Thursday, January 31, 2008

IHLA Stars of the Industry Reception

Yesterday, I attended the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association's, Stars of the Industry Reception. The reception honors outstanding employees and leaders in the Hotel and Lodging Industry. Numerous employees won awards for their outstanding commitment to their organization.

The keynote speaker was Indiana Secretary of the State, Todd Rokita. He spoke of the importance of civic engagement and Indiana's challenges as the business environment continues to flatten.

Overall, the reception was outstanding and congratulations to all the award winners.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Book Review - Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

In 'Wild at Heart' by John Eldredge, the reader takes a look into today's masculine soul. For me, the book was a series of ups and downs. I felt the author makes some strong points about man's struggle to conform to modern Christian principles without losing a sense of masculinity. I did feel a little lost when he fails to recognize societies influence on the masculine soul. As a young millennial, I feel safe displaying some slight feminine tendencies, but according to Mr. Eldredge, this is a result from some intricate failure in my boyhood. I'm happy with myself. I'm in love with my wife. If I want to take a break from car engines and fishing, and enjoy baking a cake or go on a shopping spree at Bath & Body Works, that's my prerogative.

Overall, this novel is worth the read because it causes one to think about themselves in a more intimate way.

Here's a description from

"Helping men rediscover their masculine heart, Wild at Heart, a guide to understanding Christian manhood and Christian men, offers a refreshing break from the chorus of voices urging men to be more responsible, reliable, dutiful ... and dead. God designed men to be dangerous, says Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in every boy's heart: to be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires---aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a "nice guy." It's no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death. In this provocative book, Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be---dangerous, passionate, alive, and free."

Retail Price: $21.99

The destruction of happy alligator.

To reward our puppies for such good behavior this past week, we brought home a stuffed alligator as a present.

(Showbiz doing the grab and hide)

(Lola's turn)

And finally, we see what came of Mr. Happy Alligator.

Muddy Chihuahua!

In Indiana, it snows one day and rains the next. Lola loves driving me crazy by getting muddy. Here's some pictures after her latest romp.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

Today, I received an offer of employment from Yum Brands, and I have accepted the offer. As the a new manager in the Taco Bell division, I am looking forward to making an immediate impact. With a customer focused approach, I hope to be the difference maker in the organization. Passion. Leadership. Integrity. Those are the principles that will guide my career at Yum. Also, I would like to thank a few people. First, I want to thank Johanna & Sandy for introducing me into the organization. Many thanks to my friends and family for the support provided during my job-search. I also want to thank Starr Services for lighting a fire in me. Most of all, I want to thank my stunningly beautiful, and very patient wife, Stacy. You make roses blush for shame. I love you.

Finally, I want to post one of my favorite poems. I know there will be a lot of questions about why I am entering the food industry, but like a candle without a room to brighten, I need a challenge to become the professional I am meant to be.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What I learned at Church today...

I felt today's sermon was very enlightening. Pastor Dave Crandall delivered a very powerful message with the central theme - Another Year, Another Dollar. Here's some highlights from his presentation.

Money Isn't The Issue, Godliness Is!

Proverbs 28:19-20 (NLT): "Hard workers have plenty of food; playing around brings poverty. The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble."

In my opinion, this says, "If your focus is wrong, your goal will be wrong."

Here's another great idea from his sermon.

Enjoy your rich rewards!

Colossians 3:23-25 (NLT): "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you inheretance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites."

Here's what I get from this, if your focus is on Godliness, understand the rewards that will be reaped. Overall, the idea behind the theme is that you can have sound finances and live in God's light.

If you would like to learn more about Dave Crandall or Friendship Baptist Church please visit the website.

Family, Steak, & Eric Gordon Sr.

(picture provided from

So this past Friday, I was treated to a steak dinner at Shula's Steakhouse by my sister and her husband. Let me say, Shula's Steakhouse is well worth the bill. The steak was outstanding, the environment was 'man' classy, and they offer a great Winterfest menu. My wife enjoyed a glass of J Lohr Riesling with her steak. It offered a sweet taste and flavorful aromas.

The whole dinner was a great event. I was able to catch up with Holly & Tom. I learned some great things. First, Tibbett's are prone to head injuries and emergency room stitches. Here's a few pictures of Daytona's latest run in with a chair. Second, if Buffalo Wild Wings were the Mafia, Tom would rank as West Lafayette's king pin.

Finally, I get to bring this whole discussion together. While dinner was fun, the craziness started following the check. After consuming about 7 glasses of water and a pint of Guinness, my eye's were floating. Being chivalrous, Tom and I let the ladies attend to the restroom first while we enjoyed the photographs displayed outside the restaurant. When they returned, we were in an engrossing conversation about Indiana Basketball History. This conversation continued into the restroom. While I was performing my manly duty, I made the profound statement, "Eric Gordon should not be playing college basketball." With all self-glorification aside, this statement was in no way derogatory to Eric Gordon. In context to the conversation, I was merely pointing out that IU's increased defense intensity led by EJ and his unstoppable abilities to penetrate and shoot, would have made him an asset on most NBA teams this season. Also, let me mention that this comment was obviously spoken prior to EJ's performance against Connecticut, but I feel that these words still holds true regardless of how one may debate this slight step back. Following my comment, and amid my 'manly' performance, a third party joins our conversation stating, "You know that's my son you're talking about."

At this point, an individual with self-confidence and poise would have congratulated the man on raising such a talented young man, or shown intelligence by quoting an obscure Indiana basketball statistics, or even opened the discussion to drive into more qualitative knowledge such as EJ's bench press numbers or cumulative GPA. Needless to say, I was silent. Wordless. Speaking in broken English, I was able to mutter "Illinois, bad" and "Thanks". Yes, I thanked the man. For what, I'm not quite sure. Maybe for talking to me while I was relieving myself, for having such a talented basketball player as a son, or maybe a thanks was given to show my appreciation for allowing EJ Jr. to choose IU over that second rate 'Orange' university. Either way, my conversation skills at that point faded from Dale Carnegie to more of a Captain Caveman approach.

Overall, the dinner was outstanding and made for some great memories.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Real Men carry Guybags

So I catch a lot of crap for carrying around a bag. Well, for everyone's information, I need to carry a lot of stuff. My Guy-bag is a necessity. It's the foundation of my MacGuyver-like powers. Enabling me to carry a note-pad, address book, digital camera, chap stick, snack items, and gum. Here's a quick list to review if your bag is a Guy-bag or a Man-purse...

Top 10 Signs Your bag is a Guy Bag, andis not a Man-Purse

10. It was made from a bear skin. With the bear still in it.

9. Ernest Hemingway was banned from the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, after he killed a bull with a Guy Bag.

8. It fires Patriot missiles out of the pen holder.

7. It came with a free set of Monster truck tires.

6. Rocky IV was originally about Rocky fighting a Guy Bag. It had to be rewritten, because Rocky died after being punched one time.

5. When you meet Chuck Norris, he clenches his fists, narrows his eyes slightly, and whispers, "Nice bag."

4. It's the only other thing that can stop Superman.

3. Guy bags are banned from the Canadian wilderness because they will dominate wolf packs and wreak havoc on nearby towns.

2. You can't buy a Guy Bag. It must be granted by the Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite.

1. It can hold a regulation size NFL football, a regulation NFL helmet, and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fighting the cold...

So the last few days, Stacy and I have been passing the flu back and forth. I've experience all the symptoms...fever, running nose, phlegm, nausea, gingivitis, limb growth, and phastic contipulation. Okay, may not those last four, but you get the picture. Here's some photos from Stacy's hibernation during the Quasebarth plague.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Book Review - Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Here's my take on the book. It's all about football, food, and the Italian Superbowl. The interesting thing about this book is Mr. Grisham's ability to describe an small Italian cafe in such brilliance that one could close their eyes and taste the wine. Smell the fresh bread and over-ready pizza. He does a great job unfolding the Italian cultural experience. Oh and let's not forget about football. Thank goodness for a little Americano Football.

Get the book here: Playing for Pizza at

Book Review - Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley, the author of the novel 'Thank You for Smoking', holds onto the same structure in Boomsday. In this novel, he uses great dialogue in a fast flowing story about government sanctioned suicide. Here's a quick plot review by Judy Budnitz:

"Here's the set-up: One generation is pitted against another in the shadow of a Social Security crisis. Our protagonist, Cassandra Devine, is a 29-year-old public relations maven by day, angry blogger by night. Incensed by the financial burden soon to be placed on her age bracket by baby boomers approaching retirement, she proposes on her blog that boomers be encouraged to commit suicide. Cassandra insists that her proposal is not meant to be taken literally; it is merely a "meta-issue" intended to spark discussion and a search for real solutions. But the idea is taken up by an attention-seeking senator, Randy Jepperson, and the political spinning begins.

Soon Cassandra and her boss, Terry Tucker, are devising incentives for the plan (no estate tax, free Botox), an evangelical pro-life activist is grabbing the opposing position, the president is appointing a special commission to study the issue, the media is in a frenzy, and Cassandra is a hero. As a presidential election approaches, the political shenanigans escalate and the subplots multiply: There are nursing-home conspiracies, Russian prostitutes, Ivy League bribes, papal phone calls and more.

Buckley orchestrates all these characters and complications with ease. He has a well-honed talent for quippy dialogue and an insider's familiarity with the way spin doctors manipulate language. It's queasily enjoyable to watch his characters concocting doublespeak to combat every turn of events. "Voluntary Transitioning" is Cassandra's euphemism for suicide; "Resource hogs" and "Wrinklies" are her labels for the soon-to-retire. The opposition dubs her "Joan of Dark."

Overall, I felt that Mr. Buckley used the same successful strategies in this book as in his previous novels. He takes a current national headline and twists it to meet the needs of his readers.

Get the book here: Boomsday at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

IF by Rudyard Kipling

This is one of my all-time favorite poems.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

The Muse & Creativity


So my wife is a very creative person. A left brain thinker. Stacy knits, wraps, pastes, clips, and staples. She organizes, cleans, disorganizes, and digs. Here is some of the things she's been working on:

[Baby Hats]

[Laptop Cover]

[Hand warmer thingy modeled by me]


The Search


I am in the midst of a very comprehensive jobsearch and I just wanted everyone to meet my two assistant job counselors.

First, there's my attitude adviser, Showbiz.

Second, let me introduce you to my style coordinator, Lola.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Qball's Beer Review: Leinenkugel's Big Butt Doppelbock

Leinenkugel's Big Butt Doppelbock

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel's Brewing Company

United States

Style / ABV:
Doppelbock / 5.70% ABV


A winter release from Leinenkugel

Review: This is a great dark beer from Leinenkugel. I found it to be very flavorful with a lot of aroma. As far as doppelbock's go, this beer is very drinkable but not very special.

Rating (1 recommended, 2 good, 3 on-the-fence, 4 disappointed, 5 stay away)

Skippy Jon Jones the Crime Fighting Siamese Cat

Children's books have came a long way. This is a great book by Judy Schachner and promotes multi-culturalism. Here is a short summary of the book followed by some pictures of the great illustration in the book.

From School Library Journal
This is a wildly wonderful book about a hyperactive kitten, Skippy Jon Jones, whose head and ears are too big for his body, and whose imagination is too intense for his mama. According to her, he needs to do some serious thinking about what it means to be a Siamese cat instead of a bird (Skippyjon always wakes up and eats worms with his feathered friends). She sends him to his room, where he imagines he is a Chihuahua ("My name is Skippito Friskito./I fear not a single bandito"). Chock-full of rhyming chants and Spanish expressions, the feline's adventure as a doggy Zorro ends in chaos. His frazzled mother gives him a hug anyway and says, "Say good night, Skippyjon Jones." "Buenas noches, mis amigos," says the kitten, as he bounces on his bed all ready for another adventure. The buoyant and colorful cartoon illustrations match the exuberant text perfectly. Spanish-speaking children will be especially delighted by the words and humor; others may be a little bewildered by all of the foreign phrases and will need some explanation, but the story definitely has the potential of a fun read-aloud.

Here's a link to Skippy Jon Jones on

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lazy Dogs

Okay, so I am the proud owner of two extremely lazy dogs, Lola the Chihuahua and Showbiz the Shar Pei Mix. In the following photos you will be discover the lifestyle makes up my hounds.

Here's an exciting picture of the dogs playing fetch!

Here's a great photo of Showbiz pulling off the coveted 'Play Dead' Trick

Dog + Cover = scary movie scene

Lola blogging.