Thursday, October 30, 2008


Today kind of stunk. Oh well. Tomorrow's another day. I did, however, get to see some good snow. I had a film shoot this afternoon and got to drive through some areas of the city that got hit with the snowstorm last night. Lake effect snow is so weird. In one place, you can have absolutely nothing. A mile down the road (literally. a mile. as evidenced by the picture of sunshine, and then 2 minutes later, snow squall) there is half a foot. It was quite a sight today seeing some of the fall leaves still out on the trees:

It's not just here in the States where we are getting an early taste of winter. London, England woke up to their earliest snowfall in over 70 years this morning (pictured at left). Crazy stuff!

Yes, I do realize I'm a nerd. Ok?

I have so much other stuff to blog about...including an incredibly fun time last weekend....but I just don't have the time right now. Danielle and I spent a couple days up in Toronto and that was fun. And then on Sunday, Aaron, Kelly, Danielle, and I went to Cleveland to celebrate Aaron's 30th at his favorite restaurant. It is definitely now one of my favorite restaurants. Anyway, more on this on another day.

Speaking of Aaron, he turns 30 today and I want to take this opportunity to wish him a happy birthday. Aaron, enjoy your day and may this be the best year you've ever had. Danielle & I love you very much and appreciate your friendship. You are an example to me and I want to thank you for being such a huge part of my life. You really are family to Danielle and I. So, happy birthday, brother. Make it the very best. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our First Snow!

Ok, so it's not a foot, but it's still snow. Actually, it's not even snow, it's graupel. But it's still exciting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shiver me timbers.....literally

The seasons have definitely changed and winter is getting nearer everyday. We're approaching the end of October and Danielle & I have yet to turn on the heat in our house. For me, it has become somewhat of a game as I try to see how long we can go without turning it on. We do have a space heater, which actually -- for as small as it is -- works wonders. It keeps our bedroom warm at night and when we combine that with our down comforter, we are actually quite warm and comfy at night. I hate the price of home heating, but at what point do you bite the bullet and say, ok, i'm tired of shivering my butt off everyday? For me, it's when the daily high temperature fails to reach 15° for four consecutive days. I think Danielle may disagree though...

I had a fun(ny) time with Michelle V and Kathy W tonight on a film shoot. We had to navigate rush hour traffic on Peach Street to get the perfect shot. Several near-accidents later, we got the shots we needed. After that, Michelle and I met up with Eric R, Mark B, John W, and Mark B's son to film a fake football game at their house. It was hilarious. Sometimes, I wish that the videos in the services could be the raw footage. People wouldn't believe what they were seeing! :-)

The rest of this week promises to be extra busy. Lots of video work to do (personal and church). The load keeps getting heavier and heavier...but I love it...and I'm not complaining!

I am EXTREMELY excited about this upcoming weekend. This past Sunday, Danielle and I received a pretty incredible gift from a friend of ours. We've decided to make a weekend out of it, and I can't wait. Yay!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goodbye Autumn?


There is every indication that the weather is going to turn mighty cold across the Midwest and much of the East next week. As a matter of fact, it will probably look and feel more like the end of November. With all the cold air that is going to rush southward from Canada, there is every reason to believe that there will be plenty of snow flurries and even squalls from the Great Lakes to the Appalachians. It looks like a major trough will develop over the Great Lakes next week. The air mass should be cold enough to support snow downwind from the Great Lakes and into the Appalachians. In fact, some models suggest the snow could be quite heavy and prolonged in some of those areas. This may be a Halloween for the record books.

I also wanted to post a snapshot of the forecast for our area beginning in the next week. From Monday the 28th all the way to the end of the forecast period (Nov 3), there is snow in the forecast every day:

Of course, weather forecasting is not an exact science, and this all could be model exaggeration. But we'll just have to wait and see. Either way, winter is on it's way...and word on the street is that this year is going to be pretty wild. Yay!

2008: The Year the Media Died

There is a myriad of things I can/should blog about, but I'm not going to today. Instead, I want to leave you with a cartoon I saw yesterday in the paper. It summarizes uber-accurately the uber-obvious media bias that exists in this country:

Who cares about Obama's past. Who cares about Joe Biden's past. Who cares who they associate with. Who cares that Obama is a socialist. The REAL danger to America is somebody like Joe the Plumber who...gasp, can you imagine...questions the Messiah on an issue that A LOT of people are wondering about but the media is totally and knowingly and happily ignoring?

When will people wake up and realize what danger looks like when it is staring us in the face?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ams and Am Nots

9 things I am:

  • glad last week is over. Wow, it was insane
  • impressed with this beautiful fall weather
  • excited to spend a few days with my best friend Chris
  • nervous about all the stuff I need to do within the next few weeks
  • happy that gas prices are falling falling falling
  • thankful that I was able to spend some time with Aaron and the boys on the boat yesterday
  • in awe of what God continues to do at Grace. Yesterday was awesome. Kat was baptized and MAN! what an incredible testimony of what God has done in that young woman's life. She rocks.
  • excited about some awesome changes coming up in the communications department at Grace, including my area of expertise: video announcements.
  • excited about the doors God is opening in Danielle's life
5 things I am not:

  • impressed with the movie Eagle Eye
  • ready for Chris to come
  • content
  • ready for Christmas
  • loving enough towards my wife
As I sign off for the day, I leave you with this video. It is a hilarious look by The Onion at the sensationalism of weather events by the news media (which, I believe, is adding to the "climate change" hysteria going on right now):

Thursday, October 09, 2008

First Snow!!

We are quickly approaching the time of year when many of my blog entries will be about my favorite thing in the world (besides Jesus, Danielle, my family, friends, and Chick-Fil-A): SNOW!

This morning, according to AccuWeather, there was snow in the forecast for the first time this season. Granted, it's still two weeks away, but exciting nonetheless to see snow forecasted!

By the way, they (AccuWeather) just released their winter forecast yesterday and they are predicting a harsh and snowy winter for most of the Eastern USA including the Great Lakes. That is about the best news in the world for me to hear right now. Unfortunately, that also means that it will probably be an extremely expensive winter for many. In fact, Joe Bastardi, the AccuWeather forecaster who issued the Winter 2008-2009 forecast, stated that "many homeowners could be pushed to the brink this winter". That's in line with what the Farmer's Almanac said about how this winter could be "catastrophic". Yikes.

As for Danielle and I? We'll just invest in a few extra blankets and keep the heat at 55. Fun!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What the heck is going on?

I admit that I don't truly understand the financial crisis that is unfolding before our eyes. I don't own any stock, we have no investments, and everything we do is done with cash. But I am not stupid enough to believe for one second that America's greed and lust for money has a lot - if not everything - to do with it. When the pundits talk about whether this could be another great depression, I have to admit that it frightens me a little (although - technically, we're not even in a recession yet. For that, don't we need two quarters of negative growth..and we haven't even had one yet?).

The following is an analysis of the situation written by Ron Paul. It is from his blog, Campaign for Liberty (hat tip to this friend for the initial find). My interest in what he had to say began about a year ago when he was campaigning for president. Although he did not get very far in his bid for the Republican nomination, he made made a lot of people think about the way things are. For me, it was the first time I ever thought about what being a true conservative meant. Although I would love to ask you to write him in, I cannot do that, for giving a vote to Ron Paul is basically the same as giving a vote to Obama. And I cannot, in good conscience, be responsible for a single extra vote that Obama will receive in three weeks.
That said, grab a cup of tea, some biscuits, and put on some Nickel Creek (it's a long read):

Something Big is Going On
Taken from :

The following statement is written by Congressman Paul about the pending financial disaster. He will introduce this statement as a special order and insert it into the Congressional Record next week. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to debut it first on the Campaign for Liberty blog. It reads as follows:
I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America. The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days—growing more frequent all the time—when I'm convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.
Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world—unless we quickly change our ways.
America, with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self reliance, hard work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an historic event.
The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold power, promote aggression, and provide "bread and circuses" for the people. The notion that a country can afford "guns and butter" with no significant penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and a massive expansion of the welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.
Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty, free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden age—a globalism we could accept.
Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.
I'm fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and may even be worse than I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation.
There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive fashion, it's been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers.
Being an unchallenged sole superpower was never accepted by us with a sense of humility and respect. Our arrogance and aggressiveness have been used to promote a world empire backed by the most powerful army of history. This type of globalist intervention creates problems for all citizens of the world and fails to contribute to the well-being of the world's populations. Just think how our personal liberties have been trashed here at home in the last decade.
The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone: gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble; stockmarkets plunging; unemployment rising;, massive underemployment; excessive government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to whether we'll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?
There are various reasons that the world economy has been globalized and the problems we face are worldwide. We cannot understand what we're facing without understanding fiat money and the long-developing dollar bubble.
There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.
By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system came to an end in 1971.
It's the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble. That bubble is now bursting, and we're seeing what it's like to suffer the consequences of the many previous economic errors.
Ironically in these past 35 years, we have benefited from this very flawed system. Because the world accepted dollars as if they were gold, we only had to counterfeit more dollars, spend them overseas (indirectly encouraging our jobs to go overseas as well) and enjoy unearned prosperity. Those who took our dollars and gave us goods and services were only too anxious to loan those dollars back to us. This allowed us to export our inflation and delay the consequences we now are starting to see.
But it was never destined to last, and now we have to pay the piper. Our huge foreign debt must be paid or liquidated. Our entitlements are coming due just as the world has become more reluctant to hold dollars. The consequence of that decision is price inflation in this country—and that's what we are witnessing today. Already price inflation overseas is even higher than here at home as a consequence of foreign central bank's willingness to monetize our debt.
Printing dollars over long periods of time may not immediately push prices up–yet in time it always does. Now we're seeing catch-up for past inflating of the monetary supply. As bad as it is today with $4 a gallon gasoline, this is just the beginning. It's a gross distraction to hound away at "drill, drill, drill" as a solution to the dollar crisis and high gasoline prices. Its okay to let the market increase supplies and drill, but that issue is a gross distraction from the sins of deficits and Federal Reserve monetary shenanigans.
This bubble is different and bigger for another reason. The central banks of the world secretly collude to centrally plan the world economy. I'm convinced that agreements among central banks to "monetize" U.S. debt these past 15 years have existed, although secretly and out of the reach of any oversight of anyone—especially the U.S. Congress that doesn't care, or just flat doesn't understand. As this "gift" to us comes to an end, our problems worsen. The central banks and the various governments are very powerful, but eventually the markets overwhelm when the people who get stuck holding the bag (of bad dollars) catch on and spend the dollars into the economy with emotional zeal, thus igniting inflationary fever.
This time—since there are so many dollars and so many countries involved—the Fed has been able to "paper" over every approaching crisis for the past 15 years, especially with Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, which has allowed the bubble to become history's greatest.
The mistakes made with excessive credit at artificially low rates are huge, and the market is demanding a correction. This involves excessive debt, misdirected investments, over-investments, and all the other problems caused by the government when spending the money they should never have had. Foreign militarism, welfare handouts and $80 trillion entitlement promises are all coming to an end. We don't have the money or the wealth-creating capacity to catch up and care for all the needs that now exist because we rejected the market economy, sound money, self reliance and the principles of liberty.
Since the correction of all this misallocation of resources is necessary and must come, one can look for some good that may come as this "Big Even" unfolds.
There are two choices that people can make. The one choice that is unavailable to us is to limp along with the status quo and prop up the system with more debt, inflation and lies. That won't happen.
One of the two choices, and the one chosen so often by government in the past is that of rejecting the principles of liberty and resorting to even bigger and more authoritarian government. Some argue that giving dictatorial powers to the President, just as we have allowed him to run the American empire, is what we should do. That's the great danger, and in this post-911 atmosphere, too many Americans are seeking safety over freedom. We have already lost too many of our personal liberties already. Real fear of economic collapse could prompt central planners to act to such a degree that the New Deal of the 30's might look like Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
The more the government is allowed to do in taking over and running the economy, the deeper the depression gets and the longer it lasts. That was the story of the 30ss and the early 40s, and the same mistakes are likely to be made again if we do not wake up.
But the good news is that it need not be so bad if we do the right thing. I saw "Something Big" happening in the past 18 months on the campaign trail. I was encouraged that we are capable of waking up and doing the right thing. I have literally met thousands of high school and college kids who are quite willing to accept the challenge and responsibility of a free society and reject the cradle-to-grave welfare that is promised them by so many do-good politicians.
If more hear the message of liberty, more will join in this effort. The failure of our foreign policy, welfare system, and monetary policies and virtually all government solutions are so readily apparent, it doesn't take that much convincing. But the positive message of how freedom works and why it's possible is what is urgently needed.
One of the best parts of accepting self reliance in a free society is that true personal satisfaction with one's own life can be achieved. This doesn't happen when the government assumes the role of guardian, parent or provider, because it eliminates a sense of pride. But the real problem is the government can't provide the safety and economic security that it claims. The so-called good that government claims it can deliver is always achieved at the expense of someone else's freedom. It's a failed system and the young people know it.
Restoring a free society doesn't eliminate the need to get our house in order and to pay for the extravagant spending. But the pain would not be long-lasting if we did the right things, and best of all the empire would have to end for financial reasons. Our wars would stop, the attack on civil liberties would cease, and prosperity would return. The choices are clear: it shouldn't be difficult, but the big event now unfolding gives us a great opportunity to reverse the tide and resume the truly great American Revolution started in 1776. Opportunity knocks in spite of the urgency and the dangers we face.
Let's make "Something Big is Happening" be the discovery that freedom works and is popular and the big economic and political event we're witnessing is a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Does Michael Phelps have this much trouble?

This afternoon and evening, Danielle and I went on a much needed shopping trip. One of the things I was searching for was a pair of brown shoes. My shoe size is 14 and I know from experience that it is generally very difficult to find size 14 shoes in most stores. We hit Marshalls, Kohls, DSW, and others...and none had size 14 shoes.

Are guys with size 14+ feet freaks of nature or something? I mean, you go to just about any store, and there are rows upon rows of 12's and 13's. But not a single size 14. What gives?! What is it that guides a stores' decision to not sell size 14 shoes? It totally baffles me.

We finally did find a fairly decent selection of size 14's at The Shoe Dept in the mall. In fact, they were having an INCREDIBLE sale, so I walked out of there with two pairs of brown shoes.

I wonder if Michael Phelps - a fellow size fourteener - has this much trouble finding shoes?