July 29, 2010

Thin: Clothing Store Concept

Thin. A clothing store that exclusively sells thin cotton clothing.

You know that one old t-shirt you always wear because it's so soft and breathable? That's your whole wardrobe now. From casual to business casual. Plus, people will like walking into a store named "Thin", because it'll make them feel slender. Yes, they might think the store only sells Kate Bosworth-sizes at first. But, that could get us some good PR. So, what do you think? May I have your $200,000 in start-up funds now?

July 28, 2010

Tell People "Why"

"Breathe through your nose, Olsen!" my high school cross-country coach would yell at me.

I thought he was just trying to punish me. I thought it was some sort of evil lung endurance training. What I didn't know was that breathing through your nose while running is the fastest way to get oxygen to your lungs.

But I thought he was being mean, and ignored him.
Lesson for the day: Don't just tell people what to do. Tell them why.

July 27, 2010

Lost 25 Pounds Eating the "Same" Food

I currently weigh 175.  I haven't been this low since I got married. And I've been trying to figure out why. Because my eating habits haven't changed dramatically - in terms of food type and food quantity. But what has changed is the quality of the food itself.

Because Food, Inc. freaked me out. And since then, I've gone a lot more organic. With milk. Meat. Cereal. Chips. Condiments.

I really try to stay away from buying stuff with high-fructose corn syrup in it and other crazy amounts of preservatives. Because I'm becoming more and more confident that my body simply didn't know what to do with those things. Evolutionally speaking, high fructose corn syrup is like plastic to our body. It's completely unrecognizable. And how can your body adapt when it doesn't know what's going on inside of you.

Help a body out.

July 26, 2010

American Soccer Fans Don't Want You

American soccer fans don't want you. They like liking the sport that no one else does. Especially in America. It's theirs. And they like it that way.

It's the same reason why I don't really want you to know that M. Ward's Post-War Album is probably one of the greatest single albums in American music. It's mine. And I like the fact that I found it myself. And if you guys all started liking it, I'm no longer original.

I might as well just play Bon Jovi records and watch Sex in the City.

July 23, 2010

One-Liner Fridays

You know what I don't understand? Malaria nets! What kind of crazy super-villain fisherman are buying these things and  going around trying to catch it anyway?

July 22, 2010

Cell Phones in Church

This past week at church, a 13-ish year old girl in front of me spent the entire service texting. I can only assume this will be a growing problem, and I also assume that some churches will publicize a "texting" ban in services.

Why don't we work harder on engaging this girl instead?

Improving our communication styles. Shortening our sermons. Making the information more relevant She's not the only one who gets bored in church. The rest of us are just too scared to publicly show it.

July 21, 2010

Clothing: The Ultimate Age "Tell"

"How old do you think she is?"

Sometimes it's easy to guess. But do you realize why? It's not always wrinkles. For one, it's because hair styles are generational. No teenage girls have the "mom" hair cut. But the single greatest clue we have is clothing.

I recently made the mistake of assuming that a 40-year old man from our church was IN the youth group he was leading. He was shocked at my mistake.

But the dude dresses hip. He dresses like the 16-year old kids he's in charge of. And 99% of 40 year old's don't. For the most part, they give up trying to look 20 around 30. Or perhaps it's simply that what you wear when you're 20 doesn't stay hip through an extra two decades of fashion?

Now, I want to follow this guy's lead. I want to fool people. Because before this, I had no idea how much clothes made the boy. But they really do.

July 20, 2010

There IS Such a Thing as Bad Publicity

Recently, an 11-year old girl got some Internet notoriety for her foul mouth and highly provocative language on an online video chatting site. During one of these recorded chats, when someone calls her a lewd name, she replies, "Anything for fame."

That idea simply never made sense to me. And this is coming from a guy who, from the age of 8, always assumed he would BE famous one day.

I think the difference is simply that I wanted to achieve something the fame would arise from. I want to be the guy who takes the suck out of Christian music. I want to be the guy who makes people re-question the blind authority we give our leaders. I want to write things that make people question the way they live.

The idea of getting to be famous without earning it doesn't seem fun.

July 19, 2010

I Love First Impressions

I start my new job today.

It's too late to fake an accent, because I met most of these people during the interview process. But what aspects of my personality should I most try to reflect this first week? And what should I hide?

After all, it's blank slate time. I could be anyone. What should my first first impression be?

July 18, 2010

I Have My Oil Drenched Baby!

Remember on Monday when I said we needed to see a baby drenched in oil in order to really empathize with the Gulf Spill. Artist Jane Fulton obviously understands this. Check out her work.

July 16, 2010

One-Liner Fridays

My dad was a firm believer in a hard day's work. That's why the only hand-outs he ever gave homeless people were pistachios.

July 15, 2010

Rich Girls Using Disposable Razors

This shouldn't be happening. If you're not on welfare, you should not be using disposable razors.

"Oh, but the real ones are so expensive."
A) No, they're really not, because....
B) They last 5 times longer and more importantly
C) They don't make you bleed!

So, all of you ladies who are still using disposable razors, please do yourself a huge favor and buy one nice razor just to give it a try. I am 100% confident you'll never go back. Stop living in caveman days, with bloody, stubbly caveman legs.

July 14, 2010

To 3D or not to 3D?

I haven't seen a 3D movie in the the new format yet.

But for those of you who have, do you think a 3D TV would be cool to have in your home? Does it only make sense for super action movies? Sports? Would you feel like an idiot wearing glasses at home?

July 13, 2010

The Death of the Big Screen TV

Before you buy your next flat-screen TV, let's think about the future of television for a minute.

Odds are, you're going to be getting it through your computer. Whether it's Hulu.com, Netflix, another Internet subscription or a la carte payment per show through the networks themselves, your computer is going to be your hub for televised entertainment.

So, you could route your computer to display the picture on your HD TV, but that expensive TV is now just serving as a monitor. There's no real need for most of the costly electronic components that come with it. Your computer is serving that purpose.

You just need a rectangle. So wouldn't hooking an HD projector up to your computer mean a much bigger picture for a much lower investment?

Why not?

July 12, 2010

Drench an Infant in Oil

If people were covered in oil right now rather than animals, do you think we'd be seeing the mass floods of busing down to the Gulf to help to aid in the recovery like we saw in Katrina?

It's actually a valuable lesson. Because the net devastation in the Gulf is probably economically comparable to Katrina. Yet, it's harder to understand indirect costs.

In order to get attention, you need to visualize it. Drench a baby in oil and watch a whole new wave of sympathy come flooding in.

July 09, 2010

The Future of Car Mechanics

Wow. Having air-conditioning in your car is amazingly different than not having it.

Let's backtrack a year and a half to when my A/C first went out. I took the car to my local mechanic and received a $1300 quote for the repair. I sadly sad no and drove home in the heat. It just wasn't worth it to us when we were financially nervous as it was. And I've been sweating in the summers ever since.

6 months ago, my power steering started going on the fritz as well. Drove back to the same mechanic and received a $1500 quote for the repair. I sadly drove home, thinking that it might make more financial sense to simply trade the car in. I told my friend (a real man) about the quote, and he told me that number didn't sound at all right for what was wrong with the car. So, I went to a local Tuffy's nearby that I had heard great things about. Got the power steering fixed for less than 1/3 of my other mechanic's quote.

I was floored. I didn't know that a commodity field like basic car repair would still have such outrageous price discrepancies. It was pure ignorance on my part. And so I started wondering if my old mechanic had been lying about my A/C fix as well. So, I brought it in to Tuffy's last week and got it fixed for $800 less than my old mechanic quoted me.

These are two completely different business models. In my old mechanic's head, he only needs 1/3 the amount of customers as long as they pay 3 times as much. And it's an easier work day.

The other business model makes a much smaller profit on each customer, but due to price popularity, he's continually overwhelmed.

The problem is that the first model relies solely on consumer ignorance. And while there will always be some. It's not something to build a business around. Because when guys like me wise up, they instantly leave, and they're outraged.

July 08, 2010

The Economics of a Delayed Baby

Most of us want to have kid(s) at some point in our lives. Although, financially, it never quite feels like the right time. There's also the fear of "being ready" along with the worry that you need to get your career situation set up first before a kid comes and wrecks everything. And we keep putting it off.
Is this classic short-term vs. long-term thinking?

Would I have been better off having kids right out of college, struggling to figure out a way to make it happen, but be 5 years ahead of the game by now? Then, when my kids are adults, I'm only 40. And this is actually the time in one's career where you probably have a role with more responsibility that you need to have more time for.

Are we doing this backwards?

July 07, 2010

Ice Cream Bar: Sweet Table Chicago

I think my wife outdid herself this past weekend. She had this idea for an Ice Cream "Bar" dessert table for a party she got through her dessert table company, Sweet Table Chicago. And I liked the idea (what's not to like?) but I had no idea it would turn out THIS cool.

I'll give you the description she offers on her Sweet Table Chicago blog.

"Rock candy "chandeliers" sparkled on both sides of the "Ice Cream Bar" sign hung above the table. We created custom labels to showcase the unique flavor combinations of the ice creams,which included chocolate malt on the rocks (rock candy, that is), sweet lime mint mojito, creamy coconut with hot fudge shots, and salted caramel martinis with chocolate cholives. We used edible spray paint to color the ice cream cones and waffle cups a shiny silver to coordinate with the other serving pieces. "Ice buckets" holding the ice cream were placed in between serving stations to keep the ice cream cold as guests made their way down the line."

It was simply awesome. My favorite one yet. Way to go wifey!

July 06, 2010

Oxygen Mask Failure

I had an... interesting.... discussion with a female family member this past weekend.

I mentioned how the show LOST has made me pay closer attention to in-flight safety instructions, because I am now convinced that my odds of survival depend on it.

But, I still don't feel confident in the procedures. Specifically, those little strings attached to the oxygen mask really freak me out. I'm afraid I won't get it right. Is it just a "tighten-for-comfort" thing, or will my precious oxygen escape into the cabin unless I create a vacuum tight seal around my face?

Then, this family member said, "Well, all I know is that you're supposed to put the mask on your kid first before you put it on yourself."

The room burst into laughter. We then incredulously explained that it was precisely the opposite action needed to keep her family alive.

She then reaffirmed, "Well, I would always choose my children over myself."

This was fascinating (and hilarious) on a million counts.

1) This member of my family has obviously not been paying attention on any of the roughly 100 flights she has taken in her lifetime.
2) After being presented with the actual information, her assumed truth overrode statistically relevant information, and she counted this as heroic.

She's heard the instructions countless times. But just assumes they're saying "save the kid before you help yourself" because that makes sense with every other lesson you learn as a parent.

Your takeaway:
When you're trying to teach someone something that isn't obvious, you have to make it absolutely obvious what you're doing.

July 02, 2010

Happy Dependence Day!

Use this time to celebrate the fact that our Mommy (Congress) and Daddy (President) love us very much and will always be there to take care of us.

July 01, 2010

Our Continual Wedding Album: San Francisco

Many of you scoffed when my wife and I came up with the idea of a "Continual Wedding Album". Now, three shoots in, I'm so glad I didn't listen to democracy.

Also, here is a brief video I took of our trip to San Francisco and Monterey. We had a blast!

A Christian Approach To The End Of Life

 Note: This post has been contributed. Unsplash - CC0 License Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that ...