The Tick is on DVD

It is my great and happy privilege to inform you that season one of The Tick is now out on DVD. Spring to action at once! Get yourself to the nearest DVD distribution center and buy that DVD!

Where else can you hear that familiar cry of flatware–“Spoon!”? See the epic battle between a sneezy, not-healthy Tick and the oozing mucus Tick–cloned from a kleenex, no less! And hear that understated exclamation before a friend becomes dino-sized, “Bad move, Neil!” I’ve got my copy on it’s way.

You know, evil comes in many forms, be it a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin. But you can’t let the package hide the pudding. Evil is just plain bad. You don’t cotton to it. You gotta smack it on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of goodness. Bad dog! Bad dog!

Avoiding Yard Work

For most of the summer I’ve been hiring a teen from the youth group to do my yard work. But this week he got a real job, or rather a few real jobs, and was too busy to do my yard. So I did it myself.

After hacking down the weeds that were trying to reclaim my driveway I took a break and noticed that my hand was shaking. Fifteen minutes of weedwhacking and my hand starts shaking. So either I’m a wuss and need to start doing more manual labor, or I need to hire more youth group kids.

Heart and Soul of Church Communication

I don’t talk about it much here, but I’m the “chief blogger” for Church Marketing Sucks (CMS) and the Labs Director for the the non-profit parent, the Center for Church Communication (CFCC). The former is a role I’ve had for two years, helping to launch CMS and watching it take off. The latter is a role I’ve had since last fall when CFCC went non-profit and we really started figuring out where we’re going with this thing.

I love working on these projects. If I could do it all day long, I would. I love constructive efforts to help the church get better. And I love that so many people are jumping on the bandwagon.

Continue reading Heart and Soul of Church Communication

Did the Web Kill Collecting?

Prompted by my baseball card post yesterday, I’m wondering today if the Internet has killed collecting.

I used to be quite the collector: Rocks, shells, baseball cards, racing cards, racing memorabilia, matchbox cars, postcards, yo-yo’s. Since college I’ve pretty much given it all up and sold off most of my collections (you’d be shocked at how quickly my meager rock collection was snatched up on ebay). I lost interest in collecting, and now the only thing I really collect are books (though limited shelf space has put a damper on that collection) and souvenir yo-yo’s (from places I’ve visited, so it’s rather limited).

I tired of collecting before the web really came into its own, but I wonder what effect the web has had on collecting.

Continue reading Did the Web Kill Collecting?

The Baseball Card Collection in the Basement

Like many guys my age I have boxes and boxes of baseball cards stashed in a corner of the basement. Thanks to an exploding market that everyone my age dove into, plus the stories every dad told of grandma throwing away his Mickey Mantle rookie card, there is an incredible glut of late 1980s and early 1990s baseball cards.

Meaning all those pristine Topps, Donruss and Upper Deck baseball cards in the corner of my basement are worth about as much as the paper they’re printed on. Blogger Jason Kottke has been talking about baseball cards lately and pointed to a few blogs and articles bemoaning this trend.

Continue reading The Baseball Card Collection in the Basement

Upgrading to Movable Type 3.3

I upgraded my backend blog software to Movable Type 3.3 today. My initial response is meh.

When I upgraded to 3.2 I had some issues. So far I don’t have any issues with the basic functionality (we’ll see what happens when I post this entry), though several of the new features sputtered at first: 500 server errors for some new functionality and the editing buttons that let me link, do italics, bold, blockquote, etc. were missing (they’re fixed now). We’ll see what else goes wrong. If it goes the right, the best I can hope for is tag functionality.

With each upgrade I keep losing faith in Movable Type.

Continue reading Upgrading to Movable Type 3.3

Can a State Secede from the U.S.?

A friend called me rather randomly today to ask if the state of Minnesota could secede from the U.S. It was just an off the cuff example, prompted by the realization that the U.S. has “colonies” like Saipan that some of us never knew existed (until our friend announced she was going to teach there). That prompted some speculation and eventually ended with the secession question.

It’s a fun little question, especially given our preference for freedom. If a state wants to secede, and democratically votes to do so, why shouldn’t they be able to? It seems to go along with our spreading of freedom abroad.

My initial guess was that secession wouldn’t fly. That’s part of what prompted the Civil War (among other things). Wikipedia backs me up, noting that Congress passed a law making it illegal for a state to secede. Which sounds kind of silly, if you think about it.

I realize the reasons for not wanting a state to secede. You want to keep the nation together. But isn’t it somewhat against our national character, our focus on freedom and all that, to not allow a state to jump ship if they want to?

At any rate, it’s fun speculation. The Wikipedia entry includes some details about failed secessions over the years, including states in the northeast, South Carolina, the obvious Civil War, Texas seceding from Mexico (so we’ll take a seceding state, but we won’t let our states secede?) and speculation about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan seceding from Michigan and becoming it’s own state (Ha! They could rival Wyoming for lowest everything [actually, such an act would make the Upper Peninsula the state with the smallest population by quite a margin: 328,000 in the U.P., 509,000 in Wyoming]. Plus I think there’s something in the Constitution about not taking land away from any state. Update: OK, I guess you can do it with approval from both state’s legislatures and Congress.) It’s also fun to note that Michigan traded Toledo for the U.P., which I think was a pretty good deal for my old home state.


  • Read my review of Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War.

Newsweek Interviews Billy Graham

My former employer, Billy Graham, graces the cover of Newsweek and is the feature of a story about his declining health and thoughts toward the end of his life. It’s an interesting read.

Having worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association before, it’s always fun to read this kind of stuff. At one point recently I was very tempted to start up a Billy Graham blog (a Billy Blog!). I had my eye on urls, I had a logo in the works and I even chatted with my lawyer about how to keep from getting sued. I ended up being too busy to invest the time into a project with no sure revenue model. I guess I’ll have to settle with my Billy Graham Squidoo lens. (Jan. 1, 2009 Update: OK, I went ahead and started the blog about Billy Graham.)

This kind of thing would have been great fodder.

Continue reading Newsweek Interviews Billy Graham