A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: February 2006 (page 1 of 3)

Stack o’ Stuff for February 28…

Hold on, boys and girls! Here’s the latest installment of the Stack o’ Stuff, some random links I found on the way to somewhere else. Jump in!

Why Are We Meeting Here?

OK, I feel a little like Larry the Cable Guy right about now…

Forgive me for that Lord, and bless all the pygmies in the Congo.

Why? Well, my prideful self is trying real hard to get the best of me this morning. This week, our church is hosting a mentor training conference for a local crisis pregnancy ministry. In fact, we’ve hosted this group in meetings just like this for several years now. We provide them space, and technology/gadgets, and our folks even go all out to make them feel welcome and comfortable with a wide variety of coffee, snacks, goodies, and fresh flowers and mints on the table, etc. etc. We have had a wonderful and mutually-beneficial and encouraging relationship with these folks over the years. They do a wonderful job at the ministry they provide, and they are top-notch in every way.

This morning, I was helping put the finishing touches on the coffee and tech setup as the conference attendees began filing into the room. This is what I heard one of the women say, and I quote…

Yeah, I just can’t for the life of me figure out why we’re meeting here instead of over at (insert local two-miles-away humongous mega-church name here)!

I don’t know why that comment is burning my backside this morning. Maybe it was the tone of her comment. I don’t know, but I’m bothered by the comment and more by my being upset about it.

I don’t have a problem with (insert local two-miles-away humongous mega-church name here). I really don’t. I think we’re all on the same team. I think I’d rather be in close proximity to a place where God is working than not. When our folks have poor-mouthed and bad-mouthed about (insert local two-miles-away humongous mega-church name here) – and trust me, they have and they do! – I always try to correct and encourage them by reminding them we have an enemy but it’s not the folks over at (insert local two-miles-away humongous mega-church name here).

I guess my gripe this morning is that we’re not glamorous, hip and happening, cool, and cutting-edge, and all that, but at least in this one area, we’re trying the best we can to make a difference in the world with God’s help.

OK, sorry…rant over…please return to your regularly scheduled Tuesday…

The Big Guy’s Big Read…

I first discovered Tom Peters back in the In Search of Excellence days, and his books and articles and PowerPoint presentations are among my most useful tools. I came across his current reading list over at his blog yesterday. Talk about a voracious reader! Man!

I love his line about going on a trip without enough books…

Embarrassed at how much stuff is sitting in the nearby pile, and the fact that I’m not comfortable going on so short as a two-day trip (tomorrow, to CA) with less than a dozen books. (But what if I were hijacked or ended up in the hospital?)

Anyway, as you peruse Tom Peters’s list, how about drop a comment about what you – the real-life “Ms./Mrs./Mr. Bigs” – are reading?

And why not be like Tom Peters – and divide them in to the categories of…Incredible/Life-altering, non-fiction, and fiction?

OK, Just One More Number…

I promise, this is the last “number” post for a while!

Wednesday’s number was 1106 – the number of calories calculated by the computer at the Y.

Yesterday, the number was 20 – the number of pounds I’ve lost since the first of the year.

Today’s number – and the final number thing for a while – is 74. Why 74? What’s so significant about 74? Well. you regular readers – both of you – may remember I posted on Valentine’s Day about lots of good “heart” stuff. One good “heart thing” was the fact that my bottom blood pressure number was almost down where my comedian doctor wanted it to be. Well, “normal” blood pressure is 120/80. And my comedian doctor was worried that my bottom number was over the 80 mark. And that, my friends, is where the number 74 comes in. Today, while the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” was shopping, I checked the old BP…117/74! Yessssssssssssss!

Good numbers this week…thanks for “counting” along with me!

Today’s Number Is…

In the great tradition of Sesame Street, yesterday’s post was brought to you by the number 1106. So to continue that great tradition, today’s post is brought to you by another number, a lot less than yesterday’s number, but in my opinion, a lot more significant.

Today’s number is 20. Yep, 19 + 1 = 20. How is today’s 20 more significant than yesterday’s 1106? Well, I’m glad you asked!

I finished my workout this morning, hopped on the scale at the Y, and discovered that I’m at the 20 pounds down mark! Woo hoo!

I thumbed back through my Moleskine, and saw that on January 2 of this year, I recorded my weight at the time, and wrote this…

Only able to complete 8+ minutes of a 20 minute set on the elliptical machine. I really have a long way to go! Did about 10 laps around the walking track. A long, long way to go!

Today, that weight number is down by exactly 20 pounds! 54 days into the year, and I completed a 33-minute, 4900-stride, pretty intense elliptical session, a strong (for me!) circuit around my weight machines, and some Pilates and stretching.

I’m definitely not where I want to end up, but I’m off to a decent start!

Today’s number is 20, and I’ll definitely take it!


1106? That’s the number of calories my FitLinxx computer thingy at the Y calculated my indoor cycling class workout burned today! 1106?

I wasn’t real sure about how a class thing would work. I was worried about keeping up with the pace. I was worried about what a dorky looking geek I’d be. I was worried about all that stuff. Turns out almost everyone else had the same thoughts. Well, except for that cyclist guy with the fancy little shoes!

Anyway, here’s what I discovered…

  • The group setting really keeps me encouraged and motivated. The guy next to me is an old not-quite-as-dumpy guy, and we managed to keep each other pedaling even when we felt like quitting.
  • The instructor challenges us, but she also understands we’re at different places and different paces.
  • Water bottles spill. And when they do, they make a mess. A slippery mess. Even if you’re not the one who spilled your water, you still get wet. And you laugh about it, help her clean it up, and go on about your business.
  • It’s not about fancy clothes or equipment. It’s about your attitude and your willingness to improve.
  • You can actually pray while you’re pedaling! In fact, God brings specific issues and people to your mind while you’re pedaling.
  • You can actually think while you’re pedaling! Being anchored to that seat gives you time to consider where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there.
  • Something you dreaded at first can become something you really can’t do without.

Oh, and did I mention I burned 1106 calories? 1106! I’ll take it!

Curt Gowdy, RIP…

Fox Sports is reporting that legendary baseball announcer Curt Gowdy has died, after a long bout with leukemia.

Before there was 24-hour sports coverage, before (and even after) superstations broadcast all of the home teams’ games, before ESPN, before any of that stuff, baseball meant the NBC Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons.

I occupied many afternoons listening to Curt Gowdy and his sidekicks, Tony Kubek and Joe Garagiola. He also was the voice of the Red Sox for a while and did stints at the Olympic Games over the years.

A legend, by all accounts…

Monday Stack o’ Stuff…

It’s time for another installment of The Stack o’ Stuff – random links I found on the way to somewhere else…smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em!