A key aspect of quantum mechanics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which basically states that you can’t measure the precise position and momentum of a given object at the same time (Werner Heisenberg, who discovered it in 1927, is pictured to the right).

In fact, the closer you get to determining the exact position of an object, the less accurately you can determine its momentum (and vice versa).

I mention this not because I am about to launch into a discourse on quantum mechanics, or because I am any sort of scientific expert (I am certainly not), but just to introduce the concept that uncertainty is an inherent part of our world and our lives (and because when I think of the word uncertainty, Heisenberg’s principle is the first thing that pops into my head).

We can do our best to try to make plans and to prepare for the future, but ultimately, we just don’t know how things are going to turn out.

Lately, I have been thinking about this quite a bit, as there has been some degree of uncertainty related to my employment.

As many of my readers know, I currently work as a Youth Minister at a church, and have been for over a year. Though there are certain aspects of my job that I enjoy less than others, I generally enjoy it, and for the most part, I’m pretty good at it, so the uncertainty I’m speaking of didn’t stem from any dissatisfaction on my part or from my employers. Instead, the uncertainty was related to my salary—put simply, I couldn’t afford to continue working earning what I had been.

The different options I had—looking for another job, going back to school, etc.—weren’t all that appealing to me, but I wasn’t sure how much more the church would be able to do for me, and thought that my life might be in for a big change in the near future.

Well, the good news is this: yesterday, I met with a couple of the elders, and the result is that, beginning in January, I will begin working in a somewhat expanded role (more hours, a few more responsibilities) for a significantly higher salary. It is certainly an answer to prayers.

I still have a lot of uncertainty regarding different aspects of my future, but at least this is one area I don’t have to worry about anymore.


An Efficient Diet, But I Wouldn’t Recommend It

I’ve lost seven pounds in less than three days.

My weight loss is a by-product of me being sick, so I don’t really recommend this method, but if you’re desperate to lose a few pounds, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Acquire some sort of bacterial or viral infection. This will be very important later.
  2. Give blood. Not only does giving blood help out people in need in your community, it also removes a pint of liquid from your body and, therefore, decreases your weight.
  3. Go home and lay down for a long time. This will prevent you from doing weight-maintaining activities like hydrating and eating.
  4. If you do eat, eat late, and avoid healthy foods. Maybe something like Doritos and Cookies n’ Cream ice cream.
  5. After eating, spend the next several hours purging absolutely everything from your system. If you followed Step 1 like you were supposed to, you won’t actually have an option on this one.
  6. Replace some fluids. You have to have some fluids to survive, so at this point, you might need to go to the Emergency Room and get hooked up to an IV for several hours.
  7. While in the ER, get rid of even more of your blood. Since you’ve already given blood in Step 2, this might be difficult, and may mean that you have to get stuck over and over again before they can get enough blood from you for tests.
  8. When you finally get to come home, spend most of your time sleeping. If you must eat, 2-3 Saltines a day should be more than enough.
Follow these eight easy steps, and you too can lose weight in just three days. For me, the seven pounds was roughly five percent of my body weight, so if you’re bigger than me, you may be able to lose even more! Good luck!

p.s. Did I mention that I don’t recommend this?


Blogging The Presidential Debate

A rare political post…

After I got home last night, I watched a replay of the Republican Presidential Debate. I don’t normally spend a lot of time watching Presidential debates, but this year (or, more accurately, next year) I don’t know who to vote for, so I thought I should do a little passive research.

ASIDE: I’m not actually a Republican, but as a social conservative, I am opposed to abortion, which basically leaves me with…Republicans.

A few observations on the debate:

  • If someone can figure out how voting for Rudy Giuliani is any different than voting for Hillary Clinton, they need to let Rudy know so he can quit stumbling over that question every time it is asked.
  • I didn’t know a lot about Tom Tancredo before last night, and I still don’t know much about him other than the fact that he seems to think that illegal immigration is worse than drug trafficking, murder and Paul Byrd’s HGH excuses. Oh well, he doesn’t have a chance to win anyway.
  • Speaking of Tancredo, the thing about him that really drives me nuts is that he reminds me of someone and I can’t figure out who it is. I actually went on YouTube last night after the debate to find clips of him droning on and on about illegal immigration just so I could try to figure out who he reminds me of. Still no success, and it’s starting to drive me crazy. I’d be appreciative of any help you could give me…
  • It’s funny how Ron Paul keeps “winning” the debates according to the follow-up polls. As a libertarian, Paul’s views are considerably different than those of the other candidates on almost all issues, so he argues with them quite a bit, and frankly, gets it handed to him sometimes. Last night, he also drew more boos than all the other candidates combined. Good thing he has some dedicated followers who apparently spend about $50 texting multiple votes for him. Too bad for Mr. Paul they won’t be able to do that in the actual election.
  • The good news I guess is this: while I’m still not thrilled about any of the candidates, I think there’s 3-4 that I could live with. If nothing else, I think it should be interesting to see how the primaries turn out.
Maybe I should watch the next Democratic Presidential Debate. There’s sure to be a good amount of comedy material there as well.


An Update On The D-Mac-Mobile

Well, I saw that really ugly car again yesterday.

Fayetteville is a town of about 70,000, so seeing an unusual automobile isn’t quite like finding a needle in a haystack, but at the same time, seeing Darren McFadden cruising around in his “car” for the second time in less than a week after having never seen it before was a little surprising.

This time though, I saw him driving down a side road.

After that 17 carry, 43 yard Heisman-hopes-destroying performance he had in Arkansas’ anemic 9-7 loss to Auburn on Saturday, he may be trying to avoid attention.

The Team That Won’t Lose

As a baseball blogger (and I have a button on my sidebar that claims that I am), I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the Colorado Rockies and their improbable run to the World Series.

Barely a month ago, I was in Denver telling my uncle, a rabid Rockies fan, that Colorado, who had no post-season experience to speak of, would crumble down the stretch and not even make the playoffs.

Now, here we are a month later, the Rockies have won an unbelievable 21 of their last 22 games, and I am really starting to get tired of having to eat so much humble pie.

So now, a mere four games away from a World Series title, I am throwing my hat in with the Rockies.

And now that I’ve done so, watch them forget how to win as quickly as they learned.


Dumb Things People Say 1: “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You”

Although my other blogging series has stalled a little bit (don’t worry, I haven’t permanently forgotten it), I decided to go ahead and begin a new, semi-regular series: Dumb Things People Say.

One of the good things about a series like this is that I should never run out of examples.

This series is less about making fun of popular catchphrases (Holla!) and more about examining statements that have almost become axioms—things that people say as if they were cosmic truths, but in reality, are at least partially inaccurate and sometimes, woefully stupid.

Today’s Dumb Thing, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you,” is somewhere in between, and it (or some variation thereof) is heard all the time.

I was pretty young the first time I heard this, maybe 8 years old or so, but I distinctly remember the situation. One of my cousins had given my older brother several pairs of blue jeans, and since they didn’t quite conform to his tastes, he decided to turn them into cut-off shorts.

Being a little surprised by this, I asked him what our cousin would think about his drastic plans. He responded by telling me that “what Kevin doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

Converting hand-me-down blue jeans to cut-off shorts is an example of when this phrase is actually true, but the problem is that sometimes, what you don’t know can very certainly hurt you very badly.

Like if you don’t realize that the person you’re about to marry has an STD. Or if you fail to get the memo that the area where you’ve chosen to go camping is actually in the middle of bear country. Or if you’re a male living in the United States and you don’t know that when you turn 18 you have to register for the draft. Or if…well, I could go on and on, but you get the idea: what you don’t know can hurt you, and sometimes, it can even kill you.

It’s a dumb thing to say.

So…what are some other dumb things that people say?


Quite Possibly The Ugliest Car I Have Ever Seen

I was stopped at a traffic light with my dad yesterday when he pointed out an unusual car as it passed by.

We agreed that the Razorback red Ford Crown Victoria with 26” rims was hideous, and were wondering who would drive it, when suddenly my dad exclaimed, “Oh, it’s D-Mac’s!”

“D-Mac,” of course, being the nickname of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ superhuman, Heisman Trophy-favorite running back, Darren McFadden.

We then watched in amusement as D-Mac drove on in his Pimp My Ride version of a monster truck.

Darren McFadden is, by far, the best college player in the country, but his taste in automobiles leaves a little bit to be desired.



Fall has been my favorite season ever since I reached the point where I didn’t dread going back to school.

This morning, as I walked out to my car, there was a chill in the air. Outside, some of the more adventurous trees have begun to transition to autumn colors.

It seems like it has taken a while, but fall is surely approaching: the days are getting shorter, the Major League Baseball Playoffs are underway, and in Northwest Arkansas, our drinking water tastes very much like dirt.

Although I enjoy the the change in seasons that we get to experience here in the Ozarks, I am not a fan of change in general. As time passes, I lose touch with old friends, have to say good-bye to lost loved ones, and become increasingly disconcerted by events and developments that occur throughout the world.

In a time filled with constant changes, some of which are very unpleasant, I am always comforted when I remember Hebrews 13.8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

How great it is that in a world where we can’t count on anything to remain constant, the only One who we should count on always will!

Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer, will always be there for us, and His love for us will never change.


Lifehouse “Everything” Skit

My brother sent me this video the other night.

Watch the whole video. It’s a little bit strange at first and it took me a couple of minutes to figure out what was going on, but when it hit me, I thought it was very powerful.

This version adds the passage from Romans 8 at the end, which I thought was very fitting.


Worth Every Penny

I generally don’t like receiving text messages. It’s not that I have anything against text messages themselves—on the contrary, most of the time I’d rather communicate with someone via text message than actually talk to them on the phone.

No, with me, the problem with text messages is a very economic one: thanks to the lovely people over at Cingul—uh, I mean AT&T Wireless, each text I send or receive now costs me $0.15.

Now $0.15 may not seem like much, but it starts to add up after a while. And when it does, my wife is not happy.

Nevertheless, yesterday I received a text message from one of the guys who used to be in my youth group that was easily worth the $0.15 that it cost me:

What the mullet is up? I haven’t seen you since the Dead Sea was only sick!
It’s rare that I read something that literally makes me laugh out loud. This text message did. I’d pay $0.15 for it any day.


It’s The Most Wonderful Time…

Okay, so maybe the MLB playoffs aren’t quite the high point of the year—I would still put Christmas and March Madness ahead of them—but it is still a fun time if you are a baseball fan.

Thanks to ending up tied after 162 games, the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres are playing a one game tie-breaker as I type to determine who gets the eighth and final playoff spot. Pretty exciting stuff.

Of course, the excitement would be a lot greater for me if my team—the Atlanta Braves—had bothered to make the playoffs this year. Instead, the Braves underachieved for the majority of the year, finished third in the National League East, and are watching the playoffs from home for the second consecutive year. It’s pretty hard to take.

Okay, I realize I’m spoiled, but you have to realize the position I’m in. From the summer I turned 8 to the summer I turned 22, the Braves made it to the playoffs every single year (except for the strike-shortened season of 1994, when there were no playoffs at all). It’s just hard to adjust.

So here’s the deal. In order to avoid a third consecutive post-season-less season, I have a three step plan for guaranteed success in 2008:

  1. Resign Andruw Jones. I know Andruw had one of the worst seasons ever imagined in 2007, but at the end of the day, even at his worst, he hit 25+ home runs, had 90+ RBI and played unparalleled defense in center field. And there’s no way he won’t do better next year. I’m not saying we should break the bank to resign him, but he’s already publicly said he would sign a deal in the 5-year, $15 million per year deal. At 30 years old, for a guy who plays everyday in a skill position, he’s easily worth that.
  2. Sign Tom Glavine to a one year deal. Glavine’s not a Cy Young Award winner any more, but he would be great as a number three or number four starter. Combined with Tim Hudson and John Smoltz, a (hopefully) healthy Mike Hampton and Chuck James as the number five starter, that would give the Braves arguably the best rotation in baseball (I realize that in order to accomplish steps 1 and 2, we might have to trade Renteria. I hate giving him up, but under those circumstances, I say do it).
  3. Get rid of the AA-caliber players that we have hanging out in the dugout. Chris Woodward and Pete Orr, I’m looking at you. I mean, it amuses me that Woodward looks like Billy Bob Thornton’s down-on-his-luck brother, and I like that Orr wears his socks high, but these guys really have no business playing in the Major Leagues. Put Scott Thorman in that category while you’re at it. I realize the guy is out of options: maybe we can trade him for some new fungo bats or something.
Follow my advice (and assuming Chipper can stay healthy for his usual 130 games), and I think we end up with 105 wins next year.

And a much happier October for yours truly.

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