Fresh and Minty

5 03 2009

mint
Keeping on the money train, I’ve been working on my personal budgeting skills (or malfunctions) the past few months trying to get all prepped for my wedding and the subsequent combined bank accounts/incomes/budgets that will be happening shortly there after. Since I’ve never technically balanced my own check book and I’ve been known a time or two to dip into the “Overdraft Protection” funds, I’m generally a walking nightmare when it comes to finances. All I know is that typically I make more than I spend, and when I don’t, I have a few credit cards to work with. And I save. Sometimes. I know, I know, I’m a train wreck.

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Then I met Mint.com – a fresh look at budgeting – that’s free. Imagine a budget website that’s ridiculously easy to use and doesn’t force you to really do any leg work at all except input all your credit cards and bank accounts (don’t worry you freakin’ pessimists – it’s super safe). Next, sit back and watch the magic happen. Mint tracks all your money, creates you a budget based on your previous spending, categorizes all your purchases, and shows it all to you in pretty pie charts and bar graphs. You don’t have to do a thing. It updates itself every time you log in. They even send you e-mail updates when you’ve gone over budget or if you have a credit card payment due this week. And did I mention it’s free? Yeah. It’s amazing. So if you’re like me and not that financially sophisticated, go sign up now. And save some money. Or at least find out where all your money went.





The Credit Crisis Visualized

3 03 2009

I didn’t really pay attention in accounting class. And my economics professor was Chinese so there was a bit of a language barrier. If only everything they said could have been explained to me like this, I’d be so much smarter. It also explains why so many people look like this guy:
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Part 1:

Part 2:

Thanks Jonathan Jarvis.

And for more of those guys with their hands on their faces, go here.





Atlantis and the End of the Rainbow: Found

2 03 2009

Google wants to own the world. Everyone should know that by now. They’ve made practically every comepetitor obsolete (remember when Yahoo was a seach engine, not a place for your Fantasy Football league?) and those they couldn’t beat, they bought (I’m looking at you YouTube). And since Google Earth/Maps/Street View hit the scene a few years back, geeks/travelers/future home buyers/stalkers have never had an easier time seeing anywhere in the world in a mater of seconds. And now, they’ve apparently found the lost city of Atlantis. Go figure. If anybody was gonna do it, it’d be Google. Here’s the Google Map link.

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Not to be outdone however, a guy in California found the end of the rainbow.
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So suck it Google. You don’t own us yet.





Hanging Out On E-Street

25 02 2009

By this point, you should be well aware of my affinity for a certain prolific musician from the south side of Jersey. And if you’ve been around for any length of time, you know that I’m not alone. Springsteen is also is apparently a musician’s musician, and on his website right now he’s showcasing some artists being interviewed about The Boss’ influence on music as well as covering some of his jams… one of which, in some sort of path-crossing-universal-crashing-enigma is none other than the Avett Brothers… it’s like when your friends from high school run into your friends from college at your birthday party. Amazing…

Here’s a few of the other highlights as well…

Some of my other favorites, Pete Yorn, Josh Ritter and Tegan & Sara, will also be featured soon on his site, so color me excited.





C3 in the Big D: Day 2 Recap

22 02 2009

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– Tommy Barnett looks freakishly like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

– Pastor Steven brought the house down with his message on honor and restoring it to the church and the men of God called to lead them.

– Christine Caine is a tiny little Australian firecracker with a great message who looks like she is 15, not 42.

– Pastor Craig Groeschell still sounds like a sideline football reporter, but killed it with his message on what ‘It’ is and how we get it back.

– T.D. Jakes’ knowledge of the Bible and the way he makes it all connect is like some sort of ‘Beautiful Mind’ moment is amazing… I can never write fast enough to keep up with what he profoundly pulls from scripture.

– Afterwards, I got hit on by some girls during their sweet 16 birthday dinner. I have the napkin note to prove it.

– I spent some time walking in a fountain due to a lost bet between myself and Joybatka.

– We caught up on LOST on a television that had the reception of an old basement TV with rabbit ears.

– Wade unfortunately taught me what a ‘Bell Ringer’ was.

– Wade also ate a whole bag of fun size candy bars while he was in his bed and wallowed around on the wrappers. Gross.

– On the way home, Larry and I convinced a pilot that we were doing a community college video project and to let me wear her pilot hat.

So that’s it. Great trip. Great teaching. A proud moment to get to share in ministry with Pastor Steven. Great food. Great friends. And some hotel roommates that made it feel somewhere between the last night of summer camp and the first year of college. Fantastic.





C3 In the Big D: Day 1 Recap

20 02 2009

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A few of the highlights from day 1:

– Today was Pastor Steven’s birthday. We all went up to his room to sing him happy birthday outside his door. Like Christmas carolers.

– We’re staying in a hotel that has a small city inside of it. With real trees. And a river. And a Kinko’s.

– We all got a free pair of TOMS shoes at the conference. I got plain white ones because of my boyish good looks. And I asked nicely.

– Ed Young did an Axl Rose impression and also said he’d pay top dollar for John Maxwell’s teeth because they can bite a man’s arm off.

– Bil with one L Cornielius spoke great words about the importance of praying for the work we do, rather than just merely doing the work we do.

– Ben Young used words that I haven’t heard since Mr. Angstadt’s Philosophy & Ethics class.

– Jentzen Franklin is part TV evangelist, part conference speaker and all Georgia. Fantastic.

– Joybatka and I committed crimes of the heart in a photobooth.

– I ate at my first Brazilian steakhouse. I piled my plate high with beef, pork and chicken shaved right off a skewer. I was not disappointed.

– I saw Chunks without a shirt on. Again.

– Meredith and I represented CS4 well in Balderdash: Pastor Steven edition.

– I’m sleeping on a rollaway twin bed at the foot of Wade’s queen bed. I feel like an indentured servant.





Messing With Texas… Again

19 02 2009

texas
Last year, if you remember, the whole staff made the trek out to Dallas for the Creative Church Conference at Fellowship Church. Well this year, only the lead staff was scheduled to go – along with a few lucky other staff members slash contest winners. And because of my sharp mind and mathmatical prowess, I was able to catch a free ride to Texas after winning the staff-wide Sudoku-off. I knew all that wasted time in the bathroom would pay off – mom, just look at me now. Pastor Steven will be speaking on Friday, which is gonna be great – I really love watching him speak into church leaders and get them fired up about the calling God has placed on their lives. Plus I’ll be getting into all sorts of shenanigans with this guy and this guy. Maybe even a little triple-spoon-action. Or maybe not. Either way, I’ll be dropping some hot pics throughout the trip, so check back in on that mischief.