Posts Tagged ‘missions


‎8.5.2010 … goodbye godson Mike … hello et … actually snuck a romantic comedy in on John and Dan (that’s what you get for doing a friend a favor!) last night … that will cost me!

‎family, missions, Gray: welcome home, Gray … awesome pictures from Lesotho!

family: I am blessed with a sister.

Sisters can help teenagers fend off ex-boyfriends, mean gossip and, apparently, depression.Having a sister protects teens “from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful,” according to a study in this weeks Journal of Family Psychology.Researchers from Brigham Young University studied 395 Seattle families with two or more children, including at least one child age 10 to 14. They found that affectionate siblings have a positive influence on each other no matter their age, gender or how many years apart they are in age.Sisters promote behaviors such as kindness and generosity and protect against delinquency and depression, says Laura Padilla-Walker, an assistant professor in BYUs School of Family Life.And having a sister — rather than a brother — appears to help prevent depression, maybe because girls are better at talking about problems, Padilla-Walker says.


food – Southern: I consider myself pretty Southern.  I never had a fried green tomato until I was 20-something.  And now they call it comfort food … hmmm. Southern comfort food at my house was fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, turkey hash and turkey Tetrazzini … no fried green tomatoes …

Crisp and tangy, fried green tomatoes are the ultimate Southern comfort food.

Don’t be tempted to eat them right away after cooking. The tomatoes will be hot inside due to the water trapped within. Instead take this time to stack up one of Callaghan’s signature BL-GREEN-Ts. Toast one side of the bread, turn some chopped greens such as arugula, basil, or tarragon into Duke’s mayo, and use a good smokehouse bacon. The sandwich has become so popular at Acme, the chef says, that one of his regular brunch customers got a tattoo of it. “Bloody Marys and bacon fat do strange things to people, I guess.”

via Slices of Heaven.

The South: Back to School … today … August 5 … no way …

Students in Cobb and Douglas counties and the city of Buford go back to school Thursday amid scorching conditions that in some cases have prompted changes in school system protocol.

The Cobb County School District, for instance, is encouraging students to bring bottled water on their morning and afternoon bus rides. The district expects to maintain that policy through September.

via Heat forces changes as kids go back to school  |

Charlotte:  NASCAR and wrestling … what a great town!  🙂

Before Charlotte became the center of NASCAR, it was home to a different breed of sport: professional wrestling.

From the first televised matches in the 1960s to the reign of Ric Flair’s elite “Four Horsemen” wrestling team through the late-1980s, Charlotte served as the Mid-Atlantic center stage for the bone-breaking, over-the-top world of professional wrestling.

“It was a blast. The wrestling business was on its first real wave at that time,” said former “Four Horsemen” team member Tully Blanchard, referring to wrestling’s peak in the late 1980s.

This weekend, the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest at the Hilton Charlotte University Place is taking Charlotte back to those glory days, starting with a free barbecue with the voice of WWE’s Monday Night Raw, Jim “J.R.” Ross.

Event organizer Greg Price said the convention, which runs through Sunday, promises to be a “wrestling fan’s heaven” complete with chances to meet more than a hundred of the sport’s most legendary athletes. Price expects more than 1,000 visitors this year.

Blanchard, now 64, said for him the weekend is about getting out of character and in touch with fans.

“Twenty-five or 20 years after the fact, it is neat to hear the impact of what you did that touched people, that entertained people,” Blanchard said.

Tom “Tommy Angel” Barrett, who wrestled in the 1980s, said the event got its start when promoters started asking legendary wrestlers to make appearances at contemporary matches.

“The response was tremendous,” he said. “They decided to try to round these guys up in one place.”

Price said the event’s popularity has grown steadily since its start in 2004. He said he’s seen fans from 44 states and four foreign countries, including Japan.

Blanchard said it makes sense for Charlotte to be the center of a wrestling convention.

“Charlotte was always the hotbed of the Mid-Atlantic area,” he said.

via Gathering recalls Charlotte’s headlock on wrestling world –

culture, marketing:  the Martha Stewart of the South … never heard of him.

Still, Mr. Smith might well be the most famous tastemaker you’ve never heard of. The son of a working-class widow, he grew up with 4-H chickens and a job in the family shrub shop, then managed to turn himself into the Martha Stewart of the South.

via P. Allen Smith, Tastemaker and Garden Guru –

food:  LYCHEES!  We loved them in China.  I will look for them at our markets.

Rambutans belong to the same family, Sapindaceae, as lychees and longans. Peeled, the three fruits are hard to differentiate. Unpeeled, lychees resemble rambutans without the hair, as do longans, which are smaller, green and also hairless. If I had been introduced to this fruit family with the tentacle-free lychee or longan, the experience might have been less intimidating.

Of these three, lychees are the most easily found in the United States. Though native to southern China, where they have been cultivated for 2,000 years, lychees are grown in the United States as well as throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, parts of South America and Central America.

via Cracking The Lychee ‘Nut’ : NPR.

Great Recession, noblesse oblige:  Guess who wasn’t invited to dinner? But a noble gesture by those who have made this commitment.

On Wednesday, Mr. Buffett announced that 40 of America’s wealthiest individuals and families, from former Citigroup Inc. leader Sandy Weill to hotel mogul Barron Hilton, have signed the “Giving Pledge.”Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates in June had asked the individuals and families to publicly commit to give away at least half of their wealth within their lifetimes or after their deaths.The pledge stemmed from a series of dinners the two men held for the nation’s billionaires over the past year to discuss the effects of the recession on philanthropy.

via Larry Ellison, George Lucas Join Billionaires in Buffett-Gates Charity Pledge –

children, games, oral history:  What’s your best memory from a childhood “game”?

We suspected this would be the last time they’d ever play “Truth or Dare,” too.

You just can’t win it.

And yet, as we watched the Girl Scouts shriek and hug each other in the water, I thought about the one saving grace of this barbaric game. It wasn’t The Mange that mattered, but joining forces with my friends in the face of the very fear we’d created. It wasn’t Bowzer, either, but hanging onto my cousin in the throes of our self-made terror and humiliation. Intense situations can make for good bonding. It’s just that good bonding is sometimes born out of really bad ideas.

via The Naked Reality Of ‘Truth Or Dare’ : NPR.

places, art, graffitti, RomeVideo – Graffiti Plagues Omnia Roma –

Great Recession, real estate, Chicago:

The sale of the Chicago office tower at 300 North LaSalle St. for a record price of $655 million has left a number of real-estate professionals rubbing their eyes.

The record price for the Chicago office tower at 300 North LaSalle Street in a weak office-leasing market requires an explanation.

Like most cities, Chicago is suffering from a weak office-leasing market. The city’s vacancy rate at the end of the second quarter was 18.5%, up from 17.4% during the same period last year, and effective rents have been on a downward spiral for more than a year, according to Reis Inc.

But last week, KBS, a Newport Beach, Calif., real-estate company, purchased the 1.3 million square foot office building overlooking the Chicago River through an unlisted real-estate investment trust for about $500 a square foot. That is the most ever paid for a Chicago office building on a square-foot basis, according to Real Capital Analytics. By comparison, the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the U.S., sold for about $840 million in 2004, or $244 a square foot.

So what gives?

The answer is that in the current global economy, there is a widening valuation gap in commercial real estate between office buildings with a lot of vacancy and those that are close to fully leased with financially strong tenants. Many landlords with high vacancy rates are watching the value of their buildings fall with declining rent and the growing difficulty in filing space.

But 300 North LaSalle isn’t such a building. Rather, Houston-based Hines, which completed its development last year, succeeded in leasing 93% of its space for long periods. Chicago’s largest law firm, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, takes up more than 600,000 square feet as its largest tenant.

Investors today are looking at the steady incomes from such buildings almost like they would bond yields. And with rates on Treasury bonds hovering near historic lows, these office-building yields are looking increasingly attractive.

via PROPERTY REPORT: Chicago Sale Sets Records –

professionalism: One of my favorite academic topics … maybe because one of my favorite college classes was a seminar entitled “Darwinism and the Emergence  of Professions.”

Merriam-Webster gives us a bit more of a clue in the last part of the first definition:

1 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b : engaged in one of the learned professions c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

OK now we’re getting somewhere.  Courteous and conscientious is something I can get my head around (although “generally businesslike” is a bit vague…).  Googling  “professional behavior” gets you a variety of opinions on the matter ranging from “conduct appropriate to your workplace” to “don’t lie, spit, swear or steal”.

A thorough analysis of what is meant in the U.S. by “professional behavior” can be found on the Grovewell, LLC site here.  But at the end of the day for me, professionalism boils down to a single concept introduced to me by my parents when I was about 10.  It goes like this:

Treat others as you would like to be treated and you will always be invited back.

The first half is the good old golden rule and it’s still the most practical guidance I have found for professional behavior.  In any situation I put myself in the role of my peers, subordinates, clients, vendors or managers and visualize how my actions will be perceived.  If I don’t like the result, I find a better way.  And my goal is always the second half – to be someone that others want to work with.  There is no better measure of success as a professional than to have your employer be sorry to see you go and happy to have you return if the opportunity exists.

What are your benchmarks for professionalism?  We’ve all seen unprofessional behavior (like pornography – we know it when we see it…) but if you have great ideas or resources for workplace behavior that gets you invited back, please share!

via A Professional What? « Survive Your Promotion!.

colleges, football, Alabama:  What can I say, my mamma went to ‘Bama! RTR … YouTube – New Alabama Football 2010 Intro.

colleges, followup, UGA:  Like I said Princeton Review’s ranking of the best party school benefits no one …

Political Cartoons from Mike Luckovich.


‎7.27.2010 … missing my peeps … even jbt out of state today …

faith, missions, family, Gray: My nephew Gray is in Lesotho on this mission trip.  What a great experience and so great that I can follow from home!

The Give Love Mission Team is headed out tonight at 7:30 p.m. It’s a long flight (about 16 hours!). And aside from 6 youth and 10 adults, we have a lot of luggage to get there as well. We’re taking more than 200 blankets to the kids at the Ministry of Insured Salvation Orphanage from the North Avenue kids at Vacation Bible School, guitars, art supplies, and all kinds of goodies. Please pray for safe travels, team unity, and that God would be preparing our hearts for what we’re about to encounter. Be praying for the precious kids we’re about to meet, too!

via North Avenue Missionaries.

education, internships, Davidson:  Davidson, just like most liberal arts colleges, is struggling to incorporate internships into the college experience.

But besides the financial question, students who attend liberal arts colleges can find it’s difficult to get credit for internships, says Lauren Valentino, 22, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., who wrote a thesis on unpaid internships.

“Liberal arts colleges maintain a distinct identity from other institutions through their non-vocational curriculum, which explains why they are less willing than some other universities to grant credit for internships,” Valentino says.

via Unpaid internships can cost — or pay off for — college students –

culture, high school: What will I say about my generation in 20 years?

I was witnessing a truth. Within our bodies of 67 or 68 years lived all the people we had ever been or seemed to be. All the success, all the defeat, all the love and fear. We were all here.

We went to Urbana High School between 1956 and 1960. We were the first post-Elvis generation, and one of the last generations of innocence. We were inventing the myth of the American teenager. Our decade would imprint an iconography on American society. We knew nothing of violence and drugs. We looked forward to the future. We were taught well. We were the best class.

via Talking ’bout my generation – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

news, random, LOL, truth – stranger than fiction:  I have seen this story before, but it is definitely one instance where truth is stranger than fiction.

Three street-muggers in Sydney, Aus chased a visiting med student down an alley and took his iPod and phone. Unfortunately for them, the alley they chased him down was next to the local ninja martial arts school, and a student ninja was lurking in the shadows. He got his teacher, and five ninjas stole out into the night and kicked ninjed the muggers’ asses.

via Muggers chase victim into crowd of ass-kicking ninjas – Boing Boing.

history, my nerdiness: I must be a real nerd because I found this article on the history and future of the electrical grid fascinating.

During the Depression, when power lines first electrified rural America, a farmer in Tennessee rose in church one Sunday and said—power companies love this story—”The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.”

via Electrical Grid – National Geographic Magazine.

culture, health:  We aren’t looking so good.  You should read the article …. talks about our generations drug use and unknown interactions with prescribed drugs when we are old …

The generation known as baby boomers may go into old age broke and fat, researchers say.

Particularly, those among the first decade of boomers – now at retirement age or within 10 years of it – may find a combination of unhealthy living and unwise personal finance decisions will leave them in rough shape after age 65.

They may not mind so much, however, because researchers say they also are more likely to be stoned on drugs than either their elders or those younger.

via Some N.C. boomers: Fat and flat broke –

news, Charlotte, weather: Definitely hot here.

Charlotte hit 101 degrees on Sunday, a new record for the day, in a summer that so far is the city’s third-hottest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

via 101° –

Apple: New Apples?

Will Apple launch new Mac Pros, iMacs, and the Magic Trackpad tomorrow?.

vuvuzelas, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Never thought about who invented them … just assumed they were a plastic version of an ancient african horn … but instead they evolved from a bike horn!

I invented the vuvuzela 35 years ago but, of course, it’s only since the start of the World Cup that it has become quite so well known globally. Whatever people may say about the sound it makes, it has never been so popular. That makes me proud; I see so many visitors taking vuvuzelas home with them, to Europe, South America and beyond.

I know people have complained in the past. One football squad objected to the noise when they played in South Africa, but I think it’s only polite to accept the customs of any country you visit, and this is our culture. Our players expect it and the sound encourages them – it’s the sound of our support. Many people say they don’t like the noise, but I’ve been blowing the vuvuzela for decades now and I’ve never heard of anyone going to hospital or dying because of it.

I approached someone who ran a manufacturing company and he made the first plastic version – a yellow one very much like those you see today. We called them Boogieblasts and sold them at games. I changed the name to vuvuzela in 1992, after Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa was allowed to compete internationally again – the name means three things in Zulu: “welcome”, “unite” and “celebration.”

via Experience: I invented the vuvuzela | Life and style | The Guardian.

FIFA World Cup 2010, marketing: Very interesting. .. Did Nike master the social network marketing and win despite Adidas’ sponsorship?

Two contenders, Adidas and Nike, each have a shot at becoming undisputed market leader when the whistle blows on July 11 and the final game concludes. Coming into 2010, their records show them evenly matched: each is estimated to have earned $1.5-1.7 billion in football merchandise sales in 2008 and 2009, and each controls about a third of the total market.

via The World Cup Brand Winner: Adidas or Nike? – Elie Ofek – HBS Faculty – Harvard Business Review.

culture, followup:  I forgot to include the illustration for Does Language Influence Culture? – …  The Tower of Babel’ by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563.  That illustration really enhanced the article.  Also loved Ann Sheaffer Gibert’s comment:

I came to the same conclusion when I studied Hebrew. Language must shape how our brain works, and different language structures reflect (or cause) different cultural standards.

The Tower of Babel' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563

travel, Ireland:  Really enjoyed this article on Ireland  … hope to go back and it will give me some new insights into what I am seeing.

I have been wandering in a zig-zag way around its country parts, Waterford to Donegal, contemplating the three great quandaries that have obsessed Ireland during my own lifetime: the old, old miseries that arose centuries ago from the interference of the English; the recent hubris and nemesis of economics; the tragic loss of faith and trust in the Roman Catholic church, for centuries the very essence of Irishness.

To my mind there is something transcendental to the charm of the Irish, the very emblem of their national identity. They are no nicer than other peoples, no less bitchy, no less quarrelsome, no less murderous indeed, but without doubt they are, come boom or bust, come faith or disbelief, come peace or war the most charming of nationalities. I cannot make out how deeply they have been affected by the three great communal anxieties that have lately afflicted them, but I can vouch for the fact that in externals, at least, they are just as they always were.

Call it national character, call it community resilience, or call it, most mystically, spiritually and irresistibly of all, simply the luck of the Irish.

via / Travel – On a journey across Ireland.

RIP:  My friend Eleanor is a friend of Leah … her story is compelling …Leah Siegel, ESPN producer whose struggle with breast cancer inspired thousands, dies at 43 | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News.

faith, followup: I also loved the  Henri Nouwen post that Cary referred to here.  But Cary culls it down to one question … and my list is way too short.

A valid question is “What are the names of the poor whom you interact with?”

via Knowledge Leads to Empathy « Jubilee Year.

children’s/YA literature, faith, history:  I look forward to reading this book by the Pope.

On July 22nd, the Vatican press office announced that Pope Benedict XVI has authored a children’s book entitled, The Friends of Jesus. The twelve friends to the famed Messiah are the Twelve Apostles.

President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Spanish priest Julian Carron, wrote the prologue to the book. He also offers this comment about the publication: “[The Pope] takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus’ first companions were, how they met him and were conquered by him to the point that they never abandoned Him.”

via Pope Benedict XVI to Publish Children’s Book – GalleyCat.

politics, The President: Sorry, Mr. President, this seems ridiculous … That is just too much for some face time with you.  And the people who pay such an  exorbitant amount expect something in return.

Chicagoans next week will have the chance to wish President Barack Obama “happy 49th birthday” for $30,400 ($60,800 a couple).

That’s the admission price for a Democratic National Committee “birthday” reception to be held at a the home of real-estate billionaire Neil Bluhm in Obama’s hometown on Aug. 5, the day after his birthday.

via Happy $30,400 birthday, Mr. President – Mike Allen –

tv, gLee: I hope Season 2 is as uniquely fun as Season 1. A ‘Rocky Horror’ Episode, and 9 Other ‘Glee’ Spoilers – Yahoo! TV Blog.

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