Props to DSW Shoes

Designer Shoe Warehouse: I’ve never been to one. I don’t even know where one is. But I may have to figure it out between now and Christmas. Props to DSW for leading the “no shopping on Thanksgiving” movement.



Thanksgiving Day 2013 – I spent two hours in a Walmart Supercenter buying a cheap coffee maker. We needed one and at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night they went on sale. I bought a Black & Decker 12 pot programmable coffee maker for the low low price of $9.44. And two hours of my life. It took about 15 minutes to get the product in hand and another hour and 45 minutes to check out. It was a sea of people you cannot imagine unless you have been there and done that. Two words: never again.

Macy’s has announced their stores will open at 6 p.m. this year and other big retailers will soon follow suit. The sad reality is that many of us will pat DSW and others on the back for not opening that day and then go to some other store’s big sale! The only way to successfully send a message to retailers that we as a society do not want them to open on Thanksgiving Day is for record numbers of people not to shop on that day. And it’s not going to happen. Too many people will feel they are missing out and their neighbor is out there stealing all the sweet deals. Still, props to DSW and others like them.

My family will stay in that night. The coffee maker has been great and all but I’m not willing to pay the cost, if you know what I mean. I miss the old days when we took a day to thank God for all that we had before trampling each other the next day to get more.

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New Weatherdog Not Working Out

I’ve never had any issues working with dogs. Van Til came on as editor and has been doing a jam up job with Happy Monday. Mike Sobel, television weatherman in Edmonton, Canada, isn’t having the same luck. Ripple, a very large mastiff-shepherd mix, is not an intern but a local guest from the humane society hoping to be adopted. Sobel is great sport and we hope Ripple finds a home soon.

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Very Warm Chocolate

cocoa cupIf you come to our house anytime between the first of October and the last of February I can promise you two things: there will be hot chocolate and hot apple cider. For Johannah’s sake I buy hot cocoa mix with little marshmallows in it. By the time I add hot water and stir the marshmallows completely dissolve but Johannah couldn’t possibly drink hers that hot anyway. She enjoys more of a very warm chocolate, and with marshmallows since they don’t melt in her cup.

I can promise one other thing. In our house we say marsh mellons. At least my half of we does ;-)

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A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to One Million Views

up trendI never set out to author two blogs. It’s a long story, click here if you’ve never heard it before. At any rate, as the blogoversary of The Master’s Table drew came around in May I was watching the stats pretty closely to see if the combined total of both blogs would hit the one million mark. Technically they still don’t, but wait, it gets even more complicated.

The total page views of The Master’s Table is 560, 372. The total for My Other Blog is 434,731. Adding those number will give you a total approximately 5,000 short of the magic number we’re looking for. But… I started a project called Bible Survey a few years ago that fell by the wayside. The site is still active and gets a few hits everyday, even though the last post was made over two years ago. The current total for Bible Survey stands at 7,141 and BAM! The total number of page views/hits for all blogs I author is 1,002,244! 

I’m not obsessed with numbers but it is something of a milestone. And that number must be taken with a grain of salt. Those are views and not unique visitors. So loyal fans who read every new post contribute to the view stats; WordPress now calculates visitor numbers in addition to views but they were not doing that when I started in 2008. Many views come from surfers stumbling in from search engines. Presumably some of those folks did not find what they were looking for and surfed right back out.

But of course there is always a bright side! Over the years I have made a few good blog friends that I would never have met otherwise. The Christian blogosphere is a community of like-minded and not-as-like-minded believers alike and we all benefit from the interaction. My Other Blog has followers and commenters that are not necessarily Christian bloggers but share recipes, photographs and words of inspiration. Social media tools have been incorporating into blog platforms and the world continues to become a small place. So allow me to end with the same words I did in my very first post back in March, 2008:

Long live the blog!

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Swallowing the Spider (Syria) to Catch the Fly (ISIS)

ISISIn a rare move of bipartisanship Congress has approved a plan to fund Syrian rebels to deal with ISIS. President Obama has vowed that American troops will not be on the ground in combat roles but that we will offer air support, tactical training, funds and whatever else is necessary to destroy ISIS. The vote in the Senate was 78-22; only 10 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted no to arming Syrian rebels. Here is whole story from Reuters.

On the one hand, it’s good to see bipartisan cooperation toward anything. It’s good to see Obama act with Congressional approval, something he does without when he feels necessary. But let’s think for a minute about what we’re doing here. For the time being the Syrian rebels are the lesser of two evils. Osama bin Laden was the lesser of two evils when his rebel government was fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. We basically created a problem there that we had to go back and deal with later. The same thing with Saddam Hussein. Remember the Bay of Pigs? That was us too. The plan to was to train, arm and deliver Cuban rebels to deal with Fidel Castro. How quickly can one nation forget?

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly. I guess we’ll see in 10 or 20 years who we have arm to deal with whatever we’re about to create in Syria.

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Pastafarianism 101

Screenshot 2014-09-08 at 9.10.02 PM

Meet Shawna Hammond. That’s her in the driver’s license photo… with a spaghetti strainer on her head. Leslie Rangel of News Channel 4 reports:


It may sound like a joke but an Enid woman says her Oklahoma driver’s license features a unique symbol of her religious freedom.

It may even prompt a giggle, but for Shawna Hammond, the spaghetti strainer is a symbol of freedom.

“It doesn’t cover my face. I mean you can still see my face. We have to take off our glasses, so I took off my glasses,” Hammond said.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s rules, religious headpieces cannot cause shadows on your face and the photograph must present a clear view of your face.

“I asked if I could wear my religious headwear and he said, yes, it just couldn’t have any logos, or any type of writing. I told him it didn’t, and I went out to my car and got my colander,” said Hammond.

Hammond says she walked back into the tag agency in Enid with a strainer on her head.

“She kind of chuckled, she giggled, gave me a funny look and asked me what religion I was. I told her I was a Pastafarian,” Hammond said.

Pastafarianism is a religion where there are “no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense,” according to the church’s website.

“It came about in 2005. A man named Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education. It was actually about teaching creationism in school and he came up with the flying spaghetti monster and it had just as much merit,” Hammond said.

Hammond is an Atheist and believes no one should be forced into certain beliefs.

“For me the colander represents freedom, our freedom of religion, and to whatever religion we prefer or lack of religion. It was important to me to exercise that, even if it’s just a driver’s license photo,” Hammond said.

“I’m glad I was able to do it. It’s hard living as a non-religious person in Oklahoma. It felt good to be recognized that we can all coexist and have those equal rights,” she added.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is in charge of the driver’s license department.

Officials say they want to do a thorough review of the picture to make sure it is following all the rules.

If it does follow the rules, authorities say they may look at changing the rule of religious headwear because it is more than 10-years-old.

See the interview with Shawna Hammond via News Channel 4’s website linked here.  

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Some Ads Are Better than the Program

Some t.v. adverts are expected to be good, like soft drink and beer commercials during the Super Bowl. Some people tune in just for the commercials. Some companies, like GEICO for example, have built a reputation of having clever commercials year-round. And every once in a while a product hits advertisment gold, like K-Mart’s 15 minutes of fame with the “I shipped my pants” spot.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has put out turtle shaped noodles due to the renewed popularity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But in the t.v. spot? Yes, that really is Vanilla Ice. And yes, he really did.


“Word to your mother.” 

And speaking of Geico, I laughed pretty hard at this one:

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