Monday, December 15, 2008

11 Failed Beer Styles

  1. Gruel Stout
  2. Twice-Baked Lager
  3. Turbo-Pilsner
  4. Steam Beer That Is Still Really Hot
  5. Stale Ale
  6. Dry-Humped APA
  7. Luxembourg Gray
  8. Lambicarbonate of Soda
  9. Insect Pale Ale
  10. Bud Light With Brown Food Coloring Irish Stout
  11. Hefvergnügen
By Toon, Lydon, Norman & Rutledge

Monday, November 24, 2008

And Now for Part Two...

Journey: Personal - I know, I know...I'm long overdue with my response to Quantum of Solace. There have been a lot of criticism and poo-pooing in the media that QoS is thin in plot, humor, etc. That it's not Casino Royale. My response to that is "Well, Duh!!" (in my best Jeff Foxworthy voice).

Of course it's not Casino Royale. Is it as good on it's own as Casino Royale, no. Let's face it. Casino Royale was a very hard act to follow. But QoS should be viewed as CR part 2. The beginning takes place literally just a few hours after the previous movie ended. And here Bond is searching for answers and Vespers killers. It is more brooding and introspective because of what Bond is going through. Without CR there could have been no QoS. Watch them back to back, it's one great ride.

Take out your copy of Casino Royale or rent it, watch it and then go straight to the theater and see Quantum of Solace. You'll see what I mean.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, that a gun in your pocket or...oh, it IS a gun..

Journey: Vicarious Adventure - OK, I'm definitely going tomorrow.

Check out this exciting review. Very different from the reviews that have been floating around about how bad the movie is. I'll be there as early as I can tomorrow.
Movie Review: Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What's that title again?

Journey: Living Though Movies - I can't help it, I can hardly wait...

After the great "Casino Royale" a couple of years ago, I've been waiting for this one. 

Anyone care to meet me at the theater?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Jesus Bring the Rain...

Journey: Personal - We're just not catching the very outer north-east of Ike. Before all is said and done, we might end up with more rain than we did for Gustav. We definitely got the better of that deal. It's been windy today but it was a hot damp wind. I'm glad for the rain.

Snapshot 2008-09-12 17-53-33.jpg

The tension hasn't been as bad for obvious. But I'm still surprised of how many people are clueless. I was in a local eating establishment today when I heard the wait-person say "I heard it a hurricane was coming to Louisiana", with kind of a "whatever" look on her face. It was probably just as well.

I think God today. I think Him that I didn't come to us. I thank Him that Ike weakened as it approached and won't be so strong. I think Him for a strong house that is not effected by the winds. There is just so much to be thankful for.


Monday, September 01, 2008


Journey: Personal - In less than twelve hours it's all over. It's amazing that we never lost power. And we never lost cable television. Well, actually we did but not until after Gustav passed. I wouldn't have really cared except I was looking forward to watching the season premiere of Prison Break.

So all that's left is the cleanup. And there's enough of that. Take a look.



So the danger is over. Now comes the sweat.

Thank you, Lord, for your incredible blessings, love and grace.


Journey: Personal - So far it's been almost boring. But now the center is approaching, and it won't be boring any longer. The worst winds are close. It's still better than they predicted but it's still bad.
Snapshot 2008-09-01 13-23-06.jpg

We still have power but its flickering. We may loose it all together soon. I'll keep Twittering (klcheshire) and FBing as long as I can.

It won't be too much longer now and Gustav will be history for us. Then there are the poor people that have to deal with all the rains and flooding when it's in its tropical storm mode.

I'm starting to pray about Hanna and my friends in Florida now. Remember, keep the focus on God.

Somebody's Knocking

Journey: Personal - Well here we go.
Monday 835am.jpg

It was a very quiet night. Got nothing from the outer bands at all. I checked several times and it wasn't even windy.

So I'm guessing all of that is getting ready to change. I just went outside and stole Tim's newspaper (way to go paperboy) and felt very small droplets of water, but nothing steady.

I still hear someone hammering at something in the next neighborhood over. I quickly showered and filled the new tub with water. What a way to see how the drain stopper works.

I'm a little nervous but otherwise at peace. I continue to focus on God and His incredible love and mercy on me. Even in the worst case and I should loose any- to everything, I continue to be blessed beyond by deserving.

To all of my friends praying, thank you. I strongly believe it is helping. Continue to pray that God continues the refinement of my spirit, mind and body. I love you all.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. - Isaiah 43

Forgive that each post now sounds like it's the last one. I just never know which one is before I loose power. :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Riders on the Storm

Journey: Personal - As I write this New Orleans is getting the first wave of the outer bands of Gustav. Earlier, at 6:15pm, we got the first rumblings of thunder and the wind started picking up.


There's been a lot of good news since my last post and this is probably my last before I loose power. The storm is weakening some and it sped up. All good for us. It'll still hit as a Cat 3 but better than the 4 or 5 some were predicting. So it's going to be intense, but will turn out ok.

Last night by the time I went to bed I was very uncertain about my decision to stay and ride it out. No, that's not exactly right. I was certain about the decision but felt uneasy about the situation. Of course there is an overall level of anxiety in the air all through the city. The hurricane is all everyone is talking about.

So this morning, since there wasn't a mandatory evacuation order, we had worship at church. I got up and did my usual thing. Of course our numbers were much lower than usual. But we worshiped. We worshiped good. We sang, laughed, prayed and focused on God instead of Gustav. It wasn't long before I wasn't even thinking about Gustav. Chris preached on worry. And it was some mighty fine preaching, too.

I was reminded how much fear I have in my life. Some of the fear is larger than others. Some are relatively new, some are as old as I can remember. Arguably most are unfounded in reality and maybe even completely irrational. I've made some progress on some. Some lie dormant for years, all but completely forgotten, only to rear up suddenly when I least expect it.

Categorically, many of the fears are insecurities. In speaking with some friends, they tell me that I give off exactly the opposite impression. That started in college. It was a time for me to "reinvent" myself. The me that I wanted people to see was confident, wise and secure in myself. The me that was on the inside was scared, doubtful and afraid of failure.

But God is working on me. He's trying to teach me not to be afraid. He's trying to teach me to trust. I'm getting there. This morning was a strong lesson. When there is something I am afraid of, the way I give it up to Him is to focus completely on Him. Blindingly all on Him. Sometimes that means prayer or worship. Other times it means focusing on Him through service to others. I'm not good at the serving others part. At least outside of the church. And what keeps me from being better at it is my insecurities and self centeredness.

Lord, break through my stubborn, sinful nature. Do what you need to to teach me. Put me up against a hurricane or worse yet, my own fears and insecurities.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and He will direct your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tom Petty, Get Outta My Head

Journey: Personal - At the point we're about 40 hours from the meat of Gustav. All of the models say it's headed straight for us. In chatting with friends in Florida, they're feeling the outer bands of it. It has gotten bigger.


Looking at this radar shows how much difference a little distance east or west can make. It's just now coming onshore of Cuba and already the models are starting to change.

What is that? You say you hear something? Sounds like "whistling in the dark"? Well, may be but that's going to turn into whistling in the wind. Yeah, Yeah, I may change my mind tomorrow. But that's tomorrow. But I do think if I left I'd worry more.

But right now I can't get that song from Tom Petty out of my head, "the waiting is the hardest part."

Thank God we have worship in the morning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Watching & Waiting

Journey: Personal - It doesn't seem like it's been three years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But now we sit in a similar state: watching and waiting to see what Gustav is going to do. It still won't hit land until probably four or five days from now but everyone is watching so closely.

I don't remember waiting in nervous anticipation of hurricanes growing up in Florida. The good Lord knows we got 'em. I also don't remember ever evacuating for one. Crawfordville was close enough to the coast to feel the mighty power of the storm but far enough that storm surge was not an issue. The same is here. We lost one really old roof several years ago, which was actually a blessing. It needed replacing and the insurance deductible was cheeper than a new roof. It think that was Lily.

Gretchen and I talked about our plans this morning. Without too much detail we agree that if it's really bad that she'll go inland. But unless there is a mandatory evacuation notice, I think I'm going to stay here. I guess it's the "guy" in me that wants to stay on the homestead. Like there's something I can do.

But I continue to pray. I pray that somehow that Gustav will do as little damage as possible. I pray that we will be spared the worst of it without somehow wishing it on someone else. But I especially pray for ears to hear what He wants me to do in this situation as well and daily. I think hearing has always been my weakness. Or maybe it's just the interpretation of what I'm hearing.

Anyway, I've changed the anthem in worship for Sunday. I'm going to sing Casting Crowns' "Praise You in This Storm". God's peace and protection be with us all.

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen",
and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Lord, You are the God of the Storm. Amen, and Amen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

He does exist...

Journey: Spiritual - Pastor Daniel Hixon has a blog called Gloria Deo: Wesleyan-glican ramblings. In this blog he discusses various timely issues on the state of the church as a whole as well and the United Methodist Church. I have thoroughly enjoyed his posts.

Daniel has two receint posts dealing with spirits, Satan and exorcism within the United Methodist Church that is fascinating and important. It speaks to many concerns I've had for several years. I recommend reading them before continuing.

As time goes by C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters become less humorous and more frightening. These days it hits a little too close to home. I am a life long Methodist and have been concerned about our middle-of-the-road stance on too many issues. Once speaking with my formerly Roman Catholic wife, we were talking about her sisters fascination with "haunted" B&Bs. I told her that I would have nothing to do with it. She said that maybe because her sister was Catholic that she believe more in the "supernatural." I told her it was BECAUSE I believe in the spirit world that I don't want to have anything to do with them. Either placed like those are hoaxes or they're not. If they're not and there are spirits there, they are not benevolent. They are of Satan and are evil. Satan downplays things to make them seem harmless and curiosities. They are a trap. He does this in many ways in our culture.

Going back to my wife's comment, it told me the perception of Methodists. That we don't believe in the spirit world. And on a whole we don't. We're too busy trying to get the middle-of-the-roaders in our doors. And that means once they're in here, we don't want to do anything to upset them or to scare them off.

But I do believe in spirits. I believe there is a huge battle being fought all around us. And when we pray, we send angels into this battle on our and God's behalf. When we are tempted to sin, there are spirit forces at work. When we rebuke sin, it is a spiritual victory for us.

The devil is real. He/she is attractive, otherwise there would be no temptation. But Satan is cleaver in the most subtile of ways. And that's where he trips me up. It's with the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or the McDonald's french fries. The BMW or new golf clubs doesn't do it for me (please disregard my previous posts about the iPhone - ooops).

Keep your eyes, physical and spiritual, open and alert.

Thanks Daniel, for reminding us again, it's not about us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sucking it Up

Journey: Manhood - This week I'm taking a "stay-cation." I am devoting a hugh portion of the week cleaning my "home office." This is a project that is so long overdue as to cause marital strife.

Why do I have so much trouble doing things like this? After all, I love it when it's nice and clean. I think a big part of my trouble is I have a hard time throwing things away. So I don't have a problem with putting things in their place, it's just that they don't have places.

So I'm sucking it up on this vacation time to be responsible. I must look towards the heavenly (and marital) rewards.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Geek

Journey: Geek - Ok, I'm feeling particularly geeky these days. Yes, I got my iPhone 3G, and yes, I was 10th in line of about 70 or so people. Now I'm blogging from my iPhone. It's sad and cool at the same time. Now I can sit in "another room" and blog away. Yeah, like I really do A LOT if blogging. But like most Geek motivations, "because I can" seems to be the reason.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Time Machine 1

Journey: The Past - I continue to add and communicate with people from my high school class on Facebook. I think we're up to 35 now. Many of them I have very little memory of because we traveled in different social circles. But I at least recognize the names. Some have been great enough to post pictures. What I need to do is find my yearbook from senior year. That will be my best reminder.

And I need to do that before the end of September. I have made all of the arrangements but one for Gretchen and I to meet many of them on a three day cruise out of Orlando. Gretch and I need to get away anyway. This will be a great way to do it.

So, before then, I need to find my yearbook and the two of us sit down and I'll bore her with a bunch of stories. 

Journey: Geek - 8 days and 19 hours till iPhone3g!! I'm so excited!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Memories, light the corners...

Journey: Personal - This weekend is my 30th high school reunion.I have a little trouble wrapping my mind around that. It's also been 22 years since graduated Florida Southern College. Anyway, this has prompted me to get in contact with some of the old crew. One of the ways I have been doing that is through Facebook.

It has been a wonderful tool not only for tracking down old classmates but relatives too. I found Mitch Wesley, my last remaining relative on my mother's side of the family. I also found Matt Champagne, whom I last saw in New York City, someplace in the midwest.

Originally I got into Facebook just as a social giggle at church. I took all of the Covenant emails I had on my home computer and sent invitations to join. I then created a page for Covenant. By now dozens have joined and many of us have a great time. Slowly, I'm adding high school and college friends too.

I won't be able to attend the reunion this weekend. But I'll be there in spirit and I'm marking the 40th down on my iCal right now.

The Heat is On

Journey: Technical - O Happy Day!!! One of the two announcements that I've been waiting for is here. Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone3G.

As the ad says. "Twice the speed at half the price". All I need to do is decide if I want it in white or black. I think I'll stick with white. Now do I need it. Yes and no. No in that I have a cell phone. Yes in that it is sooo cooooll. Several times I almost bought one over the last year.

This will allow me to finally integrate the way I've wanted to. Now all of my contacts, calendars and even emails will be portable.

Apple didn't, however, announce the upgrades on the MacBooks. I was hoping they would and I could get one of the new ones before going to the worship leader conference in Austin next month. I guess it may be a Christmas gift.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Now What?

Journey: Manhood - Now that the 24 week course of Men's Fraternity: The Search of Authentic Manhood is over, now what?

Now is the day to day application of what I learned. Some of it is easier than other parts. There are several things that will take time to implement. There are some things that I have to re-learn. For instance, when am I being accommodating and when am I being passive? How can I tell the difference? For instance, when is letting my wife have her way about something actually being passive and I shouldn't do it? This is going to be very rough for me. It's not that I don't want to do it, I'm just having a difficult time understanding the subtleties of it all.

I think I have a handle on the mother issues. That was easier. I may go overboard on the boundaries and demand issues, but that's to be expected. I cannot make her happy.

In the fall we'll offer the course again. This time at two separate times, Sunday evening and Tuesday mornings. I'm really hoping that we can get a lot of guys to sign up. Because next year I want to do the second series, Men's Fraternity: Winning at Work and Home. Wish me luck this summer.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

Journey: Personal - I am not, repeat, not looing forward to the summer. It makes me wish I would take a winter job in Greenland or Alaska or someplace that's not hot and sticky. Praise God I have a job that has air-conditioning.

But there are some good things also. I have the National Worship Leader Conference coming up in July (unfortunately in Austin so no break from the heat there) and a vacation somewhere in there if I can only decide what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll wait and take it in September when it might be cooler.

On other fronts, I lately I have been playing around with Facebook. And quite a few Covenant people have gotten on too. I've even found a long-lost relative, a friends over seas and the "girl" I got my first real kiss from in high school. However I have to fight the urge to spend too much time on it.

So, summer, here we go. I vow to keep up with this blog.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Approaching the End

Journey: Manhood - This is such an amazing, life changing ride. Since my last post we have finally reached the Biblical definition of a man. And it is really unbelievable. It is an incredible responsibility that I never realized. I never realized how drastic and all encompassing it is. It is a level of committment that I think most men would reject if they truly understood it. But the rewards are heavenly, not earthly.

I think the most difficult part of it is that I must disregard my feelings. That has been the single hang-up in taking all of this in. That has been my biggest problem. My entire downfall has been from acting on what I was feeling or not feeling about specific things.

There are four more weeks in the program and the next two sessions are about the marriage relationship. I'm really excited about it. The extent of all of this is so new. Now that I have the Biblical basis and the Godly promises behing it all, I think I can really do it and do it well. I'll stumble and make mistakes, but I'm going to make it.