Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mad Keytar Skills

Somehow this TV ad for Monday Night Football slipped past Orin's Keytar-Radar. Thanks to Mike Patin for the heads up!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tovah

Shana Tovah is Hebrew for "A good and sweet year" and is the usual greeting for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which is celebrated by Jews tonight and Tuesday morning this year.

As I (Orin) was headed to Temple Shaare Emeth in suburban St. Louis to play at their early service tonight, I passed the small gift shop there and saw the above in the window - a plush play set of bread, wine, and a candle.  Blessings over these items are customary at prayer and meal times in Jewish traditions - and likely where some of our earliest Christian traditions come from, of course.

It was nice to see we still share some things in common.

The Jewish new year commemorates God's creating the heavens and the earth.  The Rabbi who delivered the sermon tonight told a version of this story as part of her reflections:

Once upon a time, as God created the world, He decided to make beings in His image. As he generated his own reflection in man and woman, the angels got word of the project, and were consumed with jealousy.

"How unfair!" they cried. "Those humans will have it all. They get to experience life on earth with all the perks: laughter, tears, ice cream, wasabi, softness, scratchiness. And as if that 'being alive' stuff weren't blessing enough, they get immortality as well!" (If God is eternal, so, too, would be anything made in God's image.)

The angels were furious; no being should merit both ice cream and infinity. If heavenly beings were denied earthly experiences, why allow humans celestial ones?

So, they plotted against the humans. They decided to hide God's image from them, and assembled to determine how it could be done. One angel suggested, "Let's hide it far up in the mountains; I hear humans don't like to shvitz much. They'll never climb that high."

Another disagreed: "That won't work. Those granola hippies God put on the West Coast will surely hike to the top of the mountains and discover it. Better we hide God's image far out in the sea. Most folks won't go farther than a cruise ship will take them."

Again, others dissented. They realized that any God-like being would eventually access the heights of heaven and the depths of the ocean.

Finally, a wise old angel made a brilliant suggestion: "Let us hide God's image between and within the humans. That will be the last place on earth they would think to look for it."

God let them.  And so it was.

"The Music That Unites Us"

Here's a flyer for an upcoming fundraising concert we're a part of - can you come join us?

Jesus Is Here

Following the end of Orin's set-up talk, Oddwalk and the band sing and pray "Jesus Is Here" at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Junior High Youth Day Celebration this past Saturday:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Best Line of the Night

So, Oddwalk played some songs around a campfire tonight, supporting a retreat group from McKendree University, where Orin's wife Erin works as a campus minister.  Following one of the songs, during some "small talk," one of the students said of us, "I wouldn't call this crap."

A more resounding affirmation has never been spoken.

One View Every Six Minutes

That's how frequently our "Jesus is My Friend" video (or find it below) is being seen over the last 9 or so days, by Orin's math.  Over 2,200 views as of this morning.


Should you happen to have a YouTube account, could you head over there and rate our video as highly as you honestly can?  It's languishing at 2.5 stars right now, but we think we can do better...

PS - Here's Orin's favorite viewer comment so far (posted over at YouTube):

Not exactly a keytar

Orin's friend David introduced him to this quirky comic strip, and made sure he noticed today's panel (above).  For those wondering, those are Biff's eyebrows.  I don't know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

pOddcast - Old Irish Blessing (SATB)

New on the pOddcast - nothing Sonseed-y or keytar-y...  A recording of "Old Irish Blessing" - the SATB version (actually, the first version written), recorded at the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus Spring Gala 2008 by the SLCC Octet directed by Orin.

Listen especially for the sigh from Orin's wife shortly after "limping."

Find it in the Gcast window in the blog sidebar, or at the main site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


MSNBC - Oh, milk chocolate. Wherefore art thou?

Apparently not in some Hershey’s products that contained milk chocolate for years, and that has passionate chocolate aficionados fighting mad.

Products such as Whatchamacallit, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar and Krackel no longer have milk chocolate coatings, and Hershey’s Kissables are now labeled “chocolate candy” instead of “milk chocolate.”

What’s going on here? On Friday, TODAY consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman reported that Hershey’s has switched to less expensive ingredients in several of its products. In particular, cocoa butter — the ingredient famous for giving chocolate its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture — has been replaced with vegetable oil.

The removal of cocoa butter violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of milk
chocolate, so subtle changes have appeared on the labels of the Hershey’s products with altered recipes. Products once labeled “milk chocolate” now say “chocolate candy,” “made with chocolate” or “chocolatey.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Convert

Apparently Ben Folds has hopped on the keytar bandwagon too (video).

What hath God wrought?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Accurate Pie Chart (this one in actual pie)

This was sent to us by our friend gene - we had trouble tracking down exactly the original source, but it bears a lot of resemblance to the image in this post from a while back...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Jesus Is My Friend" Updates

1) Our video on YouTube (or see below) is already up to 820 views, by far the most rapidly-watched video we've ever posted!  (The original versions of the song by Sonseed, adding up all the various postings, are well over half-a-million!)

2) We're now featured, "below the fold" as they say in the newspaper biz, at JesusIsMyFriend.info - a one-stop site for all things "Jesus is My Friend" and Sonseed.  Lots of videos, ringtones...  Even the full original album available as a free download!  Did you need a Jesus Is My Friend Shirt?

UPDATE - Sunday afternoon (9/21), 3:22 - 1,139 views... My goodness, people must be bored...

Another update, been informed the shirts are no longer for sale... sorry, fashionistas!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The website that unleashed Sonseed and "Jesus is My Friend" upon the world has noticed our cover of the song posted on YouTube (see below).

So we thought we'd return a little linkage-love - dougsploitation.blogspot.com is a site that has lots of posts on curious pop-culture stuff, present day and "historical-hysterical" stuff...  Check it out!

Vatican Goes Carbon-Neutral

Speaking of those two Erins (see below), this should please them some:

By Francis X. Rocca, Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Holy See announced this month that it would become the world's first "carbon neutral" sovereign state by planting trees in a Hungarian national park to offset the carbon-dioxide emissions and energy use of Vatican City.

Not Quite Twins

So, Orin's wife Erin and co-worker Erin wore nearly the same outfit today, right down to their eyeglasses.  And they didn't even call each other ahead of time.

No word on why they chose to pose with lemonade mix.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The moment you've all been waiting for

Here it is!  Oddwalk's recent cover of "Jesus is a Friend of Mine" (or, alternatively, "Jesus is My Friend") made popular, if one can say that, by Sonseed:

Recorded at the Diocese of Jefferson City, MO Senior High Youth Rally, September 14, 2008 by Marianne Cline - woot!  Unfortunately, costumes and outdated eyeglasses and hairstyles (unless you count Orin's) were not yet ready for this performance...

UPDATE - 9/17, 1:30pm - for what it's worth, I think Oddwalk can claim the first cover of the song uploaded to YouTube. It is the little victories that count, isn't it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

When we get focused on something, we just can't seem to let it go.

Would you like to waste 10 seconds?

And by that, we mean would you like to waste 10 seconds more than you've already wasted on this visit to the Oddblog?  Then watch this:

Recorded at Young Neighbors in Action, Washington DC, 2008.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So, we're not promising anything...

Like the title says, but progress has been made on the Sonseed "Jesus Is My Friend" initiative:


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

82 - 0

82 - 0 is a bad final score in any game, including -- hockey.

si.com - BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) -- With more goals than minutes in the game, Slovakia's women's ice hockey team claimed an amazing 82-0 victory over Bulgaria in Olympic qualifying.
Slovakia outshot the Bulgarians 139-0 during the 60-minute game, played in Latvia. The margin of victory is a record for a women's International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event.

Oddwalk comments: Ouch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thanks, Breezygirl25!

Hey!  We got our first online review of "Walk Away Different" that we didn't write ourselves!  Click the below review, from iTunes, to see it a little better:

We're happy to make anyone feel like a total idiot!  Just ask around.  And thanks for the great review!

Jesus is Our Friend Too

So, we've had a couple requests (via facebook, thanks Erin B and Marianne) to cover this little gem:

Do a google search for "sonseed" to learn a little more about the song, the group, whether it's all real or not, etc.  And we'll keep you posted...

In the meantime, enjoy Orin's favorite lyric:

Once I tried to run, I tried to run and hide.
But Jesus came and found me and He touched me down inside.
He is like mountie, He always gets His man, 
and He'll zap you any way he can.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Oddblog According to Wordle

How the front page of the Oddblog (prior to this post) appeared, according to wordle.net.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


You can now find "Walk Away Different" at MyCatholicVoice, along with lots of other content - music, videos, blogs, etc.  It's a rapidly growing site, and we may very well add more of our content there as time passes.  Be sure to check it out - in their own words:

MyCatholicVoice invites you to...
...ask questions...find inspiration...create conversation...listen to great music...share your thoughts...connect with people...seek your truth...participate in the global Church...see beyond the pew...explore tradition...find your voice...visit a safe place online...explore what matters most to you


Friday, September 5, 2008

palmares.ca - if you can!

If you're in Canada and can read French, you can get our CD "Walk Away Dfferent" at palmares.ca - but it appears to complain, when we try to load the necessary webpage, that we aren't and can't, so here's a link to a google cache of the relevant page.

Remembering Is Like Reliving

Warning - nerdy liturgical theology post ahead:

"Scientists have for the first time recorded individual brain cells in the act of summoning a spontaneous memory, revealing not only where a remembered experience is registered but also, in part, how the brain is able to recreate it.

"The recordings, taken from the brains of epilepsy patients being prepared for surgery, demonstrate that these spontaneous memories reside in some of the same neurons that fired most furiously when the recalled event had been experienced. Researchers had long theorized as much but until now had only indirect evidence.

"Experts said the study had all but closed the case: For the brain, remembering is a lot like doing (at least in the short term, as the research says nothing about more distant memories)."

So what?  Well, what we do at mass, especially around the eucharistic prayer time is remember - specifically Christ's paschal mystery - his suffering, death, resurrection and ascension, and we remember these things in such a way that it makes those historic events present to us (or us to them).  The fancy-shmancy word for this is anamnesis.

And now we have some scientific corroboration for just this - that the way our brain remembers things is similar to the doing of those things in the first place.

Pretty darn cool.

But why this image of Homer with this post?  Part of the experiments involved showing folks TV images, including Seinfeld and Simpsons clips.  And as a PS - you get some pretty weird results if you do a google image search for 'anamnesis' - it's true.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Solar Gadget Charger

Unfortunately, just a concept for now, but it would be a cool way to combine two intense interests in the Hammond/Johnson house - saving the earth and technogadgets.

Another new look

Hey, a new, fresh face for the Oddblog!  (Unless, like gene, you read our content via an aggregate thing-a-ma-bob.)  Why?  Well, to be honest, the most recent one wasn't doing much for me (Orin) and perhaps more importantly, wasn't formatting well on my new iPhone.

So, anyway, there's no poll to go along with this one - hope you can get over the disappointment on that.  I know gene can...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oddwalk Ministries on iLike

Oddwalk is up and running now on iLike!  You can find us through iLike or through Facebook (but be logged in to Facebook first), or you can just click this nifty little button right here:

iLike Oddwalk Ministries

This nifty little button will always be on the blog sidebar or somewhere on the main site too, if you want to come back to it later...

Will you iLike us?  Pretty-please?

Fantastic Contraption

A great online physics game, Fantastic Contraption.

As one review says, "As with all puzzle games, this one starts off easy so you can get the feel of the the environment, but as the levels progress you'll find it increasingly difficult to get pink thingy A to Pink area B. But then, that's what makes Fantastic Contraption such a blast to play. You solve one puzzle and you feel psyched enough to try another, then another. Before you know it, it's 2:30 in the morning and your significant other is packing the kids in the car and promising divorce."

This may or may not have partially or wholly happened to Orin.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wait for it...

If you stare at the following image long enough, you should be able to see a giraffe... Try it!

Thanks to Roger for the lead!

Movie Trailers Will Never Be The Same

CNN - Don LaFontaine, the voiceover king whose "In a world ..." phrase on movie trailers was much copied -- and much parodied -- has died, according to media reports. He was 68.

Don LaFontaine was featured as "that voiceover guy" [see below] on a recent Geico commercial.

LaFontaine, who was born in Duluth, Minnesota, began as a voice actor in the mid-1960s while working as a recording engineer, according to his Web site. His strong, slightly gravelly voice was featured on trailers for thousands of films, including "The Godfather," "Fatal Attraction" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." For a time in the late '70s, LaFontaine was the official voice of Paramount Pictures.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Noah and the Doggy Door

There will be more later, but for now, here's one way a 2 year old celebrates his brthday: