Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Want to Sing a Song

Some of my readers are also readers of Toni of In the Midst. Toni goes to our church and she has four little ones at home. One of these little ones is named Reece. Although this is a "U.S. American" family through and through, little Reece sometimes reminds me of a little English boy because of the precise manner in which he talks and his high voice. In fact, he reminds me very much of this little boy...

It's very cute. Well, the other day in Children's Church, he kept saying to me, "I want to sing a song" in his proper British sounding accent. This was all going on while I was actually SINGING songs to the kids that they were supposed to sing to (e.g. This Little Light of Mine, Jesus Loves Me, etc.). I explained to Tiny Tim Reece that we were singing songs and that he could sing along any time. But he kept at it, "I want to sing a song." All I could do was chuckle. We were almost done when he raised his tiny hand again and said, "I want to sing a song...I have to go potty." I thought that was the last of it but he managed to make it back just before we started the very last tune. Once again Tim Cratchit Reece said, "I want to sing a song." I reminded him that we were singing and we finished up.

It wasn't until later on that afternoon while having lunch with his family at Moe's (DING! "WELCOME TO MOE'S!!!") that I learned the rest of the story. Tiny Tim Reece had learned a song from the music he listens to every night and he wanted to sing it for me. Toni told him that he should simply tell Mr. Big Doofus (I have a real name) that he wanted to sing it during Childrens Church.

He wanted to sing a song and I never let him do it. Boy, did I feel like a dummy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Commenting on Blogs

Most of us who have our own blogs also like to leave comments on other blogs. Sometimes, this is a easy as clicking on the comment line and simply typing it in. Of course, this gets abused by spammers who infiltrate your blogs with phony comments that lead to their page. They often look something like this:

I'm not giving any more attention to their stupid web site than they've already managed to get. But I love the broken English with the ending, "A hug."

There are ways to prevent this. The best way is to not allow any comments without your approval. The only drawback here is that people have to wait until you approve their comments before they are posted. This is how I run my blog comments and it works for me.

Many of my blog friends try to weed out the automatically generated comments (like the one above) by using the blog verification option. Basically, you'll see a series of letters that are pushed together and warped in a way so as to make it difficult for a software program to automatically detect them. The commenter simply enters the letters in a separate box after his or her comments and then they are posted. My guess is that the hackers are getting better and better at detecting these verification letters so the blogosphere is making them more difficult to detect. For instance, what do you do when you see this?

I suppose a special prize is in order for the first person that can figure it out. Whoever wins get a VERY IMPORTANT AWARD from me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Someone's Looking Out for Snap

I've posted a few times about Snip and Snap. Snip is my youngest daughter (9) and Snap is her 8-year-old cousin and bestest friend in the whole wide world. We often comment that they are connected at the hip and just the other day during baseball games and softball practices they made it official. They literally became connected by tying themselves together with a rope around their legs.

But that's a story for another day. This post is about sweet little Snap and how her patience was recognized and rewarded during the first part of our church service yesterday. Once every few months our worship team will purposefully NOT plan out our worship service. The idea is to let the Spirit lead us in choosing songs, reading scripture, sharing, etc.

The kids like this because they get to raise their hands and request their favorite songs. It's sort of like the old "Stump the Band" bit that Johnny Carson used to do, but these are real songs from our list of Choruses and the Hymnal and the band actually knows how to play them. Snip and Snap were seated next to each other (of course) and were both about as cute as you can imagine. While the rest of us were in our comfortable, casual church outfits, these little ones were in full church gear with dresses, pretty shoes, bows, fancy hair, etc. They are "girly girls" through and through and we love it.

Towards the beginning of the service, little Snap politely had her hand raised just to the height of the top of her head hoping to be seen. She didn't waive her hand in the air or anything like that--it wouldn't be very lady like. This went on for the entire time while poor little Snap was overlooked by the worship leader. There was time for one more request and it went to Mr. K, a tall adult who was standing just a few rows behind little Snap. Mr. K was a very respectable and sincere man of God who picked his moments to share carefully, only allowing real inspiration to move his hand in the air. The congregation always looked forward to what he had to say. With permission to share or choose any song to close out the worship time Mr. K spoke. "I was going to read Psalm 119, but since it has 176 verses, I've decided to yield my time to little Miss Snap." It was a moment that I never want to forget (hence this the blog entry). Snap picked the song Lord I Lift Your Name on High and we closed out the worship time with joy in our hearts and smiles on our faces. Thanks, Mr. K. You made this uncle very happy.

P.S. That's little Snap pictured on the top left. I'm honoring her parents' wishes for privacy with this photo (getting tons of chocolate from me and Miss Sniz for her birthday) so you'll just have to trust me when say that she's a cutie patooty.*

* P.P.S. The spell check for Blogger doesn't recognize the word "cutie" or "patooty" but did suggest I use the words "cootie" and "toothpaste".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cat Ping!

No, Cat Ping is NOT the noise you hear when a cat runs into a large metal empty trash can--well, I guess it could be--but that's not the type of Cat Ping I'm talking about. Cat Ping is the name of a person. It's also the name of a person who is running for Congress right here in Central Indiana. Am I voting for Cat Ping? No. She doesn't live in my district. But trust me, if she did I've vote for her on her name alone--regardless of the issues.

America needs change!!!

America needs Cat Ping!!!

Does anyone else find it ironic that Cat Ping is posing for a picture next to a dog? Anyone want to send her an e-mail and ask if the dog's name is Dog Pong?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy BIRD-day

I know that my wife is planning a post about this, but I just had to mention that one of my little girls had a birthday this past weekend and she is something else. Just look at her!

Happy Bird-day, sweetie!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cleaning Up My Blog

I was looking over the last three entries of my blog and I noticed that my last three posts have been about beer, sex and poop. The only way I can go from here is up, right?

So, I thought I'd lay out a few bible verses to clean things up a bit. I hope you enjoy them:

"Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better." (Isaiah 56:12)

How handsome you are, my lover!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant. (Song of Solomon 1:16)

Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. 13 As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. (Deuteronomy 23:12-13)
There. That's better.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Inspiration Dumps Right On Me

I know that I've been neglecting the old blog lately. The truth is that baseball has been taking up most of my time. Besides the fact that we have practices and scrimmages (and games starting next week) there's also a lot of parent calling. But I'm not complaining.

I really wanted to post today and was hoping that I'd think of something to write about. That's when it happened. An annoying ad for the Buxton Over the Shoulder Organizer came on tv. I'm sure we've seen it before, but it's an easy one to tune out (ok, the truth is that every time Miss Sniz and I hear "Buxton Over the Shoulder Organizer" we both think "Buxton Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder" but that's another blog entry--and probably not one that will end up on my blog).

The selling point of the product is how easy it is for a woman to keep track of her important stuff in this attractive purse (available in black, red and tan). At one point the over-the-top announcer asks, "Do you have to dig and dump to find what you're looking for?" Only seconds after he said it, my almost-eleven-year-old daughter asked, "Did he say, 'Do you have to take a dump every time you're looking for something?'" So, there's my blog post for the day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dirty Birds

We have a couple bird feeders in the back yard that we love to watch (yes, I realize this makes me and the Mrs. old geezers). It creates a steady flow of morning doves, house finches, chickadees, cardinals, gold-finches and sparrows. Plus we get robins, grackles (that no one cares for) and red-winged blacked birds from time to time.

Well, just yesterday I was able to witness some morning do I say this?...."gettin' busy." Sure, I've seen my fair share of dogs, cats and even cows in their intimate moments but this was the first time I'd ever witnessed birds mating. As the male was fluttering atop the female (I can only assume this was the case--I wasn't that close) I was going to tell my wife when all of the sudden another male shot down from the sky and IT WAS ON!!!! That lady dove had to feel like quite a prize to have two handsome doves fighting over her. Actually, males doves are not that handsome. They're pretty homely looking.

Anyway, that's what goes on at our house during the weekend. It's very exciting.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Latest Innovations in Beer

There's a certain stigma about beer in this country. I don't think it's the same around the world but in America there are several varieties of cheap beer that flood the market (e.g. Budweiser, Miller and Coors are the "Big 3"). These brews are not normally consumed the same way that a finely crafted beer or glass of wine is appreciated. The idea is to drink them in mass quantities and as quickly as possible. Why else would a beer company use a slogan like "less filling?" The idea here is that you can drink MORE beer and still have the same desired affect.

One of the biggest (self proclaimed) "innovators" in this industry is the Coors Brewing Company out of Golden, Colorado. Their recent technological breakthroughs include the following:

  • Super Cold Draft: Somehow, this allows you to enjoy a glass of beer that is actually below the freezing point. I'm not sure how they do this, but it probably involves the same chemicals the city puts on the roads in the winter to thaw out the ice. Plus, you know something is good when you use the word, "super" to describe it. So, you can go ahead and pour yourself a regular cold draft or really go for it and slam down a SUPER cold one.
  • Frost Brew Liner: This represents some sort of nanometer plastic coating that is painted on the inside of the can that "protects the refreshing taste of its beer." It's also tinted blue and this is important because anything that is blue is good.
  • Plastic Bottle Cooler Box: Here's a great idea: turn your case of beer into a cooler buy filling it with ice. The "Cooler Box" has some sort of mysterious properties that allow the box to function as a cooler. I guess it's assumed that many beer drinkers don't own refrigerators or even coolers, for that matter. Oh, and in case there's any confusion, you're only supposed to use the cooler box once and then throw it away. In fact, after midnight, the box turns back into a pumpkin--which could also be filled with ice and used as a cooler if you think about it.
  • Cold Activated Bottle: This is the big one that you've all seen if you own a television. If you own a refrigerator or have access to ice and a Plastic Bottle Cooler Box you can now tell if your beer is cold by looking at the bottle. When the beer is cold enough to drink the mountains on the label with guessed it...BLUE.
As I was driving into work this morning I noticed a billboard touting the latest beer innovation from Golden, Colorado: the Vented Wide Mouth Can. I scoured the Internet for a picture of this thing but came up short--sorry folks. The Vented Wide Mouth Can provides a big opening in the top of the can with a vent that allows air to flow through while pouring. The end result is a better, faster pour. Now you can drink more, drink faster and pour more smoothly...and faster.
"We know from talking to beer drinkers that more than half of them do not like the way their beer pours from a can and want a smoother pour,” said Lee Dolan, vice president of marketing for the Coors family of brands, Coors Brewing Company. “The Vented Wide Mouth is the latest step in our attempt to create a can that drinks like a frosty glass. On Tax Day, we’re giving beer drinkers a better way to Vent.”
Apparently, beer drinkers cannot afford refrigerators, coolers and now frosty glasses.

Here's an idea, instead of spending millions of dollars on innovations for beer packaging, how about throwing down a few dollars to make it taste better? I'm sorry. Not only am I a coffee snob. I'm also a beer snob. If you're going to partake in something, why not make it good? It's obvious to me that as much as the big three beer makers say they want people to drink responsibly, they really want people to drink A LOT and they make it as brainless as possible.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This High Roller Has Returned

Well, I'm back from Las Vegas. I flew in Sunday morning and arrived home Saturday evening. It was a LONG week. Business takes me to Vegas at least once a year and sometimes as many as three times a year. Often I am there for long stretches at a time, which is great for a high roller like me. I stay at one of the more popular hotels--the La Quinta. Can you pick up on my sarcasm? Honestly, Las Vegas is a city I could do without. But it's necessary evil for me...and it's also a good town for a convention (i.e. in that it's easy to get around and easy to host trade shows, etc.).

There is one thing that I really like about this kind of business travel--FOOD. The last night we were there we practically closed a sushi bar. I'm also a fan of a local Vietnamese place that I managed to visit three times. Amazingly, I think some of the best food is not the most expensive or touristy places in town.

This hasn't been a strong post. I'm going to try harder tomorrow, but it's good to get back at it. I'll spend some time catching up on your blogs.