Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm Becomming a Lutheran!

Not really. But I want to publicly state that many of my favorite bloggers are Lutherans with a passion for Christ.

The Elephant's Child
The Old Adam Lives (just found this one--great discussions here)
A Round Unvarnish'd Tale
Putting Out the Fire

I know that I've left some out, but these are the ones who blog about being Lutheran. You are guaranteed to find interesting posts and discussions going on and I recommend all of them.

Now, if you feel like your site needs to go on this list, just let me know. I'll give you a "shout out" as the kids say today. Word.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Update

It's been an interesting day. I stayed home to work and I guess I wouldn't have had a choice since the streets here were not plowed until after 4:00 pm. I actually tried to go to the store around 3:00 and nearly got stuck in front of my house. Not that he reads my blog, but I'd like to publicly thank my neighbor across the street who decided to run his snow-blower on my driveway, too. It saved my poor 15-year-old son from doing a TON of work.

By the way, we got over a FOOT OF SNOW here. We haven't had snow like that in ten years!!!

Finally, I thought I'd share a headline from the "Mr. Obvious" file. This was in today's Indianapolis Star:

Indiana ski resorts report good conditions

We got a FOOT OF SNOW!!! Of course the conditions are good. Well, I guess that they are as good as they can be considering there is nothing in the state of Indiana that remotely passes for a mountain.


The last few winters have been pretty mild, but this year has made up for it ("global warming" my donkey). We've had consistent bone-chilling temperatures this year and today we woke up to a foot of snow on the ground.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Andrew Osenga - Free Is Good. Good Free is Better.

A few years ago I picked up a free mp3 from a feller named Andrew Osenga. He's a singer songwriter that used to be in a band called The Normals and is currently a member of Caedmon's Call (their last two CDs). I decided to look him up online and found his site here:

The site is a little slow, so be patient. But lo and behold he has a few free songs from his full length CDs and two completely free EPs that you can download. Free is good. Good free is better. These are great songs. If you're looking for something new to listen to, download the EPs and give them a spin. In particular, I love the songs Canada, The Ball Game, The Blessing Curse and Four Horses. Let me know what you think.

I should also mention that the four songs I mentioned are excellent headphone tunes. If you like what you hear you can make a donation or buy his other stuff.

Bloggers Unite! He also has a blog.

Monday, January 26, 2009

License Plate Humor

In the state of Indiana we recently made a major change to our "basic" license plates. I emphasize "basic" because in addition to the standard plates it seems like we have about 100 other designs related to schools, the Colts, associations, pet dietitians, etc. (perhaps I made up that last one). Ever since I can remember our license plates began with two numbers which identified the county of your residence (e.g. "32" for my own Hendricks County), followed by a capital letter in a smaller font, and then four numbers.

The new standard plate (pictured above) utilizes three numbers, a space and then three letters. It's exciting, right? What a great idea for a blog post. Have a great day, everyone!

Ok, there really is a point to this. It seems like the folks at the license plate factory have a sense of humor. At first I thought I was just imagining this and then I noticed the plates in my office parking lot affirmed my hunch. We have the following "coincidental" combinations:


Come to think of it, this is still a very lame blog post. Oh well.

Meow Meow Butterpants.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spongebob Obamapants

Here in the Big Doofus household (great name for a household, right?) we love Spongebob Squarepants. I can remember many years ago when Uvulapie keyed me in on this show before it became the institution that it is today. And despite it's popularity, we still love the show. It's one of the few mindless things that we'll have on for the entire family so that means Nickelodeon is on quite a bit.

Nickelodeon has plenty of shows that we don't care for, but at least they remain politically neutral...right? Well, that's what I thought until they had a group of kids with Nickelodeon microphones come on with a remote they did from the innauguration. They talked about how significant it was that America had elected it's first African American President...and I agree. It's a huge deal regardless of where you stand politically. I thought the little Nick news report was fine, until the kids started chanting "OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!" Is that crossing the line?

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Subservient Chicken

Back in 2004 Burger King launched a new chicken sandwich called the BK Tendercrisp. It's a novel idea because it's a chicken sandwich that actually tastes good. With the launch they decided to do something completely different in order to promote the new product. They hired the services of Crispin Porter + Bogusky (actually, they may have hired them well before this campaign, I have no idea). CP+B is one of the most creative advertising agencies on the planet. Just give their site a look to see what they've come up with in the past years. Much of it you will recognize.

CP+B came up with the Subservient Chicken web site. Today, there are many great examples (and annoying examples) of online advertising that gets your attention and builds awareness. But back in 2004 this was cutting edge creative content. In fact, I'd go so far to say that the Subservient Chicken is still a great example of advertising that goes above and beyond...but enough about that (unless you're a marketing & PR professional like me who cares about this kind of stuff).

So go check out the site (it's still there after all these years) and tell that chicken what to do. Supposedly there are some 400 commands that have been recorded. If you run out of your own ideas, feel free to take a look at my comments for this post. You might also share the ones that you like best.

Hmmmm....a BK Tendercrisp sounds pretty good (see all of that advertising really works).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Ringtone Movie

For today's blog entry, I decided to make a movie based on something that actually happened to me.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy 500th, John!

2009 marks the 500th birthday of John Calvin. I'd venture to say that Calvin had the biggest impact on Theology in the past 500 years than anyone. Brash? Passionate about the word of God? Misunderstood? Sure. But his body of work is amazing. Find out for yourself. Follow along with a complete reading of the Institutes by going to the Princeton Theological Seminary. You can even download the readings on your iPod.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Surprise Car Deal

Chances are that most of you have seen or heard ads for Kia Motors advertising their "buy one car, get another for free" deal. The company and their dealerships have been doing this in various forms for the past few years and it's created quite a buzz. In some iterations of the deal, you buy Kia's most expensive car, fully loaded and you get the cheapest car at no cost. However, you were still required to pay taxes on the second vehicle. Honestly, that's not necessarily a bad deal as even game show contestants have to pay taxes on a car when it's given to them. Don't blame Kia for that one--blame the government.

But the most recent version I heard on the radio does seem to have a catch. While a television or print ad has actual fine print that you can read (provided you have a high-powered magnifying glass or you managed to record the tv comercial on your DVR), a radio ad has the announcer reading these details at a frantic pace. So, at the end of the Kia ad that I heard this morning, the announcer is rambling off the details so fast that I cannot hear most of what he's saying--except this one, minor detail:

"Price of single car includes second car."

I wish I would have written it down word for word because I'm sure that I'm paraphrasing--but only slightly. That's the jist of it. You're not really buying one car and then getting the second car for free. You're buying both cars when you buy the one car. Technically speaking, it's not really a "buy one and get another one free" deal. It's more like a "buy two when you think you're buying just one and then we give you the second one to make you feel good...since you've already paid for it, anyway."

Now that's the Power to Surprise!

EDIT: I just heard the radio ad again while sitting at my desk. So, I can now safely give you the words from the "fine print" verbatim:

Price of one car includes another.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time for a Math Break

Practically no strenuous activity since mid November
Three hours of football on Saturday
+ Two hours of roller skating on Sunday
Aching arms, legs and back that
only move via momentum

Friday, January 9, 2009

Skyline with Snip

If you live anywhere near Cincinnati, then you know about Skyline Chili. In addition to Ohio, they have locations in southern Indiana, Central Indiana, Kentucky and Florida. I guess it's an acquired taste because this is not what most Americans think of with regards to "chili."

Real chili has big chunks of beef and it's spicy hot, right? Real chili has beans, too...right? You don't put pasta in real chili...right? This could be the biggest debate on Big Doofus Blog since the Coney Dog vs. Chili Dog post nearly a year ago. I still get comments on that post from people doing Google searches. And in case you're wondering, that's Jason's face from Uvulapie and His Amazing Accordion that I Photoshopped into the hot dog costume. But I digress...

Skyline Chili has no beans (but you can add them). The ground beef is practically pureed before it goes into the chili--and I think they actually boil it before it goes in (Skyline afficionados will probably comment later). And the spices? I'm pretty sure it's cinnamon but there are uban legends suggesting things like chocolate (but it's not chocolate). It originated in Cincinnati by Greek immigrants and got it's name from the city's skyline.

Needless to say, Skyline Chili is different. It's not for everyone, but it's for enough people to make it a regional success. I love it and I was convinced that my son would love it, too, as we have similar tastes when it comes to spicy foods. But he doesn't care for it. My middle daughter (Bird) hates it. The wife (Miss Sniz) shares these feelings of hate and disgust with Bird. I thought I was all on my own...until little ten year old Snip came down and tasted it. I never offered it to her because I never dreamed that she'd like it. To my amazement (and to Miss Sniz's amazement) she loved it.

Since we have "special nights" where one of our kids gets to do something with mom and/or dad, a Skyline trip was planned. Last night she and I made it to the restaurant on the Northwest side of Indianapolis (we need a west side location!). While most stores are run like a restaurant, this store has you order at the counter and you bring your food with you back to the tables (and yet there was still a place for the "tip" on the receipt). Snip had the 3-way chili (chili, spaghetti noodles & cheese--tons of cheese) kids meal and I had the 4-way (same thing, but with onions or beans and I chose onions) and a "cheese coney" which is really a "chili coney" but I don't want to get into that again.

The chili was tasty and we had lots of conversations about Build-a-Bears, condensation and what it is that a store in town called "Tasty's Gift Factory" sells--but that's another post.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

On Grace and Kidneys

My alternate title for this post is...

I Want My Kidneyback, Kidneyback, Kidneyback (sung to the tune from the Chili's babyback ribs commercial)

Dr. Richard Batista is in the middle of a divorce and wants his kidney back from his wife (or the 1.5 million dollar equivalent). This story will be a hit this evening with talk show hosts like Dave Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. It will also make great material for Comedy Centrals' Colbert Report and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Tune in to see.

But it's also petty and quite sad. First off, another marriage (with kids) has ended in divorce. There are accusations of extra-marital affairs. And now the soon-to-be ex-husband is taking his case to the public to sling some mud. If this man was betrayed by his wife he has every right to be upset, but asking for a kidney back is quite another thing.

He said he gave his kidney to Dawnell Batista, now 44, in June 2001. She filed for divorce in July 2005, although he claims she began having an extramarital affair 18 months to two years after receiving the kidney transplant, his attorney, Dominick Barbara said....

Batista, 49, said he has no regrets about donating the kidney, only about the failed marriage. The couple was married in 1990 and lived in a million-dollar home in Massapequa. They met while he was working at a hospital and she was training to be a nurse.

He still recalls the day after the surgery took place. "There is no greater feeling on this planet. As God is my witness, I felt as if I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. It was an unbelievable; I was walking on a cloud. To this day I would still do it again."

Would he REALLY do it again? Sure, for a cool $1.5 million--but technically speaking, that would leave him without any kidneys to call his own. Jesus Christ gave us both of His kidneys, and his lungs, and his liver, his spleen, his heart, his blood. He was pierced for our transgressions. He never asked for anything back in return.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Powerful Picture - Power Handed Down

For this brief moment, I don't care about your political views. I don't even care about my own. This is a rare picture that speaks volumes about our country.

We live in a nation where power is handed over from one person/party to the next based on the will of the people. This even happens at the highest level of our government. It can be traced back to our very first President before there even was a such thing as a President of the United States.

On December 12, 1783 after leading our new country to victory in the Revolutionary War, General George Washington respectfully retired and went back to work on his estate. Our French allies could not believe what had happened and it left an indelible mark on human history. Of course, later on George Washington became our first President in 1789 and then retired that position after two terms in office.

What we may take for granted was considered truly remarkable when it first happened and there are still places in the world today where power is not willingly forfeited.

Pray for your country.
Pray for your President*

*or your Prime Minister (for my one Canadian reader)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dump Trucks - Your Thoughts, Please

Let me ask you this: Have you ever seen one of these drive slow (other than when they are actually dumping something or being filled up)?

Is there something about dump trucks or dump truck drivers that cannot go slow?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Facebook Udders In the New Rules for New Year

I've become a bit of a Facebook junkie in recent months. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and to reconnect with old friends. Like anything else, it can also be abused. Furthermore, when something gets really popular (as Facebook has) it takes on a life of it's own. This morning I read the following story from my local newspaper:

"Facebook nudity policy draws nursing moms' ire"

I'm a married man and all of my kids have been breastfed. I believe that it's the ideal way for a baby to be fed. I know that a lot of you who read this blog (some of you that I worship with on Sundays) are big breast-feeding supporters (Hold on, I just typed "big breast" on my blog for the very first time--I'm sure that I'll get some new visitors with words like that posted here. I should also point out that by "big breast-feeding supporters" I'm using the word "big" to describe overwhelming approval for breast-feeding and not the actual size of the...oh, never mind.).

Facebook allows you to post pictures and they do a good job of policing it from nudity. Lately, they've stepped up the policing to include pictures of breastfeeding (hence the above mentioned article). I've seen my wife nurse our babies and it's a beautiful thing. But I have no need to see other mom's nurse their kids and I'm quite certain that many (if not most) of those mothers don't want me to watch them breastfeed their children. That doesn't mean that a mom cannot nurse in public. The mother does nothing wrong when she feeds her baby anywhere. I just have no plans to stare at it and I wouldn't want anyone staring at my wife when she was breastfeeding (well, any man).

There certainly is a time and a place for breastfeeding online (like the La Leche League) , but it's probably NOT on a mass-appeal site like Facebook. On top of that, Facebook is a private company. They can make their own rules about what they put on thier site.

I found this quote to be the most interesting from the story:

A member for almost four years, Farley has nearly 400 friends on Facebook, a network she'd be hard-pressed to replicate if she moved to a smaller site with more lenient photo policies. She uses Facebook more than e-mail to stay in touch with far-flung high school and college friends. She especially likes to check out pictures of their babies and share photos of hers. But with a 9-month-old, "it's almost hard to get a picture of me not nursing," she said. (emphasis added by me)
If you've accumulated 400 friends on Facebook, you have time to snap a few pictures. I've had three nine-month old children in my lifetime. Two of my sisters-in-law have had twins and, thus, two nine-month olds in the house at the same time while nursing. We've all been able to produce many, many, many, many, many pictures of our babies without their mother's breasts exposed. In fact, I can assure you that we do not have ANY pictures of our children with their mother's breasts exposed (not that I know of, anyway). It wasn't hard or "almost hard" at all.