Saturday, December 31, 2005

I want to really help, but...

Gee whiz - I want to really help but I hate to be scammed! (grin)

It has been a while since I've seen one of these...

Dear respectful one,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I know this mail may come to you as a surprise, since we have not known or ,written before. Introducing myself, I am Master Ese Ovadje,19 years of age the only of the son late Mr and Mrs Konal Ovadje ,my father was a Gold and cocoa merchant based in Accra, Ghana and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their business trips. Before the death of my father on 29th June 2002 in aprivate hospital here in Abidjan. he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of USD$6.5M (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S), deposited in security company here in west Africa that he used my name as his onlysonfor the next of kin in depositing the fund. He also explained to me that it wasbecause of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates, that I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transferthismoneyand use it for investment purpose such as expansion of his existing cocoa business and real estate management here on how best to transfer this money to overseas please.

I am humbly seeking your assistance in the following ways :
1-To assist me in providing an account of yours where this fund can quiekly be transferred into.
2-To serve as the guardian of this fund since I am still in the university.
3-To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to help me secure a residential permit in your country. Moreover, I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas, while 5% will be set aside to offset any expenses we may incur. Furthermore, you can indicate your option towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within the shortest possible time if you signify interest to assist me.

NB : Please contact me immediately you receive this message through this email address if you are interested.
God bless.

Yours sincerely,
Ese Ovadje

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Day 74 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

Day 74 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days....

And my name is Big Boy
And I love a hamburger
That's nice and juicy
A hamburger that gets on
Everything and everybody
A burger with nice, soft
Warm brown buns
Covered with mustard and relish
And ketchup dripping on down
Lots of onions and mayonnaise
What's that you said, honey
Hold the pickle
Hold the lettuce
Say, baby, hold your mouth
I want it my way!

(Bloat On, Cheech & Chong)

You know where I'm going with this... a hamburger today. A Hamburger Today is a group weblog about America's favorite lunchtime sandwich, the hamburger. (not gristle burgers down at the fast food place). They also publish a sister companion Pizza blog...

So before the New Year's resolution rolls around to lose weight, take a look around. How I wish Fuddrucker's on West End Avenue was still open...

Inventor of the Week

One of my favorite sites is MIT's spotlight feature on Inventor of the Week... From medical breakthroughs to technological advances to product and process improvements, invention is at the heart of a great society.

The Lemelson-MIT Program is dedicated to honoring the acclaimed and unsung heroes who have helped improve our lives through invention.

This site has a weekly feature - "Inventor of the Week" spotlighting notables such as:

Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan invented a system that would revolutionize the world of deep-sea exploration and push diving into the mainstream, allowing people around the world to become exposed to a magical oceanic wilderness they had been unable to experience before. The system is known as the "Aqua-lung."

"The age of the Internet continues to be one filled with tremendous opportunity for young, up-and-coming technologists to make their marks on the world early in their careers. Such was the case with Marc Andreesen and Eric Bina, inventors of "Mosaic," an Internet browser software system that helped to speed the widespread use and adoption of the Internet around the world."
and one more...

"It may be hard to believe, but before the 1930s no one had ever had the pleasure of biting into a chocolate chip cookie. Why? The sweet world famous treat had not been invented yet.

Ruth Graves Wakefield was the woman responsible for coming up with the concoction."

Stop by and read up on these men and women who perserved to bring good and witty inventions to life that are part of our lives everyday. Perhaps you're raising a child that may discover a cure for cancer!

Big Ben's Prom Date

This woman apparently went to prom with Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and is broadcasting it to the world. This is why being famous is terrifying....

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah

I'm being so diplomatic these days 'cause the atmosphere of political correctness is throwing a wet blanket over this season of joy and cheer - so, Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

(DIPLOMACY: the art of saying '"Nice doggie!'" till you can find a rock. - Wynn Catlin)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another Sunset over Bresslyn Road

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 26, 2005

You've got problems?

My Huge Problems by Scott Adams

I'm a busy fellow. My normal day is 100% scheduled, including weekends. Christmas requires an additional 20% of my time for about a month, which I manage by eliminating sleep, exercise, recreation and physical intimacy. In return, I get presents that sit in a huge pile for weeks while I wonder where to store them.

I realize that people all over the world have bigger problems, but frankly I can't feel their pain. For some reason I only feel my own. I'm lucky that way.

The other day I was at a party hosted by some friends who were explaining how they celebrate Christmas. "We go to a Chinese restaurant and then watch a movie."

"That's it??" I asked, enviously.

Apparently being Jewish is this incredible loophole. You burn some candles, pretend to know something about an Irish family named the MacAbees, and you're all set.

This is a perfect example of how my problems seem bigger than other people's. On one hand, being Jewish means that entire countries put all of their effort into killing you. On the other hand, you don't have to celebrate Christmas. That seems like a good tradeoff to me. I'm thinking of converting if it doesn't require any chanting. As a bonus, I'd get to wear that little hat that exactly covers my bald spot.

I think more religions should require clothing that conceals your defects. Then you could pick your faith based on what's wrong with you. The Nosatarians would require a nose glove for people with ugly schnozzes. People with large butts could join religions that require you to tie a sweater to your waist. And people who are spectacularly gullible could wear explosive belts.

Dilbert Blog

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Proof that evil reigns...

Proof that evil reigns... even on Christmas Day...

Just as the sun was rising this morning, a holiday hoodlum broke into the Bongo Java coffeehouse on Belmont Boulevard and absconded with the world-famous cinnamon bun that looks like Mother Teresa.

The Nun Bun has been stolen, its owner said today.

Store managers were alerted to someone breaking into the coffee shop at 6 a.m., Bongo Java owner Bob Bernstein said. He called police immediately, he said.

He believes that the culprit is someone angry over the shop displaying, in the form of a pastry, the nun renowned for her good deeds throughout the world. A jar of money next to the "Nun Bun" was not stolen.

"They went right for the bun," Bernstein said. "Unfortunately I think it's somebody who wanted to take it to destroy it."

The bun, which had been covered in shellac to preserve it, had been on display nearly 10 years.

From the Tennessean

Saturday, December 24, 2005

'Tis the season to be silly

Peter has been collecting vintage children's records since 1991... Here are three for Christmas - Enjoy! and thanks Peter for the memories!

Also Dave Simpson picks the 12 oddest Christmas hits... ever!

Santa Got Stuck MP3

I Saw Santa MP3

I Want A Hippo MP3

Santa wishes you a Merry Christmas

Santa and reindeer join in to wish you a Merry Christmas

World's Ugliest Corvette

I driven some ugly cars in my life... even my friends tell me by their body language that my desire to buy a Honda Element is ugly enough... but here is the World's Ugliest Corvette...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas bonus stuns employees

Anybody care to share their stories of Christmas bonuses? (Besides all you care to eat cookies?)

"At a time when several U.S. corporate executives stand accused of enriching themselves by looting the companies that employ them, Iowan Harry Stine has demonstrated what type of executive he is.

Stine, the founder of Stine Seed Co. in Adel, informed his 270 employees recently that they would be receiving a Christmas bonus from the company. This would not be a holiday turkey or a box of candy.

Stine gave employees $1,000 for each year of service to his company - more than $1 million in all."
Read this old time classic here

The Great Wall of Los Angeles

I know about the Great Wall of China, but never knew that Los Angeles had one also... which is a mural of California history, "titled The Great Wall of Los Angeles, one of the most spectacular murals in Los Angeles. It portrays the history of California from pre-history to now.

The history is shown from the point of those who were here first, from those who built California, from the working class, from non-Anglos."

Jesus is THE reason for the Season

Celebrating Jesus this season...

New Prince, New Pomp (adapted from Robert Southwell's (1561-95) Classic Christmas Poem

Dear Prudence....

Dear Prudence,

Can you come out to play?

Our Christmas tree...

Wishing a Merry Christmas to all!

How much is that doggy...

How much is that doggy... curled up under the desk?

Diggy is worn out after a visit to the vet!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Another Christmas Gift Idea (Lego style)

Give a gift of galactic proportions this holiday season to your favorite LEGO Star Wars Fan! Own a one-of-a-kind 8-foot LEGO Rebel Attack Cruiser model designed by LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi exclusively for display at Star Wars Celebration III, San Diego Comic-Con, LEGOLAND California and several other national LEGO events to promote the final episode in the Star Wars saga.

100% of auction proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity's hurricane relief efforts in the southeastern United States to aid families who are rebuilding their lives in the wake of the natural disaster.

Place your bids NOW at eBay!

Hey Santa

Day 73 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

Day 73 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days - BLDG BLOG is a well written and illustrated blog... about... architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures

and... Corporate, automobile test-landscapes. Deserted beach resorts. Ruined stripmalls.

'Highways, office blocks, faces and street signs are perceived as if they were elements in a malfunctioning central nervous system.' J.G. Ballard

This blog is so visually appealing - more than another architectural blog, there are posts with compelling topics such as: Evidence of architectural thievery; The moon, England's tidal fence and electrical Futurism; Lifting Venice - Again; Tectonic Warfare; Lunar urbanism 4 and Cities that clean themselves.

Sounds very hignbrow doesn't it? Check it out - this not your run of the mill blog - well done Geoff Manaugh!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cult of Mac update (Free at last)

After drinking too much XP blue screen of death KoolAid laced with viruses and spybots, I made the switch and rejoined the Cult of Mac this week.

I simply love my new Apple iMac G5 with the 20" screen, 500 gb of hard drive space and fast 2.1GHz PowerPC G5 speed with the 1.5 memory of ram!

Lot's of goodies were built in such as a built-in iSight camera, AirPort Extreme Card, USB and firewire connections, a SuperDrive (CD-RW, DVD-RW), s-video port (for playing DVDs on a TV or external monitor), and incredible Apple software.

The keyboard and mouse is a hurdle... they are both bluetooth driven (wireless) without all the extras that I have on my big feature laden Microsoft wireless keyboard. But over time, I'll get my brain rewired for all of the Mac commands. The biggest challenge is unlearning the right click, "save target as" mouse reflex!

While repopulating iTunes, I downloaded 46 mp3s at the same time! That's fast in a serious way... In the new Cult of Mac, (I've strayed away from Macs around 1990 having purchased my 1st Mac back in 1984... 128K of ram for $2500.00) I'm having to get acclimated to the new key commands and all of the new eye candy along with the settings and differences between Outlook and Entourage. The only bummer is that Napster and to my wife's chagin - Bookworm - is not compatible with the Mac OS.

So I'm using the old Windows XP box for blogging (like now), Napster tunes and misc. daily chores like software conflicts, daily registry updates, delete as junk email watches, viruses, spybot and spyware infections with library updates, endless submit reports to Microsoft device driver crashes, tweaking and under the breath cussing...

I'm having a tech guy come over to set up a network to tap into the laser printer and my massive collection of mp3s... So as the Psalmist sang, God has turn my mourning into dancing! I'm free at last, thank God I'm free at last!

"It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it." Proverbs 10:22

Brian Reichow's Ice Sculpture photos

Copyright 2005 Brian Reichow - see more ice sculptures at

C'mon consumers - SPEND!

Build your own snowman!

Build your own snowman here!

Quotes on Christmas

"... Christians buy things. Lots of things. Especially during the Christmas season when we celebrate the birth of the man who said, 'Give up your possessions and follow me.'"
- David Waters, Memphis Commercial Appeal

"'At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,' said the gentleman taking up a pen, 'it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. ... We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.'"
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

"So here comes Gabriel again, and what he says is 'Good tidings of great joy ... for all people.' ... That's why the shepherds are first: They represent all the nameless, all the working stiffs, the great wheeling population of the whole world."
- Walter Wangerin Jr., Preparing for Jesus

"1.9 billion Christmas cards are sent to friends and loved ones every year, making Christmas the largest card-sending occasion in the United States. The second largest is Valentine\'s Day, with approximately 192 million cards being given."
- Hallmark

"Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin's womb and an empty tomb. Jesus entered our world through a door marked 'No Entrance' and left through a door marked 'No Exit.'"
- Peter Larson, Prism (Jan/Feb 2001)

from Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox
The Ministry ToolBox is for ANYONE serving Jesus Christ. For a free subscription, you can sign up at .

For 2006, I resolve to be more productive and... Wacky!

Discover hundreds of little-known uses for well-known products... at Wacky Uses

Joey Green, "a modern-day (and male) Heloise" has got you covered with wacky uses and solutions:

Remove scuffs on shoes. Apply Colgate toothpaste with a tissue, rub, and wipe off.

Soothe canker sores. Eat two servings of Dannon Yogurt a day until the sores clear.

Clean soap scum from shower doors. Mix one capful of Downy Fabric Softener with a quart of warm water in a plastic bucket, and use a clean cloth to wipe the shower doors clean.

Style your hair. A teaspoon of Jell-O dissolved in a cup of warm water makes an inexpensive setting lotion. Or use prepared Jell-O as you would any hair gel product.

Store valuables. Make a two-inch slit along one seam of a Wilson Tennis Ball, then place valuables inside. If you hide the doctored tennis ball among your other sports equipment, remember not to use it.

and my favorite:
Make Wine Jell-O. The Joy of Cooking suggests boiling one cup water, mixing with gelatin powder in a bowl until dissolved, then adding one cup red wine. Stir well, then refrigerate for four hours or until mixture gels. Serves four.

What Kerry wants in his backyard for Christmas...

Simply beautiful! A Honda Element would look nice parked next to it as well... From Noek Design

Go to Plan B for Last Minute Christmas Gift !!!

Obsessed as we are with Kyoto and Peak Oil, we had to report on this powerful indicator from a reliable source: "With winter's onset driving the demand for surface coal to record-high levels, the mineral's cost is now beyond the reach of low- and middle-income Americans who wish to punish their naughty children."..."In today's market, children should only have their stockings stuffed with lumps of coal if they have been studious and obedient, and show an interest in long-term investments in the energy sector." Read more in The Onion

from TreeHugger

Day 72 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

Day 72 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days.. takes me overseas to TWENTY FOUR an advertising blog by Sandeep Makam. His introduction:

Is this yet another advertising blog?
Welcome to twenty-four! A blog that aims to share some of the best and a few of the worst pieces of COMMUNICATION in its myriad forms, shapes, sizes and sounds. What makes this one different from every other advertising blog you've seen so far. Well, I don't think I shall tell you coz' I think it is better you found out! Welcome aboard, have a pleasant stay. I'm sure it will be a memorable journey...

I like to see what the creative world is doing outside of the United States...

For example the above ad - Client: Eveready Batteries, Headline: Use 1000 times.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Last minute Christmas gift!

"Jesus Hates it When You Smoke" Ashtray

Jesus, the Prince of Peace gazes balefully upwards at your approaching cigarette... How does that make you feel? 'JESUS HATES IT WHEN YOU SMOKE' reads the print inside this provocative, righteous ashtray. Sticker on bottom reads: "use of this product may be hazardous to your health and/or eternal soul". (This'd be a great soul-winning tool for those 'turn or burn' sign holders). They're a steal at just $12.00, available here.

Hat tip: mondaymorninginsight

Friday, December 16, 2005

Day 71 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

Day 71 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days - winter is setting in - there is no better way than to waste away the time and hibernate watching TV or reading a blog about TV - thus TV Squad comes to the rescue. With 20 bloggers and 20 contributors, content is never lacking here.

Now that I have TIVO with DirectTV, I have a backlog of shows I haven't seen yet - LOST, the Simpsons, Firefly and 30 other hours of whatever... but the time shifting aspect is handy - my TV watching now consists of pretaping the shows (even the network news at 5:30 pm) to speed through all the commercials. Watching Alias, Invasion, Surface, Survivor and NFL football on my time schedule commercial free and in marathon mode no doubt frees up time to read a blog on TV - isn't technology wonderful?

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home. ~David Frost
I could have been a doctor, but there were too many good shows on TV. ~ Jason Love

Why is everybody always pickin' on me?

The complete Pickin' On series - Bluegrass covers of U2, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones - collect all 120 albums!

Number 9 ? Number 9 ?

I'm standing in line and I hear the service clerk call out, "Number 9 ? Number 9 ?"... the number itself sends me backwards in time to the Beatles White Album montage of tape loops and snippets to track # 12 named Revolution 9....

Remember when the "White Album" came out and we were worried that Paul might be dead?Remember ruining our needles playing songs backwards searching for hidden messages?Remember wondering what the entire song of "Revolution #9" would sound like backwards?

Played backwards (MP3)


Mix your own version!

The Miracle of Dialogue

Blogging is great... we can partake in someone's interests, points of view, political slants and even get some discernment into their particular brand of humor.... but reading someone's blog and a brief profile doesn't hold a candle to dialoging in person. Our blogs I think, have a tendency to place people in boxes -

I was honored to meet up with some real-in-life bloggers over coffee at Starbucks Thursday night - Katherine and Tim Coble from Another Pretty Farce, Lynn and John Hutcheson from SalemsLots and Sharon Cobb. The conversation was superb, we all shared mutual friends and I wouldn't hesitate to meet up again with this group and other Nashville bloggers on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay but an hour, but the time spent together was rich!

Reuel L. Howe on The Miracle of Dialogue:

"Every man is a potential adversary, even those whom we love. Only through dialogue are we saved from this enmity toward one another. Dialogue is to love what blood is to the body. When the flow of blood stops, the body dies. When dialogue stops, love dies and resentment is born. But dialogue can restore a
dead relationship. Indeed this is the miracle of dialogue - it can bring a relationship into being, and it can restore again a relationship that has died. There is only one qualification to these claims for dialogue. It must be mutual and perceived from both sides, and the parties must pursue it relentlessly."

More from John, Sharon and Katherine

Reading Test

Apaerpntly olny the frsit and lsat lteetrs need to be in oderr for hmunas to udnretsnad the wrod.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Day 70 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

NFL Network correspondent Adam Schefter got the phone call -

"Sorry, but we have to send you to Indianapolis. Until the Colts lose."

Adam Schefter has a job to do, but he doesn't know for how long. Schefter will be stationed in Indianapolis for a few days each week until the Colts lose, if they lose at all. But until that point, Schefter will share what's going on from the Crossroads of America in his blog.

Adam is not exactly stuck in Mobile with the Memphis Blues again, but O Mama, can this really be the end (the Colts going 16 and 0?) - apologies to Bob Dylan.Read Adam's blog - he's been in Indy since December 5.

What's On Jesus' iPod?

This Christmas, EVERYBODY WANTS an iPOD...

If Jesus had an iPod, the obvious questions is: What's On Jesus' iPod?

Protest anthems, Zeppelin, gospel, classical and, of course, Nine Inch Nails. And, yes, Jesus does P2P.

You know he has one.

You know it's the big 60GB model, loaded, flawless and gleaming and radiating a strange liquid ethereal glow and couched in a beautiful custom rainbow-colored biodegradable case made of clouds and eagle feathers and wine.

And of course Jesus gets his iPods wholesale, given how he and Steve Jobs go way back, back to the time when Jobs was a scruffy twentysomething geek ever praying for revelation and God finally gave Jesus the green light to inspire the first Mac.

The iPod and Jesus -- it just makes sense.
Read the rest of Mark Morford's article here (an oldie goldie from April 2005)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mall - This - Around

John has a few interesting facts about malls: mall-this-around

Here's a few choice things to consider next time you're at the mall:

  • Women will buy more if they hear their heels clicking on polished hard surfaces, so designers often use hard flooring in hallways. Inside the stores themselves, there is often carpeting or softer surfaces to lure customers in and make them feel at home.
  • Escalators are placed strategically to force shoppers to pass the maximum number of storefronts.
  • Floor plans in malls are disorienting for a reason - so shoppers cannot make a quick exit.
  • The spaces near mall entrances typically yield lower rents and lower valued items. The shopper, upon entering the mall, is still disoriented and is not yet ready to buy something. That is why hair cutteries are so commonly found near mall entrances.
  • Men are more interested in people watching at malls, whereas women are more interested in shopping. Men also like the non-retail parts of malls, such as food courts, which do not require them to price shop or try on anything.
  • Do you know where you're going the first time you walk into a new store? Most of us will turn toward the right. We pick up that bias because we're used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, and because most of us are right-handed and use that hand to touch the goods. We then proceed through the store counterclockwise.

Day 69 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

It's the time of the season to go shopping! Day 69 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days -

Take a whirlwind tour with Keith Milford with his pictorial blog: Malls of America - Vintage photos of lost Shopping Malls of the '60s & '70s.

Here's an old photo of Nashville's first major indoor mall... 100 Oaks

Woolco, Harvey's, Penney's, Magnavox, John Simmons, Games Imported & other exotic stores we were fascinated with when it opened in 1968. Their was no food court but, there was a great hot dog place up by Woolco called La Petite Cafe. Psychic Jean Dixon would later predict on talk radio that 100 Oaks would eventually collapse.

Do you remember... Harvey's Nativity Scene at the Parthenon?

Harvey's Nativity Scene at the Parthenon

Harvey's Nativity scene at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. The Nativity Scene featured life size figures with lights that faded from white to blue to red and Christmas Carols on the sound system. It was a truly spiritual experience and one that brought families together and reminded them of the meaning of the season.

Relive other Nashville memories from the 50's, 60's & 70's at

Postage Paid Envelope Revenge

Tired of receiving mounds of unsolicited letters and offers in the mail? Want to fight back? Want to get rid of that old tire in your garage that the garbage man won't take?

Then read on......

Judo, anyone?

Do you like judo? Click here for some kick tail judo!

Thomas Rowlandson - Miseries in the Country

I saw this print today and somehow it spoke to me with a chuckle - don't know why.. perhaps the caption just gave me glimpse of the life we live some days - stuck in some mud... HELP!

In 1806, Rowlandson created Miseries of the Country, which was published by Ackerman. The etching depicts a group tromping through the countryside while getting stuck in mud and being accompanied by farm animals. The inscription on the print reads:

While you are out with a walking party, after heavy rains - one shoe suddenly sucked off by the boggy clay and then in making a long and desperate stretch which fails with the hope of recovering it the other left in the same predicament: the second stage of ruin is that of standing, or rather tottering in blank despair, with both bare feet planted ankle deep in the quagmire.

The dirt and grime on the group's feet and the filth and chaos of the surrounding farm animals reflects the reality of the countryside as opposed to the idealistic, romantic notions of the time.

Wake Forest University - Department of Art - Print Collection

Wonderful Misery

Reprinted in full:

"Once upon a time there lived a sea lion who had lost the sea. He lived in a country known as the barren lands. High on a plateau, far from any coast, it was a place so dry and dusty that it could only be called a desert. A kind of coarse grass grew in patches here and there, and a few trees were scattered across the horizon. But mostly, it was dust. And sometimes wind, which together make one very thirsty. Of course, it must seem strange to you that such a beautiful creature should wind up in a desert at all. He was, after all, a sea lion. But things like this do happen.

How the sea lion came to the barren lands, no one could remember. It all seemed so very long ago. So long, in fact, it appeared as though he had always been there. Not that he belonged in such an arid place. How could that be? He was, after all, a sea lion. But as you know, once you have lived so long in a certain spot, no matter how odd, you come to think of it as home."

John Eldridge begins his book "The Journey of Desire" with this little story. A few pages later, he paints a picture of a king who has been captured and taken into exile. He asks, should a king in exile pretend he is happy? Should he not seek his own country? And then he says something incredibly profound... something that I think sets up the premise of the entire book (although I've only read the first chapter - so I could be way off base). He says, "His miseries are his ally, they urge him on."

I love that phrase and that idea of allying with our miseries - of allowing our discontents to urge us forward. I don't know about you - but I know there have been seasons in my life where I have settled for the "barren lands." And it's amazing how quickly it can develop into a home and how difficult it becomes to leave.

Take a moment and ask yourself - have you settled into any barren lands? If so - let me encourage you to grow a little discontent... or a LOT discontent. Do your best to feed your miseries. They can be a wonderful ally.

Pastor Curtis Mulder is the Worship Arts pastor at newhope Church in Chapel Hill, NC

Why It Takes Years to Raise Quality Beef

Answers for the Beef Lover in you...

Many people think there's plenty of beef no farther away than their favorite food store. But it's not that simple to get high quality beef where and when people want it.

Beef supply is no accident. It's thousands of miles and 21-30 months from conception to consumption . . . from ranches to feedlots to packing plants . . . until that steak or roast is finally cut, wrapped and ready at your neighborhood food store. In between are countless management decisions resulting in profits; losses; successes; failures; huge investments; and months of long, hard work.

Beef Breakdown pdf

When Christmas falls on Sunday

There has been a flurry of blogging about (mostly) mega-churches that have opted not to have a Sunday service in light of their attention to Christmas Eve services.

[The author takes] the view that we should be a little more charitable in the discussion (and drop some of the caustic, belletristic, and condemnatory language). And let me make a mild case in defense of the mega-churches and smaller than mega-churches doing what they are doing: considering the Christmas Eve service to be their worship service for the week.

First, let's ask this question: Does the New Testament teach a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day worship service.

Second, let's ask a question at the heart of the discussion: Does the New Testament teach a Sunday morning worship service?

Read on for seven more excellent points... here from the Jesus Creed blog

Day 68 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

Day 68 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days - leads me to Eye Candy:

Per Eric Morehouse, this blog has been set up as an extension of a free weekly e-mail we've been sending out for over 5 years. It is our intention to raise the level of design by exposing ourselves to the examples set by others (both good and bad). We sincerely hope you will think, reflect, learn and raise the bar (or at least bring some insight and/or intelligent conversation that might have been overlooked) on the project in which you are currently engaged. The thoughtful evolution of the design of our cities and built environment is dependant upon the engaged critical thinking of it's design professionals.

The weekly emails contain some great links to stellar homes, interior images, design process information and modern architecture such as last week's email pointing to

The man who invented album covers

Most people who have bought any musical recordings over the past 60 years might have assumed they always came in covers, or sleeves, or jackets, that featured a colorful graphic designed to enhance the lure of the music.

They didn't. Album covers had to be invented. This was a task that largely fell to a Brooklyn kid named Alex Steinweiss.

Before Steinweiss entered the business in the 1930s, most 78-rpm records, the only kind that existed, were sold in plain brown sleeves, flimsy pieces of paper with a large round cutout so the label would show through. If the record company was ambitious, it might list other releases on the paper, as a kind of promotional afterthought.

read the rest of the story from the NYDailyNews -

Thanks to Alex, we've enjoy album covers such as Led Zeppelin III - spin the wheel cover.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Miracle Potato in time for Christmas

From Gizmodo:

Looks like this potato has had a narrow escape from its life of being mashed and ingested.

It was 7:30 PM, December 4th, 2005. The second Sunday of advent, in Joshua Tree, California. Personal Chef Karin Winkler started to prepare dinner. While thinking about upcoming Christmas, she was peeling and cutting a potato. Everything appeared to be normal. When she was peeling and cutting the second potato in half, a miracle happened: the symbol of a perfectly shaped holy cross appeared on both halves of the potato.

And Ms. Winkler saw the sign of the Lord and knew what it was telling her. PUT IT ON EBAY! That's right, you can get your hands on this holy little potato on the third Sunday of Advent (that's on December 11th for you heathens out there). So rejoice, all! And maybe you should think about swearing off spuds at your Christmas celebration this year.

Holy potato set to wow eBay [The Register]

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Today, I was twenty-seven floors up and saw the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center under construction... Take a glimpse inside.. and enjoy!

Day 67 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days

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Day 67 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days: 28-Day Prayer Journey to Passion 06.

Each day a prayer focus/guide will appear on the 268Blog. Carve out a few minutes in the midst of finals and holidays to link with students and leaders around the world, asking God to prepare your heart and ours for all that is ahead at Passion 06. If for some reason you can't make it to Nashville, be a part of the movement and pray with us wherever you are.

Want to volunteer? Click here to sign up for the awesome opportunity of serving this generation.

Previous post: Passion Conferences is returning to Nashville, TN to host Passion 06

Homeland Holiday Alert System

"ACLU Alert System" by Jay D. Dyson courtesy of Sacred Cow Burgers (12/10/2004)

With commentary from The Butcher.