Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Student Quote -- #6

I say, "There are only 58 more days of school left."

The student says, "Oh man, that means that I have 58 more times to get up in the morning and be somewhere all day!"


I say (with enthusiasm), "And then when you are done, you get to do that for the rest of your life!"

Student says, "Just kill me now."

Other Student Quotes:
Student Quote -- #5
Student Quote -- #4
Student Quote -- #3
Student Quote -- #2
Student Quote -- #1

Student Quote -- #5

Overheard today:

"Some people just ain't got no vocabulary."


Here are some other student quotes:
Student Quote -- #4
Student Quote -- #3
Student Quote -- #2
Student Quote -- #1

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


On February 27, 1974 People magazine hit the racks.

So I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to all the great people born on February 27, 1974!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Google Stuff

I love Google's Stuff. Here are some things that you may not have known about previously, but I would highly recommend.

  • Google Calendar Tons of features with this one. I have my wife's calendar shared with mine, and I get notifications via e-mail and on my phone.
  • Google Reader (much better than bloglines or any of the others, if you ask me)
  • Google Docs and Spreadsheets Almost all of the same functionality as Word and Excel. Probably not quite as extensive, but it has almost everything that I would use, plus more. For example, you can publish your documents to the web or share them with multiple users.
  • Gmail I don't think that I have received more than 10 spam messages in the past 2 years that I have been using Gmail. Their spam filters are amazing. Their are tons of other features that Gmail has that I haven't seen in any other e-mail before, so you should try it out if you haven't used it before.
  • Google Talk Not as flashy as some of the other IM's out there, but I really like it, and it is getting better all of the time.
  • Google Personalized Homepage You can put almost anything that you can imagine on the personalized homepage.
  • Google Video Even though Google bought YouTube, I still like Google's version better.
  • Google Notebook This is a new one, but I am getting used to it. I just installed a firefox extension that puts the notebook down at the bottom of the page.
  • Blogger I don't care what anyone else says, I like blogger better than any of the other blog hosts out there.
  • Google Gadgets Here are some gadgets that you can put on any web page.
  • Google Toolbar I really love the Google tool bar. You can get it for firefox or ie. My favorite aspect is the bookmarks. It doesn't matter what computer I am at, I have the same bookmarks.
  • Google Maps Also a favorite. When I was a truck driver, I would normally use mapquest, but I had to switch over to Google Maps because I kept entering addresses that mapquest didn't recognize, but Google would. If you really like that, you should check out Google Earth, then just for fun Google Mars and Google Moon.
There is a ton of other stuff that Google does, you should check out their Google labs.

Friday, February 23, 2007

the number 23 27

I have been avoiding posting about this for quite some time. I didn't want to mention this number 23 movie out of my own annoyance. Oh sure, those who know me best know that I probably freaked out a little when I first saw the trailer for this movie. It's resemblance to my life (if you leave out the psychotic killer part) is uncanny. Unfortunately they got the number wrong.

The number to watch isn't 23, although 23 is a very interesting number. The real number to keep your eye on is the number 27. They probably wanted to make a movie about the number 27, but decided it was a little too real, so they picked the next best thing. The number 27 is always lurking there though. Even if you try to focus on another number.

Let me give you a for example... Let's say that you wanted to talk about the axial tilt of the earth. Some might point out the 23° that is associated with it, but according to Wikipedia, the axial tilt is 23° 27'.

Even looking at this 23 movie, consider this preview that I found which mysteriously stops at 0:27, even though the length of the clip is 0:28.

Maybe you have noticed the fact that the movie is coming out on 02/23/07. Kinda silly that they decided to premier this movie on the 23rd, but did you notice that if you just list the month and the year... 02/07... That's right, a 27 is right there, surrounding, engulfing the 23.

Which, by the way, I am in no way trying to promote the viewing of this movie. I have not seen it, so I cannot speak for its content. I just thought that I would point out their mistake in choosing the wrong number to make a movie about.

Anyway, here is another short preview of the movie, if you haven't seen it.

(Notice that the clip is 31 seconds long. What is the number that is exactly half way between 23 and 31? You guessed it.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Men in Church

I just read a post over at my good friend Rodney Olsen's blog with the title, "Why do men hate church?" After I read it, my first reaction was: hmm... I don't hate church. But I do know what he is talking about.

I can remember while I was growing up, I would notice that it was the women, for the most part, that were on the spiritual track. It was the women who seemed to be reading their Bibles and having the additional prayer times and Bible/book studies. The men were there and they were diligent with their different duties. They provided for their families, they took their turn doing parking lot duty, they helped paint on the work days, they never missed a moment when the doors were open... but even as a child I noticed that it didn't go much further than that.

So, when I entered adulthood and God in his great mercy reached down and jerked me out of my selfishness, I purposed in my mind that I would not be that way.

More recently, when I moved to Greenville (the buckle of the Bible belt) I set up a list of things that I would look for in a church. I knew that it would be a difficult task because I saw the great list of churches in the yellow pages... there were hundreds. But one of the things that made it on my list had to do with the men in the church. I want to see men that are truly spiritual, men who are leading, men who are open and honest. (All things that I struggle with myself.) And I am so thankful that I have found a place that is like that.

Just last night I went to Starbuck's with my friends Abe and Dave, from my shepherding group. We had a chance to talk together about what was going on in our lives, in our marriages, in our thoughts, etc. It was a good time, and I found myself being more honest with them than I have with any other men that I have ever known. In turn, they were very honest with me. Sometimes it seems a little odd to hear men who are spiritual talk about their struggles, but that accountability is what brings us to be more like Christ. Anyway, right in the middle of this talking, one of the guys said, "I just love going to church."

But loving church isn't something that comes from exteriors. It isn't about the music or the pews or the color of the wall paper. Even though the right elements in church can make it much easier to love being there, the truth is, the right attitude flows from the heart. We love or hate church based on what was already in us to begin with.

Monday, February 19, 2007

President's Day

I would like to thank Abe and George for having their birthdays so close together so that I could have the day off. I have a ton to get done and really needed an extra day to get it done. Thanks guys.

our dog

I am posting a video of our dog for our friend Stephanie. I know that everyone else will find this boring, but I know that she will enjoy it.

I was trying to catch him rubbing his ears on the carpet, we always get to laughing when he does that. I also have evidence now that he will bark. He almost never does that. (Notice that after the third time I tell him not to bark, he does this little growl.)

To all of the rest of you, sorry about this post. I know that you don't want to see pictures or videos of our dog. Don't worry, this won't be a habit that I get myself into.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

NASA image of the day

On my Google personalized home page, I have NASA's image of the day. They only seem to update the image a couple of times a week, so I don't know why they call it the image of the day, but they do have some really cool pictures. My favorites are the ones that come from the Hubble space telescope and the ones that come from actual missions. I am constantly using these images as my desktop background.

This most recent one I thought was awesome. It was discovered in 1787 by an astronomer named William Herschel and was named the Eskimo Nebula because of its resemblance to an Eskimo in a parka. You can read all about it here.

It is such a beautiful thing, but what gets me the most is its size. We are talking about a Solar-System sized image. I can't get my mind around it. Yet all of this Universe exists in the mind of God. He created it and He sustains it. It is like the night sky is some grand canvas that He is still working on, and it puts any paint splatter artist to shame.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Character of an Honest Man

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
~George Washington

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Now that is a snow.

I just got this picture from my sister.

It snowed up in Illinois and it has definitely put my snow to shame.

I really miss those big snows. I can only remember one really big one from when I was a kid. My dad calls it "the snow storm of '79." So it must have been big enough and significant enough to remember.

I also lived up in Wisconsin on more than one occasion, and I can remember a couple of doozies when I was there. One winter I can remember that the water tower at the Northland campus froze. The entire campus was without any significant water pressure for a couple of days. A couple of smelly days.

Anyway, I thought that I would post this picture just so my southern friends could see what a real snow looks like...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Love Thee

I love thee, as I love the calm
     Of sweet, star-lighted hours!
I love thee, as I love the balm
     Of early jes'mine flow'rs.

I love thee, as I love the last
     Rich smile of fading day,
Which lingereth, like the look we cast,
     On rapture pass'd away.

I love thee as I love the tone
     Of some soft-breathing flute
Whose soul is wak'd for me alone,
     When all beside is mute.

I love thee as I love the first
     Young violet of the spring;
Or the pale lily, April-nurs'd,
     To scented blossoming.

I love thee, as I love the full,
     Clear gushings of the song,
Which lonely—sad—and beautiful—
     At night-fall floats along,

Pour'd by the bul-bul forth to greet
     The hours of rest and dew;
When melody and moonlight meet
     To blend their charm, and hue.

I love thee, as the glad bird loves
     The freedom of its wing,
On which delightedly it moves
     In wildest wandering.

I love thee as I love the swell,
     And hush, of some low strain,
Which bringeth, by its gentle spell,
     The past to life again.

Such is the feeling which from thee
     Nought earthly can allure:
'Tis ever link'd to all I see
     Of gifted—high—and pure!

~Eliza Acton

(Painting by Claude Monet from this source)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Well, Jo made it to five years old.

He is an amazingly sweet kid, that I wouldn't trade for any other five-year-old in the entire world.

I am sure that my wife will post some good birthday pictures, so I won't even attempt that. But since I don't go anywhere without my trusty Sony Ericsson camera and video phone... I thought that I would post a couple of videos of our time at Monkey Joe's (the place he picked to go for his birthday). The quality of the videos isn't that good, but really I am only posting these for the grandparents.

Here is the first one. This is Jo going through the obstacle course inflatable.

And here is one of the entire family going down the big slide.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More Chris

Just found this while I was looking for the audition video.

I kinda know this guy

Ok, I don't really know him at all, but I feel like I do. He lives in Greenville, SC and he used to go to my church! All of my friends from church know him fairly well. He used to participate in the special music all of the time (at least that is what they tell me).

But I feel like I know him because his dry sense of humor and the way that he talks when he is being interviewed is very familiar. All of my friends at church act like that...

Current Music

My current favorite CD is Chris Tomlin's See the Morning. I just love it.

The one thing that I really love about Chris Tomlin is his constant redirection to Christ. He doesn't do any singing about himself and his struggles, he just directs us to the one that it is really all about.

My favorite songs on this CD are Everlasting God and Glory in the Highest. In fact, if I had a current theme song, (the music playing in the background while I am walking down the street in slow motion) it would be Everlasting God. If you are interested, here are the lyrics:

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles.
If you don't have this CD I would absolutely recommend it.


The new blogger has labels. I can't tell you how happy I am about this. A couple of years ago I e-mailed the team at blogger and asked them if they were planning on doing something like this. I liked blogger, but the lack of categories for my blogs was frustrating. (Mostly because at the time I had delusions of grandeur for my blog, and I wanted all people to be able to go back and look at my glorious bits of wisdom in my archives.) They e-mailed back and told me that there were things in the works and they asked me to be patient. So I was.

The new blogger has lots of new stuff, but the labels is the one thing that I am the most happy about. So I have undertaken the task of going back through all of my old post and adding the proper labels to each. I am not nearly halfway done yet, but I am working on it.

It has been interesting going back through my old posts. It is funny some of the stupid stuff that I have put on here. Some of it I can't even figure out myself what I meant, and I am definitely not a good writer, that is for sure.

In fact, lately I have been wondering why I blog at all. I think that most of the time I just want to share with somebody. I have some little thought that pops into my mind, and I think to myself, 'hmm. I ought to blog that.' I like to think that I blog to try and stretch my ability to express myself in writing, but in reality, that never comes into play when I am actually blogging.

Anyway, this isn't where I was wanting to go when I sat down to type this. So, if you would like to see how far I have gotten on my labeling, feel free to click on one of the links on the sidebar. You might be entertained by how ridiculous some of my posts are. (Like my posts labeled poetry for example...) :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

coffee coffee coffee

I would like to thank my sister for loaning me her 2 cup coffee maker. So many of those cup makers don't do a very good job, but this actually makes an excellent cup of coffee. Plus it has a timer, which I have never had before, so that I can have the coffee waiting for me when I get up. I am so thankful that she has 20 different coffee makers, so she can share one with me.

I would also like to thank Dave and Kim (members of our shepherding group) for stocking me up on Starbuck's coffee. Dave is currently employed there as he is looking for another job, but it has led to some employee discounted coffee gifts. So from one poor guy to another, I thank him for it.

The combination of these two charitable donations has made for some very enjoyable mornings for me. Since my wife still doesn't drink coffee in the morning, it is perfect for me, and my coffee friend is always waiting for me when I get up.

Thank You and Thank You.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

flew by

Why is it that 10 minutes in class feels so much longer that the 30 minutes of lunch that I have?

Seriously, I barely have enough time to eat the crust-of-a-sandwich that I brought, check my school and my personal e-mail, and double check to make sure that I have everything else for the rest of the day, before the clock is telling me that my time is almost up. The time just flies by.

But I will be in a class where the students are less than cooperative, and the last 10 minutes feels like an eternity.

Monday, February 5, 2007

please pray

If you haven't done so already, I wish you would read this post from my wife. I was going to blog about it myself, but she did such a good job. If you could drop her a word of encouragement, that would be much appreciated.


More Gates

Ok, I promise I won't keep posting other people's stuff, but this one is really good, and I couldn't pass it up.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. (Harmless says - "Amen!")

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.

So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. (Oh my goodness... that is true! Life also doesn't have "do-overs")

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Friday, February 2, 2007

crazy sister

The question is, "can my sister take a normal picture of herself?"

No, I don't think so.

(ps -- I don't think that she was intending for this picture to make it on my blog. She sent this to my e-mail... luv ya)

Gates vs. GM

I don't usually pass on those funny e-mails, but I really enjoyed this one...

Gates vs. GM

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


So, we didn't do much of anything today, but I think that is what snow days are for.

We spent a little time in front of the fire, playing a game of Clue. Of course Charity won. She is unstoppable at Clue. The only way any one else ever wins is pure luck.

I was going to try to list off a couple of other things that we did, but I have to be honest, my mind is a complete blank. I think that we cleaned up a little bit, watched some Funniest Home Videos and The Cosby Show, but other than that, we did nothing.

My favorite kind of day.

It is supposed to freeze tonight, and since it is raining right now, that may mean another day off tomorrow, but I'm not banking on it. I suppose that I will just have to be a teacher tomorrow. Although I don't think that we will get anything done... going to school on a Friday after a snow day, yeah right.

snow day

One of the great benefits of being a teacher is the wonderful snow day.

It is like an unexpected holiday! You usually start to hear about the potential the day before. There is usually a rumor going around the school, passing from student to student about some big snow storm that is going to be blowing through.

Most of the time it doesn't work out, but today it did. I laid in bed this morning, watching the news, hoping to see those words come scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

Now, a snow day here isn't quite the same as a snow day up north. Down here all you have to do is see a few flurries floating out of the sky and everything shuts down. And just wait and see the bread aisle at the grocery store. It is sure to be empty if there is any kind of wintery weather threat.

My friends up north would laugh at the snow days down here.

I have to admit that I did hear today that the snow was going to turn to ice this afternoon, and the ice storms down here are bad.

Anyway, here is a little video from my phone of our front yard, so you can see our pathetic covering of snow.