Friday, October 31, 2008

skilled bird

Just a little something to get you ready for the ski trip.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My GF is an art teacher so I bet she could appreciate something like this. My favorite line in this article is "He said that a toilet was a great place for artistic expression because art is a form of relief in the same way that going to the toilet is."

Enjoy
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A public toilet in Munich which has been transformed into an art museum has attracted hundreds of people in the first days after opening, a spokesman for the city's tourism agency said on Thursday.

Built in 1894, the toilet house was originally constructed to serve nearby households which lacked necessary facilities.

After being in use for over a hundred years, the toilets were locked up in 1992 because they were very rarely used.

"On the night we opened, around 800 people came to see our work," initiator of the museum project, Mathias Koehler told Reuters.

He said that a toilet was a great place for artistic expression because art is a form of relief in the same way that going to the toilet is.

The art exhibited is mainly graffiti often with a political theme. Examples include images of Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel flanking a urinal in the corner of the room. Four artists contributed their work to the exhibition.

Although the 70-square meter museum is only temporary, Koehler said he could not rule out making it permanent if public interest remains high.

(Reporting by Josie Cox)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Go Red

In case you were wondering, science just proved State fans are more attractive then Carolina fans at the games. Don't believe me? Check THIS article out.

Oil prices

This is just thoughts with no backing facts but I wonder if the reason for the relief in oil prices were an effort by the middle east to elect a president who does not support drilling for oil on the coast. The longer they can delay us, the longer they maintain a monopoly and can gouge us in price. Watch and see. I bet as soon as election tuesday hits, the price of oil will see a steep rise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Magic Shell

I love ice cream but magic shell makes it that much more... magical.

Gay Products are Better

Its funny how words have changed in the last few years. I saw this at Cracker Barrel the other weekend.

Banana holder

I wouldn't have thought this was funny but I saw the "Friends" episode where one of them changed their name to banana hammock. Now it just cracks me up.

Man Groomer

While I was out shopping for some carving tools, I saw this at the check out line. The Man Groomer is perfectly capable of removing unwanted back hair in even the hardest to reach places. Mow your back in privacy with the long reach arm and folds up for easy storage.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greenspan Shocked

Greenspan who retired in 2006 said he suspected the lending agencies were taking on too much risk and congress who has been controlled by congress has done nothing more then encourage the loans and took no measures to curb their practices. He however admits he did not see the crisis being this big.
"this crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined,... Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity -- myself especially -- are in a state of shocked disbelief,"

How do we go from here? Well, we learned in Greenhouse class at Colonial that each leader and nation is not only allowed by God but also the actual amount of time has already been set. We as individuals or even groups of individuals can not shorten or lengthen that time. It has never been our call to "save America" but rather to save Americans. I can not know how long the US has as "The Superpower" but I know it is the nature of the world and of governments to go from good to immoral as has always been the case. Moral decline is a part of life and the consequences are often severe. It is our right and duty to vote and do what we can to influence but we must accept what ever policies that go into effect as long as they are not contradictory to God's command. This is the principal known as "just law" since God has not specifically commanded against it.

I don't have my binder with me so I can't give the verses that go along with my previous paragraph. If you know them off the top of your head, feel free to put them in the comments section.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy B-day mom

Happy Birthday Mom!

Presidential Beliefs

I realize that most people won't go to the websites I posted therefore I summed them up quickly below. To see the actual answers they wrote, go to the "go vote" blog entry and click on the presidential guide link I placed at a couple of places.

McCain:
  • Nothing wrong with Stem Cell research & would support bills that pay for it
  • Appoint Judges that follow the letter of the law & not their own interpretation
  • Supports abortion but does not support giving it tax money & supports notification of parents
  • Does not support 1 Man & 1 Woman marriage law but will support the laws that are in place
  • Does not support the "Hate Crime" bill that was going through which makes it illegal to quote the Bible saying the homosexual lifestyle is a sin.
  • Does not support a ban on assault weapons (duh! army guy)
  • Supports off shore drilling for oil

Obama:
  • Nothing wrong with Stem Cell research & would support bills that pay for it
  • Appoint Judges who do not care what the law says but follow their personal beliefs in court
  • Supports abortion and believes all tax payers should fund it regardless of their belief. Also undermines parental authority by allowing kids to have an abortion with out their parents knowing.
  • Does not support teaching abstinence as well as condom protection in sex ed
  • Believes gay marriages should be legal in all states & plans to force that issue legally
  • Supports and is pushing for making it illegal for one to quote the Bible saying that homosexual lifestyle is a sin.
  • Supports gay men in the military
  • Wants to ban assault weapons as well as many other fire arms
  • Does not support off shore drilling for oil

On another note: After talking to my pastor last night, I might reconsider a write in vote for president. I am still undecided.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

go vote

Focus on the family sent me a voters guide that doesn't tell you how to vote but asks questions that the candidates may not have answered. Since this is a bubble sheet, they can only choose y for yes, n for no, or u for undecided. There is no opportunity for spin or political dodge. This can be found at http://ncfamily.org/voterguide2008-general/ and is a great resource to know more about who you are voting for.

There is a rule that says you shouldn't talk about politics but I've been thinking about how I plan to vote and I've come to the conclusion that I can not vote for either of the two leading presidential candidates (see presidential guide HERE). Since I can not support the candidates, I plan to write in my vote for president. Aside from that, I'll go through the booklet ncfamily sent me and decide my vote by that.

Some may say I'm wasting my presidential vote but I have to believe in our system. If I vote for the candidate that I believe is the best, then he has a chance of winning. I must vote my conscience and God will ordain the candidate that will take office. They may not be the best for our economy or our moral disposition but they would not take office unless God allowed it. (See Romans 13)

Please take time to read the presidential voter guide and become familiar with the issues. I for one did not know Obama supports making you pay for abortions through your taxes. It doesn't matter if you think killing a baby is a sin or not, you will support financially abortion clinics. I also did not know that McCain was not that far from Obama when it comes to that issue.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2.93

yes! I filled up on gas that was under 3 bucks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LG

This was the trail we took this weekend. It was about 12 miles total.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is how I babysit

Marcie and I were eating pizza with my parents and Christopher was just so tired he wouldn't be happy till he was laying down. I let him lay down on the booth between Marcie and me but the light was in his eyes. Joking around, I put my napkin over his face but when I took it away, he got cranky. Makes for a funny picture anyways.

Good things from MI

Don't let anyone tell you nothing good comes out of Michigan. Our sanitor sheets seen above come from the great city of Kalamazoo.

Stayin' Alive

U.S. doctors have found the Bee Gees 1977 disco anthem "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack Roll...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65I0HNvTDH4


I don't support Barack, but I think this is pretty funny! :) This must have taken hours!

One world bank

With the financial crisis in full swing, banks are refusing to lend to other banks due to lack of trust. For that reason European banks are only loaning to and borrowing from the Central bank. A crisis like this goes a long way to setting up a one world government and currency.

"The only provider of liquidity now is the central bank," said Guillame Baron, strategist at Societe Generale in Paris.

Comrade Bush

Even Chuck is confused at what is going on now. "Conservative" Bush is being called comrade by Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez because of his bailout of business. It however might have been necessary.

See the full taunt HERE at Reuters.

ACC Graduation rates

We may not be the best football conference in the nation but at least we're the smartest. Oh, and we're pretty good in basketball too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

French WOD - Comment vous appelez-vous?

"Comment vous appelez-vous?" evidently means "What's your name?"

How do you call yourself where I believe appelez-vous means you call. Comment I learned from an earlier lesson just makes a statement a question.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fingers crossed

I attempted to replace my clothes dryer belt yesterday. Today I find out if it will work for more then a short period of time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Americans learning to budget

Some good things may come out of the economy crisis. Reuters reported on Tuesday the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that outstanding consumer credit fell $7.9 billion in August, the first shrinkage in that measure since January 1998. It seems saving and living within your means is finally reaching people's ears. I know I'm being forced to rethink how I spend my money. I could keep going like I was and not be in debt but then I also wouldn't be saving for whatever surprises may come.

What does that mean for our economy though. Our current state depends Americans to spend everything they make and not save at all. Prices will rise as demand drops and that should make things even tougher. At some point it will have to stabilize and hopefully we'll start living like our parents did. They didn't have everything now and had to work years to get to the comfortable lifestyle they are at now.

Stars and their quotes

Ever seen a character in a movie do something and thought "I've seen them do that before?" I thought it was interesting how many actors have their signature sayings or actions.

Keanu Reeves - whoa
Keanu Reeves - puts hands to his temple & then extends them out (deep in concentration)
Brad Pitt - always points when he raises his voice
George Clooney - "G*% D@mmit"
Will Smith - Oh He%% no!
Tom Cruise - Claps once and laughs when excited or has an epiphany

Just to name a few. Can you think of others?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Myers Briggs question 4

For question 4, I was a strong P (perceiving) and the test agreed. I often jump into things with out adequate planning thinking if I do something wrong, I'll be able to fix that problem and continue working before the J (judging) people even begin to work. I like being under pressure and deadlines and work best then. I always do what I think is best for the time being and that has frustrated Marcie and others to no extent. Pretty interesting huh?

Q4. What is your "action orientation" towards the outside world?

All people use both judging (thinking and feeling) and perceiving (sensing and intuition) processes to store information, organize our thoughts, make decisions, take actions and manage our lives. Yet one of these processes (Judging or Perceiving) tends to take the lead in our relationship with the outside world . . . while the other governs our inner world.

A Judging (J) style approaches the outside world WITH A PLAN and is oriented towards organizing one's surroundings, being prepared, making decisions and reaching closure and completion.

A Perceiving (P) style takes the outside world AS IT COMES and is adopting and adapting, flexible, open-ended and receptive to new opportunities and changing game plans.

Judging Characteristics

  • Plan many of the details in advance before moving into action.

  • Focus on task-related action; complete meaningful segments before moving on.

  • Work best and avoid stress when keep ahead of deadlines.

  • Naturally use targets, dates and standard routines to manage life.

Perceiving Characteristics

  • Comfortable moving into action without a plan; plan on-the-go.

  • Like to multitask, have variety, mix work and play.

  • Naturally tolerant of time pressure; work best close to the deadlines.

  • Instinctively avoid commitments which interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

bike

I think I'm going to fall over. When riding a bike to work, mountain bikes are much harder because they don't have a smooth tire thus more friction. Compound that with a flat tire and it gets even harder because of extra friction. Then, the bike I have has front and rear shocks therefore when ever I push down with all my weight, instead of all of that weight going into the gear, a good portion of it gets absorbed into the rear shock making riding the bike near impossible if you're not used to it. Before I continue, I'll need to fill the tires and then get a seat cushion. Nothing like sitting on thin hard surface for 45 minutes to add bruises on your tail bone.

Myers Briggs question 3

On question 3, I would call myself a T (thinker) and the test I took agreed although they said I had some F (feeling) tendencies as well. Again, with the facts, logic, and tasks however I don't care for disharmony therefore I guess there is a little of both.

Q3. Which way of forming Judgments and making choices is most natural?

The Thinking (T) side of our brain analyzes information in a DETACHED, objective fashion. It operates from factual principles, deduces and forms conclusions systematically. It is our logical nature.

The Feeling (F) side of our brain forms conclusions in an ATTACHED and somewhat global manner, based on likes/dislikes, impact on others, and human and aesthetic values. It is our subjective nature.

While everyone uses both means of forming conclusions, each person has a natural bias towards one over the other so that when they give us conflicting directions - one side is the natural trump card or tiebreaker.

Thinking Characteristics

  • Instinctively search for facts and logic in a decision situation.

  • Naturally notices tasks and work to be accomplished.

  • Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis.

  • Accept conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people.

Feeling Characteristics

  • Instinctively employ personal feelings and impact on people in decision situations

  • Naturally sensitive to people needs and reactions.

  • Naturally seek consensus and popular opinions.

  • Unsettled by conflict; have almost a toxic reaction to disharmony.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Myers Briggs question 2

Looking at question 2, I would classify myself as S (sensing). I tend to live in the now & jump into thing right away based on the logic at hand. The short test I took most resoundingly agreed with me.

Q2. Which way of Perceiving or understanding is most "automatic" or natural?

The Sensing (S) side of our brain notices the sights, sounds, smells and all the sensory details of the PRESENT. It categorizes, organizes, records and stores the specifics from the here and now. It is REALITY based, dealing with "what is." It also provides the specific details of memory & recollections from PAST events.

The Intuitive (N) side of our brain seeks to understand, interpret and form OVERALL patterns of all the information that is collected and records these patterns and relationships. It speculates on POSSIBILITIES, including looking into and forecasting the FUTURE. It is imaginative and conceptual.

While both kinds of perceiving are necessary and used by all people, each of us instinctively tends to favor one over the other.

Sensing Characteristics

  • Mentally live in the Now, attending to present opportunities

  • Using common sense and creating practical solutions is automatic-instinctual

  • Memory recall is rich in detail of facts and past events

  • Best improvise from past experience

  • Like clear and concrete information; dislike guessing when facts are "fuzzy"

Intuitive Characteristics

  • Mentally live in the Future, attending to future possibilities

  • Using imagination and creating/inventing new possibilities is automatic-instinctual

  • Memory recall emphasizes patterns, contexts, and connections

  • Best improvise from theoretical understanding

  • Comfortable with ambiguous, fuzzy data and with guessing its meaning.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Solar power window tint

I was reading Reuters Oddly Enough and saw THIS article about a new solar panel that was not only flexible but also could act as tint on glass. That means it could be placed on car windows to help add mpg to our hybrids as well as give office buildings another source of energy. Pretty cool right... and these guys are from Durham, NC!

Change

With all the talk of the need for change, I did my part. Not exactly the way the politicians are talking about it but for the past year I've been saving my change in my boxers drawer. One of the many things I love about the state employees credit union is the ways they encourage you to save. Most people see change as something to get rid of therefore they are loose with it. I'm pretty much a plastic kind of guy so I rarely pay in cash but over the past year, I had enough to fill a tied up dish towel. NCSECU has a machine that will count your change for you with no fee. I turned in my receipt and to my surprise, there was $57.52 worth of change. I quickly turned that into cash and went off to Bojangles with my savings. $5.66 for a 4 piece supreme dinner and I've still got enough to put gas in the car when I get home. Talk about your good timing!

Pimsleur Lesson 4

I'm almost half way through my intro lessons of French. I only bought the first 8 but I think they'll probably provide a good base to start with before I start using about.com to further my study. If I can keep up with my rate of about a lesson a week, I'll be done in a month with my CDs and I'll be that much more ready for the trip to France Anna is taking her students on.

French WOD - Je vais bien

Today's word that I'm practicing is "Je vais bien" meaning "I'm fine." To hear this phrase pronounced, go HERE. If asked "how are you?" (comment allez-vous? - How do you go?) this would be a good response assuming things are going well for you.
Je - I
vais - goes
bien - well

Myers Briggs question 1

Which one are you? I would classify myself as I(introverted) by nature even though I enjoy getting out and doing things with groups. The short test I took put me down as an E which I would agree to an extent. I'm an introvert with extroverted tenancies.

Q1. Which is your most natural energy orientation?

Every person has two faces. One is directed towards the OUTER world of activities, excitements, people, and things. The other is directed inward to the INNER world of thoughts, interests, ideas, and imagination.

While these are two different but complementary sides of our nature, most people have an innate preference towards energy from either the OUTER or the INNER world. Thus one of their faces, either the Extraverted (E) or Introverted (I), takes the lead in their personality development and plays a more dominant role in their behavior.

Extraverted Characteristics

  • Act first, think/reflect later

  • Feel deprived when cutoff from interaction with the outside world

  • Usually open to and motivated by outside world of people and things

  • Enjoy wide variety and change in people relationships

Introverted Characteristics

  • Think/reflect first, then Act

  • Regularly require an amount of "private time" to recharge batteries

  • Motivated internally, mind is sometimes so active it is "closed" to outside world

  • Prefer one-to-one communication and relationships

Saturday, October 4, 2008

French WOD - Ça va?

The word of the day is "Ça va?"
It literally means "that goes?"
The implied meaning is "How are you?"

To hear how it is pronounced, go HERE and click on the word to hear the wave file.

Friday, October 3, 2008

French WOD - Salut

Salut is a funny word. It almost sounds like the name Sally when about.com pronounces it. It means 'hi' according to them and can be linked to from THIS page. Evidently they won't let you point directly to the wave file therefore look for it in the middle of the page.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sudoku

Ok, I've helped you out a little bit on this one but see if you can solve this one. It was in the medium section of my book but has been the hardest one I've seen so far. Maybe I missed something but I had to really think outside the box to assure nothing I put down was a guess. In case you are wondering, it can be done and I'll send you the answer if you can't figure it out.

Bailout passes senate

Many are reconsidering after getting a lot of calls from small business owners who can not get loans. On one hand, I say good. Not all small business owners deserve loans and a large percentage of them will fail within a few years of startup. On the other hand, starting and owning a company is the American dream. My stance is still 'no' on the bailout since small business owners can still get loans if they work really hard. That after all is the American dream. If you work hard enough, you can make it rich. But after considering the effect on ma and pop stores, I might be willing to reconsider assuming laws go in place against stupid risk that banks have been making. Remember you are not entitled to a loan and it is not your money. Certain people I would not loan any amount of money to unless I wouldn't be willing to part with it for good. That's what the government is doing. Giving away $700 Billion dollars that they don't mind parting with. Well... I mind $700 Billion dollars.

French WOD - bonsoir

Today's word is similar to yesterday's. It is a greeting that means good evening. Click on bonsoir to hear how it is pronounced.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Night Vision Jailbreak

We played Jailbreak last summer but this looks like a really gadget to give you that edge. Check out one of the top toys this year HERE.

Diversity Training...

This past week we had an early release day. On these days we have someone come in and do a training, this training has been on Diversity. Its been very interesting to learn more about the students that you come in contact with daily and the life they may face at home. We've been learning how to better communicate and work with these students and families, last week we talked about language/communication and the impact of formal vs casual talk in class. Different types of language can be labeled as follows...

frozen: like the pledge of allegiance
formal: instructing, proper, complete sentences
consultative: almost casual but still formal
casual: non-complete sentences, slang
intimate: language for relationships

One activity we did was very funny, the trainer asked us to come up with a list of 'casual' words or phrases that students use. See if you can identify these, I'll post the answers later. :)

crib
sick
gril
my bad
bling
oh snap
gwak
TMI
holla
dis
shut up
digits
phat
shout out
clutch
143
bff
hit me up/back
411
kicks
stylin
hoochy momma
dude
what the
word
thats whak
squz me
peeps

French WOD - Oct 1

Bonjour is our French word for the day. Most of you know what this means but according to french.about.com, it can mean hello, good morning, and good afternoon. Click on Bonjour to hear it pronounced.

Dick "DJ" Grayson drama

Just like Smallville focuses on Clark before he became Superman, Superhero Hype reports a similar story will roll out focusing on Dick before he became Robin and eventually Nightwing. Evidently CW realizes that they can't stretch out Smallville forever and its time for a new story. I probably won't watch the show but I may tune into the pilot episode.


Saving Superman's Crib

Creator of superman's house was renovated recently to restore the rotting house where Superman had his birth. Reuters tells how fans unite in an auction to raise money for the much needed repairs.

Less is More?

Do these micro bottles of detergent really work as well as a full cap of the other stuff? This bottle was on sale for under $7 and claims to do 32 loads despite being 1/3 the size of other bottles. We'll have to see. I went to the grocery story hungry and took this home with me. I wonder if you're more likely to buy things in general when you're hungry or just things that you can eat.

Oh, it's green and organic so you should be happy about that Marcie. :)

Clothes Dryer

My brother has the weird ability to break everything of mine he uses with in a few months time. It may just be my perception but the latest thing to break was my clothes dryer. It heats up fine but will not spin. I'm hoping its just a belt and that is easy to fix because I really don't care to buy a new one at this time.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce and Country Ham Egg and Cheese Biscuit

How do you know Cranberry Sauce will be good? Because it has ridges and comes from a can. I had this craving for a country ham biscuit therefore I went to the grocery store hungry and this was one of many random things I picked up. Pistachio pudding was the next most random thing I bought. They were all delicious.

Bailout

I can't decide if I support the bailout. I strongly have the republican belief that risk is part of business therefore the more you take, the more you deserve to fail. I really believe it is not our government's job to give handouts for banks greedy mistakes and doing so will set a precedent that they can continue to operate under the same broken guidelines. I believe in justice and a lot of the greedy CEOs are getting what they deserve for their almost illegal practices. I've said before how hard I had to work to get them to agree to giving me a 30yr fixed instead of some "ninja loan." On the other hand, their mistakes do "trickle down" to the workers and many Americans will be laid off because of it. There is talk of the next great depression and this is a good way to at least extend the time before that happens. Right now I say lets go ahead and deal with our mistakes now so we can fix them for in the future but I'm ready to change my opinion if some one can show me evidence otherwise.

It seems both McCain and Obama are supporting the $700 Billion dollar bailout which makes me wonder how important it is for this to happen. Reuters has been keeping me up to date around this as it all unfolds. I can't say I'm not nervous about our prospect.

Green Lantern

In case you haven't heard, one of my favorite DC titles is going to the big screen. There has been talks of that at least. I really can't wait to see who how they portray the man with out fear. They'll likely do an origin story first and it might look similar to New Frontier. Then, I hope they'll consider the Sinestro Wars as that has been my favorite story arc yet. Here is what the producer said in an interview.

Earlier today I caught up briefly with producer Donald De Line, who is developing the Green Lantern film, and asked him for an update. He told me that "a new draft of the script came in" and they're "gearing up to start shooting early spring." While it's not confirmed, he added that "it's coming together and I'm excited about it. Hopefully we'll make it to start gate. We're really close - really close."
With all the Marvel movies coming out, its about time DC took advantage of the trend. Their characters tend to be so much deeper in my opinion.