Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

Archive for November, 2008

“Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You On My Miiiind…”

Posted by Vogeler on November 19, 2008

The title of this post are lyrics from a great song, entitled, “Happy Anniversary” (surprise!) by the Little River Band.  Man, I love those oldies.  (The song is from 1977, the year before I was born, so it counts as an oldie.  So there).

But that’s not the focus of this post.  No, the focus of this post is that my blog is officially two years old!! (OK, two years and two days.  I forgot.  Sue me.  It’s not like I forgot my wedding anniversary, for pete’s sake.  Who is pete and why do we care about him?)

In honor of my two year anniversary, I will not be giving away free stuff.  If I made money from this blog, I would.  But I don’t, so I’m not.

Instead, I present to you…..   *drumroll*

Todd’s Favorite Posts from the Last Two Years!!!

*pause for cheers and applause*

(note:  these are my favorite posts, not necessarily the best or most profound.  You’ve been warned)

10.  It’s Official!!!!! /It’s A Boy!! (tie)

9.  Bye -Bye Myspace

8.  Passing Through

7.  Today’s Pictures

6.  My New Blog!! (shameless plug)

5.  Ten Years Later

4.  The Importance of A Christian Education

3.  Things I Learned From Reading Louis L’Amour Novels

2.  An Excellent Look at Early Church Relations and Discipline (link updated and fixed)

1.  Be Careful What You Read (I should be on Mythbusters!)

Are there any you would add?


Posted in Announcements, Fun Stuff, Questions for Debate, Ramblings, Things I'm Doing, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Why I Love GMail

Posted by Vogeler on November 19, 2008

In case you don’t know, (and I think you all do.  Everyone that reads this blog is either a friend or family member, unless I’m wrong) my favorite web-based email client is GMail. GMail stands for Google Mail (get it?  GMail?), and I’ve been a fan since I first began using it several years ago.  When I opened my account, you had to receive an invitation from someone who already had an account (maybe it was in beta testing?), but now it’s open to anyone.  Here are some reasons why I loved GMail from day 1:

  • TONS of storage!  When I first opened my account, I was allowed a ginormous 2GB of online storage!  Now I have over 7GB.
  • It is quick and easy-to-use.
  • It functions with my google toolbar.  That is the only toolbar I have ever, or will ever, love.  I would be lost without autofill.  It also integrates with my RSS reader of choice, Google Reader.
  • It doesn’t automatically install other crapware onto my PC.
  • And, the most recent (as of 3:47 PM today), I can customize the look of my GMail account!!  Until today, that was my only complaint.  The interface was this blah, boring blue color.  Now it’s a rich, vibrant forest-green color.  Happiness!

GMail, while my favorite client, and also my main client for personal use, is not my only one.  I also have a Yahoo account, and several privately hosted accounts.  But they’re not nearly as cool as my GMail.

What email clients do you use?

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Search and Win With Swagbucks

Posted by Vogeler on November 17, 2008

Another great site/service I use is Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a search engine, just like Google or some of the others (and gets it’s results from google and, among others), but for every search you do, you can win “Swagbucks”.  Swagbucks are like points that can be redeemed for merchandise and gift cards.  I’ve been using Swagbucks for about two months, and I already have enough for a gift card!  Sweet!  You can also get Swagbucks by shopping through their portal site, although I haven’t tried this.  If you want to try it (and why wouldn’t you?!), click here to be taken to my referral page.  After you sign up, you can download a toolbar that fits in your browser (Normally I’m against extra toolbars, but this one is ok).  I’d appreciate it if you use my referral link, because I get credits for referrals. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Thanks, and happy searching!

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Sell Your Books For Cash!

Posted by Vogeler on November 15, 2008

I just stumbled upon a new service that I will be using, called Cash4Books.  Basically, you create an account, enter the ISBN number from the books you want to sell (the number above the bar code on the back of the book), print the pre-paid shipping label, ship the books, and Voila!  Cash!

I haven’t actually done this yet, but one of my favorite bloggers, Money Saving Mom, gives it the thumbs up.  If you decide you want to try this out, do me a favor and use my referal link, because I get extra cash for referrals.  Click here to try it out.  It’s a great way to snag some extra cash, and it’s a form of recycling!

Posted in Announcements, Things I'm Doing | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Gun Sales Way Up Since Election

Posted by Vogeler on November 14, 2008

According to a blog post by Massad Ayoob of Backwoods Home Magazine, gun sales have increased dramatically since President-Elect Obama showed a large lead in the polls, and have stayed up since the election.

Ayoob states that,

“The explanation is pretty simple: the party that just ensconced itself in rock-solid power in Washington has long considered firearms restriction legislation to be one of its planks. Indeed, those at the pinnacle of power seem to consider it one of their priorities.”

He then offers a link to a webpage that was originally posted on President-Elect Obama’s transition-information website,  It is now archived, and no longer appears on the site.  On this webpage, the Obama administration states:

“As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.”

While I think it is certainly perplexing that this information, and a lot of other information about what the Obama administration is planning has been removed from the site, I disagree with Mr. Ayoob’s interpretation of the statements as indicating a serious attack on gun rights.  My understanding of the statement is that the Obama administration wants to tighten the purchasing process and continue the ban on assault weapons, which I’m not sure if I support (why does any private citizen need that kind of firepower?  That’s how police officers get killed.  At the same time, if a dictatorial police-state was established, if the populace had no access to such weapons, the disparity in armaments would be a serious disadvantage in a revolution.).

Of course, my interpretation of the statement does little to allay my fears that gun ownership is in danger.   President-Elect Obama’s voting record does not inspire confidence that he intends to protect the 2nd Amendment.  And just because I don’t think a statement formerly posted on his website isn’t an extreme threat, doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t there.  And on that point, I agree with Mr. Ayoob’s point completely:  “It seems like an excellent time to join the National Rifle Association.”

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Mary, Did You Know?

Posted by Vogeler on November 14, 2008

I am a Christmas fanatic.  I watch Christmas movies all year round.  I get annoyed looks from my wife and coworkers because I listen to Christmas music in July.  I LOVE Christmas.

Now that we’re getting close, I feel that it’s safe (er) for me to break out the Christmas tunes without fear of repercussion.  I was listening to one of my favorites, “Mary Did You Know?” today, when the lyrics of the song hit me so hard my eyes welled up with tears and my knees nearly buckled.

The lines that hit me so hard were,

Did you know that you your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you!


The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again!

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak

The praises of the Lamb!


Did you know that your baby boy was Heaven’s perfect Lamb?

The sleeping child you’re holding is the great “I Am”!

If you haven’t taken time to listen to that song in a while (if ever), I greatly encourage you to go someplace quiet and prayerfully listen.  I believe it will help to reinforce the reality of the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and how much of a sacrifice He made to bring us to Himself.

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Posted by Vogeler on November 6, 2008

Well, it’s official.  Our next president will be Senator Barack Obama.  While I was not a supporter of President-Elect Obama, now that the election is over, it’s time to move on with our lives.  And part of that is supporting our next president.

Although I disagree with him on many issues, President-Elect Obama is still faced with a monumental task:  how to rescue our economy, our environment, and our place in global affairs.  To successfully, morally, and ethically complete this task, he desperately needs wisdom and help from God.

That’s where we come in.

If you are a Christian, whether you like him or not, whether you supported him or not, you have a duty to sincerely pray for President-Elect Obama.  Pray for wisdom.  Pray for understanding.  Pray for courage.  Pray for his safety.  But most of all, pray that he clearly hears the voice of God speaking into his life.

On another note…

If you, like me, was absolutely disgusted by the negative tone of the recent campaign, then this article is for you.  Within a few minutes, I was actually feeling better about humanity.

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