Saturday, April 30, 2005

Today's Invention


Ok, I didn’t invent disappointment but I’m feeling it right now. I just found out that Audi has implemented one of my ideas into their current line of luxury cars. Audi is now including SD slots as an option in some of their cars. I had this very idea a year and a half ago. I’m not even going to pretend that I had this idea first but I did predict that the portable storage industry was heading in this direction. Now, I probably wasn’t the only one to think of this application a year ago, nor the first, but it’s good to know my thinking was on the right track.

Today's Scene

Today’s scene takes us to the starting line of the NHRA drag racing quarter-finals where a reporter is interviewing ,”Candy”, one of the few female drivers in the sport. The reporter has just a few minutes before she gets the green light, so he shouted a couple questions over the roar of the engines.

Reporter: “Do you feel that you have something to prove out here to the male drivers in drag racing”?

Candy: “No. Women have come a long way in sports and this is just another example. We can do anything a man can do”.

Reporter: “What about the stereotypes of a women driver? Do the other drivers joke about it”?

Candy (laughing): “Ya, some do but they’re jealous. I just let my driving do the talking”.

Reporter: “Alright, good luck to you Candy”.

The scene is framed now from the perspective of the press box. “Candy’s” car is in the foreground slightly obscuring her opponent’s car. The starting lights begin the count down to green. The scene switches and is now being viewed on TV from the live footage of one of the cable stations. The engines are revving in anticipation. The lights go green! “Candy’s” opponent gets a good start. “Candy” punches the accelerator and goes from 0 to 60 in just a split second but in reverse crashing into the grand stand. That’s today’s scene.

Today's Free Flow

Dogwood Trees
-Eric Crouch

Deep in the woods far from human needs, I wandered upon a forgotten path lined with dogwood trees.

I followed the overgrowth to a stone foundation, which punctuated the rows of trees like a dot of exclamation.

What a structure must have stood so grand so not to be out done by the beauty of the leaves.
And what must have been thought of the path that such care was taken to outline it with dogwood trees.

That drew the eye along its path to rest upon this majestic habitation. Its a memory that lingers now forgotten outside this stone foundation.

Despite man’s best effort to preserve its creation there’s nothing here to see,
beyond this forgotten path lined with dogwood trees.

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Friday, April 29, 2005

Flat Panel Guitar Amp

I could possibly be persuaded to sell a kidney or two for this!

I wet my pants when.................

Those who know me would say that I have an unrealistic fear of sharks. They say that because I live in East Tennessee and don’t go near salt water. Not wanting to die is not an unrealistic fear and not wanting to be eaten isn’t either. Follow me on my logic here. Would we not kill a Great White shark that waddled up on a beach just because it was curious? Sure we would! It is in our nature to do so. Of course we wouldn’t if it was a seal or a whale, something cute, but a shark we’d stomp a mud hole in. Kill the killer, right. Can you foresee a bunch of eco-nuts banding together to gently steer the shark back out into the ocean where everyone is swimming. No. Similarly, we shouldn’t expect anything different from the shark if we showed up in its environment. Realistically, in comparison, man is the more dangerous, but let’s not split hairs here. If I look like shark food in shark infested waters, well then you really can’t blame a shark for taking a bite out of me.

My fears were only slightly diminished after reading of a new device from SeaChange that repels sharks with a strong electrical field. It’s called the Shark Shield. I still won’t ever voluntarily go diving wearing one of these, but it will make it easier for me to get on a boat knowing that life vests will someday be equipped with theses.

Read more

Tired of that same old knife set?

Now, if there was just a way that I could dress it up like some people I know.....Hmmmm.

Read more about it

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Today's Scene

Our hero must work at least 35 hours a week and wear a tracking device to meet the requirements of his early parole. Today's scene finds our hero working as a shoe salesman in JC Penney’s; his first day. In most cases an addiction to methadone and several felonies would've disqualified him from employment here but the shoe department manager owed our hero's parole officer a favor. It seems he was once in a fix in a Mexican border town and the parole officer helped him out of it. The manager considered the debt paid after hiring our hero. He knew he was taking a chance. Research shows that people just don't buy shoes from salesmen with tattoos of tears on their cheeks and self inflicted etchings.

Our hero's first effort was to be applauded; even his parole officer said so. "He displayed self control.”, his manager said. Frequent affirmation was recommended by the prison 's resident psychiatrist, "You just don't know what will set him off". The customer was a young mother and her six-year-old son. Right away there was tension. The boy took one look at our hero and said, "You are a scary man". Kids are so cute. Tact just doesn't occur to them. Our hero ground his teeth and stooped to the boy's level. Eye to eye now he says, "I'm rubber you're glue. It bounces off of me and sticks to you". That's today's scene.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Today's Invention

The Task Timer

I’ve got something for those of us who are multi-taskers by necessity, not by desire. The more I stack on my plate the more likely I am to spill something. I can handle two or three things going on at once , but the more I have going on the more likely it is that I’ll get confused over the details or forget one all together.

I created the Task Timer to keep over lapping tasks on track. The Task Timer is, on a very basic level, just a timer.. You set it for however long you want to devote to each task and it beeps when it’s time to move to the next task. The Timer is most effective if the user stops the current task and moves to the next task at the sound of the beep no matter what stage of the current task they are in. This method establishes the “I’ll sleep on it” effect when the task’s turn comes back around the progressio. It is based on the principle that we can solve problems and overcome obstacles by actually not dwelling on them in our conscience mind but letting our sub-conscious work through the roadblock. The concept comes from the book, The Breakout Principle by Dr. Herbert Benson. We can simulate this, in a small way, by stopping what we are working on and devote our thoughts to a different task. This is a beneficial side effect of the Task Timer’s true purpose, which is to keep our projects efficiently moving forward.

I’ll use myself as an example. I work best in four to five minute bursts of concentrated problem solving. I would set the Task Ticker to beep at five minutes intervals. I move to the next task at each beep. I can set the Task Timer to beep or flash a light at each increment. It can also be designed to wear inconspicuously or be set aside on a desk or workspace. The Task Timer, in whatever way it is used, has the potential to optimize the time we spend on solving problems and minimize the confusion we create by jumping, haphazardly, between them.

Today's Free Flow

Two sticks tell a tale.

as just one does as well.

Either way, a mark is made.

And, maybe, yearly remembered on that special day.

If not then, then maybe next time, but all in due time.

All in due time.

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Today's Scene

Today’s scene has our hero reading a scripture up in front of his church congregation. He has prepared for this day for two weeks. He is a rather nervous guy and he wanted to do a good job. Our hero practiced every night until the scripture flowed from his lips in Shakespearian fashion. The day arrived and our hero was ready despite his stage fright. He was impeccably dressed in a pressed white shirt with a smart red tie. The pants were creased to perfection. And no one really paid much attention at all to the Bud Lite undershirt conspicuously visible through our hero’s dress shirt. That’s today’s scene.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Sound of a Kettle Drum- a forgotten memory

I was playing softball with by church league team when I remembered an incident from my childhood that I had buried somewhere in a corner of my mind. I see it all now as if I’m standing just to the left of the entire scene. I was a kid playing catcher in a league that used a pitching machine. I was too old to be hitting off a tee but too young to handle a pitcher. Our little arms just didn’t have the strength and accuracy to get a ball across the plate. We still had a pitcher but he just hung out on the pitcher's mound next to the pitching machine. The machine always threw strikes but it couldn’t stop me from distrusting it when I stepped into that batter’s box. I had a bit of a phobia. Things changed, however, on defense. I had the easiest job. I was the catcher squatting behind the plate. I knew where the ball was going each time; right across the plate. I'’d catch it on strikes and just watch it sail off when the batter got a hold of it. On one particular occasion neither happened. This is a little embarrassing, but funny. I don’t remember how it affected me then and maybe that’s why I really didn’t remember it until recently.

I remember the batter swung and missed. I must have lost focus because I missed it too. Now boys require and extra piece of equipment. A ball and bat aren'’t the only things boys take to the ball field. It is just an odd coincidence that the need for a jock and cup coincides with a boys’ awareness of modesty. It’s a touchy subject eventhough we’'d joke about it in locker rooms. That ball I missed hit my cup center mast and the percussion of it reverberated audibly like a kettle drum. The cup did its job as is was designed to do; maybe it did it too well. The ball ricocheted back from between my legs and back to the pitcher even before the sound was out of my ears.

I don’t remember my reaction much less anyone else’s. I wonder if I’'d laugh now. For that matter, I wonder if I laughed then. I think it’'s funny and I think about it now everytime I see a catcher.

Today's Scene

Today’s scene takes us to a jogging trail in the woods where our hero is getting some exercise. He is wearing a red velour jogging suit and a headband. Our hero is still flush with joy after a date that went well the night before. The scene is framed so that all you see is our hero from the waist up. He has got a goofy love lorn look on his face and his arms are swinging away like he doesn’t have a care in the world. The background music is an old Rod Stewart tune that is just barely distinguishable above the sounds of the forest. Without warning, and with lightning fast suddenness, a bear attacks our hero. All the audience is left with is a forest scene with a trail running off into the distance. That's today's scene.

Today's Scene

Today's scene has our hero getting on an elevator in a shopping mall. There is an up-scale department store on the first level that he is interested in. The department store is right next to the elevator and boasts the latest in men’s fashions. The entrance is entirely glass and is used to show off the store’s sharply dressed mannequins. Our Hero takes three steps off the elevator and bangs into the glass wall. His face smacks firmly into the glass spreading his face out unnaturally as viewed from the other side. As our Hero slides to his knees he spots a toddler in a stroller through the smudged glass laughing at him. That’s today’s scene.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

We stood and clapped.

Our church was been praying for a member's nephew whose military unit has been serving in Iraq. The nephew recently returned from his tour unharmed. It was an answered prayer. Today in church he got up, and with his uncle at his side, and with a warble in his voice, thanked our church for our prayers. He reassured us that he knew God was protecting him. We all stood and clapped impart due to our patriotism and partly due to our joy in an answered prayer. It was hard holding back a tear despite the fact that I'd never seen the guy before. The only connection we had were our prayers, so I was surprised the way it touched me. I noticed as I looked around that I wasn't the only one. Prayer is a powerful thing.

The voices in your head have escaped!

This is really interesting. A speaker that sharply focuses sound to certain areas from long distances. Researchers say that sound can be projected in such a way that the targeted audience hears the sound as if they were at its point of origin, yet people just two feet away can't hear anything.

Blogging-A good chance to witness

I've noticed that a lot of people are using blogs to vent a frustration, or emotional pain. These blogs aren’t directed towards any particular audience other than just the author. I’ve read some that implicitly state this and others that flat out said their blogs were for their therapeutic purposes. Many are voices of desperation. Every once in a while I’ll comment on one that really worries me. I’ll leave just a short note of encouragement. It’s a good witness opportunity. I encourage everyone to do this. There is just too much hurt out here. I can’t, in good conscience, eavesdrop on someone’s pain and then just surf the next blog or turn on the TV. I’ve got the answers, the good news, and posting comments is a good way to witness and show others you care. If you saw someone in danger, would you not shout out a warning? If you had the cure for cancer, would you not share it? Christians don’t have the bandaid for this life’s problems, we have the salve. Not all Christians are going to be good at administering it. In fact, some of us really mess it up. But remember this, If one doctor miss diagnoses you, you don’t swear of doctors all together, do you? Let’s hope not. If you see a witness opportunity while you are blogging, then take it. Apply the salve and let God do the healing.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Amazon's free MP3 Download Site

Click here to view Amazon's free MP3 download site.
This looks like an ad but it's not. Basically, it's just a reminder for me to check it out.

What's next for me? Men's highheels?

Welcome the dawn of the age of The Man Purse. I will give just two more years before men everywhere realize the necessity of a stylish accessory to store all of their gadgets. Enter the man purse. It’s starting to catch on. I am just about to flag down the Band Wagon myself. Really! My pockets are bursting. I stuff them everyday with keys, cell phone, digital voice recorder, pack of gum, Chapstick, change and a pair of nail clippers. I feel like Winona Ryder in a department store! Men were once able to just throw on a pair of cargo pants for added storage but even that is not enough theses days. And you really can’t get away with that look at a power lunch with your boss and a couple of clients.

So here I am at a crossroads. One direction is a step toward the effeminate looking, yet vogue, Man Purse and the other is the one I’m on now. Do I continue to stuff my pockets until I look like I’m wearing saddle bags or do I start shopping for a purse?

I believe that I’ve come across a more doable option for me; a backpack. It is more of a transitional move until the Man Purse movement catches on. I know it’s gutless. I see it as the equivalent to getting a toupee. You hide on the fringes until you can’t hide any more, then one day you just show up bald. I’m sure one day I’ll just show up with a Man Purse. You really still can’t get away with bringing a backpack to a power lunch, but I don’t do power lunches. A power lunch for me would be drive-through, so it’s not an issue for me. I’m just solving my own dilemma right now. The other gutless men of the world will have to deal with their own insecurities.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

This Guy Has Got It Figured Out!!!

The media has been slowly programing us how to think since tin cans where connected with string. Johnny says it best. Hint.....zeros and ones are how computers communicate. It's binary. Check out the link above! It's funny.

Today's Random Thought

Who would mow the grass in our medians if we didn’t have prison work camps and work release programs?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Crime caught on Audioblogger

this is an audio post - click to play

Can I be excused?

Originally uploaded by good_fences.

I realized recently that I don'€™t have the patience nor the mental rigor to deal with all the information that I come across. I have developed an ability to skim over information and pick out what is useful. I'€™ve taken a couple of speed reading courses that have helped out to a degree. These courses, by the way, should have been prefaced with a speed thinking course if such one existed because for me this is the rub. Reading fast is great if you can soak it all in, otherwise, you are just spinning your wheels. Even with this skill my head has become impacted with information. My mind has reached a bottle neck with all the information that continually needs to be added. I have these great ideas that are lost because they hit me in the shower or when I'€™m in my car at a stop light. Enter the Voice Recorder!!

I've been using this Voice Recorder for about a month now. It can hold up to 8 hours of audio and it comes with 4 digital audio file folders to better organize your memos. It beats the post-it note method I was using. My work space is virtually wallpapered with them. It is sort of like getting a second hard drive for your brain. Try it out!

House of D

House of D
Originally uploaded by good_fences.

I've been a David Duchovny fan since X-Files. I guess that's pretty much it or at least all that I was exposed to while wading through the main stream. Not sure really what else he has done. But anyhow, check out the link to his new movie above and his personal blog here.

Here's what I should've said...

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Garret died today

My wife and I taught Garrett in Sunday morning bible school. I will spare you details of his death because my mind can't comprehend it and my lips just won't form the words. This song comes from a dark place. I'm sorry. He was six.

Pray for Rain
-Eric Crouch

Vs. 1

Pray for sickness; pray for rain

Pray for the sunset that ends the day

Pray for tunnels that end in lights.

Pray for forgiveness for this life.

Pray for innocence born in vain,

when lives’ are taken without shame.


Oh……I want to go home. X3

Vs. 2

Pray for rain that clouds the sky.

Mix it with tears from saddened eyes.

Pray for sickness; pray for rain.

Pray the sunset takes away the pain.

Pray the sunset takes away the pain.


Oh……I want to go home. X3

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I hear the knife guy is bringing a gun to this year's gun fight

I wonder if who ever said, “Don’t ever bring a knife to gun fight” was speaking from experience. It was a bad experience, I’m guessing, if he was. That would mean the other guy had the gun. I can see the first as an old man sitting down with his grandson on the farm somewhere passing that bit of wisdom on to the next generation and the grandson asking, “Hey, Granddaddy, can I see your bullet hole again”? I can see the gun guy in the same way, but sitting on his bunk in a cell block somewhere telling his cell mate the same story for the thousandth time. I don’t think my advice would be as pithy. “Son, don’t bring two girly fists and a glass jaw to a fight”, or “don’t run off screaming like a little girl”. It is still good advice but I don’t foresee any of my words becoming a legacy for me. “Don’t ever bring a knife to gun fight” is a “tough guy” saying now, only because the other guy didn’t bring a gun. What would bullies of today have to say if both had thought to pack their side arms for the fight?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Today's Invention

The E Diet

If you have got junk in the trunk, then listen up, you’re in luck. Ask yourself; would twinkies taste so good if we were unable to taste them? I would assume no. Where's the pleasure? It would be like eating a sponge. Today's Invention is a pill or injection that temporarily deadens the taste buds. You could take one in the morning, perhaps, and the drug would work all day. Or, maybe it would be activated by the increase in salvia that accompanies hunger. In any case, the idea is worth looking in to. You heard it here first.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Why I wish I was four

Originally uploaded by good_fences.

You'll have to check Engadget's site for the full story because I'm too disguested to retell it. Do you know that I hit a growth spurt at the very moment in history when fast food chains were building those cool playgrounds with the suspended bridges and rubber ball pits. Tragically, my recent growth disqualified me from partisipating eventhough my age did not. Every playground had a yardstick at it's entrance mocking me with its marks and dashes, everyone I looked down upon. This tricycle is just another example of a missed opportunity. Heap some more burning coals on my head. It's Pimp my Ride meets Sesame Street.

Today's Random Thought

Computers are evil beasts that might be tamed but will yield to thier dormant wild intstincts given the right conditions. They will lash out to miam and consume. If I was computer tamer I would be one on the same scale as Siegfried and Roy, but I would probably just end up like Roy; beaten and mangled.

Today's Invention

Sinful Supplements Inc.

I went to Smoothie King today and got a 32oz smoothie with added memory supplements. It was called strawberry or raspberry something muscle blah blah. I don’t know. You go in and order right up front. An employee gives you a ticket with your number on it and they call it when they have finished preparing the smoothie. This practice seems absurd because the staff usually out numbers the patrons. There is never a line. The ticket is placed in my hand and in a continuance of that motion my hand empties it into the trash. However, this is not the only curiosity in the shop.

I was browsing the store’s various side counter items while I was waiting for my smoothie. There were vitamins, energy bars, muscle enhancers, and other dietary supplements and all with the oddest flavors. There were cinnamon berry energy gels, yogurt almond cranberry crunch trail mix, chocolate hazelnut meal replacement bars, and ice melon rush electrolyte replacement drinks. The last thing I’m thinking about when I’m on a diet is fruity gimmicks snacks. So why would anyone else. I would imagine that most people are on diets to cut back on the red meats, pizza, fries, and other fatty foods. Wouldn’t you think?

In response, today I invented a line of dietary products that taste like the foods we are abstaining from; the things we crave. Basically they are the same as the products I saw today at Smoothie King and that you would see at any Health Food Store but with different flavors. For example: Pepperoni Protein Bars, Pizza flavored instant energy gels, meat stick flavored meal replacement bars, and beer flavored sports drinks.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Today's Free Flow

Bad Day Blues

Having a bad day. Having a bad day.

The sun don’t shine it just fades away, just fades away.

And days of blue skies are so shy.

They play above ceilings of silver linings.

They don’t notice that down below the air is crying.

Old bones are rubbing joints and sighing.

Having a bad day. Having a bad day.

The sun don’t shine it just fades away.

Today's Invention

The Touchless Baby Scrub

I don’t wash my car that often, but when I do, I spring for the touchless kind, the car wash that’s promoted so heavily at all the finest Quickie Marts and other similar establishments that cluster around interstate off-ramps. There are no fancy spindles fastened with sprockets and gears, no heavy industrial brushes that glide across your car’s clear coat like sandpaper over Walnut. I pay extra for that touch of class that only touchless provides. Also absent is the irrational fear that I will be chewed up in the mechanism’s inner workings, but this just might be me. Touchless uses high powered jets of water to vaporize the months of neglect off your car. Nothing touches the car except the water and the detergent. It’s great. This method, however grand, is still not free from my irrational fears. I’m developing one now. If you’ve seen the movie Maximum Overdrive with Emilo Estevez, then, you’ll see where I’m heading with it, but that’s a side note.

I was blessed with the idea of the Touchless Baby Scrub when I was confronted with the possibility of changing my nephew’s diaper. I got out of it but I’ve been plagued with the chasing notion that I won’t be able to dodge that bullet forever. The Touchless Baby Scrub is a Touchless car wash on a much smaller scale. You don’t want to peel the flesh of the child. You just want to knock the nasty off. You stick the baby into the device making sure to remove the dirty diaper. Suspend the baby over the rotating nozzles and close the vinyl curtain. Your hands and the baby are the only things in the device now. This device is designed with the baby’s safety in mind. The baby is safe even under cataclysmic conditions. The Touchless Baby Scrub will be held to the same standards as any other baby product.

Today's Scene

A man walks into a grocery store to pick up a few items. He has just come from the hospital where he had a cyst removed from his nose. It was an out-patient procedure and the wound on the nose is visibly fresh. The check out clerk, ignoring proper etiquette, asks the man what happened to his nose. The man, hiding his disgust for having been questioned, responds, “I don’t know. I woke up this morning with these tiny teeth marks and a hunk of my nose missing.” That’s today’s scene.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Kim Komando

My mom worships Kim Komando. Kim Komando is a radio personality who is known across the airwaves and in cyberspace as the “Digital Goddess”. She is a computer guru equivalent to a Master Mason. My mom is one of her loyal subjects, so loyal that it boarders on “Jim Jones” like fanaticism. It is for good reason, I know, I’m quickly becoming a Kool-Aid sipper myself. My apologies if you are sensitive to the Jone’s Town references. Honestly, though, where would Kool-Aid be today if wasn’t for all that free press.

Mom recently sent me two of her books on CDs. They are both filled with tons of tricks and tips. Here is a good example: Did you ever wonder what all those programs were that automatically started along with Windows? MSConfig will list them but how do you know which ones are needed and which ones were installed by spyware? Kim says to go here to learn more about what each executable does.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Wouldn't you hate to see this as you awoke from a coma?

you don't need, somebody like me, in your life
I'm playing with this digital camera we had laying around at work. Ignore me.

Recycled Death

I don’t practice risky behavior. I enjoy life and I prefer not to exit it with a Darwin Award. So I don’t bungee jump, skydive, mountain climb, dive into the shallow end, or eat peanut butter off a spoon. It is, then to this, that I query my readers; why is it then that people feel it necessary to remind me to “be careful”.?
My wife and I had company coming over and we were cleaning house the night before in preparation for their visit. I had been putting of taking the recyclables despite my wife’s gentle, yet daily, encouragements. My justification in the delay being that it would take decades for our recyclables to breakdown in a landfill if we decided to be so careless. But we don’t, so what are a few more days. Well, I finally got on the ball around 11 pm, which isn’t a prime chore time but I knew the dumpster rush would be long past. I told my wife where I was going and that I’d be right back. Worry immediately showed on her face. Now, the WORRY function uses the entire left hemisphere of the female brain, for those of you who don’t know the mechanics of the female brain. There is not much room left in this hemisphere aside from a few involuntary functions like blinking, breathing, and screaming when an insect is spotted. So a card has been played. My wife is worried and now it’s my turn. The reassurance card; I always lead with this one, and it’s really all I’ve have anyway. “I’ll be fine, honey”, I say. And the machine gun like firing of the synapses on the left side subsides dramatically.
I’m heading out the door when one last one fires like a spark gap jumper, like a bolt of lighting in my wife’s mind. I’m not out of the woods. “Honey”, she says, “Be careful”. What came to mind it not what I said, fortunately for me. I wanted to say, “Not this time, babe. I’m tired of being careful. Yep, it’s overrated. Tonight I’m not flossing, not washing my hands after I flush, I’m microwaving popcorn with my face pressed right up against the glass, I’ll run in socked feet across this hardwood floor, but first, I’m driving to the recycling bin. We can play Scrabble later too if I make it back alive.”
I’ve been involved in mishaps before because I wasn’t being careful, but it’s not something that can be helped by being reminded. I still do foolish things for reasons I can not explain. Mostly, I just open my mouth when it should be closed. I would have liked to share with my wife exactly what was running through my mind, but I didn’t. I was being careful.

Worried Man Blues Annual Fundraiser

It is once again time for the Worried Man Blues annual fundraiser. If you enjoy what you read and would like for our work here to continue then please, won’t you pledge your support today. Marty Shores of Easterwick just called in to pledge a matching donation. Marty will match, dollar for dollar, every pledge from 12 pm to 1 pm. Now people this is just one hour, so how about it? What do you say we give ole Marty a good scare? I should mention that it’s 12 to 1 central standard time. The number to call to make those pledges is 423-943-1278. We at Worried Man Blues dread this time of year and our polls show that our readers aren’t fond of it either. Fundraisers are never fun but they are needed so that we can continue to provide our readers with the highest quality of sarcasm and wit. Please send your cash donations to 3101 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604. Support public blogging!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Today's Invention

The All Terrain Mouse

Once again I have been smitten with inspiration! Today I invented the All Terrain Mouse, or ATM. It is a standard mouse fitted with a special ball tracker. The ball tracker is the mechanism on the underside of the mouse that associates the movement of the mouse with the movement of the curser on the monitor. The tracker is basically just a hard, rubber coated, plastic ball. The rubber coating is for traction. My invention will improve the traction of the ball. I replaced the rubber coating with a mud tire tread. This new tread will allow the mouse to go “off road” over loose papers, pens, paper clips, coffee cup coasters, and other things that might me littering your work space. The mud tire tread will be the mouse equivalent of a monster truck tire. Patent is pending.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Today's Invention

Ghetto Grass

Today marked the birth of a new word. I conceived the idea much like all my others… a drug induced stupor. No, I made that up. I don’t know why it popped into my consciousness, but here it is swimming around in my gray matter. The word is………Ghetto Grass. It's going to be a sub-genre of Bluegrass. “Bluegrass straight from the hood”, is how I'll refer to it. I’m hoping some DJs out there will jump in. There is plenty of room and there is so much good Bluegrass out there suitable for sampling. Until then, the world will have to make do with my garage studio versions of “Ole John Henry’s My Baby’s Daddy”. I can make it happen…………….

Our first Small Group Meeting

Our first small group bible study was a success. We met last night at a member’s house behind the church. We had ten there, which was a perfect “small group” number. Our discussion for this month will be on Small Groups: their biblical relevance, how we can benefit, their structure, and then the application. We will start laying the ground work for beginning at least one. These topics will be discussed weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

Everyone came with a healthy curiosity, which was refreshing. They came with questions which was a big relief for me. I was worried that people would opt to sit back and just listen to the “teacher” preach. It wasn’t like that at all! Everyone participated. Next week’s topic: The benefits of Small Group bible study.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bump and Run: walking in the fast lane

Bristol, Tennessee on Race Weekend is an amazing sight. Bristol is NASCAR’s fasted half mile, they say. Driving through its race time traffic, conversely, has got to be the slowest half mile. I live less than a mile away from the track and I will never cease to be amazed by the volumes of people who attend. Many start arriving a week prior to set up their RVs, Fifth Wheels, and tents. I call it Camp Town. Camp Town reminds me of the parking lot scene before a Phish or Widespread Panic show. Others, if they’ve book a year in advance, stay in hotels, some even an hour and a half out of town. Driving through this traffic sometimes is a necessity, but most often I avoid it. I bought gas the week prior to the race to avoid the “gas gouging” by the areas’ gas stations. Everybody can make a buck during Race Weekend. The local neighborhoods that encircle the track become temporary parking lots. You can park in front yards, under tire swings, on embankments sliding down at sharp angles, on muddy creek banks, on church lawns, in schools zones, on historic landmarks, on small woodland animals, on top of the elderly and just about anywhere else you can cram a vehicle.

I live in one of these neighborhoods but just slightly outside of the “money zone”. People park on the streets around my house because it’s free. These spots suck anyway so why should they pay me to park on my lawn? It’s no closer to the track and it’s free. The down side for them is that they will have to “flat foot it” almost a mile to the track. I recognize these cars from the last race. They are perennials.

Don’t mistake anything about this article as a fondness for Race Weekend. It is a spectacle but the throngs of race fans in the streets, some in varying degrees of inebriation, makes it difficult to get anywhere. They will dart across the street without evening looking. These fans aren’t athletes either. They might be wearing race uniforms and logos, but it doesn’t mean you should confuse them with anything related to speed. Most are hauling around heavy coolers filled with beer cans and others are hauling around coolers filled with their empties. Their response time isn’t always at its peak. I’ve seen things under a microscope slide move quicker.

It is safe to assume that this weekend is Race Weekend. It is safe to say that I was stuck in race traffic. And it’s safe to say that the culmination of all this was a very bad day. Writing about it, though, does make me feel better. So, I’ve decided not to share with you a story I made up entitled, Bump and Run. The story line just came together while I was stuck in traffic.

As clouds part

It’s hard to tell exactly, sometimes, what the sky has in store for the day. I was driving one day under an overcast sky. After awhile I found myself underneath a large open patch in the sky. The sun was shining through in rays. The clouds in the area around me where getting darker, yet, there was this oasis of sunlight. I immediately thought that the storm was headed my way and that this little patch was just the Alamo of a sunny day. It was a nice bright day’s last stand.
This phenomenon is not out of the ordinary, but what if my thinking is? Why did I think that the storm was heading my way? If posing the question seems silly to you, then please read my post entiled, “Q-tip for the Brain”. It’s not easy questioning everything like a three year old, but I’m still in the middle of an experiment. Besides, this is a question that is worth exploring.
So the question is,” Why do I think the negative first”? That’s really what I was wondering when I assumed the storm was heading my way. I could have been on the tail end of it or just ahead of. I guess when I’m presented two possible outcomes, one good the other bad, I’m going to assume the bad. That’s what little old ladies do. Why am I doing it? People tend to get what they expect.
It did rain on me. I didn’t even care. I could’ve been the eye of the storm. I could be the eye of every storm. I don’t care. I got wet. I got what I expected and I hate that. I’m a prophet of the unfortunate.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

In the Ashes of the Garden of Eden

Genesis 2:16
And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

We all know what happened when Adam and Eve broke God’s commandment. They were expelled from the garden and they forever put humanity under the curse of death. . Verse 22 and 23 explains the reason for this banishment. There was another tree; the tree of Life. Verse 22: He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. Man was banished and our years became numbered, life became hard.

Genesis speaks of two trees in chapter two. One was off limits, one was not. The tree of life, according to verse 22 was the source of eternal life. And we were banished, impart, to block our access to eternal life. Man has has been pursuing that tree ever since.

Technology has put man back at the Garden’s Gate and the cloning of Dolly is the first knock. Is man poised, once again, to make a run at becoming like God? Is the Tree of Life this ages' fall. What will be our punishment this time? There is not much more left for us to be banished from, except this earth. What will be the consequences for once again trying to become like God? Only time will tell, I guess, until we learn how turn it back it as well. One tree down, one to go.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Q-tip for the Brain

Dee Hock said, “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.
Ok, I’m going to try it. I’m going to take a common practice and apply this theorem to it. Here goes…….shaking hands. This custom is almost universally understood if not practiced. It’s not something that is ever thought about in depth. We just do it. . I’m going to attempt to clean out the attic of my understanding so, bear with me. This might get ugly:
I shake the hands of friends. I shake the hands of those I respect. I shake the hands of my superiors. I shake the hands of my subordinates. I shake hands to greet others.I feel rude when I don’t shake in these above situations. Why?
I don’t care one way or the other if someone shakes my hand or not. Why should they? Do they? Do they notice it? Are we taught this or did we just pick up on it? Do we do it out of fear? Why can’t we just nod or why do we have to do anything at all?
I have hurt my grey matter just now. Ok, note to self: pick a subject that could use some improvement, a subject more modern perhaps. And maybe something that doesn’t predate papyrus. I actually thought a lot about the quote above. It has taken several days to get around to finishing this thought. So, in that way, the experiment was a success.