Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hanging with Scotty U.

On Saturday morning, Madden and I hung out with Scotty. He is an old friend that I actually made back in high school. I was about 16 when i first met him. We worked together as ushers at the movie theater. We happened to bump into each other last year at the mall and now hang out on occasion. Scott is a really cool guy. Very very funny and just fun to hang with.

This time we made out way out the the Atlanta Car Show. Before going, i made it a goal to get a picture of Madden with some of the car models. I mean how funny would it be to have baby Madden posing with bikini models like a pimp? But for some reason, the model aren't in bikinis. I guess they want to look respectable. Instead, they are in business suits.

So really you go just to look at the cars. There were a ton of them. Just off the top of my head only the Hummers and the Charger (now the Challenger) made a big impact on me.

The hummer because it looks horrible. All the corners are rounded off now and it looks like every other SUV! When someone gets a Hummer they want it to look like the original army machine it was and if you spend that much on a vehicle (and its gas) it better stand out from the other cars on the road.

The Challenger is basically the old Charger slightly updated. That thing is a good old fashion muscle machine. I love it. It is modern but reminds you of the days when cars were made out of metal instead of plastic.

We spent about 2 hours at the car show and managed to get lost walking over to the CNN center, but all in all it was a blast.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sometimes journalism is lame

Last night I covered the Fayette County Commissioners meeting. I knew beforehand it would likely be boring, but I desperately needed a story and decided to go.

So, I got down there (a 45 minute drive from my office) just in time and found a seat. As I thought, it was boring and nothing news worthy really happened. Thankfully the meeting was going quick and the main part of it was over in about 40 mins.

Right at the end the commissioners dismissed for an executive sesssion (a private meeting where not even media is allowed to attend) and I was going to leave then. In fact, I was standing in the doorway when I heard one commissioner tell someone else they might want to stick around. "You might want to stick around. The real fireworks will begin later," he said. Hearing that, there was no way I could leave.

So I sat and waited while they had their private meeting. And then I waited some more and then some more. I was there for another hour just waiting.

They said the meeting was about some litigation taken against them, so I figured something big might happen with that, but when they finally returned they didn't bring the hammer I thought they would. Instead, they said they passed some zoning issues and talked about the litigation and that was it. Once they came back out, the public meeting was dismissed within 5 minutes.

All my waiting was for nothing. Journalism can be like that at times. Sometimes you do all this digging and all this waiting to find absolutely nothing. I guess that what makes it fun when you actually do find something.

I remember when I was covering Clayton County and was able to dig up some info on Commissioner Wole Ralph. He was going through a divorce with his wife and had her thrown out of a public meeting. He claimed she was stalking him and interfering with his work. He didn't realize she was at the meeting to make a presentation on behalf of Lovejoy (a city in Clayton).

I decided to look at the divorce papers and I found out he had taken a restraining order out on her. I called the wife to get some info and was told the reason she was calling him and trying to reach him was because he basically walked out on her. She didn't really know where he was or that he was leaving her. Oh yea, another thing I found out from the reports was that he was leaving her for another woman.

So sometimes, journalism pays off. Sometimes, like last night, it doesn't.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

5 ways to make the Tour de Georgia better

With the Tour de Georgia racing through town in just a few weeks, I thought of a few ways to make the event more interesting. Let's face it, professional cycling is about the lamest spectator sport around. Even when Lance Armstrong was involved, there was no reason to watch anything more than the Sports Center highlights.

As a matter of fact, all that spandex actually makes it impossible to watch. So here we go, 5 ways to make the sport more interesting:

5. Drive behind a group of cyclers. Tell them to get out of the way by constantly honking at them and yelling that your wife is in the car giving birth.

4. Dig a huge hole in the ground and cover it with leaves. Placement is key here. Putting it right before the finish line is probably the best spot for this.

3. Every specator gets an airhorn!

2. Reroute the course so it goes into a mountain. Paint the mountain so it looks like a tunnel. Wyle E. Coyote would be so proud!

1. Now, I don't know why this isn't already in the race, but they need some ramps so the bikers could make some sweet jumps. Cyclists would get extra points for style and even more points for crashes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The DMV is lame!

I have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn in the morning to get in line at the DMV and stand in line. All I need is a new license plate for my car which should take about 5 minutes tops. But knowing the DMV, it will get stretched into 4 hours or more. If, by the grace of God, there isn't a long line, there will be some forms I forgot or need to fill out.

Tomorrow won't be fun, look for an interesting post about the entire experience.

What did our trip to the Dominican really mean?

Last week, I had the pleasure of going on a mission trip with my church, Vinings Lake, to the Dominican Republic. While we were there, we played with children in a sugar cane village, visited orphans (some of them severely handicapped) and even did some street ministry.

All of it was amazing and had a huge impact on my family. While I know God worked wonders in our hearts, I wonder what effect we had on the Dominicans? Were we merely some Americans that came to play with them? Did they really hear our message that Jesus loves and accepts them?

I really hope we had a lasting impact on those Dominicans and while it is impossible to fully know the answer to that, it is comforting to know we planted the seed.

Suppose for some reason, we didn't reach a single person. At the very least, we helped introduce and educate them on a religion they may not have heard of or didn't understand. That is the first step.

There are those that think mission trips are a way of pushing religion on others. I think that is nonsense. It is simply educating them. There is nothing we can do to make them follow Jesus without there will. In some ways, it is like someone telling you about evolution or the big bang theory. You can listen and make your own conclusion. Now certain things can persuade you, like facts (Jesus has a little advantage with the Holy Spirit, grace, love and not to mention tons facts and proof). While Jesus may work in the hearts of those people we spoke to, there was nothing pushy about what we did. We merely presented what we know.

So, what if the shoe was on the other foot? Suppose a group of Chinese people came to me to tell me about Buddha. I would sincerely listen. Being a Christian does not mean you should be naive and close-minded. Instead, we should be open to others. We should learn about other religions and theories. We can make our own decisions as to what we believe.

And just as I was informed about Jesus and decided to follow him, now those Dominicans have been exposed to it and can make their own decision.

Isaiah 52:7 says, How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

So, our trip was a success even if we didn't save a soul. We informed the Dominicans and planted a seed.