Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Phu Ly, a developer living in London caught my attention with this post from If..Else Log ...
Curious questions indeed. Here in Nashville, there is Nashville Is Talking ... As the name suggests, Nashville Is Talking is a blog devoted to the daily conversation that is news in the Greater Nashville community. I think the next step for us is to to start having regular meet ups in person like the bloggers do in North Carolina.
Where is blogging's community?
It's interesting to note that whilst blogging is all about the people, there's a bit of a void when it comes to the community element. Why isn't there an accessible entry point where I can find tutorials on how to make the most of my blog and where I can find advice on the useful plugins available for TXP, WP and MT and reviews of recommended themes?
Where can I find interviews and articles written by seasoned bloggers?
Why have people chosen X and what have they done with Y?
Where can I find out about what's happening in the world of blogs?
Where can I talk to other bloggers of similar dispositions?
Why can't I have an attractive, appealing and accessible portal to the world of blogs?
Where is the blogging community that I've heard of?
May I suggest another source? Rebecca's Pocket by Rebecca Blood - She describes her blog as "devoted to highlighting whatever catches my attention, and I'm interested in lots of things. Some recurring themes are media literacy, sustainability, web culture, and domestic life. I often post about current events. Contradictions intrigue me."
Also she is the author of. The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog published in July 2002.
Phu Ly asks "Where can I find interviews and articles written by seasoned bloggers?"
Rebecca provides 5 great interviews - with bloggers on blogging - and other resources on her site ... Here's the intros to the five bloggers, all worth a read -
Heather Armstrong created Dooce.com in February 2001 "with a post about Carnation milk, it being the best in the land". A year later she was fired from her job for writing about her co-workers, famously becoming the first person ever to be "dooced": fired for blogging. In August 2005, Dooce is ranked #9 on the Technorati Top 100.
Glenn Reynolds started his immensely popular weblog Instapundit in August 2001. GlennReynolds.com, hosted by MSNBC since January 2003, contains "longer, more op-edish stuff".
Matt Haughey is probably best-known as the creator of Metafilter, the first community weblog. In addition to Metafilter, Matt maintains three other websites: A Whole Lotta Nothing, his personal blog, PVRblog, which is focused on personal video recording devices, and Ten Years of My Life, where he is photographically documenting a decade of his life.
Jessamyn West created Librarian.net in April 1999 and has maintained Abada Abada as part of her personal site since January 1997. She also maintains two other websites, Bendypig and Jessamyn.info
Rashmi Sinha created Rashmi Sinha's Weblog: Thoughts about Cognition, Design, and Technology in 2001 when she launched her consultancy. In January 2002, Rashmi created a group blog, DialogNow, in the aftermath of the December 2001 standoff between India and Pakistan.
Day 62 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days...
Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic.
I've got a lot of friends that play golf and every year I turn down invitations to play... It is a lot of walking, a big time sink and besides, I'm not old enough to play or see the necessity to play golf in order to cut a business deal. The times that I have played reminds me of solitary baseball or hitting flyballs for someone to catch on the other end. G.K. Chesterton regards golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.
Just because I don't play doesn't mean I can't appreciate golf. And for the reason that blogging provides a platform for people to share their passions, even golfing, I appreciate this golf blog by Byron. He personally believes "this site will become a great resource for golfers of all genre's, but the main focus is giving back to the golfing community. " Which is simply worth celebrating! Way to go Bryon!
All kidding aside, this is a well done blog that should be the blog of choice for all that enjoy golf.
Areas of interest are regarding nutrition, diet, exercise, swing tips, and not only do we carry a blog like atmosphere, but we also have a photo gallery containing pictures of golf courses, golf swings, and players (amateur and pro).
We also have videos of golf swings that can be viewed.
I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. ~Will Rogers
My friend Dave sent me this little email funny - but since I have tons of free time (grin) wouldn't be a hoot to actually participate in a real presentation using the following curriculum? I just might carve out a little time and work on a PowerPoint presentation - any takers?
NEW EVENING CLASSES FOR MEN
Note: due to the complexity and level of difficulty, each course will accept a maximum of eight participants. The course covers two days, and topics covered in this course include:
DAY ONE HOW TO FILL ICE CUBE TRAYS
Step by step guide with slide presentation
TOILET ROLLS- DO THEY GROW ON THE HOLDERS?
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LAUNDRY BASKET & FLOOR
Practicing with hamper (Pictures and graphics)
DISHES & SILVERWARE; DO THEY LEVITATE/FLY TO KITCHEN SINK OR DISHWASHER BY THEMSELVES?
Debate among a panel of experts.
EMPTY MILK CARTONS; DO THEY BELONG IN THE FRIDGE OR THE BIN?
Group discussion and role play
HEALTH WATCH; BRINGING HER FLOWERS IS NOT HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH PowerPoint presentation
LOSS OF VIRILITY
Losing the remote control to your significant other - Help line and support groups
LEARNING HOW TO FIND THINGS
Starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside down while screaming - Open forum
REAL MEN ASK FOR DIRECTIONS WHEN LOST
Real life testimonial from the one man who did
IS IT GENETICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SIT QUIETLY AS SHE PARALLEL PARKS?
LIVING WITH ADULTS; BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR PARTNER
Online class and role playing
HOW TO BE THE IDEAL SHOPPING COMPANION
Relaxation exercises, meditation and breathing techniques
REMEMBERING IMPORTANT DATES & CALLING WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE LATE
Bring your calendar or PDA to class
GETTING OVER IT; LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH BEING WRONG ALL THE TIME
Individual counselors available
My wife's email box is flooded with tons of pass along emails from her friend's dads that are retired - Occasionally, I get in on a couple of gems -
It would be awesome to see these trucks on the Tennessee highways, unless they are Photoshopped, since the location and the tree is in the same position- nonetheless, pretty cool to look at...
Man beams 5,000 radio, TV channels with a dozen satellite receivers
Unlike Ned Flanders (from the Simpsons) who has all of his channels blocked, Al Jessup just can't get enough programming...
Are 20 movie channels on demand just not enough?
Do constant reruns of "I Love the '80s" on VH1 have you ready to gouge out your eyeballs?
Then come to Al Jessup's house - where his 5,000-plus radio and television stations from around the world beamed in by his 12 satellite dishes are bound to keep you entertained somehow.
Since 1998, the Beckley resident has amassed a collection of 12 dishes around his James Street home. He said he first just began subscribing to Direct TV and Dish Network, but he later learned that by purchasing special satellite receivers he could receive "free to air" programming from several different satellites swirling the globe. The information on how to adjust a dish and set up a receiver to pick up programming from these stations such as Galaxy 10, AMC 2 and Telestar 5 is included with these receivers.
Story by Amelia A. Pridemore, Register-Herald Reporter
I saw this news report the other day and I have two burning questions .... PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Agents had to use a 20-foot truck to cart away the evidence from a suspect's house - mountains of Lego bricks.
Man accused of Lego thefts
William Swanberg, 40, of Reno, is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the colorful plastic building blocks.
Swanberg was indicted by a grand jury in Hillsboro, a Portland suburb, which charged him with stealing Lego sets from Target stores.
Target estimates Swanberg stole up to $200,000 worth of the brick sets pilfered from their stores in Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. The Legos were resold on the Internet, officials said.
Burning question number one: How big is a 20 foot truck? Big enough to move three bedrooms worth of stuff from my move back to Nashville! I've got three big tubs of Legos, so please define "mountains of Legos" for me...
Burning question number two: How much is $200,000 worth of Legos? The Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego set (below) retails for $100. So $200,000 worth of Legos translates into 2000 boxes of said Lego item... (enough to fill a 20 foot truck?)
Back in the sixties when the sheriffs rounded up a local pot bust, a car trunk full of illegal weed boasted a haul worth a quarter million dollars on the street. Right.
I'm not defending a thief, but I think in the Lego bandit case, a twenty foot truck was the only truck available for rent at the time.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Agents had to use a 20-foot truck to cart away the evidence from a suspect's house - mountains of Lego bricks.
Day 61 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days -
I know that I've been a little slack in keeping up with a daily blog of the day posting - but it is really hard to dig deep and find the kind of blogs that I want to present. The original project was to solicit blogs that contain no porn, spam, rants, politics and angst - I was looking for "GOOD NEWS" blogs that reveal what's going on in people's life, your dreams - because I want to capture your thoughts that inspire, affirm, encourage, build up and speak life...
Here in West Nashville, there's a section of town called "The Nations" with the reputation of being a rough and tumble neighborhood and working class stiffs from industrial businesses in the area. Some would say those peoples living there are "White Trash".
Well I've been hanging out at Rooster's wonderful blog - Proud White Trash.com
Rooster explains: My mom tried to deny it, but the clues were everywhere: Trailer? Check. Dad who served at least one term in prison? Yep. Velveeta and Spam as a major food group? You betcha. We're not trash, my mother would always insist. We're poor, but we're proud. And thus began the separation of myself between two worlds: The Poor But Prouds, and the White Trash. It was a confusing, tumultuous time.Why can't we all get along? You'll love this blog - it's not a putdown, just a fun place to hang out... work on your car, talk a little trash, eat a little Spam, share a bag of Doritos and a 2-liter of Coke.
But today, I have triumphed. I have merged those two worlds into one, and am now, forever, and always: Proud White Trash.
This blog will explore that world, both my personal experiences and the experiences of others. There will be interviews, memoirs, analysis of traditions and societal expectations, and much more, all with a true fondness and appreciation for the White Trash among us, and within us.
Monday, November 28, 2005
I've been reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi with Tahl Raz and it is so chock full of wisdom - not only in a business / networking setting (as the book intended to be) but for those who need a kickstart in interpersonal relationships.
Whether you spend five seconds or five hours with a new contact or acquaintance, make the time count. In Los Angeles, where I live, eye darters are a party staple. They're constantly looking to and fro in an attempt to ferret out the most important person in the room. Frankly, it's a disgusting habit, and one that's sure to put off those around you.
The surest way to become special in others' eyes is to make them feel special. The correlate, of course, is equally true: Make people feel insignificant and your significance to them shall certainly diminish.
Other nuggets and principles from Keith and Tahl include -
Look for mentors: Link up with people who can help guide your career and can introduce you to the people you need to know. Then become a mentor yourself.
I am passionate about mentoring - many of us are way too busy to invest in others and tap in the wisdom that is available from the older generation. I've gained more wisdom from mentors in my life than any college course could offer.
Be interesting: Develop the style, knowledge, and expertise that will draw others to you.
Build it before you need it: Create lists of people you know- and those you want to know - and maintain ongoing contacts with them throughout your life and career - not just when you need a favor.
Harvey McKay wrote a whole book on this matter - Dig Your Well Before You Are Thirsty. The title says it all.
Never eat alone: Avoid the fate of - invisibility- use potential social settings to constantly reach out to colleagues and future contacts.
I think that a great way to make the new guy at work feel welcome to to befriend the person and take him to lunch - there is nothing worse that the first day on the job and eating alone. I'm surprised that a lot of managers are blind to this simple act of professional courtesy.
Read more excerpts here from 800-CEO-READ Excerpts
Buy the book here at 800-CEO-READ
Tired of sitting around wasting your MBA and skills sets on popping bubble wrap (and irritating your office mates?) Or the Palm handheld versions (Bombel) ain't doing it anymore?
Well no more! Put that MBA to good use and head over to inBubbleWrap
If you like free stuff and the best in books and other free stuff then it's really simple - just create an account and visit every day for your chance to win - assuming that you answer the two questions right, you can win big!
There's a new offer for you to enter on a daily basis. I logged in and won several prizes such as The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley, Executive Intelligence by Justin Menkes and Spark by John Winsor! Check out the November's previous offers here here. And I don't have a MBA!
This project is founded by http://www.800ceoread.com/ the best source period online for business books.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
I'm giving thanks with a grateful heart A to Z this thanksgiving season -
A - Ally my lab dog and faithful companion for over 8 years - she has a vocabulary of 20 sign language words and just sweet as she can be!
B - For my wife Becky of 26 years - I love her so much for her friendship, insight and faithfulness to truth and for loving me always.
C - Christmas, when Christ was born in a manger.
D - Digglet, my grand dog... smart and loves to play.
E - Ears to hear and eyes to see.
F - Frank, my next door neighbor who been like a father to me for 20 years. Frank taught me to garden, fix cars and generally is always there as a good neighbor.
G - Gary - my son - I am so proud of him and seeing him grow up and embrace his destiny into Christlikeness.
H - Home. Great to be home after commuting for 14 months. Never again will I be separated from my family for work.
I - Insight and inventive thoughts.
J - Jesus Christ, my rock and salvation who models excellence and agape love.
K - Kerry, grateful that I have a name and was not aborted.
L - Love covers a multitude of sins.
M - Megan, my precious daughter. She is sweet with a big heart.
N - Nashville. I love this city so much - the people, community and wealth of treasures around every corner.
O - Opportunity in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
P - My parents who sacrifice greatly to raise a big family, always making sure we had food and education.
Q - Quiet moments alone with God and away from the rush of the world.
R - Relationships... we were not meant to be alone.
S - Stability; worth pursuing, nice to have.
T - Time to do all the things I want to do.
U - Understanding; how sad to hear and not understand.
V - Volunteering; what a joy it is to serve others.
W - The extended Woo family; 3 brothers and 3 sisters scattered around the country.
X - X marks the spot; to be in center of God's will for my life.
Y - Today's youth, who are passionate for life.
Z - Zest and Z's
From BeliefNet: A Thanksgiving Haggadah
We are thankful that we live in this American community, which derives its awesome creativity and energy from the diversity of its people, the freedoms they enjoy, and their fervent pursuit of justice.
Let us express our gratitude using these written words or our own.
We are thankful for the freedom from hunger.
We are thankful for the freedom to worship.
We are thankful for the freedom to challenge our minds.
We are thankful for the freedom to change our minds.
We are thankful for the freedom to chart our lives.
We are thankful for the freedom to work for a better world.
We are thankful for the freedom to celebrate this day.
We pray for our country, for the men and women who today are protecting our freedom, and for the day when this nation and the entire world will know peace.
>Oseh shalom bi-m'romav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru amen.
"We cannot merely pray to God to end war;
For the world was made in such a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbor...
Therefore we pray instead
For strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of merely to pray
To become instead of merely to wish;
That our world may be safe,
And that our lives may be blessed."
--Rabbi Jack Riemer
God who brings peace to the universe will bring peace to us and to all the people Israel, and to all the inhabitants of the earth. And let us say, Amen.
We thank God for the bread on our table by sharing our good fortune with others.
Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, ha-motzi lehem min ha-aretz.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert explain clearly how to debate on the Internet....
I've always wonder how most political blogs of the accusing kind do it - the secret sauce is revealed at last:
If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the offensive.
(1) Turn someone's generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)
(2) Turn someone's factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.
(3) Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn't eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.
(4) Omit key words. For example, if someone says that people can't eat rocks, accuse the person of being stupid for suggesting that people can't eat. Bonus points for arguing that some people CAN eat pebbles if they try hard enough.
(5) Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.
(6) Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.
(7) Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.
Click here to read the comments
Gizmodo is giving away a 30GB iPod - you know, the one that plays video? - to the person who builds the best shrine to house the bewildering glory that is Job's Seed.
Here's my choice made from LEGOs:
more details on how to enter! Hurry, contest ends November 28th!
Day 60 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days...
With a lot going on with the holidays, admidst all of the traveling and holiday preparations we all could use a break from reading lines of text...
And with thanksgiving upon us, how rare is it to bag two blogs in one!
My blog(s) of the day is simply the no frills attached, low brain processing and wonderful blog from somewhere in ohio from somebody named Drew curled up into a tiny ball in a post office box named: toothpaste for dinner
There is a daily drawing dating way back to 2002 on life's little oddities - his wife Natalie has a set of drawings as well on her blog at natalie dee
Oh yes, there are writings as well along with some bizarre misc stuff and merchandise as well on both blogs ... but Natalie shares generously FAQs about herself (but both do not share drawings, so I wouldn't think of making a tshirt from one of them...)
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your drawings?
A: A couple years ago, I was at a garage sale, and I picked up this book of cartoons for a dollar. The book came out in 1962, and it was called "The Natalie Dee: A Collection of Illustrations". I've just been redrawing all those cartoons. I will be finished updating the website in the next month or two, when I finish copying everything from the book.
Check both of them out; fun stuff!
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution music staff revealed its 100 Best Songs of the South...
Just try. Try to name a part of the country -- or the world, for that matter -- that's done more for music in the last 150 years than these Southern United States.
You cain't, child. There ain't none.
We birthed the blues. We launched rock 'n' roll. We've been the seat of gospel, the bastion of bluegrass, the home to the world's hottest hip-hop. We've dug deep down to our Nappy Roots, fostered Stephen Foster, screamed "Sweet Home Alabama" and gotten straight-up Ludacris, from Memphis to Mobile to Uncle Tupelo.
Southern music encompasses all kinds of styles, yet it hangs together as a coherent genre. Nobody's ever heard of New England music or Midwestern music, but down here we know that rock can have soul and rap can be country, and even wimpy folk can count so long as it's got Carolina in its mind. Southern music's more of a sensibility than a sound.
Here's a sample of this rich list from Access Atlanta:
10. "Coat of Many Colors" -- Dolly Parton (1971). A poignant tale of Parton's dirt-poor but love-rich upbringing in the East Tennessee mountains. It would have sounded weepy coming from anyone else, but Parton turns sadness into sublime beauty.
9. "Georgia on My Mind" -- Ray Charles (1960). Thanks to the late, great Albany, Ga., native's wonderfully earnest delivery, this old, sweet song -- like Charles -- will forever stay on our minds.
8. "Rosa Parks" -- OutKast (1998). New York-spawned hip-hop takes a seat on the front porch as its country cousins Dre and Big Boi spin a wickedly melodic tale over an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and a knee slap.
7. "Rocky Top" -- The Osborne Brothers (1968). It sounds like a traditional bluegrass tune, but it was written by pop and country songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the married team behind many Everly Brothers' hits. Boudleaux, a classically trained violinist, once played with the Atlanta Symphony.
and ninety three others
Day 59 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days... brings me to Toronto again for Advertising/Design Goodness
Oh the good old days of ad agencies, sparring with art directors and designers and yes, the account managers on what makes a good ad... Dare we mention the B word? (BRAND)
Thumb through any magazine and there are ads to numb anyone's senses - let alone the web, TV and more - let's not forget about logos as well!
Frederik Samuel is an art director/designerout of Toronto, Canada. "There are way too many bad ads going around, so i thought we should concentrate on the ones that are great." And Frederik and the blog team of designers do... take a look for yourself! And get inspired in the process - great blog.
I'm sitting in front of the TV and watching the news about all the hoopla about snagging an XBox; the TennCare debate; workers getting laid off right before Christmas and people talking about dreading the fear about being two paychecks away from being poor or even homeless. Yet, keep spending and mask the denial that the company I work for with great union benefits is deep in debt and will never turn a profit? Keep making the minimum payments on the plastic in the hopes that one day the lottery will come though just for me?
Jesus said the poor will always be among us... so what is our modern day definition of being poor? And better yet, our response? And what if I was affected by Katrina/Rita or a tornado? Last, why does the Christmas season always bring out the tension between gifts, giving and the poor?
So what is being poor all about? John Scalzi has a few bullet points about Being Poor :
- Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
- Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.
- Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.
- Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.
- Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.
- Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say 'I get free lunch' when you get to the cashier.
- Being poor is living next to the freeway.
- Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.
- Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.
- Being poor is off-brand toys.
- Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.
- Being poor is knowing you can't leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.
- Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.
- Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.
- Being poor is Goodwill underwear.
- Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.
- Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.
- Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.
- Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.
Read on if you need more definitions...
Being poor means dreading the holidays - when there should be so much to be thankful for...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
White Ninja is oblivious to the dangers of sitting on a bench in the middle of the road By Handsome Doug (England)
Mike Straka over at FoxNews shares his grrr pain of the Oblivions...
So what's new? I have always thought of the Oblivions as God's heavenly sandpaper to smooth out my character (although I do tell God "I have all the character I can stand!")
Oblivions are people who are so oblivious to their surroundings, they commit daily acts of rude behavior without ever even conceiving of their own repugnancy. They simply don't know any better.
For example, coming back East from a trip to Los Angeles this past the weekend, I was treated to a father, a son and a daughter who boarded the rental car shuttle for the Midwest Air terminal.
While the kids slung their bags over their shoulders and nearly broke the nose of the person behind them - without acknowledging the gaffe, mind you - the father was busy balancing a sausage McMuffin and a cup of coffee in one hand and his cell phone in the other, all the while carrying on a conversation that was apparently hilarious, because he laughed heartily and loudly the whole ride.
When we came to the Midwest terminal, the family never got up, despite two announcements from the driver. Finally, after the driver walked up to them to ask them if they were getting off, they all sprang up from their seats, awakened out of their Oblivion trance.
The son stepped on the toes of an elderly woman who yelped in pain. He never apologized.
The daughter said "Duh," so at least she acknowledged her brother's Oblivionism, but the father - now he was a study in Oblivionism - never got off the phone as the kids got their own bags and wreaked their own havoc. He continued to wolf down his breakfast while - get this - the driver unloaded his bags for him. Dad never said thank you.
Needless to say, when the doors closed and we proceeded on our route to the next terminal, the entire shuttle bus released a huge sigh of relief.
That my friends, is a true Oblivion encounter.
What is your religious belief today? What is your concept of God?
If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there's a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in "straw poverty"; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me.
How does it make sense?
As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It's so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don't use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I'm the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut.
Do you pray or have any religious practices?
I try to take time out of every day, in prayer and meditation. I feel as at home in a Catholic cathedral as in a revival tent. I also have enormous respect for my friends who are atheists, most of whom are, and the courage it takes not to believe.
How big an influence is the Bible on your songwriting? How much do you draw on its imagery, its ideas?
It sustains me.
As a belief, or as a literary thing?
As a belief. These are hard subjects to talk about because you can sound like such a dickhead. I'm the sort of character who's got to have an anchor. I want to be around immovable objects. I want to build my house on a rock, because even if the waters are not high around the house, I'm going to bring back a storm. I have that in me. So it's sort of underpinning for me.
I don't read it as a historical book. I don't read it as, "Well, that's good advice." I let it speak to me in other ways. They call it the rhema. It's a hard word to translate from Greek, but it sort of means it changes in the moment you're in. It seems to do that for me.
You're saying it's a living thing?
It's a plumb line for me. In the Scriptures, it is self-described as a clear pool that you can see yourself in, to see where you're at, if you're still enough. I'm writing a poem at the moment called "The Pilgrim and His Lack of Progress." I'm not sure I'm the best advertisement for this stuff.
What do you think of the evangelical movement that we see in the United States now?
I'm wary of faith outside of actions. I'm wary of religiosity that ignores the wider world. In 2001, only seven percent of evangelicals polled felt it incumbent upon themselves to respond to the AIDS emergency. This appalled me. I asked for meetings with as many church leaders as would have them with me. I used my background in the Scriptures to speak to them about the so-called leprosy of our age and how I felt Christ would respond to it. And they had better get to it quickly, or they would be very much on the other side of what God was doing in the world.
Amazingly, they did respond. I couldn't believe it. It almost ruined it for me -- 'cause I love giving out about the church and Christianity. But they actually came through: Jesse Helms, you know, publicly repents for the way he thinks about AIDS.
Down a mp3 of Bono's Rolling Stone interview here
Monday, November 21, 2005
Steve has a play by play rant on the status of the New Orlrans football team post Katrina. This unfolding story is one to watch as the city of New Orlrans deals with the repairs to the SuperDome, the fan base, NFL public relations and owner Tom Benson's perfect alibi to leave town for greener pastures...
That was the slogan of this year's New Orleans Saints. Some clever commercials and the expectation that the long suffering Saints fans would support another questionable team, that's what the Saints offered. If faith is what the fans needed,talent is what the Saints needed. In the Saints long history the team has managed to win exactly one playoff game. But the New Orleans fans are faithful and over the last several years our relatively small city produced a long string of sellouts watching a mostly mediocre team continue a tradition of mediocrity.Read more here
After playing at the Superdome for more than two decades, the New Orleans Saints are one of several teams in the NFL who want a new stadium built. In the summer of 2001, owner of the Saints, Tom Benson requested that a new retractable roof stadium be built for the team by the 2006 season. Several sites have been discussed on where the stadium should be built including one 10 blocks from the Superdome. However, since 2001, little progress has been made on a new facility for the Saints. Originally the projected cost was roughly $450 million. Under the original plans, if a new stadium was built, it would be in an oval shape with 60-70,000 seats and a retractable roof to protect fans from bad weather. The stadium would also include a state of the art entertainment system, and fans would also be allowed to tailgate around the stadium. Throughout 2004 and 2005 there have been discussions of the Saints possibly relocating to Los Angeles or possibly San Antonio. There has been discussions of renovating the Superdome at a cost of around $174 million, but in April 2005, the Saints dropped the negotiations. The team does have a clause that allows them to leave the Superdome at New Orleans after the 2005 season.
Source: Saints Stadium
You probably spend more on entertainment than you do on groceries, clothing or gasoline.
The NY Times has a interesting article by Damon Darlin: How to Tame an Inflated Entertainment Budget
If you don't believe it, take a few minutes to total your monthly costs, starting with the services that have you locked in: basic cable television, and any premium channels, like HBO or Showtime; Netflix to rent videos; TiVo for digital recording; your high-speed Internet connection; and perhaps, satellite radio and streaming music like Yahoo Music. You are already up to about $200 a month, or $2,400 a year.
Don't forget your iTunes music and video downloads, plus magazines, movie rentals, movie tickets, live shows and sporting events.
Add in your cellphone and any of its video, data and premium content.
The average American spends more on entertainment than on gasoline, household furnishings and clothing and nearly the same amount as spent on dining out, according to the Bureau of LaborStatistics.
With Cingular, Comcast, DirectTV, TIVO, Napster I'm already at $220.00 (and I've already dropped Napster at $17.99). It is true that for every penny uptick in gasoline, it comes out of the entertainment budget. And if one makes $6 to $10 an hour thats 36 to 22 hours just to satisfy an entertainment budget. I can't fathom ever paying .99 cents for a ringtone or $2.49 for a downloaded song on my phone. Predators hockey and Titans football would be hard to squeeze in the ole entertainment budget!
Read more: here
You probably spend more on entertainment than you do on groceries, clothing or gasoline.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Expect mayhem in the streets of Nashville tonight! as Vandy upsets the Tennessee Vols 28-24 in Knoxville... and mass agent orange depression sets in over East Tennessee...
More details from the Tennessean and from blogger Big Orange Michael
Friday, November 18, 2005
Day 58 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days ...
Thinking of starting a blog? Or have you blogging for a while and just need a point of reference or as they would say in academia, a refresher course? Rob has the perfect online source for you at Orangejack Blogging University :: aka Rob's Blog.
When I started the WonderDawg blog as a while to pass the time while commuting between Nashville and Raleigh, NC and also a backdoor way to learn HTML, I used Rob's notes to help get me started. I would highly recommend the site to your friends to get started in blogging - and Rob offers two degrees:
Associate's Degree of Blogging: complete both Freshmen & Sophomore level courses
Bachelor's Degree of Blogging: complete all four level courses
(note that both degrees are suitable for framing!)
Rob's main blog is http://rob.orangejack.com/. There's lots of photos, musings and off the wall stuff to dive into. Fun stuff!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Day 57 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days -
The Cult of Mac Blog is my pick for the day - this blog by Wired News editor Leander Kahney covers the gamut from Macs to iPods to the business of Apple and everything in between. Even if you're a Windows guy, you'll appreciate the "buzz" and passion that Apple products generate amongst the community. Like a cult.
In fact, the blog has been compiled into the bestselling The Cult of Mac along with a new book The Cult of iPod, "a comprehensive look at how Apple's hit iPod is changing music, culture, and listening behavior. The Cult of iPod includes the exclusive back story of the iPod's development; looks at the many ways iPod's users pay homage to their devices; and investigates the quirkier aspects of iPod culture, such as iPod-jacking (strangers plugging into each other's iPods to discover new music) as well as the growing legions of MP3Js (regular folks who use their iPods to become DJs). 4-color throughout."
The blog is inspiring in itself, because the community of Apple is a creative bunch. I'm not aware of any XP blogs or Windows fanatics... Hey, one day I'll get around to building a iPod jukebox scaled to fit a old Windows PC, something Apple using LEGOs and certainly a iWipe (see post below) - all ideas featured from this blog.
What is it about Apple products that users come up with the most creative uses for its products? Surely the DNA of Creativity is built into every product! After seeing this former MacSE case transformed by Shawn Morton, I'm compelled to take my 2 old yellowed Mac 128 cases and create a tissue paper dispenser! Something this exotic shouldn't be sitting on a floor. It won't be long before we see some iMacs transformed into household items.
Sez Shawn: One of my co-workers was giving away and old Atari 800XL and Macintosh SE case. He had been planning to do a mini-ITX project, but had never gotten around to it. Always wanting an excuse to tinker with something, I decided to take them off of his hands.
Well, as soon as I saw the Mac SE case, I realized that this one had the most potential. So this weekend, I bought a few things at Home Depot and got started making my Apple-powered, wireless, portable toilet paper dispenser -- the iWipe.
The whole project took a couple of hours and cost about $15.
Get the step by step instructions here!
Gathering Leaders Include Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Piper, David Crowder Band, Beth Moore, Matt Redman, Others
Passion Conferences is returning to Nashville, TN to host Passion 06, a four-day indoor gathering for college students from around the nation and world, January 2 - 5, 2006. Leading the gathering will be renowned speakers Louie Giglio, John Piper and Beth Moore, among others, as well as such acclaimed artist-worshipers as Charlie Hall, David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Shane and Shane, Nathan and Christy Nockels, and more.
Passion 06 will be held at the Gaylord Entertainment Center (GEC) in the heart of Downtown Nashville. Not only will students worship together in an arena packed with thousands of faces representing campuses from every corner of the nation, but they will also have the chance to sit and process what God is doing in their lives with a small group of students they connect with through the smaller community groups that make up the fabric of the conference.
Similar to last January's Passion 05 in Music City, Passion 06 will provide smaller sessions through Community Groups, Family Groups and Late Nights in various venues throughout the downtown area within walking distance from the GEC. The Community and Family groups will allow students to unpack what they learn throughout the week in small group environments and the Late Nights give students a chance to "hang out" after the evening session ends each night.
"Not only are we thrilled and humbled by the growing number of students making their way to join us in Nashville, we are excited about the possible impact of these four days on the collegiate culture as a whole," notes Louie Giglio, Passion Conferences founder/director. "Millions of students are searching for a meaningful encounter with their Creator and we are praying Passion 06 becomes fuel for a generation that will amplify the name of Jesus to the world."
With students registering many times faster than last year's Passion 05, which brought together more than 11,000 college-age students representing every state, 1,100 campuses and eight foreign countries, thousands have already registered for Passion 06. Students are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. Early registration closes Dec. 1. Detailed schedule and registration information can be found at http://www.oneday03.com/. Registration fee includes conference materials and lunch on Jan. 3 and 4.
In order to make Passion 06 happen, over 1000 volunteers are also needed to serve throughout the conference in various jobs. For people over the age of 25, Passion Conferences requests they attend as a volunteer or as a leader of a group. Those interested in volunteering at Passion 06 are asked to submit a volunteer application at www.268generation.com before the Dec. 1 deadline.
As Passion 06 approaches, an experience of last year's Passion 05 can be heard on sixstepsrecords' eighth Passion project, Passion: How Great Is Our God. The recording features music recorded live from the main stage at the Passion 05 gathering. Capturing the heart of the gathering with 13 live tracks, the recording released April 12 to wide critical acclaim and became the No. 1 best seller in its first week out on the SoundScan Christian Retail sales chart. The album also landed at No. 74 on the Billboard Top 200 sales chart.
The Passion movement began in 1995 with a stirring in the heart of Passion founder Louie Giglio. Born out of a desire to see the 13 million college students of the nation awaken to the reality of a glorious God, the vision took shape under the leadership of men like Louie Giglio and the board of Choice Ministries, the non-profit umbrella for Passion Conferences. Like-minded campus ministers then met together in 1996 and paved the way for the first of three Passion gatherings (1997, '98 and '99) that united over 18,000 college students with the desire to see God magnified in their lives, their campuses and throughout the earth.
Since then, millions have connected with Passion through one of the several gatherings, such as the OneDay gatherings and the Passion Experience Tour featured by the New York Times, CNN, among others, or through eight Passion worship recordings and three DVDs that have been released worldwide, selling well over one million copies. The domino effect has spawned a movement that has circled the globe.
The unique purpose of Passion is to gather college students from campuses and churches across the nation, uniting them across ministry and denominational lines to seek the face of God together in worship and prayer. Affirming and valuing the work of local churches and campus ministries, Passion seeks to foster unity and connectivity among them, encouraging them to draw strength and encouragement from each other, resulting in a louder anthem of God's renown.
ADRIAN PIERCE ROGERS
September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39During my time with Promise Keepers, Dr. Rogers and Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee served as one of my chief encouragers and supporters of the ministry. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy as a true Christian statesman, father, husband and a Godly man and example to all.
Dr. Adrian Rogers, one of the greatest preachers and Christian leaders of the 20th century, died November 15, 2005. Like Ezra, the great leader of ancient Israel, Dr. Rogers committed his life to one overarching purpose: the preaching and teaching of God's Word. "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments" (Ezra 7:10).
Day 56 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days -
Here is one of the most delightful blogs that I have visited since I started the 100 blog quest- Mildred Garfield pens My Mom's Blog by Thoroughly Modern Millie
On August 12, Mildred writes:
In a few days I am going to be eighty years old! I just typed that and I can not believe it, maybe I feel it sometimes but I sure don't think or act it.
One of the reasons I feel so good is that I have something that I am involved in, excited about and look forward to. You guessed it, it's blogging.
I started blogging about two years ago and the more I post, the more I enjoy it. Over time I have made many friends from the United States and countries from all over the world. I am amazed how blogging has opened my mind and enriched my life.
Mega dittos! You don't have to wait until Sunday afternoon to visit Mildred... I'm sure she'll welcome you at any time and appreciate a comment or two... Enjoy this blog - it will bring a smile to your face. Mildred has a very sweet spirit and writes about some interesting stuff - like opening things, microwave explosions and insights on life.
I marvel how technology and blogging can reach all ages and to me, I'm inspired that an eighty year old mom is blogging!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Day 55 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days takes me to Mark Lee's blog, This Guy Falls Down
Mark shares that not only he is the guitar player in a 'lil band from Tennessee band called Third Day, but he treads "in the murky gray waters between official and unofficial. Now you can check out the Third Day blog and get the "official" scoop, and come here to see what kind of absurdities are floating around in my head the rest of the time."
Mark has a diversity of interests (visit and read for yourself) like CurrentTV, musical tastes, songwriting hacks and other stuff. It is always neat to see what churns inside a musician's head, especially when they take the time to write a blog or two and share about stuff you should never ask about:
- telemarketing for a cemetery
- getting hit by a truck while in high school
- riding in back of U Haul trucks
There's a book out called The Wisdom of Crowds...
"We generally have less information than we’d like. We have limited foresight into the future. Most of us lack the ability—and the desire—to make sophisticated cost-benefit calculations. Instead of insisting on finding the best possible decision, we will often accept one that seems good enough. And we often let emotion affect our judgment. Yet despite all these limitations, when our imperfect judgments are aggregated in the right way, our collective intelligence is often excellent.", [James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds]
And today that collective wisdom came into play at the Nashville Palm Users Group - Not only did I enjoy a great demo of Apple's iPhoto and Aperture by Fred Heumann, but learned more about Flickr, Mobilogs, TextAmerica and other ways to share photos online with friends and family.
Part of the collective wisdom came upon me today when I expressed frustration with my constant blue screen of death on my desktop PC, especially when I'm writing a blog entry... (cause I have to stop and copy and paste this piece I just wrote so that I won't lose it) - either when Blogger crashes or Windows XP blinks off with the dreaded device driver 256:1 error code.
So from the collective wisdom of three different people, Michael, Steve and Randy - they all point to using Opera as a internet browser. The wisdom shared was to never ever use Internet Explorer again to eliminate spyware, possible crashes, etc. So here tis - so far so good! However in Blogger, the Edit HTML and Compose tab don't show up, so I'm back to Internet Explorer for this particular task.
One cool feature that I am looking forward to using since I am in the Voice Biometrics software business in Opera is Voice functionality!
Opera is the first browser to prepare for a future of Web sites offering interactive, voice-enabled shopping and booking systems. You can browse the Web using spoken commands, such as "Opera next link", "Opera back", or "Opera speak". The latter command will make Opera read Web page content and e-mail messages to you aloud ,adding usability as either a screen reader or advanced dictionary. Voice is currently offered in English and works on Windows 2000 and XP. A headset with a microphone is required to use Voice.
Also, I met a blogger (Tn Girl)! Which proves that we all do get out and can actually have a real conversation without typing - We talked about the Nashville Is Talking Meetups that I yet to have attend, but want to; a Lego's desk and Flickr.
When I worked briefly in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Anton Zucker was key in organizing blog together meetups across the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area on a monthly basis; there were topics that he would jumpstart to get the conversation flowing. There were even blogging 101 classes to help aspiring bloggers and podcasters get going with the basics. Maybe I'll help champion monthly meet ups here for bloggers; we already have a great time at the Palm users group, so I expect the community spirit to carry on as we tap into the wisdom of crowds!
(Never trust the wisdom of mobs... your car may get torched)
Friday, November 11, 2005
Day 54 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days takes us to a U2 blog network; specific of interest was the section titled:
"Drawing Their Fish in the Sand"
"We've found different ways of expressing it, and recognized the power of the media to manipulate such signs. Maybe we just have to sort of draw our fish in the sand. It's there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't."
-- Bono on faith, quoted in 'U2 at the End of the World' "
Much has been written and implied about Bono's faith and the Biblical references drawn from U2's lyrics - Here's a unique blog that ties the songs together with Bible passages. On the sidebar are many links as well. A well done labor of love blog.
Here are two samples (and I added in the iTunes links for reference)
"Where the Streets Have No Name"
"We're beaten and blown by the wind" -- James 1:6: "But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind."
Although I'm sure there are several layers of meaning to this image, I cannot imagine someone who knows the Bible as well as Bono describing an ideal place in terms of "streets" without thinking of the description of the great street in the kingdom of Heaven -- Revelation 22:1 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city." And 22:21 "The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." (submitted by Rev. Beth)
"Sunday Bloody Sunday"
"Trenches dug within our hearts, And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart" -- Matthew 10:35: "For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
"Wipe the tears from your eyes" -- Revelation 21:4: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes..."
"We eat and drink while tomorrow they die" A brilliant ironic take on I Cor 15:32 "If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." The "how long" cry is too frequent in the Bible to cover in full, but here are some prominent examples:
Ps 6:3 "My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?" (This is the same line Bono says he used in "40," too.)
Ps 94:3 "How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant?"
Habakkuk 1:2 "How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?" (submitted by Rev. Beth)
If you're a fan or have any interest in this band that I think has substance and global influence for good, then this could very well be the one stop for all things U2... theology students, worth checking out for your next Bible study!
The second Saturday of each month, Michael Ashby hosts the Nashville Palm Users Group (NPUG) which caters to anyone and everyone with an interest with Palm handhelds. Lately, PDAs are just an extension of our digital lifestyles - previous discussions have included blogging tools, GeoCaching, iTunes and now this month, digital photographs.
With the holidays coming up soon, there's more than just good food and expanding waist lines to contend with - because where there's friends and families, there's photographs. Digital photographs make capturing memories quick and easy, but how do you share them? Well, this month NPUG takes a look at all the various ways that you can share your favorite pictures with your friends and family. From a simple e-mail attachment, to moblogs to Walgreens, we'll cover everything you need to know to take your digital photos to the next level.
Bloggers are welcome - you'll probably win something and meet a diverse group of cool people like yourself - Seriously, this meetup is non geek as you can get and I think liberals even show up! So unless you are going fishing, you'll want to stop by and have a great time!
Date: November 12, 2005
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
First Data Systems
1187 Vultee Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37217
Come check it out: directions and details
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Day 53 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days
Here's a simple no brainer hands down blog of the day!
Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist and professional smartypants, recently reflected on blogging in his Dilbert Newsletter 61.0. "People who are trying to decide whether to create a blog or not go through a thought process much like this:
1. The world sure needs more of ME.
2. Maybe I'll shout more often so that people nearby can experience the joy of knowing my thoughts.
3. No, wait, shouting looks too crazy.
4. I know - I'll write down my daily thoughts and badger people to read them.
5. If only there was a description for this process that doesn't involve the words egomaniac or unnecessary.
6. What? It's called a blog? I'm there!
The blogger's philosophy goes something like this: Everything that I think about is more fascinating than the crap in your head. The beauty of blogging, as compared to writing a book, is that no editor will be interfering with my random spelling and grammar, my complete disregard for the facts, and my wandering sentences that seem to go on and on and never end so that you feel like you need to take a breath and clear your head before you can even consider making it to the end of the sentence that probably didn’t need to be written anyhoo.
If that doesn’t inspire you to read my blog, I don't know what will. You can find the Dilbert Blog at http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/
Hat tip to Ed Rothwell @ :noodlestatic
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Day 52 of visiting 100 blogs in 100 days...
SHLOG, a blog by Shaun Groves is one that I've been reading for a while. It's stark only becuase I sense that there is a bit of angst in Shaun - the conflict / rub comes up against the everything is rosy for Christian artists singing about Jesus. But the demands of Contemporary Christian Music expectations, the rigors of touring and proclaiming the Gospel in song don't often sync up in perfect order.
I get more out of the comments when Shaun defends the Gospel in a thoughtful, prayerful way for example when writing about an recent entry - "University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas lost a pastor and friend today. Kyle Lake, father of three, died this morning baptizing in UBC's morning service, welcoming people into the Kingdom of Heaven."
In the midst of his pain, Shaun takes on a confrontation with an atheist with grace...
I'm not saying this because I believe in just a few sentences I can convinceyou that God exists, something you've decided over much time not to be true.
How naive would that be? I say all this to you because there might be other people reading this who think, "Yea, I'm with Alan, God's a jerk and I'd rather justnot deal with Him." I feel that way some days too. But if my opinion of Godcreated or killed Him in this way then I'd be God wouldn't I? God is still God even on days like today when I don't get or fully appreciate Him at all times. This tragedy hasn't changed Him in the least.
His official website describes Shaun Groves as one who: "defies typical expectations and simple labels. He is an insightful songwriter, one who displays such incredible lyrical prowess that his musical peers nominated him for Songwriter of the Year solely on the strength of his 2001 debut. He’s also a solid on-stage performer as the lanky Texas native can hold his own whether standing solo before a college crowd or fronting his band at a youth event or festival. And to listen to Shaun Groves’ music showcases a complete and talented artist in full bloom, constantly reaching for excellence."
I think Shaun is the real deal - Read his sage advice to indie artists why you don't need _______. (I'll let you surf for it). One answer is: They don’t love your family, friends and church as much as you should.
Read his blog.. it's hard on the eyeballs with the black background, but rich in heartfelt truth.
Bless you Shaun. You're an inspiration.