Thursday, July 28, 2005

Keisha's Concern

In this audio post I share about a conversation Keisha and I had at a church cookout last night. You'll want to hear this because it illustrated a great lesson that I was able to share with her:

this is an audio post - click to play

In the audio post I mentioned two passages from the Bible. You can check them out at the Bible Gateway:I also mentioned Bi-Okoto, where Keisha attended summer day camp recently.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Coffee Mugs in the Men's Room

At work we don't have a sink in our break room to clean out dishes and coffee mugs. Most people just take their stuff to the rest rooms and clean them out there. It appears that someone in our office has a habit of leaving coffee mugs in the men's room, however:

Several months ago I found one that had been sitting there for a few weeks. I decided to claim it. I washed it out and have been using it ever since.

Two weeks ago, I noticed other cups had appeared. Someone had cleaned three of them because they were turned over. Yet no one took them back to the break room.

Then, a few days later, I spotted another cup in the men's room. This one had obviously been left by someone who wanted it to soak. It's the same situation in which I was able to get my current coffee mug.

I've decided to place post-it notes on the cups with the inscription, "I miss my owner", on them. We'll see if anyone comes to claim them.

Of course, the simplest thing to do would be to bring it up at our weekly staff meeting. I like this way better, though. It adds more drama and "excitement". And I've often not been one to do things the simplest way. At least at first.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Think It Will Get Hot?

The United States is in a heat wave. In this audio post, I share about driving home from work in the heat:

this is an audio post - click to play

Update: After doing this audio post, I drove past what must surely have been the source: the charred carcass of a minivan. I hope its driver and passengers are okay.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Green Room Radio

Right now I'm listening to this guy, who is co-hosting an episode of Coverville. Check out more of Erich Bergen at Green Room Radio

Friday, July 22, 2005

Well Fed and Watered

In this audio post, I share about our great experience at the Olive Garden last night:

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Guitar Family

In this audio post, I share some thoughts about a birthday present we gave Keisha for her birthday:

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Catching Up With Harry Potter

Book 6 is out and the 4th movie is coming soon. Here I share what I'm doing:

this is an audio post - click to play

Cross County Highway

While travelling along Cross County Highway this evening, I recalled what it used to be like:

this is an audio post - click to play

"Colors of the Day" T-shirts

It's official: Monday is blue shirt day!

Keisha's Thoughts About Her 8th Birthday!

In this post you'll hear Keisha talking about her experience at Paramount's Kings Island for her birthday, which was this past Sunday:

this is an audio post - click to play

First Audio Post

You can hear my voice!

this is an audio post - click to play

R I P James Doohan

Entertainment News Article | "'Star Trek's' Scotty, James Doohan, dead at 85"

Gear Live | How Google Maps Got Me Out Of A Traffic Ticket

Gear Live | How Google Maps Got Me Out Of A Traffic Ticket

This is a really cool story.

In January of this year, I was pulled over by a traffic officer for “disobeying a steady red”, a.k.a. running a red light. I pleaded “Not Guilty” to the charge, and today - nearly six months later – I went to court to find out the fate of my ticket violation. Check out how Google Maps saved me some serious cash - and points on my license!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Out of Office Replies

A coworker forwarded this "memo" to me, and I submit it for your consideration. It is especially funny considering we use Outlook at work, and my coworkers are still learning how to use the Out of Office feature:

Hello , As we enter the vacation period, it is imperative to note the importance of the out of office reply when you are on vacation. Please feel free to utilize any one of the following:
  1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
  2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.
  3. Sorry to have missed you but I am at the doctor having my brain removed, so that I may be promoted to management.
  4. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless e-mails you send me until I return from vacation. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
  5. Thank you for your e-mail. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.
  6. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when your return, you can see how many in-duh-vidals did this over and over).
  7. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queueing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.
  8. Hi. I'm thinking about what you've just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.
  9. Hi! I'm busy negotiating the salary for my new job. Don't bother to leave me any messages.
  10. I've run away to join a different circus.
  11. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as "Loretta" instead of "Steve".

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Guitar and Kong Ball

Mood: anticipatory
Listening to: "Hitch" soundtrack
Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Eating: Chips
Watching: Othello

(links to come later)


Keisha has wanted a guitar for her birthday for quite some time. A few weeks ago, while grocery shopping, Jennie and I spotted it at a somewhat reasonable price at Meijer. Today we returned to to some more grocery shopping and check to see whether the guitar was still there.

After getting the groceries, Keisha and I went over to look at board games while Jennie picked out a birthday card for her. We wound up getting Clue and math game called 4-Way.

I sent Jennie and Keisha to go pick up some beer, which we had "forgotten". It was really a diversionary tactic to allow me to go get the guitar without Keisha seeing me. We agreed to meet by the checkout lanes.

I got a student guitar, a strap, some picks, extra strings, and an instruction booklet with a CD. Then I went to the U-Scan checkout and paid for the stuff.

I guess it was because I had to wait to use the U-Scan for some time that Jennie and Keisha spotted me. Keisha inevitably saw the guitar. I put the guitar stuff in the truck, hiding it with some camp chairs, and then I returned.

When I found Keisha and Jennie, Keisha asked me where the guitar was. I told her that I didn't have the cash now to pay for it. Obviously, since I'd just paid for it. It was another diversionary tactic. She was disappointed, but we'd talked about it earlier in the week, so she was able to deal with it.

We got home, brought our groceries inside, and realized that we didn't get some waffles, which Keisha had wanted for her birthday breakfast. Seeing an opportunity to get the guitar stuff out of the trunk, Jennie told Keisha that they would head back out to get them. Before they left, I decided to take our dog Jake outside, and I got the guitar stuff out, went around the building, and waited for them to leave.

After sufficient time had passed, Jake and I, guitar stuff in hand, went inside. I took the guitar out, tuned it, and played a few chords on it. I stowed it under our bed before the ladies returned.

Kong Balls

I'd first heard about Kong balls on the Bob and Tom Show. When we went to Jungle Jim's last week, we bought one for Jake. We put some peanut butter in it last week, and he just loved it.

When Keisha and Jennie returned from their small errand this evening, they had bought some "Scooby Snacks". What a great opportunity, I thought, to use the Kong ball! I broke two of them in half, and I put them in the Kong ball. Then I rolled it over to Jake.

He was preoccupied with it for about 20 minutes, and I think he's now taking a break out of frustration.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Somebody Has a Birthday Soon!

Has it really been 8 years? Here are some pictures we took of Keisha during that first year:

Jennie took this picture after cleaning Keisha up from a time of playing with some green, playdoh-type goo.

That picture at first catches me by surprise because of Keisha's expression and how close the camera is to her face.

Here's another one:
Every time we would walk by Keisha's room, we'd expect to see her standing up in her crib. Also, at that time I would try to get her to say "Mama". I was even going to be satisfied with a "Ma".

To read more about Keisha being born, check out this post from last year, which will take you to a series of posts about Keisha's birth.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Furnished Apartment

Our neighbors in the apartment across the hall are moving to a house. They asked if we would like two chairs and a couch, and we said we'd love to have them.

Today they brought the furniture into our apartment. Now it feels a little bit crowded in our living room, but I think we'll manage.

Post Idea

I am going to leap through my blogroll sometime soon (what Bene Diction calls "BlogLeaping"). I plan to post the taglines for each blog I have on my blogroll because they are so interesting and unique. Maybe I'll post the footers, too.

Get Wisdom - Visual Basically Speaking

Some may recognize the following snippet as Visual Basic code. I recommend first reading Proverbs 2:1-5 if it doesn't make sense to you:

Public Sub GetWisdom()

Dim iCount as Integer
Dim Flag as Boolean

With You
For iCount = 1 to 8
Select Case iCount
Case 1
Flag = .Accept(What:= "My Words")
Case 2
Flag = .StoreUp(What:= "My Commands", _
Where:="Within You")
Case 3
Flag = .Turn(What:= "Your Ear", _
Where:= "To Wisdom")
Case 4
Flag = .Apply(What:= "Your Heart", _
Where:= "To Understanding")
Case 5
Flag = .Call(Where:= "Out", _
What:= "For Wisdom")
Case 6
Flag = .Cry(How:= "Aloud", _
What:= "Understanding")
Case 7
Flag = .LookFor(What:= "Wisdom", _
How:="Like Silver")
Case 8
Flag = .SearchFor(What:= "Wisdom", _
How:="Hidden Treasure")
End Select
Next iCount

If Flag = True Then
.FearOfTheLord.Understood = True
.KnowledgeOfGod.Found = True
End If
End With

End Sub
This procedure should be run as often as possible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


From the About Coverville page:

Coverville is a podcast, produced three times a week, that focuses on cover songs - a new rendition of a previously recorded song. The show is produced and hosted by Brian Ibbott, in his home in Arvada, Colorado - about 10 miles West of Denver.

The show features a combination of music and information about the music, delivered in a very relaxed, informal style. On average, each show runs about 35 minutes and features six selections. Information about the performing artist, and source album is provided, along with information about the artist being covered.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Keisha's Note

Mood: Upbeat
Listening to: soundtrack to "Hitch"
Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Eating: homemade chili

Jennie, Keisha, and I went to the library this evening. We needed to return the numerous videos, DVDs, CDs, and books we'd checked out. Keisha brought her Arthur stationery that she'd gotten from Wendy's awhile back.

As we were preparing to check out, Keisha wrote something on a piece of stationery. We walked up to the checkout counter, and Keisha handed the paper to the librarian, but I intercepted it.

Despite her demands to the contrary, I opened it and read what was inside. Afterward, I put it back in the envelope and gave it to the librarian. It read (her spelling):

To: Libary
From: Keisha

Thank you for helping us.

I did not feel right about her giving the librarians, who we do not know that well (i.e., strangers) a note without my knowing what it said, even though it was harmless and quite encouraging.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I'm a Podcast Newbie

Podcasting is a hot phenomenon on the web right now. Over the weekend I decided to start getting into it. I downloaded iPodder and subscribed to some feeds, specifically those of the humor/comedy variety. Pretty cool stuff.

Ever since I was young, I've wanted to be in broadcasting. Podcasting may be a ticket for me to get into myself. We'll see.

Benchmarking My Company's President

The president of our company mentioned during our staff meeting today that he has a special tradition for his daughters' birthdays:

He was describing his experiences with a particular store as a way of illustrating the concept of benchmarking for us employees. Benchmarking means to study something you want to do well that somebody else does well. In business, companies benchmark each other to become better. They want to emulate their benchmark.

It was his tradition, however, that struck home with me the most. He buys his daughters birthday dresses for their birthdays. He contacts this dress store about a month before each of his daughters' birthdays. He asks them to set out a few dresses in his daughter's size for him to choose.

His wife doesn't pick out the dresses; he does. It's something special that he does for his daughters.

I was blown away by this.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Fahrenheit 9/11 - Finally Saw It

I just finished watching the DVD of "Fahrenheit 9/11". I am very upset by what I saw and feel the need to dig a little deeper about it. I feel outrage and anger:

I've had to pray. I realize that what's going in this country and its foreign policy and the power its leaders have is beyond me. I am grateful to live in this country witht the freedoms I enjoy, and I support our troops serving overseas. I just wish this whole mess that we are in could be over. Wishful thinking, longing for the pre-9/11 times a little.

God, I pray for justice. You alone know what is right, and you have seen to it that the authorities that exist are there because you want them to be. Please reveal your will as you see fit, and help us to surrender to it. Amen.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Heard on the Bob and Tom Show this morning:

Q: How many ADHD children does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Let's go ride bikes!
I can relate. Now, what was I doing?

Google Search for "light bulb" jokes

Insurgents Do The Darndest Things

I spotted this on Daypop. I especially like this one:

Item 6: And an oldie but a goodie from the early days of military operations in Iraq. The enemy will always try to provoke you into doing something impulsive and, let's face it, stupid - so don't let them. This simple lesson was, alas, lost on Saddam's brave but foolhardy irregulars:
Before plunging into Iraq, U.S. psychological-warfare operators studied certain cultural stereotypes. One was that young Arab toughs cannot tolerate insults to their manhood. So, as American armored columns pushed down the road to Baghdad, 400-watt loudspeakers mounted on Humvees would, from time to time, blare out in Arabic that Iraqi men are impotent. The Fedayeen, the fierce but undisciplined and untrained Iraqi irregulars, could not bear to be taunted. Whether they took the bait or saw an opportunity to attack, many Iraqis stormed out of their concealed or dug-in positions, pushing aside their human shields in some casesÂ?to be slaughtered by American tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.
Not impotent; just stupid.
via Chrenkoff

My BlogMap!

I have for some time been interested in finding other bloggers in my neighborhood or otherwise in my town. Through the power of the internet, geographic information systems (GIS), and some other stuff that we'll just call "automagic", I'm able to do just that:

I browsed over to Garry's blog this afternoon and happened to see that he has a BlogMap. I decided to check out what was involved in getting one myself, so I headed over to

I remembered seeing something a little similar at World as a Blog, specifically the documentation related to "geo-coding" one's blog: GeoURL ICBM Address Server. I went to the Tiger Map Browser (for US only), entered my zip code (you can also enter your city and state) and retrieved my coordinates. I did the same thing over at GeoTags.

Then I opened the template for this blog and added the meta tags in the HEAD section. After saving and re-publishing, I submitted my blog to and subsequently retrieved my BlogMap, which I then added to the sidebar of my blog.

Isn't science wonderful?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Taking Care of Our Tranny

You may recall that some friends of ours from church gave us a car last fall (related posts: "Driving Me Car Crazy" and "It's Transportation"). It's a '94 Chevy Corsica: 4-door, automatic transmission, straight 6-cylinders:

Lately it doesn't want to shift into gear right away, after we've let it sit for awhile, such as in leaving work. I first noticed this last Friday afternoon. I checked the transmission fluid, but the level was okay. It does shift into gear after a little while, and once we rev the engine a little bit.

As we contemplate how to get it fixed, I browsed over to Howstuffworks "How Automatic Transmissions Work". There's so much going on behind the scenes!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Blood Supply Nears Empty in Southeast Michigan...

If you live in Southeastern Michigan and can donate blood, the American Red Cross desperately needs you to roll up your sleeve and donate:

The American Red Cross Blood Services of Southeastern Michigan has declared a state of blood emergency. The community blood supply is extremely low. Currently, there is less than a 2-hour supply of critical blood types. If blood supplies do not immediately increase, accident victims and other critically injured patients will be at risk for not having the blood they require to survive. "We are nearing the point when area hospitals may find it necessary to cancel some surgeries," says Diane Ward, chief executive officer of the Blood Service Region.

Ward goes on to explain the importance of continually replenishing the blood supply through voluntary donations. "We are fortunate to have three large Level One Trauma Centers here in southeast Michigan. The availability of blood is critical to the patients they serve. In a recent weekend one emergency room alone used several pints of blood. A young woman suffering a sickle cell episode, a young mother giving birth who hemorrhaged profusely and a fellow who was in an auto -- motorcycle accident suffered a ruptured spleen and torn liver. Each of these patients required several units of blood immediately to stabilize their conditions. Similar incidents occur daily in the five counties we serve and reinforce the need to continually replace the blood supply."

Preparedness is key. Blood must be on the shelf, ready and available for everyday medical care, personal emergencies and large-scale, man-made or natural disasters. The solution to community preparedness is regular blood donations.

Every eligible individual is urged to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE now and make an appointment to give blood, if not for themselves, then for their friends, their loved ones or their neighbors.


The American Red Cross Blood Services of Southeastern Michigan asks all who are eligible in the community to roll up their sleeves and donate now. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to make an appointment today. If you have not donated before, now is the time do so. The Red Cross has added hours to their normal donor center times to accommodate your donation.

To donate blood, donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be 17 years of age or older. Please make a blood donation appointment today, call 1-800-GIVE LIFE.
You can also point your browser to 1-800-GIVE-LIFE

Source: Blood Supply Nears Empty in Southeast Michigan...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day 2005

Happy 229th Birthday, America!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

'Twas The Day Before Independence Day...

We don't normally think about everything we're able to do as we begin our day. As I look back on today, I'm again amazed at everything we did:

God's Family Play Day

Today we went to church at Bechtold Park in Deer Park. It was a Family Play Day. Out-of-towners were there; not only those in town visiting relatives for the weekend, but also the Dayton church of Christ.

Tom, our evangelist, gave a "sermunion", a combination sermon and communion message. What does God love most about his family? Us. Individually. We were chosen by him (1 Peter 2:9-10), and it's not a choice he made lightly. It cost him the blood of his one and only son, Jesus.

After that time of worship, we ate some lunch. Burgers and hot dogs were available, as were sundry side dishes.

Real Men Play Tug-of-War - Or Is It Hug-of-War?

Shortly thereafter I participated in a tug-of-war contest. I was the first man in front of the anchor man, and I thought it would be a good idea to wrap the rope around my forearm to help me hold it better. When the time for tugging came, I realized that circulation to my arm was getting cut off, so I unravelled it. Our team eventually lost, but it was fun being in the contest nevertheless. Then they had a boys versus girls tug-of-war, and I found a place for Keisha. The girls won.

After this event Keisha and I walked over to observe the three-legged race, which was hilarious. Then we played on the playground equipment momentarily before the softball game was about to begin.

Marrieds Playing Softball

We wound up having a team of marrieds versus a team of singles and campus. We decided to have 11 players, which meant that we had 5 outfielders. I wound up being in centerfield for most of my time there. It brought back memories of my little league days. Except...

... when my turn came up to bat, my teammates advised me that I had a better chance of getting on base if I hit grounders. I had three at-bats, and during one of those, I scored. The second time I grounded to third base where the force out was. The third time, I wound up being left on base.

I didn't know that softball rules don't allow bunting, because I surprised everyone with a bunt. Instead of calling me out, they let me bat again.

Our marrieds team wound up winning the game 9-2, and I've got a big case of sunburn to show for it. It's mostly on my forearms and the back of my neck, although I have some on my face and front of my neck. Jennie has been liberally appyling aloe vera gel to the affected areas.

Air Conditioning Entertainment - Good for Sunburn

After we came home I rested, letting my feet find some relief. I took a short nap. When I woke up later, we decided to go someplace where there was air conditioning. I looked online, and we decided to go to Cincinnati Commons, where the Danbarry Dollar Saver Cinemas were showing Kicking and Screaming, starring Will Ferrell. Before that we ate some food at one of the food court restaurants. Then we went to the movie, thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

Aloe Vera Gel - Good for Sunburn, Too!

On the way home we stopped at the 24-hour Walgreen's to get some more Aloe Vera Gel, since the bottle we were using was finally dry. Now we are back home, air conditioning on, fans going full blast. Jennie has liberally applied some more of the aloe vera gel as I type this, and she's getting Keisha ready for bed. My beer can is also helping.

A Little Wordplay Is Fun

During our travels this evening, we started doing wordplay on the word "firecracker". Try it out yourself, switching the consonant sounds, and you'll have lots of fun. Perhaps. You can also try it out with the name of one of the restaurants around here: Fuddrucker's. You can imagine the extra fun we have with that one.

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Last week Keisha and I met one of Jennie's friends from high school. She's invited us to her home tomorrow. In addition, we found out today that Jennie's aunt is having a family reunion tomorrow at her home. Tomorrow night Jennie heads back to work. It sounds like we're in for another fun-filled day.

Update: I just realized that I'm ready for Independence Day:

RED: My neck and forearms are red with sunburn

WHITE: The rest of my skin is white

BLUE: My skin is so white it shows off the blue veins!
How's that for patriotism? LOL!

I Am The Flag

A few years ago, I found the link to this webpage entitled "I Am The Flag". Head over to visit. You will be impressed. No money-back guarantee or anything, but I believe it's time well-spent.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Special Date with Jennie

Last night Jennie and I went on a date:

One of her coworkers offered to watch Keisha for us (for free). After we dropped Keisha off at her house in St. Bernard, Jennie and I drove around for a little while, and decided to go to the Alabama Fish Bar at the corner of Race Street and West Liberty Avenue.

The fish bar came highly recommended, and we could understand why. We ordered the Cod dinner, which comes with 6 pieces, some fries, and two slices of bread, which totaled $6.99. What a great deal! We also got some onions and peppers, which just added to the joy.

After we got our food, we drove around, looking for a place to park, hopefully near Fountain Square. No luck on a Friday night, it seemed. We finally found a place to park near the convention center. We considered walking the several blocks to Fountain Square, but we decided instead to stay at our parking spot and eat.

So Jennie and I ate our food and listening to MOJO 94.9. We learned that Luther Vandross had passed away from complications related to his stroke, and the radio station decided to play several of his songs.

After eating we drove around Mount Adams, Eden Park, and decided to head north on I-75. We got off at the Smith/Edwards exit and drove to Rookwood Pavillion. We parked the car near Joseph Beth Booksellers and went inside.

Jennie and I went to the cafe and each ordered something to drink. Then we explored the store before settling near the couple/relationship books.

After about an hour or so, we left the store and returned to pick Keisha up. Then we came home.