Monday, December 31, 2018

Blog end answers and other statistics

Harold Bijoux loses his magnet
Blog-end Statistics
As we complete our (self-appointed) challenge to visit a new church and bar every week, this is probably a good time to try to quantify what we’ve accomplished since we started writing about churches at the end of 2014. We were a little surprised by some of the numbers we found.

If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (and you might as well!), you already know that while we won't be visiting new bars or churches on a regular basis, you can still follow us at and  Over the next month or so, we'll be doing some renovations around here so you can find all our bar and church adventures in one place. Who knows? We might even have a few more books to tell you about!

Until then, these are the statistics you're looking for:
Dean at the door of the church in High Noon

Churches and worship services visited and written about since November 2014: 221 (There have been 216 Sundays)

Ministries or church-related activities: about 50

Times we were late for church: 2 (here and here)

Times we showed up at the wrong church: 1

Weeks we didn’t go to a new church: 8

Worship services one of us went to alone: 7 (usually due to travel or work schedules)

The Barbershop near Austin, Texas
Number of bars visited and written about since January 2016: 139 (156 weeks since we started visiting bars)

Number of bars Dean made up for an April Fool’s day post: 4

Bars where we didn’t order alcohol: 2 (one by accident)

Weeks we didn’t walk into a new bar: 20 (since January 2016)

Number of people who didn’t want to tell us what made a good bar or a good church: 4 (a couple other people answered the bar question but didn’t want to answer the church question)

Answers to questions you didn't ask
How many blog posts?
Dean and Mindy go to church -- 460, started September 2014
Movie Churches -- 323, started 2015 (spinoff from Dean and Mindy go to church)
Dean and Mindy walk into a bar -- 192, started November 2015
Dean and Mindy -- 60, started February 2018

Total -- 1,035 (average of 6 posts per week since September 29, 2014)

Dean and Mindy, Niagara Falls
How often were we asked not to take pictures2 (possibly 3)

How many full-time jobs since September 2014? (Mindy) 5, (Dean) 4 

Where did we live  (and work) when we weren't on the road?  
Healdsburg (2014)
Santa Rosa (2015)
Fresno (2017)
Seattle (2018)

How many nights were we on the road since starting the blogs? around 400, plus a couple of weeks Mindy visited family in Indiana and Washington.

How many miles did we travel for the blogs since November 2015? about 80,000 by car and 20,000 by air (current odometer reading on Harold Bijoux is 230,323). Most of those miles we were together, although Mindy had a couple of airplane trips alone, and we’ve both driven alone to churches.

If you want more about our 2016 adventure, you can read all that year's posts (they begin here and here) or get Cheers and Amen, our book about it. Find it here!

Monday, December 17, 2018

All the posts: December 9 - 15

You're busy. Christmas Eve is a week away, you're not done with what you planned to finish by today, and events (and people) need more than you have. Or am I the only one?

That's why today's post is very short. Just some links that you can read now or later. I hope they're encouraging (or at least amusing), and that you're able to rest, even today. May you have quiet moments of peace with enough light to go on with. God bless you.

The links!

Monday, December 10, 2018

All the posts: December 2 through 8, 2018

As we approach the end of our church- and bar-going days, you might be wondering if we'll be posting here after the end of 2018.

We will! This blog will be the place to go for any and all book releases, travel announcements (we do hope to keep visiting new churches and bars, just not on a weekly basis), and links for movie (church) reviews. Dean's got something new in mind as well, and we'll announce that here too.

In the meantime, we're visiting churches and bars in and around Seattle for the rest of the year. This week, we ventured to a cathedral for a worship service based on ancient prayers and to a tiny bar where conversation with strangers was easy. At Movie Churches, Dean explained why he wouldn't be reviewing one Christmas movie -- and then he reviewed another one a day or so later.

Cheers and Amen, a 50-state adventure by Dean and Mindy Anderson
Oh, you want links? Here you go!

Evening worship in an imposing place

Not a review. Nope.

Dean didn't expect to review this Michael Keaton film

By the time we left, everybody knew our names

And since there's still time, why not get a copy of Cheers and Amen for your pastor or your bartender for Christmas? It's on sale through the end of the year! (If you'd like an autographed copy, let us know. We have a few copies available for immediate shipping)

Monday, December 3, 2018

All the posts: November 25 through December 1

About four years ago, we started sharing posts about churches (both real and reel) at Dean and Mindy go to church. Almost three years ago, we walked into a bar and wrote about it for the first time. I suspect this month, December, will be pretty nostalgic as we anticipate completing our church and bar journey at the end of the year. (Dean will keep watching and writing about movie churches, though! He already has most of his 2019 viewing planned).

In the meantime, we're coasting into Advent, looking forward to Christmas, and celebrating the year's adventures. Over the past week, we celebrated Thanksgiving one more time, miscommunicated about the bar we were going to visit, and watched an end to Robin Hood's story. Check them out:

Grateful Lutherans

I don't think this will end well

Which bar did we mean to visit?

Monday, November 26, 2018

All the posts: November 18-24

Washington leaves, Thanksgiving weekend
As the only member of the household who really looks forward to eating turkey, this week has been a culinary delight. As I eat my final turkey sandwich today, I'm thankful for the week past.

Our whole family ate Thanksgiving dinner together. Dean and I found another West Seattle bar we'll be glad to revisit. And I never have to watch the latest Robin Hood film again.

How about you? What are you thankful for as November winds down?

This church's name is only a little baffling

What's up with Robin's hoodie, and where does Marion get her velvet and lace?

Robin really tries to be good

Thankful for Washington sunrises from my front porch
Was it magic or chemistry?

PS Be on the lookout for a sale on our books during the month of December! We'll let you know about it here as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

All the posts: November 11 - 17, 2018

distant orca at sunset
Last week we had an experience we've never had before (and we hear it's pretty rare).

My brother and sister-in-law live on an island; we'd hoped to visit them when we visited Washington in 2016, but there just wasn't enough time for the drive to the ferry and the ferry ride, let alone the time we wanted to spend with them. So we put the visit off.

As soon as we moved to Seattle, we started making plans to visit them, and last week it finally happened. Hilary (my sister-in-law) sent us tickets so we could walk onto the ferry. We managed to board moments before the boat left (thankfully, several minutes late), and settled into seats by a window. Once we were underway, Dean noticed something out in the water, just far enough away that we couln't see it plainly. He thought it might be a seal or a sea lion.

We were pretty excited until the boat started slowing down and someone (the pilot? the captain?) announced that they'd noticed an orca off the port side (that was the left...or the opposite side of where we were sitting). People began lining the windows. I hurried to the deck to see and try to take pictures while Dean graciously stayed with our bags.

People were pointing and exclaiming. Families were taking selfies as the orca surfaced behind them. I took pictures, then remembered Dean hadn't had a chance to look yet, so I headed in to stay with our stuff. He went to the windows and watched for awhile, then came back. It made for a pretty exciting Saturday afternoon -- and technically, that was part of our trip to church the next day, right?

But you came for the links, not a long-winded story about a ferryboat slowdown, right? Here they are:

In this case, "island time" was 10:00 am

A Robin Hood who thankfully stopped trying to speak with an English accent (with a nod to one who does it naturally)

An extremely short bar post with lots of pictures

Monday, November 12, 2018

All the posts: November 5 - 10

Mindy Anderson's autumn leaves, West Seattle, Washington
No time for a long post this morning, so here's a haiku with links instead:

Light on a dark night,
Two Disney Robin Hood films,
Another dark night.

How's your autumn going?

P.S. Don't forget that Not the Usual Christmas Skits is available at Amazon (so is Cheers and Amen, if you're in a gift-buying mood).

Monday, November 5, 2018

All the posts: October 29 - November 4

You knew, didn't you, that at the end of the year, we'll be finishing our bar and church wanderings? Movie Churches will live on as long as Dean can find movies to write about (and that list is always growing), but visiting a new place every week, though exciting and fun, is hard to keep up. We're ready to belong, not just visit. 

As we enter the last two months of walking into new bars and going to new churches, we're looking back at the past four years of church visits and the past two years of finding bars. What are you still curious about? What questions do you have that you'd like us to get answers for? And would you like a post with as many statistics as I can cram in? Please email us at deanandmindygotochurch at gmail dot com, send us a facebook message or comment on a post. We'll try to do what we can to complete this project well.*

But you came for links to the past week's posts, didn't you? Well, here you go:

And just in case you're really eager for Christmas and want to put on a show, check out Dean's latest book (which I just discovered is the #1 new release in liturgical dramas and plays!):

*Cheers and Amen, the book about our 2016 quest to visit a church and a bar in every state, is also available on Amazon. Your pastor or bartender probably wants a copy in their Christmas stocking. If you'd like an autographed copy, let us know!

Monday, October 29, 2018

All the posts October 22 -28

Last week certainly got off to a weird start. It's possible that these posts wouldn't have been written if it weren't for the kindness of strangers. Thanks, Canada.

The church we hoped to visit was only about two hours north of us, so we drove up on Sunday morning. It was a border town, and I (Mindy) hoped to walk into Canada and back using my recently-renewed passport. Dean's passport is expired; he'd stay on the US side of the border. That was the plan, anyway.

After parking at the church and discovering we had plenty of time for the two-block walk to the US/Canada border, we headed north. Several cars went through the checkpoint, but we were headed for the building to one side, figuring I'd go in while Dean waited outside on US soil.

We miscalculated.

As we approached the building, a friendly border guard approached. We told her what we had in mind, she showed us the pedestrian entrance to the building -- and said we'd already crossed the invisible line marking the border. Uh oh.

Inside, the guard checked my passport while he asked the purpose for our visit and how long we planned to stay. He seemed a bit confused by my answer (for the fun of it, about five minutes) until I clarified that I hadn't been to Canada for years and I wanted to use my new passport. He asked for Dean's driver's license, examined it, and sent us out through another door to cross a parking lot to the United States. The border guard in the US building wasn't as friendly; he had us wait several minutes before approving us to re-enter the country.


So we visited a church and a bar just south of the border -- the furthest north, as far as we know, of either in Washington.  And since he wasn't detained in Canada, Dean was able to post a final scary sequel at Movie Churches.

The links:
The furthest north church in Washington

The last horror movie church sequel (for this year, anyway)

The furthest north bar in Washington (probably)

One more thing: did you know that even if you're not in the United States, you can buy our books? Here are those links should you want to check them out:

Not the Usual Christmas Skits

Cheers and Amen (our 50-state adventure)

The Bill the Warthog mysteries

I Spy Christmas (Dean wrote the three Christmas plays in this one)

Monday, October 22, 2018

All the posts: October 15 - 21

What kinds of posts do you like?

As we begin to wind down our church and bar visits -- after four years of different places every week, we're ready to commit to one church and one bar --we don't want to lose touch with you. What do you want to read about?

Okay, you think about that while I remind you what we've been doing this past week:

Has anybody else gotten to this point?

Scully and Mulder are at it again

This wasn't the bar we expected to find in Forks


And don't forget: even though the pumpkins are still piled high, it's not too early to plan for Christmas  (sorry). Cheers and Amen is the perfect gift for your pastor or bartender! (And if you get tired of the same church Christmas plays every year, maybe slip a copy of Christmas Skits: Not the Usual into an appropriate trick or treat bag).

So tell us: what else do you want to read about?

Monday, October 15, 2018

All the posts: October 8 - 14 with bonus church photos (and a cat)

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church,
Cicely Roslyn, Washington
Back when we were on the year-long adventure that led to Cheers and Amen, we used to post pictures of churches we saw. When we stopped in Roslyn, Washington, for this week's bar visit, we also saw some churches that took our fancy. It was too late on Sunday for worship services, but we took pictures to share with you anyway.

And that leads to a little announcement! We've been secretly working on a project that might be useful to you. Back when Dean was a youth pastor, he was usually in charge of the Christmas programs at the churches where he worked. We compiled seven of those skits into a little book, and it's avaiable now in paperback and Kindle. Here's the special part: the paperback is only $5.00 and with that you get the Kindle version free! You can also copy the skits so you only need to buy one book for your whole cast.

Roslyn Presbyterian Church
The skits are short and easy to stage, but they're something new if you're used to the same children-in-bathrobes Christmas play every year. We hope you like this new book!

But you came for the links, didn't you? Here they are:

You were wondering about the furthest east church in Washington, weren't you?

It's part II of Horror Movie Churches Sequels!

Where is this bar anyway?

Monday, October 8, 2018

All the posts: October 1 - 7, 2018

It's October at last! Saturday was Dean's birthday, and he celebrated by sleeping until noon (he worked the night before, so he went to bed at 7:00 am) and then driving all afternoon. More about that on Wednesday; you're here to read about the posts you missed this past week, right?

Here they are:

The theme for this month at Movie Churches is revealed!

It's a road trip! It's a coffee house! It's a church!

The first of this month's movies that Mindy won't be watching

In which it's a good thing the sports bar we tried to visit wasn't open

How did you enjoy the first week of October? We have some adventures planned this month, and we'll start telling you about them on Wednesday!

Monday, October 1, 2018

All the posts: September 24 - 30, 2018

Wow, this week "all the posts" really means something! I don't remember the last time we had five posts in a week (possiby not since 2016). It's fitting that this was a big week,, though. We noticed that we wrote our first post at Dean and Mindy go to church four years ago last week.

We don't know why this week was so full of activity, but the month to come is shaping up for a few adventures. More about that later. For now, here are all the posts:

We're calling a birthday party in a comedy club "going to church" now, are we?

Just because we don't drink doesn't mean we can't write about it

This was unexpected on Netflix

Puppies! Puppies, puppies, puppies! (and cider, too)

This birthday party was maybe more what you were imagining?

I'm compiling statistics from the last four years of writing about movies, churches, and bars. What are you wondering about?

Monday, September 24, 2018

All the Posts: September 17 - 23, 2018

Yesterday, I was checking out the weather for several places we used to live and looking back at pictures from two years ago, when we were in Wisconsin. I guess a lot of you are still enjoying summer, aren't you? Around here, the "12" flag is flying from the Starbucks headquarters, so I guess it's been fall for a few weeks already.

Still, all the lifestyle blogs are full of posts about decorating your front porch for fall.  Words like "hygge" (it's a Danish word that essentially means cozy, as far as I can tell. I blame Ikea) are sprinkled throughout, and I guess people are excited about the return of pumpkin spice and football. Even though fall started officially on Saturday, we're excited because we have tickets to an A's game this week. Summer hasn't quite ended, even around here.

Naturally, then, the blogs this past week were also a bit of a mix of summer and fall, too. We went to a church that aims to be a warm, homy place, and we went to a preview night that turned out to be perfect for the last summer bar post. And the movie church? Well, you decide. We're still talking about it.

One name, five locations. Sounds like home

Theology, NPR, and Netflix

We went to Detroit, too. Our experience wasn't like this

Monday, September 17, 2018

All the posts: 9/10 - 9/16

What did you do this past week?

This weekend, we finally got to experience what I guess is typical fall weather (yeah, it's fall here already. Leaves are changing color and everything. I didn't expect that for another month). I've started carrying an umbrella in my purse, though I've heard that nobody uses an umbrella around here -- and come to think about it, what will I do with it once it gets wet? Certainly not going to shove it back to the bottom of my purse.

I might have to give some thought to the reasons behind this whole "no umbrellas" concept. Maybe there's more to it than trying to look cool in a downpour.

Anyway, rain or not, we're still exploring Seattle, and this week's posts reflect that. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, we visited a church that might have been hard to find otherwise; we watched a movie on Netflix with lower expectations than the Vatican had for the soccer team in the film; and we managed to get a few words from the bartenders at a kind of pop up beer garden in one of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods.

So this is Wallingford

Soccer will change their lives

It's Chinatown

It's Monday morning, and we're getting ready for another workweek with rain in the forecast by Wednesday. What do you have planned this week? Will weather add to the challenges?

Monday, September 10, 2018

All the posts: 9/2 - 9/9/2018

Not King County Transit, but wouldn't it make the commute interesting?
This post will be a little rushed because I need to catch a bus in about 45 minutes. Can I get this done and get to work on time, photos, links, and all? We'll soon see. And since I'm in a hurry, do you mind providing some of the commentary?

Introducing Netflix month. We discussed using "and chill" in the title, but wonder if it's just too suggestive for Movie Churches. Your thoughts?

We check out a big church with a good reputation. Is that reptutation deserved? You decide.

The debate over "netflix and chill" continues. And this movie doesn't help at all. What do you think these people could have done differently?

This bar was exactly what it ought to be, and the A's won, and we saw a warthog. Should we have sung when asked?

Probably not the model for Bill the Warthog in the mysteries by Dean A. Anderson
It's a manic Monday here, but thanks to public transit, I think I'll make it to work on time. How's your week starting?

Monday, September 3, 2018

All the posts: 8/27 through 9/2 -- THE QUIZ

You like silly quizzes, don't you?

I hope so. This week, if you answer all the questions on this open-book quiz correctly, you could win a fabulous prize from our prize cupboard (which contains mostly t-shirts we collected during 2016, but includes codes for free Kindle versions of Cheers and Amen). Comment with your answers by 6:00 pm Pacific Time (that's 9:00 pm for those of you near the East Coast and somewhere during the afternoon for those in Alaska and Hawaii.) tomorrow, September 4, 2018.*

So, on to the quiz:

1. Why did Mindy go to church alone this week?
a. She and Dean disagreed about which church to attend
b. She and Dean agreed, but he came down with a sudden toothache
c. Dean slept in
d. Mindy slept in

2. Which of the actors in this Middle Ages film would Dean most like to meet?
a. Matthew Broderick
b. Rutger Hauer
c. John Wood
d. Michelle Pfeiffer

3. Is Pecado Bueno in West Seattle more of a bar or a restaurant?
a. bar
b. restaurant
c. who cares?
d. geeks drink there, so we'll let it slide

Helpful hints:
This week's church post

This week's movie post

This week's bar post

Bonus: Recommend a church, movie (with church or clergy), or bar that we haven't written about yet.

*Three winners will be announced Wednesday morning! Do your best, show your work, and be kind. If you don't want to take the quiz but want to buy a copy of Cheers and Amen, you can find the paperback here or the Kindle version (on sale through Tuesday morning, September 4) here.