Thursday, June 30, 2005

For the record...

Building Cat 5 Cable sucks. I don't know if I have a cheap crimper or I'm color blind, but I can't get this goofy cable to work at all.

Forehead for sale

WFAA reports about a woman who sold tattoo space on her forehead for $10,000.
I'll sale space on my arm for a million.
Any takers?
And if you need another fund raising idea here's one more:
WFAA also reports about a group of women who are posing nude for a calendar to save their local courthouse.
I'm pretty disgusted by the that idea - being that they're all in their golden years - but if people pay for it, so be it.

Travel travel

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Missing Passion

Why is it that everyday we live life like we’ll live forever? We put things off that we know we want to do. We forget to tell the ones we love, “I love you.”
We think we’ll have forever to change our ways, but yet we don’t know what the next five minutes will hold.
I read this past week about a lady who attended the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and collapsed on her way back to her hotel.
She began having seizures and was rushed to the ER, where she spent the night slipping in and out of consciousness.
She said she literally thought she was going to die. She truly believed that she would not make it.
‘”The next morning, when it was clear I was going to be fine, everything looked a little more beautiful,” she wrote. “Trees were greener. The sky was bluer. People were nicer and better-looking. And all I could think about was how damn lucky I was.”
There’s a great Tim McGraw song on the radio now called, “Live Like You Were Dying.”
The song tells the story of a man who faced death and started living like he really had nothing left to lose.
The chorus is simple but strong, “I went skydiving. I went rocky mountain climbing. I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu. And I loved deeper. And I spoke sweeter. And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’. And he said some day I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin’.”
We’ve all had our close calls -- some closer than others.
Maybe it was a car accident that happened only moments before you arrived or seconds after you left a scene, a fall that could have been much worse than it was, a fire that you barely escaped, a cancer diagnosis that you overcame.
We all discover how precious life is in those moments.
If we can hang on to that feeling, think about how richer our lives will be.
But yet we forget about how wonderful and exciting life can be. I do it daily. I get bummed and discontent with things and forget to look at how much there really is to enjoy.
It’s so easy for me to lose my passion in the things I do each and every day.
We all know that if we can hang on to that feeling, our lives will be richer.
If we did those things we kept putting off, we’d enjoy life so much more.
Or as Tyler Durden says in the movie Fight Club, after threatening to kill the shop clerk unless the clerk pursues his original dream of becoming a vet, “tomorrow his breakfast will taste better than it ever has...”
My favorite movie line in history is from the Million Dollar Hotel.
As the movie opens we see a young man running and jumping off the roof of a Los Angeles Hotel and he thinks as he’s falling, “It occurred to me after I jumped… Life is perfect, life is beautiful.”
Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford several weeks ago and wrote about his passion for life.
“...for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Jobs was given only three to six months to live last year when he was diagnosed with cancer. Now he lives each day like it was his last.
If we could wake up each day and remember those close calls or think about what could happen today and live like there was no tomorrow, how different would we be?

Thanks to Creating Passionate Users for the inspiration for this entry.

Michael and susan break and fix the copier

Co-worker mike robinson

2 down - 1 to go

My school board and city council stories are done. 2:56 a.m.
Now all I have left is dropping them onto their pages -- and writing a column.
Geeze. I need some inspiration for sure.
Anyone up for a cigar and glass of wine?

Its 2.21 a.m. and im still facing writers block for work. But havin lots of fun blogging.

Mobile Blogging

Now how cool is this...
Blogger now offers mobile blogging.
I think its actually been around for a while, but I never actually researched it.
Now I can send pictures and text from my cell phone - from anywhere I have cellular service.
Look out - I can see my entries per day increasing as we speek.
I wonder if video works too... I'll have to give that a try too.
Free advertisment:
Don't have a blog yet -- Get on board! It's free and so much cooler than your friends Xanga.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

King Kong

King Kong is coming.

Is change really that bad?

It's midnight in Belton and I have three stories I have to write sometime between now and 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.
That doesn't seem like much. And it's really not considering how short they will likely end up with our small paper this week. But I'm putting it off and putting it off because quite frankly I don't want to do it.
My give a damn is busted and its been busted for six months now.
I keep thinking if I changed jobs or changed direction maybe it would help.
Joining the CWF was a big improvement (for me) in my opinion.
But what happens two years from now, will I still be gung-ho about traveling and introducing wrestlers?
I remember as a kid I would re-arrange my room almost every three months or so. That became a real hassle when I got a waterbed - so that slowed down the changes - but I still wanted change.
I never seem to be content with things. I'm always on the lookout for something better. I don't know if there was a time I was ever really content with life. I'm sure there had to be a time, but when?
I can sit outside under the stars enjoying a cigar and a beer or a glass of wine and be totally content, but that only lasts for a short time. I know its no way to escape the reality of everything else going on. And a few hours of sitting around doing nothing only makes me want to get up and do something creative.
I think I'm totally content when I'm working a CWF show, but then there's the traveling back and forth and the fact that the next day - or the day after - I'll be right back in my office staring at my computer screen, trying to write about something I don't care much about.
I've thought (and written) before that I might be perfectly happy running a bookstore or a restaurant or a pub of some sort. But I would imagine from past experience that at some point, that two would grow old.
I read a recent study that said that college graduates are alarmingly unhappy with their jobs and careers.
My friend and I discussed the stat and wondered if it was because they were settling on a job just to make ends meet, or if our generation is simply not content with life in general.
Read Relevant Magazine and you will find an entire generation of church goers (or former church goers) who are fed up with church as usual and think they have all the answers.
The media says my generation is fed up with the current government and administration - maybe they are. But is it because they all really disagree or they're going with the status quo or maybe they'll never actually be content.
I don't know.
I know the times are changing -often not soon enough - I only wonder if a lack of contentment is a weakness or strength?

Indy Ringtones

Rythym at reports about a new service for indy bands to upload ringtones that listeners can then download straight to their cell phone.
So what is this wonderful thing I keep hyping up? Ring tones. That's right, RING TONES, BABY. It is artist-driven downloadable ringtones that is geared towards fans. I just signed Rhythm up and you can already download their songs onto your phone or For fans, you can download a song today and it will be your next cell phone bill. For Artists it does cost money to get it all set up, but they have given me a referral code 'rhythm' that will give you and
everyone you sign up an an instant $10 discount!! That is huge. So for less than $40 you get your stuff online and start making money today for each download.

I like this idea. I don't know how big it will get - but I like it. Personally I just use my bluetooth adapter, record an mp3 of my favorite songs, edit them and then upload them to my phone using bluetooth (but that doesn't work for technically challenged people.)
What if praise bands get on board?
With many phones now carrying enough memory and having the quality to work as MP3 players, what if sermons could be sent directly to cellphones of people in your congregation?
Using RSS, new Mp3 and podcasting technology I'm sure there's an advertiser somewhere figuring out how to get you to subscribe to the Nike RSS or Pepsi RSS or Polka RSS where they will automatically send you an ad every day with special offers and the like.
How can we as a church jump on and use this?
You can subscribe to services that will send verses to your phone already.
What about a daily devotion from a pastor or and audio commercial for an upcoming prayer service?
This could get very exciting as technology advances and more and more people update their phones, and mp3 players and the like.

Translating season preview-speak has a fun article on their blog about pre-season press releases and sneak peaks.
This time of year pretty much every Division III team is optomistic. Or at least, that's what they say publicly. If you read season previews in their unedited form, eventually you'll begin to believe every team has 18 returning starters, is poised for a breakthrough, looking to build on last year's success, returning to tradition, etc. It's a wonder everyone doesn't finish 7-3 or 8-2.

If you're not reading you're missing out on some of the funnest football in the country.
For Charis -
More wrestling news:
Baptist Press Sports has a story about an appearance by Sting at a Lifeway Christian Store.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Weekend update

For those who missed Saturday's CWF show, here are the results:

Chris Idol & Jonah def. Son of Thunder and The Zealot
Jesus Freak def. The Bishop
Shiloh def. Michael Malick
Jonah def. Chris Idol

We felt like planters and waterers Saturday night, as there were no public decisions - but it's always good to see both sides of a ministry. You can't harvest all the time. And hopefully you'll do more than plant and water, but many times that's what we're called to do.

Kara enjoys playing with Chinese orphans. Posted by Hello

Kara (in purple) plays with the children at a Chinese orphanage. Posted by Hello

My sister Kara (in orange) and her team from Buckner Orphanages at the Great Wall of China Posted by Hello

Kara's Back Home

My sister Kara returned from China to D/FW LATE last night.
She landed around midnight, after we had orginally planned for her to arrive around 11 p.m.
Oh well. The fact that her and her team made it home safe is all I was concerned about. She had a wonderful time and is wanting to return next year if she can work more with the orphans.
Her team had a couple real encounters with spiritual warfare while they were there, so be sure to keep the Chinese people in your prayers. It continues to be a land of darkness.
Hopefully I can convince her to write a recap that I can post here for you all.
Until then, I'll post a couple pictures of her and her team on the Great Wall of China and Kara working with the orphans.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Prayer request

Tim Elcey, Kara Blundell, Kathryn Shindoll, Jonathan Blundell, Amy Blundell & Matt Lehmann
My sister, Kara, will be returning from China tomorrow. She has been working with orphans in communist China since the 21st. I'm not sure what time she leaves, but she'll return to DFW at 11 p.m. Please pray for her safety and the safety of those around her.
Also, my other sister, Kathryn is still working hard in Russia. Please pray for her continued success and blessing as she ministers to orphans in St. Petersburg.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Summatime Style!

Summatime Style! -- Babbages, those where the days! Oh how I miss playing my NES System and going to Babbage at the mall to check out all the latest games I couldn't afford.

I heart the West Wing

I've been watching season one of the West Wing all night (probably while most of you were caught up in the NBA finals). Awesome. Love it.
Andrew Sorkin was such a great writer. It doesn't get much better.
If only someone would buy me all four seasons on DVD for some special event. I don't really care what the event is -- but you can make it up -- maybe when the Mavs win the championship. But unfortunately that might take too long. So how about my 5th CWF show to be commissioner. There we go. It takes place Saturday in Rockwall. So bring it on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wrestling news

Thought I'd throw out some wrestling news I've been reading lately:

Juicy News Daily reports that Ted DiBiase's son's are looking to sign a WWE contract in 2006. It's doubtful that WWE would plan to sign someone that far in advance, but you never know. Normally wrestlers will sign and go to Ohio Valley or another small regional promotion before a debut - but you still never know. has another story about the "Million Dollar Man" and his Christian wrestling promotion.
"The wrestling is a form of bait," DiBiase explained backstage at the show. "Jesus told us to be fishers of men, and there are a lot of fish requiring different bait."
To stage this event, Destiny Christian Center spent $15,000. About 100 volunteers transformed the sanctuary into an arena, with a ring replacing the central podium, and installed stage lighting, an ear-busting sound system and 20-foot-long ramp for dramatic entrances.

MSNBC talks about WWE's new focus on the legends of the ring. This may lead way to the Million Dollar Man and his sons coming back. The company will try to rekindle the passion older fans had as kids. With the success Hogan has had in his recent returns and even Rowdy Roddy Piper, the company is likely on to something.
WWE Senior Vice President for Consumer Products Donna Goldsmith summed it up perfectly when she spoke of the conundrum of the fallen fan: "Sometimes you need to remind people of your past to get them to be part of your future." She should frame that aphorism and make sure every WWE underling reads it. Going forward, the key to WWE's future cash flows might hinge on its regal legends.

Pro Wrestling Insider discusses Rob Van Dam's comments on the ECW One Night Stand PPV.
Slam! Sports talks with five time WCW champ Booker T about ending his career and opening a new training school in Houston.
"In the business it can be lonely, especially at the top. The night I won the WCW title I was so beat up and tired I was in my hotel room, I had the belt with me and no one to celebrate with. People imagine everything is great and lovely, but at the time I was the WCW champion it was a lonely time, my relationship was in chaos. To have my wife with me to share it now is pretty cool."

Slam! Sports also discusses TNA's announcment to air Impact on the web - admist rumors that the company is going to sign a television deal with Spike TV after WWE moves to USA. news: is letting visitors pick the next Shawn Michaels t-shirt. They're doing a lot more fan interaction on the site -- which I love. Lots of video clips and more.
On John Cena's page you can submit your own artwork of Cena, fan photos and freestyle raps as well as watch his first music video. I think I'll probably blog on this more later.
On JBL's page you can listen to clips from his radio show and watch a video of him visiting Southfork Ranch with Sean Hannity.

Well I think that's about it for now... Catch ya on the flip side.
And don't forget: CWF will be live in Rockwall again this Saturday night at 7 p.m. and coming up - CWF live in Crosby, Texas on July 3rd and 4th.
Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

As promised: Film at 11

Tonights film: Draker forgets his lines.
Thanks to Charis for the film.
Speaking of film, suggested churches hosting a film festival.
I think that sounds like a lot of fun. They suggest buying a camera or two, and an iMac and let kids make their own movies. I don't know if I'd be that trusting, but I think with kids, teens or adults it would be a fun and good community draw.
What do you think?

New legislation looks to block municipal Wi-Fi

As promised... here's the article on HR 2726. I think both sides have good points. And I'll take Sessions' Communications Director at her word when she says SBC had no influence on Sessions' decision to push the bill. But what do you think?

Texas Representative Pete Sessions has introduced a new bill in Congress that might put a stop to locally organized Internet networks, telecommunications and Wi-Fi access.
HR 2726 was proposed last month and would prohibit municipalities from providing telecommunications, information or cable services.
Sessions, who is a former Southwestern Bell (SBC) and Bell Labs executive, has said the bill will protect private companies.
“The main reason for this bill is that private companies should not have to compete with government,” Sessions Communications Director Gina Vaughn said. “This bill is to help encourage greater roll-out of telecom services from private companies.
Texas was one of nine states that recently rejected a bill similar to HR 2726 in the state legislature. Out of the 13 states that recently considered similar bills, only four states voted to approve a similar bill.
“This bill also provides guidance to municipal governments about what services they can provide,” Vaughn said. “This is important because several states have either passed or considered legislation to completely ban municipalities from providing information and/or telecom services.”
In Belton, the Belton ISD school board has discussed working to provide Wi-Fi access across the city for school district students.
Currently the Chamber of Commerce, Belton ISD and UMHB have helped organize a number of free Hotspots at local businesses.
Pizza Hut, The Daily Grind, Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast and the Chamber of Commerce have each established Hotspots through the organization.
Shipley’s Doughnuts and McDonalds also offer similar services through other providers.
The businesses pay a small startup cost for hardware and pay for their broadband service through any of the local providers.
Customers can then access the Internet for free on any Wi-Fi enabled laptop or any other Wi-Fi device, such as PDA’s.
“I don’t really think this will hurt our current situation in Belton but it could in the future,” Councilmember Marion Grayson said. “Currently we partner with the local ISP’s and the businesses pick their own provider. The Chamber and the city are not providing Internet access, but we don’t want the state or federal government to tell us we can’t do it later if we decide to.”
Grayson, owner of and organizer of Belton’s Hotspot program, was active in fighting HB 789, which was similar to HR 2726 and voted down in the Texas Legislature during this year’s session.
The bill would have also allowed phone companies and cable companies to receive statewide franchise licenses, rather than applying for local franchises, as they currently do.
“We don’t believe the state or federal governments should have the right to say who operates in our community or not,” Grayson said. “With a statewide franchise, companies can choose where to operate and where not to. They are in it to make money. If an area is not profitable, they’re not forced to provide service to it. If they decide to tear up a street to put in a phone line, they have every right to do so, and the city can have no say in it. Then the cities can get left footing the repair bill.”
The final bill will not likely endanger Belton’s current or future free hotspots, because local companies provide the Internet service. Also any networks or services offered by municipalities currently would be grandfathered under the bill.
“In the event of market failure, local governments would be free to fill the void,” Sessions said. “For example, in Granbury, about 4/5 of the city has private providers of high-speed Internet, but no one provides high-speed Internet to the other 1/5. Under Congressman Session’s bill, the city can provide service to the unserved.”
Grayson said that logic scares her.
“Right now I believe everyone in Belton has the ability to access the Internet,” Grayson said. “They may not have high-speed access, but our local ISP’s are providing service across Belton. If it proved to be unprofitable for a company to provide high-speed Internet to South Belton, then it’s very likely they wouldn’t provide the service. If that happens, the city is stuck with a large portion of their residents not being able to access the Internet with broadband. Then the entire city has to pay to provide a basic service to those unfortunate residents in South Belton. I don’t think that’s fair.”
Grayson believes a company will simply pick and chose what areas are profitable for them.
“If a company gets a franchise from the city, they have to provide services to the entire city,” Grayson said. “On the other hand, if a company can simply go to the state or federal government for a franchise, they can pick and chose the areas profitable for them. For businesses to do business broadband is becoming a necessity. With this law entire communities can be shut off from Internet access. The federal government should not be writing laws restricting technology that is changing daily.”
Sessions believes that allowing local municipalities to provide the service will be detrimental to residents.
“Some municipal governments are putting taxpayer money at risk by duplicating services already offered by private entities,” Sessions said. “Unfair competition by the government discourages investment by private entities and ultimately leads to consumers having fewer choices of service and outdated technology, due to the fact that the government often does not have the financial resources to keep up with that technology.”
In Lafayette, La. the city recently proposed a $125-million bond issue, paid for by the taxpayers, to provide high-speed Internet access for residents.
This proposal was made, while according to Vaughn, “91-percent of the city’s phone lines were capable of offering high-speed Internet access and the local cable company also offered broadband service over their cable network.”
Lafayette Mayor Joey Dorel told PC World Magazine, that his city “begged” its phone and cable company to wire it with fiber-optic access and had no success.
The city now plans to build its own fiber optic network, with Bell South and Cox Communications fighting the action in court.
Along with Lafayette, North Kansas City, Mo. announced recently its plan to offer affordable high-speed Internet access, after residents complained about poor service and slower than expected speeds.
Time Warner Cable attempted to block the city’s efforts but the courts ruled in favor of the city. Time Warner Cable appealed the decision and wants to stop the city from offering services it planed to offer later this year.
Cities see wireless broadband as a way to offer low-cost Internet to low-income residents.
“The practices of corporate America are hurting communities like Lafayette,” Dorel said. With high-speed and fiber-optic connections to schools, businesses and hospitals, the cities have argued that the city owned networks will make the community a better place to live as well as provide cheaper service to their residents.
“By wearing two hats, provider and regulator, municipal governments create unfair competition in the marketplace,” Sessions said. “Their competitive presence drives private entities away from that market and hurt consumers in the long run.”
With the large upfront costs and maintenance and service costs, Sessions believes the taxpayers will be hurt the hardest.
Earlier this year Whatcom County in Washington had to sell its unfinished fiber-optic system for $126,000 after spending $2.3-million on it. Private companies saturated the market shortly afterwards.
Almost immediately after Sessions introduced his bill, websites and blogs for citizen groups and government accountability began blasting Sessions for his support of the bill.
Free Press, a national nonpartisan media reform group reported, “Sessions owns $500,000 worth of stock options in telephone giant SBC.”
According to Sessions’ office, the congressman has no stock options with the company.
“Sessions does not have any stock or stock options in the company,” Vaughn said. “The congressman decided upon this bill without any request from SBC or another company. It’s not just an SBC issue. This is for cable providers, broadband providers and any other company that provides telecommunications. The congressman being a former employee at SBC helps him to understand the need to protect business from competing with government.”
For Belton’s House Representative John Carter, Dist. 32, (R), it is too early to make a decision on the bill.
“The bill hasn’t made its way out of committee yet,” Carter’s Press Secretary Gretchen Hamel said. “There will be any number of changes to the bill if it comes out of committee and the congressman would like to see the entire bill before deciding on it.”
Another Washington insider speculated that the bill would likely be left behind in the wake of a new complete Telecommunications Act, which may be written later this year.
“I think the bottom line is that the federal government should stay out of this issue,” Grayson said. “I understand the need for fair competition and I understand that the companies are looking for new means of revenue. But if a phone company or cable company wants to provide services to a community, they should have to come to the city for approval, just as they’ve always done. If not – the city should have the option to provide the same services.”
With the HR 2726 still being worked on in committee and a possible new Telecommunications Act pending, the debate for broadband service is just beginning.

Wireless Terminology
Wi-Fi - Short for "Wireless Fidelity", is a set of product compatibility standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN). It enables a person with a wireless-enabled computer or personal digital assistant (PDA) to connect to the Internet when in proximity of an access point. The geographical region covered by one or several access points is called a hotspot.
Hotspot - A Wi-Fi access point or area, in particular for connecting to Internet. Hotspots are found near restaurants, train stations, airports, cafes, libraries and other public places.
PDA - Handheld devices that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years. A basic PDA usually includes a clock, date book, address book, task list, memo pad and a simple calculator. One major advantage of using PDA’s is their ability to synchronize data with desktop and notebook computers and connect to the Internet.
Fiber-Optic - An optical fiber is a transparent thin fiber, usually made of glass, for transmitting light. Fiber optics is the branch of science and engineering concerned with optical fibers. The optical fiber can be used as a medium for telecommunication and networking because it is flexible and can be bundled as cables. Because of the remarkably low loss and excellent linearity and dispersion behavior of single-mode optical fiber, data rates of up to 40 gigabits per second are possible in real-world use on a single wavelength.
Telecommunications - The extension of communication over a distance. In practice it also recognizes that something may be lost in the process; hence the term 'telecommunication' covers all forms of distance and/or conversion of the original communications, including radio, telegraphy, television, telephony, data communication and computer networking.

Definitions taken from

Coming Soon...

I've been contacting congressmen and the like all day about HR 2726, it looks like it should make an interesting article.
We'll see. I'll post it here as soon as I get it drafted.
Also, I recieved a pretty funny video of some guy on cable access or something that I think you'll all get a kick out of.
I'll post that a bit later too.
We received a call about our 4th of July guide we sent to press two weeks ago today.
The press said they needed all the color pages sent as tiffs instead of pdfs. I had to save all my color pages to EPS and then go back into Photoshop and convert them to Tiffs.
That sounds really backwards - so my uplink to the net will be dragging the rest of the afternoon for sure.
No wonder we only use these guys once a year.
Well hope all is going well.
More to come soon.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Investigative Services at your service

We just received an anonymous package at our paper (nothing new there).
But it contains a tape recording of (supposedly) someone who was recently arrested a month ago for harassment.
The tape is nothing more than voice mails over and over and over again of this person cursing at someone on voice mail.
Apparently an ex-client or spouse or friend of a spouse sent it to us.
But I wonder what they expect us to do with it. Run a transcript? Investigate it - when we have no real source - and in all actuality it could be anyone on the tape (considering how bad the recording is).
I love how so many people expect me to be the lawyer, detective and judge when they feel they've been done wrong.
Rather than paying money for a lawyer and letting the courts handle it, they come to the local paper, expecting us to spend our time finding out why they've been wronged.
Thanks a lot Hard Copy and A Current Affair.
And just to be fair, here's a brief transcript of the tape:

Well that's about all that's fit to be published - even here.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Why Cena's feeling Raw

The Sun Online: Has an interview and article with WWE Champion John Cena, who won the championship at Wrestlemania XXI and was recently traded from the Smackdown brand to Raw brand.
Cena said he had no choice in the matter, but would bleed Raw red as long as he was there and if moved back to Smackdown tomorrow, he would bleed Smackdown blue tomorrow.
As for his change of the WWE belt:
"What I'm doing is giving my input on the development of the WWE title. The title had been the same for so long and I didn't think it embodied what it should as the very pinnacle of our sport. I've made the championship a lot more classy, it is the most expensive belt in WWE history. It's something I think anyone would want to fight for."
In other wrestling news, TNA had a decent PPV for their 3rd anniversary Sunday night.
I was disappointed to see Raven win the title. It seemed a bit out of place and seemed to make the talents of AJ and others in the company a bit weak, even though I would say most of the company is full of great workers. The Chris Daniels match was great. I was really impressed with the X-Division.
Lance Hoyt had a great match. I've seen him a couple times in PCW and was really impressed with him tonight. He worked the entire match and was really over with the crowd. He had a great pop at the end after beating down the Canadians manager. The front row full of Hoytmania shirts was also great.
It was my first TNA PPV after countless WWE PPV's and I was pleased overall. The production reminded me of WCW, with lazers and small pyros, but as Chris "Idol" put it, it makes you feel more like a live event rather than a big television production.
Anyone else watch it and want to comment on it?
Next Saturday CWF will return to Rockwall - without Tim Storm or Apoc - as part of the stipulation from their tag match June 11.
Also, Sunday I'll be watching WWE's Vengenance PPV, so more great wrestling. Does it get any better?

Another random picture from April - Aaron Lehmann lays it down on the electric six stringer. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Kathryn Shindoll and Brandi Fore take a break at the KBDE swap meet in April. Posted by Hello

Some random pictures for fun: Tim Carpenter takes over on vocals. Posted by Hello

I can't remember where I found this originally, but its a picture of Mrs. Billy Graham listening to the book of Psalms being read by Bono at the Graham farm in North Carolina. (circa 2001) Posted by Hello

Bono, Boone and others team up to salute Billy Graham

Pat Boone announced his final recording recently in Rolling Stone article. The album features an all star tribute to Billy Graham. The song, Thank You Billy Graham features Boone, LeeAnn Rimes, Michael Tait, TobyMac, Larry King and others, with an introduction by Bono.

At a time when religion seems so often to get in the way of God's work; with its shopping malls, sales pitch and its bumper sticker inductionism, I give thanks for the sanity of Billy Graham. For that clear empathetic voice of his and that Southern accent. Part poet, part preacher. A singer of the human spirit I'd say. Yeah I give thanks for Billy Graham. Thank you Billy Graham. - Bono

I'm always intrigued by Bono's take on Christianity, Christ, God and religion. I think a lot of Christians want to pigeon-hole him, and maybe I'm doing this now, but I think he has a greater understanding of God and scripture than most of us.
Somewhere I have a cool picture of Bono and Mrs. Graham reading the book of Psalms together. I'll see if I can hunt it down.
To see the video click here.
I received this email from a friend/reader of my column this week:

FYI - Peace Corps Suspends Haiti Operations
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The Peace Corps has suspended operations in Haiti and evacuated its 16 volunteers because of increasing violence, officials said Thursday, even as gunmen wounded two U.N. peacekeepers during a shootout in a slum.
I believe you're destined for bigger and better, so I'm hoping you don't get distracked by Haiti. Besides, a big ole white boy like you makes for too easy a target. If your looking for adventure, consider the army or even the CIA. Or maybe a take over of BellTex!
Hang in there, danZ

I don't know why, but I seriously have no fear in that. Maybe I'm missing something (my mom might be sure to try and change my mind), but I have an absolute peace about going there when called. I'm not going for adventure, I'm going because I want to serve and experience the world outside Belton, or Dallas, or Anywhere, USA.
I want to serve people and show them love. To me, this is a stronger call to go. This is a stronger message to say: These folks need love and help.
Can't wait.

RSS Feeds has a good starting point for understanding RSS feeds. It' really quite simple, but still many people who read blogs regularly aren't using them. Of course there are lots of additional points/questions to be made, but this entry gives you a good overview.
When people refer to RSS they are usually refering to a file located on a website (usually blogs) that contains information about recent posts that can be used by RSS aggregators

I personally read all my blogs through an aggregator - I enjoy it a lot more than going to 30 different websites a day. And if I don't have time to read them, my reader will simply store the new messages until I have time to get to them all.
Speaking of aggregators and readers, here's a few questions for you - my readers:
Please respond with the comment button below (or if you're clueless you can send me an e-mail):
1. How often do you visit my blog?
2. Do you use an aggregator or RSS reader?
3. How many other blogs do you read regularly?
4. What makes mine different?
5. How did you first find or hear about my blog?
Thanks for reading and I hope each of you have found something enjoyable in my random ramblings.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Federal Anti-Municipal Wi-Fi Bill Introduced

Mobile Pipeline reports:
A Texas Congressman has introduced a bill that impose a nationwide prohibition on municipally-sponsored networks.
Dubbed by the Author, Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005, the bill prohibits state and local governments from providing any telecommunications or information service that is 'substantially similar' to services provided by private companies.

I can't believe someone would be concerned about people being able to access the internet?
Until you discover that Pete Sessions is also a "pimp" for Southwestern Bell.
According to Sessions' on-line biography, he is a former employee of Southwestern Bell and Bell Labs.

Why does corporate America get to chose what legislation comes down the pipeline?
I don't know where the rest of Congress stands - but it will make for an interesting article in this weeks Belton Journal I'm sure.
We just started a number of free hotspots around town, with leadership from the Chamber of Commerce and help from the school district and UMHB.
The school district has even talked about offering Wi-Fi internet access across the district to every student, so they can get internet access in their homes, whether they can afford it or not.
What's stopping SBC and other companies from doing the same thing. If they want people to use their service - make a better deal of it.
Personally, I have to pay $30 + a phone line I never use to use SBC DSL. It wasn't worth it - I shut it down. Now I use my network at work, or use local hotspots for internet access. And I have no intention of going back to SBC.

Thanks to for the info.

laziness subsides

I'm feeling really lazy tonight.
I came home, plopped down in my chair and fell asleep.
I'm laying in my bed now catching up on tons of blogs that I've missed this week. And its getting darker and darker in my house and I'm too lazy to get up and turn on a light.
But there is a growing hunger in my stomach so eventually I will have to get up and find some real food. All I've eaten today is sweets (you'll have to look for that post) I'm even too lazy to link to it. Geeze.
I wish we had a greater variety of food options in Belton. I'm too lazy to drive to Temple to have Wendy's or Chick-Fil-A.
Good thing it's Friday and good things it's the weekend.
I may have some cool "job news" coming soon. We'll wait and see. Just don't ask my boss about it.

How a Church Responds to Theft

Church Marketing Sucks asks, How would your church respond to a break in?
One church realized the importance of forgiveness and love rather than accusations and anger
"'To the person who broke in -God loves you.'"

Youth Ministry for Big People

I'm not going to lie - this fires me up!
Church Marketing Sucks points to a story from Willow Creek about using multi-generational strategies in their church.
Fannie Hamilton sat among teenagers during the Sunday service. She used her left hand to hold up her stroke-affected right hand in praise, belting out the words to 'My Glorious' by Delirious. A few minutes later, she stood next to a 16-year-old, who joined her in belting out the words to 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness.' She was a small group leader in our youth ministry at the age of 82.

I'm fired up. That really gets me going to see that image in my head.

effective web ministry notes: eMinistry Resources :: how to have an effective online ministry

effective web ministry notes writes, "Yesterday DJ at the eQuip ForMinistry blog posted some great eMinistry Resources " check out the list, eministry notes lists them all. I read a number of them regularly and those I don't - I imagine I'll start.

Don't miss Senorialday

Sugar rush

So I came to work this morning and left to do finish my paper route and grab a breakfast burrito.
I did real good yesterday (or so I think). I had a small lunch and an even smaller dinner last night.
Then I cleaned out my garage, drinking a gallon of water at the time and worked out on my new weight bench for 20-30 min.
But I think I just killed all of that.
On the way back to the office I stopped to get a foutain drink and the local store had a deal on 44 ounces, PLUS free skittles or starburst with every fountain drink purchase.
Oh man - sugar rush.
And now I'm really tired. Dang.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

CWF Results

Here are the results from the CWF show at Cliff Temple Baptist in Oak Cliff (Dallas), Wednesday night.
I don't believe a head count was done, but we estimated 18-22 people came to decisions for Christ last night. Praise God!
The youth minister had been praying for many of them for a long time. It was a great crowd, very interractive and excited to be there.

As for the wrestling:
Chris Idol def. The Bishop
Eagle def. Son of Thunder
Tim Storm def. Michael Malick
Six man tag: The Bishop, Michael Malick and The Zealot def. Chris Idol, Eagle and Tim Storm - Bishop made the pin on Idol.

Our next show is June 25th in Rockwall, so we hope to see you there.

Another one off...

My sister flew out of D/FW this morning to go to China for 10 days with Buckner Orphan Care International (BOCI).
Please be in prayer for her. She will return on the 26th of June.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

CWF Tomorrow night

If you're in the Dallas area we'll be back for another show in Oak Cliff...

Come join us...

CWF Event
Cliff Temple Baptist Church 7pm FREE!!!!!!
125 Sunset Ave. Dallas,Tx 75208
Kenny Cheshier 214 942-8601

Susan B Anthony

On June 18, 1873, Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 after she attempts to vote for President.
Personally I think it's high time we should end women's suffrage.
We should vote to repeal the 19th amendment. Anyone with me?

(crickets chirp in the background)

And for all my consultant friends: If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

Weekend Update

With all the "stress" going on yesterday I forgot to post this weekends CWF results.
So here they are:

For Saturday June 11 in Rockwall, Texas
Jonah def Michael Malik
Tim Storm def James Zebedee by DQ
Chris Idol def The Bishop Phillip Barron by DQ
Jesus Freak Rob Vaughn & Michael Malik def Tim Storm and Apoc - loser out for 30 days stipulation (begins June 13) - Jesus Freak and Michael Malik win by DQ

For Sunday June 12 in Rhome, Texas
Tim Storm def Michael Malik
Eagle def James Zebedee
Jonah def The Bishop Phillip Barron
Chris Idol def Shiloh
Shiloh, Jesus Freak and Michael Malik def. Tim Storm, Jonah and Chris Idol - Shiloh makes the pin

But above and beyond all that - we had 13 decisions this weekend! The heavens rejoice. It was so amazing to talk to the kids afterwards and remind them how important their decision was. Scripture says that no one can pluck us from the hand of God. And I loved watching the spark in their eyes as I explained that.
They had their flyer from a CWF show, with the date on it, so they could know for the rest of their life where they would spend eternity.
Praise God.

New song....

One of the guys in my crew published a new song online... (can someone be a part of your crew if they live 2.5 hours away?)
Check it out:
He wrote it right after my sister's death (his future sister-in-law).
Rock on Aaron. Rock on.

Peace thats past understanding

Lord. Thank you for answered prayer. Thank you for peace and knowing that YOU are in control.
I have nothing to fear no matter where I go or where you lead.
Why do say, Jacob (Jonathan), Why do you say, Israel, (America), "The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, My God is not concerned with my vindiction?"
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is an eternal God, the creator of the whole earth. He does not grow tired or weary; there is no limit to His wisdom.
He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.
Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble.
But those who wait for the LORD's help will find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles' wings, they run without getting weary, they walk without getting tired.
"I the LORD officially commission you; I take hold of your hand. I protect you and make you a covenant mediator for your people, and a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to release prisoners from dungeons, those who live in darkness from prisons."
Sing to the LORD a brand new song! Praise Him from the horizon of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, you coastlands adn those who live there!
The LORD emerges like a hero, like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; He shouts, yes, He yells, He shows His enemies His power.
"I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. I will turn the darkness in front of them into light, and level out the rough ground. This is what I will do for them. I will not abandon them."
"Don't be afraid for I will protect you. I will call you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.
For I am the LORD your GOd, the sovereign king of Israel, your deliverer.
Since you are precious and special in my sight, and I love you, I will hand over people in place of you, nations in place of your life.
Don't be afraid, for I am with you. From the east I will bring your descendants; from the west I will gather you."

Monday, June 13, 2005

Lord I don't know

Lord I don't know where all this is going - but lead me to the peace that's past understanding.

So much has happened in the last six months.
My sister Amy has gone home to be with her Lord and Savior.
I've begun training and become an active member in the CWF team.
I've reached the one-year mark in home ownership.
I've resolved to go to Haiti with Hope for the Hungry and trust God with getting me there.
I've actually given some serious thought to moving back to the D/FW area after five years away.
I've sat alone in a room and felt completely content and stood in a large crowd and never felt lonelier.
I've been turned down for two jobs I felt especially qualified for.
I've been body slammed - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I've seen God work in mighty, amazing ways.

And I have no clue where all this is going.

I am an editor of a newspaper.
Member of the Belton Lions Club
Singles Intern at Church (as of today)
President of the UMHB Bell County Alumni Association
Chairman of the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce University Relations Committee
Commish/Ring Announcer for the CWF
Home owner
Cigar Lover

And Lord I have no clue where all this is going.

I want to write a book.
I want to run a radio station.
I want to find new ways to market the Gospel.
I think it would be fun to run a bookstore, bar or restaurant.

I burn the candle at both ends and in the middle, yet I have trouble sleeping without a night cap or sleeping pill.
So many people tell me they're glad I'm the Editor of The Belton Journal.
So many people tell me I should move back to Dallas.

Lord I do't know where all this is going. I don't know where all this is going, but you hold it all in the palm of your hands.
Who am I to question you? Lead me to peace that's past understanding, a place beyond all doubt.

While looking for a new job...

I found this... supposidly its all about me.

Strategic and Creative

With your skills, you could be earning up to $200,000 per year. Find out which jobs match these skills in your personalized Right Job Report.
As a Strategic type, you want to be able to express yourself and your ideas through work. Sure there's a time and place for rules and procedures, but when a good thought strikes you, you don't want it to be boxed into one way of thinking. You're willing to go outside the rules if there's a chance that the risk will reap big rewards.
You are stronger than most when it comes to generating ideas. And because of this, it might sometimes feel easier to take on all aspects of a job yourself instead of wasting time explaining it to someone else who might not "get it" like you do. But because you have so many ideas and are willing to take on so much, you might find that you sometimes have trouble finishing every project you start.
Your diplomacy and adaptability make you a valuable asset. But your need to feel invested in a company that allows you to express your original ways of thinking will ultimately impact how happy you are in the workplace.

The view from a veteran

This is a draft of the story to run in The Belton Journal's 4th of July guide.
Let me know what you think...

The view from a veteran
Jonathan Blundell
Editor- The Belton Journal

When you meet 1st Lt. Francis B. Young, Ret., you’re not likely to learn about Young’s time in the service right away. Like many veterans, Young is not boastful about the eight medals he was awarded, including his Silver Service Star and Bronze Star medals. He doesn’t brag about earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant. But he is proud of his service and the service of those who fought with him.
“I’m not big on medals or accolades,” Young said. “The only award I ever wanted was my combat badge. The others weren’t a big deal. I just got them for doing what I was told to do.”
Like many men his age, Young jumped at the chance to serve his country.
“I remember feeling a sense of duty at the time,” Young said. “I had always grown up around guns and weaponry and that was an attraction, but to be honest, the one-dollar a night pay was another big attraction. That was a lot back then.”
A month before graduating high school in 1937, Young made his way to the Army National Guard office where he met Major G.W. Palette, who talked Young and many of his friends into joining the Guard.
“Almost all of my buddies signed up,” Young said. “I think every member of our football team and baseball team must have signed up. Each one of them felt the duty to serve their country.”
While America was remaining officially neutral in the new European conflict, Young took a job at a local bank for extra money.
As a member of the reserves, Young was promoted to Staff Sergeant and began to make his way up the ranks.
Within several years, and as tensions mounted in Europe and Asia, he was enrolled in Officer Candidates School at Ft. Benning, Ga.
He graduated from OCS as 2nd Lieutenant and member of the 3rd Inf. Div., 7th Regiment, I Company. He shortly moved to an anti-tank company in California. As he graduated, Young saw his chances of missing the battlefront diminish.
“We were moved to Camp Pickett, Va. two months after OCS school and we knew we’d be heading overseas shortly,” Young said.
In October of 1942, Young and the rest of the 3rd ID, landed in North Africa, 50 miles north of Casablanca, in Rabat, Morocco. The troops came ashore quickly, leading Operation Torch which captured nearly half the country.
“We knew we were going to fight the French,” Young said. “But within two weeks we had defeated them and started fighting the French Legion. After conquering them, we thought the war was over and we’d get to go home. But this was only the beginning.”
Unfortunately for Young and the rest of his regiment, the German Army sank their transports at sea, shortly after their landing in North Africa. The USS Tasker H. Bliss, USS Hugh L. Scott and USS Edward Rutledge each sank off the cost of Fedhala, Morocco.
“We were left with nothing after the German’s sank our ships,” Young said. “All we had left was the clothes on our backs and anything we had brought a shore with us.”
While he was in North Africa, Young had the opportunity to meet Maj. Gen. George Patton, who had command of the 1st U.S. Armored Corps at the time.
“The officers were all called in to meet this new general,” Young said. “The first thing that we noticed was his unusually high pitched voice, his two shiny pistols and shiny boots. We didn’t think much of him at all. He was a no body as far as we were concerned. But we learned to respect him and he ended up liking him in the end. It was our blood and his guts the whole rest of the war.”
After battling the French in Morocco, the 3rd ID headed across northern Africa where they began fighting Erwin Rommel’s German troops.
“We were coming from the west and the British were coming from the east,” Young said. “Rommel then retreated to the south. I think he found he was no real match for both forces combined. At one point we had 150,000 German Prisoners of War captured and held behind barbed wire. With Rommel retreating, we were sure the war would be over and we’d get to go home, but we were wrong again.”
The 3rd ID then headed north to land on the southern coast of Sicily, in July 1943.
“We fought Germans and Italians all the way across Sicily,” Young said. “We captured Messina and again we were shocked by the number of POW’s. At one point I had 100 Italian soldiers surrender to me. I had no clue what to do. I just turned them over and they were shipped off somewhere else.”
As the troops marched across Sicily, the 3rd ID they conquered Messina and soon headed for the Italian mainland.
After Sicily and Messina, the 3rd ID landed at Salerno, Italy and began their attack across Italy.
Then, shortly after landing in Italy, they were ordered to hit the beaches of Anzio
On Jan. 22, 1944, the 3rd ID landed at Anzio, Italy and fought for four months against German counterattacks.
The 3rd ID landed approximately 6 kilometers from Anzio.
Although resistance had been expected, as seen at Salerno during 1943, the initial landings were essentially unopposed, with the exception of Luftwaffe strafing runs.
By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches.
Thirteen Allied troops were killed, and 97 wounded; about 200 Germans had been taken as POWs.
The 1st Division penetrated 3 km inland, the Rangers captured Anzio’s port, the 509th PIB captured Nettuno, and the 3rd Division penetrated 5 km inland.
“We landed on Anzio with limited supplies and rations,” Young said. “We didn’t have much, but luckily there was little opposition to our landing, but then the Germans pulled troops from everywhere to Anzio to stop us.”
Kesselring, the German commander, was informed of the landings at 3 a.m., on January 22. At 5 a.m. he ordered the 4th Fallschirmjäger and replacement units of the Hermann Göring Division to defend the roads leading from Anzio to the Alban Hills.
He also requested that OKW send reinforcements from France, Yugoslavia, and Germany.
Later that morning he would order Generaloberst Eberhard von Mackensenand Gen. von Vietinghoff to send him additional reinforcements.
The German units in the immediate vicinity had in fact been dispatched to reinforce the Gustav Line only a few days earlier.
All available reserves from the southern front or on their way to it were rushed toward Anzio; these included the 3rd Panzer Grenadier and 71st Infantry Divisions, and the bulk of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division.
Kesselring initially considered that a successful defense could not be made if the Allies launched a major attack on the following days. However by the end of landing day the lack of aggressive action convinced him that a defense could be made.
Fourteenth Army, commanded by Gen. von Mackensen, assumed control of the defense on January 25.
Elements of eight German divisions were employed in the defense line around the beachhead, and five more divisions were on their way to the Anzio area.
Kesselring ordered an attack on the beachhead for January 28, though it was postponed to February 1.
Lucas initiated a 2-pronged attack on January 30. While one force cut Highway 7 at Cisterna before moving east into the Alban Hills, a second was to advance northeast up the Albano Road.
The 3rd ID was eventually pulled back into the mountains during the dead of winter. It was there that Young battled his second fight with frostbite.
“My feat were frozen,” Young said. “There was no doubt about it. We still only had the clothes on our backs and they weren’t doing much to keep us warm. I did my best to warm them up, but a medic told me not to rub them and to layer them with anything I had. It was hard to keep your feet warm when you were lying in a foxhole all day without much else to warm you but the sun.”
After defeating the Germans at Anzio, a call was made for officers to return home for further training.
Young was selected to return to the states and ended up at a small base in central Texas, Camp Hood.
“I had never heard of Camp Hood and had no idea where it was,” Young said. “But I remember it being miserable in the middle of the summer, with dirt roads and no A/C.”
Young had spent 17 months overseas and even Camp Hood was a nice change for the battle weary soldier.
“After just a few months I was placed in Infantry Replacement Training and headed to Camp Livingston, La.,” Young said. “The paperwork was in for me to be promoted to Captain, but the army put a freeze on promotions. I had been promoted to 1st Lieutenant overseas and they made me company commander at Camp Livingston.”
Young was then given command of 450 troops to train them all for combat.
“I had three weeks to train these soldiers,” Young said. “We worked and worked, and then at the end of the three weeks they moved us all to Fort Mead, Maryland.”
After a short stay in Maryland, Young was transferred back to Camp Hood, where he discovered a new law had been passed that would allow him to get out of the army.
“With the freeze on promotions, I was ready to get out,” Young said. “So I went to headquarters and met a 1st Lieutenant who would change my life.”
The 1st Lieutenant was Martha Bately, a dietician at the camp’s hospital.
“She got to be a great habit,” Young said. “Everything I asked her to do, she would do. We went to boxing matches, wrestling matches and we’d go to Austin to watch football. We had a blast with the little we had.”
In the fall of 1945, Young’s paperwork was finally completed and he left the army.
He was offered a scholarship to play football and baseball at Washington-Lee University and he headed back to Virginia for a semester of school.
“Washington-Lee wanted me to play football, so I took them up on their offer,” Young said. “But the day after I signed, Duke University also made an offer. I was really disappointed I didn’t wait another day.”
Young’s “favorite habit” followed him to Virginia and the two were married soon after.
The two remained faithfully married till Martha’s death in 1996.
After leaving university life, Young accepted a job at a furniture in Charlotte, NC and began a family of his own.
“As I look back on things -- I’m proud of what I accomplished,” Young said. “I’m still alive at 85. I escaped the war without being wounded -- even after five landings.”
As Young looks to the 4th of July, many feelings rush over him.
“The 4th of July means a lot to me,” Young said. “As a child, it was the day I knew I could spend all day fishing with my dad. He didn’t have to work and we’d go fishing all day long. And the 4th of July reminds me of the freedoms my buddies and I fought to protect.”
Young said that he’s bothered by the lack of respect veterans get today.
“I remember so many parades we were sick of them,” Young said about his return home. “But there was a different feeling about America, patriotism and our troops. I have people who want to shake my hand from time to time, when they find out I’m a veteran, but the overall respect is gone. WWII changed a lot of things and the soldiers didn’t go to war for anything less than patriotism. With 9/11 people don’t understand exactly what happened and everything that went on. And there’s not as much respect and admiration for our soldiers fighting overseas.”
But for Young, it was never about respect or honor for him or his buddies, it was about serving the country they loved.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Please pray for me today. I have several major decisions I need to make today bt 5 p.m.
I am fasting today and seeking God's guidance.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We do web page design

Yesterday many of the blogs I read were pointing back to post called: Church web designers - Stop Working For Free. I thought it had many great points, as did those who commented on it.
But today I saw an interesting add in one of our local papers (a competitor of my paper, mind you).
The ad copy follows:
Sales, Service, Build, Repair, Upgrade, Software.

The address and phone number are listed below this.
Does anyone else catch the problem here.
A guy is advertising that he designs web pages and yet he doesn't appear to know the difference between an email address and web page.
That really makes me doubt his experience. Now granted, maybe the paper made the mistake, but I'd demand a free run for sure if that was the case.
Now, I'd like to rip on his website too, but I know that I've been so caught up in building websites for paying customers, that quality and update of mine has slipped before. If you look at the website for The Belton Journal you'll see that we haven't updated the page in a couple months at least. Sure there are extenuating circumstances. We don't have the man power to keep a web page updated without any revenue from it. But what does that say about our paper, when we're still showing old news on our most public front we have?
But it reminds us that if you want people to believe you when you say you know your craft, make sure you do your best on all fronts.
I'm not going to be to interested in hiring a landscaping guy that hasn't mowed his own lawn in three weeks.
And if you throw a web page together in five minutes and try to convince me you know what you're doing, you better have a dang good website built in five minutes.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This just in...

Just recieved this email from Kathryn's mom:
Hey Jonathan: Hope you're doing well. We sent Katya (Kathryn's Russian name) off to Russia today, with mixed emotions. She arrived safely in Washington this evening and then was on her way to Germany. She should arrive in Russia by tomorrow at 1:40 p.m.
- Janet Shindoll

Times Up

Oh snikies! Its press time and I haven’t finished my column yet.
What happened?
I remember at least trying to write a column this week, I think.
What could have happened? I’m not even sure why I write this column anyways. I feel like an old preacher who has three sermons he gives year round. Over and over again, hoping someone catches on.
But what happened this week? Why did I procrastinate so much?
According to Wikipedi, procrastination is the deferment or putting-off of an action or task, usually by focusing on some other distraction.
I’m not easily distracted am I?
Maybe I could find an old blog entry and run it here. Or better yet, find someone who’s a better writer, run their blog entry and then once you think I’m a super writer, I can tag the end with one of those silly MLA style citations.
No. Stay focused. Try and remember why you don’t have your column written.
I know I sat down with my laptop Sunday afternoon. I vaguely remember typing something about how big my God is. Because the bigger your God is, the smaller your problems are. And the bigger your problems are, the smaller your God is.
Wait, I remember what happened now.
I kept deleting it because all I was doing was re-hashing that morning’s sermon.
Ok, so that column idea was a wash.
Sunday night I remember – I planned on trying again, but I ended up playing 10-9-8 at my neighbor’s house.
And for the record – I did maintain the highest score throughout the majority of the evening. Yet for some reason, they said I came in dead last. I guess I’ll have to look into that.
After 10-9-8 I remember coming home and sitting in my living room and “getting my praise on” with Chris Tomlin.
Yet before I knew it, morning had arrived and I headed back to the office.
Now I’m pretty sure I tried typing something that morning.
I do remember staring at a blank screen for a long time.
Oh yes. I almost finished two columns Monday morning. But both times I hit a writers block and decided no one would be interested in my weekend trip, tubing on the Guadalupe River.
Somewhere along the way I remember being caught up in the blogosphere.
Everyone was blogging about Apple Computer’s announcement to start fitting their computers with Intel processors, replacing the IBM chips that have run the machines forever.
I think I may have enjoyed a #2 from Crow’s about that time as well.
That should have inspired a column in-and-of-itself, because it doesn’t get much better than that. But I guess food on the brain and a full tummy just made me put writing off even more.
Monday evening I spent my time trying out a new Thai Shrimp recipe from H-E-B and then enjoyed a quiet evening on my porch with my two dogs.
Maybe if I had more time during the day, I would have written a column by now.
Isn’t that ultimately the problem? Its not a matter of time management is it?
Around 10:30 p.m., my “sister” Kathryn Shindoll called and we talked about her trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
I was so fired up about her going and the opportunity she’ll have, as she leads 11 interns to work in orphanages there, that I completely forgot about writing my column for whatever little time I had left before I fell asleep.
All I could think about was how badly I wanted to take a trip on my own and how I needed to start talking to Rebecca O’Banion about a trip to Haiti.
I was fired up. It felt like the end of a CWF show. One of those shows when we know God inhabits the praises of his people and works in ways we’ll never know or understand. Awesome.
Well, that brings me to Tuesday -- one day before press time.
Surely I wrote something -- somewhere.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m.
Showered, changed and read Isaiah 40-44. I think reading those chapters may have changed my life – I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
In fact, I was so inspired that I did write something that morning. I had to re-write one of the verses in my Bible.
I marked through “Jacob” and “Israel” in Isaiah 40:27-28 and replaced it with my name and America.

Why do you say, O Jacob (Jonathan), and complain, O Israel (America), "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

I was fired up after reading these chapters. I mean seriously. Do you realize how big God is?

Isaiah says, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Isaiah also writes, “God measures the heavens with the span of His hand.”
Any idea how big the heavens are?
Our sun is roughly 150 million kilometers from the earth. If we traveled at the speed of light, 300,000 kilometers per second, it would take us eight minutes and 20 seconds to get to the surface of the sun.
On average, Pluto, is 6 billion kilometers from the sun, depending on where it is in its orbit. That puts Pluto 5.85 billion kilometers away from Earth. At the speed of light, it would take us roughly 325 minutes, or 5.4 hours to reach the furthest planet in our solar system.
Yet our solar system is only one in our galaxy, which scientists say is 130,000 light years in diameter. It would take us 130,000 years, traveling at the speed of light to travel from one side of our galaxy to the other.
Is anyone else getting this? Oh wait. I’ve started re-hashing Sunday morning’s message haven’t I
Sorry about that.
On to the business at hand.
Oh no! Times up. Looks like I put off writing my column for too long.
We have to send the paper to press.
So, I guess this is it for me. No time to type anything else.
Maybe next week I’ll plan ahead better. But then where’s the fun in that.
See you next week.

HEB Update

So I'm sure all of you are wondering how my experience with the HEB Meal Planner went.
So far - so good. It took me roughly 15 minutes to print all the recipes, meals and shopping list to the sizes I wanted (for storing in my cookbook).
I spent between 30 and 45 minutes shopping, which could have been shortened had I known the store better. And limited the number of trips to one side of the store before returning to the other side.
I spent $61.34, at HEB, on the entire weeks menu. Now that doesn't include most of the meat products. I either had the meat at home or substituted one type for another (i.e. ground venison for ground turkey, etc.). I also purchased extras of some items that I knew I'd use more of on snacks or other meals.
I wonder if the store plans the meals to fit a certain price range or not. It will be interesting to track.
Wal-Mart or IGA may be priced differently as well. I bought store brands were possible - not because of price as much as I wanted to have plenty of store brand items to enter HEB's 100th Anniversary game.
I spent roughly 20-30 minutes on preparing last nights meal - which was fabulous.
I probably made roughly three servings worth, but that gave me plenty for dinner and lunch today.
I'm not super good at following recipes. I know how and I can, but when cooking a meal if it calls for mushrooms or shrimp, or something else I enjoy, I tend to just go with the flow and add more of the things I like.
Because of the shrimp, mushrooms and pre-seasoned rice in last nights meal, I figured the meal probably cost me around $10. Which isn't too bad considering I made two meals out of that -- and the vegetables and other ingredients weren't all used and will be used later.
Another thing I've enjoyed about the menu planner is I know exactly what I'm having for dinner that night. And if I forget - I can easily pull it up off the website.
tonight's menu: Breaded Chicken Marinara sandwiches, Tossed Dinner Salad and desert.
But if anyone knows me - the desert will probably get left off. I'm not a big fan of buying deserts unless I have the priviledge of a lovely lady joining me for dinner.
Any takers?
Oh and one more great feature on the HEB website.
You can now upload your digital camera photos straight from your hard drive to your local store. If you turn them in by 9 p.m. they say they will be ready by the next day. I uploaded 25 photos today, all but two of them were 4x6 and the other two were 8x11. It only cost me $10 or so. That's about the same as what I was paying with, but I can pick the pictures up the next day, rather than waiting and paying for shipping.
We'll see tomorrow if the quality is the same.
Well I think that's about it for this update. Time to wrap up the paper so I can go home and enjoy dinner.

Back in the USSR

My sister, Kathryn Shindoll, is embarking on a two month trip to Russia, beginning today. I've started a blog for her, Back in the USSR, so everyone can keep track of her trip and pray for her struggles and praise God in her victories.
Keep checking in for her latest updates.

New Lenovo Tablet PC shows why Steve Jobs is switching to Intel

Scobleizer writes that he thinks the new LenovoThinkpad T41 Tablet PC has a lot to do with Apple's change to Intel Chips.
Maybe he's right. He usually is.
Anyone know where I can get a "press demo" of that Tablet?

HHH & JBL vs Cena and Batista

According to the Wrestling News:

WWE announced on Friday an interesting main event for the 7/11 Raw at the Continental Airlines Arena in NJ.
WWE is advertising Triple H & JBL teaming up against John Cena & Batista. I haven't sat down to confirm it. But will this be the first Raw following the draft and trades? I believe it could be. Interesting that they are ignoring the roster split AFTER the draft. Nevertheless, it should be an interesting main event - if it goes down.

Cena was the first draft pick for the month long WWE draft.
As the Smackdown Champion, it will be interesting to see how they develop their storylines from this.
It could mean Batista will go to Smackdown. Or, if this is how they're advertising their 7/11 show, I predict an invasion of Raw talent to Smackdown or vice-versa and hopefully a unification of the belt again.
Granted - it could all change at any moment - as it has before.


Michael Robinson sent me this link: We Aren't Monkeys, about an upset waitress.
Ever stop and think while you're in a restaurant, that there might be other people there needing help too?
Sunday after church we visited a local restaurant where only two ladies were waiting tables.
I felt sorry for the two ladies who were definitly working their tail off to make sure everyone had everything.
Sure, it was annoying to have to wait a while to get a menu and my water and what not, but you can only expect two waitresses to do so much.
But I've been in places and seen ridiculous demands put on wait staff.
And unfortunately the friends I have that wait tables or have waited tables always tell me how much they hate the Sunday crowd.
They all say its the worst time to wait tables.
The church crowd is more demanding, less merciful, complains that the wait staff is working on a Sunday and not worshipping with them -- and they're usually the worst tippers.
And then they want to leave a tract to tell the wait staff how much God loves them.
That makes me want to join a church right away.

And they will know that we are Christians by our tips.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The perfect bachelor tool

I just found the perfect bachelor tool on HEB's website. AWESOME!
I went looking for a meal idea for tonight and they have a pre-planned menu for each week on their site.
You can click on the items and pull up a recipe. Then scale the menu for how many servings you want to fix.
Personally I'm going to try two servings. One for dinner and one for lunch the next day. Granted - that's if I only eat one serving for dinner.
Once you have the recipe scaled to the number of servings you want, you can either print out a 3x5 size card, a 4x6 size card or a full page recipe. Personally I'm going with a 4x6 to fit in the handy recipe book my sister Amy made me for Christmas a few years back (another perfect gift for your favorite bachelor).
And then above and beyond that - you can print out a shopping list with everything you need to make that weeks menu on it.
Now I only need a nutritionist to let me in on how healthy I'm really eating.
Some of the recipes have nutritional information and some don't.
But this is a tool everyone should know about. Use it and have fun. I'm about to go do my shopping for the week and I'll try the Thai Curried Shrimp with Mushrooms tonight.


It's a couple days late - but this month's WordIt is: majesty

Here's my first go at it: Everest, Creation, Milky Way, Scripture, Enthroned, Velvet, Craftsman, Might, Power

Apple talk continues

The buzz continues, Wired magazine talked to developers at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2005 to get their opinion on today's announcement.
Everyone seems to be supportive.
I hope that it means I can actually find quality support for my Mac computers.
Working in an all Mac office I end up being tech support anytime anything goes wrong with hardware or software.
There's no real tech support for Macs, but maybe with a common processor and architecture, this will ease my worries and troubles.
My friend at Microsoft says he believes that this will help lower the price of Macs for sure.
And if that's the case, I'm sure Mac users everywhere will be ecstatic.

Titans tight end Kinney fights fires

USA Today has a feature Sports article on Erron Kinney today.
After rescuing a fellow firefighter from a building, Kenney said, "For everybody else looking in, they say it was life-threatening. But I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do. That is what you do. If you have a fireman go down, you have to get him out. It's not like you have choices." Then he shrugs and adds, "The funny thing is, the most I've ever done since then is rescue a cat."
"You cannot be half of a firefighter," Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher said. "You either are, or you're not. ... Erron's going to do everything he can to the best of his ability. If it requires him to make tough decisions in an effort to save somebody's life, I'm sure he'll make the right decision."
So there are no concerns about Kinney's other career?
Well, Fisher says, smiling knowingly, "Sometimes what's difficult is when Erron will come in in the morning for a workout, smelling of smoke, and you know he's been up all night."

Here's to all our public servants with a passion for helping others.

Apple shifts to Intel

Scobleizer and many others have been blogging on this all day, but CNN just confirmed that Apple computers will make a major shift in their processors by 2007.
The company will start fitting all their machines with Intel processors instead of the IBM chips they have used for years.
No one really knows the implications of this decision yet, but for me its a big "I told you so," to all my Apple-a-holics.
If Apple's run so much better and work so much better than PC's, why would they need to change to Intel processors that have been running PC's for so many years.
Who knows what the future holds? But either way, it could be bad news for IBM.

Have it your way - no more?

Some of you may recall my rant Have it Your Way a few weeks back.
As an update, our paper just received word that the franchise is filing for bankruptcy.
I wonder how many other people were having trouble Having it Their Way?
There have been a number of businesses come and go in Belton as of late.
This particular burger stop has been open for 2 or 3 years. It's in a prime location along I-35, yet the business apparently hasn't done to well.
Another restaurant nearby has had troubles as of late as well.
Yet other businesses seem to strive.
Two tire shops closed down in Belton within the last 18 months.
Both blamed the local economy and a lack of support.
Yet, when talking with the owner of the store that moved into one location -- he said he wouldn't sell his property for double what he paid for it.
He said he couldn't be happier with the business, location and response from the community.
It just goes to show how far customer service really goes.
I only shopped at the two former tire shops once. With the poor service I received I had no desire to go back.
Why waste my time and money when I can get better service and prices elsewhere.
Marketing and advertising have a lot to do with your business - but after that, its up to your customer service to keep the customers coming back.

Writers block

I'm having a rough time hacking out my column this week. I'm not sure what's up, but I'm experiencing some writers block.
So, I'll post the couple angles I've started with and see if anyone has any ideas. I've been trying to write about my trip this weekend on the Guadalupe - but I keep coming to a stand still. So here it is - dry and boring.

This weekend my buddies and I took off on a real spontaneous American adventure.
Now granted, normally the things we do aren’t real adventures, but for some reason things always happen with our bad luck that make them adventures.
And something as simple as floating down a river in a tube can become an adventure for us.
We started the day off planning to leave between 8 and 8:30 a.m.
We left my house on time and headed to the local grocery store to buy provisions for the trip.
We called our “lost” companion and realized she had not woken up until 8 and was still lying in bed.
Strike 1.
After our trip to the grocer, we loaded up on our daily dose of breakfast burritos to satisfy our hunger through most of the trip.
We then filled our vehicle with gas and called our “lost” companion again. I think she was just getting into the shower – thirty-minutes or so after we called the first time.
Strike 2.
We returned to my house to wait for her arrival.
Around 9:30 a.m. our companion finally arrived.
Foul ball, down the third base line.
As we headed out of Belton we cranked up a homerun of a song – “Real American,” Hulk Hogan’s theme song.
Homerun to left field (hence the previous sentence).
As some of you, lucky enough to travel I-35 this weekend, you may have noticed the Harley Convention was going on in Austin this weekend.
While traveling I-35 can often be hazardous to one’s health, watching one of the state’s main arteries thicken with Harley Davidson’s is nothing but enjoyable to my friends and I.
Single to right field.
With AC/DC and a very odd mix of rock and metal booming over the car stereo the two hour trip to New Braunfels flew by.
Another single to right field.
Runners are now on first and second.

With Memorial Day just past, Flag Day coming next week and the 4th of July just around the corner, I was glad to spend my time Saturday partaking in a Great American Pastime.
Now I’m sure many are thinking baseball or softball on one of Belton’s great fields, but we actually headed south to New Braunfels for our adventure.
With a 2-hour drive south, we joined several thousand others as we braved the chilled waters of the Guadalupe in search of fun, sun and relaxation.
And I’m pretty sure we all found it.
It’s not often that you can find a large diverse group of people, age, race and creed – and everyone is so interested in a common goal that things normally divisive is ignored.
Now, granted it may have been the large amounts of hops and barley people were consuming that made people so care-free, but I was impressed to see everyone enjoying each other’s company and having a great time.
I saw seniors, baby-boomers, twentysomethings, highschoolers, pre-teens, pre-pre-teens and everyone in between helping each other down the river, laughing and having a great time.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Christian Wrestling Schedule

People keep asking me... "Well when is your next CWF show?"
I keep pointing them to the website: but apparently -- no one follows through, so here's our upcoming schedule. Hope to see you there.
June 11
FREE. 7pm. 331 County Line Rd. Rockwall,Tx. 75087. 214 460-0477.
June 12
Chisholm Trail Baptist Church
300 Chisholm Creek Pkwy. Rhome,Tx 76078 817 638-2574. 6pm.
June 15
CWF Event
Cliff Temple Baptist Church 7pm FREE!!!!!! 125 Sunset Ave. Dallas,Tx 75208 Kenny Cheshier 214 942-8601
June 25
FREE. 7pm. 331 County Line Rd. Rockwall,Tx. 75087. 214 460-0477.
July 3 - 4
6PM. Each Night. Crosby,Tx. July 4th Fireworks display after the event.
July 9
FREE. 7pm. 331 County Line Rd. Rockwall,Tx 75087. 214 460-0477.
July 22
The Extreme Tour
Oklahoma City,OK
July 23
FREE. 7PM. 331 County Line Rd. Rockwall,Tx. 75087. 214 460-0577.
July 24
The Extreme Tour
July 27
The Extreme Tour
San Angelo,TX
August 13
New Life Worship Center
6pm. 4520 A Old Troup Hwy Tyler,Tx 75707 903 565-5472.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Here's more randomness

This is another project someone wrote, using Google's technology.
It gives a random list of events that happened on a particular day.
Here's what happened on my birthday:
On february 24 1979, the following events occured:
Third-Party Defendant Co repudiated his signature appearing on Exhibit "4" Oriental for the reason that he could not have been in Manila them in as much as he had left on February 14, 1979 and returned only on February 24, 1979 . This Court therefore finds Third-Party defendant Co not bound by the Deed of Indemnity, he not having signed it . [source]
that petitioner Alfonso Gabaldon Co was out of the country on February 15, 1979, having left the Philippines for Taiwan on February 14, 1979, and returning only on February 24, 1979, the lower court ruled that petitioner Alfonso Gabaldon Co could not have signed the Deed of Indemnity on February 15, 1979. [source]
This is a photo of my wife's mother, Lona McKinney Bayes. She was born on April 30, 1919; and died on February 24, 1979 . [source]

Well I guess I'll go do my paper route and go see if the internet's working at my house yet.
Sad thing about borrowing Wi-Fi from your neighbors - it all depends on if they have their system on.
Which apparently they decided to turn off today for some really odd reason.


What states have you been to?

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I'm feeling really lonely today. Not too sure why. I feel like everyone's pulling me in different directions and I don't really want to go towards any of them. I was told I was a smart ass today.
Maybe they're right. I don't mean to be -- if I am.
But I know I used to be one with my mom. Dang -- I'm a jerk.
So, tomorrow starts a new day. A new chance to change and be changed. And we'll see where tomorrow takes me.