Sunday, May 13, 2007

Describe the progression of leadership theory from 1900 to present.

There are nine major theories that comprise the progression of leadership theory from 1900 to the present, including trait, style, skill, situational, contingency, path-goal, LMX, transformational and servant (Northouse, 2004). These theories developed logically in that they first focused on the leader as an individual, then on the situation or context, and finally on others and the dynamics of the leader-follower relationship.

First, theories focused solely on the leaders. Trait, skills and style theories respectively examined leaders’ characteristics, capabilities and what they do (Northouse, 2004). Trait theory is often referred to as the “great man” theory, suggesting that leaders were inherently endowed with favorable attributes through genetics or birthright. Skills theory focused on the leaders’ abilities, suggesting as set of competencies was most important. Style theory again focused on the leaders but more on their behaviors and whether those behaviors were more task or relationship oriented.

Next, theories centered on the leaders’ adaptation to situation, context of leadership, or the followers they were leading (Northouse, 2004). Situational leadership focused on appropriate tactics or style adaptations for the situation, contingency theory choosing appropriate leaders based on a fit between their styles and the contexts in which they were to lead, and path-goal theory focused on leaders’ adaptation to use the style that most appropriate meet their followers’ motivational needs (Northouse).

Finally, theories began to focus the dynamics of the leader-follower relationship. Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory examines the “interactions between leaders and followers” (Northouse, 2004, p. 147) and transformational leadership theory examines how leaders and followers are changed through the process and relationship of leadership. Servant leadership suggests a radical change in the perspective of the leaders toward those who follow in that leaders should lead by serving followers rather than being served by them.

Jesus Christ advocated servant leadership: “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Luke, 9:35) and “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). Like many of our own journeys, we often begin self-centered, thinking about how we can become “great men” through whom we are or what we can do, only to realize that greatness in life and leadership is ultimately found in being others-centered—through service.

Northouse, P. G. (2004). Leadership: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wow! What a production. I think this would be phenomenal to see live.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There were also exactly 245,974 people with the first name Kyle, and exactly 245, 974 people with the last name Graham! I thought this was a fluke, so I tried different combinations of my first name with bogus last names, as well as combinations of bogus first names with my last name. In each case, there were 245,974 of both my first and last name! Plug in my name to see other statistics.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This is an amazing trick by any standard...


Just remember, this is what they can do when they are bored... Imagine what they can do when they are motivated. Seeing is not always believing.


Turn on your sound and sit back to watch, think, dream, and pray for our future. The rate at which the world is both expanding and shrinking at the same time is incomprehensible.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mitt "The Mormon" Romney, Regent Universiy's Commencement Speaker--So what?

When labeling this post, "Wednesday's Wisdom," is was a clever way to say that I would like to share something "wise" with you (as if I could)... however, today, I would like to hear your wisdom on the following:

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, chairman of the Governor’s Republican Conference, president of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and 2008 Presidential Candidate is going to give Regent’s Commencement address on Saturday, May 5, 2007. Mr. Romney is well-respected for his work as Governor, and has been outspoken about his traditional family values. By every right, he has vast leadership experience from which he will draw upon in speaking to graduates about leadership in critical times. So, why are some people upset that Mitt Romney was chosen? Did I also mention that Mitt Romney is an outspoken Mormon?

Yes, that is right; he is Mormon—not Christian (although Mormons believe they are just as much Christian as any others). That fact that he is not Christian (from a traditional-conservative standpoint) does not seem to be much cause for concern. Is it absolutely necessary that every speaker at Regent be Christian? Shouldn’t we, as scholars, be open and tolerant to the expressions of people with beliefs differing from our own? After all, even within the Regent community there are different philosophical beliefs, so why is Mr. Romney’s presence such a big deal?

Commencement is a special occasion. It not only marks the end of one’s collegiate career (or that degree), but also the beginning of a new phase in their lives. These are perhaps the last words graduates will ever hear from their respective schools (except of course pleas from the Alumni Association). Graduates have invited like-minded Christian friends and family (as well as non-Christians) to share in this exciting event—this momentous time in their lives. Shouldn’t Commencement—this special time—be blessed by a great speaker with the same beliefs?

But Mitt Romney does share some of our values—right? Well, yes, Mormon’s do share some of our Christian values. Mormons are believers in God as our Eternal Father and in His son, Jesus Christ as the way to salvation from our sins. However, Mormon’s also believe that a nineteenth-century prophet, Joseph Smith, had a personal revelation from God and henceforth translated written works of others supposedly written during the time the original Bible was written. This of course, is not taught in mainstream Christian denominations.

That is one of the differences, as well as others, that have some people upset. Is it that important? Would people be just as upset if a non-Christian were to speak at commencement?

When the question of Mr. Romney’s slot as Commencement speaker was posed to the School of Undergraduate Studies’ leadership at the recent town hall meeting on Monday, the general answer was that Dr. Robertson is the one who makes the decisions and makes the ask. In addition, Mr. Romney is a personal friend of Dr. Robertson’s and perhaps a political ally. Was this a strategic choice with political applications? Or, was it in the best interest of the currently graduating students? Or, was it both?

This issue of course has many perspectives. I am not sure how I feel about this, or whether I should feel anything at all. If Romney were going to pray over me at my school’s commissioning ceremony, I would definitely have a problem with that. However, Romney’s purpose is to talk about leadership in critical times, not pray over me. So, in the end, what is the big deal?

What do you think? I would love to hear your comments on this, but please keep in mind that your responses should be from a place of love. My blog will not become a forum for extreme political debate; rather, I am interested in hearing from readers about what it personally means to them as students and as Christians. Please endeavor to keep your comments to 300 words in order to promote concise, yet thorough scholarship (sound familiar?)

To enter a comment, please click comments below.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Steps in Walking by Faith

Nearly two years ago, God stirred my heart. I was working a rewarding, yet rather mundane job for Lakeland Community College in Ohio, a place that I was well known and well respected. I was still taking a few classes just to keep myself busy until starting at Myers University in Cleveland in the fall semester of 2005. For the most part, I was happy. Yet, each day that went by, I felt as if God had something different in mind for my life.

Still a fairly new Christian, I inarticulately asked God for direction—for help. Within two weeks, I met a person who began to challenge some of the assumptions I was making about where my life was headed. He asked about my college choice, intended career path, and plans for the next several years. I explained that I chose Myers because it was close to home, and I had received scholarships that would pay for nearly all of it. He challenged me to look outside the immediate area; however, I resisted.

Over several conversations with this person, I did begin to explore my reasoning for wanting to stay in the area. I had a job, a girlfriend (who I knew I would marry---someday), and we both had family and friends nearby. Yet, I felt a strong desire to explore my options, and one of those options was Regent University.

“Regent University? That is in Virginia,” I lamented. I had no desire to move, after all, I was fairly comfortable. Actually, I was in a serious “comfort zone.” Nonetheless, I did check out Regent. I had heard about them at a Phi Theta Kappa convention in California two years prior. The one thing that really stuck out at the time was how different the Organizational Leadership and Management degree was from the traditional Business Administration degrees touted by every other school in the country. The program intrigued me.

After more investigation and evaluating my options (online, on-campus, or a once per week commute) I figured the only way was on-campus, which meant moving—moving out of my comfort zone. I brought these thoughts to Laura, my girlfriend at the time, on May 20th, our four-year dating anniversary. It was that night that we decided to take a step in faith… that step meant finishing our classes, quitting our jobs, getting married, moving to Virginia, and starting school at Regent University.

Over the next two months, we executed our plan. We arranged and paid for our own wedding (August 6, 2005) and honeymoon (cruise to the Bahamas), conducted an inter-state apartment search, looked for employment in the area, and enrolled at our respective schools. I can truly attest that even though we had good event planning skills between the two of us, this was a huge undertaking. There was no way we could have done it without God’s help.

As I reflect upon that time, I realize that all the decisions we made were so right. All the details that needed to be in place found their way. Everything, including the many obstacles in our way, seemed to be “magically” removed, lifted, or otherwise handled. This was a major turning point in our lives. It was a great lesson in trusting God, and though we had to work hard to make it happen, we didn’t “worry” about the details. We simply knew it would all work out. It was our first true step toward walking by faith.

Since then, my wife and I have come to realize who is in control—and it is definitely not us. Sure, we make decisions, we plan for the future, and we work hard; however, we are now accompanied by God as our guiding light as we walk toward our future.

As I finish my degree here at Regent, I feel that there will be another big change. After receiving this education, I may be able to ask God for help a little more articulately than I could two years ago, but the fact remains that neither one of us knows exactly what our near future will look like. Will it mean continued employment at Regent University? Will it mean starting a family at the end of the year? Will we become more involved at church and in this community? Or, perhaps we will end up moving somewhere else.

The fact is that we do not know right now, and that is okay. God is in control. He brought us together. He brought us here to Virginia. In His time, he will let know what our next step will be… our next step in learning to walk by faith.


Monday, February 12, 2007

As I begin to ponder the totality of my college education, both at Lakeland Community College in Ohio as well as my time here at Regent, I realize that quite surely I will miss the experience and growth formal education facilitates. Some of the courses I have taken still replay in my mind, while others seemed to have fall through the cracks in my subconscious. Likewise, some of the teachers and professors that have given their time and talent will remain with me forever.

Reflecting upon some of those memorable courses and even more memorable instructors, I have begun to realize that much of education (particularly the first two years in liberal arts education) are as much about developing discipline as they are about learning the information, perhaps even more. Those classes are designed to introduce new ways of thinking, new skills, and new disciplines to (hopefully) eager minds.

Interestingly, six years ago I was at a time in my life when I knew I needed more discipline. I was in the midst of deciding between two life-changing paths: 1) go to college, or 2) join the military (U.S. Air Force). After much deliberation, I decided to forgo the military, and I began my post-secondary education at a community college in August 2001. While the military would have instilled in me a sense of discipline, I believe that I was called into education. Finally, through the rigors of approximately 200 credit hours, I have a small glimpse, dare I say a working conception, of what place discipline has in my life—and perhaps yours.

When many people think of discipline, negative connotations often come to mind. I used to think of strict schedules grounded in rigidity just for the sake of doing so. However, in recent times, my thoughts of discipline have changed.

In 1 Corinthians 9:25, Paul told us that “Everyone who competes in the race goes into strict training” (NIV). Discipline is the key to run the race so that you can finish well, and to run with purpose and direction. Paul admonished us to beat our bodies in order to make them our slaves, so that after we work for others, there is still energy left to live well. In this same sense, through disciplined study encountered in education we make our minds our slaves, so that we can use it to do God’s work, serve others, and live well.

Self-discipline is not some mystical-magical thing that only few people can possess; it is God-given to each one of us (2 Timothy 1:7). Unlike Esau, who succumbed to immediate gratification and threw away his inheritance, we must keep our eyes focused on our eternal prize—on our Father. Our enemy would have us be lazy and not do good works; thus, self-discipline is the battle against sin (Genesis 4:6-7), but we can look to the Lord for deliverance (Philippians 4:13). In the end, “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (Proverbs 12:24).


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

After a love-hate (barely tollerable) relationship (we were slaves) with the 97 Dodge Stratus (lemon) we bought from Laura's mom (Florence) a while ago (2 and 1/2 years), we have sold it (barely got enough to pay for the tow - $200) because it had too many problems ($3,000 of front-end work done last year and $1,400 it needed this year). Condolence cards with monetary gifts can be sent to our home address.

We decided (had no choice) to buy (obtained a loan for) a new (new to us) vehicle (2004 Hyundai Accent). It is a two-door (inconvenient), off-green (can't really tell what exact color it is), automatic (safe), teenager (29,000 miles), with a hatch (substitute moving van) that gets decent gas mileage (31 city/33 highway) for the bargain price (had no position from which to negotiate) of $8998 ($154/mo for the next 5 years).


Thursday, December 14, 2006

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS in Legalese (Author unknown)

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but notlimited to a mouse. A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief thatSt. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, where in vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams. Where upon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred toas ("I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties wereclad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "theVehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared tobe and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance tothe approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.
On Tuesday, I had my last class of the session/semester, and for the first time since beginning my education at Regent, I have finished all my assignments by the last class! What does that mean? It means that my semester is truly over... technically five days early. No papers to write, posts to finish, or projects to finalize. No last minute stress, no all-nighters this coming weekend, and no late night visits to the library looking for critical research. What a joy it is this time around.

Officially, I have now been employed with Regent Undergrad for 6 weeks! They have not gotten sick of me yet! Amidst the daily routine of paperwork and phone calls, my office mates and I have managed to have some fun. Recently, we participated in the annual office Christmas carol parody. This year, we took home the coveted nutcracker trophey for our rendition of Sleigh Bells. After someone from our competition put a hit on our nutcracker, we called in reinforcements; thus, we now have 30 miniature plastic police men "protecting" our nutcracker.

In addition to the open office antics, we have a secret Santa. Someone mysteriously placed presents under the Christmas tree for everyone. I have ideas of who it may have been, but I am not telling... because it is a secret. These things make office work more exciting; however, we must now move beyond the university walls...

Laura and I will be going "home" for Christmas. In a 10 day all-expenses-paid-by-us excursion, we will pack up the Elantra and make the drive to Cleveland on Dec 21--leaving at 2-3 am. We will spend 3 days there until Christmas eve, making the trip to Buffalo. After spending Christmas day and several days after, we will return to Cleveland for another visit. Finally, we will make the trek back to Virginia Beach on New Year's Eve (but during the day). We certainly look forward to seeing everyone.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I started my new job today. I am the Advising and Student Services Counselor with the Regent's School of Undergraduate Studies (RSU). In this position, I generally answer students' inquiries by phone and email, manage the flow of paperwork between my department, Central Enrollment, and Admissions. In addition, I will be examining the systems in place for areas of improvement, streamlining, and efficiency. Lastly, there will be "other duties as assigned," as there usually is in most positions.

My schedule is Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Though the position is classified as temporary and my wage will not support a family (hopefully starting one in the next two years), the health benefits will be pretty good once I become a regular FT employee, which should be sometime before or around February.

After one day, all I can say is the office staff seems cheerful and helpful to one another as well as dedicated to serving the students. My trainer, Tracy, is knowledgeable and pleasant, and I have a lot to learn.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

When we told people that we were moving to the Virginia Beach area, many people made reference to the sun and the beach. I said it then, and I will say it now, "I don't like the beach and I dislike the sun even more." Summer in Viriginia Beach is about as exciting as winter in Siberia. In addition, this area of Virginia has another glorious perk... humidity and lots of it. Performing simple daily tasks such as walking to the mailbox or taking out the trash now mean catching a shower and a fresh change of clothes. It is so humid in this area, if you took a drinking glass, held it out away from your body, and spun around about a dozen times, you would have a glass of water. In the final analysis, I guess I am a native Buffalonian in mind and body. Final thought: I can't wait for October.

Friday, July 21, 2006

As someone has recently pointed out, I have not posted in quite some time. My assurance to all of my faithful readers (the 2 or 3 of you) is that this fact is a reflection of my level of busyness, not my level of interest in entertaining or informing you.

The last month and a half have indeed been quite busy. Laura and I have moved from Chesapeake to Portsmouth, VA -- ironically from a 2 bedroom on the second floor to a 3 bedroom on the third floor. For the most part, the move was as typical as it can get when one tries to move in the middle of July in Virginia (90 degrees with 90% humidity). Thank God we had plenty of help with the big stuff. Can you see Laura and I carrying dressers up three flights of stairs?However, it wa a major hassel getting into our place. For right now, I will tell you it involved a carpet, a dead bird, dust bunnies, and poor service. I will write more about that another time.

On another note, I have applied for three different full-time positions. The first, is an inside sales position with Bank of America. This job offers more sales experience, upward mobility, a good company culture, and tuition reimbursement. The second, is Walgreen's management. This position offers a fast-paced environment, individual supervisory freedom, good pay, and terrible hours. The last, is a Student Activities Coordinator's position at a community college in Hampton. This job offers a good atmosphere, the opportunity to help other college students succeed, good hours, long commute, and good pay. Each of these positions has advantages and disadvantages and each would take me on a different career path.

Finally, I am thinking about my educational path after Regent University. I can see the benefits of getting an MBA; however, I just don't know if that is where my interests are. I tend to gravitate toward organizational behavior, leading change, communications, training, and ethics--largely the soft skills. I am not sure if I lean this direction because it is where I am supposed to study or because I just loathe the idea of taking accounting. I guess only time will tell. I am scheduled to take managerial accounting and finance in the spring semester; we will see what happens with that when the time comes. Who knows, maybe I will become a financial guy in the end.

I look forward to making a few changes to the blog by summer's end. I hope you will continue to visit.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The DaVinci Code - there was a lot of hype over this one. In fact, my church, Kempsville Presbyterian Church, will hold a three part series on decoding The DaVinci Code. They have put out a special invitation to the public at large. When our pastor was interviewed by the local media about the controversy, he was quotes as saying, "Bring it on, baby" being quite confident in his ability to address the many facets presented within the story.

The movie itself was an "okay" movie. It reminded me of a very watered down contemporary version of Indiana Jones movie. Tom Hanks gave one of the weakest performances I have seen in years (I usually like his stuff). His co-stars did not do much to improve the movie either. However, it was not the acting that will get people to the box office on this one, it is the conspiracy theory story line--one that will keep people talking for sometime.

The Church took this movie seriously; however, Christians had mixed perceptions about what this movie would do on both cultural and spiritual levels. On one hand, the foundations of Christian faith are attacked through a medium that many Americans (though irresponsibly) consider credible. Some people will believe it to be true. They will use this as evidence to feed into their paradigms of disbelief about Christ. They will base their belief on a fictional movie/book that took a historical era and carefully twisted the facts to make a story. This belief may eventually condemn some, but save others. How?

On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for serious dialogue. In fact, many churches are counting on it! "Bring us your questions, doubts, cynicism, and sarcasm" they say, but also "bring with you one shred of desire to search for the truth." If one actively researches the facts presented in the movie/book, he or she will find this story to be full of inaccuracies, and moreover blatant fallacies.

Whether or not you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, is not what the arguments are about! The dialogue is based soley on the misrepresenation of historical facts (facts that can be proven from sources other than the Bible) presented in the book/movie. The DaVinci code presents "proof" that Jesus was a great guy, but not the son of God. A popular misconception is that Christians will retaliate and use this movie to prove Jesus Christ was more than mortal--this is not true. At least those that I associate only want to clarify and correct the facts that are presented. People still have to make their own choices. No one is really going to convince someone of that Christ is the son of God by arguing about theology, that is a personal choice. The point is, people should have correct information before making their decisions.

To me, The DaVinci Code is nothing more than a conspiracy theory thriller. It resembles National Treasure in that it is nothing more than ficition. I look forward to the dialogue it creates. From this dialogue, more people will be talking about Jesus, asking questions about Jesus, and eventually learning the truth for themselves.

Mission Impossible? Apparently not for Tom Cruise. Laura and I went to see this on opening night. The theater was packed. After seeing Mission Impossible 1 and 2, I was a little disappointed in number 3.

There was the usual special effects, special equipment that only IMF agents, Bond, or other Hollywood superheroes can obtain, lots of stunts, and edge-of-the-seat action, but in this one, there was an added, unusual element - agent is in committed relationship. Unlike Bond, who manages just find with his flings each movie, Ethan (Cruise's character) is only interested in his fiancee. Of course, the bad guys get a hold of her and Ethan comes to the rescue... maybe.

Tom looks as if this should be his last mission. He doesn't have that youthful vitality as seen in other flicks; he even plays an older, settling down version of his character. If the producers are going to attempt to carry this on like the James Bond flicks, thy need to replace Cruise soon, with other convincing IMF agents.

Overall, the flick was a good night out but not worth the price tag of contemporary movie theaters on opening night; this movie is suited for a cheap date at a matinee or better yet, wait until it comes to the $1/$2 cinemas.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I went into the gas station today and asked for five dollars worth of gas. The clerk farted and gave me a receipt

Monday, April 10, 2006

Isn't she cute... Laura participated in a production at church.

Friday, March 24, 2006

We have all made some pretty tough decisions in our lives. Who to marry (mine was easy), what car or home to buy, what schools to attend, or what to name your first child. In each of these cases, different motivations led you to make one choice over that other.

What is the toughest decision you have ever had to make? Did it involve money? Did it involve honesty or pride? Check this story out to find out what one person did when faced with a decision few people could make. Click here to read.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Someone tried to steal our Dodge Stratus! I awoke this morning (5:50 am to Laura saying, "just so you know, someone tried to break into the Stratus." Good morning to you, too!

I got dressed and went downstairs to the parking lot. Sure enough, it looks as if someone tried to pry the car door open with a crowbar. Now, I am not an expert, but I think busting the rear door window would have been easier. However, in the match of criminal versus Dodge Stratus, the Stratus won! Yeah!

We were obviously "pleasantly" pleased that they were unscuccessful since we just put $1,000 into the car for fluid flushes, air conditioning work, a couple of gaskets, and a leaking transmission oil pan.

Though we still have possession of the car, Progressive Insurance will soon have possession of our $500 deductible. In return, we will get to rent a car for some time (not covered) while the Stratus is being repaired.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So, what do you do with your fork after you have finished the main course? Click this link to read about someone's philosophy and why they keep their fork.

Some people do not like to go to the grocery store. It can be time consuming and a hassle. However, there is a grocery store at which you may like to shop. Visit this link to find out.

Click this link for some things to think about ...

During the cold months of the year, many people stay indoors. The creative type enjoy trying new recipes. Here is a great recipe you can try anytime of the year - it will surely make you feel warm and good. Visit this link.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentine's Day is the one day each year where we are supposed to show the ones we love a little more TLC than usual. This Valentine's Day (actually it was on Saturday the 11th), my lovely bride and I went out for a nice dinner and I didn't even use a coupon (only because I forgot to present it with the check).

After receiving a gift card from cashing in my "bonus points" from one of my credit cards, we had enough to go out for a real dinner. Granted, we aren't talking about a ***** experience here, but it certainly beats the monthly trip to Cici's for the $3.99 all-we-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet (last month we took our school books and spent about 5 hours there).

We decided to go to Smokey Bones for some bigtime barbecue. Our giftcard, courtesy of $5000 in Citibank Mastercard purchases, afforded us the opportunity to splurge on an appetizer! Oh, there is joy this season of love! Despite the plastic payment piece, we had a great meal that complimented great conversation.

Laura and I did manage to get each other a few gifts. I gave her a big card, red, stuffed Valentine bear, a heated neck massager (my hands get tired), two stuffed dogs that when they bring their mouths together they make a kissing sound and the male dog's tail wags at a phenomenal rate, a little candy, and last but not least a 25 cent token from Casino Niagara... any thoughts on that one? Well, okay, I will share. For our first Valentine's Day together when we were dating, we went to Niagara Falls (honeymoon capital of the world). We had a great time walking by the misty falls in 20 degree whether. While catching a break from the warm Canadian breeze, we stopped to play a few of the slots at Casino Niagara. Laura had a great time with those so I saved a token from my pile for this very occasion. After all, I knew that I was going to marry her someday, it was just a matter of timing. Anyway, I thought it was appropriate to give it to her this year, since it is our first Valentine's Day together as husband and wife (awwwe, how romantic).

In turn, Laura got me a card (no money inside), a balloon, and a flower (yes, I like flowers), a fleece sweatshirt the same colors as this blog, 4 vouchers only a married couple should use (no explanation forthcoming), the WOW 2006 CD, a bit of chocolate, a little book called, "Daily Insprirations for the Purpose Driven Life," and another little book called, "Devotionals for Dieters." I think the last one was some sort of message. I suppose it would be right up there with me buying her a treadmill or a gym membership! Nah, we both have our weight loss goals, so it's cool.

As I write this, it may look like I got the better end of the deal this time around, but in my defense, I also did the laundry (3 loads, washed, dried, & folded). Did I also mention I cook, too?

I hope your Valentine's Day (or Singles Awareness Day) was a good one. Feel free to share in the comments section for this post.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

February 14th is Valentine's Day. Women wait in anticipation, wondering what romantic gesture their men have in store for them. Men begin sweating perfusely, wondering what in the world they can do this year. If men listen to the television commericals, they are probably on their way to the jewelry store to buy yet another expensive rock or two in order to show their love. The jewelwry stores play on men's egos, claiming that they are not up to par unless they express their love with diamonds, yet again this year. Didn't we just express our love with diamonds at Christmas? And before that at Thanksgiving? And Halloween?

Anyway, if you would like to know the source of all this lovey-dovey stuff, you can read about a man that gave much more to show love than a shiny rock at this link.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This is the logo for an organization that myself and five other classmates formed. We will be working with local YMCA units in the Hampton Roads area to examine their knowledge transfer practices in relation to service-to-market efficience and customer intamacy. We will then make recommendations that, if implemented, have the potential to spread to 2500 locations nationally, which could affect 18.9 million people in 10000 communities.

What we will do is interview the directors of three local YMCA units and administer a diagnostic tool called, "KMAT," to determine if their units are sharing vital information such as "best" practices. If there are opportunities for an increased transfer of knowlege, we will make explicit recommendations that will be geared toward increasing customer intamacy, that is, improve customer relationships that will yield retention, higher cross-selling, more involvement, and more volunteerism. Since YMCA has so many units, even a small increase can have a major organizational impact. For example, if one of our solutions...

... Saves $1,000 locally then total savings can climb to $250,000

... Increases local volunteerism by 10%, YMCA can increase national volunteerism by 10,000

It is all very interesting! However, all we get out of the deal is some experience and a good grade (hopefully). I am in a class called Knowlede Management. Essentially, knowledge management (KM) is about leveraging an organization's infinite assets to gain competitive advantage by increasing productivity, innovation, and creative output. This is just one of the projects in which I am currently engaged. College is fun.

Friday, January 20, 2006

We went to see End of the Spear tonight, with some members of a life groups from church. This was a great film and I am so glad we were invited because this would not typically make my "have to see" list and certainly would not be on my "willing to pay full price to see" list. In short, this movey illustrated how Christianity can find its way into the most remote places and how God can reach anyone. This is a powerful film that, if you get the opportunity to go see, you should.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I hope that someday, when I have a child, he or she is as naturally photogenic as this one. See a picture of the Love family below.

Awe... aren't they adorable! James (my brother-in-law), Shannon (my sister) and Naomi Love (my niece) who live near San Diego, CA. James is a good dad, who supports his family, Shannon is a proud mommy, who frequently sends pictures, Naomi is a good child, who easily smile for the camera, and Kyle is a good uncle, who posts these pictures on the web for all to see.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

This is the most unique puzzle I have seen in while. This 3-D spherical puzzle took nearly 4 hours to complete (530 pieces) - Thanks, Chuck and Kim

This won the prize for the most unique Christmas gift - a Ben & Jerry's ice cream lock to keep out unwanted spoons - Thanks, Patrick

My Dad and me on Christmas

Gram and me on Christmas in the usual and mildly famous "staircase" photo

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Click on the link below and turn your sound up to have some fun and to get a New Year message

Click here

Monday, December 19, 2005

Two doves at Founder's Inn - Virginia Beach, VA Posted by Picasa

Horse and Carriage at Founder's Inn - Virginia Beach, VA Posted by Picasa

Christmas 2005 Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Regent University Posted by Picasa

Honeymoon in the Bahamas Posted by Picasa

Wedding Day Posted by Picasa

Graduation day from Lakeland Posted by Picasa

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