Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I had a very nice mini-vacation last weekend in Fort Lauderdale. While The Wife worked, I got to lounge by the pool at this place. It's a little pricey (The Wife's place of employment paid for our room), but I recommend it if you have the means. We took a boat ride by Miami's Millionaire's Row, and I took photos of Shaq's place and Gloria Estefan's home. We spent an evening walking around the Art Deco buildings of South Beach, and we ate a delicious meal at the Pelican Hotel. We saw two of these cars, which really aren't so impressive in person as they seem to be in pictures. I walked by this famous Ocean Drive building, the former home of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, when several people were coming out of it, but I didn't recognize anyone. I ate a tasty burger at this place near Ft. Lauderdale's beach. All in all, a nice time.
Here is the cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Both Harry and his nemesis Voldemort are on the cover. Neither The-Boy-Who-Lived nor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named are holding their wands - is there some significance to this? We'll have to wait until July!
For a period of time when I was a child, I collected stamps. I didn't have a particular affinity for any certain type of stamp - I had stamps of people, places, and things. This was a very short period, so I didn't collect many. I have no idea where they are now. However, I will have to gather up every one of these stamps. The Wife and my parents know why.
I love bunny movies!
One last thing. The Wife had an important life event yesterday. Not on par with, say, graduating from college or getting married or having a baby, but still important. It was the kind of event most everyone has experienced at some point (I haven't yet, but I believe I came close ten years ago). As devastating as an event it can be to many people, she took it very much in stride. She wasn't suprised by it. She found it to be quite liberating. She knows that God is still on His throne, that He is in control, and that our family will be able to go on. I love you, Honey!!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
- Whatever happened to the Holy Spirit? Dan Edelen wants to know.
- Kill the bear!
- According to this Wikipedia article, the upcoming episode of Lost, "The Man from Tallahassee", will feature conversations between Locke and Ben. Will Locke ask a question I would ask if I were him - "If you saw our plane fall from the sky, why did you decide to 'infiltrate' us, lie to us, and harm us when you should have come to help us?" Then again, it's such an obvious and giving-away-the-show-storyline question that there's no way any character will ask that (and no Other would directly answer it).
- I was a fan of pro wrestling back in the early 1980's. Those were the glory days of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and WrestleMania III. I felt very sad reading this article about the current use of steroids by some pro wrestlers. (When I worked as a university hall director a few years ago, one of my resident advisors was a niece of this wrestler - he claims to be a Christian.)
- Maybe the less you know about aliens, the better.
- Joe Carter lists 10 things we've forgotten about the Iraq war. He also gives a scathing critique of Jim Wallis' views on Darfur (for God's sake, save them!) and Iraq (saving them offends God!).
- Improbably, I'm a fan of Bravo's Project Runway. There will be a season four. Style guru Tim Gunn has a book coming out - and in case you hadn't noticed, Gunn himself is out as well.
- I'll believe this about a Real World cast when I see it. Every season showcases nothing but the same sex-crazed, constantly-intoxicated 20-somethings who fight about sex and alcohol - they're just in a different city each season. RW stopped being interesting after San Francisco, and I pity the poor people who've only seen it from Las Vegas on.
- Mark Driscoll reveals a bit of himself with this post. Frank Turk brings up important points on one aspect of Driscoll's post: the apparent need for multiple services and video broadcasting. iMonk talked to Noel Heikkinen about it.
- I probably shouldn't have, but I chuckled at reading this bumper sticker.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
While I'm tanning myself in sunny Florida, be sure to check out these sites. They are some of my favorites:
- Ann Althouse
- Cindy Swanson
- Dan Edelen
- Get Religion
- Joe Carter
- Justin Taylor
- La Shawn Barber (she's also on hiatus, but check her out anyway!)
- Mark Daniels
- Mark Roberts
Stop by to see my relations, too:
I was saddened to learn that fellow DCHS and Cedarville alum Brian Orme is discontinuing his blog. He will be missed!
Monday, March 19, 2007
All four #1 seeds are still alive, as expected. No Cinderella teams this year, with the lowest seed being Vanderbilt (#6). What happened to you, George Masons of the world?
Those Purdue guys may have acted tough when they met with Indy Star reporters over the weekend, but Florida showed them how to play a game in the Big Dance: you play tough and you win it. Will Florida go all the way like they did last year? First, they have to get past the Butler Bulldogs, the only Indiana team remaining in the tournament.
OSU is the only Ohio - and Big Ten - team to make it, beating out fellow Ohio university Xavier in overtime. My Wright State Raiders didn't get past the first round.
I've been to Orlando several times in the past few years, so I've seen Michael Graves' Swan and Dolphin. It's Disney, of course, but most everything in Orlando seems to be. I've stayed at Miami's Fontainebleau twice, and the first time was the better one - a heavenly Art Deco inspired room with a balcony and magnificent view of the hotel grounds below and the Atlantic beyond.
Chicago had several buildings represented, including this one:
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"Senator, how are you feeling today?"
"I'll leave that for others to conclude."
"Senator, should healthcare be managed by the government?"
"I'll leave that for others to conclude."
"Senator, what is two times two?"
"I'll leave that for others to conclude."
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Is he serious? Is this just a big joke? Looking through the website, it's difficult to tell for sure, but it appears that he's serious.
He's got a blog, too.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
"The Company," which focuses on the activities of the CIA during the Cold War, is scheduled to premiere in August. The six-hour limited series will join a pair of other new shows, the previously announced "Heartland" and "Saving Grace." The cable network also announced several new series in development Tuesday, including a project from Steven Bochco and an update of the 1960s series "The Saint."
Actors involved in the project include Michael Keaton, Chris O'Donnell, and Alfred Molina. Keaton played Batman in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns, O'Donnell played Robin in 1995's Batman Forever and 1997's Batman & Robin, and Molina played the villainous Doc Ock in 2004's Spiderman 2. I wonder if the actors will reference that somehow in this show. Perhaps Keaton's character could have a love of comic books, or O'Donnell could be an avid ornithologist.
I was amazed, as I thought about this, how humans are so eager to rely on their own actions instead of grace. Indulgences bypass grace through action, through human merit. Carbon offsets do the same, relying on self-punishment (purchasing "forgiveness" for crimes committed) to assuage guilt. By purchasing an indulgence a person neither needs to regret nor change his behavior. He can simply buy forgiveness in the form of a piece of paper. The same is true with carbon offsets. A person can continue to drive his SUV and fly around the world in a private jet, but have his conscience clear because he has offset his guilt with the offsets he purchases. If we ever reach the point where we are forced by the government to purchase carbon offsets, it is the poor who will suffer and the rich who will benefit. There will be no equality.As Instapundit would say, read the whole thing.
Indulgences and carbon offsets showed me something. Somewhere in the human heart is something that demands justice, but demands a perverted justice. It demands a justice that is so human, so flawed. It demands a justice that does not rely on grace.
Related: The evangelical catfight over the environment
Related 2: Will this happen in America?
This scholarly study examines the neuological components to laughter.
Monday, March 12, 2007
I find it humorous how they decide to place teams in the location categories: Midwest, West, East, and South. Maryland is close to the Atlantic Ocean and Oregon is close to the Pacific, but somehow they both are in the Midwest section. Wright State, one of my two alma maters, is in the West section - I suppose there was a time when Ohio was considered Out West, but that was 150 years ago or so.
I'm from Ohio but I currently live in Indiana, so let's see how teams from those states fared:
Ohio: OSU (#1-South), Xavier (#9-South), Wright State (#14-West), Miami (#14-Midwest)
Indiana: Butler (#5-Midwest), Notre Dame (#6-Midwest), Indiana (#7-West), Purdue (#9-Midwest)
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Hmmm. A "nurturing Socialist" and a "crime-busting Conservative." On the surface, it sounds like a Clinton/Giuliani match-up, doesn't it? Clinton wants to be perceived as nurturing and she has been labeled a Socialist in the past, and Giuliani's policies helped to clean up New York City streets.
In the final weeks of the French presidential campaign, dominated by a nurturing Socialist and a crime-busting conservative, a third candidate has upended the race with a very American theme: put partisanship aside and end the false promises of the big parties.
The candidate, François Bayrou, a 55-year-old politician, farmer and former classics teacher, is campaigning as the “neither/nor” option. Remarkably, the strategy seems to be working, in part because of rising disillusionment over the two main candidates.
The percentage of undecided voters is higher than before any presidential election in 25 years. Between 17 and 20 percent of voters say they will choose Mr. Bayrou in the first electoral round on April 22, according to France’s major polling organizations. Suddenly, he is a contender.
It wasn't so long ago - 1992, in fact - that we had a third-party candidate who made some serious waves. H. Ross Perot became a media darling after he announced on Larry King Live that he'd run for president if his name was on the ballots of all 50 states. Even though he couldn't seem to make up his mind about the presidency, he received almost 19% of the popular vote. Ralph Nader attempted to become a serious third-party contender in 2000, but he was largely seen as a person who squirreled away votes from Al Gore.
Update: Maybe I'll hang out with Ann Coulter. She owned a place in nearby Palm Beach.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Beset by scandal and a subsequent decline in giving, New Life Church in Colorado Springs has laid off 44 people - or about 12 percent of its workforce - a church official said today.When the pastor of a church is forced to step down, his family isn't the only one to be hurt. This can be especially true in mega-churches, where there are more people in the congregation - and more staff members on the payroll - to be affected by it.
The nondenominational megachurch had experienced attendance and financial growth in each of its 22 previous years, said Rob Brendle, an associate pastor.
That came to end in early November, when its charismatic founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, was fired amid allegations he used methamphetamine and paid a male prostitute for sex.
Brendle estimated church income has been down 10 percent since then, orcing the layoffs. The layoffs range from pastoral staff to support staff and nursery workers. Brendle said the cuts took place last week and were announced today during Sunday services.
"We recognize a church is an institution of trust, and that trust has been bruised," Brendle said. "So we're committed to serving people faithfully and earning it back in any cases where it might have diminished." (Denver Post)
For those who don't know: I received an M.S. in mental health counseling from Wright State in 1995. And I was only 8 years old!
I wonder if the Bulldogs like seeing this banner in Hinkle Fieldhouse now!
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
She showed up on Fox last night, and she's going to be on Sean Hannity's radio show later today, getting what she craves most - attention.
Some of the credentialed CPAC bloggers, and other right-of-center folks, have sent an open letter to CPAC about Coulter's words.
From Al Mohler's blog:
So . . . why would Ann Coulter use that word? And, even more troubling to me, why would any in her audience laugh? There is nothing remotely funny about that word in any context. It is meant to hurt when boys use it in the locker room, and it was meant to hurt when Ann Coulter used it when speaking to a conservative audience. It demeans homosexuals and should be banned from any acceptable discourse.Andrew Sullivan likes what Mohler said.
How can homosexuals think anything but the worst of a movement that would laugh at the use of this slur? How can we think any better of ourselves if we stand by and let it happen?
Monday, March 5, 2007
(RED) is not a charity. It is simply a business model. You buy (RED) stuff. We get the money, buy the pills and distribute them. They take the pills, stay alive, and continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.
If they don't get the pills, they die. We don't want them to die. We want to give them the pills. And we can. And you can. And it's easy.
All you have to do is upgrade your choice.
The disproportionate ratio between the marketing outlay and the money raised is drawing concern among nonprofit watchdogs, cause-marketing experts and even executives in the ad business. It threatens to spur a backlash, not just against the Red campaign -- which ambitiously set out to change the cause-marketing model by allowing partners to profit from charity -- but also for the brands involved.
The campaign's inherent appeal to conspicuous consumption has spurred a parody by a group of San Francisco designers and artists, who take issue with Bono's rallying cry. "Shopping is not a solution. Buy less. Give more," is the message at buylesscrap.org, which encourages people to give directly to the Global Fund.
"The Red campaign proposes consumption as the cure to the world's evils," said Ben Davis, creative director at Word Pictures Ideas, co-creator of the site. "Can't we just focus on the real solution -- giving money?"
Trent Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, which rates the spending practices of 5,000 nonprofits, said he's concerned about the campaign's impact on the next generation. "The Red campaign can be a good start or it can be a colossal waste of money, and it all depends on whether this edgy, innovative campaign inspires young people to be better citizens or just gives them an excuse to feel good about themselves while they buy an overpriced item they don't really need."
"I got my values from my mother," 21-year-old Andrew Giuliani told ABC in an interview quoted on "Good Morning America" yesterday, the same day the Daily News spotlighted the rift between the former mayor and his only son.
"She's a strong influence in my life," Andrew Giuliani said of his mother, Donna Hanover, seemingly drawing a contrast between her and Rudy Giuliani. "She's a strong woman." (NY Daily News)
Andrew said he is "working" on his relationship with Rudy. Ah, there's nothing like a good father-son bonding moment on the campaign trail!
I first saw Hanover when I became a regular Food Network watcher in 1999. She co-hosted a program with David Rosengarten, which I believe was called In Food Today. Since I knew her before the 9/11 attacks and her then-husband's rise to prominence, I was much more sympathetic towards her during their messy separation and divorce. Let's face it - I was also sympathetic because Rudy chose to ditch her for his girlfriend via news conference.
Update: I was correct! Rosengarten was on In Food Today and Taste in the earlier days of Food Network. He and Emeril Lagasse were the two biggest figures back then. Lagasse's star on the channel has diminished, and Rosengarten is nowhere to be found.
“I don’t know which was worse, being told that I had cancer or finding that I could not get insurance.”
Ms. Readling, a 50-year-old real estate agent, is one of nearly 47 million people in America with no health insurance.
Increasingly, the problem affects middle-class people like Ms. Readling, who said she made about $60,000 last year. As an independent contractor, like many real estate agents, Ms. Readling does not receive health benefits from an employer. She tried to buy a policy in the individual insurance market, but — having had cancer — could not obtain coverage, except at a price exceeding $27,000 a year, which was more than she could pay. (NYTimes)
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Even though I haven't watched a full show in years, I'll be tuning in on March 24. A certain quarterback from a football team in Indianapolis will be hosting. On his birthday, even.