A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: September 2005 (page 1 of 4)


There’s an event that occurs every year about this time. No matter what I try, I can’t seem to get away from this uncomfortable and unpleasant event. In fact, this event is so obstinate and so pervasive, it’s been coming around almost 45 times now.

But, my brother – the best brother I ever had – seems to have a knack for lightening the burden of this obnoxious annual event. I got home today and there was a box from Amazon.com on the table. Here’s what Brown did for me today…

Let’s unpack a little, shall we?

Cheryl Bentyne is one of the members of the Manhattan Transfer. This is pretty awesome stuff! (And the music ain’t too shabby, either!) If you’re into great jazz singers, you won’t go wrong with Ms. Bentyne!

About that Blast! stuff…Way back, many moons ago, my high school band director introduced me to this crazy thing called drum corps. (I’ve posted before about our annual summer pilgrimages to Wisconsin for drum corps shows.) Anyway, Blast! is a spin-off of drum corps for the theater stage. It incorporates all the best of drum corps, marching band, and pageantry, and puts it in your face on the stage. If you’re into brass, percussion, and other such good stuff, hurry up and order Blast!

My brother also indicated that some of these goodies just might find their way into the Sunday Night Unwind. Ms. Bentyne is certainly a candidate for that. But Blast! may be a better fit with my “at bat music!”

Anyway, if you find that annual event keeps sneaking up on you, relentlessly, at least it’s good to have a big brother to take some of the sting out of it. Thanks, bro!


If you follow this little blog via Bloglines or some other aggregator, you may have gotten a post last night about some ambitious plans for some renovations. Please disregard that post – for the time being…


That’s Why…

I was reading the comments over on Todd Rhoades’s Monday Morning Insight post on checking ourselves and our “preconditions” for leadership, and all of a sudden, it hit me…

I’ve never met one without a huge chip on her shoulder.

And in the words of the great philosopher, Forrest Gump…

That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Parents Protest Over School Closure…

This just in from the Associated Press, via Fox 5 Atlanta

Parents disgruntled over Governor Perdue’s request that Georgia schools close today and tomorrow to save fuel plan their own “teach-in” today at the state Capitol. The group contends children need to learn every day. They are planning a parent-led educational session on the lawn of the Capitol. Participants are asked to bring pencils, paper and books to read. The group says it wants to “bring education to the Governor.” Students learned of Perdue’s request about 4 pm Friday, when many already had left school for the day. Parents of younger children were frustrated because they had to scramble to find babysitters and day care for their children.

OK, let me get this straight…

You couldn’t take off from work to care for your kids at home. And you couldn’t make arrangements for their care in other ways. But you’ve got time – and time off enough – to parade them in the rain to the state Capitol to make a point? And to get your mug on TV?


Readin’ and Thinkin’…

Just sitting around, reading, thinking, unwinding, following up on guests from today’s service, etc. and a couple of issues have made their way from my mind into my Moleskine. What do you think?

  • How important is “focus” in your personal life? In your professional life? What are some good tools and strategies you’ve used to help you get and stay focused?
  • What are the most transformational/motivational songs you know of right now? What music motivates you to be your best? (You can include, but please don’t limit it to “Christian” music. In fact, I’m thinking more along the lines of Ryan Shupe’s “Dream Big,” Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” etc.) What would be on your “at-bat” playlist?
  • You’re hiring or enlisting or recruiting (thanks, Jim!) new staffpersonnel to do __________. Is it more about passion or skill? Which is more important?
  • Is it more helpful to include individual links in a blogroll or just include a link to your ever-changing, ever-updating Bloglines feed list?

Sunday Night Unwind, 09.25.05

Before there was Jim Brickman, there was George Winston. Before there was Liz Story, there was George Winston. And before there was even George Winston, there was George Winston. His Autumn was the precursor to his highly-regarded December project. And it’s perfect for the first Sunday Night Unwind of the fall.

Even though it was in the high 80s today, right now, there’s a pretty good breeze blowing, and with the window open, I can hear the wind chimes from the front porch. Add in a big ol’ ice cold glass of fresh local milk (that’s “local” as in “right down the road,” as opposed to “lo-cal,” as in “supposedly more healthy!” ) and some warm banana nut muffins, straight out of the oven, and it just doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

“I won’t be getting any work done at all.”

Know who said that quote in the title? Sounds like a distressed worker, who is having to put up with all kinds of abnormal, terrible distractions, doesn’t it?

If you live in the great state of Georgia, and just in case you haven’t heard, our public schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday in an effort to conserve energy in the wake of two major storms. Gov. Perdue made this request Friday, and it has been honored pretty much all across the state.

The big article in today’s Atlanta paper talked about how much of a hardship this move will be. Hardship for whom? Students? No sirree Bob! They’re loving it! Teachers? Not really. School custodians? Naaaaah.


Yep, parents.

Parents who suddenly are faced with what to do with their kids when their free day care school is not available for two days.

I understand that there will be some adjustments, in schedules, in carpools, in eating arrangements, etc. But you know what? All that comes with the territory when you choose to have kids. They aren’t some commodity to be thrown around. They’re your children, God’s greatest gifts to your family. They’re also your responsibility. Not the governor’s. Not the teachers’. Yours. Something tells me that if you can’t figure out what to do with your kids for two days, there is a larger problem somewhere in your life.

OK, I’m off my soapbox.

BTW, the quote in the title? It was uttered by one Heni Sandoval, whose daughter is a third-grader at Hunley Hills Elementary School in DeKalb County. Now it’s not like Ms. Sandoval is going to have to carry her daughter with her to her big shiny corporate office. It’s not like she’ll have to clamp down on the kid’s behavior and manners. You know what Ms. Sandoval does for a living? Well, do you? Here’s the quote again, in its context from the AJC

“I won’t be getting any work done at all,” said Sandoval, an artist and stay-at-home mom.

Terrible, ain’t it? Un-freakin’-believable…your mileage may vary…

Your Own Library Thing…

I posted a link to the Library Thing, an online book catalog thing. I listed about 140 or so of my books, just to see how it works. Very cool! (I’ll be ponying up the $10 for a lifetime subscription as soon as I can!)

But that got me to thinking…how do you, loyal readers, catalog your own library at home or in your office or wherever? Do you take the time to use the Library of Congress system? Dewey Decimal? Some other system? No system? Pile ’em on the shelves and hope for the best? Do you have your stuff in your computer? Do you take the time to use labels and put ’em in order on your shelves?

Currently, I’m trying to use a modified Dewey system I learned in seminary. It’s not as detailed as the “regular” Dewey system, and it does have some kinks that you have to work around, but it seems to work for me. It also works right now because my Brother P-Touch only does two lines of text per label.

A sample label, say from Walsh and Keesmaat’s Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire looks like this:


227 is the general Dewey subject area, WA is the first two letters of the author’s name, and c is the first letter of the title. Like I said, there are some minor issues, but it works for me right now. Got any better ideas? Better yet, got some time to come put all mine in order on my shelves?