Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

It’s time for another rousing edition of Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons. Today’s clips fall under the sports motif. Hope you enjoy!

1. We’ll start with some exercise: work it.

2. Boys and their bets.

3. Here is some rare footage of Adolf Hitler reacting to some surprising news. Brace yourself.

4. I had to include this because it could so easily be a home video of me and my brothers.

5. Today’s program brought to you by Doritos and the sheer brilliance of Tripp and Tyler.

Top 5 Tips For Anyone Considering Running as a New Year’s Resolution

So I’ve been running for a bit now. Thought I would offer some of the top observations I’ve made while running. It seems timely to share these as New Year’s is about a week away, and everyone is disgusted with themselves because of all the holiday treats they’ve consumed. We’re all motivated to do something right now, aren’t we?

You might call these tips or tricks for the runner. I call them “5 reasons why running should be banned forever and replaced with happy thoughts.”

5) Running is not a guarantee you will lose weight. It is a guarantee for soreness that lasts all day long. But I’ve heard one also has to change their diet in addition to exercise. I’d like to continue to believe this is a myth perpetuated by organic farmers, but the scale don’t lie. This takes the commitment to be in a relationship with Running to a whole new level. You have to ask yourself: Is it worth it?

4) Running against the wind is much harder than running with the wind. One time I think I was actually losing ground for about 43 seconds. Right before I collapsed on the side of the road. To keep this from happening to you, I recommend running behind a large, slow-moving object. Like an ice cream truck. Then when you’re done, you can treat yo’ self!

3) The runner’s phrase “the wall” (as in “I was coasting ’til I hit the wall”) is very misleading. Gives the impression there’s just one. Also gives the impression that you run through it. Ha. More like they run through you. A much better name would be “the Rocky’s.” Because they’re non-stop, and one comes right after the other. Rocky I, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Judge Dredd, and Rocky VI. And they progressively get worse. Except for the last one which is surprisingly pleasant, well-written and executed.

2) When your mind is engaged with an idea, you don’t notice the physical pain from running. It’s almost as if for that brief time you’re not in pain. The movie, The Matrix, might have stumbled onto something revolutionary. Maybe the human brain is a powerful reality-bender. If your brain tells you you’re dead, you’re dead. Even if you’re really not. Ergo, if your brain tells you you’re alive and floating on the air, then you can keep running until you’re literally dead, which would totally throw your brain for a loop. Sounds dangerous. Staying on the couch sounds safer.

1) There is a point in every run where the run becomes a walk. It’s inevitable. You feel it coming. The run moves from a  jog (this takes place about 11 seconds in for me), moves to a slow jog, then a barely discernible jog, which is honestly slower than the average speed walk. At this point you know it’s only a matter of time until you will have to begin walking, or stop altogether.

But here’s what I’ve learned: You can always run just a bit further than you think possible. At least until you reach the point where you can’t, and you are now dead. Unless your brain quickly convinces you you’re not really dead (see #4 above).

But this is what keeps me coming back for more. Running a little bit farther or faster than I did the time before. Making progress.

What helps you stick to your goals?

Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

Love Saturday morning cartoons as a kid? Me too. But now you’re grown up, so watching them is just creepy. So watch these instead.

1. Tyler and Tripp bring the funny. As always.

2. If you don’t think this is cute, you might not have a soul. Just sayin’.

3. This little game would make shopping fun for millions of men.

4. Do you remember what happened in 2011? Here’s a video recap from Google of some of the biggest events.

5. A Social Network Christmas by Igniter Media.

6. This morning’s “cartoons” brought to you by our friends at Zipcar.

Run for Fun?

I’ve started running again.

I hesitate to mention this in such a public forum which gives it an almost official status, because I’m not sure Running and I have reached that place in our relationship yet.

I also hesitate to use the word again which conveys the impression that I have ever been a serious runner. To be clear, I use the word in the manner of saying, “I have run before.” Which is not a lie.

Sometimes I run to a meeting when I am late. I will often run to the kitchen during a commercial break. Just this morning, I ran to the bathroom. So I do run, but I would not say I am a runner. There is a difference.

All that to say I am giving Running another try. And I realized something on my run today. (Does that last sentence make me sound like a runner?)

The path is not always smooth. Brilliant, right?

I run on roads (there is no sidewalk option on my side of town), and as I turned a corner I decided to venture off the road and onto the gravelly surface. It was a “short cut.” I shaved 1.25 seconds off my run.

I quickly noticed there were some dangerous potholes which I was able to avoid with my catlike, Barry Sanders’ moves. This was also not too difficult since I was running jogging at a pretty moderate pace.

The light bulb was that when I run I have an expectancy the path will not make running more difficult or cause an injury. The run itself is hard enough on my body. (I really am a big baby.) The road should not be an additional obstacle to overcome.

I think sometimes I approach life in the same way, but life comes with no such guarantee. We should not be thrown off course when our course is disrupted. We should not complain or be surprised or become obsessed with life’s potholes. Everybody has them. Just get out there and keep running.

Jesus never promised us a smooth ride. But He did tell He is with us and for us. And I believe He meant that would be enough.

Another thing I realized on my run was that thinking about what I could write on my blog dramatically lessened the constant ache running produces. But eventually the pain comes back, and you realize you’re very far from your house and about 3 seconds away from a heart attack.

Then I hit what runners so happily refer to as “the wall.”

At this point, my jog crawl still resembled a running motion, but I was going slower than most 90-year-olds with walkers. So I decided was forced to walk. I eventually made it home.

I can’t wait to do this again in two days.

Has God ever spoken to you on a run? What’d He say?

The REAL Story of the First Thanksgiving

This year, I started a new tradition with Addi. In the mornings on our drive to school, I tell her stories. It has not always been easy to do, there are days when I don’t feel like it, but she won’t let me off the hook. Some stories are more original than others, most are mash-ups of a couple different stories, and a few are just straight-up classics.

A couple of weeks ago I finished telling Hansel and Gretel, and Addi requested another story about the witch. It seemed like an odd request, but I went with it and came up with a short, corny story about Thanksgiving. And now I’d like to share it with you. I have lengthened it and tried to make it a little more interesting for an older audience, so without further adieu, here is the story behind why we celebrate Thanksgiving…

Once upon a time, in the middle of a dark, scary forest, there was a witch who lived in a house made entirely out of candy. As you already know (unless you didn’t read the part above this or have the memory of an ostrich), this was the witch who tricked Hansel and Gretel but did not actually get to eat them because they got away. Our story takes place many years after that story, and the witch is much older and consequently, much slower.

She still has an insatiable appetite for children, but it has been years since she has been able to catch one. It is not just her old age that has made it harder to catch the children; technology has played a key role as well.

Since smart phones now come with built-in GPS, children don’t get lost like they used to. And since Hansel and Gretel decided to tell their story on Oprah, children now know not to nibble on a random candy house lying in the middle of the forest. Between Oprah and Facebook, word has gotten out about the witch.

So one afternoon the witch was skyping with her other witch friends and complaining about her troubles. One of her oldest friends from Norway mentioned how it was no different there. Another witch then mentioned how she had stumbled on a very satisfactory solution.

Wild turkeys, she said. They can’t resist gumdrop doorknobs, are easily trapped, and taste rather like children if roasted a certain way. Most of the witches laughed and said their palates were much too sophisticated to eat anything but children, and soon the conversation ended.

But the witch could not get the idea completely out of her head. She was, after all, incredibly hungry. So the next day, she decided to build a trap and place one of her gumdrop doorknobs inside. The next morning, she raced to her trap and discovered she had caught a wild turkey. She took it home, roasted it, then tentatively tasted it. Much to her surprise and delight, she loved it.

For the next several weeks she stuffed herself on turkeys. She had forgotten how good it was not to feel hungry, and one day she actually decided to give up eating children altogether. It seemed like the right thing to do.

In fact, her steady diet of turkey was changing her. She was a much happier person. She was sleeping much better; she no longer battled indigestion; her doctor had even lowered her blood pressure medication (*The FDA cannot at this time confirm that consuming large quantities of turkey lowers blood pressure).

To celebrate this dynamic life-change, the witch decided to throw a party and invited everyone from the local village. She sent invitations out through Facebook and Twitter and also through the online dating service she was a part of.

Those receiving invitations were not sure what to do with them at first. There was much talk around the village water cooler about whether this was legit or a final, desperate ploy on the part of the witch to eat their children. I’m sure you can imagine the kind of long-term, traumatic effect a child-eating witch would have on a small village. They typically gave everybody the benefit of the doubt, but it was still incredibly hard to trust she had really changed.

Finally, the mayor decided he and his family would attend, and after this a few other courageous families committed to go as well.

The day of the party arrived, and the small group traveled into the woods to the witch’s house. She had a long table set up with chairs all around, and when the village people saw the table they gasped. There was dish after dish of salivary deliciousness: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, apple butter, cranberry and raspberry sauces, bacon, steamed broccoli, corn, green bean casserole… and the plumpest, juiciest turkey they had ever seen.

The witch welcomed them to her home and invited them to play some games before the feast began. There were sack races, and stickball, and the children even got to play ‘Just Dance’ on the witch’s Xbox Kinect.

And so everyone had a grand time, eating and playing and laughing together. Late in the evening, the mayor stood up and said he had an announcement to make.

“This is a day to give thanks. Our old enemy the witch is now our new friend, and I mean that quite literally. I just added her as my friend on Facebook with my iPhone 4. I seriously love this thing.

“She has promised to never again eat one of our children, and barring the occasional moment of weakness, I believe she’ll keep that promise. So as your mayor, I declare that henceforth and forthwith this fourth Thursday in the month of November is a new holiday, and we will call it Thanksgiving!”

And that is why we celebrate Thanksgiving with no school, parades, football, a dog show, and lots of turkey.

Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

1. Napoleon Dynamite’s long-lost cousins.

2. Two most important commands: Love your neighbor as yourself, and don’t steal Jesus.

3. Don’t tell me you’ve never thought about doing this.

4. How’d they do that?

5. Today’s programs are brought to you by the number K, the letter 4, and National Geographic.

Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

1. When the economy’s as bad as it is today, even penguins can get desperate enough to turn to a life of crime…

2. Who will win the Triple Crown? You’ll just have to watch to find out…

3. This guy just earned some major brownie points. Well played, sir, well played…

4. Today’s sponsor…

Better Than Saturday Morning Cartoons

You know what I loved about Saturday mornings? Eating gobs of cereal and watching cartoons. And when I was a kid, cartoons were good. So to honor those days gone by, here are some videos that may or may not be better than Saturday morning cartoons.

1. Why can’t the news always be like this…

2. A new sport that might soon capture America’s heart…

3. Don’t try this at home. Or on the street. But maybe try this in a mattress factory…

4. This morning’s programs proudly brought to you by…

Talking To Squirrels

An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis...
Image via Wikipedia

This is the conversation my wife overheard of our twin boys while they played at a park yesterday.

Levi: “Squirrel, if you would just come down here, we’ll show you where the acorns are.”

Micah: “Levi, whenever you see that squirrel again, tell me and I’ll give him this acorn.”

I love that they’re so concerned for the squirrel’s survival, but I also love that their imagination knows no limits!

What happens to us as we get older that squelches our imagination, makes us give up on our dreams, and “grow up?”