July 2008


Bookshelf&general&news&pop culture&reviews30 Jul 2008 11:02 pm

Well, i’ve been a bit out of it lately, haven’t i?… can’t really offer anything spectacular by way of an excuse other than i’ve been distracted… today, though, i’m trying get through some topics even though there are plenty of things that i should be doing… i’m hoping this will maybe get me a little more focused, but we’ll have to see…

i managed to do an interview with Erwin McManus last week and hopefully i’ll have that ready to go soon… i also had the pleasure of an enjoyable office mate yesterday when little boy came into work with me… (littler boy gets to come in tomorrow)… and the most curious thing for me was that he kept requesting soundtracks to listen to… and by soundtracks i mean original motion picture scores… so, with that in mind, the songs today will all be from various movie soundtracks…

BI-POLAR DISORDER
to the tune of Why So Serious? – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from The Dark Knight)

well, i have to start this out with The Dark Knight… went to see it last night with a few guys with stomachs full of Five Guys and anticipation eating away at us… i’m going to try to talk about it without giving anything away, though based on the box office records, everyone’s already seen it… it was phenomenal nothing less than everything advertised plus some… easily the most intense villainy in a superhero movie that i’ve seen and so many ideas and one-liners to chew on and really think about…

i’ll finish by mentioning what was my favorite aspect of the movie which was the mind-bending blurring of lines between good and evil… the clearly defined black and white life that i’m used to seeing presented is fine for younger audiences, but the line they came back to a few times, “you either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain” is rather thought provoking as well as the exploration of whether or not everyone is capable of corruption… another key line – “You have these rules that you think will save you…” – had me immediately thinking of the Pharisees and realizing the depth of the human experience that is presented in the Bible…

anyway… very good movie… very intense… if you’re of age, i recommend it…

NO MAS
to the tune of Ants! – John Williams (from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

i don’t complain much… okay, maybe i do, but today, i’m going to complain a little bit about things that have been really driving me nuts lately… besides the ants that refuse to give up on my house as a source of food, shelter or whatever the heck they’re looking for…

1. CAPTCHA: Seriously, it’s a shame that we’ve gotten to the point on the web that just about every form needs to have a CAPTCHA box… if you don’t know what that is, it’s those silly images that have sets of letters or numbers that you have to read and type in order to compete your order, post a comment, or whatever… half the time i can’t even read the stinkin things… and i’m not a machine

2. ACLJ: i used to listen to Jay Sekulow Live every day when i was in a big talk radio stage and just let the Christian talk radio station play in the background all day… and i’m supportive of Christians doing important legal work and all that, but the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has been calling my house at least three times a day and as early as 8 in the morning… they need to get off my case and work on their case load… they’re DRIVING ME CRAZY…

3. TYPOS nothing distracts me when i’m reading a book – a final, retail copy of a book – more than typos… i can understand one or two but when i was reading through Boys Should Be Boys, i was interrupted by no less than FIFTY… i just have to wonder why i should trust the authority of someone who doesn’t know the difference between their, they’re and there… and the next gripe is big enough for it’s own category…

PROFITS OR PRAISE
to the tune of The Sales Pitch – Danny Elfman from The Kingdom

Okay, so everyone already knows about the whole Testa-mints thing and we can all see the tee-shirt slogans that mimic beer tee shirts and stuff like that… and just when you think the “money changers” have reached their limits, they push the envelope a little bit further… the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) was a few weeks ago and as always, it served as the epicenter of “Jesus Junk”… i didn’t attend the show, but i’ve been hearing about some of the items heading to market…

not surprisingly, one of the items showcased at ICRS was Guitar Praise which is a Christian music only version of Guitar Hero that’s due out in September… it plays on your computer, independent of any video game systems and plans to feature 52 songs from all over the map… i don’t particularly have a problem with this to be honest, since it makes sense on some level… i do have a problem with the tag line there…. “Spirit-Filled Guitar Game for PCs Lets Anyone Live Their Rock Dreams” since no game can be spirit-filled, but hey, why not rock out to your favorite CCM tracks, right?

and then it got ugly… allow me to introduce you to 1 in 3 Trinity Energy Drink… that’s right, a Christian energy drink… one that vows to “Energize your mind and your body”… it could be the flavor of your life since it’s “fused with Fruit of the Spirit”… one thing i’m pretty sure of is that it probably tastes better than the puke that just bubbled up into the back of my throat as i read that…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of The Kings and Queens of Old – Harry Gregson-Williams (from Prince Caspian)

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

so i’ve got three books finished and waiting for reviews, but i don’t particularly have time to write those up just yet… i also updated the Amazon store with reviews and such, re-ordered the items to put the ones that i finished up front, and added some new books to reflect some of the latest additions… i was overjoyed to receive a pre-release of Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden and i also got a copy of Matt Brownleewe’s new book which hopefully won’t leave me confused for having not read Illuminated yet… i was going to ask for advice in that regard, but it turns out that House of Wolves isn’t out yet either… oh well, i’m probably going to start that one tonight…

I also requested a copy of The Shack, since it’s such a hot topic book it seems, but i haven’t heard back from them yet… i suppose if i find it cheap enough sometime next year or something, i may pick it up… otherwise i guess i’ll just miss that boat…

Completed…

Working through…
Searching for God Knows What (Miller) [about 125 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 160 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
House of Wolves (Bronleewe)
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder)

FULL LIST HERE

BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE
to the tune of Wish We Had More Time – Trevor Rabin (from Get Smart)

i am working on a few things, but nothing’s quite made it to press yet so i don’t have any special links to throw in here at the end with an obligatory plea for you to peep them… perhaps another day, but you can start dreaming about stuff i’m writing including some interviews (Erwin McManus, Warren Barfield, Chris Sligh), reviews, Left to Write and more… also next time out, i’ll talk about purpose, family force five, one or two or three books and eventually, i’ll get back to that whole best in the world thing… thanks for playing!

peace… love… bdg….

general30 Jul 2008 10:51 pm

Well, i’ve been a bit out of it lately, haven’t i?… can’t really offer anything spectacular by way of an excuse other than i’ve been distracted… today, though, i’m trying get through some topics even though there are plenty of things that i should be doing… i’m hoping this will maybe get me a little more focused, but we’ll have to see…

i managed to do an interview with Erwin McManus last week and hopefully i’ll have that ready to go soon… i also had the pleasure of an enjoyable office mate yesterday when little boy came into work with me… (littler boy gets to come in tomorrow)… and the most curious thing for me was that he kept requesting soundtracks to listen to… and by soundtracks i mean original motion picture scores… so, with that in mind, the songs today will all be from various movie soundtracks…

BI-POLAR DISORDER
to the tune of Why So Serious? – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from The Dark Knight)

well, i have to start this out with The Dark Knight… went to see it last night with a few guys with stomachs full of Five Guys and anticipation eating away at us… i’m going to try to talk about it without giving anything away, though based on the box office records, everyone’s already seen it… it was phenomenal nothing less than everything advertised plus some… easily the most intense villainy in a superhero movie that i’ve seen and so many ideas and one-liners to chew on and really think about…

i’ll finish by mentioning what was my favorite aspect of the movie which was the mind-bending blurring of lines between good and evil… the clearly defined black and white life that i’m used to seeing presented is fine for younger audiences, but the line they came back to a few times, “you either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain” is rather thought provoking as well as the exploration of whether or not everyone is capable of corruption… another key line – “You have these rules that you think will save you…” – had me immediately thinking of the Pharisees and realizing the depth of the human experience that is presented in the Bible…

anyway… very good movie… very intense… if you’re of age, i recommend it…

NO MAS
to the tune of Ants! – John Williams (from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

i don’t complain much… okay, maybe i do, but today, i’m going to complain a little bit about things that have been really driving me nuts lately… besides the ants that refuse to give up on my house as a source of food, shelter or whatever the heck they’re looking for…

1. CAPTCHA: Seriously, it’s a shame that we’ve gotten to the point on the web that just about every form needs to have a CAPTCHA box… if you don’t know what that is, it’s those silly images that have sets of letters or numbers that you have to read and type in order to compete your order, post a comment, or whatever… half the time i can’t even read the stinkin things… and i’m not a machine

2. ACLJ: i used to listen to Jay Sekulow Live every day when i was in a big talk radio stage and just let the Christian talk radio station play in the background all day… and i’m supportive of Christians doing important legal work and all that, but the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has been calling my house at least three times a day and as early as 8 in the morning… they need to get off my case and work on their case load… they’re DRIVING ME CRAZY…

3. TYPOS nothing distracts me when i’m reading a book – a final, retail copy of a book – more than typos… i can understand one or two but when i was reading through Boys Should Be Boys, i was interrupted by no less than FIFTY… i just have to wonder why i should trust the authority of someone who doesn’t know the difference between their, they’re and there… and the next gripe is big enough for it’s own category…

PROFITS OR PRAISE
to the tune of The Sales Pitch – Danny Elfman from The Kingdom

Okay, so everyone already knows about the whole Testa-mints thing and we can all see the tee-shirt slogans that mimic beer tee shirts and stuff like that… and just when you think the “money changers” have reached their limits, they push the envelope a little bit further… the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) was a few weeks ago and as always, it served as the epicenter of “Jesus Junk”… i didn’t attend the show, but i’ve been hearing about some of the items heading to market…

not surprisingly, one of the items showcased at ICRS was Guitar Praise which is a Christian music only version of Guitar Hero that’s due out in September… it plays on your computer, independent of any video game systems and plans to feature 52 songs from all over the map… i don’t particularly have a problem with this to be honest, since it makes sense on some level… i do have a problem with the tag line there…. “Spirit-Filled Guitar Game for PCs Lets Anyone Live Their Rock Dreams” since no game can be spirit-filled, but hey, why not rock out to your favorite CCM tracks, right?

and then it got ugly… allow me to introduce you to 1 in 3 Trinity Energy Drink… that’s right, a Christian energy drink… one that vows to “Energize your mind and your body”… it could be the flavor of your life since it’s “fused with Fruit of the Spirit”… one thing i’m pretty sure of is that it probably tastes better than the puke that just bubbled up into the back of my throat as i read that…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of The Kings and Queens of Old – Harry Gregson-Williams (from Prince Caspian)

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

so i’ve got three books finished and waiting for reviews, but i don’t particularly have time to write those up just yet… i also updated the Amazon store with reviews and such, re-ordered the items to put the ones that i finished up front, and added some new books to reflect some of the latest additions… i was overjoyed to receive a pre-release of Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden and i also got a copy of Matt Brownleewe’s new book which hopefully won’t leave me confused for having not read Illuminated yet… i was going to ask for advice in that regard, but it turns out that House of Wolves isn’t out yet either… oh well, i’m probably going to start that one tonight…

I also requested a copy of The Shack, since it’s such a hot topic book it seems, but i haven’t heard back from them yet… i suppose if i find it cheap enough sometime next year or something, i may pick it up… otherwise i guess i’ll just miss that boat…

Completed…

Working through…
Searching for God Knows What (Miller) [about 125 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 160 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
House of Wolves (Bronleewe)
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder)

FULL LIST HERE

BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE
to the tune of Wish We Had More Time – Trevor Rabin (from Get Smart)

i am working on a few things, but nothing’s quite made it to press yet so i don’t have any special links to throw in here at the end with an obligatory plea for you to peep them… perhaps another day, but you can start dreaming about stuff i’m writing including some interviews (Erwin McManus, Warren Barfield, Chris Sligh), reviews, Left to Write and more… also next time out, i’ll talk about purpose, family force five, one or two or three books and eventually, i’ll get back to that whole best in the world thing… thanks for playing!

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&features&front page&iTRu-nes19 Jul 2008 11:32 pm

i do so love the weekend… normally i wouldn’t necessarily be on the computer on a Saturday for more than maybe an hour or so, but today’s a little different… actually, this weekend’s a little different… i’ve got some things i want to and need to get accomplished for my own emotional well-being… haven’t quite gotten there yet, but hopefully tomorrow…

anyway, i’m watching The Italian Job (love those minis)… since i’ve already burned through this week’s Burn Notice, Monk, and Psych (so glad they’re all back)… and my neighbors seem to be having quite the shindig… i should do a post about my neighborhood drama… not today though… today, we’ll be quick… i’ve just about finished the fourth book for the week, but i’m only going to talk about two, because it may take me a while to finish more and i don’t want to appear unproductive next week… on we go with the program…

THE PIED PIPER

to the tune of Lead Me On – Amy Grant

You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader
by Mark Sanborn

So, this little book about leadership pretty much states the obvious, but in an interesting way… it seems like a boiled-down version of a bonafide book about leadership that perhaps lacks the details i was hoping for… as someone who’s never really had a title worth mentioning, the title of the book grabbed my attention right away… and the six steps of leadership that the book discusses are certainly appropriate, but, again, it’s just common sense… it’s perhaps not so much a guide to leadership as it is a guide to taking control of your own life in a sense… but hey, sometimes we all need to have things stated and re-stated to us in the simplest ways and, at just over 120 pages, it’s not like it’s a huge investment…

DIP DE DIP DE DIP

to the tune of Who Put the Bomp? – Jan & Dean

The Dip
by Seth Godin

i’m really torn by this book… i’m wrestling with it as they say… having heard good things about it and noticing it on my boss’s bookshelf, i thought i’d take a shot at it… what happened from there was an 80 page assault on my job and alarms ringing over and over telling me that i should’ve quit years ago… i get that… but what i really struggle with is this concept of “Best in the World”… it’s the whole basis of the book… if you can’t be the best in the world at what you’re doing right now, then you need to quit and find something you can be the best in the world at… well, what if i can only be the best in the world at things that don’t pay the bills? what if really, i can only be the best dad in the world to my boys? the best husband in the world to my wife?

i write code, but i’ll never be the best coder in the world… i fix technical bugs, but i’ll never be the best at that… i write blogs and run a website, but clearly, based on the responses i get, i’m not the best in the world at any of that… i don’t know… i think i could go on for hours about that, but it wouldn’t be the best rant in the world so i think i’ll stop it here… if nothing else, the book gave me some mental cud to chew on…

THE READING ROOM

to the tune of Fun Fun Fun – The Beach Boys

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

running out of time here, but this is my latest updates…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn)
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker)
The Dip (Godin)

Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 10 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus) [about 210 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE

to the tune of Na Na Hey Hey – The Hit Crew

hey… there’s actually new stuff over on the main page… specifically a feature called I Know What TRu Read [last summer] which gives a rundown of eleven books i read last year… and a new iTRu-nes Playlist… check them out and keep it locked…

peace… love… bdg….

general19 Jul 2008 11:30 pm

i do so love the weekend… normally i wouldn’t necessarily be on the computer on a Saturday for more than maybe an hour or so, but today’s a little different… actually, this weekend’s a little different… i’ve got some things i want to and need to get accomplished for my own emotional well-being… haven’t quite gotten there yet, but hopefully tomorrow…

anyway, i’m watching The Italian Job (love those minis)… since i’ve already burned through this week’s Burn Notice, Monk, and Psych (so glad they’re all back)… and my neighbors seem to be having quite the shindig… i should do a post about my neighborhood drama… not today though… today, we’ll be quick… i’ve just about finished the fourth book for the week, but i’m only going to talk about two, because it may take me a while to finish more and i don’t want to appear unproductive next week… on we go with the program…

THE PIED PIPER
to the tune of Lead Me On – Amy Grant

You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader by Mark Sanborn

So, this little book about leadership pretty much states the obvious, but in an interesting way… it seems like a boiled-down version of a bonafide book about leadership that perhaps lacks the details i was hoping for… as someone who’s never really had a title worth mentioning, the title of the book grabbed my attention right away… and the six steps of leadership that the book discusses are certainly appropriate, but, again, it’s just common sense… it’s perhaps not so much a guide to leadership as it is a guide to taking control of your own life in a sense… but hey, sometimes we all need to have things stated and re-stated to us in the simplest ways and, at just over 120 pages, it’s not like it’s a huge investment…

DIP DE DIP DE DIP
to the tune of Who Put the Bomp? – Jan & Dean

The Dip by Seth Godin

i’m really torn by this book… i’m wrestling with it as they say… having heard good things about it and noticing it on my boss’s bookshelf, i thought i’d take a shot at it… what happened from there was an 80 page assault on my job and alarms ringing over and over telling me that i should’ve quit years ago… i get that… but what i really struggle with is this concept of “Best in the World”… it’s the whole basis of the book… if you can’t be the best in the world at what you’re doing right now, then you need to quit and find something you can be the best in the world at… well, what if i can only be the best in the world at things that don’t pay the bills? what if really, i can only be the best dad in the world to my boys? the best husband in the world to my wife?

i write code, but i’ll never be the best coder in the world… i fix technical bugs, but i’ll never be the best at that… i write blogs and run a website, but clearly, based on the responses i get, i’m not the best in the world at any of that… i don’t know… i think i could go on for hours about that, but it wouldn’t be the best rant in the world so i think i’ll stop it here… if nothing else, the book gave me some mental cud to chew on…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Fun Fun Fun – The Beach Boys

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

running out of time here, but this is my latest updates…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn)
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker)
The Dip (Godin)

Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 10 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus) [about 210 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE
to the tune of Na Na Hey Hey – The Hit Crew

hey… there’s actually new stuff over on the main page… specifically a feature called I Know What TRu Read [last summer] which gives a rundown of eleven books i read last year… and a new iTRu-nes Playlist… check them out and keep it locked…

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&general&pop culture15 Jul 2008 11:20 pm

and we’re back… i would say that i feel refreshed and ready to take on the world, but i actually have something of a dull headache and it took less than a half hour before i was reminded why i look forward to vacations… at least i remembered not to punch the wall too hard so that i can’t type or anything like that… anyway, let’s get back into it, shall we?

STAY-CATION

to the tune of Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith

oh how nice it would be if i could just check out from the corporate world and just live… no dealing with the demons of the office… no headaches… no stress… well, the problem with that is that it would take me a long time before i got to a place where i would be able to effectively produce anything… as evidenced by the last six days when i took a vacation that became a “stay”-cation when we decided to center our efforts at the house…

oh, we did lots of things… we took the boys to the movies, went bowling, visited Monticello, went to a water park, hung out, went swimming and littler boy even graduated from wearing pull-ups to bed to wearing “bigga-boy undawears” (without accident so far even)… it was all great fun, but on the production front… writing here or anywhere, i did SQUAT!… of course, it’s good to unplug and just kick back for a time and i do get the sense that i’m trying to do too much most of the time, but as restful (and tiring) as the time off was, i couldn’t help waking up this morning and thinking about all that i had hoped to accomplish… and all that i didn’t…

no biggie… i guess… i’ll just take it for what it is… we’ll figure it all out another day…

REALITY BITES

to the tune of Wipe Out – The Surfaris

‘Tis the season for reality television and the networks have pulled out all the stops… and we all wish they would just simply stop… i tell you, if it wasn’t for cable, netflix, and hulu, i don’t know what i would watch… there are a few of the reality/game shows that i haven’t been able to avoid though and here are the top three of maybe three…

03. The Mole: i was pretty excited when i heard that this show was coming back and it hasn’t really let me down too much… i do remember liking Anderson Cooper a lot better as a host, but this new guy, Jon Kelley, is alright, but i tend to get annoyed with him now and again… didn’t watch the celebrity version of it, but i think it’s been long enough between the original season and this year’s for it to be fresh again… if i have to guess today, i’d say that Craig is the mole, but i think if i were playing, i would’ve taken the $30,000 bribe money in week three as well…

02. Last Comic Standing i can’t believe that this is the sixth season of this, but it’s the first season that i’ve watched and i think that it’s unfortunately already suffered from the same talent-leak that Idol has experienced… Some of the comics have good material tough… i think that the funniest one was voted off back in Vegas though… talking about a billboard that read “Pregnant? You’re not alone” she mused, “You’re not going to be alone for a long time…” Anyway, i’m mostly glad that God’s Pottery was voted off… they were annoying… if i had to pick a winner, i’d say it’ll be either Iliza, Jim, or Marcus…

01. Wipeout this one certainly falls under the category of guilty pleasure, but i’ve enjoyed watching these episodes on ABC.com… it’s perhaps the lowest form of humor, but i really crack up at the bravado and the constant reminder that pride goes before destruction and a haughty (aka braggadocious) spirit before (several) great fall(s)…

honorable mention goes to Celebrity Family Feud but that’s mainly because the cast of My Name is Earl was absolutely hilarious as they stayed in character to deliver some of the most ridiculous answers imaginable…

THE READING ROOM

to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

running out of time here, but this is my latest updates…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn)

Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 20 pages left]
The Dip (Godin) [about 35 pages left]
Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 100 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

peace… love… bdg….

general15 Jul 2008 11:18 pm

and we’re back… i would say that i feel refreshed and ready to take on the world, but i actually have something of a dull headache and it took less than a half hour before i was reminded why i look forward to vacations… at least i remembered not to punch the wall too hard so that i can’t type or anything like that… anyway, let’s get back into it, shall we?

STAY-CATION
to the tune of Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith

oh how nice it would be if i could just check out from the corporate world and just live… no dealing with the demons of the office… no headaches… no stress… well, the problem with that is that it would take me a long time before i got to a place where i would be able to effectively produce anything… as evidenced by the last six days when i took a vacation that became a “stay”-cation when we decided to center our efforts at the house…

oh, we did lots of things… we took the boys to the movies, went bowling, visited Monticello, went to a water park, hung out, went swimming and littler boy even graduated from wearing pull-ups to bed to wearing “bigga-boy undawears” (without accident so far even)… it was all great fun, but on the production front… writing here or anywhere, i did SQUAT!… of course, it’s good to unplug and just kick back for a time and i do get the sense that i’m trying to do too much most of the time, but as restful (and tiring) as the time off was, i couldn’t help waking up this morning and thinking about all that i had hoped to accomplish… and all that i didn’t…

no biggie… i guess… i’ll just take it for what it is… we’ll figure it all out another day…

REALITY BITES
to the tune of Wipe Out – The Surfaris

‘Tis the season for reality television and the networks have pulled out all the stops… and we all wish they would just simply stop… i tell you, if it wasn’t for cable, netflix, and hulu, i don’t know what i would watch… there are a few of the reality/game shows that i haven’t been able to avoid though and here are the top three of maybe three…

03. The Mole: i was pretty excited when i heard that this show was coming back and it hasn’t really let me down too much… i do remember liking Anderson Cooper a lot better as a host, but this new guy, Jon Kelley, is alright, but i tend to get annoyed with him now and again… didn’t watch the celebrity version of it, but i think it’s been long enough between the original season and this year’s for it to be fresh again… if i have to guess today, i’d say that Craig is the mole, but i think if i were playing, i would’ve taken the $30,000 bribe money in week three as well…

02. Last Comic Standing i can’t believe that this is the sixth season of this, but it’s the first season that i’ve watched and i think that it’s unfortunately already suffered from the same talent-leak that Idol has experienced… Some of the comics have good material tough… i think that the funniest one was voted off back in Vegas though… talking about a billboard that read “Pregnant? You’re not alone” she mused, “You’re not going to be alone for a long time…” Anyway, i’m mostly glad that God’s Pottery was voted off… they were annoying… if i had to pick a winner, i’d say it’ll be either Iliza, Jim, or Marcus…

01. Wipeout this one certainly falls under the category of guilty pleasure, but i’ve enjoyed watching these episodes on ABC.com… it’s perhaps the lowest form of humor, but i really crack up at the bravado and the constant reminder that pride goes before destruction and a haughty (aka braggadocious) spirit before (several) great fall(s)…

honorable mention goes to Celebrity Family Feud but that’s mainly because the cast of My Name is Earl was absolutely hilarious as they stayed in character to deliver some of the most ridiculous answers imaginable…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

running out of time here, but this is my latest updates…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn)

Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 20 pages left]
The Dip (Godin) [about 35 pages left]
Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 100 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&news08 Jul 2008 11:08 pm

do you smell that? it’s what i like to call pending vacation… that’s right, i get to take a vacation from the rigors of my day job and i’m pretty excited about it… we had some plans for this time, but they fell through and we’re going to just stick around and enjoy the time off from the home base… and if you know me, you know that that’s just plain awesome…

anyway, there are of course a number of things that i hope to get accomplished during this time away, but most of all, i want to relax and see what happens… thought i’d kick it off with an update though…

DONE?

to the tune of Wonder – delirious?

after fourteen albums and many many years… delirious? is planning on calling it quits… sort of… they recently announced that at the end of 2009, they will be taking “a break from recording and playing as a band.” It seems that Martin (lead singer) wants to see other people… i mean, pursue other projects and spend more time with his family… and it’s okay, because they will be “ON A BREAK!!!”… anyway, i wish them well…

WAKE UP?

to the tune of Wake Up! Wake Up! – Everyday Sunday

i went ahead and watched the new DVD from Erwin McManus called Wide Awake… based on the video, i think i’m gonna love the book and it may just change my life… who knows… looks good though…

SIMPLY PUT

to the tune of You Make It Look So Easy – Stavesacre

Simplicity
by Mark Salomon

So i finally finished this one… it took me a little longer than i expected, but it was well worth the read… it’s a very honest look at the often blurred line between ministry and industry when it comes to Christian music and entertainment… also the importance of working your faith into your personal life rather than just tacking it on to your business pursuits, regardless of the industry… i loved how Mark refused to pull punches or shelter himself from possible embarrassment or whatever by being completely open as he explained the struggles he has dealt with as he’s walked through a life of faith… very interesting read, thought-provoking, and engaging… i’ll recommend it…

THE READING ROOM

to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

Only finished the one this week, but looks like at the end of this week, i’ll be overloaded with finished books…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)

You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn) [about 20 pages left]
The Dip (Godin) [about 60 pages left]
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 80 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 190 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

peace… love… bdg….

general08 Jul 2008 11:05 pm

do you smell that? it’s what i like to call pending vacation… that’s right, i get to take a vacation from the rigors of my day job and i’m pretty excited about it… we had some plans for this time, but they fell through and we’re going to just stick around and enjoy the time off from the home base… and if you know me, you know that that’s just plain awesome…

anyway, there are of course a number of things that i hope to get accomplished during this time away, but most of all, i want to relax and see what happens… thought i’d kick it off with an update though…

DONE?
to the tune of Wonder – delirious?

after fourteen albums and many many years… delirious? is planning on calling it quits… sort of… they recently announced that at the end of 2009, they will be taking “a break from recording and playing as a band.” It seems that Martin (lead singer) wants to see other people… i mean, pursue other projects and spend more time with his family… and it’s okay, because they will be “ON A BREAK!!!”… anyway, i wish them well…

WAKE UP?
to the tune of Wake Up! Wake Up! – Everyday Sunday

i went ahead and watched the new DVD from Erwin McManus called Wide Awake… based on the video, i think i’m gonna love the book and it may just change my life… who knows… looks good though…

SIMPLY PUT
to the tune of You Make It Look So Easy – Stavesacre

Simplicity
by Mark Salomon

So i finally finished this one… it took me a little longer than i expected, but it was well worth the read… it’s a very honest look at the often blurred line between ministry and industry when it comes to Christian music and entertainment… also the importance of working your faith into your personal life rather than just tacking it on to your business pursuits, regardless of the industry… i loved how Mark refused to pull punches or shelter himself from possible embarrassment or whatever by being completely open as he explained the struggles he has dealt with as he’s walked through a life of faith… very interesting read, thought-provoking, and engaging… i’ll recommend it…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

Only finished the one this week, but looks like at the end of this week, i’ll be overloaded with finished books…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)
Simplicity (Salomon)

You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn) [about 20 pages left]
The Dip (Godin) [about 60 pages left]
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 80 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Prince Caspian (Lewis) [about 190 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&general&news&pop culture03 Jul 2008 04:39 pm

Brandon Heath absolutely crushed me yesterday morning… not that he reads this, but Brandon, i owe you one when next we meet… see, i don’t normally listen to music in the car anymore, but since i had finished the podcast i was listening to and only had a short while to go before work, i click-wheeled over to Brandon’s new album which i guess isn’t out yet, but i’ve really been digging the first track called “Give Me Your Eyes” which talks about seeing the world through God’s eyes, which is sobering enough, but then he follows it with “Wait and See“…

That doesn’t mean much to most of you, since the album’s not out and all, but i think i’ve made it pretty clear that work has been a continual frustration… and, well, i’ve been weighing my options, praying and wondering what to do next… kind of like asking myself what i want to be when i grow up and realizing that i already have the responsibilities of a grown up… anyway, driving into work, Brandon smacks me across the head with the following lyrics…

“There is hope for me yet
because God won’t forget
all the plans he’s made for me.
I just have to wait and see.

He’s not finished with me yet…”

Amazing… anyway, this is a short work week which also helps make it go down smoother… let’s talk about a few other things, shall we?

MR ROBOTO

to the tune of Mr. Roboto – Styx

We went to see the new Pixar/Disney film Wall-e on opening day… my wife managed to get us admission for four for about six bucks which was good because she fell asleep a few times during the movie… i enjoyed it quite a bit and the boys were cracking up on and off throughout the whole film… the first thirty minutes don’t include any dialogue, but that didn’t seem to bother either of them as they enjoyed the physical humor of a robot discovering various items in the trash piles…

Certainly there was a strong hint of the whole global warming issue which i’m sure will cause someone to scream about liberals in the media, but i mean really, it was more of a social commentary about our own laziness… too lazy to clean up after ourselves, leaving piles of trash everywhere so that we need to escape the world to a cruise where no one has to do anything for themselves and we become the floppy beings who can’t even stand on their own two feet…

the real message was about finding purpose in life, breaking out of the routine and standing for something… nothing wrong with that…

CRAZY CHRISTIANS

to the tune of Drive It Home – Paul Alan

So, i came across two different articles about the “Conservative leaders” secretly meeting last week and deciding to support John McCain for president… this doesn’t surprise me at all, since any exploration into the character of Obama hasn’t led me to put any trust in this man… I’m not saying that McCain is perfect, but for what it’s worth, i’m more confident in his leadership than i am in Obama’s… (besides, i’ve been told that Obama is, in fact, the anti-Christ and that once he’s elected, we have seven years until Heaven)… (actually, that leads me to a different topic, but i’ll have to come back to it later)…

The Charisma article has an interesting quote that kind of echoes what i think will be the main thrust of the campaign… “‘The alternative is so bad we must support John McCain,’ said Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum”… this, folks is what they call a lose-lose situation… this is where they say to keep your chin up and make the best of a bad situation, knowing that it could be worse… in situations like that, there’s honestly no winner…

Of course, the truth of the matter is that Obama is an absolutely terrible alternative… Mike Janke goes into great detail about Obama’s stand on abortion, pointing out that his support extends to partial birth abortions and even the killing of infants who have managed to survive such procedures after they’re out of the womb… not at all consistent with his emphasis on the youth of the nation, though i suppose… well, never mind… Furthermore, Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of George Bush and soon to be author of The Faith of Barack Obama, talks on and on about the sincerity of Obama’s Christianity, stating that he is both unapologetically Christian and unapologetically liberal… but most interesting is the final line of the article… “Mansfield said he will vote against Obama in November for a single reason: ‘Because I’m pro-life.'”…

I think the biggest danger is the defeatist attitude that may keep voters on their couches instead of voting in November…

THE READING ROOM

to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

I wasn’t sure that i’d get any finished this week, but it looks like i will… maybe even two… gonna have to make some adjustments to avoid the oh-fer next week though… and i think i need to pick some lighter books… i’m imbalanced in the non-fiction side of things…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)

Simplicity (Salomon) [about 10 pages left]
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn) [about 75 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 180 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Prince Caspian (Lewis)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

MOVING ON

Hey, everyone, have a great fourth of July weekend… really… don’t blow off any fingers or toes or burn down any houses or whatever… just have fun… celebrate the establishment of this great nation… we can work on keeping it that way starting on Monday…

peace… love… bdg….

general03 Jul 2008 04:35 pm

Brandon Heath absolutely crushed me yesterday morning… not that he reads this, but Brandon, i owe you one when next we meet… see, i don’t normally listen to music in the car anymore, but since i had finished the podcast i was listening to and only had a short while to go before work, i click-wheeled over to Brandon’s new album which i guess isn’t out yet, but i’ve really been digging the first track called “Give Me Your Eyes” which talks about seeing the world through God’s eyes, which is sobering enough, but then he follows it with “Wait and See“…

That doesn’t mean much to most of you, since the album’s not out and all, but i think i’ve made it pretty clear that work has been a continual frustration… and, well, i’ve been weighing my options, praying and wondering what to do next… kind of like asking myself what i want to be when i grow up and realizing that i already have the responsibilities of a grown up… anyway, driving into work, Brandon smacks me across the head with the following lyrics…

“There is hope for me yet
because God won’t forget
all the plans he’s made for me.
I just have to wait and see.

He’s not finished with me yet…”

Amazing… anyway, this is a short work week which also helps make it go down smoother… let’s talk about a few other things, shall we?

MR ROBOTO
to the tune of Mr. Roboto – Styx

We went to see the new Pixar/Disney film Wall-e on opening day… my wife managed to get us admission for four for about six bucks which was good because she fell asleep a few times during the movie… i enjoyed it quite a bit and the boys were cracking up on and off throughout the whole film… the first thirty minutes don’t include any dialogue, but that didn’t seem to bother either of them as they enjoyed the physical humor of a robot discovering various items in the trash piles…

Certainly there was a strong hint of the whole global warming issue which i’m sure will cause someone to scream about liberals in the media, but i mean really, it was more of a social commentary about our own laziness… too lazy to clean up after ourselves, leaving piles of trash everywhere so that we need to escape the world to a cruise where no one has to do anything for themselves and we become the floppy beings who can’t even stand on their own two feet…

the real message was about finding purpose in life, breaking out of the routine and standing for something… nothing wrong with that…

CRAZY CHRISTIANS
to the tune of Drive It Home – Paul Alan

So, i came across two different articles about the “Conservative leaders” secretly meeting last week and deciding to support John McCain for president… this doesn’t surprise me at all, since any exploration into the character of Obama hasn’t led me to put any trust in this man… I’m not saying that McCain is perfect, but for what it’s worth, i’m more confident in his leadership than i am in Obama’s… (besides, i’ve been told that Obama is, in fact, the anti-Christ and that once he’s elected, we have seven years until Heaven)… (actually, that leads me to a different topic, but i’ll have to come back to it later)…

The Charisma article has an interesting quote that kind of echoes what i think will be the main thrust of the campaign… “‘The alternative is so bad we must support John McCain,’ said Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum”… this, folks is what they call a lose-lose situation… this is where they say to keep your chin up and make the best of a bad situation, knowing that it could be worse… in situations like that, there’s honestly no winner…

Of course, the truth of the matter is that Obama is an absolutely terrible alternative… Mike Janke goes into great detail about Obama’s stand on abortion, pointing out that his support extends to partial birth abortions and even the killing of infants who have managed to survive such procedures after they’re out of the womb… not at all consistent with his emphasis on the youth of the nation, though i suppose… well, never mind… Furthermore, Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of George Bush and soon to be author of The Faith of Barack Obama, talks on and on about the sincerity of Obama’s Christianity, stating that he is both unapologetically Christian and unapologetically liberal… but most interesting is the final line of the article… “Mansfield said he will vote against Obama in November for a single reason: ‘Because I’m pro-life.'”…

I think the biggest danger is the defeatist attitude that may keep voters on their couches instead of voting in November…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Summer Again – The Afters

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

I wasn’t sure that i’d get any finished this week, but it looks like i will… maybe even two… gonna have to make some adjustments to avoid the oh-fer next week though… and i think i need to pick some lighter books… i’m imbalanced in the non-fiction side of things…

It All Goes Back in the Box (Ortberg)
Deadly Viper Character Assassins (Foster & Wilhite) [audiobook]
The Word of Mouth Manual (Balter)
Character Makes a Difference (Huckabee)

Simplicity (Salomon) [about 10 pages left]
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader (Sanborn) [about 75 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Boys Should Be Boys (Meeker) [about 180 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Wide Awake (McManus)
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
Prince Caspian (Lewis)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)

FULL LIST HERE

MOVING ON

Hey, everyone, have a great fourth of July weekend… really… don’t blow off any fingers or toes or burn down any houses or whatever… just have fun… celebrate the establishment of this great nation… we can work on keeping it that way starting on Monday…

peace… love… bdg….