Archive for January, 2010

Carrie and I were actually talking about this the other day and I read this list today from Wired Magazine. Some I don’t even understand but some are quite good.

There are some things in this world that will never be forgotten, this week’s 40th anniversary of the moon landing for one. But Moore’s Law and our ever-increasing quest for simpler, smaller, faster and better widgets and thingamabobs will always ensure that some of the technology we grew up with will not be passed down the line to the next generation of geeks.

That is, of course, unless we tell them all about the good old days of modems and typewriters, slide rules and encyclopedias …

Photo Credit: makelessnoise via flickrPhoto credit: makelessnoise via flickr

Audio-Visual Entertainment

  1. Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.
  2. Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.
  3. Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo. See what happens when you give a Walkman to today’s teenager.
  4. The number of TV channels being a single digit. I remember it being a massive event when Britain got its fourth channel.
  5. Standard-definition, CRT TVs filling up half your living room.
  6. Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.
  7. High-speed dubbing.
  8. 8-track cartridges.
  9. Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.
  10. Betamax tapes.
  11. MiniDisc.
  12. Laserdisc: the LP of DVD.
  13. Scanning the radio dial and hearing static between stations. (Digital tuners + HD radio b0rk this concept.)
  14. Shortwave radio.
  15. 3-D movies meaning red-and-green glasses.
  16. Watching TV when the networks say you should. Tivo and Sky+ are slowing killing this one.
  17. That there was a time before ‘reality TV.’
  18. Computers and Videogaming

  19. Wires. OK, so they’re not gone yet, but it won’t be long
  20. The scream of a modem connecting.
  21. The buzz of a dot-matrix printer
  22. 5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.
  23. Using jumpers to set IRQs.
  24. DOS.
  25. Terminals accessing the mainframe.
  26. Screens being just green (or orange) on black.
  27. Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.
  28. Daisy chaining your SCSI devices and making sure they’ve all got a different ID.
  29. Counting in kilobytes.
  30. Wondering if you can afford to buy a RAM upgrade.
  31. Blowing the dust out of a NES cartridge in the hopes that it’ll load this time.
  32. Turning a PlayStation on its end to try and get a game to load.
  33. Joysticks.
  34. Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.
  35. Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.
  36. Recording a song in a studio.
  37. Photo credit: ghbrett via flickrPhoto credit: ghbrett via flickr

    The Internet

  38. NCSA Mosaic.
  39. Finding out information from an encyclopedia.
  40. Using a road atlas to get from A to B.
  41. Doing bank business only when the bank is open.
  42. Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.
  43. Phone books and Yellow Pages.
  44. Newspapers and magazines made from dead trees.
  45. Actually being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.
  46. Filling out an order form by hand, putting it in an envelope and posting it.
  47. Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.
  48. Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.
  49. Archie searches.
  50. Gopher searches.
  51. Concatenating and UUDecoding binaries from Usenet.
  52. Privacy.
  53. The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.
  54. Correct spelling of phrases, rather than TLAs.
  55. Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.
  56. The time before botnets/security vulnerabilities due to always-on and always-connected PCs
  57. The time before PC networks.
  58. When Spam was just a meat product — or even a Monty Python sketch.
  59. Gadgets

  60. Typewriters.
  61. Putting film in your camera: 35mm may have some life still, but what about APS or disk?
  62. Sending that film away to be processed.
  63. Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.
  64. CB radios.
  65. Getting lost. With GPS coming to more and more phones, your location is only a click away.
  66. Rotary-dial telephones.
  67. Answering machines.
  68. Using a stick to point at information on a wallchart
  69. Pay phones.
  70. Phones with actual bells in them.
  71. Fax machines.
  72. Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.
  73. Everything Else

  74. Taking turns picking a radio station, or selecting a tape, for everyone to listen to during a long drive.
  75. Remembering someone’s phone number.
  76. Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.
  77. Actually going down to a Blockbuster store to rent a movie.
  78. Toys actually being suitable for the under-3s.
  79. LEGO just being square blocks of various sizes, with the odd wheel, window or door.
  80. Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.
  81. Relying on the 5-minute sport segment on the nightly news for baseball highlights.
  82. Neat handwriting.
  83. The days before the nanny state.
  84. Starbuck being a man.
  85. Han shoots first.
  86. “Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.” But they’ve already seen episode III, so it’s no big surprise.
  87. Kentucky Fried Chicken, as opposed to KFC.
  88. Trig tables and log tables.
  89. “Don’t know what a slide rule is for …”
  90. Finding books in a card catalog at the library.
  91. Swimming pools with diving boards.
  92. Hershey bars in silver wrappers.
  93. Sliding the paper outer wrapper off a Kit-Kat, placing it on the palm of your hand and clapping to make it bang loudly. Then sliding your finger down the silver foil to break off the first finger
  94. A Marathon bar (what a Snickers used to be called in Britain).
  95. Having to manually unlock a car door.
  96. Writing a check.
  97. Looking out the window during a long drive.
  98. Roller skates, as opposed to blades.
  99. Cash.
  100. Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.
  101. Spending your entire allowance at the arcade in the mall.
  102. Omni Magazine
  103. A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.
  104. When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

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I am currently reading the book Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian and enjoying it. He opens up the book talking about his family and how he was raised. As I was reading, one sentence (one word actually) jumped out at me and got me thinking:

“The Christianity they cultivated in our family was joyful, warm, inviting, hospitable, and REAL, not legalistic or oppressive.”


Are you real:

In the way you treat others

In the way you treat your spouse

In the way you parent

In the way you love others

In your relationship with Christ

Do your kids see a sinner in need of a savior or do they see someone who is putting up a front.

What do your kids see in you?

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My daughter loves to scroll through pictures on our phones. The other day she was scrolling through and saw this picture. How do I know this? Because our verbal two year old asked me why I had my shirt off. Seeing this picture makes me think that I need to have a personal Biggest Loser competition. This picture was taken at Kings Island in Cincinnati. We took our two boys there for my oldest sons 11th birthday. We had a blast. Even though it was summer, it happened to be a chilly day at the park. The temperature made for a great day until we made the decision to ride the water ride. This particular ride offers you a 100% chance of getting wet. Since I was going to be freezing anyway, I thought I would take the chance to mark a moment. There was NO line for this particular ride (maybe because the water was freezing). You did not have to get off if you didn’t want to (and we chose not to). I wanted the boys to remember this day so I suggested that we ride with our shirts off. The boys were instantly excited (probably because their bodies are in much better shape than dear old dad)! We got on the ride, took our shirts off and threw them off to the side. The other people gave us a few looks but we did not care. As you can see from the picture, it made for a fun moment. I vaguely remember almost puking on a bunch of rides, but I know that I will never forget that time. It was a chance to give my boys a moment to remember and I am so glad we did it. Take the initiative to mark moments with your kids. They might make you look a bit foolish in the eyes of the world, but I guarantee you that it will make a memory in your kid’s lives that they will not forget. Be creative, be intentional and enjoy the ride.

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My Father had knee replacement surgery yesterday. He made it out like a champ. For those of you who don’t know my dad, he is incredible. He is the most fit, in shape, healthy individual I know. Years of football and exercise had worn his knee out and he finally made the decision to get it replaced. As I was waiting for him to get out of surgery, I was thinking back on the impact he has made on my life. He has loved me through my good times and bad. He has modeled love and compassion for me. I am blessed to have him as my father (even if we are polar opposites in regards to being fit, diet and everything else healthy). After surgery yesterday his doctor, who happens to be a friend, came out and shared with us that his old knee was really banged up and in bad shape. His knee had taken a beating. He also said that this new knee, after significant rehab, would make him a new man. As he was telling us this, my thoughts went to Romans 8:18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” The sufferings that we go through at this present time are insignificant in comparison to eternity in heaven with Christ Jesus. We might be banged up, in pain, or going through situations that we view as difficult. But just wait. Just wait. Wait and know that our life is to be lived with eternity in mind. A time when there will be no pain. A time that will be solely focused on the glory of God. On a cold snowy day in Memphis, that’s something to get excited about.

Thanks dad for a life well lived and a knee that showed me the gospel!

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Yes, I know. What a cute picture. Don’t let the cute exterior fool you! You might be asking why I would say this. Well, here’s the story:

Part of my job, in addition to being chaplain at PDS, is to coach after school sports. We have a great intramural program and it is a great way to establish closer relationships with our students. I was coaching an intramural basketball game yesterday when the fire alarm went off. All of the teams playing and their parents were sent out into the Memphis cold (somewhere around 15 degrees yesterday). You know where this is going don’t you. I find out that it was indeed my lovely 2 year old daughter that had pulled the fire alarm. She was watching the game with Carrie and Bennett and obviously thought the red box was quite appealing. Either that or she knew my team was losing and tried to put the other team in the deep freeze! Needless to say, I have been given a little grief over this one by my friends and co-workers. As I was thinking about this today, I realized how cool and calm I actually was when I found out that is was our child who pulled the alarm. That is only the power of Christ in my life. A few years ago, my reaction would have been different (my oldest could tell you that). After reading for the second time a great book by Dr. Tim Kimmel, called Grace Based Parenting, God has really been working on my heart. I am so thankful that God doesn’t act that way when I mess things up. I pull the fire alarm multiple times every day in my life. I am so thankful to serve a God of grace, love and mercy. As we start off the new year, my prayer is that our homes are full of grace! May your kids see a picture of Christ’s love in how you act and react.

Question of the day to you parents: What is the most embarrassing thing your child has done in public? Looking forward to some answers!

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I have been working on a huge project at PDS and have been unable to blog for quite sometime. I am finally at a place where I can begin to blog again. My first goal is to blog with much more frequency. My second goal is to make sure that I give more attention to resources such as books, blogs, and parent events. I want to give you resources that do not necessarily focus on parenting as a topic but will help you become a better parent. That being said, my first blog entry is a book review. Many of you know Mark Batterson, but if not you can find his blog here. He is a great author with the ability to use simple language in a powerful way.  I thoroughly enjoyed his first two books and this one is no different. His “quest for the lost soul of Christianity” is both convicting and empowering. Here are some of the highlights for me:

  • At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for.
  • Four primal elements detailed by Jesus in the Great Commandment: compassion, wonder, curiosity, energy.
  • Does your heart break for the things that break the heart of God?
  • It is a sad commentary that Christians are often viewed as heartless.
  • Your reactions really reveal what is in your heart.
  • Inaction is not an option because the compassion of Christ is the driving motivation of our lives.
  • Faith equals God-ordained risks in the face of fear.
  • Loving God with all of our soul means a soul full of wonder, a soul flooded with the glory of God, a soul awed by beauty and mystery, a soul that hallows God above all else.
  • A relationship with Christ doesn’t always change our circumstances, but it does change the way we see ourselves, see others, and see God.
  • Reading gives breadth to our understanding of Scripture, but meditation gives it depth.
  • One of the biggest mistakes we have made in Christendom is equating knowledge acquisition.
  • God doesn’t just want to speak to you through Scripture; He wants to speak through you.
  • Holy curiosity asks the tough questions, the honest questions, the questions everyone else is afraid to ask.
  • The quest for the lost soul of Christianity is about rediscovering our creative birthright.
  • The church ought to be the most creative place on the planet.
  • Loving God with all your strength means expending tremendous amounts of energy for kingdom causes.
  • The promptings of the Holy Spirit won’t always make sense to your logical left brain.
  • Those who follow in the footsteps of Christ ought to be the most passionate people on the planet.
  • When you descend the flight of stairs into the soul of Christianity and everything is stripped away but its primal essence, what you’re left with is the Great Commandment.
  • Simply put, we’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment.

You will be given many recommendations for books this upcoming year. I suggest you move this book to the top of your list. Make it the first book, other than the Bible, that you read this year. You can buy it here. It will take you back to the heart of Christianity. It is well worth the journey.

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