thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Saturday, July 31

What Kind of Elitist Are You?


From Timbuktu to Tijuana, you know all about world
culture and politics. You've seen it all, and
what you haven't seen, you watched on one of
the "smart people channels." Your
friends tell you that you should run for
What people love: You've always got a great story
to tell.
What people hate: You make them feel like ignorant
plebians. Sometimes you slip and CALL them

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by

Note from Scott: I'm not sure how accurate this is. I had to look up the word "plebian". I think that automatically proves this test is a sham. It's actually spelled, "plebeian". Probably a pretty good word to describe the person who wrote this test.

(Thanks Kevin)


What If They Mated? (The Simpsons)

Based on Conan's "What If They Mated" - here is the Simpson version.


(Thanks NewYorkish)


Wednesday, July 28

Grace or Law?

From Erwin McManus:
A middle-aged man sat down next to me and asked me a question that I knew was setup: “Is this a grace church or a law church?” Sometimes all you can do is walk into the trap, so I answered, “This is a grace church.” He responded with a relief and said, “Good. I was concerned that you would require me to tithe.”

I said, “Oh, no. We’re definitely a grace church. The law says do not murder; grace says that we are not even to hate our enemies, but love our enemies. The law says do not commit adultery; grace frees us even from having lust in our hearts for another man’s wife. The law says to give 10 percent to tithe; grace says be generous. We would never stop you at 10 percent. You can give 20, 30, 40 percent of your income if you’d like.”

Grace is never less than the law, Grace is not freedom to live beneath the law, but to live beyond the law. It shouldn’t startle us that Jesus tells us that we cannot love both God and money, that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. He, better than all of us, understands that greed imprisons us and generosity sets us free. He pleads with us to believe that if we try to save our lives, we’ll lose them. But if we will give our lives away, we will find life. God is generous in giving life away, and the life of God always makes us generous. This is the real meaning of having life and having it in abundance – so much life that it cannot be kept to ourselves, but must be given away. This is the genius behind generosity.


Crack Kills

I'm looking at butt crack
right now. I must turn away.


Tuesday, July 27

Tso What?

Ever wonder who General Tso was and why we eat his chicken?

Link (Washington Post) 

(Thanks NewYorkish) 


Tacos From Heaven

There is a taco place in Aurora that Ted and I frequent almost weekly that has the most unbelievable tacos either one of us have ever had.  JALISCO'S TACOS.  We always order the same thing: 4 hardshell chicken tacos (yes....each).  

Here's how they prepare these heavenly delights: they take the corn tortillas and fill them with shredded chicken and then deep fry the entire thing (with the chicken meat inside of it!).  It turns out absolutely unbelievable!  Then they finish it off by putting a slice of tomato on it along with a little bit of shredded lettuce and chihuahua cheese.  Then, to top it all off, they bring out a small bowl of limes to squeeze on the tacos as you eat them. 

Excuse me.....................

Sorry, I just had a mild heart attack. 

Here's the thing...  If I can choose how I die, I want it to be with one of these Godly tacos in my mouth.  I can see my tombstone now, "'Ol boy entered into the pearlies with a taco in his mouth."  




Noah, one of the baristas at the Starbucks that I frequent, dropped a Frappuccino on his foot just a few minutes ago. 

God bless you Noah.


What You Know

Have you ever noticed how often you get asked questions about things you really know nothing about and how seldom you get asked about things you really love to talk about?  

Author Anne Lamott says it much more eloquently:

" love it when people ask if they can pick your brain about something you happen to know a great deal about - or, as in my case, have a number of impassioned opinions on.  Say you happen to know a lot about knots, or penguins, or cheeses, and the right person asks you to tell him or her everything you know.  What a wonderful and rare experience.  Usually what happens in real life is that people ask you questions you can't remember the answer to, like what you came into the kitchen to get, or what happened on the Fourth of July in 1776, and you sit there thinking, "God, I knew that; it's right there on the tip of my tongue, let's see - Okay, wait, the Constitution?  No, wait, shit, I used to know..."  When you do actually know a bit about something, it is such a pleasure to be asked a lot of questions about it."


Monday, July 26

More on PowerPoint

Michael Hyatt, President & CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has a great post on his blog with a list of some great PowerPoint resources.  If you use PowerPoint on a regular basis, this is definitely worth a quick glance and a few bookmarks.



Vacation Bible School

We just began our summer Vacation Bible School today.  Kathryn (our children's director) told me that we are expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 kids.  Pretty exciting...  The theme is Rickshaw Rally (Asian).

We'll be posting pics from the event on our website, in the meantime you can go here to check out some of our VBS scenery.

It seems like just yesterday that I was gluing on Jesus cutouts on a piece of paper in VBS myself.  Now my daughter is doing it.  (Well not Jesus cutouts, but the whole VBS thing...)


Sunday, July 25

Christian Wrestling

Something about this is really, really cheesy. I can't figure out if it's because it's Christian or because it's wrestling.


Saturday, July 24

Happy Monkeys & Mini-Golf

This was a good week. "Vacation."

"Why the quotes", you ask? While it was a vacation, it was a semi-working one too (that's what you get when you don't go out of town!).

Did a little mini-golf, Lincoln Park Zoo (didn't see you jogging Vendela!), house stuff, etc...

Here's some pics:

I had one more pic to post, but as I took a closer look I realized that it probably wouldn't be appropriate to put a picture of a monkey with an erection on my site. So nevermind.



This little guy is so dang cute! It's my nephew Ian. Found this going through some images tonight and wanted to share it.


Friday, July 23

Quiet Friday in Weebleland

It's quiet here in Weebleland.  I'm still on vacation (at home).  Worked this morning (I know, not supposed to do that on vacation, but it's not a "real" vacation...), now we're are heading up to the north side to the Lincoln Park Zoo & whatever else we find.  I'll try to take a few pics & post them later tonight.



Thursday, July 22


This is kind of cool. Link
Tombstone generator.  Link
Join the military, get larger breasts.  For Free!  Link
Google in 1960.  Link

(Thanks NewYorkish & Kottke)


Why Innovations Sit on the Shelf

FCNow has a good post on why so many great ideas never make it into the market. 




Ok, this is addicting.  I need to go to bed... 


New Profile Picture

Ok - this is seriously cool (see profile image...).  Design a cartoon image of yourself.


PS - If you come up w/ a good one, save it and email it to me!  (happyweeble (at) hotmail (dot) com) 



Congressman Jack Kemp on FoxNews' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

"John Edwards is a very attractive candidate in many ways...but I'm a big Dick Cheney fan..."
(Thanks baldilocks)


Wednesday, July 21

Free iPods to Duke Freshman

Duke University is giving all freshmans a free iPod.  From

"...iPod will be loaded with all kinds of useful information, including orientation schedules, calendars, campus tours, even the Duke fight song.

Students also can use them for course content, such as recorded lectures, music, language lessons and audio books. Throughout the year, they will be able to download information through a Duke Web site modeled after Apple's iTunes site, where people can download songs legally.

The program is a one-year experiment, but if Duke likes the results, it could be renewed. Although it is limited to freshmen, upperclassmen enrolled in a class where the devices are being used will get a loaner iPod."

(Thanks BoingBoing)



Don't smack mosquitos - only flick.  Link  (thanks BoingBoing)
Someone trying to steal your coffee?  Link (BoingBoing)
Freaky - especially if this is for real. Link 
Spiderman meets Legoland.  Link (Thanks Jordan Cooper)


Tuesday, July 20

Scott and Amanda's Day of Fun

I'm on a mini-vacation right now.  Spending some quality time w/ Amanda & Elise.  And more time with Amanda and Elise means more exciting moments in my day.

Like today.

We were driving down a very busy road (Rt. 59 in Naperville for you locals) and suddenly Amanda screamed at the top of her lungs and almost jumped out of her seat.  It startled me so bad that I jerked the steering wheel and almost went off of the road into the ditch. 

A spider had been crawling on her upper arm. 

I quickly swatted the spider off of her arm and it landed in the floorboard.  Amanda then demanded that I pull the car over and find the spider.  She is pregnant so I obeyed. 

We all got out of the car so that I could find the spider.  It was a daddy long leg (which interestingly enough isn't even really a spider).  After searching to and fro for several minutes, I finally found the ugly little guy under her seat.  I gave it a good whack with a DVD case from Blockbuster Video and I missed it.   It curled up and fell into a crack. 

Elise was scared to get back into the car so I lied to her and told her that I had found it and it was gone now.  (I know, I shouldn't lie to my child and I never do - but I felt special permission from God on this one...)


We were downtown Naperville getting ready to head home.  We got in the car and as I put the key into the ignition Elise screamed louder than Howard Dean on speed, "THERE'S A SPIDER ON MY LEG!!!!!!!!!!" and she just absolutely FREAKED OUT and continued screaming and crying.  As quick as I could, I reached into the back and got it off of her and this time I actually killed it (while calling it a very inappropriate name). 

After breathing through brown paper bags for a while, Amanda and Elise finally calmed down and we made it home.  We even managed to stay on the road.


Blogging 101

I was going to write a post about how to get started with a blog on your own, but there's not need to reinvent the wheel...
Blog Basics is a great resource for anyone interested in or already doing a blog. 
(Thanks djchuang for the link)



Minneapolis is a great city.  I lived there for quite a few years - 9 years to be exact.  The city has a very metropolitan feel, a great skyline, great restaurants, culture (the arts are HUGE in Mpls.), and the people aren't half bad either.  Just kidding. 
The coffeehouse scene in the Twin Cities is excellent too.  Forget Starbucks.  There are indy shops all over the place.  My favorites: Espresso Royalle (downtown & dinkytown), Uncommon Grounds (a beautiful old home converted into a coffeehouse in Uptown) and Dunn Bros.  In fact, when I visited last month there were a bunch of new ones all over the place - more than I could visit in one trip. 
So this post is dedicated to Minneapolis and all of the fine people I know in that city.  Miss you guys a lot (even more than the city itself!). 
pictures: bridge crossing I-94 in Mpls & Cherry Spoon both @ Walker Arts Center


Monday, July 19

The Language of Planet Zion

Ron Martoia challenges the "churchy" phrases that get spoken from so many of our pulpits every weekend. Great thoughts.



Chicago Food Sites

chicagoist has posted a pretty good list of various "Chicago Food" websites.  Great resource for those of us hangin' in the Windy City.


Thursday, July 15

Apple Worship

Praise be to Apple.
I know, I know - and I'm not even an Apple user.  But everyday I become more and more impressed by their products, their company and their thinking.  
Case in point (in regards to their thinking...):  Jesse James Garrett, author of The Elements of User Experience, has written a great post on his blog about the Apple Store in San Fransisco and how Apple has used their stores to create a user experience unlike very many others in the retail sector. 
Garrett gives 6 lessons we can take from Apple's design of their stores.  They are:

  1. Create an experience, not an artifact.
  2. Honor context.
  3. Prioritize your messages.
  4. Institute consistency.
  5. Design for change.
  6. Don't forget the human element.

The entire post can be found here.


The Worst Part

The worst part of the Starbucks experience:

I go up, order my drink and then sit down to pretend I'm working until my drink is ready at which point the barista says (REALLY LOUD), "4 SHOT EASY ICED SKIM MOCHA WITH EXTRA ICE AND WHIP".

Suddenly everyone in the room looks up to find out which anal coffee drinker ordered such a thing.

My solution = wait a minute or two before going up to get it and hope that no one grabs it. By waiting, hopefully people will forget that they were looking for "complicated coffee drinker" and they are back tending to their laptops or conversations. Although, this plan can also backfire when the barista repeats the drink again, but even louder and with a little bit of frustration in their tone. Then, there's no way out of it.


Innocent Children

Yesterday I met with a girl from our church to see pictures and hear stories from a recent trip she made to El Salvador to work in several orphanages. Sitting in Starbucks sipping my iced tea, I was taken a few thousand miles away to these orphanages through her stories and images.

It was a very sobering time for me as I heard story after story that made my heart ache and honestly just ask the question “WHY??”

One story she told me about was a little girl – probably around 2 or 3 years old who would be left on a metal table high in the air everyday because there were too many kids for each of them to be personally watched and cared for. The little girl would just sit with a diaper on in the middle of this table all day long afraid of falling off – and quite often with a dirty diaper on for hours on end.

I was moved by these stories. And while I understand that these types of thing are happening all over the world, it doesn’t change the fact that every one of these children are INNOCENT. They were brought into this world for a variety of reasons – rape, wedlock, teen pregnancy, etc… yet they didn’t have a choice in the matter of where or under what circumstances to be born.

The most amazing part about it all is that almost every picture showed these kids smiling. They were happy. Happy in the midst of complete poverty. Happy with not enough clothes. Happy with lousy food. It was almost like their contentment was based on the fact that they were alive (which they don’t even consider). As far as they were concerned, life was pretty good. They know nothing different.

I’m still processing what I saw in these pictures and heard through Mary’s stories. Apart from the sadness of all of it, I have to ask myself what I can personally learn through Mary’s experience in El Salvador. The digestion process has begun…


Wednesday, July 14

Ugandan Demons


And we get upset when our kids belch out loud.



On May 27th, a couple of us took a trip up the road to hear Bill Hybels from Willow Creek in Barrington give a leadership talk entitled, The Five “I Believes” and the Five “I Don’t Knows”.

Click HERE to download the entire transcript from his talk. Good stuff... (.doc format)



I just downloaded Switchfoot's "The Beautiful Letdown" album from I-Tunes. So far so good! I've never really heard much of their music, but it seems that everyone who likes the kind of music I like (U2, Coldplay, etc...) usually mentions Switchfoot.

I'm diggin' it...!


Tuesday, July 13

Bless This House?

Excellent article (again) by Brian McLaren.



W Ketchup


Not totally sure what to think of this. I guess it's a new Ketchup for Republicans. Innovative? Creative? Lame?

Here are some opinions.


Blended 2

Seth Godin's follow up post to "Blended".



The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

This morning in our staff meeting we listened to a teaching CD by Patrick Lencioni entitled “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” based on one of his books by the same title. A few of us had the opportunity to hear Patrick speak last year at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. The first book I read by him was The Five Temptations of a CEO a few years ago - great book...

According to Lencioni, there are five major dysfunctions that every team faces. Here they are:

1. Absence of Trust
2. Fear of Conflict
3. Lack of Commitment
4. Avoidance of Accountability
5. Inattention to Results
His idea is that each of these builds upon one another. For example, if there is an absence of trust, there cannot be good, healthy conflict between team members.

Good stuff and a definite suggested read if you lead or are a part of a team of any kind.

You can find some of Lencioni’s materials here.


Lobster Boy

I'm freakin' burnt.

I was floating around in the pool all day with tanning accelerator on. Stupid, stupid, stupid...

It was one of those burns where a few hours later you get the chills, etc... I was sitting in Starbucks tonight and I actually had to go outside to warm up because I was FREEZING in the air conditioned inside. TOTALLY unlike me. In fact, as I type this blog I can't even put my laptop on my lap because the heat from the computer is killing my legs. So I'm using a pillow.

No sympathy from my wife or daughter. They are both insisting that I could have avoided this. Yeah, whatever...but even if it were true, I could still use a little sympathy (ok fine, I could have avoided it, but I just wanted to take advantage of a day off in the sunshine...).

So, I am posting this here in hopes that someone may offer just a "tad" of sympathy to the Advil induced lobster boy who needs to go to bed now.



Monday, July 12


Seth Godin has a good (short) piece posing the question of who or what businesses/organizations/etc... will fade and who will last.



Watch Out!

i was rummaging through some pics in my computer and ran across this one. I was walking down the hall @ our offices the other day and ran into my daughter Elise in this gear. Kind of intimidating... (she must get this from her mom.)


Thinking Outside The Cup

Fast Company's July cover story, "Thinking Outside The Cup", is available to read online. The article is about Starbuck's CEO, Howard Schultz, and the next big move for


Also check out the Fast Company web only interview w/ Schultz here.


Sunday, July 11


I just wrote a pretty good blog and when I hit "Publish Post" it didn't connect and I lost it. @#*$&#*$&#*@!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, July 10


Joi Ito writes some interesting "blog" facts here.

From the article:

On an average weekday, we're seeing over 15,000 new weblogs created per day. That means that a new weblog is created somewhere in the world every 5.8 seconds.



I want these.


The Living Room Candidate

Interesting site - contains every US presidential TV ad from 1952 to present.


(Thanks BoingBoing)


Thursday, July 8

Thursday Morning

ARGH... No matter how hard I try, I just need to face the fact that I am not a morning person. My eyes don't cooperate well in the morning - they want to keep closing all the time...

Check this out - search terms that brought people to my site in the last day or two:

Joss Stone Pics
Scott Hodge
How to hack a website
churches in new zealand
will ferrell afternoon delight
rob bell sermons
rob bell, mars hill bible church
ben wasserstein
hay bail
ideas for lao tattoo
poop on satan
chicago "mini pincher"
women of walmart (what the....???)
Interesting how people end up on my blog. I'm pretty sure that they are disappointed when they type in a search for "women of walmart" and instead find this post. Sorry...

Gotta run to a meeting. Later...


Wednesday, July 7

Phoenix Dumpling House has a good write up on the Phoenix Dumpling House in Chinatown (2131 S. Archer, 312-328-0848). I agree - probably the BEST Dim Sum I've ever had. Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaves - THE BEST!


Tuesday, July 6


I need an eyeball. A really HUGE one. Not a real one, a model of one. If anyone knows where I can get one to borrow, let me know.



Happy Birthday Blog!

It's official. My blog is 1 year old today. Check out these stats:

(Since my 1st post on July 6th, 2003)

Posts written: 447
Words written: 51,529

To celebrate the day one year ago that this blog began, I will repost my first blog entry from July 6th, 2003. Here it is:

I've had a few people recently ask me what books I've been reading this summer so I thought I would list a couple of them... I have tried to remain "balanced" in my reading - meaning that I try to read different type of books (history, political, Bible-based, leadership/business, travel, etc...).

While on vacation to Florida, I read a fantastic book entitled, More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren. Check it out by clicking here.

This is a "breath of fresh air" book on the subject of evangelism. It really speaks to us about how to effectively develop "spiritual friendships" with the unchurched. It gives great insight on how to present God's love in a very authentic and relevant way to our postmodern culture. Our staff has been reading this book and we all got so excited about it that we are teaching a class by the same name at our Tuesday night Real Life Classes. Great, great stuff!

A couple of other books I've been reading:

The Change Monster: The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change by Jeanie Daniel Duck. Check it out here.

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Go here to check it out.

More later...

So there it is - post #1, one year ago today. For my blog's birthday, feel free to send me some money, purchase me a book off of my wishlist (link), or invite me along on your family vacation.


Monday, July 5

Da 4th!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We had a great time. Didn't make to any city fireworks, but had our own - and that is no exaggeration... 5 inchers... 1/4 sticks... Etc...

Great food, great drinks, great swimmin', great hangin'...

Happy Birthday America!



Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba have put together a new 50-page e-book entitled, Testify! How Remarkable Organizations are Creating Customer Evangelists.

And sorry all you up and coming Tulsa evangelists...this isn't about your type of evangelism, but it IS a term that businesses and corporations have borrowed from the "Christian" circles in the last few years.

McConnell and Huba's website says this about what makes a customer evangelist:

When customers are truly thrilled about their experience with your product or service, they can become outspoken "evangelists" for your company. This group of satisfied believers can be converted into a potent marketing force to grow your universe of customers.
Seems like the business world is becoming pretty aggresive in "evangelizing" their products and also in getting their customers to evangelize the world with the good news of their product.

How about the church? Have we fallen behind? Maybe we can learn something here... (Sad, but true.)

Click here for the free e-book.


Sunday, July 4

Hot Dog!

It's the 4th of July and what is this day without hot dogs? For me, it's ribs. Buy anyway... Ben Wasserstein, over at, assembled a panel of six tasters dedicated to determining which dogs are the hottest on the market. Check out the story here.

Unfortunately, I didn't see Vienna Beef hot dogs listed here. People don't know what they are missing...

What are you eating today?

(Thank you Amateur Gourmet)


Saturday, July 3

Pet Peeve #0002

People who talk loud on their cell phones in places like Borders, the library or any other place where the majority of people are trying to focus, study or read.


Friday, July 2

the church

Erwin McManus (pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles) says:

"We somehow think that the Church is here for us;
we forget that we are the Church,
and we're here for the world"
Source - Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania Future Directions Newsletter - July 2004.

(Thanks signposts)


Don Corleone Dead at 80

Favorite quote from Marlon Brando (a.k.a. Don Corleone) in the Godfather:

What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
Brando died today at his home in California. He was 80 years old.

More about Marlon Brando here.



I've been given a couple more invites to Gmail. I'll shoot the invites off to the first two people who email me at: happyweeble (at)


Thursday, July 1

Eat Shrimp, Go to Hell

I guess God is pretty pissed at shrimp right now.


p.s. This just in... He also hates FIGS.


Microsoft Evangelist Visits Fellowship Church

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft as an (corporate) evangelist on the Windows team. He recently visited Fellowship Church (Ed Young, Jr.) in Dallas and wrote about his experience on his blog. You can read it here.