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Archive for bryan

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Bryan is an artist, father, husband, and son (not really in that order). He works for the Department of Vetern's Affairs and writes and administers The Fireside Post with his father, Ohg Rea Tone. His writings have not been published, though they have been printed a lot.

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Wicked, The Snape Effect, and Storytelling

There is a reason that we humans are fascinated with stories. There is a deep connection that we have with the stories of others. From history to social studies to literature, all learning is founded in story. Even in mathematics we learn that a powerful way of getting an answer with numbers is to tell […]

13Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Wicked, The Snape Effect, and Storytelling | Continued
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Desmond Tutu on Homosexuality

I received an email today – as I do many times during the course of the week – from a family member who must be convinced the we see the world in the same way.  I am sure that many of you have someone that prowls your email this way.  Based on some skewed version […]

13Oct2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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An Intro to the American Coffee House

From the truck stop burners to the gourmet air pots of the local coffee shop to the drive through of the Starbucks on the way to work, coffee dispensing has become more American than preemptive strikes. Coffee has been around. It is nothing new, really. It is not even a product of American culture. In […]

8Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Creamy Vodka Sauce…

On the subject of tortellinis, we would impart another recipe from our own Italian friends in Staten Island, NY. We would like to thank Eileen for this one, and we are forever grateful as it is a family favorite. You will need: one cup of ham – cubed one cup of onion (yellow or white, […]

7Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Creamy Vodka Sauce… | Continued
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Coffee and the American Gourmet Experience

Coffee is in the news. There is a lot of talk about providing a gourmet experience for consumers. McDonald’s is the latest to join the coffee experience bandwagon.  Discretionary income is down, but the enjoyment of coffee continues to proliferate. The inherent problem here is that we are seeking an experience with coffee, as in […]

7Oct2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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McCain and the Keating Situation

I have to admit, I was one of the people in the late eighties that was in middle school, listening to the Beastie Boys and trying to get away with not showering in gym class.  I don’t remember Charles Keating.  I watch the news today and have no recollection of a time when this was […]

6Oct2008 | | Comments Off on McCain and the Keating Situation | Continued
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Cooking for a Crowd: Walking Tacos

Basically, here is how it works: you will crumble the chips in the bags and then cut the tops of the bags off. You can also turn the bag on its side and cut the bag along the edge from top to bottom.

2Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Cooking for a Crowd: Walking Tacos | Continued
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Cooking For a Crowd: The Potato Bar

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at our church, and at out program we eat together every week.  Some weeks have more people than others, of course, but we are getting good at providing meals for semi-large crowds (like 25 – 30 people) with minimal prep and even less of a budget.  I wanted […]

29Sep2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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So, Rednecks Really Are For Obama

One of my main hopes for this campaign is that it moght be conducted with civility. Vote for who you like, campaign for who you like. and like who you like, but don’t engage in the hostility that is brewing in the dark corners of this debate. Leave it alone, and give us your opinion based on how you feel or how you interpret the issues.

27Sep2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Subliminal Bush

In a previous post here on The Fireside, we mentioned the press conference with the President where he discussed WWIII in the context of Iran. I thought it might be beneficial to see the clip for ourselves: “I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.” I guess that would account for […]

26Sep2008 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Coldingham Pork Loin (stuffed with cheese)…

In November of 1998 we lived with nine of my fellow sailors in a large, colonial style brick house near a man made lake in Virginia Beach, VA. The house was at the end of a cul-de-sac called Coldingham Court. Thanksgiving came along, and my friend Mike and I decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner, […]

24Sep2008 | | Comments Off on Coldingham Pork Loin (stuffed with cheese)… | Continued
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I am a house-husband, not a space man

I am a house husband.  I think that there is still some social barrier within me that creates a stigma around staying at home with the kids. I create my own stigma, I guess, I still feel a little weird when telling people what I do. Its a lot like telling them that I am […]

24Sep2008 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Being a House-Husband

I am a house-husband. That is, I stay at home with the kids and my wife works full time. We are a non-traditional family, I guess, and it suits me fine most of the time. I get the impression, though, that the pats on the back that I get from people are not always genuine. […]

22Sep2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Gustav Moves In, Iowa Moves Out

Natural disasters are good press.  Its a sure thing.  Its like marketing Jesus.  You can’t go wrong.  But, much like marketing Jesus, you can’t stick with the same old spiel.  You have to be fresh and relevant.  You have to go with the flow. When Iowa was hit with severe flooding this summer, it made […]

4Sep2008 | | Comments Off on Gustav Moves In, Iowa Moves Out | Continued
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Liberty Parade Kicks Off Protests for RNC

It is a fine day in Minneapolis.  83 degrees, breezy, and the air is full of political frenzy.  Downtown Minneapolis this afternoon was the host to the Liberty Parade, and it was quite a sight.  Have a look: Perhaps this is a nice prelude to the theatrics of the week.  We will see.

1Sep2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Bush Library, Top Ten List of Locations

The George W. Bush Presidential Library is headed for the campus of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and in full George W. Bush fashion it is bundled with a policy institue that is intended to promote the ideas and values of the 43rd President. This would not be a big deal in itself, since […]

20Aug2008 | | Comments Off on The Bush Library, Top Ten List of Locations | Continued
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Banks do Business with Predatory Lenders

I was in my bank the other day to roll over my wife’s 401k, and I was browsing all of their literature while I waited for the financial advisor. I don’t usually pay any attention to all of the stuff along the wall because I already have all of the banking junk that I need […]

12Aug2008 | | Comments Off on Banks do Business with Predatory Lenders | Continued
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Barack, Public Funding, and My Backyard

Barack Obama this week rejected public fundung for his campaign according to the Los Angeles Times.  This seems like a big deal, I know, and a lot of good government analysts are saying that it is a mistake and that it could be a strong point for McCain in the gneral election  It is not […]

20Jun2008 | | Comments Off on Barack, Public Funding, and My Backyard | Continued
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intimate anonymity in the electronic age

If you are reading this article, then it is no surprise to you that our electronic culture is changing faster than we can measure and our connectedness boasts the largest geographical and numerical network in history. The phenomenon of our communication age is a child of several technologies that all dramatically shaped our culture, and […]

2Jun2008 | | Comments Off on intimate anonymity in the electronic age | Continued
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Procrastination Posting

Timing is everything in blogging. Well, not everything. Content is a key element, but secondary to timing. It is important, though… content… but you have to wait for the right content to come along, or it just isn’t worth the effort. I never post anything early in the morning. It comes off as too zealous. […]

12May2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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What Makes A Pirate A Pirate?

I don’t have cable, and I don’t want it. It’s too expensive, I don’t like the hassle that I get from them, and I havean internet connection, so I can pretty much get whatever shows I want without the commercials, and whatever I can’t find online I just rent and plug it into the DVD […]

29Apr2008 | | Comments Off on What Makes A Pirate A Pirate? | Continued
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Christianity Is Not a Religion

At a motivational seminar that I attended last week, I noticed that a lot of the motivational speaking crowd are Christian speakers. Many of them, in fact, have started mega churches for mega rich parishioners in mega cities (that crowd doesn’t do small scale stuff). Many of the pastors of large churches, actually, would fall […]

25Apr2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Jon Stewart: The Fiber in Your Media Diet

There are some things that we, as a culture, cannot do without. Oil. Television. Wal-Mart. Cell Phones. Media Punditry. In order for these things to exist, we have to continually evaluate them and to find ways of curbing our dependence on them. Otherwise, we become slaves to our devices. Oil, for instance, needs investigation into […]

17Apr2008 | | Comments Off on Jon Stewart: The Fiber in Your Media Diet | Continued
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smoking bans: a look at freedom, liberty and autonomy

There is an understanding in our free society that we can exercise our personal autonomy as long as we do not interfere with the rights and liberties of others. The true nature of government is to build and maitain infrastructure and to make and enforce laws that protect the rights and liberties of the people. […]

16Apr2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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hunting for the ethical purchase

As consumers, we vote with our pocketbook.  There is plenty of complaining about the impact of Wal-Mart, but they are winning the campaign of the free market because they they are, in fact, cheap.  Everyone loves a bargain, and these days the way to get one is to invest your time and money into supporting […]

2Apr2008 | | Comments Off on hunting for the ethical purchase | Continued
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Why Hillary Will Never Be President…

The level of ugly in the Democratic primary is reaching unbearable heights. In a time of excitement and hope for what this election cycle means, there is a collective sigh coming from the population over the way that the primaries are playing out. This weekend Bill Richardson drove another nail into the Clinton political coffin. […]

24Mar2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Hillary’s Dignity Tank Is On Empty

John McCain is a sharp politician. Many people have criticized his decisions, his shifting allegances, and his fence-sitting positions in this primary. But he is winning. He has a lot of exerience winning and he has enough foresight to know that he has to make some smooth moves and some hard decisions to unite the […]

20Mar2008 | | Comments Off on Hillary’s Dignity Tank Is On Empty | Continued
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Reporting on Reverend Wright – and Getting it Wrong

It is difficult to grapple with the complexities of faith and politics, and it is disheartening when the two meet like runaway trains in the night while the media circles above like a vulture. Our society is increasingly weary of the cult style theology of the conservative Christian political movement, and rightfully so. I find […]

18Mar2008 | | 5 comments | Continued
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Horton Hears A…What?

Dad, As with many issues today, there is conflict over the meaning of a story. Pro-Life activists are using the words of the late Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss, to promote their social and political agenda. It is entirely likely that the author was furthuring his own social and political views when he wrote the book, […]

17Mar2008 | | Comments Off on Horton Hears A…What? | Continued
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5 things to do with your stimulus check

Dad, We are in the midst of an economic stimulus program that promises to deliver some pretty big checks to American consumers. This program, however, is not going to be a fix, it is going to be a band-aid. The problems that we aer having are not founded in a lack of spending by our […]

13Mar2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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The mythical nature of a child’s diet

I spent the weekend with fifth and sith grade students on a confirmation retreat. I enjoyed our time together, and we had many good conversations about life and faith. One of the conversations, however, was unexpected and revealed a great deal about the way that our children are learning about nutrition. We were at the […]

6Mar2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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vouchers and the public school dilemma

Dad, The debate about public school systems and what to do with them is complicated and seeped in emotion and personal experience. The program of offering vouchers has as broad a mix of public opinion as any of the publicly debated issues today. I have my own thoughts and feelings, and they are conflicting and […]

26Feb2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Pandemics: Colds, The Flu, and Individualism

Dad, The cold and flu season is in full swing, and my family and I are in the thick of it.  My daughter has ear infections in both ears, I have a sinus infection, my son is coughing and sniffling, and my wife is congested but is limited in the medicines she can take because […]

26Feb2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Obama: Inertia Wins the Race

Dad, Barack Obama has, and is gaining, momentum. There is a physical reality here that goes deeper than health care or immigration. Those things are important and we should evaluate them and make sound decisions about how to proceed in the best interest of our nation and our world. But the inportance of those issues […]

15Feb2008 | | Comments Off on Obama: Inertia Wins the Race | Continued
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Kevin Spacey as Mike Huckabee

This election cycle is so dramatic. It seems as though, no matter who wins or how it plays out, the 2008 elections would be a prime candidate for a made-for-TV movie. First of all, I think that Mike Huckabee’s character would be played by Kevin Spacey. Spacey could totally play the over-anxious, yet uncannily cool […]

14Feb2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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3 etiquette tips for discussing dreams:

Dad, How many times has someone told you about a dream, and half way through their in depth analysis of what happened while you were sound asleep, you realize that you are just not interested?  You weren’t there, you aren’t talking about anyone that you know, and you aren’t even talking about a real place. […]

13Feb2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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A Look At Huckabee’s Cabinet

Dad, I was pondering what Mike Huckabee might do if he were to win the Presidency. I mean after the shocked look wears off. One thing I know he will do is to select a cabinet, and there are some folks that would be prime candidates for his theocracy. Here is how I see his […]

8Feb2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Poll: Should Resident Aliens Get a Tax rebate?

[poll=3] click on the gray box above to submit your vote I am interested in what the pulse of public opinion is on this issue. Please let me know where you stand. Notice that we aren’t using the term “illegal” for this poll. This is because the language of the Treasury department is not about […]

7Feb2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Al Gore Explains Global Warming to the Midwest…

Dad, The more snow we get, the more  I think this could be a reality… Man, that guy should run for president. Bryan.

6Feb2008 | | Comments Off on Al Gore Explains Global Warming to the Midwest… | Continued
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Thundersnow and Global Warming – The Mid West Takes a Beating

Dad, You mentioned thunder and snow in your article about the Midwestern storms that are covering us in a post-Christmas winter wonderland   I have noticed the lightning, thunder and snow several times in the last couple of weeks.  I have never seenor heard that before, so I looked it up.  Wikipedia says this about thundersnow: […]

6Feb2008 | | Comments Off on Thundersnow and Global Warming – The Mid West Takes a Beating | Continued
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Obama, the left, and recovering Jesus

Dad, I can remember talking with my roommates about Barack Obama. They are all men of faith that I respect, and they were all impressed with him. Then I saw him on the cover of Sojourner’s magazine. Then I heard a speech from him about serving the poor and oppressed in our society. There has […]

5Feb2008 | | Comments Off on Obama, the left, and recovering Jesus | Continued
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be efficient and work from home: 5 tips

Have you found yourself working from the comfort of your living room?  Are you struggling to figure out how to be productive but never get out of your pajamas?  Maybe your job is an internet endeavor, or maybe you are just a home maker, but if you find yourself working from home and wondering how […]

5Feb2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Michael Jackson’s New Public Face

Dad, Have you seen Michael Jackson lately? Do you know what he is doing? Have you seen his new look? Me neither. Michael Jackson has a new public personality – he is absent. After a lifetime of fame like the world has never seen and a face that has appeared more times on tabloids and […]

30Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Michael Jackson’s New Public Face | Continued
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After Watching Pan’s Labyrinth

Dad, I finally got around to watching Pan’s Labyrinth the other night, thanks to my neighbor’s vast collection of DVD’s. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it highly (the movie, I mean, not the DVD collection.) It is dark and moody and gruesome in a chilly way, but it finds perfect moments to shine […]

30Jan2008 | | Comments Off on After Watching Pan’s Labyrinth | Continued
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Obama responds to the State of the Union

Dad, I am excited about Obama and I believe in his message. I recieve email from his campaign and keep up with his movements and videos on his website. Here se is discussing the State of the Union Address: Bryan. Son, I just listened to Obama’s response.  I find him refreshing.  While President Bush gave […]

30Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Obama responds to the State of the Union | Continued
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What Would Jesus Buy?

Dad, Yesterday I had the opportunity to see Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, “What would Jesus Buy?” on Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping. Jim Wallis, one of my heroes in the faith, was in the film. I have been following Reverend Billy through his highlights in Sojourner’s magazine, and I have to say, […]

28Jan2008 | | Comments Off on What Would Jesus Buy? | Continued
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Supply Side Jesus

Dad, The conversation around here has been meandering through politics, economics, and religion. I thought I might dig into my YouTube favorites for a nice video that could begin to tie it all together for us. Low and behold, I dug up this gem from Al Franken: Thanks, Al. I needed that. Bryan.

28Jan2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Make Money, For Christ’s Sake

Dad, We have written much here about faith and action, lifestyle and religion. I want to revisit the conversation about the Prosperity Gospel. I spent much of my formative years rolling my eyes at the public face of Christianity. The public face of religion in general, as a matter of fact. In the last five […]

26Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Make Money, For Christ’s Sake | Continued
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The Mac Is Hitting a Stride With Record Sales

Dad, You wrote a few weeks ago about the Mac and how popular it is, and you mentioned that you never see any. I think that is going to change. I would submit that you don’t spend much time in coffee shops or Starbuck’s (I make the distinction because Starbuck’s is basically a McDonad’s that […]

23Jan2008 | | Comments Off on The Mac Is Hitting a Stride With Record Sales | Continued
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Apartments and Raising Kids

Dad, My wife and I have always lived in an apartment. Apartment life has suited us well, as we have moved every year, and we haven’t had the savings that we felt we needed to purchase a house. My daughter has always known her “neighbors”, and they were always closer than the other side of […]

23Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Apartments and Raising Kids | Continued