Saturday, December 17, 2005

Impulse Buy

I was browsing in World Market today. It's common to find uncommon items there but I found one that I simply had to buy just to have an excuse to write about it. It's a little tin of lip balm called

It's pretty freakin awesome

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Promoting the attainment of personal goats..

I was given a free cd today at my company's Christmas luncheon:

"Merry, Merry Show Tunes: Birmingham's Best & Brightest"

Cool. A free Christmas CD is surely able to cheer my spirits on an otherwise uneventful Thursday afternoon. I pop the CD into my computer..

Ridiculous. Ever song is absolutely garbage. I laughed my self silly at track 7 "Be A Santa," from the hit album "Subways are for Sleeping." The worst is "It's Turkey Lurkey Time." Enjoy the lyrics with me...

It's turkey lurkey time
Tom turkey ran away, but he just came home
It's turkey lurkey time
He's really home to stay, never one to roam
Let's make a wish, and may all our wishes come true.......
A snowy, blowy christmas, a mistletoey christmas
A turkey lurkey christmas to you...
A turkey lurkey christmas to you
It's loosey goosey time
She was a gadabout, but she's back again
It's loosey goosey time
Her time is running out, and we all know when
Let's make a wish, and may all our wishes come true....
A snowy, blowy christmas, a mistletoey christmas
A loosey goosey christmas to you...
A loosey goosey christmas to you
Turkey lurkey, loosey goosey
Some for uncle joe, some for cousin lucy
Everybody gather round the table
Dig in, dinner is being served
Eat all the turkey you are able
Can't you see a partridge in a pear tree?
Climb up and bring it down for me
That's something i would like to see
A snowy, blowy christmas, a mistletoey christmas
A turkey lurkey christmas to you......
Jingle bells, jingle bells x 15

Wow. My life is full of joy.

PS- Sorry about the title. I read the fine print wrong in from the Salvation Army note inside. It actually reads 'personal goals.' I figured that you deserve the same chuckle.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Slain Lamb

"And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain..." Rev. 5:6

Jesus stands in heaven as a Lamb that has been slain. Isaiah 52 says He was marred more than any other man ever. That's more than the nastiest accident you can imagine. How about a man burned alive? Yep, worse than that. Jesus was slain for us. We won't quite understand what he endured until we see Him in person. It actually goes much deeper than just physical scarring.

The crazy thing is that Jesus wasn't concerned much about the physical pain He was up against. As He prayed in the garden just before His crucificion with such intensity that capalaries burst and blood flowed out of His pores, Jesus was actually concerned about one thing: being seperated from the Father. Jesus knew no sin. He was about to take on the sin of the world and be seperated from His Father for a time and the agony of that was torture beyond any physical pain.

"Jesus was close to His Father,
drew His love from His Father,
was in love with His Father" - Jon Courson

What do you worry over? Losing your job? Failing school? People not liking you? Yeah, I'm with ya. However, how much would we freak out if we were seperated from the Father for a day? Probably not at all. Let's stop worrying over stuff that isn't really that big of a deal in the perspective of eternity and start concerning ourselves with constant genuine communion with the Father. That's what the Christian walk is really all about: being totaly consumed with the Lord and relaxing in Him, hanging out with Him, drawing every breath from Him, running every thought past Him.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Dave's Hog Roast

At the top of this week's cravings: Dave's Hog Roast

If you don't know me from York, chances are you have never had the pleasure of eating from Dave's. If you have, your mouth is watering all over your keyboard. Wipe it up - people are staring.

Just a few steps off Petergate sits Dave's Hog Roast. The whole place is the size of my living room. As you near the entrance, the large window displays today's feast: several chickens, a lamb, a chunk of beef, a turkey and a pig. Dave roasts each of these in the morning and sells them for lunch in sandwiches. He closes his doors for the day whenever the last bite has been sold. It usually takes a mere 3 hours to sell out so arriving at 11am is a good idea.

Since only 3 people can fit in the door, the line goes for about 20 people down the sidewalk. At the counter, order a lamb sandwich with mint, a turkey sandwich with stuffing smeared on it, or a pork sandwich with applesauce running down your fingers. Oh, and the pork always comes with a chunk of real pork rind (with little hairs still attached) on the side. I love watching them literally carve the meat off the roasted animal and layer it thick onto my bun. Though greasy, Dave's hits the spot every time.
And since I'm on a roll with these restaurant reviews, stayed tuned for "Jenny's Fish and Chips - £1.50" Don't forget to bring your Pepto Bismal and a defibrillator (just in case).

Thursday, December 1, 2005


I am so frustrated with life today. I have been for awhile now due to my new job. If I had the means, I would actually burn the building down today. This company is full of jerks that don't have their acts together. How are you supposed to tell me to fix someone's printer over the phone when I've never seen the printer, never had training on it, and have NO documentation? And then get mad when I can't fix it!!!

Well, the only thing I know to do when I'm frustrated is pray. It comes out with difficulty and negative words. I basically tell God that I'm really pissed and wish everyone around me were dead. Then, I tell Him that I know He is in control and promises to work everything out in my life if I just trust Him and hang in there. Amen. That's it.

Did it help? No. I'm still pissed off at the world. Namely, a company who pays me good money to do a big job but doesn't give me the time of day to equip me how to do it. Also, I'm pissed at the retarded Wal-mart ladies who took 30 minutes to figure out how to make my credit card work and made me late coming back from lunch. I'm also pissed at the mechanic who tried to jip me on a simple brake job. Hell, I'm pissed at my dad for not dying from his stroke and making me think about him all the time. I'm pissed at my mom for raising me the way she did. I'm frustrated with so many people and situations.

With all that said, I know that it's gunna be ok. Philip was tested by Jesus in the Bible. Jesus was all, "Hey Phil, let's feed all these people." Yeah, I would have been frustrated, too. Jesus, you nutcase. We have enough money for a few people but not this crowd. You're supposed to be all smart and look what you're suggesting.

But, Jesus was cool as a cucumber because He all ready knew the plan. He took the little stuff they had and made it multiply. He didn't call Philip a knuclehead and make him sit on the bench for the rest of the game. Likewise, Jesus isn't freakin out that I'm so frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. He already knows how everything will work out and is allowing me to be stretched so that I can grow. I'm really pissed about it but it is for my own good.

So there. I hate you. I hate the world. But, my God is gunna bring me through this crap kicking and screaming. Maybe in a year, I'll be explaining to the new hires in the very first training class of my department how I made it through with no training and how lucky they are to have a teacher like me.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ethiopian Chow

My beautiful date and I strolled into MOYA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Friday night on a whim. After glancing at the menu at the door and not understanding anything on it, we excitedly took a seat and waited to order. The atmosphere was pleasant with a little oil candle on the table. Our waitress, adorned in a colorful head wrap and welcoming smile, offered a few suggestions off the authentic Ethiopian menu. We decided to share a Ye' Atkilt Moya beye'aynetu and a Ye'Doro Moyachinn Ye'Doro Moyachinn. The first was a vegetarian sampler and the latter a chicken stew. I later found out that everyone shares in Ethiopia. In fact, I would have had to specially request separate plates if I didn't want to share.

After 30 minutes or so, our server brought out a large white platter that could have easily held a 15lb turkey. It was laced with Injera, a soft unleavened crepe-like sourdough bread. Around the edges of the platter were rolls of Injera that looked like gauze from a first aid kit (but light brown). A basket with several rolls of Injera sat next to the platter. My date and I looked at each other with wide eyes wondering what in the world we had just ordered. Our server then returned with several small dishes and proceeded to dump piles of mystery goop all over our platter directly on the unrolled Injera. The idea is to tear off a piece of Injera and use it to pick up a bite of food from the platter. Our platter included all of the vegetarian dishes as well as the chicken stew dish (served from a clay pot and dumped onto the platter like the other dishes).

Included on our platter was:

Ye'missir wett & Tiqil Gomen - Seasoned lentils with a cabbage-potatoes-carrot side

Moya Le'Tena - Spicy collard greens with golden split peas

Ye'Doro Moyachinn - a thick spicy stew with a boiled eggs and a part of a chicken leg

The food was phenomenal. We ate until we groaned from being too full. Our server helped two more foolish Americans experience her incredible culture and her subtle grin of satisfaction proved it. This new experience bumped Ethiopia higher on my list of countries to see before I die.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stop focusing on what NOT to do

Check this out...

"I was alive once without the law but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." Rom. 7:9

I originally thought that Paul was speaking of being born physically as a baby, learning what the law said, and then realizing that he had been born spiritually dead. Today, I've changed my mind on this mainly because of that word "revived." How about this?...

"I was alive once" refers to when Paul got saved. He became spiritually alive. However, when the commandment came (or the law if you prefer) then sin revived itself and he died. What's the difference??.. Well..

I am saved. I am alive. However, when I get caught up with the law ("don't do this, don't do that") then sin suddenly revives in my life and I die. Whenever any of us focuses on what NOT to do, we will eventually do it to some degree. Focusing on the law is like looking at a menu of sin so that my flesh gets to pick what looks tasty today. MMMM Tuesday is the Fish Special. I think I'll have a lust platter with a side of mixed pride w/ ranch today. Follow? In this verse, Paul was spiritually alive without the law (i.e.: grace) but the commandment came, sin revived in his life, and he fell flat on his face. Do you do this? I sure do.

Now dig this..

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors-not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Rom. 8:12,13

What is a debtor? It means you owe somebody something. So, we are NOT debtors to the flesh. I don't owe my flesh squat. If I focus on it and what to protect it from, I will fall flat on my face. Here is the secret, Gang..

Focus on the Spiritual and not on the flesh. I need to keep my eyes on the Lord and get wrapped up with Him. As soon as I stop trying to 86 my sin and I just trust Him to handle it, I'll find victory.

Now, this does not remove my personal responsibility to keep sin out of my life. Rather, it helps me focus my time on someone who has the ability to fight it for good. God will then change my heart to walk the way He has called me. AND, when I do trip up, I can rest in the fact that there is no condemnation for me in Christ.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I don't understand why raw fish tastes so good. A fish is a weird animal that flops around and craps a lot. It's so-so when cooked but MAN it's good raw. I just dished out $25 for some and I could have eaten twice as much. It is certainly the only food I've had (besides Indian) that gives me a body buzz afterwards. I'm not sure if it's a chemical thing of just my body rejoicing at such an incredibly healthy meal. I felt like I had the energy to run a marathon and the heart to save the starving children of the world.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Only In Alabama

One of the joys of moving to a new city is the hunt for the perfect haircut. I began early this morning with a shaggy head and a hopeful spirit. I pulled into a strip mall when the "Barber Shop" sign caught my eye.

As I open the door, the Grim Reaper's older brother stands behind an ancient barber chair. I wasn't quite sure if he was alive or not. Perhaps a few days shy of 100 year old, the tall thin barber is propped up behind the one single chair in the shop, which is only about the size of a dining room. I am immediately glad that I'm not black, for as I looked around the room, I had just stepped back into the 50's. I truly expected to find some autographed KKK pic taped to the wall.

Armed with valuable Southernisms, I said, "Hey there, Fella. How are ya?"
Mr. Reaper crackles, "Waiting for you to sit down."

I take a seat, excited to get a haircut from a real Southern gentleman. A stained yellowish cape is draped across my front, though not nearly large enough to reach my knees. Mr. Reaper spends a few minutes trying to get his boney hands to stop shaking long enough to tie the little white ribbon around my neck. Each time his claw-like fingernails make contact with the back of my neck, eerie shivers shoot down my spine. Also, a strange smacking noise keeps coming from his mouth - kind of like when you eat a lemon. This stirs my imagination as I wonder just how old the candy is in the 10¢ machine next to the door.

The whir of the clippers actually startle me. They sound more like a portable lawn mower than anything designed for beautification. For the next 20 minutes, Mr. Reaper clippers the back and sides of my head. A surprising amount of heat is generated from the device and I wonder how he can possible manage to hold it without an oven mitt. I finally get a true moment of clarity (which only happens a few times in life). I realize that I'm going to die in this chair today. Oddly, I'm not panicked at all. Though disappointed that I'll never have kids or see China, I quietly accept my fate and stare out the window at what must be my last glimpses of life. Mr. Reaper gently coughs on the back of my neck as I feel Death getting ready to claim its latest victim. I ready myself for meeting Jesus.

Finally, a coarse brush comes across my neck and shoulders. I feel a lever below me get kicked and the chair whip around to where I'm no longer facing out the window but into the dirty mirror. Mr. Reaper slowly croaks, "Is that alright?"

What?? He didn't even use any scissors. The top and front still look messy and shaggy. There is no hair behind my ears reminding me of the little Lego man I played with as a kid. I'm speechless but manage to reply, "how much do I owe you?" I then hand over $2 more than the $10 he requested and thank him for his time.

I could view this experience as a rip off. I don't though, Rather, I figure that 30 minutes in the 1950s was well worth the $12 and bad haircut. I must admit that I did feel funny walking into the salon across the street moments later. The lady immediately noticed my dilemma and offered, "Did you just get your hair cut across the street?" Apparently, I'm not the first to have a brush with Death during the last 45 years.

$31 for my hair to still look funny is making me feel a little sick to my stomach. But, the experience of meeting the world's oldest barber and living to tell about is well worth it. I wonder if my company with have a problem with me wearing a hat for the next couple weeks.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mall Moms

There sure are a lot of strollers in any given mall around lunchtime. All I want to do is cruise into the food court and grab some quick mall food. I feel like the little green blob from Frogger. Busy mothers with unrestrained children zoom around the mall. Mall security must be poorly compensated for they wander aimlessly doing nothing while ignoring the chaos unfolding around them.

Today, for instance, I have just finished my sesame chicken and dump my tray in the robotic trash device. This young mother (on a cell phone no less) has two babies in a double-trouble stroller along with a bonus third child running amuck. Some brilliant idea sweeps through her soccer-mom brain and she hands over the reigns of the stroller to her 5 year-old demoness. Without hesitation or doubt, the little beast-child takes off at full throttle right at me. The T-bone collision with my knee warrants a quick "I'm sorry" from the mother mid-sentence. I'm sorry I interrupted your conversation, Mom. I should be the one apologizing to you. Perhaps I will pioneer a new mall that requires all customers to be at least 16 years old to enter. Or at least 36 inches tall. Or both. Would such a change actually draw in swarms of men who long ago gave up on malls? Nah... I think us fellas are burned out for good.