"" bshawise: March 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend of Firsts

This weekend was a weekend of firsts...

I took my first toilet out. I was a little weirded out by the wax ring. Didn't know how much was wax and how much was 50+ years of pee grime.

I took my first vanity out. I pulled the sink up and hit/broke the ceramic toothbrush holder off the wall. That ended up being kind of a huge debacle. It was attached to the wall by kind of rare earth stone that nothing could break off. We wacked it with hammers, chisels, insults and nothing could break it. It might be stronger than God's hip bone. I borrowed Steve's grinder (a tool that cuts steel) and that couldn't even cut it. Crazy. Our tile wall will forever have a little nub to remind me of my inefficiencies.

Those two jobs were in preparation of Leah and Chris re-tiling our bathroom. Leah was the tile-cutting wizard. She grabbed this project by the balls and led the entire thing. She's beautiful and rugged all at once. I don't take for granted my luck in life.

I ran in my first 5k race. I was blessed with oppressive wind, rain and 40 degree weather. Luckily, Tyler a veteran racer/marathoner jogged alongside me. That helped keep my mind off the hills and pneumonia-incubating, pioneer-killing conditions.

I got my first medal. I'm no hero, folks. I just finished a race against all odds. Which by the way, the fans lining the streets at 9am couldn't have cared less about. Not a single cheer. I expected more encouragement quite frankly.

I ate at the Westside's crown jewel, Price Hill Chili for the first time. Look for the full review from the Cirque du Savory crew tomorrow. The highlight was when a member of our burger team received a cheeseburger after ordering a hamburger. She got her burger with the unwanted cheese 15+ minutes after everyone got their food. The waitress said, "They put cheese on it, sorry." Then she left and didn't return until it was bill delivery time. Only in the Westside could that happen. A mind-blowing display of customer service. The fact that the server just said, "Sorry," and didn't fix it is so insane that I think it makes me like the place. Not sure why.

I built my first saw horses with my big bro-in-law Justin. We were going to add onto my deck today. We had plans in place for weeks. I had a few things to do in preparation. One of them was to call the people who make sure you don't kill yourself by digging into various lines. I kind of forgot. It's technically illegal to dig without calling those people. So now, I have two fresh steeds out back, grazing away, waiting to go to work (as long as Justin agrees to help again after my slight misstep today).

Tonight, after it gets dark, I will drag a toilet out to the curb for the first time. For whatever reason I was embarrassed to do it in broad daylight. I think it felt hillbilly.

Tomorrow, I may return home and have to do my first hillbilly walk of shame. I have no clue if trashmen take toilets. So I may have to drag it back up the house as my neighbors quietly mock me from their kitchen windows.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I just read an article about how scientists are trying to figure out why sled dogs are so sensitive to insulin. They know it's due to the fact that these dogs are pulling sleds thousands of miles. Sleds that are full of gear that feeds, clothes and protects the maniac yelling, "Mush." The scientists want to know what chemical reaction is happening that makes them so lean and muscular. Figure that out, create a pill and/or smoothie and boom- millions of exercise-phobes get skinny without all the annoying hard work. Sled dogs are lean, mean pulling machines because they're putting in the time working their asses off in Antarctica. They deserve their leanness.

Americans (myself included here) piss me off. All we want is the short cut, the easy way out, the secret back door. I see it with this financial mess. I don't like hearing our president tell me it's going to be a long hard row to hoe. Give me the quick fire fix, Barry. Put this thing in the microwave and cook it. Fix it. Now.

I find this microwave mentality affecting my spiritual life as well. This week, I've spending time each morning in prayer. One part of this new routine is a 20 minute block of time where you listen to God. For the past two days I've gotten antsy after five minutes. I'm like, c'mon God....I'm here, let's do it, I'm ready. It's sad but I even want the secret door, chemical smoothie approach to connecting with God.

Half the stuff we want we don't deserve because we don't put the work in. We need to fix that. Right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

God Gave Mat (Rock N' Roll) To You

I have this mate named Mat. I was thinking about how many hats he's worn over the years I've known him so I stared jotting them down. The guy is a true renaissance man. Meatloaf and Bette Midler's love child.

Mat has/is

Coached baseball. Directed a high school musical with his wife. Started a weekly music video show with roughly zero dollars and all volunteers. Produced countless video productions. Starred in a rap video. Sang in choirs. MC'd concerts. Starred and produced a feature-length documentary. An author for Abingdon Press. Snuck into the visitor's locker room at Citizen's Bank Park in Philly. Produced numerous youth conferences. A public speaker. A true grillmaster. Threw together an impromptu block party after our recent power outage from the hurricane. A published web-designer. A plumber of sorts. A carpenter of sorts. A seamstress of sorts. A car mechanic of sorts. A pretty decent photographer. A club rugby player. A pastor. A father/husband. A lover/fighter. A blogger. A strategist. A futurist. An entrepreneur. A number of things I'm forgetting. And now...

He's the frontman for Cincinnati's newest glam rock band TALON. Here's their debut performance. Skip ahead to the end rendition of God Gave Rock N' Roll To You.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Photoshop Progressions

Life is pretty much perfect for Hoff...

...he has celebrity friends and lets them drive Kit...

...Arnold doesn't know how to drive stick and kills Kit...

...Hoff goes into deep depression combined with self-medication, resulting in midnight snacking.

Tab cools off hot situations...

Batman is a crowd-pleasing Grand Marshall for circus parade...

...then he goes off script...

...and Terry the Birthday Tiger (Grand Marshall understudy) gets a major break.

A family outing that seems cute...

...turns into a nightmare for Greenpeace.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uncle Brad Needs You

2000+ bricks are being delivered to VCC's doorstep today. They're headed under each seat of the auditorium. Bricks are lazy buggers. They need carried everywhere. Help me carry them. Meet me in the auditorium all day today and starting at 10am on Saturday. They're for a prayer experience this weekend at VCC. I really believe it'll be worth the work. I need your help.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Minute Gump

Sometimes I really love the internet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I continue to ponder this community thing. This morning I'm pondering mates. I've come to believe over my short life that we all need mates. You're thinking, "Quit saying mates, what do you mean by mates?"

Mate [meyt]
1. husband or wife; spouse.
2. one member of a pair of mated animals.
3. one of a pair: I can't find the mate to this glove.
4. a counterpart.
5. an associate; fellow worker; comrade; partner (often used in combination): classmate; roommate.
6. friend; buddy; pal (often used as an informal term of address): Let me give you a hand with that, mate.
7. Nautical.

I'm referring to 4/5/6 on this list but my definition is slightly different. In my dictionary there's a difference between friend and mate.

Mate [meyt]
1. a comrade; counterpart; brother whose face you can throw a shoe at and still be alright. A buddy you can angrily disagree with one minute and hug it out the next.

Getting to this level of mate takes time. One of my best good mates was a roommate in college. We had some doozie fights. We were both born with large amounts of stubborn brain cells. We could go toe to toe one minute and then be laughing about something the next. We weren't bi-polar. We were mates. I'm no relationship scientist but I honestly think that physical violence unleashed on another's face, whether that be a shoe or a milk-jug boxing glove (both stories for another day) somehow takes friendships to the next level. You either become enemies or mates. Various physical and verbal bouts are what took Tyler and I to the next level I think. (is this getting too gay?)

I'm not saying go around punching your friends in attempt to mine new mates. But I will say that we all need one or two people who are on the next level of friendship. And I think it's important that they be in our lives now. We need counterparts who can call us out, verbally punch us and we'll still be OK. It's that whole iron sharpening iron thing. Sure the sharpening hurts, but the transformation into super-pointy, iron-swords is pretty rad. That's when you upgrade to #7. Nautical.

Monday, March 16, 2009


This morning a friend invited me to a video chat. The Jetson-esque aspect of these chats still blows me away. I declined because:

A. Leah was on a conference call and I had to be very very quiet.
B. I just woke up, was rocking glasses, eye-crusties and had toxic morning breath that would've been visible on camera.

This got me thinking a little bit. I was awake and interested in certain levels of community. I was reading blogs, checking Facebook and even txt iChatting with a couple people. All in my pajamas. I pictured people from the 1800s. I doubt they did much in their pajamas except sleep or walk to the outhouse. If they wanted community they'd put on corsets, suits, rouge and stroll to courtyards and military parades. They would've had no way to hear about ALL their friends' weekend adventures without serious effort and formality.

Neither did we a handful of years ago.

Back in the 80s I had to go breakdancing parties to hear the latest WORD. In the 90s I spent countless hours at 90210 parties just to interact with my stonewashed cronies. Now I roll out of bed and I'm popping and locking with all of you from the comfort of my flannels.

I think all this technology is good right? I wouldn't know half of you clowns without it. I wonder when it's bad, though. Does all this cyber -community keep things sterile in certain ways? I certainly miss the smell of sweat and Tang from all those breakdancing parties. I really miss the smell of White Rain and denim from the 90210 get-downs. So if someone invents a way for smells to shoot thru cyberspace they'll be a billionaire. You could be smelling my breath right now. That's community.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Pixels

I arranged various pixels in various new ways for a weblog facelift. I hope it blows your mind.

Friday, March 13, 2009

No Mo'

Here is perhaps the most comprehensive list of breakfast options ever assembled. Some unorthodox choices make the list. But I would still argue that the next time you're unsure how to break your fast this video could be a legitimate resource.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Status Updates

Yesterday I spoke at this class (Alpha) where folks are exploring the basics of Christianity, asking the hard questions, seeing if it's the real deal or not. I told some old stories I haven't told in awhile. The topic was prayer. Asking me to talk about prayer would be like asking George Foreman to talk about microwaves. But one of the things I threw out there was this Status Update prayer idea. In Facebook and Twitter (Miley Cyrus' fav tool) you update people (in the 3rd Person) on what you're doing. "Miley is watching dad get pancakes stuck in his soul patch." Then two hours later... "Miley is grumpy." Her friends comment. "LOL, Mileeeeeeee. I'm grumpy too!!! ;)" and "Does your dad still have friends in low places?"

I asked the folks in the class to experiment with giving quick status updates to God throughout the day. Let him know you're nervous about your job security. Tell him you had an awesome meatball sub today. It can't be a bad thing to be in constant conversation with God right? The next level would be giving him time to comment back. I have no idea if it'll work. But it is interesting (dare I say fascinating) that we are so into status updates these days. Could that translate into how we interact with God?

"Brad doesn't know but thinks it's worth trying."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy ReBirthday Chuck Norris

March 10 is the day Chuck Norris punched his way out of a dragon's womb. Tonight, while millions of people are celebrating his birth I will celebrate his rebirth. By now, we've all experienced the infamous Chuck Norris Facts. It is my theory that these facts were responsible for Chuck roundhousing his way back into mainstream. It is also my theory that these facts were inspired by the old Bill Brasky sketches on SNL. So, if you follow that logic out, Brasky is Chuck's rebirth father. TO BILL BRASKY!

Watch To be Bill Brasky in Entertainment Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Monday, March 9, 2009


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Naturally 7

Chuck Hines showed me these guys at work yesterday. Very unique. Very cool.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mnemonic Alphabet Soup

I've been DVRing Demetri Martin's new show on Comedy Central called Important Things. It's most excellent. I politely urge you to join me in watching.

He did a quick sketch where he made a mnemonic device to remember the alphabet. I thought it would be fun to try. Maybe you'll attempt one as well...

About bears (crafty devils)... every fortnight, ghastly, horrible, invincible, jerk-killers love manslaughter. Never obstruct pressuring/questioning, rappers & sailors. They urge violence wherever Xavier yearns zucchini.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is this guy serious?

I honestly can't tell.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gay Marriage

I listened to a fascinating interview today on Talk of the Nation (NPR). I copied this from npr.org: David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values, and Jonathan Rauch, who supports gay marriage, wouldn't seem to have much common ground on the issue. But, in an op-ed for The New York Times, they found it.

Everyone has their ideals, their perfect picture for everything. Rarely are those ideals met. I'll never dunk a basketball or have a functioning pancreas even though in an ideal world I would. So in the absence of realized-ideals there has to be compromise right? I can't yell and scream for the rest of my life that I deserve a pancreas. I probably do. But I have to compromise and take insulin, exercise and eat right.

People who hate gay marriage are probably never going to fully support it. People who want gay marriage are never going to stop wanting it. Both of these groups are never going to stop fighting for what they believe in. But it's pointless for both sides to keep screaming at each other. So this article offers a compromise. It's not the "ideal" for either side. But it's reasonable. And that's a better place to be than where the debate currently is.

Here is that op-ed.