Friday, October 20, 2006

Not Being Clear?

Okay, so I am wondering if my last post was so ambiguous that only a few understood. I'm over here forever now. I won't be doing as much with this blog right now. I have a new attitude, a new hope, and a new home. So, come join me as I dare to live outside the bathroom. If you want to know what I mean, you'll just have to read my first post. Not changing the thrust of my blog, just locations. So come spend some time hanging out with me at my new digs. I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Massive Mutating Experiment

So...I got nuthin today. Yup. I have something burning on the back plate that I may be getting out soon. My life is different since yesterday. I am a different person, back to being my old self. If my saying this confuses you, read yesterday's post.

Though, I will post this little bit on Friday the 13th, which today is:

Friday the 13th’s being unlucky is just a superstition, right? To test the theory, the British Journal of Medicine began a study in 1993 comparing traffic accidents on Fridays over a period of years. They found that even though fewer people chose to drive on Friday the 13th, there were more traffic accidents than on other Fridays. Their conclusion: “Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%. Staying at home is recommended.”

Also, here's a story you must read: http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2006-10-05-khan_x.htm?csp=34. Check out this excerpt:

We are not showing enough respect to Genghis Khan," he said. "We tend to use
his name more on vodka bottles. If today somebody produces toilet paper with
Genghis Khan's name, we do not know what to do about it as currently there
is no
law to regulate this issue.


Have a blessed weekend,

Jared

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Can Hate Be Something We Don't Hate?

I know I already posted this video, but just watch it again as I build my point. And if you only have dial-up (Niki), it is worth the wait.



So I ask you, can hate be good? I am beginning to feel that the answer to that question is a very resounding, "YES." If hate can cause true change, I think so. It has really caused me to think about me, my surroundings, and my actions in response to those surroundings. Read this quote from The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper:

"Here's the goal and the problem as Augustine saw it:
The soul of men shall hope under the shadow of Thy wings; they shall be made
drunk with the fullness of Thy house; and the torrents of Thy pleasures Thou
wilt give them to drink; for in Thee is the Fountain of Life, and in Thy Light
shall we see the light? Give me a man in love: he knows what I mean.
Give me one who yearns; give me one who is hungry; give me one far away in this
desert, who is thirsty and sighs for the spring of the Eternal country.
Give me that sort of man: he knows what I mean. But if I speak to a cold
man, he just does not know what I am talking about...

"These words from Augustine should make our hearts burn with renewed longing for God. And they should help us see why it is so difficult to display the glory of the Gospel to so many people. The reason is that so many do not long for anything very much. They are just coasting. They are not passionate about anything. They are 'cold' not just toward the glory of Christ in the Gospel, but toward everything. Even their sins are picked at rather than swallowed with passion."

My life has been a "picking at" in every sense of the expression over the last one and a half years; maybe even more. I truly have been cold toward everything in life. I have been taught that my passion should be curbed and is a bad thing. Rather than encourage me to channel that passion, I've been encouraged to ditch it. I've lost it, so I have become lethargic and cold. I have sat in a room with one tiny window, little work to concern myself with, and little social contact, which has encouraged that lethargy, and it has continued to give way to depression. What is not to hate about that?

NO MORE! I'm sick of this quasi-existence that I have lived! From now on, in my life, I will "sing it like I hate it!" How do I find this passion again? I don't know. What I do know: I will never pick at my sins or at my life again! If I do something wise or stupid, I'm swallowing it whole! I have lived with a spirit of timidity towards everything, and I hate that! I have lived with fear over this or that, and I hate that! I have grown cold in my concern and compassion for others, and I hate that! I have been afraid to do certain things, and I'm swallowing it whole! May I never be lukewarm again! I will sing it like I hate it! HATE SOMETHING, CHANGE SOMETHING! MAKE SOMETHING BETTER! AND I WILL!

Some say, "Dance like no one is watching," yet I say, from now on, "Sing it like you hate it!"

Now get out there and swallow life whole. Put down the cobb salad with fat free dressing. Quit pushing the croutons around your plate. Go out there and get a steak. Cook it medium-rare. Take huge bites. Gulp the red wine as if it were the last drink of anything you'll ever have. Sing it like you hate it.

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Dog's Better Than Your Dog...

So, since Niki didn't watch those videos, I'm going to fill this post with massive amounts of "inside jokes" referring to their subject matter that only those of us living in the 21st century will understand. Well...not really. But it made me chuckle to type that. If you have dial up, just get the bottom one to load, if you have time. It is completely worth it. It is about hate being good. You'll love it.

I made a coffee house quality homemade chai latte today. I did it for much less than you just bought yours for down at the local "FuFu Express Espresso." And I'd bet you mine tasted as good, if not better. For less than a buck for 32oz, try it and see:

2 Bigelow Chai (or Vanilla Chai) tea bags steeped in 1/2 to 2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk microwaved and frothed with hand frother
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey (be generous)

Pour hot tea over honey to melt and combine, then pour in the frothed milk. Use the frother to blend the contents of the cup. Enjoy.

Now, if you don't have a hand frother, go buy one on eBay for $5 or search froogle for a "milk frother." Or you can go to your local kitchen store and shell out $20 for one. It's up to you. But that, and a stove top espresso maker are the only 2 things standing between you and top notch coffee house quality drinks made in your own home for a fraction of the price.

Actually, I lied. I made 3 chai lattes today. One for Jen (read on), then one for me, then one for me again because the first one was sooooo good.

More fast facts about tea: 2 cups of black tea contain as many heart healthy flavonoids as a serving of fruit or vegetables. So I'm going on 2.5 servings for the day, and I have an apple and banana, along with 10 cups more of green tea to consume. This is fairly average for me. I need to start drinking more black tea, though. Also, scientists think they have finally identified the anti-cancer agent in green tea. It has been believed to be anti-cancerous for a long time, but they finally have some definitive findings. And according to a story by MSNBC, black tea consumption may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the chance of heart disease for those at risk, as reported by a US research team.

Niki will be disappointed with this post today too, because the following is something that she has already seen in some form. I will warn my readers that the following true story that I wrote this morning refers to sex, but does not describe anything about it, just mentions it as an issue in a positive context. It is also in the context of a marriage covenant and it wouldn't violate those already aware of sex. It is very much worth reading, I just put up my warning because of all the "family friendly" labeled blogs I'm attached to. Enjoy.

--

Jen was going to set the alarm to go off early this morning. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to why. Well, she totally forgot. She knew it was important to me. Since we keep slightly different schedules, she woke me from my slumber and told me she forgot and apologized. I told her that I forgave her and I meant it. I felt a little disappointed, but there was no point to carrying on. It wasn’t about to make “it” happen any sooner. I do have a significantly higher drive than she does, so it is important that it happens, but what good would it have done me to concern myself further with it?

In my tired stupor, I laid there in bed trying to go back to sleep. I couldn’t. My brain decided to fire up and get really busy. I can’t really remember what I was thinking about, but that isn’t really important. I think God was nudging me awake. So, I got up. I put some water on to boil, got out the honey, and microwaved some milk. I steeped three bags of chai tea, added the honey and frothed the milk. Putting my concoction together, I took it in to Jen, who was in the bathroom with the door closed and had no real clue that I was even out of bed. She was surprised to see me, and even more surprised that I had something for her. She unnecessarily apologized again, and I told her not to. That wasn’t why I was there. I spent a little more time with her and followed her around for the next 10 minutes before she left for work. She really enjoyed the chai latte and it really spoke to her. It is her “love language.”

As she left for work, I watched her leave from the front door. I thought to myself how fortunate I was to be married to her. I consider myself a lucky man. Something not based on sex, but on love. I think I am actually beginning to understand what 1 Corinthians 13 love is.

--

Here's a short video of Beeker from the Muppets rapping to a remix of one of the tracks from the score of Clue. This is worth more than just a few laughs.



I think that is all for today. Tune in tomorrow for more fun.

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All Quiet on the Western Front...

Today is a quiet day in the world of Jared. Not necessarily a bad thing. Just not much to say. With that, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the funny videos.











Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tea, Pee, and Halloween

I must say that I am flattered that so many people find little notes from my personal life so interesting that they would make it a habit to come by here and actually read them. It really makes my day. That is as close to positive verbal communication with others on many of my days. So, as Martha would say, "It's a good thing."

I have continued to consume tea like there's no tomorrow. I am still really enjoying it. I am feeling as if I am deriving some health benefits from it. And, even though I'm drinking 8 to 12 cups a day, it isn't making my bladder run non-stop. I'm thankful for that. One thing I do know: My "morning breath" is actually no where nearly as bad as it used to be. I wouldn't call it pleasant, but it is in comparison to what it used to be. I think this is due to the fact that I am largely drinking a lot more green and white tea. I don't like green tea (the "bagged" kind) on its own. To me, it tastes like dirt. But I drink green tea blended with honey, lemongrass, and ginseng, or with blueberries. Today, I'm drinking white tea with tangerine (Bigelow brand) and honey, lemon, ginseng green tea (Fred Meyer/Kroger store brand, which is surprisingly excellent and surprisingly inexpensive). Go drink more tea. You'll be glad you did. BTW, Bigelow brand makes a great chai tea. It is the only chai I have ever tasted that could replicate the flavor of a coffee house chai latte with a strong tea brewed from it. I'd say 2 tea bags brewed in 8oz of water, add some vanilla syrup and frothed milk, and you'd have yourself a coffee house quality beverage.

By the way, for those of you who disparage coffee (you know who you are), coffee has almost as much antioxidant content as green tea, and a far greater content than black tea. Keep in mind, the lighter the roast, the greater the antioxidant levels. I only drink light to full-city roast coffees anyway.

Someone changed the password for the voicemail at my shared desk and didn't tell me. That little blinking light that tells me I have a message is about to make me go nuts. I may unplug the stupid thing just to get it to quit blinking. It's a good thing we're not allowed to bring guns to work (lol).

I used to attend Calvary Chapel churches, the un-denomination (kinda like 7-Up). I was always bothered by their hyper-sensitivity to Harry Potter and Halloween. For those of you who don't know, Halloween is short for "All Hallows Eve" which happens the night before "All Hallows Day" or better known as "All Saints Day." It has an "Eve" like Christmas has an "Eve." It kinda hearkens at the Jewish roots of the church by getting the celebration going the evening/day before the festival happens on the calendar (since dates turn at midnight). I have yet to read in the Bible where going out dressed up to ask for candy surrenders your soul to satan. It is much more popular to believe today then it was 40 years ago. When my mom and dad were growing up, everyone did stuff on Halloween. I have yet to see them exhibit signs of demon possession. Truth be told, everyone celebrated Halloween when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine from a salvific/theological perspective. I think the church is starting to become hyper-reactionary to things, which isn't good for anyone. It makes us look like fools to the culture (not in the way that the Bible means that the wisdom of God is foolishness to the unsaved) and it becomes another point of contention in the "Us Vs. Them" battle, which detracts from the valid points that already exist (like whether or not there is absolute truth). Paul said some would esteem every day alike and others would esteem one day special over another. The point is to use that perspective to God's glory, not to be divisive. I am still irked whenever I hear someone tell me I should be worshipping on Saturday. I wonder if they ever pick up their Bible. I don't care if they do it Saturday or Sunday (or even Thursday) as long as it is to God's glory, but they don't glorify God for playing the role of judge on already settled matters. So, if you do or don't celebrate Halloween, do or don't to the glory of God, but don't get any ideas that you are any better or holier than someone else. It is just the new pharisaism. I had to unlearn being one of the "don't police" and to allow others to act on their conscience. It's incredible how freeing it is.

Time for today's edition of "Great Blunders In History!"

In 1988 Apple Computer, Inc. hired a small computer company from Virginia called Quantum Computer Services to develop an online service for its customers. It was to be called AppleLink Personal Edition and was set to come out in 1989. But before Quantum could launch the service, Apple changed its mind and terminated the contract. Bad idea. Quantum had negotiated a clause in the contract: If Apple backed out, Quantum got to keep the technology. It launched the service itself in late 1989, with a new name . . . America Online.

What's for sale in the classifieds (for real):

  • 1 man, 7 woman hot tub—$850/offer
  • Amana washer $100. Owned by clean bachelor who seldom washed.
  • 2 wire mesh butchering gloves, 1 5-finger, 1 3-finger, pair: $15
  • Tickle Me Elmo, still in box, comes with its own 1988 mustang, 5L, excellent condition $6,800
  • Cows, calves never bred . . . also 1 gay bull for sale.

Well, I think that is about all of the genius I feel coming on today. Behave, and brush your teeth.

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Have You Lived Life? Not 'Til You've Cured Those Hiccups!

So here's the deal, I stole this off of Liz's blog, and she stole it from someone else. Apparently, being able to check off a number of these (which is done by bolding) tells you that you have really lived life.

HAVE YOU EVER...

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 (my little brother had one as a pet and I had nightmares about that thing getting out. I just wanted to SQUISH IT!!!!)
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 at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (Oregon State football 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 (don't they always come at the worst possible moment?)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger (it's how Jen and I met)
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 not cared who was looking (I still do this in the grocery store to the ridiculous music they play...Jen doesn't like it)
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 (just bought a sweet USB powered 60 Gig external)
40. Visited all 50 states (I bolded exactly half of the alpha-numeric characters because I've hit 25 or 26)
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 (why jump out of a perfectly good working airplane?)
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 (I've done a few others and visited the Snake River for catfishing; I think that qualifies)
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason (Jen bought some for me once when we were dating)
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 (Jen buried her mom at 17 and we buried her sister two and a half years ago)
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 (and it will happen again in the next couple of years)
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 (I've gained over 210 pounds in the last 25 years, does that count?)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray (maybe in a few years...)
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth (I've seen cows give birth to calfs at the dairy farm just up the road from my childhood home)
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 (still planning this one)
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 (we caught and kept a few as kids)
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 (that is different than sashimi)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
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 (I do this every day at work with the Japanese people here)
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

WOW! I ticked off 69 out of all 150. Even compensating for the ego answers (I'd set that handicap at 4), I still ticked off 65 out of 150. Life has had its dull and exciting moments. It all seems like an adventure, looking back on it now.

Potty humor content here, for those of you concerned.

I picked this up from Reuters. It is a snippet from a story on the "Ignobel Prize" a spin of the "Nobel Prize." These awards honor real research that just happens to be on off-beat material. here's the snippet:


Research into stinky feet, a study on the sound of fingernails on a blackboard
and a device that repels teen-agers with an annoying high-pitched hum on
Thursday won IgNobel prizes -- the humorous counterpart to this week's Nobel
prizes.
Other winning research included a U.S. and Israeli team's discovery
that hiccups could be cured with a finger up the rectum and a study into why
woodpeckers do not get headaches.

That is one home remedy that I will not be trying any time soon. That just sounds sick. I can't do that. I avoid certain sensations at all costs.

I'll tickle your funny bones with a few more hilarious videos. Watch, enjoy, and have a good laugh.

Tom couldn't see very well. He used to need glasses, but it is kind of a moot point now.


Pong anyone?


In the words of the Guiness guys, "Brilliant!"




Apparently, this XBox commercial was banned from usage. It makes me sad to think so. What little boy didn't do these sorts of crazy things when he was a kid (and I'm sure there were plenty of girls who did too, my wife included). It just goes to show you what an overly-politically correct society we live in.


Well, I think that's all I've got for today. I'm off to Central Oregon this weekend to do some hiking with my wife and parents.

Have a blessed weekend,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Tea for Every Taste

I have been big on coffee and tea lately. I have been consuming 8 to 10 cups of tea and the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day (in shots of espresso) every day for the last week. I have noticed a significant difference to my overall health in a very positive way. My health feels better overall, and my stomach is feeling better. I've had stomach issues for the better part of the last 8 years, so it is huge for me to feel well in my stomach.

How about tea? Do you know the difference between red, white, green, herb, etc? Well:
Tea is made by steeping processed leaves, buds or twigs of the tea bush Camellia sinensis in hot water for a few minutes. From this bush, all kinds of true tea are made. The most common are green, black and oolong, but white, yellow, and a type of red tea are also made from these leaves. The difference is oxidation. Much like leaving the skins on red wine grapes after they are harvested, how long the tea is allowed to set after being picked and before being dried has an effect on what kind of tea it will be. White tea is baby green tea, which is not allowed to oxidize at all. Oolong is slightly oxidized, some red teas are a little more oxidized, and, finally, black tea is allowed to oxidize the longest. There is such a thing as yellow tea, but I don't know where between green and black it falls. The reason I compare it to red wine grapes is because the oxidation of the leaves causes the creation of tannins, something the fruit of wine grapes get when the skins are left on and the grapes set for a while after harvest. Just like you can make a white wine from red grapes, you can make green or black tea from the same leaf.

Ceylon tea is merely tea that comes from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon, kinda like Thailand used to be called Siam).

What most of us know of red "tea" here in the states isn't really tea at all, since it doesn't come from the tea plant. The red "tea" is made from the Rooibos plant of the Aspalathus genus, found in the Cedarberg mountains of South Africa. I don't know what it's properties are like, but I am drinking it today because I bought a box of 20 bags on clearance at Safeway for 49 cents a month or so back.

Any tea that goes by "herbal tea" isn't really tea. There has been a movement in the industry to get away from the herbal "tea" moniker, and the term "herbal infusion" is gaining popularity. These "teas" are primarily made from rosehips, chamomile flowers and leaves, or ginseng leaves.

FlipFlopMamma asked if supporting WorldVision and Compassion International counted as what I was talking about. As I am unfamiliar with what these organizations do, I can't say because I really don't know and I despise speculation. Here is what I'm driving at: the main point of choosing a missionary is to be able to provide them with personal support. Jen and I switched from supporting Jews for Jesus to supporting the local missionaries from Jews for Jesus. As we've gotten to know them, we have prayed for them, they've prayed for us, we've been there to offer support during difficult times. We become to them a part of a support structure they would not have if we just wrote checks to Jews for Jesus every month. And wouldn't that be just the easy thing to do? We see Paul and Timothy and Apollos and the other missionaries in the New Testament develop this model for personal support, where giving is more than just putting money in the box at the temple or synagogue. Don't get me wrong, Jen and I give to support our church, and they support missionaries that we often hear about (at least one of ours gets mentioned every Sunday during the service, which is nice). We also support organizations like the Portland Rescue Mission, who helps the homeless find Christ and offers life changing programs to get them off the street and on their feet. But we "own" missionaries because I would argue that it is part of the biblical model for relationships in the church. Having lived with missionary kids (MKs) that grew up on the field, I heard so many stories about how they felt like illegitimate children of the churches that sent them. Their needs and distresses went unnoticed. How can we call ourselves any kind of a family when we let that happen. They are on the front lines preaching Jesus to the unreached, and we, as a church culture, abandon them there. That is why I own missionaries. If a missionary has a critical need that they really need met, and they can get no extra funds from their organization or sending church(es) to meet that need, who will if you don't? Now, I'm not saying that one person or family could just come up with $1000 at the drop of a hat when a missionary needed it, but who would pray that God would provide it, and who will send any extra money if you don't? That is why I am so heavily promoting Niki and Benny on my blog. They are in a situation where they really need more people to come on board and provide. They can't get help from their organization because it doesn't function that way, and they need people to take ownership and "buy" them. So, I challenge you all to dare to be the difference, even to the tune of $5 or $10 a month if that's all you can afford. Many hands make light work in the Kingdom of God. Here is a quote relevant to this issue: "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men." - Herman Melville. So, FlipFlopMamma, and everyone else, I'll leave you to judge whether or not it is the same. Like I said, I don't know what those organizations do, and I don't know how you give to them or the people working for them, or...(you get the picture). I just know that the personal relationship with the missionary is what the point is.

I suppose that is all for today. I'm off to go read and do some journaling.

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Legend of Jared: A Link To the Past

Being that most of my readers tend to be 30 to 40ish females, primarily moms, I'll explain the title. It is a small attempt at wit. It was the first game in the Zelda franchise to be released for the Super Nintendo back in 1991. You can now move on from that fact and look for the double entendre in today's post.

In many circles, this would get me called a sissy. I was so excited and I couldn't believe I didn't get around to this yesterday, but today I went to Target and picked up the "Platinum Edition" (sounds fancy, but kinda stupid to me) of The Little Mermaid. I still remember going to see that in the movie theater when I was 8. Not Disney's best work, but still a great movie. It ranks right below Beauty and the Beast in my book. I'd say that'd put them at three or four, with Toy Story and Aladdin securely in the top one and two spot, respectively. The voice talent in them just could not be topped. Toy Story is the only one of those movies that doesn't currently belong to mine and Jen's library. My point: call me a sissy, but I loved the movie, and I want to ensure that my kids get to enjoy it too. No insult intended, but I didn't care for many other Disney movies. The princess theme just didn't resonate with me (re: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty). I think that Beauty and the Beast was different because I found the romance story compelling, along with other elements. Besides, it was a pretty violent movie, and being a male, I am genetically ingrained to like that stuff.

I shelled out some serious dough for a personal journal, but I think it was worth it. I bought one that just the way I behold it makes me feel compelled to fill its pages. I don't plan on being some famous political leader or important thinker of my own time, but I wish I had my great-grandpa Ulrich's (that's pronounced ol-rick) journal. He never kept one. But, he was a great man. He was a prominent figure in the development the of organized educational system in the county in California that my mother grew up in. He was a strong Christian man, and he loved his family. That last sentence there is all I hope to be known for, and I would love to be able to pass that on in my writing as well. So, here's to hoping for success. Besides, recording all of those funny and interesting thoughts I have in my journal will probably translate into more interesting blog postings. It has been forever since I've had to write much by hand (being a child of the computer age), but I'm going to give it a shot.

Today's video clips: The top one is of some of the best hits in NFL history. Being a football fan, I hope you'll indulge me. I love a good, hard, clean hit from the defense. As great as touchdown runs are, the beautiful hits keep me coming back. I love 'em.



This next video is a Mozilla FireFox jokey-type one. I love it, and I have FireFox on my home PCs. So should you.



I think that's about it for today. I will leave you with this question: Do you own a missionary yet?

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two Stupid Dogs

Now the videos of dogs on YouTube tend to involve them doing obscene things, but these gems made me laugh. I thought I'd share them with you all.





I had to kick some hilarity in there. My day and blog are just shouting for the need of it right now.

I must say, I did talk to Niki (of "Niki's Awesome Blog" and "Niki's Other Awesome Blog" that is) today for a good long while. It was the first time we'd ever talked over the phone, even though we've been friends since June. She and Benny are such cool people. It was a kick to listen to her supervise her somewhat rambunctious kids while I was on the phone with her. They are so funny.

I wanted to ask and invite you all to join their support team. They have an awesome ministry to street kids in Denver. They are at a juncture where they need some supporters to come on board and provide where others are dropping off. If you want to know more, get in touch with Niki through one of her blogs.

Permit me a short diatribe: Forgive me for not remembering, but was it the Ephesians who Paul praised for being so insistent and so eager to give? Let us aspire to be like them. Allow me to be their advocate and say, give to Niki and Benny if you have some room in your giving budget, or would be willing to make room by expanding it. A few people giving $25 a month could make a big difference. A few people giving $50 a month would be huge. As God's people, we should be actively involved in the work that missionaries we support are doing, and we should be supporting missionaries as God's people. If you aren't, Niki and Benny would be the perfect couple to get acquainted with this important part of your spiritual life on (yeah, I know, never end a sentence with a preposition). They will blow your preconceived notions of what a missionary is or does away. Amazing, godly people. I'll leave it at this: one of my favorite Bible college professors said, "Everybody should own at least one missionary." The "own" is figurative, of course, but do you "own" a missionary? Do you have a missionary who's personal well-being you "own?" Do you have a missionary whose daily life and work you "own" in your prayers? Do you have a missionary whose birthday, wedding anniversary, kid's birthdays, date of the tragic loss of a parent, etc that you "own?" Adopt a missionary. If you haven't, you're missing out on one of the greatest blessings you could know.

Okay, one last little, something, and if you're all very good, uncle Jared will give you something else to laugh at. But only if you promise to eat your vegetables at dinner tonight.

I have to give props to Starter apparel for using a slightly chubbier than normal, but still very cute and darling 12 year old girl (that looked to be about her age, give or take a year) as the main character in their most recent commercial promoting their college football hoodies. Maybe you've seen it. She's wearing a University of Texas hoodie, supposedly at a spelling bee and has to come up with the proper spelling for "bos taurus" (the type of cow that a longhorn, the UT mascot, is). I don't know if I just notice it more because I'm looking for it, but I feel like I'm beginning to see a lot more people who are representative of what you see in real life represented in commercials. Now, I'm not saying, "Let's all pull out the Cheetos and Mountain Dew and just sit on the couch all day." I am happy to see a more positive impression being given about people who have bodies more common to what you would see in real life. We aren't all supermodels, nor should we be. We always like to talk about how ethnic diversity is so enriching, but everybody says they wish they had a supermodel figure when it comes to body type. That makes me mad! My wife has wide hips and a "larger than average nose" (according to some people in our culture), and I love both of those things about her. If you really want acceptance of different body types and want to promote people, especially teenagers, to have a healthy body image, then quit talking about how much you had a figure other than your own and be grateful for what God made you as! Don't despise the work of the Creator. He certainly doesn't. He thought you were amazing when He made you, so I ask, "Dare you disagree with God?"

So love yourself for what God made you to be. And don't be a hypocrite by saying you wished that you looked like a supermodel and then tell others that they are beautiful if they don't look like supermodels. Even supermodels have things they hate about their bodies. The grass is always greener, right? I say it again, don't despise God's handiwork.

Now here's your funny video for behaving. You should watch it all the way through. It's hilarious.



Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Case of the Mondays

That was one of the many great lines from the movie Office Space. That gal really got under my skin, but it was hilarious the way she did it. Anyway, on to something that isn't more important...

My blog posts have been a little lacking lately in the humor department. I'll have to talk to the editor I hired to cover that and see if I can't light a fire under him. They guy works for daily rations of half a box of Cheez-its (and the plain cheaper ones too, not the fufu-y spendy kind) and a cup of herbal tea. He told me he used to be the editor for the Saturday Evening Post, the LA Times, and the Chicago Sun, but I'm beginning to become suspicious of that claim. I may have to evict him from the closet I let him sleep in here at work if I don't see some action soon.

Someone asked me in a comment on my last post why I always feel lonely. Well, I spend the vast majority of my day in complete solitude. It is a rare occasion that anyone wanders in to do anything more than get a uniform, which is a 15 second entry to exit transaction. I work 11am to 7:30pm, so I don't see Jen a ton, but I do see her some. I have incredibly extroverted tendencies, so it has been difficult. Top that off with attempting to rebuild a social life after having no time for one over the last 2 years due to school, and it has been a difficult road. I haven't been getting much email from anyone lately, so I have felt lonelier. I am working on some books, like The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence to help. It is some, but man cannot live without fellowship, which is what has been the issue for me. God has provided some light for me at work, but it is kinda sporadic. I am just trying to learn to thrive, rather than just survive, in the current circumstances. I could definitely use some prayer on that. Speaking of which...

I want to remind you all to please pray for my blog buddies, if you haven't been.
- Especially Dustin. He is going through some extremely stressful times at work. I used to work in the office he is currently Assistant Site Manager of, and I was stressed out just being a peon there. He is suffering from stomach maladies brought on by stress, so he needs lots of prayers all around.
- Please be praying for Liz, as she is moving into a more stressful period of transitioning into home schooling mode. Tough times on that account, but you should be reading her recent blog posts on that. It will save me from insufficiently attempting to rehash everything that has gone on.
- Please be praying for Kiersten. I can not share details of the situation, but please be praying that God would be blessing her and her family at this time.
- Please be praying for Susan, as she is amidst some really exciting times of her writing career. She needs strength and creativity right now as she works on projects to submit to publishers, and please pray that her creation, A Night of Rest, which she is posting a new chapter of every Friday on her blog, would find a publisher, because it certainly deserves one. Go read it!
- Please be praying for Justin. He is a pastor at a church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Pastors always need prayer.
- Please be praying for Niki. She has been ill and slow to get better. Also, please be praying for wisdom for her and her family as they make some long-term decisions over the next year.
- Please be praying for Soph as her husband continues his fight to overcome an addiction to pornography. She is expecting their third child soon. If you haven't been dropping by to share an encouraging word, you should.
- My wife isn't a blog buddy (she doesn't have a blog), but she sure could use some prayer right now. She has had this recurring illness for the last year that her doctors have sat on their thumbs about. She finally found one that is willing to look at the whole spectrum of issues she is having and to help her find a permanent solution as opposed to treating the symptoms whenever she comes in. I always call her my "sick chick" when she isn't feeling well. She thinks it's cute.

And read this. It has honestly changed my perspective on everything. My life will never be the same because of it, and I am thankful. I will worry about so many things much, much less because of it. It is a bit long, but John Stossel tells you why just about everything you know is wrong. I'm outraged at the lies I have been led to believe. Read it and buy his book. I will. I have always like him, but Stossel is my new favorite journalist. Something else he did recently was debunk the "Supersize Me" premise. Looking at all of the other restaurants that are out there, if you ate from their normal fare for 30 days, you would gain as much as that dude did eating at McDonald's for 30 days. But it is just so easy to hate McDonald's whether or not they are "guilty," isn't it? BTW, many thanks to DaPoppins, who has no clue that I even exist, for the link to the article.

So I'll post this and start eating Cheez-its in anticipation of the inevitable, tomorrow. As much as I like Tito Sanchez, I'm probably going to have to fire him. So here is your comedic gold for the day:

Q: What's an Undecennial?
A: An 11TH anniversary.

MISNOMERS
- The rare red coral of the Mediterranean is actually blue.
- The gray whale is actually black.
- Heartburn is actually pyrosis, caused by the presence of gastric secretions, called reflux, in the lower esophagus.
- A steel-jacketed bullet is actually jacketed with copper.
- The Caspian Sea and the Dead Sea are both actually lakes.

A pretty funny story from the Cleveland Plains Dealer a couple of years back:
Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Denney survived a random gunshot on Sept. 29, 2004, fired at the bus taking him and his teammates to the airport in Kansas City after a game. The bullet hit Denney's right calf but did not penetrate deeply and was immediately removed by the team trainer. The bullet might have gone deeper except that Denney had on high plastic boots as part of the cheerleader's uniform he was wearing. (In end-of-season rituals, rookies like Denney are often forced by their teammates to wear ridiculous outfits.)"

How about this one: Odds that a grain of rice grown in the U.S. will end up being brewed into beer: 1 in 10. You might think this weird, but consider this. Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser and Busch beer, among many others) produces 12% of all the beer consumed worldwide. Budweiser is made with rice, a recipe alteration that occurred during World War II when barley shortage was an issue. They substituted rice for some of the barley, which didn't add much flavor but did add some and boosted the body (viscosity) of the beer. They never changed it back after the war. Now, if you don't think that would be kosher, beer is an undistilled, alcoholic brew made from cereal grains. That is why rice wine is an oxymoron. Anything made from rice, is beer. Sake (pronounced "saw-kay" in Japan and commonly "sockee" in the US) is a beer, not wine made from ricein spitete of it's generally higher alcohol content.

How about another grain related fact? Maintenance workers on the Empire State Building in New York City were complaining of being pelted by small pellets when working at higher altitudes on the outside of the building. It was just recently discovered that these pellets were small pieces of barley that were blown in from Midwesterwind stormsms. Hows about that, huh?

Some great quotes from political leaders:
- "I intend to open this country up to democracy, and anyone who is against that, I will jail!"
President Joao Baptiste Figueiredo, Brazil

- "We're going to move left and right at the same time."
Former California Governor Jerry Brown

- "Facts are stupid things."
Ronald Reagan

- "The only way we'll ever get a voluntary army is to draft them."
Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services F. Edward Herbert

- "Sixty years of progress, without change."
Saudi government's anniversary slogan

The Saudi one just screams the truth. We pretend there's been progress, but there's really been little change to speak of. I completely agree with Ronald Reagan's comment. "Facts" can be twisted to say or "prove" anything. It is only in the context of the story that facts are told in that they constitute anything that resembles the truth. And after reading that John Stossel report, you will know that.

Most of my regulars will know that I fancy few things French, but here is a good one:

Sabotage

Meaning: To deliberately destroy or obstruct

Origin: French peasants used to wear big wooden shoes known as sabots, but contrary to popular belief, these are not the same sabots that gave us "sabotage." Sabot was also the term for a clamp that held a piece of metal in place. The word first appeared during the French railway strikes of 1910, referring to the practice of workers cutting the sabots that kept the railroad tracks bound together.

I might say "car-hold" rather than garage until the day I die (LOL), but saying sabotage is easier than "to deliberately destroy or obstruct."

If you're French (or French Canadian) and you're reading this, I don't really dislike you. Your politicians (past and present) just make your people an easy target.

Here's an incredible fact: Over 6 billion copies of the Bible have been sold worldwide. The Word of the Lord is not and never will be silenced!

Well, I think I've gone a bit long.

Blessings,

Big J

PS, check this bad boy out! They got the right idea!

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Friday, September 29, 2006

More of a Good Thing

More on FREE HUGS today. Just yesterday, this video of a news story on Juan Mann was posted to youtube. I was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of the feelings of those who posted responses to yesterday's post (if you are visiting for the first time, go back and watch the video). I was a little surprised by them, but I suppose I shouldn't have been. It brought me to tears, too. I don't listen to rock of any sort very much anymore, but I am definitely thinking of picking up the Sick Puppies album, or at least that song. Paired with the video, it sends such a strong message. I love seeing people reaching out in love for the sake of love. I wish something like this was going on where I live.

Maybe it's just me, but I think there is some significance in Juan Mann's name. It goes to show you that Juan Mann can make a difference. Amen?




I have been visited by several encouraging angels from the Lord today. He has truly blessed me through them. I may be pretty lonely most days, but the Lord hasn't forgotten where I am. Bless His holy name.

Have a blessed weekend,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Free Hugs?

Before I forget, I want to introduce you all to my new blog buddy, Kathy. She is also from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, like Justin. I really connect with her personal reflections, which make up most of her blog posts. She is a very deep and very real person, the kind I truly value as a friend in real life. Stop by to say hello and offer her some encouragement. Tell her you found her through me.

Now, on with the show...

Don't expect anything more than some general randomness from me today. I hope to make it interesting.

First up is Free Hugs. Juan Mann is a guy who lives in Australia. In this age of social disconnect, he just wanted to give people a free hug. The local authorities tried to put a stop to his sweeping campaign that started with just one man holding a sign offering "FREE HUGS." What happened was powerful. Watch the video and see for yourself.



If I could, I would give Mr. Mann a big hug. How about this as a controversial way to offer the love of Jesus Christ to those who simply need to be reached out to? How about this as a way to offer young men and women a way out of the siren song of homosexuality. I have a personal testimony in this area, but that is for another day.

In honor of FlipFlop(cheaterpants)Momma, she was correct. It was General George Meade. He wasn't a bad general either. Grant hit a point where he was proving incredibly more effective, though, so he was put in command. Grant was a great general. As was William Tecumseh Sherman. It is sad that Sherman is so over-shadowed by Grant and Lee. Truth be told, Sherman may have been the most brilliant of them all, depending on how you look at it. Lee could out maneuver and out-think any opponent. Grant was an excellent general, and I think would have surrendered sooner than Lee had if circumstances had been the inverse. Sherman knew exactly what it would take to win the war. His march through the south is still remembered to this day by many southerners with still a sense of bitterness. He was quite kind to the civilians, but he burnt every major town from Atlanta to Savannah to Columbia, SC to the ground. Whatever food his men could not eat was burned or animals slaughtered. I love one of his quotes where he says something to the effect of "It is good that war is such a horrible thing that we might not grow too fond of it." Yet, he was able to balance his perspective. He also said, "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say give them all they want." I could go on and on, but I won't.

Oh, and the Battle of Gettysburg was fought because the Army of Northern Virginia wandered north to try to bring war to us and terrorize the Union civilians and turn the tide of national opinion against the war. Lee's army was camped outside Gettysburg with the intention of seizing the finished goods of the local shoe factory when Meade caught up with him. That is why that battle was fought there.

Hugo Chavez is here in the US for the 61st annual UN General Assembly in New York. The guy is a Cretan and a man who peddles the words of the precious Gospel to further his own objectives of hatred and war as cloaked in false pretenses of peace and equality. He spoke at a church in New York where he lashed out at president Bush with ferocity and then tied in a few mis-applied and completely out of context verses from the Bible. He was introduced by Danny Glover who embraced him before his speech. That is pretty sad. I used to respect Danny Glover. I used to respect Wil Smith too, I suppose. What is wrong with these people?

I finally have the Social Security Benefits Planner certification monkey off my back (hooray!!). I'm in cruise control for a few days while I recover from that and let my ears recover from their pain. I have narrow ear canals that are very sensitive. I have to wear ear plugs when I sleep. When I don't, I don't sleep well. So I am just cruisin' right now, trying to do a decent job at stuff while phoning it in as much as possible without compromising my ethics. I'm just working to get by. Oh well.

I suppose I'm off for the day.

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Who's In Charge Around Here?

Well, I haven't felt much myself lately, on top of being busy with some work projects, so my time (and energy) for blogging has been seriously diminished. I put a lot of work into this blog. Maybe it doesn't look like it, but every post takes a couple of hours on average to complete. I just haven't had that in me lately.

I have been watching Ken Burn's documentary on the Civil War. It glosses over some incredibly important and interesting details, but I suppose he had to keep it to the 13 hour limit. Aside from having some revisionist history inserted about the slavery-war situation, I am really enjoying it. One of the contributing historians was the great Shelby Foote. He wrote a three volume history on the Civil War, which I will likely be picking up. I am learning so much about the Civil War I never knew, and was never taught in school. I will be having my kids learn history by any means but a text book when they are in school. What a waste of time reading facts about history that will quickly be forgotten. Facts do not equal truth, anyhow. It is how the facts are tied together with story and perspective that give one what the truth is. I think Jesus demonstrated that well.

How about another history question that no one will dare to touch with a ten foot pole? Who was the general in command (in charge, hence the post title) of all the Union forces at Gettysburg? If you want to be a real genius, you can throw in what the Battle of Gettysburg was fought over.

Blessings,

Jared

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Friday, September 22, 2006

I Stole This Shirt

Well, not exactly, but I did steal this very cute and funny story from Liz, who stole it from elsewhere. Thanks Liz.

The Way It All Began

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com, did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot . And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon Dot Com.

She said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?" And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, Dear?"

And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent. But this success did arouse envy.

A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young man did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums, that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others." And as Abraham looked out over the Ezekiel Bay, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "we need a name that reflects what we are," and Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO", said Abraham. And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all. But, then again, we all knew that anyway.

How about some semi-recent news updates that are important, some interesting, some funny?

THE POOP ON THE SCOOP THAT KEEPS YOU IN THE LOOP

If you only read one or two, read this one about a real life "roaming gnome." It is hilarious.

And go to this one, too. It is pretty appalling. They love polarization and slander.

Village elders order trial by boiling oil. Just be glad you don't live near there.

Mad herds flood Tokyo restaurants for US beef. We knew they'd come running back to us.

Cheater-pants Hungarian Premier admits to lying about national finances to win election. He's belongs to the socialist party. I will say no more.

Cell phone traffic tracking may soon provide faster routes for drivers with GPS direction services on cell phones. Wouldn't that be sweet to those of us who live in overcrowded areas?

A shark recently discovered in the East Indies walks on its fins on the ocean floor. God has a sense of humor. Not to mention they discovered a shrimp that looks like a Praying Mantis. Cool, huh?

Jesus in beer foam. Some are outraged, others think it is an interesting concept. I think it is worth some real thought.

I would encourage you to read a story before you comment on anything I have commented concerning the story. You need context to understand my comment. I have tried hard to include more video stories, but these are all in print. They are really worth a look though.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Blessings,

Big J



"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Burninating Your Thursday

It is no secret that I am a fan of Homestar Runner. I have peppered the occasional post and comments on other's blogs with references to the website and the creative stuff they do. Well, if you know Trogdor The Burninator, then you have got to get this for the "teeniest tiniest of babies" in your life. It is way too cute. I'm buying in advance for "my childrens."

The local paper is called the Vancouver Columbian, and it is really only suitable for wrapping dead fish. Well, that might be too high of a compliment. They have some good pieces on occasion, but they are usually not written locally, but from the AP or something of the like. They are so liberal (and stupid) that I can't stand to read most of what's in the paper. I buy it on occasion, but only for the Bi-Mart ads. Bi-Mart is like a sportsman's version of Wal-Mart, but about 1/10 the size of Wal-Mart. They have an electronics section with a decent selection, and they sell dry goods, beer, and wine. They carry small kitchen appliances and housewares. They also have a pharmacy and even a section with board games and kids toys. But most of the store is dedicated to hunting, fishing, landscaping, and automotive. I love that place. If only I could live there. Anyway, (getting back to the story) I bought the paper last Thursday so I could read the Bi-Mart ads. The cover story is "Alleged Drug Ring Arrested." Let's see, you bust a bunch a people with a ton of drugs in their house, which they were obviously all aware of, and they are an "alleged" drug ring? Real geniuses on the loose here in local journalism. Of course, that would fall on the editor's shoulders, not necessarily the author of the article. You just wonder what is wrong with this country when a bunch of people are caught with a bunch of dope and you can't even call them drug runners. No, no: they're "alleged" drug runners.

I've been using the guest restroom at work lately. It may seem a little pathetic and inane, but around here, it is something. It is like having my own private bathroom that no one uses. The only other ones close by are production area restrooms, and I won't tell you what they look or smell like. It is a special blessing and pleasure to have a clean and tidy bathroom to use.

Here is yet another piece on skinny models. It is a video report from Reuters about the French modeling industry responding to what happened in Madrid. I am actually beginning to feel as if there might be some sense of victory nearby. However, I am not so naive to think that such steps will solve the problem. It is a small amount of headway though. And maybe, just maybe, it will have a trickle down effect. We can always hope.

Here's an inspiring report on the prosthesis community. There are some outrageously cool video clips on it, one being of a working, robotic prosthetic limb made from LEGO Technic parts. You must see it!

How about some cool facts and funny stories to get you over that mid-week slump?

Revenge!

In November 2002, Detroit Free Press columnist Mike Wendland wrote a story about a man named Alan Ralsky, who had become a multimillionaire through marketing spam on the Internet—his company sent up to 250 million e-mails a day. The story told readers of Ralsky’s new 8,000-square-foot $740,000 home.
A group of spam haters posted Ralsky’s home address on hundreds of Web sites, starting an avalanche of junk mail in his mailbox. Then they posted his e-mail address and phone number and he got inundated with the very thing he’d made his millions from—spam.

Strange Headlines from around the world:

Psychics Predict World Didn’t End Yesterday (These psychics wouldn't be French, would they?) Chicago Checking on Elderly in Heat (You can't tell me they're worried about reproductive issues at that age)
High-Speed Train Could Reach Valley in Five Years (That is one slow high-speed train)
Suicide Bomber Strikes Again (Back from the dead?!)
Marijuana Issue Sent to Joint Committee (I wonder if they will approve legalization after the first or second hit?)
Girl Kicked by Horse Upgraded to Stable (Where were they keeping her before?)
Sun or Rain Expected Today, Dark Tonight (You don't say!)
Here's How You Can Lick Doberman's Leg Sores (ewww)

Brazilian sports fans are so rowdy that many of the country's soccer fields are surrounded by moats. Now those are fanatics!

A salute to the rubber ducky, America's favorite bath toy: This bright yellow bath pal first appeared in the mid-1800s when the New York Rubber Company started manufacturing rubber squeak toys. But it would be more than 100 years before rubber duckies became popular. Who do we have to thank for that? The Muppets. In 1970 Ernie sang the song “Rubber Ducky” on Sesame Street . . . and suddenly every kid wanted one.

The earliest use of "the flashback" in western literature was Homer's Odyssey. I love facts like this. They make me feel smarter.

Some quotes about America's best friend, the TV:

- “TV is chewing gum for the eyes.”—Frank Lloyd Wright

-“The remarkable thing about television is that it permits several million people to laugh at the same joke and still feel lonely.”—T. S. Eliot

-“Men don’t care what’s on. They only care what else is on.”—Jerry Seinfeld, on remote controls

-“Seeing a murder on television can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”—Alfred Hitchcock

Speaking of TV: It cost $647,000 per minute of film to make Terminator 2. It almost seems like it should be illegal. I won't make enough to pay for a minute over the first 15 years of my adult life, and that doesn't even account for inflation!!!

For some "stately" trivia: Herbert Hoover was the first president to put a phone in the White House, which happened in 1929. No, it wasn't the "Bat Phone." It was your average telephone.

Going a little further back: In 1924, a new Ford cost $265. So how much did you pay for your last new car?

Going much further backward: From 1790 to 1800, the capital of the United States was Philadelphia, PA. Anyone hazard a guess at what it was before that?

Blessings,

Big J

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Second Post

Feeling a bit better and lighter in heart, I am posting again with some stuff that should be a bit more joyful and interesting in nature.

Re: what Kiersten said, I was disturbed by what seemed to be a complete lack of knowledge about who the historically significant John Locke was. Just another reason I don't want to send my children to school, but to do so at home. What is sad is that I have learned so much more from watching documentaries on the History Channel than I ever did in history or geography class at school. Can you hear me as a dad? "Sit still, keep quiet and watch that TV or you'll go to your room!" What kid wouldn't want to hear that? (LOL) I am already picking up books I will be having them read when they get older.

I won't be watching Lost or Grey's Anatomy or any other show. I think my life had enough drama in it during my teen years. Those shows just don't appeal to me. Admittedly, I used to be a Gilmore Girls addict. I got sick of it though. They just keep rehashing the same story-line with different faces. It gets old after a while. Besides, it was when I was on swing-shift, and what else was I to do when I crawled out of bed at 10:30am when they weren't playing SportsCenter on ESPN? I need more laughter, not drama in my life. Anyway, I have seen the commercials for the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, and the only panties I am interested in are the ones my wife wears. I don't pass judgment on those who want to watch it; that's just how I feel.

I am, however, watching The Contender to my boxing loving heart's delight. They had the semi-finals on Tuesday. I only caught the first bout, and I'll catch the second half of the episode on Friday. A shorter, smaller, lighter Steve Forbes out-boxed the ox of a man that is Cornelius "K9" Bundrage (yes, I spelled it right). It was an exhilarating fight! I absolutely loved every second of it. I had to restrain myself, being an apartment dweller, because I was cheering along with the crowd and shouting at the boxers. I am sure I was a sight to be seen. It was so sweet, though. I have loved it because these guys are fighting for a chance to make it big, so they box with all of their hearts and don't pussy-foot around in the ring. I wish there was more boxing here in the Portland area. We just have very hokey "professional" wrestling. Calling it "very hokey" is a compliment.

Well, it finally happened. I left my yogurt out too long and it was cheese by the time I got to it. I often forget to put it in the fridge at work for up to 2 hours after I get there. I didn't violate that time restriction today, I guess strawberry yogurt is just a little more sensitive than peach. I have seen chevre cheese mixed with fruit, for those of you who will write me and tell me that I am disgusting. My life is just weird, no apologies offered.

If you haven't seen this commercial, you have to now! Here's your chance.


Too funny, huh?

Here is a video story to serve as a follow-up to my last post on skinny models in Madrid. It is by CNN, who I despise, but Jeannie Moost does it justice. She was the one tolerable reporter I felt that they had. It is good, you should see it.

I think I'll terminate this post here.

Blessings,

Big J

Requests For Prayer

Where did everyone go? No comments?! Ouch. I never said that Lost was a bad show, just that I don't watch it. Was my last post really that bad?

Well, I hope that someone crosses this today, because I have a few serious items before I get to my usual sillyness. It feels inappropriate to blog anything silly or fun today, so I will keep it short, and save other stuff for tomorrow. My first piece is somber news. Ellen Swope was declared brain dead early this morning. It is a real loss for Jen and I. We knew her as "Nurse Ellen" there at Multnomah Bible College. We held out hope that God might heal her. She held on for a week and a half of ups and downs. We learned that it would likely be a total loss on Monday and have just been waiting for the end. Now she stands in the presence of her Savior. I pray that she is rejoicing in the lavish surroundings that the fruit from this life should bring her in the next. We love you, Ellen. We will miss you. May you intercede in the presence of the Father for those you left behind. And may you eternally rejoice that there you need to find a new field in which to serve our Lord. Please pray for her husband, Steve, and her sons, Ian and Colin, as well as the siblings, grandchildren and other relatives she left behind.

The second I ask because I got nuthin' on comments from yesterday, except a request from Liz St. Cyr (aka Looney Mom, aka LooneyBin4Sure) to pray for her daughter. Please go over to her blog to find out what is going on and how you can pray for her and her family.

That's all today.

I know I don't print stuff in King James English, but it is how I learned this, and it just seems appropriate today.

"He giveth and He taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Blessings,

Jared

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A History Lesson

All right kiddies, gather 'round for a lesson in history. I hope I'm doing this for nothing, but I found yesterday's comments a little disturbing (not the ones about coffee).

John Locke, 1632 - 1704, English philosopher, founder of British empiricism. Locke summed up the Enlightenment in his belief in the middle class and its right to freedom of conscience and right to property, in his faith in science, and in his confidence in the goodness of humanity. His influence upon philosophy and political theory has been incalculable. He is best known for authoring his Essay on Human Understanding and Two Treatises on Civil Government. He is best known for his statement that man is entitled to life, liberty, and private property; a saying that the Declaration of Independence got its inspiration for its life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He is also known for saying "the government which governs best, governs least." We owe to him all the ideas that we hold dear in the founding of our democracy.

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but I have actually never even seen part of an episode of "Lost." It just isn't my cup of tea. I have never seen an episode of CSI:anything, 24, Law & Order, NCIS, Veronica Mars... Those kind of shows just don't do anything for me. Part of what makes me me is my love of sports and cartoons (the funny kind on Cartoon Network and the like, not the twisted adult kind you find on Comedy Central). I'm a simple guy who likes simple pleasures, and when I sit down to be entertained, I often just want a good laugh. Or I like to learn, so I often watch the History Channel and Food Network, too. Sorry to disappoint anyone. If it counts for anything, I am currently watching the Amazing Race. I love to see all the imagery from the different countries people travel to.

Speaking of the Food Network, I absolutely love Good Eats with Alton Brown (pronounced al-tun like the name "Al," not awl-tun). The guy is just ageniuss. He brings you the "why" of how food works, as opposed to merely the "how" to cook eggs benedict. As opposed to Emeril (who is really loud and annoying) who teaches you how to make super "kicked-up" or "fufu" type food, Alton just wants you to know how to make better scrambled eggs, or even a good fruit cake (there really is such a thing). He figures you're smart enough to take it from there and create your own variations that will turn into family favorites you can hand down for generations. He is leading a new kind of food revolution for home cookin' in America. He talks the science of food, as well as it's history (he has a nutritional anthropologist on his show as a regular feature), and he adds just a dash of pop culture to make it fun. He references authors from Hemingway to Melville with a wit and wisdom that is uncommon. And you know that he has to be somewhat of a quirky weirdo in real life. People with so much common sense who are well versed in history and literature just are. But that's okay, I'm one too, and he's my kind of quirky weirdo.

Speaking of Melville, about a decade ago, the US Forest Service made a move to attempt to change the name of "Smokey the Bear" to just "Smokey Bear." Honestly, either still sounds likemascotott for RJ Reynolds if you ask me. But, he has always been "Smokey the Bear" ever since the Teddy Roosevelt incident that birthed him. The USFS played a particular radio commercial almost constantly for seemingly months to try to make us Americans change our mind and think it was always "Smokey Bear" not "Smokey the Bear." I appreciate all the credit they give us in spite of their advertising "Smokey the Bear" for over fifty years and him "bearing" (chuckle, chuckle...huh, hu...never mind) the name for nearly a century. The commercial would say, "You wouldn't say 'Easter "the" Bunny' or 'Santa "the" Claus.'" One day as we were riding along somewhere in the famijalopyopy listening to the radio, my little brother blurted out after that shpeel "Moby 'the' "Dick" to which immediately we all burst into laughter. I still laugh every time I recall it. Not only is it a memory of better days with him, but it is so true. Stupidity is rampant in our country in the form of politiccorrectnessess. It is nice to be able to laugh at it and life, and know that there is still hope for our country.

I'm gonna do a little meme that you can play along with if you wish. I picked it up...somewhere. I don't remember exactly now, but if that person happens to run across my blog, thanks for the idea.

Grab the book closest to you
Open to page 123
Scroll down to the 5th sentence
Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
Name of the book and the author

The excise seemed particularly unfair to inland settlers because it applied to liquor as it left the still, not at the point of sale. This meant that whiskey produced for private consumption or barter was still subject to excise. Furthermore, many of the settlers had come to America to get away from revenue collectors and government interference.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Tom Standage.

Anyone hazard a guess to what historical event this led to under what government?

That's it for today.

Blessings,

Jared

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." Fyodor Dostoevsky