Friday, March 30, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 60

Category: Chuck Norris

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed.  Winner(s): #LookOverYourShoulder, Superhero Confessions, and Breath Mint

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Chuck Natural Selection Norris

Boulder Break

Because sand paper is for wimps!

#LookOverYourShoulder

Superhero Confessions

Lucky it wasn't totalled

Addition to the Periodic Table

Chuck Norris breath mint

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Holy Traffic Stops!

In effort to be fair and balanced here at LOL, its high time the negative posts of school system policy mayhem take a back seat to do-gooder, real life, super heroes like, Lenny Robinson.  You have probably seen a photo or video recently of The Caped Crusader driving a Lamborghini on Route 29 through Silver Spring this week.  It was quite humorous and eye catching to see even before being pulled over by police.  But something all the more viral occurred when passers-by saw Batman who most often is ingratiated in our psyche as "a good guy" being questioned and possibly in trouble.

Well thankfully that isn't the case at all.  Robinson was initially pulled over because his tags were not visible.  This, of course, was done so that the Batman logo could be put where the license plate normally sits.  Thankfully Lenny had his actual tags in the car to satisfy officers of his legal right to be driving.  Upon further questioning they soon found out this was not a publicity stunt or some prideful attempt to be the next Internet meme.  Instead it was a charitable gesture stopped in progress as the super hero was en route to a local hospital to visit the cancer ward at Children's National Medical Center in Northwest Washington.

Finally released and upon arrival at the hospital, Lenny B. Robinson was asked by the front desk attendant for his name.  When just "Batman" didn't suffice, he reluctantly said "Lenny. B as in Batman. Robinson."  The attendant was just doing her job but like the officers who had already slowed him down once, seemed to be missing the point.  Robinson is doing this for the kids.  After much success in business he sold his company and uses the wealth acquired to brighten the day of children that desperately need the uplifting distraction.  Robinson spends hours roaming the halls, paying a visit to each child, handing out autographed books and Batman toys.

I, for one, salute him as a REAL Hero!

For more details on this story, click HERE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BFF Ban

This just in.  Certain United States and United Kingdom schools are adopting policy that prohibits children from having a best friend. No folks, I could not make this up if I tried.  And perhaps this belongs in my End Times series but I couldn't wait for the next one to post in order to bring this to your attention.

It seems the primary motivator for such an absurd restriction and violation of your children's freedom is actually to protect them.  You know the kind of garbage we've been forced to swallow since 9/11?  "We need to take away your freedoms so we can protect you."

Well this time they are not protecting anyone from terrorist attacks but rather helping children (a) learn how to better interact in large group situations and (b) prevent hurt feelings should a "best friend" relationship dissolve.

To quote John Stossel..."Give ME a BREAK!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Falling Or Rising Star?

Confession:  I must admit at the front of this opinionated article that my perspective is indeed affected by who Tebow is for the Christian community.  However, I believe I have valid enough argument apart from his "off the field" behavior to support my point.  But you be the judge.

My point?  Denver made a huge mistake in letting him go.

Notice I didn't say they made a huge mistake in recruiting Peyton Manning.  In theory, they could have kept Tebow, let him learn from one of the greats and groom him for a day in the not-so-distant future to take back the reigns.  I'm sure they have their reasons for not going that route. 

What I will not argue in my support of Tim is that Peyton is somehow lesser than.  Manning is perhaps one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time.  However, what Denver has essentially done in my opinion is take a man that has seen his best days and put all their hopes in the prospect that he has a few more.  The same thing was done with Joe Montana and Brett Favre.  And both men did inject quite a bit of excitement into the franchises they went to.  Both men had some successes with those teams as well.  But neither man duplicated his glory years and neither man lasted for very long before finally fizzling out. 

Tim Tebow is on the rise.  In addition to being a collegiate super star he took his first season in the NFL and turned a 1 & 4 losing team into a playoff team.  His thanks from Denver was a pink slip.  The argument is that Tim has all the intangibles like leadership ability and charisma but that his mechanics are bad and his play is ugly.  I buy that to a degree but look at two things to help me get comfortable with the gamble.

1.  His previous football records in both college and last season.  When evaluating an athletes future it only makes sense to look at his previously established patterns of success or lack thereof.  This man has been a champion all of his life and doesn't know how to perform otherwise.

2. His work ethic.  Even before Tim realized that his style and mechanics were a problem in the NFL, he was a work horse.  Since learning of his issues, he's spent an enormous amount of time every single day working out the kinks.  This is a man that WILL find a way to become a power house again!

Both men present a risk to Denver. They chose a man that has a very limited amount of years or seasons left in him.  They chose the falling star.  I for one have my confidence resting in the rising star.  And I hope to say a big "I told you so" to all those supporting this decision in the very near future!

What do you think?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marriage - Two Options



The World's Way - Boy meets girl, develops relationship, love blooms.  Boy and girl become Man and Wife and commit to a life of shared experiences.  In good times, things are good.  In bad times each person struggles to figure out what's wrong and fix it.  Normally the problem is associated with the spouse, not the person in question.  We tell our spouse how they have let us down and how they can improve and help us to be happier.  If we don't occasionally stop and do this, we may spend a lifetime unhappy, frustrated, and disconnected.  Communication is key.  If things get too terribly bad and our spouse just refuses the correction, then we have every right to bow out.

God's Way - Boy meets girl after several attempts at picking his own love interests but this time asked for God to lead him to the right person.  A relationship develops, love blooms.  Boy and girl become Man and Wife and commit to a life of shared experiences.  God takes them up on the commitment and tests their resolve...actually allowing good times and bad.  In good times, things are good.  In bad times each person struggles to figure out what's wrong and fix it.  Initially the blame game and finger pointing is implemented but eventually the prayerful realization hits them.  They are too inwardly focused on their own needs being met and they are not serving their spouse like they should be.  Both begin turning the inward focus outward toward one another and both get their needs met.  Until the next storm hits.

Which way does your marriage work? 

Rachael and I just weathered a storm.  Sadly we must admit that we were doing things in a very worldly way for a while there.  After hitting our heads against the brick wall several times, realizing that is the path to error and destruction, we've now regained composure and focus.  More storms will come.  We're not naive to the reality.  Hopefully we will be better prepared for the next wave.

I encourage you and yours to do the same!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 59

Category: Legos

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner: Wall Repair

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Desperate Times

Lego Jeep Edition

Chewy...FETCH!

"Think I took a wrong turn!"

If Escher played with Legos...

Wall Repair

Use caution with raw legos!

I'll never let you go Jack...unless the ships sinks!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The End Is Near 3.0

This is a relatively new series to my blog that you will hopefully enjoy. The idea is to share five links to various sites that show evidence that we are living in the End Times. You will quickly see that for every link that may lead you to a serious article or news coverage that looks to be straight out of Revelation, there will be several more that are just tongue-in-cheek and meant to be funny.

I am not a date setter. Scripture says we will know the "season" of the end but not the time or day. And since a day is to God as a 1000 years is to us...there is really no telling how long a season might be. Here are just a few reasons I think we are in the season of The End...

Machines on the Rise - In the vein of movies like Terminator, one of the categories that is growing quite common in this series is how advanced our technology is becoming.  This week's post has a whopping 3 examples:

1.  Nano Quadrotors Play James Bond Theme Song

2. Cheetah Robot will chase you down!

3. Self Recognition...the prototypes always start out cute!

And is a similar but just different enough technological feat, we now can apparently use Tesla Coils not only to harness the power of lightning but we can now play it like an instrument:

4. Tesla Coils Play Sweet Home Alabama

Last but not least is this week's serious link.  Apparently our First Amendment Rights can be terminated at any time for any reason (Language Warning):

5. Police Officer violates human rights and says it's OK!
 
 
Send your links to capturedimage@hotmail.com if you want to submit appropriate material for this series.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No Business Blogging...

I had to ask myself if the name of this blog was just a clever title or a reality this morning.  Why?  Because this is one of those days and one of those moods that isn't pretty.  The tidy bow we try to live out as Christians sometimes gets untied.  Heck the bow gets ripped off and the wrapping paper crumpled up and thrown in the corner.

If I am going to Live Out Loud then the inclination to avoid writing or confessing my failures needs to be challenged and defeated.  No one thing has knocked me down and put me in this place.  Its a combination of factors:

  • Job stress due to being understaffed and financially strained
  • Illness ravaged both personally and with close family
  • The stress of worrying about my ill loved ones
  • Failures with my attitude toward the kids
  • Failures with my attitude toward my wife
  • Bickering with my loved ones
  • Two court issues, one jury duty summons and one for a ticket I am fighting - both ironically on the SAME DAY!
  • Not getting much needed time off and long breaks

I could go on.  By what purpose would that serve?  There is nothing life threatening or so horrid on my lists that I've lost sight of just how blessed I am.  There is nothing on my lists that you or others aren't also suffering and then some.  It would only be an exercise in self pity which is just an even uglier form of pride.  I suppose the ONLY reason I've elected to share these items with you is to fulfill the entire purpose of my online presence.  To present to you a man (and the family surrounding him) that lives out his faith in good times and in bad.  And perhaps take it one step further by openly confessing to not yet have the kind of maturity it takes to live out James 1:2-3.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Years

I gave up looking for my soul mate in January of 2000.  My second long term relationship had just ended and the one person I was interested in, had made it clear that she was not.  I found myself single and without prospects.  I made a deal with God.  I would stop searching and choosing for myself  if He would lead me to the right person.

I had already proven that my ability to handle the responsibility on my own was lacking.  Part of this prayer and deal of course included the possibility of remaining single for a while if He so chose.  I completely submitted to God's will and waited.  As scary as it can be to let go like that, I must admit a huge burden was lifted and an unexpected peace settled in.  Just as I suspected He didn't have an immediate match for me.  I had to wait.

But when she finally appeared at the restaurant I was managing, it was one of the best days of my life.  Rachael was (and still is) beautiful inside and out.  Her talents and gifts balance out my weaknesses as my talents and gifts balance out hers.  The craziest thing of all (as I spent the first several dates getting to know her) was to find out how long she had been under my nose.

Her family had moved to the area in 1992, just one mile from my family's home in Double Oak.  She had worked at the same Tom Thumb as me, getting hired just as I had quit.  She had been to my church with a friend of hers and attended my youth group a time or two.  She had walked the same high school halls during her Junior year which was my Senior year.  We both attended UNT at the same time and discovered that we shared at least six mutual friends.

Sometimes I wish that I had asked God to get involved with my love life much sooner.  Perhaps I could have met her earlier?  Happy Ten Year Anniversary to my amazing wife!

I made the following video last year for my wife's birthday...but it seems fitting for this post as well.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Consequences Of The Fall

Ever wonder what conditions were like previous to The Fall of man?  If you're like me, then besides being an amazing person you've pondered such things and concluded that a type of Utopia must have existed.  All the things you think "ought" to be, were.  But I wonder if that is really true?  I mean, either the list of punishments that God handed down was not nearly as extensive and detailed as it needed to be or this perceived Utopia is different from what I imagine.

According to Scripture the woman would endure pain in childbirth, the man would have to work the ground very hard in order for it to yield fruit, and they both would have to experience death at some point.  Really?  Is that the only difference between Pre-Fall conditions and Post-Fall?  Perhaps when Moses penned the first five books of the OT, he decided to take the detailed, oral tradition and offer a condensed version.

Here is a brief list of things I can think of that are at least less-than-ideal if not items that should have made the punishment list:

  • Lack of sleep.  Forget that I have four people in my family that make it their goal in life to prevent daddy from taking a nap.  I have never once in my married life woken up and met the day feeling refreshed and ready to sing about rainbows.  Instead I feel like throwing rocks at the chirping birds out my window.  One might argue that any amount of sleep would still render me a grumpy morning person but I would sure like to test the theory!
  • Bodily functions.  We tend to have a tidy alternative label for the main functions AKA "number one and two" but what about all the others?  We have gas coming out of both ends, we vomit when ill, we leak mucus from our noses, and that is usually accompanied by a phlegm-filled cough.  Let's face it, if it comes out of our bodies, its probably gross. 
  • Stubbing toes. For some reason men are normally the victims of this act.  Perhaps its because we are spared the pain of childbirth which I grant you is the MOST pain a human being can endure and still live.  However, a stubbed pinkie toe HAS TO BE a close second.  I am quite certain I've broken both pinkie toes on more than one occasion.  And why is it we always do this when its inappropriate to scream like a school girl?  It's always in the middle of the night or during the baby's nap time.  You end up clenching your teeth, turning red, and rolling around on the floor like you are having seizures.
  • PMS. No elaboration necessary.
  • Traffic.  I now understand why God flooded the Earth at one point.  He was sick of sitting on I35 in a veritable parking lot trying to go twenty miles to work and it taking the better part of two hours.
There is plenty more where those came from and it may spur a second post down the road.  But how about you?  What can you add to the list?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Under or Over Reactions?

Let me just say that parenthood for all its perks and joyous offerings is one of the scariest responsibilities imaginable.  You sort of understand that before claiming your title as mom or dad but you never truly understand its full weight until a child is in desperate need of you and your decisions to be the right ones.

Take last night for example.  My daughter had been complaining of itchy, watery eyes.  As experienced parents we didn't immediately worry, we just told her to stop rubbing them and we gave her a few drops of Clear Eyes.  By 8PM (also known as bedtime) her eyes were full of mucus and swollen the size of golf balls. 

"Houston.  We have a bigger problem than we first thought."

When kids are sick or injured you have three choices:

1. The pediatrician - who only charges a $30 co-pay but is never open at the dire hour that stuff like this happens. 

2. Urgent Care Facilities - who charge you $75 for the convenience of being willing to see you at odd hours.

3. The ER - who charges you $250 for being the only 24 hour choice for everything from a sniffle to a gaping wound.

Last night options 1 & 2 were unavailable as every place we called or drove to was closed.  So we had a choice.  We could pay $250 and be seen immediately (possibly getting Mackenzie immediate relief and us immediate calm) or we could try to get through the night and be seen by her normal doctor in the morning.  Two hundred fifty dollars is nothing to blink at (pardon the pun) if you know your child is in dangerous need of medical attention.  But two hundred fifty dollars is a TON of money if your child only has an allergic reaction to pollen or perhaps pink eye.

Our difficult decision ended up being to give her some Benedryl, a couple of drops of left over pink eye medicine from when Michael had the same affliction, and to take her to the doctor this morning. It turns out that was the perfect decision (thanks in part to our good RN friend, Alicia) since pink eye ended up being the culprit.  But had we believed Google or even our own fears last night, it could have been anything from simple eye irritation induced by pollen to a serious eye infection necessitating immediate medical emergency measures.

It seems that poor decisions are most often made by our over and under reactions.  However, when you don't always know what you are dealing with, its often impossible to know what the right measure of reaction needs to be.  Lots of prayers for guidance were said last night and I believe He was faithful in leading us to call our friend and to feel at peace with the decision that was ultimately determined.

Happy trails in your parenting adventures!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 58

Category: Interesting Ad Placement

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed.  Winner: Genius Dental Marketing

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.


Genius Dental Marketing

Should've put this one on the side of the bus!

Quit Smoking or Quit School?

Lawsuit waiting to happen...

Nose-diving Airlines

Nightmares are dreams too.

They don't say what to scratch

You know you're in Vegas when...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Chi Troubles



I am picking on my wife a bit in this post. But to be fair she is not the only person that causes us to have the "foreshadowed" troubles that the title implies. Nor is her Chi, the only reason that we may have to inconvenience ourselves with adding time to our commutes. However, I decided to go this route for two basic reasons, neither of which will probably be good enough to keep me out of trouble for telling this story:

1. I saw another YouTuber make mention that this exact kind of thing happens with he and his wife.

2. Of all the things that cause this kind of issue for us, the Chi experience is by far the number one most common occurrence.

So at the risk of getting in trouble for your personal entertainment, I give you today's VLOG as shared on my YouTube Channel. Enjoy and pray for me!


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Super Mom

In the fantastic world of a child's imagination we, the parents, are often viewed as heroes.  I know that is the case with my eldest two and its not a title I take lightly.  In just a few years I will be demoted from Super Dad to "that big dork that always embarrasses me".  So I need to cherish these fleeting years while I can.

If you are like most parents I've encountered you are willing to give life and limb for your children.  Our entire job in bringing them up revolves around sacrifice, guidance, and protection.  But rarely are we required to give our actual lives or limbs to the cause like Stephanie Decker did just last Friday.  Her hometown of Marysville, Indiana sustained a massive tornado outbreak with 175 MPH winds. 

In the case of this Super Mom, she huddled the kids downstairs in the basement keeping in touch with her out of town husband as the tornadoes approached.  She quickly realized as debris began flying and windows rattling that even the basement was not the safe haven she'd hoped.  Decker grabbed a blanket, covered her two children and then laid on top of them as the first brick shot across the room and hit her square in the back.  This projectile would have pegged the daughter in the head has she not been so quick to take action.

As the storm passed by, there was literally NO house left.  Neighbors had to dig all three of them out of the rubble to find that Stephanie had lost one foot and half of the other leg from the knee down as she took the brunt of the debris field battering.  The kids?  Not a scratch on them!

Mrs. Decker...I salute you!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Soccer Star Is Born!

Last night was our first soccer practice for the 2012 season.  I am coaching again this year but this time have both Michael and Mackenzie signed up.  In years past she had elected to be in Dance and we have a rule in our house that we can only be involved in one extra curricular (club, sport, troop) at a time.  I was prepared to coach two teams so that Mackenzie could experience having her dad as a coach like Michael has the last two years.

But in a surprise turn of events the league decided to combine boys and girls and make all of Kindergarten a Coed league.  While it concerned me a bit for Mackenzie's sake having to play her first season against some rough and tumble boys, I was relatively happy about the development because it meant both kids on my team with one practice per week and one game per week.

I ran the kids through some drills and "get-to-know-ya" games so that we could all learn one anther's names.  Then I had a mid practice huddle with the parents to go over some necessary details and give the players a chance to grab some water and a breather.  As we returned to the field we decided to scrimmage another team that was practicing.  At first kick off my daughter charged into the scrum with NO fear, kicked the ball loose, had a break away run toward the goal, and fired a shot straight into the net!

Ladies and Gentlemen...we have a soccer star!  I don't know if this will be a permanent trade of ballet slippers for soccer cleats but I am very excited and looking forward to seeing how things develop.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 57

Category: Warning

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed.  Winner(s): Good to know & Give me your pencil.

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Death by BarBQue Sauce

Tinkle Sharks


Good To Know

Clear the roads!

Wearing sideways may also have consequences!

Give me your pencil dude!

Recruiting for the Big Top

Conception Warning!