I don’t fast forward the iPod commercials

Ok, I actually watch a lot of the commercials, even though we have DVR (the best and worst thing that ever happened to TV – maybe a separate blog…).  Some commercials aren’t interesting, aren’t imaginative, and aren’t fun to watch.  Some commercials are boring, are dull, and are annoying.  Some.  But as a drama troupe member for years, and a drama troupe leader for many more years, and a lifetime class clown – short sketch comedy keeps my interest.  Commercials that are interesting, imaginative, fun to watch and not boring, dull, or annoying – fit the bill.

The iPod commercials are great!  The dancing, the music, people enjoying themselves, doing the whole “dancing like no one is around” thing.  *** A.D.D moment, I just laughed out loud at a Buger King commercial where a guy does a rolling jump out of his car to get to the door of the restaurant without waiting to park, as his face slams into the door, a voice over says “It’s the burger you can’t wait for”, and his car rolls into a parked car – very funny.***  wait… iPod commercial, dancing, Sorry, I’m back.  At the bottom of this post is one of the commercials I’m talking about.

By the way – I don’t own an iPod – the commercials are great, but the price is just too high for me… besides, no matter how great the commercials are, I have no expectation that owning one will make me a better dancer or have a better life.  But watching them does give make me smile, 30 seconds at a time.

Do you have a favorite commercial?



With TV Shows Like Friends, who needs friends?

Cast of FriendsI took Zander and Lexi to a local fast food place with a playground earlier this week. While they were there, I met Kattie who was only 10 weeks old and every inch of 2 feet tall. I met Delanie who was 4 and 1/2 years old. I’d like to say I met their parents, since I did talk with them, and I did learn their children’s names and ages from them. I even learned that the dad enjoyed his newborn tax deduction so much that he took the time to show me that they bought a shirt for her that has Tax Deduction printed on the front. But I can’t say I meet them – since I didn’t ask their names, they didn’t ask mine, and we didn’t exchange any contact information, despite the fact that they were about the same age as Stephanie and me and they have kids close in age to our kids, and even made a comment that their older daughter was really enjoying the opportunity to play with Zander since her only other ‘friends’ were unable to interact on the same level due to age differences. Why didn’t we exchange information? Why didn’t I get to know them? Maybe I thought I could just ‘tune in’ next week and they would be there – all my other friends are.

I never realized how much TV was a part of everyone’s lives until the recent writers strike. As I spent time thinking about that fact, I realized something that might ring true for many of you guys as well. We have replaced actual human interaction with TV personalities. Think about it for a second – doesn’t the cast of friends make for a great click – with you in it?

Beautiful people that are funny, cool, and fun to hang out with are willing to share their lives with you every week. They don’t reject you, they never leave you out of what’s going on, and even when they do leave someone in the group out – its never you. Whether its the cast of Cheers, Friends, Sienfield, The OC, Las Vegas, Law and Order, or even Lost – you get to hang out with the cool crowd and no one questions whether or not you belong.

What – you think you haven’t replace actual friends for TV friends? Maybe you watch reality TV instead? You get to pick one of the teams on whatever show and they won’t turn you down – and you get to spy on exactly how the other team or teams are doing. You watch your new friends compete, argue, make other friends, lose weight, race to a finish line, struggle to survive, or just face their fears – all from your sofa. And they think you are great. They never turn on you, or vote you off – even when they get Fired!

When I was young, I heard stories of women that got so wrapped up in soap operas that they actually believed the cast were the characters they were playing. At the time I thought, how absurd, but now I think we all have fallen into a worse condition – we know they aren’t real, but would rather pretend they are than to turn off the TV and go make new friends.


Fixing the Glitch!

Have you ever seen the movie “Office Space”? Its rated R and has a lot of strong language, but if you get a chance to watch it on broadcast TV go for it. Its one of the most quoted movies around my office. Anyway, I recently found out about a situation that reminded me of a scene from the movie:

Bob Slydell: Milton Waddams.
Dom Portwood: Who’s he?
Bob Porter: You know, squirrely looking guy, mumbles a lot.
Dom Portwood: Oh, yeah.
Bob Slydell: Yeah, we can’t actually find a record of him being a current employee here.
Bob Porter: I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck.
Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch.
Bill Lumbergh: Great.
Dom Portwood: So, uh, Milton has been let go?
Bob Slydell: Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it’ll just work itself out naturally.
Bob Porter: We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible. Problem is solved from your end.

We fixed the glitch. I’ve always thought of this as a funny scene, but what if this really happened to you? You show up for work everyday but one payday, nothing gets deposited into your account? What would you do? How would you react? No one told you that you were let go, you got no severance package, no exit interview. Just no paycheck at the end of the week. Would you go back next week? In the movie, Milton thought it was an error with payroll. He kept going to work, asking around if there was a problem. Now, what if I told you this happens everyday in America. But, not to funny characters that mumble about their staplers – but to people you know and like.

Did you know that if you go to a small church (less than a few hundred) then there is a good chance your pastor didn’t get paid last week? If you are like me, you’re thinking, “No way, my pastor would have said something”. And like me, you would be wrong. I know a pastor today that hasn’t been paid in three weeks – but last Saturday night, he still spent time in his prayer closet seeking God for the people that would show up the next morning. I asked him why he kept working there and his response is what prompted me to write this blog – “This isn’t new – it happens to a lot of ministers”. I didn’t believe him – until I called one of my pastors from North Carolina. I asked my NC Friend – “Have you ever gone without a paycheck?” His reply – “Well Dale, you pay the bills of the church first because you have to keep the lights on. If there isn’t enough left over, then you don’t get paid”. I’ve confirmed this fact with four different pastors now – all of them in different parts of the country, all of them in different denominations.

Is this how we treat our pastors? Do you know if your pastor went without a paycheck this week? I dare you to ask him if he has ever gone without pay. The worst part about this is that I thought if people knew they would fix it. I’m finding out that in many cases, people hold back their regular giving on purpose because they aren’t happy with the pastor – so unhappy that they decide to ‘fix the glitch’ by ceasing to give! Find out of your pastor is missing paychecks – and fix that glitch! If you have to commit to give more, or just take up a special offering, do whatever it takes. The Apostle Paul said a workman is worthy of his wage (1 Tim 5:18).

I really do want to hear back from you on this – don’t just reply – ask you pastor, work to fix it if your pastor is missing paychecks, then reply to my post. I hope you can all say – I asked my pastor and he said he has never missed a check!, but I fear that will not be the case…