Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Expensive Mistakes...

I accidently booked a first class plane ticket last week, and I just realized my mistake. Friday morning, I will be flying in luxury... and I didn't even mean to. I thought my ticket was pretty expensive, but I thought that was just because I was booking it at the last minute and it was during the Christmas season. I am not sure what my boss will say when he sees the price of the ticket... and I am not sure what I will say if he asks me about it. And to top it all off... I am flying at 7:00 AM. I can't even take advantage of the free wine at that hour.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"You probably don't like Christmas much"

Yes, someone said those very words to me just this morning. I asked why this person thought that would be true... and she said because I am a guy. Now maybe this is a Canadian thing that I just don't understand... but I just don't understand. Who knew that men were not supposed to like Christmas. Well, if liking Christmas deducts man points, I will just have to make them up somewhere else... cuz I love this time of year.

More than anything, I like what Christmas celebrates - the Word becoming flesh to dwell among us. Said more simply, the birth of Jesus. Now unless I have some readers in some distant lands... this is not news to anyone. We all know that is what is being celebrated all over the world on December 25th.... hence the big deal over saying Merry Christmas. But that is another blog topic for another blogger. I will not get into that fray. Simply put - the season of Christmas exists because God humbled Himself and was born in the brokenness of humanity so that He could redeem that brokenness. Hallelujah!

But I even kinda like the commercial aspect of Christmas. I don't like that it tends to outshine the aspect discussed above... but I like giving gifts. I like getting gifts. I like surprises. I like finding the perfect gift (which I don't always do... but when I do, what a great thing it is). I like how stores decorate for the season (this may very well deduct some man points... but so be it). I like the specialness of the season. Some things only happen between Thanksgiving and December 25th. Being a person who appreciates traditions - I eat this up.

I like Christmas music... yes, even some of the songs that don't sing about Christ. I like the ones that do a lot more, of course... but Silver Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, and Jingle Bells are just good tunes.

I like Christmas musical programs that churches put on. I went to the one at HFBC this past weekend, and I really enjoyed it. Sure, there are some cheesy aspects to these shows... but the central theme is still there - Jesus Christ was born. Usually, the part when the Wise Men kneel before Jesus is pretty elaborate (at least in the HFBC musicals it always has been). This year, it was very understated. But as I was telling a friend of mine this weekend... I don't care how you do it, the symbolism will always make my eyes well up.

Christmas movies, Christmas cookies (and other treats), Christmas lights, Christmas cards, Christmas parties... and on and on and on. I like it all.

So if you are reading this, I hope you have a merry Christmas. Even though I have been away from home for most of it, I have enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Under Pressure

(cue the David Bowie song as background music)

I realized yesterday that I don't like myself when I am under pressure. The past few days have been terribly busy for me here at work. (Clearly things have eased up slightly since I have time to blog, right?) But I just didn't like myself. I was short with people... I was even referred to as "snippy." That is just not who I am under normal circumstances.

But therein lies the rub, eh? When my circumstances change, my personality changes. When things are not as I would have them to be, I become someone I was not meant to be.

So last night as I was going to sleep, God reminded me of my circumstances.
  • I live in an appartment that has heat in a city that is experiencing prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures.
  • I do not want for food. In fact, I could stand to eat a lot less.
  • I have a job. Even if it is a bit stressful at times, nobody's life is at stake.
Of course, there are many other blessings and positive things I could list above... but those are the ones God specifically reminded me of.

So the point is that sometimes I just have to choose to not let things affect me. And when faced with the way my reality compares to that of others... that is an easy choice, I guess.

Sorry for not being funny and lighthearted today... maybe tomorrow.

(end music)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Negative Twenty... Cold Enough For You?

Winter is in full swing up here in Calgary, and I am noticing a couple things that I thought were blog-worthy.

1. I was told yesterday that if I refer to the temperature as being "negative 20" the person I am talking to will not know what I mean. Apparently, I have to say "minus 20" in order to be understood. That is Canadian for "20 degrees below zero" on the Celcius scale. This is rediculous to me. But in any event, it has been between minus 20 and minus 10 all weekend.

2. In Houston, we complain about the heat. "Man, it's hot." "Hot enough for you?" "Why do we choose to live in this city?" These comments are heard frequently in June, July, and August. Well, up here... it is the exact same thing but in reverse. I guess it is just the easiest thing to discuss when you are standing in line at Starbucks... or in the elevator. Everyone is very friendly, actually. They just love to complain about the cold. I tell them all how much I am enjoying it, and the look at me like I just said "it's negative 20 out there." Completely baffled.

In any event, I am enjoying the super cold weather. And from what I hear, this is just a prelude to the really cold months of January and February. I say bring it on. I get enough heat in my normal life... it is refreshing to be cold for a season.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Calgarian Winter Fast Approaching

So I have been up here in Calgary for about three weeks. The temperature has been hovering around the freezing level, but it always seems to jump up to around 50 by the afternoon. However, I think that period of grace is about to end soon. I have been told that the temperature can get down to -40 (which, by the way, is where the Celcius and Farenheit scales meet. At -40, they are both the same... just a bit of trivia for those who care).

So this morning I had a nice brisk walk from my apartment to the office. I live just under one mile from work. Now that is the same distance between work and home in Houston as well, with one minor difference. Humidity. I walk to work up here, but would never dream of doing so in Houston. But back to this morning....

There is a system of sky walks called the "+15." It is named that because it is 15 feet from ground level. During the harsh winter mornings, this is where I will be between 7:30am and 7:45 am. But until then, I tend to walk outside and enjoy the nice cool weather.

As I was walking today, I noticed something that some of you will find enjoyable... and others will find annoying. The streets were littered with people carrying Red Cups of coffee.

Now those little cups are not only a sign to me that Christmas is fast approaching... but also that the coldest winter I have ever experienced is right around the corner.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Canada is a foreign country, right?

The Calgary Chronicles have not begun well. I spent all day in IAH terminal A waiting for a flight to Calgary. I was supposed to be on the 7:45 am flight with my boss and two other colleagues. Yep, I missed the flight. This has never happened to me in my life. In fact, I am the guy who usually arrives 1.5 or 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. I am ridiculous when it comes to airport punctuality. I guess I should say I was ridiculous when it came to airport punctuality.

I was up pretty late last night packing and getting everything ready to leave. Granted, it is only a three-day trip, but I still had to make sure that I had everything I needed. One of the items I packed was my alarm clock. Not to worry, though, because I have a travel alarm clock. I decided to pack my iHome clock so I would be able to listen to my iPod in the hotel and just rely on the travel alarm clock for this morning. That was my first mistake.

I set my alarm for 5:00 am. I was certain that would give me plenty of time to wake up, shave, get dressed, and still make it to the airport by 6:00 am. My plan was fool proof. Furthermore, I am not one who normally sleeps through an alarm. I have done it, and I am very prone to snoozing. But usually when I have make a flight, I wake up on time (if not early) and get up right away. You can clearly see where this is headed.

I woke up and thought to myself, “it is probably 4:30, so I have a few minutes.” But then another, more insistent, voice told me that I better check the clock. To my utter surprise and dismay, it read 6:25. What!?!?!? "You’ve got to be f---ing kidding me" were the next thoughts in my head. I apologize if that offends anyone, but it is just true. I need to begin praying for better thoughts in the midst of stressful situations. But back to the story...

I jumped out of bed (actually made the bed… not sure why), shaved, got dressed, and jumped into my car by 6:40. Fortunately, I had everything ready to go, so I didn’t need much prep time. I began praying that God would see fit for me to make this flight. Did I mention that my boss and two other colleagues were scheduled to be on this flight? Yeah. They were. Missing the flight would not go unnoticed.

So I was making good time, actually. I was sure God was answering my humble prayer. Then, as I was almost passing the George R. Brown convention center, I realized that I left my passport at home. Fool proof? Nice. Guess I am a bigger fool than my plan was prepared to handle. Holy flight emergency, Batman… what will I do?

Call my roommate. It was my only option. By God’s grace, he answered his phone and responded to my urgent need like a pro. I owe him big time. This call was made at 6:50 am.

I made it to Terminal A at 7:10, but Justin was a solid 20 minutes behind me. I asked the kind lady at the Air Canada desk if she thought I would be able to get on the 7:45. She was very kind, but responded with a negative. Great! Thanks for playing. But she did switch me to the 1:25 pm flight at no extra charge. Marathon is surely grateful for that small favor.

Justin arrived at 7:30. By this time, I had already called one of my colleagues (couldn’t get my boss’s number) and explained what happened. My prayer then changed from “Lord, please make it possible for me to get on that plane” to “Lord, please give me favor with my boss.”

At the end of the day (which it is as I post this) this episode is not a big deal. But I hope it makes for a funny blog post.

For the record, I knew that I needed a passport to go to Canada. But as I was packing my small bag, I was not thinking in terms of international travel. So that is why the passport was not with my wallet (where it normally should have been).

Monday, October 08, 2007

Which One Are You?

You may need to click on the picture to be able to read it...

Thursday, September 27, 2007


At what point does something become "classic?" According to Apple, it only takes 6 years .

The original iPod style is now being referred to as the "iPod Classic." Actually, the 80 GB and 160 GB models carry that name. According to Wikipedia, these versions (which just arrived this year) introduced the classic name. The 20 GB 4th Generation (which is what I have) is not even mentioned on Apple's web site - much less its parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. These have all become the Macaulay Culkin of the MP3 player world - they are simply overlooked.

Apple is, in a word, amazing. Their products may not offer more functionality than their competitors, but Apple has created a brand that is the industry standard. I mean seriously... how in the world can an iPod be considered classic? Blows my mind.

Take a good look at the current iPod line-up... it will likely be totally different this time next year. From left to right: iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod Classic, and iPod Touch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

As Requested...

In my last post, someone asked if I could just post a picture of a 6 month old baby instead of pictures of my minor head wound. This blogger is happy to give the readers what they want... so I give you the following:

I googled "6 month old babies," and this is one of the many pictures that came up. There were quite a few pictures of some human babies as well... but the reader was not specific enough. :-)

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Merely A Head Wound...

Last night, I had dinner with a couple guys (Chad and Travis) at Texadelphia. We were going to be discussing some things that are pretty personal to me, so I got a table in the far corner from the front door. Well, we stayed there for a couple hours… talked about all the stuff we needed to talk about… and then it was time to go. I just stood up as any normal person would, but the fact that I am probably a little taller than most other people caused a bit of a problem. I full-on crashed my head into the TV stand right above my head. You don’t think about how fast you move when you are standing up until a stationary object is there to prove Newton's Frist Law of Motion. I immediately sat down and touched my head… there was blood. Very nice. So Chad got the waitress to get some ice and a towel while I just sat there feeling pretty stupid. One of the waiters said, "I'm sorry." I replied, "It's not your fault… I'm just 6'2"." Then I asked if I could take the towel home with me (since it had my blood on it, I wasn't so sure they would legally be able to take it back), and the waitress said I could keep it. Apparently, they only cost about 5 cents. I told her I would pay for it on my next visit… and she replied that they probably owe me.

When I got home, I wanted some sort of proof of the indicent, so I stood at the mirror trying to snap some good shots of my head wound with my phone camera. Here is what I was able to come up with. They are not great, but you can just see the cut in the lower right corner.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Coffee Addiction

It is no secret that I am addicted to coffee. To some, it is bitter brown water. To others, it is a necessary morning elixir. I fall into the latter category.

I believe there are three kinds of coffee in this world. Really Good, Tolerable, and Not Fit For Human Consumption.

Because I have been sick the past few days, I have avoided my regular morning cup in favor of water. Since I feel much better today, I decided to go for it and partake of this delicious beverage. Unfortunately, I opted for the free stuff in our breakroom - which falls into the third category noted above.

But this is what separates a coffee addict from all other coffee drinkers... I am drinking it. I don't really like it, but I am drinking it. How messed up is that?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Things are not as they should be...

This morning saw a first for me. I overslept. I never oversleep.

Now the full story is that I woke up at about 3:45. I then went back to sleep, and my alarm woke me up at about 5:00. I snoozed... and snoozed... and snoozed... and I think my alarm clock finally just gave up. (the weird thing is that the alarm started to become a part of my dreams... but what was happening is that the people in the dreams were emitting this annoying beeping sound everywhere they went). When I woke up again (not to the alarm... but simply by God's grace), it was 7:45. I am supposed to be at work at 7:30. D'oh!!!

Now for the best part of the story. Remember the pestering nail guns from Saturday morning? Well, they were in full effect yesterday - the Lord's Day of all days. But not this morning. I guess the construction company has decided to only disturb sleep on days when people actually can sleep in.

To make matters worse, I am fighting some sort of sinus issue that is causing me to sneeze and my head to ache... so things just really are not as they should be.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Two Suburbs and a Local Island

Today was quite a busy day for old Toddatello.

My day started at 8:00am to the loud popping of nail guns. There are some loft style homes being build less than 20 yards away from my bedroom window... not a great way to kick off a weekend.

I had scheduled coffee with my buddy D-Lux, who lives in Pearland, (suburb visit #1) at 9:30am. So around 9:00am, I set out to meet him at his new coffee shop of choice. He graciously bought my coffee since I had used so much gas to get there.

Since D-Lux and I had not seen each other in a few weeks, it took us three hours to adequately catch up. So by the time I left it was 12:30pm, and I had to be at a birthday party for Cooper (son of my friends Chad and Teresa) in Katy (suburb visit #2) at 2:00pm.

In that 90 minute window, I had to purchase a gift for the lad (he turned one today), get some lunch, stop by my house to pick up a key that I had to return to some friends who would be at the birthday party, and treck across the greater Houston area. (for the non-Houston peeps... Pearland is on the south side, and Katy is on the far west side)

So I set out on my journey, and arrived at the party at 2:10pm with a full stomach (Whataburger chicken fingers) and gift in hand.

I left the birthday party at 4:30pm, and had another party to attend in Galveston (island in the Gulf south of Houston) that was to start at 5:00pm. Needless to say, I did not make it to that party on time, but I did make it. (Yes, Chad, I did send him a text telling him that I would be late...) This event was being hosted by a former roommate of mine (Clint) and his wife Gina. They recently moved to Galveston, and just wanted to have people over to see their new place. On the way, I picked up another buddy (Preston) to accompany me on the journey south (roughly an hour).

I returned home around 10:00pm after having taken a detour to avoid the closure of I-45 at NASA road and dropping Preston off at his house.

Each portion of my day was enjoyable and well worth the effort... I just need some sleep. I really hope the nail gun guys have tomorrow morning off.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Why coffee and I are still friends...

... but I have developed a love/hate relationship with the Rubik's Cube.

I was up a lot later that I intended to be last night, but coffee was not to blame. Rather, the multi-colored cube puzzle that is an icon of the 1980's is at fault.

I grew up in the 80's, but was never into the Rubik's Cube. I guess I always figured I was not quite smart enough for it, and that it was better to have never tried than to have tried and failed.

Well, as the Colts slaughtered the Saints last night, I sat on the couch twisting and turning the various sides of this infamous game... and still, I can only get to the last step. I can't seem to complete the last side. D'oh!!!

I will confess that I was using a step by step guide to help me... but it still isn't a cake walk. In any event, I am tired again this morning... and Rubik is to blame.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why I like coffee...

...well, at least why I like it at the moment.

It is pretty helpful in the jet-lag battle. I started to feel the effects around 2:00; but rather than take a nap under my desk (cuz who actually does that, right?), I got a double shot latte. It has done wonders. I am pretty wired at the moment... I just hope it wears off by the time I want to go to sleep tonight. Otherwise, tomorrow's post may be "Why I hate coffee..."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Divine Moments

This morning, as I was leaving my house, I saw a sunrise that was simply beautiful. Shades of pink, orange, yellow, and blue filled the sky. My "commute" to work only lasts about 7 minutes; and by the time I arrived at my building, the colorful explosion was gone. But I couldn't get enough of it in those seven short minutes.

As is true for us all, there are things in my life that I just have to trust Christ for... things that can easily take me over if I let them. Well, I happened to be praying about one of those very things this morning as I was leaving for work... and then I saw this amazing site filling the sky. God graciously reminded me that just as He is faithful to make the sun rise everyday, He will be faithful in the difficult areas of my life. So it really was a divine moment that I am truly thankful for.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Seoul, Korea...

I am passing the time here in the airport in Seoul, Korea... and I figured it was a good time to post an update "from the field." Some of you may not know that I have been in Mongolia the past two weeks visiting a friend of mine who is working for a Christian ministry over there. I had a great time experiencing the Mongolian culture (and I experienced a good bit of it in two weeks, actually). I hope to have lots of posts with pictures and the like, so bear with me on that.

For now, let me share something that happened just a few hours ago. Since my layover is so long (12 hours), I decided to take a tour of the city. Part of the tour involved riding a ferry; and while on said ferry, a random Korean guy approached me and commenced to tell me that his daughter was studying English in Canada. He then asked me what my job is and how old I am. So awkward. The girl was very pretty (I have a picture of the whole family). But I am big on communication... and even if she started learning English 5 years ago, she is a bit behind for me. Sorry.

So there you have it... I basically get proposed to by a Korean girl's father. Nice.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Good Times at Starbucks...

The other night, my friend LB and I were returning from dinner and she wanted to stop at Starbucks to pick up a deliciously overpriced beverage. Well, when LB and I are together – the laughter just doesn’t seem to stop. So as we were driving up to the drive-thru window we were laughing and talking about something… and I overshot the ordering speaker box.

The voice asked if we were ready, and I told her that we needed a couple minutes. LB then told me that she wanted a Grande Orange Mocha Latte. I turned to order and realized that I was past the ordering speaker box… so I said, “Oh, I missed the thing…” The voice in the box said, “you want a Venti Mocha?” What?!?! How did she get that from what I said? Well, LB and I commenced to laughing pretty hard… and I finally got out that she would like a Grande Orange Mocha Latte.

The next thing we heard was a guy on the speaker asking if we would like an Orange Mocha McFlurry. This was followed by much laughter on both sides of the speaker… and as I drove away from the speaker, I said, “They totally think we are drunk.” Apparently, I was still in ear shot, because that brought on more laughter from the friendly baristas… which only caused me and LB to laugh more as well.

I am sure this story does not translate well in that is probably was one of those “you had to be there” moments. But suffice it to say that LB and I found it extremely hilarious… as did the baristas.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

OPP - I Finally Know What It Means...

OK... I always knew what it meant in the song, but this is not that kinda of blog.

My company uses OPP as an acronym for something related to overseas travel. I have asked and asked what it means, but no one could ever tell me. The people I asked who are around my age would always snicker and reply saying they didn't know (and we would trade that knowing glance that says "we can't make a joke about that because we have to be professional"). The older folks would just flat out say they didn't know - but I would secretly laugh.

Well, when I was in Cuba a couple years ago, one person suggested "Other People's Per Diem" as a possible meaning. Ever since, that is what I have thought it to be (even though I knew it really wasn't).

Today, the mystery was solved. I now know what it officially stands for... but I think I will keep it to myself and continue to let Other People's Per Diem linger in the minds of those who care...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mystery Bruises

I think it is Brian Regan who does a bit about mystery bruises. Basically, he talks about how as you get older… you just start to develop inexplicable bruises.

Well… I have a bruises on each are just below the inside of each elbow. I have NO idea what caused them. The one on the left arm is larger than the one on the right arm, but that doesn't help solve the mystery.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Details are everything...

I love this commercial... makes me laugh out loud everytime I watch it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Last weekend, the comment was made by a friend of mine that it would be very difficult to be a Christian on a reality show (Amazing Race, Real World, etc). Another friend then said that it shouldn't be that difficult (making the point that it is possible for a Christian to live life in such a way that is honoring to God). This comment was met with some disagreement based on the way so many shows edit things to portray whatever the producers/directors/writers want to portray. This argument is valid, for sure. I think reality TV is reality in name only... especially with as many as there are now.

But the comment made about Christians living life in a consistent way even on camera has really struck me. I wonder what the tv world would think of my life if there was a camera on me every day (without editing). Would my life reflect a sincere love for Jesus... or would it reflect a sincere love for something else? Sadly, I fear it is the latter.

So my question for those who wish to respond is this: what does it look like to live a life that is "worthy" to be filmed and broadcast to the world for the purpose of reflecting Jesus?

I think authenticity is a large part of it, but I think we almost glorfiy our sinful authenticity at the expense of being obedient to what Christ has called us to (and empowered us for). I am not advocating legalistic sinlessness... rather, I am advocating walking in the Spirit as Paul tells us to do in Galatians 5:16 - "But I say walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

Food for thought. Comments welcome and requested...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Napping at work...

Sometimes (on casual Fridays) I will close my office door and take a short nap under my desk during lunch. I have told a number of people about this (and I thought I blogged about it, but I can't seem to find it in my archives). Regardless, I have not done this in quite some time. But I just walked by the office of one of my co-workers, and the door was shut. Not a big deal at 11:15... but her light is off. Normally, I would think she was gone for the day... but I saw her close the door while staying in the office. She is full on taking a nap in her office. I, of course, have been advocating a throw back to kindergarten days of mid-day napping for most of my professional career (albeit a short 7 year career). I guess she is taking it upon herself to start the practice in hopes that other follow her lead. We'll see...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday things...

It is 10:00 on a Friday, and I am bored. I am caught up on my work, and all that remains for me to do is the stuff that you always put off for days when you have spare time. But the problem is that we never want to do those things... that is why we put them off. But alas, I have no choice. I will actually accomplish some of those elusive tasks because I have been too efficient in my other tasks.

In other news, if you were not there for METRO Live last night, Afshin gave a fantastic talk about God's will. Granted, I have been thinking about a number of things that God directly addressed through the talk, but I think it was just good regardless. Check it out here.

That's all for now... but seeing as how I am bored, I may pull a double entry today. But then again, I may not. Last week, my boss walked by my office and asked what I was doing. The funny thing is that he was asking the question because I was in a different office than normal... but I responded saying, "I'm working on my blog." He then said explained that he was not asking about that... but that I had just busted myself. So I need to be a little more careful, I guess. Fortunately, he is an understanding boss and didn't give me too much grief for it.

OK... that is really all. Can you tell how much I don't want to do those other tasks? Seriously.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No More Faith

I have known of this song by Andrew Peterson for a while now, but I was reintroduced to it this weekend. The lyrics just scream of a reality that many of us don't like to admit is true in our lives. If you have not heard much by Andrew Peterson, I suggest that you check him out... he is really good. On iTunes, he is compared to Rich Mullins (which is fair enough) but he does have his own style. In any event, these lyrics have been resonating with me for the past few days...

No More Faith

This is not another song about the mountains
Except about how hard they are to move
Have you ever stood before them
Like a mustard seed who's waiting for some proof?

I say faith is a burden
It's a weight to bear
It's brave and bittersweet
And hope is hard to hold to
Lord, I believe
Only help my unbelief

Till there's no more faith
No more hope
I'll see your face and Lord, I'll know
That only love remains

Have you heard it said that Jesus is the answer
And thought about the many doubts you hide
Have you wondered how he loves you
If He really knows how dark you are inside

I say faith is a burden
It's a weight to bear
It's brave and bittersweet
And hope is hard to hold to
Lord, I believe
Only help my unbelief

Till there's no more faith
No more hope
I'll see your face and Lord, I'll know
When there's no more faith
And no more hope
I'll sing your praise and let them go
'cause only love
Only love remains

So I will drive these roads in thunder and in rain
And I will sing your song at the top of my lungs
And I will praise you, Lord, in glory and in pain
And I will follow you till this race is won
And I will drive these roads till this motor won't run
And I will sing your song from sea to shining sea
And I will praise you Lord, till your kingdom comes
And I will follow where you lead

Till there's no more faith
No more hope
I'll see your face and Lord, I'll know
When there's no more faith
And no more hope
I'll sing your praise and let them go
'cause only love
Only love remains

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thursday iPod Stories

Story One - "iPod Lost and Found"

Last week, I had quite a scare. I got in my car on Thursday morning to head out on my "commute" to work, and I opened the center console to retreive my iPod. When I saw that it was not there... I really think I may have gasped. I was horrified. I knew I had it on my drive home the night before, so I couln't imagine where it was. I caused myself to be late to work by looking all over for it (I even looked in the trash). Well, fast forward to lunch time of the same day... I decided to look in my gym bag one more time. It had fallen into a side pocket that I don't use... so it had simply been overlooked. Poor thing. It must have felt so abandoned in there.

Story Two - "iPods and Panties"

Thursday night after METRO Live, I volunteered to take the musical guest to his hotel by Hobby airport. On the way down there, he said he really wanted to stop for some Taco Cabana because he can't get it in Nashville. So we pulled into the closest one and sat in the drive thru. As we sat, he commented that he was great friends with the guy singing the song that happened to be playing. He then asked if he could look at who else I have on my iPod... and I said sure. He thought that was awefully brave of me (and when he said that, I suddenly thought it was too... and I got a little nervous). So as he scrolled down, he commented on some of the artists I have (Beyonce', G. Love, and Nickle & Dime being the most notable) - but surely he noticed that he was not in there. D'oh! Oh well... he is now. Back to the story. When he finished his investigation, I told him that was quite an intimate moment for us to share since we had just met and all... to which he retortred, "yeah, it is kinda like I just looked through your panty drawer."

So my poor iPod spent the morning dealing with abandonment issues... and the late hours of the night dealing with identity issues.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pain Avoidance Update

Turns out that I did, in fact, pull my calf muscle. In fact, early reports say that I may have torn it. I wish I had a camera so I could take a picture of my the lower part of my leg. I first noticed the bruise on the calf Thursday night. Then, on Friday, I noticed some bruising on the shin. Then on Sunday, I noticed a bruise on my ankle. The whole inner portion of my lower right leg looks like I have been beaten with a lead pipe (well, maybe not quite that bad... but it is pretty discolored). I am sure I can draw a spiritual parallel about the visible signs of the pain in our lives... but I will just leave it at that and let your imagination run. In any event, I was wrong about being able to run on it by the end of last week. I still can't... and I don't expect to be able to for a couple weeks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pain Avoidance

I hurt my calf muscle yesterday while working out. I think I pulled it... but I am not sure. However, it has caused me to walk with a limp since it happened. Yesterday, I was still trying to walk normal... but today, I have figured out a way to walk without feeling the pain in my calf muscle. So at first, I thought my calf was getting better... but really, I just learned to move in such as way that avoids the pain while the muscle does what it needs to do go get fixed.

Isn't that what we do in life? We think things are getting better; but really, we just medicate life's pain in other ways.

Even as Christians... life does not really get better (contrary to what many of the preachers on TBN will tell you). Rather, we know Who to turn to when life is painful. The pain does not always go away... nor does the underlying problem causing the pain. (this is the point where the calf injury analogy breaks down... because my calf really is getting better and I will be running again before the week is out)

Unlike the pseudo strut that I naturally developed to avoid the pain in my calf, truly seeking refuge in Christ is not something we naturally do. The next time you walk into a bookstore, check out the Self-Help section and you will see my point proven. Furthermore, my new way of walking is only temporary. Eventually, my calf needs to heal for real. Christ offers ultimate healing... but it may take a lot longer than a couple days for that to take place. In fact, some of the hurts/troubles in our lives will never be fully healed this side of Heaven. But He promises us Himself in the midst of the pain... and really, that is more than enough.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Already Too Cool For School...

This picture was taken this past weekend when Brad's family took a trip to Florida. I am telling you, this kid is gonna be a heart breaker in about 15 years.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nominal Christians

As Voddie Baucham says, "If you can't say amen, you better say ouch!"

Unfortunately, I think I have to say ouch... I see myself in this description all too often.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Looks can be deceiving...

I think I will ask this guy to disciple me in the ways of entertainment...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hot Lips...

Every year, my brother's in-laws have both sides of the family over for a crawfish boil. This year, it was held on Good Friday since everyone was off work. The Legnon's live in Lafayette... so I can always bank on having well-seasoned crawfish at their house. This year was no exception.

At one point in the afternoon, Renee commented on the color of my lips... and then dubbed me "Hot Lips" for the rest of the afternoon.

Since he is the star of every family gathering, I can't pass up the opportunity to say a few words about Landon. He is now just over 2 years old... and getting more and more lovable each time I see him. He was not sure what to make of the little mud-bugs while they soaked in the salty water... but he knew what they were and that he should not touch them. He was seen in this position many times during the cooking phase of the day...

After everything had been cleaned up, Landon told me (did not ask me, but told me) "Crawfish all gone." Indeed they were... and quite tastily gone.

After eating, everyone else decided to sit in the house and visit... but Landon wanted none of that. Like a typical little boy, he wanted to stay out side and kick the soccer ball (or any other round object he could find). So Uncle Todd gladly volunteered for Landon Duty... unfortunately, there are no pictures. It was definitely good times for both of us, though...

And lastly, I couldn't resist putting this fine shot on the world wide web. Yes, folks... this is my father.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Shock and Awe

In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote a satirical article entitled A Modest Proposal.

This morning, I recieved this article from a buddy of mine. Note that this one is not satirical.

The state of our world scares me. It really does.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thank You

Tonight at church, we had a service to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made to restore fellowship with God... a fellowship that was broken when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden. It was truly a powerful service as we heard various passages of God's Word spoken... various passages that told the great story of Jesus and why He came to earth. There was no commentary... just the pure Word of God. Nothing compares to it, honestly.

At the end of the service, we sang a song that repeatedly expresses thanksgiving to God for the cross. The lyrics "thank you for the cross" are repeated over and over again. I have sung that song many times, but it hit me in a fresh way tonight. As I was singing it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus. Of those 10, only one returned to Him to say thank you. Only one. I so want to be that one. But it occured to me that just saying thank you to Jesus misses the mark a little. He did not come to save only me... but rather, He came to redeem and restore a world that is broken and separated from Him. So I want to be found faithful in sharing what He has done with others so that they also may run back to Him and say thank you.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Another funny email..

This morning, I received the following email from a friend...

Today is Norah Jones' birthday. She's 28. Thought you might like to know. :}

So I am canceling my weekend plans, and booking a flight to wherever she is to celebrate with her. I am perplexed by the fact that she didn't mention it when we talked earlier this week. I guess she wanted me to find out on my own and surprise her.

Don't ask the question...

... if you can't take the answer. I received this as an email forward, and since I am not a fan of the forward, I decided to post it here instead.

I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:

A half-gallon of 2% milk,
A carton of eggs,
A quart of orange juice,
A head of romaine lettuce,
A 2 lb. Can of coffee, and
A 1 lb. Package of bacon.

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the

While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single." I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I
was Intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since I was indeed single. I looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said: "Well, you know what, you're absolutely right. But how on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "Cause you're ugly."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Not for the faint of heart

The Black Donnelly's is a new show on NBC, and like the subject says... it is not for the faint of heart. It is as if the writers took 1 Cor 6:9-10 and decided to bring it to life on the screen. These Donnelly brothers are pieces of work for sure... the only thing that is sacred to them is family (and I wonder if that will change as the seasons progress). They will literally do anything for their family. The show is well-written, the acting is great (especially the lead character), and the story is well-developed. I am holding out for the writers to pull in 1 Cor 6:11, but doubt they will...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bizarro World

I just walked into our break room to find two grown men watching The View. In all fairness, I think they were truly taking a break (they were there to replenish our vending machine), but they are tall enough to reach the TV to change the channel... yet neither of them did. Very strange.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My new love...

So I have a crush... I am 100% smitten with the Toyota FJ's. I think the white tops are the real magnet that draws my eyes to every single one of them on the road. Not a day goes by that I do not covet one at least once. At first, I wanted a blue one because they look like a Smurf. But then I decided that novelty would ware off. So silver is my number one choice... my birthday is July 12. I'm just sayin'....

Friday, March 16, 2007

Accountants are detail people, right?

So I spent about an hour yesterday and the past 1.5 hours looking for a variance that popped out in a reconciliation that I prepare each month. (Those of you who don't like or don't get "numbers people" may just want to stop reading right now).

Every month, I have to compare two sets of data to ensure that they equal. Even for those of you who do like numbers... the explanation is more than you would care to read - trust me. So I began preparing the reconciliation yesterday afternoon by gathering the appropriate numbers... dropping them into my nifty spreadsheet... and I was left with a variance of $232,640. Now for an oil company in this day, that is not a lot of money; but it still needs to be addressed... I mean we aren't ExxonMobil.

So like I said, I spent 2.5 hours looking at this... there was no reason that the variance should be there. It just didn't make sense at all. Well hold and below... I had simply left an entire number out of the calculation. Any guesses on what the number was?

Yeah. I know... I take almost a month off from blogging and this is my comeback? My appologies. I just felt like such an idiot that I felt the need to share it with anyone who would listen.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dinner Bill Shortfall...

We have all experienced it at one time or another. You are out to dinner with friends... the bill gets passed around... money is collected... and you are just short of a reasonable tip for the server.

Well, as I have grown older, I have noticed that this happens less frequently than it did when I was in college or just out of college. But this past Monday night, it happened. We were only a few dollars short, but it was still short. I had not ordered much, and I was sure I had put in well over my alloted amount... so I just let others make up the difference (because I KNEW it couldn't be me).

For whatever reason, I woke up this morning to the realization that I had ordered a beverage on Monday night that I had completely forgotten about when the bill came around. I rarely order anything but water, so I never have to consider that extra amount. But this particular time, I had ordered a beer. So it was long gone and had been replaced by water by the end of the meal.

So this is my public apology for those who covered me on Monday night. You know who you are... and I am pretty sure you all read this.

Nobody likes "that guy" who doesn't carry his dinner bill weight...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Little Joys

So this is totally superficial and rediculous... but a very attractive girl just smiled at me in the elevator. What can I say... that is never a bad thing when you are a single man.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wierdisms... thanks, Dovie

So I have been tagged ... and I will respond. I will not, however, tag anyone else. Sorry. All the people I would tag have been tagged...

These are in no particular order:

1. I always feel the need to explain myself (see the line above this one).

2. I have a difficult time sitting for extended periods of time without crossing one leg over the other (in the fully masculine way as opposed to the feminine way...oh, and this is also an example of #1).

3. I have two wierd sleep habits. Of course, this could be broken into two different items, but I will combine them as one. I must have a fan or some other "white noise" making machine going in order to get to sleep. I also have a horrible habbit of snoozing for inordinate amounts of time.

4. I can stretch my arm around the back of my neck in a very odd manner... and would do this quite frequently as a child. Ask me to demonstrate if you ever see me in person.

5. I blog about Norah Jones. Enough said.

6. I treat text messages like real communication. By that, I mean that I rarely abbreviate and I use punctuation when needed. Oh... and I use a lot of ellipses marks.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hymns - Timeless, Tried, True

Here are a few lines from a few hymns that have been an encouragement to me tonight...

I Need Thee Every Hour

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord,
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will,
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

It is Well With My Soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Hiding Place

But when Thy spirit shines within
Makes me feel the plague of sin
And how I long to see Thy face
'Tis then I want a hiding place

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Sweet Norah...

She's back. I downloaded her newest cd yesterday at lunch. It features not only her delicious voice, but it also showcases her writing ability. She was involved in the writing of every song on the cd. Some of the songs sound similar to her earlier stuff, but she has explored some different styles with this project. Check it out... the title of the cd is "Not Too Late."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Edamame and Catan

I tell you what, I truly enjoy edamame (soybeans). I think the only reason I feel this is blog-worthy is that I am eating lunch, and my lunch has some soybeans in it. Regardless, here is the deal... they look like lima beans, but they are so completely different from lima beans. I am repulsed by lima beans... I think it is all in the texture. Lima beans are mushy... soybeans are crisp.

So there you have it... a basic pro/con on the lima bean vs. the soybean.

In other news, the game referred to by Jeanine spoke of in her comment on my last post is called Settlers of Catan. I have only played twice (well, I played a knock-off version once and the original once). Regardless, the game is all about strategy. Your goal is to settle the Island of Catan. To do this, you must trade with other would-be settlers to build your settlments. I am not very good at the game. A dear friend of mine was trying to encourage me by saying that it probably takes a few time to get the hang of it. She, however, grasped it the first time. I just can't read the board like everyone else. Now there is a huge element of luck in the game. You role dice... and much of the game is based on probability. But probability does not always go the way it should.

So, Jeanine... you will have to just play the game to understand it. The rules take about an hour to explain... but it is worth it once you know what you are doing.

I just finished my lunch, and I want more edamame. I am addicted...

Monday, January 15, 2007


Being that it is 11:40, I am ready to go to lunch. So I was just thinking to myself, "I want to eat something delicious for lunch..." As those words rolled through my mind, some antagonistic words marched up to the line as if to wage war. Those words were, "healthy... salad... eat better in 2007..."

I am not kidding when I say that there was a visible change in my facial expression.... so now I am left to decide: Delicious or Healthy?


Monday, January 08, 2007

I am a week behind...

Last week, I kept hearing everyone say how tired they were. For whatever reason, I was fine last week. But today... totally different story. Now I am not tired enough to eat cheese paper, but I am tired nonetheless.

In other news, my roommates and I have HD TV now. I am a little disappointed with how excited I am about it, but it really is nice watching anything in HD. I can't wait to see the Lost spring premier on it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Blast from the past...

This morning, I pulled out an old Nickel & Dime CD (or rather, I scrolled down to it on my iPod) and played "Ultimate Man." I remember this song being very meaningful to me back in my college days... and it was just as impactful today - probably because I had just read the third chapter of Hosea.

In any event, here are the lyrics (simple and concise):

You are the One who has healed me
You are the One who has saved me
You are the One who forgives me
You are the Maker of mercy

You are the Ultimate Man
You are the One with no sin
My hands are dirty, Lord, my tongue is dry
The way I'm living makes me wonder why
You love me still
Ultimate Man