Sunday, January 06, 2019

Go Team! in Birmingham, England - 1988-1989

Hello Internet,

Way back in 1988, a 17 year-old American named Jason spent a year in Birmingham, England, as part of a volunteer "Gospel Outreach Team." I was a Californian teenager looking to learn more about England and help grow an inner-city church.  There were four Go Teams! in the UK (that I remember): Birmingham, Stirling, Inverness, and Durham (I might be miss-remembering on that last one). And the UK teams were lead by Gwyn and Glyn (Glen?).

I was the only American, living with four British young men in a tiny house in Sparkhill. My housemates were James, Matthew, Shane, and Gary (and in the beginning, Andy).  There were also four women who lived in the dormitory at a local hospital: Heidi, Heather, Eileen, and Helen.

I've lost contact with nearly everyone on the Go Team! and the other friends I made when I was there, so I'm hoping with this post might show up in a Google Search by others reminiscing about those times and thinking of long lost friends.

If you want to get in touch, feel free to reach out to me at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ma, Ma, Ma, My Word, I don't get Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga? Really? This is what kids (and some sad adults) are listening to these days? At least she's completely in it for the art and not a sell out. Oh wait, "Miracle Whip Jumps On Lady Gaga Bandwagon," nevermind.

I hope the tangy sweet money was worth it and doesn't tank your brand. Actually, the second part wouldn't be too bad.

If you found this post looking for more information on Lady Gaga, you would be serving yourself better musically by getting better acquainted with such female artists as Neko Case, Jenny Lewis or Regina Spektor.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hail Death Cab for Cutie's New EP at

Death Cab for Cutie just released a new 5-song EP entitled The Open Door. While a little on the mellow side, it's classic DCFC and certainly won't disappoint hardcore fans (myself included).

Checking it out is easy, thanks to the new service offered by, which allows users to listen to any album for free once. You can listen to it here, but I also recommend becoming a member. It allows you sync with your iTunes library for online listening from anywhere. Plus, DRM-free MP3 downloads are $.89 and albums are typically cheaper than Amazon. Yeah, I'm plugging, but only because it's worth the hype. Sign up here to check it out. If you'd like a second opinion, check out yesterday's TechCrunch article.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dora the Ex-Explorer

Wow, talk about a late bloomer. Dora has grown up, and I don't know how much exploring she's going to be doing in that outfit. According to the latest news, Dora has been reimagined for the tween set, and ties with Boots the Monkey have been severed - along with talking back packs, maps, etc. While Boots may be gone, I hear she is now looking for an alligator pair.

I suppose this was inevitable, but something about having to glam Dora up doesn't sit right. Of course, I might not be the best judge, as I thought the original Dora was a little irritating. As the father of a 4-year-old girl, I’m glad she prefers Sid the Science Kid. Although, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he’s reimagined as a Jonas brother of the scientific community.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cat in the Grass

If anyone questions whether marijuana can impare judgement, the following AP story the should put those doubts to rest:

"Neb. deputies say man stuffed cat inside 'bong'"

Public Service Message to pot smokers: Cats, or any other animals, should not be used in bongs. It doesn't matter how cute they look.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

9/11, TSA and Playmobil

That Playmobil sells an airport security checkpoint is outrageous. That customers respond with insightful product reviews is hilarious.

I'm particularly fond of these excerpts:

"I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed."

"Not realizing this was a toy I purchased it to prepare for my interview as a TSA agent. Needless to say I aced it and have been happily viewing xrays of carry-on luggage and shoes ever since."

"...the screening apparatus is not actually functional. This represents faithfully the actual TSA system, which, every time it is tested or audited, fails to catch anything (weapons, even bombs)."

"I think expansion packs would really increase the enjoyment. Could you imagine the fun kids could have with the "Mother forced to drink bottled breast milk to prove it's not explosive" expansion...

"At first it looked as though my Playmobil terrorist cell was going have trouble getting through this security system - no naked flames, sharp objects, guns or bombs. Then I bought the Tobacco Lobbyist upgrade pack which allowed cigarette lighters to be carried through so they simply torched the plane instead. Hours of fun for all the family."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Music Goes Indie

One of my favorite pop culture blogs, Pop Candy, pointed out that is streaming a “Holiday Mixer” radio station populated with festive tunes from some of my favorite indie artists, including Eels, The Decemberists, and Matt Pond PA.

Normally, I’m one to eschew everything Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but based on current store displays, apparently there are those out there who get into the holiday spirit a little early. If that’s the case with you, I recommend checking out If you’re going to start listening to holiday music now, at least give yourself the opportunity hear "Donna and Blitzen" by Badly Drawn Boy or "Season's Greetings" by Robbers on High Street.