April 30, 2010

Your Gateway to Organic Food

...is organic food. I was recently introduced to Cascadian Farms organic brand of cereals and granola bars. Simply unreal. So much better for you, and they seriously taste great! Yes, I have to get the version of their cereal marked "kids" in order to get my Cinnamon Toast Crunch knock-offs. But, it's worth it. It's way more filling per calorie ('cause it's REAL food), and it tastes great.

Make the leap. It's not a big one.

April 29, 2010

Church Critic vs. Church Contributor


"Here's what I don't like about our church."

I see this in the church community all too often. People with their litany of things "the church" is doing wrong, and their laundry list of things that it should be doing instead. I wonder if government has screwed up our sense of personal responsibility. We think "our vote" is the full extent of our duty. If I give you my idea/show up/tithe, that's good enough.

But we forget the church is simply us. Hillary Clinton said it well a couple of years ago, "I have a lot of good ideas. We simply can't afford them all." Commentators jumped on her for that, but it's absolutely true. Especially in a church scenario where you can't mandate money from people through taxation. The church doesn't need more good ideas. They need more people passionate about seeing a few of them through.

If you're passionate enough about an idea to personally commit to it, then stay passionate about it, persuade others to help you, and start doing it. If you're not passionate enough to work toward it yourself, drop it. There's enough critics out there. Either start contributing or shut up.

April 28, 2010

Why Do Celebrities Start Their Own Charities?

Their kid gets a disease, so they immediately develop a passion for finding a cure. I completely understand that. But why do they have to start their own "Celebrity First Name Last Name" "Disease Name" Charity?

Aren't there already charities out there with the same goal who are able to spend money on research much more efficiently because of their size or previous knowledge?

It's almost as if they're trying to get credit for it...

April 27, 2010

"It Just Came To Me."

Out of the blue, this idea pops out of you. It doesn't feel as if you consciously conceived it. It almost feels like it was gifted to you.

What is your mind doing on a day-to-day basis that you're completely unaware of? And doesn't that imply that you're not running the shots as much as you may think you are.

April 26, 2010

What is Givv.org?

Givv.org is a revolutionary new automated charity provider - bringing the benefits of automated banking to your charitable donations, while also helping you publicize your favorite non-for-profits.

Select your favorite organizations or add them to Givv.org's growing database, divide your organizations by dollar amount or percentage of your total giving, and fund your favorite charities automatically each month. Plus, change these at any time as you come across more efficient charities or ones that hit close to home for you.

I am currently working on creating a prioritized list of organizations based on the Copenhagen Consensus' analysis of "most" good per dollar spent. Then, you'll be able to match this list and truly know that you are being the best possible steward of your finances.

I am very excited about this evolution of non-profit giving, and can't wait to see what comes of it. Go check out givv.org and report your findings.

April 23, 2010

Why Would You Have a Joint E-Mail Account?

Now, this isn't a judgment. It's a legitimate query. I've noticed a few of my friends share a single e-mail or Facebook account with their wives. And I simply don't understand it.

Because it just so happens to be the same couples you wouldn't think would have trust issues, or have concern that one party is going to be e-mailing salacious letters to their secretary.

So, someone help me understand this mystery. Because I'm pretty sure e-mail's free nowadays.

April 22, 2010

Germ Theory 2.0

So, I realize how important germ theory was to the evolution of our society. Doctors stopped starting surgeries without wearing gloves directly after completing autopsies, and finally realized why all of their patients were dying.

But, this weekend, I was working outside in our yard and got visibly dirty hands. So, I went inside and washed them twice, because I could SEE that they weren't yet clean after my traditional 10-second washing.

Isn't this the same bad logic? Aren't I probably just wrongly assuming that when I can't visibly see the evidence, that the germs are probably gone?

April 21, 2010

Why Richard Nixon Sucked: The Song

#37. Richard Nixon


Em, G, D/F#

You sent five guys to spy then lie
About the DNC
In the Watergate hotel
O tell, o my, hotel, deny, that you’re that kind of guy

Water gate
You must really hate
Your enemies
The democreeps

You tried to slaughter them
But people liked you then?
What were you so afraid of?

Oh, irony
How can it be?
These same devices would be
The same ones that caught you planning it

So scared of the opposition
Such big risks at the Watergate hotel
O tell, o my, hotel, deny, that you’re that kind of guy

I am not a crook you say
Then you just might be insane

Why Lyndon B. Johnson Sucked - The Song

#36. Lyndon B. Johnson

Fmaj7, C

I can do it
I can contain
The communists
In vietnam

Why won’t you trust you
Why won’t you believe
Why won’t you trust me
We’re going anyway

Sure, we’re dying
Sure, we’re going broke
But I assure you I’m a man
We can win
Yes I can

Maybe I miscalculated
The people, the passion, the war
The 58,000 flags draped over
Coffins coming home

Why won’t you trust you
Why won’t you believe
Why won’t you trust me
We’re going anyway

April 20, 2010

What Obama Should Say to the Tea Party People

"You and I have an intrinsically different view of the role of federal government in our society. I admire your passion, and I urge you to continue to fight for the change you seek in peaceful ways. But you must understand that I believe as strongly as you do in your own beliefs, that what I am doing is not only necessary, but morally correct. And I must fight for it, just as you fight against it." - The Barack Obama I Want

April 19, 2010

All Opinions Are Not Equal: Food Critics

I make money as an advertising writer. And unfortunately, writing is something that anyone can do. And I strictly mean this from a "technical" standpoint. You can hold a pen. You write e-mails. And therefore, many people/companies think they don't need an expert in this field, forgetting that it's not just words that inspire action, but the right ones.

Likewise, those who eat 3 meals a day too often fancy themselves as food critics. You're not. Just like watching movies doesn't make you a film critic, and just like driving a car doesn't help you understand what's under the hood.

So, don't pretend to be one. Stop recommending chain restaurants. Stop trying to have an opinion. Just say, I'm easily satisfied, and I like pretty much everything.

Because that's ok, it just doesn't help the rest of us discover our next local "find".

April 15, 2010

Don't Be a 5% Guy in Real Life

"That rug really tied the room together, did it not?"

Maybe in this audience, 20% of you will recognize that line. In a normal social setting, probably 5%.

Here's the thing about quoting slightly obscure references. Don't be shocked when people don't get them, and especially don't insult people for not getting the reference. It's not like they shoved your mother down a flight of stairs. They just haven't seen all of the obscure 70s films that you have.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE:

When I'm doing a podcast to a mass audience, I intentionally throw little one-liner easter eggs in all the time. I don't explain them. I don't pause the show and make others guess what I'm talking about. I do it for the 5% that will get a kick out of it. And I don't bother the other 95%.

TAKEAWAY:

If you constantly seem to find yourself in these situations, where people are too stupid to pick up on your delightfully witty sense of humor, stop trying. Marry one of the 5% who get you, and live happily ever after. Maybe you're just ahead of your time.

April 14, 2010

The Parable of Adulterous Jokes

One night, a husband and wife were watching television together, when a fictional couple on the show "Friends" agreed to create a "list". The "list" would contain 5 people that each person was allowed to have sex with, without consequences, if the situation ever arose.

The wife watching the show with her husband thought it was a hysterical idea, and decided they should make their own lists. "It's just for fun. A fantasy. You can make a list of any 5 people, and if you ever get a chance to sleep with them, I won't be mad. Seriously."

The husband, hiding his sadness, reluctantly agreed. The wife (almost too quickly) filled out her list, still laughing at the idea, and handed it over for her husband's review. Jude Law. George Clooney. David Beckham. Jake Gyllenhaal. Ryan Reynolds.

The husband quietly read his wife's fantasies, then handed over his own list, only two entries filled out. Your sister. My secretary.

The moral of the story: Don't play games like this. Don't talk about celebrities being hot in front of your spouse. Don't rationalize it by saying "it's not like I'd actually do anything about it." It's not only the action that's wrong. The long-term goal is for that desire to not even be there.

And even if comments like that don't bother you, odds are, they probably bother your spouse. Even if only a little, why do it? And honestly, if they don't bother you, they should. You shouldn't take pride in the fact that "you're not a jealous type" or that "you trust your spouse."

You should absolutely be jealous of your love.

April 13, 2010

If Speilberg Had Directed the Masters

I think it would have gone pretty much the same way.

Tiger comes back, has some miraculous shots, but quickly reverts back to his non-gentlemen self, cursing up a storm. Where nerdy little Phil Mickelson (whom I never liked until this tournament) plays ridiculously good golf, all while being totally respectful of the game.

When Tiger finished up his round in 4th place, no one was there to greet him. When Phil finished, his wife, who has been heroically fighting breast cancer this past year, and bed-ridden the last few days of the tournament, celebrates with all of her might alongside their beautiful family.

The winner won. Speilberg couldn't have written it any better. Perhaps God did.

April 12, 2010

The World is a Thimble

Last August, weeks before an episode had even aired, a couple of friends and I started a podcast about the ABC show, FlashForward. This first to market strategy paid off.

It caught the attention of one of the lead writers on the show, Quinton Peeples, who has been a source and friend ever since. And since then, he has been promoted to co-producer. Now, we chat routinely with him as well as the show's Executive Producer, Jessika Borsickzy.

Early on in our show's history, Iain Mackinnon called in one week with some thoughts from Scotland. Loved his voice. Loved his enthusiasm. Loved his insights. So he became a weekly contributor on the show.

Last week, they introduced a new character on the show... Ian McKinnon.

This is what living in the 21st century is like. It's wild. It's crazy. And it's all about who you know. And yes I'm jealous, but I've been told I'm getting a shout-out in episode 20. I'll keep you posted.

April 09, 2010

The Racial Background of the Democratic Party

is predominantly white.

Pssh. Figures. That completely changes how I view their ideas.

Yes, this is a rebuttal to the generalization that the "Tea Party movement is probably racist, because their members are mostly white."

April 08, 2010

Judge Not.

People use this phrase a lot.

If you decide to carefully point out an egregious flaw in someone's life, you might be rebutted with the Biblical maxim, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

But I think we're using that phrase the wrong way. That verse means you shouldn't be a hypocrite and throw someone under the bus who's doing the same things you do.

It doesn't mean you shouldn't judge the action itself. And it doesn't mean you should let your friends continue in their idiocy without pointing it out.

April 07, 2010

Why Most Rap Music Sucks

It's too easy to be good. I've already made the claim of how the addition of clapping in pop songs is unfair. Because it's contagious. It gets you into a groove without any work at all.

The beats behind rap music are an exaggerated exploitation of this effect. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.

You're in. Before any words come out. Before any melody. They have you. You're grooving.

So, regardless of what comes next, people already kind of like the song. So, the path of least resistance says I'm going to throw some crap lyrics in that rhyme with club, bling, dope, lady and call it a hit.

It's too easy for rap music to be good, and therefore, it's rarely great.

April 06, 2010

The Desire to Be Ignorant

Once at my old job, we found out our janitor had been throwing away our recycling with the garbage. Shocked, we started telling people, and quite a few immediately responded with "Don't tell me that!"

Why is our first course of action to protect our ignorance? As if doing something to change the situation is not an option.

April 05, 2010

Why JFK Sucked: The Song

#35. John F. Kennedy


Capo 4
A, C, G, A

The CIA sent 1,500 Cubans to Cochinos Bay
Exiles armed and ready to revenge of Fidel

And to mimick a natural uprising
Defeating Castro’s communizing ways

And the deal was that the U.S. had their backs
If things would go awry
Awry they went, but no one came

Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day

the bay of pigs
it was a big
disaster for America
rather than an uprising
everything came down
Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day

And to save the little pretty face he had left
he had to pay Castro $53 million to get the prisoner’s back
Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day

April 02, 2010

Why is Pot the Gateway Drug to Open-Mindedness?

Because in the process of rationalizing your own decision for smoking, you'll start to become more understanding of everyone else's bad decisions.

On an unrelated note, go to church this weekend. And don't feel bad about going if you haven't been since Christmas, and you don't want to be the cliche person who only goes to church on holidays. Be that person. Because if we even get a glimpse of what the resurrection of Christ really means for our life, it's a complete mind-blowing life-changing switch. And it's totally worth pursuing. Happy Easter.

April 01, 2010

Get to the Punchline

This is a tricky topic. Because self-awareness is a gift. I'm not exactly sure how much of it is natural, and how much can be learned, but we're going to try.

You know those people in your lives that can just ramble on about their boring stories without taking a breath?

Recently, one of these people in my own life was complaining about people who do that.....

It blew my mind. They totally understand the pain of being on the receiving end of a boring storyteller, but simply don't have the ability to understand when their own stories are boring.

Now, this is tricky, because our own lives are naturally interesting to us. But, if you have the ability to do it, think about whether your story would interest you if you weren't involved in it. And if not, don't tell it.

If you don't have this self-censorship ability, concentrate on brevity. Jump to the punchline as quickly as possible. Don't get hung up on details like...

"So last Monday...or was it Tuesday?....I can't remember if it was either Monday or Tuesday? But, whatever, anyway..."

Lose these lines in your storytelling. Stick to the point, get there and then give up the reins in the conversation to the other party.

Don't Approach A Commercial Property Investment With A Residential Head

This post has been contributed.   Image source Investing in any sort of property is a pretty sound bet to make, but please don’t think...