Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Downhere Chords

If you are looking for chords and lyrics to some of our (downhere) songs, like How Many Kings or Here I Am you're just two clicks away. Go to our web site - http://www.downhere.com/ then click on "guitar chords/lyrics" and there you will have it all. We've been hearing from people asking about chords to How Many Kings a lot lately and I see people often end up here from searches so hopefully this makes things real easy! Enjoy! For all my American readers Happy Thanksgiving!



LED Christmas Lights

If you are looking at buying some LED Christmas lights for your tree, here's a post for you. Here's the lesson right off the top though, check the LED light color before you buy and be prepared to return it! White is apparently an objective color. (Except that it's not even really a color, isn't it the lack of color? I digress)

I went out to my local Canadian Tire (Canada's glorified hardware store, but different than Home Depot) since they usually have a great selection of Christmas decorative junk. This is the first time Sherri and I have set up our own Christmas Tree in our own house!! So we were excited to get things rolling. We realized however, when we opened our boxes we didn't have enough lights. Nor did we have the kind Sherri or I wanted. So it was off to the store. When I got there I saw these.

I thought, cool LED Christmas lights. Cool to touch, way more energy efficient, nearly unbreakable and - YIKES, a little pricey. I called my wife and we decided it would be worth it since we'd use them for the rest of our lives. I chose the brightest white ones I saw since that's what we were looking for. I brought them home and while Sherri was out running I put them on the tree. And here's what it looked like.

So it turns out that "ICY COOL" is actually "NEARLY BLUE". Sherri came in and the decision was made. Off with the lights and back to the store. We really didn't want to have a blue Christmas Tree!

I really should have known better as I've had this issue with LED's before when I've bought them for our kitchen. I plugged those ones in and they looked blue compared to everything else. I brought them back and returned them saying I didn't want the blue lights. The lady insisted they were white but that's another story.

Anyway, after returning the "Icy Cool" LED's I went to 6 stores trying to find what I was looking for with no luck. But my seventh store, which was Zellers (A Canadian version of K-Mart, sort of) had a great Christmas section and there I found my lights. White with all sorts of flashing and twinkling and blinking options. And I found it for way cheaper than the LED's.

There they are. Definitely much different coloring than the icy blue. And yes, we did put ornaments on after I took this picture. So again, the moral of the story, check the color of your white LED's before purchasing or be prepared to return them.

Sidenote - "Warm White" instead of "Icy Cool" may be the closest to white from incandescent lights. At least that would be true for the packaging we were looking at.

Preemptive Sidenote - Canadian Thanksgiving was way back in October so no, it's not too early to put up the tree. Plus we already have snow on the ground!!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Keeping It Real

For those of you who don't check out my wife's blog you need to visit to see her latest post. I think her sense of humor has saved her sanity! It will give you a good idea as to what our life is like at home. Well more what her life is like with me being gone so much! She does an amazing job at dealing with so much while I'm gone while at the same time remaining positive and supportive in all that I do. Her "job" is way harder than mine and by her doing it I am able to do my cushy rock star job. Thanks babe!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eggs Over Medium

Sunny side up, scrambled, boiled, over hard, over soft, how do you like your eggs? Attention all breakfast cooks in diners, IHOPS, Waffle Houses, Denny's and other greasy spoons. Living half of my life on the road means that I eat out way more than I would like. One of my favorite eating out meals is breakfast except for the fact that they can never get my eggs right. And these are guys who cook for a living!!

You see, I like an egg where the yolk is still soft but not runny. More of a gelatinous state than anything else. I never know how to ask for it. I usually ask for my eggs "over medium". Then I offer a quick explanation so there won't be any confusion. So the egg that's in this top picture is not quite right. It could have used almost a minute more depending on the temperature of the grill.

Now the hard boiled egg in the second picture is a thing of beauty. That's how the over medium yolk should look. Maybe I'm wrong about what I'm ordering. Perhaps I should be ordering "over almost-hard"? Any restaurant workers out there want to give a guy a hand? All I want is to get the kind of egg I like!!



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barack Obama - African American?

I was reading a comment on one of Randy Alcorn's posts today. He posted about an interview Obama did about his faith four years ago. It was an interesting interview. I wouldn't say I was surprised at all though. I think Barack would do well to listen to this Mark Driscoll sermon I listened to this morning though. Anyway, I always find the comments to be interesting when anyone posts about politicians, especially Mr. Barack Obama. Randy referred to Barack as African American which caused one commentator some grief.

"Mr Obama is NOT African American. His mother was white and his father was African (kenyan) but his father was only part Black and so therefore, BO is only a quarter black, he is more arab than black. 

Besides there is NO African America and to continue to use this misnomer is in fact wrong and incorrect."
This is when the whole race thing gets silly. We're all half this, quarter that, one sixteenth this, and one sixteenth that, and one eighth the other thing. If I did my math right I think that adds up to a full human being. Do we really need to go back track Obama's lineage to figure out what we can label him? I understand how huge it is that someone who's skin is not white will be in the "White House" but whether he's of African, Arabian, Caribbean, Hawaiian, Kansas-ian or Indonesian decent shouldn't really matter now. He's an American citizen and more than half of America voted to put him in charge. It's obviously a big deal to any minority in America to see this happen. Hopefully we are now a step closer to being able to call a person a person no matter how they look. Or to put it the way Horton did, "A person's a person no matter how small."



Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Power of Google

Thanks to commenter "Carla" for pointing this out. It's pretty incredible. If you search this phrase "render chicken blood" my last post shows up as the first result!!! I only wrote that 15 hours ago! And now that I've written this post I'm guessing I have cornered the market on rendering chicken blood with Google. I'm not even really sure what to do with rendered chicken blood. Although I would definitely use it for composting if I had it. Blood is supposed to be a good addition to the compost pile!

By the way, the power of blogging has come knocking hard on my door recently. I hope to be able to share about it soon but I want to make sure I don't speak out of turn. I will keep you in the loop!



Spilled Chicken Blood

This sounds so nasty I needed to share it with the broader public. This happened in town not to far from where I live. Enjoy!

When residents of St. Marys, Ont., woke up today, some might have thought the town was the setting for a Hollywood horror flick.

The town's main street was covered in blood - literally.

Gallons of chicken blood was spilled onto Queen Street around midnight when a tanker truck spilled its load from Schneider's Poultry west of the town. full article
So why is a truck carrying chicken blood?? To render it of course. Maybe reading this will help. Taken from here.

Rendering is recycling! For over 150 years the rendering industry --- starting with the most primitive equipment --- has made a unique business of reprocessing discarded animal material (fat, bone, hide, offal) into highly-beneficial products for further use in other forms. Contrary to what you may hear elsewhere, Rothsay has a policy of not accepting companion animals or roadkill for processing.


Friday, November 07, 2008

A Different America

We recently had a couple of days off in Houston so I spent a good portion of one of those days just sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch or in bed just reading. It was unusual for me to spend that much concentrated time reading but it was a good thing to do on a day off.

In that time I read The Secret Life of Bees. I think this would be considered a book mostly that women would read since the men in it are almost all violent and not very nice, although there are a couple of exceptions. And because it is really a story about a girl and her need for a mother. So I was surprised that I got into it so quick. I've really gotten into learning about bees and keeping hives so that aspect also intrigued me. I was interested to see how the author would weave that into the story.

The story takes place at the moment in American history when African Americans are finally allowed to vote. I finished the book the morning after Obama was elected so I was really in an interesting head space for that day. I spent election day reading this book in which an African American woman is beat up because she wanted to register to vote. Then that night I see America elect its first non-white president.

I went for a run through the warm Houston suburbs shortly after I finished the book. It was Obama's first day as President Elect. Knowing that Barack would soon be the President here and having an idea of what has transpired over the past 40 years made me feel so happy anytime I passed African Americans. I wanted to celebrate with them. It truly feels like a different country.

So I obviously need to go and see the movie now since it is still in theaters. It's always fun to see the differences. - on a side note, Jonah watched James and the Giant Peach after we had read it to him. It was quite different. And much more scary. I don't know if he'll ever want to watch a book-turned-movie again!

This post will be my account to remember when I'm asked by my kids or grandkids, "What were you doing when Obama was elected?"

Special thanks to Rob and Kiki for taking such good care of us the last couple of days. Btw, Rob's brother is the current American Gladiator champion, how cool is that?? And we had a few fire trucks stop by the house while we were there. Check out Kiki's blog for details and pics.



Robot Legs

Just saw an article about this on cbc.ca. Who thinks of these things???

"Imagine a bicycle seat connected by mechanical frames to a pair of shoes for an idea of how the new wearable assisted-walking gadget from Honda works.

The experimental device, unveiled Friday in Tokyo, is designed to support body weight, reduce stress on the knees and help people get up steps and stay in crouching positions." full article here


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Established By God

I have some great people in my life. Here's an email I received from one of them this morning. It's a great reminder.

"Regardless of outcomes, here's the truth....

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1
Today, as in every day, we acknowledge and celebrate God's sovereign rule over his creation.

Hope all of you have opportunity to enjoy this beautiful gift of a day."


Monday, November 03, 2008

To Vaccinate Or Not?

My boys on Halloween. Jonah looks so proud and Bram looks huge!!

With a new child in the house it's time for vaccinations again. No one likes to see a needle going into a baby's skin. Are these diseases we're being vaccinated for still around? Don't vaccinations cause problems? Are they really necessary?

After reading an article from TIME the answer to these questions seems to still be GET VACCINATED! I've had these questions but hadn't read up on it at all. I've only read one article now but this at least helps. Here's an excerpt.

Read the full article here.

Some parents have taken to cherry-picking vaccines, leaving out only the shots they believe their children don't need—such as those for chicken pox and hepatitis B—and keeping up with what they see as the life-or-death ones. But that can be a high-stakes game, as Kelly Lacek, a Pennsylvania mother of three, learned. She stopped vaccinating her 2-month-old son Matthew when her chiropractor raised questions about mercury in the shots. Three years later, she came home to find the little boy feverish and gasping for breath. Emergency-room doctors couldn't find the cause—until one experienced physician finally asked the right question. "He took one look at Matthew and asked me if he was fully vaccinated," says Lacek. "I said no." It turned out Matthew had been infected with Hib, bacteria that causes meningitis, swelling of the airway and, in severe cases, swelling of the brain tissue. After relying on a breathing tube for several days, Matthew recovered without any neurological effects, and a grateful Lacek immediately got him and his siblings up to date on their immunizations. "I am angry that people are promoting not getting vaccinated and messing with people's lives like that," she now says.



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