Wednesday, July 31, 2002

You've got to go check out Jay's version of the Jackson 5...I don't even know what to say about it, except that you've got to take a look at it.

Interesting assertion regarding Prohibition:

Legal prohibition of alcohol, interestingly, may have had as much to do with patriotism as with religion. Families of German origin--such as Pabst, Miller, Schlitz, and Anheuser--controlled most of America's major breweries in the early 1900s. Then, in 1917, America declared war on Germany. It's more that coincidence that Congress passed the Volstead Act, the basis for Prohibition, just two years later.

Don't know if this assertion is at all accurate, but interesting nonetheless.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Quiver update: my wife and I are expecting our fourth child due in mid-February!

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Here's an article listing some reasons why you might be better off drinking this...

rather than refusing it.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Today is the first real test of our new air conditioner, and it's performing splendidly. It's 97 degrees this afternoon and it's a cool 73 degrees inside. With our old air conditioner our apartment couldn't get under 73 degrees even by midnight. I mentioned that Jon Barlow is our apartment supervisor...well, he got the job done and had this new air conditioner installed and running by Wednesday -- thanks Jon!

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Apple has done an incredible job of creating a suite of hardware, software, and flat out coolware for a digital life. They have created an integrated, coherent digital lineup that not only works well, but looks great. Jobs is so slick. And now to top it all off, they will be featuring Will Ferrell in one of their new TV ads in their Switch campaign.


Last year Seymour, Wisc cooked a world's record 8,266 lb hamburger

I'm definitely a hamburger man. I could eat hamburgers 3-4 nights a week and not get tired of them. Don't get me wrong...I like a good pork chop, I enjoy prime rib...but I'm often quite happy with a hamburger. On the way in to work I heard an NPR stories on the history of the hamburger. Not surprisingly, there's some debate over who served the first hamburger. The two men who seem to have the most legitimate claim are: Charles Nagreen from Seymour, Wisconsin, who claimed to "invent" the hamburger sandwich (ground beef was already around) at age 15 in 1885, then there's Louis Lassen of Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut who started serving them in 1900. You can still get a hamburger at Louis' Lunch, but you can only get it plain or with tomatoes, cheese, or onions. No lettuce, no ketchup, no mustard allowed on Louis' burgers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Having been a former Youth "Pastor" I thought Mike Yaconelli's list of Ten Ways to Guarantee a Successful Youth Group was brilliant!! Yaconelli is often worth reading/listening to -- he's so darn unpredictable and quite entertaining too. Here's the first one to give you a flavor of his "wisdom":

Dumb Down the Gospel. Employ attractive phrases such as, "Since I’ve known Jesus I’m happier, getting better grades, and captain of the football team!" Even better, reduce the complexity of the gospel into group cheers (i.e., "Give me a J!") or simple worship choruses like, "God is so good...blah blah blah." (Try singing those words in Ethiopia.) Or even better, try out some hip slang (i.e., God is "phat"; Jesus is a "hottie").

Sunday, July 14, 2002

I think our air conditioning unit may have died this morning because of a power outage...WOOOOHOOOO!!! We've been waiting for this thing to "kick the bucket" for several years now, it is very old and a) doesn't keep the apartment very cool, and b) therefore runs all day just to maintain a about 78-80 degrees. If our AC really is dead, then hopefully our landlord will replace it with one that a) cools the apartment, and b) is more efficient (it won't run all day). BTW, our SUPER super, Jon Barlow, came over on Sunday evening to look at it...I raise my clenched fist in honor of Jon, power to the Super!!

Friday, July 12, 2002

In the post below I mentioned Lebron James, the high school phenom, who has already been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and will start his senior year of high school in the fall. He's already been talked about as a stone cold lock to be the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft as everyone agrees that he'll be skipping college and taking his game to the professional level immediately. But an article at addresses an additional issue, namely which shoe company will he be signing with and when can he do it. The deal is estimated to be somewhere between $20 to $25 million. If the Ohio State High School Association permits it (they've yet to rule on this, as it is somewhat uncharted territory) James could sign that multi-million dollar contract before he finishes high school. Though James is certainly extremely unusual in this respect, the trend has been towards more and more players making the jump straight from HS to the NBA, or stopping off for a year or two in college before moving on to the pro ranks. Assuming that trend continues, and assuming that James breaks new territory here in being allowed to sign his shoe contract, this is why good HS players, apart from their own motivation, will not do their geometry homework, or their book reports, they don't need to -- they could be multi-millionaires before they grab their high school diplomas. Even if James signed with Nike or Adidas this fall and was forced to give up his amateur status by the Ohio State High School Association, he would still be the number one pick in the 2003 NBA draft.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I guess this should come as no surprise. Here's an article about two eighth graders (!!) who are attending this weeks NIKE All-Star camp. These camps are to help college coaches and recruiters (not to mention NBA scouts) evaluate high school basketball players and judge their level of talent. One is a fairly normal sized 5'8" 151lb guard who played varsity basketball and was selected first team All-State in Louisiana last year. The other is--fasten your seat belts-- 6'9" 286 lbs!!! He's one of the biggest players at the camp...period.

I know that this kind of thing is inevitable, but I find it disturbing. These kids are so young, and they're already being catered to by NIKE, Top-flight Division I programs (Tom Izzo, head coach at Michigan State admits that he's recruited both sixth and seventh graders!!), and even NBA scouts. Could I have handled that at age 14, preparing to enter my freshman year of high school? I don't think so. Would you do your homework, if Michigan State's Coach Izzo was sending you mail on a weekly basis and calling you on the phone from time to time? I had enough trouble doing my homework as it was.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Here's a great article from The Atlantic about the best pick-up basketball player in America. No, Matt, it's not you. He is a real Basketball Jones, who has played in all 50 states and eight foreign countries:

He reluctantly agreed to a vacation in the woods of Maine last summer, knowing he'd have difficulty finding a game. But he took a basketball along anyway, and one day walked and jogged twenty miles into the nearest town, dribbling all the way. "I wanted to work on my left hand," he told his wife.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

You've got to love Robert H. Gundry's titles for his commentaries. Most commentaries are titled something creative like:

The Epistle of James or The Book of Exodus or New Commentary on Genesis.

Gundry is a little more adventuresome/interesting. Look at these titles:

Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross


Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution

but this one takes the cake:

Jesus the Word according to John the Sectarian: A PaleoFundamentalist Manifesto for Contemporary Evangelicalism, Especially its Elites, in North America

By the way, I'll be sticking all three of these on my Amazon Wish List (scroll down 'til you hit the red section in the left gutter), and you all should feel completely welcome to surprise me with one or more of these volumes in celebration of my birthday, or at Christmas, or because you feel sorry for me since I was just wounded (six stitches -- see below) or even for no reason at all ;-)

Just got back from the hospital about an hour ago. I received six stitches on my left eyelid, just below the eyebrow. I had a head to head collision with one of the teens that I play basketball with every week. He caught the collision in the forehead (he's fine), I caught it on the "sharp" bone framing my eye socket. The collision was not nearly as bad as some that I've had, and didn't really hurt that bad. I wasn't even aware that I was bleeding.

To give you some insight into my personality, when I realized I was going to have to head to the emergency room one of my first thoughts was, "Great, I'll take a book and, if I'm lucky, I'll have a long wait and I can get some good reading done." Of course they were able to take me right away, though once they got me back to a room, I was able to polish off a booklet I had been trying to finish.

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