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I like my work and I like my coworkers – they are creative, intelligent and they make me laugh. These are actual quotes that I have collected from meetings.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From My Coworkers

I believe in Revenge. That’s a good motto of mine. *** If you can’t keep up, you fall behind. *** It isn’t just ‘Pull the pickles off’. Report production isn’t as easy as fast food. *** I submit to you that if we have a car with three wheels at the end of August, we will give it to them. Just: ‘Everybody lean this way!’ *** Anything is better than nothing. *** We are one team; we’re just offensive and defensive. *** Change because of the outside world? I don’t think so. *** That might be easy for the common person to say, but it’s not necessarily true in my little world *** It’s never my fault. It’s always the data. *** It would be nice if we were perfect *** You need to start with the basics and pull the string. “A cow goes ‘moo’.” And then you got something. *** Some of these names suck. I don’t want to tell my daughters what my title is right now. *** When I noticed it, I was afraid that something was wrong, but of course it wasn’t; we don’t do wrong things here. *** I get red when I’m angry, I get red when I’m wrong, I get red when I’m laughing . . . I just get red *** We have to be an exemplary example. *** ‘Is December there, yet?’, “Hang on, let me check. DECEMBER? DECEMBER? No, December’s not here today – called in sick.” *** I can’t believe I’m sitting here and breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide when things like this are going on. *** If they know that, then they probably already know that. *** Ask not what your programmer can do for you. *** We’re all victims of Data.

You may have noticed that I have reduced the number of blogs that deal with parenting and being a father. This is because I have been saving these posts for another blog, which I am now ready to make known.

The Responsible Father is now open and ready for visitors. It’s a Dad blog.

People have recommended that I start a blog dealing with Fatherhood, and believe it or not, my wife is more on board with me taking time to write the new one than she has ever been with the Puppet. In any case . . .

Go thither and comment!

Good Fiction Writing requires problem solving skills:  How do we get there from here?

It’s been just over a half year since my last semi-annual Song Meme so . . .

So you’re in an elevator by yourself and it jams and you’re stuck. A voice comes over the elevator speaker and says:

We are working to get you out. This should take about an hour, during which we won’t be able to communicate with you. In the meantime, you can listen to music. But unfortunately you’ll only be able to listen to one song. Here are your options: 

Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” or any song by X (an artist/band/musician). Please choose the song.

They give you 15 seconds to answer. You can say ‘Tiptoe’, name a song by the group or if you just want a random song by the named group, or say ‘Surprise me.’ <with this caveat, I know that some of you are of the sort <coughbraham> to <coughiper> say ‘Surprise me’ to all of them. So I hearby put on this limit – You can only answer ‘Surprise me’ to three of them.>

So which song would you say if they asked ‘Tiptoe’ or a song from . . .

Chicago?

Beatles?

Styx?

Michael W Smith?

Elvis?

AC/DC?

Billy Joel?

Beach Boys?

Michael Jackson?

Prince?

Paul McCartney?

Bruce Springfield?

Electric Light Orchestra?

Next: Add some other bands/artists and give your answers.

(My answers in the comments)

Update: Vox Day (and several others) put up their answers here.

Well, it’s been a year since my last Funny Piper Statement List so it’s time for a new set. But first a few notes:

* All Taken from Sermons
* All taken completely out of context
* None found in the Online Sermon Texts (but many are on the videos) 

30 Witticisms from Pastor Piper 

  • I hope there are no cars in heaven.
  • I came to Christ when I was 6; I’m 64. I’m not optimistic about getting out of sin.
  • I don’t want to live in this body for the rest of eternity. I can’t see. My wife thinks I can’t hear. I can hear, but my wife thinks I can’t. It’s the fan! It’s the fan!
  • And he will give the – Oh, that’s right! I’m talking to the downtown campus. Did he do it? This is really weird. I’m asking a future question.
  • You don’t need to work to make Christianity controversial. Just read sentences from the Bible.
  • He’s got about 120 people after 3 years of ministry and he’s the Son of God. That’s not a very impressive church plant.
  • Should I wear this suit? Well, if you average it out over 15 years, maybe. Maybe.
  • You think knowing Greek solves problems, it doesn’t. It creates problems.
  • You can’t believe how many people have been saved off napkins. Napkin evangelism is very fruitful.
  • ‘And’ is not helpful. ‘And’ can mean anything.
  • You can be egalitarian to the core and be a member of this church. You’re just going to hear complimentarianism over and over and over again.
  • If you’re not in Hell tomorrow, you should be dancing.
  • It’s not wrong to write a story with suspense, this one <John 1> just doesn’t have it.
  • Their problem isn’t epistemological. Can I use that word?
  • I don’t have a sophisticated definition. I don’t even know what a recession is. I just heard it on the radio a lot.
  • If pastors don’t get cancer once in awhile, they start thinking – “Cancer? What’s wrong with you? You must have smoked! Or eaten . . . whatever it is they put in pop.”
  • I went to the website. I got so excited I gave $100.
  • One of the curses of our modern day is that everything John Piper says is immortalized on the web.
  • Now I lost my place, because I didn’t say that in any other sermon.
  • That’s what it’s going to be like in heaven. Skin and bouncing balls and lions and lambs lying down together. Dogs. No cats! Well, I guess the lion’s a cat.
  • The problem is, it doesn’t do any good to nudge a corpse. If you do that, you can get a corpse to church, but you can’t make it alive.
  • . . . And I am not relaxed. I am not trying to be chipper in my demeanor.
  • If you don’t have a bible, don’t be ashamed . . this Sunday.
  • Do you want to go home right now and watch TV? Don’t say it out loud if you do! You will be so embarrassed. Because I will say bad things about you.
  • Ignore the verse numbers. Just: when you see the little ‘35’, imagine it’s not there.
  • This is huge! This globally, historically, epocally (if this is a word) huge!
  • As I read the commentaries, nobody knows what’s going on here. You’re thinking ‘if only I knew Greek.’ Wouldn’t help!
  • <The woman at the well is saying:> ‘As long as we’re talking about my adultery, where do you think we should worship?’
  • What are you going to say right there? “Well, it’s kind of complex and there are disagreements in the church and there are a lot of scholars and a lot of opinions and . . .” Weasel, weasel, weasel . . .
  • Please! When I’m here thirty years, don’t give me a free trip to Israel – Fix my car!
  • I have no problem with you going to Israel, don’t send me emails.

Do you want more Piper stuff? Check out my complete list of Definitions used by Pastor Piper

There are days when I am flat on my back unable to get out of bed. These days I have peace about taking a sick day away from Corporate America.

Today is not one of those days. I feel moderately sick. Only slightly worse than I’ve felt all week. And I’ve gone to work all week. Today I’m staying home. I very rarely do this. I have a headache, I’m tired, and I have the worst sore throat in ten years, which according to TWO clinics is not strep.

But now I am second guessing my decision to stay home.

Should I have gone to work?

Would I have gotten work done if I had?

Would I have exposed coworkers to potential sickness? Did I already do that earlier this week?

If the average person knew how I felt, would they say “Hey, Johnnie LazyBones – get to work!”?

If my boss knew how I actually felt, would he have told me to stay home?

Should I try to do work here on the couch?

Should I try to sleep?

Should I try to help my wife out with all she’s doing? If I’m strong enough to do that, does it mean I should not be here?

Is it okay if I blog?

The answer to that last question is, apparently, ‘Yes’

How do you know when you should stay home?

We use cloth diapers. Mostly because it’s cheaper but also because it means we’re throwing less away. But cloth diaper companies will say there is a third advantage: Cloth diaper children are toilet trained on average a half year to a year earlier than disposable diaper children – or so they say.

The thought as to the reason behind this (I believe) is two-fold – parents don’t like dealing with Cloth diapers and children feel less comfortable with them, so both have a vested interest in getting beyond that stage as early as possible.

So the product benefit is actually a result of negative aspects of the product.

This got me thinking. Why don’t other products do this?

For example, a vacation rental place that isn’t very pleasant. Well, at least you will be pleased to get home after your vacation. And you make you feel like your home is nicer after a week at our place.

Or not-so-tasty ice cream – you’ll want to eat less, and it might help you lose weight.

Or televisions that don’t work well – your kids will want to spend more time outside!

I think this is a facet of marketing too often neglected. Ad companies, take note.

Can you think of other products that could benefit from this method?

It is a testimony for Constitutional Republics that the state of Minnesota didn’t go down in flames sometime during the years Mr. Ventura was in office.  But it is a testimony against democracy that he got elected.

**** Pictures at the Bottom ****

1. Rain Can Cause Joy

We were picnicking on a deck overlooking the high falls on the pigeon river (that which is the border between Canada and MN) and in the distance I saw mist. I quickly figured out that this wasn’t mist, it was rain. Coming toward us. And we were far from our car.

So we quickly cleaned up and got moving. I expected fear and sadness from our kids, but soon I heard our kids laughing and our youngest daughter saying “This is going to be fun!” as they discovered that they could get out of the rain by getting under a big branch. And then they would run to the next big branch.

I think they were disappointed when the rain stopped two minutes later.

2. Find Safe (But Dangerous Feeling) Adventure For Your Kids.

The town Beaver Bay gets its name from the Beaver River, which flows through it. To get to it you must (A) Make your way down a very steep path/hill, (B) Cross a small creek, (C) Wade through weeds taller than your kids, (D) Cross over (by jumping across) treacherous rock to get to the flat rocks in the middle of the river.

But that only takes 4 minutes.

Once there you can (A) Let your wife relax and read next to your 8 month old who likes to sit and play on a blanket, (B) Get your kids to see how far they can jump from boulder to boulder around the river area. It’s fun to see them challenge themselves, see how far up the river they can get and trust you.

3. You Can Make New Friends.

While we were at Split Rock State Park another large van drove up and I saw 7 fish stickers on the back of it. We talked to them and found that their oldest was two years older than our oldest and their youngest was two days older that ours. And they home school. And they’re thinking about adoption.

So our kids had fun skipping rocks together and we adults had fun swapping stories.

Oh, did you want to see some pictures?

Vacation Time!

We’re headed to the Best Lake in the World:  Superior.

Hoping to Hike, and wade, geocache and feed horses at my Aunt and Uncle’s place.

Have a nice weekend!

If you happen to stop by Cascade Lodge, we’re the ones with the big Tan Van.

DSC02207

Even when you have turned off the stove, your hash browns might still be cooking.

. . . From Prairie Home Companion:

So Ole was stranded for 15 years on an Island, but they finally found him and he showed them what he had built during his time alone.

He showed them one building and said “This is my house”. He showed them a second building and said “This is my barn.” He showed them a third building and said “This is my church.”

And then someone asked him, “What is that other building?” He looked over at it.

“Oh. That’s the church I used to go to.”

Not the whole weekend, just one moment and the aftermath of the realization.

We regularly get food in bulk from farms and co-ops and drop-offs and Thursday evening I brought home a frozen quarter cow (a fourth of the meat from one cow) and we took it from my trunk and put it in our big freezer.

And Saturday at 10:00 I discovered that I had neglected to remember that I’d put two large boxes in the back seat of the car (i.e. not the trunk). It was no longer frozen when I discovered it. About $200 worth. Gone, just like that.  Ahhh!

Now 200 isn’t killer but it’s a big amount. And I wouldn’t mind so much losing it to accident or theft. But losing it due to my own foolishness it a tough pill to swallow.

I had to remind myself that it’s not as bad as, say, having a kid in the hospital or many other really bad things that could be happening today. 

A side bummer about it is that quite a bit of meat juice dripped onto (and into) our back seat. I have no idea how much but it could be a significant amount. And now the car smells.  For how long, we wonder?

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From This Week’s Newspaper Comics

Moments of Household Terror: Stepping on something squishy in the dark. *** Rubber boots are all the rage these days. *** Is ‘all the rage’ a metaphor for ‘really stupid looking’? *** It’s a good thing I don’t know what metaphor means. *** There is no shame in fearing that which sucks indiscriminately. *** I’ll eat anything as long as it’s something I recognize. *** Somehow macaroni and cheese has lost it’s challenge. *** A noose is still a noose even if it says ‘Gucci’ on it. *** Listening to someone else’s problems always depresses me. *** Orthodontists speak fluent ‘Brace’  *** Moments of Household Terror: Finding a capless pen in the dryer. *** If wearing shades is cool, I figure wearing three pairs of shades must be three times as cool. *** I like simple foods, that’s all. I could probably eat the same thing every day. Surely there are others like me. *** It never fails. Just hint that some of their troubles might be with themselves and they get mad at you. *** When your horse has died, it’s time to get off his back. *** If you accept criticism, you’re doomed to believe it. *** It’s hard pretending to be a bomber pilot with such a little bomber helmet. *** Trust me, when they say don’t drink the water, DON’T  *** It’s never a good sign when the cook gets sarcastic. *** Remind me again why bonus is tied to the performance of strangers. *** I shouldn’t tell you this, but we model our employee compensation programs after practical jokes.

I work in (and live near) Maplewood, MN, which is to say that I work in the goofiestly* shaped city in the world.

Check it out.  Especially note the 1 by 6 mile strip that heads south as if it’s afraid of the rest of the town.

*This is my second entry into the worst impromptu adverb contest, but this time I do it with more confidence, because young Piper states that since I have thus used it, it is a word.

Or something like that.

I read this in the paper today – can you tell me where?

“There is no shame in fearing that which sucks indiscriminately.”

(Hint in the comments)

- If you’re lighting a flair for the lake association’s traditional lake-wide flair lighting event, light it away from your sandled foot or you might get burning wax on your foot that will stick and cause a unique looking burn spot that hurts when you wear shoes.

- One time that it’s not great to have a lot of kids is when you’re packing for a long weekend.

- One time that it’s great to have a lot of kids is when they have great fun by themselves while swimming.

- You will continue to feel guilty every time you don’t swim with your kids.

- Finding the official geocache hidden at Wild River State Park takes about 1 ¼ hours and is about  1 ½ mile hike.

- There is more joy doing things with your kids if they are able to take leadership roles.

- Judging by the extremely impressive fireworks all the way around the lake, the economic downturn has not hit cabin owners in the Grantsburg, WI area.

- Even though they are only one fiftieth as cool as the other fireworks (which almost certainly cost hundreds of dollars, it’s still cool to light off your own $2.50 set of roman candles.

- Other pastors have good sermons based on the book of John.

- There is an interesting link between the Declaration of Independence and Declaration of Righteousness on the saved soul. See George Washington’s letter written July 3, 1776.

- Finding the official geocache at Interstate State Park takes about ten minutes and you don’t need a GPS if you talk to the right person there.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Calvin (From Calvin & Hobbes)

IT’S JULY ALREADY! OH NO! OH NO! What happened to June?! Summer vacation is slipping through our fingers like grains of sand! It’s going too fast! We’ve got to hoard our freedom and have more fun! Time rushes on! Help! Help! *** A new decade is coming up. Yeah, big deal! Hmph. Where are the flying cars? Where are the moon colonies? Where are the personal robots and the zero gravity boots, huh? You call this a new decade? You call this the future?? HA! Where are the rocket packs? Where are the disintegration rays? Where are the floating cities?  *** Here we are, perched at the peak of Mount Maim! Why? Because I like to experience life to the fullest! I say you don’t fully APPRECIATE life until you risk losing it! I like to stare death straight in the eye and make him blink! If your adrenalin isn’t pumping, you’re not really living!  *** Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. *** It’s sad how some people can’t handle a little variety. *** I’ve decided to be more of a “people” person, and make more friends. I don’t get enough presents.  *** You doubting Thomases get in the way of more scientific advances with your stupid ethical questions. *** I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to get some cookies! *** Well, I guess we learned a valuable lesson from this duplicating mess. And that is, um… It’s that, well… OK, so we didn’t learn any big lesson. Sue me. *** Questions pour down like the rain. Who ARE these mugs? What were they trying to accomplish? Why was Jack in such a hurry? And what difference does it make where they started from? I had a hunch that, before this was over, I’d be sorry I asked. *** Aw, Mom! Can’t I watch the next program? No, you need your sleep. C’mon. Can I watch another 15 minutes? Please?? OK, just 10 minutes! Then I’ll go straight to bed! Five minutes! Just five minutes, OK? Turn off the TV. Look, I’ll just watch a few more commercials, OK? See, here’s my favorite gum commercial! I guess that got pretty pathetic. *** Genius is never understood in its own time. *** There’s Venus. There’s Mars. And there’s Jupiter. And I’m STUCK here.  *** On a clear night like this, you realize how incomprehensible the universe really is. I wonder what early man must have thought as he watched the skies. He’d see he was an infinitesimal part of creation, but he’d have no understanding of planets or stars or comets or anything. Imagine how big and mysterious the night would’ve seemed to him! I’ll bet he felt very fragile and afraid, don’t you think? *** At 7:00am, Mom’s not very philosophical.

From this weeks sermon (video).

Now . . . I can see it on your faces. In a pluralistic, multicultural, shrinking world, like ours, this will be harder and harder and harder to believe. Because they’re not just in Africa and Asia, they are right next door. Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims and Jewish people.

You know them at work, they’re you’re friends for goodness sake, and you want them to be. And when they ask you: “So, you’re saying . . . if I don’t embrace your Jesus, you think I’m going to go to hell?”

What are you going to say right there? “Well, it’s kind of complex and there are disagreements in the church and there are a lot of scholars and a lot of opinions and . . .” Weasel, weasel, weasel!

We got out of that, right? We are done with that, we are done with that!

We are real! With tears rolling down our faces: “I don’t want to believe that about you. I want you with me. I’m just a beggar. I have nothing. I’m nothing! Jesus came into the world to save everybody. He wants Samaritans and Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists and every race and ethnicity and socioeconomic – He wants us – he’s reaching out. I’m talking to right you now, I want you in heaven with me.”

Go there. Don’t get into an argument. Go there. Plead. So that they see – This is not an argument. This is not about “Look, which mountain?” This is not about mountains. This is about Christ, God’s Son came on a rescue mission to every religion.

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