Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Play with Me

Tonight is the perfect night to be watching Blogger Play - everyone is uploading their photos of their babies in halloween costumes. Very cute.


Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them -- work, family, health, friends, and spirit -- and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.

You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.
Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises from 1959-1994

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get a Close Look at the Last Supper

This is cool. A site has taken a really high-res photo of The Last Supper and placed it online. Other high-res photos on the site are also cool.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New eBay site lets people finance world's poor

NEWS.COM -- eBay, the world's largest online auctioneer and payments company, launched on Wednesday a Web site allowing ordinary investors to buy securities aimed at improving conditions in the world's poorest countries. MicroPlace will allow people to invest as little as $100 to support development in impoverished areas. More...

Friday, October 26, 2007


This is an interview with Rick Warren, author of 'Purpose Driven Life'. His wife now has cancer, and he now has 'wealth' from the book sales. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said: 'People ask me, 'What is the purpose of life?'

And I respond: 'In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven'

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body -- but not the end of me.

I may live to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness. This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is 'my problem, my issues, my pain.'

But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, a nd yet God has strengthened her char acter, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call 'The Peace Plan' to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I start ed the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, 'God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.' God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.

He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Common Sense

Wow... this has got to me one of the most brilliant things I have read in a long time. If you're unsure of whether or not rail is a good idea (or if you think more roads are the better choice), this is a must read.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where Was That Filmed?

Yeah, that site seems to have died.  Why not check out The Sift instead?
Spammers keep linking to this article trying to post spam comments.
It's not working, but they keep trying.  

Original post:
This is a cool new site. - allows you to add pins to a map to show where something was filmed.

Major League Baseball and World Vision provide postseason apparel to children and families in need

MLB.COM -- Major League Baseball today announced it is expanding its longstanding relationship with international relief organization World Vision by donating unsalable 2007 postseason MLB-licensed apparel to children and families in developing countries around the world.

Major League Baseball has previously worked with World Vision to donate counterfeit goods that have been confiscated by law enforcement. These efforts will continue during the 2007 postseason. Read more...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Disney to pour $1B into California Adventure

MSNBC.COM -- Beset with lukewarm attendance, The Walt Disney Co.'s California Adventure theme park will be getting a major overhaul, the company said Wednesday, replacing themes meant to attract adults with ones based on Pixar animated movies and closer ties to Walt Disney.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What kind of silly question is this?

"If You Love Animals Called Pets...
Why Do You Eat Animals Called Dinner?"

Seen on a car in the Target parking lot.

Please add your responses to the comments.

Can I Keep It?

I tried, I really tried. Either Amazon, Wirefly, RebatesHQ, Cingular, etc., have really bad record keeping, bad customer service or they're just happy to give away money. So, we're going to cash the check. Thank you, everyone!

My submission to Amazon:

So I bought two cell phones through Amazon(Wirefly) and
applied for the refund. Then one of the phones broke so we returned
the entire order to Wirefly. I e-mailed RebatesHQ 3 times telling
them to cancel the refund and they just kept e-mailing back to tell
me it was in progress. So I made a new order for 2 phones, this
time making sure to go through Amazon(not Wirefly). It, too, had a
rebate. So now I've gotten two rebate checks. So should I just
throw one of the checks away (or I can deposit both of them? -smiley
face-) If you want me to destroy one of them, do you need the check
number? Thanks, James

Their response:

Thank you for writing to us at

I have checked your orders and see that this rebate is been offered
by Wirefly, one of our registered third party merchants.

Because promotional offers are not shared among sellers, and your
purchase for this item was from our partner, Wirefly, you need to
contact the merchant for any clarification regarding the rebate.
I'm sorry if this was unclear when you placed your order.

If you have any questions regarding your order, you will need to
contact the customer service team of Wirefly with your inquiry.
You can reach their customer service using the information below: (or)
1-888-843-2485 (6am-6pm EST)

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that this situation may have
caused and would like to thank you for your understanding and

Thank you for shopping at

Thanks, Cingular

I wasn't quite sure of the correct way to blaspheme on SMS. Thanks for making it so clear. You could have just as easily said OMG=Oh My Goodness or Oh My Gosh. Sheesh...

(If you've been following my Cingular / Wirefly / Amazon / Rebate-Headquarters saga, it's getting even funnier. Now I've gotten a $50 rebate ($25x2) on the two Wirefly phones we had for a week. And I just got an e-mail saying that the $50 rebate ($25x2) for the Amazon phones had been approved. Both offers were supposed to be on a single phone and only after 180 consecutive days of service. On top of that, Cingular has made so many refunds on the two sets of accounts that we ended up not paying activation on *any* of the phones. We did have to pay $105 on the first account, but they said we'd end up getting most of it back. The last statement I got now has a $176 credit on the account. I've called Cingular explaining the undercharging and they said I was the first person that rep. had talked to in 4 years who had ever called to say they were undercharged.

So if we add it all up, Wirefly - free phones, $10 shipping paid with a gift card. Zero. Cingular account. Credit balance of $176. $50 rebate received. Amazon - 1 cent per phone, $25 shipping. Paid with a gift card. Cingular account - no activation fees charged. $50 rebate on the way. Only thing not accounted for was the time my wife and I spent on the phone with everyone and all the aggravation, but I still think we come out way ahead.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pavlovian Cats

It's kinda funny... last night when I closed the laptop cover, the cats hopped down from the couch and ran into the laundry room. Most nights, when we're done watching TV, I turn off and close the cover and then go to the laundry room to refill the cat food dishes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Dog in Panic Mode

I'm sitting at the edge of the lake. It's been a rough morning. While I waited for my food to microwave, I killed the time by using the blood pressure machine as I do nearly every day. Today was by far the best reading I've had since I started regularly checking it. This was a surprise to me considering the kind of morning I had. It wasn't raining, so I decided I'd bring my food out and eat it by the lake. When I got here, a couple was just leaving and we exchanged hellos. I've seen them before. They left and I stood there looking out over the lake and heard a strange wheezing noise. I thought it was a duck, but as it got closer, I realized it was a dog's head. The dog was swimming as fast as he could but the noise sounded like that of panic. I tried to figure out where the dog even came from. I silently cheered him on... 'You're almost there, buddy!'. I watched as his feet finally touched the bottom and I could see the tennis ball firmly clutched in his jaw. I waited on the bank, hoping he wouldn't run up to me and get me all messy. He didn't, he lit off down the path and not too long after, I heard the couple's laughter. I realized it was their dog and that I had seen them all together before. The guy has this strap-thing that allows him to launch the tennis ball way out in the water. I think the dog was really weary on the swim back and he could no longer see his people. That made me think... I could relate to the dog. The work seems difficult, sometimes we can't see the solid ground just a few inches below us, we may not have learned how to float/rest, we may not even realize there are people cheering us on, and sometimes the goal (or the people) we're trying to reach are out of sight.

But unlike the dog, we don't necessarily need to panic, we just need to stop and assess our surroundings. There are people cheering us on (not to mention God), it is ok to take a break, and sometimes what we seek is just over the hill out of sight.

Or course, there are probably times when we should take a look at how far out the bobbing tennis ball is and decide it is too far.

It's a quiet and calm day here at the lake. In all this time, none of my coworkers have made it out here, or they've been quiet and left again without disturbing me. A bird was chirping at me from a nearby bush and at the island about 20-feet from the shore a hawk or falcon has just landed on a tree branch. It's overcast and a little chilly and I can't help but wonder if I'll get rained on during my walk back.

Brave of the Home

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jimmy Carter calls Dick Cheney a 'disaster'

MSNBC.COM -- WASHINGTON - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday denounced Vice President Dick Cheney as a "disaster" for the country and a "militant" who has had an excessive influence in setting foreign policy.

Cheney has been on the wrong side of the debate on many issues, including an internal White House discussion over Syria in which the vice president is thought to be pushing a tough approach, Carter said. More...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't Give In

So I have this other little blog.. you might have heard about it... about graffiti in Federal Way. Out walking one day, I came across this sticker stuck to a light post.

I didn't think it really qualified as graffiti, I'm already getting flak from another local blog who thinks I'm too vigilant or something. But I liked it. I didn't exactly know what they were trying to say with it, but I found it encouraging for some reason. I also liked because it was small, it was something only for pedestrians.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No Relation

Ugh. Dude, you're killing me. I can't say that in a similar situation things would have been all that different, but I would not have posted it. At least not using my real name.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fleeting Rain, Weekend

This weekend went by too quickly. There were periods of heavy rain and I had hoped to go down and clean up the garage during one of them, but I missed them. Mostly this afternoon working on the church website. Took waaay too long.

Unlike our last house, the garage is the only place where you can hear the rain against the roof. The house is incredibly well insulated and that's often a blessing, but I miss the sound of the rain. In the garage you can hear it quite well. And a previous owner decked it out with lots of lights, so it's a nice cheery place to be. Just usually there are cars in the way. But with my mother-in-law staying with us, her car is much smaller than Lori's and I left my car outside after filling up the tank. So it would have been perfect if only the church website hadn't proved such a bear to update.

But yeah, where did the weekend go? I got a lot of chores done, but lots of bigger chores remain undone, like a really tall wall that needs a second coat of paint and some ceilings that need to be touched up. By the time they got the ceilings, the sellers were a little less careful and some of the patching is in a slightly different shade of white that's only noticeable at certain times of day in certain kinds of light. But we budgeted for the paint last month and now it sits unopened, mocking me. Maybe I need to figure out when a good rain storm is coming and take a day off from work and stay home and do some bigger chores.

But now, the weekend rolls to a close. I owe people email (especially Allison, Melinda, Heather and Pastor Joe), I have some new graffiti sightings to post and the downstairs remains a modified mess.

I must get back to stuff, but one chore that occurs way too often (replacing light bulbs) was, as always, aided by an excellent Christmas present I received last year... a Keller Multi-Ladder. I really recommend this ladder. It's pretty sweet. I'd never seen one, but my dad gave it to me for Christmas. It was a huge and heavy package under the tree, but it's come in handy on a number of occasions... solid, sturdy, but folds up really compact.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Or we could just put up a sign."

I was amused by this sign. It and several other identical signs are scattered around the odd parking lot at Northwest Trek, a wild animal park in Pierce County. Must have been an amusing conversation.

"Ok, what are we going to do about the problems in our parking lot?"
"We could create a new lot that's closer to the entrance, pave it."
"We could put up some cameras."
"Or we could just put up a sign."
"Ooh, I like it. Done."

(The location is so remote that the people breaking into cars are probably on staff. And the entrance/exit is a single road that you must traverse slowly. A single camera low enough could easily capture all license plates entering and exiting in all but the heaviest traffic times.)

Are you KIDDING me?!??!?!

Jury duty.

Well, I guess nothing can be worse than having to drive from the valley to Beverly Hills every day for jury duty. But still...

My Recent Shared Items

Featured Windows Download: Recover Forgotten Passwords with Snadboy's Revelation


Sharp shows off multi-touch optical scanning portable LCD -- Cool... preliminary attempts to turn the monitor into the camera. Future use: Two-way screens where you're looking at the person speaking.

I shall call him...

Whirlpool Espresso refrigerator brings the coffee to the cream -- Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? A refrigerator with built-in espresso maker.

Are you ready for the return of ... Knight Rider? -- NBC has requested a TV movie pilot.

Happy 30th birthday, Atari 2600!

Totally wrong -- Making fun of Steve Jobs

Don't go too big with your new HDTV

It was quiet, too quiet... -- The brownies would later be recovered, unharmed.

I guarantee Amazon’s MP3 store is important to you

Mind Hacks: Why You Should Mouse with the Other Hand

Bought and sold

An ode to great photographers

Here's a bunch of classic TV logos - VIDEO

Windows: Find Out If Your Computer Is Secretly Connecting to the Web

Crazy Robots -- Guy creates system that allows him to feed in a music file and simple robots play the music.

Moving: Check for Bad Neighbors Before You Move with RottenNeighbor

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


In general, I'm not known for leaving. Often, I'll hang around until I'm called into an office and handed some cardboard boxes. Thinking about the types of things I've quit...

I don't know if it counts, but I stopped going to Boy Scouts at some point. The Eagle Badge required a level of commitment that I didn't have. I was more interested in slinging pizzas and making money.

I quit Lamb's Office Supply several times, rehired each time -- sometimes against my will, even.

I did quit a church council. I stuck with it a long time, though. Lori was also on the council and she quit, but I held on gritting my teeth for some time after that. Then, enough was enough. I planned to give my resignation at the end of an annual church meeting, but ended up handing my resignation letter to the chair partway through the meeting and then going outside and playing on the monkey bars for awhile. For some reason I think I didn't have a car there or something.

Lori and I would later quit the church altogether, but that was inevitable, it was now a 30 minute drive each way and the atmosphere hadn't improve. We would have just drifted away, but we felt we owed the pastor an explanation. He turned around and accused us of never contributing to the church. Laughable and we'll leave it at that.

We did ultimately leave the new church, but I also left my job at said church and we gave up our Southern California lifestyle and most importantly, palm trees. But I did give three months' notice and we were following God's leading.

Tonight I quit something else. Again, a church committee. I should have done it months ago, but I hung in there, thinking it would get better. It didn't and I finally realized tonight that if I didn't slink out like a little weasel that people would continue to assume that I had their back when I knew that wasn't even remotely possible. So, I fired off an email like a wus, but at least now there's no more assumptions.

I guess the lesson learned is that I'm not cut out for lay church leadership.