Monday, December 08, 2008

Toy Hauler from 1938

I was watching some Mickey cartoons with the girls this morning and was surprised to see a "toy hauler" travel trailer from "Mickey's Trailer," made in 1938.



Friday, December 05, 2008

Keirsey Personality Test

My sister sent me this personality test because she was curious what the results would point towards.

I think that these type of tests aren't impressive because they teach us anything new about ourselves, but it is amazing to take a quiz involving 50 questions or so, and to then be surprised with how well the descriptions match who we really are, (or at least who we see ourselves as).

So here's what I reconfirmed about myself:

Idealists share the following core characteristics:

* Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
* Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
* Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
* Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

Sounds like a pretty accurate description of how I would describe myself. Take the test for yourself, and see if it matches up with what you see in the mirror.

Funny stuff.

I wish I had that much creativity, but I'm pretty sure that Amber is glad that I don't.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Favorite New App

If you have friends outside of your own city, (or more specifically "longitude"), I've found a great application for thinking about them throughout the day:

EarthDesk is available for mac or pc, and replaces your desktop wallpaper, with a satellite image from space in real time. You can watch the sun and moon rise and set over the entire planet. Seeing where it is dark, where lights are on, what the cloud cover looks like, and where the sun is shining.

It's been awesome to open my computer and see how far along my brother's day is in Philadelphia, whether or not the Kingsley's are sleeping in Ireland, and I get to think about whether the Rhodes are going to sleep, or waking up.

It helps me to be more globally aware, knowing that my life represents just one perspective among many.

The trial version is free, and places a watermark in the center of you map, and it costs $24 to buy the offical version.

(The sun is about to go down in Philly)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kevin's Spoken Word

Since Mike DeVries spoke at Hume, I haven't really been excited about any of our speakers, but this summer I was deeply impacted by one of the speakers, not the hired speaker, but by one of the staff.

As worship ended, the lights on the stage went dark, and a spotlight came on a single person who performed a poem that he wrote a year earlier. It was one of the coolest things I have seen at Hume. I would be so up for going to Hume for a week of camp where the evening messages were three minute spoken word performances, or that made use of other mediums besides 45+ minute didactic monologues.

While at camp I told Kevin and Rich how much I appreciated him sharing his poem(s) with us, and in October I received a DVD in the mail with both of Kevin's "performances" on it.

Now through the blogosphere I've been able to keep in contact with Kevin, and recently got his approval to post them on YouTube.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

I've seen this posted on a lot of friends' blogs, but just in case you haven't seen it here it is:

It's a video for the Advent Conspiracy, and I love how it emphasizes Christmas presence over Christmas presents.

This is the first Christmas that we are really focusing on presence over presents, and I am really excited about it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This Made Me Cry Tonight

Maybe it's just recovering from an 8 hour drive home towing about 13,000 lbs, but this made me cry when I read it tonight:

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

You can read the whole story here, and you can read more about how:

He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.

"They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.

"They took me down, too ... I didn't know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back," Overby said.

This is so insane...and sad.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Weird to see one of my old classrooms looking like this:

I think I took at least 10 classes in this room.

For more info click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recessive Gene Genie

With Christmas time rapidly approaching, the season of pictures of the blond haired, blue eyed baby Jesus are back, or as many refer to him, recessive gene Jesus.

Today Aspen and Sage were wearing their princess Jasmine outfits, and it reminded me of Ojai Local, Larry Hagman's show, I Dream of Jeannie. Which got me thinking...Why was Jeannie, the major's genie in a bottle, Caucasian? And was she in fact Caucasian, or like the "dear sweet baby Jesus," was she a Middle Easterner who just happened to not inherit any of her people's dominant traits?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Inspirational Posters

Do these things really work?

First Think
Second Believe
Third Dream
Finally Dare

The most important part of Attitude is U
(Thanks Garfield)

We can only see with open eyes
We can only listen with open ears.
We can only think with open minds.

(Man silhouetted by a sunset)

You never know how much you CAN do until you TRY.

To be a winner, give all you've got. (Girl kicking a soccer ball)

Take your best shot. (Girl holding a basketball)

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't make them ALL yourself.
(Oh, what a cute polar bear slipping on the ice...didn't he see the sign that said "Watch for ICE"?)

Be Yourself! (Giraffe among zebras)

Never let
(Locker room with a Notre Dame Player, maybe it's Jimmie Clauson)

If you want to be happy for an hour
If you want to be happy for a day,
If you want to be happy for a lifetime,

The problem
when solved
will be simple.

Those were the signs hung in the classroom I subbed in today. And so far, I don't have much confidence in them. I saw kids with piss poor attitudes, I say lots of kids give up and quit trying on their test. Very few of them were trying to be unique, and I have a hard time believing that most of them were giving it all they had.

It's not just the over simplified inspirations either. The graphics themselves are so trite and cliched, that they mock themselves for lacking any creativity whatsoever.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe they inspire left and right. Personally, I like these better:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


So, November is a fantastic month:

Cooler weather
My sister's birthday
Presidential Election
Dumont Dunes for Thanksgiving
No Shave November

UPDATE: Yeah...well, I made it about 10 days. Then the comments about how I looked tired, and like I just got out of bed got to me. One person even said, "Look, you have bald patches like me."
I wasn't feeling it, so I shaved the parts that don't grow very well. We will see how long I can handle the mustache.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Worst Job in America?

I doubt many of the readers of my blog frequent "the Onion," so I thought that I should post this "story" for you:

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job

November 5, 2008 | Issue 44•45

WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."

Monday, November 03, 2008

I WAS looking forward to going to the zoo.

First, my day with the girls riding little dirtbikes at Simon's gets rained out, and now it looks like some crazy guy might ruin our planned zoo day.

From Santa Barbara Independent:
A man in Army fatigues with a handgun has caused quite the commotion for morning commuters, as Santa Barbara police are attempting to coax him off the La Cumbre Street overpass Monday morning.

According to Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte, just after 7 a.m. police received a call of a suspicious man in the area, and responded to find the suspect waving an American flag and armed with the handgun.

La Cumbre from Modoc through the other side of the freeway has been shut down, as has Highway 101 in both directions, causing quite the backup during rush hour traffic.

The CHP is reporting several vehicles trying to exit Highway via the onramp at Turnpike, while traffic going the opposite direction is reportedly backed up to Montecito. A S.W.A.T team has been brought in to negotiate.

After dropping his weapon, Van Tassel asked for a Barack Obama campaign sign, which authorities delivered to him using a bomb squad robot, police said. The man attached the sign and the flag to the overpass and later walked backward to officers, who took him into custody.


Re: Naps

I'm a huge advocate of naps. While I realize that naps are a luxury, and that for many they are impossible, for those of us who do much of our work from 7-10pm, they aren't always optional.

Given my affinity for naps, it was nice to see a story on the front page of Digg today about the benefits of naps.

The study states:

For years naps have gotten a bad rap, derided as a sign of laziness, weakness, or senility... ...but lately napping has garnered new respect, thanks to solid scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health. A slew of new studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood, and productivity in the later hours of the day.

Hooray for naps!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My daily reads

Just in case anyone feels that their "blog reader" isn't delivering, and wants something more to read, here are some of the blogs that I subscribe to:

Awakening: Pastor Mike Devries blog, it's occasionally about his kids' soccer games, but usually is very thoughtful. He often blogs on recent Christian research.

Tony Jones: Author and ex-president of Emergent Village.

ACRYLICK: Urban clothing company with a positive message.

Another Ragamuffin
: Michaela's

Courageous COWARDism
: a friend of Shane Claibourne, who wasn't permitted to return to Iraq after he told his superiors that he didn't want to carry a gun anymore.

D+K got married: Darren and Kate's

Don Miller: Author

Finding Rythm: Very interesting blog by the Chrsitian drummer of the secular band, "Jimmy Eat World" (he's a bit on the liberal side of politics).

Gray Aria: Infrequent blog of Hailey Kingsley

Hodge Lodge Blog: Christine's

Hypermiling, Fuel Economy: Exactly what it sounds like

Improv Everywhere
: Performance Art from New York

Jesus Creed: Author Scott McKnight (at times he blogs up to 10 new posts a day)

Kahit Na Ano
: My friend Angel's blog. He usually has fun self-assignments like, taking a picture everyday that represents a song.

Kingsley Clan
: Matt Kingsley

Miss Cory Coffey: hmmm

My Nursery: Amber's

No Numbers & Co: another urban/lifestyle clothing company.

Once Upon a Time is Now
: Gina's

PhotoshopDisasters: A blogsite that makes fun of botched photoshop jobs, (warning: sometimes racy).

So Today...: Alexa's

TallSkinnyKiwi: the UK's #1 Christian blogger

The Ranch House Report: Hume Lake's blog

Urban Prankster: Performance art from cities all over the world

WebUrbanist: Really cool stuff

Wooster Collective: Street Art

Wresting:with:truth: My friend from Hume, Drew's, blogsite

Wow! Are you kidding me?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bucket List

No, not the movie, haven't seen it, but 10 years ago, (on April 27th, 1998 to be exact), I wrote my bucket list, and I came across it while cleaning out the barn last week. It was fun to see the things that I wanted to do as an 18 year old, the things that I have already accomplished, and the things that don't mean anything to me anymore.

Here's the list of my 18 year old self:

1. See a "green ray" *I haven't seen a green flash yet, but I have seen a mock-mirage flash in Redondo Beach.

2. Visit the Holy Lands
*Yup, twice, and I can't wait to go back.

3. Go bar hopping in Boston
*I could have for Darren's bachelor party, but chose Pismo with Billy instead, (I think I made a good choice).

4. Visit a South Pacific island
*Not yet

5. Learn to play the lead to "Free Bird"
*I've learned part of it.

6. Drive over 200mph
*This one is going to be tough, I might have to sign up for a stock car day at Irwindale or Vegas...still not sure if they'll pass the 200 mph mark though.

7. Get a tattoo
*8 more months...maybe.

8. Get married

9. Have kids

10. Own a lab
*Although I don't claim her often, Jasmine counts.

11. Go duck hunting (with my lab)
*I've shot one bird in my life, cleaning it made me never want to do it again.

12. Learn Hebrew
*I've taken Hebrew, and I have the books to use it as a tool. My Greek is better, and although it would be sweet to take a pill that would make me fluent, I don't see myself ever being a Hebrew scholar.

13. Learn how to be alone
*Definitely! I never would have seen it coming, but having kids helped me learn how to be alone.

14. Learn to play the cello

15. Visit Liverpool
*London, but not Liverpool.

16. Learn how to conduct music
*I could get by.

17. Buy a motorcycle
*Thanks Joanne.

18. Spoil my kid(s)
*I'm working hard at it.

19. Be the opposite of father in "Cats in the Cradle"
*I'm working hard at it. I probably need to get better at my willingness to get dirty though.

20. Learn to Ballroom dance.
*Not yet, but I suppose that Carl could teach me.

21. Go scuba diving
*Sage told me when she's 13 we will go together, (Amber has no desire).

22. Bench press 200 lbs.
*No problem. Amber thought these last three were desperate attempts to put more things on my list, but as a college freshman, these were the things that I thought about...pretty funny to see 'em now.
23. Bench press 250 lbs. *I didn't know it was a goal of mine. I've benched 245.
24. Bench press 300 lbs. *Maybe someday.

So I'm not sure about how my list would change today. Besides the Hebrew thing, and the duck hunting stuff, I'm pretty good with my list. I guess I don't really care about the cello anymore. There's probably a lot more important things that could be on my list than bench pressing 300 lbs, or driving faster than 200mph, but both of those things would still be pretty would a six pack, and custom rims...I've always wanted custom rims. I can't think of many altruistic things right now, that's kind of sad. Should a bucket list be altruistic? Ok...Drive over 200mph, and cure world hunger and eliminate all suffering.


I had a crazy dream the other night, and my apologies to those that have had to hear me retell it.
Sometimes I'll try to tell my dreams to Amber, and sometimes she will try to tell her's to me, and every time, the difficulty of recounting a dream becomes apparent.

How can something that is so vivid and clear to one person, be so uninteresting and confusing to another?

I think that this comic explains the phenomenon that is "dream recounting," pretty well:

(click comic to see full size)


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snow Day in October!

We took the girls to One Way Boardshop's parking lot in Ventura yesterday to watch a snowboard competition.

It definitely got me excited for the upcoming season. Hopefully we will be blessed with LOTS of snow this year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Treating Symptoms

A group of students, (not ones that I knew) were asked, "If you could change one thing at your school, what would you change?"

I was shocked when the first two responses were to eliminate cussing.

A group of adults were asked, "If you had to pick one social injustice in the world to over turn, what would it be?"

I was surprised when several people chose abortion.

I hate abortion. I think that there is a human life in a womb, and that abortion is taking a life.
I believe that we should heed Paul's teaching in Ephesians, and should restrict unwholesome talk, but should use words that are edifying.

HOWEVER, just as I easily pop several Advil to alleviate signs of symptoms that might be pointing to something more serious, I worry that we have gotten so used to Christendom that we would rather police culture, than actually ask what the disease is.

Kids cuss, but their cussing is part of something much bigger, and if all we want to do is white wash their actions, we are missing soemthing.

Women get abortions, but if all we want to do is force someone to keep a kid that they don't want, we lose sight of, the reason they are pregnant, and the reasons that they don't want to keep their child.

Are we willing to just feed the hungry?
Or are we willing to question why they are hungry in the first place?

I think that symptoms can, and should be treated, I just hope that we are seeking to wipe out diseases at the same time.

New Masthead

In honor of Michaela's birthday this week:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bridging the Generational Gap

I found a program online that will take an e-mail, and convert it to snail mail.

That means that I can use e-mail to communicate with my grandparents who, while in New Mexico don't have internet access.

Today, rather than just sending a text filled letter, I created my own postcard with pictures from my computer, and mailed it to them, all for just 59 cents.

Check the program out at


Beating the System?

When I was in college, AOL began offering $100 - $400 rebates if you signed up with their services. I had friends who would go to Circuit City, sign up for AOL, receive their voucher, buy DVD players and televisions, go home, and cancel AOL. Apparently in California, customers were not contractually obligated to maintain their AOL/Compuserve account. I watched them do it, all the while expecting it not to work. And yet it did...over and over again for some of them, until AOL recognized that they were being taken advantage of and removed the offer from stores in California.

Part of me regretted not taking advantage of the rebate when it was offered, but a small part of me, still knew that it was dishonest.

I know that the proposed $700 BILLION financial bailout is complicated and is multifaceted, but yet I can't help approaching it with the same attitude as I have towards AOL's rebate.

I and others chose not to listen to those who kept saying that renting is throwing money away. I respectfully listened as people told me that you can never go wrong with Southern California real estate, and I respectfully disagreed with friends who opted to buy homes that they couldn't afford with interest only loans, banking on the rising house prices to give them the equity they needed to refinance down the road and shrink their house payments.

And yet now, it looks like I may have missed an opportunity, not an opportunity to buy low and sell high, but an opportunity to take advantage of a system that seems unwilling to let people live with their mistakes.

I am painfully aware that if the number of people affected by the housing crisis foreclose, that lives will be upset. Children will be uprooted from schools, the economy, (and people's tithings) will stall a bit, but isn't that a consequence for actions. Specifically a consequence for people biting off more than they could chew? For fibbing on loan applications, for counting their eggs before they hatched, for buying something today that they weren't even sure they would have the money for tomorrow?

Perhaps grace is needed. Perhaps a bailout that enables our economy to live to fight another day, and that keeps the middle class in Mini McMansions is the graceful loving thing to do. But maybe it isn't, maybe the best thing to happen would be for a natural adjustment to take place, for the housing market to somehow reflect actual values, and for people to be given the chance to live within their means.

I don't know...I do know that it sucks for the kids either way. They not only are going to be forced out of the homes that some of them lived in, but they are going to be the ones bearing the full weight and repercussions of the sins of our nation, manifested not only in higher taxes, but in place of their inheritance, many will be paying for their parents' retirements instead.

Gosh I'm glad, (or at least I hope) that my life doesn't revolve around the greenback...much.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Anyone up for a road trip?

This "sounds" too crazy to be true (Pun intended).

The BBC (note spelling of "tires") reports:

A section of road in California has had grooves cut into it so car tyres play the William Tell overture, otherwise know as the theme from The Lone Ranger.

But the noise has been irritating residents in the town of Lancaster so much that it is now going to be resurfaced.

The quarter-mile stretch of road was part of a car advertising campaign.

The sound is made by specially cut grooves in the asphalt that emit different sounds as the tyres pass over them, similar to a stylus on a record player gliding across a vinyl LP.

Check out the video here.

I'm sure it's super annoying to residents, but I still think that it must be a "trip" to hear, (again, pun intended).

Research reveals that it is best to drive over it with a Honda Civic at 55mph. I might have to settle for an Accord.

From Wired:
From the Autopia "Most Annoying Promotion Ever" department comes a dispatch from Lancaster, California. Honda's guerilla marketers joined up with the Lancaster highway department and cut grooves into the pavement of a remote stretch of Avenue K. Far from ordinary rumble strips, this particular pavement modification caused a car's tires to resonate in a way that sounded like the William Tell Overture (yes, that's the theme to "The Lone Ranger"). Honda claimed the music sounded best when "played" on a new Civic driving exactly 55 miles per hour.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Urban Art Gallery in OJAI!

I love taking the girls on adventures. If Amber asks me to watch the girls during the day, there is a good chance that we will go out on some sort of adventure. We've gone hiking through poison oak on an overgrown road to get to a cave that I vaguely remember from High School. We've gone hiking in the river bottom, to what Sage calls, "Rattle Snake Hike." We've driven up to the little baby waterfall up the 33, just so we can throw rocks. And at the first sign of snow, we drive up to find some white fluffy stuff to eat.

Yesterday Amber had a lunch date with a woman from church, so the girls and I planned another adventure. By the time we were ready to go, (we had to return home for a band aid and tennis shoes), Amber was home from the Emporium and we all headed out on an adventure together.

I took the girls to a secret art gallery that I heard about, with only Sage's Camera to record the images.

While walking around, it was great to hear Sage and Aspen yell, "DAD, THERE'S MORE ART OVER HERE!" They were so excited, and loved the colors. Their favorite picture was one of a penguin.

This is the third "gallery" that I've taken Sage to. If anyone has any tips on any more, let me know.

Guide for questions

One of the blogs that I subscribe to is Andrew Jones' blog, (who blogs under the name, "Tall Skinny Kiwi"). He's been attending, speaking, and blogging about the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. Today he quoted John Mark Reynolds, (Professor at this school called Talbot...yeah, I've heard that some pretty cool people go there), on "Crafting a good question for the blogosphere."
His three guidelines were:

1. Don't ask questions to which you know the answer.
2. Don't write about things you know little about.
3. Do read books or online material related to your question.

There's got to be more applications for these guidelines than just blogging.
In fact, I think that those are the same qualifications that I use to ask a question in Community...some of the time.

With this in mind, what are your favorite questions that you don't know the answer to?

*How free will and sovereignty of God can co-exist?
*Adam & Eve's anatomy?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My new earworm

Mark 9:23-24

" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"It's a Small World After All"

You know how there are just certain songs that get stuck in your head and you find yourself singing a phrase over and over? There's actually a word for it, it's called an "Earworm."

Lately I've had certain phrases or concepts doing the same thing.

The most recent was, (thanks to Mike Kingsley), John Wesley's exhortation to, "Gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can."

Since Sunday's service however, I can't stop thinking about Jesus' words in John 14:

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

Thanks to Matt Kingsley, we asked on Sunday whether or not people agree that, "“We are doing greater things than Jesus did.”

Most of the people disagreed. We haven't brought people back to life, ascended into heaven, hung out with Moses, walked across water, multiplied loaves of bread, or risen from the dead. I did overhear someone point out that they have driven a car faster than Jesus, but I don't think that's what Jesus had in mine when he said that we will do "greater things than these."

If technology isn't what Jesus had in mind, what did he mean, and does this promise still apply to us today? I can look at Jesus' followers, and in Acts I see them do some amazing things by the power of the Holy Spirit. Is that what Jesus was talking about?

Can I have the expectation today to do greater things than Jesus?
Do I have that expectation?
Will I do greater things?

It feels like blaspheme to even ask the question.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Who would have thought how much trouble would emerge around the word "emerging."

Andrew Jones is one of the most widely read Christian bloggers, and blogs under the name, Tall Skinny Kiwi. Recently he polled his readers asking whether or not he should continue to use the phrase "Emerging Church." Follow the link to read the results, but also be sure to read the pros and cons of the term.

It sucks to think that some of the pain and conversations that I've had over the past couple years aren't isolated, but have been causing pain in all sorts of people's lives.

Andrew Jones writes:
Jenna White who is staying with us, told us that her missionary support had been stopped because a pastor in the Baptist church she attends in USA just preached an anti-emerging church sermon and they put a hold on the money they were going to send her. Funny thing was, it was the same denomination that I had just taught, and we have enjoyed a decade long relationship to this particular church

I think the most upsetting things to me about all of the "emerging" hoopla is that some people give more weight to an anti-emerging pastor's comments re: "Emerging Churches," than to years of relationships with people who they have been serving together with.

Sounds a lot like McCarthyism to me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ryan "is blogging infrequently."

Although I haven't been blogging lately on blogger, I have been writing several [extremely] short blogs a day.

There's a web application called twitter that lets users update their "status" in about 10 words. At first I thought that it was silly, and didn't really have a point, but with the inclusion of "status" in the social networking site, facebook, I have found myself using a "twitter like app" more than anything else online.

I imagine that everyone has two main types of friends:
1) Those who they talk to several types a week.
2) Those who they talk to once a year if they are lucky.

I have found that the older I get the more friends I have in the second category. There are people in my life that I am grateful to know and to have a part of my life, but whose schedule makes it next to impossible to stay in constant contact with.
One of the difficulties with those relationships is that when contact is finally made, my conversations usually involve of getting caught up with one another, and then awkward conversation follows, with an even more awkward goodbye.
Contrasted with those whom are constantly part of my weekly conversations who I feel like I could talk to for hours about the most mundane of things.

One of the reasons that I have been so diligent in changing my status on facebook and checking the status of others, is that I feel like it strengthens my relationship with those who I ordinarily don't get to stay in constant contact with. I know when friends go to concerts, weddings, or on vacation, I know when their planes land, or when their horses get out of their yard and keep them up all night.

I'm sure that there are better uses for the internet than constantly updating one's status, but I am enjoying the popularity of this app that let's me know my friends better.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Made it to NY safely

Outside our window (We are staying with Maria's sister between Harlem & Washington Heights)

Times Square

Strawberry fields forever, or at least long enough to take a picture

Belvedere Castle

Central Park Fountain

Playing on the "Big" Piano

LOVE (notice Aspen sleeping)

On the subway

Sunday, August 03, 2008

New Masthead

Thanks to Jake David for his lettering for my new masthead.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Shack

This book with an endorsement from Michael W. Smith, a $300 initial marketing budget, and a seat on New York Time's best seller list has been making quite a stir.

I saw it on a pastor friend's book shelf and hoped that he had read it so that I could get perspective on it without having to actually read it, (I've decided that I like knowledge much more than I like reading).

I have already heard one review of the book by the Angry Pastor, Mark Driscoll, and well, his review was that of an angry pastor.

I came across this review in Christianity Today that I would recommend to anyone who was curious about reading the Shack.
The author of the article possesses the grace and humility that I wish came more naturally to me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Does made in U.S.A. even matter?

Do you shop at Banana Republic, the Gap, Macy’s, Urban Apparel or Victoria’s Secret?

Check out this New York Times article about a factory in Queens which was reportedly, "one of the worst sweatshops that state inspectors have visited in years, sometimes requiring its 100 employees to work seven days a week, sometimes for months in a row."

At least being in the US, this factory will be penalized.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good dads sometimes make bad decisions.

Taking your 4 year old daughter wakeboarding is a good idea. I can think of no better board sport, to take a young child along for the ride:
Surfing? Maybe, but the ride only lasts for seconds.
Snowboarding? There's a chance it will work, but there is a really good chance that you will fall, or be hit by an out of control skier/snowboarder, or hit a tree.
Skateboarding? Yeah...this would work, if I didn't suck at skateboarding. For reals, I'm really really bad at it.

It was amazing getting to ride with Sage, carving up and down the wake, gaining speed outside the wake while cutting away from the boat. And then it happens, while cutting back and forth the thought emerges, "This is going really well, she is staying on without a problem. If Sage likes this she will really like jumping! After all she really loves jumping the car at Ojai's 'dip'."

In the air it became apparent that this was a bad idea. As Sage slipped right off the wakeboard there was only one place for her to land, (I hadn't thought this out very well at all). Her ear hit the top of the wakeboard just as I caught her and pulled her back up. We had the boat pull us one more time that morning, but I kind of ruined a nice morning.

Fortunately it was only Monday, and we had four more days to build positive wakeboarding memories together...sans jumping.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

We like heads closed.

Sage and Aspen were wrestling on the bed.

Ryan: Be careful not to push Aspen, if she fell her head could crack open.

Aspen: We like heads closed.

(Picture of dirt bike rider, Seth Enslow, after his cracked open skull was stapled back together)
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Bears on the Beach


Here's a bit of our conversation while coming home from the beach on Sunday.

Sage: Well, Aspen, there used to be bears at the beach, but then God wanted people to come to the beach, so he made the bears go into the mountains.

Aspen: No bears on beach.

Sage: There used to be bears at the beach, but then God wanted people to come to the beach, so he made the bears go to the mountains.

Aspen: Ohhhhhh.
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