April 28, 2011

Your Going Viral Lesson for the Day

I've written 43 songs about presidential failure. Yet in 24 hours, my Rebecca Black Easter Song parody, "Good Friday" received 4 times more views than my most popular president song has (George Washington). On the plus side, I learned the secret to going viral. Making sure Perez Hilton likes it. The downside to this? Perez simply stripped the video from my YouTube site, put his logo over it, and played the video in his own player. 10,000 views that didn't go to me. The most surprising thing about this whole thing? How guys like Perez Hilton "got it", and so many Christians didn't. Check out my guest post on Matthew Paul Turner's Jesus Needs New PR blog to read more about my lesson regarding satire and the church.

April 27, 2011

Animal Crackers? They’re Animal Cookies.

I started packing my own lunch from an early age. But, there were some expectations ingrained in me that I still follow to this day. A lunch consists of:

Sandwich. Fruit. Chips. Dessert.

Of course, there were workarounds for the pubescent mind. Fruit could rightfully substituted for a fruit roll up or Shark Bites fruit snacks. A sandwich could be substituted for a Lunchables make your own pepperoni pizza kit. Even in elementary school, I thought these tasted disgusting. I don't know why I kept making my mom buy them.

But, there was one substitution I was never able to trick my mind into. Because animal crackers aren't crackers. They're cookies. To replace my Doritos with them would simply be disgusting.

April 26, 2011

E-Ching for the Day

"The rich are those who have gambled and won. The poor are those who have gambled and lost. And the miserable are those who have never gambled at all."

More on my Perez Hilton pick-up tomorrow.

April 22, 2011

Psst…Sunday’s Coming

Good Friday as a holiday has always bothered me. As a musician, I love the angst. The somber attitude. The darker songs. The melancholy. But, it was all a bit silly for me.

Are we just pretending we don't know what's going to happen on Sunday? Are we merely trying to trick ourselves?

Then, a few years ago, it hit me. We don't grieve out of fear the resurrection may not occur. I grieve because I put Him there. He not only made this sacrifice FOR me, but BECAUSE of me. It's my fault.

I grieve today for what I have done. And I celebrate the grace we have been offered.

April 21, 2011

Facebook Guide to Entertainment Etiquette

I'm starting to really dislike Facebook. Simply because people don't know how to effectively entertain a mass audience. Yes, I'm probably talking to you, as well as reminding myself, yet my desperate need to be liked causes a higher status censorship ratio than most people have.

Think about the people whose statuses you enjoy reading the most. They're probably entertaining. They're probably interesting. And they're probably not all that often.

So what can you do? Think about what percentage of your friend list would be interested in your post before posting it. That means less niche news, and more broad comedy. Be a good communicator. Choose your words carefully. And be more selective with when you speak. Follow these rules, and your friends won't secretly hate/hide* you.

*To make your personal Facebook experience more enjoyable, you can hide those annoying communicators without the public embarrassment of a de-friending. Simply hover your mouse to the right of their post on your wall, and an X should appear, where you can choose to hide them. I've probably hidden half of my friend list. And 40% don't ever post. So, I get the cream of the crop, the 1/10 posts that are most entertaining. Be the 1/10.

April 20, 2011

Good Friday – A Rebecca Black Easter Song

This is for churches looking to better engage their Easter-only visitors this weekend.

April 19, 2011

Breakthroughs vs. Breakable: A High-Tech Dilemma

I sat at my mechanic's for 3 hours this morning, waiting for my brakes to be changed. While there, I was able to witness a small sample size of the common problems that bring people to their mechanic on a Tuesday morning. Many of these problems were computer-based. A sensor malfunctioning of some kind.

Recently, I've noticed that the buttons on my 15-year old alarm clock have gotten slightly harder to push. Its first defect. Yes, I know the technology is night and day difference. But my alarm clock is 15 years old and running. And I haven't gotten a laptop past the 3 year mark yet.

There is a constant desire for the latest and greatest technological breakthroughs. But with these new wonders come new malfunctions we didn't foresee. So, what about this idea?

What if a car manufacturer could more or less perfect a 2005 Honda Civic? It would run flawlessly for 250,000 miles with extraordinarily basic maintenance.

Would you buy this car? Or would you be mad that you couldn't control your windshield wipers via voice command?

April 18, 2011

Chivalrous When Convenient

I like to think of myself as a gentleman.

But I came to a horrifying conclusion this weekend. I always open the car door for my wife... as long as we're heading toward the vehicle from the passenger side. When we're coming to the car from the driver's side, I allow my very independent wife to manage herself in.

When convenient, I'm chivalrous. When inconvenient, I'm a feminist.

Yes, I agree. I think that's the worst thing I've ever heard, too.

April 14, 2011

Why is it So Hard to Be Skinny: Food is Awesome

Historically, the human diet was much simpler than it is today. Not necessarily "better", in the modern-day sense of the term. For instance, in most cultures, it included tons of animal fat. But, it was real food. Today, it's chemicals. It's geo-engineered flavor. Combine that with  the culinary genius of those who combine the four spectrums of the flavor profile (sweet, sour, bitter and salt) into every creation. And food today tastes better than it ever has in the history of the world.

It's also one of the reasons we're eating too much.

After struggling with his weight for the last 5 years, my good friend Dave (who gave me permission to write this) jumped on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. And in order to get the social support and accountability he knew he'd need, he told everyone he knew about his plan and his goal weight of 210 pounds.

Dave has lost more than 30 pounds so far over his 35 week journey. But there have been a lot of ups and downs along the way. (Watch this past week's video update for the latest example.)

I was angry after watching this latest update. Not because of the weight fluctuation. But because of the cupcake montage at the end. I think I yelled, "Are you kidding me?" at my computer screen. I just didn't get it.

And then I realized something. I just don't get it. My biggest weight swing in my life has been 20 pounds. Dave's hoping for a 110 pound swing. Our motivations, limitations, baggage and understandings are not the same. So, I sent this video to a few of my friends this week hoping to get some clarity. Here is an aggregate paraphrase of their understanding. And I'm looking for your help to fill in the blanks.
"Weight Watchers isn't A.A. In alcoholics anonymous, they claim you're an addict. Moderation doesn't work for addicts. The unique take of WW is that you can eat whatever you want, as long as you count it. And this works for a lot of people. But it doesn't work as well for addicts. Addicts, by definition, can't be moderate. They need to categorize certain foods as "NO". Or else, by sheer willpower alone, they will up-and-down forever."
This made a lot of sense to me. But again, I just don't get it. I know that a few of you readers have accomplished significant weight losses yourselves, and I'm looking for your expertise on this...

April 13, 2011

Why is it So Hard to Be Skinny: Exercise is Boring

I hate working out. It's really boring. But I like television.

Behold! Make sure your treadmill is in the same room as your TV!

In fact, I'm certain that's the only reason I run in the winter. Because our projector broke this week, and watching the wall when I run has been pretty horrendously boring.

In the warmer seasons, I run with my wife outside. That is the only reason I run outside. I wouldn't do it alone. I'd prefer my basement. After all, there's a TV there.

From a biological standpoint, we were designed to be boar hunters. Now that we have to fake it, it's harder.