Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Flashback

I started shooting pictures with an SLR about 10 years ago, and this was one of my first that I also developed and printed myself at a dark room at UCF.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Bro Code

One of the gifts I received for Christmas was a book from my brother Peter. This book is titled, The Bro Code as "authored" by Barney Stinson and Matt Kuhn. Barney Stinson is a fictional character on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother played by Neil Patrick Harris. Barney is the ultimate guy's guy and lady's man. It's funny how well he plays the character considering the actor is openly gay.

According to the Bro Code...

If a bro gets a dog, it must be at least as tall as his knee when full-grown.

When wearing a cap, the Bro may position the brim at 12 o'clock or 6 o'clock, anything inbetween is reserved for rappers and the handicapped.

A Bro must always post bail for another Bro unless it's out of state or like, crazy expensive. (crazy expensive equals # of years you have known Bro time $100)

A Bro shall stop everything he's doing and watch Die Hard if it is on TV. The same goes for the Shawshank Redemption, Top Gun, The Big Lebowski, the first half of Full Metal Jacket, and porn.

If a Bro forgets a guy's name he may call him "brah," "dude," or "man," but never "Bro."

A Bro shall drop whatever he's doing and rush to help another Bro dump a chick.

Bros before Hos.

If two bros decide to catch a movie together, they shall not attend one starting later than 4:40pm.

If a Bro should pick up a guitar at a party and start playing, another Bro shall point out that he is a tool.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Almost 15 years ago I traveled the furthest I ever have traveled when I went to London, England for a week.

In about 3 months I should be traveling to China. It's something like 17 hours on the plane.

What's the farthest from home you have traveled and what was the purpose of the trip?

In my case it was London and it was as an unofficial chaperone on a trip with the high school I was student teaching at. We visited museums, historic sites and saw theatre shows. I remember we stayed in Hampton Gardens and visited Cambridge and Stratford-on-Avon. We saw An Absoute Turkey, Cats, Les Miserables and Macbeth performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. I fell asleep during MacBeth, but I fell in love with Les Miserables.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Christmas Expected/Unexpected

Thirteen Things about Mike's Christmas, the expected and the unexpected.

1. Expected - Bluejeans. I realized I last bought new bluejeans in the Spring of 1999 before going on a mission trip to TN with my college ministry group. I asked for 2 new pair of Wranglers. I received 3 new pair of Levis and a nice wool-lined denim jacket.

2. Expected - Boxer shorts. Last year I received 3 really nice pair of J.Crew boxers from my s-i-l and this year it was 3 pair of Izod. We'll see how they compare. Again they were from Kelly. Here's a tip. It is okay for your sister-in-law to buy you underwear. It for a guy to buy his s-i-l underwear (except maybe longohns).

Well, that was all that I ASKED for, so the rest of these fall in the Unexpected category.

3. Number 3 in this 13, but number 1 on my list. A daughter. By early Spring I will be a daddy. Go to to learn more.

4. An Xbox 360! I would have enjoyed a refurbished Xbox so I could continue to play the games I have for it, but Amy got me the newer one and it should play some if not all of the older games.

5. A Jeff Dunham DVD. Jeff Dunham is probably my favorite comedian. Granted, he's a ventriloquist, but I have been watching him for over 10 years and even got to see him live back in '98 or '99 at the UCF Homecoming Week Comedy concert. "Peanut, you lost a shoe." "No I didn't. I FOUND one!"

6. The Bro Code - from our favorite sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, authored by Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) a copy of the book The Bro Code.

7. An itunes gift card. I hope that it works for downloading songs I can use on my mp3 player because I don't have an ipod.

8. The Dark Knight - in my opinion the best movie I saw this year. Now I own it.

9. A new UCF hat, white with the UCF logo.

10. A new UCF polo shirt, primarily black with gold and white stripes and the UCF Knights logo.

11. Whatever is coming from my brother and his family (it didn't arrive yet).

12. A book on being a daddy (from Amy).

13. Step-brothers (the movie). We have not seen it, but we generally like Will Farrell and the ads looked funny.

Merry Christmas to those of you who read my blog. I found out there are a lot more of you than I realized. make me happy and leave comments sometimes. I'll find out who some of you are and some conversations, discussions and relationships might just begin!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Very Special Announcement

Please visit to meet..... my DAUGHTER!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold & Cold

A few days ago, like Friday, it was in the high 60's here in Atlanta.

Today it is currently 21 with a "feels like" temp of 16. Ouch

Add to this I now have a cold.


I had yesterday off from work and today too.

On Saturday we had a couple from our small group over for dinner and a movie and we watched Love Actually by my reccomendation. I totally forgot that one of the subplots involved a couple who meet on the job, which happens to be working as stand-ins on s movie set so they can fix the lighting before the stars come out to act. Well, they work on a porn set so they have to keep getting undressed and simulate sex acts and here I am showing this movie to people from church. I reall was embarassed. Aside from that, it is a good movie, with a fair bit of dry British humor.

Sunday we went to church which was really good. I found the sermon intriguing and wanted more of it when it was over. We hit the grocery store on the way home for things needed for dinner and sandwiches for lunch. We then watched the 2nd half of the movie Juno. It was good, not great, not one I need to see again.

Later last night we had some friends over again, another couple we know through adoption. We had chili and grilled cheese sandwiches and we watched Christmas Vacation and part of the Jeff Dunham Christmas special.

I wasn't necessarily wired, but I sarted looking for elementary school friends on Facebook and found a couple who I have not seen or heard from in 25-30 years. It will be interesting to see if they remember me at all.

I went to bed after 1am and it was COLD upstairs. I awoke just before the 8am alarm and made it to the doctor (I had an appointment arranged al;ready). I did a few errands on the way home and am now just killing time until Amy takes her nap so I can go do some Christmas shopping for her.

If you make it over to my 80's music blog, I think I am going to scrap the daily theme for a while and just post videos at random.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A meme stolen from Frigga

Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? Yes - not my favorite, but yes.

Favorite late night snack? Popcorn

Do you own a gun? Not yet (this was Frigga's answer and I like it too)

What’s your favorite drink at specialty coffee shops? Bottled Water

Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No - anxious about the time I have to wait, yes, but not nervous

What do you think of hot dogs? Good for any meal and most snacks.

Favorite Christmas song? Christmas Eve Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coke Zero, Unsweetend Iced Tea

Can you do push-ups? Can I? Yes. Do I?

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My cross. My Nana got it for me on her last trip to Athens before she died.

Favorite hobby? Poker

What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Being void of willpower.

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. - I like the movie Iron Man, I have to dress for work in about 30 minutes, our adoption is making progress.

Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coke Zero, Unsweetened Iced Tea, Jaeger-bombs

Current worry right now? Finances

Current hate right now? Bills

Favorite place to be? On a cruise

How do you ring in the New Year? Same as any other day of the year. New Years Eve/Day has never been anything special to me.

Like to travel? Sure.

Do you own slippers? Not in the last 30 or so years.

What color shirt are you wearing? Currently? I am topless.

Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I think I would, but I don't believe I ever have.

Can you whistle? Yes

Favorite singer/band? Jimmy Buffett/Casting Crowns

Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor? I'd like to think I could physically, but I know I would be booted pretty quick either for being a Christian or for being a smart-ass.

What songs do you sing in the shower? None.

Favorite girl’s names? Margaret, Jennifer, Rebecca, Jordan, Sarah, Elizabeth.

Favorite boy’s names? Michael, Steven

What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing

Last thing that made you laugh? Barney's perverted Christmas Carols on last night's How I Met Your Mother.

Like your job? Most of the time.

Do you love where you live? Love? maybe a bit of a strong word, but I like it.

How many TVs do you have in your house? Three

Do you drive the speed limit or speed? I speed.

Does someone have a crush on you? Yes :)

What is your favorite book? Where Is Joe merchant

What is your favorite candy? Nestle Crucnch

Favorite Sports Team? UCF Knights, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Thrashers

What were you doing 12 AM last night? Watching TV

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today? 10:30? Did I sleep 9.5-10 hours?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


What are the differences between things like a CD-R, DVD-R, CD-RW, etc?

What the crap is a 3G network and does it have any bearing on a non-tech-geek like me who actually uses a phone to make phonecalls?

To the lady in the school bus renamed a Toyota Sequoia, did it make a huge difference rushing and swerving around the pedestrians in the Target parking lot so you could get stuck at the traffic light?

Why does my dog ONLY bark at my brother, who lives in this house, when she does not bark at anyone else?

Why do I own 3 unopened Monopoly games?

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Christmas Movie Are You?

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.

Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


In the past week I have been thinking a lot about attitudes. I have thought about my attitude towards my work, my wife, my life in general, people in general.

Little things have come to mind like getting on the interstate tonight, knowing the two ramp lanes merge into one and not caring what place in line I am because I will get where I am going eventually.

Bigger things have come to mind resulting in a desire to express a new philosophy through my words and actions. The basis of this philosophy is "What can I do to make YOUR day better?"
I put it into practice today, and despite a major threat to my attitude early on, I rebounded and made a very positive impact on two of my customers today.

This afternoon I took my wife out to dinner (Chinese, which we have not done in a while) and a movie.

My fortune cookie message was "You will develop an interest and appreciation for the culture of China." WOW. (note: fortune cookies are NOT part of the culture of China)

The movie.... we went to see Fireproof.

What a re-enforcement of my attitude/philosophy. This is one to own and to share with your friends, churched and unchurched, married and unmarried.

I have to think and digest (mentally) and I hope to write more later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ten on Tuesday #19 Favorite Christmas Songs

U2 - It's Christmas, Baby Please Come Home

George Winston - Christmastime Is Here

Olivia Olsen - All I Want For Christmas is You - Love Actually

Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve Sarajevo (Carol of the Bells)

Casting Crowns - While You Were Sleeping

Point of Grace - One King

Steven Curtis Chapman - All I Really Want For Christmas

Debbie Gibson - Sleigh Ride

Amy Grant - Grown-up Christmas List

Faith Hill - Where Are You Christmas

Monday, December 08, 2008

Casting Crowns Christmas Show

Michael English performing "Mary, Did You Know?"

Natalie Grant - an awesome performance of "Oh Holy Night"

Hometown band Casting Crowns hosted and performed throughout the night.

The latest incarnation of Avalon - Jana Long (2nd fr left) is only original member.

The guys from Casting Crowns doing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"

To open the show - and midway through, a beautiful ballet performance.

Finale with all artists and a choir from First Baptist of Woodstock.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Completely Random

About 15 minutes ago I was in the shower thinking about the evening ahead with friends from the area who have adopted or are adopting internationally. This idea came to my mind.

The one thing I look forward to the most in this part of my life is hearing a child call me "Daddy!"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Grammy Nominee In the Family

My wife's baby brother, Wes Pentz, aka Wes Gully, aka DJ Diplo has been nominated for a Grammy for 2008! He is a DJ and producer who worked with dance artist M.I.A. whose single "Paper Planes" is up for RECORD OF THE YEAR. Their fellow nominees include Robert Plant, Adelle, Coldplay, and Leona Lewis. Here is the video for "Paper Planes."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

SCC - Narnia

Prince Caspian - the 2nd Chronicles of Narnia movie came out on DVD this week. In honor of that release, I am posting this video by Steven Curtis Chapman from the soundtrack of the 1st Narnia movie.

Steven Curtis Chapman - "I'll Be Remembering You"

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Yeah, so it's been a week since I wrote anything here and that was half of a meme. can you say uninspired? I've bene working a lot, having done 6 straight days last week with a day off on Sunday. I then started another 4 day stretch yesterday which will be followed by one day off, one day on and one day off again.

As for work, it's pretty much the same every day, with the exception that we now know the ssue that was stressing my photo printer, a worn gear that holds a chain drive tight so pictures got too close to each other and caused the sensor to miscount and sometimes jam.

I hear a good bit about the potential of becoming a manager, which i have less and less faith in happening and whether it is something i want anymore anyway. It seems there is no sense of rank and direction among the management I serve and there is no accountability for the things that go wrong or don't get done. Excuses are made and life goes on. The money is my only real incentive.

I did get up and out today to vote in our runoff election, trying to re-elect our incumbant Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. We have a personal stake in his re-election because he helped us fasttrack some of our adoption paperwork through the State department. There has been a ton of negative advertising, spearheaded by national groups wanting to influence the balance of the Senate. the best the Democrats can come up with is to misrepresent the Fair Tax and Chambliss' support of it, hoping people are too dumb to know it's a misrepresentation. Sadly, they are right.

Just under two hours til work tonight. I have to make a little time to pull the Christmas tree out of the garage and set it up (always a pain becuase it's prelit and i can never get the cords connected correctly to light the whole thing.

In the meantime i am watching Grosse Pointe Blank on Encore Love. it's a black comedy, anda in no way a love story, but it is a great movie especially for fans of John Cusack. Here's something i learned about it today. Dan Akroyd has a role in it that I always thought wass named Grosser. it turns out his character is named Grocer. I have to think if there is any signifigance to that.

Minnie Driver, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack and Hank Azaria also are in this movie.