiably false.
These kinds of things get to be particularly ubiquitous during election years. And, if you've ever received these e-mails or anything like them, then you know that the e-mails are normally sent to you and a whole bunch of other people - and you probably notice that your simply the latest group to get this thing forwarded to you. My parents even received one of these in their snail-mail (anonymously, of course).
Friends, here's the thing - when you receive one of these e-mails, the first thing you should do is go to www.snopes.com and check to see what the validity of the claim is. Now, here's the funny part - some of the worst offenders will actually claim in the e-mail that their story has been verified by snopes.com - do not believe them! Check it out for yourself.
Quick Tip: if any variation of the following phrases are used, red flags should be going up:
- this is a story you won't read in the mediaUm, chances are that if you won't read it in the media it's because someone actually did a little fact-checking and found the claims to be lacking in credibility (just a thought).
- this is something ____ doesn't want you to know about
- forward this to everyone you know
If, by chance, the information you have received is completely true, then feel free to forward at will.
If, however, the e-mail is verifiably false or if it contains half-truths mixed in with innuendo and speculation, then I highly recommend hitting the “Reply All” button and explaining to everyone (in a nice way) that the information contained in the e-mail is not entirely accurate.
Here's the frustrating part - at times I have replied to completely false e-mails and I've been told by the person who sent it to me, “it may not be completely true, but it's a good story anyway.” Um, folks, that's called lying - or “bearing false witness” as it's put in Exodus (you know, one of the Big Ten!).
Look, you can be opposed to someone's policies without having to forward lies about their character.
Please, use a little bit of common sense when you see these things.
OK, I'm going to get down from this soap box now - please forward this to all of your friends, you probably won't read this in the media, it contains information they don't want you to know.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Anyone who knows me knows that I really enjoy good films - I mean, if I could I would watch two movies a day every day.
So, I was pleasantly surprised a couple of years ago when I discovered the film reviews offered by the folks at Christianity Today. I was expecting to see some rather lame reviews complete with a "naughty word count" or some such nonsense - what I found is a site that consistently offers thoughtful and insightful reviews.
One thing I find myself looking forward to every year now is their "Most Redeeming Films of the Year" list.
This year's list includes some truly great films (at least I can vouch for about half of them - I'm looking forward to catching the rest in the next few months).
I'm especially looking forward to seeing Lars and the Real Girl, Into Great Silence, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
My wife and I both enjoyed Bella - which says an awful lot (we don't tend to get excited over the same movies very often).
The #3 movie on the list - Juno - I've already seen twice in theaters (not something I normally do) - if you haven't seen it yet, check it out.
Check out the complete list here.
Share your thoughts - what would you say are some of the most redeeming movies you've seen?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
So, after one song, the leader says he's going to prove that everyone has some musical talent - and to do that he needed the least musically talented person in the room to come up on stage - my wife looked at me and simply said, "Go."
I hesitated for a moment, but then thought about the fact that I've been telling the guys in the men's class at HBC to "do something you've never done before" - well, I knew I had to go up.
Imagine my surprise when I was handed a Cowbell and told to go to town on it! This is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lives.
And yes, the entire time all I could think was:
I have a fever - and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Anyhow, there's an incredible scene where the team leader -- Peter LaFleur played by Vince Vaughn -- decides to quit just before the final game, he doesn't even tell his team-mates, he just sits at the hotel bar.
That's when Lance Armstrong comes up to the bar to order some water, recognizes Peter and tells him he's been watching the Dodgeball games and that he's pulling for Peter's team -- and Peter tells Lance that he's decided to quit, and the following discussion takes place:
Is that great or what!
Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting… when I was diagnosed with brain, lung, and testicular cancer – all at the same
But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row.
But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit…
So, what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?
Peter LaFleur: Right now, it feels a little bit like… shame.
Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn’t have anything to regret for the rest of their life.
But good luck to you, Peter. I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you forever.
So, print out Lance's words and the next time you feel like giving up, well, I'm sure that decision won't haunt you forever.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Of course, the question came up more than a few times -- what's three guys from Newark, DE doing with this group from Hershey, PA? The answer to that one is simple, we came to see the guest speaker - John Fischer.
I have been reading John's books and listening to his music for probably 20 years now - his insight is pretty darned impressive. If you ever get a chance to see him in concert or attend a seminar or retreat weekend where he is speaking, just do it - you will be challenged and encouraged. In the meantime, try to get one if his books and sign up to get "The Daily Catch" - a daily e-mail from John that helps put a lot of things into perspective.
Just to give a very simple, scratching the surface kind of review of some of the things John spoke about this weekend:
1) Christians should have a fearless faith - ready to see the world through a wider lens, appreciate more of the creativity, truth, and beauty that exists regardless of the conduit through which it arrivesAs an added bonus, I had the privilege of serving on a Saturday afternoon political panel with former Pennsylvania State Representative Jeff Coleman, Ron Hostetler (former candidate for U.S. Congress), and Steve Hoke (truly brilliant mind - knows more about Constitutional principles than most will ever hear about in their lifetimes). The discussion was moderated by Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
2) to quote from Proverbs 25:2 - "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings" - so search (or ask, seek, and knock)
3) People today are searching for transcendence, significance, and community -- ideally that is exactly what a church based on the gospel should be offering, you fill in the rest
4) Many of us might need to look into a 12-step program for pharisees (myself included)
The weekend was also awesome on a personal level -- as mentioned before, this was time spent with both my father and my son -- it was great to get a "guy's weekend" together. We got to talk, share, play Risk, and enjoy a great time meeting dozens of quality people together.
A quick note to the guys at Evangelical Free Church -- you guys put on an excellent event, every detail was well planned and executed, thank you for doing all you did to make this such an awesome experience!
To see several photos from the weekend (including the midnight dodge ball games, the lost hikers, and concert shots), click here.
And now let’s add to that the attempts by misguided school officials to compose “nonsectarian” prayers that would pass constitutional muster (“We affirm our Supreme Being, creator of the Universe,” things of that sort), and you have to assume that we’re well beyond 100,000 attempts to circumvent the court’s unambiguous ruling that you can’t pray in school, period.I invite you to check out the whole piece here, then check back to share your thoughts...
And by the way, that very first Supreme Court school prayer case, Engel v. Vitale, revolved around a 22-word “nonsectarian” prayer that’s perhaps the lamest one ever written. It’s impossible to write a lamer one or a less offensive one, so just stop trying! Don’t believe me? Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and quote it:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”
That’s it. That’s the entire New York State Regents’ Prayer. That’s the prayer that the Supreme Court struck down as a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Anyone who went to a New York public school in the fifties had to recite that every day, to the point that baby boomers, if reminded of it today, can’t get the annoying echo out of their head, like a bad Barry Manilow song—which is fitting, because Barry Manilow himself was actually one of those kids who had to recite the prayer beginning in the third grade and continuing through his graduation from Eastern District High School in Brooklyn. For all we know it’s the source of his lyrical inspiration.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Click here to check out Anonymous Opinion.
Now that that's out of the way, here's a fun little exercise -- go down the list and check off everything you have done, then think about things you might want to do, of course there's items on here no one would actually want to do as well.
Feel free to share any thoughts. I went through this and can say that 67 of the items apply to me -- so far.
And, may 2008 bring about many adventures, opportunities, and blessings!
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm.
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life