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The Flabbergasted Philosopher is moving! January 8, 2008

Posted by rengawman in Blogroll, Events, Motivation, philosophy, Theology.
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3 comments

I have enjoyed wordpress so much folks that I have installed it into my own domain (thanks to the help of “the Shadow,” a guy who works for wordpress).  So for now I will be moving my blog over to www.totalpossibility.com/blog.  The new posts will be there, but I will let the old posts remain here until wordpress.com gets tired of me.   (I will find some way to move them over.)

18,500 Visitors!

As of today, January 8th, 2007, I have had over 18,500 visits to my blog.  Not too shabby for a blog that is less than 6 months old! (totalpossibility.com isn’t far behind that!)

This blog has brought world peace! (OK that is a lie)

So far this blog has reunited me with old elementary school classmates, introduced me to new and exciting people, solved world hunger, and eliminated the threat of nuclear war.  Who knew a blog could do all that?!

 I am also changing the name of the blog to simply “Total Possibility,” to stay with my website’s theme. (Don’t worry, I will eternally be Flabbergasted… I hear there are pills for that…)  There will be more exciting changes to www.totalpossibility.com as well. (As you may have seen if you are a regular visitor there.)

 I will update the main website when I update the blog, so there will be regular updates to both totalpossibility the website as well as archives in the blog, so you can go to either.

MORE EXCITEMENT?!?!?!

Some other exciting stuff coming is that I am going to expand my blog out to some other, hand picked contributors so that there can be more of a variety to the blog on some various topics.

 In addition to that, I am planning to start a podcast, which is one of the reasons that I am moving the blog. (wordpress.com doesn’t as easily support podcasting vs. if I have it installed myself.  That podcast will not only be me yakkin’ but other contributors as well.

So go and visit www.totalpossibility.com, and help me out by clicking on some of the google ads that I have there. (I don’t pick that content by the way… google puts up there what it dang well feels like, so if there is something weird, blame google) (I try and find some way to blame google for all my problems)  It’ll only take a second of your time!

 Tell all your friends and neighbors, cats, and dogs, heck, tell that creepy guy you saw at the movie theater last week!  There was a guy who used to come into the movie theater that I worked at in High School who looked like Elvis.  Mean guy actually.  Cool hair though.

 Joshua Wagner S.T.B., M.A.
Founder, CEO, President, Mail Clerk, and Dog Trainer to:
 Total Possibility LLC
(OK there aren’t any dogs) (There are a couple of stuffed monkeys).

www.totalpossiblity.com

Brutal Brutus (-a -um) October 24, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Events, Humor with a point, life, Motivation, philosophy.
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1 comment so far

I had a great experience over the weekend… I got to go to my first Ohio State Football game. 

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What an experience!  I mean all around- from fighting traffic all the way to finding tickets, to finally, getting to sit with people and cheer the Buckeyes on to victory against Michigan State.  I have been to big stadium games before for other sports, like hockey and basketball, but never to a big college game like this one.

I went with a buddy of mine, and the first thing we did was to go to a tailgate party that was put on by a friend of mine’s law firm.  I called them to see if they needed anything, and they said that they desperately needed some ice.  So my friend and I did the noble thing and bought two huge bags of ice to take to the party.  Little did we know that the party was right in the heart of campus, and we would have to park on Kenny Rd, about a 20 minute walk away.  So with no coolers, and just our bare hands grasping the huge bags of ice we began our journey to the tailgate party.

It turns out that our noble efforts were not in vein- they were indeed out of ice, and the beer- precious like gold at a tailgate party- was indeed getting warm.  The party threatened to unravel, for, even though I do not drink myself, nothing kills a celebration like warm beer.  I saw the masses huddled around the keg- shivering- afraid- that all they were going to drink was room temperature beer.  Tears were flowing, and the people tried to comfort each other.  I looked into their sad eyes, and I said: “It will be OK.”


That is one cool warm beer.

Like two superheros, my friend and I triumphantly walked into the tailgate, giant blocks of ice on our shoulders, and weary from the trek from our parking spot, and having fought the crowd, tears of fear turned into tears of joy.  Everything would be iced down- soda could be served cold- water was palatable again- and beer drinkers could drink their beers in peace.  A cheer erupted from the crowd as we walked in- we had saved the day.

Having done our service for God and country, my friend and I now had another task on our hands- find tickets into the game.  This would prove to be even a more difficult task than walking 2 miles holding bags of ice in our bare hands.  It would mean doing battle with ticket scalpers.

I know now that buying scalped tickets is an art.  It is an art of waiting- of cunning- of beating out the competition.  So we waited out in front of the stadium until just before the kickoff, along with the other ravenous fans waiting to get a piece of Buckeye glory.

The dance began.


Scalper: Hey buddy, only 5000 bucks… it’s a great deal.

That dance was the dance between scalper and buyer- of scavenger and prey.  Finally, after the kickoff the prices went down to an acceptable level- we got our tickets- we were in.

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The stadium itself was filled with fans cheering.  I sat with the students on the edge of a bench, hair blowing in the wind.  I was right by the uprights, standing, cheering, whooping.  I got to watch as the fantastic defense… well… defended, and the adequate offense ate some time up until the defense could get back on the field. 

The first half was a spectacular performance by the buckeyes, stirring the crowd into a frenzy.  The second half, not so much, putting Michigan State within one touchdown of Ohio State.  I was nervous- shaking- tense.  Turns out I just had to go to the bathroom (That is a whole separate adventure.)

Then it happened.  Something I had waited for my whole life- HE came up into the stands.  Brutus Buckeye.  He was just a foot away from me… his giant head swaying in the wind- his giant eyes seemed to stare into my soul as he gave his famous thumbs up.  I am sure it was tough to climb those stairs since his peripheral vision couldn’t have been all that good due to his giant head.  Believe me Brutus- I feel your pain.  I know all to well what it is to have a giant head.

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This guy is nuts!  HA! (Um… cause buckeyes are nuts… get it?)

I thought it was a great experience, and it supports something I said in another blog about human nature- that fundamentally we are relational in nature.  We have a need to be social- to gather- to share in an experience.  It is that relational nature that makes us human, as no other creature can interact like human beings can.

If I had stayed home and watched the game, I would have probably seen more.  I would have seen instant replays, how the ball was snapped, and even a closeup of those interceptions in the second half that the quarterback threw.  But there was something magical and energized about being in a crowd of people- sharing the experience with 105,000 strangers, who, for just a couple of hours, were my best friends. (Except for the Michigan State Marching band).  See we need those moments together.

One of my sayings in life is that you can’t love what you don’t know. If you want to get to know someone you have to spend time with them.  You can’t just email or talk on the phone- you have to be in their presence.  That is becoming something that is easier to forget with technology that seems to connect us better with each other.  It is the difference between watching a movie in my house and yours while talking on the phone vs. going to the theater together.  We need REAL social interaction if we are to be fulfilled as humans.

It is hard to meet new people and become friends, simply because we aren’t really good at getting out of our shell.  It is safe to meet them online but you don’t really know someone until you talk to them.  It requires a risk- a risk of rejection- so a lot of people don’t take that risk, and we end up isolated on our myspace page with 10,000 fake friends. The payoff to the risk is a wonderful one- real social interaction- getting to know and love people for real and not in cyberspace.

One of my personal daily goals is to meet someone new- someone real- every day.  I can’t tell you how many great stories there are out there, and how willing people are to tell you if you just get the gumption up to break the ice.  Try it sometime- it is a lot better than any myspace page.  Of course you run the risk of rejection- but it probably won’t happen as much as you think it might.

American Pie Party September 27, 2007

Posted by rengawman in Events.
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Last Sunday, September 23rd 2007, I had the opportunity to speak at an event that benefits the American Cancer Society called “The American Pie Party.”  It is interesting how I ended up doing that particular event, and the event itself was a great experience.

Since having moved to the south end of town, I have had to go to a laundromat to do my laundry.  I will be getting a washer and dryer any day now.  I actually like the laundromats because you will inevitably meet people there.  A couple of weeks ago I met a great lady named Kitty.  She was there doing the family laundry, and I happened to sit near her to a read a little of some books that I brought to pass the time.  She is a delightful woman, and we struck up a great conversation.  It is great the people God puts into you life at the right time.

We chatted about some important things and we exchanged some emails and I ended up meeting a friend of hers named Tony Sobony.  Tony and his wife Sally ended up having me over for dinner last week with Kitty and her husband George.  That is when I was introduced to the American Pie Party. 

It seems for quite some time now (1980 according to the website) Tony has been organizing events where celebrities “take a pie in the face to help fight cancer.”  Each pie thrown generates a charitable donation which is then given to the American Cancer Society.  Tony is, to say the least, passionate about the pie throwing… Even talking to him he ends every conversation with a hearty “good pie!” in place of good bye.

In one event they threw over 11,000 pies at celebrities, and a total of over 60,000 pies over the years!  That is a lot of whipped cream- but a lot of good done to fight cancer as well.  I can only imagine what the 3 Stooges are thinking in heaven, as they were de-throwned as the kings of pie throwing by Tony!

 The event Sunday was human checkers on the patio of the Funny Bone Comedy Club.  There were two teams of people, red and blue, each coached by a celebrity.  One team was coached by Dino from the morning show on Sunny 95 here in Columbus, and the other a Woody Hayes look a like. (At least I hope he was a look a like, or the dead have risen and they are playing checkers!)

Each time one of the “pieces” got jumped the person had to take a pie in the face for cancer.  It was really fun to watch, and people seemed to have a great time doing it!  Unfortunately the Woody look-a-like did not get the coaching skills of his doppleganger, and was… “creamed” by Dino.  Sorry about the pie pun there folks…

Go and check out the website at www.americanpieparty.org.  It was a great time, and wonderful to be a part of something that fights cancer!

The great thing about an event like this is two fold: first and most obviously it raises money to help fight cancer.  Cancer strikes so many people each year and an event like this raises money and awareness to continue the ongoing fight.

The second aspect is that humor is a great weapon in the fight against any illness.  Reader’s Digest was right in saying that laughter is indeed the best of medicines.  I recall when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, the times in which we could laugh, and they seemed to be often are the times I remember the best.  It was that laughter that allowed us all to rise above the troubles for the moment and to find peace and harmony in the middle of our struggles.  I believe that this was the power of an event like this- it wasn’t just about throwing pies at people or playing human checkers- and it wasn’t simply about raising money- but it was about raising spirits.  I can certainly attest to the fact that my spirit was raised last Sunday!  Thanks Tony!