Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Stuff VH1 Missed

I've already told you what I think about VH1's "Greatest Songs of the 90's[sic]"

Now it's time to talk about what they left off.

Since VH1 seemed to have quotas to fill based on various genres and categories, I'm going to do the same. I thought it was interesting no one had two songs on the countdown, except Dr. Dre, and one of his was with Tupac and the other with Snoop Dogg, so that's a little different.

I know it's unrealistic to include all these, but pick at least one from each category.

Career artists who weren't one hit wonders, but not alternative enough either:
This is where the VH1 list really falters. It leans heavily towards the Right Said Freds of the world. But look at whose expense.
Janet Jackson. Hello?! I can think of like 8 or 9 hits she had in the '90s right off the top of my head. This is a glaring oversight. Marcy Playground makes the VH1 list, but not Janet?
Bryan Adams - "Everything I Do (I Do it for You)" This song must not be hip enough.
Amy Grant - "Baby Baby" is the obvious choice here.
Tom Petty - I think "Free Fallin'" was '89, but he had a string of hits into the '90s.
George Michael "Freedom" still sounds great.

Non-American alt rock bands with names that don't have radio or head in them:
Depeche Mode "Enjoy the Silence"
The Cure "Friday I'm in Love" was '90s, right?

Christian Music:
So we left off Amy Grant, but there were other Christian artists who broke into the mainstream.
Sixpence None the Richer - "Kiss Me" was more popular than anything by the Geto Boys that made the list.
Jars of Clay "Flood"

Straight up pop music, that's neither hip nor ironic:
Paula Abdul
New Kids on the Block
Ace of Base
Boyz II Men "Motownphilly", "End of the Road", etc.

Pop punk:
Offspring "Come Out and Play", "Pretty Fly for a White Guy"
Blink 182 "What's My Age Again?"
Any single from Green Day's Dookie

Remnants of the '80s hair metal days, even though that music lasted into the '90s:
Extreme "More than Words"
Poison and Motley Crue had some '90s hits
Guns N Roses "November Rain"

Third Wave Ska Influence:
No Doubt "Just a Girl", "Don't Speak"
Mighty Mighty Bosstones "The Impression that I Get"

Electronica:
Fatboy Slim "Going Out of My Head", "Praise You", etc
Moby "South Side"
Garbage "Special"

Alternative Artists Who Aren't Soundgarden:
Blur "Song 2"
Nine Inch Nails "Closer". This omission really surprises me. I totally saw VH1 carving out a spot for this song, as the quintessential '90s industrial-pop song.
Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "1979", "Disarm", "Tonight, Tonight". Again, this really surprises me.
Bjork "Human Behavior"

Jangly College Rock that's not R.E.M.
Soul Asylum "Runaway Train"
Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Somebody's Top Songs of the '90s

Tonight we finished watching VH1's "Greatest Songs of the 90's[sic]". Hey, Viacom graphics people, the apostrophe goes before the decade. It stands in for the omitted characters, like do not is don't. So it's '90s, not 90's.

Grammatical blunders aside, on to the rest of the list. I'll post some stuff left off the list later.
Again, selections on my iPod in bold.

100 Greatest Songs Of The '90s Full List
01. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Guh. Didn't see that coming. ;) I get why it's here, but I'm 31, not 15, so the teen angst just do it for me anymore. Yeah, I know, it blew out the '80s pop and hair metal, yada yada yada. The song still has this visceral appeal, and I get it. Just too predictable on this list.
02. U2 "One" - No argument here. This would be on top of my list. It beautifully captures this kind of gripping ambiguity. But whatever it is, it's got just one of those songs that makes my hair stand on end.
03. Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way" - I must admit, it's a perfectly crafted pop song.
04. Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
05. Madonna "Vogue" - I'm a little surprised she's not on the list again, but I'm not sure anyone showed up more than once, did they?
06. Sir Mix-A-Lot "Baby Got Back"
07. Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"
08. TLC "Waterfalls"
09. R.E.M. "Losing My Religion" - When it got to the top ten and I hadn't seen R.E.M. I nearly freaked it wasn't going to be on the list.
10. Sinéad O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U"
11. Pearl Jam "Jeremy" - I know there's plenty of grunge on this list, but where's the Smashing Pumpkins? Disarm, 1979, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, something?
12. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
13. Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang"
14. Mariah Carey "Vision of Love" - I was struck by how young (and modest) Mariah looks in this video. I'll give her one thing, she can sing.
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
16. MC Hammer "U Can't Touch This" - I still remember seeing, and getting close to Hammer at Cornerstone '98, where I was bummed he did none of his hits, not even Pray. Plus I remember The Echoing Green's poster that said, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt Us." Heehee
17. Destiny's Child "Say My Name"
18. Metallica "Enter Sandman" - Oh my goodness, I just remember how big this song was among the guys I knew in high school.
19. Beastie Boys "Sabotage" - Classic video, plus they showed they weren't just party rappers, they could rock too.
20. Hanson "MMMBop"
21. Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On"
22. Beck "Loser" - I remember cranking the radio when this came on. And I remember thinking we'd never hear from this guy again. I love songs that feel on the verge, like the whole time you're just a step from losing it.
23. Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue "Whatta Man"
24. House of Pain "Jump Around"- They got more rhymes than the bible's got psalms.
25. Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun" - I have a cover of Copeland doing this. Weird.
26. Eminem "My Name Is"- Never got into Eminem, but I see the appeal.
27. Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"
28. Ricky Martin "Livin' la Vida Loca"
29. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
30. *NSYNC "Tearin' Up My Heart"
31. Radiohead "Creep" - Anberlin covered this. Personally, I would have put "Karma Police" on the list over "Creep", but whatever.
32. BLACKstreet "No Diggity" - I had totally forgotten about this song, but I dig the beat.
33. Spice Girls "Wannabe"
34. Third Eye Blind "Semi-Charmed Life" - I never got into these guys, or Matchbox 20.
35. Oasis "Wonderwall" - Not as good as say U2's "One", but I do like the song. Green Day apparently does too. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is essentially the same song.
36. C+C Music Factory "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
37. Green Day "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" I like how people think it's this sweet sentimental song, when the title is "Good Riddance." Come on people, think about it. He's telling someone to get lost.
38. Christina Aguilera "Genie In A Bottle"
39. Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
40. Color Me Badd "I Wanna Sex You Up"
41. Spin Doctors "Two Princes"
42. Collective Soul "Shine" - Glad to see the guys make this list.
43. En Vogue "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"
44. The Fugees "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
45. Hootie & the Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You" - I would have picked "Hold My Hand" but you have to include Hootie on this list.
46. Shania Twain "You're Still the One"
47. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch "Good Vibrations" - Come on, who out there figured this guy would not only still be around, but would be an A list actor. I mean, he was the brother of a New Kid.
48. Matchbox Twenty "3 AM"
49. Jewel "Who Will Save Your Soul"
50. Alice in Chains "Man in the Box"
51. Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) "California Love"
52. Sugar Ray "Fly"
53. Naughty by Nature "O.P.P." - They don't do rap anthems like they used to, what with stuff like this and "Jump Around."
54. Joan Osborne "One of Us"
55. Fiona Apple "Criminal"
56. L.L. Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out"
57. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule "Can I Get A..."
58. Sophie B. Hawkins "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover"
59. Weezer "Buddy Holly"
60. Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison"
61. Sheryl Crow "All I Wanna Do"
62. Live "I Alone" - I forgot how compelling Live was.
63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy "Mo Money Mo Problems"
64. The Presidents of the United States of America "Peaches"
65. Digital Underground "The Humpty Dance" - I can't believe I have this song. It was on some compliation.
66. Edwin McCain "I'll Be" - Edwin apparently has some time on his hands. I think he commented on like half the songs on the countdown.
67. Deee-Lite "Groove Is In The Heart"
68. Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
69. Korn "Freak on a Leash" - Can. Not. Stand. Korn.
70. Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity"
71. Arrested Development "Tennessee" - I really liked this album. The whole positive rap vibe works for me.
72. Barenaked Ladies "One Week" - OK, why is this not on my iPod? That's got to be some mistake. I'm glad there was a pop song name checking Smoking Man from the X-Files, one of my favorite '90s shows.
73. Marcy Playground "Sex and Candy"
74. Cher "Believe" - You've got to be kidding me.
75. Kris Kross "Jump"
76. Blues Traveler "Run-Around" - The royalty checks must still be coming in on this. I still hear this on the radio.
77. Ice Cube "It Was a Good Day"
78. Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" - Probably my favorite song of his. He hasn't done anything I've been interested in yet this decade.
79. Meredith Brooks "Bitch"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Darn You, VH1, Darn You to Heck

VH1, don't you know I'm closing on my first house, getting ready for Christmas, and getting married in four months? I don't have time for you. Yet, you sucker me in with another one of your insipid countdowns, this time from a decade I lived.

Some thoughts on songs 100-81... songs on my iPod in bold:

81. Paula Cole "I Don't Want to Wait"
82. Geto Boys "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" - I barely recognized this. Have no idea why it's on here. There's much better '90s hip hop than this. What about Coolio (Fantastic Voyage, Gangsta's Paradise), or something poppy like PM Dawn, or even Biz Markie's "Just a Friend".
83. The Breeders "Cannonball" - Reminds me of Viva Voce's Wrecking Ball, another low-fi catchy girl rock song with ball in the title.
84. Snow "Informer" - You've got to be kidding me. This made the list why?
85. Cypress Hill "Insane In The Brain"
86. The Cranberries "Linger" - Why don't I have this on my iPod? I kinda dig the Craberries.
87. Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"
88. Duncan Sheik "Barely Breathing" - Saw him open for Jars of Clay at the Fargo Dome. Can you say that?
89. Liz Phair "Never Said" - Never got Liz Phair, to be honest.
90. New Radicals "You Get What You Give" - Dang this song is catchy. From the moment it came out, it just sounded like a classic. Reminds me of Fine Young Cannibals "Good Thing", a band who in similar fashion disappeared as quickly as it came.
91. Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery"
92. Public Enemy "911 Is A Joke" - If this is on the list, surely "Fight the Power" will be on the list, unless it came out in the '80s.
93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories "Stay" - Great song, cool chick with glasses, what's not to like?
94. Fastball "The Way"
95. Montell Jordan "This is How We Do It" - Another one of those stupidly catchy songs. If I could write something half as catchy, I'd be happy.
96. Nelson "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" - Didn't three generations of Nelsons hit the charts? Ozzie, Ricky, Nelson?
97. Prince & The New Power Generation "Gett Off" - I'd have picked "Thieves in the Temple" or "7" or something else from the '90s, but Prince needs to be on this list.
98. EMF"Unbelievable" - Another one of those riffs that will never die.
99. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
100. Gerardo "Rico Suave"

20 songs so far, only four on my iPod. Let's see where this takes us...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Zubaz

Hey Vikings fans, your team is back, and so are your Zubaz pants! (not that I would ever wear them).

Relive the days when we thought Herschel Walker would be the Vikings savior, when an endless string of QBs (Wade Wilson, Rich Gannon, Sean Salisbury, et al) got AC and CC* their touchdowns.

Why there's a clamor to return these puffy pants, I don't know. They were favorites of fans of pro-wrestling and upper midwest football teams, who could munch away knowing the elastic in the Zubaz would grow with their bellies.

* before Randy Moss, the Vikings had Anthony Carter and Cris Carter as two pro-bowl receivers.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No longer competitive

"Since that game is no longer competitive, we're going to take you to a much better match-up."

Words a Vikings fan would have expected the FOX studio host to say as the Purple People Eaters got crushed. Not something you expect when things are going your way, while the Vikes were winning 41-10 at the start of the 4th Quarter.

But that seems to be the way things go in the NFL these days. Parity reigns. Only a couple of teams are honestly good (Patriots, I'm looking at you). But for fans of lowly teams like the Vikes, you know you can blow out somebody once in a while, which is strangely satisfying when such a pathetic team wins.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bill Callahan Fired

Here's a shot of Bill Callahan, following Nebraska's loss to USC.

This morning Tom Osborne fired Callahan, saying Nebraska has lost its identity.

It's always a trying thing when a well known organization like Nebraska football does indeed lose its identity.

Here's hoping Dr. Tom helps them re-find it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First snow


First snow, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We got our first snow of the season yesterday. It started mostly as those flurries that don't do anything, but there was some (slight) accumulation on the ground and a couple of accidents.

This week, God saw fit to give us his weather equivalent of stopping on a dime. We dropped from 70 on Monday to snow on Wednesday. That'll bring you screeching to a halt. But I like the snow, so I'm not complaining :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Announcement!

After getting on a roll where I was going bloggy, bloggy at least one a week, I've been floating on the outer edges of the blogosphere.

But I can explain if my head's been elsewhere.

Sara and I are getting married!

New website is up at http://www.steveandsaraw.com/

Including a new wedding blog.

Thank you, thank you!

Quick hits:
* I present to you last week's Story of the Week -- a pheasant chasing a tractor. I kid you not. No one prepared me for that one in journalism school.

* At the TV station, we ordered up a big controversial story just in time for the November ratings period. It's the story of a 25-year-old teacher who fled to Mexico with her 13-year-old student. Pretty weird, and pretty sensational. Not necessarily a lot of substance, but when us TV folks find a story like this, we latch on.

* Interesting article on a subject I was wondering about. How Shyness Became a Mental Illness. I hate these ads that try to make people feel they need drugs to cope with life. Just because I tend to be introverted doesn't mean something's wrong with me.

* Had an interesting discussion yesterday with my youth pastor/history teacher/all-around-smart-guy friend Matt. It was about giving birth at home, something he and his wife did. We talked about making pregnancy a medical condition to be treated, a commodity in a sense. Interesting philosophical discussion too of why Nebraska allows home birth, but does not allow midwives to be present.

* Can you believe we'll have a new president in less than a year? I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. That's not for a lack of looking. I just don't know.

* Our church surveyed us last weekend, as the church begins the search for a new senior pastor. I'm glad they're seeking input. And while such an exercise is certainly useful, I hope it doesn't dictate what the search committee does. I'm confident it won't. It's like teaching to the test. The kids all look like they know what they're doing, but aren't well rounded. I hope we don't search to the survey. What people think they want could differ greatly from what God wants for them.

All righty... that's it for now. Hopefully if I throw a dozen topics in a post, something will stick. Discuss away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Story of the Week: Corn Crop

Tonight, loyal reader, I launch a new feature.

The news story of the week! Yeah, I'm on TV, and it's probably about time I show some of the folks around the country what I do.

Here's a story combining the two biggest things in Nebraska -- corn and the Cornhuskers.

Enjoy!

(ps, for the record, I shot, wrote, recorded, edited, and fronted the piece all by my lonesome)

Friday, October 19, 2007

$180 Burritos

I'm officially *not* a fan of standalone ATM card swipers at restaurants.

What pushed me over the edge? Paying $180.80 for burritos.

Some places, like the Arby's down the street here have the integrated card readers. It's built right into the register. The kid takes the card, swipes it, and gives it back.

But we have some of these joints with two cash registers and they share the ATM reader. So the kid has to manually punch in the amount.

So the girl at the local Mexican joint keyed in $18.08 as $180.80. When I pointed out the error, I asked for a refund, so she reached into the till and started pulling out cash. Woah, woah, woah! I want that on my card. But she couldn't figure out how to do that! Yikes! Fortunately I had a bank branch across the street so I took the cash and immediately deposited it.

But still!

And it happened to me just two weeks ago. The fine young man working at Taco John's couldn't figure out his card reader. This after he was daydreaming and never saw us even come in the place to begin with. It was stellar. Apparently their ATM swiper runs through a phone line. Not even a dedicated line. So he kept yelling in the back "who's on the phone!? I gotta use the thing"

So he kept swiping my card, and swiping my card. I looked at the receipt he gave me, and it was accurate, so I breathed a sigh of relief.

Until my bank statement came and showed two identical charges at that Taco John's. Doh!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Do it for the least of these

For those not versed in Nebraska football, let me enlighten you.

On seven or eight Saturdays a year, a football stadium becomes Nebraska's third biggest city. More than 80,000 people squeeze together to be part of something.

Being called "the greatest fans in college football" is surely hyperbole, but volumes of anecdotal evidence would support it.

For a state with no pro sports, where the two biggest cities are 45 minutes away (and on the far eastern side of the state), Husker football is the one thing that brings people from 93 counties together.

So when the team gets crushed by not only USC but Missouri and Oklahoma State there's trouble. There was that win over the something-or-others of Ball State. Yeah, I couldn't even tell you their mascot.

Coach Bill Callahan (pictured) takes the blame, although he's keeping his job. But what about the guy who hired Callahan?

So exit Steve Pederson, the much-reviled Athletic Director. Enter Dr. Tom Osborne, THE coach, THE Congressman, THE Nebraska legend.

I've been thinking. What's the deeper significance of this? One guy got canned, another guy took his job. Happens all the time.

So why will Osborne succeed? And more to the point, what can I learn from it?

Leadership starts at the top.

I firmly believe that. The guy (or gal) in charge sets the tone.

If the guy at the top is a tough as nails, black-tie-on-black-shirt-with-black-blazer wearing Vietnam vet, run for Canada and hope your draft number isn't called. This guy is scary. I worked for him. Fortunately, he's long since moved on, but you get the point. A militaristic regime doesn't work when you're dealing with creative types in the TV biz. People like that don't respond well. And to make matters worse, when they need something, they bark orders too. Ugly. That's what it is. Everyone watches their back, and not their work.

When the boss is soft-spoken, encouraging, and honest, guess what... everyone else will follow suit. They'll quietly deal with problems, help their fellow employee, and go home with a sense of accomplishment. Fortunately, I've had this boss too.

That boss is also Tom Osborne. I'm fortunate to know this man, ever so slight as I do.

Not only is he the soft-spoken, intelligent, educated, encouraging, honest leader, he cares about people. So much he'll give troubled kids (cough cough, Lawrence Phillips, cough) second, third, and fourth chances. He'd rather take the fall for the kid again and again then to send the kid packing, knowing that kid might not live to see another year.

What's my point?

‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Mt. 25:40 NLT).

Servant leadership. The Kingdom Christ ushered in operates this way. Turns the kingdom of this world on end.

That's the message I find on the football field that bears Tom Osborne's name. He puts others first. And now he'll be in charge. Guess what will happen? How radical would it be for others to follow suit! There are superstars, wannabes, and never-weres in this world who owe Osborne, because to him they were all the same. The equipment guy was just as important as the Heisman winner.

I know a few of the 80,000 who fill the stands Saturday afternoon will worship the game, the team, and the feeling it gives them. But I have to believe, a good number are living out Sunday morning too -- standing beside a brother who would stand beside them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

'Greatest Fans' in football leave early as Huskers suffer worst home


Good thing they match, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

On Saturday the Huskers suffered their worst home loss since 1958.

Usually when the Huskers play, the state shuts down. It's a great time for non-fans to shop, because they can go to the mall or grocery store without trouble. No one goes out. Everyone's either at the game or someplace watching the game.

Just to give you an example of how bad it's gotten, even the governor took a shot at the team the other day, joking how some long-time state employees should suit up on defense.

It's getting ugly.

Like Republicans bailing on the Bush Administration, fans have actually been leaving early. These are fans who cheer for kickers who send kickoffs into the endzone, and linemen who get pancake blocks. They know football. And they can't even bear to watch this.

The thing that makes me nervous is how people will cope with this. The state takes its identity in part from how well the football team does. Nebraskans can't relate to lovable losers like the Cubs or perennial losers like the NBA's Clippers. People here don't know how to lose. They may have to take a crash course in losing, because it doesn't look like this trend is turning around.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Free track

If you like techno/industrial/rock stuff, check out this Celldweller track "Switchback". It's probably familiar to you from Spider-Man trailers. And now you can download it free. I dig the song. I've had it on my computer from before I even had an iPod and I like it pretty well, so check it out. And if you don't like it, that's cool too. But it's free, so why not give it a shot?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME

Time Magazine has released The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME, which includes several of my favorites, past and present.

* ABC's Wide World of Sports
* American Idol
* Arrested Development
* The Daily Show
* King of the Hill
* Lost
* MTV 1981-1992
* My So-Called Life
* Mystery Science Theater 3000
* The Office [American]
* Pee Wee's Playhouse
* The Price Is Right
* Saturday Night Live
* Seinfeld
* Sesame Street
* The Simpsons
* SpongeBob SquarePants
* SportsCenter
* Star Trek
* The Super Bowl (and the Ads)
* Survivor
* What's My Line?
* The X-Files

It makes me smile to see MST3K on the list. We like it very much!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mute Math


Mute Math, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

Check out my new Mute Math photos! Just part of a crazy weekend!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Principal for a Day

Principals in today's schools more 'hands on' 10/02/07 - Grand Island Independent: News

"I don't know about being 'sent to the principal's office," said NTV television reporter Steve White at the end of his Principal for a Day experience at Jefferson Elementary.

"The principal is never in the office," White said.

Stay tuned to this blog for details on my principal for a day experience...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hey I know this song

What is this song?

It's on my iPod... OH YEAH! That's Brothers Martin! On NBC!

That pretty much was the conversation as Sara & I watched TV last night. I heard The Brothers Martin featured on some NBC show I couldn't name.

I don't know, but I still get a kick out of hearing one of "my" bands on TV.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

State senator sues God

He's suing God. Like a 12-year-old with nothing better to do that show how smart he is, Ernie Chambers is suing God.

I've been known to be a know-it-all. Like the time in grade school I intentionally switched the order of the last two planets on a quiz. I wanted to make a point that Pluto and Neptune's orbits cross, so Pluto's not always last. (That's when Pluto was still a planet, you whipper-snappers). Or the geography test where I correctly said the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) is in New Jersey. Look at a map. It's in Jersey waters. Once again, I made my point.

Now Ernie Chambers is doing it. And it's just as juvenile.

This is the same guy who once wanted to authorize capital punishment for Santa Claus, Martians, and for state senators named Ernie Chambers.

Did I mention he's not just a state senator, but the longest serving in Nebraska?

His amendments on the death penalty were there to make a point. He opposes the death penalty, and wanted to make a statement about what he felt was the arbitrary nature of who's sentenced to death.

Well he's at it again. This time he seeks a permanent injunction against God for floods and tornadoes.

His point isn't to take God to court. Just wanted to clear that up.

The national pundits who see the story on the internet will assume that's his beef. He's a liberal atheist who's sticking it to Christians. But that's not really the case. This isn't one of those "in God we trust" suits.

True, Ernie's never one to miss a chance to toss intellectual grenades at flocks of the faithful, hoping the ensuing shrapnel will pierce the fluffy pelts of the thin skinned. He loves nothing more than to see Conservative Christians get bent out of shape protesting him. So including God in his lawsuit is there only to bait Christians, who will in turn miss the point he's really trying to make.

At issue was a Nebraska judge who would not allow the words rape and victim to be used in a rape trial. So the victim sued.

Senator Chambers isn't against frivolous lawsuits. In fact, he pretty much supports the right to sue over almost anything. I tend to think that's his point here. He's ticked at his fellow lawmakers who tried to restrict so-called frivolous lawsuits.

He could have sued Santa Claus or Martians. But with term limits, his time in the spotlight is almost up. So what better than to sue God.

I'm sure the following isn't an original thought, but once in court, so help him, how will God swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Keanu, Rush, and Me

So I didn't really meet Keanu Reeves, but he did walk past me during the USC-Nebraska football game last night. So did Rush Limbaugh.

I guess Will Ferrell was there, but I didn't see him. He's a USC fan. Nebraska's answer -- Larry the Cable Guy. Makes me proud to be a Cornhusker ;)

We also interviewed Terry Bowden on our pregame show. You can add him to the list of famous football guys we met -- Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, Sean Salisbury, and some radio guys who it turns out were probably the most appreciative.

Photos forthcoming.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A reporter, not a personality

Some get into TV news to become a personality. They hope to parlay good looks and some news experience into a job on the E! channel or somesuch.

They're the ones more worried about the "me roll" than the "b-roll". (B-roll is the TV term for video footage that will go with soundbites to make a story).

Tonight I had a chance to get some "me roll". I interviewed not one, but six broadcasters from ESPN tonight. That's Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, former Minnesota Vikings QB Sean Salisbury, and two radio guys (who turned out to be super gracious). They're all in the area for the big USC-Nebraska match-up.

But the guy whose interview will make my story truly a tale worth telling isn't on TV. He's the stage manager, who happens to be from North Platte and graduation from the University of Nebraska.

If you wanted proof I'm a reporter, not a TV personality, there you have it. The story, not the reporter, comes first. It's a lesson I learned early, but sadly it takes other years to learn.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Journalism horror stories

Sometime I need to share some journalism horror stories.

Like the co-worker who always wanted me to ask federal officials about the latest hot button state policy issues. He never did get it that U.S. Congressmen don't vote at the state capitol. I had to tell them they were the guys who went to Washington, so no one cares what they think of the legislature's school funding bill.

And it gets much worse. Much. Worse.

But a good rule of TV news is to tease the viewer, making them stay tuned for more. So that's what I'll do now... leave the good stories for another time :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't you know you'll destroy people's lives?

"Don't you know you'll destroy people's lives?"

The young man, probably only a few years removed from his high school days stormed out of his place of employment.

"I'm going to need to see some credentials," the haughty young man said.

Credentials? I thought to myself I'm never asked to show credentials. I don't need them at the courthouse, or even with the governor. They know who I am. Maybe when the President came to town I needed credentials. But that's it.

He continued, "I didn't give you permission to take my picture".

"I don't need your permission," I replied. "I'm on public ground."

Some sonic wall must have intercepted my words. But I continued.

"I'm sorry I have to be here today, it wasn't my choice," I countered. "I'm only doing my job."

"What right do you have to be here?" His questions proved to be rhetorical. The landscaping employee had no interest in hearing any answers.

That's because ICE (a cool new name for the INS) had just visited his employer.

Turns out they arrested 19 workers suspected of being illegal aliens. Plus the boss went to jail too, federally indicted for hiring illegals and paying them under the table.

I understand the young man was frustrated. I wouldn't be happy to be working for such an operation either. But if you don't want the feds, and in turn the news media to show up at your door unannounced, don't break the law.

I'm just the messenger.

It often startles me when subjects of bad news tell me I don't have the right to report on them. It's even worse when public servants pull this. You'd be surprised. (Or maybe you wouldn't). In small towns, seems the idea of looking in a public court file or city council agenda nearly requires a court order. The vast majority of public employees I deal with are great. But there are those, who like the young man, ask what right I have.

There's a little thing called freedom of the press. Thanks to the NRA, people fight for their second amendment rights. But how many remember the first amendment? You know, the one that allows you to worship as you please, speak your mind, assemble and petition the government? Yeah, that goofy thing also gives me the right to report on your bad news. Sorry.

Will a small market TV station's minute and a half long report be someone's demise?

But while I could have laid out these arguments, the young man instead parked a company truck in the way of my camera position. Then he jumped in a second truck, laid down some rubber, and screeched past me, nearly losing control in the process. Civil discourse, to the last.

Random

Don't you hate it when you click your car's remote, and the mailbox fails to open?

You mean yours doesn't work that way? Hmmm, mine does. Well, I guess I've never tried until today, but I sure thought it would work. Why else would I have pressed it?

It's kind of like those times I've been driving down the road, and suddenly feared I left my keys at home. You know, the ones right there dangling from the key in the ignition. D'oh!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

iPods killed the video star

Seriously, when did rock 'n roll die?

Apparently the ability to play instruments factors little into today's pop music, or so the annual MTV Video Music Awards would lead one to believe.

We didn't get to see a complete song from a single rock act. And those we did hear snippets from either peaked ten years ago (Foo Fighters) or will be quickly forgotten (Fall Out Boy).

There's really not a band even nearing the same level as U2 or Bon Jovi, let alone Red Hot Chili Peppers or Coldplay.

That's not all bad. A lot of arena rock and stadium rock bands of the past frankly stunk.

And there are tons of decent bands that either play regionally or rely on an internet fan base. They don't need label support, radio play, and heavy rotation on MTV. I think we're officially beyond that.

A killer live show coupled with a strong web presence is enough to get by. Not Aerosmithian fame, but not fleeting like some quickly forgotten flavor of the month.

I think of bands I like, like Mute Math, Anberlin, and Mae. I think these are bands that will put out more than an album or two (and mostly have). I think these are bands that continue to play for a while. I think we're going to see a lot of these mid-level bands, and fewer acts reaching U2's stratosphere.

(That's not a knock on U2, after all they are still my favorite band of all time).

But as Sara and I were talking during this farce on MTV, honoring videos no one has seen, the iPod may have killed the video star.

Of course, these things are cyclical. Britney certainly appears done. That turn of the millennium pop is out, thank goodness.

Hip hop certainly has proven its staying power, but it does feel very clean and poppy. When it gets too safe for suburban America, the tide could change.

So, as expected, the VMAs pretty well sucked. But then again, I loose all credibility when I suggest they should have graphics up telling me who these performers are. When you have to ask, you're too old.

We'll have our Fall Out Boys and My Chemical Romances, but for each of them we'll have a bunch of quality acts too. And those will be artists we don't have to shell out $150 bucks to see in an arena. So maybe the rock isn't dead after all; It's just gone to television purgatory.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

How Men Cope With Being Cast as Predators

"Our society, while declining to profile by race or nationality when it comes to crime and terrorism, has become nonchalant about profiling men."

An interesting statement made by The Wall Street Journal.

As a youth leader at church, this is something I can relate to. By virtue of hanging out with kids, will people think I'm some sort of predator?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

The season kicks off today! I think we'll celebrate with nachos, and yummy snacks :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Top 100 Sci-Fi Books

Looks like I've read a tenth of the books on someone's so called "top 100 sci-fi books list"

2 Orson Scott Card Ender's Game [S1]
5 George Orwell 1984
7 Aldous Huxley Brave New World
9 Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
15 H G Wells The Time Machine
17 H G Wells The War of the Worlds
23 Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead [S2]
28 Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow [S1]
46 Mary Shelley Frankenstein
77 H G Wells The Invisible Man
83 C S Lewis Out of the Silent Planet [S1]


If you add movies to the list, here's what I've seen:
Hitchhiker's Guide
I, Robot (may have read this... can't remember)
Fahrenheit 451
Starship Troopers
2001
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)
Time Machine
War of the Worlds
Solaris
Jurassic Park
Clockwork Orange
Frankenstein
Contact
Andromeda Strain
Invisible Man
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Friday, August 10, 2007

Whoa, man!



Help wanted sign at the local mall

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

15+15=45?

When does 15+15=45? When dealing with Ticketmaster.

Mute Math tickets in Omaha:
FULL PRICE TICKET US $15.00 x 2

Total Convenience Charge(s) US $5.65 x 2

Order Processing Charge(s) US $3.30

TOTAL CHARGES US $44.60

At least they're not charging to have tickets sent in the mail.

Sheesh. I still want to know what a convenience charge is. Convenient for Ticketmaster it would seem.

But Mute Math is more than worth it. I'd gladly write the band a check for $45 and not mess with the middle men.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge collapse

Colleen has good links to the 35w bridge collapse in Minneapolis

I'm left nearly speechless. Hard to make sense of this.

These are always worse, when you have a connection. In this case, family in the twin cities, and personal memories of crossing the Mississippi countless times myself. Prayers to all involved.




Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good enough to eat

"Ooooh... that sounds good enough to eat!"

Uh, I would hope so dude. You're our waiter and we just ordered food. If it's not good enough to eat, why are we here?

People say the dumbest things.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Letterman appearance of the year"

Paul Meany of Mute Math
John Mayer (the waiting on the world to change guy) has some high praise for Mute Math, after seeing them on Letterman.

Glad those rock stars have been listening to me ;)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fist pounding rawk!


Fist pounding rawk!, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

I've got more than 200 pics from Cornerstone up!! Check them out now!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

Waiting in line


Waiting in line, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

Instead of having cars line up down the road and out onto the highway, Cornerstone had them file into a grass lot, then proceed on to registration.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Camp Cornerstone







With my camera wrapped around a tree, Brian wondered if I was a stalker. No, just doing a little photo surveillance of adventures setting up the tent.

And with that, my Cornerstone blogging is underway! Stay tuned here, and at cornerstonefestival.com for all the goings on.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Memorable Job Interview

I think I gave someone a story they'll remember the rest of their lives.

Friday, I had my first job interview. Well, it wasn't me being interviewed. I was the interviewer. It was the first time I'd been asked to help conduct one.

A U of MN grad was running late. Not her fault. She was late from the first part of the interview at the TV station.

While I was waiting for her to arrive, I heard three rural fire department dispatched to a house fire. We haven't had many structure fires lately, especially not one in the country with that many fire departments dispatched.

So I had the reporter candidate tag along on the way to the fire. We got to fly down a gravel road, searching for some obscure rural address.

When we arrived, a volunteer firefighter walked right up to me with a smile on his face. "I just want to let you know I really enjoy your news program. I watch you every night on the news. It's good to finally meet you!"

He went on to let us know he's a 37 year veteran of the local fire department.

Meanwhile, I was trying to conduct a job interview. And shoot video of the fire. And talk to a member of my 'fan club' as I call it.

The young reporter to be took it in stride. I hope she didn't ruin her shoes. But it's not a bad lesson to learn early that you can, and will go anywhere for news.

And, oh yeah, we offered her the job.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

I just watched Stranger Than Fiction.

I won't give it a proper review, but I will ponder the point of the movie. This is the Will Ferrell film, where he hears a voice narrating his life.

A man who knows he's going to die, but doesn't run from fear... he is a man who should continue to live.

An interesting film. I enjoyed it. Reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as well as Adaptation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top 10 Influtential Works of Art Since 1900

So my friend Matt & his college/career group at church came up with a list. Many, I'm a sucker for these.

Top 10 Influtential Works of Art Since 1900.

1. The Great Train Robbery

2. MTV

3. The Wizard of Oz

4. Monopoly

5. Super Mario Brothers

6. Sesame Street

7. Woodstock

8. Oklahoma

9. Walt Disney Land

10. The Lord of the Rings

10a. Star Trek

Others mentioned but left off the list:

Superman, Saturday Night Live, The Honeymooners, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Star Wars IV, Breakfast Club, Three paintings by Picasso, Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell, American Gothic by Grant Wood, Schindler's List, 1984, The Late Show, Sgt. Peppers, Elvis's Sun Sessions, Johnny Cash's Live From Folsom Prison, West Side Story, Nirvana's Nevermind, Playboy Magazine, Fallwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Simpsons, Citizen Kane, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Survivor, Led Zeppelin IV, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, and others.

Now, my list. I don't necessarily disagree with a lot on that list. It's a good starting point. Here, though, are some additions and explanations:

Execution of a VietCong Guerilla - I'd chose either this or the shot of the Flag at Iwo Jima. Photography as art and journalism at the same time. Film (and video) may be the 20th century's most prominent art form, but photography needs to be recongized on this list.

Zapruder Film - The leader of the free world killed, and it's captured on film. Plus it ushered in the era of the citizen journalist. The average person could create their own multimedia presentations, leading to home video, leading to Bob Saget narrating clips of men getting hit in the crotch.

Wizard of Oz - A cultural landmark. A huge movie for color.

Star Wars - Darth Vader is universally recognized. Everyone knows the quotes. "May the force be with you". "I am your father." Ushered in the special effects blockbuster.

The Simpsons - Postmodern sitcom that deconstructed earlier shows like "Ozzie and Harriet"

Great Train Robbery - first film that showed what the medium was capable of. Bridged the gap between low and high culture, leading to our current pop culture world (something that's bigger than the medium of film itself). Lead to Citizen Kane, etc. While you could pick another early film (like The Jazz Singer, Battleship Potemkin) this would be my choice.

1984 - "Big Brother" is fully ensconced in our cultural lexicon.

I Have a Dream - Wordplay is an artform. Delivery is an artform. This is those at their highest.

LOTR - what do I need to say? Huge influence on music, books, movies. Even the Beatles at one time talked about making a movie of it.

Coke bottle - mass marketing as pop art. How very modern.

White Christmas - The song, not the movie.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us - introduction of the internet meme.

Run DMC - Walk This Way. Brought rap into the mainstream. Rap is inherently postmodern, borrowing elements from other genres then recontextualizing them in a new form. Rap borrows from jazz, rock, pop. the blues, disco, etc. The latter part of the 20th century saw a rise in this kind of art. Take something old, twist it into something new. You could say that's a lot of what we see on YouTube. Take something from pop culture, spin it into something new.

Warhol - soup cans are iconic.

West Side Story - representative of the great American musical, the only true innovation American theater has brought to the centuries old artform

Cars - Model T, the '56 Chevy, the Vette, the Mustang. Cars are designed; They are works of art, and worshiped for their aesthetic appeal, in addition to their other qualities.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

24 Hours of Flickr

The 24 hours of Flickr are up. What a day it's been!

I played at the playground...

Swinging

Was amused by a cat...

Yawwwnnnnnnnn

Visited a cemetery...

Roses on grave

Drove by the used farm implement lot...

John Deere Green

Witnessed a blind girl go bow hunting for turkeys...

Blind Hunter

And visited a few other parks too...

Squirrel

Not a bad day for Stever Beaver...

Stever Beaver

Now if you could just swing by my 24 Hours of Flickr set, I'd be grateful! First, i want to show off the fun stuff I captured. Also, I need help. I can only submit one shot from the 24 hour period for the official Flickr promotion. Which one should I submit?

Juicy!

The weather girl on Channel 8 called the storm front "juicy" on the air tonight.

Say whaaaaa?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

24 Hours of Flickr

Like Jeff, I can't seem to come up with any consistent blog material these days. Not for lack of stuff giong on, but lack of time to fully develop those ideas into something worthy of public consumption.

So following Jeff's lead, I may try the 24 Hours of Flickr project too. We'll see, I guess.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why this week?

What is it about this week? Unspeakable violence dwells at April 19th, and knows its neighbors by name, as I've blogged before (yes, I've been doing this blog thing for a while, regardless of readership).

April 19, 1993. Seige at Waco ends with 81 deaths.

April 19, 1995. Oklahoma City. 168 dead.

April 20, 1999. 13 victims dead.

Now this. April 16, 2007. Nearly three dozen dead in Virginia.

We live in a broken world. But God is good, and triumphs evil even when we can't understand.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hockey Tournament




I'm exhausted. Muscles I didn't know I have ache.

We've been playing hockey at church for about 7 or 8 years now. We play a weekly pick up game that lasts about two hours.

Last night we played a tournament. It started about 6 and I didn't leave until close to midnight. It was fun though.

Last night felt like one of those God things. Everyone got along, no one got too hurt. That's pretty much a miracle for a bunch of teenagers.

I'm proud of these guys for playing hard, but not getting nasty. The guys wer ealso very encouraging to each other.

I've got special affection for a kid named Brian. He plays goalie, and does a pretty good job. You can see him in the black gear towards the center of the picture. His team came in second. They came a couple of goals short of being our tournament champs. He made some nice saves. Especially when you consider he can't use his legs.

We have to carry him and set him in the net.

That's because Brian usually gets around with the use of braces. Brian suffers from cerebral palsy, I believe. He doesn't talk about his disability.

The other kids help him put his goalie gear on. Kids then give him a lift, and position him in net. They bring him water, and are generally encouraging. I don't think anyone pities the guy. Rather, they show compassion and try to bring the best out of him.

That's the body of Christ at work, in a bunch of sweaty, often frustrating teenagers. God moves in mysterious ways.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mute Math

How does this Rhodes still stand after the nightly beatings it takes?

This is Mute Math, live in Papillion, NE. If you haven't seen them, you owe it to yourself to go!

More photos of Mute Math can be found here.Enjoy!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Unbelievable

It's April and snowing. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Blog filler: personality test

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

Extroversion:

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.

Conscientiousness:

You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.

Agreeableness:

You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.

Neuroticism:

You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Musical Meme

I'm stealing from Jeff, who stole from his wife, who stole from someone else. (Do your part; Steal this too.)

How it works: Shuffle your iPod, mp3 player, or iTunes. Whatever. Shuffle through the first 25 songs. Take the first line of the song. As Jeff wrote, "No cheating and skipping embarrassing songs! List out the first lines of each song. Now, it’s up to you, the reader to guess the songs. How many can you figure out?"

I expect you to comment here, with the appropriate answers.


1. Where do we go? Nobody knows. I've gotta say I'm on my way down.

2. This is where the light starts to go backwards.

3. I was born long ago. I am the chosen I'm the one.

4. I keep trying to find a life, on my own, apart from you.

5. A lonely doll. She came again. Frozen wall. Like teenage skin

6. Am I alone in this? Never a night where I can sleep myself 'til day.

7. I can’t help my feelings; I’ll go out of my mind. These players come to get me ’Cause they’d like my behind.

8. I was just, thinking about you, thought I could call you, see if, I should tell you

9. Part of me. You are a part of me. I never want to lose.

10. What else should I say. Everyone is gay.

11. I walked into the room, and she was right there waiting. Leaning up against the bar,well she was perpetrating.

12. Well, I left Kentucky back in '49 And went to Detroit workin' on assembly line.

13. Today I watched the boats. Moving through the harbor.

14. You've got me feeling (song title) deeper than I've ever dreamed of.

15. The one (song title) In my life has gone away. I don't know why.

16. The world is a vampire.

17. Tough, you think you've got the stuff. You're telling me and anyone you're hard enough.

18. High, higher than the sun. You shoot me from a gun.

19. Toe to toe. Dancing very slow.

20. I was blinded by the devil. Born already ruined.

21. Take a step to what's real or at least to what it is I'm chasing.

22. She take my money, when I'm in need. Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed.

23. Now there's a backseat lover. That's always undercover.

24. You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold.

25. With music by our side. To break the color lines.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Answer: Everything West of the Mississippi

Alex, I'll take Steve's Travels for 100.
Answer: Everything west of the Mississippi
Question: What are places I've visited in the contiguous United States?



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Shooting, a Stabbing, a Standoff. Oh my.

It's been a good month, in an alliterative way. A shooting, a stabbing, a standoff, and a stalker. Which makes it not such a good month. But good in the sense it's job security for cops, and reporters on the cops and courts beat.

Today was the standoff. The stalker at the school came yesterday. The stabbing was Sunday. The victim will live. The shooting was a double homicide. Pretty nasty. Today's standoff is just a block from the shooting. Both are just two blocks from a middle school.

The stalker was looking for a high school student. It's a wonder they don't just lock the schools down as a preventative measure at this point. Sheesh.

Back to the murder. As of March, 2004 I'd covered 14 of them. The last killer at that point was Jayson Garrett. Since then, we can add: 15 year old Joey Stanford, killed in an argument over a shovel. Then there was a murder-suicide last spring. Now a double homicide this spring. So now I'm up to at least 17 murders, with more than 17 victims. No, I'm not a serial killer. Just a TV reporter. It's a little weird to think about. Sure gets the adrenaline pumping. But also adds to the stress. Let's hope this current Nebraska crime spree settles down quickly. Or it could be a long year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mute Math


Mute Math, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

I'm so excited! Mute Math is coming to Nebraska in a few weeks! W00t!!

If you haven't seen these guys, you owe it to yourself. I've seen them twice before. And I saw the band that the lead singer used to be in. These guys are on the cusp of something huge. It's electro-alt-rock, or something like that.

And I like taking pictures of them. 300 shots in 15 minutes is my current record.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Some of us are Irish year-round. Not that I was born there, or that I'm 100% Irish. I'm an American with a bit of Irish heritage. But I can identify with the Irish. And a trip to the emerald isle last year certainly didn't help.

But at any rate, one of my favorite stops was the Rock of Cashel. Tradition tells us that's where St. Patrick found the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the mystery of the trinity, the three-in-one.

If you would, follow this link to a picture of Cashel I took at night. It's quite striking at night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If theirs was a show about nothing, the writers of Seinfeld surely must have had a hand in crafting Chuck Hagel's non-announcement Monday.

Political pundits, and many of us in the media thought he was preparing to launch a presidential bid. We talked to him two weeks ago, and he confirmed he was considering a run.

So when a press release came out late last week telling us the Senator was making an announcement on his future, we all showed up.

CNN and Fox were there. It seems every TV camera in Nebraska was there too.

So what did Hagel announce? Only that he'll make an announcement later this year.

Excuse me?

It's been called the announcement of an announcement.

Analysts call it bizarre, puzzling, disappointing. To say the least.

I'm so glad I got up at 5 in the morning to get ready to drive to Omaha to squeeze my camera in so I could hear an announcement about nothing.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently released "The Definitive 200" best albums.

Here are the ones on the list I own: (14 in all)

5. U2 – JOSHUA TREE
10. NIRVANA – NEVERMIND
11. PEARL JAM – TEN
45. U2 – ACHTUNG BABY
55. LAURYN HILL – MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL
57. 50 CENT – GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’
65. COLDPLAY – RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD
73. REM – AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE
95. CREED – HUMAN CLAY
106. BECK – ODELAY
111. RADIOHEAD – O.K. COMPUTER
124. OASIS – WHAT’S THE STORY MORNING GLORY
159. BOYZ II MEN – COOLEYHIGHHARMONY
197. U2 – ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND

These I don't own, but have greatest hits CDs for:

MICHAEL JACKSON, PRINCE, JOHNNY CASH, JANET JACKSON, NO DOUBT, SMASHING PUMPKINS, MADONNA, LL COOL J

And I'm probably missing a few.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Yeah, an old shot. Don't know that I've ever blogged it before. It's a punk kid at an outdoor church service that he didn't really wanna be at.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


If you haven't played roller hockey, you don't know what you're missing.

Or maybe you do.
NEW! Now caring 400% more for women than men!

OK, that's not my church's new slogan. But the reality of the budget ledger shows we do spend four times more on ministry stuff for women than men.

I'm not sure what that means.

Maybe the women are more organized and have more events. I know they had a big winter retreat this past weekend with food, guest speakers, music, etc. They schedule more events so need more money.

So maybe it's an indictment of the men, for not doing more formal activities. Although, men are surely well represented in our co-ed ministries.

Do churches know what to do with men? I'm not sure.

I'm not sure I know what to do with men at church. The Promise Keepers fad has subsided. We don't want big retreats at church. Our church has sponsored hunting trips for men, or trips to baseball games. The latter would be more my speed.

We talked about this at a small group at church the other day. Have men abdicated their place in the church? (And I mean Church in the universal sense, not just my local body). Or to some extent, is the church responsible for not engaging men?

More questions than answers, I know. But that's what I do.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thanks to Netflix, I just saw The Right Stuff for the first time. I enjoyed it. But then again, I dig that space stuff.

But it reminded me that I've interviewed Scott Carpenter, one of the first seven astronauts. They were the guys who flew the Mercury missions. But while I'm a space history buff -- I was pretty disappointed with my interview. Here I am, talking to a living legend about space, and also his time in some undersea lab... and well, he just wasn't tracking. He seemed a little off his game.

It left me with less than a great impression. But having seen the movie now, it has restored awe in those early space pioneers. It wasn't a great interview, but hey, at least I had the chance!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


There's something cool about seeing a deserving family move into a new home of their own. This family is not only paying for a new home, but they helped build it through Habitat for Humanity. Yes, Habitat families do have a mortgage to pay. It's cheaper than most homes. But it's not a free house by any means. They put in hundreds of hours working on the home. And this weekend they got the keys. I'm proud to say I helped put the siding on the home, with the kids from chuch. Just hope it stays up!

Friday, February 09, 2007

So I put 300 miles on the work car today. Ugh. I'm tired.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Here's what I picked up most recently from Barnes & Noble:
The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything by Brian McLaren

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's been a good week for pictures I took last year at Cornerstone. Now one of my pictures has cracked the top 500 at Flickr, on their scale of "interestingness."

But you'll have to follow this link to actually see it. Gotta keep driving numbers there :)

Monday, January 22, 2007



Look familiar? This shot graces the cover of the Cornerstone Festival 2007 brochure that arrived in my mailbox today.

I thought I'd shot it, but had to look through thousands of shots to see if I really did. Yup. I did. And here it is. Actually, I count no fewer than six shots in the mailer that came out.

So if you get a Cornerstone mailing, look for the inset shot of Relient K on the front cover and that's my handiwork :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007



Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

The producers are work treated me to a cookie with a picture of me (kinda) on it :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Since when do they arrest witnesses?

That was my thought when stopping by the police station. Fairly routine beat call for a TV reporter. I check the reports daily. Heard about a shooting (guy shot in the hand with a rifle) and figured I'd need a soundbite on that on.

So I'm talking to a police captain and he mentions they arrested two witnesses. I thought he misspoke. Witnesses? Since when are witnesses hauled off to jail?

They are when they're wanted on outstanding warrants.

Guess I shouldn't be surprised that the kind of people who would witness a shooting would be wanted. Especially a shooting involving a rifle and close range in a home in a rundown neighborhood next to the tracks.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I'm a Guitar Hero! RAWK ON!

Career mode complete on easy and medium. But hard looks too hard. I'm gonna need to practice!
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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Favorite albums of 2006:

Leigh Nash - Blue on Blue
The Violet Burning - Drop Dead
Mute Math - Mute Math
The Lonely Hearts - Paper Tapes
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Pristina - Stars & Sirens


Hmmm. I'll have to think more and update this later.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's a stake through the heart of central Nebraska. Four days after freezing rain left inches of ice on everything, it's melting. Tonight that forced the evacuation of the TV station I work for. Thankfully, I work in the news bureau an hour east. My office has power and heat and lights. Can't say the same for the main station. They've been running on generators for days. That's enough power to keep the station on the air, and to power maybe two computers. We've had to anchor the news from our bureau several times, because it's a) the only place with steady power and b) doesn't have giant icicles crashing through the roof.


This is a small icicle, relative to the ten pound chunks that have fallen through the roof of the TV station. A 500 foot tower broadcasts our signal for dozens of counties.


See the coating of ice falling from this street sign? That's a small scale example of what I'm talking about. There are thousands of power poles down. That's hundred of miles of high voltage lines. And it's not like losing power to a square mile of city. Bringing a square mile of rural farm land back on the grid may only bring power back to a handful of people.


The ice storm has left 30,000 rural Nebraskans without power for four days. Sure, it looks amazing, but it's been devastating. That's not 30,000 in one or two towns. That's 30,000 spread out over a dozen counties.

There's ice on everything. Every chain link fence, every power line, every car, mailbox, sidewalk, and tree. It's been in the 40s the last two days, so at least it's melting. But the damage has been done.

Icy fingers reach from my front lawn...


Ice coated each and every blade of grass.