Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wish you had Marty McFly's Shoes?

I can't believe it, but Nike is releasing the shoes that Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future II. Those awesome ones that lace themselves. If only they could make hoverboards...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taxing the Rich

Dave Ramsey has a pretty solid rant about his frustrations with those who want to impose higher taxes on the wealthier people in the nation.

I personally agree with him, but I suspect some of you wouldn't.

Here's the article.

Any thoughts?

Should we tax everyone the same? Should the wealthy have to pay more?

Friday, June 27, 2008

For you Old Hickory people...

My friend James had this post on his blog about our community's namesake. Thought it was pretty interesting.

A New Experience

Last weekend our young professionals group at church went to do the worship service at Heartland, a nursing home/older adult active living center/whatever you want to call it, in Donelson. I've always enjoyed getting to be at places like this because the elderly people are always so gracious and appreciative.

I often will get a kick out of at least one or two of them. Normally, you get very direct feedback about your volume levels and such ("I can't hear him!" "What'd he say?!" "What number did he say?")

But this time, I had an entirely new experience. I was working with my interns on developing lessons, and I had all three of us pick parables to study through. I did my sermon about not worrying, where Jesus points us to the birds and the flowers as examples, then goes on to tell us what we should be doing, keeping our lamps lit, waiting for the master to return.

About 45 seconds into my sermon, some random chirping sounds started up behind me. My grandparents have a bird clock that does this every hour on the hour with a different type of bird noise. I assumed it was their clock ringing.

But the chirping kept going, and continued to increase in volume. At Rose Bud, when I first arrived we did not have speakers running to the nursery, so women were fairly resistant to taking their babies out because they couldn't get anything out of being at church if they were in the nursery. I got used to ignoring screaming infants, while trying to appear as if it wasn't bothering me and moving on with my lesson. I put this skill in to practice at Heartland, pretending not to notice the chirping, and charging ahead with my lesson.

I kept wondering why someone wouldn't turn off that stupid clock.

But when I finished my sermon, I turned around to see if I could stop the clock myself when I saw that directly behind me was a large birdcage with several inhabitants. I had been too busy greeting and organizing when I arrived to notice it.

Purely coincidentally, I had preached on the "Consider the birds" passage without knowing I had a good visual illustration right behind me. It was one of the hardest sermons I've ever had to preach; purely because the birds were so loud I could barely hear myself thinking.

That was a new experience for me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Holiday World

Yesterday I took the youth group to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. For those of you who either like amusement parks or who organize trips for kids, I thought I would share my impressions of it.

They claim to be "#1 in Family Fun." I would say as far as being family-friendly and customer-friendly, they are a full head and shoulders above any other theme park I've ever been to. They are making a profit from this park, but I never felt like this place was greed-driven like Disney, Universal Studios, or Six Flags.

Here are some of the perks:
  • Price - With a group rate, it was only $23.50 per person. Free parking, too. In fact, between admission, food, and renting a locker all day, I spent a total of less than $35. Pretty incredible!
  • Food - Drinks are included! You look around for buildings labeled "Pepsi Oasis" (there is always one near by, wherever you are), then you go in, get a cup, and fill up on your choice of Pepsi products, tea, or orange Gatorade. When it was time to eat, the food was actually good, and very reasonable. For $6, I got a bacon cheeseburger, excellent fries, some extra cheese to dip my fries in, and a chocolate chip cookie. Drinks are always free. I couldn't have done better than that at most fast food places.
  • Wooden Roller Coasters - The roller coasters they have are all legit. They really go fast, and the rides are pretty impressively long.
  • Water Park - The water park is included in the price of admission. It isn't the double whammy like Universal Studios where you pay extra for the ride section. The water park rides were numerous, and all of them were really good. My favorite one was a bit like being flushed down a toilet. Two to Four of you get on an inflatable raft which goes through about 15 seconds of tunnel down into a funnel shaped spiraling bowl, and finally down and out the bottom of it. Next time I go, I will likely spend the majority of my time there in the water park. Did I mention that they provide free sunscreen? That was nice
As far as the things that were less desirable about it:
  • If you don't like the jarring of wooden roller coasters, you won't find any smooth ones hear that take you upside down. There are only three roller coasters. They're good, but there are only three of them, and all are wooden. They have several other rides that are enjoyable, but if you're a big time coaster person and you don't like water parks, it will leave you wanting.
  • It is in the middle of nowhere. I honestly don't think there is anything within 25 miles of this place. I don't know where you'd stay the night, because there is nothing around it. There aren't even any signs as you get close. You go over a hill out in the country, and suddenly there's a theme park in front of you.
  • The music show was rather unimpressive. I prefer to see live musicians. There was singing and choreography--even a Christian music show--but no musical performers. As a musician, I was a little disappointed.
  • I never could find a clock. When I had left my cellphone in the locker to do water rides, it was hard to know when I needed to go to the checkpoint.
Overall, the fun and the bang for your buck far outweighs the shortcomings. It is a great theme park, and I will definitely go back again. Any youth group looking to go to a theme park would make a good choice in trying Holiday World.

If this is real, it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Use Your Allusion: Elephant Man

Joseph Merrick (1862-1890) was born with a rare disease, now thought to have been Proteus syndrome, which caused severe deformities in his face. He spent his adult years working as a fairground freak on exibit. Sir Frederick Treves was a surgeon who had compassion on him and eventually rescued him from his miserable plight, giving him sanctuary in the London hospital.

To refer to someone as an elephant man is synonymous to saying they are a very conspicuous freakish person.

A recent use of this allusion:
"If either party...does not wish to continue the relationship, they must clearly and considerately state this in a manner that reassures the other party that they are not the Elephant Man/Woman without being patronising." - Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones' Diary, 1999


Ever since I was little, my parents have spoken about Whataburger as a place they used to love to eat. Some of my college buddies used to rave about them also. Currently, there are none in Nashville, or in all of Tennessee as far as I know. When I was on my way to Auburn I saw that one was opening in Alabama, so I stopped by to check it out. I think my years of wanting to try it got my hopes up a little too much. The food was decent. Not really any better or worse than any other fast food I've tried.

Four cool things stuck out:
1. Really good service
2. Bright colors
3. Ketchup that comes in containers that you normally get barbecue sauce in, so all you have to do is open it up and start dipping.
4. Free wifi access. But as I have internet capabilities on my phone, this didn't really matter that much to me.

Anyone reading this some kind of Whataburger fanatic?

It's Nacho Cat: Spaghetti

Nacho was very curious about what we were eating, so we let her try it. Noodles apparently make a good snack/toy.