Thursday, December 22, 2005

Nut-job gets restraining order against Letterman

Letterman Lawyers Fight Restraining Order
Dec 21, 4:25 PM EST
The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Lawyers for David Letterman want a judge to quash a restraining order granted to a Santa Fe woman who contends the CBS late-night host used code words to show he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host.

A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to Colleen Nestler (a.k.a "Nut Job," added by yours truly...), who alleged in a request filed last Thursday that Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" since May 1994.

Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards away and not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."
Lawyers for Letterman, in a motion filed Tuesday, contend the order is without merit and asked state District Judge Daniel Sanchez to quash it.

"Celebrities deserve protection of their reputation and legal rights when the occasional fan becomes dangerous or deluded," Albuquerque lawyer Pat Rogers wrote in the motion.
Nestler told The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday that she had no comment pending her request for a permanent restraining order "and I pray to God I get it."
Sanchez set a Jan. 12 hearing on the permanent order.

Letterman's longtime Los Angeles lawyer, Jim Jackoway, said Nestler's claims were "obviously absurd and frivolous." "This constitutes an unfortunate abuse of the judicial process," he said.
Nestler's application for a restraining order was accompanied by a six-page typed letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her.

She wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his "Late Show" began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.
She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time. Her letter does not say why she recently sought a restraining order. Rogers' motion to quash the order contends the court lacks jurisdiction over Letterman, that Nestler never served him with restraining order papers, and that she didn't meet other procedural requirements.

(On a completely unrelated topic, the year-in-review Jib Jab is pretty good. You can see it here; click the Jib Jab link in middle of page)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Persons of the Year

Last evening I read with great interest the newest edition of TIME magazine. It's their annual Person of the Year edition. This year, they chose three people for their efforts to change the world - Bono and Bill & Melinda Gates (the byline calls them "The Good Samaritans"). It's quite a fascinating read that I recommend. Of course, all of these people are highly criticized for this or that. Reminds me of an anonymous quote I once saw in Reader's Digest:
"To avoid criticism is to do nothing, to say nothing, and to be nothing."

A friend of mine who occasionally checks in here once said of Bono "Who made him president, anyway?" To which I replied I would vote for him tomorrow. He's getting more accomplished than most politicians can ever dream. He's more than your typcial loudmouth rock star. He's a student of the world, and has an unbelievable strategic effort behind the scenes to end poverty and provide vaccines to millions who don't have access to the health care we take for granted. The Edge (did his mother name him that?) said that the best thing U2 has going for it is that Bono is "unelectable." Not sure what he means exactly, but I think he's right.

As for the Gates', they're attacking the root of the problems of both hunger and disease in some very interesting ways. Yes, as my father-in-law whined last night "Sure they're giving billions...they've got billions to give!" ( far, their foundation has an endowment of something like 29 billion)Lots of folks have that opinion. But most people are doing nothing with what they personally have. These people have the influence and the dollars to make the world better in a hurry, and they refuse to sit back and count their interest and do nothing. Many will still criticize the evil Microsoft empire and the foul-mouthed rock stars (again, Christians I know who throw the baby out with the bath water.... does one curse word on national TV negate a guy's faith and all the acts of compassion he's catalyzed???). I however applaud them. Get the new issue of TIME. Read it. And act on it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Thought

"FROM THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE, when you compare [God] to the other gods of the other religions in the world, you have to say our God is really sort of odd. He uses the most common of people, people that aren't any different from any of us here; he comes in the most common of ways, when by his Spirit an anonymous young woman is found to be with child. And the strangest thing is that he comes at all—he's not the Above-Us-God, too holy to come down. This God's love is so immense that he wants to come down. And he has proven his love by the fact that he did come down and touch our ground." James R. Van Tholen, Where All Hope Lies

Home Sweet Home

Just returned from spending Christmas with my family in my hometown of Corbin, KY. It's a small but quaint town nestled into the hills of southeastern Kentucky. I look forward to seeing family and the occassional friend or acquaintance I bump into in the "Walmarts". I haven't officially lived there in a while (since I graduated HS in 85). But its fun to go home. Things have changed some. A few highlights...

Above is our claim to fame, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sign says "Sanders Cafe." Go to Corbin, and you can eat where it all began. Harland himself set up shop & concocted his secret recipe that's shure to clog arteries and add inches to your waist. Oh, how I enjoy the occasions to participate in some finger lickin' chicken. Unfortunately, some years ago the powers that be failed to recognize this little piece of international history and allowed the neighboring town of London to claim its status as chicken capital, bringing in a large yearly festival that I think is called the Chicken Festival, though I'm sure I'll be corrected. Oh, and bringing in big sums of tourism dollars. And of course, not using those dollars in Corbin.

From time to time, you see something that makes you go "hmmmm." Like drive-thru tobacco marts. Apparently, in an effort to make getting cigarettes more convenient, the drive-thru tobacco stop was created. Heaven forbid that anyone would, oh, say, have to get out of the car and walk into the place to buy cigs. Nothing against smokers - we all do stuff that's not good for us (except for that dude at the gym who eats wheat germ and is a perfect specimen of health...he'll probably drop dead at 40... oh, and see my note above about KFC - no redeeming health benefits there, though they tried that lame Atkins promotional package a few years back). But no need to fear - if you inadvertently drive past one of these places, there's another one just up the road (no less than 3 on a 4-mile stretch close to my home).Our president said the other night that small business is the backbone of America. So, I guess you can go down to the local Lowe's and buy yourself one of those backyard sheds for the Lawnboy and old bicycles and instead set it out on a major highway and start a business! Not sure which part here is the "unique" part - the tan or the gifts. I do wish I had looked in the phonebook for the astronomical number of tanning places in this town of roughly 8,000 people. I'm sure its pushing one tanning bed per resident.

Lastly, this made me laugh and do a double-take. Driving home from Grandma's, I came across this little house with a postage-size front lawn with somewhere between 20-30 of these giant blow-up things crowded into the lawn like Macy's floats in the off-season hangar. These things were literally side by side, touching each other. Nice use of the roof space, too.

I've often heard the little town that borders us (Chesterfield) referred to as Chestertucky. I used to be amusingly offended. But no more. I willing embrace my home sweet home and all it stands for. Speaking for myself and many I know, we all turned out to be pretty decent folk. Still lots of good decent folk there, too. Frankly, drive around most towns and you can find similar and often more head-scratching things than those above.

If you need me, I'll be at Home Depot picking out a storage building. Anybody know the going rate on deep-fried twinkies? Do I need a permit for that?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Feed African Children; get the Narnia inspired CD

A drastic food shortage threatens the lives of more than 15 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, nearly half of them small children.World Vision, the Christian relief and development organization, has partnered with EMI Christian Music Group to offer the CD "Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia" AT NO ADDITIONAL COST to anyone who gives a gift of $20 or more.
Thanks to grants from the U.S. government, your gift will more than double in impact to help provide food to children and families in sub-Saharan Africa! The need is urgent, please respond now!
PS - Link will also list all of the artists that are on the CD. Particularly fun is the Crowder tune "Turkish Delight."

You're Still Allowed To Say Merry Christmas

Frankly, are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Does it really matter that employees at a few major retail stores are told what to say and what not to say? Does that really change anything? Do we really believe that we're "losing" some sort of culture war? I'm so glad that the right-wing is all over yet another "war on our faith." I'm anxiously awaiting the email campaign that says Madelyn Murray O'Hair is behind all this (uh, she's been dead/missing for years). Once again, Satan has a way of creating distractions that we buy into hook, line and sinker. We take our eyes off what really matters (suffering, those who don't know God, etc) and start to trumpet these and other causes. It's irritating.

If the clerk at Stuff-Mart says Happy Holidays, you can respond with Merry Christmas, Jesus is the Reason for the Season, or whatever you feel led to say. Oh, and be thankful you're in a country where you can say whatever you want.

Just for fun, carry this list around and fire some "International Merry Christmases" to your friends, family, and friendly check-out clerks....
African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian:Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian: Pace e salute
Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras
(more at

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Top 10 Surprises from the Chronicles of Narnia Movie

10. Narnia City Council votes to remove all images of Aslan, replace them with generic alley cat that represents all felines of world
9. Mega Aslan den draws animal followers from smaller dens with better praise and worship band
8. Metaphors go crazy as Aslan assigns kingdom duties to second in command, a talking rock
7. Sequel set up when, after the victory, Charismatic Aslans clash with Southern Narnia Council Aslans.
6. The movie's original title: "Jesus, Satan, and a Closet"
5. The White Witch wins battle after her ACLU lawyers get injunction against 'lion roaring' in public places
4. Long-haired "Lion King" cast ostracized from Narnia for singing and dancing...and the long hair thing
3. Endless winter in Narnia originally blamed on George Bush
2. Aslan bobbing head dolls wearing little "Pepsi" t-shirts seen in back window of Narnia's mayor's Ford Ranger
1. WWAD? bracelets being sold in town stores
Copyright 2005 Dave Tippett ( Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

Storm Team Doppler 6000 White Death 2005

We had a big bunch of snow. Of course, you would have thought the world was going to spin away from its orbit and be slung into the sun. My favorite part of the impending doom of snow is one of our local Indy weather guys and his giant parka standing at the salt depot where they fill the trucks. It's not officially winter yet until Dave MacAnally strikes a pose and makes some really bad pun.

Regardless, my kids make snow forts and had what turned out to be less of a snowball fight and more of a "snow dust" fight since the packability quotient wasn't quite right by the time they tried to make their amunition. But I thought the fort building was admirable.... not sure, but I think The Donald got started in a similar fashion.

Narnia Mania

I confess. I'm one of the countless who have anticipated this new film for many years. Not only because I'm a fan of Lewis and loved Wardrobe in particular as a kid. But this film and others can get God in the conversation. Sure, you can watch the film and just enjoy it without the religious themes - if you don't know the themes are there, you probably wouldn't notice. But the opportunity to talk to others who have seen the film and draw parallels is golden.

Blessed by a snow day that cancelled school, we hauled the kids to the metroplex on opening day (we stopped by Wachovia and took out a loan...I told the clerk I was taking the family to the movies...she just shook her head and approved the loan papers). I expected a big crowd for the first showing, but there were only about 20 of us there at the time. I was not disappointed in the film. The kids gave it a thumbs up, too.

I've read lots of reviews. I need to stop reading reviews! One in particular ripped on the character development and the overuse of CGI. Not sure the characters needed any more development (unless we wanted a drawn out, 5 hour movie). As for CGI, it seemed well done and balanced to me. One of the ONLY reasons this film could ever be made was the development of special effects to make it work. Without them, we may never have seen this hit the big screen. For me, it was enjoyable, and a terrific time to share with the kids.

Oh, Terry Mattingly, sort of a media in culture watcher, has a good article regarding the movie; you can read it at

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Author Andy Crouch, in a recent Christianity Today article, says "The apostle Paul wrote that the eye cannot say it has no need of the foot, yet "I have no need for you is written all over the way we do Christianity in America." So that might be a little harsh, but is it true?

In the context of each person discovering their gifts & talents and using them to their fullest, there seems to be some progress. No scientific research here, just reporting what my open eyes tend to see. People are serving (though not all) and people do discover their gifts and utilize them that promote the kingdom (though not all) and churches do try to help individuals find their gifts and get them into the game (OK, so not all).

But is it true that many on the fringes, those who have some spiritual interest but aren't quite sure they want to be labeled yet as a "fundamentalist" or lumped into the likes of Jerry, Jim, Pat et al, those who are just peeking behind the curtain to see what this is all about, those who may have an attraction to this guy named Jesus but not necessarily an attraction to his followers... what are they experiencing? Is it alienation? Frustration? Wondering how long it takes before they're really accepted by folks who talk a lot about acceptance but maybe aren't so good at the practice of it? Is the church going out of its way to not just meet these folks where they are, but to give them some ownership? Or are those who keep the machine running too busy keeping the machine running to spend any time cultivating those "diamond in the rough" gifts that are scattered throughout the church (like chads in a Florida voting booth).

Just asking.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today is World AIDS Day

Today is World Aids Day. There are up to 36 million people living with HIV or AIDS and Christians are doing very little about it.
That's why Purpose Driven Ministries[1] held its first AIDS conference in the US, called Disturbing Voices, says Purpose Driven's Kay Warren.
"We've called this conference a wake-up call and a kick in the butt."
Because evangelical churches, especially, are doing little about AIDS.
Warren hopes pastors will go home, "Having repented of not caring, of being apathetic. We want them to go home full of enthusiasm for beginning an HIV ministry in their own church." The conference presented ways churches can have an impact on AIDS victims, and not just physically. "We want every person to come to know Jesus Christ. But, it's very difficult to introduce people to Jesus Christ when you're pushing them away. We've been given the task of making the invisible God, visible. How do we do that? (We do it) by our arms of love, by our compassion, by our acceptance." That provides a platform to share the Gospel.
Full Story:

(a related story)
Believers are acting on AIDS to save a generation.
Continuing our focus on World AIDS Day, AIDS has not lessened its grip in sub-Saharan Africa. But, World Vision's[2] Steve Haas says what's alarming is that the epicenter of the pandemic is shifting East to Russia and India. In spite of the bad news, Haas says
this is a great opportunity to fulfill the mandates of Scripture. "When
we look at the situation of AIDS, the greatest creator of orphans is AIDS.
The greatest creator of widows is AIDS. The issue that seems to find itself so closely akin to the poor is AIDS infection. The church was made
for moving against this disease." Haas explains that World Vision has
come around the pandemic with an effective multi-pronged approach.
"We're watching students become alive to the issue. We're also watching businesses get involved course we're also watching churches, many of which are not only becoming alive to what's happening on this issue, but they're getting their congregations involved."
Full Story:
(both stories from Mission Network News)