Monthly Archives: April 2009

Travel Tech Thursday Potato-Chip Clips

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Shockingly, today I finally woke up happy and optimistic after a great night of sleep! Due to my traveling schedule, I live in a perpetual state of bleary jetlag where caffeine and Nyquil are my best friends. All travelers know getting enough sleep while on the road is the most important thing you can do.

Unfortunately, hotels, no matter how many stars, are full of hurdles to getting a good night sleep: the possessed climate control system, the knocking pipes, the air conditioners blowing straight on your face, the hard beds, the lumpy beds, the quick sand beds, the blankets so full of static sparks fly when you turn off the light, the toilet that runs all night long, the toilet in the next room that flushes all night long, the alarm that rings at 2:32 AM, the red blinking smoke alarm light, and worst of all, the curtains and blackout panels that don’t close all the way.

Even if everything else is great, there is no way to avoid morning sunshine. Hotels must not like you to sleep in, because they put in curtains and blackout panels that never completely close. In the morning, the light comes in like a laser! I don’t know about you but everywhere I move on the bed, the crack of light stalks me.

Then I try and put a pillow over my head but have nightmares of being related to Jack Bauer. With time ticking down, it goes to split screen- one screen showing Jack running through the hallways with a gun and his man-bag yelling at Chloe to find my room, the other screen showing someone shoving a pillow over my face as I struggle for breath and life. The ticking gets louder, like a heartbeat, and the timer runs down to 00:00. Then I wake up to the sound of loud knocking and yelling of “Hello? Housekeeping!!!,” as they try rattle on the door. So no pillows over my head.

I have tried using those sleep masks movie stars use, but no matter how many times I’ve tried them by morning they are completely off my head. Or one eye is covered and the other eye is not and the uncovered eye gets slapped by the crack of light. So no mask for me.

The best travel tech product I can recommend for you is low-tech: Potato-Chip Clips. With this simple item purchased for $1 at the dollar store you can defeat the crack of light. I carry 3 clips and close the curtains and blackout panels securely, top to bottom. No more crack of light. Happy Dreams…

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Make You Feel My Love

Many of you requested this video of our weekend experience. Here is Natalie Raney singing “Make You Feel My Love” and accompanied by my lovely wife. If you have problems viewing it above click here to go to Youtube directly. For more information please click here to go to Pastor Josh Lange’s setlist for last weekend’s experience.

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Travel Tech Thursday – Airport Express

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I fly over 100,000 miles a year and I live in hotels. I have found a couple of items that help my life be easier on the road. I wanted to share some of these items and hopefully they will make your life easier. Today, let me introduce you to one of my favorite travel tech items: the Apple Airport Express. I don’t know what I would do without it! This is a very compact wireless router. Some of you may be thinking, “Well, l I already have a broadband card, why should I get one of these?” Let me explain. I have the EVDO Sprint Broadband Card too, but this requires a great cell signal to work well. At some airports there is so much interference you can’t get a signal, as well as in some big city hotels- the concrete and steel and all of that make it are nearly impossible. Plus, I need a fast Internet for huge files, video conferencing, downloading iTunes, and watching movies or TV on Hulu or through a Slingbox. The broadband card often can’t get the speeds you need to accomplish what you want. That is where the Airport Express comes in.

The Apple Airport Express is incredible! For me being connected is really important, and this is the way to go. I have used it in hotels, hospitals, churches, and different speaking venues. Someone will usually have an Internet cable that they will let you plug it into. It is also useful when there are multiple Internet users with you. When I travel overseas, I usually have a couple of people along. There is the guy who is always in a room next to me, and on a separate floor are one or two assistants that help run the speaking engagement. Internet in Asia is about $10 a day, and we all need it, so my assistant plugs in the Express, and all of us can share one internet connection wirelessly. Right there is a savings of $30-$40 a day. I am not tethered to an Ethernet cable: I can roam my room. I like sitting on the bed and working and surfing. I don’t want to be tied to a desk. Sometimes rooms just get stuffy so I open the door and go to the hallway. Or when I stay in a hotel with an ocean-view veranda I love to sit there in the mornings and work and surf and drink coffee. I can also use my Blackberry and make international calls through my Wifi at no extra charge. I will have to review that another time.

The Express creates a wireless network for all of us. We can exchange files, videos, and even share music or video conference. We also connect a small portable printer to it and all of us can print wirelessly. I will be the reviewing the portable printer another time.

Here are the pros:

  • Small and Compact. It measures 3 x 1.1 x 3.7 inches; 6.7 ounces. There are no other electrical cables needed. The electrical prongs are part of the Express and they fold into it so they won’t break.
  • Easy To Set Up. It comes with Apple’s intuitive software that helps you set it up wirelessly or via Ethernet cable and it supports OS X or Windows.
  • Latest encryption for security. The Express uses WPA2 and what is nice is that the included software makes this also easy to setup.
  • Print Wirelessly. The Express comes with a USB port to connect a printer.
  • Share Hard Drive. The Express comes with a USB port so you can attach an external Hard Drive and share that Hard Drive on the network created by Express.
  • Stream Music. The Express has 3.5 mm jack that you can connect to a sound system. This is great if you have a presentation with sound. Also, your iPhone can remotely control your iTunes.
  • Creates a network for up to 10 people. Even without a broadband connection you can connect up to 10 people to share files and collaborate.

I have one con:

Cost. The newest one is $99 but you can pick up an 802.1G for $60. If you don’t need N, then G will be more than sufficient.

Last word. If you are not an Apple fan and would rather stick to a Linksys product, I would recommend the Linksys WTR54GS. The only issue with this is that it looks like it has been discontinued. You may be able to find on eBay.

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Why You Should Not Write A Book

cbsntype-main_fullPeople always ask me about book writing. Here is a great great article by Penelope Trunk.

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Coming Thursday: Travel Technology Tips

Keep on the lookout for my post called Travel Technology Thursdays. In these posts I will be discussing and reviewing tech items that assist in traveling.

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Is God The Cable Guy Part 2

So last time you visited we were talking about Is God the Cable Guy. We discussed that God works in the hours between 8:00 AM and…

This is really frustrating. I want God and my cable guy to give me a specific time that they are going to show up. When my life is falling apart, my marriage is falling apart or when my I’ve lost my job, I am not looking for “between the hours of 8:00 AM and”… I want to know that God is going to knock on the door of my problem at 2:22 on Monday afternoon.

Unfortunately, that is not often how He works. How He works is between the hours of 8:00 AM and…

But why does He do this?

Because it will be inconvenient for you. I love convenience. I love any technology that will make my life more convenient. I can’t think of any greater convenience than the drive-thru. With four kids and their friends in our vehicle, I especially love drive-thrus. drive-thru If you are ever in the Woo-mobile, here are the drive-thru laws:

  1. You will shout out your own order to the brightly lit box with the scratchy weird voice. Don’t expect me to remember everyone’s stuff. You are in charge of your own drive-thru destiny.
  2. Order by combo number. Do not order anything outside of the convenient combo meal numbers. Do not deviate from this. Don’t ask for “no cheese” or “half cheese” or “no pickles” or “no bun”. They say you can have it your way, but not in my vehicle.
  3. Order combo number no greater than 4. If you order anything above that, it is usually some exotic item that has special needs. They don’t want you ordering above combo number 4.  That is why when you order above a combo number 4 they make you pull up and hang in the penalty box. You sit 20 minutes waiting for your stupid chicken or fish sandwich. Next time you order above a number 4, you are walking home. I don’t care if you are five and have short legs.
  4. Immediately inventory check when you get your food. If you have a missing order, quickly tell us. Don’t wait. As long as the rear bumper does not cross the window, you are okay to report AWOL items. When the rear bumper has passed the window, it is too late.  I am not the Marines. We will leave a cheeseburger behind.

So why does God inconvenience us?  Because inconvenience is the true mirror of our priorities and values. People can write blogs or mission or vision statements, but you only truly value what you are willing to be inconvenienced about. If I value my ESPN, I am going to be inconvenienced and stay home and wait for the cable guy. If I value my family or marriage or children or true financial freedom or ministry or simply change in certain areas of my life, then I will be inconvenienced and wait upon God.

Here is a thought to ponder.

The degree that you are willing to be inconvenienced is the degree that you are willing to change.

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Not Shamwow but Soul Wow

I thought this was funny. A Shamwow parody by Catholic churches in NYC. If Youtube does not let you see it embedded than click on here.

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