Sunday, December 30, 2007

Email!!!

So, I am trying a new service called Feedburner. They keep track of how many people are subscribed to my blog. It should just be the handful of friends that know about it, but I'm curious.

Anyway, the cooler thing is that they offer and email subscription. You can get me sent to your email every time I update this blog. The login is over there on the right, I won't care if you do it, it's a free service and I thought some of you that get sick of my sporadic updating schedule might like it. I checked it out and it seems to be upscale, as in "no spam." The site is owned by Google now, so they probably have all the information they need from you, after all, with Google Desktop, they can read your minds!

Take care.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Karate Kid

So, this Christmas, I received "The Karate Kid Collection" from my mom. This contains the 3 Karate Kid movies, plus "The Next Karate Kid" with Hillary Swank. I've never seen the last one, and still don't have much interest in it, but I'll watch it someday.

I was 5 when the first movie was released and have seen it many times, so many that it has become part of my being. I'll explain.

My family used to quote Karate Kid to each other, a lot. We would say, "squished, just like grape" and every one would laugh. We, my brother and I, would pull out chopsticks and try to get a fly. But this is minor compared to what happens in my mind now.

I went to Florida in August/September and there were some sizable waves. Without realizing it, I tried to keep my balance like Daniel Larusso did in the Karate Kid movies. I hadn't even noticed until I watched that scene last night.

Another weird thing is that every time someone sings the "Happy Birthday" song, I think of that scene in the movie, well, just the singing in that scene... Mr. Miyagi is singing and after each phrase, Daniel blows a noise maker. I think that every time I sing or hear "Happy Birthday."

I still have a crush on Elisabeth Shue, Daniel's love interest. I watch every movie of hers as I find them, even the bad ones (like Cousin Bette). She's another reason I love the "Back to the Future" movies.

Also, here's a really bad video that I love. My first video post.... enjoy.



Rock and roll here, pizza here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Finals

I'm done with finals...finally.

Maybe now I can get back to my regularly scheduled life and see family, go Christmas shopping, find out what my wife looks like. You know, normal things.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Advent Project

As part of my degree program, I need to take Advanced Conducting with Dr. Anton Armstrong of St. Olaf. We have to put on a final program in which a few of us get together and put on a worship service during the season of Advent.

Tonight we had our service and it went very well. I am incredibly proud of the way my choir sang. Yippee!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Online Religious Discussion

So, I was on Facebook for some unknown reason and stumbled onto a site about religion and people discussing the evils and benefits of it and it quickly turned into a slug fest. They always do. I normally do not partake, but for some reason I decided to put my foot into the ring and fight too.

I fought both sides, just so that you know. I fought the over-the-top fundagelicals and the anti-Christians. I was somewhere in-between them and played with that. I don't really have anything more to say, I just thought I'd write for a little while.

Good day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Notices

I notice little in my days out and about... but the other day I noticed 2 pickup trucks with the MN whiskey plates on them:I also have noticed a lot of W/Republican stickers on pickups and SUV's. It led me to ask what the correlation was between voting and different criminal acts. I am willing to bet that DUI is prevalent among both Dem's and Rep's who are actually serving, but what about voters?

I did not find any evidence either way on this, but if someone has a site to link, please do. I would be interested in this.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stargate

I don't know what this means, but I kick ass... on a related note, I'm spending this weekend in the hometown of MacGyver (well, I'm told it's his hometown).



Your results:
You are Jack O'Neill


















Jack O'Neill
62%
Daniel Jackson
60%
Samantha Carter
59%
Thor
57%
Teal'c
39%
A Goa'uld
38%
General Hammond
35%
Dr. Frasier
30%
You are a born leader.
You are often cynical.
You are loyal to the end
but you are no brainiac.


Click here to take the "Which Stargate SG-1 character am I?" quiz...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sophomore

Well, in my family, there is a wise one and a foolish one. Together we are a sophomore...

Wise... Becky passed the 4th and final CPA test! Hip hip hooray! (I'm a little excited, huh?)

Fool... in the celebration we stopped at my in-laws. They were watching a military TV show called, "The Unit." When I left, I told my father-in-law to have fun with his "unit."

Yup. I'm an idiot.

But anyway, Becky's so smart, she's a frickin' genie!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Order of the Stick

I have now caught up to the current issue of Order of the Stick (489), which means I can't read it when I want; I have to wait for another issue to come out. Grr. Oh, well. MAybe I'll spend less time reading it this way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oops.... OoTS!

I forgot to mention, that since about 3 weeks ago, I've read 414 Order of the Stick comics (I believe the PC term is "Graphic Novels"). So, basically, I've read 4 years worth in a couple a weeks. Here's the Order of the Stick comics. Have fun!

Last week...

This is for you M. Filly, a recap of last week...

Monday...
At Luther, we have these study carrels that can be "checked out" for a semester. So a week earlier I checked one out. Someone else's stuff was there, so I asked for a different one, but the student worker said that it was checked out to me so I couldn't. Well, after a week of dealing with this guy's stuff still at the carrel, I went again to complain. The front desk manager said that the guy still wanted it, so they checked it out to him. Oh, and by the way, there aren't any more. Even though there were last week when you had originally asked for a different one. Grr.

Tuesday...
I can't remember what it was, but I was pissy because of something similar to Monday. Oh, just a general pissy day... I had a bad voice lesson. It all goes sour when that happens.

Wednesday...
a normal Wednesday, but I had to go to this "cluster" meeting. We don't really do much, and furthermore, Wednesday is my day to work at church. I was stuck at this pointless meeting for 2 hours and got little done at church. Rehearsal, however, went fabulous!

Thursday...
This is the kicker.
I was driving to St Olaf (Luther Music Students drive there 2x a week for music classes) and I looked at my gas gauge, 1/4 tank. Plenty. We got to Ole and had a regular class... on the way back, I looked and it was at E. Knowing that I have a lot of gas after E I wasn't worried. Plus, my passenger had to be at school by 1:10 and we would be cutting it close. Anyway, I kept going and going and ran out of gas about 2 miles from home on 280! The detour for 35W! Arrggh! COMPLETELY illegal and STOOPID.
After about 30 seconds, a friend passes by, slows down, then realizes that she can's stop either so she takes off. I call her and she delivers a can of gas and I drive back. (There's more, but this post would be 15 screens long). I will NEVER do that again!

Friday...
I went to a party at a fellow musician's and that was fun. Becky went out-of-town. That was less fun, but...

Saturday...
I went to the library for about 5 hours and got a lot caught up. I'm not caught up, but I'm closer.

Sunday...
Our 2 year anniversary. (I got her a pearl necklace... the real kind). She has never had one, and I've heard that all women need to have one, "They're so versatile." We hung out all day and went shopping. All in all a good day. We also had dinner at Tucci Benuuch and the MOA. It was our "fancy" restaurant when we were dating, so it was fun to go back.


This week hasn't been shaping up to be much better than last week, but I'll keep plugging away. "I think I can..." Maybe I'm getting sick.

Have a great week, Y'all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sue happy?

Apparently, you can sue anyone. An OK congressperson is suing God. It seems as though he doesn't like running for his life when a tornado comes around.

Please read the story before commenting...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

ASS-u-me

I hadn't seen my parents in a little while and Becky hadn't seen them in a little longer, so we decided to go over there. Now, every time I just stop in, they are gone. In fact, I stopped in yesterday afternoon and they were gone. So, Becky called to see if we could "hang out."

We get there and my mom is unusually excited to see us and met us in the kitchen. We talked for 10 minutes or so when the topic moved to a cousin's child's health problems which are documented in a blog that I don't have the address to, so we went to the computer room. Well, after a couple of minutes, my mom was busting, "what's the real reason you guy's came over?" She exclaimed (there's no interrogative exclamation mark). I looked at her and said, "We're not pregnant, if that's what you are wondering!"

She was C-R-U-S-H-E-D. She really enjoys being a Grandmother. And to make it worse, we all giggled about it (even Mom). But we teased her. Then she told me that she thinks my brother Eric, from California, might be sneaking in on us with my brother Ryan has us over for dinner on Sunday. I laid out a metaphor for her.

I said, "Mom, think of this as Christmas. Mom and Dad put all the presents in their bedroom, so you could go in and look. But, unfortunately, Mom doesn't write on each bag, Ryan's or Eric's, so you could look in and see that you are getting a PS3, but it's really for Ryan. On Christmas day, if you don't peek, you'll be excited for what everybody got instead of just disappointed that you didn't get it instead."

Damn, now if I could only take my own advice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shocked!

I'm shocked, but a friend posted his scored, so I thought I would too.

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes


I just wish the Bible Proficiency Test were like this.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hey, your shoe's untied!

Made you look!


So, my first grade year, I still didn't know how to tie my shoes. Then one magical day, my mother's double knot was only a single knot. I asked my teacher to tie it, but she refused, made a public spectacle of me and asked if anyone would teach me how to tie my shoes. Megan Novotny raised her hand and tied my shoe.

That's how I learned to tie my shoes.

Since then I've realized that my shoes come untied from time to time. More often than not, I have to retie my shoes once or twice throughout the day. I was getting sick of this and did not want to double knot them, since I would have to deal with the double knotting when the time came to untie my shoes. So, I dealt with it--until today!

I decided to search Google with the phrase: Why won't my shoes stay tied? And came up with a beauty of a site: "Ian's Shoelace Site". It has a great knot called the "Ian Knot." Now, I'm not a fan of naming something after yourself, but I liked this. I tied my dress shoes, walked 2 miles, sat through an hour long dinner, a 2-1/2 hour long concert and went grocery shopping and the shoes stayed tied. Now, you may not know this, but in these same shoes with my old method ("Standard Shoelace Knot") I would have had to retie at least 2 times, but more likely 4. I'm stoked, I'm ready to tell the world!

I think I'll just tell them it's the Fast Shoelace Knot, it's slightly less pretentious than naming it after Ian.

Yes, my 49th post was on shoelaces. At least I didn't devote an entire website to them!

Peer pressure of colossal size

Everyone else was doing it, so why not me.

Your results:
You are: Spider-Man
























Spider-Man
70%
Iron Man
65%
Superman
60%
Catwoman
50%
The Flash
50%
Wonder Woman
48%
Green Lantern
40%
Batman
40%
Supergirl
38%
Robin
35%
Hulk
35%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.


Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test, everybody's doin' it!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Used Books

I went used book shopping with a friend from school today. We drove to Stillwater to go to two used-book stores that are owned by the same guy: a theological bookstore and a general bookstore. These bookstores are Loome books and are fantastic. The general store is closing sometime early next year which is sad, but the other will still be open for a while.

After we got back, we went to a Half-Price Books. They were only open for book-buying, they open officially in a couple of weeks. So I went back with some books to sell. Big mistake. I went with the idea that I wasn't going to get much for these 2 grocery bags full, so I was prepared.

Well, my low-ball estimate was 2x what they gave me. I took it, then bent over. Ouch! I love Half-Price Books when I'm buying, but I can't handle them when I'm selling. I should have just sold them on Ebay like I wanted to. Idiot!

PS I did get some good stuff at Loome. So I'm happy about that!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bragging...

So, a while back, I worked for a small credit union. A year-and-a-half after purchasing a new software system for the whole bank, part of which scanned driver's licenses and signatures into the system, they still did not have that feature working. I was asked to work on the project. It didn't take very long to get this done and implemented. This isn't the bragging part.

Before I went to the Ren Fest, I stopped at my old place of employment, which happened to be closed, but I saw my former bosses car out front. I called, he let me in. We talked. He mentioned that they caught a fraudulent check-writing ring partially because of these DL scanners! (That, I think, was worth the exclamation point). Because the people had used their driver's licenses to sign up for our services, we had a legal copy verifying that it was them. Moreover, we (I guess I mean they) had just installed color video surveillance (previously B/W) and caught the felons red-handed.

Now, I realize that I had little to do with this. It's like saying that because I put a tool in the toolbox of a NASCAR pit crew, that I fixed Jeff Gordon's car. But I still like it. They wouldn't have had this tool (at that moment) had I not been asked to deal with that particular problem. So, I'll justify my delusion. And in the meantime, bad guys beware of my little credit union. We'll catch ya!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Renaissance Festival

I went to the Renaissance Festival with two college friends yesterday and had a blast.
However, here are my thoughts on the Renaissance Festival:

I think that the MN Renaissance Festival is a historian's nightmare. The place is just a hedonistic pagan jungle. They completely miss out on things that happened during the Renaissance, which I find fascinating: the battles between rulers and the pope, the Reformation, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artists, the sciences of Copernicus and Galileo, and the revival of all things classical. This is what the Renaissance truly is, but all we get are a group of horny men and women using all of their faculties to be naughty. Needless to say, that's a lot of fun.

I used to sing with the Elizabethan Syngers at this Ren Fest and, though I won't admit missing it, I did get to hear some great music. Our group is one of very few that actually performed "Renaissance" music. I must admit that some of our music was from the 20th century and sounded "Renaissance," but those were few and far between. We were asked by the people who run the Ren Fest, Mid-America Festivals, to dumb-down our show. I guess that they used to sing really high Renaissance pieces, but now are "forced" to do a semi-bawdy act for the hoi polloi. So, I guess my dream will continue as it stands and we all will enjoy the Renaissance not for what it truly was, but for what we think it should have been.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Post-Vacation

Becky and I stayed at the Casa Del Mar resort in Ormond Beach, Florida. It's a border city of Daytona Beach. In fact, we were 1/2 mile away from the city limits.

Becky and I bought into a timeshare property through Bluegreen. It's a points system, you pay X for the points and then a yearly maintenance fee and you can stay at any of their resorts, providing you have enough points to go there. I don't know if it's cost-effective, but Becky's family has had two time-share properties and took 2 week-long vacations every year and my family almost never did. So there's something to be said for that.

Beck and I finally used our points towards a vacation (we "banked" the previous 2 years) and stayed on the 6th floor of this resort overlooking the beach. Every evening we watched surfers (they surf in Florida!) and during the day we watched boogie-boarders and swimmers from our balcony.

Here's the run-down of the week, as I remember it.

Sunday
We took a taxi from the airport and holy wow! I though MN drivers sucked. I think there is a state law prohibiting the use of turn signals. However, most people do follow speed limit signs, which makes up for the lack of warning.
We rolled in around 1 PM and got situated in the room. Then headed for the beach. We swam a little, tried a bit of body-surfing but didn't make it. Then we went out to eat at Bonefish. This restaurant was awesome and it's a chain! It's in the Outback Steakhouse family and coming to a town near you. I was surprised since I'm not a chain restaurant fan. Then we continued our walk to the grocery store. (We had a full kitchen!)

Monday
Becky woke me up to watch the sun rise with her. I'll let the picture speak for itself. This was from our balcony:

Becky got a whole bunch of coupons for various activities from vendors: such as buy-one, get-ones, free rides, etc. Becky and I went running on the beach and sat on our balcony watching people the rest of the day while drinking some wine.

Tuesday
We found out that no one would honor their coupons that Becky got on Monday, so we sulked by the pool and played pool volleyball with some other guests. I got quite burned. I sulked the evening on the balcony watching surfers. Becky joined me in sulking.

Wednesday
I finally got a rental car, because we thought we were going fishing on Thursday. We asked the front desk people what was a great thing to do, and they said, "Go to DeLeon Springs!" So we did. It's a state park with a cold springs and wildlife and some hiking trails. We met a great Scottish couple there. We chin-wagged with them for almost an hour about random things (chin-wagged was their term, not mine). We also saw some interesting wildlife, such as some large spiders (That's for you, Jason) and some lizard-things we think were geckos and a blue-tailed skink.

Thursday
The tide was high at 10 am, so we rented some boogie boards and tried them out at 1030. Oh, man, THAT was a mistake. I ended up injuring my right shoulder, but Beck and I went out a few more times and stayed out till the rental cart closed at 4. My sunburn got worse and Becky got sore from all the boogie-boarding, but it was a blast.

Today we came home and went to the State Fair. Tomorrow, I'm going to the Renaissance Fair.

Beck and I had a blast and can't wait to go back. I threatened to move to Florida and she got a glimmer of hope in her eye. Here's a picture of us after a Thursday's day at the beach.

Peace.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Vacation

So, Becky and I are off for a few days. We are heading to Daytona Beach, Florida.

"Why would we be going to Florida in August?" you may be asking yourself.

Well, Becky and I have not seen each other for a few months and thought that going to the beach would be fun. Becky likes REALLY warm weather and I am OK with it as long as I can read or something. So there we go. I probably won't have anything to say afterward, because we have nothing planned. Yeah! See you in a few days.

PS, their weather is:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ashamed

Yesterday I went to a wedding, but before the wedding, Becky and I watched most of the remake of "Annie." Yes, I actually watched it and, the worst part is, I liked it.

It was a fantastic remake! The choreography with the girls was great. The acting was of good musical caliber, but that was expected. The little girl's voice didn't annoy me (much). (They always make little girls sing too old or too big or something. Leave well enough alone!).

I was bothered by one thing... they took out Punjab. Which was a good anti-racist move, but in his stead put in an African-American woman. So, either way there are stereotypes to fight. But then again, the fact that I noticed it and am pointing it out is probably more racist than they were being by putting a wonderful actress in the movie. She was quite good, I thought. As was Annie and Daddy Warbucks. Kathy Bates was a fantastic Ms. Hannigan.

Anyway, that's my hidden joy of the weekend. I recommend it to anyone who thought about liking the original.

By the way, the wedding was great. I love weddings.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Naive

I don't know if I've ever claimed to be something other than naive, but today, my naivete smacked me in the face.

Growing up, I loved books such as, "The Upstairs Room," "Number the Stars," and in High School I was in the play, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly." I never read, but I saw "The Diary of Anne Frank," and I loved that too. I loved how people were willing to risk their lives to (potentially) save another person's life.

One question that came to mind every time I read one of these novels or saw a movie was, "How could they do this without getting caught? Surely, SOMEONE must have seen or heard something!" I know in my neighborhood, I'd know if one of my immediate neighbors was up to something like that.

I was listening to "Grace Matters" today, it's a radio show put on by the ELCA, the episode from July 29th is about Evil and Good. In it, Peter Marty quoted a frenchman who helped "smuggle" people during the Holocaust. "Do you think that I could have harbored people in my house without the milkman, the postman, the paperboy, friends, relatives and neighbors not knowing about it? For every person saved during the Holocaust, there were 8 people keeping them safe."

This hit me hard. It never even occurred to me that those neighbors would not have turned the fugitives in had they known. They MUST have known. Duh! All of those people working together to do what is right, they may not have even known that others were doing the same thing by keeping quiet.

Brilliant!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Um, Luther anyone?

I don't know what this means, but I'm a whole lotta Luther... How can I be simultaneously 94% Luther and 81% Calvin? The world may never know...


You scored as Luther, You are Martin Luther. You'll stick with the words of Scripture, and defend this with earthy expressions. You believe this is a necessary consequence of an orthodox Christology. You believe that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, but aren't too sure about where he goes after the meal, and so you don't accept reservation of the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic devotions.

Luther


94%

Calvin


81%

Orthodox


38%

Zwingli


19%

Catholic


0%

Unitarian


0%

Eucharistic theology
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, July 30, 2007

Perfect Record!!

So, I played softball this season for the first time ever! Well, I played Little Leaue in grade school, but I think I stopped in 5th grade. So, I was 10 or 11 at the time and now I'm older, so that means I haven't played in about 17-18 years!

Anyway, we finished our final game tonight, and I'm happy to report that we had a perfect record: 11-0. Oops, I mean 0-11. Now this was one of those things that was bound to happen. Here's our team: We have 3 men that play softball and 2 women that do, the other half of the team is in the same boat as me or worse. So yea, that's my story.

Anyway, I pitched the last 7 games and we've been doing better. Partly because I seem to be a slightly better pitcher (if at all), but mostly because the guy that was pitching is one heck of a fielder! Well, the last three games were our best of the season, we lost by 3, 1, and 3 in chronological order. Whereas the first three games we lost by 15, 7, and 9.

Anyway, I wanted to celebrate with you all. Thank you.


As I was rereading this, I realize I use a lot of exclamation points when I write. A former roommate of mine is an English prof. who hates, detests exclamation points. Us living together? I smell sit-com! <-- Look! There was another one!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Remem'brings

Somehow I got on a memory trip today in Greek. We were (re)learning the Greek word for blood and talking about Passover, in Greek. Yes, I realize that blood is not a good avenue for a memory trip, but bear with this.

In third grade, I was in the top math class which was taught by the art teacher. We took a math test of some sort and were instructed to not write or draw on the back. Of course, I thought that was silly, because who would write or draw on the back. (On a side note, I've never had the urge to press the red button, either, until told to not press it).

So, of course, I drew on the back. And showed it to the nerdiest kid. He was unimpressed. So I drew more. Still unimpressed. Then I finished my masterpiece. Almost all of the back had pencil marks on it and, for a third grader, it was a work of art.

"What was this masterpiece?" one might ask. Well, it was Jesus on the cross, with Mary, Mary Magdalene, Peter (turning away) and Jesus' brother. The sky was dark and there was a trail of blood dripping from the cross and into pools at the foot of the ancient Weapon of Singular Destruction. Pretty gruesome, eh?

Well, the teacher was not impressed. She pulled me out of Science class and the Science and Art/Math teachers talked to me in the hallway about the piece of "art." When they asked about blood, I lied and said that the pools were tears. When they made me erase the whole thing, I produced my own tears.

I hate art class.


This is similar in thought, but that's where the similarities end. Mine was a front shot like Raffaello's, no angels (I think) and only 1 person on the left, 2 on the right of the cross. Mine was a lot more morbid too.
Oh, and crappier, I might add.




P.S. When I was still working at the credit union, I would see each of these teachers periodically. After seeing my name, they "remembered" me. Maybe most 9 year olds don't draw psychotic religious art.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Golf

So apparently Tiger Woods does not have competition in this household, but I am now a golfer. I went golfing on Tuesday and rocked my own world.

The last time I went golfing was over the 4th of July in 1997. Becky, two others, and I went to a sandlot golf course in Gary, SD and played 2 or 3 holes before calling it quits. When I write sandlot, I do mean sand lot. The fairways were grass, I think, but the greens were definitely sand. It's the limestone baseball infield sand that doesn't really do anything, but it's easy to maintain.

This time, however, I was a madman! We played 18 holes. On one of the holes in the front nine, I teed off and my ball landed on the previous players ball, knocking his ball about 4 feet from the water hazard. The two "veteran" golfers spent the next 1/2 hour talking about how they've never seen that before and yadda, yadda, yadda... It was fun.

We played "best ball" which means that you get on a team and everybody drives the ball. Then you pick the ball that has the best placement and take the non-best placed ball(s) and hit them from there... and so forth. I was on a team with one of Becky's coworkers (one of the aforementioned "veterans") and we even chose my ball (a lot). Granted, not as much as him, but a lot for my first time golfing.

I'm planning on going again. In fact, I might head to the driving range tout suite. Hmm... nap or golf. Tough decisions.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Random Day

So, I was at the taste of MN and Gillette Fusion was there showing off their "wonderful" new shaving system. They were shaving people! So I got a shave by some random Gillette employee.

It was not the best shave, but it was the first shave I've ever had from someone else.

I just had to share.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

5K's Suck...

I ran my first 5K with Becky. It sucked. I can't wait to do it again. I won't post my time, it's depressing, but I finished and failure is a much better motivator anyway.

Partly because the 5K sucked, I bought some new running shoes. I am excited. Last time I bought "running" shoes, they turned into "generic athletic" shoes. The problem with that is that I'm trying to train myself to run with better form than I walk. When I use the other shoes for softball (they get dirty) I wear them out differently than for running Plus, the fit was wrong, which was the real impetus for the purchase of new shoes... Oh, yea, and new running socks. I'm gonna be so fit, I'll be able to run a whole block without getting winded. No marathons yet.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Failure to Launch...


This is my first post with an image, yeah!

I was reading this article earlier today and I started thinking about all the things the church is doing wrong with the less than privileged. This and a comment on a previous post that the church may be growing because of intimidation. (Not an untrue comment, either).

What is it that we are doing to push people away from God when our purpose is to do the opposite? Or rather, why are we pushing people away from God, when our sole purpose is to bring them to God?

Is that our purpose anyway? I was debating scripture with a friend from college today. This is not a thing I normally do, neither the debate itself, nor with this person. But the topic of the "greatest commandment" came up. He was misquoting the statement, I corrected and then we had to actually get out a Bible in order to rectify the disagreement. So, in Matthew 22, JC was asked what is the greatest commandment, good ol' JC tells them, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (NRSV)

Judging from this passage, our purpose is not to lead people to Christ, but to love God and each other. By any account, we are doing a horse apple job of it.
I guess that is why we ELCA Lutherans say in confession..."We have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as our selves..." (Lutheran Book of Worship)

I'm sorry, friends, I've failed you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Proof that there is a God

I have undeniable proof that there is a God...

If God did not exist, his church would not be growing. Despite efforts of Christians to destroy it, the Church is still growing.

Church today sucked. In their defense, the preacher was a member of the church who went in circles for way too long and never gave any substance. He is an ordained pastor, but not pastor of this church.

Oh, well. Better luck next time. At least we sang, O Day Full of Grace.

Friday, May 25, 2007

10 years

So, Becky and I had a ten year anniversary yesterday... That is ten years of datingness, not marriage.

That's a long time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

If you really stop and think about it...

I was walking through Target today and heard a 10-year old girl talking
to some mentor-type non-mom person. And she said something, but all I heard was, "Isn't it interesting? I mean, If you really stop and think about it..."

Stop and think about what? Why would you need to stop and think?

Then I realize that it's just a cliche people use to make a thought sound profound. I'm not trying to knock this little girl, she has no clue. But other people use it excessively to make an every day thought sound profound.

But I don't need to stop to think about it. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. AND I can walk and think at the same time too! So, cliche speakers of the world, I will not cease my movements to think about your unprofound ponderings . . . I will continue my forward movings and possibly think about it. Whatever "it" is.

So when you stop and think about it, there's really no point to the phrase.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Missing Out

So twice in the last week someone commented on the fact that I've lived in MN my whole life. This is not news to me, mind you, but there were "connotations."

Now, I like MN. I've been to most regions of the country and the only other place that I have thought about living is Montana. I've never been to Washington, Idaho or Oregon, but have considered there sight unseen. So, I've never really considered any other place in the US.

Becky and I have considered going to Greece for olive picking, or longer. Also, we plan on leaving the country for a "mission"-like trip. Don't know the mission, but we want to go. I would also run away to rural France. Ooh la la, indeed!

Now a little background on these two conversations... the first involved two people, both from rural midwestern areas. One was Iowa, the other Nebraska. The second conversation was from a guy who grew up on a farm in Ohio. He asked if I felt like I was "missing out" on something because I lived in Minnesota. Now, I'm guessing that these folks have not liked being in rural areas and have thus wanted to "get away" and see the world.

None of these people grew up in a well-populated area. In fact, the Nebraskan has mentioned there is no reason to go visit a 1500 person town. (I'm guessing that they meant without a specific reason, such as family and friends).

So, my question is, why is their need for moving from one small midwestern town, to a bigger one (albeit in a different state, but one that is essentially the same as theirs) my lack of worldliness? No, I haven't lived anywhere else. But I probably will. Becky and I have plans on leaving for warmer climes when school is out. Maybe we'll move to Kansas! I hear it's completely different from the rest of the midwest!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Attendance

I just read in Hearts and Hands and Voices, by Sue Ellen Page that if you don't have 90% regular attendance in your youth choir, you should re-evaluate your situation and make changes.

This is quite disturbing to me, because I couldn't count the last time I had 90% attendance in my choir. I have 15-ish members in the choir, so if more than 1 person is gone, I'm over that 10% absentee allowance. This is not a justification, it is a fact. I can't have more than one person absent, even couples, or I need to re-evaluate.

So, is this true in other professions? Should, say, professors be thinking in this way? It would be interesting. If you had a 30 person class and 3 people were gone regularly, you need to re-examine your teaching style. If a board had 10 people on it and one person was gone regularly, the chair should rethink their plans. That's interesting. I'll have to remember that.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Accommodation

What is accommodation? I've been asking that question lately. I've heard people talk about how we can't do this or that because it will turn people away. We can't make confirmation kids learn the Small Catechism, because they will be put off by it. We can't expect children to be able to sit through Sunday School, so let's just have youth "community building." Then "they" turn around and complain that the kids don't know anything.

When do we stop accommodating and actually do what we were put here to do and preach the Gospel?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Which religion

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Do more research on Christianity and possibly consider being baptized and accepting Jesus, if you aren't already Christian.

Christianity is the second of the Abrahamic faiths; it follows Judaism and is followed by Islam. It differs in its belief of Jesus, as not a prophet nor historical figure, but as God in human form. The Holy Trinity is the concept that God takes three forms: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (sometimes called Holy Spirit). Jesus taught the idea of instead of seeking revenge, one should love his or her neighbors and enemies. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to save humankind and forgive people's sins.

Christianity


83%

Buddhism


58%

Judaism


54%

Islam


50%

Paganism


21%

Hinduism


8%

agnosticism


8%

Satanism


4%

atheism


4%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

This was kind of neat... there are a whole schlew (sp?) of problems, but it was cool. Take it, you'll like it.

Thanks, Jason, for the link.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Freedom!

The other day I was confronted with the question, "what does freedom feel like?"

Today I have an answer:
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the day I broke up with the girl I lovingly call "Psycho Ex-Girlfriend." Now we only dated for a year in HS, but that was huge then AND she made a decidedly large impact on me, the scars of which have faded, but I still can't smell artificial vanilla without wanting to vomit.

I am free, free, free!
I am free, free, free!
I am free, free, free!
I AM FREE!

Now that I've said this (wrote it, whatever!), why do people question my remembering of the day? Shouldn't we celebrate victories? Shouldn't we celebrate achievements? Shouldn't we send ex-girlfriends cards commemorating anniversaries of this type? And why is it only people who don't have psycho exes that question this?

No matter how you slice it, I'm free. And there ain't nothin' you can do about it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Devil Always Quotes Scripture...

I found it interesting when I heard that in the Bible, the devil always quotes scripture (or God before scripture was script). Someone else told me this, I haven't done research on the topic, but after hearing the stories again about Jesus tempted in the wilderness and Eve and the serpent, I think that it is true.

Many years ago I knew a group of Bible bangers. The Fundagelical type. They informed me that I was going to Hell, I told them I was and they started preaching damnation to me. Now, when I look back at that experience, I realize that they weren't preaching God's Word, they were bastardizing it. They were telling me their word, which is most certainly not the Word.

Now this question occurs to me... is the entire Fundagelical movement just another way that the devil is fighting God?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Race Card

The church in which I work houses two congregations-- one is Christ Lutheran, the other Zion Evangelical Fellowship. The latter is an Ethopian congregation, so they all have dark skin. Yes, it's critical to the story.

I love this congregation, well, both congregations, but I've worked with them (Zion) a little and have had a blast. I know quite a few people in the congregation and most of them know me as the white guy that has helped the choir.

Tonight, I was in the office when a bunch of kids from Zion come in to use the pencil sharpener. The eldest is 12ish, then the next oldest is about 6. I mentioned that I knew who they were and one kid 4-5ish pipes up, "You don't know us, you're WHITE!"

I said, "What does the color of my skin have to do with knowing you?"

"Because we're not WHITE!" he replied.

Oh, I wanted to take him home. I just grabbed him, hugged his shoulders tight and swung his legs back and forth as I lifted him up. This was definitely the highlight of my week.

I've never been accused of being white before, been told that many times, but usually it's like, "you know you're white, right?" I loved it. I was the only white person on that floor, surrounded by black kids and hadn't even paid attention until I was told that.
So, race MUST be an issue to these 5-year-olds, but why?

The world may never know.

Monday, February 12, 2007

This past weekend

What a great, long weekend! This weekend was of normal length, 2 days, but it lasted forever.

Starting Friday, I worked at my credit union job until 6:30 PM, then hustled (that is, danced) to a choir "dress" rehearsal. I had forgotten my music and stick, so I stopped at home first. Meanwhile, the Administrator of my degree program was frantically calling me to give me directions to pick someone up... more on that later.

So, I'm at this dress rehearsal, singing and soon will conduct, and it's not going well. Oy! It's my chance to conduct. Here's the background: I haven't conducted in front of instruments (other than keyboard) since 1999, I just learned what a baton was this fall, and it's the first and only rehearsal with the instruments before we perform. Everything is different with instruments than it is with piano filling in for the instruments. There are weird leaps that are easy on a piano, but awkward on a violin, etc. I, as the conductor, should have known that. I, as me, did not.

My section of the rehearsal went OK. The men sounded good and the instrumentalists were great, but I was off. Afterward, I go into the bathroom and there's a guy in there who just finished his business transaction who started to tell me how to do my job. Now this guy is not one of the better musicians in the group, so I'm guessing he has not had any formal training, nor much informal training. I think he just mustered the courage within the last couple of years to join a choir.

Grr. Why do people have to get in other people's way? Aren't we supposed to help other people? I know that his comments don't sound like much, but it came after 5 weeks of listening to him do this at every rehearsal to me and the regular conductor.

That vent was longer than it needed to be, sorry. The concerts went well, though. I'll only talk about things that I had any control over... My men's piece: Saturday, the 3:30 concert went better than it had ever gone. The 7:30 concert went even better. So, for Sunday, I had to pep talk them into it. I needed more bass to give it a fuller sound, so I "taught" them my cue for that: arm parallel to the floor, pointed at them, hand clenched in a fist. As I was teaching them this, I was thinking that I needed something funny to say. So I told them that it means "strong like bull." (Thank you Jason and Mike!). They laughed so hard, so I kept saying it in context about other things. Soon it was their mantra, since I finished just before we went on stage.

They rocked.