Monday, December 22, 2008

Jeff's Top 10 Christmas Specials/Movies

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
3. A Muppet Family Christmas
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. A Claymation Christmas
6. It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original animated)
8. John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together
9. Home Alone
10. The Simpsons Christmas Special (first full-length episode)

Honorable mention: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey live-action version), Frosty the Snowman, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Garfield Christmas

Am I missing anything? Leave it in the comments.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First baby purchases

We spent today (after church) driving to the IKEA in Frisco (north of Dallas) to get -- you guessed it! -- baby furniture! We decided we liked the Leksvik line from IKEA, which was great because it's not only sturdy but affordable. We brought it home and wanted to share a photo of it in the baby's room! Here it is:

Beautiful, ain't it? And we were even able to get a matching set!  ;)

Okay, so we have some work ahead of us to put it together. But that's fine. Gives me a new project to work on. Besides, we're still in the process of clearing out the furniture that's in there. [Side note -- if you're looking for a youth rolltop desk or an old TV that sort of works, let me know.]

We also got to enjoy a brief side trip, as it turns out that the IKEA in Frisco is right next to Dr Pepper Ballpark, the home stadium for the Frisco Roughriders, the Texas Rangers' AA team. It's really one of the more interesting ballparks I've ever seen; Bethany thinks it looks like something straight out of Disney World. Here's a photo of the outside (home plate entrance):

Back to the furniture... As we type, Orbit is giving it the "sniff test" to make sure it is cat-approved. For now, here's what we got: crib, changing table, and tall dresser. We'll post some pictures later once we get the room all set up. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Clearly-Deserving-of-Many-Awards Baylor Magazine Articles for Fall 2008

The latest issue of Baylor Magazine is in the mail right now; if you're not getting it, take a look at this PDF-style E-dition to see what the print version of the magazine looks like. Not as easy to read as a straight HTML version like those linked below, but certainly much prettier, and it gives you an idea of what most readers see.

Now on to my latest articles:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now on deck: Junior Brown!

Big news in the Brown household: We'll soon be welcoming a new Baylor Bear cub! Yep - Bethany is pregnant!

Junior Brown (as we are calling him/her for now) is about eight weeks along, and due June 23. The doctor says everything looks great, and other than a bit of nausea, Mother is doing great too.

Orbit asked us to note that "Meow is very excited."

We're excited too, and just wanted to share the news!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yes, we dressed up for Halloween

Happy belated Halloween! For the last six months or so, Bethany worked to create costumes for both of us from scratch, and she finished just in time for us to be dressed up while we sat on our porch and handed out candy. I think Bethany did an awesome job making our costumes -- thank you, dear wife!!

Here we are -- Han Solo:

and Princess Leia:

(You can click on the photos for better versions, if you want.)

We had probably about 30 kids come by last night, about the same number as last year. The most popular costume for boys seemed to be skeletons, while tops for the girls were princesses. Our favorite costume was a little boy who looked to be about three years old and was dressed as Zorro, complete with hat, eye mask, cape and sword.

So now that Halloween is over, it's time for Homecoming! Sic 'em, Bears!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Bookshelf Project...Finally Done!!

For all of you who have kept up with my bookshelf project, I'm finally done!!! Here's a picture (the kitten is for scale only; Sis, I would use my geology hammer, but it's buried in the garage):

We're still working on cleaning up the office (as you can probably tell) and getting furniture in the right place, but we're excited to have that part done. YAY!

In other news, Orbit is all ready for Halloween, though perhaps a bit crabby about his costume...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A pair of book recommendations

Normally I would only recommend books or music to specific people who(m?) I know would enjoy them, but I have two book recommendations that I think just about anyone who might come across this blog would enjoy.

1. What Americans Really Believe, by Rodney Stark. I haven't actually read this one yet -- only skimmed it -- but it looks really interesting. It's based on results from the Baylor Religion Survey, but written in a very lay-friendly manner. Many of the chapters bust myths. For instance, the survey found that megachurches actually offer more intimate community than small congregations do. Who knew? I've written much more on the Survey and the book here, but I think it's a nice, fairly light, entertaining read.

2. Red Letter Christians, by Tony Campolo. I got to hear Tony Campolo speak on campus last week, and my memory of him as one of the best speakers I've ever heard was reaffirmed. In this book (which I just finished), he tackles a bunch of issues and viewpoints generally more emphasized by "liberals" (as opposed to the religious right). He makes the point that Christians need to realize that, as my friend Mike loves to say, Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. 

For instance, Campolo says the Bible certainly emphasizes the sanctity of life, but notes that that issue doesn't stop at birth -- that the idea not only applies to abortion, but other issues regarding poverty. My big nitpick is that in the book, he seems to assume that the Church can't solve issues regarding poverty, because we don't/won't give enough, and so the government must tackle those for us. He tempered that in the speech I heard, urging Christians to help more in addition to supporting programs for those less fortunate.

I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes in the book, but he certainly made me re-examine my thoughts (and what the Bible has to say) on a lot of issues, and I think the same would apply for just about anyone I know reading this. So check it out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Disaster Movie of the Week...

Hey guys, I wanted to update you on why there haven't been any installments of my "Disaster Movie of the Week" Review. We cleaned out the $5 bin at Walmart!! We kept hoping they would get more, but it seems they have not in the last couple months. As soon as we find some more, we'll get that going again. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Joseph's third birthday

While most of Texas was worried about where Hurricane Ike was headed a week or so ago, we were driving from Waco to Austin to celebrate our nephew Joseph's third birthday (and also my mom's birthday!).

Thankfully, the weather didn't hit us bad (Waco officially got 1/4 of a inch of rain, and Austin saw only blue skies all day) and we had a good time. Hope y'all enjoy the pictures! (Also, this video of Joseph and Elizabeth talking to Orbit.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to write an article for a magazine

So my friend Andrew challenged me to write a blog post about "how to write an article for a magazine." As most of you probably know, I've spent the past year as an editor/writer for Baylor Magazine after 3.5 years at AAA World magazine in Philly.

I don't pretend to be an expert on magazine writing -- heck, one of the few journalism classes I didn't take at Baylor was "magazine writing" -- but the best key I've found to a good feature article is letting the subject(s) tell the story.

My two most recent features, "Concerning the Soul" (Baylor Magazine, Summer '08) and "The Art of Football" (BM, Fall '08) are good examples of that. The Spiritual Life story required several hours of interviews with a number of people, while the Briles story came almost entirely from one sit-down interview with the subject. But in both cases, I prepared questions that covered all the possible angles I might want to include in the story, did the interview, then wove the answers together by interspersing my own text to connect one quote to another, filling in any necessary blanks or holes.

Sometimes that text is needed to cover something the interviewees didn't describe, and sometimes it's just to summarize their text. It's also frequently just for transition from one topic to another.

That's the best way I know to explain it. For me, the interview is the hard part; once I've got that done, the rest of it usually writes itself -- particuarly if the subject interviews well. Hope that helps!

I guess I might as well tag on the links to my features from the latest issue of the magazine. Here ya go; happy reading!
  • The Art of Football -- my first-ever cover story! A feature on new head football coach Art Briles.
  • In Their Own Words -- I compiled this selection of journal entries and looks back from students who went on Baylor-sponsored mission trips this summer. Pretty powerful, I think (their experiences, not my work).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Just because this is a quick way to update folks all over... Hurricane Ike was not fun for Texas, but Waco seems to have been generally spared beyond getting some rain.

We headed out for Austin this morning around 9 to be with my sister to celebrate my nephew and my mom's birthdays as previously planned. Drove through some rain and some stiff winds the first hour of the trip, but the second half was smooth sailing. I'm not sure it rained a drop in Austin. We got back tonight around 9, and our house seems fine.

My mom left Houston Thursday afternoon to stay with my sister, slightly ahead of plans. A neighbor checked out my mom's house for her (inside and out) this afternoon. Some water blew in under the front door (it's not sealed well and has been a problem even in lesser storms), and the fence is probably down (the neighbor didn't say, and it was weak). But other than that, I think it's generally fine (though without power, like most of Houston). She'll probably head back to Houston in the next couple days to take care of stuff (she left in a hurry, so the fridge is full of food, and the cat is still there), but then if they're going to be without power for awhile, I hope she'll
either head back to Austin or Waco. They're warning that it could be as much as a month before all of the area gets power back.

So, that's our situation. Hope all is well with you and yours.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hummingbird Documented!!

Just so you all/y'all know I'm not crazy...

I happened to glance out the window to the hummingbird feeder today and saw this little guy zipping around the feeder and then watched him land on this branch. I thought, "No way is he still going to be there when I get back with the camera;" however, it was most certainly worth a try as I've been trying to catch him on camera for several months. I came back and he was still there! Jeff and I (& Orbit) have seen one and, at times, two hummingbirds around the feeder all summer.

Here's the proof!

Fun times!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moving offices yet again

After a year of being in one of the coolest buildings on campus, my department moved last week from Pat Neff Hall to Robinson Tower, an eight-story typical office building that was built in the 1980s and bought by Baylor in the 1990s. (Sorry, no pics this time like I did last time; nobody thinks to take pics of the Tower. It's just nothing special.)

We do have nice new offices, as they redid the space before we moved in. So that's nice. And I got some new office furniture out of the deal, too. I have to say I prefer my new office over the old one. But, I don't think that will be able to make up for being in the heart of campus. I will definitely miss that.

With the move, I started thinking back on how many times I've had to pack up my office over the last few years. Here's a timeline:
  • Jan '04 -- I left my job in athletics and moved to AAA in Philadelphia.
  • Spring '04 -- Our cubicle structure was rearranged, so we had to pack everything up for the move.
  • Summer '05 -- AAA moved from Philly to Wilmington, Del., so we packed up and moved.
  • Summer '06 -- Our department was moved from one side of the floor to the other, so we had to pack up everything.
  • Summer '07 -- I left AAA to move back to Waco and Baylor.
  • Summer '08 -- Our office changed buildings.
So, that's six times I've packed and unpacked everything in my office in the past 4.5 years. I guess at least that keeps the clutter down.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Day at PHL

So, yesterday was a very interesting day...don't take this as complaining, I really was blessed to get out of that airport yesterday. There were many others that were not able to do that. I've just never had a traveling experience close to that in all my years of travel, so I figured I'd share...since we have a blog.

My flight to Dallas from Philly was supposed to leave at 8:50am. We left the house at 6am and got to the airport around 7am. I went to one of those kiosks to check in since I wasn't checking a bag. Out printed this:

I turn around and there is this really long line at the ticket counter labeled "International check-in." I am sure I looked confused, as the lady behind the counter looked at me and asked what flight I was on. I told her and she said, "Oh that was cancelled." So, I got in line with everyone else. The reason we were told was "missing equipment." I have since learned that "equipment" usually refers to the plane, so I would assume that the plane was missing.

While in line, my brilliant husband who I unfortunately just woke up by calling, told me to call the 800 customer service number. I did and the helpful lady re-booked me on a flight to Miami and then on a later flight from Miami to Dallas, then from Dallas to Waco (there were no seats available at that time on a direct flight from Philly to Dallas). My plan was to get to Miami, have lunch with my parents, and then go home. I had about three hours to kill before my flight to Miami was supposed to take off, so I decided to wander around the airport. Look at all the fun things I found!!!

This is a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell made out of legos (complete with the inscription!):

One of the US Airways football planes (Carolina Panthers):

I saw the Philadelphia Eagles plane at a gate when I got to the airport, but by the time I got to that gate, it was's a picture anyway:

I then decided to sit down in a rocking chair that had a direct view of my gate and work on some projects:
About 11am, I went to the gate and found the flight had been delayed to 12:25, then 1:00, then 1:30pm, then 2:00, then 4:10, then 6:30, then 8:30pm and eventually it was cancelled. While I was waiting, I took this picture:

Think of all of the pairs of feet that have walked this walkway...I know I have at least 25 times...It boggles the mind...amazing.

Around 1pm, the plane that was supposed to take us to Miami arrived, but the airport had closed due to severe weather, so there was no one to attach the little blue cart and pull it into the gate. So, it sat there, with lots of people on it for an hour.

We watched, hoping someone would come, at least to let those poor people off the plane. After an hour, someone did:

After the Miami flight had been delayed to 4:10, I realized I would miss the connection to Dallas from Miami, so I stood in line and called customer service again. While I was on the phone with that representative figuring out my options (I could fly to Chicago, then Dallas; or, I could fly to Memphis and then to Dallas. I told her I'd rather wait for a direct flight to Dallas from Philly, so at least if I was stuck, I was stuck somewhere familiar). No other airlines had seats, while she was checking, a seat opened up on a direct flight to Dallas that was supposed to leave at 5:00, which she said I was confirmed on. She told me to go to the gate and ask for a boarding pass with a seat on it. Every gate in my terminal had a HUGE line of people, all like me, who were stranded and trying to figure things out with ticket agents. It was nuts.

So I got to the counter where my flight was supposed to leave from, and the line was so long I knew I would never be able to get my boarding pass in time to make the flight. I finally walked up to the counter (which I didn't want to do, because it was cutting in front of a bunch of people, but I really wanted to get home and I wouldn't have been able to make that plane if I had stayed in line). The captain of the Philly to Dallas flight saw me and offered to help. After about 15 minutes, they realized that I didn't actually have a confirmed seat. The pilot tried to get me on his flight, but wasn't able to do that. He apologized (this wasn't even his job!) and I was instructed to get in another line that was thankfully shorter. I got up to the desk and tried to explain my day. The lady behind the desk asked me, "Are you Bethany Brown?" I said yes and she said, "I'm so sorry for all you've been through today!" The pilot had told her about the first three cancelled flights, the 800 number representative confirming me on his flight and me not actually getting a seat. She got me (somehow, I really think God intervened here) on a new flight to Dallas that was supposed to leave at 5:45. YAY!

I got on that plane with a bunch of nice other people and even had a window seat (double bonus!). We got to the runway and saw boatloads (would that be planeloads?) of other planes on the runway. The pilot came on and said there were actually 40 planes on the runway waiting to take off and the control tower wouldn't tell him what number we were. While we were in line, this series of really bad thunderstorms came through.
This is kind of a tough picture to decipher. The wing of the plane is coming out to the left, then the runway, a strip of grass, the other runway, and some buildings. The light is the sky, and the dark next to that is the storm. It was nuts (and I grew up in Miami and live in Texas, so I've seen some crazy thunderstorms). At this point, I'm praying that they don't just give up and take us back to the terminal and also that we don't get struck by lightning-being in a metal tube in the storm and all).

Just then, I saw this:

Double rainbow...if you're familiar with the story of Noah, the rainbow was a promise from God. It was awesome & encouraging to see!!!! The whole plane of people were ooh-ing and ah-ing at it. It was really pretty.

After 2 hours or so, the storm passes and we find out we are 5th in line to take off! By this point, I've missed the last flight to Waco from Dallas, but thankfully, Jeff was coming to pick me up in Dallas. The plane took off, people cheered and clapped. The plane landed, people cheered and clapped. Overall, everyone was really friendly and glad to at least get somewhere. It was cool to be with a group of people who, for all the day had brought them, still had a good grip on things and were looking for the bright side.

I got to Dallas, saw Jeff and didn't let go for a while. Then we went back to the car and he handed me a bottle of Dt. Mt. Dew (he's seriously the most thoughtful guy I've ever met). We left the airport for Waco and I actually fell asleep in the car, which I've never been able to do successfully (sorry Jeff!). I got home at 12:30, greeted my kitten, and went to bed. It was a long day.

Here is my collection by the end of the day (after one of the gate agents had taken a couple of my others):

As stressful a day as it was, I did get to see lots of cool things. There was a service man named Jason in the army who was coming back from Iraq for the first time. To see him walk through the doors past security into the waiting arms of his wife, mom, kids and others who had come to greet him was awesome. I admit I teared up thinking how badly I wanted to see Jeff and how this wife probably hadn't seen hers in months, if not a year or more. There were lots of flash bulbs and shouts of "Welcome Home!"

Look at these bubbles, aren't they cool?!
It also made me extremely grateful for all the other times I have traveled and not had any problems.

Many gigantic thank yous go out to the dear friends that got up at 5am to take me to the airport and let me stay with them!! HUGE thank yous also go out to the nice pilot of AA flight #1415 who tried his hardest to get me home, even though it wasn't close to being his job (I gave him a hug- he was awesome). Thanks to the helpful flight attendant, Melissa, and the gate agent who got me home. Thanks to the service men and women who fight for freedom and don't get to see their families for extended periods of time.

I'm also thankful for this guy! (hey, I have to work in an Orbit picture...)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rebekah - now, with video!

Okay, this should be the last of the Rebekah stuff for awhile. Finally got our videos from last weekend uploaded.

Other videos from the visit:
* More Rebekah sleeping
* Hello, Elizabeth!
* Joseph and Aunt Bethany dancing
* Elizabeth dances, too!
* Will Joseph decide to become a Florida Gator?
* Like Father, Like Son

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meeting our new niece

Bethany and I went to Austin Saturday to visit my sister and her family, including meeting our new niece, Rebekah!

More of our photos here, and you can see pics from Kim here. We'll add some video soon, too, for anyone who's interested. Welcome, Rebekah!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rebekah is here!

Monday afternoon, I became an uncle (and Bethany an aunt) for the third time, as my sister welcomed Rebekah Faith Spain into the world. A full 9 pounds! Kim and Rebekah are both doing well; here are some pics if you're interested. And one of the whole family:

Pirate text messaging

Bethany and I both found this too funny not to post. You can't go wrong with a good pirate joke!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th of July - Part Two

A belated Happy Fourth of July, from us -- and the Muppets.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th from the Browns

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!

We hope wherever you are, that you have a good day and are able to celebrate the freedom we have been blessed with. A special thank you to all the men and women in our Armed Forces for all they have done!!!!

I have learned it is a tradition in Texas for families to take pictures in patches of bluebonnets. Since it is a tradition...

Happy Fourth of July!! Enjoy your own traditions!!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hummingbird Sighted!!!

I finally spotted the hummingbird!!! Jeff had seen it before and I saw it for the first time yesterday, but only very briefly...

I wanted to get some pictures, but only managed to get two pictures before it flew away. They are really fuzzy, but at least they are proof!!! (Mom & Dad, Jeff is my elephants or dolphins this time!)

Here is the first picture (you can see it if you look in the middle of the picture, a bit over to the right):

If you look in this picture, it is the brown blob at the top of the picture above the purple flowers:

I'll keep trying to get a better picture, they are fast!!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


My bluebonnets are in bloom!!!!! I found the seeds on clearance at Walmart last year for .10 a pack (didn't think you could buy anything for .10 anymore, did you?), and planted them this spring, and here they are!!!! The process of planting seeds and having them grow may sound like a simple concept to you all, but for someone like me with a decidedly black thumb, it totally made my day.

For those of you who don't know, the bluebonnet is the Texas State flower.

I also have been growing an avocado tree, which seems to be happy. Here are some pictures!

Closer up:

The avocado:

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Star Wars Musical Floppy Disk

I'd forgotten how irritating those noises floppy disks make are (or should I say made and were? I can't remember the last time I used a floppy disk). But this one is definitely a familiar tune.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baylor Proud -- take two

That's what I get for bragging (I guess if you have to preface it the way I did, it probably is bragging, after all) -- the link I provided to the article on Baylor Proud no longer works. Looks like the article got moved into the archives, which requires a subscription.

In the interest of being complete, however, here's a link to the cached version of the article. That should work.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baylor Proud

I hope this doesn't qualify as bragging... but I'm pretty excited about this article.

Baylor Proud is a project we started about a year ago that's been a lot of fun. I do the vast majority of the writing for it. If you're interested, you can bookmark it, sign up for the RSS feed, or sign up to receive a "best of" e-mail every couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Pulitzer Prize submissions - Summer 2008

It occurred to me that I've not yet linked to anything I've written since starting at Baylor Magazine last summer. (It's been almost a year already!!) With the next issue hitting mailboxes this week, here are my two most recent feature contributions:
  • Concerning the Soul -- Baylor's Department of Spiritual Life provides students with opportunities for corporate worship and inspiration, small group Bible study and discipleship, and outlets for local and international missions.
  • First And Four-most -- Women's tennis ace Zuzana Zemenova is the first Big 12 athlete in any sport to be Player of the Year four times.
I do plenty of other editing and writing of small stuff, not to mention countless tweaking of news stories, but those are the main things I wrote from scratch. Since I haven't linked to any other previous stories, here ya go -- bonus Pulitzer submissions!
  • Growing Season -- A look at the Baylor campus past, present and future. This was the cover story, though it was as much "compiled by" as "written by." (Winter '08)
  • Anticipating What's Next -- A one-page sidebar to the "Growing Season" story. (Winter '08)
  • Big Change, Big Results -- An altered pitching motion turned walk-on Nick Cassavechia into an all-American. (Winter '08)
  • Family Matters -- Homecoming is just the beginning of Baylor's efforts to engage alumni. (Fall '07)
  • Ethics In Action -- Character development is key to preparing Baylor students to enter a culture of relativism and situational ethics. (Fall '07)
  • An International Flavor -- Student-athletes from abroad face unique pressures while searching for success in the classroom and on the court. (Fall '07)
  • True to the call -- A decade after its first graduating class and over a century after its namesake helped save Baylor University, George W. Truett Theological Seminary remains committed to preparing ministers and missionaries for worldwide Christian service. (Summer '07)
  • Putting Actions To Words -- Truett Seminary students don't just hear the Word-they do it. A one-page sidebar to "True to the call." (Summer '07)
  • Early Start Good For Baylor -- Track star named top Big 12 freshman after finishing high school in three years. (Summer '07)
I promise you that all these stories look much nicer in the printed magazine than they do online. If you're not getting Baylor Magazine, you can sign up to get it for free here (click on Subscribe near the top).

Happy reading!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A memorable Astros game on Memorial Day Weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend, we were blessed to be able to attend an Astros game in the best possible seats -- the Diamond Club -- thanks to one of Jeff's college roommates (who, with his wife, also attended the game with us -- thanks guys!).

Here's the view from our seats (click on the picture for a bigger version; that's Lance Berkman at bat there):

Also, video of the view from our seats here. It's pretty amazing -- you get a parking pass with the seats where you park about 25 feet from the door. You go in a special entrance and down some stairs to the Diamond Club restaurant, which has a variety of pretty fancy foods set up buffet-style (steak kabobs, 40-clove chicken, baked potatoes, salad bar, etc.) as well as typical ballpark food (nachos, fried chicken, hot dogs, popcorn, etc.) and a dessert bar (ice cream, cookies, cake and more). Oh, and did I mention it's all included in the price of the ticket? So, we ate with our friends and then went out to the seats for the game. (They also had waitresses out where we sat who came by every 30 minutes or so to see if we needed anything.)

Bethany could not stop raving about the grilled asparagus they had at dinner. She went back for more, turning down the dessert bar for more vegetables. [Bethany says: It was very tasty -- hands down the best asparagus I've ever had. Sorry, Mom.]

We had some pretty good seats in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, but these were even better than those. Our seats were in the ninth row; Astros owner (and Baylor alum!) Drayton McLane was directly in front of us in the first row.

Oh, and to top off the evening, the Astros won (beating the Phillies, who many of our PA friends root for) 4-3. In the 9th, with the Astros up by one and one out, the Phillies loaded the bases with Shane Victorino up (all-stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on deck). Victorino hit a medium-depth flyball to left field that defensive replacement Darin Erstad caught for the second out. The runner from third, Pedro Feliz, tried to tag up and score, but Erstad's throw to the plate had him dead to rights and he was out to end the game. And we had the best seats in the house to see the play at the plate. (Watch video of the play here.)

So, here's the happy couple after the game:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Man's Poison: 5/14/08

It's been way too long since my last post of this sort to include all the great links I've found, so I'll just include my favorites.

Comparing versions of the Bible to G.I. Joe characters -- this comes from a hilarious site called Stuff Christians Like.

Marital Rating Scale -- Does your wife "fail to sew on buttons or darn regularly?" Are the "seams in her hose often crooked"? Does she "wear red nail polish?" If so, she'd have probably flunked this test from the '50s. Wow.

Working NES controller coffee table -- I have to admit, there's a part of me that really thinks this is cool. Also, this lamp.

What kids are reading these days (PDF) -- Pretty interesting list based on a survey, broken down by grade. I can't imagine reading even the beginning Harry Potter books in 1st grade.

Store Wars -- I don't necessarily buy their message about organic foods, but this Star Wars parody is well done. Darth Tater? Obi-Wan Cannoli? Chewbroccoli? Nice.

Super Mario Bros. theme performed by an RC car on a row of liquid-filled bottles -- I'm a sucker for variations on my favorite video game themes.

Incoming Baylor freshman featured on ABC -- The girl's fighting cancer, and her request from Make-A-Wish was money to start an orphanage in Kenya.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Awesome Song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have to admit, I've become a huge fan of Jessie Daniels. She is from New York (what's not to love about that?), has this great rock sound with a twinge of pop that I really like, and she writes her own songs. Best of all, she incorporates messages of her faith into her music.

One of her songs that I really like and has resonated with me is called "Stand Out". I feel like if I could ever write a song, this is pretty much what I would want to say. Here are the lyrics:

You're staring in the mirror and your looking back at me
Somehow you've replaced yourself and don't like what you see
You've been a slave for far too long to what other people think
So you bend and you break and you lose along the way
What once was beautiful I want to

Stand out
I wanna stand tall
I wanna be myself even if it means
I won't fit in at all
I wanna be real
I wanna be me
Cause everything I am is who I'm meant to be
I was meant to be free

Why are we so quick to hide originality
We try and try to fit inside a false reality
We're all the same when it comes to putting on the face
and its such a shame
Oh its such a waste
Cause what makes us beautiful
Is what makes us


We are we are beautiful
We are we are beautiful

I just flew in and boy, am I tired!

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. It was a really great experience for me to go and talk to lots of people about our product. The best part was meeting some clients in person for the first time who I have long thought of as friends because we have talked for years on the phone. There were three of us there in our booth and we had a good time. Here are some pics (forgive me for the fact that they were taken with the cell phone camera-if you click on the picture, it should enlarge it in a separate window)!!

As I was packing, Orbit decided to stage a sit-in protest...

Which then turned into a sleep-in protest...

Our hotel room in Denver had a great view of the Colorado Rockies Stadium (yes, I am well trained...) and beyond that were the actual Rockies!!!

Mountains at Sunset (just for you Mom & Dad!)...

This was our booth...

And the exhibit hall where we met for the conference...I love the bear trying to get in!!!

So that was a snapshot of my time in Denver!

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Fun Things from our Backyard: The Art of Camouflage

Here's an example of where camouflage didn't quite work (Orbit really just wanted to double check the batting average for Biggio in his 1989 rookie year):

This one, on the other hand, is a big tougher...Can you spot the camouflaged critter in this picture?

Did you see him/her??

I almost didn't...Ok, here's the back-story. We had a pretty severe thunderstorm Wednesday night and I was walking around the backyard during my lunch break on Thursday and heard a rustling right next to me. I looked at the tree beside me and saw this little critter. It was one of the larger lizards I have ever seen in my lifetime (and if you know my family, that's saying something), and I'm really tempted to think it might be my first real-live-in-the-"wild" horned frog sighting. I really love having a yard!!!!!

Here he/she is closer up:

UPDATE: I received a tip from a reliable familial source that this is the Texas Spiny Lizard, so not a horned frog, but still very cool. Have a great day!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Updating with photo albums

As promised, here is a link to the photo gallery from Poppa and Momma E's visit last week.

Also, here is a bonus photo album -- two for the price of one!! -- with some pics from our LifeGroup whiffleball game a couple of weeks ago. You know, the one that left me sore because I'm old and out of shape, according to Internet voting.

Happy picture viewing!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun Things From Our Backyard: Rare Species Edition

Last week, we had the opportunity to host Poppa and Momma E (Poppa E's first time to see our house in Waco!). We went to the zoo, toured Baylor's campus, took in a couple of ballgames, and visited the Mayborn Museum. It was fun times!

Towards the end of their stay, Momma E spotted a rare moth in our backyard. It is known as a "luna moth," because it flies at night. (If you've seen the Lunesta commercials, this is the moth they portray.) We were really excited to find it hanging out in our backyard!

Presenting, the ultra-rare luna moth, as found in our backyard!

More pics from their visit to come -- stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What do you think?

Is it a problem that I feel sore two days after playing an hour of whiffleball?
Yes - it means you are old, old, old.
Yes - it means you are incredibly out of shape.
Yes - it means you are old AND out of shape.
No - how could a physical specimen like you be out of shape, much less old? You must have slept wrong or something.
Free polls from

At least I kept my ERA perfect. That's more than Roy Oswalt can say after his Opening Day outing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Baylor men's basketball

Plenty of fun Baylor men's basketball stuff over at Baylor Proud -- photos from the selection show and even some video that might give you an idea of the atmosphere at the Ferrell Center during the show.

And just to prove Bethany and I were there... Here's a screen capture from the selection show on CBS; the red arrow points to my head, and Bethany is just to my left (my right, as you look at this picture).

Here's a photo from the event; the arrow again points to me. (You can click on the picture to see a bigger version.) Sadly, my beautiful better half is hidden behind the poster.

Thursday at 1:45 p.m. CT! CBS! Let's go, Bears -- sic the Boilermakers!