So This Is Christmas

It has been a while since I have posted. Mostly because my life has gone from one of world travel or wandering through the woods to one of a working every day for the man. And while I have a few interesting stories from between the punching of the time card, I do not think I can share too much, due to contractual obligations and privacy standards. You can read that as, "I'd tell you, but I would then have to kill you."

I'm hoping to toss stuff here a little more often than just the weekly photo, but I am not going to make any promises. In the world of Facebook status, Twitter overload, and the latest news on Tiger Woods, I wondered if my posts were just some more noise out there. But heck, it is my noise, and hopefully someone is reading and enjoying it. So the show must go on. Or at least stumble around now and then.

Today I give you this little gem I discovered on a cassette tape in my basement. It is the Christmas greetings from the radio station I could be heard on fifteen years ago. It made me laugh for many reasons when I discovered it. Some of my readers, if they are still coming back, might actually hear their own voices on the clip. And you might even recognize a few others, that is if you were into Christian contemporary music circa 1994. So, unless I post again in the next couple days, consider this my Christmas greeting to you all. In the words of Styper, "He is the reason for the season, He is the reason for today."


Here In My Car

Clouds and Car (by rycordell)

Vehicle is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. A couple years my friends laughed at me when I told them another friend was giving me his car. Not just any car, but a 1989 Toyota Camry. A car old enough, I could have been driving it when I got my license. Some were even betting that I would not make it across the state of California, let alone all the way back to Illinois. Well, over two years later, and many many miles down the road it still keeps on cruising. I recently had to replace the front tires after one blew, but such is life. While many would recommend never buying a car from a friend or relative, I would highly encourage accepting free cars. At least it has worked out well for me.


If I Win Some Races

washington439 (by rycordell)

The theme at PhotoFriday this week is Three. In my quest to attend a game at all the major league ball parks, I was able to cross off National Park off the list this year. Sadly, I think the fans were cheering more for the presidents race than the Nationals the night I was there. Oh well, at least someone they rooted for won that night.


Morning Has Broken

Foggy Island (by rycordell)

PhotoFriday's theme this week is Dawn. Yet another photo taken in the woods of the Upper Peninsula. When I was younger I would often spend a lot of time on this little island. There is an old ice shack where they used to store ice blocks for the ice boxes from days of old. Even though the island is smaller than a school bus, it was fun to explore around. I felt like it was my very own place. Even now there is something about it that draws me near. It is amazing how many photos I have taken of it. This one just happened to be taken in the early morning as the fog was lifting from the lake.


A Whole Meal for A Nickel

Tasty Treats (by rycordell)

The theme is Fast Food over at PhotoFriday this week. I took this near the Basel SBB train station. I had never seen a vending machine targeting pets before, and actually haven't seen another one like this.


The Thousand Things You've Got To See

Last week I had the opportunity to spend a couple days in Washington D.C. My main reason for going was a job interview, but that didn't go so well. At least I got the chance to take in a baseball game, see some sights, and hang out with some former students. Plus I learned a few things along the way.

These include:
1. You can listen to Car Talk recordings at the Smithsonian.
2. I love public transit. Not only did I ride the metro more than I actually needed, but I found myself sitting on the replica of Chicago's "L" at the Smithsonian.
3. Someone had a really bad idea of putting the National Zoo on a hill.
4. Of all the records (those things before CDs for you young folk. And CDs are those things before MP3s for you really young folk.) that they could display in the American History museum they chose one by Elvis and one by Cheech and Chong.
5. Turning the light on when you enter the room at 1 am will make you the most hated person in the hostel. I seriously thought about fighting that dude.
6. If you are really lazy, you could take a tour of the Smithsonian museums by watching Night At The Museum 2 at the IMAX at the Air and Space museum.
7. The Nationals really do stink. Plus their fans really hate Manny Ramirez.
8. Inbreeding is not just a human problem. I guess locking grasshoppers up in a case can also cause some problems with their offspring down the line.
Grasshoppers Getting It On (by rycordell)

Not a total waste of a few days, even if I did not get a job offer.


Pictures Of Lily

The theme this week at PhotoFriday is plants. This photo was taken on a lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have often thought about changing my residence to there, even have debated telling people that is where I am from. Nothing against my hometown, but there is just something amazing in my book about the UP. You have to experience it to understand.


The Weight Of The Cart

This week's theme at PhotoFriday is Fear.

I took this photo in the Hong Kong airport. I never saw electric carts as a threat, but now I fear them. You should too.


Video Killed The Radio Star

A few years ago, I had the chance to see Fool's Garden play an acoustic show at an Irish pub in Freiburg, Germany. Sadly, most of you who read this post have probably never heard of the band. Others might only know them for their hit song, Lemon Tree. You are all missing out. It was a great show, and only made me appreciate their music more.

Well, they have a greatest hits album coming out in a few weeks. They have also recently released a new song, complete with a video to boot. The cool thing is that they have made it fan friendly, allowing their fans to be a part of the video.

Take a look at the video, and see what I mean. Although, you might hope that some technology comes along and helps kill the video star (at least one of them) in the future.

If you want, you can even upload your own photo into the video.


A Watch On Our Shadows

This week's theme at PhotoFriday is "In Shadows." I took this earlier this week from the viewing deck of the Sunsphere in Knoxville, Tennessee. Twenty-seven years ago my family headed down for the World's Fair. I don't remember being able to go up to the top of the Sunsphere at the time due to long lines, but I am guessing it would have been shorter than took twenty-seven years.

As I looked down over Knoxville, I thought it might have been that trip almost three decades ago that started my crazy wandering around the globe. There on the streets of Knoxville, a young and impressionable boy was bumping shoulders with people from all over the world. I was witness to many countries showing off their best and brightest. I think those experiences might be some of the catalyst that prompted me to wander to over thirty-five countries to see first hand what each country has to offer. And for this, I am thankful.


I Can Be Your Hero

On my long drive home, I decided to take a break in Metropolis, Illinois. Metropolis bills itself as the hometown of Superman, and have built a giant statue of him in the town square. At two hundred feet tall, it actually is an impressive piece of Americana. I spent a little time taking photos of the statue, and some of the other Superman related items in the area, before heading back out to the highway. Before I got there, I was sidelined by a historical marker pointing towards Fort Massac State Park. Not too excited about the next five hours of driving, I decided to do some wandering around.

As I entered the fort, I encountered four youth throwing rocks at the wall of the fort. I advised them that they might not want to be doing that, which they told me they were trying to knock a wasp nest down. Because of that information, I stressed even more the importance of not throwing rocks in that area. I then continued on wandering around the park and taking photos.

Upon walking back through the fort, my spidey-senses were set off. I noticed several of the glass windows had been shattered. I then recalled that one of the kids appeared to be using his shirt to carry a bunch of rocks. They were in one of the rooms of the fort and didn't hear me, as I passed by. I quickly looked in a couple of the other rooms, and noticed that there was glass on the floor near the broken windows, showing that they had been recently shattered.

Not having my phone, I approached a few adults in the area. I informed them that there might be some youth up to no good in the fort. I explained what I saw, and suggested that they might want to contact the local authorities. Before I could finish explaining, one of the adults got up and headed over to take care of business. I was informed that he was part of the local authorities, and would be able to handle it.

As I headed back to my car, I laughed a little, as I knew that I had helped stop some vandalism in Metropolis. Sure, Superman could have done it, but he was too busy posing for photos downtown. I guess some heroes wear their underwear under their pants. I drove off into the sunset feeling a bit like Reno Raines. Who knows where me and my crime fighting ways will end up next?


Almost Heaven

I love the open road. Heck, I guess I enjoy just about any form of travel to be honest, but today the open road is what I'm loving. A couple days ago, I hopped in my 1989 Toyota Camry wagon and headed south. My destination was Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where two of my friends will be wed later today. So this gave me a excuse to load up the iPod, toss a bag of sunflower seeds in the seat next to me, and head out.

When I travel alone, I control the speed, where and when I stop for food, and most importantly the tunes. For the most part I keep the iPod on shuffle, and just skip the songs I don't feel like. Plus an episode of Car Talk is usually required for the longer trips. Occasionally, as song or artist is required for certain spots on the road. Yesterday, for example, as I entered West Virginia, I felt it was necessary to play John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads. As I had been behind the wheel for six hours, I thought it would also be a good idea to put the three versions of the song I had on a loop. For over thirty miles, it was a Country Road Sing-a-long in my car. When I hit the Hurricane, I decided it was time for a change. On a side note, who names a town Hurricane, especially when it is near enough for one to be of threat? It isn't like there is Tornado, Illinois, Wild Fire, Washington, or Epicenter, California.

As I had a specific destination and time of arrival, I didn't get to wander too far off the road too much. I did see Larry Bird's Bust in French Lick, Indiana. I was hoping to see the grave of Chang and Eng Bunker, but completely missed the exit. But I am hoping to do some wandering on the way back. Because a really good road trip, like life, is not about the destination, but the journey.


Will Things Ever Be The Same Again?

Tonight I was wandering around Toys R Us. Before you alert the local authorities, I was there with my nephew, who is almost a year. But as I was saying, I was wandering up and down the aisles checking out all the cool toys. I think it has been at least ten years since I last was in a Toys R Us, so some things have changed for sure. As I wandered past the toy pianos something caught my eye. There it was, the Little Tikes PopTunes Melody Beads Piano. Forget the toy pianos that play annoying kid's songs all the time. This my friends, is targeted towards people my age who have reproduced or obtained a child from someone who has. This piano plays three pop songs over and over. And when I say pop songs, I mean Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks, Message In A Bottle by the Police, and my favorite, The Final Countdown by Europe.

Sure these songs might get just as annoying to parents, but this is a step in a new direction. And I am not sure a song about a girl needing to go off on her own, a song about loneliness, and a song inspired by space travel might not be the best songs for a child's first songs. At least it is not another toy cranking out the Farmer and the Dell. Heck, if there were more toys like this, I might consider getting a kid of my own so I can play with these toys. Until that happens, I will just have to keep hanging out with my nephew.


She's Got Bette Davis Eyes

The theme of PhotoFriday is Eyes this week. This tarsier was located in Bohol, Philippines. I took this shot a few years back while there helping with Habitat For Humanity. There is also a video of the little creature eating over on my YouTube pages.


Get Rid Of The Slight Debris

This week the theme at PhotoFriday is debris. I took this photo in Daejeon, South Korea. I was walking back from the HomePlus and found this trio of randomly discarded items caught my eye. I've occasionally wondered what they story that landed this trio together.


There's A Ship On The Ocean

Noisy is the theme this week at PhotoFriday. This photo was taken somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is the engine of the Hanjin Phoenix, a freighter ship that I had the opportunity to spend a couple weeks on. The engine room was one of the main areas that was off limits to my wanderings, but the chief engineer did give me a private tour. Unfortunately, it was so loud that I could barely understand half of what he was telling me about the machine.


You Better Listen To The Radio

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a live taping of Whad'Ya Know, a comedy and quiz radio show. As a fan of the show, it was interesting to see how the show works, as well as to put faces to the voices I have listened to for years. But the best part was being selected from the audience to take part in the quiz. Sure, it meant that I was made fun of a little, including a short discussion about how I lack a middle name, but hey, I got the chance to go for the Mother Lode of prizes.

Thanks to the power of the internet, you can listen to the show, if you failed to catch it live. Download the June 13, 2009 episode or listen online if you prefer. I can be heard during the last fifteen minutes of the show, if you don't want to listen to the whole show. Enjoy.


Music Makes My World Go Round

I have no idea how I completely missed the fact that the Eurovision is happening this weekend, but I did. It dawned on me today when one of last years songs played on my iTunes. I did a quick email check and discovered the semi-finals have already happened, and the finals are Saturday.

I usually try to give a listen to all the songs entered, and then pick what I feel will be the top ten. Sadly, I do not have the time right now, as I am getting ready to head into the north woods again. So, I will just go ahead and say that my vote for the winner is......


I say this because I am a big fan of the Lovebugs, the Swiss representative. I am glad that the Swiss finally had the smarts to pick them to represent, unlike a few years ago with DJ Bobo.

Sadly, I will not be able to watch the show, but I have gone ahead and put an order for the double cd of all the songs. And if my prediction is right, I'm seriously thinking of trying to be at next years finals.


Among Five Score Pachyderm

Wildlife is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. I took this photo at the Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore, India.


I Don't Drink Coffee

This week at PhotoFriday the theme is Brown. This was taken in Amadeo, Philippines, which is the Coffee Capital of the Philippines. The mayor of the town invited us in for a cup of coffee. I was able to tell him it was the best coffee I have ever had. It also was the first cup of coffee I had ever had. Two more cups have followed, but that first cup still was the best.


A Casket Or A Bentley

is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. They say you can't take it with you, but many try. This casket is on display at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, Texas.


Strikes A Blow With His Census Form

For those unaware, or those who really care, I have found some employment with the United States government. I would love to tell you I am now a special agent in the FBI with the task of trying to solve the cases they have assigned an unsolvable status due to some unexplained phenomena. Unfortunately my X-file solving will have to wait for another day.

Right now, I am working as a lister for the Census Bureau. I basically will be assisting the government as they update their address lists. This means I will be going door to door checking addresses. There is a press release telling a little more about what I am doing, and not to fear me, and others like me, if you see us walking up your driveway. But if you see me walking by, and the tears are in my eyes, look away, baby, look away.

I am just glad I do not have to ask any personal questions at this point. I fear I would encounter too many people like this guy.


Until I Hear It From You

The Bloomington Extreme, one of the local indoor football teams, is having a promotion tonight that I was very tempting, or at least interesting. After tonight's game there is a free concert by Remedy Drive, a Christian rock band from Omaha, Nebraska.

But the odd thing is that is also Deaf Night for the Bloomington Extreme. I find some humor in the fact that a band has been booked to play the same evening they are having a outreach towards the deaf population. Don't get me wrong, I think both are great promotions. I wonder if it would be better to separate the events.

Can you imagine the band members discuss the concert on the ride to the hotel? "Man, a large part of the crowd just did not appear to be into what we were singing. Like when I told them to put their hands together, they just stood there." I guess at least they won't get too many complaints of being too loud.

Here is a snapshot of their promotional schedule, to prove I am not making this up.


Teach Your Children Well

I know many parents do not want to hear a single childless guy tell them how to raise their kids. But take into consideration that this guy has helped raise hundred of kids who were dropped of at boarding schools around the world, and hopefully you will heed the following advice.

This is a very important tip for those of you with young boys. When teaching them how to use a urinal, please instruct them that talking is limited to very close friends and family. In those two situations talking should only be limited. But in no situation known to man should a child start a conversation with an adult while both are using urinals.

I give this advice today after an awkward situation I was in today. I stopped at one of those large everything including the groceries stores. As I had been on the road for a couple hours, I made my first stop the bathroom. As I walked through the door, there were a couple small children blocking the entry. Their father asked them to move so I could pass by, and I thought nothing of it. Unfortunately, a minute later as I was taking care of business, when I heard a voice coming from the urinal next to me. "That was my dad out there," he began. I, not knowing exactly what was going on, just kept to my business and didn't say anything. But the little kid kept talking, as kids often are prone to do. So I finished up, zipped up, washed up and headed to the door. I think the kid still might have been talking to me as I exited the door. I was tempted to say something to the father about proper urinal etiquette or even about supervising your children in the restroom. I figured it might be more of a hassle, so I just went about my shopping.

But for you my readers, please do me a favor and have a talk with your sons tonight. Tell them that when you use the restroom the only things other than air exiting your body should be from below the belt.

As a bonus, you should also tell them that talking to guys with creepy mustaches is usually not a good idea, especially in light of the above tip. I am not saying all guys who have mustaches are creepy, but as a general rule of thumb...


Put Me In Coach

I am watching the World Baseball Classic tonight. Tonight's game is between Venezuela and Korea, and right now it looks like it will be a victory for the Koreans. As someone who lived in Korea, and is a big fan of the Korean Baseball Organization, I have to say I am really enjoying the game. Well, almost. See, I am very close to turning down the sound, as the announcers sadly are proving some of the reasons a global competition like this should be held.

So far I have heard them discuss how hard it is for American baseball players, and why many of them did not want to give up more of their off-season to participate in the games. They actually bemoaned how hard it is for the players to have to spend six months on the road, often missing family and home. Boo-hoo. First off the minimum salary for a major league player in America is around $380,000 a year. Not bad for a six month gig. And sure you have to spend a lot of time on the road, but it does not take a rocket scientist to be aware of that way before you sign your contract. Every job has things about it that stinks, and if you do not like it, you are not required to take that job.

The announcers have also bemoaned how the numbers of American born baseball players in the United States is declining. They said they could not figure out why, yet in the rest of the world more and more great players are emerging. Here are a few potential reasons off the top of my head. American youth are more focused on their video games and television sets these days. Many parents wont let their precious snowflakes play in unsupervised areas like they used to, thus pick up games of baseball do not happen as often. Could it even be that we have seen many of our heroes fall from grace, and don't want to follow their lead (or don't have connections to steroids like they did)? Or perhaps as today's youth have watched ESPN they have seen the real money is at the poker tables, plus you don't have to work out as much to be a professional player in that sport.

And as for the announcer's complaints that we might be an underdog in our own sport, perhaps we should be glad we have exported at least something other countries can enjoy. I have spent many afternoons sitting in the outfield stand in a ball park in Korea. (Hanwha Eagles Fighting!) I can honestly say the fans there get into the game far more than most who attend games in the States. It is a completely different atmosphere in the stands, one that personally miss.

I am really enjoying see teams made up of non-MLBers compete and even out perform against guys who get paid millions. Seeing the Netherlands do as well as they did was a great thing. And now, the Koreans are about to finish off the Venezuelans. Makes you wonder if the big bucks are worth it?

Besides the announcers, my only other complaint about the World Baseball Classic is the way the brackets work. Korea and Japan have already faced each other four times, and could have a fifth before the series is over. They should mix the teams up a little more. How about splitting up the two teams that advance from the first round to different pools? It would give even more chances for teams to face each other, and limit the number of times two teams would face off.

Oh, and now that this is going to be a routine event, can we change the name of this to the World Series, and the other championship to the MLB Championship? Makes sense to me.


The Egg Was A Bird

This week the theme at PhotoFriday is Edible. I had several photos of foods from around the world I have consumed, but figured I would go with what many might find one of the more disgusting items. This is some balut from my last trip to the Philippines. While it might not be the most appetizing images, it actually was a whole lot better than I expected.


You Can Hit The Highway

The Weekend is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. I have spent the last three four days sitting inside a vehicle watching the pavement pass by, and my weekend is looking like more of the same. I am not exactly sure which way I am heading, I just know I need to get home from this long road trip I am on.


And The Water, It Was Icy

Isolation is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. This shot was taken towards the end of my self imposed hermit days this winter. Guess after so many days without contact you get a little stir crazy. And being stir crazy can lead to ideas like canoeing in the snow or setting up your own bowling rink.


Sing A New Song

A few weeks ago, Ben, my young padawan from a time long ago, left a comment in which he pointed out this video. For those too lazy to click the link, it is a worship leader who has taken the 80's hit You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive and changed it into a worship song. I do not even know where to start with this. Did nobody in his band pull him aside and ask about the logic behind this? "Uh Rick, are you aware that this originally was a huge hit in the 80's, including a big hit in the clubs frequented by people our church despises? In fact, the lead singer probably wrote this about a relationship with another man. And if that is not bad enough, Eiffel 65 and Jessica Simpson have covered this song too." "Yeah, but by switching 'baby' to 'Jesus,' it will change everything. Plus we will have everyone take off their feet because it is 'holy gournd.' And for extra kicks and giggles we will have them wave their 'socks around in the air, like they just don't care,' cause that is the way we roll."

I could write so much about this, but this guy's video does a good job summing it up. Instead, I figured I would take some time to rewrite a few classic songs for other people who are more about the show than the heart of the message.

I must confess that my loneliness is killin' me
Now don't you know I still believe
That you will be here to give me a sign
Love me Jesus one more time. (Britney Spears)

Come on Jesus, light my fire.
Come on Jesus, light my fire,
You can set my heart on fire. (The Doors)

I'm in love with you God 'cause you're on my mind,
You're the one I think about most every time.
And when you make me smile in everything you do,
I know you understand, God, this love is true. (Milli Vanilli)

Your love is the best medicine
Your medicine is what I need
Shake it up, just like God's medicine
You're the Great Doctor that can
Cure my disease. (Bon Jovi)

Ooo, Jesus, I love your way, everyday
Wanna tell you I love your way, everyday
Wanna be with you night and day. (Peter Frampton)

Doing it all for my Saviour
Because He's as fine as He can be
Doing it all for my Saviour
For everything He did for me. (Huey Lewis & The News)

Say we can sing, we can pray
Everything's in His control
We can sing, we can pray
They're doing it from pole to pole
We can sing, we can pray
Everybody fold up your hands
We can sing, we can pray
Everybody sayin' the prayer
The sinner's pray'r
The sinner's pray'r
The sinner's pray'r (Men Without Hats)

Please say a prayer for me now, pray it till the morning after
Please say a prayer for me now, pray it till the morning after. (Duran Duran)

His mind was on faith and love and healing some.
Because he loved us so much he had to die young.
But He made His mark in history.
Still ev'rybody says:
Rock me Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Oh oh oh Hallelujah. (Falco)

Go, evangelize and listen, God sent you out on his Great Commission... (Vanilla Ice)

Wow, that was pretty easy, and I am especially proud of that last one. I think I might have to go into the '80s worship revival business. I just need to get me a backup band. Sadly, I think I probably could get a couple gigs with these tunes. But in the end, it would all be in vain. True worship is not about the crowds, it is not about the flashy music, it is not even about the cool worship leader in the front. Worship is really about the heart of those involved. Again, there is someone else who can say it better. In this case it is Jon Foreman in his song, Instead Of A Show.


Morning Has Broken

The theme this week at PhotoFriday is Morning Routine. Sadly in my current employment status, I do not have any great morning routine, or at least one that would be worthy of a photo. So I give you a photo of one of my favorite statues. And really, don't most of us enjoy a little toilet reading in the morning?


Pushing An Elephant Up The Stairs

This week at PhotoFriday the theme is pet. I do not have a pet. Part of the reason is that they limit the vagabond lifestyle. I would also have a hard time spending money to take care and feed something that I am just going to have to clean up after.

But if I had a limitless supply of money and land to have animals to call my own, I would probably have to have an elephant. There is just something cool about seeing one up close. Perhaps it is due to my desire of being in a circus as a kid. It could also could be related to the Simpsons episode where Bart wins an elephant. Either way, I am guessing I would be the coolest guy on the block, owning my own pachyderm.


I'm Already Torn

Unemployment has a few perks. Tax forms are easier to fill out, your lunch break is not limited to a half hour, and it give a person time to work on his break dancing moves. Some of my time has been spent filling out applications online, although I can easily be distracted. Hey look shiny things!

Two sites I have stumbled across lately have instantly found a spot in my bookmark folder. The first site is Sexy People. It is a collection of classic Olan Mills style photographs. Here is one of my favorites from their collection.

The other site is called Pets Who Want To Kill Themselves. Forget all the cute pet photos. At PWWTKT you will find some of the more depressing, yet hilarious, pet photos. Call it animal cruelty, call it pure comedy, either way it is worth a visit. While this is one of my favorites, you will need to find the one involving a World's Best Dad shirt for an extra laugh.

I am not sure which one site I like more, perhaps you can decide for me.

Currently listening to: Snow Patrol -


Christmas At Denny's

For some reason Denny's restaurants decided to offer free Grand Slam breakfast meals from six until two today. This came to my attention during a little football game on Sunday. Being unemployed, I had some time on my hands to take advantage of this fine deal. I set my alarm for the crack of dawn woke up sometime around nine, hoping to avoid all the working class people who might try to get in before work. I figured that arriving around ten would be a good time. Unfortunately, when I walked in the cute gal behind the counter informed me it could be a two hour wait. Luckily, a friend had tipped me off of potential long waits, and I came prepared with a book to read. An hour later I found myself saddled up to the bar awaiting my Grand Slam. Sitting there gave me an interesting view on the kitchen crew as they cranked out more Grand Slams that Bonds, McGwire, and all the other enhanced baseball players ever have. Twenty minutes later, mine arrived. Mission accomplished.

Since I was a couple miles from my brother's house, I decided to go spend a little time with my nephew. After some quality time discussing politics, the fact he should buck his dad's views and become a Cub fan, and him getting his first two teeth, I decided it was time to head for lunch. Hmmmm, if there was only a place giving away free food. Oh wait, there are two Denny's in a short driving distance. So it was off for Grand Slam number two. This time it was only a thirty minute wait for my table, and about ten minutes until the plate landed. Not only did the meal arrive quicker, it tasted better. Although I did have to wait for the waitress to bring me some silverware, which were in short supply today.

As it was nearing two o'clock as I headed out the door and the next closest Denny's was about forty minutes away, all I could do was drown my sorrows and Slams with a little happy hour special.

Song for this post: Randy Stonehill - Christmas At Denny's


So This Is My Cassette

In my cleaning process, I have come upon a large crate of cassette tapes from a time long ago. For those of you who do not know what a cassette tape is, it is what people used to listen to music before Ipods and even CDs, although not as far distant as the 8-track.

I want to see what is recorded on them before I either toss them or return them to storage. Unfortunately, most are unlabeled. So I have dusted off the old boom box, and am listening to all these tapes. I am hoping to find some of my long lost interviews with several artists, but so far I have found:

1. Answering machine tapes from both my brother and my machines during college.
2. A recording of 20 The Countdown's tribute to Rich Mullins
3. A recording of Jerry Springer's Dr. Talk.
4. A couple tapes where I am driving around talking into a recorder for no apparent reason.
5. My first broadcast on KLRC
6. My airchecks that I sent to radio stations in hope of a job.
7. The theme songs from 1991-1995 summer camps at Miracle Camp. Word!
8. Some salsa and meringue music from my time in Venezuela.
9. A tape I made of Christian music sped up to sound like the Chipmunks.
10. The KLRC Christmas greetings circa 1995 or 1996.

There are some gems that I might even transfer to MP3 for all to hear. But for now I must go back to cleaning.


We Have The Facts

The big craze sweeping through my friend list on Facebook is to post 25 random facts about oneself. You are then to tag 25 friends, who are to do the same. It is like a friendship knowledge Ponzi scheme. I figured I should post the list here as well, since some of my readers here are not my facebook friends. Yeah I'm talking to you, Fox's dad. So here are twenty-five random facts about myself that you may or may not have known. I know I have posted about a few of these. Enjoy.

1. I have three different valid drivers licenses in my wallet.
2. I have been to as many countries as years spent on this planet.
3. While I started my musical career on the French horn, I quickly switched to the tuba partially because I thought it would be more impressive to the ladies.
4. There have been few days in the last fifteen years when my face was completely shaved.
5. I am a big fan of the judge shows, especially People's Court, Judge Judy and Judge Mathis.
6. My name appeared in a list of thanks in a nationally released album.
7. I am a bit of a pistachio snob. If they are not Turkish, I will probably pass them up.
8. My minor in college was camping.
9. CNN has broadcast my face on at least two separate occasions.
10. I drive a twenty year old car that a friend gave to me. And I love it.
11. The last free car I owned, I totaled in Italy about a mile from the Mediterranean Sea. Bon Jovi was on the radio at the time.
12. Speaking of Bon Jovi, if you watch their Crush DVD close enough, you might see me in the crowd.
13. According to iTunes, you can listen to my music collection for one hundred days. That doesn't include the cassettes and records that have not be converted to mp3s.
14. I have consumed balut, dinuguan, and kimchi, yet still find banana to be the most disgusting taste I have encountered.
15. One of my favorite ways to sightsee is to wander around cities in the middle of night.
16. I have an amazing sense of direction. Sense of style still lacking.
17. When I travel, I like to read appropriate books. Romans in Rome, Ephesians in Ephesus, Dostoyevsky in Russia, Moby Dick while out at sea, etc.
18. Scuba Advanced Open Water certified
19. I am a sucker for street musicians. I have a collection of cds from some of my favorites.
20. I own the Marvin the Martian t-shirt and cape that Steve Zahn wore in Daddy Day Care.
21. I was picked up by the Chinese military near the Russian and North Korean borders with China.
22. Because of stories like that, some I know thought I wasn't really a missionary, but a spy.
23. I messed up some psychology tests because I love the solitude as much as the center of attention.
24. I had to talk to a counselor about those messed up tests. He looked just like Dr. Leo Marvin.
25. Someday I am going to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Currently listening to: The Hooters -

Sure Beats Raising Cattle

Costume is the theme this week at PhotoFriday. Last summer, I took my sister-in-law and nieces to Chick-fil-A for their Cow Appreciation Day. This guy was there to claim his free meal for dressing up like a cow. I only received a free sandwich, as I only wore a cow themed hat. Guess I just wasn't that committed to the cause.


Make A Bid On That

Ponch Action Figure, originally uploaded by rycordell.


I got some random stuff on Ebay, as I am trying to clean out my parents' basement. At this point there are some DVD sets, some CDs, some movie memorabilia I have collected over the years, and a few random action figures, including Ponch.

Some items are ending in the next day, and there will be more posted in the next few days. Heck, if there is something I own you would like in your possession, give me a call or leave a comment, and I might just put it up for bids. I am trying to clean out the closet, so you just never know what I am willing to get rid of. Who would have thought I would have put Ponch up for bids?

So get on over to Ebay and get yourself a deal on a piece of Ryan Cordell history.


Shiny Happy People

This week the theme at PhotoFriday is iconic. I took this photo on my last trip to California. This statue is located on the campus/compound of the Crystal Cathedral. My friend Dave and I both were puzzled by the metallic baby Jesus. I think I made the joke that he looks less like the son of God, and more like the son of Destro. Cobra-la-la-la-la-la-la!


Don't Sleep In The Subway

This week's theme at PhotoFriday is Meditation. This is a photo taken during my last few weeks in Korea.


Know It's Only Words

Sometimes I am amazed at the things people announce to the world. A few months ago I posted about the lady at the Grand Canyon who couldn't wait to see what her photos would look like on the computer. I honestly thought it would be a while before I had something as golden to pass along.

Well, tonight it happened again. I overheard another phrase that made me wonder if there are too many chemicals in the foods we consume. This evening I had a ticket to see Spamalot. As a fan of both Monty Python and tolerator of musical theater, I figured I was in for a good time. I was not disappointed. It is a funny show, so funny I think the guy a couple seats over laughed to the point of wetting one's self. But the line that made me laugh the most was not from the show, but the couple behind me. At intermission, one turned to the other and said,

"I did not know this was a comedy"

Think about this for a second. A couple paid money for seats to a musical written by a comedian based on a comedic movie that he and other members of his very famous comedy troupe wrote and stared in. Even the title sounds humorous. Spamalot! Or were they expecting a sad tale about someone's email inbox and while they did find cheap drugs, ways to increase their size, and helped a widow transfer her late husband's great fortune out of the country that killed him, they could never find true love?

And if that wasn't bad enough, I heard a similar sentiment from someone else near me as well. This made me wonder if these people have extra money laying around and will go to see anything playing at the local civic center. Is it that hard to use the Google to find out if Spamalot is a comedy? But most of all, did they need to announce to the people in the cheap seats that they probably should have stayed home and watched American Idol? Really people, sometimes it is best to not verbalize all your thoughts. But I guess I have to thank those who do give me a good laugh once in a while with their clueless comments. So there you go.

Currently listening to:


When I Think Of Winter

It has been a while since I have been online on a Friday for PhotoFriday. This week's theme is White. I chose one of the photos I took last month while I was wandering around the frozen lake. This was from one of the sunnier days. Part of me wishes I was back up there, although I hear it is bitter cold. But that is what the wood stove is for, right?


Enjoy The Silence

Once in a while someone comes up with an idea so stupid it might just work. Today, I came across this report about a silent radio station. Every couple minutes it sends your computer or phone gets a message with the title of some potential earworm. I'm guessing it ranges from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and It's A Small World to Ice, Ice Baby and Hey Ya. (Thank me later for getting that combo of songs stuck in your head.)

So now that that idea is taken, I guess the only thing to do is Christianize* it. Just think of it now, all the great Christian songs broadcast in silence to your computer or phone. I imagine it now. "You just heard Sandi Patty sing Love In Any Language, here is Michael W. Smith with Friends, followed by The Champion by Carman. And don't forget Psalty Saturdays, with twice the Psalty every hour."

Hmmm, maybe it could work.

* Christianize in this case has nothing to do with Christ, but with the Christian Subculture, which according to some really should have more to do with Christ.


So This Is The New Year

Did you miss me? Cause I missed you. It has been a few weeks since I have posted. The funny thing is that I have had a steady internet connection during most of that time. In fact, I think since I left my hermit ways in the woods, I have had less social interaction with people outside my family than I did before. That could be a sad commentary on my life, but I'll just say it was due to the holidays.

So now I am still in civilization and trying to figure out what to do next. Do I return to the woods? Do I use my frequent flier miles and travel somewhere fun? Or do I try to find a job? So many choices, so many directions.

I do know I am hoping to do some house cleaning. Both online and off. I just renewed this domain for a few more years, so I would like to revamp this site. I am also planning on cleaning out a lot of junk I have collected over the years in the material world. I will probably be posting links to eBay soon.

So stay tuned, you never know what is next.

Currently listening to: Cut Off Your Hands -