Greece!

March 23, 2012

Greece is the newest official addition to my marbles-around-the-world-so-I-can-take-it-over plan. Okay, I sent it some time ago, but now I have a photo to prove it.

Behold. 

Marble that now resides in Greece.

This little marble traveled a very long way to fall into the hands of a very nice Greek named Nemi. They have been fantastic and have also agreed to send me a seashell (possibly with art) in return for my marble.

Fascinating.

Nemi was also kind enough to send me the photo you see above and point out the EXACT marble that I sent. It is a cheap marble among some very old and classic real marbles. It is now much cooler by association.

It even got it’s own little pedestal…how ’bout that?

That is all,

D.A.

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A Letter (if you will)

March 21, 2012

I live in the southeastern U.S. 

When you’re driving down the road you can really tell. Not only are we incredibly flat and chock full of pines/oaks/and scrub brush (I speak for Florida), but we have some common roadside attractions. You can’t really go by many major intersections where you don’t find somebody trying to sell something (beef jerky is very common). You also find a Publix grocery store on most corners. BBQ restaurants are a common (and delicious) site. One may also noticed that they will drive by a huge number of churches.

All the church denominations are represented, but Baptist/Southern Baptist/Church of God are usually the most common.

Many of them share something else in common.

The signs out front.

As a Christian I see what they’re trying to do. Reach out to anybody who just manages to pass by. If you see something funny written (or an attempt at humor) then maybe you’ll think they’re a church full of funny people who will make you feel welcome if you walk in through the doors on Sunday morning. Or maybe you’ll scare people into thinking that they need to consider where they’re going to go when they die.

This is advertising. And I have a problem with advertising church. Not because I think it’s a crime against what God wants for us to do. Advertising isn’t inherently a bad thing. I just think it’s so ineffective that it ends up hurting a church more times than not.

But we live in a culture where advertising is so common place it rarely fails to make any clear impact on people who view it.

Some churches have the mindset of “Let’s reach out to the non-Christians and show them the way.”

This is the group of people that will put up a sign that says, “Live this day as if it were your last.” or “The end is nigh.” (I’ve never seen that last one, but you get my point). This group believes that they will only reach out to people if they point out that they are sinners and should be inside this church getting saved. (Ironically enough there is nobody inside the church at the time you pass this place by because it’s not Sunday or Wednesday, so good luck getting help with that)

The people who put up this sign probably think they are making an impact in the world. They’re not. I think they have the same mindset as the soapbox preacher.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that churches that advertise like this are only reaching out in this way because they didn’t have a congregation member brave enough to stand on the street corner.

It all boils down to the idea of preaching hell fire and brimstone, of which I’m a staunch opponent.

I always thought that the bible tells us to share the gospel to those who don’t believe. The “good news”. Nobody wants to here that they’re going to die and then be tormented for eternity. And they especially don’t want to hear anything about this if they don’t believe it to be true anyway.

What’s the solution? Well I’ll tell you.

Try actually talking to people.

Getting to know them.

Advertising on a sign isn’t the way to spread the Word of God. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.

Do good things church. Just go out there and do good things. Lots of them. Not enough to stretch out everybody’s ability to do them. Do enough to make an impact.

Signs on churches should read: “Free dinner every weeknight from 5 – 7 p.m.” or “Food bank open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Everyday.” and maybe “Need somebody to talk to? Somebody is here from 1 – 3 p.m. every day.”

Somebody may actually read that and put themselves in hands and care of a church. Then the church can do exactly what it was ordained to do. Help those in need. Reach out and care.

Like I mentioned above, I have a problem with people advertising church. I don’t have a problem with people advertising what a church can do to help you out. It’s advertising a real service the church is providing for the community around it. Something anybody could be interested in, even if they don’t believe. Even if they’ve already been burned by a church before.

Now all we have to do is make sure churches are healthy enough on the inside so they can be capable of doing these things to edify the Church….

I’m done ranting,

D.A.

P.S. – I probably misspelled “churches” every time I tried spelling it. Today I learned that I have a problem of putting “r’s” before “u’s”.

Bad Joke for You

March 10, 2012

So there are two cows standing in a field.

One of them turns to the other and says, “Hey, have you heard about this Mad Cow Disease? It’s pretty bad stuff. What do you think?”

The other cow just looks back at him with indignant eyes.

“What would I care? I’m a helicopter.”

 

You’re welcome,

D.A.

Late but still counts

March 9, 2012

I’m a little concerned for my health. This is due to the fact that yesterday (Thursday and the day of my open house) I didn’t panic about anything when I probably should have been panicking about something.

Yesterday was strange day.

I wake up in the morning in a strange state. As soon as I opened my eyes I was wide awake and ready for the day. This is strange because I don’t usually become fully alert until around 2nd period. This didn’t worry me at all. I was actually pretty happy to be able to feel so awake so early in the day. (This still didn’t prevent me from laying in bed relaxing until I had to wake up.)

At work I realize that I have to plan and set up an entire “cell size” lab and create an instruction sheet for it. I also have to write up some notes in a presentation so the kids can learn some actual material as well. I also have to turn in some paper work and actually plan what I’m going to do for the entire day. Good thing I’m all alert today, right?

In any other circumstance I would have been panicking right about now. “Oh no, I’ve got an hour to plan a real and effective lesson for these kids today.” But not today. Today I was a man that didn’t fear anything no matter how big the event.

Cutting it to the last second (including working on the powerpoint in homeroom) I was successful in my little goal there.

While helping some kids in the lab in 3rd period I ended up teaching by a non-example. This means I was telling the kids that there are proper and improper ways to hold and use a knife for cutting items in a laboratory. The non-example part is when I cut a nice little hole in my index finger. (The things I do for these kids.)

I should have been concerned here as well but I was too busy being a stoic today. I just cut my finger with an old dirty knife. (You should note that the last thing the knife was used for was cutting calf livers. They probably weren’t that clean after that lab either.)

I simply washed it off, put on a bandage, and kept on truckin’.

Then the end of my workday finally arrives. Since I’m starving, I need to pick up a late lunch from somewhere and get home real quick so I can take care of some other business. (That other business will be a post for another day.) On my way home something happens to me that I should have been very concerned about.

I was in a car accident.

I’m fine. All parties were fine. Just a little old lady ran into my bumper going 35 mph.

We both climbed out of our cars and checked the damage. My car was totally fine and the scratches buffed out. Her car took some damage but it was all good as well.

I climbed back in my car and went on my merry way.

I didn’t care that I was just in a car accident. I was more upset that I got a stain on my tie courtesy of the accident. (I had late lunch in my lap in the car.)

I went home. Finished my food. Took car of business. Went back to work. Did an open house for 2 hours. Came back and promptly forgot about most of what happened.

If you knew anything about me you would know this: I have a special talent for worrying about things. I’m good at it. I try not to feed it, but I just end up worrying about a lot of things. (This is one of the reasons why I’m never late anywhere.)

But I went through that entire day without panicking at all. My heart rate didn’t even go up that much.

So I think I may have a hormone imbalance. It’s the only way I can make sense of all of these strange behaviors I’ve been experiencing lately.

D.A.

Words To Live By

March 6, 2012

Here are a few words I have always found to be helpful in my life. These are based on years of experience and knowledge. I would dare say they are wise words.

1. You always feel better after you clean it up.

This could apply to almost any messy situation. Cluttered desk at work? Tidy up. You’ll feel so much more organized and productive afterwards. Have you said something to offend somebody? Talk to them and figure out what you can do to make it up to them. Or just simply ask for forgiveness. This usually makes you feel like a better person. Found an old half-eaten sandwich under your bed? Pitch it and scrub down the infected area. You’ll most certainly feel better knowing that there is no longer a cesspool of evil hiding under your bed.

2. Treat all free things in life like they’re a invincibility star in Super Mario. 

Honestly. If you get something for free, use it to it’s fullest extent. Don’t let those things pass you by. Don’t let them serve no purpose. They are gifts. Treat them as such. There is nothing worse than getting a invincibility star and you just stand there, only to be killed as soon as it runs out. Make it all worth your time.

3. Never drink and entire 6 pack of Yoohoo.

The consequences are…dire. I don’t think I need to go into much more detail about this. But let me just say, I haven’t made this mistake again since the last time when I was 4 years old.

4. Always keep a bottle of Pepto-Bismol around.

For those dire situations…

5. Despite what people say, life does have a rewind button.

Just sometimes that button is broken. So you have to pull out the tape and and rewind it by hand. Maybe you even have to use a pencil eraser.

6. If somebody asks you a question, your default answer should always be “gravy” or “shoop”.

Why? Because you catch them off guard. Then you can bombard them with total nonsense and maybe they’ll leave you alone. Maybe you can cut right back into casual conversation and they will fee like they’re going crazy. As soon as you catch them off balance you can mentally trip them up…or ever physically, if you’re that mean.

D.A.

 

Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012

Just some things. IN LIST FORM!

1. Today was Groundhog Day. You know what I did?

Watched the movie Groundhog Day. I don’t think you can find any fault in me for that.

I think I love this movie more than somebody should. I actually enjoy every aspect of it. It’s just funny. It’s serious. It’s romantic. And it’s kind of depressing in parts.

All around it’s a pretty solid movie.

2. I’m a lazy blogger. I’m an ever lazier writer. I think I’ve made plans to write something near 3 stories that I’ve never gotten around to doing.

I make no apologies. This is my nature. I am a procrastinator.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t like that word all that much. “Procrastinator” seems like a bad word. I’m going to use another phrase. I would like to define myself as a “pusher”.

I push things off. It doesn’t mean I’m never going to do them. I just gently push them out of the way in order to make room for other things.

Like lamps. I love them. I really want to build that steampunk lamp (still in progress by the way). But it has been “pushed” off to the side so I can work on other things.

Mostly work, comics, and wasting time on Reddit.

And I think I’m okay with this for right now. I’m usually pretty worn out by the end of the day. Sometimes I need to make sure that I can take that deep breath so I’m ready for the next day.

I have been “pushing” this blog. And that’s okay. This blog is for me and I’m not trying to prove anything.

Wait a second….

Aren’t I?

Am I not supposed to be working toward becoming a writer? This blog was created so I could write. And I’m not doing it!

Holy Crap!

What have I become?

I am a wretch! I am a fiend! I am despair incarnate.

Sorry… That”s a little heavier than the truth. Still, I should be more committed.

3. That last number was pretty long… This one is pretty short.

4. I think I’m going to be pretty happy with my bunch of kids for this term.

I’ve had them for about two weeks. So far, my class average is up and it seems more like they are really paying attention than my last group.

I actually have a little bit of a conspiracy running through my head because of this sudden group of “behaved” children entering my doors. But that is another post for another day.

5. I now have a retirement plan…

This is a strange thought for me. I am planning for the day when I will no longer work. I have only worked for a few months.

Seems poetic in a way.

Seems mature in a way.

Seems like a lot of money that I may never see again.

6. Today I was in one of those moods that makes you feel like you are just about getting business done.

I woke up late and had a reaaaaallllly slow start, but let me tell you this. When I started going, I didn’t stop. I kept chugging.

This same chugging motion is was is motivating me to write this whole thing out tonight.

I’ve even gotten some stuff done for next week.

These days are rare for me. So I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

7. I just ordered a lot of golf pencils. What of it?

8. In my last post I used the word “tinnitus”. This is apparently the code word for crazy spam-bots to bombard my blog with adcomments. It think it’s rather funny. So this is what I’ll do. I’ll use another medical condition here in my blog and see what pops up.

I’m going to use an ailment that seems common to the elderly.

Gout. 

Yes. The trap is set.

Now it’s your job to predict how many searches/spam messages/views I will receive due to my usage of this word.

Winner will win a one way paid trip to the middle of a car lot in east New Jersey. A grade total price of nearly $6.75 (cost of bus ride from airport to car lot).

The ball is in your court now

D.A.

The Value of Things

December 5, 2011

Something has been boggling my mind lately.

What is a “fair price” for something? Do you think it is silly to spend money on things? Do you think of it as an indulgence?

I do, and then I don’t. Sometimes I look at an object and say, no way I would pay that much for something so trivial.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Bottled water. We all have had some, but how much did you pay for it?

$1.09? $0.89? $3.56?

I could never imagine why I’d pay over two dollars for a bottle of water. Usually water fountains are free, easy to access, and colder when you need them.

But what about the size of the bottle? Let’s say that $2.08 you spent on a bottle of water was 32 ounces. Now, that seems fair. But will I really drink 32 ounces? Won’t I get tired of drinking that much liquid, especially if I have neglected it and it got warm?

I love watching movies in the theater but they can be expensive. Last movie I saw I think I paid $9. I suppose I feel comfortable paying that considering I get to see it as soon as it comes out. I get to talk about it with people who also saw it. If the movie going experieance is around 2 hours long, that’s aroudn $4.50 per hour. Alright. I can do that. I’m relaxing and enjoying myself.

Now, video games are another issue. (Yes, I know they are designed to suck every penny out of you with downloadable content, but let’s just drop that argument for these purposes.) Video games cost me around $60 if I buy them brand new. If it’s a game I will play a lot, then I could easily get 80 hours of game play out of it. And that’s around 80 cents per hour of enjoyment. That seems like a fair price.

Music is another hot topic for me. I don’t want to commit and buy any music that I will end up not listening to. If I’m not listening to it, then I’m wasting my money. So I always find myself waiting for albums to go on sale (Yes, I do still BUY music.) 8 bucks for an album that I know I will like is a steal. I could listen to that record over a hundred times. But paying $10 for an album that is lackluster will make me feel sick.

Snow crab, in my opinion, is one of the most delectable delights you can find on this planet. Yet, $20 for three legs and maybe a claw? That’s a joke.

Caviar that tastes like poo-poo for $200 an ounce. Ridiculous!

$1,750 per ounce of gold! This is preposterous! (First time I’ve ever used this word in a blog and pretty proud of it)

Sup wit dat? What’s so great about gold? (Yes, I know it serves many purposes in terms of technology, but just ignore that)

Prices of things are just crazy.

P.S. Yes, I realize how old and crotchety this post makes me look. But really, what do you consider perfectly priced? Is there something out there that you would always be willing to pay for, despite it’s price? Or do you always consider it fairly priced?

And now that I think about it, this could be my last post ever on the topic of money. So, there you go.

D.A.