Thursday, November 29, 2007

Les Miserables- Liberty High School

Wednesday, November 21st a picture I took at the Liberty High School production of Les Miserables was published in the Liberty Neighborhood News section of the Kansas City Star. Brad Daugherty whom I went to the Philippines on a mission trip with played the lead role of Jean ValJean and did an outstanding job. Here are a couple pictures of the event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Haiku

Wednesday afternoon
past the middle of the week
only 2 more days

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Google 411

Google now has a service which provides information to the user by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411. It functions similarly to the traditional 411 informational line but is free. Simply dial the number, and say the business name, type of business, city/state and Google will automatically connect your phone call. You can also have a directions sent to your phone which works best if you have internet access on the phone. All that is necessary for this feature is to say "map it."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Quiet Strength

Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy

Dungy's memoir describes his life including personal elements, football, and faith. Leading the Colts to a Super Bowl victory during the 06-07 season was simply a stop along the path for him. He continuously emphasizes throughout the book that while he enjoys football tremendously that it is ultimately just a game. He gives credit to his siblings performing long term important roles such one who is a nurse in a correctional facility as well as one who is a perinatologist and helps women through pregnancies.

Dungy grew up playing football and basketball in various places throughout Michigan with 3 siblings and parents who were both educators. He went on to play football at the University of Minnesota where he attained great success. After graduating, he played several seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. During his time with the Steelers, he became the last player to both intercept a pass and throw an interception in a game when he came in as the 4th string backup quarterback, his normal position being defensive back.

After retirement, he began his coaching career first with the University of Minnesota then being called back to the NFL as a coach with the Steelers. He eventually became the defensive coordinator with the Steelers before moving on to the Kansas City Chiefs as a defensive backs coach. Following his tenure with Kansas City, he moved on to a defensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings before his first head coach job in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He truly built a team and community support while with Tampa Bay. They went from arguably one of the worst franchises in the NFL to a league leader during his time there. After his time with the Bucs ended, he went on to the Indianapolis Colts where he won his first Super Bowl.

Outside of football, Dungy is very involved with community organizations including
Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, the Boys and Girls Club, Prison Crusade Ministry, and Family First. He is very upfront and open about his faith and does not hide his walk with Christ. He has 5 children and encourages his players and coaches in spending time with their families as well.

During the 2005 season, one of his sons committed suicide and both the Tampa Bay and Indianapolis communities rallied around their family to really support and lift them up during this difficult time. Dungy's composure and decision to carry on coaching football following this tragedy was arrived at through prayer and his close walk with God.

All throughout the book he provides great examples of leadership, character, wisdom, and overall outlook on life. It's the type of book that could be used at the collegiate level for lessons on management and leading a team. I highly recommend Quiet Strength to the football fan as well as anyone interested in a great book about an all around quality guy.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know here.
Also posted at

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lambert's "Home of the Throwed Roll"

In Ozark, Missouri on my way back from the Arkansas hiking trip, I stopped for dinner at Lambert's "Home of the Throwed Roll." It has a basic feel similar to a Cracker Barrel with a less commercial and more down home feel to it. The parking lot is enormous and people come from all over. At 5pm on a Saturday when I stopped, there was an hour and 40 minute wait. They allowed me to go ahead since I was by myself but this attests to the restaurant's popularity.

The concept is that you order your food then it is all you can eat with various wait staff carrying "pass arounds" such as black eyed peas, fried okra, hashbrowns, as well as the famous "throwed rolls" with molasses. Indeed, they have a guy walking around throwing rolls to any and all who are in need of said nourishment. I personally ate about 3 or 4 pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, 4 rolls, black eyed peas, and fried okra. It was a great experience which I highly recommend to anyone passing through either the Ozark or Sykes, Missouri locations or the Foley, Alabama location. I'm also officially mad at anyone who knew about this fine establishment and didn't convince me to try it out earlier. ;-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pictures in Kansas City Star

For those of you who live in Liberty and get the Kansas City Star, check out the Wednesday November 6 edition in the Liberty Neighborhood News section. A couple pictures I took at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church costume party Oct. 31 will be on page 5.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hiking in Arkansas

A couple weekends ago, I drove down to Arkansas (about a 5 hour trip from Kansas City) to go hiking and check out the fall colors. Once crossing the border of Arkansas, there was a marked increase in the quantity of roadkill as well as encountering a church about every 2 miles. It felt a lot like home. ;-) This was my first venture into Arkansas and it reminded me a lot of North Georgia, East Tennessee, and North Carolina with the mountains, winding roads, and beautiful scenery.

Thankfully, I stopped at a national forest ranger station to get a couple maps and better directions to the trailhead. I would never have found it without their help. The first trail I went on was titled Hawksbill Crag and to get there, one had to take an unmarked dirt road with an incline and terrain making 4x4 capabilities highly desirable. The Altima persevered though and after about 6 miles of dirt road, I arrived at the trailhead. Interestingly, people actually live up there in houses. It's very beautiful but seems like traveling the bumpy road would get tiresome after a while.

When I arrived it was about 4:45 in the afternoon so I quickly hit the trail while there was still daylight. Hawksbill Crag is about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and juts out over an incredible view of which description and pictures can't accurately depict the breath taking view's majesty. I spent some time just admiring the view, taking pictures, and praying a bit.

With rapidly fading sunlight, I headed back towards the trailhead to grab my tent and set up camp. I didn't budget quite enough time to get out of the woods in the light and had accidentally forgotten a flashlight. This was cause for consternation and I became a bit anxious when momentarily losing the trail. I said a quick prayer, backtracked and found the trail again. Thankfully, God allowed a cloudless night with bright moonlight which helped in lighting the way back.

Setting up camp in the dark can be a bit challenging but I eventually got everything set up. The temperature was very moderate so I took my sleeping bag outside and watched the stars for a while. Living in the city limits the view of stars so I always appreciate getting out in the quiet and checking out the majestic view God created. It was a good time of talking with him about life and just enjoying His creation.

The next morning, I hopped back in the car and drove to a spot called Hemmed In Hollow where the major attraction was a 180 foot waterfall. On the way down, I stopped to check out Wild Vic's cabin about a mile down the trail. It amazes me that people were ever able to find or decide to setup housing arrangements that far back into the woods. The scenery was once again terrific with the occasional glimpse of a bluff or the valley leading down to the Buffalo River.

After around a 3 mile hike down, I arrived at the "Waterfall." Unfortunately, due to the dryness in the area the falls were much more along the lines of a trickle than a booming waterfall. Interestingly though, was that since the trickle had to fall about 180 feet and the wind was blowing, it had a bit of an effect like a sprinkler moving water from one side of the bottom to the other.

I then went and checked out the Buffalo River which was also way down in water flow. A local person I met there indicated that normally around this time, people are able to canoe down the river. I'm sure this area would be even more beautiful in the spring time when rain has been more frequent and the waterfall, streams, and river are flowing more freely. Incidentally, there was a fair number of people riding horses either on the trail or in the surrounding area. All told, total hiking distance was about 10 miles.

On the drive back to KC before leaving Arkansas, I let out a big Arkansas soouueeeie coming down a hill. It's just one of those joie de vivre things that you have to do sometimes after experiencing such magnificent scenery and mountain air. In the song "Indescribable," Chris Tomlin sings "from the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring" The colors were on great display.

There was a few random cacti on the trail as well. Who knew a cactus would grow in Arkansas?

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