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Slice of Life

Damn, local “little free library”, you went dark!

I like looking in our neighborhood’s “little free libraries” — those little boxes that community-minded people set up where the rule is “take a book, leave a book”.

While taking a quick break from my daily bike ride to check out the river, I decided to see what was in the Patterson Park little free library, and wow, did they have a particularly heavy book: Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying.

It’s a far cry from the usual selection.

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Slice of Life

The Extrovert

I feel Todd’s pain.

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Slice of Life

It’s almost that time of year again…

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Slice of Life

Morten’s better ice-breaker: “The Museum Question”

Morten Rand-Hendriksen, whom I met during my time as a Microsoftie, has a brilliant “ice-breaker” question that’s perfect for those group intro sessions, where everyone’s trying to get a feel for all the other people in the room.

The question:

A museum calls you and says they want to feature you in their permanent exhibit. But there’s a small catch: They only have room for one artifact, and you only get to choose once. What do you send them?

The answer for me would seem obvious — an accordion — but the question then becomes: Which one? The answer to that question is “The first one”, pictured at the top of this post. It’s the one I took out onto the streets of Toronto on May 1, 1999 and started this whole thing rolling.

What would your artifact be?

(Be sure to read Morten’s article on the topic!)

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Slice of Life

If megachurches were honest

I’m a graduate of Catholic school and grew up going to Catholic church, so my first visit to a Hillsong-style megachurch left me deeply unimpressed:

  • The ministry felt less like the lives of the saints and more like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,
  • There was a strong “making up as we go along” feel to the preaching,
  • The Jesus they presented was most certainly not an itinerant Israeli carpenter who was intentionally homeless, apolitical, friend of prostitutes and told religious leaders to pay their dang taxes, but some kind of weird amalgam of Ronald Reagan, Rambo, Tony Robbins, and “Karen”,
  • My Asian appearance led a couple of congregants to ask if I would denounce the false teachings of Buddha (they asked no such questions of the other strangers, who were white), because they knew jack shit about the Philippines or that thing about “the stranger in your midst”,
  • and as for the music, I’m 100% behind Hank Hill:

So when Cracked posted their latest video, If Megachurches Were Honest, I had to watch:

One of the reasons that it’s so spot-on is because it was written by Jordan Breeding, who writes:

Cards on the table I (the guy who wrote this episode), was a Music Director at a (non-mega) church, and, in fact, my wife and I still lead music there regularly FOR FREE as well as attend. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe there aren’t things deeply wrong with the way megachurches and possibly just America generally have twisted things.

If you found the video interesting, you’ll probably enjoy the podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.

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America Slice of Life

My plan for the next few weeks

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Slice of Life Tampa Bay

Opening soon in Seminole Heights: Gangchu (Korean fried chicken)!

Ganchu, as photographed by Yours Truly this afternoon. Tap to view at full size.

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorIt looks like Seminole Heights is going to get another speciality chicken place. In addition to King of the Coop, whose signature dish is Nashville hot chicken, we’re about to get Gangchu, whose stock in trade is Korean fried chicken. I enjoyed eating “K-fry” back in Toronto, and I’m looking forward to having a place in the neighborhood where I can get my fix.

Ganchu is located at 6618 North Nebraska Avenue, just south of Gott Glass and the Sulphur Springs Post Office, and across the street from 7venth Sun Brewery, who’ve come up with a custom beer to go along with your Korean fried chicken: K-Hop IPA!

Badass Korean provides this translation for the word gangchu:

Roughly equivalent to the English “it rocks,” this expression is an abbreviation of gangryok chucheon, meaning to strongly recommend something. Gangchu started online in internet chat rooms by young people, but is now used in everyday conversations. Similar to “It’s the shit!”

Gangchu is the creation of the other Filipino who’s made his mark on Seminole Heights:  Noel Cruz, who’s behind Tampa Bay mainstays Ichicoro Ramen, Ichicoro Ane, and Ichicoro Imoto, c. 1949, and The Corners pizza at Sparkman Wharf.

The folks at Gangchu have been pretty tight-lipped about when they’re going to open. Your best best to keep up with their activities right now is to follow their Instagram account, @eatgangchu. I’m looking forward to their grand opening!