Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time For Some Campaignin

With the U.S. election only a week away this seems like a good time to post this video. I just saw it over at Hybrid Thoughts. Fred was my "boss" (he was actually more like a mentor for me) at camp for 3 summers.

You can actually throw your own photo into the video if you feel so inclined. I first heard of Jib Jab when their "This Land Is Your Land" video came out. If you have time head over to their website after watching this video to check out that one. Enjoy!!

JibJab - Time for Some Campaignin


Friday, October 24, 2008

The Real Impact of the Economic Crisis

After my last post I figured I needed to balance out this whole economic crisis and how it's really affecting our planet. The rise of fuel and food prices has definitely added some discomfort to our lives here in the West. In the United States, the price of eggs jumped 29% last year. Dairy products are up more than 7%. And the price of corn has tripled in the last four years but these changes which are manageable for us are having devastating effects elsewhere.

First of all understand that from March 2007 to March 2008, food prices rose 57% worldwide. That is on top of a 23.6% increase the year before. With the world's poor spending around 75% of their income on food this kind of increase will push them further into poverty and will definitely make more of them hungry.

From Webster:
- a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient; an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food; a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food

While the world produces more than enough to feed its entire population of some 6.5 billion, more than 850 million people go hungry every day.

Check out this stat that I found here.
"The FAO estimates it will take $30bn a year to eliminate global hunger. For the price of the bail-out, we could make sure no one on earth goes hungry for the next 23 years."

With most of the talk radio shows I've heard in the States, this whole bail out plan was pretty ridiculous to begin with. Even unnecessary! So to know that it's somewhat unnecessary and that the money could ELIMINATE global hunger for the next 23 years is just maddening.

Half of the increase in food prices is due to the purchase of grain by the US and EU to produce biofuels, according to a World Bank study. This action alone has increased the price of grain (the kind that poor tend to purchase) by 75-80% (vs a total food price increase of 170% over the last year). In fact, corn reached $7.60 per bushel recently compared with less than $2 per bushel in 2005. "About 25% of that rise may be due to U.S. biofuels policy" Daniel Sumner, professor and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis.

So needless to say the economic crisis has spilled out and is affecting the poor of the world in a much worse way. More than 30 countries have experienced rioting over food shortages, according to the World Bank. The Prime Minister in Haiti was even forced out due to food riots!

Please remember the poor. They are still with us, they will always be with us, they are hurting, they need our prayers and anything else we can offer to help out.

I've always been a fan of World Vision click here to go to their site and join them in making a difference.

Sources & related articles:
San Francisco Chronicle
Washington Post
International Herald Tribune


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rates Cut, Loonie Falls

I know the world economy is in a crisis right now but so far it hasn't affected me at all. Until now!

From the CBC
Loonie Sinks as Bank Of Canada cuts borrowing costs again
Loonie slips under 80 cents US, stocks tumble

I've been enjoying listening to radio and reading news reports about the financial crisis. I especially enjoy hearing my favorite financial 'no debt' guru Dave Ramsey go off about the bail out and everything else that is going on. I've been enjoying it partly because it is somewhat entertaining and because there has been no real impact on me. Well that all changed yesterday when interest rates were cut again here in Canada. Add to that the Canadian dollar or Loonie as us Canucks refer to it, lost more ground against the U.S. dollar. Both of these things however are great news for me! I get paid in U.S. dollars so the lower the Loonie the bigger raise I get. Also, our mortgage is variable rate (I know this isn't Dave Ramsey's way but things work a bit different here in Canada so I justified it!) so that means we're paying off more principal. When we got this mortgage we decided to always pay what we would if we were on a fixed rate which is considerably more. So with our self-imposed fixed monthly payment that means the lower the interest rate is, the more principal we will pay each month. Which in turn means reducing the mortgage term. All good!!

So far this economic crisis is working out for us. I'm guessing it'll catch up to us eventually but living with no debt (except the house) sure makes it much easier to weather the storms.



Monday, October 20, 2008

Landmark Day

Yes today is a landmark day at our house. Jonah counted to 100 all by himself! Well, we're proud and impressed anyway. He's only 4 after all.

We started a new thing here to get Jonah cleaning up his messes better. 10 minutes before meal times is "Tidy Up Time". So far Jonah isn't a huge fan of it. Today he did the ultimate thing to avoid tidying up. He started by really taking his time so that he had hardly finished anything by lunch. So I told him after lunch he'd have to finish up before playing with anything. By the end of the meal he was saying he was too tired to stay awake. Jonah hasn't had a daytime nap in months and hasn't been acting tired at all today. In fact he's been quite peppy and seemingly well rested. Anyway, I went along with it just to see how far he would go. He got in bed and tried to fall asleep. After I finished cleaning up lunch I went into his room and asked him if he needed me to help him sleep by patting his back and he said yes. I did and right before I left the room I reminded him he'd have to tidy up when he woke up. Sure enough he is now sleeping! Quite a surprise. Guess we're all staying up late tonight now!!

Here are some pictures from Bram's dedication yesterday. It was a beautiful day!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Note To Self

Note to self:

Sardines with tomato sauce on bread covered with cheese and onions then broiled in the oven is yummy. Going for a run two hours later is not. Yuck!!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moving Sidewalks

I'm sitting here at the Chicago Midway airport at Gate B25 which is at the very end of the B Concourse. In order to get here there is a bit of a walk so the airport has thoughtfully installed some moving sidewalks. Now I have a thing about moving sidewalks and escalators when I'm traveling. I figure since I am doing so much sitting when I travel that I should try to be moving when it is an option. So even if I'm on an escalator I'll trudge my way up. The moving sidewalk though can be quite the frustrating experience. Just because the floor is moving it doesn't really mean you have to stop!! In fact, if you continue to walk you will be surprised how fast you are moving. Getting stuck behind these people who like to stand on the moving sideWALK is very frustrating to me. I just can't get over it. Today I couldn't help it, I laughed out loud while passing some "standers" on the moving sidewalk. It just seemed so ridiculous and funny. That's my rant for today.

Here's a great comedy bit from Brian Regan about flying. Near the end of this clip he talks about the moving sidewalk.



Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Butt

An amusing conversation between Jonah and I at breakfast this morning.

Jonah: "Daddy, you know what?"
Me: "Chicken butt."
Jonah: "(sounding frustrated) Daddy!" Trying again, "Do you know what?"
Me: "Chicken butt."
Jonah: Getting upset, "Remember our deal Daddy? No chicken butts."

At this point he's noticeably ticked, so in order to avoid another chicken butt I ask,
"Jonah is there something you'd like to tell me?"
Jonah: "Ummm, Daddy" long pause, "Daddy."
Me: "Yes Jonah."
Jonah: Now sounding rather upset, "Daddy, I can't remember what I was going to tell you because of all your chicken butts!"

He's eating one of his favorite breakfast meals, bagel with butter and brown sugar!



Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Unusual Boarding Pass

Here's a pic of the boarding pass that got me into the airport this morning!

I did eventually get a "normal" boarding pass but a strange way to start the day!


Monday, October 06, 2008

A Few Things

I've been meaning to update this forever but time has been quite limited so here's a quick update as to what I would love to blog about if I had more time. (Maybe I still will)

1) This from my band's newsletter:

We just wanted to let you know that we will be performing at the Block Party at Belmont University tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon as part of the Presidential Debate festivities. The party starts at noon and ends at 6pm - we will be performing from 3:15-4:15 and would love for you to come out and participate!

If you don't live in the Nashville area but would still like to participate, we are going to attempt to broadcast our performance live via the internet. If you go to www.mogulus.com/downhere you will be able to watch the performance. We will be updating our webpage from the Block Party as well, so if it looks like we are having some technical difficulties or things have changed and we will be unable to broadcast it, we will let you know via downhere.com.
So I'm looking forward to my time at the Nashville airport in the next couple of days with all the media and visitors that will be in town.

2) I finally read The Shack. Will post more about it. (I liked it!)

3) Spent part of this morning at a local apple orchard picking apples and generally enjoying fall with my family. Pics to come.

4) Recently, on a flight I sat next to Gary Mudbone Cooper who was a back up singer with P-Funk. P-Funk was a combination of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic. These are the bands that are given credit for starting the "funk" movement.

That's it for now. Hope to update again soon.




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