Johnny Joiner

In the last few months I have really considered joining more groups and organizations in an attempt to be the slightest bit more active in my communities. Strangely enough I consider myself to be a member of the communities of Boone, Ames, Iowa State and FUMC.

Today I sent in checks to join two groups from two of those communities.


Next time you clasp eyes on me (unless you see me tonight, tomorrow or the following day depending on the speed of the USPS) I will be a Methodist Man and a member of the Iowa State Alumni Association.

While I was tooling around the Iowa State Alumni Association website I found a new must have item for this fall’s tailgating season. Check out this sweet baby:

According to the online store:

A portable cast iron rack that rests on your barbecue grill and sears Iowa State logos onto grilled meats. This season’s hottest tailgating item! 11×13” with handles.

I would point out that with my Alumni Association discount, they are practically giving this baby away at 38 bucks.

I’ve already had to discussion with a fellow Cyclone grad about doing a couple test runs with this sweetness on the Computer Mine grill this summer.

As far as joining groups and organizations go, I’m still giving some consideration to joining the Boone County Historical Society. I’ll have to give that matter some more thought.

SCSI 29160

There are a metric ton of people out there that think that I have an easy job. They believe this because I have told them that I have an easy job and it is a well documented fact that I don’t lie. However, yesterday I was unpacking a SCSI 29160 to test and ship out when I found this slip of paper sitting on top of the card.


Now those people that complain about my job can know to a high degree of certainty that I am out there on the front lines risking it all for my paycheck. I think I might start putting in for hazard pay.


Over the last few days I have intermittently worked on some photos for a big product endorsement I’m going to be doing in the very near future. I asked a few friends to pose for the picture, without giving them any information. I would have thought that our friendship would have been enough for them to just sign on to be willing participants for my photo experiments. I learned that some of my friends just don’t trust me that much. Here is a break down of friends that trust me and friends that need to ask questions constantly:

Friends that Trust


Friends that Don’t Trust


I don’t know if these guys are just the untrusting sort or if I have wronged them at some point in our past.

Spring Game

I started my Saturday by stepping on the basketball court at Beyer Hall for the first time in over a year. To be more direct, it was the first time I have stepped on any basketball court in over a year.

On the court with me was Andree, Russell and Baier. We had been planning this game for over a month. Through a series of e-mails I might have built my basketball skills up to them based on the baller that I was in my youth. I was not the only one though. Russell gave himself the nickname The Open Flame. I believe he also gave himself the nickname the Big HuHot. He also gave himself the nickname The Big Nome de Plume. However, he decided to rely mostly on the nickname The Open Flame. I tried to get him to wear a head band with flame design, but he only indicated that he would “work on it”.

I did not want to be outnicknamed, so in the tradition of some of my friends, I chose to give myself the nickname The Almighty. This was mostly based on the fact that Andree claims that the only thing that could make him cower is being in the presence of The Almighty.

There was doubt that I would be able to live up to the nickname, but through our first three contests I lived up to the nickname and more. I opened up the outside game early, then I showed off my post up moves. Then I cracked out the dribble penetration. Finally I showed off the passing game.

After three games, I was The Almighty. I was undefeated and everybody else had felt the bitter taste of defeat. Then my years of eating bad food and not exercising caught up to me. I ran out of steam. I didn’t fare so well in the last couple of games, but no need to dwell on that.

After the basketball game, Baier and I met up with Willy, Faust and Bret in lot B6 for a little tailgating. I had brought my grill over, but I was a bit concerned that it would not fire up. That fear was not necessary. The grill fired up and we knocked down a wide assortment of meats and a pasta salad that Baier had made. A couple other gents joined us and we made our way to the spring game. I posted some pictures from the Spring Game in the Snapshots Gallery. You can get there via the picture of the link below:

Spring Game


I have some observations from the Spring Game, but I don’t really put any stock in the Spring Game, so I won’t bore you with any of that information.

Smell the Mendacity

I said that I would not post a full image of Jay until he returned to Friday Night Supper Club. Tonight he made his return. To celebrate I post this old timey picture of a much younger and carefree Jay.

Jay, Jesse and I had made plans to attend Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Stephens Auditorium. Jay actually shed his sellout label and told the man that he was taking a Friday night off. He joined Willy and I for FNSC at Okoboji Grill.

Jesse sent me a text message 37 minutes before the curtain rose stating that he would not be joining us. We could not get Willy to join us because he is not very secure in his sexuality. That is a shame because although I’ve been known to work miracles now and again, the window was just too small and Jesse’s ticket went unused.

I have not read the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I have seen the movie starring the great Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. I knew that the movie had to change the subtext of the main character’s homosexuality to his refusal to grow up. However, I felt in this production of the play the question of his homosexuality was still unresolved.

I’m now curious to know how this issue is dealt with in the play. In the movie I believe that they used the actual phrase “cat on a hot tin roof” once. In this production they used the phrase at least 4 or 5 times. It felt really awkward and  I would like to know what was in the original play.

Overall, the play was good but not great. It was the third show I’ve seen at Stephens this season. Hairspray would still be the highlight of the season for me, but I’m still going to see Chicago in the next couple of weeks.

Teresa and I are also going to some kind of party in a couple of weeks where they announce next season’s slate of shows. That is pretty sweet.

Looking for a Scab

The Baiers and I took Nader out for supper tonight. He leaves for London to be reunited with his family on Saturday. He will be there for six weeks.

That is excellent news for him, but that leaves me without a movie buddy. So I might put out a Help Wanted Ad for a Temp.

Help Wanted

Scab Nader – Temporary position that could last up to six weeks. Job responsibilities involve going to movies with me. Must love art house movies, independent films, foreign films and documentaries. It would be considered a bonus if any applicant can change the name of movies they don’t like with the use of mild profanity. Example: Lord of the Crap. Applicants should forward their resume and list of favorite movies to Applicants that include Sin City or Transformers will have their resumes shredded and then burned. I don’t care what the Equal Opportunity Laws say.

I wonder if I will get any applicants.

New Life

Scottie D. and his wife Melissa had their first child today.

The child was a masculine child and they have named him Austin.

I don’t have any pictures of the child to post at this time, but perhaps I will some time in the future.

Taiwan Times – March 2008

My friend Mark’s March Newsletter.

Easter Activities

Greetings everybody. I know this is a little late, but March was an important month, so I do want to write a little bit about some things that happened. Of course, March brought Easter, the most important day for us! The day God proved His victory over sin, death, and the devil. The day Christ came alive again, giving us peace, hope, and new life.

At Salvation Lutheran Church Easter also brought 2 baptisms. A college aged girl, Jacquelyn was brought into God’s family through water and word. Also, little baby Olivia Wasmund (the new adopted daughter of Matt and Dee Dee Wasmund) was baptized. Easter is always a time to rejoice, but how much more when baptism are also part of the day.

The second major event happened in the afternoon on Easter. A group of teachers and college students went down to Tainan to help celebrate Easter with other churches in southern Taiwan. 3 other Lutheran Churches also participated and we got together for an afternoon of songs, games, and creating short Easter dramas.

The group from Salvation Lutheran was specifically in charge of leading a group game and a couple of songs. We lead the group of about 80 people in an acting game called the animal game. Our songs we sang include Jesus You Are My Best Friend, and My Redeemer Lives. All in all it was a great day to celebrate Easter with fellow brothers and sisters in Taiwan.

Extending for Another Year

This is the time of year in which decisions have been made or need to be made about the coming year in Taiwan. I would like to place a couple of requests on you.

First, I have decided to extend and stay for a fourth year in Taiwan. God has greatly blessed my ministry here, and do feel called to serve here for another year. LCMS World Mission has informed me that I need to raise $2910 to support my mission for the next year. God has blessed me beyond my imagination with financial and prayer support, and I have full trust that He will continue to provide what is needed.

I would like to ask you all to prayerfully consider support of the mission work being done here in Taiwan. If you would like to support me, you can send a check to the following address:

Missionary Support
LCMS World Mission
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122

On the memo line for the check please write “Mark Wolfram account #50152”.

Thank you all for your prayerful consideration.

Second, because this is the time when people are making decisions, LCMS is looking at filling positions here in Taiwan. We are currently short 2 people to teach at the High School next school year. These positions would be for English and Bible teachers here at CMS, teaching grades 7-10. If you know of anyone who would be interested in serving as an overseas missionary/teacher here in Taiwan, please pass on the word. Also, feel free to email me if you or the person has any questions. You can also contact LCMS World Mission for more information.

It’s Prayer Time!
Here are the prayer requests for this month. As always we lift these up according to the will of God, praying for Him to be glorified through everything.

1. Pray that God would continue to increase my trust in Him, in all things related to teaching, life, and ministry. Pray also that I would be able to continue to find time for personal devotion and study of God’s word.
2. Pray for Salvation Lutheran Church, as we still do not have a pastor. Pray that God would prepare the people and future pastor for work together.
3. Pray for my financial support here in Taiwan.
4. Pray for God to raise up people to come and serve here in Taiwan.

May God’s peace,


LWL Photo Shoot

I’ve been working on some commercial photography for Shannon’s company Little White Lye Soap. This Sunday was the most recent photo shoot. I can’t reveal any of those images yet, but I can show a couple pictures of Shannon taking pictures of her soap.



Some soap pictures should be posted in the near future.


VEISHEA was cold. A little bit miserable. However, there were some highlights. It took me awhile to see them because I was pretty upset that the good fried cheese curd stand was not there, but I eventually got over it. Who am I kidding? I’m still fuming about it.

I did take some pictures after I ran into Jeff and Yin.

Smokey, Jeff, and Yin

Me, Jeff, Smokey, and Woodsie


My friend Willy would call these people nerds, but he is a nerd. Who is he to judge?

Jeff took this picture of me.

Jeff and the Astronaut




The highlight of VEISHEA for me was seeing the crane in Lake Laverne. I’ve been told that it is a little bit weird that the crane was a highlight for me.