Monday, April 26, 2010

Managing Facebook

It always seems like folks are self-loathing their time spent on facebook. . . . . The irony is always funny how they spend time in the facebook meta complaining about how they spend too much time on facebook. . . .

Or maybe that's all changed. See, I haven't been on facebook in a week or so, and it's been really great. I have really seen how much time I was wasting on it. I don't plan on going back to the old patterns, ever. I'm a happier person, seriously. Whenever you talk like this, people are always quick to point out all of the good things that facebook provides you. And, I agree with those things. Heck, it even helps me administrate a fairly large portion of one of our groups here at church.

So, here's a compromise, or half-way point that I think might work for some folks. Again, I'm not being a legalist here. . . I don't think facebook is evil. . . and I don't think I have all the answers. Here is a humble shot at help for you, if you need it. I did.

Facebook, like some other things in life, needs managing. Fortunately, Facebook gives you the tools to do so. So, what I did, is I went into the settings and turned off all alerts, except for the "message me" alert(you could add the "new friend" alert as well). In other words, I only get an email from facebook when someone sends me a facebook message. In my book, this says that they are geniunely trying to contact me about something that is relatively important. Other than that, I don't get on the home page. I just avoid it.

Some folks manage facebook differently. . . . using twitter or other things to control how they interact with people on facebook. All fine and good. . . . .

Let me propose what doesn't work: Sitting in the facebook homepage looking at others' status updates, waiting for them to re-comment on your comment, and perusing pictures of old high school friends. I just think it can't help but waste time.

Yes, facebook has kept me in contact with folks that I wouldn't otherwise have talked with. . . . but most of these meaningful interactions happen via a message (glorified email) or other vehicle where. . you know. . . we're actually interacting.

And, as a bonus I haven't had to see:
a) all the spam, farmland things (I know you can block these. . I know).

b) all of the self-glorifying, self-promotion that I inevitably became a part of

c) all of the whining about children, pets, husbands, wives, churches, jobs, computer systems, etc. . . . let's just say that Philippians 4 is not a part of facebook.

d) the hyperbole and overspeaking about mostly everything. . . the new apple product dujour, how far you ran and/or biked, how much you think your favorite sports team is amazing, how much fun you're going to have this weekend at your favorite vacation spot, etc. . . . basically, bragging. . . . lots and lots of bragging on facebook.

e) attention fishing by all of the above methods. . . we don't need to always crave attention.

f) people starting lame, hateful groups like the Kill President Obama group from last week(my wife told me). . . seriously. . . wow.

g) I've spent less time wondering what everyone else is doing and stopped looking at photos of my "friends" without them knowing (isn't that, in some sense, kind of weird?? You don't spend time looking at your friends' physical photo albums when you're alone in their house or something, do you? Well, at least you do that less often than I was doing it on facebook) :) Yes, there is a nosy, voyeur inside of me, and I'm happy to try to kill that part of me one step at a time. . . this is one step.

And, my most favorite thing has been, people not starting conversations with what my facebook status was most recently, example: them (before anything else is said) "So. . . . been watching the office huh?". . . me "Hi, how's it going . . what's up?" Isn't my phrase supposed to happen first? :) (sorry, I know that's just me. . .it's a pet peeve, that hopefully I'll no longer have to deal with, unless people discuss this blog. . .oh wait, no one reads this blog)

So, anyway. . .just an idea if you think your facebook time might be getting out of hand. Mine was. Manage those notifications so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of facebook without spending so much time on the facebook website. Just a thought.

Nuggets Post-Mortem

I always enjoy the "end of season" columns in the newspaper for any of the teams I follow. . . .even college teams.

I figured I would beat the rush for this Wednesday night, and do my Nuggets thoughts today since they're done. Hey, it's Jody's favorite day of the year, the end of the Nuggets' season. :) There has been alot of sabre-rattling about the Nuggets on this blog, so it's only fitting that I go down with the ship, and I will man up today. (unlike the Nuggets).

I've gone back and forth on the problems/solutions for this Nuggets team, we had basically the same season that we had last year, only without our coach at the end. So, we were playing our worst basketball at the worst time (the end of the year). Matchups are way more important than anyone gives credit for. Last year, we had a lame duck New Orleans team, and an old, tired Dallas team in the playoffs. I'm not sure we're that much "worse" this year. But, we don't have a coach and we have a really tough Utah team in the first round.

The most interesting part of sports for me, and why I watch, is the psychological elements of sports. This is why I don't really get jazzed up about the underdog stories. . . because that's pretty simple. . . .get a bunch of under talented, over achievers to get really mad and play really well for a couple of weeks (or one night) and you have all the psychological answers right there.

What is much more interesting to me is. . . . can a team that is good have enough character and responsibility to stay good? (even if they started as an underdog. . . . count me interested in how Butler does next year, . . not this year). Do they have enough pride to play well when it's Tuesday night in Minnesota and no-one's watching? Are they smart enough to play hard at the end of a blowout and lose by 2 touchdowns instead of 3, because that will matter mentally for them in the next game?

These are the things I"m interested in. And, these are precisely the ways that the Nuggets did not succeed this year.

The Jazz are a superior team to the Nuggets mentally, not physically. Having a coach helps this. . .but having character in your locker room helps as well. Even our team leaders are not "high character" guys. Chauncey Billups is a team leader, but unfortunately, when he's in everyone's ear, as the de-facto coach, he doesn't play very well. Carmelo has flashes of perseverance and leadership, but he's inconsistent. . . and, not-suprisingly, so is our team.

The character guys end right there. We have a few hard workers, Afflalo, and Kmart, and a few "follow the mood" guys. . .Lawson, Birdman, and Nene.

Now, all of this can change. . .people can grow. But, that's where we stand right now.

We need character on our team. Character in basketball is. . . guys who know their role. . .guys who listen to the coach/veteran players. . .and guys who never give up. You can check the roster of the 2010 Cavs for such players. (of course it helps having the best player on the planet to give you confidence).

I think we need to clean house in Denver. Should we keep Carmelo? Yes, if we build the proper team around him. He needs guys to do the dirty work, guys to protect him. . . and guys who will go run through a wall. . . . .since he doesn't do any of those things.

Here are some options: Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Perkins, Tyler Hansbrough, Kirk Heinrich, Brandon Bass, Marcus Camby (oops), etc. . . . . . . guys who play on Tuesday night.

Can Carmelo be the best player on a championship team? Maybe. I'm not convinced. . . he has to have a very particular group of guys to compliment him as a player. .and as a person. Melo does not give consistent effort throughout the season. He's playing his butt off now, . . but he doesn't understand that his teammates don't know how to react now, because he hasn't been doing that all year.

I think Carmelo might need to go to a team where he can be 2nd banana. Perhaps going to play with DWade in Miami.

For Denver. . .I say we start over with Ty Lawson, Afflalo, Carmelo(for now), and Chauncey. . . and clean house. Especially down low. Suffice it to say, Nene and Kmart are getting killed by two guys named Fesenko and Milsap. Lets raid the D-league. . .do whatever. But, please let's not come back next year with Nene, Kmart, and Birdman down low. It's been a 4 year experiment, it hasn't worked.

Can we please get an appropriately sized/angry big man? That's all I ask.

The character that is inconsistent in our best player(s) must be complimented with other guys. It has worked for other championship teams, there is no blue-print. . . except that you need a player of Carmelo's caliber on your team. I'm not trying to knock on anyone as a person, but we need some different kinds of players in Denver who will let Carmelo have 30 a game, will go get 15 rebounds and hold the other team's best player to 20. That's starts with character.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


There hasn't been a sports event more hyped than this year's Masters. It was a fascinating weekend. . .many story lines. . probably about 3 blogs :) .

But, I want to give props to Phil Mickelson for having his priorities straight. As you know, Phil won the Masters going away. . .hit a ridiculous shot on the 13th hole on Sunday. . . finished up strong.

At the end of the tournament, Phil's cancer-stricken wife, Amy, was on hand to give a congratulatory hug. Phil broke down. . . here's why:

Phil didn't know if she would be able to come down to Georgia due to her weakened state. On Tuesday, he still wasn't sure. Amy showed up Tuesday night and spent the week in their rented house (or hotel perhaps, . . not sure). Phil was going home from playing golf on Wednesday-Saturday night, being a good dad, and helping to take care of Amy. Reports were that he was playing video games with his kids, spending the nights just hanging with the fam.

A reminder: Phil was PLAYING THE MASTERS, only the most prestigious golf tournament in the world. And, he wasn't leading the tournament until near the end.

Here's the kicker, on Saturday night, Phil's daughter was out roller skating. She fell and broke her arm. Guess who took her to the ER. That's right, Phil Mickelson took his daughter to the ER on Saturday night of the Masters, . .until 10 p.m. the night before he had to go out and win the biggest tournament of his life. His wife is sick. His mom also battled with cancer this year. His daughter needed to go to the hospital. He was there, . . . . He saved the day. . . .He was dad.

And, he happened to go out and win the stupid tournament on Sunday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Have a cold one from Tim Keller and King David.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yeah, that's pretty much what he is. . . . .

“Sin is futile and therefore foolish. Georges Bernanos’s country priest remarks that Satan has involved himself in a hopeless program of swimming against the stream of the universe, of ‘wearing himself out in absurd, terrifying attempts to reconstruct in the opposite direction the whole work of the Creator.’ Thus, while moral evil is destructive, and sometimes infuriating, it is also in some ways ludicrous. Mere Christianity, says C. S. Lewis, commits us to believing that ‘the Devil is (in the long run) an ass.’”

Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., “Sin and Folly,” in Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be (Grand Rapids, 1995), page 123.

HT: Ray Ortlund

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A different way to think about the Health Care bill.

There has been much fear and loathing about the new Health Care Bill in recent days. Here to help us with a Christian perspective and mindset when encountering such things. . . are the good folks at Desiring God.

worth a read.