Lindsey’s Book List 2010

Lindsey is back on the wagon and keeping track of her reading list once again.  Check back throughout the year to see the list being updated.  There are comments in parenthesis on a lot of the titles.

The Full Cupboard of Life, by Alexander McCall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith
Blue Shoes and Happiness, by Alexander McCall Smith (Notice a trend here? These are part of a series called The #1 Ladies Detective Agency.  They are all based in Botswana and this author really captures the personality and feel of Southern Africa).
44 Scottland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith (Loved this book. Originally printed one chapter at a time in a newspaper, later bound into a book.)
Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult (I thought I would try this author who seems to be every where.  I personally did not like it.)
The Inklings, by Melanie M. Jeschke 
The Other Hand, by Chris Cleave The Good Wife, by Elizabeth Buchan
A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley 
The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith
Espresso Tales, by Alexander McCall Smith (This is book #2 of 44 Scotland Street) 
Love Over Scotland, by Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, by Alexander McCall Smith 
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (classic fiction by an African author) 
Divided in Death, by J.D. Robb 

Non Fiction
Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (Any book by this author is amazing)
The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family, by Patrick Lenceoni
Condi, by Mary Beth Brown (A biography of Condoleezza Rice.  Her story was very interesting but I wish the author was a better writer.)
My Grandfather’s Son, by Clarence Thomas (auto-biography)
Dress Your Children in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris (not a recommended one)
The Present Future, by Reggie McNeal
The Language of Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (this is a marriage book, it repeats itself but the premise was pretty good)
The Radical Reformission, by Mark Driscoll (excellent book on the Church and Christianity plus an easy read!)
Faith Like Potatoes, by Angus Buchan
Leap of Faith, by Queen Noor (Biography by the Queen of Jordan, she is an American that married into this Middle Eastern monarchy and nation.  I enjoyed it.)
Miriam’s Song, by Mark Mathabane (This South African author is amazing.  This is the biography of his sister.  Captures the reality and history of so many South Africans.  Definitely recommended!)
Love is a Choice, by Dr’s Robert Hemfelt, et al.  (Counseling book on co-dependency.  Interesting and helped me understand more what many people struggle with.  I would recommend it to people who struggle with this problem.)
Real Leaders Don’t Do Powerpoint, by Christopher Witt
Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (I absolutely love every single one of this authors books.)
Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton 
Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo (Excellent book on the negative effect of 3rd World Aid)
OT Template, by Landa Cope
Going Public, By David & Kelli Pritchard (One of the best parenting books I’ve read. I love their high standards but gracious and kind approach)
When a Croccodile Eats the Sun, by Peter Godwin (An amazing book on the recent history in Zimbabwe) 
Teaching to Change Lives, by Howard Hendricks (should be required reading for every preacher, teacher, and communicator)
Winnie Mandela, by Anne Marie du Preez
Here and Now, by Henri Nouwen (I normally don’t like Christian mystic writers like Nouwen but I really, really enjoyed this one) 
Permission to Speak Freely, by Anne Jackson (great book on honesty and confession)
How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, By Larry King
Imprisoned in Iran, by Dan Bauman
How the Great Fall, by Jim Collins
Farm City, by Novella Carpenter (I loved this book) 

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Chris’s Reading List 2010

{jcomments on}This is Chris’s list for 2010.  Watch for his top books of the year!

Fiction/ Sports:
Cold Moon – Jeffrey Deaver
Divine Justice – David Baldachi
Pop Goes the Weasel – James Patterson
Scarlet – Stephen Lawhead
Worth the Wait -Story of 2008 Phillies – Jayson Stark
The Associate – John Grisham
Split Second – David Baldachi
Over the Edge- Jonathan Kellerman
Chasing the Dime – Michael Connolley
Total Control – David Balachi
In the Hall of the Dragon King- Stephen Lawhead
Velocity – Dean Koontz
1st To Die- James Patterson
Free Fall – Kyle Mills
Dead Void – Michael Connolley
The Black Echo – Michael Connolley

State of Fear – Michael Crichton
Cross- James Patterson
The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
First Family – David Baldaci

Finances, Leadership, Biography & Non Fiction:

Trading Options at Expiration – Jeff Augen
The Trillion Dollar Meltdown – Charles Morris
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
ESPN: The Company – Anthony Smith
Real Leaders Don’t Do Powerpoint- Christopher Witt
Teach Your Kids to Think- Edward DeBono
More Hours in your Day – Dr. Brian Jude
The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
Microtrends – Mark Penn
 Free-The Future of a Radical Price – Chris Anderson
The Long Tail – Chris Anderson
Notes From a Big Country – Bill Bryson
$20 Per Gallon – Christopher Steiner
The Big Short – Michael Lewis

Personal Growth: 
3 Big Questions for Frantic Family – Patrick Lencioni

Ruthless Trust – Brennan Manning
Sabbath – Wayne Muller
Here and Now – Henri Nouwen
Through Painted Deserts – Donald Miller
The Radical Reformission – Mark Driscoll
Going Pubic – Your Child can Thrive in Public School-David Pritchard
Grace Simply Grace – Ron Smith
The Ancient Paths – Craig Hill
Permission to Speak Freely- Anne Jackson
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction- Eugene Peterson
Sabbath – Lauren Winner
Messy Spirituality – Michael Yaconelli
What Is So Amazing About Grace – PhilipYancey

Obstacles Welcome – Ralph de la Vega

My Grandfather’s Son – Clarence Thomas
American General – Gen. Tommy Franks
Fischer’s Choice-Life of Bram Fischer – Martin Meredith
Confessions of an Economic Hitman – John Perkins
First Person – Vladamir Putin
The Family – Inside the Bush Dynasty – Kitty Kelley
Zuma – Jeremy Gordin
When A Crocidile Eats the Sun – Peter Godwin
Quiet Strength – Tony Dungy

SBS, Bible Studies & Africa:
Letters to a Skeptic – Gregory Boyd
Reversed Thunder – Eugene Peterson
Cross-Cultural Connections – Duane Elmer
Cross-Cultural Servanthood – Duane Elmer
The Self Publishing Manual – Dan Poynter
Successful Self Publishing in South Africa – Heather Lewis
His Kingdom Come – Jim Stier
What on Earth are You Thinking For Heaven’s Sake – Michael Cassidy
Dead Aid – Dambisa Moyo
How Christianity Changed the World – Alvin Schmidt
The Future of Justification:A Response to N.T. Wright- John Piper

Book Reviews 2009

The Language of Love & Respect : Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate
by Emerson Eggerichs

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. I consider myself someone who has a good, healthy marriage. Yet, this book put some shape to underlying communication issues that all couples face. Even the simple defining of the differences in men and women based on whether you seek love (women) or respect(men) have brought clarity to many of the petty arguments or coded communication that I have with my wife. While disagreeing with some of the hierarchical view of marriage(although a rather tame one within religious circles), I still found the book helpful in spite of some differences .

The book tailed off a bit in the middle as Eggerichs had to lay foundational things regarding forgiveness and laying down your rights. These parts are true and essential, Many readers will have revelations in this section, yet I found it a bit slow. The author tends to say the same things several times in different ways. While repetition it is an effective tool used to drive points into our hearts – in fact Jesus did this, at times it seems too much. Yet, I think he could’ve shaved 50-70 pages off his book – I found myself skimming several times.

The book finished well and very practically giving tips on better communication. Eggerichs took many of his basic points and elaborated on them further.  Overall I enjoyed it. It was refreshing and enlightening and I was grateful to read a book on communication within the marriage.

The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria


As an American who has traveled overseas for nearly 18 years, I have observed the world’s changing view of my country. From the 90’s until recently, I was greeted with joy at being an American, now I am tempted to hide my nationality or change my accent.  Americans are now looked down upon. Zakaria’s book was a refreshing look at this situation which I have personally experienced. I found the book refreshingly more positive on the future than the current glut of doom and gloom, end of America books. At the same time, there is a real and candid look at the issues America faces in order to remain relevant. The alternative is go the way of the British Empire.

Zakaria offers the unique perspective of being an immigrant himself and now a well informed political newsman. He does well to not try to place the blame on any one administration, but follow the slow change that has occurred throughout the years. He compares the US to the rising giants of India and China, showing America is not as far behind as the media may say. In this, Fareed offers hope that we are not so far gone as to not catch up.  He also has the realism that unless things change, we will lose our voice in the global conversation. This is the most enjoyable book I have read in quite some time. (Reviewed by Chris)

white_masaiThe White Masai by Corinne Hofmann
This is an incredibly interesting book that a friend referred to me. The German author wrote about her true life story of forsaking her homeland in order to marry a Masai warrior and live in African village life. From the first page you are captivated by the experiences of this woman who knew absolutely nothing about the Masai tribe of East Africa yet made a spur of the moment decision to enter into it’s culture completely. She married a tribesman and made a home in a very remote village.  All the details of how this unfolds and what she experienced are very interesting. I must say that I think this woman was slightly off her rocker but it does make for good reading, especially if you have been to this area of the world.  Traveling to Africa is not necessary to enjoy this unique story, though, check it out and let me know what you think! (Reviewed by Lindsey)

Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega
obstacles_welcomeRalph de la Vega seems to be an amazing man. His story of escaping Communist Cuba, rising through the ranks of one of America’s largest companies, AT&T; and his seeming to be an excellent leader are indeed inspiring. De la Vega’s story brings you to the book expecting great things. I can’t say enough how great of a man he seems to be.

But as for the leadership principles, his book leaves you wanting. He quotes many of the best authors of the day, such as Jim Collins and Malcolm Gladwell. His biggest takeaway however, comes from the title itself. Welcome obstacles in your life as an opportunity to grow and change. I could have got that much from the title while leaving the book on the shelf. I hate to criticize a book of what seems to be a very nice man, but the best praise I could offer his book is to say it was very ordinary in the world of leadership books. Spend your time reading Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, or Patrick Lencioni.

Top Five Books 2009

(Chris writes)
In 2009, I read 62 books, the most ever since I have begun to keep track. How do I read so much? Well, when you receive 4 channels of TV and only a few sports events, it makes it much easier. You can see my complete list here . Out of all the books I read, many do nothing for me. There are some that are exceptional. Here are five that were the best of the year. I would recommend all these. In order, my top 5 of 2009 plus a fiction special, or two.

Top 5

1. Cross-Cultural Servanthood – Duane Elmer
This was one of those books that was painfully, yet pleasantly convicting. Elmer spent many years working in Africa, which makes his examples all the more impacting. He has such a practical definition of servanthood -not putting distance between you and those you work with. Can you learn from them, receive from them, enjoy life with them? My team in Africa will study this book. Expect to see re-reads of this book on my book list for years to come!

2. Hot, Flat and Crowded – Thomas Friedman

Finally! Someone who can talk about the environment and the green movement in non religious, non political terms. God gave us the Earth – why would we not want to take care of it? And it is not merely the creation of some right or left wing politicians. Enough already! Energy conservation is not only good for the planet but it makes sense; it saves you money!!  There are no “trees are people” in this book. Fantastic, sensible read that shows the truly beneficial and amazing sides to this issue

3. Mad Church Disease – Anne Jackson

Comparing symptoms of burn-out with Mad Cow disease, Jackson writes a book everyone who feels pressure to perform needs to read, whether in full time church work or not.

4. The Starfish and the Spider – Brafman & Beckstrom

Using modern business illustrations such as Ebay, this leadership book examines de-centralized leadership and structure as a wave of the future. They think theirs in the only model, which I disagree with, but it is a proven and successful one that has merit.

5. Yes! 50 Ways to be Persuasive – Robert Cialdini

Strategy and studies to show how to “frame” things to influence people. The 50 studies are intriguing and readable in short chapters even if you do not feel the urge to persuade others.

The Winner – David Baldacci

A single mom wins the lottery and it seems like the perfect story. Come to find, it was a plan all along to rig the lottery and make the bad guys rich. How the innocent winner flees for her life from her benefactors. After a long day, my brain no longer holds theology or leadership truths. Fiction is a great way to wind down. Many books are better than TV! This one is the best of the year I read.

2nd Place
The Collectors by David Baldacci.  It was a good year for Baldacci!

Chris’s Reading List 2009

Fiction/ Sports
Therapy – Jonathan Kellerman
Certain Prey – John Sandford
Airframe – Michael Crichton
The Closers – Michael Connelly
The Winner – David Baldacci
City of Bones – Michael Connelly
A Few Seconds of Panic – (Sportswriter playing in NFL) – Stefan Fatsis
Hood – Stephen Lawhead
Angels Flight – Michael Connelly
Smoke Screen – Kyle Mills
The Collectors – David Baldacci
Double Homicide – Jonathan and Faye Kellerman
Absolute Power – David Baldacci
London Bridges – James Patterson
Sons of Fortune – Jeffrey Archer
Protect and Defend – Richard Patterson
The Midnight Club – James Patterson
Last Man Standing – David Baldacci
Lost Light – Michael Connelly
Stone Cold -David Baldacci
The Appeal – John Grisham

Finances, Leadership, Biography & Non Fiction
Whatever Happened to Thrift – Robert Wilcox
The Starfish and the Spider – Brafman & Beckstrom
The Post American World – Fareed Zakaria
Get Rich With Options – Lee Lowell
Game Over – Stephen Leeb
Investment Biker – Jim Rogers 
Lead On! – John Haggai

Organizing for Accountability- (Non Profit) – Thompson and Thompson
Hot, Flat, and Crowded – Thomas Friedman
Little Book of Bull Moves in a Bear Market – Peter Schiff
Nudge – Thaler and Sunstein
Developing the Leader Within You – John Maxwell
Exit Strategies for Covered Call Writing – Alan Ellman
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiosaki
Yes! 50 Ways to be Persuasive – Robert Cialdini
Lead From Your Strengths – John Trent
Towards An Apostalic Vision – Alejandro Rodriguez

Built to Last – Jim Collins
Money and Your Brain – Jason Zweig
Enough – John Bogle

Personal Growth
UnChristian – David Kinnaman
For The Tough Times – Max Lucado
Faith Like Potatoes – Angus Buchan
Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell
Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl – N.D. Wilson
Mad Church Disease – Anne Jackson
Love & Respect-Cracking the Communication Code – Emerson Eggerichs
The Present Future- Reggie McNeal

SBS / Bible Studies / Africa
Hidden Treaures in Biblical Text – Chuck Missler
In Their Sandals – David Hansen
Mosaic of Christian Beliefs – Roger Olsen
Biblical Hermeneutics of Liberation – Gerald West
Micah – Bruce Waltke
Ecclesiastes – Michael Eaton
Diamonds, Gold, & War- Making of South Africa – Martin Meredith
Making Disciples of Oral Learners – International Orality Network
Foreign to Familar – Sarah Lanier
Robert Mugabe – Martin Meredith
The New Faces of Christianity – Bel. the Bible in Global S.-Philip Jenkins
Pagan Christianity? Viola and Barna
Cross-Cultural Servanthood – Duane Elmer

Chris’s List 2008

Fiction & Sports:
The Innocent Man – John Grisham
Hour Game – David Baldachi
The Jester – James Patterson
The Mediterranean Caper – Clive Cussler
The Camel Club – David Baldacci
The Scarlatti Inheritance – Robert Ludlum
Self Defense – Jonathan Kellerman
The Black Rood – Stephen Lawhead
The White House Connection – Jack Higgins
The Matlock Paper – Robert Ludlum
The Jury – Steve Martini
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- John Boyne
End Game – James Mann
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game – Michael Lewis
Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty – Buster Olney
The Millionaires- Brad Meltzer
The Mystic Rose – Stephen Lawhead
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Deceiver – Frederick Forsyth
Four Blind Mice – James Patterson
The Big Bad Wolf – James Patterson

Finances, Leadership, Biography, & Non Fiction:
Crash Proof – Peter Schiff
A Bull in China – Jim Rogers
Gladys Alward – Janet and Geoff Benge
The Bubble of American Supremacy – George Soros
Good to Great – Jim Collins
The World is Flat – Thomas Freidman
To The Last Man – WWI – Jeff Shaara
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid – Jimmy Carter
The Three Trillion Dollar War – Joseph Stiglitz
Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars – Patrick Lencioni
Starbucked – Taylor Clark
Death By Meeting – Patrick Lencioni
Freakanomics – Steven Levitt
Leaders:Strategies for Taking Charge- Benus & Nanus
Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
See No Evil – Robert Baer

Personal Growth:
Total Forgiveness – R.T. Kendall

Uprising – Erwin McManus
The Shack – William Young

God’s Politics – Jim Wallis
A New Kind of Conservative – Joel Hunter
The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard

Dangerous Surrender – Kay Warren
The New Friars – Scott Bessenecker

SBS & Bible Studies:
The Book that Transforms Nations – Loren Cunningham
African Friends and Money Matters – David Maranz
The Shackled Continent – Robert Guest
The State of Africa – Martin Meredith
The Letters or John – John Stott
The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb – Eric H. F. Law
Refining Your Style – Dave Stone
Some of My Best Friends Are White – NDumiso NGcobo

Chris’s Reading List 2007

Fiction/ Sports:
The Deep Dark – Gregg Olsen
The Matarese Circle – Robert Ludlum
The Broker – John Grisham
Game of Shadows, The Balco Scandal – Fainru-Wadu and Williams
Violets are Blue – James Patterson
The Scorpio Illusion – Robert Ludlum
Swahili for the Broken Hearted – Peter Moore
Devil’s Waltz- Jonathan Kellerman
No Mercy – Jack Higgins
The Zero Game – Brad Meltzer
The First Counsel – Brad MeltzerThe Meaning of Ichiro – Robert Whiting
Simple Genius – David Baldacci
Thrill of the Grass- W.P. Kinsella

Finances, Leadership, Biography, and Non Fiction:
Investing in God’s Business- National Christian Foundation
The Coming Economic Collapse – Stephen Leeb
Foreign to Familar- Sarah Lanier
Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser
Developing the Leaders Around You – John Maxwell
The Coming Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit – Turk and Rubino
Six Thinking Hats – Edward DeBono
C.T. Studd – Geoff Benge
Rowland Bingham – Geoff Benge
Myth of a Christian Nation – Gregory Boyd
The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama
Freedom Next Time – John Pilger
Gifted Hands:The Ben Carson Story- Ben Carson
The Wal-Mart Effect – Charles Fishman
The Starbucks Experience – Joseph Michelli
High Five:The Magic of Working Together – Ken Blanchard
Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader – Mark Sanborn
Our Endangered Values – America’s Moral Crisis- Jimmy Carter
Wooden on Leadership – John Wooden
The Google Story – David Vise
Icon – The Story of Apple and Steve Jobs – Young and Simon
First Break All the Rules – Buckingham and Coffman

Personal Growth:
Revolution – George Barna
Against All Hope: Hope For Africa – Darrow Miller
Prayer – Philip Yancey
The New Strong Willed Child – James Dobson
Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claiborne
Read to Lead – Ron Smith
The Bible

SBS / Bible Studies:
New Testament Survey – Merrill Tenney
A Letter From God’s Power Seat – Jokim Schnoebbe (Revelation)
Reversed Thunder, the Revelation of John – Eugene Peterson
Our God Reigns – Earl Morey
Toward An Old Testament Theology – Walter Kaiser


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Just got an update from our teaching team in Zimbabwe.  It is so great to see what God is doing through them.  Enjoy!

“On Tuesday we started teaching Bible Overview. We teach twice in a day. Our morning session and one evening session. We teach the same lessons in the morning and evening but to different audiences. Before we arrived in Vic Falls, some churches had already registered for the lessons. The church secretary helped with the rest of the registrations. We are training between 120 and 140 people everyday. The majority of the people are from the host church. The guys are implementing feedback and have already seen significant growth in their teaching. They are awesome.

Next week, we will continue with the same audiences on Tuesday but we will be teaching Philemon and Jonah. After that we give them certificates of attendance for the 2 weeks.”

(This is the team from the nations of Zimbabwe, Italy, Switzerland and USA)

New & Improved!

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Welcome to the new and improved!  Some may have noticed that our website has been offline for the last couple of weeks.  The reason is that we were in the process of re-building a new one and it is finally ready! 

Our last website had served it’s purpose but had come to the end of the road.  It needed a fashion update as well as many, many technical fixes.  Lindsey just couldn’t bear to put the hours in so she blew the whole thing up and started afresh.  Nothing like a clean slate!

We hope you enjoy our new site and visit often to find out what is happening down here on the tip of Africa.  Here are a copule things you might be interested in:

  • You can subscribe to our RSS feed by clicking on the icon on the right.
  • If you are in love with Twitter, you can follow us there also by clicking on the icon, also on the right.
  • We have added some videos if you want to see some more of what we do or where we live, click here for those. 
  • Lot’s of you liked our Library section on our last website.  That is still going! Click here for our lists of books read so far this year. Click here if you want to read some book reviews from both of us as well as Chris’s list from last year. 

    Come back often and we hope you enjoy the new look!

Musings of an International Phillies Fan

I’ve had an interesting experience these last few weeks following the Philadelphia Phillies journey to become World Champions of baseball. Being out of the country when the team I have grown up loving has a chance to change its mostly losing ways,  has been a very different experience than if I was in the US. First of all, watching the games was an adventure. I had to find satellite TV for one. Fortunately my neighbor was away an allowed me to watch on his TV. What a blessing! Secondly was the time change. The first pitch of each game was at 2:37am local time. For the first few games I tuned in between 4-430am, about the 4th or 5th inning. For the clinching games(s) it called for a 2:30am wakeup. There were many days of staggering through life to be a part of this history making run.

As I watched literally what has been a once in a lifetime event for a Philly fan unfold, it felt a bit anti-climatic. There was no one to share it with! Baseball fans in South Africa number in the single digits. In a land of rugby balls and cricket wickets no one cares about 120 years of largely futile history as a Phillie fan.  I found myself spending a great deal of time on Facebook to see what people were saying. I changed my “status message” all the time to communicate. I read virtually everything I could get on sites like, espn,com, and just to feel like I was a part of this championship run.

As it came down to the final outs of a victory, I celebrated alone at 4am. Yes, it was wonderful. I even can admit a tear or two in the eyes. Yet there were no high fives or cheers that could be shared. My team had won -that was fantastic. I have had “WE are the champions” running through my mind for days. I made sure someone got me the t-shirt. I encouraged people to go to the parade. I wanted them to celebrate where I could not.

In seeing this, I started realizing how true it is that we really are created for relationship. They often say that sport brings people together. How true! I imagine the water cooler talk in Philly  the last few days was not about the economy or the election, but the Phillies. Philly fans would not be Philly fans if we could not share our negativity about our sports teams. We love to talk about it. Now, we love to celebrate together.

It reminded me of the verse in Hebrew that adonishes believers to “not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, all the more as we see the Day approaching” God is on to something. As much as sports bring people together, how much more should God and the church. We were created to celebrate together as well as  to mourn together. We need the body of Christ in times of economic uncertainty. political unstability, as well as moments of  personal triumph and crisis. To the Phillie fans, lets take the common bonds we feel and extend it to the body of Christ.

Oh, and by the way – WE are WORLD Champions!! I will soon have a t-shirt to prove it!