Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Different Approach

When you read the Bible, how do you go about it? Do you use a study guide? Do you read straight through? Do you alternate between books of the Old Testament and the New Testament?

I've tried all of those methods, including reading the Bible through in a year - which was so fast I couldn't remember a lot of what I read. After my last group Bible study ended, I started reading the Bible straight through again (more slowly and purposefully this time!), but when I got to 1 & 2 Kings, I realized I was having a lot of trouble keeping up with who did what when. I thought about making some sort of timeline, though there are plenty I could use on the Internet.

Then I read something in 2 Kings (I believe) that referenced Jonah. The Jonah? Of the whale's belly fame? I looked into it and - yes, it was the same one! Well, what's he doing back here when he belongs several books away? I know the Bible is arranged categorically: history, wisdom, major and minor prophets, etc., but I always missed the references to many of the minor prophets in my readings in other parts. (I guess I was rushing through to keep on track so I could finish in a year...) This mention of Jonah stopped me in my tracks and made me wonder what else I had missed. I decided that instead of making a timeline and still missing a lot, I would read through the Bible chronologically.

I found a few chronological guides on the Internet. Of course, they're divided up to read it all in a year, but I'm not going to do that again. I'm going to take my time with it. And I decided I wasn't going to start over again with Genesis, although Job fits in there shortly after the introduction of Abram (between Genesis 11 & 12). I read over Genesis 11 to set the context and the time, then read through Job. I didn't spend a lot of time there because we just finished a year-long study of Job in our Sunday school class. (Actually it was more than a year...) After Job, I read another chapter or two of Genesis to continue with the flow of time. I did that here and there, reading a few of the Psalms that Moses or someone else had written during the Israelites' time of wandering in the desert or finally reaching the promised land.

Now I'm back to 1 Samuel, which has some of the Psalms interspersed throughout. I think I'm going to enjoy reading my Bible chronologically, especially since it will help me better understand the chain of events of all the kings, the split of the kingdom, and the Babylonian exile with events the minor prophets wrote about that happened at the same time.

If you've read through the Bible this way, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are. If you haven't, care to join me?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Worthless Cat!

I've been seeing some tell-tale signs that I have an unwanted critter in my house...

Just a few minutes ago, I let out quite a shriek when I opened a cabinet and saw the back end of a medium- to large-sized mouse turn tail and run. Thankfully it didn't get out, but I wonder just how did it get in?!? Worthless cat...

Tuesday update: Billy set two peanut butter-laced traps when he got home from work (and Home Depot). Five minutes later, we heard a snap. Got one! I didn't look at it but Billy said the tail was as long as I said it was, though the mouse was smaller than I thought.

He checked the other trap this morning and there was mouse #2. He's going to set a few more traps this afternoon. I wonder how many there are... I'm scared to open any cabinets now!

Wednesday update: Things were looking up this morning. Billy checked the trap he set out yesterday afternoon and it hadn't been sprung. Then Caleb came running and screaming into the living room a few minutes ago, saying he saw a mouse run from the kitchen into the playroom and under the bookshelf. Great!

Menu Plan Monday #24

It's that time again!

Monday: Southwestern Cornbread Salad

Tuesday: left overs

Wednesday: Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Chutney (my own recipe, watch my recipe blog for the recipe and a picture later this week), salad

Thursday: left overs (If we have any!) or grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday: Pizza for the boys and the babysitter. Billy and I will be going to a SWIM Board BBQ. I think I'm going to take Western Hashbrowns.

Saturday: out!
This will be a busy day! I'll be attending the Graduating Wives' Coffee that morning, then Caleb will be attending the "How to Hide an Elephant" class at the zoo during the afternoon. I'll be too tired to cook!

Sunday: hot dogs and all the sides and fixin's at the AWANA Awards program at church
Since I don't like hot dogs, I'll be filling up on sides. I hope there's more than chips and potato salad...

For more menu plan ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Up in the Air

Billy called on his way home one afternoon and told us to look up in the sky near the house. The boys were thrilled to see this blimp, and even more so after it turned and they saw Snoopy on its side.

A few windy days later, we went to one of our favorite parks to fly our kites. I made the mistake of getting the boys' plastic kites out at the same time, and the whipping wind caught the tails and string and got them tangled beyond repair. I tossed them back in the van and we took turns flying my kite instead.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Places I've Visited

This is the first official "themed" Thursday Thirteen, which I like because so many times I can't come up with a topic. Other times I can come up with a topic, but not 13 things about it.

So to welcome the travel season - or at least the planning phase of it - here are 13 places I've visited (in no particular order).

1. Gatlinburg, TN
This is my absolute favorite place. I love the coolness of the Smoky Mountains, the strenuous mountain hikes, the roar of the waterfall at the end of the trail. I learned to ice skate at Ober Gatlinburg, and now I wish I had attempted the luge. I was too chicken last time I was there - over 10 years ago! It was Thanksgiving then, and things were beautiful! Snow had just fallen in the mountains as we were getting into them. The town was twinkling with Christmas lights. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Ruby Tuesday because Ogle's Family Buffet was closed.

I first went there with my grandparents when I was a "tween" and another time or two as a teenager. I went with my parents and sisters when I was a freshman in college. Billy and I made a few trips out there after we were married. I'd love to go again, though I'm sure it has changed quite a bit.

2. Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga is another place I love! When my grandparents took me the first time, I remember going to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Billy and I explored the trains and shops once when we were there.

Probably my two favorite things to do there are touring Ruby Falls and seeing Rock City, as many old barn roofs in the state encourage you to do.

3. Santa Fe, NM
This was our last big vacation together, 10 years ago this summer. It was also my first time out west. The drive through west TX was extremely boring, but Santa Fe was really pretty. I loved all the adobe construction. One of my favorite things was seeing and learning about the Miraculous Staircase at the Loretto Chapel.

We toured the Puye Cliff Dwellings and the Bandelier National Monument and went out to the San Ildefonso Pueblo to look at Maria Martinez' pottery. One afternoon we headed out to Los Alamos and visited the Bradbury Science Museum.

4. Carlsbad, NM
After leaving Santa Fe, we headed south to Carlsbad. Along the way, we came to a place where we could travel through Roswell or Alamogordo. Since neither Billy nor I are huge alien conspiracy fans, we opted to travel on to the White Sands National Monument. That was a really interesting stop, and the sand was beautiful, though blinding.

The drive into Carlsbad was long, but scenic. Not at all like I envisioned southeastern NM. Carlsbad Caverns were wonderful! I've always loved caves, and this one didn't disappoint. My favorite part, though, was watching the bat flight at sunset. I was amazed at how many bats live in the cave and fly out every night. I didn't think the last ones would ever get out! After a while, it looked like a column of smoke spiraling into the darkening sky.

5. Houston, TX
Billy and I took a long weekend trip here once. I remember the traffic was horrific! The two highlights were touring the USS Texas battleship and NASA's Johnson Space Center. They had various Apollo 13 movie memorabilia on display when we were there.

6. Destin, FL
It's been ages since I was here last! I guess maybe it was with my high school youth group? I went a few times as a teen with my parents and sisters, and maybe once with my grandparents. It's a typical beach town, from what I can remember. Condos and hotels, along with private residences and a few seafood restaurants, line the beaches. Across the highway, there are endless other restaurants, hotels, and tourist shops.

I remember one year when we drove into town, there was a shark-fishing tournament going on. There was a hammerhead shark hanging from a crane, but I don't know if it was real or just a tourist gimmick. I mainly remember being really intrigued by it; I've found sharks extremely interesting ever since I was a little girl.

I remember another time when I went there with my parents... We were driving into Fort Walton Beach, just minutes away from our "destin"ation, when Daddy got pulled over by the police. My sisters and I were immediately alert, watching and wondering what in the world was going on. The officer said he was speeding, but Daddy insisted he was driving with the flow of traffic. He was so mad about getting that ticket! He swore up and down (and probably still does) that it was only because he had an out-of-state license plate. According to the ticket, he was supposed to appear in court on whatever date, after we would've been back home. He said they'd be glad to get his money however it got there, so he mailed it instead. I don't think he's been back since... (Have you, Daddy?)

I'm not much of a beach person anymore. I used to love getting a tan. (Now I prefer to be pale all year long - not interested in skin cancer, thank you.) I also used to like to body surf. (After my last beach experience in Destin, I got stung across the back by a jellyfish. Two consecutive years when I went to the beach at South Padre Island in TX on mission trips, there was too much drama with rip tides and a life-saving human chain, a stingray, and a shark. I stayed out of the water on those trips and haven't been to the beach since.)

7. Orlando, FL
This is another place I've been to several times. On one trip there with my grandparents, my cousin Eric and I grumbled about it raining every day in the "Sunshine State". Still, we had fun at Walt Disney World, Sea World (where we ran into some friends!), and NASA's Kennedy Space Center. We also toured an alligator farm.

Several years later, Epcot opened and I got to go there with my parents and sisters. I don't remember going to the space center that year...

8. Washington, D.C.
I think this may have been one of the first trips my grandparents took me on. I must have been about 7 years old. I remember going up in the Washington Monument, walking along the reflection pool, walking around the Lincoln Memorial, seeing the Capitol and The White House, and touring the Smithsonian Institute.

9. Hot Springs, AR
I can't count the number of times I've been here. My grandparents took me several times, and Billy and I went there on our honeymoon. (We stayed at DeGray Lake.) You can read about our most recent Hot Springs trip here.

10. Eureka Springs, AR/Branson, MO
I went here with grandparents, with my church youth group, and with Billy (though we skipped out on Branson). I always loved looking for The Christ of the Ozarks from wherever I happened to be. The Passion Play was really good; I went twice, I think. I always loved walking around the curvy, hilly streets of Eureka Springs and seeing all the Victorian-style homes. I always imagined what it would be like to live in one. Silver Dollar City in Branson was always a highlight.

When Billy and I were in Eureka Springs, we found a great little Italian restaurant (whose name escapes me) where we ate fresh roasted garlic on hot, buttered bread. It was scrumptious! I got the waiter to tell me how to cook the garlic. Since then, I've only made it once. I need to do that again!

11. Mobile, AL
I mostly stopped here with my grandparents as we were passing through on our way to FL. I always loved going on the tours of the U.S.S. Alabama (battleship) and the U.S.S. Drum (submarine). I remember it was always fun riding through a tunnel near Mobile Bay on our way there.

12. Galveston, TX
This was probably the first real vacation I actually remember. I was 5 or 6 years old. My parents had an old white VW van, complete with kitchenette and fold-down table. I recall sitting at the "kitchen table", coloring away in my coloring book, while Daddy drove us to the beach. I can't remember if my cousin Marsha went with us or not, but I seem to recall her being with us. We camped on the beach, our tent pitched next to the van, I think. I definitely remember two things from that trip: getting the worst sunburn of my life, and seeing a dead baby shark washed up on the beach. That was my first encounter with a shark. I wanted to touch it to see what it felt like, but the little area around it was taped off. And so began my childhood infatuation with sharks.

13. Atlanta, GA
Yet another place I've visited many times. Stone Mountain was always my favorite place to go. I loved touring the antebellum homes and going up the mountain. I remember being so afraid the first time I went up in the cable car. I was afraid of heights. (I used to be afraid of mountains, afraid that I would somehow drop right off. I was always relieved beyond words when we would get back on "the ground" again. Now the mountains are my favorite place to be.)

One year we all went there with Daddy for a week-long class he had to take for work. We spent the day at the hotel, shooting pool in the game room or swimming. When he'd get back in the afternoon, we'd strike out somewhere. One of my favorite restaurants there was Lettuce Souprise You - a monster buffet of salad, soup, and bakery items. That's where I had my first chocolate chip muffin. Yum!

There are so many other places I've been, but I've taken up enough space for now... :o)

Which of these places have you been to? Where else have you been?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Idol Picks

Six performed last night and there was a clear 3-3 split.

Bottom 3 performances (not necessarily those who will be in the Bottom 3 tonight):

Brooke White, Jason Castro, and David Archuleta

All three have been consistently lack-luster, and this week none of them stood out. Again.

Top 3 performances (again, not necessarily those who will be in the Top 3 tonight):

David Cook, Carly Smithson, and Syesha Mercado

David Cook continues to deliver a great performance week after week. Though I prefer him when he rocks, he does the other styles really well, too. He's by far my favorite contestant this season. Carly Smithson finally did something to stand out in the crowd! I just hope she's not too late with such a great performance. Syesha finally broke away this week and showed some personality. I'm willing to watch her another week if she can keep this up.

Now, for who I think will be in the Bottom 3 tonight: Brooke, Jason, and Carly. (I voted for Carly several times last night and got through every time. I voted for David Cook several times, but frequently got a busy signal.)

I think Brooke White will be saying goodbye.

Update: I was shocked that Brooke was safely through. What shocked me even more was that Carly went home. Apparently the crowd was surprised as well; they were silent for a bit.

I'm not looking forward so much to next week's Neil Diamond... I hope it's better than I'm anticipating.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday #23

I can't tell you how great it was to get back on a menu plan last week! Oh, the Cubbies won the ice cream party last night for bringing in money for missions! They were so excited - and I think the older groups were really shocked that they had been beaten by a bunch of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds...

Here's the plan for this week:
Monday: homemade chicken pot pie, salad
I'm taking a meal to a friend of mine who recently had a baby, so I'm making two of these - one for them and one for us.

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: lasagna, salad, garlic bread

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: chicken strips, mac & cheese, salad

Saturday: pizza for the boys and the babysitter
Billy and I will be attending a fundraiser dinner for CSNTM and his trip in May.

Sunday: sandwiches or pick/up on the way home from church
We'll have a short AWANA night, followed by a church business meeting.

For more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, April 18, 2008


And it's been a while since I've participated in Photo Friday. This weekend and next week, temps will be in the 80s, but this week's theme is "cold".

It doesn't get extremely cold in this part of Texas, but we did get a surprise snowfall in March. Actually it happened twice in one week!

We made the mistake of walking to the greenbelt so the boys would have more snow to play in than what was in our front yard. I wasn't thinking about all the trees that caught the snow instead of the ground. The only snow we found was on the bridges. Still they were able to make some pretty big snowballs.

After about 20 minutes or so, the sun had come up high enough to melt most of it.

Sawyer's Nicknames

If you're like me and you love LOST, you're probably missing Sawyer and his wit, even if it is mean-spirited sometimes.

Check out the list of Sawyer's nicknames for his fellow island mates - friends and Other-wise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

13 Things that Make Me Feel Like a Kid Again

It's been a while since I participated in Thursday Thirteen. Now that I'm starting to get back into some sort of normalcy - even if it will only last for a month - I'm trying to catch up on all my blogging. Yeah, I know. I need to add to my recipe blog, too. I will.

So on to 13 things that make me feel like a kid again:

1. blowing bubbles
This is one of my favorite things to do! We have quite a stash of bubble soap under the kitchen cabinet. Maybe I'll blow some more one day next week.

2. riding a carousel
I like to do this whenever we go to the zoo, which I was planning on doing today until rain crept into the forecast. I promised the boys we'd go on the first sunny day next week.

3. making a clover chain
I did this when I was at my parents' house nearly two weeks ago! I made a necklace with it, which really impressed Caleb, so I put it around his neck. I also found a four leaf clover!

4. playing in the sprinkler
I haven't done this in a while. It's high time! Actually there's a sprinkler park in Rockwall (yes, Jason Castro's hometown) that a lot of my friends go to in the spring and summer. I need to take the boys there and play in the water with them.

5. flying a kite
I had a blast doing this yesterday afternoon. I only quit because Jacob wanted me to push him in the swings. I could've kept flying forever.

6. swinging
I usually do this when we go to the park, as long as there aren't many other kids wanting on. I like to swing high and just keep going and going and going. But usually I have to stop and push Jacob a while. I'm trying to teach him to pump his legs, but he'd rather I push.

7. riding a bike
Can't say that I've done this lately, but I think I'm getting a bike for Mother's Day this year. Now that Caleb has a nice bike (which he got for his birthday last month), he loves to ride. Billy bought a bike right before Easter so he can keep up with Caleb. Once Jacob learns to ride, we'll all get to go together.

8. watching cartoons
I'm not much of a fan of the cartoons these days, but when Tom & Jerry or the old Looney Tunes or something from back in my day comes on, it's fun to sit and watch. And laugh. They're still funny.

9. jumping rope
Last school year, when we were part of a homeschool co-op with some other seminary friends, the older girls would jump rope during their P.E. time. They were so good, I didn't want to embarrass myself by joining in, so I just held the rope. They could double-dutch and everything. I probably should've just jumped in there and given it a shot. I need to find a jump rope...

10. blowing dandelions
It's always fun to do, just not in your own yard. You can't imagine the dandelions we've had pop up this spring! It's the wind, not me!

11. popping bubble wrap
Don't you just love to do this?!? The big ones are loud, but the little ones are much more fun. I like to pop them one at a time, then twist them to pop all the left overs when I'm done.

12. coloring
The boys don't like to color much, so we don't have many coloring books around. We do have tons of crayons, though! Maybe I should just do it all freehand.

13. playing hide and seek
The boys love to play this game. You run out of hiding places after a while, but the same old places can be fun if you change things up a bit. When I'm hiding, I always get goosebumps!

Do you remember the childhood game "Colored Eggs"? My sisters were playing it with the boys when we were there and they had the best time. I had completely forgotten about that game! I remember playing it at church a lot. I loved it. Thanks for the memories!

A Truly Awkward Experience

A little over a week ago, the boys and I stopped by our Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (basically a grocery store) to pick up a few things we desperately needed. It was right at 5:00 p.m. and the store was fairly crowded.

As soon as we walked in, I heard what sounded like a kid pitching a screaming fit. The boys looked at me and commented on it. I hoped it wouldn't last, but during the few minutes we were in the produce section, it continued - short bursts of screaming every 20-30 seconds or so.

On to the bread aisle, which was where the commotion was coming from. Only it wasn't a kid throwing a tantrum. It was a grown woman with Tourette Syndrome, who also seemed to be mentally disabled, and her caretaker. And she wasn't just screaming; she was screaming obscenities.

Okay. Why? Why in the world would you take someone with that condition into a crowded supermarket at a peak time of day? Then to top it off, all the caretaker did was say, "Quit that! Everyone's going to be looking at you." You think? You think maybe that only increased her agitation? I do, because the outbursts started coming with more frequency.

I quickly got our bread, grabbed some Little Debbie snacks for the boys, and proceeded to the next row as quickly as I could. The boys were frightened, and Caleb was intrigued as well. He kept asking me why she was screaming. I told him she had a disorder that made her do that, but I didn't really want to get into all that in the store, so I told him I'd tell him more when we got in the van. (Thankfully they didn't understand the words she was screaming! They were hard to distinguish at first, but once you realized what was going on, you could catch each one plainly.) I don't think I've ever gone through that store faster - unless of course I had a much shorter list.

As we turned into each new aisle and heard more screams of profanity, other people would look up from their carts with bewildered and embarrassed looks on their faces. They were hurrying, too.

By the time we got to the other side of the store and were almost finished with our shopping, the screams seemed to have slowed down a little, but she was still carrying on. I couldn't believe she was still there.

We stood in awkward silence with the other customers in our checkout line while our high-school-aged cashier tried to make light small talk. You could see the discomfort creep into his eyes with each scream. One more obscenity met us as we pushed our cart out the door.

As soon as we got in the parking lot, Caleb started asking questions again. Once I got the groceries loaded in the van and we were on the way home, I explained to him what I knew of the disorder. I once worked with someone with Tourette Syndrome, but his form only involved physical tics as far as I could tell.

If I hadn't been so tired and ready to get home, if I hadn't desperately needed some groceries, I would've just gone to another grocery store or gone home. Next time I will.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday #22

It's been a while! I've been busy, and we've been in and out of town so much that I didn't have an April menu made up until yesterday when I decided it was time to make a trip to the grocery store for more than just basic necessities.

Here's the menu plan for this week, albeit two days late...

Monday: sandwiches
I had a Board meeting.

Tuesday: lump crabmeat (imitation, of course) with a green salad, fresh fruit

Wednesday: crab salad sandwiches, fresh fruit

Thursday: Taco Layer Dip

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: pancakes and sausage

Sunday: AWANA pizza party - and the club that raised the most money for missions this semester (based on a per person average) will get a surprise ice cream party, too! Go Cubbies! (I work with that group) :o)

For more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Family is a wonderful thing!

Two weekends ago, while Billy went to New Orleans to watch Dan Wallace debate Bart Erman on the validity of the New Testament, the boys and I headed back home to visit family.

Thursday night was family night, always a fun time. We made homemade pizzas and ordered a few extras from Johnny's Pizza (YUM!) for those who weren't fond of veggie pizza. (Melissa and Lindsay made a barbecue chicken pizza that was wonderful! I'd like to make one for us soon!) Later we had some delicious chocolate cake that Daddy made for Caleb's belated birthday party. I think Caleb was so into opening his presents and playing with them that he never got around to eating any cake...

It stormed most of Friday, so Mama and the boys and I spent most of the day in the house. We played Caleb's new Game of Life, which he had gotten the night before. The weather cleared during the late afternoon, and we took Memaw out to eat at Cracker Barrel that night. After we got home and got the boys ready for bed, we stayed up a while and played Mexican Train dominoes. After the boys went to bed, we watched the previous night's episode of Survivor.

After a lazy Saturday morning, we headed to Aunt Sue and Uncle Don's for an afternoon crawfish boil. Welcome to "The Misadventures of Clawed the Crawfish".

Clawed and two of his buddies, Clawdius and Clawdine, managed to escape from prison. They were really enjoying their freedom - picking clover, hugging shoes, waving at everyone who got in their way. They made friends with just about everyone there. Well, except for the boys, who loved tormenting them with sticks.

Caleb had more fun playing with Clawed's less active relatives, who were relaxing in a cooler after a long steaming bath. I tend to prefer them, too. Jacob didn't want any part of Clawed or his cousins. I don't know if Clawed and his buddies ever made it down to the freedom of the bayou or if they were recaptured and ended up taking a dip in Uncle Don's homemade cocktail sauce instead.

After Eric and Uncle Don finished boiling all the crawfish and corn and potatoes, Uncle Don grilled hot dogs for Memaw and the boys. Then we feasted. At first I wasn't too keen on pulling the heads off my crawfish. (I had no problem with the boiled shrimp - they don't stare at you.) So my kind Daddy sat at a small table with me and pulled the heads off for me. Halfway through, I decided to give it a try. It wasn't so bad!

The boys liked their hot dogs and the corn that hadn't been cooked with all the seasoning. Caleb ate one or two ears, doing his best with some missing front teeth. Jacob ate 4 ears of corn!

When everyone had finally gotten their fill, the boys headed down to the bayou's edge and played in the mud. Eric and Darlene left so Eric could go to work. The rest of us sat around and talked, played on cell phones, and eventually got around to playing a few rounds of Nines. It was nearly 6:00 when we finally headed back home with a load of leftover crawfish in tow.

Melissa, Lindsay, and Josh came over and we ate Garlic Butter Pasta with Crawfish, garlic bread, and salad. Yvonne and her family weren't able to make it because one of their miniature horses foaled and they needed to wait for their vet to come, so Josh took some supper to them later. The boys were really disappointed that they weren't going to get to play with Grayson and Philip anymore.

By the time things wound down and we got the boys to bed and the kitchen cleaned, it was late and we were exhausted. It was great!

Time with family is always great!

How Many Mes?

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

*There are 481,616 people in the U.S. with the first name Ashley.
*Statistically the 114th most popular first name.
*95.58 percent of people with the first name Ashley are female.
I don't think I've ever met a guy with my first name. The closest I've come was a boy I taught in 6th and 7th grades many years ago. His name was Ashton.

*There are 91,158 people in the U.S. with the last name Todd.
*Statistically the 357th most popular last name.

I used to be nonexistent, according to that website. My maiden name isn't in their database. Sorry, Mama, Daddy, Melissa, Lindsay, Josh, Josef, etc.

Now for Billy:
*There are 115 people in the U.S. named Billy Todd.
I know two of them!
*There are 382,862 people in the U.S. with the first name Billy.
*Statistically the 145th most popular first name.
*98.41 percent of people with the first name Billy are male.

I thought Caleb's name would've been more popular:
*There are 34,944 people in the U.S. with the first name Caleb.
*Statistically the 975th most popular first name.
*There are only 10 people in the U.S. named Caleb Todd.

Jacob's name was more popular:
*There are 250,683 people in the U.S. with the first name Jacob.
*Statistically the 259th most popular first name.
*There are 75 people in the U.S. named Jacob Todd.

Other fun statistics:
*There are 906 people in the U.S. with the name Charlie Brown.
*There are 1,303 named George Washington.
*There are 299 named John Doe.
*There are only 23 named Jane Doe.
*There are 50,178 named John Smith.
*There are 50,865 named James Smith, the most popular first and last names.

How many of you are there?

ht: PoMonkey

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That was totally unexpected.

If you don't yet want to know the results from American Idol, don't read any further.


The bottom three was a surprise: Syesha Mercado (not surprised), Carly Smithson (sort of expected it), and Michael Johns (What?!?!?).

The big shocker: Michael Johns was eliminated. What?!?

He had one of the top performances Tuesday night, probably coming in right behind David Archuleta. The rest of the performances were ho-hum, and while I like Jason Castro, I wasn't impressed with his ukelele-playing rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The ukelele makes me think of Tiny Tim, and I don't really like that song very much, either.

I think the judges and the audience were just as shocked as Billy and I were.

All I can say is this: Jennifer Hudson. Clay Aiken. Bo Bice. Elliot Yamin. Chris Daughtry. You don't have to win American Idol to really win. (Is that too cheesy?)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I know I've been sporadic in posting, but I've been in and out of town for the last 3 weekends. I'm trying to get back into my routine, but it's a slow process. In the meantime, here's a little something from LOST for your enjoyment. (You don't have to be current to enjoy this!)

Previously on LOST: "What?"

ht: Bag of Nothing

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

...One of these things just doesn't belong.

Yes, there's another good one in American Idol's bottom 3. One who doesn't belong there. At all.

I sooooo hope Brooke White doesn't go home tonight. I'd love for it to be either Baby Girl (Ramiele) or Country Girl (Kristy). I would've put Syesha in that group, too.

My earlier picks for top 3 this week: David Cook, David Archuleta, and Michael Johns.

The competition is getting tough now!

Okay, so it's...