From a first time blogger, thoughts about life from an American missionary now living in the US after years in Russia and doing a lot of back and forth. Family stuff, Christian content, sports innuendo and lots of quotes from good books.

Monday, November 22, 2004

(An Aged) 36 And (Pretty Much) Still Ticking...

36 years ago today, out I came and away I went on this ride called life. The adventure has never failed to keep me or those around me on their toes. For the 36 years now behind me and the beginning of the 37th now ahead, I am so thankful.

My dear wife organized a very low key but enjoyable gathering with her, my 3 sons (sans Uncle Charlie), my in laws, the Joneses, and 2/3 of the Hennesseys together for Mexican, what else?! It was just what I needed after a rainy, foggy, 36th November 22nd here in Atlanta.

I was thinking today. In just 36 years, among other things, I have:

1. Made 719 visits to the chiropractor
2. Been nailed by Kmart plain clothes cops for....never mind but yes there are such things as Kmart plain clothes cops, trust me!
3. Had 3 MRIs
4. Celebrated birthdays in places like the Crown Plaza Hotel at LaGuardia Airport, in New York, the Central Hotel in Kemerovo, Russia, and around the table of 12 female college students in Barnaul, Russia. Tonight was a little mores tame but no less memorable.
5. Flown more than 500 times on an airplane.
6. Learned to mutter nearly coherent in 4 languages.
7. Gotten lost in a South American Rain Forest.
8. Worked at Burger King when I was 15 and have never eaten there since (and you wouldn't either if you knew what I knew!).
9. Ate part of a moose's face and thought it was pretty good considering it was moose face.
10. Got to sit by the Iron Sheik on a flight from Atlanta to Boston.

So, I got to thinking that with a start like that, imagine what the next 36 or so years should provide. I can hardly wait....

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This Just In!

Actual conversation I overheard today in a BP Station in south Atlanta:

Woman in her 30's to a group of early teens: "Did ya'll hear that President Reagan died?"
Girl in the group in their early teens: "Who?"
Woman in her 30's: "President Reagan. He was old but he used to be President."
Another girl in the group in their early teens: "I heard he got shot."
Woman in her 30's: "No he didn't. He died of cancer. Been sick with it a long time."
First girl in the group: "Oh yeah. That's right. I knew that."

I don't really have a comment/insight to go along with this momentous eavesdrop but I thought I'd spur a few punch lines from some of you. Any ideas?

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Cartwheel Cops

Ah, the world we live in....

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Cartwheels and handstands have gotten an 11-year-old girl temporarily bounced out of her Los Angeles-area school.

Deirdre Faegre was suspended for a week after repeatedly disobeying school officials who told her not to perform gymnastic stunts during lunchtime.

"Our first concern is the safety of all children," San Jose-Edison Academy Principal Denise Patton told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Patton said Deirdre could accidentally strike another student, or injure herself, and other children could get hurt trying to imitate Deirdre, who has been doing gymnastics for five years.

Deirdre's father, Leland Faegre, said it was absurd to suspend his daughter for doing gymnastics when students were allowed to play basketball and other sports.

"Contact sports, apparently, are fine. But this one is so dangerous it requires the cartwheel cops," Faegre said.

Monday, November 08, 2004

You Gotta Love Innovators

I love to study and reflect on the lives of innovators. "They Made America" is a series showing on PBS this month. In the constant search for good television (not altogether an oxymoron), I stumbled across this show tonight. Based on Harold Evans' book by the same name, it chronicles 70 innovators who have changed forever or significantly influenced the America we live in today. I just caught two of the innovators tonight.

One was Ted Turner. Being a kid who grew up in Atlanta in the 70's, I have a great respect for this man as an innovator. Whether you like his ex, his politics, or his accent, the man started a little thing called 24 hour news that many have seen fit to follow. Second tonight was Russell Simmons, the modern father of hip hop (started the Phat Farm clothing line, Def Jam records, RUN DMC, and lots of other stuff) who helped usher in one of the most powerful economic forces of this current generation (1 in 4 dollars spent in the U.S. today are somehow influenced by the hip hop culture). More to come on this. If you care to check it out, it won't be time wasted.

Just for the fun of it, a few innovators off the top of my mind:

Pete Rozelle - came up with a crazy idea that many said would never last. He called it Monday Night Football. It lasted.

John Wooden - held that people were his most valuable commodity. The 10 championships were far down the list of what was most precious to him.

Jack Welch - I don't particularly like the former head of GM but he understood the idea of developing those people under him better than anyone in business had up to that point....maybe even up to this point.

Herb Kellerer - started a little company called Southwest Airlines. If you currently have a heart beat or a belly button, you understand what this man and this company have done and are doing in one of the world's most important industries.

Jesus Christ - made the audacious, first ever claim that, through him, we can become one with our maker. Wow! Now that is innovation.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Things You'll Only Hear From Me

Here's a few things you'll (hopefully...probably) only hear me say...

1. Having grown tired of pop up ads and constant security issues, I now use Mozilla's Firefox as my browser. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY suggest it. Download it free at It's only 4.5 mg and it will incorporate all of your bookmarks and favorites from IE when you set it up. If you are still using a dial up connection, you'll notice a big ole difference in the speed in which pages load as well. If you are on a high speed connection, you'll still notice how much faster it is. Check it out!

2. If you must begin an email by saying, "I normally don't forward emails...", then just don't FWD them at all. Please, save us all the trouble.

3. Neither Microsoft, Intel, nor AOL will pay you, as Matt Foley would say, "JACK SQUAT" by forwarding emails, gathering emails, answering emails, or writing emails. Folks, if it's too good to be true, it really is too good to be true!

4. And one more...isn't Call Waiting basically like saying to someone with whom you are talking, "oh, excuse me please. There might be someone more important than you on the other line. Just a moment, let me find out."

Like I said, hopefully you'll only hear these things from me...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

6 Days In

We're on day number 6 of the Aidan Invasion. We love it. Calm in a way our other two sons were not when born and able to navigate the rough waters of fingers in the face, constant rubbing, shouting, and dropping of toys, Aidan has set the example around here the last week for just kinda chillin' and not getting quite so worked up about stuff as we often do. Atta boy Aidan.

Praise the Lord, I am back pain free again. I feel great. HUGE kudos to Dr. Randy Mayfield of the Mayfield Chiropractic Clinic. While mine is a lifelong condition, he's got me down to just twice a week visits to see him and I walk, sit, and can play with my boys with no pain. I'm not allowed to play basketball as jumping and landing are not what I need but, honestly, I've played enough basketball for 9 lives. I really don't/won't miss it.

I took Benjamin (my oldest son, 5 1/2) to see Dr. Mayfield yesterday. Predictably, he's got the same genetic disorder I do. It is a malformation of the left leg meaning it is somewhere near an inch shorter than the right leg which leads to back issues on down the road. Lucky for Benja, we caught it early, have insteps in his shoes and he'll go once a week to get adjustments with me and, hopefully, within 3-4 years, he'll be good as new. Nate and Aidan have a 90% chance of the having the same thing so we'll get them checked out when each of them turn 4. Se la vie!

Yesterday was November 1 and it was 81 degrees here in Atlanta. That ain't right. That just ain't right.