Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas Cheer

Dear Gaines,

For Christmas I didn't know what to get you all.
So I donated a goat on your family's behalf which was entered in the 25th annual Buccoo Goat Race Festival. Your goat (#8) won!!!

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Cousin Joel

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Afterglow

Good to be home for the holidays and we can't wait to get back (trip2). Feel free to drop me a line on google chat since I'll be in the office the next two days, while you all are just RELAXING (not jealous). If you're looking to "waste" some time try these out:

SNL - Narnia Rap (a nationwide phenomena article)

Dallas Willard Interview - I was telling a few of you about this, I think he is incredibly insightful and his thoughts on contemporary adults (20-somethings) is dead-on, and was a bit of a wake-up call for me. more articles

Maybe we should be thinking about our verses or goals for the new year so can we can share them together. GO BLUE!! Talk Later.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Stormin' Norman sprints out of the gates!


After a quick 6 games...
NORM = 5-1 with Akron to win Motor City tonite.

Doc Georgiou
Steve = both 4-2 (they have Memphis in Motor City)

The big middle at 3-3:
Jeff, Wes, Andrew and Jake (not too worried yet, much to play still)

The bottom UNO:
Ben = 2-4 (should be alright...has some sleeper picks coming up)

Jake, I still need your "Total Points for the GAME" for USC vs. TEXAS for tie breaker (taken: 41, 63, 72, 52, 66, 51, 55).

Should we all throw in a dollar or two or is this for braggin' rights till March Madness?

Here's the skinny: The way I see it, it could go down to the last game. I have scoped everyone's picks and everyone has a few sleeper/diverse picks but there's much parody as well. We'll see stay tuned. A clincher could be that Norm is the only one to pick Nebraska over UofM (and that includes me! Go UofM!) That game could give Norman some steam down the stretch.

I'll chime in a few more days and let the games play out a bit. Until then, this is your bookee, C-units daddy sayin' "Keep it real, Tis' the season to be Merry, Happy B-day Jesus!, We love you Santa, and Jacob has Centauron (spelling?) fantasies (Narnia)." Much love, see you soon! Steph, Caleb, baby in the oven and I will be in Detroit till 28th, then headin' back to the B-town that morning.

Steve and I are lookin to get Normy to open up Maltby for some 3v3 tourney/all the ninos from EL running around etc. etc. New Year's EVE hang-out, too? Keep in touch. Much love.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pop Quiz!

Dad, this if for you. What this picture is and what is going on? Anybody else have any guesses?

Spreading Christmas Cheer in San Diego

Anniversary in San Diego
Originally uploaded by jacobgaines.
Here's a picture of my lovely wife in her ol' stomping grounds of downtown San Diego where we celebrated our 7th anniversary!! We just got back from a wonderful two days where Jack Frost was anything but nipping at our noses. We had record heat today as temps pushed into the high 80s (cue Stuart: "Hey, somebody's got to live here!") and yet there was still outdoor ice skating at Horton Plaza.

On Tuesday we meandered through Cleveland National Forest up to about 4000ft where we had lunch in a little moutain town called Julian (made famous for their 19th century gold mining and still famous apple pies). We then made tracks for SD where we stayed near the water at the Hilton and had quite the time taking in the night life in the Gaslamp District before catching "Walk the Line" at the local theater. Great movie!

This morning we had bagles, split an OJ, then finished our Christmas shopping before heading north to LA. Let me take this chance to publicly thank my wife for 7 of the best years of my life. She's the best!

We look forward to seeing the rest of you Midwesterners real soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Two American Guys

Two American Guys
Originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Winding down the year. I'll be back in Michigan in a few days and I'm super excited! I hear there's some snow there. Is that true? It's been about 9 months since I've been back so I can't wait to see the changes. Jeff & Steph y Calebito. Steve and non-pregnant Shea. Norm Clause and Deborah. Anybody up for hitting U-hill? Ice skating at the Karabelski's? Dad snowblowing at 5:00 AM. Mom sliding off the road and into a ditch. All these things. So I'll leave you with a picture of me and my best friend Patrick from our Hollywood days. See you all soon!

What did Santa ever do to you, Tom?

Ah yeah, How can we forget about the ole' Santa-BCC confrontation when Norm stormed into the pastor's office and threw his bag of toys and goodies on top of T-Elliot's desk and demanded an apology for the bellow-the-gut hit he took on Christmas Eve before his joyful journey of bringing goodwill and tidings to the little ninos. Classic.

Santa is no match the Main Man, the Savior of the World, but just remember this holiay season...Our Lord works in mysterious ways, even using a chubby, old, jolly soul like my Normy...I mean Ole' St. Nick.

Jefe See ya'll soon

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's been a while, What's up Andrew

Hey there family. Goodness where have I been. I haven't talked to many of you in a while. Wes I always enjoy our googleicious discussions on the Talk. "Gotta Go boss is coming." Anyway, What's all this favorite movie music stuff. I've realized now that I'm married to a woman who would rather watch Monster-in-law, Legally Blonde 2, or Christmas with the Kranks over Cinderella Man, my taste in movies is quickly fading toward cheesy. All in the name of love. I do have my five favorite artists though. the same as last year and the year before (Crowder, Redman, and rcently Coldplay You know the usual). You are thinking "Get a life Steve and get out of the box." I tell you I have. I have found a new enjoyment for....... (drum Roll) Oh yes, Kelly Clarkson. I love it. Once again, all in the name of love. She belts chords comparable to a young Whitney without Bobby Brown days. She even writes some of her own stuff. Andrew stop laughing right now. I'll burn you a cd and you will find yourself riding your sweet new bike to work with a big Kelly Clarkson smile on your face. Everything else is going great in mt. P. Got some stuff to tell you all about later. No, Shea is not Pregnant. Love you all. Go Kelly Clarkson. Stop laughing.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Uncle Joel - part deaux

"Who the heck is that! Why did you wake me up in the middle of the night to check out this spazz? This better be the only and last time this punk wakes me up. My sleep is muy importante!" - Roger

William Roland Jinkins
born December 19, 2005

(Anna, apparantly works at the "Baby Factory..."
"one day, my husband came up to me and said 'Anna, are ya busy'...")

New wheel

new wheel
Originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Check this out. I built this wheel on Friday night at a wheel building class offered by the Bicycle Kitchen in Los Angeles. The class took about 5 hours and I constructed this wheel from start to finish. This is a pretty unique wheel because I put a track cog on it. This means that I have only one gear and I cannot coast (when the wheel's moving, the pedals are moving). I now have a fixed gear bicycle. Read more about it here:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mad Hot Ballroom, anyone?

Has anyone seen Mad Hot Ballroom? If not, it'd be a fun one to watch together while we're all home if we're all sitting around.

Even Gramie will like it. (At least she'll like it better than "Lord of the Rings" but not as good as "Shall We Dance").

Friday, December 16, 2005


Well it has been a little over a year I guess since the passing of Grandpa Fritz and I thought I'd post a song in memory of him. I was just thinking of Grandpa's funeral last year and what a great reminder it was of the impact he made on everybody.
Miss you Gramps.

Jeff Buckley - Satisfied Mind


So I never forward any emails or anything like it but I really think this one my sister got from another family who adoped a child from Etheopia is worth us all reading and perhaps responding to. Its a little long but it brought me to tears...I hope we can help.
Merry Christmas

Hope is eight years old. We adopted her in 2003, and since then we
have had an unusual challenge every Christmas. You see, Hope is a
precious, polite and very well behaved young lady. Our challenge is
not Hope, it is fulfilling her annual Christmas wish.

Each year we ask our three daughters to choose three things they
would like to receive for Christmas. Hope's two older sisters do
well listing things they would like to receive. Hope, however,
presents us with wishes that no toy store, book store or Gap outlet
could possibly provide.

Last year, Hope told the mall Santa that she wanted "peace on earth"
and nothing else. I failed miserably at fulfilling that wish. The
year before that, her first year with our family, she asked
for "enough food to feed all the hungry children who live in
orphanages." Again, I could not grant Hope's one wish. So this year
I offered Hope some ideas for her Christmas list. I suggested a
Furby, a new Barbie, or a hundred other toys that have invaded our
home via the television over the past month. But, to my dismay, this
year none of those would do. "This year," said Hope, "I wish for
eleven sisters from Africa."

I explained to her that eleven children is a lot for one family.
But, since we know several large families, eleven doesn't seem too
large to her. I explained the logistics of adopting eleven sisters,
but this still didn't deter her from her one and only Christmas
wish. Finally, I pleaded with her to name just one other thing she
would like to find under our Christmas tree this year. "OK," she
replied. "I wish that every child at the Layla House orphanage in
Ethiopia receive three pair of new underwear." I'm not sure why she
chose three pair, but in her mind, that seemed just about right.
Hope added that she would ask God to help me, since this was a
pretty big wish, and she would understand if I couldn't grant this
wish for her.

Now here it is, less than two weeks until Christmas, and I know I
can't do this alone. I'm confident that with your help, I can
finally grant Hope this year's Christmas wish. Please help me give
Hope the underwear, in various sizes, that she wants to take to
Ethiopia. (We are currently waiting for a referral).

If any of you would like to help, please send the underwear to:
Hope, 6790 Moonlight Circle, Sun Prairie, WI 53590. We could all
bring joy to a very special little girl that has a heart as big as
the world. It is indeed the season of giving, joy and selflessness.
This we learned from a child over two thousand years ago, and are
reminded of the same from my child, my Hope...our Hope.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Best of 2005

Best cousin = the Lone Ranger

Best movie = Mad Hot Ballroom

Most played album = O - Damien Rice (3 years running)

Most overrated band = Coldplay

Best album = Shins - Chutes too narrow

Best artist/concert = Sufjan Stevens

Best book read in '05= franny and zooey - jd salinger

Best quote of '05 ""I don't have time for your small talk Yoda! Cause I'm about to make a scene."

Ah man - bring on 06

Bill's Picks in 2005

Best movie: Hoosiers
Best Friend: My wife
Best cook: My wife
Best wife: My wife
Best Book: Bible (pause for a Holy Moment)
Best TV Show: Hannity and Colmes
Best City: Milford
Most enjoyable moment: When I am with my family and close friends
Favorite daughter-in law's: A-B-S
Favorite sons: J-W-B-A
Best friends: N-D
Favorite food in 2005: Ritters cookie dough whatever it is called (Been so long since I could have one)
Favorite Sermon: Jacob, Wes and Rob Marmion tag team
Favorite school: USC or Texas
That's it!

Sarah's Picks

Best Album:
Silver Jews "Tanglewood Numbers"

Best Children's Book art-wise:

Best Book I Read, By Far:

Best Movie I Saw:

Best Photo Found in Birmingham:
Funniest Moment of the Year:
Watching Wes play tambourine with a Beatles coverband at a breakfast place in Chicago last weekend while everyone from his work clapped and danced to "mr. postman". Talk about an "Office" moment.

Andrew's Best

1. Animal Collective – Feels
2. Sufjan Stevens- Illinoise
3. Kanye West- Late Registration
4. Broken Social Scene- self titled
5. Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary

Honorable Mention
Gorrilaz – Demon Days, Beck –Guero, The Go! Team –Thunder, Lightning, Strike, Cocorosie – Noah’s Ark, Antony & the Johnsons –I am a Bird Now, The Fiery Furnaces –EP, M.I.A. – Arular, Feist – Let it Die, Small Sur – self titled, Ben and Bruno –self titled, Sigur Ros –Takk, Devendra Banhart- Cripple Crow

Top 5 Movies I didn’t see (yet):

Only good movies I did see
1. Me and You and Everyone We Know
2. The Life Aquatic (technically 2004)
3. Walk the Line

Best shows:
1. Animal Collective –The El Rey Theatre
2. Sigur Ros – Hollywood Bowl
3. Arcade Fire/David Byrne –Hollywood Bowl
4. Broken Social Scene/Feist –Henry Fonda Theatre
5. Microphones/Little Wings/Bobby Birdman – Troubadour

Top moments:
1. Japan- hot springs, train rides, country living, Tokyo at night by motorcycle, great food, warm people, rice farming, onigiri at 7-11, Buddhist Temples, Shinto Shrines, being continually lost, a land of contrasts.
2. The Blue Team APU Intramural Basketball – I think Jake said it best, “This team will be remembered for years to come, not because of their highflying antics and bigger than life aurora. But, they will be remembered because they brought hope and inspiration for their fans and foes alike. They were the embodiment of what's right in college sports today. They were fearless and selfless. I think they have something to teach us all!”
3. Graduating from college! – Everybody was there, I gave J.Dub a hug, off into the real world!
4. The Real World – I got a job that I actually like, I have my own place, I live in a city that I love, and I have great friends.
5. Hollyweird – Living in Hollywood with DJ Kid Millionaire (Steve Aoki) was a weird and memorable experience. Sharing a closet space with Patrick, being on ‘the list’ for parties, meeting celebrities, answering the door at 3:00AM in my underwear for his supermodel sister, weird weird weird! I’m glad I’m out of Tinseltown.

1. Love in the Time of Cholera –Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3. Blue Like Jazz – Don Miller
4. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky –Noam Chomsky
5. Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

More to come…

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Best of 2005

Here you go:


Best New Albums:
  1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
  2. Sigur Ros - Tak
  3. Coldplay - X&Y
  4. Ryan Adams - Jacksonville Nights
  5. Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
Honorable Mention: British Sea Power - Open Season, Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation

  1. Broken Flowers
  2. No Direction Home (Bob Dylan Documentary)
we didn't see too many new movies so let me guess your favorite:
(all in good fun)

Andrew: Motorcycle Diaries
Norm: Kung Fu Hustle
Jeff: Coach Carter
Jacob: Middle Earth or Narnia (toss up)


Dad and I quite enjoyed 1776 by David McCullough
also read Maus
by Art Spiegelman (should be required reading in history class)

Best Photos found at gramies


Inlet of Transistion by Jack Frost

That's all I can think of for now... what's on your list - wg

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bright Christmas

bright eyes
bright eyes,
originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
OK, I dug up that Bright Eyes Christmas album I was talking about and threw the best tracks on here. It's a nice twist on some old Holiday favorites. Like hashbrowns, mixed fruit, breakfast sandwiches and tang at the Christmas service at BCC. Oh, I can't wait!

Away in a Manger
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
The First Noel
White Christmas
Silent Night
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a Mery Christmas and a wonderful hoilday season. It is a tad cold in Michigan. 6 degrees at times with the wind chill. They don't have wind chill in California. Spent the weekend with the family. Jeff Steph went to staff party and Debbie and I babysat. It is great to see Caleb grow and start to talk. Steve abd Shea blessed us and came down for two days. We do not get to see them often. Debbie and I are looking forward to seeing our other four sons and their wives. Jeff wants me to tell everyone how grat the Spartans are. I was told by him that the minor college b-ball teams in Indiana at in for trouble. I think my brother Bob is going to the Rose Bowl this year. You can go to his home anytime for swimming and a meal. Middle school boys b-ball is fine. I have a short team, but quick. Maybe this year, we will be able to beat Scranton. I'll sign off . See you soon. Norm

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Are you tired of the same old Christmas music?

I am spoiling a surprise for Wes, but I thought I'd share my newest discovery with you all. As I continued on my neverending search for good Christmas music this morning, I stumbled across Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs!! I couldn't find anywhere to buy the album, but you can download them for free HERE

Please check them out, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" is phenomenal!

(don't worry, Lena, I still like Amy Grant!)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


"I don't have time for your small talk Yoda! Cause I'm about to make a scene."

Happy Birthday Joel! - From your cousin.

Write your own caption and wish Joel a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Voice of a Mountain

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Some of you may have met my good friend Michael. He's the fellow with red curly hair from my basketball team and a very special friend. Well, he just got back from a 5 month trip to Guatemala where he was working with coffee farmers and making a documentary film. This was a huge project for him as he's never made a film before and he wanted to use this to raise money and support for the farmers who have been displaced. Read more about it on his website and check out the preview and think about helping out when the time comes. He's going to release it in March. It's amazing!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Vamos a Bowling!!!

Hey everybody!

The bowl games are set; so let's gamble! For bragging rights, no? I'm not sure if there is a bowl challenge on ESPN (like March madness), but let's fill out bowl chart (wins and losses + total points in championship game) and send it tio my e-mail. I'll print it off and keep track of everyone, ok? Mail it to me (616 Moorland East Lansing, MI 48823) or e-mail ( Let me know if you have any other ideas. The sooner I get yours the better. Game on! Go Sparties, yeah right!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Its Game Time, part from dad (Bill)

Jacob, you are very prophetic. How did you know my favorite college football team(s) were USC and Texas. You basically got them all right. You forgot Two:

College Hockey - Michigan Tech
Womens College Basketball - Baylor

Regarding the NBA, the piston's are #1 with the Spurs being a close second.

Glad to be home, dad


Most of you know by now that Abigail went under the knife this week for some outpatient surgery called a laproscopy and hysteroscopy. She's now 3 days out and recovering quite well. The surgery was quite impressive with a scope being sent through her belly button and another incision about 6 inches below. I got to see some pretty cool pictures of my wife's internal plumbinb including her uterus (wow!) The surgery was mostly exploratory in nature and they were able to remove a few spots and scar tissue that may have been causing her pain. Her pain tolerance far surpasses mine and I've marveled at her positive attitude through a trying week. Thanks for your continual prayers. She hopes to get out and try a short walk tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Where is Joel?

I've shaved my head and become a monk.
Here is a pic from the 2005 Tibetan retreat.
"Ohm on 3!!!" - Much fun was had by all!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

New style

Hey Wes, don't you think the blog needs a new look? Let's try something new. And where did cousin Joel go?
Dad is a bit of a fair weather fan. I wonder if he's wavering on his allegiance to different Belgium soccer teams right now.