Sunday, May 03, 2009

Public Safety Reminder

Well, it's been raining pretty much non-stop for about 5 days now and it's brought to my attention something that the general public needs to be reminded of. Fact: In all 50 states it is the law that if your windshield wipers are in use (i.e. it's raining) then you must turn on your headlights. So turn on your headlights, people!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Don't quit your day job

I've been finding ways to fill up my free time lately. The last two weeks have been pretty busy for me. I've been going over to help my cousin Rob work on a house he and Michael bought, so I've been working at least a few nights a week after leaving Trophy house. The rest of my nights have been filled with Village meetings and hanging out with friends. I've found that having things to do every day really makes the week fly by. I've also found that even a few hours a week of extra pay can be a big boost to my budget.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring is in the air

Well, it's that time of year. We always say spring is in the air. What exactly is it that's in the air? Love? Pollen? Mind altering drugs that make you have unrealistic expectations? My vote is on the latter. I'm pretty sure that sometime in the last week a group of people secretly met somewhere and decided that they would all come to my work this week and make ridiculous demands. So far, I'm not a fan of this plan. Just so you know, if you need some plaques, trophies, or other engraving done, it's usually not okay to ask for it in less than 24 hours. Unless you walk in and everyone is taking a nap or playing cards. Then they probably could do it. But if you walk in and everyone is running around like madmen, running three machines at once, with both lines ringing off the hook, that's probably a good sign that your order will not be done tomorrow. Unless you're like everyone being affected by springtime, in which case you don't care what I'm already working on as long as your order is ready tomorrow at 10. Yay for spring!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Demolition Man

Tonight after dinner I had the pleasure of going to Michael's (my brother's) new house and helping with some demolition cleanup. He wasn't there at the time, he was at a hockey game watching the Predators. I'm not sure if they won, but it's usually a fun time either way. I had fun loading all the debris into bags and trash cans and lugging it into a ginormous dumpster. I was thinking that by myself it would take quite awhile to get all that out of the house, but once I found the trash cans behind the house it was just a matter of setting them right outside the door and shoveling straight into them instead of dealing with bags. Bags aren't ideal when you're working alone. Four cans full of old drywall, dust, lumber, and other stuff and I was done. Too bad, though. He was paying by the hour. Oh well, looks like I won't be retiring early.

So apparently only 4 people are brave enough to risk finding out what it would look like if I attempted to crochet. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my last entry about the 7 lucky people who can win a free gift from me. Do it! Now! I'll wait.

In other news, I've been attending a new Wednesday night small group from church. The small groups are called Villages. For a while I went with Mattew and Jennifer to their village, but it was weird being the only person who wasn't married or didn't have a kid. So I tried out a new group and so far I'm liking it a lot. There are quite a few people in it who are Christians but didn't grow up in the church, which means they aren't familiar with most of the Bible knowledge a lot of us take for granted. For example, who Jonah is, what the difference between the Old and New Testaments is, who Lazarus was, and on and on. So we've talked about starting up a Bible study to help acquaint them more with the Bible. Somehow this has turned into me possibly being the leader of a new Village so that anyone and everyone at church can join. Wha? I didn't realize I was signing up for that! But we'll see what happens and deal with it as it comes. For the moment we're still trying to nail down a time and place to meet. It's looking like we'll be able to start up sometime in the next two weeks or so. I'm really excited about it, I just hope they aren't expecting me to be flashy or anything. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lucky Number 7

I found this on a friend's Facebook page. Even though I wasn't tagged in it, I thought it was fun and borrowed it. So here I am posting it on my blog.

The first SEVEN people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For YOU.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

- What I create will be just for you.
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- You will receive your item before the end of the year.
- You will have no clue what the item is going to be. It could be a story or poetry. It could be a piece of handmade jewelry or a cheesecake. I may draw, paint, collage or crochet something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that in order to receive a gift, you have to re-post this memo and make and send out seven surprises of your own, so if you aren't gonna follow through and make something for seven others, you get nothing from me. And you need to send me your mailing address!!

I'm posting this on my blog, which then posts to my Facebook Notes. To qualify as a winner, you must comment on my blog, not Facebook. If you don't have your own Facebook or blog then you're exempt from the re-post requirement. Also, if you just do something nice for 7 strangers who have a real need (not just opening a door for someone) then you can be exempt.

Ready, set, create! :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thanks for the favor!

Thanks to everyone who responded about the Trophy House website! I got a ton of comments and emails. Only one computer other than my boss's had any big problems, but there were still a few minor things to be tweaked that would help with loading speed and whatnot. Some of you commented that the only thing wrong with the website was the lack of a large picture of my face. Well, that will be remedied soon enough. My boss was tired of people making fun of his mug shot, so he opted against our individual photos that we took a couple of weeks ago. Now we get to take a group photo next week or soon after. You never realized there was so much to look forward to from a simple trophy website, did you?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My new name!

Well, as you can see I chose a winner for the "Name my blog contest". Congratulations and thanks to Guy for his winning entry! (sorry Andrew) It's very fitting because this blog will hopefully be about my life, freedom through Christ, and my pursuit of me. And if you're pursuing more of me, then this is a good place to come. Now I just need a streamlined look. But that's something for another day. Goodnight!


Got a minute? I need a favor! I work at Trophy House and we just got a new website. But there's some disagreement as to whether or not the website works correctly. Some of us think any problem is due to the computer being used, others (Larry) think the website causes computers to be slow. So, if you've got a minute then please go to and cruise around the site for a minute. Specifically, do any of the product pages load slowly? Even more specifically, the basic plaques page. Please let me know if you notice anything that we should fix. Thanks!

Ministry of the day - Malo Ga Kujilana

Check out this Mozambique ministry. The Holtons and Caldwells are friends of my brother and brother-in-law.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

David's Snail

This kid is hilarious! As are most kids.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Blog break

I get a break in the morning and the afternoon at work, but I never remember to take them. We're not supposed to take them within an hour of lunch or closing time, but those are the only times when I start feeling the need for a break. So today I'm experimenting to see if blogging during my break is relaxing or not.

You know those days where every little thing that happens just puts you into a worse and worse mood? I think I'm having one of those days. It's pretty annoying. I always try to step back and analyze the situation, and I find that there's usually no reason at all to be in a bad mood. The dog is standing too close to me. A customer came into the store. Someone looked at me. The wind blew. See? All poor reasons, yet we've all had days where things just as ordinary seem extraordinarily annoying. What can be done? Pretty much what I'm already doing. Step back, say a prayer, take a look, go around it.

On a separate topic, you may notice some Google ads appearing on my blog now. If people click on those I eventually will get paid for it. I'm pretty sure I get about 1/100th of a penny for every click or something ridiculous like that, but feel free to check out any ads that seem even remotely interesting. I might get a check for a dime some day! Break's over.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Search Continues

In case you've missed it, here are the ideas people have left me so far. And by people, I mean two people. Thanks Guy and Andrew! Now all you other deadbeats need to get to work thinking up this stuff for me.

- Brian loving China, living in America

- How to be Brian, The Idiot's Guide

- Why Brian is cool... and then some

- Brian should blog more, but he needs help ... give him ideas!

- Brian's Amazing Blog (you'd just have to live up to it)

- Brian: The Complete Rebuild

- Brian: So Cool, So Hot, So What Now?

- The Life of Brian, No, Not That Brian, This Brian

- Brian's Brains Exposed and Recomposed (Left & Right, Chinese & American)

American Themes:
- BriAmerica
- US of Brianica
- Red, White and Brian
- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Brian-ness
- Brian - Made in America

I appreciate the input, I've definitely got a favorite. I'm not going to say which, I wouldn't want to influence any future voting or suggestions. If anyone wants to branch out from the nationalistic themes, feel free. If you need some inspiration, here's a list of some things I enjoy. Jack Johnson, ice cream, oreos, free stuff, quiet time, dogs, fish, grilled food, burning stuff in a fireplace or campfire, running, walking, standing, sitting, breathing, Guitar Hero, Mandolin Hero, Cello Hero, Jell-O pudding pops, Chinese food, counting, email, cherry dump cake, hockey games, things involving rivers, things involving throwing rocks into water, getting a haircut, not shaving, the feeling after shaving after having not shaved for a while, having my shoes off, and chicken wings. Obviously, that list is not all inclusive, but it might spark some creativity in someone out there.

Due to the fact that I got some suggestions on the first day even though I wasn't expecting any, I'm now setting the end of this "contest" at 7pm EST March 3rd. That's Wednesday, people! If you want to influence the future of the world, this is your chance. Name my blog. Bonus points if you can provide an appropriate picture or other artwork to complement the name you choose.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ministry of the Day - Teen Hope Line

Lately I've felt like there's no way I could ever make enough money to give to all the people who need things. So I've decided to share things as they come to my attention and hopefully someone else out there will see it and be moved to giving.

Today I'd like to introduce you to Teen Hope Line. It's an organization based in Spring Hill, TN that offers help to struggling teens all over the country. I go to a midweek church group with three of the interns who works there. The website can give a lot more information than I can, so I'll just insert some text I copied straight from it.

Since its inception in 2001, Teenhopeline has strived to reach out to hurting teenagers and young adults in ways that are relevant to them. has reached out to hundreds of thousands of students since it first started six years ago. In 2007 alone we talked to 55,000 students preventing upwards of 10,000 suicides and seeing approximately 7,000 students come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the one-on-one chat and the alter ministry of Seventh Day Slumber. We feel that God has called us to be the direct line of hope for the lost and hurting. We need partners to stand with us both in prayer and in financial donations. There are many costs involved in running this site including: payments and maintenance on an office and two dorm houses, making sure our internet and phone bills are paid, and keeping between 20 and 30 computers running well. The caring staff that are online each night of the week (except Sunday) are all volunteers who are supported by people who believe in the ministry of Teenhopeline and offer their help through personal sponsorship. If you would like more information about our ministry or would like to donate please email … We are also in need of prayer warriors to stand in the gap for us as we reach out to this hurting generation. Spiritual attack is a constant battle that we face and we believe that prayer is NOT the least that you can do for someone. It is the greatest and most powerful thing that can be done. If you see the value in reaching out to hurting students facing every issue from peer pressure and pornography to depression, suicide, poor self image and self injury, then please pray about how you can stand with us, impact this generation and help them reach their potential.

The interns who work there have to rely on support. They raise about $9300 in order to work there for a year. Out of that, about $170 a month goes to them for their personal use. That means that they rely heavily on donated things. Some current needs listed on the website are:

We need fuel efficient vehicles for our interns to get to work and church in.

We need reliable laptop computers for our interns to use to talk to students on Teenhopeline while on the road with Seventh Day Slumber.

Gift Cards for grocery stores or department stores such as Wal-Mart or Cosco are always needed because our interns live on $170 dollars which covers their food and all other activities for the whole month.

Anything cool for the interns to play with in their free time to unwind with one another when they aren’t online talking to students or on the road with the band (ex. board games, video games, dvds, cds and books)

Gas Cards for fuel for our vehicles to help us get to and from work and around on the road with the band on their tour.
Go check out their website at and learn how you can help them out. You can donate directly on the website or, if you have something you want to send to them, just contact me and I can give it to them on any Wednesday night.

Finding my name

Hello, world! I've been trucking along here in Franklin and I'm starting to get a glimpse of some order in my American life. I've decided to have a contest of sorts to find a new name for my blog. I was rather proud of my old name (Brian-a in China) but I can't tell you how many people were confused by it, wondering why I had changed my name to a girl's name. Hint: It's not Brianna. Brian-a... rhymes... with China. Brian, uh, in China. Like that.

Anyhoo, I got back from China and my blog became Brian-a back from China, which I didn't like at all. But I really had no idea what to call my blog other than Brian's Blog, which is kind of boring. So here I am, asking you. If there's anyone out there who still reads this, please let me know your ideas. There are no rules, I'll just see what you suggest and narrow it down to a winner. If there are too many good ones, I may choose some finalists and have a vote. So get the word out! Brian needs a name for his blog and it needs to be a good one. Deadline? Let's say a week from now, because it may take people awhile to realize I blogged again. So, the deadline is Friday, March 6, 2009 at whatever time I get home from work and check on things. Let the brainstorming begin!