Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Also known as "gutsy".

But this is more than that.

It's Steve's story about how he got to the end of Porn Blvd (a term XXXchurch uses for where porn will ultimately lead you) and it resulted in a mess. A mess, not just for him, but for others around him.

But then God did His thing and showed up in a big way.

Seriously, just read the article.

It's humbling.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Short a $1.00...

Somebody needs to come up with some sort of plan for how we can all get more vacation time.

Are you in?

I arrived back from my vacation to find a new monitor on my office desk with a note from our Facilities Manager.

"You owe me big time. Ron."

I think he's after my air conditioned office. But it's going to take more than a monitor to pry this spacious condominium out of my grip.

Seriously, I don't mean to brag, but my office is massive. You should see Brad's. It's like they stuck him in a closet. Me? I've got more room than I did in my old Regina apartment. In that apartment you could not only touch everything in the kitchen without making a step, but you couldn't shut the closet door if there were hangers in it.

I've taken this new office arrival as a sign that it's time to get organized. So, I shuffled some stuff around. I also moved papers from one pile to another pile in another location. I may have even put a book on my shelf. A hard day's work. But I'm well on my way to organization.

I'm open to any suggestions as to how one might actually go about organizing an office. 10,000 points to anyone who can help me out even a little bit.

Back to the work stuff...

My wife and I had a friendly little bet in regards to how many emails would be awaiting me. She went for "93 & under" while I went for "94 & over". She won. I had exactly 93 emails. How does she do that? I believe it may be her evil powers at work. And now I'm short a dollar.

To top it all off, apparently I (and everyone else in the office) can't email. We got hit with some sort of virus around here, so we can't send emails. That means I should probably figure out how to talk to real-time people on the telephone. Either that, or just hold out for the email to get fixed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vampires, zombies and sunburns...

I will now humiliate myself for your viewing pleasure.

My wife and I took the kids to Harrison for the afternoon on Thursday to enjoy the sun while playing in the water and building sandcastles.

Soon after my arrival I asked Erin to apply some sunscreen to the growth on my back. To be fair I'm not sure what to actually call this said "growth". I've had it for eternity. Or at least for the eternity of my life. And "growth" is probably a poor choice of terms as it doesn't actually grow. But I've been led to believe that if I don't hide it from the sun it will suddenly expand in size. Kind of like a reverse vampire effect.

You do know that vampires can't be in the sun, right?

This fact is kind of like one I mentioned a few months ago, that zombie's can only be killed by getting shot in the head. Or decapitated. Or something that's similarly violent and rarely seen in public.

So, back to the beach.

Erin applies a "little" sunscreen. As you can see from the white spot in the middle of my back, her definition of "little" is actually comparative to the size of an overgrown kidney. Not a kidney bean mind you, but an actual over sized human kidney. Now I should clarify that I'm only assuming that this would be the size of an overgrown kidney, because in actuality I've never seen one.

You will likely notice that the picture details some of Erin's other "handiwork". She swears up and down that she wiped her hand off before she swatted me, but you tell me. Does that white hand print look "accidental"?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is it worth it...

I watched The Dark Knight on IMAX today.

I will now use the word "epic" as I describe the movie.

Enough said.

If you haven't seen it, go watch it now.

And if you have the option of seeing it in IMAX, do yourself the favor.

You'll thank me for it.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things I learned today...

I've lost count of what day I'm on in the vacation-count. I suppose that's a good thing. But it could be really bad too. As long as I don't start forgetting more things.

Now, where was I?



Oh yeah...things I learned today:
  • My kids refuse to sign a waiver so they can participate in father-child bonding moments like the "snake bite" and the "alligator bite". Hey, it's 2008 and I don't want them all of a sudden deciding that I have caused them trauma and then taking me to the cleaners.
  • My daughter is stronger than me. She got her ears pierced (see the above photo for proof) and didn't make a peep. Not a cry, a whimper or even an "ow". When I pierced my ear in college, I almost passed out.
  • I have developed a weakness for books. I have a desire to buy, peruse, read, skim, glance...the list goes on. I added 2 more to my shelf today. I may be addicted.
I've also been pondering this blog lately. I'm thinking that I might want to "add" to the content. I don't know if what I've been posting is really cutting it for me. Sure, it's great to keep track of my reading, but there's got to be something more to this, right?

Since you're my faithful following, what would you be interested in reading about?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacation week two...

Normally I abide by a "no screen policy" on Monday mornings. But since I'm not working I thought I'd make an exception and do a little online catch up.

It seems I didn't link Dr Horrrible's Sing-Along Blog properly yesterday. Or at least, it's not showing up properly for me. But hopefully you were able to track it down and watch it while it was free. If not, it's now up on iTunes for $1.99 and episode. I'd say it's worth it.

Here's the Reading Contest Update. Yes, I've reached my goal of 26 books in one year. I can now say that I am a better person because of my accomplishment. I can also say that Erin is not that far ahead of me in her reading, so bonus points to me!

Book #25 - Step On a Crack by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
This is going to have to rank up there as my favorite Patterson novel so far. Sure, a couple parts are a little far-fetched. And I also wasn't too keen on the secondary story that takes place with the main character's family, as I'd rather they stuck to the action and suspense. But all in all, good stuff.

Book #26 - Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd
If you're wondering why I read this then you probably don't know that Pattie Boyd was once married to Eric Clapton. The book itself is a little "all over the place". Pattie is very descriptive with many of her stories, but she also tends to be a little random and not so descriptive about other elements of he story. She changes topic so often that I was occasionally wondering if I had missed a page. However, I was intrigued to see a piece of Clapton's life from the "other side" and how the addictions he battled affected other people. If you're a fan of Pattie, George Harrison (her first husband) or of Clapton, then this book might be for you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I've got a PHD in horribleness...

I can't remember how I stumbled across this earlier this week. If it was you, please accept the credit and an honorary 1000 points

Anyways, it's some strangely funny and odd stuff. Joss Whedon put this musical comedy together and you'll see the familiar faces of Neil Patrick Harris (who Erin is getting a kick out of these days courtesy of "How I Met Your Mother") and Nathan Fillion.

Unfortunately I think the videos come down tonight. But if you hurry you can probably catch the 3 acts that are currently up.

"Oh goodness, look at my wrist. I've got to go."
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day three...

Nothing too profound today, so here's a photo from where we spent the evening with some friends.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day two...

I understand that some of you may be living vicariously through me as you read about my vacation thus far, so I will continue to enthrall you.  But please know that you may need to seek some outside help for your issues if that is the case.

Anyways...let's get on with it.

Can I just say that I am absolutely LOVING my vacation so far?  Even though I spent most of the day wrestling with computers (blasted networking...Bryce, where are you when I need you?!?!), I was able to just enjoy some quiet around the house as Erin and the kids were out and about.  (Erin has a great story about learning how to poop in a hole.  I won't say any more because it's funnier if I leave it there!)

I got the lawn cut, did some dishes, did a little laundry (yes, please remember that I am domesticated) and even did a little reading.  And while all this was happening I've been listening to/watching all my Dave Matthews Band DVD's.  And here's what I've learned:
Big day huh?

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things I learned on day one...

I learned a few things on this, the first day of vacation:
  • Sunscreen may have helped in avoiding this current sensation that I am feeling on my face.  You know, that feeling where my face is on fire.
  • Shaving your head immediately after a soccer game is crazy itchy.
  • The squish and wiggle.  (If you don't know, don't ask.)
If this keeps up, I'll be unable to accept any more information after day two.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

So close...

I officially start my vacation on Sunday afternoon.

I still need to attend a PROXIMITY for our high school students, host the Sunday morning service, baptize one of our high school girls, and likely attend a picnic in the park.

I spent almost all of yesterday running around with my head cut off while I tried to get everything finished before I jetted out of the office.  And now I'm left wondering what I've forgotten to do.

I hate this stage of "vacation limbo".  I'm so close that I can't wait to feel the freedom of 2 weeks off.  Yet I'm far enough away that I still have work looming overhead.

Maybe "looming" makes me sound like I dread my job.  I don't.  But I'm desperately needing some time off.

And in order to get prepared I took the kids to the library and I picked up a few books.

I'm also hoping to dust off the guitar which hasn't been played in almost 2 weeks.

The break will be nice.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Want to help...

I've been poking around online about some of these "free" offer things that you've probably seen from time to time. The basic principle is that you sign up, you order some stuff, you recruit some friends, they order some stuff, and then your "free" item shows up in the mail. I've heard from a number of legitimate sources (one of which is a youth pastor who has scored some sweet stuff for his student ministry) that this actually works. While my wife is a little skeptical (she's the one that keeps us grounded, in case you didn't know), I'm more than a little curious. So, I'm wondering if anyone out there might be interested in experimenting on this with me. The prizes vary from Macbooks to iPhones to cash and is based on the number of referrals. My plan? I'll see how many of you might be willing to give this a go and then I'll sign up and see what happens. So, would you be willing to give it a go? Leave me a comment or fire me an email and we'll get this party started.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reading update...

Book #24 - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin
How did Steve Martin become one of the funniest guys around? And why, when he was apparently at the top of his game, did he walk away from doing stand up?

I'll admit that Steve's prime came well before I was even aware of him. But thanks to reruns of Saturday Night Live (and let's not forget the Three Amigos!) I was able to become educated in the ways of this funny man.

It's a quick read that gives some great insight into how he got to the top, and how long it took him to reach his prime. It covers his days growing up inside the walls of Disneyland, his rocky relationship with his father, and his life on the comedy club circuit.

I liked the little view into his life that he offers, and it makes me want to go and watch the Three Amigos again.

And just for the fun of it, here's a little something for you:

Book #25 - London Bridges by James Patterson
Yeah, I'm kind of in a rut with my fiction reading, but I'm liking the way the guy writes. I've got some newer authors on hold (well, actually it's only their books, but I hope you already figured that out) at the library and I'm waiting for the books to get returned. Hopefully I'll have some new stuff to read over my vacation.


Today I realized that I have become what I detest: the lurker!

I check my blog stats from time to time (yes, I'm that geeky) and I am constantly astounded by just how many people read what I write (or at least how many people do a Google search for "flying formation"). Sure, it isn't exactly earth-shattering numbers, but nonetheless it's great to know that I'm wasting some of your time.

But then I start to wonder why more people don't post comments. Are my words not inspiring enough? Not profound enough? Maybe they are too profound?

I pondered as I surfed my way through the content on my Google Reader. Then I paused.

How many blogs do I actually comment on?

Then it dawned on me...I'm a lurker.

So, I'm going to try and branch out a little bit this month. Since I have some extra time with vacation coming, I'm going to try and lurk less.

So...may I swing by for a comment?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Step on a crack...

Remember that childhood line you would sing out as you jumped over the cracks in the sidewalk?

    "Step on a crack, break your mama's back."

Well, my kids must have been stepping on some cracks.  My wife went toe-to-toe with a trampoline a few weeks ago and lost.  She actually broke a vertebrae in the mishap.

So now she's trying to take it easy and relax.  As of now there is no need for surgery and they expect that she'll heal fully provided she takes care of herself.

We've already had a few AWESOME friends from church provide us with some meals which was a HUGE help.  And I start vacation next week, so we should be able to look after her fairly well so that we can get her back to 100% for our big trip in August.

We'll keep you posted.

If you happen see her, a good conversation starter is anything that doesn't start with "What were YOU doing on a trampoline?!?!"

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Summer & students...

With the official arrival of summer vacation, it becomes harder to connect with students. Students who were a weekly fixture during the school year seem to vanish off the face of the earth. Students who would never miss out on being at an event now find it difficult to commit to coming to the few events that we have planned.

I'm not complaining....I'm accepting reality. And I'm also realizing the necessity for me to do what I can to connect with students as much as possible in July or August.

This morning, however, I had the chance to connect with two students. One is wanting to get baptized this Sunday and the other just stopped by the office to chat.

It was a welcome way to spend a Monday morning.

Any other Youth Pastors floating around here? What do you do to connect with students in the summer?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Music and church...

Our church has been going through a...umm...what shall we call it? Worship War? Music discussion? Rethinking of how we use instruments and voices?

I don't think I should post about it as it's not quite officially public. Or maybe it is. I dunno, but I wouldn't want to be the one to let the cat out of the bag.

But I noticed that Dan Kimball has been doing some research into the history of worship controversies. This quote struck me, as I'm pretty sure I've heard something just like it before:

"What is wrong with the inspiring hymns with which we grew up? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new hymn. Last Sunday's was particularly unnerving. The tune was un-singable and the new harmonies were quite distorting."

You know what song they were talking about? It was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and the letter was written in 1890!

Incidentally, did I ever tell you about the time I led worship in church and was then told afterwards that I didn't know how to play my guitar properly so I should just throw it out?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Changing browsers...

I've been toying around with a web browser called Flock for a few weeks now. As you may have noticed I've even posted on here a few times with a blog editor they have.

I had previously been using Mozilla Firefox, but I was finding that I was constantly having troubles playing video clips. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why certain clips will play and others won't.

But I was hanging on to Firefox because of their Adblock Plus feature which helps eliminate the garbage ads that show up on sites. Well, after doing some poking around I discovered that Flock has the same feature, which shouldn't come as too much of surprise since it is powered by Mozilla.

So, as of now, I'm officially moving everything over to Flock.

Which leads me to an all important questions, what browser are you using?