Friday, April 29, 2005

Big Ben Blogs

But I can't find the RSS feed. Bummer.

Ben Roethlisberger Blogs Life in the NFL

I know becuase Jackie told me so.

UPDATE: Found the RSS feed.

Over-Caffeinated Coffee

Want to know what happens when coffee makers get too hyped up on it's own caffeine?

My wife explains My Explosive Morning yesterday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mee-sa Goin' Home!

I'm not really a Jar Jar fan, but that quote fits.

It's been a good trip but I'm glad to fly home this morning. My wife misses me and I miss her.

But it's been a good trip. I was able to visit a lot of folks (including 2 bloggers: Rev Mike and Steve Knight which I'll post more about later), spend time with my nieces, hear my dad direct his brass ensemble from church (website coming soon?), and last night went with him to a concert put on by Furman University of John Williams music. The finale was the theme from Star Wars so maybe that's why I've got Jar Jar on the brain. Ugh. Not the character I want in my head.

It was a good trip...but I'm ready to go home.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Title Drinks

Question: What does the ACC, Big 12, and SEC have in common?

Answer: Dr. Pepper.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sign You Are Getting Old

I turn 34 this year too, so I can relate to The Furrygoat Experience: Getting Old. Except I want a TiVo.

I know because seattleduck told me so.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sleestacks Commin' Back

The Land of the Lost is coming to DVD next month and a movie based on the series is on the way...with Will Ferrell as Rick Marshall (maybe)! I can't wait. I love the sleestacks!

What? You don't remember what a "sleestack" is? Apparently you didn't grow up like me, watching The Land of the Lost in the late 70’s. What? Still don't remember? From the FAQ on
Land of the Lost is about the Marshall family; Rick the dad, Will the son and Holly the pig tailed daughter. While on a camping trip in the great outdoors, an earthquake sends their little yellow raft plummeting down a huge waterfall into a land that time forgot. You have your dinosaurs, your giant insect men, and your ape folks, it's quite the scene.
So, back to the question of the sleestack. They were green lizard men in the show. They
...were tall, thin and used little crossbows with skill that hasn't been seen since Kevin Costner tried to speak with an English accent in Robin Hood.
Go to the Land of the Lost website to learn more about one of the strange yet entertaining shows of the 70's. See what a sleestack looks and sounds like too!

I know because the TV Squad told me so.

Internet Evangelism Day

April 24, 2005

Did you know...The following comments were recently emailed to evangelistic websites:For more information visit:My wife and I minister with Campus Crusade for Christ International in Orlando, Florida where we use the internet effectively for ministry. I am also on the Internet Evangelism Day planning team. For more information on our ministry visit our homepage.

Saturday, April 23, 2005



Friday, April 22, 2005

Visiting South Carolina

girlsWednesday I flew up to South Carolina where I grew up to visit some of our partners in ministry and of course to spend time with my family! Our nieces are so cute! We went for ice cream the other night and after they were full of sugar they were running around the shop. There isn't a connection, is there?

A couple of funnies from them...

Lera Martha is the older one. We were watching a video and on the preview they said the movie had a soundtrack. She got all excited. "Soundtrak! Soundtrack?" I said, "What's a soundtrack?" She said, "I don't know. But it must be a sound...and a track." Yup. It is exactly that!

Later during supper, Amelia wanted out of her chair but she couldn't get out. She said, "I can't get out!" My mom, trying to instill some manners to a two-year-old said, "Well, what do you say?" Without batting an eye, Amelia said strongly, "I'm stuck!" Yup. That's what you say alright!

flowersThe other thing cool about being here in South Carolina is that the flowers are all in bloom and it's beautiful. I took this one in my parent's backyard.

Today I'm driving up to the Charlotte area to visit more friends and family...but won't be up there long.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Tracking Airline Miles

Okay, I give up. I've been searching for a website that will monitor and list all the miles I have with different airlines, hotels, etc. I can't find one...that's free. I found one that charges $30/yr. Anyone know of a free one?

Yeah, yeah, I can just click and log into each website to check them, but I want them aggregated. Call me lazy. Or call me busy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Starbucks Effect

What's it called when people stop for coffee instead of making it at home in the morning, driving to work sipping their gourmet coffee, and adding mileage to the morning commute?

The ‘Starbucks Effect’.

I know because World Magazine told me so.

2006 NFL on TV

This is big news. "Monday Night Football" is leaving ABC starting in 2006.

That's right. After 35 years it's moving to ESPN on Monday nights. But it doesn't stop there. NBC is getting back into the NFL TV mix with a six-year deal to take over the Sunday night games that ESPN currently has.

So NFL Sundays will have the FOX/CBX split as usual for the Sunday afternoon games, NBC will get the Sunday night game, and ESPN will get Monday Night Football.

Real Breaking News re: Pope

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 12:45 PM
To: BREAKINGNEWS Subscribers
Subject: FNC Alert


**Watch FOX News Channel or go to for more

Monday, April 18, 2005

Real Breaking News

Now this is real breaking news:
From: BreakingNews@MAIL.CNN.COM
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 3:37 PM
Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong announces his retirement and says this year's tour will be his last race.

Watch CNN or log on to for the latest news.
More Americans watch CNN. More Americans trust CNN.
There is no other athlete I have more respect for than Lance Armstrong. What a phenom.

Breaking News: No Pope

I understand this is news, but I just have to laugh at it:
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 2:10 PM
To: BREAKINGNEWS Subscribers
Subject: FNC Alert


**Watch FOX News Channel or go to for more
So the breaking news is there's no Pope yet.

Good Advice

Test everything and hold on to what is good.

Adobe to buy Macromedia

Well, this is interesting.

Adobe is the graphic design leader. Macromedia is the web design leader. Adobe is setting themselves up as the #1 design group on the block.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

What Turned Anikan?

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith opens in about a month. This FoxTrot Comic is a must-read for all Star Wars fans!

You know, I still haven't seen the trailer. I need to put that on my to-do list today.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Are You The President of Toshiba?

Overhead phone conversation in the office this week:
...okay, can I speak with your manager?

Do you have a supervisor?

Well who do you report to?

You're telling me you don't report to anyone?

Are you the president of Toshiba?
We've all been in customer service purgatory at one time or another.

Hot Contacts

I got a new computer this week so I've spent a lot of time setting it up, downloading stuff, and getting it all customized the way I like it. As I was going through Outlook, I realized the customized categories (tags?) I had for items were missing. So as I was cleaning it up, I found a default category Microsoft put in there called "Hot Contacts". I told that to Patricia and she said, "Hey, put me in there!".

I'm glad she thinks the same way I do.

Breaking the Huddle

I never played organized football so I shouldn't cast stones. But I never really thought breaking the huddle to go line up wasn't that difficult.

Well, at Northwestern University, they forgot how to break a huddle.

Maybe that's why Clemson has gone to a no-huddle offense for the last couple years?

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Budapest Retrospective

Now that we're back from Budapest, I thought I'd pull together the different posts that my wife and I made about our trip.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Thursday, September 8

That's when my life begins again. ;-)

Daylight Savings

I've pondered Daylight Savings before but didn't worry too much about it this time. We were out of the country last weekend on the switch so we didn't realize it until we got home Monday night and realized all our clocks were an hour slow.

One thing I've never understood is why some states have some counties that observe it and others that don't. It's confusing enough to live in a state that spans time zones, it's another thing to have a state have some counties opt out. Indiana is one and Jerry talks about it today with some good insight on it all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I've Been Ripped Off

I refuse to call it "being robbed". I just don't like that phrase. Besides, nothing of financial value was taken.

Last night we got a call from our bank, USAA. They saw some activity on my debit card and wanted to confirm it. I told my wife, "Oops, I forgot to tell them we were traveling overseas. It's probably about that." This morning I called and they asked if I had spent $23 and change at Kroger in Texas or $500 at Linen'N'Things in California.

Uh, no.

Bam! They backed those expenses out, canceled the card, verified all the recent activity as legit, and a new card is on the way. I don't know how those perps got my card, but they did. Apparently they made a card because they swiped it to test it at the grocery store then did the online purchase. But USAA busted them right away...or at least caught the transactions.

I just never thought it would happen to me. But thanks to USAA for acting quickly and reasonablly on my behalf. My bank is working for me, not the other way around...and I like that.

My European Maps Updated

I have all my country maps visited updated if you're interested.

Gate 13

gate13It took almost 24 hours, but we finally made it back to Orlando last night. Every flight and transit went fine...though some were a bit scarier than others. More on that in a moment.

We went to bed about midnight our last night in Budapest and got up at 3 AM to shower and catch a cab. The funny thing was that it was 9 PM here in Orlando when we got up! It wasn't even Monday yet! The cab picked us up and I asked "Do you speak English". He said "No". Then we figured out which terminal to go to in English. Once all were settled, he turned on the radio and we listened to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. I just had to laugh. That taxi was 40 minutes and cost about $35 and was a pleasant early morning, rainy ride to the airport. Keep those numbers in mind.

Sitting at Gate 13 with our fellow travelers we had a typical quick Hungarian breakfast -- a salami, cheese, and butter sandwich. It was good though something I'm not sure I could get used to. It was so early no one was around and the floors were very polished (see the reflection in the photo?).

All-in-all our flights were good. Watched Ocean's Twelve a couple of times and some of the SpongeBob movie. Ocean's Twelve was much better. ;-) I also was watching the in-flight compass and remember feeling a bit of a relief when we crossed through Canada into Ohio. But did you know there's a place in Canada called "Little Mississippi"?

So we finally landed at the Orlando airport, got our bags, and hailed a taxi. We needed to go 10 minutes away to get our car (we left it at work). This driver was a nut! He spoke even less English than the Hungarian, drove like a maniac, almost ran over the security guard at work, swerved, and cut off everyone. And what did that cost us? $27 for 15 minutes and almost death. Budapest was $35 for 40 minutes and very pleasant. What a contrast.

Went to bed at 9:30 last night...24.5 hours after I got up (cat naps on the plane not withstanding). Today I plan to rest, run some errands, and just get caught back up to life in the States again...a life with no taxis!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Heading Home

flagsIt's about 3:30 AM in Budapest right now and I'm tired. Only got a couple hours of sleep tonight because of packing up. The taxi picks us up in an hour to head to the airport to make the long trek back home.

It's been a good week and a half. God did some amazing things through MinistryNet, we made some friends, developed deeper relationships with other friends, and got to tour this great Eastern European city.

Even still...home is home. And within about 22 hours I'll be home again. It's been a good trip. But now it's time to say goodbye to this place...but not until after a shower and come coffee to get us going again!

So long, Budapest. Your Danube is swift, your buildings are beautiful, and your history is scarred. You've been a good host.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Germans, Russians, and Hungarians

gardeningThursday I was walking home from my meeting and saw this woman turning soil getting ready for the spring planting. I thought it was a cool shot with the chickens and her clothing. Seeing her made me more curious about what her life a fellow countrymen has been like. I couldn't talk with her so instead I read more history of Hungary last night. I thought I'd share a short history lesson of this least as I understand it.

Hungary was a strong and large country going into the 20th century. However it was involved heavily in World War I and suffered much defeat. So much so that a lot of their land was redistributed to other countries as part of their loss. I don't know all the details of Hungary and WWI, but suffice it to say they were quite on the losing side.

So it made sense that Hungary wanted it's land back. They knew they couldn't look to the WWI victors (US, Britain, and France) for help, so they turned to the growing German and Italian Empires. Germany helped Hungary secure some of the land back...but about that time WWII broke out. Hungary didn't really want to align itself with Germany, but they were kind of stuck and felt they owed them for their help (though I'm quite sure Germany hung it over their head too). Germany used Hungary as front-line pawns in battle so they took the brunt of many attacks as the Germans remained safer in battle.

After a little bit of time into WWII, Hungary wanted to sever ties with Germany so they began looking to the Allies. Germany found out and sacked the country. This certainly made things worse in Hungary. It was almost like Hungary was so desperate for it's land back that they made a deal with the Devil. Soon they realized what kind of raw deal they got and wanted out...and that only made matters worse. As we know, the Allies won WWII and how it played out in Hungary was that the Soviet army surrounded Budapest and was able to drive out the Germans.

There's an interesting debate here about that day. Was this a true liberation? Many say "yes" because things got better when the Germans weren't in town. But many others say "no" because the Russian army wasn't all peaches and cream either. But eventually the Russians left (though it was in the early 90s) and Hungary has been free ever since.

I know I left out a lot of details, but if you know more, feel free to add them. It is an interesting story here the last 90 or so years. I have a feeling this woman in the photo has seen a lot...a lot more than I've ever seen...or want to.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Photo of a Photo

photo of photoI don't have much time to post now...but will later. In the meantime I wanted to post this photo of a photo. That's Jerry taking the shot of us looking over Budapest.

(Click for a larger view)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Almost All Internet

I'm sitting in the conference room right now after lunch. The other day I realized something about this conference that I think is pretty cool. Except for two conference phone calls, this entire conference was planned on the internet. We used a blog at first for planning then switched to another solution, email, and Skype to plan everything. Everyone registered through the internet and there were only a couple extra phone calls made to make arrangements.

But overall, we used the internet to plan almost everything for this conference!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

We Are Here

We Are Here
Originally uploaded by orangejack.
Jerry pointing to where we are...just outside of Budapest.

MinistryNet Off and Running

I'm sitting in the main meeting room where we're hosting MinistryNet: Budapest 2005. We had our opening time followed up by some pizza. Can't have a Campus Crusade conference without pizza! I won't say the conference went off without a hitch, but things went well.

Being here in Budapest with all of these people from around the world is really cool. I spent a lot of time tonight talking with a guy from Moldova. They don't have a ministry website...yet! He came to a conference last year to learn how to use media and they began publishing a magazine. This week he wants to learn to create a website!

I look around the room now (after dinner and many have left now) and I hear accents from all over. A man from Jordan is playing with his palm. A guy from Germany is using Skype to talk to someone else. A guy from Singapore is surfing the web. A conversation in English, Polish, and others I don't recognize are happening as I type.

I look forward to the rest of the week!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Arrived in Budapest

(click on photos for larger view...I'm trying out a webservice called Flickr to manage photos while here)


After some long but good flights and some of the fastest connections I've ever done, we finally made it to Budapest! I almost just wrote "yesterday" but with time change, I'm not sure what it was! I know it was April 1 when we finally got to Budapest.


The flights were good. What none of us could understand is why we had 45 minutes to make our Boston connection...when it would take us at least 15 minutes to change terminals. We had to go check back in and go through security because Delta couldn't give us boarding passes back in Orlando for Air France's legs from Boston to Paris and Budapest. Our bags were checked all the way to Budapest, but not us! But we made the plane.

I'm not a fan of Air France, but I will say this, they have a good International meal...and free wine. Their in-flight entertainment was lacking. Patricia watched the movie Sideways. I wasn't impressed with the movie selections so I watched from the "TV" selection. I got to watch MacGyver. Yup. It's 2005 and I get MacGyver. I had to laugh...and I did! Another thing I found humors is that they told us, in English, that there was to be "no smoking in the toilets".

I only got about 2 hours of sleep...if that much on the 6 hour flight. It was so foggy when we came into Paris that I told Patricia, "Man it's taking forever to land this thing". Literally 5 seconds later we landed. It looked like we were still in the clouds! Someone else commented, "We landed, but I still don't see the ground!"

Thankfully our next flight was delayed because if it weren’t then we wouldn't have made it either. There were 6 of us traveling and every bag we all checked made it! We were quite pleased.

Tom & Jerry picked us up and gave us a couple hour driving tour of the city including this shot of the Danube river.


After a meeting later this morning we're going to go back out into the city. But from what I've seen so far, it's a nice and pretty clean city.

I only got about 6 hours of sleep last night which I don't understand. I was so exhausted...still am! We went to bed at 9 local time and I woke up at 3. At 4 I got on up. I don't get it. I'm sure I'll need a nap today...and probably won't get it. Tomorrow night the reason we came here gets started and both Patricia and I need to convert our plane-completed talks into PowerPoint sometime this weekend.

Will upload and post more as I can.

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