iPhone buzz. wait time. frenzy.

Like millions of others, I’ve been seeing the escalating buzz about the iPhone that goes on sale at 6:00pm this Friday June 29th. At the moment, iPhone is the #3 most popular search on Technorati, #15 on Yahoo, #51 on Google trends (cf. iPhone reviews). I’m of the persuasion that there’s no such thing as bad press, just no press. More conversations and more buzz, especially online and Google-searchable, is (usually) a good thing in our free information age. Lack of information is not so good. The iPhone buzz is not only escalating online, it’s all over the mainstream media too. Looks like a big win for Apple!

2 things tipped it for me towards getting an iPhone as soon as possible: an upgradeable phone software and the longer battery life. I checked with my Apple insiders, hoping to get that 15% friend/family discount and the word on the street is NO discounts on iPhone. And being the webby kind of guy, some of you may well think that an iPhone is the kind of phone I should have as an early adopter and talking it up. With the built-in camera on the iPhone and upgradeable software, the iPhone could potentially capture and stream live video during the rest of my cross country move. But alas, the lines are already mounting everywhere.

More than 2 guys are already camping out for the iPhone at the Apple Store in New York City: Greg Parker is 1st and David Clayman is 3rd. The 1st guy is playing it as an average person who wants an iPhone; the 3rd guy is using his stint to raise awareness for his charity of choice. The 2nd guy apparently wants to stay anonymous(?). Watch this video interview to see them online.

I’m working here in Dallas, so no time to camp out for the iPhone. Plus it’s been raining like crazy this week. So the conclusion is: I won’t be getting an iPhone this Friday when it is first available. I might possibly get one when I land in California, or when the rumored version 2.0 comes in January 2008. [nb: for more details on iPhone frenzy + insider notes + rumors, see NYT’s Bits blog and the Apple Phone Show blog.]

And, here’s an artistic take on the iPhone from Valerie – the painting in this video sold on eBay for $710:

first Desi radio station in the USA

During my morning commute into the office, I’m channel-surfing the FM dial, and came across a distinctly sounding radio station at 104.9 FM — playing Bollywood style music and morning call-in trivia questions that related to American Indian subculture. It’s called Radio Salaam Namaste. They’ve been broadcasting since March 2006 and they’re streaming the radio station online via web too; so whether you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex or on the Internet, listen in to this future sound of the global village!

working and playing in Dallas

We arrived into Dallas just before 9:00pm last night, and are staying with dear old friends (Dave and Lucy) in Plano/McKinney for the week. For a late night dinner, we picked up some food from the Wendy’s drive-thru, which included my first Frosty Float and a shot at winning a Wii. What a great drink concoction those floats are: ice cream and soda both at the same time!

So here’s the deal, we’ll be here in the Dallas area until Saturday morning — if anyone want to meetup, would love to see you! DJ will be working here, Rachelle and Jeremiah will be playing here. I’m having a Jalapano bagel with Onion cream cheese – that’s all my hosts had. What a way to wake up!

[update] after much persuasion and arm-twisting, our host Dave started blogging tonight! Welcome to the blog world, Dave!

pastors and families lunching in Little Rock

Traffic delay on I-40 West kept us from getting to the church on time in Little Rock, Arkansas. So, we only caught the tail end of the worship service at Mosaic Church, enough to sense the energetic vibe of the shopping mall space that used to be a Wal-Mart. During the worship hour in our Xterra, we listened to Gospel music en route and got engrossed by an impassioned Pentecostal preacher talking about having the faith to believe God for moving mountains.

I spotted a worship attender with a video camera scoping the scene, a probable sign of someone doing church reconnaissance. So I struck up a conversation and turns out they (Jay & Mickey Robison) were visiting from Lexington, Kentucky, taking field trips all over to learn more about multiethnic churches. We did lunch together with the Mosaic pastor Mark DeYmaz and our respective families. We ate at a local Mexican place– Senor Tequila— great food and great prices. While the pastors talked shop with DJ, the women talked about more sociable things, and the children sat at a separate table and ate & played away. The Robisons had a son named Jeremy, and an instant bond combusted with our own Jeremiah, social gaming with their respective Nintendo DS. The girls got a spontaneous art class when Rachelle pulled our her collage kit to share.

lunching pastors and families

Mark DeYmaz has a new book coming out in October, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church: Mandate, Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation, published via Leadership Network (for which I work) and Jossey-Bass. Linda DeYmaz (Mark’s wife) is an author in her own right, with her best-selling book, Mommy, Please Don’t Cry, which competed head-to-head for an award right up against one of Rick Warren’s titles. Invigorating conversations since we all have a big heart for multiethnic churches. And, yes, we talked about blogging, for which I highly recommended The Blogging Church as a quick read and primer.

Oh, and Jay, we’ve racked up over 1,750 miles on our cross-country drive so far at the time of this writing.

[update 8/10] Mark DeYmaz is now blogging over at http://markdeymaz.typepad.com/

sweet hour Alabama

We’ve just crossed the Georgia-Alabama state line and gained an hour by entering Central Time.

The day began with a wonderful home-cooked breakfast: classic bacon & eggs with toast, cooked by host and (novice) chef Jeff Shinabarger. Jeff started GiftCardGiver.com to collect gift cards with remainder amounts and aggregates them for donating to the poor & needy. Here’s what you can do with used gift cards — we’ve all got a few dollars left on gift cards here and there — mail them to:

554 West Main St, Bldg A, Suite 200
Buford, GA 30518

We’re destined for Memphis tonight for BBQ at Rendezvous, recommended to us over the famous Corky’s. I consider Memphis the epicenter of barbeque, so tonight’s dining will be a particular delight. We should arrive in Memphis right around the recessional time of the Peabody Hotel ducks. Lunch might be around Birmingham – Highlands Bar & Grill looks really good. [update] Well, Highlands did look great, it’s one of those high-end dinner-only places, so we walked across the Five Points South intersection and got some smoothies from Planet Smoothie for lunch. Decided to forego the Peabody ducks and jump in the pool at our hotel ourselves instead.

my kind of evening

Asian American Emergents

The most engaging dinner + conversations with David Park (with wife Sunita) and Danny Yang (with wife Susan), and my family of 3. We talked marriage, family, money, food, technology, theology, seminary, lifestyle, emergent, check-fighting, racism, identity, church, categories, labels, Wii, though not necessarily in that order. Danny has actually made the pilgrimage to Glorietta for an Emergent Gathering, while I haven’t, so he’s actually more emergent legit than me.

Of course, the food was incredibly outstanding. We asked for local flavor, and we got very local. This midtown Atlanta place called EATS served up Jerk Chicken with heat that’d make you a believer (or unbeliever), and sides that screamed out “eat me” to me – made it a cake walk for me to order up the Meat and Three = Jerk Chicken + collards + mac/cheese + baked sweet potato, topped with a Jamaican Ginger Beer. Here’s a pix of the aftermath:

after a satisfying meal

Atlanta 2 nights

We’re staying in Atlanta for 2 nights courtesy the southern hospitality of Jeff & Andre Shinabarger. Thank you Jeff & Andre!! I met Jeff at the Q boutique experience, which was an incredibly inspirational time for me as an ideator and all (I had live-blogged it over at the L2 Foundation blog). What’s great is that the inspiration can be had all year round (though you do have to be there at Q to get the 24/7 live experience) now with Fermi Words.

Fermi Words

Last night’s dinner was at the Watershed, and while they’re (supposedly) famous for fried chicken, they only serve fried chicken on Tuesdays, and they don’t serve sweet tea. Other than these 2 quirky things, the Southern dining was delightful, peppered with good conversations. BTW, we tooled around in a Toyota Prius, and we’re hooked! So we’ve got to get one of those as a 2nd car when we get to Cali — it’s got a built-in viral conversational piece called the energy monitor. Way cool.

Prius energy monitor

And to wind down the evening, we played a couple rounds of “Speed Scrabble”. Jeremiah had a blast along with our hosts!


Today (Friday’s) family agenda is the Georgia Aquarium, touted as the largest aquarium in the world. We ordered 9:00am tickets online last night, so we’ve gots to skedaddle. Dinner will be with David Park and Danny Yang — anticipating some conversations about moving from a generic Gospel to a contextualized Gospel…

en route to Atlanta via Charlotte on I-85

We’re about 60 minutes from arriving into Charlotte for lunch at Hillbilly’s Barbeque with Steve Knight, a friend of emergent, and a friend of a friend named Migum, who’d helped me with putting on a 2002 conference together in less than 2 weeks. Steve and Migum were both part of a relevant church community called Warehouse 242. (Migum also had moved maybe 6 months ago from Charlotte to the San Francisco Bay area with less than 2 weeks notice.)

Today’s morning fuel-up was courtesy of a Shell gift card from Eleanor Tse. She’s an old friend from my Virginia Tech days who’s lived in Southern California for years now.

[update] great meetup with Steve (with 3 kids) and another emergenty friend Jon; wow, that was some very delicious BBQ pork, and the ribs were smokey outstanding! Hush puppies with bbq sauce delish too. photos and podcast later when I can get more bandwidth.

IMGP1106 Hillbilly BBQ a real BBQ pit in action Hillbilly BBQ ribs and pork combo

would Jesus use double entendres?

Hangin’ out on the porch with old friends tonight (not sipping sweet tea b/c we need to get good sleep tonight), and we stumble onto an old conversation from over a decade ago about double entendres. We haven’t used the term in years, and the last time we remembered using it was in a group conversation that involved our dear friend Laurence, who happened to bring it back up. What the total recall?! So we need your vote to settle a friendly little debate.

Here’s the poll — please weigh in as to whether double entendres have to be risque or not: