February 2013

general28 Feb 2013 05:34 pm

It was a grizzly scene yesterday morning as Littler Boy emerged from his sheets to discover the Tooth Fairy had not abided by the traditional terms of business and replaced his lost tooth with a monetary exchange. Littler Boy was reportedly “stoic” while holding the evidence bag and explaining, “I still have my tooth.”

Investigators suspect an incisor job as witnesses revealed the emotional state of Littler Boy on Tuesday night as “inconsolable, crying that he loved that tooth and wanted to keep it.” Sources close to the Tooth Fairy concur, noting that upon arrival in the room and after a thorough search under the pillow and surrounding areas, “the tooth was nowhere to be found. We might have a molar in the organization”

Leading up to this event, the Tooth Fairy had suffered a tasteless smear campaign led by Little Boy, including biting accusations of identity theft and growing doubt into her very existence. This alleged incident, or lack thereof, does nothing to quell these suspicions.

Authorities promise a resolution soon. “We’ll get to the root of this. We’ll extract a confession, sooner or later.” Littler Boy was unavailable for comment, but has been seen smiling and carrying on as normal.

UPDATE: Littler Boy confessed to having hidden the tooth in hopes of keeping it forever in his scrapbook. “It’s my last incisor and I loved it,” explained Littler Boy. “It’s not gross at all.” The Tooth Fairy agreed to a second visit, despite the scheduling issues it would create. A spokesperson confirmed the transaction was completed this morning.

Bookshelf&creativity27 Feb 2013 11:31 am

Some books to talk about today. I may even be back later with another post about books. (I have a sizable back-log of book reviews to write.) First up, three unconventional young adult novels, or YA, as the cool kids say.

The Secret of Indigo Moon – G.P. Taylor

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of these Dopple Ganger books. I was quite pleased to get my hands on a copy of the second book to fill in the gaps I had in the overarching story line. (I read book 3 first and book 1 second.) The truth is, though, that each book so far has stood alone quite nicely. The story of twin orphan girls and a mischievous abandoned boy as they face adventures beyond their imaginations and become detectives in their own right. As with the other two books, Indigo Moon is a beautifully designed book from cover to cover. The binding and illustrations are captivating and begin the story before you’ve read a single word.

Book two finds our fearless trio searching secret passages to uncover a patient burglary plot that reveals in culprits and mysteries from the past. [continue reading this post…]

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television26 Feb 2013 01:05 pm

“The guys are up next time, which I think won’t be until Monday for me.” Or Tuesday. Either way, we’re back and I’m finally ready to dive into the second of four sudden death rounds for this year’s American Idol. Ten guys line up on stage and get ready to face the judges. Five will go home and five will stay. Amazingly, despite all the previous episodes, there are probably at least five we’ve never seen before, too. Anyway, let’s get to it.

We’re apparently sticking with a first name only basis for these contestants. Trendy.

Paul leads everything off with a ballad, probably country, because he’s already mentioned alcohol. It sounds melodically similar to Wind Beneath My Wings. Some good moments, but kind of boring. Later a judge will say the show hasn’t started yet. Oh, it’s a Keith Urban song. Keith is honored, but clearly not impressed. Nicki thought he overperformed. Randy and Mariah think he has potential.

Johnny (“Blue Eyes”) stepped off the yacht long enough to sing another ballad. He was cut in Vegas last year. I think it was boring enough to threaten a similar fate. Keith says it was good, Nicki thinks he’s a hottie. Randy thought it was just okay. Mariah swoons.

JDA is [his?] “own producer, director… the star of [his?] own movie, the artist of [his?] life.” But [s]he’s singing Adele’s Rumor Has It. Shockingly, it’s a theatrical and dramatic performance (and awful). I find it utterly obnoxious and self indulgent. I’m sure that’s just me though. Keith struggles for words and lands on counting steps. Nicki and Randy argue over the performance, but both of them think the vocal wasn’t great. Mariah thinks [s]he sparkles with confidence.
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews26 Feb 2013 10:01 am

This should be fun. Today, we’re looking at five albums from artists (or groups) from which I’ve not previously heard a single song. At least to my knowledge. For some of them, I assume it’s because they’re lesser known, but that’s not true for all of them. For example, Buckcherry was apparently the top seller last week and that usually means they’re pretty well known. I also believe Elevation Worship to have a reasonable following, though I haven’t been among the crowds. One way or another, these have all escaped my ears prior to this point in time, so we’ll see how it shakes out.

This may also be a good time to explain that I don’t just listen to or comment on Christian music. Yes, Buckcherry is a tough album to recommend, considering the significant amount of curse words littering the lyrics. I’m not necessarily recommending it, but the combination of the band’s apparent popularity and the intriguing possibility that the title and track names presented made me want to see what they were about. (Thankfully, I can do so with minimal risk because of Spotify, which comes in very handy.)

That said, everything else is as to be expected. I’ll be summarizing the album in 25 words or less, drawing comparisons to other artists that are stylistically similar, pointing out two songs that highlight the album, and assigning a random object to each album. Today, I’ll go with methods of transportation. No particular reason. Off we go.

Elevation Worship – Nothing Is Wasted
http://amzn.to/ZvCkCc (CD) | http://amzn.to/XUri9s (mp3)

It’s nice to hear some worship music that’s not too commercial, not too clean, and not too bad. Live worship concert experience captured well. Bus.

SEE ALSO: Skillet’s Ardent Worship album, Jesus Culture
DON’T MISS: Be Lifted High, I Will Trust in You
[continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow25 Feb 2013 04:10 pm

Previously on “Leadership Lessons from Joshua”…

We’ve been looking at the book of Joshua to see what lessons we can glean from it regarding leadership. Though we’ve only made it through the first chapter thus far, we’ve already discussed what it means to be called and appointed to a leadership role (A Call to Action), the need and source of being courageous in this role (A Call to Courage), and the foundational role of followers (Followers).

Before we dig into chapter two, however, I want to revisit the call to courage for a second to think more about the source of our courage. Joshua 1:8 explains:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

As I mentioned previously, it seems clear that the source of our courage and strength needs to be the Word of the Lord. However, what has since occurred to me is that, in this context that means the Pentateuch. Genesis through Deuteronomy contains enough evidence of God’s power and authority to sustain your motivation, courage, and strength as a leader. In these five books, we learn the history of the world, the history of God’s people, and, given the rises and falls, history’s penchant for repetition. There is intrigue, suspense, romance, deceit, lies, murder, corruption, cover-ups, laws, wars, mystery, miracles, redemption, and everything in between.
[continue reading this post…]

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television22 Feb 2013 06:07 pm

Remember when I said I wasn’t sure how I would cover American Idol this year? Yeah, one thing I’m sure of is that it will be generally after the fact. And more abbreviated than in the past. That said, here’s the first real coverage. My real-time thoughts as I watched Wednesday’s show today. I’ll try to make it so that I’m closer to the actual airing of the show in the future – especially when it’s open voting, but we shall see. Off we go…

Jenny Beth sang some country song and sounded like some country girl with a big last note. Judges were mixed, but mostly unimpressed. Mariah talks too much.
Teena is 28, but looks 48. She picks a slow song to highlight her inner diva. I think it backfired. No energy, lots of pitchiness. Judges were impressed, “control” is the word of the minute.
Adriana from Alaska opts for the sultry sound with a lounge song. She shows control, poise, and a great range. Best of the three. Judges loved it.
Brandy looks like a bad newscaster. I take it she’s a country singer. I say she’s an easy cut. Judges feel she didn’t connect to the song. Except Mariah, who wasn’t connected enough to notice. [continue reading this post…]

business22 Feb 2013 01:56 pm

I got wind of a new service called Redbox Instant and immediately tried to get on their BETA testing list. Eventually, I did. It wasn’t even that much of a wait. Of course, good things come to those who wait. But I can’t complain too much about the service. Sure, Redbox hopes it will position them to compete directly with Netflix by offering content to those of us who are too lazy to make it out to a kiosk, but they do have a long way to go.

Honestly, I didn’t even stream a single movie. They had nothing in their selection that really compelled me to try it out. At least, nothing that Netflix didn’t already have available to stream on my television as well as my iPad. (Redbox instant is limited to computers and mobile devices, from what I could gather.) The selling point for me was the 4 free DVD rentals from the kiosk. Once I used up my 4 rentals in the free trial month, I immediately cancelled the subscription to avoid an $8 charge next month. They responded in kind with the following email:


(I promise you, I didn’t doctor this image at all. It’s a simple cropped screenshot.)

That is a fantastic way to treat your former customers. Call them a “dummy” and ask them to still be friends. This is like every high school break-up ever. “I can’t stand you anymore, you make weird noises when you chew, and I’m done with you… but we can still be friends.”

Granted, I know this is (probably) a technical glitch caused because they don’t have a name on file for my account, but still, I like to think it’s a fresh dose of honesty in the world of politically correct customer service. I can’t tell you how many customers I wanted to call dummy for walking out of my store empty handed. Hence, I haven’t worked retail in a long time.

peace… love… bdg…

MUSIC&reviews19 Feb 2013 10:31 am

So, technical glitch plus busy long weekend equals delayed posting of this Music of the Day. Sorry.

We’re back with another one. It’s the Music of the Day and we’ve got a couple albums that released just this week and a few that released a little bit earlier. It’s a good mix as I always try to put together and they certainly won’t all appeal to everyone. Actually, I try to be somewhat impartial when I write them up, but I’ll probably only listen to 2, maybe 3 of these albums after this week. One is a lock, two are pretty enjoyable, and two don’t compel me much at all. I’ll let you guess.

Anyway, here’s how we do it. In 25 words or less, I summarize the album. Then, I pick out 2 key tracks and point out 2 similar artists. Finally (and whimsically), I compare each album to something random. Today, it’s amusement park rides. And that’s how we roll with the Music of the Day. Off we go.

Jeremy Camp – Reckless
http://amzn.to/XDUIFH (CD) | http://amzn.to/XDUw9D (mp3)

Sure to be popular album from popular artist. Here, you’ll find everything you expect from a Jeremy Camp album. Nothing more, nothing less. Nilla Wafer.

SEE ALSO: Casting Crowns, Third Day
DON’T MISS: Without You, Come Alive
[continue reading this post…]

leadership&Overflow13 Feb 2013 05:26 pm

There are many keys to being a great leader, but foundationally, the key to being a leader of any kind is that you have people following you. In this day and age, the notion of following has become terribly muddled because technology and marketing have made “following” a much more casual experience than what traditional definitions call for. The buttons online asking users to follow other Twitter accounts are a far cry from the “Follow Me” request issued by Jesus as he was building his inner circle of disciples.

Today, “following” simply means paying mild attention to a stream of news, ponderings, and pictures of food as is convenient to your personal schedule. “Following” is more akin to squeezing someone into your schedule as time and interest allows, somewhere between checking emails and playing Farmville. Then, it meant leaving behind everything you know and wholly devoting yourself to one person for the rest of your life as a servant to his master. It meant risking everything and sacrificing your own identity to learn from and espouse the beliefs of another to become the protege and legacy of another. It was a big deal, bigger than pushing a button. It was not convenient.

This week, we find Joshua rallying the troops, in a sense. He’s been installed as the new leader of Israel. He’s been instructed and encouraged. And now he’s building his followers. There’s already a leadership structure in place, so Joshua starts there. He begins his new role by addressing the leaders throughout the community and relay his orders via trickle-down delegation. It’s like a prayer chain and it’s a wonderfully organized communication system. But the best part is yet to come.
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews08 Feb 2013 05:09 pm

Well, it’s about time I came back with a new issue of Music of the Day, right? Well, I took January off because typically, it’s a slow month for releases anyway and I can use the albums that did come out to fill in as needed. It looks like I may still run thin pretty quickly, though, as I glance ahead at the next couple weeks.

Anyway, this was a good week for releases and we’ve got five fresh releases (one is from January) to dive into. As always (and in case you forgot), you can expect a 25 word (or less) summary of the album, two key tracks, two similar artists, and a random fun comparison (this week: amusement park rides). Also, keep an eye out later for a full Walk TRu of the RED album. I wrote it a few weeks ago, but never finalized it for publication. Imagine that. Now, on to the music of the day. Off we go…

Sanctus Real – Run
http://amzn.to/XWZqAc (CD) | http://amzn.to/128aGL8 (mp3)

It feels like forever, but the veteran pop rock outfit picks up where they left off with clean riffs, memorable hooks, and outstanding vocals. Scrambler.

SEE ALSO: Vota, The Afters
DON’T MISS: Commitment, On Our Own
[continue reading this post…]

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