Worst church web site ever

I'm still in the middle of getting the church web site ready. To get ideas, I've been reading a blog called Heal Your Church Web Site. Today it linked to The Mountain View Lutheran Church of Apache Junction, AZ, and explained why it was poorly designed. I've seen a lot of bad sites, but this one is . . . ugh . . . you'll just have to see it. It's a good example of what I'm trying not to do with the ACC site.

He's good enough, he's smart enough . . .

In an effort to try and educate myself before November, I recently read Al Franken's latest book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. It was pretty funny and there were some interesting ideas. Next I want to read something from another perspective. I found a conservative-run site about Franken and his book called lyingliar.com, and I also saw an author on the Daily Show talking about his book, Bush Country. I'm hoping that my library will get this soon, because I don't really want to buy it.

Any other recommendations for me, from either side of this debate? I'd also like to read a book like Franken's but more serious and issue focused. Most of his time is spent trying to point out stupid things that people said or did, and not explaining why their ideas don't work.

He speaks

After a few days of using our new Tivo, I think I can safely say we like it. We've got season passes for our favorite shows, so we can watch them whenever we want. We've recorded a few movies, so that's been fun. Yesterday on my day off I finished watching the 1976 version of King Kong. I trust that Peter Jackson will do a much better job with the story than this version. Yesterday we took Emma to a shopping mall that has a carousel. She thought it was pretty fun. Perhaps I'll put some pictures up later. Now for more about the Tivo. I've found what most consider the best guide for adding a hard drive. I'm considering a 200 GB drive and on Pricewatch the cost has gone down a couple of dollars each day for the last few days (today it is $121). Hitachi's release of a 400GB drive is bound to drive prices even lower.

Sorry, no top 5 tonight

Due to a continuing bout with a stomach virus, I have nothing to write about. Unless you want to hear the top 5 reasons I hate having the flu. Yeah, I didn't think so. In order to keep your attention, I decided to let you read some ramblings I wrote a few months ago. Enjoy.

Sometimes I feel like all of my life decisions have been made for me. Which is certainly not a bad thing, considering. Exhibit A: boys. Men. Whatever. Two 'official' boyfriends in high school, numerous cheating experiences, all of whom I "knew" were the one. In college, I was ready to pack up and be with one of the male species in a strange city, willing to work at a 7-11 (not a bad job, but…) and finish school at a mediocre university just to be with the one I loved at the time. Luckily, I reconsidered.

Exhibit B: career. I was always obsessed with becoming a news anchorwoman, probably because of the cheap suits and overdone makeup. I honestly don't know what made me think this was a viable career choice, but it makes for a good transition into explaining how I make decisions. I get bored with decisions very easily. At a restaurant, for instance, I will scan the menu and, generally, pick the first thing I see with the word 'spicy' or 'seafood'. By the time the wait staff leaves my table, I have completely forgotten my order--which makes for an embarrassing moment of silence when the aproned woman returns bearing plates. But I digress…

For whatever reason, anchorwoman was my decision. (If you ignore that byline in the kindergarten yearbook where I said, 'ballet dancer'. Wishful thinking, I guess). Stemming from the fact that I began and ended my stint in pre-undergraduate education at a school boasting a whopping three hundred students, Columbia University was out. Heck, Columbia, MO was probably out as well. So I blindly chose Truman State--far enough away from the parents, and it sounded smart. Lots of trivia nerds there, or so I heard. Actually, I had heard nothing about it. So don't feel bad if you haven't either. They are still pulling the 'Harvard of the Midwest' card, though. Ego trip. By my sophomore year, I realized that I hated journalism. I don't mean I had a few bad classes, professors, etc…I actually hated the profession and all that it entailed. Interviewing topped my list of dreaded activities (Hello-that IS journalism.) But since I am not one to change decisions midstream, I kept the major and actually performed quite well, minus not writing for a newspaper or working on the broadcast crew. You might say I ended up at graduation with someone yelling out "Journalism?" and me, looking around cluelessly, finally standing up and saying, "Oh, that's me."

Maybe one of the reasons I can't decide major things is because my head is swimming with minor ones. This is significant because my life is defined by minor moments that occurred somewhere else. I have always been one for trivia; any insignificant fact that a normal person would overlook I take in like it's "All I Ever Needed to Know". And music. Don't get me started. Danny recently brought home an article about a guy who claims to have an iPod in his head. I have a jukebox. Like the ones at Pizza Hut, complete with annoying jingles and that song by the guy who everyone thought was hot until they found out he was gay. Please.

I used to be on the 'nerd bowl' at my high school. Translation: I would voluntarily arrive at the Science building at 7:45 a.m. to drill questions such as, "Who wrote The Count of Monte Cristo"? Alexandre Dumas, in case you were wondering. And yes, I actually knew that, in spite never having read the book.


"Kickball is awesome." --Collin Young


Emma made up a number: twentyteen.

Tivo update

Viacom channels are back on Dish Network, but I don't care, because I'm cancelling it later today. My new Direct TV dish and Tivo is set up and working nicely. I was up late last night learning how to use it, customizing our channel list and just recording random shows. I watched the Daily show while I was playing Gunbound and I could pause it during my turn and do a replay when John Stewart mumbled. This morning Sara recorded Waiting for Guffman. And yes, I did watch the Screensavers last night on Tech TV.

Mr. Ferguson

I'm posting this from Adrian R-III school where I'm substitute teaching for a fourth grade class. The kids are at recess. They had a teacher go home in the middle of the day and since I'm close they gave me a call. So far it's going well. I taught Social Studies and Math.

Tivo on its way

I called Dish Network and found out that we're not under a contract with them. So I placed my order for Direct TV with Tivo today. With any luck, it will be installed by tomorrow afternoon. Here are the specs for all my geeks.

40 hour Tivo/cable box and Triple LNB Dish: $69.99
Direct TV programming: $29.99 / month
Tivo service $4.99 / month
Shipping: $0
Installation: $0
Peace of mind from shopping locally: Not quite priceless, but very nice.
Cool stuff I can do with a Tivo: Wow.

Our favorite channels are gone!

If it's possible, this is even worse than when our extra-basic cable dropped Tech-TV. Dish Network, as part of a dispute with Viacom, has dropped four of our favorite cable channels: VH1, Comedy Central, and 2 Nickelodeons. We probably watch one of those four channels about 80% of the time that our TV is on. Here is a news story about the dispute, and you can also read official statements from Dish Network and Viacom. In some markets, CBS has been dropped, too, but not in Kansas City. This is going to make a lot of people mad, especially basketball fans, since CBS carries March Madness. For my part, if this isn't resolved soon, we'll probably switch to DirectTV. I've been thinking of switching to Direct TV, since you can get the cable box integrated with a Tivo. We could record two channels and watch a third all at the same time. So far dish network isn't letting people out of their contracts yet, but if this goes on long enough I think they'll have to.

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