We've Moved...and Chris and Josiah Don't even know it.


We are now at www.atypicalspirituality.com. Leave me some comments on my blog (I'm Tank) and let me know what you think.

Thanks

Tank

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Tank Recommends: Delicious Library, Cradle to Cradle, and Ray Lamontagne




Software: Delicious Library

Macs are incredible and they just became even better if you have a camera of some sort attached to them (yes, this means iSight too). You can use your camera as a barcode scanner to keep track of all your movies, games, books, and music. You simply scan in the barcode and it will do the rest of the work of keeping a working list of everything you own. It also has a feature where you can set up accounts for your friends so that they can 'check-out' from your library and you can keep track of who has your stuff. I still haven't used this program very much, but found it to be very well designed and a great idea. You should all check out their website for more information and a free trial.

Book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

This book is written by an architect and a chemist who are both concerned with the way we make things. I am only about half way through the book, but I have really enjoyed reading it. The basic premise of the book is that we need to design items in such a way that they can be recycled for the same purpose over and over again (they call this kind of recycling, upcycling). An example: When we are 'done' with a car they are crushed and melted to be reused, but because of the way they are constructed different types of metals are being melted together and they create a weaker metal that cannot be used in cars again (they call this kind of recycling, downcycling). Eventually this recycled product will be recycled to the point that it cannot be used, and when these products are recycled they let off harmful chemicals into the air for humans and plantlife to breathe. This is just one example that I have poorly explained.

The books is actually not made out of paper, but instead a plastic that can be melted down and reused for another book. It is also waterproof, which means you can take it safely into a hottub, bath, or to the beach and not worry at all. They do propose ideas on how to make more books like this and make them completely reusable so that we will not just throw away the product at the end (what they call 'Cradle to Grave') but we will use the materials all over again to create a product just as good as the first (what they call 'Cradle to Cradle'). This book is targeted for people who are interested in design/environment, but I recommend this as a read for everyone. It has changed the way I think about helping the environment.

Okay, one more idea from the book. It's a short one I promise. The focus of most enviromental agencies and our country in general is to make pollution less, use less energy with a bigger yield, make less waste, etc. They say that our focus is to make everything 'less bad'. But they propose that we should focus on making things 'Good', not 'less bad'.

As you can tell, I'm still sorting out alot of the ideas in this book, GO GET IT NOW!

Music: Ray Lamontagne

Okay, so I am going to see one of my favorite bands in a couple of weeks and they originally had Ray as their support act, so I naturally got ahold of some of his music, and I loved it. The CD I got was called 'Trouble' and it was incredible, but he just came out with a new CD called 'Till The Sun Turns Black' and I think it might be even better. I fallen in love with his music over the last couple of months, but I will shut my mouth and let his music do the talking, just go to his myspace (the link above). Oh, and by-the-way, he isn't opening for the band I am going to see now and I am darn mad.

Tank

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I have changed the template which you might notice or might not. It would be awesome if you would try some of the features (like commenting) and letting me know if it is working and/or if you like the way it looks. The main thing that is different is the little tabs that are on the header, we can put links up there to where we want, however they still have the generic links to whatever sites the designer thought were important. If you click on the 'Gecko and Fly' link you will be taken to the designer's blog and design site if you want to look at more of his work/redo your own blog.

Thanks in advance for your helpful comments.

Tank

UPDATE: I just took out the pictures of us three on the right because I think it makes it look better.

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Education and Procreation



I just finished my first week. A week of yelling, laughing, spitting, falling, running, jumping, playing, teaching, resting, pleading, disciplining, (and a lot of other words ending in "-ing"). My new job is with Tulsa Public Schools. I work at an Elementary school that brings together, monday - friday, little people of varied ages, races, personalities, and dimensions. My job description is a Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf. However, my real responsibility is to be a role model, communication facilitator, and teacher. No, i dont have a license to teach, but "illegal teaching" happens everyday, everyplace, and in everyway. I am a rebel of the educational system. I have to teach. I have to tell the little boy in the bathroom to wash his hands after he pees. I have to tell the kids who pushes the other one that his behavior is not proper and he needs to apologize. I have to show the student who is struggling with his math problem a new way of thinking about it. I am an educator, and proud of it.

Little people are funny (as in young people, not physically challenged people). Their abashed honesty is sometimes disconcerting, but attractive. Sometimes they pee their pants...that is funny. somtimes they laugh at things you shouldnt laugh at, again, adorable. They can be bratty and pains in the ass, but really, they are mostly innocent and good hearted. They havent had much time to be jaded by all the shit in the world. its nice.

I had a little convo with a fellow educator who works for TPS. We shared a mutual satisfaction that is recieved from being involved in a young one's education. it really is spectacular. You can look back and say "I taught them how to READ!" I mean reading is pretty important and to teach that is pretty dang cool. So, the long and short is, Ive got a kick ass job. Thanks Dad!

Oh...the procreation part of the title:
sometimes other kids make me NOT want to procreate. being involved in education has, so far, definitely made me WANT to procreate. i mean not here and now, at Shades of Brown, but somtime and somewhere and with someone. LOL. scary.

Give peace a Chance.

M. Josiah Fehlauer

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I don't know if you have listened to the new Nick and Josh Podcast yet, but you should. I highly recommend you all skipping to the end where they do the tallskinny because you will hear a very special guest, me. You should listen to the podcast and then go to Nick and Josh's blogs and let them know how much they have changed your lives. All the links are on the right side of the page for their blogs and the podcast.

Tank

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I came across this website the other day with this band giving away their music for free and I like what I've heard so far so I thought I would pass along the website for all to enjoy. You can download or listen to their album here. I think the song called Metropolitan (Watercolor) is the best so far, so maybe you should start there. You can also get a quick listen to them at their myspace before you commit to downloading their music and wasting your hard drive because we all know how annoying that is.

Tank

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I'm still on the search of a healthier life although I haven't updated nearly enough. As far as exercise I don't do it enough, but I have gone to the gym a few times in the last week which is always an improvement.

Pt. 2 : Diet

Before Super Size Me came out I wasn't very conscience of what I ate. I got food because I thought it tasted good and I was hungry, those were my requirements. In fact I regret seeing that movie in some respect because it was easier for me to eat fast food because I didn't think about it. I haven't stopped eating fast food, but I eat less, and now I can't help but think about what the food (with its steroids and other chemicals) is doing to me.

I think it is important to eat food that is good for me. Organic foods, salads, etc. Is it also important that I eat food that is good for other people. Who benefits from the money that I am spending on this food? In the case of fast food, restaurants, grocery stores, I have no clue, probably a corporation somewhere. I still eat/shop at all of these places and I won't completely stop anytime soon, but I have started buying food from my state's coop (found here). I know that my money is going directly to local farmers because I buy food directly from them and it is delivered to me for prices that rival the prices at my grocery store. Not only that but 90% of the products sold are organic which is a huge plus because I am buying organic foods for the price of non-organic foods found at Wal-Mart. I think it is healthier to spend as much money as I can of food where I know I am helping support my local farmers, and benefit my health in the process.

I go through most of my life dehydrated, not extremely dehydrated, but dehydrated. If you would like to check for yourself if you are hydrated or not go pee-pee and if it is yellow then you are not hydrated like your body needs. I have started watching how much water I drink daily and try to drink at least 8 8oz glasses of water a day (which is 64oz). I think I feel better when I am hydrated, I feel like I sleep better. This is something I hope to practice for a long time to come.

My biggest goal as far as my diet is concerned is to cut out fast food altogether and only visit restaurants every once and awhile. I want to cook at home, and not only that but become a good cook. My biggest problem with this is time, it is hard to set aside the time to prepare food, cook food, eat food, then wash the dishes for the next meal. To be able to do this I need to learn how to schedule my time and use it wisely. I think if I am going to be healthier and slow down my life so I can spend more time doing quality things I need to be intentional with my time and that requires planning.

Tank

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The impact of art



who would i be today without the inspiration of the creators that have challenged, impacted, and changed me. you can tell a lot about a person by when entering their house, examining their book, movie, or music collection. is this because certain types of people prefer certain types of art? or because the art itself has made us who we are. i argue more for the later.

this is a list of people who have impacted me so greatly that i am who i am because of their work. this is one of those lists that may change every few years or even every few weeks, but tonight, this is mine.

the creators who have created me:

1. Bono

i am one of those annoying, adoring u2 fans. the first time i really listened to the joshua tree, i heard music that i had never heard before. life, death, love, pain. never has a writer better delt with basic human emotion like these songs do. i believe that Bono is the prime example of what a Christian should be. he is not perfect by any means, but his love for people has inspired me to be a better person. why do i want my music heard? is it for me? or is it something bigger? i know that i am bias, and that if bono pooped on a cd, i would still buy it. but this man has earned my trust. Musically, spiritually, and humanly, my iconic hero.

(recommendations : the joshua tree, war, atomic bomb, zooropa)

also 1. Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game is not only the reason that i love to read Sci-Fi, it is the reason i love to read. beyond that, Card's understanding of humanity has helped me understand who i am. the way the people in his life turned Ender into who he became connects with me more than any other work of art ever has. Josiah has recently fallen in love with this series the way i did in the 8th grade. talking with him about it makes me sad. only because i can never read those books for the first time ever again. it is like a first love. the memory is probably more beautiful than the reality actually was, but nonetheless, i still feel like i am Ender. he has become a part of me, and i am better for it.

(recommendations: the entire Ender series, songmaster, enchantment)

3. Jim Henson

there is nothing like the mystery of childhood. Henson created a universe for me that made me dream about bigger things than the world around me. not only that, but the mupet moves are still freakin hilarious to this day

(recommendations: the mupet movie, mupet christmas carol, mupets take manhattan)

4. matt damon/ben affleck

ok, both of these have done some crap as well, but if one work alone can bring someone to this list, these have done it. Good Will Hunting is the most brilliantly written/acted movie that i've seen. i know a lot of snobs would probably disagree, but this stands as my favorite movie of all time. Definitely made me who i am on many levels. side note: this movie also introduced me to eliott smith.

5. Rivers Cuomo

well, once again, i have to somewhat ignore his late career, but the blue album violently ripped me from my christian music bubble. brilliantly crafted songs from start to finish. if i had three wishes, one of them might be to have never heard only in dreams before only so that i could listen to it again for the first time. that song, in my mind, taught me how to love....or i should say, made me want to love.

(recommendations : blue album, pinkerton)

6. lennon/mcartney

more of a slow progression for me, however, as i evalutate my musical journey, the beatles were always a part of it. i remember watching the beatles anthology as a kid and knowing that what i was watching was bordering magic. and today i listen to their songs and know that none like them have yet been written.

(recommendations: white album, abbey road, revolver)

7. Cameron Crowe

his movies play like albums. you can watch them over and over, and it is more about the emotion of what is happening than any individual line, actor, or shot. these movies make me fall in love with life.

(recommendations: almost famous, vanilla sky)

8. C.S. Lewis

i must admit, i am not as well versed in Lewis as i would like to be. but from what i have read by him, i can say that never has spirituality been communicated more clearly on an intellectual level than the words that Lewis has written have. the kind of guy you wish you could have been friends with.

(recommendations: space trilogy, the great divorce, the weight of glory)

9. Chaim Potok

when you read his books, you feel like you are the main character. 'my name is asher lev' has done much to reconcile the desire to create true art with my faith.

(recommendations: the chosen, the promise, my name is asher lev)

10. Jim Carey

a stretch to call an actor a creator, but there must be a reason that i adore every movie i have seen him in. i think a great actor can take a scripted character and add his own elements of creation to bring the character to life. i have never laughed as hard nor cried as hard as i have while watching this man on screen.

(recommendations: dumb and dumber, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the truman show)

ok, i hope you stayed with me through this possibly agonizingly long post. i have been working on it for an hour and a half now. just felt a little inspired. feel free to comment, disagree, or share your own influences.

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