4/30/2009

Tony Stark's Goatee. Coming Again to Theaters. May 7, 2010...

Just in case you've never been here before, hi. My name's Josh, and I think Tony Stark's goatee is the single coolest thing on the face of our planet...

So far, the post count stands at two. Expect more. Oh yeah, here they are: Post 1, Post 2.

And that's why, when USAToday debuted the first picture from the sequel to Iron Man tonight, I screamed aloud with joy.

Welcome back Tony Stark's Goatee. I missed you...

AIS8: The Final Four...

Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Tonight was, I feel, the second true shock of the season. (The first being Alexis Grace's super early elimination.) As a little background information: before tonight's results show, three of the furious five had never appeared in the bottom three. Glambert, Kris "I can unhinge my jaw" Allen, and The Gokey. Now everyone (especially Entertainment Weekly) has been talking about Glambert had this thing in the bag. So when the bottom three of Matt Giraud (no surprise), Kris Allen (wow, I didn't expect that), and Glambert (WHAT?!) was announced, jaws hit the floor. I thought Kara was going to die. But then, when they sent Kris to safety, everyone was like "whaaaa?"

That's right. Glambert went from leader of the pack to member of the bottom 2.

Wow...

Anyway, Matt Giraud went home. Duh. So my record improves to 6 for 10*. Not too bad...

Some thoughts...

Kris Allen
  • His performance was simple. He didn't oversing. Good, but not great...
  • Kara said that he set the technical standard for the night. She was high...
  • Simon said it wasn't incredible, that it was too safe. He forgot to mention boring and plain...

    Allison Irahita
  • She was really good this week...
  • She shakes her whole head (sometimes just her jaw) when trying to do vibrato. This is an incorrect technique that can compromise your tonal quality. It also makes you look stupid...
  • She looked great...
  • All of the judges praised her but Simon. He said based on personality, she might be in trouble...

    Matt Giraud
  • Here's exactly what I wrote down: "Ugh, he's had more than one flat note. Stupid vocal runs!!!! RUIN! Oh Matt, a falsetto moment?You always try to find a falsetto moment. Stupid. Goodbye. Whoa. Simon is behind him. Said he was brilliant. Huh..."

    Danny Gokey
  • Wow! With no dancing, this guy is great...
  • Simon said that, this week, he had the confidence/star quality that he's lacked in the past. I think this was because he eliminated the awkward dancing...

    Adam Lambert
  • Of course he had to wear opposite colors of everyone else...
  • Guess what. High note again...

    Jamie Foxx
  • When they announced he would be the week's mentor, I thought it would be a disaster. I was wrong...
  • He helped them to unlock their confidence, which totally helped their overall performances...
  • But still, every time I see him I think of Wanda...
  • 4/29/2009

    Web Wednesday: Pac-Man...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    Today's edition is for everyone who is a fan of Pac-Man! The Pac-Man Dossier has everything you could ever want to know about the little yellow dot eater. Click on over and check it out!

    And as a bonus today, How about a Pac-Man Hothead...

    AIS8: Top Five Prediction Guess...

    We're down to the top five now! This usually means that the competition is tight, but this year it's even tighter! Three of the final five have never been in a bottom three! Which means that one of them will experience that feeling for the first time ever tonight!

    Here's Entertainment Weekly's power rankings (put out at the end of last week) of the contestants. Also, as if it matters, MSN got Sanjaya to weigh in on what he thinks of this season's top five. You can read that here.

    As far as my prediction goes, I think this is the week that Matt Giraud gets his walking papers. The judges' save kept him in for an additional two weeks. But his journey is going to end tonight.

    We'll see what happens tonight...

    4/28/2009

    Caleb At the Bat...

    Saturday was my little bro's birthday...

    We started the day off by going to watch him play baseball. For about 13 years now, Caleb's been a part of a baseball league for people with physical or mental disabilities. Originally it was called P.A.L. (which stood for physical and learning disabled), but now it's called the Miracle league (which I like a lot more). I helped out for many years until I was in college, so it was good to come back and see how far things have come.

    For instance, they've had a new field built just for them!

    The entire field is made of a rubbery substance (that has a grip to it). This was done because some of the players have to use crutches or wheelchairs.

    Here's a few pics of my bro warming up...


    The week before this, he hit a grand slam! Even though he didn't hit the same this week, he did a great job throwing and catching! He's come so far since we started!

    I'm so proud of my bro...

    4/27/2009

    The Soloist...

    Just saw that my review of The Soloist went live on youthministry.com! Click on the link to check it out...

    The Biscuit House...

    A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my great aunt's house and picked up her newspaper. As I flipped through, I saw something about "Columbia landmark may be done". As I read further, I found out that it was about a local restaurant. The Biscuit House has been around forever and is located directly across the street from WIlliams-Brice Stadium. And I'd never been...

    I knew I had to remedy that.

    So on Friday morning, I cruised down...

    Not a big place. And only open for 6 hours in the morning Monday through Friday. But so good.

    As Tommy and I stood in line, we looked at pictures on the wall of all of the various biscuits we could choose from. I saw one with gravy on it and fell in love. But as I looked over the menu, I couldn't find one listed that had gravy. Frowny face emoticon. So I just ordered a steak biscuit. I also ordered a plain buttered biscuit with jelly. Because as anyone who grew up in the South knows, jelly biscuits are the best.

    We grabbed our order and went to Starbucks. As we sat down and unwrapped the foil on our biscuits, imagine my heart's joy when I found out...

    The steak biscuit was the one with gravy!

    Unfortunately, the property that The Biscuit House is on is owned by the University. This is bad because they've decided to expand parking for the stadium to where The Biscuit House presently stands. So the House is being evicted. It's only going to be around for 203 more days. And you can bet that I'll be visiting a lot more during that time...

    4/24/2009

    Power Rankings: 6...

    Nobody cares about power rankings. They're like any Robert Downey Jr. movie between Chaplin and Iron Man. Unless I write them. Then they're like Tony Stark's goatee: awesome...

    1. My Little Brother Tomorrow is his 22nd birthday. One of his baseball games in the morning, barbeque with the fam in the evening. Is there any day better? Nope. Love you little buddy... (link)

    2. Tina Fey Tough week for Tina. Knocked out of the number one spot in an obvious display of nepotism. Don't worry, Tina. I still love you... (link)

    3. Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper rules my palate. But I fear it may be disappearing. So I picked up Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. Not bad... Not bad... (link)

    4. Editing Foul Language In Movies For TV It's always so monkey fightin' funny to me when TV stations edit a Monday to Friday movie to get rid of bad language... (link)

    5. Facebook Poker It's been ruling my free time for almost two weeks. Will this be the week that I finally break its stranglehold on my life? Probably not... (link)

    4/23/2009

    AIS8: The Furious Five...

    You know, I would love to brag about how I perfectly predicted how Lil Rounds and Anoop were the two contestants to be voted off last night on American Idol after last week's judges' save of Matt Giraud. I would love to. But I feel like it was way too obvious. Everyone could have guessed it. Why? Because the judges slaughtered them on Tuesday. Them more than any other. And like I said, I think it's become too obvious that the judges are trying to steer America in their decision.

    But, a win's a win. My record is now 5 for 9*. I'm awesome...

    And now, some thoughts...

    Lil Rounds
  • Before she even got up to sing, I could've told you she was going to sing Chaka Kahn's I'm Every Woman. Is it always bad to choose the most obvious song? No. Unless you don't sing it well...
  • She looked great this week. But...
  • Like I've said before in regards to Matt Giraud, you have to watch your vocal runs. You don't want to lose the pitch of one note because you're trying to cram in fifteen of them...
  • Randy said that she had a lack of vocal control. He nailed it...

    Kris Allen
  • Was Kris sporting a mustache this week...
  • His song was simple, acoustic, and stripped down. It was a great compliment to his vocal ability. Which is simple...
  • He's not a bad singer. But he's not really good either. He's just... kind of... there.

    Danny Gokey
  • GREAT song choice (September by Earth, Wind & Fire)! It's been stuck in my head ever since...
  • His dancing is so awkward. Good thing he isn't on So You Think You Can Dance...
  • Simon thought his performance was a bit awkward too. This proves that I know as much about the music industry as him...

    Allison Irahita
  • Her singing was ok. She looked a little better this week. At least she didn't have a mullet...
  • The staging (lights, etc.) actually looked on par with what Adam usually gets...
  • Whether you're a fan of her voice or not (and I'm leaning toward the not), you have to admit she knows how to perform...

    Adam Lambert
  • No matter what he sings (with the exception of Tracks of My Tears and Mad Mad World) he has to bring out the Axel Rose screech...
  • Volume + range of the note do not equal quality...

    Matt Giraud
  • You know someone was going to do Stayin' Alive...
  • Three judges liked it. Simon hated it. I was completely indifferent to it...
  • No vocal runs this week! Which I was shocked at...

    Anoop Desai
  • This is exactly what I wrote down as I watched him: New haircut. Ballad again. Totally and completely boring. Goodbye Anoop...
  • 4/22/2009

    Web Wednesday: Stars Who Die the Most...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    With the summer movie season bearing down upon us, it's time to start preparing ourselves for some good old fashioned blockbusters. And if there's one thing that every blockbuster has, it's explosions. But if there's two, it's explosions and death. Coincidentally enough, both of these things were my favorite parts of the movie 17 Again. But I digress. Have you ever wondered which stars die the most in the movies they appear in? Of course you have. Well, click here to find out.

    It looks like those are some stars **puts on sunglasses** that are going dark...

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    AIS8: Top Seven Prediction Guess (Part 2)...

    Since the judges used their save last week to rescue Matt Giraud, this week we find two contestants staring down the barrel of the elimination gun. Want Entertainment Weekly's assessment of the field before going into last night's performance's? Check them out here...

    First, let me just say this: I can't think of a worse theme than Disco Night. Not only are most disco songs completely devoid of meaning and emotion, but with the age of most of the contestants, the only ones that are well known are the most cliché. But I guess true champions are born from challenge.

    So, after watching Idol's Disco Night, I'm going to make the call that Anoop and Lil will be the two that are going home tomorrow night. And if I'm right, my record goes to 5 for 9*...

    4/21/2009

    And the Hits Just Keep On Coming...

    Two giant family events in one week. And it's only Tuesday...

    You might have read my post about what's happening with my dad. Let's call that major family event #1. Here's what happened today...

    My cousin Craig's wife, Carolyn, had gastric lap band surgery some time last year. Since then, she has said that she's had some strange feelings in her stomach. Early this morning, she woke up experiencing some pretty severe stomach pains. She had also... umm... well, let's just say that she thought she had wet herself. Her first thought was that something had gone wrong with the surgery. Maybe the band had slipped or something. So her and Craig went to the hospital. Well, to make a short story even shorter, Harrington Treece Lowman was born today.

    Now, for those of you that think the story was missing a middle, don't feel left out. As it turns out, it's actually possible to not know you're pregnant. (I mean, TV told me it was. But I doubted. I'm sorry TV. I'll never doubt you again.)

    The baby, mom and dad are all great. My initial thought (and most of what I've been trying to wrap my brain around all day) was how do you go through the entire preparation for having a baby in the span of a few hours? Usually, you've got nine months to prepare mentally, emotionally, and physically for the pitter-patter of little feet. But how do you do all of that in 10 hours?

    But I'm excited! Why? Because of how excited Craig and Carolyn are! If it were me, I would be freaking out. But they're stoked. And on top of that, they came up with a great name in no time!

    So pray for Craig, Carolyn, and baby Harrington (who I'm hoping they'll call Harry).

    Someone once told me that big things happen in threes. Two down. Let's see what's next...

    4/20/2009

    These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

    My Dad and the Weekend That Was...

    I've said this many times before: No news that comes between the hours of 11:30pm and 7:30am is ever good. And for our family, that statement was proved true yet again this weekend.

    Early Saturday morning (7am to be exact) my mom knocked on my door and told me that my dad had been in a motorcycle accident.

    He had been riding home at about 12:30am Saturday morning when a lady pulled out in front of him. His bike hit her car going about 55 MPH, which caused him to flip over the car.

    So I got up, got a shower and headed to the hospital. Editor's Note: On my way to pick up my aunts and uncle, a police officer pulled me over because I failed to use my turn signal to merge into the right lane. But I'm not going to get into that now.

    When I got to the hospital, I was relieved to see my dad looking a ton better than I had mentally pictured him. He was in bed and, understandably, in a ton of pain. His C3 vertebrae was fractured, which is causing a bulge on his C4 and C5. He has a pretty big laceration on his head (he wasn't wearing a helmet) that's got a ton of sutures and staples. Editor's Note: He says if he had been wearing a helmet, which is made of fiberglass, then his head would have bounced causing his neck to snap. That sounds crazy to me, but I know nothing about motorcycles and motorcycle related safety accessories. There's also bruising to his spinal cord, which they've done an MRI to see the extent of. (Although, they haven't read the MRI yet. No comment.) Due to the nerve damage, his arms are super sensitive to touch. His left ankle is also swollen, but I've seen a lot worse on my ankles. So I don't think it's broken. The doctors agree with me, so I feel pretty good about my ability to diagnose.

    Add to all of this, there's an incredible amount of tension between my family and my dad's ex-girlfriend/friends over who gets to care for him. But I don't want to go into detail of that here, as I'm not sure it's appropriate.

    Would you please pray for my dad and my family? I've dealt with a lot in ministry over the past ten years. But for some reason whenever stuff happens in my own family, it always feels above my reach.

    I usually send out updates on his condition via my twitter, which you can follow in the right hand column of this blog or here.

    Thanks for praying...

    4/17/2009

    Power Rankings: 5...

    Power rankings are like fight clubs. You don't talk about them. Ever. Unless I write them. Then you talk about them more than LOST on Thursday mornings...

    1. Tina Fey She came out of nowhere to take the number one spot for completely normal reasons... (link)

    2. Will Ferrell on Man vs. Wild In an effort to promote his upcoming movie, Land of the Lost, Ferrell will appear alongside Bear Grylls in a June episode of his show using some of Grylls' survival techniques (like drinking his own urine) to make it in the wild. There's absolutely no way this won't be awesome... (link)

    3. Greg Paulus "Hi, I'm Greg Paulus and I played basketball at Duke for four years. Now there's a big chance I'll be transferring to Michigan and taking the starting quarterback job on their football team. When I'm not living out every guy's dreams of athletic glory in one sport, I'm doing it in another! That's so weird. Why is it that everyone looks like they hate me whenever we first meet..." (link)

    4. Ted Buckland's cover of Hey Ya Even though I think this season of Scrubs is terrible, Ted's cover of the song that drove me crazy a few years ago is awesome... (link)

    5. Little Caesars Stuffed Crust Pizza I'm lactose intolerant. But I'd brave any consequence my body throws at me for this delicious treat. Cue Bryan Adams' Everything I Do (I Do It For You)... (link)

    4/16/2009

    AIS8: Top Six Seven...

    Wow. I mean... wow.

    So my guess was wrong. But not way off. Last night's bottom three consisted of (in the order they were announced) Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds, and Matt Giraud. After Anoop was sent to the safe zone first, Lil was told she was safe. So Matt was told to sing for his life. He did, and the judges saved him! I have to say, I was thinking Lil would be going home (more on this later) and I was wondering if the judges were even going to take advantage of the save.

    So my record goes to 3 for 7*. However, since Matt was saved this week, two people will be eliminated next week.

    I've decided, this week, to write out my comments about each contestant (and judges). So here we go...

    Allison Irahita
  • I hate her hair. Its color is that of a jar of maraschino cherries. It's also starting to resemble a mullet...
  • I thought her voice sounded really tired on her song. People with raspy voices have to work extra hard to take care of their voices. I'm wondering if she's doing that...
  • Simon called her the girls' only hope in the competition. I can see that. Especially since he's doing his best to bury her just a little bit less than he's burying Lil (more on this later)...

    Anoop Desai
  • He has a somewhat pleasant voice...
  • I think he's settling in to the slow love song thing. Any time he's ever branched out (see Beat it and Caught Up), he's gotten blasted for it by the judges...
  • I think his natural likability (not to mention the entire University of North Carolina) has saved him up until this point. But I'm guessing his time is coming to a close...

    Adam Lambert
  • Really? Eye liner and eye shadow...
  • Always with the Axel Rose screech...
  • I think that, with Adam, you're either going to like him or not. No matter what he does. And I fall in to the "not" category...
  • Simon said his performance reminded him of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Adam said he loved that movie. This was the least shocking thing ever...
  • Does anyone besides me think that Adam is getting a whole lot more lighting action and stage production during his songs. It's like they're trying to make his songs out to be rock shows. While everybody else gets a spotlight if they're lucky...

    Matt Giaurd
  • He can really play the piano...
  • His vocal runs are getting in the way of his vocals. Here's the deal, if you try to fit a vocal run into a phrase where there's not enough room for one, you often miss the note you're supposed to land on. Brian Adams songs don't have room for vocal runs. Mariah Carey, yes. Brian Adams, no...

    Danny Gokey
  • Harp. No glasses. Eh...
  • He had one sour note at the beginning. But, wow. He's a master of the high, long, event notes.
  • He is not, however, a master of the soft verses. I'm wondering if he's suffering from Lil Rounds syndrome (no dynamics).
  • Simon says he was bored, but congratulated Danny for overcoming his emotions while singing. Danny's story is helping him out a lot...

    Kris Allen
  • I'm so bored with Kris. He's super vanilla. Super plain...
  • Falling Slowly is a tough song for Idol because it doesn't have an obvious melody. Kara called it his strongest performance. Simon said it was brilliant. I think the judges have lowered their expectations for everyone but Adam this year...

    Lil Rounds
  • Yelling... Always with the yelling. But out of all of her performances, I hated this one the least...
  • The judges turned on her bad. I think it's becoming obvious to everyone (at least me) that the judges try to direct the public in their critiques...
  • Simon said he hated the performance. Lil talked back. Every time a contestant has ever done that, it's spelled doom...

    The Judges
  • It has become very apparent that having four judges isn't working. Everyone knows that Kara was brought in for two reasons. One, to lend some more artist credibility to the judging panel. And two, to see if they could move Paula out after this season. I hope they acknowledge that there are too many cooks in the kitchen and move one of them out...
  • The judges' bias is really starting to show...
  • It was also obvious how much Simon's opinion matters this week, as everyone that couldn't hear from him on Tuesday, heard from him Wednesday. Does anyone even care what Randy, Kara, and Paula have to say...
  • 4/15/2009

    Web Wednesday: It's a Small World...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    I've always heard that, in the grand scheme of things, we are but a dot in the universe. But today's edition of Web Wednesday displays this quite incredibly. I think that this would be a great visual aid in teaching a lesson on God's bigness.

    Click here, then enlarge, to have your mind blown...

    AIS8: Top Seven Prediction Guess...

    I'm absolutely amazed at the choices that American Idol makes sometimes. For instance, last night, they had Quentin Tarantino as the "mentor" for the contestants. Their reasoning for this, as stated at the beginning of the episode, was that he is a huge fan of music. So, just to review, a man was brought in to advise the careers of would be singers because he "is a huge fan". The only way I can properly communicate how stupid this is is to use an analogy.

    This is the same as someone hiring me to give mechanics advice on how to fix cars because I enjoy driving.

    And after watching the contestants sing last night, I can see that he was of little or no help.

    I think that the bottom three are going to be Lil Rounds, Kris Allen, and Matt Giraud. And out of them, I think this is the week that Lil is going home. I also think that this could potentially be the week that the judges use their one time save. If I'm right, then my record improves from 3 for 6* to 4 for 7*.

    Oh, and just in case you're curious, ew.com has their weekly rankings of the contestants up that you can view here.

    We'll see...

    4/14/2009

    Good One My Lord...

    I'm always surprised by how God shows up when I need him...

    Although, I suppose I shouldn't be.

    I really allowed myself to be consumed by worry this afternoon. And, in the midst of that, I put on my iPod and hit shuffle. After a few songs, an old Steven Curtis Chapman song called "Land of Opportunity" came up.

    Now, I should say that I love SCC. He was one of the first Christian CDs I ever owned and greatly impacted my love for music. I don't love him as much as some people, but still...

    As I listened to the song, I allowed my thoughts to finally clear. And that's when I was struck upside the head by one of his lyrics. "If I seek him him first, He'll take care of the rest." And here's confession time: I teared up. I felt like it was God speaking directly to me.

    So after some time of praying, I spent some time reading God's Word and came a cross a few verses that I thought were pretty great for me to reflect on right now...

    Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
    Matthew 6:33 NLT

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
    Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

    Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
    1 Peter 5:7


    It's so funny to me how God is always there when I need Him. I'm so glad for that...

    Curious Josh: Why Golf Balls Have Dimples...

    Curious about the other posts in this series? Check them out here...

    I was never that much into golf. That is, until I got one of the Tiger Woods games for xbox. Then I fell headfirst into it. I even went to the Buick Invitational. But nothing compares with the majesty of watching the Masters.

    And as I was watching this past weekend, I had two thoughts. One was how bummed I was for Kenny Perry. But the other was, I wonder why golf balls have dimples...

    So I did some digging.

    Originally, golf balls were smooth; but golfers noticed that older balls that were beat up with nicks, bumps and slices in the cover seemed to fly farther. Golfers, being golfers, naturally gravitate toward anything that gives them an advantage on the golf course, so old, beat-up balls became standard issue.

    At some point, an aerodynamicist must have looked at this problem and realized that the nicks and cuts were acting as "turbulators" -- they induce turbulence in the layer of air next to the ball (the "boundary layer"). In some situations, a turbulent boundary layer reduces drag...

    ...The dimples on a golf ball are simply a formal, symmetrical way of creating the same turbulence in the boundary layer that nicks and cuts do.


    So the dimples actually help reduce drag and improve aerodynamics. Sweet. You can check out the rest of the article that i got this from here...

    Who Said TV Couldn't Inspire...

    I don't have any reason to post this picture of Burger Chihuahua, other than I love it.

    Monday night is a crowded TV night for me. So many good shows, all at the same time. Since I can only watch one thing at a time, I plan my watching around what shows I know I'll be able to catch online over the next week. Last night, two shows that I watch sparked some thoughts...

    Heroes Let's get this out the way now: Heroes is a shell of its former self. I'm not going to say that it's 100% terrible, as it occasionally hits a double, but it's been a long time since it's hit a home run. As I watched it last night, I thought, "Here's a show that everyone talked about in its first season because it was doing things that were unique. It was dubbed NBC's new 'biggest' hit and immediately given a prime timeslot. And now... Ugh." Pretty much everyone who I know who loves the show agrees that it hasn't been the same since the first season. But, supposedly, NBC has recognized this and has made some drastic course corrections (like firing the shows two head writers, Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb and re-hiring former writer and creator of Pushing Daisies, Bryan Fuller) to put things back on the right track. All of that to say, I was left with this question...

    Does change (improvement) have to be motivated by a fall?

    Ministry is always looking to change and find ways to reach people where they are. But does our motivation for change have to come from losing effectiveness?

    I'm still thinking on this one. Feel free to share your ideas though...

    How I Met Your Mother If you're not watching this show, then you need to be. I love it. It's made several appearances in my Power Rankings. Last night, one of its characters was worrying about something and demonstrating this worry by making a remark about libraries. To which another character remarked that nobody goes to libraries anymore, that they're obsolete. (Which I don't think I agree with, by the way.) But it made me wonder...

    Are there things we're doing in ministry (even ones that were once positive and revolutionary) that have now become obsolete and need to be let go of?

    I don't think healthy ministry is possible without consistent evaluation and change. Health comes from recognizing problems and addressing them. And, as anyone who's ever worked with a group of people for more than five minutes can attest to, problems will arise. This question can be specific to a certain ministry or it can be collective.

    Now that's a lot of thinking that came from two shows. So after, I turned on Family Guy and vegged out. After all, I wouldn't want to think too much...

    4/10/2009

    Power Rankings: 4...

    Power rankings are like Peeps; some people love them, some people hate them. Except mine. Mine are recognized by the FDA as 100% awesome...

    1. Amy Poehler I watched Baby Mama twice in my hotel room this week. That combined with the premiere of Parks and Recreation last night has reminded me of why I love her... (link)

    2. Jelly Beans This is the one time of year when there's an incredible amount of brands to choose from. Which pretty much means I'm in heaven. I hope my stomach isn't going to hurt this much when I'm in actual heaven... (link)

    3. Delta Airlines TVs in the back of every seat? Yes please... (link)

    4. The German Language Dom offers instruction. I listen and learn. I just wish I could remember some of the normal words... (link)

    5. Coffee Who knew it had so many uses? It kept me awake and changed the color of my hotel room carpet! Way to multi-task... (link)

    4/09/2009

    Who Knew Flying Could Be So Awesome...

    The first time I ever traveled on an airplane was my junior year of college (2000). I was so excited, that I took a whole roll of pictures of clouds from the plane. Editor's Note: As I took these pictures, I thought all of these cloud formations looked like things. You know, "Ooh! There's a dog! There's a boat! There's former President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat!" But after getting them developed I just thought, "Why did I waste this film..."

    But I remember how excited I was to be in a plane...

    Since then, I've flown countless times. So much, that I've lost all love for it. I look at it strictly as a necessity now. But last week, when I traveled back to the west coast, I tasted a little bit more of that excitement. And it was all because of these two things...

    I hate using hand dryers in a public restroom. Except in this case. Atlanta-Hartsfield airport has the airblade...

    SUCH an awesome invention. One swipe of your hands through this dryer, and they're completely dry. No touch. No germs. I love it...

    I've always wanted to fly JetBlue, just because they have TVs in the back of every seat. But since it didn't fly to any of the places I usually travel to, I thought it was just an unreachable dream. And then I stepped on the plane in Atlanta...

    I actually thought I was dreaming. Live TV, music, video games... It was incredible. It definitely made the 4 1/2 hour flight easier.

    Great job on the improvements, Delta. Thanks for making it an easier trip for me...

    AIS8: The Elite Eight...

    With the elimination of Scott Mcintyre, my record of guesses now goes to 3 for 6*...

    But it looks like some early season faves are now in trouble. Lil, I'm looking your way. I think Anoop's time on the show is in it's last few minutes too...

    4/08/2009

    Kumar Goes to Washington...

    I have to say, I absolutely did not see this coming. Talk about plot twists!

    In March of '07, I wrote a post reporting the news that Kal Penn would be teaching two undergrad courses at the University of Pennsylvania. So, naturally, I made a joke about the guy who was the star of two Harold and Kumar movies and two Van Wilder movies teaching high education level courses. Well, today brings more of a shock...

    If you watch House, and haven't seen this past Monday's episode (like me) then, consider this a spoiler alert. This past Monday, out of nowhere (and seemingly for no reason) Penn's character on House, Dr. Kutner, committed suicide (supposedly). Even though his character's reason for exiting the show (and life) has yet to be revealed, the actor's reason has been made known. He's joining President Obama's staff as associate director in the White House Office of Public Liaison, an envoy to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, to Hollywood and to young people. Wow, I hope that title's not on his office door...

    So Kumar's gone from stoner comedy to University professor, to working for the President of the United States. Right...

    If you want to read more about it, check out this interview from Entertainment Weekly with Kal Penn about this news...

    Web Wednesday: We're Off To See the Wizard...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    If you were ever a child, then you saw (and loved) The Wizard of Oz. If you were ever a teenager, then you heard about (and maybe even attempted to determine if) Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon synced up perfectly with the movie. And if you're now an adult, you probably watch the movie once a year (when TBS runs it). But when it's on you always pause, watch for a bit, and experience childhood innocence again.

    So why not read a bunch of random facts about it? Like, in the book (and when I saw Wicked, the slippers were silver, not ruby red!

    Check out more sweet trivia here...

    AIS8: Top Eight Prediction Guess...

    Looks like I was right about Megan Joy Corkrey. She's gone. This, of course, brings my record to 2 for 5.

    Unfortunately, I was in the air almost all day on Tuesday. So I missed last night's performance show. This means that my guess as to who is going home tonight is based purely on what I've seen so far this season and what I've read online about how everyone did. Using that incredibly scientific equation, I'm going to say that this is the week that Scott Mcintyre is put out of my his misery.

    Now remember, this is a shot in the dark. So either way, right or wrong, this season's record gets an asterisk...

    4/01/2009

    Web Wednesday: Super Mario Goes To Chicago...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    I love Super Mario. I have since I got my first NES in 3rd or 4th grade. I've kept up with his adventures all the way through Super Mario Galaxy.

    Which is why I got so unbelievably stoked to see this. It's one of the most creative videos I've ever seen...

    Awesome...

    I'll Be Back...

    I'm not a fan of early morning flights. Not at all. Actually, I'm not a fan of early morning anything. But, because I'm well versed in the discipline of mental toughness, I got up early this morning and drug myself to the airport.

    By the time this post is scheduled to go live, I'll (hopefully) be in the air heading out to meet with a church about a job. I'm super excited about the opportunity! I've heard nothing but great things about the church, and I can't wait to see what God is doing there.

    I'm not sure how much internet access I'll have over the next 6 days, so the blog might be a little slow. But if I've got access, I'll try to post a few thoughts each day.

    Be back in a little while...

    AIS8: Top Nine Prediction Guess...

    Unfortunately, I was in and out of tonight's show. I was on the phone with someone getting some details ironed out for tomorrow trip. So I didn't get to see everyone's performance.

    But out of the ones I did see, i feel pretty good about saying that Megan's going home tomorrow night. I mean, she's pretty... but she has no idea how to use her voice. And the judges mercilessly slayed her.

    So that's my call this week. Bye bye Megan. Hopefull I can move to 2 for 5.

    I'm afraid I won't be able to post any thoughts on the show this week. Sorry Lauren! I'll make sure to do it next week...