"I asked for a car; I got a computer."

Looking for a commentary that uses big words and ponders the deeper meanings of various topics? Well...you've come to the wrong place. This blog is all about extolling the greatness of Christ, the joy of marriage, the rollercoaster ride called parenthood, the supremacy of the 1980's...and doing all of it at a fifth grade reading level!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Robin and I have AT&T U-Verse here at the house...and it's awesome! Why? Because at any given time during the day or night you can find a show on practically any topic. The down-side of AT&T U-Verse...is that your children can ALSO wander across those same shows that you wish they didn't see.

Which is what happened last night.

Around 9:45p.m., Robin was in the bathtub while I was in the living room trying to get my two younger children ready for bed. Elijah, a.k.a, The Grand Inquisitor, was sitting on the bed in our room watching a channel that my wife had abandoned in favor of a warm bath.

After I sent the younger two up to bed, I went to check on Elijah and found him watching said show. It was a "Behind The Music" wannabe featuring Aerosmith. Granted, I'm not a huge Aerosmith fan, but they do have a handful of catchy tunes that I enjoy (see "Toys In The Attic"). I'm enjoying the tales of Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and the gang's wild destructions of backstage dressing rooms and hotel rooms...when the show moves promptly into the band's well-documented drug addictions. I quickly dive for the remote control hoping Elijah didn't catch the quick transition.

"Why did you change the channel, Daddy," he asked pointedly.
"Uh...they're not very nice people, so we don't need to watch their show," I replied...a little disappointed with my lame response.
"But you like rock'n'roll, Daddy, right?"
"Yes, quite a bit."

Then the stinger. "Do any of the bands you like have nice guys? What about KISS," he asked, knowing full-well his Daddy has been to three of his favorite band's concerts?

Hmm. My mind raced through the titles of their songs: "Christine Sixteen" (a song about an infatuation with an under aged beauty); "Plaster Caster" (a tribute to a group of lady that made plaster molds of a specific body part; "Let's Put The 'X' in Sex" (geez, enough said!); and the list goes on.

"Um...no, KISS doesn't have very nice guys."

"What about yout other favorites? Are they nice?"

I ran through my CD/MP3 catalog:
AC/DC? - Uh, no.
Judas Priest? - No way - the name says it all!
Motley Crue? - The upside down pentagram is not a good thing
The Cult? - I can hear it now: "Daddy, what a cult?"
The Ramones? - Maybe...but way too many drugs

And then it hit me....THANK GOD FOR BONO!!!!

So I started to preach the gospel of U2 to Elijah. I told him about "40," a song whose lyrics are taken from the first 3 verses of Psalm 40. I told him about "Where The Streets Have No Name," a song that has become an anthem about life in Heaven for those who believe. I then began to tell him how important it was for him to surround himself with good thoughts and good influences and good friends...and that included the music that he listened to.

And that's when I began to feel like the biggest hypocrite walking the face of the Earth.

So this morning, on my way to work, I listened to 89.7 Power FM. I found a couple of songs that were catchy...so I'll check out more from those folks. But if either of you have any suggestions on contemporary Christian music with a nice punk or 80's metal twist (and no, I don't mean Stryper, Petra, or Whiteheart) I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random Top Ten

Ten things I love about my kids:

10. They think I run really fast…even though I’m quite slow…even by Caucasian standards!
9. They still WANT to hang out with me (I know that won’t last forever!).
8. I love having an excuse to watch cartoons!
7. Jesus is very real and simple to them – I tend to make Him very complicated.
6. The words “I love you” sound so precious when they say them.
5. It’s nice to look at them and remember how I looked when I had a full head of hair!
4. They think it’s cool that you have to physically roll the windows down in my car.
3. Watching them make friends with all kinds of kids reminds me of how silly our adult bitterness and prejudices are.
2. Laughing out loud for a long time makes one really tired!
1. They give Robin and I something different than money to fight about (ha!).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Best Workout I've Ever Had!

I'm not a huge baseball fan...but there's something 'right' about baseball. I don't want to get too sappy and sentimentel, a la Field of Dreams, but baseball is part of Americana - just like Norman Rockwell paintings and R.E.M. (okay, maybe R.E.M. isn't part of Americana...but they're part of Chriscana!).

So I got tickets to the Frisco Roughriders game through work the other day. The older two boys had been to a game, but Jacob had yet to attend a professional baseball game. So we loaded the entire family up in the minivan and made our way to Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco for a little Double-A minor league baseball.

When we got to the park we found that our seats were two rows behind the home team dugout...so Jacob's first ballgame was going to provide close-up look at America's favorite pastime (this is awesome...except for the fact that you are 30 rows away from the concourse!). Hank Blalock, Rangers firstbaseman, is recovering from an injury and is playing for the Roughriders as part of his rehabilitation assignment, so he was in the starting lineup. What a bonus! And the starting pitcher was a hot Ranger prospect as well. So we were destined for a truly marvelous experience.

I'd love to give you details on how the game went. Regrettably, all I can tell you is that the Roughriders won 2-0, and that all of my children get embarrassed when their father stands up to do the "Chicken Dance."

Here's a breakdown of my evening:
Top of the 1st - Spent majority of this inning explaining to Elijah and Noah why we stand up and remove our hats during the National Anthem
Bottom of the 1st - Took Elijah to get more food at the buffet (our tickets included all you can eat ballpark fare - SWEET!)
Top of the 2nd - Navigated my children from the seats they had occupied that actually belong to a very TALL family.
Bottom of the 2nd - Missed it because Elijah and Jacob were BOTH in my lap since they couldn't see over the family in front of us.
Top of the 3rd - Bathroom break
Bottom of the 3rd - Buffet line for more hotdogs (because Jacob dropped his).
Top of the 4th - Yes, Jacob dropped ANOTHER hot dog!
Bottom of the 4th - Spent most of this inning explaining to Noah that I would get him some ice cream after the 6th inning. In the meantime, Robin took Elijah and Jacob to get free baseball cards courtesy of some local dentist.
Top of the 5th - Spent most of this inning explaining to Noah that it was not yet the 6th inning. Robin returns with toothbrushes - evidently you had to schedule an appointment with the dentist before he would give you baseball cards!
Bottom of the 5th - See "Top of the 5th"
Top of the 6th - Comforted a crying Noah while explaining that we would get ice cream AFTER the 6th inning - not DURING.
Bottom of the 6th - Lost my battle with Noah; went to get Dippin' Dots (the so-called ice cream of the future) with Elijah and Noah.
Top of the 7th - Took Jacob to get Dippin' Dots
Bottom of the 7th - Begged my children to sit down beside us while promising to never embarrass them again by doing the Chicken Dance during the 7th inning stretch.
Top of the 8th - Temporarily lost my sight after trying a spoonful of Rainbow-flavored Dippin Dots. I thus determined that if you're a bad person...when you die, you go to Hell...AND you are fed Dippin' Dots 24-7.
Bottom of the 8th - Spent most of that inning wearing my glove on my head to entertain my restless, fidgety 2-year old.
Top of the 9th - Actually got to watch this inning.

Roughriders win 2-0!

Now...I've run two marathons...but I was more tired leaving that ballgame than I was after making a 26-mile trek around the city of Dallas!!!!!!!! And the picture is a clear indication of which way Jacob was looking most of the night...

Thursday, July 17, 2008


God embodies the very principle of it.

Jesus alluded to it often.

Men have philosophized about it.

More books exist on the topic than any other known to man.

What countless millions of words have endeavored to explore and explain, one picture captures ever-so-simply...(censored for your benefit)

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Greatness of Rick Reilly

This was in the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine...and it's absolute greatness!!!
Congrats, newly minted NBA rookie!

Now you've been drafted. Next comes the delicious multimillion-dollar contract. And that's when you must do what most NBA players do: start going through cash like Jack Black through the Keebler factory.

Filing for bankruptcy is a long-standing tradition for NBA players, 60% of whom, according to the Toronto Star, are broke five years after they retire. The other 40% deliver the Toronto Star.

It's not just NBA players who have the fiscal sense of the Taco Bell Chihuahua. All kinds of athletes wind up with nothing but lint in their pockets. And if everyone from Johnny Unitas to Sheryl Swoopes to Lawrence Taylor can do it, so can you! With my How to Go Bankrupt* DVD series, it's a layup to go belly-up!

Ten essentials, just to get you started:

1. Screw up, deny it, then fight by using every lawyer and dime you have. Roger Clemens just sold his Bentley, reportedly to pay legal bills. Marion Jones lawyered herself broke before she finally copped and went to prison. Paging Mr. Bonds, Mr. Barry Bonds.

2. Buy a house the size of Delaware. Evander Holyfield was in danger of losing his 54,000-square-foot pad outside Atlanta, and it's a shame. He had almost visited all 109 rooms!

3. Buy many, many cars. Baseball slugger Jack Clark had 18 cars and owed money on 17 when he went broke. And don't get just boring Porsches and Mercedes. Go for Maybachs. They sell for as much as $375,000—even though they look like Chrysler 300s—and nobody will ever know how to pronounce them, much less fix them.

4. Buy a jet. They burn money like the Pentagon. Do you realize it costs $50,000 just to fix the windshield on one? Scottie Pippen borrowed $4.375 million to buy some wings and spent God knows how much more for insurance, pilots and fuel. Finally, his wallet cried uncle. The courts say he still owes $5 million, including interest. See you in coach, Scottie! (For that matter, why not a yacht? Latrell Sprewell kept his 70-foot Italian-made yacht tied up in storage until the bank repossessed it, in August 2007. He probably sat at home and cried about that—until the bank foreclosed on his house, this past May.)

5. Spend stupid money on other really stupid stuff. In going from $300 million up to $27 million down, Mike Tyson once spent $9,180 in two months to care for his white tiger. That's why Iron Mike's picture is on our logo!

6. Hire an agent who sniffs a lot and/or is constantly checking the scores on his BlackBerry. Those are the kinds of guys who will suck up your dough like a street-sweeper. Ex-Knick Mark Jackson once had a business manager he thought he could trust. Turned out the guy was forging Jackson's signature on checks—an estimated $2.6 million worth—to feed a gambling jones. "And it wasn't like I was a rookie—I was a veteran," Jackson says. The only reason he says he's getting some money back is because he didn't …

7. Sign over power of attorney. What's it mean? Who cares? Just sign! The guy you're signing it over to knows. And while you play Xbox, he'll be buying large portions of Switzerland for himself. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar let an agent named Tom Collins have power of attorney once, and it cost Kareem $9 million before he figured it out.

8. Spend like the checks will never stop. Also known as the Darren McCarty method. Despite earning $2.1 million a year, Red Wing McCarty, who started a rock band called Grinder, went splat by investing in everything but fur socks ($490,000 in unlikely-to-be-repaid loans) and gambling large ($185,000 in casino markers). In other words, a Tuesday for John Daly.

9. Just ball. Don't write your own checks. Don't drive your own car. Don't raise your own kids. Just be a tall slab of skilled meat for others to feast on. Not to worry. It'll be over before you know it.

10. Most of all, set up a huge support system around you. It'll be years before you'll realize they call it a support system because you're the only one supporting it!!! They're all on full-ride scholarships at the University of You. "Guys go broke because they surround themselves with people who help them go broke," says ex-NBA center Danny Schayes, who now runs No Limits Investing in Phoenix. "I know all-time NBA, top-50 guys who sold their trophies to recover."

See, kid? You can be a top-50 guy!

So order my How to Go Bankrupt* series now, and get this empty refrigerator box to sleep in, absolutely free!

*(Only $1,449 plus shipping, handling, service fee, dealer prep and undercoating. Per month.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Funerals Aren't Funny....but....

We buried Robin’s uncle on Tuesday of this week. He was only 66 years old and finally succumbed to a LENGTHY battle with Emphysema (if you ever want to convince yourself, your kids, or someone you love of the damage that smoking can do to your body, go spend a day in ICU watching a man battle for every breath. It was agonizing to behold…so for his sake, I’m glad he has moved “Home”!).

And while funerals aren’t supposed to be funny occasions, there is inevitably something that happens at every funeral that makes me giggle. Maybe that’s just my irreverent side…or it may just my search for something that will keep me from crying (cuz I am a HUGE crier!). But this one had a couple of moments that made me smile and wince all at the same time.

  • The Pentecostal congregation in Marietta, OK, was very gracious to serve lunch prior to the Service. We were one of the last of the family to arrive...and by the time we got there the line for lunch had already formed. And man, what a spread! I sat with my kids while everyone else went through the line…so I was one of the last folks to go through. There was an enormous amount of food left over – enough to feed the folks who were there twice more…at least! I commented to the lady who seemed to be in charge, “Wow, y’all sure know how to get a lot of food together!” She said, “Well, we were told Abe had 16 brothers and sisters, so we should expect quite a crowd.” I replied, “Yeah, he HAD 16 brothers and sisters…but I guess no one told y’all half of them are dead!” I don’t think she was amused…

  • As people passed by the opened casket, Elijah (my oldest) said confidently, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. That’s just his body – his Spirit has gone to Heaven.” So I quickly grabbed his hand and started walking toward the casket. He INSTANTLY became a blubbering, hysterical mass…pleading, “No daddy, no – don’t make me look at him!

  • At the end of the graveside service, the plan was to release balloons to symbolize Abe’s ascension into Heaven. Unfortunately…the helium in the balloons had leaked out. So instead of ascending…the balloons went skipping along the ground. Hope that isn’t a bad omen about Abe’s spirit!!!

  • It’s never a good idea for women to wear tall heels to the graveside…especially after a rain…and REALLY especially (if that’s grammatically correct) when they’re a bit on the heavy side. It can make navigating the moist red clay of a Southern Oklahoma cemetery a bit harrowing. But it makes for great people watching!

I promise – no more irreverent posts….today!