thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Wednesday, June 30

Bumber Sticker

This one was a hard picture to take cruising down the tollway today, but I had to share the moment with you. In case you can't read it, it says, "Grandparents do it - BELIEVE IT OR NOT!"

It wasn't so bad until I passed the guy and saw what he looked like. (Sometimes I hate mental pictures...)


Real World Needs to Get Real

I used to be a big "Real World" fan until a couple of years ago when it began going downhill big time.

For 12 years now, Real World has dominated the television sets of 20 & 30 somethings. The very first season took place in NYC and the cast was great - probably because they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. (The 3rd season in San Francisco was good too...) Now the show has turned to mush and it's about as fun to watch as an episode of the Jerry Springer show.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper from MSNBC has written a good analysis as to why the show has lost its touch.

(A cool link - a website about the houses the casts lived in.)

(Thanks Gothamist)


Steppenwolf Theatre

In the last 30 years or so, the Steppenwolf Theatre has become a Chicago landmark to thousands of theatre goers. Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s mission is "to produce world class theater based on the principles of ensemble performance that showcases the work of the finest actors, directors, and playwrights."

Some of their well known ensemble members include: John Malkovich, John Mahoney (Frasier), Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne), and Gary Sinise (also a co-founder of Steppenwolf).

You can learn more about The Steppenwolf here.

(picture taken 6/27)


Tuesday, June 29

Czech Company Creates Pot-Flavored Vodka

As if it doesn't taste bad enough without the pot flavoring...



Pet Peeve #0001

I've decided to add a new feature to my blog. Whenever I discover or recall a pet peeve I am going to post it (unless one of you are my pet peeve and then I will be sure to keep it to myself...).

Pet Peeve #0001:

People who don't flush the toilet in public restrooms. (My daughter is 4 and she sometimes forgets - but only about 5% of the time. You non-flushers have no excuse.)



Shouts out to Lani & Erika for pointing me to eastmountainsouth. Check their site out (great performance on Conan...). Sort of indy, acoustic, folksy type music.



Monday, June 28


I've just been given 2 more Gmail accounts. If anyone wants one of them shoot me an email at: happyweeble (at) The first 2 people to request one will be sent an email from me w/ instructions on how to obtain your address.

Gmail is a free email service available right now only via special invite through Google. You will get 1000MB (1GB) of free storage and since it's brand new you can probably still get the name you want. (But please only request the invite if you plan on using it...).


Worst Job

What was the worst job you've ever had?

Mine was probably selling cars in the middle of winter in Minnesota. That was absolutely the worst thing imagineable.

For one, in the middle of winter we would literally go days without selling any cars. Plus, every time that it snowed we would have to get out on the car lot, sweep the snow off the cars (hundreds of cars I might add...), and then move the cars around while our manager stayed warm and listened to some good rock and roll in his heated plow truck.

By the end of the day we would be miserable. Wet from being outside, bodies aching, etc... And then we would finally go home and wake up the next day to another snow storm to again repeat it all over again. It was like a bad dream. And calling in sick to avoid the plow days? SIN. Mortal sin. I'm talking bobsled to hell sin.

And on top of all of that - we were making very little money.

What was your worst job? (Maybe your current one...?)



Seth Godin has a great post today about tradition and how it tends to effect our everyday decisions. Definitely worth a quick read...



Friday, June 25

Afternoon Delight

Will Ferrell's new video, Afternoon Delight is hilarious. Check it out here.

(If you don't appreciate Ferrell's humor, don't bother...)


Alice in Wonderland

J. Otto Seibold wrote the Alice in Wonderland pop up book for children. Here is a really cool flash adaptation of the book.

(Thanks to BoingBoing for the link)


The Best Of...

I'm about to naw my arm off. I just finished going through The Best of Citysearch Chicago Restaurants. Definately worth bookmarking for reference if you live in the Chicago area.

If you live near a different major city, you can click here for their US directory.


Thursday, June 24


"There's no correlation between how good your idea is and how likely your organization will be to embrace it."
Seth Godin, Author, "Free Prize Inside!"

Great point by Mr. Godin.

In his book, Free Prize Inside, Seth makes the point that there are typically three questions that people ask themselves when approached with an idea. Here they are:

1. Is it going to be successful?
2. Is it worth doing?
3. Is this person able to champion the project?
If you are in "idea" person and you find that your ideas aren't flying in your organization, consider that it may not be the ideas themselves, but perhaps that your boss/manager/leader/whatever isn't able to positively answer these 3 questions.

As Godin says, "...these people don't care a bit about what your answer to these three questions might be. What matters is what they think the answer is, based on the evidence you give them."


Fahrenheit 9/11

Jason Kottke has takes an interesting look at the new Micheal Moore movie, Fahrenheit 9/11.

Someone asked me if I am planning on seeing the movie and I told them that I might try to go and see it before it gets banned or removed from the theatres.

My concern is for the people who will watch this movie and accept what they see as "fact" instead of taking the time to investigate and discover the "facts" for themselves. I am convinced that, unfortunately, most people believe what they want to believe - regardless of if they've taken the time to think for themselves on the issue or not. (I think a lot of "Christian" people do this all the time...)

Will you see it?



My posting lately has been lame. I'm not sure why, but I almost feel like my ability to write is completely gone. I don't know what it is, but almost every time I sit down at my computer to write, my mind feels empty and dry.

It would probably do me good to shut my computer off for a couple of days and just read more. Unfortunately, this cursed machine called a computer draws me away from my reading more than I like. I am typically always reading a book, but lately I've started about 3 books and haven't finished any of them (with the exception of a Seth Godin book that I read a few weeks ago...).

I'm sort of in the mood to read a good historical narrative. One of the best historical books I've ever read is a book entitled, Undaunted Courage written by Stephen Ambrose. It's a book about Louis & Clark and their journey west. The accounts in this book reminded me of my days in the Royal Rangers (kidding...).

A couple of years ago, I read the book When Character Was King by Peggy Noonan. It's a biography on the life of Ronald Reagan. Peggy is a great writer and her Wall Street Journal editorials can be found here.

I'm currently about half way through Anne Lamott's book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. At the rate I'm reading this one I should have it completed by mid 2009.

So people, I apologize for the "lack of" good posts. Maybe it's time to bring in a guest blogger. Anyone interested?


Wednesday, June 23

Good News

Good news folks. I did the garbage thing today and actually stayed well. No bees, no gagging! I should win some sort of award...

(If you don't know what I'm talking about read this post.)


Monday, June 21


Gmail is a new email service offered by Google. It offers 1GB (yes, 1000 megabytes) of storage and it is free. BUT, you can only obtain an account if a) Google sends you a private invitation/offer or b) someone like me has an extra one that he is willing to give away to the first person who emails him a request.

Whoever's request I get first will receive an invite via email.

(My email is: happyweeble (at sign)


More Animals in Yuppie Town

My site needed a little bit of color so I thought I would share these pics I took downtown Naperville a couple of days ago.

Funny observation - the pic of the purple cow and yellow lamb has the artist's name written on the small sign next to it. His name? Christopher CUDworth.

Is it just me or is that kind of ironic?


Quietness @ Weebleland

My brain is on vacation. It will be back soon. (I hope...)


Saturday, June 19

Weekend Observation

I just got back from Starbucks where I was doing some last minute prep for my message tomorrow and there was this woman and young son (maybe around 8 years old?) who stopped in to get a coffee.

They got their drinks and sat down fairly close to me and I noticed that the 8 year old kid was drinking 2 Starbuck Doubleshots. For those of you not familiar with what this is – it is an iced coffee that has 2 shots of espresso in it. It’s really good and a little strong, but not bad……FOR AN ADULT. An 8 year old kid? Wow.

Within 5 minutes both cans were consumed and within seconds this kid was wiggin’ out big time. He was jumping around in his seat, skipping around the store and clapping his hands. And his mother was getting really upset and telling him to relax.

I sat there in my chair thinking to myself, “Hello. 4 shots of espresso for an 8 year old kid?” That’s like me on 6 shots. You don’t want to see it!

What worries me here is that this woman seemed completely oblivious as to why her 8 year old was freaking out. She was upset at him. What’s wrong with that picture? Where is the responsibility on mom’s part?

Ok, before someone points out the plank in my eye I will be quiet.

Happy Saturday.


The Startling Secret of a Red-Eyed Tree Frog

PowerPoint guru, Cliff Atkinson, has a good idea on catching people's attention while using a PowerPoint presentation.



Millenium Park

Ryan from has some great pics of the new Millenium Park here in Chicago. You can view them here. If you scroll down he also has some pics he took in NYC.


Thursday, June 17

Too Much Time On Her Hands...

Apparently Betsy has too much time on her hands. But she did come up with something funny in relation to my last post...

Click here to see it.


The Female Me?

I just saw the female version of myself.

Ok, let me clarify. She didn't look like me (or visa versa) but she sounded a lot like me.

She was sitting here @ Starbucks talking to her friend about Italian Beef (Chicago food) and her explanation of it (I overheard it) sounded just like how I would describe it. She was so excited about it. "Oh we have to try this beef place... They dip the sandwich in the juices and then pour hot peppers all over it!!!"

She had me salivating.



At Fast Company Now, Fast Company magazine editor in chief, John A. Byrne, points out the mission statement of a Seattle advertisting agency, Sedgwick Rd.

Here it is:

Sedgwick Rd. is a journey. The scenary is always changing on Sedgwick Rd. There are no speed limits. There are no rest stops. There are not signposts. There is one continuous passing lane. On Sedgwick Rd. there's always another curve to hug. Another straightaway to take. Another hill to climb. And so on Sedgwick Rd. you'll find drivers who are nimble, and drivers who are powerful, and drivers who are smart. Because Sedgwick Rd. will let you go as fast and as far and as brilliantly as you believe you can go.

Sedgwick Rd. is a destination. Sedgwick Rd. is a brand new place with a history. It's an idea factory where plots are hatched to change the world. It's where art and commerce have joined forces to stew the cultural pot. Sedgwick Rd. is the home of powerful ideas. It's the forwarding address for innovation and initiative. It's where the desire to do something unheard of takes up residence. Sedwick Rd. is a place to find. It's a place to go to. It's a place to get a little work done.

Sedgwick Rd. is a journey and a destination. Sedgwick Rd. is a road that can take you anywhere. It's where creative and clout intersect. It's where quick and big move in the same direction. It's where you'll find the crossroads of intelligence and intuition, deliberation and daring, independence and connection. To get you where you want to go, take Sedgwick Rd.
Tell me that doesn't move you. If I were a business person looking for someone to market my product, reading this would excite me and improve my chances of choosing Sedgwick to help me out.

So question: How is your business/church/product inspiring people to give your message/product a shot?


Wednesday, June 16


Cats scare the you-know-what out of me. I'm not totally sure why, but tonight I was working in the office and Norm's cat (they are in New Zealand) was meowing at the door so I let her in. As it walked around the room I started getting the heebie jeebies so I made it leave the room.

Sorry Tiny.


Most Expensive Cities

Mercer Human Resource Consulting has just released a study indicating the top 50 most expensive cities in the world to live in. Ready for this?

Top Ten:

1. Tokyo
2. London
3. Moscow (Russia)
4. Osaka (Japan)
5. Hong Kong
6. Geneva (Switzerland - not Illinois...)
7. Seoul (Korea)
8. Copenhagen (Denmark)
9. Zurich (Switzerland)
10. St. Petersburg (Russia)
New York City came in at #12 and Chicago came in at #35. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco are the top four most expensive US cities to live in.

According to Mercer's website, the study "measured the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location. These include housing, food, clothing and household goods as well as transportation and entertainment."

Four of the world’s ten most expensive cities are in Asia - with Tokyo being the most expensive city globally.

I have uploaded the .pdf file of the survey and you can download it by clicking here.

Mercer uses this information to help companies determine salary adjustments for employees (or potential new hires) in various parts of the world.


Tuesday, June 15

President Tony Soprano?

Can you imagine? I personally like Tony, but I think he would make Bill Clinton look like Billy Graham...


OrchardBlog Sneak Preview

We've begun the OrchardBlog on our website for our church (Orchard Valley Community Church). We're pretty excited to see how we can utilize the blog to keep our church community up on events, share stories, post pics, celebrate, etc...

Haven't publically launched the blog, so you get a sneak preview...


(p.s. the website is in very raw form...still working on it.)


Monday, June 14


Found a new blog today thanks to FC Now (Fast Company's Blog). It is called Beyond Bullets and it is written by Cliff Atkinson, who according to his site is:

...a leading authority on PowerPoint and organizational communications. As an independent management consultant, his clients include companies ranking in the top 5 of the Fortune 500. He is a keynote speaker and writer, and president of Sociable Media in Los Angeles.
This looks like it might be a good resource for communicators who integrate technology into their presentations.


BOBOK SAUSAGE COMPANY has a good post about Bobok's Sausage Company - a great Polish grocery store/deli here in Chicago. Great Polish sausages, potato pancakes and kielbasa.



Sunday, June 13


There are a lot of reasons I enjoy using Google as my primary search engine. The image feature is awesome, their toolbar for Internet Explorer is super convienent, their search engine is FAST, AND they like having fun. You can just tell.

It's become somewhat of a tradition for me to check Google's logo on their site on every national holiday (and not necessarily "national" holidays either) because they almost always alter their logo just a bit in recognition of a particular day, person or event. You can view their "google doodle" library here.

The artist who doodles is Dennis Hwang, a 23-year-old Korean computer artist who has been drawing the face of Google for almost two years. You can read about him here.

The Google image above is what was displayed on Mother's Day 2004.


Saturday, June 12


Saw this cow downtown Naperville the other day. Kind of hippy looking...

| has a good article on a quick and easy way to virus proof your pc. Definitely worth looking at.


(Thanks to BoingBoing)


Thursday, June 10


I’m stuffed. Ate @ Buca di Beppo tonight w/ a bunch of people to say goodbye to some friends of ours from church, Erik and Debbie Bock, who are moving to Nashville. We’re gonna miss these guys…

Can’t share the food w/ you, but I can share a couple pics. Ciao.



How do we (the church) take advantage of technology? After all, it rests at our finger tips and more often then not... it's free. Instant messaging, blogs, email, etc… is available free of charge to anyone with a computer and a reliable internet connection.

Two years ago when Amanda and I joined the staff of our church, technology was not a priority. However, it wasn’t a huge problem because at that time, our church wasn’t full of web/internet savvy people (although there were always a few and now they’ve become the majority).

Back then, the “norm” was outdated computers, dial up internet access (5 different accounts…), no email (lots of paper memos), and everyone using different versions of programs, which unfortunately cut largely into productivity.

Two years later, we are all running new or almost new systems and thanks to a “friend” at Microsoft, we are always using the latest software available (Office 2003, etc…).

A large part of our "transition" was a technology transition.

Our Internet connection is high speed via a T-1 connection. We are setup with wireless capabilities and currently 2 of us use our wifi throughout the campus. (Our next step will probably be to make it available to the 'public' who visit our campus.)

We are all connected to each other via instant messenger and we utilize email to the “nth” degree. We are also, one by one, beginning to use webcams to help keep us connected when we may be traveling or working offsite or from home.

We are now in the process of putting together a “staff” blog for our church website. Each staff member will have access to contribute to the blog and write freely about whatever is on their minds. The idea behind this is to have a forum where we can constantly communicate with those apart of our church community.

We are hoping for it to become a great outlet to celebrate, share stories of what God is doing in different areas of ministry, advertise upcoming events, share scripture or a short devotional, cast vision, etc… Ultimately, we would like to see this become a daily “check in” point for those in (and even outside) of our church.

Technology is an amazing thing and has the ability to speed up productivity and enhance communication. BUT – one thing that we’ve learned that technology can’t replace is face to face relationships. And for a church, these are not optional…

More about that in a later post.


Wednesday, June 9


I am convinced that I have become the Wednesday morning spectacle in our neighborhood. Wednesday morning is “garbage day”. And for some strange reason, I always have difficulty with this task. It’s not because of the “work” involved; it’s because of the smells.


I kid you not – I am convinced that I probably have one of the weakest gag reflexes in the entire Chicagoland area. The Wednesday “show” takes place every week around the same time. As if the curtains are rising, the garage opens, and so begins the “Scott Hodge Entertainment Hour”.

The problem occurs when something has gone bad in the garbage. Today, it smelled as though a 4 day old dead rabbit had been cuddled up next to a week old lasagna (ok, that’s sick).

Next, I pull the garbage bag out of the plastic bin and run as fast as I can out of the garage to catch a breath of fresh air. With my eyes watering and my stomach trying to escape my body via my mouth I look out and see a neighbor kid watching me. At least I’m pretty sure it was a kid. It was hard to see with my eyes watering so badly.

After repeating this about 4 times, I finally get the garbage down to the end of the driveway.

On my way back up, a bee decides to harass me. With sweat dripping down my face, eyes watering, I violently swat it away. “Are you ok?” says a voice in the background. It’s the kid. I just sort of wave my hand at him as if saying, “Why aren’t you in school? Get away from here...”

I would never make it as a garbage man.


Tuesday, June 8


I'm busy.

Isn't that everyone's story? I don't know of anyone who "isn't" busy. What I'm finding out right now in my own life is that busy-ness is not the same thing as productivity. Busy-ness drains me, productivity energizes me.

If being productive means being busy, than fine, I can hang with that. But being busy and not feeling like I'm moving forward is horrible. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would give me a quarter to put in the horse machine at Venture and I would ride and ride and ride but never go anywhere. It feels good and is even fun at first, but then after a while you look around and think, "I'm not making any progress here."

So, I'm going to focus on productivity - not busy-ness.

Ok, I'm done preaching to myself.


Saturday, June 5


Ronald Reagan



The growth and expansion of wifi (highspeed, wireless internet access) is an exciting thing to watch. Recently, Fast Company featured an article about San Diego's effort to become the most "wifi" enabled city in the nation.

Another great example - Chaska, Minnesota. Soon, the entire town of Chaska will be wifi enabled and will offer the service to its citizens for about $16 per month.

Need wifi? Search your town by clicking here.



If you hear some serious groovin' coming from near Chicago, it's me. Actually not me, it's Joss Stone. Holy crapppppp.

I am convinced it is utterly impossible to listen to this CD and not move around. It's kicks some serious tail. This girl's style is unbelievable! Check her out here.


Friday, June 4


Free wifi is a wonderful thing. I'm sitting at Sebastian Joe's in Uptown Minneapolis. I took a quick swing by the Walker Arts Center and snapped a few pics. I'm going to get caffeined up and head out of here.

To Chicago I go.



Heading back to Chicago tomorrow early afternoon... Had a great week here in Minneapolis. Last night I was given the opportunity to speak at the Wednesday night worship gathering at the church I've been working with the past few days. There was a great connection with the group and it was a real honor sharing our story and what God is doing back home in Aurora.

A few pics from the last day or two...

Christ Church, Minneapolis 6.2.04

Speaking @ Christ Church, Mpls. 6.2.04

Crema Cafe, 34th & Lyndale, Mpls. 6.3.04 (Very productive meeting environment...)

Crema Cafe, Mpls. 6.3.04

Jamey's nugget, Mpls. 6.3.04


Thursday, June 3


Saw this on someone's license plate tonight. I couldn't resist...


Wednesday, June 2


It's going great here in Minneapolis. Spent a few hours today with the staff from Christ Church International. They are a church in transition located in the inner city of Minneapolis. They are a multi-cultural church and staff. Our time together was awesome. We talked about church transition, reaching the unchurched of our communities, etc... These guys have an awesome heart to connect with their local community. Tonight I am speaking at their mid-week service. I'm going to share some thoughts that I shared a while back in a series we did at The Orchard called, "More Ready Than You Realize" based on the book by Brian McLaren.

We had a great lunch w/ a few of the staff today at Figlio in Uptown. Great place - an "old" favorite. (Can't do a blog post without talking about food, right?)

Gotta fly...

(Picture from left to right: Stephen Crawford, Darrell Geddes, Jamey Johnson, me, Peter Shu)



After arriving in Minneapolis it didn’t take long for me to realize how much I miss this city. It’s a great town. As soon as I got here I shot over to the Starbucks on 54th & Lyndale to catch up the day's emails.

The south part of Minneapolis is a great area. Very neighborhood-ish feel to it. Several independent coffee shops, great restaurants, etc…

Connected w/ my friend Jamey Johnson tonight (he's the tough lookin' dude in the pics above). Had a great dinner at Pizza Luce – ordered the Baked Potato Pizza smothered in buttery garlic baby red mashed potatoes, topped with broccoli, fresh diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese & diced bacon served with a side of sour cream. CAN YOU TASTE IT?!?!? It was fantastic… And I am stuffed.

Tomorrow will be a busy day – meetings all day. I’m hoping to take a few nice pics of the city to post.

Stay tuned…


Tuesday, June 1


It's a beautiful morning here in Chicago. It helps that the sun is shining (for a change...).

Not much to say this morning - except that the past few days have been good. Good in the sense that I have come to some great realizations about myself which I will have to share at a later time.

I will be in Minneapolis the next few days and will keep in touch in the blogosphere.

Gotta go - staff meeting prep time.

See you up "Nort"...