Stuff White People Like

It is well-documented on this blog that we have done a little free advertising for "Stuff Christians Like", and in that process numerous people have mentioned it's predecessor "Stuff White People Like", but I had never checked it out. Until now.

In the late night shift hours between saving lives, John Milton, and re-watching Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure in the call room (I can't sleep at night anyway, so the time must be passed), I finally perused this site. And it is certainly commendable. And for a white person who grew up playing (but never watching) soccer, wishing he had studied abroad more extensively, and using made-up words like travelophilic on his blog, one can't help but pass on the recommendation.


Plundering the Egyptians

Good friend and fellow McCropder Dr. Jason Fader, general surgery maestro, had an elegant residency graduation ceremony last night. We ate off gold plates, had ribs to die for, sipped drinks with very fancy names, and enjoyed watching Jason win every chief resident award his department offers. Some would say that this is because he was the only chief resident (the others having left or taken years off for research), but those people are cynics who doubt the undeniable greatness of Dr. Fader.

Since the entire ceremony was in his honor, he was able to invite us along, which was much fun, and we got to meet his and his wife Heather's families. They asked Jason if he had any preference for a musical act during the appetizers, and he graciously recommended they hire me. Then he used his very powerful mind control techniques to get them to pay me far more than I deserved. So, one hour of piano, and I make bank. That's right - bank. I thought maybe I should leave medicine and pursue a financially stable career as a musician. Jason told me that the purpose of this was not for me to fall away from God's calling for us to go and work in Africa. So I asked what was the purpose? He shrugged. "Just plundering the Egyptians, I guess." Victory over The Man.


New Sidebar Link

As we seek out ever new sources of free listening and watching on the web, we'll try and update them at the Web Music and Videos link on the sidebar.


Vote Tim McLaughlin for School Board

After many years of experience in public service and education (and after many suggestions by friends for him to run for some public office), my dad has decided to run for a seat on the Williamson County School Board. If nothing else, it's sure to be an interesting experience, but I really do believe that he's immensely qualified for this position, and would be a great asset to the people of the County if elected. I'm not sure how many people check this page from Williamson County, TN, but use any means you have to get the word out about this. The main election is August 7th, but early voting starts July 18th. His main website can be found here. Vote Tim McLaughlin!


Stupid Human Trick and Rafting Picture

I have no idea when these guys (our brothers-in-law) learned they could do this, but it's always funny, even more when they don't succeed.

I couldn't get this one to load yesterday, but here is the "other" raft (i.e. the one Rachel and I were not in), but a very nice shot nonetheless. I think the serenity of Sami's smile is my favorite part.


No One Died or Was Maimed

We are back. This past week was one of our precious vacations, and per a couple previous posts, we had planned a (rather ambitious) venture that consisted in bringing both sides of our families white-water rafting on the Ocoee, as well as 3 days of canoeing on the Tennessee River (see below for map of route). A good time was had, to be sure. It was really hot and rained more than we thought it would. We'll let the pictures tell the stories. Thanks again to the Chaffins, without whose help, we would have been vacationless.2 hours into the trip, Nathan, Brian, Eric S, and Josiah pose with a giant catfish we found attached to a buoy, that died shortly thereafter. Let that be a lesson to you. (?)
Evening #1: Secondary to quite a bit of rain, we made dinner at the only covered spot on Williams Island, an exquisite outhouse. Chili never tasted so good.

Day #2: We find two rope swings, of which this was the 2nd and larger. See above title for summation of thoughts regarding this awesome feature.

Panorama of us during the last leg.

The Weary Warriors at the end of our 20+ mile journey. Not pictured here is the awesome sunburn sustained by Jonathan and Josiah.


Blueway Vacation

As mentioned awhile back, we are heading down to Tennessee for the next week. After much deliberation, we have decided to bring our families on a multi-day canoe trip. Actually first, we're meeting in Chattanooga for an afternoon, followed by a day of whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. Then, we're doing the canoe trip.

Our good friends, the Chaffins 3, put us on to this idea. Over 50 miles of the Tennessee River has been designated the Blueway. We are starting in downtown Chattanooga, and paddling for 2 1/2 days, with some stops at the rope swings and the river restaurant.

Our families really like each other, so we strategically decided to use them as bait against one another. And it worked! So Rachel's brother and two cousins will be coming to meet up with us and Eric's 3 sisters and brothers-in-laws (to be). Good times await, and we're quite excited. We could not have down this without the Chaffins 3 (the baby played a key role), and we're very grateful. I hope none of us die. Or get maimed.

The fearless:



Alright, let's try this again: Just curious, as we approach visitor #3000 to the blog, who this illustrious figure will be. Check the counter; maybe it's you.


Just working on the May budget, and noting that the last time my car got gas was April 28th. And not particularly close to the "E" at this moment, either. Recipe for success: 1 part bus, 1 part bike, and 1 part work all the time so you don't have time to go anywhere else.

Book Reviewer Extraordinaire

Remember when I posted our blossoming new career, that of web blog book reviewers? We stumbled across this world of possibilities and got to review Andrew Peterson's new book. It was great. Not long after, I was contacted by some publisher/promoters from the same company, asking to review more book. More free books! What a boon.

So, while not quite as enjoyable (for me) as AP's books, both were interesting new Christian fiction. If you're interested in such genre. The first book was entitled "Fatal Deception," by Gayle Roper. It's basically about a single mother and various family dynamics: her teenage daughter, an estranged twin sister, a critical mother, a jailed father, and finally, a cute neighbor. Then thrown in to all that is a dead body showing up on her doorstep, a kidnapping, a large debt to a loan shark, you know. Not quite a suspense novel, but almost. There are some crossword puzzles in the book that actually have clues and are solvable (related to the twin sister, dead man, and loan shark issues of the book), an interesting feature.

The other book is entitled, "With Endless Sight" by Allison Pittman. It's a pretty typical Christian prairie/Old West novel. Here's the synopsis: "Born into a life of privilege, fourteen-year-old Belinda never questions her security, even as she leaves Illinois with her family to discover new adventures in the Oregon Territory. But when disaster falls, Belinda is left wounded, weak, and alone. Her faith in God gives her the only strength she knows in a harsh new world.Belinda’s journey takes her to a snow-covered mining camp and a red-roofed brothel in the Wyoming mountains, but not before she must spend a lonely winter with the man who took away the life she knew. Throughout the grief and hope of a strange land, Belinda must decide if her faith is big enough to allow her to forgive.The satisfying conclusion to the Crossroads of Grace series, With Endless Sight offers a rich story of family, new beginnings, and the freedom that grace can bring." You know, stagecoaches, brothels, kidnappings, deaths, etc. If you'd like to purchase it, here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1601420129
Maybe more books in our future? Stay tuned.