Saturday, November 07, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part Six

Day Six - Sunday, August 30th

- Slept in. Felt refreshed. Happy we would soon be on our way home. "I'm guessing no one has told you yet," Matt reluctantly says from the other bed, "The oil light came back on last night." My world slowly begins to crumble. The stress and pressure of this whole trip has now become too much. I sit up on the bed trying to figure out what to do, but my brain is mush.

- I decide to call some of the wiser ones in our church for advice. When I use the hotel phone, it won't allow me to call long distance with Visa.

- I try calling collect. No one is answering. I can't get a hold of anyone.

- I must use my cellphone which costs a ridiculous amount of money. I get a hold of Ted and ask if I can call him back collect. He agrees.

- As I'm waiting for the automated system to kick in, emotionally I start to lose it. I begin to think when I hear his voice I am going to break down crying. The system prompts me to say my name after the beep. I started saying my name before the beep. It beeps. I burst out in laughter, knowing that I've screwed it up and it's going to sound funny for Ted. My mood is lightened.

- Ted suggests either taking it to a mechanic or leaving it behind and getting it shipped up north. That's going to cost a ridiculous amount of money.

- As we begin to look for a mechanic in Redding we discover nothing is open because it is Sunday. Would they even be able to help us today anyways? I need to get people home who have to work tomorrow.

- I think it was Matt at this point who suggested we transfer the SUV from my name to the other leaders. That way they can drive it back tonight, and Matt and I can stay with my car in Redding and take it in tomorrow. Brilliant plan!

- We call Alamo. There is no Alamo in Redding and we need to go in person to transfer the names. I ask where the nearest Alamo is. They don't know and they can't tell me. They couldn't tell me where any Alamo's were!?! All they said was they are at major airports, but the next closest airport we could think of was Portland and that's too far to drive. Scrap that plan!

- We try calling Greyhound to see if we can bus the workers home today. No one is answering the phone.

- We drive to Greyhound. It's going to cost quite a bit and it's going to take all night, which would leave the workers exhausted.

- We decide to check out a rental car place to see if we can rent a car for the workers to drive home, because the SUV I've rented can only be driven by me. After much searching we find open rental places at the Redding airport. It's going to cost quite a bit, and then I realize the SUV needs to be back tomorrow or else that will cost a lot as well.

- At the airport a lady there mentions there's an airport in Medford, Oregon (about 2 hours away). It dawns on me, "Maybe there's an Alamo there?" I ask where a payphone is. She says it's around the corner, but it's probably not working. Sure enough, it is broken.

- Thankfully the guy at the convenience shop thingy says I can use his phone. I call Alamo. They have a place in Medford! I now have to make the decision: Do we risk driving my car through the mountains for 2 hrs or come up with another option? I decide to risk it!

- After a highly anxious 2 hours of driving we pull into the Medford airport. My car has made the journey! But it sounds absolutely awful. I fear we have damaged something internally.

- We go in and begin the process of changing the names over. It's taking awhile, but the weight is lifting off my shoulders. I can't believe we've finally got this figured out! After about 30 mins of paperwork and discussion the agent looks at me and says, "Oh, we can't add additional drivers to minivans or SUV's if they are under 25." All of my leaders are under 25. We cannot transfer the vehicle over. We risked driving all this way for NOTHING!!! The weight suddenly comes slamming down on my shoulders.

- Now I have to come up with another option. I begin looking at the prospect of shipping my car. I look at plane tickets. I consider spending the night in Medford with everyone. Amanda gets in touch with her dad who is willing to drive down and pick us up. At this point it's past noon. I have to extend the reservation on the SUV but the Alamo guy can't do it. I have to call the Alamo in Vancouver. It takes forever, but I get through to them and extend it.

- Then I come up with the final plan. I'll leave my car in the parking lot. I will rent a car. Shane will drive it and I will drive the SUV. Tomorrow I will return the SUV and drive the rented car back to Medford by myself. I'll bring my car in to a mechanic here in Medford and figure it all out there. It's going to be a long drive back to BC though. I call back the Alamo in Vancouver and they take away my extension thankfully.

- As I'm renting the car, I'm telling the lady my story. She has sympathy on me and reduces the rate. Then she says, "You're really holding up well under all this." At those words I crack emotionally. I can feel the tears coming on, but I don't want to break down in front of her. We finish the transaction and as I'm walking away I start bawling.

- Now we're finally on the road. I am so relieved to have finally come up with something that sorta works. We realize we can't drive the rental car into Canada so we have to leave it near Blaine and have someone pick us up. Garritt graciously agrees to help us. Because we've left so late we won't get there until 2am.

- Around 11pm I start getting tired. Really tired. I consider pulling over for the night, but then Matt starts talking to me and I snap out of it.

- Garritt says he'll meet us as Blaine Airport. I say okay. I've never been there, but we have Lola (the GPS) to guide us. As we're nearing Blaine Airport, Garritt calls and says he's waiting for us...at the Bellingham Airport! Which we passed 10 mins ago!!!! Thankfully we find a Park & Ride. I call Garritt and tell him to meet us there. He drives by it a couple times, but finally finds us.

The End.
Check in on Monday for follow-up things that went wrong!
And stay tuned for "All the Things that Went Right"...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's Been Too Long

Hello my friends...

You're probably wondering where I've been. Or maybe you haven't.


Turns out I've been using fairy magic to heal and rejuvenate young animals.

Well I want you to know that I have decided to return to the blogosphere with renewed passion and vigor.

So be looking for the thrilling conclusion to All the Things That Went Wrong by the end of this week!

Love, Dan

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part Five

Day Five - Saturday, August 29th

- Wake up at 10am thinking we probably won't leave until after lunch. Then questions start entering my head. What time does the dealership in Modesto close? How far is it even to Modesto from here? Can I get my oil changed at the dealership while we're there already? Where are we going to take Marie to get her checked out? Oh man! I better find out when the dealership closes!

- The internet tells me it's about 5 hours to Modesto. I call the dealership. They say my car is ready to go for the trip back to Canada. I ask when they close. "5pm," he says. Oh no! By this time it's about 10:30. No one else is awake. To be safe, we need to leave by 11 to make sure we get my car.

- I make the call to send Matt, Shane, and Amanda ahead of the rest of us to get my car. We have to do this because someone has to take Marie into a medical clinic. The three depart much the same way the Fellowship had to split and send Sam and Frodo on to Mordor. We all cry and hug (just kidding).

- Now we try to find a clinic that's open. It's Saturday. Nothing is open. Thankfully we finally find one place that is nearby even. I sent Lola on ahead with the Three so I'm left to find it with my map reading abilities. I take a couple wrong turns. We eventually make it there.

- While at the clinic, Marie says she needs to pee. I say to the receptionist, "Is there a toilet here we can use?" The girls are humiliated.

- Marie gets a shot in her bum. She has cellulitis and possibly even meningitis. As I'm paying the receptionist, Marie talks to her Mom on the phone. Mom starts freaking out because the insurance place is supposed to pay the clinic, not me. I tell her the clinic doesn't deal with insurance places. We have to send in the receipts. Mom doesn't believe me. I call insurance company. They say they'll call the clinic. I tell them they said I have to pay and we send the receipts to you. Insurance person agrees and says, "Okay, we'll send you the forms to mail in the receipts." Simple as that. I forget to ask if medication is covered. I call insurance place back. They confirm it is covered. Away we go to buy drugs.

- While waiting for prescription to be filled I go and get the oil changed. I meet up with them at Subway expecting them to have already gotten the drugs so we can go. After eating I discover they don't have them yet, so we have to go back to the store and pick them up.

- The Three arrive at the hotel in Redding at 9pm with my car. My vehicle still have 4 more tiring hours of driving to do. Thankfully my car is working again...or is it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part Four

Day Four - Friday, August 28th

- Amanda doesn't fair well on some of the rides. She goes on Space Mountain. Now she's not feeling so good.

- While waiting to get into the Tiki Room some of the group decide to line up for pineapple smoothies. The doors open and we go inside while they are still in line. Then the doors close. They missed out on such a magnificent show!

- Marie's rash has gotten worse and there's a red swollen area on her ankle. She starts hobbling around.

- Eventually we make the call to once again go to the first aid place to get it checked out. Of all the people on our trip, Marie is the only one who isn't sure about her travel insurance. The nurse says she thinks it's cellulitis. Not good. She wants us to get it checked out right away.

- We try to call Marie's parents but the phone at the first aid place won't work properly. Finally we get them with my cellphone (not the cheapest solution). We wander around for a bit trying to decide what to do. We receive confirmation from Marie's parents they do have insurance. We decide to wait until the next day to go into a clinic. Marie rides around on Chelsea's lap the rest of the night. (So this doesn't sound that bad, but believe me it was super stressful trying to figure out what to do!)

- Realizing I haven't had any alone time this whole trip, and that it's probably going to be a gong show getting to Fantasmic again, I decide to take off on my own. Fantasmic is good, but there is no giant dragon!!! They were working on replacing the old dragon with a new one, but the new one wasn't working quite right. Plus the spot I had was standing room only and my legs were killing me.

- While I was gone, the group got split up between the two parks. Amanda wasn't feeling well so her and Matt went back to the car to rest. She had most of the tickets (because we would collect them to get FastPasses) so not everyone can get into Disneyland. Some of the youth rush to the tram to go to the parking lot to find them. However, they actually hadn't left for the parking lot yet. They just got separated in the crowds. Some of the youth go inside to get seats for Fantasmic, while the others wait for the other tickets to get in. As predicted by me, it is a giant gong show. Eventually I think the other youth did find the ones waiting for Fantasmic, but Matt and Amanda enjoyed the rest of their evening in the parking lot.

- I have a FastPass to go on Space Mountain one last time. While I'm waiting in the corridor, all of a sudden it becomes really quiet. Someone behind me says, "They better not have shut it down." Shortly after a voice comes over the speaker announcing the ride has been shut down for the rest of the night!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part Three

Day Three - Thursday, August 27th

- We needed to go to the church we were staying at to get the keys. It took us a lot longer to get there than I had anticipated. Traffic was brutal through LA. Finally we made it to the I-5, but that too was backed up. We weren't too far from our exit, so I took an earlier one. Driving through La Habra took so long with all the lights.

- Anaheim experiences its hottest days of the year. Temperatures are around 38 degrees. I sweat profusely.

- Our day at Disneyland went incredibly well, until the evening when Chelsea trips on a curb and slams her knee into the pavement.

- After walking around for a bit I make the call to take Chelsea in to first aid because it's swelling up quite a bit and she is having trouble walking. The group says they'll find seats for Fantasmic while we hobble over to first aid.

- The first aid people want to clean Chelsea's knee, but they need parental consent. You see, Chelsea is the only one under 18. Of all the people on our trip, she is the only one who needs parental consent. Oh guess what? I left all the parental consent forms in the van. Thankfully she calls her mom and gets the permission she needs...for them to simply clean her knee!!!

- Now Chelsea is in a wheelchair the rest of the night. We zip over to Fantasmic to find the others. We're not sure if they have even saved us seats. As we get there I get a text from Shane saying they're waiting for us at first aid. Hey, thanks for letting us know you didn't get seats so we wouldn't have had to race over there through all the crowds and wheelchairing!

- So we missed Fantasmic, but we did get seats for the fireworks. April and Rebecca went to get ice cream. I knew they were cutting it close. The fireworks started and they were nowhere to be seen. After the fireworks they found us.

- Realizing we could use Chelsea in the wheelchair to get onto rides faster, we raced over to Thunder Mountain. You can only take 5 people with a wheelchair person onto the rides so some of us sat back and waited. They were almost on the roller coaster when it got shut down!

- We still had fast passes for Splash Mountain so we raced over there to get one last ride. Just as we get there we discovered it too has been shut down due to mechanical failures.

- By this time it's late and I'm tired so we decide to go back to the church.

- The church has no A/C and it is freaking hot. Oh, and the ceiling fans only work when the lights are on. Genius!

- Shane left to find some food for our breakfast. He doesn't come back for like an hour. The first place he went had nothing good and it took him awhile to find someplace else.

- Just as people are getting ready for bed I hear Marie say, "I've got a rash on my leg." To be continued...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part Two

Day Two - Wednesday, August 26

- Rather than pulling into McDonalds for breakfast, I pulled into the taco place right beside it. Everyone made fun of me.

- While leaving McDonalds this lady in another car was making funny gestures at me. I rolled down the window to her screaming, "You're going the wrong way! This is one way!!!" I didn't really care. The lane was big enough for 3 cars.

- At noon my vehicle arrived at some small little town on the I-5 for lunch. The other car was about 30 mins behind us. They texted to let me know the oil light had come on AND the engine light was now on as well.

- When they caught up to us we decided to use Chelsea's GPS to find a nearby Toyota dealership. The GPS's name was Lola. Lola told us we had to drive 30 mins back the way we came. After eating lunch that's exactly what we did.

- So we drove back to Manteca, California. As we approached the destination I noticed multiple car dealerships. We were on the right track...until we passed where Lola said to go and saw no Toyota places. So we drove around the block and looked again. Sure enough, Lola had led us astray. There was no Toyota place.

- The nearest Toyota dealership was in Modesto. 30 mins in another direction!

- When we brought the car in, the guys there seemed like idiots. They said it'd be a couple hours before they'd be able to look at it, so we went to Starbucks and waited.

- After 2 hours I got the good news. The VVTi Actuator gear was on its last legs and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately they didn't have that part, but they could get it in tomorrow. We needed to be at Disneyland tomorrow. So we left the car there, rented another one, and away we went. It was 5pm by the time we left. We were supposed to be in Malibu by 5:30!

- We were driving through Fresno when we decided to stop for supper. The other car chose when to get off and I remember thinking in my head, "I hope they choose an okay part of town." Fresno has got some rough areas. We pulled over into Burger King. It was sketcky. Matt even found a crack pipe in the bathroom.

- As we neared the Los Angeles area, Chelsea gave Lola the Houweling's address. Now, there are a lot of things that went wrong in this situation. I can't really explain all the things that were going through my mind, but I didn't trust Lola at this point. Not just because of the Manteca Toyota fiasco, but because I was under the impression the Houweling's address was too new for the GPS to recognize it. Anyways, Lola kept telling me to turn, but we were nowhere near the off-ramp Casey told me to take, so I ignored her.

- We were following the directions Casey gave me, but I made a critical error. On the google map highway 118 turns into 23. But I could see that the 118 continued, except on google maps it wasn't a major highway. After 118 we were to connect onto the 101. If we had continued on the 118 it did connect to the 101 but you would have to backtrack to get to the exit we needed. The 23 also connected with the 101. Okay, this is all really confusing to explain, but logically it made more sense looking at the map that I should follow the 23. I thought that Casey didn't realize the 118 turned into the 23. Alright! This is so complicated, but that actually wasn't the critical error. But these are my thoughts going through my sleep-depraved, stress-ridden, 11pm night driving brain.

- THE critical error happened as we went to connect with the 101. We were on the phone with the Houwelings just as we were coming up to it and I got confused. I could either go North to Ventura or South to Los Angeles. The confusing part was that on the map highway 101 goes East to West! I knew I needed to go West, but I didn't know if it was Northwest or Southwest. Uggh! So we asked for help over the phone and they said, "South to Los Angeles!" Now, that would have been the right direction if we had continued on the 118 and were now hitting the 101, but that is not where we were. The Houwelings did not realize we were on the 23. And so we went South, when we should have gone NORTH!!!

- As we began going South I knew we weren't going in the right direction according to the map, but I thought to myself, "The map must be incorrect because the address is too new." By the way, Lola was completely freaking out at us, because she actually knew the right way to go. The address wasn't too new, as I had been made to believe, and Lola even knew the fastest way to get there, which was to turn way earlier than Casey's directions had said.

- After driving for 20 mins I realized we were way off course and turned around. We made it to the Houwelings at about midnight. It was so ridiculous. If we had followed Lola's directions we would have gotten there at around 10:40. When we told Casey about Lola he said, "Oh yeah, you should have followed her. I've never actually driven here from that direction."

- Estimated time of arrival in Malibu: 5:30pm. Actual time of arrival: Midnight.

- Finally able to fall asleep at around 1am I heard a chime. Shane and I wake up, "Was that a clock or the doorbell?" Pretty odd for the doorbell to be ringing at 1am. Then comes a knock at our door. Shane gets up. There are two police at the door letting us know we've left the lights on on our van!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All the Things that Went Wrong - Part One

To truly appreciate the grad trip I just took my youth on, you must first hear all the misfortunes that befell us along the way...

Day One - Tuesday, August 25th

- I told Marie to meet us at the church at 7:30am. I told everyone else 8am. This is because Marie has a reputation for arriving late. Marie arrives at the church at 7:34. No one is there. She is forced to wait outside 20 mins until someone else shows up.

- The line I chose for the border crossing moved twice as slow as the line beside me. I'm not even exaggerating. It took us probably 30 mins to get across.

- Almost immediately we hit traffic. It took forever to get through it. We hadn't even hit Bellingham yet and we'd left the church 2 hours ago.

- We stopped at Wendy's for some lunch just past Tacoma. Tessa decides to do some handstands outside. Seems harmless?

- The odometer screen on my rental van changes to "4% oil life"

- I pass Shane on the highway. He has just been pulled over for speeding.

- We stop in Roseburg for supper at IHOP. Tessa realizes her wallet is missing. Whilst doing handstands at Wendy's she placed her wallet beside a tree...and left it there.

- Tessa and I find a payphone to solve the oil and wallet situations. Rental company tells me I need to change the oil on their vehicle. Unbelievable. We decide to continue driving and change it on the way back home.

- Tessa tries to find the phone number for the Wendy's, but we have no clue what street it was on. The operator puts her through to the Wendy's in the mall (which we clearly said was not the one we wanted). We find a map in a nearby bookstore and discover it is on Bridgeport rd. and call directory assistance again. They patch us through to the right place, but unfortunately the wallet is nowhere to be seen. Tessa had all her money for the trip in that wallet.

- IHOP is out of chicken strips and tilapia.

- IHOP takes ages to bring our food out. A stop I figured would take 1 hour turns into 2+ hours.

- Shane texts me saying the oil light has come on. Nice joke, Shane.

- No really, the oil light has come on on my car. I thought he was referring to how the rental car needed an oil change. They check the oil and there's plenty. The car sounds fine and isn't getting hot, so I make the decision to keep driving it until Redding.

- Whilst passing a car going down a hill, a pair of headlights come on from the side of the road. I predict I will soon be pulled over. Sure enough the car comes up behind me, follows for awhile, and then on come the lights. I act as innocently as possible, admit I was speeding, and fortunately get off with a warning.

- Estimated time of arrival in Redding: 10pm. Actual time of arrival: 12pm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ghost in the Post - Part Eight

"Hey!" Dan yelled.

"What's your problem??!" The Ghost in the Post replied.

"Where did my last two posts go???"

"Hmmm? I don't have the foggiest clue what you're going on about..."

"I wrote two posts this weekend. One on the rich guy at Subway and the other about GI Joe. Where did they go?!"

"Why are you asking me?"

"Because you're the one who always makes my posts disappear and it's really frustrating my readers!"

"Hmm, I thought you didn't believe in me....in any case, I think they might just reappear tomorrow..........."

"Stupid Post Ghost!"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

GI Joe - The Rise of Cobra


So I finally saw the GI Joe movie with my brothers tonight, and I've gotta say...it exceeded expectations!

I thought it was going to be a huge pile of crap, but it turned out to be a sweet-smelling pile of crap! As expected the dialogue was stupid, the plot was preposterous, the special effects were lacking, and the humour was so forced. Marlon Wayans had the most ridiculous lines and was not funny at all. His relationship with Scarlett was unbelievable. Uggh, it was so lame.


However, I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of the film! As a GI Joe fanatic as a child, it touched on so many of the elements I loved in the toy and cartoon. Unlike the Transformers movie, this one made the movie all about the GI Joes and Cobra. They had a lot of favorite characters, and I look forward to the sequels so we can be introduced to more of them. Where was Gung-Ho, Major Bludd, the Dreadnocks, Lt. Falcon? Obviously there are too many characters to bring into one movie, so I understand that we'll have to wait for them. I loved seeing Dr. Mindbender thrown in there, but I didn't like Brendan Fraser. I don't really like him as an actor, and in this movie he played a newer GI Joe that was added just recently. Not sure why they wanted to have him as a cameo.


I thought they were going to overuse the accelerator suits, but thankfully they were only there for a short bit. I like how they took advantage of the vehicles and weapons like with the toys. They were ridiculous and fun, and completely implausible but who cares? I knew they could only make this film if they kept it ridiculous, because the characters could never be taken seriously. And they did keep it ridiculous.


I loved it, I can't wait for the sequels!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Rich Man and Subway

I went to Subway tonight and I realized as they were making my sandwich, the guy had to skip over 2 other sandwiches that were just sitting there. I wondered whose sandwiches they were, until I saw this rich looking guy sitting casually by the window reading a paper.

After my sandwich was complete the Subway guy said the rich guy, "Excuse me sir, what would you like on your sandwich?"

I thought that was rather odd. This rich guy ordered two sandwiches and then sat down while he waited for them to be finished. Obviously he had never been to Subway before. I wonder what brought him to stoop so low as to enter this franchise restaurant in the first place.

"I'll have whatever goes on the sandwich!" The rich man barked in frustration.

Subway guy sheepishly replied, "Here you have to choose what toppings you want..."

"I don't give a sh*# what you put on it!" Snapped the rich man as he answered his ringing phone.

As I began to eat my sandwich I heard him comply and say what he wanted, all the while still talking on his phone trying to make some business deal.

When he went to pay for his food I noticed him look down at the ground. I could see a penny at his feet. He reached down and grabbed the penny.

I wondered to myself, "What is he going to do with a penny?" If it was me I would have either put it in the tip jar or thrown it in the garbage (I hate pennies by the way, more on that later!) What do you think he did?

Yeah, he put it in his pocket and walked away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Options


It's good to have options...or is it?

I get overwhelmed by the amount of options I have to choose from. It might be easier if the options were narrowed down to 2 or 3 (or even 15-20). But the options are almost limitless!

Take for example movies. There are thousands and thousands of movies out there. I can't keep up with all the ones I want to watch. I will never be able to see all the movies I want to see. So in the face of all these options I shut down and watch no movies. Or I should say I watch movies on the spur of the moment.

And when will it end with buying movies? Instead of renting a movie for 5 dollars I can buy it for 10. So I buy a lot of movies. But now I have all these movies, many I haven't even watched yet, and others that I'm not even sure I will watch again. That's why I stopped buying DVD's. Although I did buy one on Monday...

And the same is said for video games, books, online video clips, and music. Sooooo many options.


That's only one aspect of my life. What about all the other millions of options I have before me? Where to invest? What to wear? What to eat? Who to hang out with? Where to travel? What to do with my life?

I'm preaching this Sunday and it's sooooo hard to narrow things down, because there are so many options. Which direction do I head in? I could read and read and read for months and still not get everything there is to get from that one small passage of Scripture.

So how do I choose?


Kevin told me about the difference between living here and living in Madagascar. One thing that struck him was the shift and attitude towards options. Here we have too many options. We can't juggle them all. There, they have very little options. When they would go to the grocery store they couldn't choose which cereal they wanted to buy. They would show up and see, oh I guess we're eating Cheerios this week, because that's all they had.

And there mission had very little money or resources. So anything that they had they used to its fullest potential. Whenever they got something new they asked, "How can we use this to help people?" And they would find a use for it. Every dollar they had was stretched to help as many people as possible. Because they had no choice.

Here, we get something new and our first thought is ourselves. How will this benefit me? Our money is not used to its fullest. It is so abundant we spend on it whatever we want without much thought.


Inconvenience Store

I don't know what else to say, or where I'm going with this. I am just beginning to wrestle. I don't like having so many options. It shuts me down. But on the other hand, I like them because they keep me safe, and because I'm rich and healthy. It's easy to keep things the way they are. Hmm, I'll stop there...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jesus Again...

In regards to a previous post, Conor wrote,

"Is such a "pure" and disincarnate encounter with the historically real person of Jesus really possible?"

Hmm, yes and no. Although I don't know what disincarnate means. Are you saying because we don't have a bodily Jesus here? I assume that's what you mean...

Okay I have been thinking about this a lot this week, but I'm just going to say a few simple things.

I think that God has always been interested in relationship with humanity. That's how it was in the beginning. I think even all the priests and sacrifices and temple were meant to facilitate relationship.

However, with time we always fall into a business type relationship with God that isn't right. And that's what happened with the Old Testament way of relating to God. It became a transaction that was hollow. People weren't interested in God, they were interested in getting their way.

So God put an end to all that with Jesus. When Jesus came he shut down all those things (which was the plan all along). The plan was for the Messiah to come to restore that relationship on a deeper level.

Okay, so how do we have that relationship with a Jesus that is not bodily with us?

Partly it's personal. In that sense I do believe we can have a pure relationship with Jesus. He is alive and his Spirit is present. He speaks truth directly to us and guides us. However, we also are fallible and finite and can confuse those words with our own biases and desires.

We also have that relationship through community and tradition. Jesus left his disciples to pass on this faith and teaching. We need community to discern what is truth. We need time, history, and stories to give our faith weight and meaning. However, if that community and tradition becomes a business transaction, we've fallen into that trap that Jesus came to get us out of.

So basically that's what I'm saying. I do think that we connect with God through ritual, teaching from others, community, service, prayer, Scripture, art, nature, work, rest, etc, etc. However, when we get stuck in the rut of, "Am I doing all the right things to get to heaven???" we miss the whole point. That is what I associate "religion" with. The goal should be relationship with God, rather than selfish pursuits. God made that simpler for us by becoming a human that we can relate to.

What do you think?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Caught Again...


I'm caught in another online phenomenon. Yes, Farmville is controlling my life! My brain is trying to think of creative ways I can design my farm by planting certain coloured crops in special formations. But first I have to raise money, and that'll take about a week for me to get enough cash to start playing around.


The odd thing is, I've only been playing it for a couple days, and today as I came out of the church I noticed the trees around it. I've seen them lots before, but I'd say this is the first time I opened my eyes to them. There's this set of trees that have bright red berries on them that I never noticed before. They look really neat. I'm glad some people from my church put in that effort.

Then I drove to someone's house and couldn't help noticing all the different plants and trees and how they were arranged. It's funny that a video game is teaching me to appreciate nature...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Attraction Update

If I ever get to meet Randene Neill, I'm sure I'd react the same way as Ginger.



Not sure who thought this was a good idea...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Losing Friends

On Facebook the number of friends I have fluctuates quite often, but it confuses me a little bit. I understand that some people are deleting me as friends so that makes my numbers go down. And of course I make new friends which makes my numbers go up.

But sometimes...my numbers go up and I haven't added any new friends!!! I'm not really sure what is happening there, but I think it's weird.

Some people I know regularly weed people off their facebook friends list. I don't. I have lots of people on my list that I never talk to and/or haven't even seen for years. But I like to keep them on my list so I can stalk them when I'm bored. It's fun looking through other people's photos. Just sayin'...

I don't mind if they go through my pictures. I'm don't put anything on my facebook page that I'm ashamed of. Sometimes I consider altering my page though, so it looks like I'm something I'm not. That way all the facebook stalkers can have something to tell their family and friends about. "Did you see what Dan's been up to??!? His status says he's single, but he's got pictures of himself with 13 kids!!!"

When I changed my birthday on facebook, that was a little taste of what goes on in my mind on a regular basis. If I'm walking down the street, I often think about doing something weird and random just so people can have a story to tell when they get home. "This guy walking down the street today for no reason ripped his shirt off and started air-punching!!! It was the greatest thing EVER!!!!!"

Yup, I definitely foresee some changes for my facebook page in the near future...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Clear the Table

The priests, the laws, the temple, the sacrifices were all necessary to connect us with God.
But their usefulness proved to be temporary.
So God swept them off the table and introduced us to Jesus.
We no longer need religion to connect us with God.
We deal with Jesus now.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Satellite Conference

Yesterday and Today I went to a conference called The Leadership Summit. It's put on by Willow Creek and has quite a stacked list of speakers. I quite enjoyed most of it and walked away with some good insights.

However, here are some of my nitpickings, haha....

1. The actual conference happens in Chicago. We got to watch it via Satellite at a large church in Langley. Yesterday there were a number of times when the audio did not sync with the video. That was very distracting. Especially when we're trying to sing along with their worship team and their mouths are not moving to the words.

2. It is really weird singing while being led on a big screen with no actual band before you. Our crowd has no real interaction with their crowd. We are being led in worship by no one actually present. It was almost robotic. Not sure how else to describe it. And at one point I realized everyone here is singing praises to a giant tv screen. We are all facing forward looking at people that cannot see us. No one is actually looking into our eyes. We are all drones facing forward. Another weird thing about it was the volume was quite low, so sometimes I couldn't even really hear the band except for the drums. That was really awkward whenever they sang a song not many people knew.

3. People would clap. Why? Why do people clap? I often clap because I want the speaker to know I agree with them or that they have done an excellent job. The speaker cannot hear us clapping, so why are people clapping at our satellite sites? I can kinda understand at the end of a speech, because you're emotionally enthused and want to express that. I get that. However, it baffled me when people would clap to introduce a speaker. Once again, who is hearing your clapping? Haha.

4. There's a time delay. Chicago is in a different time zone. Essentially we are not watching this live, we are watching a taped version of what happened earlier that day. There is a lot of hype for us seeing this the same day, but whatever. And when you think of the time delay you realize, this band leading me in worship isn't even playing instruments or singing right now. We are being led by a video.

5. K, this next one is a bit tricky. I understand this is a big conference and you want people who are qualified to teach about good leadership. So every Pastor that was a speaker or guest came from a fairly large church. In fact, most had the church attendance number beside their name. Why? This to me says, a Pastor of a church of 100 is not a successful leader. They don't have what it takes to speak to me about Leadership. That bothers me. Well, they say a successful church grows...umm, hmm. Man, there are some incredible Pastors that have small congregations and I really think they need to be honoured and put on the same level as the megachurch Pastors. That's all I'm saying.

Thanks for listening to my negativity. Now here some good stuff:

1. At first it sounded like they were going to say structure your churches after big business, but I quickly realized they were saying we need to be innovative like many companies are today. Many companies today are thriving on a flat, grass-roots model that is not hierarchical like things have been for the past while. They also talked a lot about flipping your perceptions, changing conversations, and simple solutions. That surprised me.

2. I needed to hear many of the things said. I was shaken and inspired. I have some fresh ideas for this next year of youth ministry. I learned some things about myself that I need to work on.

3. I forgot I would probably see people I knew at this thing. It was really neat seeing a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time.

4. The food was excellent.

Will I go next year? Hmm, I didn't want to go this year, so I'll say probably not. But who knows...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Don't Know What I'm Doing

I feel really clueless these days.

Well, that's not the proper adjective, because I do have lots of clues. I feel uncertain. I have a good foundation, and I have a lot going for me. But it's like, I don't know what to do.

Part of it is my tendency to run away. Although, I rarely do run away. Commitment is what makes me tick. My real problem is letting go.

So maybe I should run away? I don't know what I'm doing.

But even if I ran away, I wouldn't know what to do in that new place either, so what was the point of running away in the first place.

So let's just keep praying.

You know the Christmas song that goes, "Oh come let us adore him"? So the obvious meaning is "hey, let's go and worship Jesus" but sometimes when I sing it I think of as pleading to God or Mary and Joseph. So the secondary meaning is "please, let us in so we can praise Jesus!"

But this time I mean the first meaning,
"Oh Come, Let us Adore Him!"

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Post Ghost

"You might not believe in me, but I believe in you!"

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's My Birthday!!!

I don't care.

Why throw a party? I'm not good at throwing parties, and I never enjoy parties I throw because I'm always thinking about the details, and worrying if everyone is having a good time. I'd rather someone throw a party for me. But some people suck at throwing parties too and I don't want those people to throw a party for me, but how do I say, "hey don't throw a party for me, cause you suck at it."?

And I don't like opening presents in front of people. I never respond genuinely cause it's always awkward for me. I don't like it.

And even though I do like attention, I sorta don't like it. Yeah, it's an odd thing.

And now I feel old. I don't like feeling old.

Meh. Happy Birthday to me!

ps. it's not actually my birthday yet, but it's coming up. i didn't intend to mislead you...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Latest Move


A couple weeks ago I learned about this incredible move you can do when cheering. It's called "Air-Punching". Why did I never think of it before??!? When I was at camp I took advantage of my new move and used it whenever appropriate. I will definitely be air-punching this Saturday at the Fireworks!!!

If you'd like to see an excellent example of air-punching, click here to see this article where I first discovered it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family Guy


I have never liked Family Guy. I've given it a shot on a number of occasions. There have been a few chuckles. But on the whole, I don't get why people think it's so funny.

There's something just empty about it. Maybe it goes for cheap laughs all the time. I think that's why I don't like it. So, I didn't like it very much and then I watched the South Park episode where they make fun of Family Guy and it really struck a chord for me.

Sorry, this is the best quality video I could find...



There's another part from that show where they explain how Family Guy episodes are created. Basically it's a manatee selecting random word balls in the water like a lottery. I couldn't find a clip for it, so trust me on this one ;)

The End.

p.s. Family Guy sucks!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Infallibility

Most Christians are quite adamant the Bible is infallible. However, I don't think most of them know what they're talking about.

Let's start with the definition (www.m-w.com):

1 : incapable of error : unerring infallible memory>
2
: not liable to mislead, deceive, or disappoint : certain infallible remedy>
3
: incapable of error in defining doctrines touching faith or morals

Okay, for starters I don't know how people can believe the Bible is incapable of error. There are numerous geographical and scientific errors. There are also numerous contradictory story elements, especially in the gospels. I'm not ashamed to label Biblical Inerrancy as a joke.

It's the last two that are tricky. Now, I'm sure you want to believe the Bible is not liable to mislead, deceive, or disappoint, but I'm sorry, it does all three things. I wish it wasn't the case, but the Bible is not explicit enough.

If it really were to be infallible in that sense it would read more like a legal document, but even legal documents are open for interpretation. The funny thing about human language is that it is fluid, it means different things to different people in different contexts. So it sure would be great if the Bible was more clear, but as we all know the Bible is confusing.

In order to understand the Bible, one must interpret it. And interpretation takes a lot of work. There are a lot of factors working against you. Language, context, ancient cultures and customs, time, copies, etc.. Egads, it's a wonder we even have a somewhat united church these days.

Did you know the language primarily used in writing the Old Testament has no vowels? No vowels! Imagine trying to decipher what that means. Here's a sentence I made up for you.

G dwnstrs nd gt m th ct.

So if you knew the context you might be able to figure it out, but did I ask you to get me the cat, coat, or cot? Oh and did you know they also didn't have spaces between words?

gdwnstrsndgtmthct

Good luck.

Thankfully somewhere in time a bunch of people got together and put the vowels in and added spaces.

But did you know we have zero original manuscripts? That's not too surprising seeing as how they would be 2000+ yrs old. So there were lots of copies made. Lots and lots of copies. Over long periods of time.

So these copies are what was used to make our Bible. But did you know that last century some older copies were found? And did you know that those older copies were slightly different than the ones we had been using? Yeah, turns out some people either added or took away words as they copied the text. Perhaps they made an honest mistake or perhaps they purposefully altered the text. We'll never know. Still, for over a thousand years the church has been using Bibles that said different things than the originals.

Hey, did you know the church still doesn't agree what books should be in the Bible? Protestants have 66 books while the Catholics have more. The Greek and Russian Orthodox churches have more than the Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox church has more than them. The Syriac Orthodox church has even more. And finally the Ethiopian Orthodox church has a couple more as well.

Wait, so if the Bible is infallible, what is the Bible? How do we determine what the Bible should consist of? Good question.

You see, the developments of both the Old and New Testament canon took a long time. Different guys met a long time ago to decide which would stay and which would go. Many were canned, while others were questioned heavily.

Did you know the book of Esther and the book of Hebrews are just two of the books in the Protestant canon that were so close to getting turfed? Can you imagine what our faith would be like without these two books?

So yeah, some guys met and decided what the canon would be, but as I've already mentioned, even today the canon is not agreed upon.

And then of course, new books are found or rediscovered and everyone gets their panties in a knot. What about the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Judas?!? Woohoo...

So is the Bible infallible? How can we even answer that when we don't even have complete agreement on what the Bible is? Not to mention I'm sure if we could look back further to the original manuscripts we'd find even more discrepancies.

And even if by some miracle of God the Bible is in fact infallible, there's another slight problem...

The people who read and interpret the Bible are fallible. So even if it was without error, how do we know our interpretations are right?!? How can we know for certain?

It's not as black and white as you'd like it to be. The Bible is not as easy to understand as you claim it is.

So where am I going with all this? Am I saying the Bible is not credible? Is our faith a waste of time? Certainly not! Because you see, God is much bigger than the Bible, and the Spirit of God does in fact speak to us through the Scriptures (despite its failures).

Without the Bible we would have no direction for life. We need these writings to understand God and what he created us for. Sure the Bible may not be "perfect" in the sense we want it to be, but what is contained in the Bible added to the traditions passed down through the years added to the interpretations passed on from old plus plus plus the Holy Spirit connecting the dots for us in our world today equals a holy mystery that opens our eyes to the glory of God. The Bible cannot stand alone. It must be taken with all we know from history and with all the unwritten things passed down throughout the church's existence.

I love the Bible and am thankful everyday that God gave it to us the way he did. Without it we would be lost and aimless. I am thankful the Bible is organic and fluid like the Spirit who speaks through it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mac vs. PC


So, I hate it when people are like, "Oh, Macs are sooooo much better than PCs!" I don't know why people decide to make that part of their identity. They fight ruthlessly for the Mac and preach its greatness with great tenacity.
I've had a Mac now for a year, and in that time people ask me, "Is it better than a PC?" I would often reply it's pretty good, but I couldn't say it was better. I didn't want to be one of those guys who jumps on the bandwagon. Some like PC, some like Mac. So what?


This last week I left my computer at home and have been using other people's PCs. I have to now admit, I can't believe how frustrating using a PC is! Seriously, these things really are pieces of crap. Sluggish, complicated, and ugly. Today I gladly admit Macs are better than PCs.

The only thing that sucks about Mac that I've come across is the lack of software. PC still dominates the world and so there isn't a lot you can get for a Mac. Whatever, it's not like I need that many other programs anyways.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Return

These last two weeks at camp have been exciting! What a great experience this has been overall. So much to think about my head is exploding!!! But I'm tired. I hope to fill you in on my thoughts in the near future, but I think I need a few days to re-orient myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Man Cooper

In the span of a year I have crossed a line. A year ago when I asked kids how old they thought I was, the typical response was 24-27. These last two weeks at two different camps I have gotten a different range of ages. Most say 30, but quite a few say 33-37. Last year I looked younger than I really am. This year I look like my age or possibly even older.

I am officially getting old.

And gray hairs have been discovered!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm Like a Bird

Well, I leave again today for Camp Luther! I will be making my return as cabin leader, it's been so long! I'm really excited plus a little why-in-the-world-am-i-doing-this?!?

So yes, that means once again this week you won't be getting any posts until the weekend. In my absence check out this video:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Temporary

So I'm back from camp!!! Yay, it was crazy, but fun...

So now, I will be posting the posts I promised, HOWEVER!!! I won't put them all up at the same time. They will come up one at a time, so you have to chance to read them carefully, haha.

Most of them are pretty silly, but whatever, I was tired when I did them!!!

Keep checking back to see the new one each day....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

God is Good?

I was sitting at the table with some of the cooks from camp and one was telling us about her plans next week. She was going to go to some town and stay in a hotel, which she wasn't too excited about (due to the cost) when a friend suggested she borrow his RV and just stay in town. She was so excited by this plan she remarked, "God is good!"

Immediately something twitched inside me. God is good because you get to stay in an RV rather than pay for a hotel? My first thought was of all the people around the world who don't even have a home or who live in a shack. So according to her logic, God actually isn't good, because he gave you a nice place to stay for a week while leaving billions of others out in the cold.

What makes God good? How do we measure God's goodness?

I don't believe it's appropriate to say God is good, because we just got what we wanted. It only reinforces the mindset that God is like Santa Claus.

I believe that God is good, and that he does give us good things. However, sometimes we need to suffer, so God gives us pain. Sometimes the best thing for us is to take something away. And sometimes God just allows evil and good things to happen...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Am Edward Cullen


When I was in grade 6 I wrote love letters to a girl in my class and signed them anonymously, "The Dark Avenger". In one of the poems I wrote something along the lines of "I watch over you while you're sleeping." Everyone ridicules me for writing that, BUT.....

When I read Twilight what did I discover??? Edward Cullen watches over Bella while she sleeps!!! So, why am I (an 11 yr old boy) creepy for writing that I do that while Edward (a 100 yr old vampire) gets away with actually watching a 16 year old girl sleep?

One of my youth watched Twilight a few weeks ago and even said to me, "Hey, Edward Cullen is just like you!" Yes, thank you! I knew I was being romantic. All the girls gush over Edward so why can't I get away with being creepy???

And then, this week at camp for crazy hair night I slicked my back and one of the campers told me, "You have Edward Cullen hair!"

I am Edward Cullen.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Anonymity

Anonymity makes one powerful. You can say what you want without fear of repercussion. You can be whoever you want to be without someone actually judging you. But it is a false power.

Because you are not really you. When you say things and do things without accountability, it is not actually you saying or doing those things. It is the false you, a person who does not exist. And so your words and your actions are meaningless and bear no weight. You cannot be challenged or corrected. You cannot be encouraged or strengthened.

You are a vapor.

And by remaining anonymous, you even become less of a person. If you willingly do or say things without basing them in reality, you lose part of yourself. We need full human interaction to blossom as individuals. If no one can challenge you, you will never grow. If no one can correct you, you will depreciate.

This is how people can commit murder. This is how people become sexual predators.

I hate it when people comment on my blog anonymously.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Derren Brown


I remember hearing about this British illusionist named Derren Brown awhile ago. I had seen a couple videos he had done and was impressed but skeptical.

Well, the last few days I've been going crazy watching videos of him on YouTube. I've watched most of his television show "Trick or Treat" and a couple of his specials. I wanted to embed some of the videos in this post, but it wouldn't let me. Check them out yourself by searching "Derren Brown". I think they're absolutely fascinating. But I'm left wondering what to believe.


Most of his tricks involve reading people's minds. He can tell if you are lying or he'll get you to think of something and then draw a picture of it. He says he's not using any actors and that all the people are strangers and aren't in on the trick. So I wonder, can he really tell if someone is lying or pick up on what you are thinking just by observing subtle changes in your behaviour?

Another thing he does is hypnotize people. I kinda believe that is possible to a certain extent, but sometimes he hypnotizes people so quickly, I just have a hard time swallowing it.

And perhaps the strangest thing he does, supposedly, is use subliminal messages to make his participants do what he wants. For example, in one performance he kept repeating the phrase Mail or Daily Mail subtly throughout the show so that later when it came time for a volunteer to choose one of ten papers, she chose the Daily Mail. Is that possible? My hunch is that he says that's why the volunteer choose the Daily Mail, but I think he's just saying that to misdirect the audience from seeing how he really does it. By saying he can use subliminal messages, he makes his performance appear more mysterious and foreboding.


All this had gotten me to think more and more of how we perceive the world, and we understand God. But that will be for another pst...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Patience

Over the next week I will be writing my required posts, but.....i don't think i'll be able to post them for awhile. So please be patient. You will get to read them in time.

Now for my thoughts on Transformers. I think the movies have been stupid. The thing that really grinds my gears is the movie is called "Transformers" but the Transformers have little to no personality. They have hardly any dialogue, and when they do talk it's just to further the plot.

I grew up loving the cartoon, so it is a disappointment for me. Especially when you watch this first episode and realize the Transformers had more depth in a cartoon from the 80's, than in a multi-million dollar movie.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Ultimate Question?

Here are some of the comments I got and my thoughts. These are my thoughts and opinions. I am not refuting your questions now, you can argue what I say here.

Does it matter what the question is, as long as Jesus is the answer?

I'm going to say yes, it definitely matters what the question is. What if the question is: Where did evil come from? I'm not sure you'd be quick to answer Jesus. Maybe you would?

And also, I believe Jesus is too simple an answer. Everyone has a different understanding of who Jesus is (or was). There needs to be more context.

What is your ultimate question?

Very interesting! I like it, because everybody has something different that is nagging them. Or something unique that is holding them back. My top choice.

Although, thinking about it more...is the ultimate question relative or absolute?

What is worth doing?

For me I think there are questions before this that need to be answered. Before I can figure out what is worth doing, I have to ask myself what is "worth"? And doing is all about behaviour and action. What about character? What about being?

Hmm...I just realized each question you can unravel, and there are always questions that need to precede the one presented. Soooo, maybe that's how you answer the ultimate question, with another question...

Can I help you?

This question intrigues me, because it's not a question about a topic. Rather than focusing on something abstract, it focuses on something personal and practical. Rather than concern for oneself, the concern is for others. Rather than talking about answers, it answers itself by doing. Very intriguing...

Well done everyone!!! K, feedback or more questions.......

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Someone...


What is the ultimate question?

I can't continue my blog until we have the next question...

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Ultimate Question

What is the meaning of life? I've been thinking about this on a fairly regular basis the last couple years. It really started when a friend asked me, "What do you want?" Could this be the primary question of every individual?

What do you want?

You see, I'm faced with a bit of a Catch-22. See if you can follow me...

When I read The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, I was struck by his call for humility. Almost every section of that book is about lowering yourself, letting go of your pride, and putting to death everything within you that seeks to exalt yourself above others.

So I felt called to be humble to lower myself before others. But I soon realized, by lowering myself I can't raise other people up. If I want to help people, I have to teach them to be humble as well.

You see, so much of what we think is helping people, might in fact be raising their level of pride and enabling them to think of themselves as better than others. Rather than using our humility to teach humility, are we rather breeding more prideful people?

So how do we help people become humble? How do we serve others without reinforcing negative mindsets?

So I want to help people. I also want my life to have a purpose. I want to live a rich and full life (not in the sense of rich with possessions and power, but rich in the sense of depth and meaning).

Is it just me, or is it that when people have kids, they put so much focus on raising their family that it's almost like reaching out to other people doesn't even matter anymore? I think family is important, but who's going to help the families that aren't taking care of themselves?

Hmm, I feel like I've been random and all over the place in this post. This is all connected for me, but I'm not sure how to put it altogether so it makes sense outside my brain.

The first question that needs to be answered is "What is the meaning of life?" Do you agree? Is that the first question? Haha, actually the first question is, "What is the most important question?" Hey that's what Douglas Adams said in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

The hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings created the supercomputer, Deep Thought, to answer for them the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. After 7.5 million years Deep Thought computed the answer to be....42!
"Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?"

"I checked it very thoroughly." said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is." (p. 121)
So, now I leave it with you...
What is the ultimate question?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Legend of Zelda (Geek Alert!!!)

As mentioned in my previous post, I won't be buying anymore video games. However that rule does not apply to Zelda games! At the beginning of June I made a goal to beat every one. I've still got 4 more to go, plus new ones will be coming out and I'd like to play those too. So what is it about these games???

In 1996 I was looking through my friend Greg's collection of Super Nintendo games. It was then that I came across one titled "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past". Hmm, it looked interesting to me so I asked if I could borrow it. My life has not been the same since!

I absolutely love the Zelda series of video games. I love it so much, in fact, it's about time I finally beat them all! Let me tell you about each game...


The Legend of Zelda


Released: 1987
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
The year I beat it: Unknown

I've owned this game for a long time, but only made it about 75% through. The cartridge I bought has a faulty battery so sometimes it'll erase everything I've done. One day I'll beat it though! The frustrating thing about this Zelda game is that you can't move or shoot diagonally. Other than that, it's really fun!


Zelda II: The Adventure of Link


Released: 1987
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
The year I beat it: Unknown

I haven't played too much of this game. The strange thing is, it's mostly a side-scroller. I'm not a huge fan of Zelda II, but I haven't given it a fair shot yet.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past


Released: 1992
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The year I beat it: 1996

The first Zelda game I played and finished. So original and so much fun! I loved the mix of action plus puzzles.


The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening


Released: 1993
Platform: Game Boy
The year I beat it: 1998

The second Zelda game I beat. I bought it when I worked at Walmart. Greg and I worked at Sherwin-Williams Paint Store together and would often take turns playing when we should have been working. Sometimes I would work with this lady named Janet and I would hide in the back and play it (there was nothing else to do, the store didn't get much business).


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


Released: 1998
Platform: Nintendo 64
The year I beat it: 1998

The third Zelda game I finished. I traded Goldeneye for this with a co-worker at Walmart. This game was epic for me. They translated Zelda to 3D in the most remarkable way. When we traded back I discovered Corey's younger brother had erased my Goldeneye file. I had completed everything. It took me forever to get that final cheat code. Now it was all gone...


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Released: 2000
Platform: Nintendo 64
The year I beat it: 2000

The fourth Zelda game I finished. A lot different from the others, but still really cool. I loved the time travel and the moon slowly crashing to the planet. This game I bought from Rogers video for $10 and then sold it after I was finished for $8. I was quite proud of that.


The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages


Released: 2001
Platform: Game Boy Color
The year I beat it: 2009

The ninth Zelda game I finished. An interesting thing about this game is that it's linked with the next game on this list by passwords. So when I beat Oracle of Ages, it gave me a password to start Oracle of Seasons with some of my information already included. It also opens up the game a bit more. You also don't have to start with Ages, you can start with Seasons and finish the same way.

One thing I didn't really like about this game was a few parts are side-scrolling and are almost exactly like Super Mario Bros. Not sure why they felt the need to include those sections.


The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons


Released: 2001
Platform: Game Boy Color
The year I beat it: Unknown

Just started it today. It looks to be as fun as Oracle of Ages so I'm looking forward to it!


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker


Released: 2002
Platform: GameCube
The year I beat it: 2002

The fifth Zelda game I finished. I bought a Gamecube just so I could play this game. The system cost me $100. I rented Wind Waker for a couple weeks and then sold the Gamecube to my cousin after I was done for $75. Dennis often makes fun of me because I pretty much locked myself in the house until I had beaten it.

This game had completely different animation than the previous games. I thought it was cool, but it was more cartoony and wasn't as epic.


The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures


Released: 2004
Platform: GameCube
The year I beat it: Unknown

In the near future I will be purchasing this game.


The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap


Released: 2004
Platform: Game Boy Advance
The year I beat it: 2009

The eighth Zelda game I finished. I actually bought this game a couple years ago when I was travelling to England but didn't get very far in it. In June I started playing it again and loved it! It didn't take very long to beat, but it was still fun.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


Released: 2006
Platform: Wii
The year I beat it: 2007

The sixth Zelda game I finished. When I was housesitting for Pastor Dave a couple summers ago I had the privilege of playing this on his son's Wii. Probably my favorite game of all time. I would get up super early just to play it before I went in to work.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass


Released: 2007
Platform: Nintendo DS
The year I beat it: 2009

The seventh Zelda game I finished. I saw it in Costco and craved it, so I bought a Nintendo DS and this game from Willow Video Games for much cheaper. I'm not a fan of the DS. It's not easy to hold and my fingers go numb after awhile. The buttons are also not in the greatest places and it's really frustrating actually. At first I wasn't happy that this game almost solely uses the touch pad rather than the controls, but I actually got kinda used to it. I just found it really difficult using a second weapon.

The animation is the same style as Wind Waker and looked really good on the DS. I loved this game and had a lot of fun with it. I liked that sailing was more enjoyable in this game than in Wind Waker.


The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks


Released: 2009?
Platform: Nintendo DS
The year I beat it: Unknown

Not yet released. This one will have a train theme!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Losing


After I lost all my files off my external hard drive, I didn't really know how to feel. I was kinda numb, but then I began to realize it was probably for the best. Why was I collecting all those videos anyway? What was the point of all that time spent?

I don't know. I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

So to lose it all kind of made me realize it was a waste of time. I knew it was a waste, but I did it anyways. I don't know why I did it.

In the movie "Following" there's this character named Cobb. He's a thief and he's taken a young man under his wing to teach him about stealing. The first house they break into together, Cobb finds a box that contains memorable keepsakes (letters, photos, etc.). He explains to the young man that this box tells something intimate about these people and that they are very privileged to be seeing something so rare. At this point he empties the box on the floor and the young man exclaims, "What the hell did you do that for?" Cobb replies that this box is like a diary. The homeowner hid it, but secretly they wanted someone to find it. And that's what Cobb does, he comes in and flips it all over so that the people know someone has seen it.

"That's what it's all about - interrupting someone's life, making them see all the things they took for granted. Like when they go back and buy all this stuff from the shelves with the insurance money, they'll have to think for the first time in a long time...why they wanted all this stuff, what it's for. You take it away and you show them what they had. " - Cobb

For the first time in a long time, I'm wondering why I had all these video clips in the first place. And now for that matter, I wonder why I have all the movies I have. And why I have all the video games I have.

Years ago I knew I was obsessed with movies and video games so I got rid of all my stuff. It was really refreshing for me. As a result, I've never been into video games in the same way I was then. I still play them, but not nearly with the same obsession.

I'm losing my interest.

I'm ready to give up again.

I'm not going to collect videos off the internet anymore.

I'm not going to buy anymore dvds.

I'm not going to buy anymore video games (except Zelda games).


(i'm assuming thanks go to melissa for this cartoon)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Passivity

I wish I wasn't so passive. I don't really know how to be assertive. Well, sorta. I've learned a lot in the last few years, but I know I still have much to learn.

The most frustrating thing is that I jump too quickly. On a scale of one to ten (one being calm, ten being angry) I'll start off as a one and then continue to be a one and then something is happening where I need to assert myself and I'll jump all the way up to an eight. I wish I could be more gradual, but I always overdo it, and then people around me get upset, and thus I have learned to just continue being passive and bottle it in.

But I'm trying to change that. It's just hard for me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

3D


I saw Up in 3d tonight. The movie was really good (although I think Wall-E is better). I was surprised by how much I liked the 3d though. It really made me appreciate the movie more. I saw another movie in 3d a long time ago and it was pretty good, but this one was amazing with the colors and visuals. Oh, and they have 3d movies at Disneyland, but they're not nearly as good either. Yeah, this blew me away.

But Amy didn't even really notice it. And someone else told me they forgot it was in 3d by the end. I'm not sure how you could not notice it? I guess maybe cause it doesn't jump out of the screen. But for me it was like looking through a window. Sorta. How else to describe it? It doesn't come out of the screen, but it does go into it. Make sense?


Oh well, I loved the experience. I'm sad I didn't get to see Coraline in 3d.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lost

A few months ago my external hard drive stopped functioning properly. I was transferring some files that Phil gave me onto the external hard drive so I could free up some space on my computer. Unfortunately, halfway through the process it stopped responding and I was forced to restart my computer which completely messed everything up.

This isn't the first time that hard drive has failed me. I should have known better. The first time it crashed was awhile ago, and luckily I didn't have very much on it at the time, but it was a pain. This time however is a different story. I have this obsession with collecting video clips off the internet. I've been collecting them for 3 years now. You can imagine how many videos I've put onto that hard drive. All that effort and time, potentially gone now.

But there was hope. There are a number of sites online that talk about recovering data that is lost. However, all of them charge a fee. I have about 200gb of data stored. That would roughly cost me about $250 to recover (and there's no guaranteeing it will even recover all my files). Was it all worth $250?

For the most part, the majority of the stuff I've found is still on the internet and can be downloaded again, but it would take time. However there are some things I got that either can't be found anymore, or are really hard to find.

Well, last night I decided to make the decision. Do I shell out the cash, or do I try my best to fix it for free? I came across this one program and it seemed hopeful that that could fix it. I knew it was a risk, but I went for it anyways. I honestly didn't think all of it was worth $250. And I got what I paid for. It did not work...I lost it all :(

I can see all my files, but they're all corrupted. You can't open any of them. I've been randomly clicking on them to see if there's a chance and so far I've only gotten one episode of SNL Celebrity Jeopardy to work, haha.

So how do I feel now that all that time and effort was wasted? That's a good question, and it's one that will require another post.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two Homes

When parents divorce, it sucks. So why do some parents put even more pain on their kids? I don't understand who thought it would be a good idea to have joint physical custody. I know a couple families where the kids spend one week at mom's house and then one week at dad's house. I think that is purely selfish for the parents.

The kids I've seen that have had to live like that are never happy with their situation. Not only do they have to live in a different house every week (what adult would want to do that?) but they also have a completely different set of disciplinary standards each week. Yay! At Mom's house I'm not allowed to watch certain movies, but at Dad's house I am. Man that's gotta screw someone up.

So they get different conflicting parenting each week, AND they also get the joy of being used by one parent as leverage against the other. Yay again!

So what do I say? In most cases one of the parents is really sucky. I say they should realize they suck and let the other parent raise them full time. You can still have a relationship with your child even if they're not living in your house. Unfortunately, the thing that usually makes the person a sucky parent also makes them sucky at considering other people's best interests.

God have mercy on those children...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

COLDPLAY!!!!


I think Coldplay is a mediocre band. They put on a cool little show, but I actually thought Snow Patrol was more inspiring.

That's just my opinion of course. You can like them if you want.

Friday, June 19, 2009

G.I. Joe


As a child, I loved G.I. Joe with an incredible passion. Besides Lego, without a doubt my absolute favorite toy! When I became a teenager I decided it was time for me to give up playing with GI Joes so that I could have a chance to grow up. So I put them all in a box and hid them under my bed. Within a couple days I had already pulled them out to play with them again. I realized it wasn't going to be easy for me to part with my friends so I had to throw them all away. I cannot tell you now how deeply I regret that decision...I almost cry everytime I think about it.

So when I discovered they were making a GI Joe movie, I was slightly excited, but I knew it probably wasn't going to be so good. When I saw the first trailer, I really began to lose all hope. Then Dennis told me he was doing some CGI work for the movie. He also told me it was an absolute gong show. Everything was a mess and he was part of the clean up crew.


How could they even make a movie about GI Joes anyways?!? It's not like the GI Joes had any special powers or anything. Each one specialized in one thing. One guy was good underwater, another guy was good in the snow, this other guy was good with a crocodile, and finally one of them was Native American. As a concept it's lame. There's no way you could make a serious movie about them.


I mean, I loved the cartoon and I read many GI Joe based books, but the thing that made them fun was that it was ridiculous. Seriously, did you know one of the GI Joes main thing was that he was a football player? They took an actual football player and made him into a member of the GI Joe. What could he possible contribute? Oh, and they also added a WWF wrestler...yeah. It's that amazing!

So the movie is coming quickly upon us, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Ha! In fact, I've already had two dreams about it. One dream I was watching the movie and thinking, "This is kinda good, I wonder when it's going to start sucking." But then I woke up and realized my dream was nothing like the actual movie. The second dream I remember thinking, "This is more like the cartoon. Yeah it's not great, but I kinda like this!" Then I woke up and realized once again, nothing like the actual movie is going to be.


Hmm, I still have to see it in theatres anyways. Uggh.