Friday, December 31, 2004

Blogging about Blogs

A new blog to watch has just come online. It's called Blogging about Blogs run by Ken Leebow. I'll be watching, won't you?

Happy New Year!

Hope you have a great 2005. 2004 seemed sorta short. Stay awake for it.

Or just do what my friend Karin does and collect $75 of Starbucks gift certificates! I'm not anti-Starbucks or anything. In fact, one of our local Starbucks lifted the fees to get online after Hurricane Charley. They are in a plaza that still had of the few places that had power in the city and they didn't charge to get online. Class move.

But for my coffee, I'd rather go to other coffee places though.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Tsunami

I, like probably most of you, have watched and read the shocking developments with the lethal and devastating earthquake/tsunami combo that has now killed over 120,000 people. This photo is a before/after shot of the shoreline of Banda Aceh in Indonesia.

Watch a home video of a wave coming in.

Pray for these folks. After going through 3 hurricanes in Florida, they seem strong breezes compared to the devastation in the South Pacific.

Do something. You probably know there's some stuff you can do to help out. There's been plenty of reporting on ways to help. Kudos to Google for making it simple to help and Amazon for partnering with the Red Cross. Campus Crusade has also set up a way to give.

Connect. I read today that one company is offering free text messaging to and inside the effected Asian countries.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Caption This

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Another Christmas Story

We're all familiar with the Christmas story that Linus Luke tells. I once read that is the perspective of what Christmas morning was like from the world's point of view.

Have you ever read the Christmas story from the spiritual world's point of view?
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Kind of a different perspective, huh?

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004

A Christmas Story

I just gotta say that I'm only 72 minutes into the TBS 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story and I'm loving it.

Just now..."Notafinga!"

If I weren't so tired, I think I'd liveblog the movie with favorite quotes.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

'Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!'

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the courses they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Scary Santa

Check out the rest of the photo gallery.

Thanks to SteelerDirtFreak for the photos.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Where In The World?

I've been getting that question a lot this week. And rightfully so! Depending on when it's asked this week I've got many different answers.

If you asked Monday morning I would have said "Surrey, British Columbia".

If you asked Monday afternoon or Tuesday I would have said "Seattle, Washington".

If you asked Tuesday I would have said "flying over the Rockies" or "stuck in the Denver airport" or "somewhere over the US flying to Orlando".

If you ask today I will answer "at home in Orlando!"

If you ask tomorrow, I will answer "somewhere on I-95 North" or "in the middle of nowhere in Florida", "in the middle of nowhere in Georgia" or "in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina" or "Rock Hill, South Carolina" when we finally get there tomorrow night.

What a crazy week!

Time Zones

Blogger is funny (or maybe it's just me). This morning I posted and noticed the time stamp was on Pacific time. So I manually changed them to East Coast time. Then I went in and changed the settings so that now it's always posting as East Coast. But I had to republish the entire blog so EVERY post now has the East Coast time stamp.

Oh well. So now when you read my posts from Vancouver, subtract 3 hours from the time stamp to figure out when I actually posted. Or not ;-)

UPDATE: Okay, so I realize now I could have just republished the index page and not the entire blog. Either way, it's goofy.

Merry Christmas Adam

Okay, so Festivus isn't your cup of tea? Well hope you have a Merry Christmas Adam today. What's that you say? Oh, well, if tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then what would that make today? Christmas Adam! Adam did, after all, come before Eve.

Happy Festivus!

Did you know today is Festivus? It's sort of a new holiday of sorts. If you take part in a Festivus celebration, decorate with the Festivus Pole (not a tree because it requires decoration and tinsel is found to be distracting) and be prepared for the "Airing of Grievences" where you tell everyone how disappointed you are in them, and the "Feats of Strength" where the head of the family tests his or her strength against other family members.

So, uh, enjoy yourself and have a Festivus For the Rest of Us!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

College Football Playoffs Right Around the Corner

Both CBS and Fanblogs are reporting that the Associated Press has pulled it's poll from consideration in the Bowl Championship Series. Read: The BCS ain't gonna use the AP anymore!

So lets see, the Charlotte Observer pulled out of the BCS computer rankings. ABC lost the rights to FOX to show the BCS in a few years...

Next up: NCAA Div I-A Playoffs.

The Year in Pictures


A Charlie Brown Christmas

I wanted to post this myself, but thanks Jenks for doing the work for me!
I will refer you to the greatest Christmas cartoon of all time: "A Charlie Brown Christmas." In it, the sensitive-to-a-fault Charlie Brown laments the loss of the spirit of Christmas with it's shiny glitter and pagents as hollow as the aluminum trees. Lucy says that Christmas is a scam anyway run by a big eastern syndicate. The cartoon was made back in 1965!

So, Charlie Brown figures all hope is lost as even his dog, falling prey to a decorating contest, doesn’t understand him. He cries out, "Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about!?!" Linus tells Charlie Brown that he can tell him what Christmas is all about (it's Luke 2: 8-14 for those of you keeping score):
And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night, and lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. The glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not; For behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born on this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men."
And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2004

It's a Wonderful Life in 30 Seconds with Bunnies

Just what it says.

Thanks (I think) to Steve for the tip.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Canada: A Retrospective

Last week I wrote about my last day working in Vancouver with TruthMedia. Although we haven't made it out of Canada yet, I wanted to share with you what our time here has been like (we leave for Seattle on Monday, fly to Orlando on Wednesday, then drive to South Carolina on Friday for Christmas).

I've posted an article off about our impact and results here. In the article you'll find some of the stories, statistics, and specific projects I worked on.

Just for fun, I'm indexing here a few posts from while we've been here (check them all out, most links are short):

Repost: Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas

This just needed to posted again.

Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas

Favorite Christmas Song

What's your favorite Christmas song?

I've been thinking about it and I'm not sure what mine is. There's songs I love to sing in church like "O Holy Night" and "Joy to the World" (the church version, not about some bullfrog owned by Jeremiah!). But would they be my favorite? I don't sing them spontaneously this time of year.

Maybe it's "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" or "Sleigh Ride" because I usually break out into a verse or two of those without prompting.

Of course, one of my top ones is "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC. It's got, what I think (and some others do too) the best line in all Christmas songs:
It's Christmas time in Hollis Queens
Mom's cooking chicken and collard greens
Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese
And Santa put gifts under Christmas trees
Another fun one is "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas". Every time they say "say hello to the friends you know", I like to use the Seinfeld "Hellllloooooo" the way they said it when talking about the way a belly button would speak.

Honorable mention has to go to "Mele Kalikimaka", thanks to Chevy Chase and "Baby It's Cold Outside", even if technically it's not a Christmas song (though that's the only time I ever hear it).

So what's your favorite? Leave a comment?

Someone on TheTigerNet board asked a question yesterday that I thought I'd bring over here for discussion.

Grow Up!

Johnny Hart and his BC Comic strip took a look at when a child becomes an adult. I can't agree more! I've never figured this out.

I also think it's funny.

Star Wars Action Figures Commercial


Thursday, December 16, 2004

BCS Mess

The BCS is always a mess. I wrote this last year and turns out, I still feel the same way!

If I were King of NCAA Division I-A Football, here’s what I would do:
  1. Find 300 people who are part of the press who represent a good cross section of the country. They can work in television, radio, or publishing. They, collectively, have seen every team, every play, every game. Each week they collectively vote to let us know their opinion of how each of the 117 teams rank among each other. I shall call this the "Press Ranking".
  2. Find a representative from every school. 117 members. They can be a coach, AD, school president. I don't care whom, but every school gets one representative. Each week they collectively vote to let us know their opinion of how each of the 117 teams rank among each other. I shall call this the "School Ranking".
  3. Find 10 independent computer rankings that are not connected to a newspaper, television station, or radio station. Each week they collectively publish their rankings to let us know their opinion of how each of the 117 teams rank among each other. These 10 rankings shall be averaged together to create one ranking. I shall call this the "Computer Ranking".
Each member of each group may come up with their rankings in any way they like. I don't care what criteria they use. Every week I would have in my hands 3 rankings representing a thorough cross-section of the country. They have seen every game from their own perspectives. They have ranked every team as they see fit.

I will now take these 3 rankings and average each together giving me all 117 teams ranked in order as an average ranking. I shall call this the "Kings Ranking".

The Kings Ranking shall be used by the top bowl game to be rotated every year. This bowl game will take the top two from the Kings Ranking to play each other. The winner of this game shall be deemed the King's National Champion. All other bowl games may choose whomever they feel they would like. Conferences may have tie-ins, however no bowl team may have a .500 record or worse. Qualified teams from other conferences shall fill spots vacated by unqualified sub-.500 teams.

The King is happy. All is well in the land. And they all lived happily ever after.

Or just have a stinkin' playoff.

Track the NFL Playoff Race

I don't know what's more interesting at this point:Man that AFC is tough. Man that NFC stinks.

Track the NFL Playoff Race here.

Yahoo! Traffic

Just another reason to love Yahoo! They are doing a great job these days giving me stuff I like. They now offer live traffic reports on customized maps you enter.

Thanks to the SEO & Web Marketing News blog for the tip.

Verse of the Day

If you have a newsreader like, SharpReader, bloglines, or Firefox's live bookmarks, you should consider adding the verse of the day from the BibleGateway.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my posts on RSS and publishing blogs and get yourself hooked up with something!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

iPod My Photo

You know those cool silhouettes that the iPod advertising uses? Well now you can get your own iPod photo. For the truly hip (and for $20) you can have your own iPod-ified photo of yourself (or someone else). Check out the samples they've done too.


Thanks to David Pogue of the NY Times for the tip.


I was going to start by saying that I'm back online. Then I realized that would be obvious because you're reading this post. Now I realize that I just did it anyway. Dang.

Well, I'll be off and on for a while...maybe on a bit for the next couple days then wind back down at this weekend and next week thru the holidays.

So what I wanted to write is about haircuts (see the title of this post?). I got my hair cut today. Over the years I've had someone else cut my hair (I do it myself at home often) I've noticed a few things that I thought were blog-worthy.

Here in the Vancouver area, I go to a place that is employed by mostly Asian women. My understanding is that there are a lot of Chinese people who come to this part of Canada but they must be working within a time frame to stay. So I guess it's pretty easy work for them to get. I've never had to wait there and they do a good job. What I found funny though is that last time I was there I had to slouch in the chair. The chair wouldn't go lower and she was too short to get the top of my head. I just found that funny.

In Orlando, they are mostly Hispanic. In Northern Virginia they were mostly Asian. I wonder why many of these establishments are employed by mostly minorities. Just wondering out loud. I hope that isn't offensive. It's certainly a far cry from my small hometown in South Carolina. There you had your choice between the guy with one leg or the guy with one eye. You'd think the guy with one leg would be better, but his place was like a PG-13 (sometimes R) version of Floyd's place in Mayberry. He was often more interested in the local gossip with the guys sitting there smoking and drinking coffee all day than cutting hair. But the guy with one eye, well, you always took a chance at a lopsided cut.

I just find it all amusing.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Done in Canada

Yesterday was the last day of work for us here in Vancouver. I'll write more about it later. But I did want to say this...

Wow. What a great time. Yesterday at work was good as I was able to close out all the stuff I've been working on during this trip. I was one of the last to leave the office yesterday. It is always dark in the office and one of the only lights on was at my desk. I packed up everything and cleared my desk. Then I reached out and turned off the lamp. It was like the end of a poignant series finale of a sitcom when you know it is the end of something good.

Before I walked away, I just looked at the dark, clean desk and just paused. "Thank you, God." I then walked outside in the dark, cold pouring rain. Exhausted. But God did a good thing here. I'm so thankful to be a part of what He's doing.

So tomorrow we leave for a few days of vacation, then back here for a few days to pack up, then down to Seattle for a day or two before we fly home on the 22nd. Then the Christmas holidays! So the blogging may be off an on for the rest of the month, but I'll blog as I can.

NFL Fashion Police

They are at it again. They just fined Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins $5000 because he wore red socks. Red socks! Of course he had the best game of the season.

Remember they kept Peyton Manning 2 years ago from wearing black shoes.

I'm really glad the NFL does this. I mean, there's just no place in sports for black shoes and red socks!

Smiling for Jesus

You just can't make this up:
PHOENIX, AZ -- Apparition's of Jesus have appeared on walls and in chapels. Now, in Arizona, a patient at a dentist's office says he sees one on an x-ray.

The dentist, and staff at a Phoenix dentist's office agree that the x-ray contains an image resembling Jesus.

The patient came in for a routine exam on Tuesday and when the x-ray was developed, he saw the image of Jesus.

The patient describes himself as a devout Christian, but says he's never before seen Jesus in an x-ray.

By the way, the patient's exam was perfect.

Christmas Recipes. Yahoo!

The Yahoo! Search blog has some Holiday Recipes and the buzz they are creating in the search engine.

So I understand why people are looking for sugar cookie and fruitcake recipes, but I wouldn't have guessed that marzipan and chestnuts are top searches. Go figure.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Levels of Coffee

I think I've cracked the code:

Caption This

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Red, Blue, Do You Know Where They Are?

Check out this fun quiz that will test your knowledge of where all the states belong on the map.

I took it once and got a 90% score. I did it again and went down to 86%. D'oh!

From The Map Room.

December Update

The following just went out for our December update:
Merry Christmas! This is a time to celebrate and remember that it was God who did the ultimate for us at Christmas. He humbled Himself to come be with us, to spend time with us, to understand us.

We had no idea at the beginning of the year what God had prepared for us. We have experienced God’s faithfulness in amazing and numerous ways.

Read our December update.

Merry Christmas!

Rob & Patricia

Advice for Elvis

It's a fact that a lot of people "feel blue" around the Christmas holidays. I can understand why. Lot's of merry and cheer and whatnot. But not everyone feels that way during the holidays. Being with family and loved ones sometimes won't work out, or it's not the situation it could be or once was. Even without the blues, Christmas can certainly be stressful!

So what would the doctor prescribe? Exercise and religious activities for starters.

I wonder what kind of religious exercises I could do...

A Christmas Rant

Brought to you by Reverend Mike.


Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever

Analogies & Metaphors found in High School Essays

Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
~ Sue

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
~ Chuck

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
~ Joseph

She caught his eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door shut.
~ Rich

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
~ Russell

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
~ Paul

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
~ Roy

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
~ Chuck

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
~ Russell

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
~ Unknown

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
~ Jack

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
~ Gary

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
~ Jennifer

The politician went unnoticed, much like the period after the D R on a Dr. Pepper can.
~ Wayne

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
~ Paul

John and Mary had never met, kinda like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
~ Russell

The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
~ Barbara

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
~ Unknown

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Allergic Asthma

Starting last Thursday morning my chest became tight and I was short of breath occasionally while I was at the gym. I didn't worry too much about it, but it kept up over the weekend and this week. We had hoped that I would be better on my own and could see a doctor in the states later (easier on the paperwork and insurance, etc). There were some days better than others so I thought it'd be okay.

So today it was still bothering me a good bit and by then I wasn't feeling good overall. I had hoped it was just something like anxiety and my feeling bad was just mind games I was playing ("I'm not breathing well, my chest is tight...wait, what's that pain in my left arm? What's going on?"). That sort of thing.

So enough was enough and we went to a clinic today. He checked me out and said he doesn't think it's cardiac at all. Blood pressure is fine, I didn't have symptoms of heart trouble when exercising or anything. He thinks it has nothing to do with it. Instead, he thinks my "lung tubes" are in spasm. He thinks it's some sort of allergic asthma to mold. It's probably gotten worse over time that I've been here and there's a lot of it around now (he says). So he gave me a spray inhaler and said I should improve right away, within a day or two at the most. I've taken it twice so far and I can tell I'm doing much better already. We'll see over the next couple days. But I think that's all it is. Those tubes are tight so my chest muscles are tight and working harder and sometimes I get short of breath. This spray will allow those muscles to relax.

So my guess this spray will keep everything going well and it'll all fix itself up either sometime before or after we leave in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

RSS Comics

If you are into RSS and like the comics, you should check out Tapestry - Your Favourite Comics by RSS. I've got BC, Dilbert, and Peanuts in RSS now. I just wish they did FoxTrot then I'd be set.

Monday, December 06, 2004

It's Snowing

Yeah, I know. No big deal. But it's 78 F in Orlando right now (that's, uh, about 70 R) and that's what I'm not used to this time of year. When I went outside this morning I realized it was snowing a bit...more like flurries. On the drive in it got worse in some places. It wasn't sticking anywhere but on some rooftops. Right now there are some bigger flakes and it's just pretty. Not sticking anywhere really, but it's still nice to see.

Breaking News: King Tut Not From Arizona

It's been reported in many places today that King Tut is on his way back to the States.

You may recall that songwriter and Egyptologist Steve Martin put to music all we ever know remember about the famous palindrome-nicknamed king of Egypt.

Today the same Steve Martin made a confession (free sub req). He's not an Egyptologist. And King Tut was not from Arizona as Martin once claimed. Other retractions:
He did not live in a "condo made of stone-a."

King Tut did not "do the monkey," nor did he "move to Babylonia."

King Tut was not a honky.

He was not "buried in his jammies."
In other related news, it turns out that the song by Martin did not come from years of studying the life of King Tut.
...I wrote it in my car while driving - and you probably won't believe this - I wrote it in less than 15 minutes. The song broke musical ground in that if you look at the sheet music, there are asterisks where the notes should be, because the song has no tune. You will realize this if you hum the song in your head right now. This of course angered many so-called legitimate songwriters who have to make up melodies to gowith their lyrics.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Bowl Schedule Set

The entire NCAA 2004-05 Bowl Schedule is set. Key games I want to watch are:Gotta love some of these bowl names nowadays. Now don't get me wrong, I'll watch the rest, but these are the most interesting to me. What bowl game do you most look forward to?

Irreverent Question?

If you are a God-fearing person, is it theologically okay to say that God has scared the hell out of you?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Merry Xmas

Is it okay to use the term "Xmas" instead of "Christmas"? Is it wrong to "take the 'Christ' out of Christmas" by using an "X"?

Depends. How do you see it? Historically or personal perception?

Historically it's no big deal. In fact, it is very correct to use Xmas. The letter X is the Greek letter chi, the first letter in the word "Christ" in Greek. Wikipedia does a good job explains it. So does and

Perception though can be different. Many see it as a symbol of the commercialism that has overtaken the meaning of Christmas. I can see this perception and there's a lot of validity to it. However, I don't see it that way anymore. I don't have a problem with Xmas. In fact, I like the abbreviation.

So I guess you could say "As a Xian, that is, a follower of X, I wish you a Merry Xmas!"

Sounds more like a formula where X=Christ.

It sure is better than the latest alternative to wish someone a Happy RamaHanuKwanzMas!

It's a Hokie ACC

Virginia Tech beats Miami 16-10 for the ACC Championship.

No one predicted this, but since I'm married to a Hokie, I'm happy. Bet the Virginia Governor who fought to get the Hokies in the ACC is happy.

Congrats, Hokies. See you in the Sugar Bowl.

New Temperature Scale

Today I have officially crossed over into "really geeky" territory. Of course I am, after all, an Einstein! I've created a new temperature scale. You see, I'm tired of converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa. So, I've created a temperature scale that is based on what I call "normal living temperatures". I like that Celsius goes from 0-100 based on water freezing and boiling. I like that logic. But "living temperatures" go from about 0-38. Fahrenheit never made sense to me for living temperatures. It goes from 32-100. That's not much better.

So I want to have a scale that goes from 0-100 in living temperatures. What I did was start with 0 Celsius and end with 100 Fahrenheit, then scale it throughout to get the Rob Temperature Scale.

Because I don't want to post every degree change, here's the comparisons:

100 F = 100 R = 38 C
90 F = 85 R = 32 C
80 F = 71 R = 27 C
70 F = 56 R = 21 C
60 F = 41 R = 16 C
50 F = 26 R = 10 C
40 F = 12 R = 4 C
32 F = 0 R = 0 C

0 C = 0 R = 32 F
5 C = 13 R = 41 F
10 C = 26 R = 50 F
15 C = 40 R = 59 F
20 C = 53 R = 68 F
25 C = 66 R = 77 F
30 C = 79 R = 86 F
35 C = 93 R = 95 F
38 C = 100 R = 100 F

So how did you spend your Saturday morning?

Friday, December 03, 2004


My Uncle emailed me an article this week. It originally appeared in Sojourners Magazine and it's entitled The Power of Reconciliation by Jim Wallis, founder of the magazine. It's a great read. Some quotes to tease you:
[Sojourners decided to do a] cover story in the magazine titled "The Plan to Save America." [Dr. Bill Bright] was publicly embarrassed by our exposé and the whole experience...we also differed on almost every political question from Vietnam to domestic issues, a bitter and public polarization grew up between Bill Bright and myself.

The bad blood continued for many years.

More than two decades later, Bright and I found ourselves...coincidentally, at the same hotel. I called Bill and we agreed to a walk on the beach together the next morning.
Read the rest of the amazing story of what happened next.

Also check out Keith's post about it also.

Vote Fanblogs

Have you seen the 2004 Weblog Awards? They have all sorts of categories for best blog blah blah blah. Anyway, I want to campaign for my favorite sports blog, Fanblogs.

Now, I'm not going to ask you to go vote for them without sending you to the Fanblogs site itself! So go browse and see if it's not the best sports blog out there.

Now go vote. You can vote once a day.

BTW, if you're into syndication, you should check out all the different feeds they have.

More Time

I wrote about time yesterday. Today I found a really cool map that shows where the sunlight and darkness is in the world in real time. Just check it out. It's cool.

There's also a desktop application you can use to monitor time zones called Qlock that I've been using since I got to Vancouver.

Thanks to The Map Room for the link to the world map.


It's funny. Sometimes many people are talking about a subject I was just thinking of posting about. Okay, this time it was just two people, but anyway...

My wife talked about Starbucks vs Other Cafes and I have to say that I agree with her. Starbucks has done a great thing for coffee drinkers. They branded coffee as an experience, not just a drink. I just wish their drink tasted better. But it's about status, not the flavor. For instance, Kelly Rippa drinks a Starbucks every morning (see how it's just called "a Starbucks" and not "a cup of coffee"?).

So, I drink my coffee black...just the way God intended. What? Don't believe me? Check this out:

Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

In case you missed it, he's saying that it's evil to make dark things light (like by adding milk to coffee) or making something bitter sweet (like adding sweet sugar to bitter coffee). It's just supposed to be black.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

New Additions

I've added some new gadgets in my blog gutter (that column over there on the right). Just scroll down a bit to see them.

I've added the current weather for my hometown of Orlando (they didn't offer it for Vancouver, but I'm leaving in a few weeks anyway...but you can still know the weather here).

I've also added a clock so you can see what time it is where you are. Like I said, they are gadgets. There's also a link under the clock that gives you the time zones I'm tracking.

The gadgets came from They offer a couple more I'm not using you might want to play with.

More on clocks from an earlier post.

Streaming Christmas Music

I'm beginning to look a lot for Christmas (music)
everywhere on the web.

Did you sing along? Anyway, I've been looking for good streaming Christmas music to have on in the background while at work. I wish I had something to amplify the music from my laptop at home too. Oh well.

So I went back to a site I used a long time ago from Launch. They are pretty cool because you can join them (for free through Yahoo) and then they will play music you like. You rate each song and it learns what you really like and don't like so it'll continue making your customized channel what you like.

They have several Holiday Stations that you can customize as you go also. It's been pretty cool. I've been checking out the Traditional and Rock holiday channels. I think I like the Traditional better so far. I might even venture into the Latin, Pop, Jazz, and Gospel.

So do you know of any other good streaming Christmas music?

UPDATE: I checked out Rock and there were a few I liked, but found myself telling it not to play the song ever again a lot. Now I'm on Pop and It's Hilary Duff singing Santa Claus is Commin' To Town. Maybe I should just stick with Traditional and check out Jazz, Latin, and Gospel.

Ricky Says No

In the on-going saga about Ricky Williams, he told the NFL ah furgit-it.

He's now "no longer interested". What's his deal?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Is this a Good Thing?

Let the jokes fly.

Report: NBC set to land Mark Burnett's upcoming Martha Stewart reality show
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Burnett and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the corporation that operates Stewart's empire, are close to signing a deal with NBC for a primetime reality series that would star the soon-to-be ex-con and be produced by Burnett...According to The Reporter, the specifics of the series are 'still murky,' but it would feature a elimination competition format similar to Burnett's Survivor and The Apprentice series.
I wouldn't make this stuff up.

Calendar Project

Found a fun and free project you can do at home (or at work like Amanda and I did yesterday). We needed a little break and decided to give it a try. Actually I can think of other applications for this with creative marketing, but that's for another time (and trying to justify us doing it at work!).

Anyway, what you do is visit the 12 sided calendar website and you can download and print out a cutout to make a little desktop calendar. It's pretty cool. You can do it for any year and different languages.

We then got creative and stuck a magnet inside it and put it up on a metal wall.

Have fun!

Thanks to Digital Inspiration for the, well, inspiration.

There's a Bush in Canada

It's been no secret that there's been a rift between Canada and the US. Although I've gotta say, most Canadians I talk to are excited to meet us. Of course we get different reactions. One person told us, "When you get back to Florida, take a message with you from me: 'Get Bush Out!'" Yet another said, "I like Yankees". I had to correct him in that he shouldn't call a Southern Man a "Yankee", but I knew what he meant. Then another said, "You're from Florida? What happened with those chads?" I'm thinking, "Get over it already! We did!"

Anyway, Bush was in Canada today and there was quite a stir. There were of course protests but that's no surprise. Both Bush and Prime Minister Martin did have some fun with it though.
...the two leaders made light of the demonstrations, with Martin remarking jokingly that Bush seemed to draw larger crowds than he does.

"I don't know if that's good or bad," Bush said. "It all depends on who shows up I guess."

In another quip, Bush expressed appreciation for Canadians who greeted him on the route from the airport waving "with all five fingers."
Love that Bush quote!

So the main quarrels between the two have been Iraq, ban on beef and softwood imports from Canada, and government name-calling and insulting of Bush. They didn't make much headway on softwood, but there should be some changes for the beef soon. Bush even insisted on having a Canadian steak. As for the "top down insulting", well they're making strides to make amends:
In the run-up to the [Iraq] war [that Chretien refused to take part in], a spokeswoman for then-Prime Minister Chretien referred to Bush as a moron.

Just two weeks ago a Liberal member of Parliament who has repeatedly denigrated the U.S. president stomped on a Bush doll on television; Martin expelled her from the Liberal caucus.
So I think things are going well and I think they're getting better.

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