News for the ‘fact’ Category


There’s no such thing as Fanta.

Last night I was talking to a Dad of one of my daughter’s classmates.  Our girls go to a great public school in MN that has artist residencies as part of its curriculum.  The conversation steered towards all the talk and excitement surrounding these artists and how at times we couldn’t tell when our daughters were describing what happened and what they imagined/desired to be happening.  Or what some folks would describe as lying about what happened.

Nobody likes to be lied to.  In the past I’ve found it very frustrating when my daughter says things that aren’t true, but this Dad changed my perspective a bit.  He described it as a childs way of making sense or their reality.  The line between fantasy and reality is virtually nonexistant.  When they say they flew during dance class it’s not a lie, it was their reality.  That’s a pretty great reality. 

To take it a bit further I think this is the sort of reality that allows all of us to best live through the pain and promise of Advent. 

If my goal is to have a Reality shaped by Faith than I must also admit that faith is no better friends with fact than it is with fantasy.

Posted: December 6th, 2008
Categories: fact, fantasy
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Moved On

I did it.  I unsubscribed from the move on e-mail list.  I have officially moved on.  I’m sure they’ll be writing a success story about me anyday now.  This is almost as big as the time I emerged from church.  I’m a highly developed individual.  (But one that still laughs at bodily functions.)

Posted: October 6th, 2008
Categories: fact
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somewhere in house.

keeping me awake.

must die.

happy now eve?

Posted: September 27th, 2008
Categories: fact
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What's on my pants?

I get a ton of e-mails every day asking me what I wear to bed.  Bizarre I know, but totally understandible.  If sleep is the key to productivity, then dressing for success is all about sleep wear.  And since I’m so successful well then no doy of course everybody wants to know what I’m wearing to bed. 

Well as a matter of fact my current PJ bottoms were made by my Mom from material she bought in a Nairobi market.  Oh african cloth?  Must be all cool and tiedyed and colorful and stuff.  Not so mexico, this is the other kind of African cloth where a bunch of guys get together and start doodling ideas for a cool American print and instead of developing the ideas any further they pretty much just transfer the doodle straight to the textile.  This way you can see their unformulated ideas over and over.   So here are a few of the phrases and sketches on my ubersuccessful sleepwear:

Hideout / The bold and the beautiful / line drawing of sunglasses / brick wall pattern / The possible way out / love and peace / dollar sign / Dollars and Sense / Rod / put out fire / on ears / goggles / happy /

And my all time favorite :  “There is every chance that you will find today to be rather easy going day without much event.  A good day to take time to rest and relax.”  – Sandiego State of U.S.A.

If that doesn’t say it all I don’t know what does.   Those guys either got totally fired, or got a total raise.  And in either case I’m guessing their reaction was to get totally high and make some more sketches.

Let Nader debate,


Posted: September 21st, 2008
Categories: fact
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So brave, strong, and Natelike

so braveHere’s what I read during my recent travels – and it was excellent.  And here’s a fun parallel – I started the book in Minnesota the day before I left and the book starts in Minnesota.  I finished it three days later in California and the book ends in California.  I love it when stuff like that happens.  Go read it!

Posted: August 1st, 2008
Categories: fact, travel
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4 deck chairs

mouse trap

5 gallon bucket

two grills

one soggy newspaper

empty flower pot

Posted: March 22nd, 2008
Categories: fact
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It's My Year, and So is Yours.

Oprah’s personal trainer recently spoke to me via the back of a box of Cheerio’s. At the time I was busy lowering my cholesterol. He told me that this was my year. (Emphasis mine.) Heck yeah! And here I thought it was the year of the rooster!

By the power invested in me by Oprah’s trainer, I hereby declare it the year of yours truly,

Two-Thousand & Nate.

Normally between mid January and late August I get my butt over to Office Max and purchase a calender to write down important things like meetings and lunches with important people that aren’t really going to happen but that I like to write in red pen on days when I’m actually having lunch with less important people. The idea being that while dining with a lesser I can pull out my calendar and check what else I have going on that day and the lesser will see that I’ve skipped my lunch date with teen heart throb Bill Moyers to have lunch with him or her. It makes the little people feel big. And now that I look at it in writing it makes me feel little. Take me out to lunch and see if I’ve stopped doing it.

If by September I still haven’t purchased a calendar for the year I print one off using my big shiny computer. In the past this has taken me longer than a trip to Office Max because I can never remember how to make Sunday just as big as the other days €“ Outlook always squishes up the weekends, and when you love Jesus as much as I do you need a lot of room for all the Holy ways you’re going to make a living on Sundays.

But this is 200n8 folks. Office Max isn’t going to cut it and neither is Outlook. No, this year is bigger. Brighter. Specialer. This is the kind of year when one such as myself must fashion a calendar using only the sCraps laying around the house and his own God given ingenuity. That’s right, I made my own calendar. And I took pictures. And I’m going to walk you through the process so that you too can make 200n8 my year.



Lots of paper with one blank side. Reuse it dude. (A couple years ago I worked near a photocopier and made a habit of nabbing all the wasted one sided copies out of the recycling bin for printing stuff at home and projects like this. It lasted me for a year after I quit the job. Gold mine. )

Pen (s) (Number of pens/colors may vary according to your personal asthetic)

Hole punch

Metal rings or twine

Back of an old notebook (optional)


  1. Fold all the paper in half, blank side out.

  2. Place two fold pieces side by side butting the open ends together fold-to-fold.JPG 

  3. Make a 5 x 7 grid 57-grid.JPG

  4. Write the Month at the top month.JPG, and days across the top, (traditionally folks start with Sunday, but remember it’s my year and you can start with whatever day you want. )

  5. Here comes the tricky part:  Write in the numbers.  A little hint, The 1 doesn’t always go in the top left hand corner.  If any of you wondered why I was so unpredictable in 2004, this oversite was a major factor.  That, and I was using military time.  I was an imbedded chronographer of sorts.  2004 was not my year.

  6. I’m not sure where we are in the process.  Lets see… months, days of the week, dates… Holidays.  Add holidays.  Lots of them.holidays.JPG

  7. And while you’re at it, put it a month just for yourself.  Here’s what my month looks like.nateuary.JPG  It works on an 8 day week (I inserted “longday” between wed and th)  Natueary only has 19 days.  Sure, it’s my year but lets not get too self indulgent.

  8. Create a title page.title-page.JPG

  9. punch some holes in it whole-punch.JPG  That’s write, whole punch.  Put something through the holes to keep it together.

  10. Viola.  Yer donne.  At this point you have the option of taking it to the next level with additional pages.  At this point you’ve moved from calendar to PDA,  except without the D.  With it’s oldschool charm I think I might call mine a Mayberry.

  11. Enjoy your year!  It’s mine.

Posted: January 20th, 2008
Categories: diy, fact
Comments: No Comments.


as we walked the aisles of the self service section of Ikea my daughter looked at me and said, ‘you’re a giver and a wanter.  you keep getting rid of things and you keep wanting more things.’

I’ve started paying her 160 bucks an hour.

Posted: January 17th, 2008
Categories: fact, family
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do less live more

Nate Houge gives you permission to blow something off.  Work, Class, or Exercise.  Whatever you want.  You have my permission.   You’re welcome.  Merry Christmas.  See you in 2008.

Posted: December 20th, 2007
Categories: fact
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God save the cool kids.

I don€™t go to the bank because it€™s cool.  I don€™t buy groceries because it€™s cool (although the co-op does have it€™s share of organic hipsters).  I go to an incredibly uncool dentist, and the daily vitamin I ingest has zero cool factor.
But I do go to the bank, I do buy groceries, I do go to the dentist (incredibly infrequently), and I do take a daily vitamin.
Sometimes I have cool experiences.  My bank sometimes has tootsie rolls at the counter.  Cool.  The checkout guy moved into our neighborhood and now we€™re neighbors.  That€™s cool.  My dentist€¦ Okay no cool factor there.  But my daily vitamin makes my skin look really good.  Okay, that€™s a total fabrication.  But if something cool did come out of taking a vitamin everyday I€™d be happy to let you know about it.
I didn€™t choose any of these things because they are cool.  In fact I would be skeptical at best if I felt like any of these things were marketed as cool to me.  I once walked into Target to buy an 1/8€ to 1/8€ stereo jack to plug my newly received ipod into the auxiliary jack on our car stereo.  (Target and ipod will both now be sending me endorsement checks.  Or at least patting each other on the back.) In a bright display for ipod-esque accessories I found the chord I needed.  It was in a slick white I-look-like-an-apple-product sort of package and it cost $14.99.  That seemed a little steep to me.  I walked around the corner and found the exact same chord in a cheap cardboard/plastic bag package with the same logo GE has been using since 1492 and it cost $6.99.  And it works great.  And that€™s precisely the reason I am suspect of all things cool. 
I don€™t want to be part of the $14.99 church model.  I don€™t want to be part of anything remotely emergent (Emergent is to Church as sports car is to 40 something white male.) I don€™t want to be part of big Christian rock concerts and I don€™t want to be part of flashy youth gatherings.  Or flashy adult gatherings.  Or any gathering that involves flashing.  Actually let me get back to you on that last one.
I€™m not saying these things are bad (Though really I am.  Which makes no sense seeing as I have been deeply and positively impacted by all of the above.  Except for the gathering that involved flashing.  That was less than positive.  But still very memorable.)  I€™m just sick of them.  I€™m sick of the glitz and glam of church.  I€™m sick of churches that market and call it evangelism.  But I€™m not sick of church.  I love the church and I keep going and will continue to keep going because I need it, and it needs me, and it needs you. 
And FYI, we€™re having an off the hook potluck next Sunday and you should totally come because we hired an awesome band and put up lots of posters and I might even dust off the trench coat I wore to that one memorable event that I€™m been blacklisted from.  Durn you promise keepers! 

Posted: October 22nd, 2007
Categories: fact
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