Blogger Idol - My Picks

Well, here are my favorite five for this weeks theme of Travel for Blogger Idol.

1. Jessie Smith
2. Cliff Between The Lines
3. Excogitation
4. Red Interior
5. M squared T

Check out all the other entries at Blogger Idol

Currently reading:


Cheap Sleep

Well folks, the theme of Blogger Idol this week is "travel." (I missed last week's theme of First Dates, but then again it has been so long that I've forgotten any.

Getting back to this week's theme.... fans of The Terminal might enjoy this little story from my past. It actually happened in the same airport where true story that inspired the Terminal occured. See, I had been a complete idiot when I booked my flight home from Europe once, and instead of having an hour layover, I ended up with a thirteen hour layover in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. (Tip #1: Always check to see if A.M. or P.M. are listed on the tickets) As I'm a cheap traveler, I decided to find a nice comfortable spot on the floor, hopefully in the corner. First I decided to scope out the whole airport, partially to kill some time and grow weary. After finding a decent spot that I felt was safe, I settled in for some sleep. So, there I was sleeping on a floor of an airport, and doing a pretty decent job of it. That was until some freak gal woke me up, as she decided to lay down perpendicular to me about three feet away. When she realized I was awake, she began to talk to me. This didn't go over too well, as I was tired, rudely awoken, and she was the cause of it. I managed to get back to sleep, for a while, until I was kicked by said annoying American gal. She again tried to talk to me. I don't remember saying much, other than answering her questions about my work shirt with some response that it was from my work-release program. All I could think of is why would some girl decide that of all the spots in a large airport to rest, the best one is next to a guy who looks like this:

Well to make a eight hour story short, morning finally came. I woke up with about three hours before my flight, so I decided to head over to the check-in counter. As I was gathering up my stuff, the gal had the nerve to see if I wanted to go grab breakfast with her. Yea, you've annoyed me all night, woken me up sevearl times, and possibly even bruised me, and you think I want to sit at McDonalds with you.

While I'm on the subject of free lodging, here are a couple other spots where I've slept for free: St. James Park - London, near the Trocadero in Paris, and several times at Stansted Airport.

Check out Blogger Idol for other's takes on travel or to post your own.

Currently watching:


Jesus Commands Us To Boycott

You know, I'm having a hard time finding the parts of the Bible where Jesus talked about boycotting the local industry of a community. See, there is a growing uproar to boycott Target stores, all because they will not let the Salvation Army bell ringers ring their bells in front of their stores.
Now, I'm all about sticking it to those evil people at Target, who give over TWO MILLION DOLLARS a week to charity groups in their local communities. Can you believe that they only give that much? Those heartless people even give money to the Red Cross and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I don't know how they could live with themselves. No wonder we need to boycott them.

So, here is my question, and suggestion: Are these churches willing to have a Salvation Army bell ringer placed in front of their doors? If you are a bell ringer, take your bell next Sunday to a church who is boycotting Target, and ring you bell away, and then see what the response is. I've got a feeling you are not leaving with a full pot.

Currently listening to:


For The Single Guys

Ok, it has been a while since I've given you all a really great site that could help change your lives. Well, to all the single guys out there I offer up the site, Wingwomen.com. Through this place they could hook you up with women that will help you meet women to hook up with. Yep, if you got troubles hanging with the ladies, you can hire some ladies to make it look like you've got no problems attracting ladies.

Don't worry gals, this link could also be handy for you, especially if you are looking for some part time work. Anyone want to join me in starting up a franchise?

Currently watching:


I'm All Out Of Love

I thought it was a joke when in one of my comment sections, Der Iron Chef first outed himself as an 80's rock fan. Then a friend of his informed us that he knew that Air Supply was in concert in Korea soon. I was shocked to find out that in fact there is a Christmas with Air Supply concert coming up on the 18th (including dinner) and the 19th (concert only). Why do I have a feeling they open up with the phrase, "Here I Am, the band you forgot, who you haven't heard of in so many days."

Oh I wish I could be listening to:


What I Want For Christmas

Well folks the Blogger Idol is back, and this weeks topic is "All I Want For Christmas..."

If this was a perfect world, and I actually got what I listed, I think this is the list that would provide joy to more than just me.

1. A global ban on Old Navy ads.
2. A law in the music industry that requires all artists to play instruments and write over 2/3 of their albums. Extra airplay if they actually sound similiar live as they do on the album.
3. A sequel to any of the following movies: Red Dawn, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sneakers, or The Breakfast Club.
4. An end to all adds for cable on cable channels.
5. And end to most reality television. I'll make exceptions for the Amazing Race and Wife Swap.
6. Milka and Ritter Sport chocolate bars avaible at a reasonable price in America.
7. World peace.

Any suggestions?

Check out Blogger Idol to see other's lists, as well as to add your own.


Currently reading:


I've Seen It All

With at least three major music channels on television, I was shocked tonight to see as I was flipping through the channels Motley Crue reunified right there live on my screen. What shocked me was not the fact that they got back together, but they were being broadcast live on CNN's Larry King Live. My friends something is wrong when the first performance of "Dr. Feelgood" in years is covered not by MTV, MTV2, or MTV2000, but by CNN. And there once was a time I respected Larry King. As a student of broadcasting I admired his interviewing skills. But tonight as I heard him mention, "the Crue is now taking the stage," I realized that he now longer should be trusted or respected.

So fans of 80's glam rock get ready, as Motley Crue is coming to a town near you. I hear they are playing some of the larger nursing homes across America. But don't worry, they will rock you like a strong wind, seeing that, according to the article, their guitarist has had a hip replacement.

And keep watching CNN. I hear Larry King will be reuniting either RATT, Twisted Sister, or White Lion next month.

Currently reading:


Don't Expect Me To Log On

When I signed on to AOL tonight I found out that Ashlee Simpson is going to be playing live on AOL. Makes me want to cancel my free trail to AOL. Has this girl's fifteen minutes run up yet? Isn't it time that America focuses their poor musical tastes on the vocal performance of Lindsay Lohan, or at least preparing for the new season of American Idol?

As for me, I've officially decided to stop listening to pop/Top 40/Hits of Today radio stations.

Currently reading:



This is a reflective photo of the cabin I spent some time in this fall.

Check out other reflective photos in the Photo Friday Challenge.


My Past - On Ebay

If you go to this Ebay listing you can get a piece of my history. I'm just upset that the random photo of the students didn't include me, as that would have been cool. Hurry up, there are only a few more hours to bid. If you get it, I'll autograph it for you. Unless I already autographed it, of course.


What A Weekend

I just got back from a very fun weekend in the greater Chicago area, as opposed the the lesser Chicago area. I traveled up there on Friday to join in a small gathering of BFA alumni in the Wheaton area. I was amazed to see the amount of people who showed up from all over the country to hang out. All in all it was a great time of hanging out with some people I once had authority over, but now consider my peers and friends. Made a few trips into downtown Chicago, including a visit at the Christkindlmarkt and enjoy some of the warm beverages. Another highlight was seeing that several of the students had not lost their soccer skills they picked up living overseas. Well, I'm tired right now, and will hopefully post a few photos in the next day or two from the weekend.

A special thanks to all the students who let the old fart hang with them this weekend.

Currently listening to:


Still Only One

Today I went to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning. I will have to say I think the technology is getting better in the world of teeth care. There were more flavors of teeth cleaning materials (cherry, cinnamon, mint, and I think bubblegum) They also used some water based cleaning tool, that I don't remember having as a kid. Although I still think there has to be a safer way to check for cavities. Something about having a twenty pound lead apron put over my vital parts and the dental assistant leaving the room before they zap me with the x-ray machine, just does not put my mind at ease. But.... I still only have one cavity in these fine teeth of mine, so I've got that going.

Currently listening to:


Where Will I End Up Next?

Well kids, today I woke up in Denver. A few days ago, I thought I was going to be heading back to Illinois, but I recieved an offer to travel with a friend to Denver. As I have several friends in the area, I decided what the heck, might as well go. So now I'm in the Mile High City. Don't know exactly how long I'm here, but if you are around Denver, give me a call, or try to find me. I'm beginning to feel a lot like Waldo, always showing up in the most random of places.


Can't Go North

Well, for all those who were hoping for a difference in election results, or are fearing a potential draft, you should start making your trip north about a year ago, as that is how long the article says it will take to immigrate into Canada.

As for me, I'll just head to Arkansas and Kansas for the weekend. If anyone is down that way and reading this, I'll be visiting friends at John Brown University for a few days, and then off to speak at Grace Community Church on the weekend.

Currently listening to: cover


Democracy Is Great

Ok, I know it is probably too late to change anyone's vote, but I must say I've grown sadly disappointed in the American church mentality. At least the one that votes soley on one or two main issues, but ignore the rest. Who cares the person's view on death penality or the environment, as long as they claim they care about the unborn baby. Another one of the issues that I think many votes have been led astray over involves this document. I'd challenge any true believer to read this and then whole heartedly support this war on terror. But then again, most voters have already made up their mind, or have blindly accepted someone elses mind.

In other news, 13,000 Florida votes are already being recounted. Ain't democracy great.

Currently listening to:


Have The Terrorists Won?

When Americans can buy cheap Rubik's Cube Rip-offs - the terrorists have won.

Currently listening to:


A Bird From The Bush

Why do I fear that in a week, George will be giving America his salute he was caught working on in the past. Check the link.

I Got Nothing

Well folks, today I have almost nothing worthy of even submitting this post. But wanted to let people know I'm alive, still trying to figure out what the next step in life is, and wondering why we are even considering either canidate for next week's election. Don't get me wrong, they are probably both qualified people, but I have grown tired of only hearing attacks on each other, and nothing about what they are going to do to make my life better.

In other news, I saw a report about a paprika scare in Europe. To the American who has never spent time in a European food store, you probably think this is not that big of a deal. But after six years of living in Germany, I know differently. Over there they put paprika on everything snacky. To dumb it down for you, that would be like America having to pull everything with "Cool Ranch" flavors.

Currently listening to: cover


Life Doesn't Immitate Art

This week I learned that real life isn't always like you see on the television. I've spent some time in a courtroom, and I can tell you it sure isn't like Judge Judy.

Currently listening to:


Do They Know?

It has been too long since a group of musicians got to gether to help feed the world. In fact twenty years after Band Aid got together, they are doing it again. Yep, Sir Bob, Bono, and others are joining with some new friends to rerecord the hit, "Do They Know It's Christmas." I just hope that Bananarama, Paul Young, and Andrew Ridgeley get their invitations.

Currently listinging to: A midi of the song from this site.


Two More Weeks

Well folks, people have already begun to cast their votes, and recently I have been in a couple discussions about my views on the voting process, and who the votes should be cast for. I've been debating on putting a few thoughts up on this blog, but before I do, I thought I would direct you to this site and encourage you to watch the video. Then come back in a couple days and see if I've been brave enough to post my thoughts on things.

Until then, the only thing I will say (or type) that could cause some of my readers to leave is....... I hope the Astros knock the Cardinals out of a chance for the World Series.

Currently listening to:


Just Sayin' Hi

I'm back from the road, and got nothing newsworth to say right now. I do have a nasty cough, and if anyone has any good home remidies, let me know.


Traversing Michigan

Well, I write from Ann Arbor today, where I am visiting a former student. The last couple days I've been visiting a few BFA alumni here in Michigan. It has been fun, but at the same time it makes me miss my time at BFA. But after I read an email today from a current student, I was reminded of the reasons I left, and the fact that changes that need to be made there are not happening.

While I've been visiting these students, I've also been able to catch a couple concerts. In fact I'm getting to see two of my favorite artists in a span of three days. A couple nights ago, I saw Martyn Joseph play in Grand Rapids. Although the crowd was small, he played like he was playing to a sold out audience. He played quite a range of his music, from some of his older stuff, to his newest album.

Tonight we are catching Bill Mallonee in concert. If the many past shows of his are any indication, tonight's performance should be top notch. If you haven't picked up his latest album, you better. I've been playing as I've traveled these Michigan highways and backroads.

Oh, and if you are looking for a good movie, you might want to check out Shaun Of The Dead. I will say that it might offend a couple people with a little bit of language and British humour. So if you can't take either of those you might want to see another film. But if you find the British take on things funny, and are looking for a romatic comdey with zombies, this is the film for you. I found myself laughing quite a bit, including a few times when no one else was, as they didn't get some of the jokes.

Well that is your movie and music tips for today.

Currently reading:

Political Stuff

Just a couple things in the way of politics.

1. If you haven't registered to vote yet, do it now. Time is almost up.
2. CBS isn't the only network to publish false reports.
3. Start doing some serious research about the different (or not so different) candidates. Don't just take the three second sound clips from the news as your only source. Search the web. Spend some time learning for yourself, and making a choice by yourself, not what your parents, church, town, or favorite musician might tell you.
4. Remember to keep a sense of humor about it all too.

Currently reading:


Get On The Peace Plane

Ok, so the guy who sang "Peace Train" and "Morning Has Broken" was listed as a potential terrorist and not allowed to fly into America. Or at least that is what the Government is telling you.

But if you check out this article you will see there is more to the story. Read the article and then ask yourself these questions:

1. If the guy is on a no fly-list, how did he get on the plane?
2. If he is a threat an is not allowed in America, why did the plane land in Maine?
3. If he is threat to our American ways, why "while in Washington last May, met with officials of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives "to talk about philanthropic work," according to White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan."???

Some one once said,
"I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware....
Baby, it's a wild world."

Boy was he right.


I Was Mistaken

An update, and admittance of my weekly error....

Yesterday, I wrote about the rat game. I guess since I left the country they have changed the game a little. It now consists of a wheel with the letters A-Z (That is pronounced Zed for my British and Canadian readers.) So you place your quarter on the letter you think the little rat will head towards.

In other fun festival news, last night while dining with the family and friends, we noticed a unique site. Traditionally at an event like this there are many helium balloons around. Some are used to have contests to see how far they will fly, some are used to remind you to vote for the politician running for office, some just to placate a small child. Well, last night we saw what I thought was humourous use of balloons. I'm assuming some high schoolers, instead of inhaling the air out of the balloons to talk funny, had attached at least fifteen to twenty balloons together, and then attached one of those fish in a plastic bags that you can win at fairs like this. So there about fifty feet above our table was a fish heading off into the atmosphere. Rough guess would put him somewhere over Indianapolis by this afternoon.

Currently listening to: cover the newest by Bill Mallonee


Insanity, I Tell You

I'm back in Morton, Illinois. See it is time for their big annual Pumpkin Festival. According to statistics this town packages over 85% of the world's canned pumpkin. Dang that is a lot of pumpkin, or at least until you learn that most of the world does not have access to canned pumpkin.

The parade is one of the highlights of the festival every year for most people. In fact it is so popular that although the parade does not happen until Saturday morning, already by midnight last night an estimated 1/6 of the parade route had been staked out by people. There are lawn chairs marking and reserving people's preferred viewing areas. Insanity, I tell you. (Although, I was compelled to put out my own chairs to make sure I get a prime spot for all the candy throwing and politician heckling.)

But to a few of us the parade is not the highlight of the grand festivities. No it is a little spot on the corner of First Street and Adams, right behind the basketball courts where I played as a child. Yes, my friends, that is where the crazy rat spinning game has been set up for years. For those who know nothing of the crazy rat spinning game, it works like this.... A giant spinning wheel is set up on a table, similar to a roulette wheel. That wheel is marked off in ten to fifteen different colors, as well as each color has a small hole in the board. After people place down their quarters on their choice color, the carnie places a rat under a bucket in the center of the wheel, and proceeds to spin the wheel. The bucket is then lifted, and the fun begins, as the dizzy and confused rat heads towards one of the holes on the color wheel. And if he enters the colored hole you picked, you win a prize. Now that, my friends, is pure entertainment.

So, if you are looking for me this weekend, I should be along a parade route, enjoying some pumpkin pie or an elephant ear, or most likely betting on crazy rats.


Singing My Praises

A friend told me he was singing my praises the other day. While I try to discourage this practice, I do request that if you must sing my praises, please do it in the key of F# and in 7/8 time. That is all.

Currently listening to: cover the newest by Bill Mallonee

Another Day In Paradise

Today I stepped out of the wilderness. I did it partially because I wanted to stock up the emptying fridge. I also did it to help out with the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon on the local television station. I did it as I had a good friend who was one of Jerry's kids. He has left a huge impact on my life, and I want to be able to do my part to help. I met some really cool people from the area, including one kid with MD.

After that it was a quick stop for some Chinese food, some supplies, and back to the wild.

Oh, and while the networks were trying to sucker everyone into watching their new fall programs the other night, I was out watching some otters and beavers swim around one of the bays. Sure it might not have had the cool special effects those shows might have, but when one full sized male beaver slaps his tail down as a warning to you to get the heck out of his area, it gets the point across.

Until another day...

Currently reading: cover by Thomas Merton


Life In The Wild

How many of you have had a school of fish swim up to you while you were washing your hair? That was one of many wilderness experiences this week. I feel like I'm becoming a little like Grizzly Adams, all I need now is a bear cub.

And don't worry, I'm not just sitting around watching animals all day. I spent a good amount of time the other day working on the building. My job was mixing cement as we poured the footings for a pump house. I think I impressed the guy, as he didn't expect me be able to mix it as well as I did.

To those who question my addition of technology to my wilderness experience... I decided since I'm only leaving the woods about once a week or two, I need to be able to check my emails every couple days. This way I don't miss any great job offers, engagement announcements, or the opportunity to help some Nigerian transfer money out of his country. Plus I need to keep all the fans up to date on my life.

In final news, I've just sent out my latest prayer letter to update people.

Currently reading: cover - an intersting book about being alone.



Last night I encountered a bat in my room. At first I thought I would just try to sleep through it, then it occured to me that they are nocturnal and would be up all night. Add to that the fact that they can see better than I in the dark puts him at the advantage. Toss in the information that a rabid bat was discovered in the area, and you see why I decided to sleep somewhere else last night.

Before this I spent a good amount of time sitting watching an amazing lightening storm over the lake. Between the sky lighting up, and the reflection off the water, it was quite a show. Then after it was over the stars began appearing. God sure knows what he is doing with this whole nature thing.

Currently reading: cover


Another Local Story

As I've explained to many of you, I'm currently living out in the middle of no where. I'm there for at least a couple more weeks, doing some rest, reading, and trying to figure out what to do next with this life of mine.

Now while it is over 20 minutes to the nearest gas station or store 45 minutes by car to the nearest McDonald's, I'm not lacking for entertainment. Besides my books, a external hard drive that contains my entire CD collection, and a few DVDs, there are plenty of interesting people around to meet with.

In fact the other week, my parents had a gather of some of the neighbors, as well as family. Besides having a national ski jumping champion, one of the guests brought his guitar out and sang several songs by Da Yoopers, which he performed with for years. Nothing like your very own concert, complete with the songs Rusty Chevrolet, The Second Week Of Deer Camp, and Beer Gut.

Drew and Bah, you guys would have loved it. In fact, if you guys ever come to visit, I'll see about getting a repeat performance.

Now, I'm heading back to the woods.

Currently reading: cover

I'm Already Fitting In

Hey there all. Today I leave the woods to celebrate my parents 40th wedding aniversary with them. It was yesterday, but the weather was better for working then. So a quick check of email, some laundry, dinner, stocking up on supplies, and then back to the woods. As for those who have sent emails, I've read them, just not good at responding.

A quick story for you all. The other day we had to go drop some stuff off in town, get some gas for the boat, and then were going to have dinner at Mt. Shasta, which was used in the movie Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart. (He was in the movie, not having dinner with us.)
Well, as we sat their waiting for our food, on of the local residents walked in and said, "Well, hello," in that I recognize you sort of way. This shocked my family, as they thought I had already become a local after just a week. I was the only one who recognized the lady from one of the stores we had been at earlier.

Well back to the woods soon.

Currently reading: cover


Stopping By To Say Hi

Had to come out of the woods for some supplies, as well as to check emails, as I was told there was a job offer for me in one of my emails. I don't know if they were talking about this email, but some guy wants me to help manage his money. It is a rather large sum of money, and he is willing to give me a large part of it for helping him. Sounds like a good deal.

An update on life in the woods- Running water has been hooked up, so indoor plumbing is ready to use (althought I still prefer the outhouse). The deck is finished, except for the railings. Spent a good amount of time in the last few days digging dirt for a lower level. And the power was out last night for several hours due to a huge storm. That caused for a lack of shower and a cold room last night.

In A Galaxy Real Close...

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to think that Mr. Lucas knew more about what really was happening out there. See, the Cassini Huygens space probe took this photo, and if you ask me, it looks a lot like a certain Death Star that was rumored to be destroyed a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. Hmmmm.


Into the Woods

Well folks, if you have picked up the audio on the last couple messages, you know I'm heading off to an area free of internet access (at least for the most part). I'm out in the middle of nowhere hanging out with my family. It is not all vacation and sleeping in either, as I'm already spent a good part of the time building a deck. If the weather would get better, we will finish that deck soon. Then you would be welcome to join me, as I sit out on it and listen to the loons on the lake. (By the way Drew, I broke out the Buddha last night, and thought of you, if you know what I mean.)

If you want to know a little of where I am it is like the place Yeats wrote about in his poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." This is also the name of my favorite pub back in Germany.

I want to write more, but the internet terminal I'm on is about to poop out. So I must end and head back out to the woods.



Let The Music Play On

Well, if you read my last post, you will be excited to know that the music last night went until just shy of 7 AM. Yes my friends, through out the evening (and morning) I was awoken several times as these hills were alive with the sound of music. I unfortunatly I missed my chance to hear "Highway To Hell," again, as I was asleep at 4:45 am. But I did wake up around 5:00 for the Hermes House Band version of "Take Me Home Country Roads," backed up by many Germans with many German beers in their system. Right now the music has been quiet, although I did get my fill of ABBA being played by a German brass band today. Who knows what the night will bring? I can only hope for some Ricky Martin, Robbie Williams, or with my luck some Vengaboys.

By the way it is Der Iron Chef's birthday. Stop by his xanga site and wish him a happy birthday.


No Woman, No Cry

Well, today was the first day of English camp. I am amazed at how well it went. The kids were very well behaved, and even went to their rooms tonight with out a struggle. Don't know if that is a sign of great things to come, or the calm before the storm.

As with last years camp, it begins at the same time as the Marzell music festival, a small rival of the Montreux Jazz Festival. So far tonight we have heard several marches and the Neil Diamond classic "Sweet Caroline" performed by a brass band, and currently the speakers are sending Bob Marley across the hills in the area. This little fest will go for three days, and if it is anything like last years, I can expect little sleep. At one point last year during the wee hours of the morn I heard covers of "Highway to Hell," and "Knocking On Heaven's Door." It did make for an interesting devotional thought at the next morning's prayer time.

Currently listening to: German folk music echoing through the hills


Who You Gonna Call?

Tonight I was over hanging out with the Youngs. We were actually talking about blogs and the various reasons behind them, when a little friend poked his head out from behind on of the chairs. I announced the mouses entry into the field of view, and soon after the hunt was a foot. Lane and I chased him along one wall, then he back tracked and when all the way around to the opposite corner of the room. We thought we might be able to get him there, armed only with a broom. Well, the little rascal snuck by, and entered the hallway, the whole way protected by furniture. I ran down to the end of the hall way to stop him from exiting into the attic, and it was there I discovered my weapon of choice in this battle - the vaccuum. I plugged it in and began to hunt that little guy, but he headed back the other way and into the kitchen. A quick change of plug sockets, and I was again close enough to make the hunt exciting. Again, Lane and I had him cornered behind the refrigerator. As we pushed it out froma the wall a little, I noticed he had climbed up the whole backside of the unit. As I aimed the nozzle at him he dropped to the floor and headed again to the hallway. On his way toward the door, Lane dropped the broom on him, tossing him into the air, but it barely slowed him down. He soon took refuge in a basket full of backpacks, and we knew we had him trapped for good. Lane began taking out each bag, carefully examining for the little rodent. A couple bags later, the little guy made a break down the hallway, but was not as quick enough for the hoover. Seconds later he found himself traveling down a long shaft and into a bag full of dust and debris. He met had met his match, and the hunter could go home satisfied.

When it was all over, I said, "and that is what some people would put on their blog."

Photos hopefully will be coming soon, as the whole process was being documented.

Currently listening to: Travis - cover


Lost In Germany

Don't worry kids, I'm not lost, I just have been stinkin' busy lately. But I can't say the same for everyone.

Twenty days from now I will be leaving this country and heading into the unknown. Mixed feelings on it right now.

Currently listening to: cover


Celebrating Texan Style

Well kids, as you know today is the Fourth of July, which where I am is the day after the Third of July. But back where I'm from, it is our day of independence. Or as I like to call it, the day we got rid of those stinkin' soccer lovin' English overlords.

Just as I provided footage of a Canadian celebrating his national day, I decided it was only appropriate to give you a true blooded American busting his moves in honor of those who dumped the tea in the harbor and told the King he could keep his bland food.

Now go set of some cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or some other fireworks for me.

Currently watching: The Daily Show on CNN International.


Speaking Of Dancing

I forgot to wish all my Canadian readers a happy Canada Day. But in some ways it is a good thing that I waited, as I have footage of one of my favorite Canadians partying it up to celebrate his homeland. Enjoy.

Currently listening to: Barenaked Ladies - cover

And We Danced

Last night I spent some time with the Hooters. No, not these hooters, but these Hooters. It was an incredible show, by a really tight band. In fact I was impressed by the range of instruments they all played. I would guess each member played at least three different instruments during the show. They busted out all their hits, and even pulled off three encores. Now before you make some crack about a has been or one hit wonder band, I highly recommend you catching these guys in concert. They really put on a great show. And to top it off, I can now add to the collection of concert memoribilia a Hohrner harmonika.

I recommend checking out the individual pages of the band memebers: Rob, Eric, Dave, and Fran.

Currently listening to: Hooters - cover


Get Hooked Day

Tomorrow has been officially named "Get Hooked To A New Drug Day," as some drug dealers and Starbucks will be offering free samples of their latest addictive products. Enjoy.

It is good that they are offering a light version of the drink, as the full fat version compares to the Big Mac.

Currently listening to: Sarah Harmer - cover

Still Shakin

I guess I should have waited a little bit on yesterday's post. Because as I was up late working on some packing, I again felt and heard the effects of another tremble. What freaked me out more was that it was almost exactly a week (to the hour) of the first quake I felt. Makes me want to get out that tin foil hat, and begin coming up with ideas as what the Swiss are up to.

According to a friend, this one was centered near Zurich, about an hour away. As I've done some checking, there are more that have happened in the area recently. First the one in Switzerland last week, and one nearby in Germany. Plus a couple in France.it has happened before.

Now there are some who are claiming a big one will hit Basel soon, well at least in terms of eternity. Man, I'm glad I'm leaving now.

Currently listening to: Katie Melua - cover


Shake It Baby

Today in my home state of Illinois there was an earthquake. As I read about it, I was a bit saddened, as I want to experience an earthquake. My older brother got to experience the big San Francisco, but I was still back in Illinois. I remember back in high school when they were predicting a major one to happen. But did it, no.

But then again, I began to think about a little event last week. While up late, trying to pack up all my stuff, I heard two loud bangs, and felt something shake the apartment. At first I thought it was my neighbor down below doing something crazy. But then again it was pretty late. Well, guess what kids. I've officially been through an earthquake.

So now bring on the monsoon and tsunami, as those are the natural disasters I would like to experience next.

Currently listening to: Katie Melua - cover


We Love This Song

If you check the German Singles Chart you will see that the top song is an Italian tune called "Dragostea Din Tei." Before you ask what is an Italian tune doing on the German chart, you might first want to ask why it holds the top two spots. Yep folks, things in the music world have gotten so crazy that one song performed by two different groups can hold the top two spots in Germany and Austria, and two of the top ten in Spain, Switzerland, and France.
Heck, I guess the whole world has gone crazy.

Currently listening to: Dolly Varden - cover


What a Game

As a resident of Europe, I've felt obligated to watch a few of the matches of the Euro 2004. I've seen a few on the big screen at a local pub, but tonight I chose to watch the England-Portugal match at home. I was enjoying the fact I could get other stuff done while I watched, but as the game went along, I wished I was in the company of other sports fans.

Well, for those of you who don't follow the match it was quite the game, going into penalty kicks to determine the outcome. As I know at least one of my readers is an English fan, I have one question to ask... How about that Beckham?

It is interesting that the bookies are not only taking bets on the game, but they are also betting on how many English fans show up for work on Friday. As the game when late into the night, and the tough loss, I'm betting more will "call in sick" than expected. I wonder if the good Dr. Lee will make it to work?

Currently protected by: cover


The Cheese Stand Alone

You know I never really understood that phrase, but I think that is what is happening now. I've said goodbye to most of the people who have played key roles in my life over the last few years. It has been a rough couple weeks as it felt like every couple days we were taking another friend to the airport. But I guess that also gave us reasons to get together every couple nights to have another going away party. There were a few "final" meals at my favorite hangout in the area. In fact last night as I was there with a group, one of the waitresses asked if they should just make a bed for me.

Now I am beginning my packing process. I've got several boxes of CDs scattered around my apartment, several bags of clothes have been donated to charity, and I've got a huge stack of stuff to take to the recycling center tomorrow. I know I've still got a few weeks before I too depart this place, but the sooner it is done, the better. Anyone want something from the Cordell collection of random junk?

Currently watching: cover


Rock's Most Influential

I guess all of those anti-rock people, including Jack Chick and David Brown were right. According to a new survey Satan is the second most "important person" in rock. The funny thing is that he was beat out by a woman. Come on, how do you thing that makes the dark overlord feel? He got beat by Sharon Osbourne, who is rumored to have sold her soul not to Satan, but to MTV executives.

Currently listening to: Johnny Cash - cover

Getting Tippy

Sometime I link to interesting stories that are found on various satire sites, but this story sounds way too real to be satire.

Currently listening to: Big Head Todd and the Monsters - cover


And The Winner Is

It is now time to announce the winner of the Gmail invitation. With so many great offers, how does one decide? Here is a brief look into my head as I sorted through the offers...

Lynn - Thanks, but you offer me something I already have access to. Unless you are committing to removing the phones and leaving the cell phones at home.

Peter - Again, another offer of something I have. Thanks to the very generous people at Yahoo, I actually have 200MB of space divided over two accounts. But it is still no 1GB

Doug -
Creative idea
but I own many haikus
or is it haiki

Beck - wow, while toilet paper is handy and useful, I have stocked up on a large supply of Happy End Toilet Paper. Plus, knowing you, you'd probably buy that one ply stuff. And nice try sneaking in an extra entry. Although the haiku about not having a haiku was good.

Heidi - While a trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana is the dream of many, a Harry Connick Jr. is the nightmare of many. Personally, I have Right Said Fred, David Hasselhoff, and Milli Vanilli on the list of artists I would see before Mr. Connick Jr.

Maestro - Mmmmm, Mashed Potato. While this would be flattering, I saw what happened to Roy Neary when he began to mold things out of mashed potato. I would hate for you to snap, quit everything and head to the location of my head.

Felix - An hours worth of scribbling on a napkin? I have sweatshops of kids that will do that for me. And I would never subject anyone to either the singing or listening of 99 Bottles of Beer. But thanks for the offer.

Bah - You gave me good advice, and you made me laugh. So you win, but as per your advice, I think I will offer the invitation I was going to send to you to the gal who sends in the hottest photo. Cause as Bah says, "a smile from some eye-candy can keep you going for a long time." Actually check your email.

Currently listening to: Duncan Sheik - cover


Please God, Don't Let This Happen

Once again, I am amazed at what some in the Christian world are hoping to do to spread the word. This time it is a show called, "Gifted, which is billed as the Christian American Idol, like this world needs another "reality" show.

Now there is way too much to be said about this. First it is brought to you by a joint venture of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and the management company that works with P. Diddy and Britney Spears. Let that sink in for a minute. Makes you wonder about Biblical commands like 2 Corinthians 6:14 are ever read at the TBN?

Will contestants have to fill out documents before hand stating their faith, end times stance, and their take on tongues? Because how will be able to know if they are true believers and not just some attention hungry Godless person?

I also ask how will these people be judged? Will they wait for a sign from God to show them the best performer? Will they take have a bunch of atheists in the audience, and then the performer who causes the most to come forward at the end of their song be deemed the winner?

What I'm really trying to say is, if anyone from TBN is reading this, I'm going to be available this summer if you need an extra judge. I've got experience in religious broadcasting, have a wide range of musical tastes, and am willing to travel.

Currently listening to: Dolly Varden - cover


Join The Club

Alright, I've mentioned that I have been using Gmail for a few weeks. I'm loving the extra space, the limited ads, the way it keeps your conversation together. And it doesn't hurt that it has 1MB of storage space and will not be deleted after a couple months of inactivity.

Well, I've now gotten to the point where I've got some invitations to give away. I've already checked out Gmailswap and gave a couple away. But it takes too long to find some good offers. My last one I gave away was in exchange of a donation to one of my favorite charities.

So here is the deal. I'm going to offer one invitation to Gmail to the person who makes me the coolest offer in my comment section. I'll give until Friday night until I decide. Remember this is for the coolest offer, so it might not be the one that is worth the most, but the one that might make me laugh the hardest, says "dang that's what I need" or is the only one in my comment section when I go to decide.

So leave your offer in the comment section below.

Currently listening to: Hoobastank - cover


A Day in Basel

Today I spent a good amount of time in Basel, Switzerland, a city I've come to love and appreciate for many reasons. It was a beautiful day, but I think the Swiss have made some deal with God. They get the great weather, in exchange they just have to suffer with all the different dialects of German.

From my day I've got a few observations or stories to share....

1. There is a guy in the United States who has a girlfriend, approximately 18 years of age, 5'7", currently has blonde hair, and is spending some time in Switzerland. If you are that guy, I've got some bad news. You know how you think she might be cheating on you. Well, I don't want to say I saw her walking arm and arm with another guy, but I did. It is amazing what you will over hear when people forget that just because they are in a foreign country that no one will understand them. I learned all that, plus some other personal information I don't feel like sharing.

2. I am on an emotional rollercoaster right now. Last week I said goodbye to the students. Monday we dropped Andrew off at the airport, and later this week a couple other friends depart. I know it is hard to say goodbye, but I thought I had a pretty good control over my emotional outbursts. Until today. See I'm standing in MediaMart listening to some CDs, when the dam began to crack. Unfortunately I didn't have Hans Brinker around to help. The funny thing is that it was while I was listening to Baptism by Lenny Kravitz that it began. It was the song, "The Other Side" that pushed me over the edge, with the lines:
"Where do I live
Where is my wife?
I am alone
What's life worth living for?
Where am I going and what am I looking towards?...
...So father can you tell me again
Father can you tell me again
That I'm livin'
'Til I meet you on that day
On the other side"

After that I put in Wonderful Life by Lara Fabian, and it was all over. I had to get out of the store quick before I subjected to many people to a grown man crying.

3. Before I was alone in the CD store, I was hanging out with three lovely ladies, who let me tag along with them for a while. It has been a while since I have been in that many shoe shops. But it was worth it to hang out with some friends, although two thirds of them will be leaving this week. We did spend some time on the Rhine river. Thanks to Bah leaving me his leftover Swiss change, we were able to take a cruise on the river. Well, actually it was just the ferry across the river, but we splurged and took it across the river twice. Here are a couple photos.

Me and the ladies.

The Rhine River

Well that about covers the events of today. Who knows what tomorrow brings?

Currently listening to: cover