Top 5 things I figured out at a relatively old age

1. Wal-mart was named for...
Today I was talking to Danny's mom, getting ready to go to this beloved store when, all of a sudden, it hit me. Sam Walton began Wal-Mart, hence the name. I'm so stupid.

2. 'Windshield factor'
Until my senior year of high school, every time I heard the weatherman speak of the 'wind chill factor' on the local news, I thought they were talking about the temperature of your car's windshield. Apparently, it has less to do with glass that you never touch in the winter and more to do with the wind as it blasts your face.

3. Premium Night
Sodexho, Truman's food service provider, used to serve us 'steak' and baked potatoes (and sometimes unidentifiable seafood) in the dorm cafeteria on what I thought was a random schedule. Hence, each time I would stumble upon a Premium Night menu, I was pleasantly surprised. The last week of my dorm life, I realized that Premium Night took place on the first Tuesday of every month.

4. 'Back burner'
As a communication major and English minor, I really should think about the origin of words. But, alas, I am just not curious. Honestly, why didn't I figure this one out earlier?

5. Hastings jingle
The purveyor of all things media used to run commercials touting it was "your entertainment superstore". Unfortunately, I was once singing along to a jingle and couldn't hide my lack of understanding: "Hastings-You really tamed this superstar." Before you mock, remember, it's not the only commercial that doesn't make sense.

Ïf you were really brave, you would tell me your own tales of stupidity.

Also, check out this guy's list of mispronounced words.

Speak directly into the transmitter

From the funny old booklet department: How To Make Friends by Telephone

Church and State: Keep Them Separated

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

(This is the article I wrote for the June church newsletter.)

On my recent vacation I stopped by the Truman State University campus and visited some teachers and people I used to work with. One of them, a secretary who didn't know me well, but knew I was a minister, asked me this: "What do you think about them taking God out of everything? No prayer in schools . . . what's the world coming to?" I'm not sure if she honestly wanted to know what I thought, but I didn't tell her. We had one more stop to make, we were running behind already, and I wasn't about to try and start a discussion then and there. But it is something I've been thinking about, and my thoughts may surprise you.

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ChristianExodus: A Christian nation

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I finished my article about church and state / theocracy. I'll post it here as soon as I can, but in the meantime, check this out:

Would you like to live in a Christian nation with government similar to the early United States? Well, here’s your chance!

ChristianExodus.org. Apparently a group of people are planning on moving en masse to a single state for the purpose of withdrawing from the US. The candidate states are Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina.

I think this is a little scary. What do you think?

(via metafilter)

Vacation photos part II

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

After a brief stay in Macon, MO, we drove up to Kirksville to see Erica and Kyle, some friends from college. We dropped by a Campus Christian Fellowship service and saw some people we hadn't seen in 2 years. We also found a babysitter so we could go out to dinner with Kyle and Erica at Il Spazio. We all got fire-roasted pizzas. The strangest one on the menu was the Spam and Dorito pizza. We decided to split one to see if it was any good. We thought that even if it wasn't it would give us a good story to tell. Here it is:

I thought it was good, but I think I was the only one. Here's a picture of Sara and Erica:

But my favorite part of our stay in Kirksville was helping Kyle set up his new blog. He has some very interesting and thoughtful posts, and he's got some good ideas about using blogging as a tool in a high school English class.

I'm on TechTV

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I've been wanting to do this for a while, so last night I finally got a netcam set up and called into The Screen Savers with a question. The show is usually live, but yesterday they played an old episode on TV and recorded one that will air on June 11. So be sure to tune in. By then it will be called G4TechTV. My question is on about 45 minutes into the show. I'll post again soon to tell more about the process and show a picture of my netcam setup. And after the episode airs I'll upload a video of my segment. Not only did I get to have my face on TV and get my question answered by Patrick and Kevin, they're also sending me a free t-shirt for calling on a netcam.

Top 5 Essential Elements in a Teen Movie

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

The inspiration...
Danny's sister Jenny and I saw Mean Girls last Saturday, and I was inspired. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay and acts as a strange math teacher; Tim Meadows is the principal. This is my favorite quote, spoken by Tim Meadow's character. "I have a nephew named Anferny, and I know how much he hates it when I call him Anthony. Almost as much as I hate the fact that my sister named him Anferny." Okay, enough about this movie. Just go and see it, okay?

Now for this week's list...
5. The lame school dance
The popular cheerleader types are always in charge of the festivities, and annoy everyone else with their pro-dance rhetoric. The alterna-kids are equally against, but end up going anyway.

4. The geek/freak hook-up
These characters (the geek and the freak) have had their own plot lines throughout the movie, and may or may not cross paths with each other. But, by the end, we know they will end up together and live happily ever after. (Or at least until 7th period.)

3. The awesomely bad, totally unnecessary cover song
Why mess with a good thing? Because teen movies are targeted at one of the most fickle and clueless people groups on the planet--teen girls. Unfortunately, this group is often compeletely clueless about music, meaning that if the movie requires a certain song, it must be remade in order to sound 'trendy'. (Read: crappy.)

2. The food fight/other element of revenge
Usually occurs between the alterna-kids and the popular ones and involves some sort of gross-out theme.

1. The major life lesson
This goes without saying. Of course we all watch teen movies to learn how to function in real life. Who doesn't need advice about being yourself. Watch any movie in this category and you will see what I mean.

*I must say I am very impressed with the outpouring of comments on my 'Top 5 Worst Worship Songs' entry. It's great to know I'm not the only jerk.*

Break the Chain

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I hate getting email chain letters. They're almost always false. I have enjoyed debunking a few of them, and that just got a lot easier. Here's a website devoted to exposing faike chain letters: BreakTheChain.org

Church and state

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I'm thinking of writing an article on this for our church newsletter. My main thought right now is that church and state should be separate, for the good of the church and the good of the state. I ran across this quote from C.S. Lewis about why he doesn't want a theocracy.

What I don't know is to what degree they should be seperated and how that would look with specific issues, like gay marriage, 'In God We Trust' on money, the pledge of alligiance, prayer in school, evolution in school, etc. I know that when prayer was 'removed' from my school (teachers couldn't lead students in prayer) I was in junior high and I didn't panic. I knew that I could still pray silently. I didn't want teachers making me pray and I didn't really like listening to a sermon at the school Christmas and Easter assemblies.

So I'm not too sure about what I think, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to handle the backlash of questioning the generally accepted idea that separation is bad. Help me out here.

Take that, Ryan Seacrest

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Sara and I just watched the second episode of The WB Superstar USA and it is awesome! It takes the best part of American Idol, the terrible singers that get eliminated, and makes that the whole show. All the bad singers are told that they're good and the good singers don't make it past the first two episodes. Everyone's in on it: the judges, the audiences, the dancers. The finale will be telling the sorry saps that they actually stink. It's so cruel, but so entertaining.

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