Saturday, April 26, 2008

Creepy little gnome...

The kids were on their way to play outside when they mentioned that there was something at the door.

We have no idea where this came from.

Does it belong to you?

Because I'd be happy to return it.

It's creeping me out and I'm not sure what proper protocol is for Gnome removal.

Church floor collapses...

Last night Starfield played a concert at a local church. And at some point early on in their set the floor gave way (online article here). I spent most of last night with Erin and Ryan trying to track down any of our students who were there. As it turns out those that were a little shaken up but ok.

Apparently there were a few serious injuries while most of the other injuries were cuts, scrapes and fractures.

Unreal...when I got the phone call to inform me what had happened I was speechless. My students had been bugging me to take them to the concert. Wow...

Anyway, there's probably a lot of people you could join us in praying for as they sort through all of this.

Incidentally, Ryan had just stopped by to say goodbye as he is heading back home to Oshawa today. Quite a way to spend your last night as an intern, eh?

Friday, April 25, 2008

This is just plain cool...

Words do not describe how excited I am about this movie.

I'm such a dork.

This will meander...


1. to proceed by or take a winding or indirect course

2. to wander aimlessly; ramble

I have almost 45 minutes to kill before I can settle in for a quiet afternoon with my TV and my latest $0.88 rental (Bryce,'d be proud!). While I may sound like a hermit, I think I deserve the right to shut my mind off for a few hours. But until then, I shall allow you a brief look into the chaos that is my mind.

Hockey Picks as I see them
Habs in 6
Red Wings in 6
Rangers in 7
Stars in 7

Reading Contest Update
I've finished The Big Idea (I should really post about this one), 2 James Patterson books (whose titles I am currently too lazy remember), and Ryan Gigg's autobiography (great footballer... terrible writer). I believe that puts me in the lead against my wife.

I have a couple.

Brad and Ben did it, so I should too as I am a follower today. So here's a few people I would love to have over for a BBQ.
  1. Sir Alex Ferguson
  2. Dave Matthews (attendance of the "band" is optional, but they are welcome)
  3. Don Cherry (Ron MacLean's attendance is also optional)
  4. (I'll ponder this one a bit more, but I think it should be someone cool)
  5. (I'll also ponder this one, but I think it should be someone cool that is female)
I'm considering purchasing one of these (it's used). I'm also considering selling my Ibanez acoustic (any takers?), and I'm selling my Squier Bullet to one of my middle schoolers. And I finally fixed my Fender acoustic (the guitar I learned to play on).

Work Trip
I'm heading to Calgary on Sunday for a few days of Internship Seminars. I'm missing out on Youth Pastors Retreat, which is a little disappointing. But I'm looking forward to connecting up with our new intern who is one of students from a previous church. The other plus side is that I get to sleep on Brad's couch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who's awake at 1am...

I was (or more appropriately "am") trying to render a video for youth tomorrow night. One of my high schoolers made a farewell video for our intern. Well, as it turns out my computer is currently lacking the hard drive space required to complete the rendering. It is therefore rendering me...umm...I'm not sure. But I'm barely conscious.

I probably shouldn't post at 1:00am.

But I should also point out the great joy that I experienced yesterday as my Habs shut out the Bruins 5-0 in Game #7. Next up: Philly.

But tomorrow is a bigger day. Manchester united vs Barcelona.

I think I'm going to turn in now and hope this video finally works.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday coffee...

Random highlights for a Thursday where I'm trying not to procrastinate:
  • Goodbye Senators.
  • Please this series at home.
  • Currently Listening to Robert Johnson "The Complete Recordings"
  • I immensely enjoyed my coffee this morning. Perhaps the fact that the Tim Horton's staff actually filled the entire cup this morning contributed to my enjoyment.
  • I'm having lunch with my wife. I thing she's great.
  • I get to shoot teenagers with paintballs tomorrow night.
  • I'm watching a High School rugby game this afternoon.
  • Our student ministry intern is leaving us next week. That sucks.
  • I hope the movie store still has some movies in when I get there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dave, Tim & the Dalai Lama...

We documented our trip down to Seattle yesterday, so here are some of the highlights.

I ate some Jack in the Box while I made my lovely wife pump gas. This is profound as it shows you how I provide sustenance for my out-of-shape body. It also shows you that I am
not gender biased and I believe that women are also fully capable of pumping gas.

You also need to know that we pre-purchased a parking pass for this concert. This apparently saves you $3. And FYI, that $3 will buy you a pop inside the arena, so every dollar counts.

However, I assumed (mistake #1) that the parking garage being used for this concert would be the same one they used for the Eric Clapton concert held at the same location last year, so I didn't print off a map (mistake #2). I was wrong. So we drove around with no particular address trying to find a parking garage on Mercer street. We finally drove into one, explained our dilemma and the attendant told us "It's way past the freeway and you need to take a shuttle". Go figure. But alas he was kind enough to take our ticket and let us park in that garage anyway.

I wish I had taken a picture of the obligatory picket-wavers out front when we finally made our way to the KeyArena. Apparently we all needed to be aware of the fact that we were going to hell. I'm not sure why. I was more concerned with the concert than my spiritual status at that particular moment (hey, I'm just being honest). Come to think of it, maybe that's what settled my eternal destiny.

At 4:40pm the Dalai Lama took the stage with Dave Matthews and Ann Curry. They talked until around 5:30pm. I'll be honest and say that the whole thing lacked any depth. Ann Curry seemed like she was being so over-respectful that she didn't seem to ask a good question. And when she at one point asked about China and how do you show compassion to your enemies, the Dalai Lama seemed to sidestep the question. As for Dave, he later admitted to being nervous but his comments seemed to add some of the lighter moments.

But after listening to the conversation, this is what I am left with:
  1. My goal in life is to be happy
  2. True happiness and inner peace is only obtained through compassion
  3. I think the Dalai Lama said the word "nipple", thus cementing the fact that everyone who giggled is still, in some ways, a middle school student at heart.
Ok, so I'm loosely paraphrasing much of this as I wasn't as absorbed in the whole dialog. But I was amazed at just how many people showed up to hear this exchange, especially when the concert wasn't slated to begin until 7:00pm.

At 6:30 we were treated to an acoustic performance by Seattle band Death Cab For Cutie. They weren't on the bill to begin with, but they played until 7:00pm.

I'll have to give them another listen to tell you what I really think. But the 30 minutes I heard was ok, and it was kind of funny to watch the lead singer fight with his mic stand for the entire 30 minutes.

Dave & Tim finally took the stage at 7:30pm, while we were trying to pay for our $3 pop and $3 pretzel. Apparently the guy at the counter was having a rough night with his till. But we extended him some compassion before making our way to our seats. Dave & Tim were only playing the intro to "Bartender" and the lights hadn't even come up, so we didn't miss a thing. So we settled in for the rest of the evening.

If you're a fan (or at least a little familiar with Dave's music), here's what was played.

Old Dirt Hill
So Damn Lucky
Stay or Leave
Save Me
Cry Freedom
You Are My Sanity (Tim Reynolds solo)
The Maker
Some Devil
Where Are You Going
Eh Hee
Dancing Nancies
Lie in Our Graves

It was a very enjoyable night of music. Dave had some funny stories. Tim Reynolds is a tiny man (I don't know why I mention that, except for the fact that I noticed he is much shorter than Dave) who makes unbelievable sounds come out of an acoustic guitar.

We ended the evening by wandering through Easy Street Records where I picked up some vinyl and a few used CD's before jumping in the car to head over to Azteca. In hindsight we should have opted for The Outback since it was close to 11pm and karaoke night in the lounge at the Azteca was definitely well below par.

We were home and in bed before 2am. And now I'm writing this down before I forget it all. If you made it through this entire post, please let me know as I'd like to reward you with a kind compassionate word.

Playoff picks...

I'm a little behind, but here were my picks going into the playoffs.

Habs in 4 (8-0 over Boston all season; it will continue)
Penguins in 5 (Boo Ottawa...classless and arrogant; they need a butt kicking)
Captials in 6 (Ovechkin will be the impact player)
Devils in 6 (I don't really care, but if Brodeur can shine, this is his)

Red Wings in 5 (just for Todd)
Flames in 7 (Oh Canada...and I don't like teams from California winning)
Ducks in 6 (I'd actually prefer Dallas in this one, but I don't think they'll pull it off)
Avalanche in 6 (In my heart you will always be the Quebec Nordiques)

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's like Christmas...

Ok, not really...but it's still exciting. My wife and I will be taking off shortly for Seattle where we're going to see Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds in concert. I'm hoping we can find an Azteca on the way so we can grab some grub too. I'm a little giddy right now as this would rank up there as one of my "must see before I die" concerts. That sounds like a blog post in the making.

It's a nice way to start the weekend.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Best in the east...

Les Habitants.

First place in the east.

Thank-you Pittsburgh for losing to Philly!

Now it's the drive for 25.

Next obstacle: Boston Bruins.

Sure, we were 8-0 against them this season, but the off season is a whole new season.

Bring it on.

Looking for worship ideas...

One of the things that I feel I need to teach my students is that worship is not a "music only" thing.
My hope is that they won't fall into the trap of seeing music as the only (or even primary) means of worship.

So this Wednesday night we're taking a night off from our usual musical worship time and we're trying to incorporate some alternative worship avenues. No band. No worship team practice.

I've got a few ideas racing through my head but I'm looking for some more. What would you suggest?

Friday, April 04, 2008

$0.88 Reviews...

Most Thursdays I make my way into the video store only to find that most of the movies I want to see are not on the shelf. Apparently paying $0.88 for a rental is popular. Go figure.

But this week I hit pay dirt. 3 movies in one trip. That's unheard of. Anyway, here's 2 of the 3.

Dan in Real Life - Don't pay more than a dollar for this one. End of story. Some minor funny moments in a weak story with bad casting. And it's completely predictable.

No Country For Old Men - Wow. I spent the first hour and a bit totally engrossed in the film. The last hour and a bit wasn't as captivating, but definitely a well done movie. For me it is one of those films that will need to be seen again. Feel free to pay more than a dollar for this one, if you don't mind some shooting and killing.

I'm waiting for my wife to finish her homework now so we can watch I Am Legend. She's scared and I think she's trying to avoid it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday telemarketing...

I have a special place in my heart for telemarketers...I'm not sure why. My first instinct is not to hang up the phone when I hear that "click" on the other end once say "hello". My brain kicks into gear and I start thinking of what I can do to enjoy the next few minutes.

So this post by Craig Gross brought a few chuckles. He recorded a few calls that he received from various telemarketers. Apparently he attempts to get the person who called him to hang up the phone by asking a never ending series of questions.

I once kept a guy on the phone for almost 45 minutes while he tried to sell me magazine subscriptions. He went through their entire collection trying to find me three titles to subscribe to so I could receive a fourth one for free. We had lengthy discussions on everything from rock climbing and running to women's health and makeup.

Near the end of the call when he was needing the official information to sign me up, I told him I had to ask my wife if this was ok. I put him on hold for a few minutes while I finished a level on my Playstation game and then picked up the phone, expecting him to have hung up. He was still there!

I told him I wouldn't be able to sign up because my wife didn't want any of the magazines. His parting shot before hanging up was "Who wears the pants in your house?!?!"

I also had an exchange with a newspaper telemarketer in Regina.

Paper selling woman: "Would you like to subscribe to the paper for an introductory rate of...?"

Me: "It sounds like a great deal, but I can't read."

Paper selling woman: "Well then, would you be interested in a weekend subscription for only..."

Me: "Umm...if I can't read during the week, what makes you think I'll be able to read on th e weekend?"

Paper selling woman: "Uh...sorry." (click)

So, next time you hear that "click" on the other end of the line, see if you an get them to hang up before you do. Trust me, it'll be fun!