Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Today's To Do List

1. Vote in Florida Primaries
2. Fill up with gas before the 8 cent tax relief is over.
3. Pray Hurricane Frances goes away.
4. A whole bunch of other stuff.

So far, so good. Still working on #4 though.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Lighten Up, Frances


I don't like the way this is going.

Email Etiquette

Email etiquette has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Ever since I learned my lesson in 1998 that I shouldn't CC everyone the same hoax, I've been on a personal crusade to see that people follow certain rules when they email.

I'm losing.

But I read this article today called How To Be a Boor and it's good. It captures all I really want to say...except when you get an email that is a forward of a forward, etc, before you forward it again, please verify it at snopes.com! Go there. Stay a while. You'll learn a lot about the lies going around in email!

So maybe equipped with this blog and this article, maybe I can win again?

One can only hope.

Thanks to Seth Godin for the link.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Final Olympic Results

The 2004 Athens games are finally over. It was fun to watch. And who finished #1? The Bahamas!

What's that you say? You thought it was the US of A? Well, not according to this chart adjusted by points and population.

But we still got the most medals.

What's Your Favorite Color?

TheManInBlue.com is conducting an interesting survey trying to determine favorite colors.

What makes this survey kinda fun is not only do you pick your favorite color, but you also let him know if you're a designer or if you're from "the real world".

Go check it out. Link via Digital Web Magazine.

Our Latest Update...

August has been a crazy month for us. We started by celebrating Rob's birthday, we continue to prepare for our mission trip to Vancouver, and hosted a visitor named "Charley".

Read the rest of our latest update.

Why be a Baptist?

I haven't had a good laugh like this in a while. Please know I love my baptist brothers. But this is funny.

Atomic Clocks

I've always thought owning an atomic clock would be cool. I don't have one, but it looks like I might be able to get one soon!


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Playing Political Ketchup

Anything to make a buck I guess.

Good grief.

Miss the Beach

Today we decided to head out to the beach one last time before heading up to Vancouver. It's going to be a different kind of place up there...but we're looking foward to it.

We went out to what is referred to as "The Space Coast" becuase from where we sat overlooking the ocean, to the left was NASA's lauch pads and buildings (I think a rocket is going up tonight...bummer it didn't go up while we were there). It's not the greatest beach, but it's a beach and that is what is nice. It's always fun to be at a beach where I can dream of Jeanie.

I started reading Blue Like Jazz while there. Got through the first 3 chapters...it's pretty good. It's like a blog book! If you've read it, leave me a comment as to what you thought of it.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Posting and You

Do you use message boards? My favorite is the TigerNet where Clemson fans and alum post.

If you post or want to start posting on a message board, you should watch this flash presentation called Posting and You.

Link via MetaFilter.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Hurricane Next Door

My next door neighbor shot this footage of Hurricane Charley coming to visit. (video takes about 1 minute to load).

Blogging Survey Results

We conduced an online survey of bloggers in late July. I just realized I hadn't posted the results!

My conclusions aren't complete, but complete enough. I hope to one day write more on all of this later.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

First College Football Game

I'm stressed. The first college football game of the season is Saturday on ESPN.

We don't have ESPN anymore.

Denzel vs. Meryl

'Manchurian Candidate' cast talks politics, then Jesus.

Thanks to the World Magazine Blog for the link.

A Tale of Two Taxis

Last night I was watching The Amazing Race on CBS. Have you seen this show? It's one of the better reality shows on TV. Very entertaining and pretty morally clean.

Last night I was struck by two conflicting attitudes and ways of life on the show, and it revolved around a taxi.

Colin is a guy who is a tough competitor with a very short temper. If he's not in control of something, and not in the lead, his whole world is rocky. He can't rest until he's back in control or in the lead again. The problem is he expects everyone else to comply. He took a taxi that cost $100 for the trip. While on the trip, they had a flat tire. Turned out the tire was the spare. Collin went through the roof. Luckily for him another competitor was behind them and pulled over to help. He demanded their spare tire and never thanked them. Later he decided he didn't want to pay $100. He'd "pay $50 or nothing". He was a jerk to his teammate, a jerk to the taxi driver, a jerk to the police that ended up being involved. He finally paid the $100.

Chip is a guy who is a tough competitor with a happy outlook in life. He tries to look out for others, is really nice, and is still competing very well. He took a taxi at a different stage in the game not knowing how much it would cost. As they were traveling he realized he didn't have enough money (because earlier he gave a tip to a guy for good service). You could tell he was stressed in the car because he knew he couldn't cover the bill. When they got out of the car, he humbly came to the driver and explained he didn't have enough. He gave him a hug, showed he truly was sorry, and the driver let him go although he paid $10 less than he should have.

It was a tale of two taxis. One taxi ride showed us just how bad a human can act. The other taxi showed us just how good a human can act. One was a taxi of justice. One was a taxi of mercy.

If I had to pick one to be my friend, I'd choose mercy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Need a Car

I hate using this blog as a bulletin board, but we could use some help.

We're going to the Vancouver area in just over a week. We thought we might have a car situation lined up but it fell through.

We need help!

We'll be up there for just short of 4 months and need a car. It's just way too expensive to rent or lease from a rental place.

Does anyone know of a car dealership in Seattle that is Christian owned, or one that would cut us a good deal and/or a place to buy the car back in December?

If you do, please email me ASAP.


The Value of "D'oh"!

If you're a Simpson's fan, you'll love this article. If you're not a Simpson's fan, they you should really read it!

Banned from #Eden

Andrew is working on a creative, sort of a sign-of-the-times type of thing. It's a "copy" of a transcript that might happen to explain the Garden of Eden in chat terms.

My favorite is when Adam meets Eve for the first time:
[Elohim] ***Auto-msg*** Be fruitful, multiply, and have fun!
[Elohim] ***end Auto-msg***
* Adam wakes up
* Adam sees Eve and smiles
* Eve smiles, blushing softly
* Elohim smiles
[Adam] Hey
[Eve] hi
[Adam] wassssssssuppppp Eve!
[Eve] lol
[Adam] asl?
* Eve is ageless, female, from #Eden
[Eve] u?
[Adam] same
[Adam] but male
[Adam] lol
[Eve] lol
[Elohim] brb

Only in the Bible Belt

"Faster Pastors"

400m Sweep

Did you see the men's 400m race last night? Wow, that was awesome! USA got gold, silver, and bronze. First time since 1988 there was a sweep like that.

And that Jeremy Wariner kid looks like he didn't even try and he got Gold.


Monday, August 23, 2004

New College Football Rules

College football has changed some of the rules they'll be playing by. In an article by USA Today, they list some of the new rules:
Among the rules changes adopted this year was the NCAA's decision to allow the Big Ten to experiment with instant replay...Also new: Officials equipped with microphones will announce the number of a player committing a penalty...most college announcements have identified only the offending team. As is done in basketball, a head coach now can request a timeout from the sideline but not from the press box. A player who in the "official's judgment" is blocked into a passer will not be called for roughing the passer. A player who runs forward and leaps in the air in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point may not land on an opponent. If a team kicking off is offside then the return team has the option of tacking 5 yards on the end of the return or requesting a rekick. Pass interference will not be called after contact on a fake punt if the officials determine a pass is high enough and deep enough to simulate a punt."
I like the new rules except for one...the refs will call out a player's number. One of the cool things about college football as compared to the NFL is that it's more of a team sport. I think doing it in the NFL is fine because each individual is getting paid. But not these guys in college (or at least not legally)!

Oh well. I'll get used to it. They didn't ask my opinion.

New Links

I've added two new people to my blogroll over there on the right. Yeah, those links. You ever seen them before? Lots of good stuff on the right.

Be sure to stop by and visit the blogs of Jollyblogger and Adrian Warnock.

The Blogdom of God

I've recently learned of The Blogdom of God of which I am now a part of.

It's an interesting idea, and I wanted you to know about it also in case you don't know already.

Favorite Charley Headline

From a co-worker's blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Wooooo Wooooo

This has been on the Internet for a while, but I was reintroduced to it again tonight. This stuff just makes me laugh and laugh!

You need headphones or turn up your speakers.

Start here: The KRON news report
Then play here: The Bubb Rubb Soundboard
Then listen here: MP3 Woo Song

El Chupacabra

We just had our fantasy football draft. I'm excited. I think I got a good team. But I'm also excited about my new team name. This year I'm the Vancouver Chupacabras.

What's that you say? You don't know what a Chupacabra is? Oh, you gotta find out!

Of course this photo looks kind of like a sleestack.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, and then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"PANDA. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

This is the premise of a new book by Lynne Truss, a UK writer and journalist. She just published a book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It looks pretty interesting. I'm sure I could use it!

Thanks to Tony for the link.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Medal Count

I've just added a medal count to the right column. I'll keep it there throughout the Olympics.

Guess the Dictator or Sit-Com Character

A little Friday fun. Guess the Dictator or Sit-Com Character

I tried it. They got it wrong first, but kept going, then it got it right.

No Olympic Blogging?


It's just silly that Olympic athletes are banned from blogging while in Athens.
The editor of Duke University's alumni publication says: "This is unfathomable to me. I don't understand what the International Olympic Committee might be concerned about. It's a way to engage a wide audience with reporting from the field and therefore generate excitement and interest in the games. This is a means to personalize the Olympics, to excite a constituency with the thrill that comes with the knowledge that a couple of their own are participants in the competition."
He's absolutely right.

I'm glad he didn't stop.

Dino is Back!

He's in New Zealand.

Link via Metafilter.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Another Added

I've been reading Reverend Mike's House of Homiletic Hash for a few weeks and turns out I like it. Therefore I'm reading it. Therefore I added it to my blog roll of blogs I read.

Makes sense, don't it?

New Link Added

I've finally decided to add my new friend DJ Chuang's metablog to my blog roll. Check him out. Good stuff there.

Hope to meet you next time I'm in NoVa, DJ!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Syndicate Fully

Hey Bloggers,

When you syndicate your site, please follow the example of the Church of the Customer feed.

It's just nicer.

In the words of Jay London, "Thhhhank you".

PS. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read this.

US got Broadband

The latest numbers are out by Nielsen/NetRatings for us in the US. 51% of the US population is now on broadband.

So if you're a web designer, or just put stuff up on the web, you've got a 50/50 shot that people in the US will access it using broadband. I think this is really giving the green light to designers, marketers, and communicators (wait, aren't we all communicators?) to think and dream a bit, well, broader, so to speak.

So is it safe to assume that at least here in the US, people more and more want a more dynamic, graphical, high-tech experience? Or are more people just want to get to the sites they normally access quicker? I think this is an interesting question to ponder because if it's the latter, designers shouldn't adjust much at all.

What do you think? Leave a comment.


Did you see that race last night? No, not The Amazing Race, but this amazing race! The Aussies hadn't lost a 4x200 relay in about 12 years. And then...


That was a great race. Personally I like the 4x100 better, but we lost that to the Aussies already.

Unfortunately I found out the result of this race before I saw it. Somebody turned me onto a cool blog from a US Swimmer.

But still, what a race!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Olympics

Is it just me, or am I the only one that feels that while watching the Olympics, they switch from showing adults to kids? This is no slam on gymnastics, and yes most of them are young, but watching the swimmers (yes, they are young also) who look like huge men, then switching to these little girls performing on the floor in gymnastics almost gave me whiplash.

Charley Shrimp

Yahoo! Groups is a cool place. You can join all sorts of groups depending on what you're interested in. I am a member and moderator of a several groups...mostly about TV shows I like.

For instance, one of my favorites is a show on the Food Network called Good Eats. It features Alton Brown and I really like him a lot. However, I haven't seen it in a while because we killed expanded cable in our house several months ago. Sniff.

Anyway, as one of the 1500+ member of the Yahoo! Good Eats Group, I was pointed to a recipe specially made for people without power because of Hurricane Charley. I think this is quite clever, funny, and looks like pretty good eats!

Phones Up

Sometime this morning our phones finally came back online. So that does it for us. We never lost water, got power back after 2 days, phones after 3 days.

But I'm reading how schools will be closed until next Tuesday. Many are under a boil water alert. Thousands still don't have power. There's a shortange on ice so food is spoiling everywhere. The 408 toll road isn't charging becuase State Road 50 still doesn't have trafic lights working. And all that is just in Orange County.

The death toll is up to 19.

Charley didn't hurt me too much, but he's really working over others. Please continue to pray for them. I'm not sure what else I can do.

Not I, now i

I've always wondered why the word "internet" was normally capitalized. Wired News decided today to always use a lowercase "i".

A quote from the article:
But in the case of internet, web and net, a change in our house style was necessary to put into perspective what the internet is: another medium for delivering and receiving information. That it transformed human communication is beyond dispute. But no more so than moveable type did in its day. Or the radio. Or television.
I agree...or should I say, i agree?

Monday, August 16, 2004

You'll Shoot Your Stomach Out

A Christmas Story is my favorite Christmas movie.

This guy should have watched it too.

Good Tip

Embrace your competitors

Forecasting Hurricanes

This is a good article from Wired News on the unpredictability of Hurricanes. An excerpt:
National Hurricane Center meteorologist Robbie Berg said Saturday afternoon from Miami, 24 hours after Charley slammed into Florida's western coast: "Strangely enough, we're better at track forecasting. It's the intensity forecasting we're still struggling with a bit."
He also points out how they gave ample warning to everyone but the media hounded on the projection of it landing in Tampa. Guess that's why it's always good to look at the maps put out by the National Hurricane Center.

Phelps' Record

This is a spoiler. If you want to watch Phelps' race tonight against Ian Thorpe, don't read further.

Phelps won't break Spitz's record. What a bummer. I've been looking forward to watching this, but I'm bummed it ended so soon. Oh well. He's a great swimmer and is only 19. The Thorpedo is really great...and I had a feeling going into the Olympics that Phelps might not make it.



Today was a long day, but very productive. Got up and started cleaning OUR house from Charley's wrath. Again, I'm just amazed at how God spared us. We had one tree down in the back that I spent the morning taking out. A friend came over to help. Good thing too because it was hot and a good bit of work.

The biggest problem was that tree had a bunch of briars wrapped up in it. Man, I was gettin' bit by those briars all day! I pulled out so many of them that I honestly would not have been surprised if Brer Rabbit had come hoppin' out.

Did I mention it was hot? I took off my drenched shirt to do the rest of the yard work this afternoon. Now that's what my neighborhood needed to see! After all they've been thorough, they don't want to deal with some white-skinned redhead walking around with his shirt off. Sorry neighbors!

But we're pretty much done with our yard. Our office isn't opened yet and may not be for most of the week. Sounds like most people in our office are doing okay also. Now that we're better connected we've been hearing more devastating reports around the Orlando area. And I've confirmed that when Charley came though my house, he was either a strong Category 1 or a weak Category 2 hurricane with some 110-115 mph gusts.

I believe it. They say now everyone in Orange County will have power by the end of the week.

I wonder when our phone will work again.

RSS Calendar

This looks like a cool idea. Don't know if I'll use it or not, but the concept is a good one.

I love my SharpReader RSS reader!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Kerry's Non-Visit

Dubya visited Florida today. And rightfully so. Bush said yesterday, "Tomorrow I'm going to travel down to Florida to visit with those whose lives were hurt by Hurricane Charley...I wanted them to know that our federal government is responding quickly to provide aid."

Kerry didn't and won't. It was reported "he decided against going to Florida because he didn't want to cause a distraction. Instead, Kerry said he has instructed his Florida staff to provide food, clothing, shelter or other assistance." Right or wrong, I'm not sure some Floridians will appreciate that.

It's easier for a lot of people to support people who show they care by showing up. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out...If it's a factor at all.

Almost Done

It's been a busy day.  This afternoon we helped a friend take out two large, old oaks that Charley took down.  Also did a lot of trimming on their avocado tree.  It's funny...we got a dozen "Charley picked" limes from one friend, and a half a dozen avocados.  Which is good since we're pretty much out of food.
The power came back on in our house at 4:20.  That's almost 43 hours.  Not too bad.  But we finally threw out most of the stuff in our fridge and freezer today.  But that's okay...it needed it!  Tomorrow though we would have started running out of fresh food (still have cans of tuna, peanut butter, and water).
Still waiting for the phone lines to come up.
We're going to get our yard back in shape tomorrow because we've been helping others instead.  Now that the power is back on we can get the house cleaned better also.
As we drive around Orlando, we see spots that were really just devastated.  They are estimating $3.5 Billion in damage in our county.  We were very fortunate, and are very thankful.  The police finally started directing traffic at intersections today which is good.  People can be just downright rude when there are no stoplights working.
So Charley is almost finally done for us.  Oh, did I tell you that my in-laws have land to build in Punta Gorda?  Thankfully they haven't built yet!
Okay, now that things are going to settle down a bit, I promise to get these blogs back to a shorter length but continued daily as possible.  Thanks for checking in.

Power On!

Phones still down.
More on this developing story later...


Okay, who knows their math well? I'm trying to figure out how much water ended up in my truck after the hurricane. Here's the measurements of the triangle of water: 6.5 inches deep, 67 inches long, 54 inches wide.

So how many inches of rain did it catch? If you know, post the answer in the comment. I'm curious...and can't remember the formulas.

Updated Photos

Not a lot to add, but I have updated the photos. I also just found out that the navigation on those pages to the rest of the site are broken. Dang! It'll take a while to fix them all, but will later.

Back in Middle School

Back at Starbucks today. It's not as busy. We went to church but there's no power there. Most of our friends are back with power, but we still don't have either power or phone. Our mobiles are starting to work a bit better now. I'm anxious to get it back, but I'm trying not to think too much about it. It reminds me of picking teams in gym class and we're last to get picked. Oh well. Ours will come on soon enough I'm sure.

We've given up keeping the fridge cool. We have a cooler and we've got what we need in there (milk, eggs, medicine, etc). The freezer is okay. We bought 2 bags of ice on Thursday and stuck them in the freezer. It's working well.

There was another thunder storm at 4:30 this morning. There are a lot of people who just can't deal with that right now. All we're dealing with is a warm, dark house. We're fortunate indeed. I wonder why God chose to be gracious to us.

But sitting in Starbucks is interesting...everyone is swapping stories which are interesting, but most are trying to "out do" each other. "Oh yeah, well our stuff is blah blah blah". "Yeah, well ours is blah blah". I know it helps to talk, but it's kind of childish sometimes the way some are talking. 'Course I'm no better. Just an observation.

We brought a power strip to Starbucks. Yesterday there were no outlets available so I went to Kinkos. It's been cool because three different people have been charging their cell phones on our strip.

I'll probably help a friend remove two huge oak trees that fell in his yard.


I'm humbled. When we were coming home trying to beat Hurricane Charley to our house, I really didn't expect what was about to happen happen. I was pretty much prepared for the storm. It was more than I expected, but we were ready.

What I wasn't ready for was the popularity that this blog ended up having. On Friday this blog was visited 400 times. Saturday it was about 325. Checking out a few other sites today I found that Andrew, my Uncle, Campus Crusade's help website for the staff of Campus Crusade, and others.

I checked some of my site stats and found people found my blog on AOL, #2 on Google for "sanibel hurricane blogs", and Yahoo (though that one isn't indexing this anymore).

It's been pretty cool to be found worthy of good content. I was only doing it to do it...and to stay in communication with friends and family. Turns out I've got more of those than I thought...I think.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Last Today

Now I'm over in Kinko's. Starbucks was full...and I don't think I'm coming back out tonight so no more posts unless we get power.

We're still out of power and phone. The fridge and freezer are doing okay...but we'll be losing stuff soon I'm sure. I hope the power comes back on. I drained my computer battery and it takes a while to get it back up.

We went next door and warmed up a pot of left over spaghetti on their grill. Then, believe it or not, a tornado watch went up and a huge storm came through. Just what we needed! We're fine from it, but there's a lot of people who can't deal with it. It's still raining right now.

We drove into another neighborhood today and it's the worst we saw. Remarkably most trees missed houses. Not this neighborhood. There's lots of structural damage. It looked really bad. It's amazing how some spots were really bad and others were just okay.

We're going to grill tonight with some friends then figure out how to stay cool in the house tonight.

I got some photos but don't have the time to post them. I'll get them up as soon as I can...probably tomorrow.

Thanks for your prayers. We're doing well. But there are a lot who still need them.

New Photos

I've posted some new photos from Starbucks. I've got more, but don't have time. We need to get back home and do some stuff. Bummer.

I'll be sure to get more photos up later.

Home Depot and Lowe's are packed. Everywhere there is power it's packed. We're probably going to grill food for lunch and dinner today if we have to. No word on when we'll get power back. I might come back to Starbucks this afternoon. It's hot in our house.

Reflecting a bit right now, I'm just so thankful to have friends and family who care. It's been really cool having family call or email, getting comments on the blog entries, etc. I average about 10-15 people a day on this blog. Yesterday I hit 400 visits. I'm up to almost 200 today already. I'm overwhelmed by the concern. I know some of it is like staring at a train wreck. But I know many, if not most of you, really care. And that means a lot.

Feel free to leave comments on the blog. If you're in Orlando reading this, post a comment. Let us know how you're doing.

Until next time (maybe this afternoon?)...

Online Again

I'm at Starbucks in Orlando and online again!

Our power is out and phone lines went out over night. We lost a tree in the back yard that we wanted to lose so that's a good thing! Today we went out and looked around our neighborhood...everything looks okay. Several down or snapped trees, lots of shingles on the ground, etc. But no real structural damage to any house or car.

Around town it's a different story. Went into another neighborhood and it looks like they got a microburst because there's a section that trees and debris are everywhere. We were fortunate.

Most stop lights are out. One intersection they are so out that they are missing.

We took some photos and I'll try and get them up later. But we're okay. Listening to the radio it seems like most are okay. Lots of people without power (but not everyone) and only a few without water. Our mobiles aren't connecting either right now.

I'll keep you updated as possible.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Last Blog for Tonight

UPDATE: Finally got dialup to work...

ORIGINALLY supposed to be posted about 9:40...

I think we're pulling out now at our house, but it's still rockin' and rollin' in north Orlando. Heck, it's still rockin' and rollin' here too. But the weather guys aren't talking about our area as much as places more north. So that's good for us, but man this is bad.

I'm really in awe of what this wind is doing.

We had a long spurt without power there. Saw some bright lights outside. If it's lightning, we're not hearing thunder because of the wind. Could be a transformer, but we're back up on power now. Well, on and off.

And right when I tried to send that, we lost power (9:40 pm). It keeps trying to get back on. This will be posted when it does.

Okay, power it out for good now. Lost it about 9:40. I'm going to try and use dialup to get this one and the last one up. I'll post later when I can. I probably won't dial back in until much later...not much battery life on my laptop!

Waiting for the dialup to work, we looked out the back. We lost part of a tree. Actaully, the tree is a weed. We don't want it and I've been needing to prune it for a while. Guess God started the pruning for me!

UPDATE: Well, I'm having trouble with dialup. So I'll type some more. We're fine. It's over but the wind...and it's not so bad. Very gusty, but no rain. I and a neighbor just walked around the neighborhood. Not too bad. Many shingles and some gutters on the ground. Several trees are down also. It'll be more interesting in the morning. Looks like we made it out just fine.

I'll take photos in the morning and post them as soon as I can.


Water is slightly leaking through the front door window.  I think it's getting some strong winds on it too.  No biggie, but it's leaking some.
The water in the toilet is moving up and down in the commode.
Power keeps blipping, but it keeps coming back on for us.
"Branches and pieces of metal coming at me" says the guy outside on TV.  What a nut.

Just A Little Longer

Looking at the radar on TV, it looks like our worst will be over in about 15-30 minutes.  This is literally the roughest weather I've ever seen.
Wind sounds like thunder.  Our blinking lights are like lightning.
Power keeps going on and off as I type.  I'm submitting these via email so who knows when they'll be posted.


It's so tempting to go to the windows and look.  I wish I could get photos to show you.  Everything is just whipping like crazy, stuff buffeting our house and windows.  So far no trouble though...but man is it rough.
There was a fist-sized rock that hit one window but no damage.
We just had a straight-line wind that was the strongest I've ever seen.
So far though we're okay.  It's on top of us right now!

Couple New Photos

Here they are. Just had 105 mph gust in Orlando reported on TV.

He's Really Here!

71 mph gust just reported about 10 miles from our house.  It's rough out there.  Thankfully it's actually slowing down some in top speed...but this is rough.
The core of the hurricane is right on us.
I'm still surprised we're still with power.

Moving Rooms

We just moved into the middle of our house.  The TV room has too many windows and we just saw too much debris hitting the windows.
It's really coming on us hard right now.

Getting Nasty

The wind is really rough right now.  I have no way of knowing how fast, but the sustained winds are really high...and we're not even in the thick of it yet.  The power only went out for about 1 minute.  We can hear the wind on the roof and the rain really buffeting the windows.
We're in for a bumpy hour or so.  During all this we've been seeking after God.  And He's there.  He's here.  We're still anxious, but He's still God...and in that I can rest.

Very Windy

The wind is really popping us and the power just went out. Maybe my last post for the night.

As I was typing the power came back on. It's really getting heavy outside.

We have a tree frog and a lizard hanging on for dear life on some windows.



Thank you for watching over all that have been in the path of Hurricane Charley so far. I pray for everyone who is yet to experience the largest of it's fury tonight and over the next few days up the coast. Please don't let it go up the coast...let it get out of Florida and leave everyone else alone.

I ask for Your protection. I ask for your provision. Lord, we love and trust You. May this situation bring You glory.


Almost Here

It's 8:00 and we're still expecting the eye to get here in the next hour to an hour and a half. Power has been fine but have dimmed and blipped a couple of times. Still expecting 70+ mph winds when the eye gets here.

The outer bands of the eye are starting to come in now (that's the yellow and red on the radar). It's getting dark so I doubt I can get any more photos taken for a while...but I'll try!

They just reported that the eye right now is putting out 115 mph winds. So we're not out yet!

More as I can post later. I'd be surprised if the power stays on enough for me to keep posting.

New Photos

Got a few new photos posted. Not a lot going on so I went out and took a couple more shots.

Waiting for the 8:00 update. We needed a break from the over-hyped TV news.

More later if we can...


Well, the radar is showing a lot more rain than we're getting right now. I know we've had an inch or two already. I'll try and post a pic of the rain in the back of my truck in a little while.

It's actually really calm outside right now. It's just been touch and go all afternoon. Those sqalls were scary, but all is okay now. We're just bracing for round 3 to come in a couple hours when the eye comes over our house. They say on TV that it'll go just east of the airport. Guess where we live!

At least it all came before we go to Canada. I'd probably be freaking out up there knowing the eye is going over my house!

New Photos

Squall #2 just came through. It wasn't too bad, just VERY windy (my guess is 30 mph gusts). There was one lightning strike that was so close we could almost hear the lightning.

It's weird. The rain comes from all directions, then it calms and gets brighter again. Now the dark clouds are coming again and ready to get mad at us again.

Charley's Here

Charley's here now.  Rain is really coming down and lightning is popping.  The good news is they just said it's moving fast (21 mph) and is getting weaker.  The bad news is the eye will come right over our house around 9:30 tonight.
The rain is moving all different directions in sheets and the wind is really pumping now.  Just had a power blip too...so I'll keep posting as I can!

Squall #2

It's on it's way. It's coming through Disney right now and we can hear it rumbling. After that, it'll get wetter and windier for the next few hours as the eye works it's way to our house.

They are saying our fastest winds will come in around 9-10:00 tonight at about 75+ mph.

No Olympic watching tonight!

Conference Update 2

While I have a chance, I wanted to post an update on how the conference went today. We bailed on this afternoon’s talk.

There were two talks this morning. The first was Steven Sample, President of the University of Southern California. I expected him to be very academic, but he was really personable. I liked him a lot and got his book, “The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership”. He talked about how leaders should “think gray” and “think free”. That is, be slow to judge people and consider outrageous solutions and radical ideas. Discernment is arriving at conclusions slowly…and forced contemplation of the outrageous gets you out of a rut.

The next speaker was Tim Sanders from Yahoo! He was harder to track with, but what I got from him was that we’re all called to lead. He ended with a question of “am I the same man God called?” and a quote “I was sick, now I’m well. There’s work to do.”

We hope to go back in the morning, but we’ll see. It’s a good conference.


Well, we're in a lull right now in the storm. We had an initial squall come through fast and hard. Dumped a lot of rain and some wind. Honestly it wasn't any worse than a typical thunderstorm.

Then watching the news they showed a tornado that didn't touch ground but was just 4 miles from our house. Wow!

There's another squall coming within the hour we expect and it should stay steady after that. The storm is already decreasing so that's good. We've only just begun, but we're praying the reports will tell us that it won't be as bad.

This morning it wasn't going to be too bad. This afternoon we got really bad reports. They're saying they eye should come through Orlando tonight but it's taking a long path to get here so we may only have 75+ mph winds instead of 90.

We're doing fine for now.

WeatherBug Blogs Hurricane Charley

Just found out about this blog from WeatherBug blog on Hurricane Charley.

Some Hurricane Photos

These are some images my wife took on the way home today as I drove.


He made landfall just now "officially" at Sanibel Island at 140 mph.  It's a pretty beach.  It's a barrier island beach of Ft. Meyers.
The good news is that hopefully the winds will start dying down.

Hurricane Update

Just wanted you to know we're home.  The eye is now heading to the Orlando area.  It's just started pouring and windy.  Thunderstorms are popping and a tornado has been spotted about 20 miles from here (International Drive by the attractions).
I'll blog updates as I can.  We're doing okay....just anxious.

Charley Update

All is calm right now...just cloudy, dry, and no wind. But he's still coming for us. They are saying we'll start getting the heavy rain and wind starting from noon to 2 pm. Charley should make landfall about 8 tonight so tonight could be a bumpy ride. We're expecting 50+ mph gusts with sustained winds 30-40 mph

Disney closes at 1:00. They've only closes for most of the day twice: when Hurricane Floyd threatened in '99 and on Sept 11, 2001.

We're going to head on to our conference and we'll see how long we can stay.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Blogging Advice

My friend Andrew give some advice for what bloggers should do: "My advice: lighten up, bloggers. Keep it fun, keep it snarky, don't get too personal, and don't take it too personally. Not that any of you asked, but. I'm just saying."

Nicely put.

Leadership Summit

We're attending the 2004 Leadership Summit put on by Willow Creek. They say there's about 41,000 people attending this conference via satellite around North America.

It was good today. Bill Hybles started us off with a talk on a leader's finest hour being when his or her challenge level is peaking. It was cool to chart my level of leadership challenge...realizing I'm going into a peak now. It's a bit stressful thinking of the things that I have coming up, but it's cool. He then talked about how churches need to involve more volunteers to accomplish the goals of Kingdom work. There's too many churches that are "Clergy Centered Culture" meaning the clergy think everything goes through them instead of encouraging members to minister.

This afternoon Tennessee Lady Vols' Coach Pat Summitt spoke. She was good too. Really cool to hear from a great coach some of her leadership lessons and how she's learned to change her style over her career.

Finally today we closed with TD Jakes speaking on being a leader at every level of ministry. More good stuff. He spoke about how Moses first was among the people, then walked in front of the people, then went above the people.

Tomorrow we have another full day planned...assuming Charley lets us!

I'll check back in later on this...

Here He Comes

Himicane Charley keeps heading for us tonight. He's up to a category 2 and should be a 3 storm when it hits Tampa. We're under an inland tropical wind advisory here in Orlando. We went to 3 grocery stores to get the water, tuna, and new flashlight. We moved everything off the back porch into the garage. I don't expect we'll be down too long, but we could lose power tomorrow. We'll see.

Lord please protect everyone in the path of this storm.

News Source

I just figured out why I like getting news from the Internet rather than from TV. Well, I like TV because of the video feeds. But I hate how on TV all news is so overdramatic.

Hurricane Charley is bearing down on Central Florida. So I turn on the news at 7 this morning to get caught up.  The weather guy comes on and says "if you're just waking up, you're about to find out that the path of this storm is worse than it was projected yesterday. I'll tell you all about it in 4 minutes."

What was more important than giving us the facts of the storm threat? What some lady has in her refrigerator right now.

Viva la Internet!

Ugh, see what that TV guy made me do? He made me speak French!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Oh Charley!

Time for me to start watching Charley, the hurricane.

Email Pet Peeve

I have a small pet peeve about email. No, it's not about spam (though it bugs me). Well, actually it's more about websites that require email.

Now, I'm a marketer. I get it. I know why you want email addresses. But what I hate is when I'm required to give someone my email address when they don't need it. On most blogs if I want to leave a comment I have to give an email. Why? I'm already linking you to my blog and there you can email me (using a form). Maybe I don't want the world to have my email address.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I just don't like giving out email addresses unless I want someone to contact me through email!

Guess I'll go hide in my corner again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


It's a shame that marketing gets a bad wrap. In many ways it should. There's a lot of bad marketers out there. And of course the term marketing covers a lot of areas: promotional strategy, sales, advertising, etc.

I've always been interested in marketing. When marketing is done right, it's a good thing. It's a very valuable thing. One person has a need. One person creates a product to fulfill that need. Another person (though not always needed) connects the two together allowing commerce to happen. Unfortunately there are marketers who have production in their best interest: pushing products onto people by creating needs.

I read today at the Decent Marketing blog the following:
"the top five areas people feel need government regulation are 1. water pollution, 2. toxic wastes, 3. air pollution, 4. advertising, and 5. nuclear energy. He commented that 4 out of the 5 are things that can actually kill you ... and then there's advertising. I liked his point that marketing has become a game of wits against the consumer."

It's too bad that this point about marketing is valid. But I still believe there are needs and products that just need to be connected to each other. But this connection needs to be done well.

This is what keeps me going.

Public Grace

It's interesting to me that we tend to enjoy finding out who the Christians are in the public eye.  We like to find out what music artists, or what athletes, or what politicians are Christians.  I admit, I like to know also.  But what I also notice is that we (myself included sometimes) are very quick to judge these people when they do something that we think they shouldn't do.
Some examples: we see a professing Christian cuss on TV, we see a professing Christian wear a dress "down to there", we see a professing Christian get caught up in something that causes pain to the faithful.
'Tis sin indeed.  But what I notice though is that we're so quick to judge them.  I wonder why that is.  What if they look back on those moments in repentance and think (and pray) "man, that was a real bad moment for me...a real growth opportunity for me".  I sure would hate for my life to be in the public all the time so that others could catch every poor decision I make and use it against me.  I'm sure as I live my life out in the blog I'll be judged by some.  Being judged isn't fun.
I think I'm going to be a little slower to judge people.

Bonnie & Charlie?

I think the National Hurricane Center blew a great opportunity in naming storms this year. Right now there are two hanging out around Florida named Bonnie and Charlie. Could have been Bonnie and Clyde instead.

Oh well. I just hope they both stay out to sea, but I don't think that's going to happen to both.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Online Ministry Chat

forministry.com's eQuip will be hosting a chat entitled "Everything You've Wanted to Ask about Online Ministry" next Monday. It looks interesting and I might just have to check it out.

Thanks to dj chuang for the link.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


Stonehenge don't need no stinkin' badgers.

You ever seen what badgers really do? I think they should be more concerned about the snake!

Argh! A snake! Wretched snake...

Wonder Wander

We sung one of my favorite hymns today at church. The whole song is good, but this stanza gets me every time because it describes me perfectly...
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Why am I so prone to wander? I know why theologically, I mean emotionally. I don't know if I'll ever really understand it...but I know He has sealed me.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


A particular company today got me all worked up. They were to come and service our AC system. It's fine, just a routine appointment. We agreed last week they would come today between 10 and noon.

I already don't like these kinds of appointments because I have to plan a chunk of time out of my schedule to wait for them. Today was okay though because we decided to work in the garage and yard.

So we were out there all morning long. They never showed up.

I came inside and checked our messages to find out they called at 10:45 to confirm the appointment. Confirm the appointment? Ugh. I thought it was confirmed when we set it. I called to find out what's going on and they said it's their policy that if we don't answer the phone, they won't come.

So not only do I have to be tied to my house for that amount of time for them to come, but I have to be tied to my phone as well?

They offered me $5 off.

I think I'm taking my business elsewhere.

Web Evangelism Bulletin

One of the best eNewsletters out there is put out by my friend Tony Whittaker called the Web Evangelism Bulletin. It's been one of my favorite eNewsletters because not only does he cover tips on how to do web ministry, but also web design tips. For example, in this weeks issue, he talks about Andrew Careaga's relaunch of E-vangelism.com, mention of EveryStudent.com's student testimony on video, and a cool color matching tool for design.

I encourage you to subscribe to Tony's WEB eNewsletter or XML feed. Tell him 'ol orangejack sent ya!

Friday, August 06, 2004


I found out about a great new blog today from The Church of the Customer blog. And this post from this guy is really funny. He's a pastor in Texas, but has great wit.

And he's talking in this post about Hank Hill and religion. Now that's great talent...and gets my interest!

Chart Junkie

Are you a chart junkie? I find this interesting...though silly at times.

Link from Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Youth & Technology Forum

We hosted a "Youth & Technology Forum" today at work. I felt it was a good time of open discussion and insight. We invited 5 students (one middle schooler, two high schoolers, and two college students) to come and have an open discussion about technology and how we can learn from them so that we can minister better. I've typed up some of my notes and posted it online.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Sick Commercial

Am I the only one who hates that Pepto-Bismol commercial where there's 5 people in an office in line to make copies and they break into a dance and song about the stuff? They're fanning their butts, trying to keep from throwing up, among other things. But they're having a great time singing and dancing about throwing up and such? Ugh.

I need some pepto every time I see it. So maybe their marketing is actually working better than I thought.

Family TV

Maybe because I don't have kids I'm a little more cynical of this top 10 best and worst shows on primetime network TV list published this week. I'm glad there's a watchdog group like this, but I gotta tell ya, most of these shows listed I've never seen...or even heard of.

It's interesting they think some of the top shows for families is Everybody Loves Raymond, American Idol, and Bernie Mac. Don't get me wrong, I like those shows. Raymond's parents, though funny, really paint a horrible marriage (for the most part). AI is entertaining and I guess it's good for kids. The Mac is funny too, but, really? Great for kids?

As for the bad shows, I can agree with some of them. That 70s Show is horrible. Hate it. Don't like Fear Factor or The Surreal Life (the first one was funny...the second one was horrible). But Two and a Half Men has grown on me. I can see why it's not good for families though.

Nothing else I really want to say on this. Just wanted to share my thoughts on it.

When does football start?

Meta Tags

They're back! I knew they would be. Most of you reading this won't care...and some of you reading this won't even know what a meta tag is. That's okay. But suffice it to say, in web marketing, meta tags used to be one of the big ways you get high rankings in search engines. Then people abused (spammed) search engines with bad meta tags so the search engines stopped looking at them. I continued to encourage people to still use them, but not count on them. They are a good discipline at the least.

Yahoo is starting to look at them again.

For more web marketing tips for ministry, read the article Dr. Ralph Wilson and I co-authored last year on the subject. I need to update that sucker sometime!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Birthday Cards

I got a collection of birthday and e-cards today (so far). This list:
My wife gave me a dam card (it had a dam on it...relax!)
My office...and a cake!
President of Campus Crusade, Steve Douglass
My church
A church that supports us
My chiropractor
Victoria Secret
Jury Summons

Can you find the two that don't belong?


What kind of dog are you?

I'm an Ibizan Hound...says I should never be shouted at!

So stop yelling.

Tom & Jerry

You remember the cartoon Tom & Jerry? I used to love that cartoon. I remember neither of them could talk, then after a summer break I tuned in for a new season...and they were talking! We used to joke that they took speach classes over the summer.

That's when Tom & Jerry jumped the shark despite what the website says.

Well, another Tom & Jerry is now speaking...in the blogsphere. Stop by and say hello. Tell 'em 'ol orangejack sent you!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Going to Market

I just find this list interesting.

I'm #20. What are you (assuming you're in the US)?

Your Name Here

You ever googled your own name? My guess is about 2 in 5 of you do. I'm one of the 5, so who else has done it?

Come on, fess up!

My name is too bland and common to come up high. Add Patricia's name to mine we we're #1. Add campus or crusade to my name and I'm back at #1.

So how do you google your name?


Marcus Vick was kicked out of Virginia Tech this week because of drugs and all sorts of trouble.

Michael Vick will grow his afro until the Falcons win the Super Bowl.

Vicks will help make it all feel better.

Got it all straight now?

I hope they do.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Cancel Christmas?

Turns out the Burgher Meister Meister Burgher lives in South Africa.

Follow-up Songs

This is a great list. I love the one-hit wonders, and this is pretty creative. I wish I could come up with others...give me time.

Thanks to Andrew for the link.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Character in Suffering

One of the passages our pastor taught on today was Romans 5:1-5. He focused on the progression Paul talks about: suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.

Well I bring this up because it's something I'm working through right now. Earlier this year we were in a financial situation where we really suffered. But God took us through that time and we persevered. You know what? God produced in us character and a trust that He will take care of us no matter what. He provided. It's interesting though because his provision may not have been financial support, but however He provided for us would have developed a hope in Him that He will take care of us. (does that make sense? It's getting late).

Right now we're raising support to go on a mission trip. Sometimes I feel we'll never make it. I've already forgotten the hope He gave me earlier this year.

It was good to be reminded again today.

Stock Photos

A few years ago the web team I worked on ordered a CD full of head shots that we could use on the web. It was cool...at first. The more we looked at those photos the more we realized we'd seen them before. I'll never forget the time I ran across one of the heads I was about to use on a website in an online ad. D'oh! Then I saw that same guy in a magazine ad. Then I saw him again on a store flier.

I learned my lesson in stock photography. Too bad they didn't.

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