Friday, February 29, 2008

...And We're Back

Ok, been away from the blog for a while. But not any more. Some thoughts and updates for your weekend reading pleasure:

1. Amy and the boys took off for a week with Amy's parents down in TX. They had a blast. J (the irony of using just one letter for his name is rich...) has been sad to be back. He loved playing in the mud, riding his bike, hanging with the grandparents, etc... It's nice down there.

2. While they were away, I took the chance to do some extra tax returns here at work, and to steal away to DC for a weekend to visit with some good friends. It's nice to have different friends all over the place, and my time in DC was excellent. Did lots of dicsussing/arguing about: Biblical church leadership, vocations, and who will win the NL East. Good times.

3. Continuing on the sports note: your NCAA scoring leader is Charron Fisher of the Niagra Purple Eagles. Where is young Mr. Fisher from you ask? He hails from Pennsauken, NJ - the lovely and gritty hometown of yours truly.

4. Lastly, we were celebrating the reunion of our family after their trip by doing some post dinner dancing/tackling/running around our living room while listening to some loud music. In preparation of the coming St. Patty's day, we were listening to "Whiskey In The Jar." J's question: "Dad, what's whiskey?" I replied: "Son, that's what Daddy puts on his corn flakes...." No just kidding, actually we went ahead and switched the song to the "Cars" (the Pixar movie) version of "Life Is A Highway."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Stuff

There are two music projects out there about which I am quite excited. Both are related in that the message of both projects lies in the order of the songs on the album. I am guessing most thoughtful musicians attempt do do this, but these two have done it in quite compelling fashion:

1. Counting Crows: Favorite band of A and I. Their new album is called "Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings" The basic message is that all of life is about the recklessness of Saturday nights, followed by the pain/regret/hangover each Sunday morning. Adam Duritz (lead singer) shares how the album is born of a life trying to push everyone away and live a completely isolated life, and the bitter taste of the fruit of his folly. His pursuit of isolation, with the hope of avoiding pain, resulted in the worst kind of pain. He speaks of isolation, community, and restoration.

Favorite line so far, from the song "Cowboys": "This is a list of the things I should have been, but I'm not..."

The album is not out yet, but thanks to NPR and WXPN/World Cafe Live (here in Philly), you can listen to a 45 minute performance/explanation at:

2. Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) has a compelling project as well. He has already released two EPs, called "Fall" and "Winter," and he has two more upcoming. "Fall" speaks of the real pain of life in this world, bad decisions, injustice, etc... "Winter" includes two excellent songs about death.

He does a good job of expressing the reality of these things. So much so, that I have spent a decent amount of time discussing his songs with a good friend -- asking questions like "He's not really saying what I think he's saying, is he?!?!?" Good, honest stuff. "Fall" and "Winter" both bring a heavy (lethal?) dose of melancholy, but I look forward to "Spring."

Friday, February 8, 2008


A and I went out for Thai food last night. I don't really like Thai food, but A enjoys it a bunch. And the place we went was pretty dang good.

My favorite food items from my multiple trips to the kingdom of Thailand:
- slurpees from 7-11
- sizzler at the royal garden hotel
- little bananas at every buffet
- fried pork on the side of the road near the ambassador jomtien
- DQ
- BK in the BKK airport
- European food at all the tasty European restaurants in Chiang Mai and Ko Samui
- pizza at the Pizza Garden in Ko Samui

As you can see, I'm not a real adventurous eater when travelling. However, it was good to recall the fine times spent travelling over the years last night with A.

Have a happy year of the rat. Go "bao" some jiaozi and eat them, or just get some orange chicken from Panda Express at the mall. Do what you gotta do.

Lastly, a little picture here below that may drum up a few Thai memories for some of you:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Tuesday

It's a big day in the political arena. I love this stuff, it's like a big soap opera and I can't get enough of it. I've come across two incidents that were somewhat odd. One was national and one was local, and both involved Mike Huckabee.

I was watching CNBC (the financial channel) this morning, and they had four pundits on there commenting on the coming day's events. The final question centered on Huckabee and questioned his attentiveness to lowering taxes (a typically conservative issue). The first guy answered the question straight up, and the last guy said he couldn't imagine Huckabee succeeding in even a vice-presidential role because, "who knows what this guy would say, especially about religion." And that was it.

The second time I bumped into this was in the editorial section of the Sunday paper. The reported went on and on about Romney's flip-flopping, and McCain's stance on immigration, etc... The reporter's only quote decrying Huckabee, "he was a Southern Baptist minister, and that's all that need be said."

I'm not carrying water for Huckabee, but I will blast those who "fear" Huckabee's religious tendencies with the one of the greatest insults of our current age: That's Not Very Tolerant.

Now that I have that off my chest, go on about your Super Tuesday, and enjoy your Mardi Gras celebrations.... Be sure to get to church tomorrow for Ash Wednesday.