Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Marketing

Another great Marketing idea, or at least an entertaining one.
I got this e-mail last week from NBC.
If you've seen "The Office" in recent weeks you'll enjoy this.

From: Michael Scott
To: Shawn Stinson
Subject: Choose The Michael Scott Paper Company
Date: Mar 26, 2009 11:30 PM
Dear whom it may concern,

Bored? Poor? Lonely? Not if you take up this opportunity to join a company on the verge of the cutting edge of paper! Hi, I'm Michael Gary Scott. I've been working in paper for the last fifteen years and with paper since I was eight. As the manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton I learned two things: everything about the paper business and that Dunder Mifflin is a suckee company. I'm taking that expertness and creating The Michael Scott Paper Company.

This is your chance to join the ranks of people that have made millions selling paper: Robert Dunder, the Hearst family, those people that make counterfeit money, future me... I cannot promise success, but I will promise you the best effing time of your life!!! Because at the Michael Scott Paper Company we're not just a company or a family, we're a family company made up of people that aren't related.

The choice is clear: choose life. Choose the Michael Scott Paper Company.


Michael Gary Scott
CEO, Founder, Boss

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kids say…..

I was just told about this conversation that happened this morning in route to pre-school…

Ethan: "Hey Nona. You know we have ball practice tonight, right?"

Karen: "Yes Ethan. I know."

Ethan: "Well don't you think that maybe we should not go to school then so we won't be so tired at practice."

Way to go, Ethan. Keeping those priorities in order as always.


I graduated from college with a degree in marketing, so I somewhat enjoy watching how people sell themselves or their products.

Here's a specific example that made me laugh.

(Disclaimer: I may have blogged about this already. It's getting difficult to remember what stories I've shared.)

A couple months ago I was in Wal-mart with my boys in the video game isle, and I heard a girl behind me say "excuse me". I turned around to see an attractive young girl, probably 17 or 18 years old. She had on a short skirt, a t-shirt that appeared to belong to her little sister based on its size, and a lot of make up. I could tell she was trying to impress someone. I also noticed that she had on a Wal-Mart name tag, but not the pleasant Wal-Mart blue vest. Was she breaking the dress code?

It didn't take me long to realize that she was not trying to get my attention. She was trying to get the attention of the scraggly headed 14 year old next to me looking at the video games. This guy looked like a typical gamer. He had on a t-shirt, wrinkled jeans, and had long curly hair that looked like it hadn't been brushed in a couple days. I was a little shocked that this attractive girl was trying to speak to this much younger teen. When I was his age, this is the kind of girl that never spoke to me. Once he looked at her, here's what transpired…

Girl: "Hi, have you ever used Axe hair or body products?"

Dude: (shocked that she was speaking to him) "Uh…. No"

Girl: "Are you familiar with Axe products?"

Dude: (trying not to get caught staring at her chest) "Uh… No"

Girl: "Well you ought to check 'em out in the health and beauty section.……"

She went on to explain how popular their scents and sprays are with girls his age and how she'd be glad to give him a 20% off coupon if he'd try them out.

After I witnessed this interesting marketing strategy, I wondered….

  1. Target Audience… teenage, un-kempt, slacker, gamer = yes. 30-something, overweight, father of young-uns. = no. She didn't offer me a coupon.
  2. Was her attire part of the marketing strategy, or just her trying to express herself?
  3. How successful was this strategy? I bet if she had offered to show him where the health and beauty section was he would have walked with her.
  4. Did he get offended that she tried to sell him something to make him smell better? It's like being offered a piece of gum. Never say no. It's impossible to tell if the offerer thinks you need some help in the breath department or if they want a piece and are just being nice and offering to share.

I've seen many Axe commercials and magazine ads since then. Based on what I've seen both in person, and in ads. I bet they're selling a lot of body spray.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunday Setlist 03-22-09

First, Happy Birthday Ethan!!! My son turned 5 today.
(This was written 03/22. But not posted until days later.)
Also, 5 years ago I accepted the interim worship leader position at my church.
What a wild 5 years it's been.

Here is a list of what we did in our AM worship service today, followed by a vlog where I go into a little more detail and briefly discuss what's on my mind regarding my 5th anniversary on staff.

I’ll Fly Away - Instrumental Walk In Music - Rhythm Section Only
(Real southern version, had people clapping along)
Mighty To Save(G)
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)(D)

Welcome / Fellowship

Nothing But The Blood (F)
(southern, hymn arrangement)
Great is Your Faithfulness (C)

Offertory Prayer

Choir Special: Jesus Paid It All (C-D)
(mellow version of the hymn, added new harmony line with each verse. Great job by choir)

Transitional Chorus: Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus (much slower, simple, piano only version than earlier, focusing on "Oh Precious is the flow..."

Message: Bro. Steve “Truth For Life: Good news for the Guilty” (Psalm 51:1-19)
Invitation: Just As I Am
Closing Chorus: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (MISC)
Chorus Only

Sunday Setlist 03-22-09 from Shawn Stinson on Vimeo

This entry is my part of what is going on on Fred McKinnon's website. I encourage all of you to check it out and blog about your worship service, even if you didn't lead it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Time for Losers, Cause I Am The Champions Of The World!

See if you can solve the following analogy…

Shawn is to athleticism as:

  1. Bill Gates is to money
  2. Barack Obama is to popularity
  3. Jennifer Anniston is to tabloid coverage
  4. Jessica Simpson is to intelligence

Unfortunately, the correct answer is d. Somehow, the athletic gene in my family tree became recessive after being beaten down by the more dominant "likely to lay around and get fat" gene. I've never been very good at sports, so as a result I've never been too fond of watching them. The only exception is football. I can sit and watch a football game and stay interested, but only if it's a team I support and the game stays exciting. I've even been know to channel surf during an Alabama game or two in my time. I typically don't keep up with anything sports related, but I do try to stay just knowledgeable enough about the topic to be able to discuss it around the office. But that can usually be accomplished by watching the sports section of the nightly news a couple nights a week.

I think it's my lack of sports knowledge that makes the next sentence so funny. As of today, I'm in 3rd place on our NCAA Basketball bracket at work. How crazy is that? Basically what that means is that I'm gambling (Gasp!) I put 5$ into the pot and submitted my picks for who would win the NCAA basketball tournament. So far only 2 out of 19 coworkers have had more correct picks than me.

Last Friday I was actually in 1st place. At the time they accused me of being a liar when I told them I hadn't watched a single shot of basketball all season. I simply chose my picks based on their seed position, and what I thought about the school as a whole. Example: Gonzaga played in the first round. Gonzaga was a 4 seed, but Akron was only a 13 seed pick. I chose Gonzaga to win, not because of their position, but mostly because I like saying the word "Gonzaga" and I hope they keep winning so that I can hear the announcers say it more. If my streak continues, which I know it won't, I have a good chance of winning 95$. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not bragging about the gambling. I sacrificed lunch one day so that I'd have the money to play. I'm not justified by that fact. But it did make me feel better about it. I'm just in shock about how lucky my picks have been so far.

So join with me won't you. Let's cheer on North Carolina to make it all the way to the final.

Go Tarheels! ……I had to google them to see what their mascot was. =)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shawn: The Handyman

Last night I spent a little while being manly.

I realize that opening sentence throws the door wide open for ridicule and joking. But that's okay. I fully realize, and have blogged before that I know my hobbies and interests aren't exactly the most "manly" things in the world. I don't hunt, work on cars, or build anything. So there's not a lot that I do that makes me feel like the stereotypical "manly" man. But last night was different. Last night I actually did something with my tools and was able to view the results of my work afterward.

I love the feeling of having an idea for a project, finding the right tools, completing the job, and looking at it afterward and being able to think "that looks exactly like I planned." Last night, Kristi asked me to do something for her. So I formulated a plan and gathered my tools… cordless drill (charged and ready) , hammer, nails, screws, sheetrock anchors, laser level, and tape measure . Now it was time to get to work. I watched my projected progress with pride, being careful the entire time to properly use the laser level, not wanting any flaws in this awesome display of what a man and his tools are capable of.

30 minutes later there were 10 pictures hung properly on our walls. Is that manly or what?

Tonight I might get real bold and check the oil levels in our cars.

Lookout there's testosterone in the area.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today for your entertainment, a list.

5 things I've done (or do) that prove I'm not as smart as I think I am.

  1. I didn't understand the phrase "You can't have your cake and eat it too." until I was in my twenties. Not that I thought about it a lot, but when I did hear the phrase I would always think "why can't you eat it? It's your cake! No one can stop you from eating your own cake! Right?" One day Kristi said it and a light bulb came on for me. I finally understood what the phrase meant. Of course, she immediately began laughing at me.
  2. When I was young our church had an offering table in front of the pulpit. On it was engraved "This do in remembrance of me." I thought it was pronounced "re-mem-branke" until I heard our preacher pronounce it when I was 11.
  3. When I was a kid in school we had to memorize all of our "times tables". You know… 2X2=4, 2X3=6, etc. I was sick and missed a lot of school the week we worked on 7's & 8's tables . To this day I have to pause and think about it when I have to figure out what 7X8 equals. I normally have to think that 7X7=49, so just add 7 to get 56. I never just know that the answer is 56.
  4. I remember taking an IQ test when I was in 8th Grade at school. One of the questions was "Who invented the light bulb?". I confidently answered "Thomas Jefferson". Mrs. Jones, wanting to help, but not allowed to question my answers, just raised her eyebrows and looked at me over her glasses. I knew this was a sign to rethink my answer. So I thought about it for a minute and said with more confidence. "Yeah, that's right . It was Thomas Jefferson". She just looked back down at her paper without saying a word. To my surprise, I was not placed in any advanced classes that year.
  5. On my first day of 6th grade, I started going to a new school, Bessemer Academy. I got new clothes for this first day. Since it was a private school I thought I should dress up a little more than I did at Glen Oaks Elementary (public school) where I went previously. I remember wearing a red and blue plaid button down shirt and navy blue dress pants (slacks). I came home that day telling my mom, "I think I should wear slacks every day. They look nicer than jeans plus they're 'slick feeling' and help me run faster." Although that fashion decision didn't last long, those years at Bessemer Academy were not the best years of my life.

What have you done that's proved you're not the brightest bulb in the knife drawer?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You Get A Line. I’ll Get A Pole.

I want to go fishing.

This isn't something I've said very often in my life. But today it's true. I walked outside a minute ago and had a sudden urge to be in a boat on the water with a fishing rod in my hand. It might have something to do with the weather. It looks like we're going to have a beautiful Alabama spring day today. It's 11am now. It's in the mid 60's. and the high today is 75. Yet, here I sit. I'm in my office at work. 10'X10', no windows, sheetrock walls painted "prison gray". I've been here over a year and ½ and have not yet hung anything on the walls except a calendar. It may be time to change that. Something to think about anyway.

But for now, back to fishing. My father LOVES to fish. When I was young he would take me fishing with him often. But I never really took to it like he did. I'm sure he would have loved for that to have been a common interest that we both shared. But I just never did. His idea of a great day was to get on the water just before sunrise and come home just after sundown. I'd hear his stories of catching 60-70 crappie (pronounced crop-ie) with my uncle, then I'd go out with him and we'd catch 10-15 if we were lucky. So maybe I just wasn't a very good fisherman.

I do remember wondering from the time we got on the water "when are we gonna eat?". That was always a high point in my fishing trips with my dad. We'd anchor down somewhere, put the poles down and eat our lunch. Typically that meant Vienna sausages, peanut butter crackers, and Pepsi from a can. These were all items that could be left stored in the boat for our next trip if necessary. (Liberals and tree-huggers be warned. You're going to be shocked by the following.) I have a vivid memory of my Dad teaching me the proper way to dispose of an empty Pepsi can. You don't just throw it in the water. That's littering and would make the beautiful Alabama waterways look bad. Instead, you fill it with water, then let it slowly sink to the bottom. That way, it's magically gone from view. I'm pretty sure that's the way God intended us to get rid of them.

Now that I'm thinking a lot about fishing, I'm remembering a lot of fishing stories from my childhood that I could tell you. These include: snakes, bee hives, broken boat motors, and girls sun-bathing on a pier. These are all stories worth telling that I might share with you one day. But for now, I'm content simply saying that today I'd like to be fishing. I definitely need to find time on a Saturday soon to get with my Dad and my boys, head out in the boat, and at let him teach them the joys of fishing, especially the disappearing Pepsi can trick.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fuzzy Memories

I think I may have Alzheimer's Disease.

Ok, maybe that's not true. But I am concerned a little about my memory. I love to hear people tell stories, especially funny stories that really draw you in with details so vivid that you can see exactly what they're talking about. One of the greatest story tellers I've ever known was Roy Hill, my pastor at SonRise Church in Woodstock, AL. He used to tell some great stories. I remember specifically one story that was great. It was a good story that was made even better by the details he's put into it describing the location, people, and even food mentioned in the story. It's those type of details that really draw me in.

I think it's because of my affection for these details that I'm so long winded when I tell a story. I want to be this kind of story teller. I want to be this kind of writer. But I've got a big problem, my memory. I don't think I remember things like other people do. When I think back on adventures I've had in my life, what I typically remember is feelings, not so much events. Example: When I was small my family went on vacation to the mountains. We went to an amusement park called Frontierland. A Google search just helped me learn that this park was in Cherokee, NC and closed in 1982. So that means I was 7 or younger when I went there. I don't remember much about this trip but that are 3 specific instances that I do remember.

  1. They had "swings" that went out over a pond. I'm sure there's another name for this ride, but we've always just called it "the swings." I'm talking about the seats hung by chains in a big circle that spins. While riding, it's fun to kick the people in front of you. I'm going to assume you know what I'm talking about. I have a vivid memory of looking down into the pond and being afraid my shoe would come off and I'd be left shoeless at the amusement park all day. My visual memory is looking down at my shoes while swinging and seeing the pond below me.
  2. While in Cherokee we stayed in a camper. I remember playing with the other kids in the campground. We were playing on the rocks by a small creek and a little blond headed boy said to me "I don't like you. I just want to play with your sister. Go away." Now while I can't remember his face, I remember seeing my sister and him by the creek and the feeling that came along with that.
  3. I also remember the feeling of fear while watching the "wild west" show. They had actors in costume having a shootout and falling off of buildings. I don't think I knew it was fake. I remember begin very scared and seeing a guy get shot and clutching his chest.

You may have noticed that all of these images that I remember were accompanied by very strong emotions. Sadly, those are the only things I remember from this trip we took.

Listening to other people tell stories from their life I often wonder if their memory is better than mine Or if maybe they just remember in a different way than I do. This whole thought process started up this weekend while watching video from my honeymoon trip to Disneyworld. That trip was only 11 years ago, but there's so much about that trip that I've forgotten already.

Maybe I should just carry a video camera with me everywhere or at least blog more often so that I can remember some of the day to day stories from my life. I don't really have a point to this. It's just something I've wondered about recently.

How good is your memory?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Madness

I'd like to be able to tell you about how my weekend went, but I don't have time right now. In short, Kristi and I took a short trip to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate our 11th Wedding anniversary. I plan on telling you all about it soon.

I'd like to be able to tell you about this past Sundays worship at Westwood, but I wasn't there, so I'm going to have to get the opinions and thoughts from folks who were there to give you a reasonable recap. Plus, I don't have time to do that right now.

What I do have time to do is to tell you that you can now follow my blog on facebook. If you have a facebook account (and I'm sure you do) check out the link on the right. You can click "follow" and get updates on your facebook when I post a new blog.

That's all I've got time for right now. Got to plan worship services for coming weeks, work on some final details for the Easter musical, and hopefully get home in time to see my boys before they go to bed.

The only part I don't like about taking a vacation, is having to catch up on Monday from all the stuff you didn't get done while you were gone. Whew!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is a Test

I think I've just figured out that I can blog right from Microsoft Word 2007.

I wonder if this is going to work?

Sunday Setlist 03-08-09

This entry is part of what's gone on at this website.
Check it out to learn about worship services at other cool churches.

Here's what we did Sunday - with a video to follow going into more detail.
I tried something new on the video this time. Let me know what you think.

Orchestra Prelude: Open My Eyes That I May See (Hymn)


Open My Eyes That I May See (Hymn)
He Is Exalted (Shane & Shane)

Welcome & Fellowship

Hosanna / Praise Is Rising (Baloche)
Unashamed Love (Ten Sheckle Shirt)

Offertory Prayer: Deacon

Choir Song: When I Think About The Lord done w/ Student Drama Team

Message: Bro. Steve - 10 Commandments (Lying)

Invitation: Only Trust Him
Closing Chorus: He Is Exalted

Sunday Setlist 03-08-09 from Shawn Stinson on Vimeo.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've had an interesting couple of days health-wise. I turned 34 a couple weeks ago and already was aware that I am falling apart. But I didn't realize how bad until today.

Take a second and look at your right foot. See your big toe? See where it connects to your foot? There's probably a small hump there on the inside of your foot where that joint is. Well Saturday morning @ 2am I woke up thinking that someone had hit that joint with a hammer. The pain was so bad I thought that somehow I had broken my foot in my sleep. After about 30 minutes of thinking "OUCH!" and "What Happened?" I managed to fall back asleep. From then until this morning that pain got progressively worse. I started limping Sunday and couldn't even put on a normal shoe today. Finally this morning I had enough and deicded to go to the Dr.

Here are 10 things I learned today as a result of my visit to the foot Dr.

1.) When you choose a Dr. out of the yellow pages, you might be surprised at the condition of their office.

2.) Just because a lady is sitting in the reception area behind a desk doesn't mean she's the receptionist. She might just be the Dr. you've come to see.

3.) You know you have foot issues when a Dr. actually uses a "Dremmel Tool" on your foot. (can be bought in Wal-Mart's hardward isle)

4.) When The Dr. Says "You have a touch of Gout." Don't laugh. She's not kidding. Doctors rarely kid when giving diagnosis.

5.) The response to "Doesn't gout only effect old people?" is "not always".

6.) When the Doctor asks "Would you like a shot in your foot for the pain" what she means is "Would you like me to jab this needle right into the joint where it hurts the most and inject more medicine than your foot should be able to contain."

7.) When driving with a hurt right foot, you might think it wise to use your left foot for braking. It is not. Your left foot is not trained for such responsibility and might decide to bring the car to a much more sudden stop that you planned, therefore almost throwing you through the windshield.

8.) When you are 34 and tell people you have gout they will always make some comment about you being old.

9.) Anti-inflamtory medicines do not work near as fast as you want them to.

10.) When the Dr. says "Say ouch" right as she injects you, the word that may actually come out of your mouth is "Mother".

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Setlist 03-01-09

This entry is part of the stuff going on at Fred McKinnon's Blog. Check it out.

Today was very interesting. 2 inches of snow in Central Alabama, many churches canceled services, we did not. As a result we had 58 people in worship and our orchestra was a piano and a drummer.

Many changes were made to our original plan. We cut 1/2 of the songs originally planned.

Here's what we ended up doing. More details in the video to follow.

- The Potter's Hand
- Wonderful Grace Of Jesus (Hymn)
Offertory Prayer
- Be Unto Your Name
Message - 10 Commandments - Thou Shalt Not Steal
Invitation: Softly & Tenderly
Closing Prayer

Sunday Setlist 03-01-09 from Shawn Stinson on Vimeo.

How Was Your Sunday?