Monday, January 31, 2011

Housing


So tonight it's snowing again and I got to snow blow the yard. I really like it, however, I hate the people who drive 100 miles an hour four feet from me as I blow out the driveway.

Today I was smart and wore a bicycle light so that people could see me a miler away.

Any one have a better idea?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Living

I'm alive.

That's all for now.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicago Travels

I’m writing this as I ride to Chicago with some of my favorite people. We are listening to satellite radio while the driver keeps us on our course to a great friends wedding.

I was really hoping to have some fall foliage on this trip, but so far, the only foliage I see is on the ground. Sad. Also, since I’m in the back seat, the windows are tinted or polarized and the beautiful blue sky looks eerily grey. It’s kind of fun.

The only time I have been to Chicago was when I was a very young child and my cousin was getting married in Ohio or Indiana or some state this way and we passed through (I don’t think we stopped). So this trip is really exciting for me.

Anyway, I don’t have anything to say, but I wanted to check in with you all.

Where should I go while I’m here?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Returns, Exchanges, & Disappointment

Today I returned two items to two different stores, Menards and Ikea. I thought it was interesting what happened at each, so I’ll write about it here.

I went to Menards, walked in with my receipt and the curtain rod. There was no wait, so I went up to the counter, made my exchange. They scanned my receipt, scanned the item, handed me the receipts and, had I left at this point instead of browsing, I would have been in and out in 3 minutes. Good service!

When I went to Ikea, there was a line. I took my number 56, looked up and saw that they were on 53. I sat on one of their couches, grabbed a catalog and leafed through it. By the time they called my number, it was probably 10 minutes from when I first sat down. They couldn’t apply my credit to the card, because B used her card and I didn’t have it. They had to give me in-store credit. Yuck. Bad service indeed!

Even still, I hate Menards and love Ikea. Here’s why:

Menards’ slogan is “Dedicated to Service and Quality.” Except for this one time, I have yet to see either. When I was browsing through the store, and every other time I’ve been there, I could not find anything, nor could I find help. When I did find what I was looking for, it was the wrong size and the person that helped me find it dashed off before I could get more help. I left without buying anything else.

When I sat at Ikea, I saw that they have spare parts up for grabs on their wall. This means that if you lose a screw or break a plastic doohickey, you can just walk in and get the thing you need. There is no cost. There is no need to ask for help. It’s just there. Also, I mentioned that I was missing this iron-on hem for some curtains I was keeping and the return clerk went in the back and found me some.

I hate Menards because this is the first time I’ve returned anything and the first time I’ve had good service there.

I love Ikea because even when I have bad service there, I get good service in the end.

Menards, please change your slogan, because I never get service or quality at your store.

Ikea, please keep up the good work.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Put your mask on first, before helping anyone else

Today I wrote to a friend who recently moved and mentioned the Prayer of Jabez…not really the book, but his actual prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:

Jabez was honored more than his brothers; and his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!” And God granted what he asked. 

Here, Jabez is asking for God to help himself out, he’s not praying on behalf of others, nor is he praying for trivial or even specific things, just his own well-being.

Now I don’t know why it’s in the Bible, but it’s there. To me it seems like it’s like the flight attendant saying, “Make sure your mask is put on first before helping another with his.” In other words, if you ain’t healthy, you ain’t helping no one.

I prayed this for a while in college. Don’t know why I stopped, but I modernized it. Here’s something similar to what I prayed, I encourage you to pray it:

“Oh that you would bless me and increase my influence, and that you will be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm to myself and those around me!”

 

Blessings, friends!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

If I Had a Million Dollars

So there was a story on Public Radio the other day about a former public radio reporter who wrote a choose your own adventure novel about winning the lottery. Also, today a friend and I got on the topic of what we’d do with a winning lottery ticket. So here is my incomplete list:

First off, I would make sure my house and all the houses of my family members are paid for. (~1 million)

Second, no debt for any of us. (~1 million)

Third, retirement would be taken care of. I figure we are now 3 to 4 million down. (~2 million)

Now it’s time to have fun.

Give money to the church where I work, to the one I belong and to the parent organization of both. (~3 million/7 million total)

Give money to the places I volunteer. (~2.5 million/9.5 million)

Give money to the Luther Sem. Music and to MSU music and probably St. Olaf (~2 mill/11.5 million)

Give money in honor of my first music teacher Judy Cooper. (~500,000/12 mill)

Give money to Shriner’s Hospital. (1 mill/13 million)

Get some friends out of debt (2 million/15 mill)

Dump money into a startup company (1 mill/16 million)

 

Wow! I just blew through 16 million dollars I don’t have. I better go buy a lottery ticket.

 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Godspell

I saw Godspell for the first time the other night. The performance was well done, a friend played Jesus and I knew a bunch of other people, including Jesus’ mother, played by the mother of the actor who played Jesus. They did a great job.
The following has nothing to do with their performances, they were great. This is about the play itself.
I don’t get it. I must admit with a theological degree I can ascribe meaning to it if I want to, but I don’t get it. There’s a collection of parables that are done in the strangest of ways. Jesus seems angry, belittling his compatriots, and uses “miracles” to shut people up. He’s EXTREMELY legalistic throughout.
Additionally, the first half of the show is over-the-top goofy and the second half is straight and completely serious…ending with Jesus singing “Oh, God, I’m dead.” What? Why would someone sing that they are dead, let alone HOW would a dead person sing?
I just don’t understand it. Could someone help me?
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