April 29, 2004

There's a part in "Everything Impossible" by MercyMe, at the 2:25 mark, I absolutely love it, they play an ascending chord scale, and then repeat the same sequence adding distortion on an electric.. it sounds wicked!
august 15, 2004

Friends, mark this date on your calendar, because as you can see, Michael W. Smith, David Crowder Band, and MERCYME are coming to town! Although it is really considered a Michael W. Smith concert (can't blame that.. he's awesome too), and David Crowder (you might remember him from Passion cd's) isn't bad either ---- the biggest highlight for me would be seeing mercyme live, in which I've heard they sound even better.

So... August 15, 2004, Canada's Wonderland.

Tickets on sale on May 5, 2004.

6 days to go!

I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
Your the one that's keeping my heart beating

I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
That's the only way that I'll find healing

April 28, 2004

Well.. I think I'm sick again.

And I think it's because of the crummy weather we've been having coupled with my lack of sleep lately. I've been trying hard to go back to a regularly sleeping pattern now that I'm no longer obsessed with any particular game. But it hasn't been easy. I've been waking up earlier and earlier each morning, and still fairly late because of the added people in the house the noises they make. Yesterday I didn't get to sleep until 12 because my mom had to use the shower, which is in my room. Today, I can't go to bed because my mom is talking to my dad over Yahoo!. I'm not sure why they insist on using voice instead of just typing.

I'm hoping I'll be all better in the morning though, as I have an important meeting at City Hall.

Btw, City Hall -- not sure if I've mentioned this before, but although it looks really nice from the outside, it's actually a pretty poorly designed building, not to mention pretty crusty inside. I think it's time for a major interior renovation!

April 27, 2004

bethany dillon

Bethany Dillon is a fairly new up and coming christian singer. You can check out her site here. I came across it through mercyme's forums. You can listen to her entire album on the site, which is a nice little bonus.

Her music is really more pop-style than rock as I'd prefer more but it's still pretty good. There's a lot of acoustic guitar which is always good. And she has a very mature voice for a 15 year old. Reminds me a lot of the first time I heard Complicated by Avril Lavigne and then found out she was only 15. It's like... wow! Pretty good voice for a young'n! Actually as suggested in her bio she does sound a lot like Michelle Branch.

Anyway, give it a go.
end of the line(age)

I uninstalled the game tonight. And I've decided not to buy the game after all. After seeing what it did to me the past 2 weeks I realized it was better that I didn't purchase it. It consumed me, caused me to think about it even when I wasn't playing it. I mean I've been hooked on games before, but for L2, this was only the beginning. After all, it was only the beta -- the real game would have plenty more content, and because it was the beta it was constantly crashing, and crashing is good because it gives you momentary breaks.

far cry

Instead, I bought Far Cry, a critically acclaimed game which has widely been considered the game of the year in the first-person shooter genre. I've been really impressed with it so far. The AI is insanely difficult, I spent about an hour today and couldn't get through first level. They limit your saves much like Freedom Fighter, only with FF I would die because of my own stupidity. In FC, I die because the AI is too smart and I get killed easily when they team up on me.

In terms of graphics there is nothing to compare this game with, because no game out there has a comparable graphics engine. This is the part of my blog when I fret and complain about how the system I bought just a couple of months ago isn't fast enough to run this game at the highest graphical setting. I can't even set it at medium! But simply put, the graphics in this game are breath-taking. I walked out of this sewer area (the tutorial) area onto a tropical beach. The lighting effects are crisp and clear.. like I said, there's no game out right now that I can compare it to. I guess one thing you could compare it with is when Unreal first came out, and how its graphic engine was leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. This is the same sort of feel you get when you play Far Cry.


My mercyme CD finally arrived in the mail today. I encoded almost immediately and have been listening to it ever since (well, except for when I was playing Far Cry). Hmm.. maybe I should just plug my sound card to my dvdrom so i can just listen to the cd directly. Haha..

Anyway, it's pretty good so far. As usual the lyrics are powerful and the sound is great.


Forgive me if I stare
But I am taken back
That You would let me here
Regardless of my past

Oh my hands are shaking now
But I catch my breath somehow
I am free at last

Unaware of my fears
Unaware of my shame
Nothing else matters here
But glorifying Your name
Unaware of everything
Knowing You're aware of me

Tell me how I got here
Couldn't make it on my own
Just tell me I can stay
Cause it feels so much like home

And I lose all track of time
When I look into Your eyes
Your love is all I know
I'm aware I'm in a place I couldn't be

If You weren't there to call my name and rescue me
Unaware of my fears
Unaware of my shame
Nothing else matters here
But glorifying Your name
Unaware of my heartbeat
Unaware that I can still breathe
Unaware of everything
Knowing You're aware of me

April 25, 2004

is it me or is this new hockey series not interesting at all?

with Ottawa, we knew most of the players, and the rivalry was enough to keep us cheering for the team. but with the philly series, i feel nothing. watching the game i felt nothing, and actually ended up watching everything else that was on at night. Alias, Monk. Then City Slickers, which btw, really felt like a major rip-off, until the last 5 minutes.

on saturday night the funniest thing happened. we went to Furama up by Yonge/Steeles for dinner. after the meal, we got fortune cookies, so I would read the fortunes and my mom would translate them to my GPs. my fortune was "Do you believe? Endurance and persistence will be rewarded." Gosh, I hope so.. prayer helps too!

For GG (gongon) it was "A new friend helps you break out of an old routine." so anyway, my mom translates it to just "You will meet a new friend." Then my PP says "new friend?!" and gets this angry, jealous look on her face and shakes her fist, at us. me and my mom looked at eachother and realize she's just kidding and we all started laughing. it was hilarious!
While picking up my mom and GPs the other day I realized that I have been driving way too fast. It's easy to say that I should follow the flow of traffic, but as Christians we shouldn't break the law at our own convenience.

This week was missions week for ACEM. I've often thought about doing a missions trip, moreso like what I'd like to do on one than actually going on one. The last few days I did actually pray to ask God if He wanted me to go, and I feel that He hasn't convicted me to go. That has me somewhat disappointed, but at the same time realizing there's more here at home that He wants me to do.

Today is super cold, and coupled with the rough wind and rain, it's really dreadful out there. I think it's days like these that we should be standing outside staring up at the sky and admiring God's wonderous works. I mean, it's easy to do it on a sunny day. But on a day like today, these are the days that force you to notice His works despite how dreadful it appears (and feels).

My mom and I are trying to quickly put together our passport papers. Mine expires soon and I'll need a new one if we plan on going on a vacation* this summer. It's such a hassle these days to do it. You need two references, and a guarantor. And I could easily have asked some accountant friend, but they haven't known me for 2 years. I've been going to t3c for exactly 2 years now, but do I really know the people for 2 years? It's more like 16-20 months, and some people even less. On top of that, they ask you to mail in things proofs of ID like driver's license. Or they'll ask for "issue date" for health card. Huh?!


It's funny to me that I think of vacation as something you get to go on with your family to have some fun, not so much as a time to relax or get away from it all. The other day just driving down Yonge Street I thought about friends of mine going off on vacations to relieve their stress from work or whatever, and I realized that life in general, at least for me, IS a vacation. I get people in our small group complaining that they don't enjoy their work. Heck, I love going to work, the only time I've ever dreaded going to work was if I stayed up too late the night before from gaming. Otherwise, I look forward to it each and every day.

I may not be making very much money, but I enjoy it the work. It's not like I'm living in poverty, and, if I ever became desperate, I know that God would provide. So really the bottom line is enjoying what God's given you. Not just being happy with it but cherishing every moment. There was a cool line on Mysterious Ways last night, when this kid tells Deckland something like:

"You never really know what the great times of your life are, until you suffer through a tough time. So you should enjoy every moment to its fullest."

April 23, 2004

gmail, cont'd

I can't help but marvel at the speed which gmail operates. You type 'c' and the compose page pops up, 'j' and 'k' navigate through your emails, and the conversation view is unbelievable. The first thing I said when I started using it was "OH MY GAWD". It's just so fast.. It's almost as if you're running it locally, that's how fast it seems. I've never seen anything run so seamlessly on a web browser. As advertised, we get 1 gigabyte of disk space. Another wonder - your mail box won't be deleted after a month of inactivity like Hotmail. Gmail gives you 9 months' absence before they remove your account. 9 months!!

Good times..

Dunc got me onto this 'teamspeak' program which allows us to play Lineage 2 (any game, really) and speak to eachother. This allowed me to meet up with some of his friends to play online together as a group. It was fun. At one point, one of our guys was killed by another player online, so when he came back we went hunting and killed off the guy, and his friend. It was pretty exhilarating. It felt so satisfying afterwards. After that we ran away because they brought their friends. It was 4-on-2, but they were much higher levels than we were.

Later on we went to this waterfall where there were these monsters, they were super hard, we couldn't even put a dent into them. The sad thing is that I played this game for an entire week on a different server so when I joined Dunc's server I had to start over. As a result, I'm at a way lower level than the rest of the group. Well, for these monsters even our best guy could barely scratch them. It's fun because some monsters if you attack them and run away, they chase you forever, or until someone comes to assist.

Not so good times...

Tonight my mom is returning from Vegas along with my grandparents. Mom will stay for a few weeks but GPs will stay for 6 months. This marks the end of my fun for the next 6 months. Not gaming fun, but fun as in getting to sleep in on weekends, going out with friends whenever I want, or having friends over. Well, the latter can probably still happen, but no late nights. GPs, if some of you can recall from my past blogs can sometimes be a thorn in my side. Especially grandma (PuoPuo, or PP). PP is the most stubborn woman on the face of this earth.. probably who ever lived.

The condo will never be "quiet" again. From the time when they wake up at 5am and blast the volume on their TV, til the time they fall asleep at 11pm and I sneak into their room to turn off their TV, it will *always* be noisy.

April 21, 2004

Important Safety Bulletin

Funny little site someone put up. Good times..

April 20, 2004

go leafs go!

so.. Ottawa choked again. 4 times we've eliminated these guys. They totally outplayed us, but it wasn't enough to beat Belfour, Cujo, etc.

It was a fun night, tonight the group was Kenric, Andrew, Gladys, and Eric. I was so glad to see Eric again. At first I was a little hesitant, you know, sometimes you don't know what to say, but it was great, after awhile it seemed like it was the same ol' Eric.

The game.. at first with just me, drew and monch, we thought we'd lose this game for sure. Ottawa had seized the momentum, and well, the truth is we didn't know which Belfour would show up tonight. But the great Belfour showed, and although we didn't play a superb game, for the first time all series we weren't completely dominated. And, as I've said all along, Lalime just isn't that great. The more I think about it, he's not even as good as Potvin was. He's a notch below, which puts him in the 'average goalie' category, and not many teams can go very far into the playoffs with an average goalie, even if they're the highest scoring team in the league.

Anyway, I'm just glad we won at this point. Philly.. is another chapter. And now, I bring you the Ottawa song, again. And now you get the option of playing it or not.

Here's a little story
About a hockey team
Who just may win the Stanley Cup
But only in their dreams

The team is from Ottawa
The Senators is their name
They're soon to be inducted in the golfing hall of fame

They think they'll take our Leafers
Now there's a funny joke
Cuz every year at playoff time
The Senators always choke

So three cheers for Ottawa
A real team they are nottawa
They can give all that they've gottawa
But the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa

Ottawa has the parliaments
And MPs in the news
And it's kind of like their hockey team
They talk a lot but don't produce

They're not the smartest either
I really have to say
When the capital of our country
Spells Canada with a K

Three cheers for Ottawa
They think they have a shottawa
But they must be smoking pottawa
Cuz the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa

You better press your plaid pants
It's that time once again
To hear that familiar Ottawa Senators saying
Tee off is at 10

So get ready for the crying
Take out your handkerchiefs
You're about to get your ass kicked by the Toronto Maple Leafs

Three cheers for Ottawa
A lesson they'll be taughttawa
Hossa and Havalattawa
Will soon be golfing a lottawa

What the hell else rhymes with Ottawa
Not a whole heck of a lottawa

They're the team we already forgottawa
Cuz the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa!
milk and cereal

i took it down. didn't want to annoy you guys too much. here's the
if you want to see it again.

April 19, 2004


It is a complete and utter travesty that Lebron James received Rookie of the Year honors over Carmelo Anthony. It simply does not make any sense. So, Lebron had more assists than Anthony. What do assists mean anyway, you can look at it two ways. One way of looking at it is that if you have a lot of assists, you are an unselfish player. However, the other way of looking at it is that you have no one to pass to. Vince Carter was often criticized for opting to pass the ball when he had an open shot; so the question is, why wasn't Lebron taking the shots?

Perhaps because he can't shoot?

Now lets take a look at each players' respective teams.

First, Carmelo played in the Western Conference and his team had a 43-39 record in this (obviously) talented conference. Lebron lead his team to a paltry 35-47 record in a conference most people call the JV (Junior Varsity).

Second, lets look at the teammates of each.

Carmelo had first in scoring with 21.0 ppg, with the next best two scorers averaging 14.8 and 14.2 ppg. Lebron was also first with 20.9, but the next two teammates were better than Melo's, averaging 15.5 and 15.3.

Carmelo was the third best rebounder on his team, averaging 6.1 rpg after Marcus Camby (10.1) and Nene (6.5). Here is the most telling story between which rookie is more valuable to the team. Lebron was just 4th in rebounding with 5.9 rpg. Beating him were Boozer (11.4), Ilgauskas (8.1), Mihm (6.4). Lebron benefited from playing with fairly dominating big men, in the JV no less.

Okay, I'll concede that Lebron is a better passer than Carmelo, and that his ballhandling skills are much better. His assists-to-turnover ratio (1.7) is incredible for a rookie.

Carmelo edged Lebron in all shooting percentages.

Steals and Blocking
These are stats that are totally reliant on opponent mistakes. Carmelo had slightly lower stats in these categories, but again, he played in a tougher conference.

Finally there are the intangibles. Many say Lebron faced more pressure because of massive amount of pressure placed on his shoulders. Okay, I'll give him that, but it has nothing to do with this award. Kobe won't get any extra consideration for MVP just because he had to deal with his off-court pressures.

It's game game 7, the clock is winding down and your team is down 1. Who makes the final shot? For Denver, it's Carmelo, hands down. For the Cleveland? It's not Lebron. I saw this happen time and time again while watching Cleveland games. Lebron wasn't the guy taking that last shot.

Understanding that rookie of the year always goes to the player with better stats, I can understand Lebron winning because of those extra 4 assists per game. I'm not really arguing that Carmelo should have won ROY, but rather that the award should have been shared by the two of them. There are just too many factors that outweigh 4 extra passes per game. The fact that Melo is playing in the playoffs right now, while Lebron is playing golf. The fact that Melo doesn't have the kind of players surround Bron, and the fact that he plays far tougher opponents night in and night out. And the fact that Melo is relied upon more when his team needs him most. These factors should be more than enough to make him the co-winner of ROY.

April 18, 2004

Are you guys sick of the song yet? I'll take it down if you are :) [Ottawans don't count.. although I don't think there are any left who still read this]

Today after lunch somehow someone had the idea that we should all get into one of those fobby picture booths and have a group photo. I'll admit that I have one of such photos. I have no where idea where it is, nor do I care if I ever find it, and the fact that I have one only reminds me of the fun night I spent with Andrew and Lisa at Pacific Mall just before closing time.

I tried Samuel Adams beer today, the commercials say "it's the best tasting beer ever". I thought that meant it would taste good as in sweet, or that it goes down easy. I was wrong. Yuck! Over the last few months I've 'acquired' a taste for beer where sometimes I actually craved for its taste, but I definitely prefer the light colored beers. So, bitter beer and Leafs losing in 2OT pretty much sums up my night.

Lineage 2 is the new game I'm playing. It's in beta, but even that is fun. It's my first experience with a MMORPG. The graphics are amazing in this game, and the style of graphics are really cool. It's actually choppy on my 2.4 ghz processor, which is sad, but not all that unexpected. The game itself I'm still trying to get a feel for. It's highly addictive like all RPGs. Dunc says he plays about an hour per day. I need that kind of discipline, although the reason I'm playing so much right now is just so I can catch up to him and his friends. I know that tomorrow I will probably play from 6pm til 12pm, and I'll probably buy Wendy's so that I don't have to stop halfway to prepare food.

Have not practiced guitar since Lent ended.

April 17, 2004

So.. just finished Freedom Fighter. I'm really glad actually that I finished it, so that I wouldn't be sitting in front of the tv playing all weekend. And in some ways, I'd say that I hope I never do that again. I thought that after Lent my urge to play games would subside because I did so well not playing them during the Lent. But instead, I played approx 3-4 hours per night, back to my same ol' ways. It hasn't been pretty, I feel almost like it has been an addiction. I really have no feeling of satisfaction of finishing a game like I used to. It was more like going through the motions of finishing it.

While there were few moments of enjoyment, (I really appreciated the team play aspect of the game) I'd say that either this game really sucked, or that I've sort of outgrown the thrill of gaming. And yet, I still felt drawn to playing it. I didn't even practice guitar once all week!


And here comes a really long post.

First of all, I'd just like to say that I did not speak even once through the whole small group discussion. Three reasons for this. The first reason, I was dead tired. Second reason, I read that chapter of the book 2 weeks ago and didn't remember anything from it. I know, I should have re-read it, but the truth is I misplaced the book and found it again just before the night began. Final reason was I was thinking about (the following) stuff.

This sort of stems from some topics that my small group discussed tonight. Plus other stuff that I've been recently challenged by and pondering.

From what I can gather, the world (or at least North America) is gradually shifting from what they call "traditional values" to a more liberal ideology. Whenever anyone uses the bible to try to condemn some of the current issues, people turn away almost in disgust because it's too traditional, too old-fashioned.

I cannot blame them really. Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, and, even if non-believers were to just believe that Jesus did exist, it was still, 2000 years ago. People look at us and think we're conservatives. That's we're following this old religion that is out-dated and closed-minded.

Also, people are splitting spirituality from God, even though spirituality comes from God. This is new age thing, where people have found ways to make themselves feel like they're being spiritual, burning candles or incense, dieting, exercising, listening to certain types of music, etc. But it has nothing to do with God, and deep down all they are filling their empty voids with tools that affect their human emotion.

This void of course, is the whole in our hearts that God was meant to fill. But instead, people are filling this void temporarily with these various practices, along with other things that bring temporary fulfillment. Obsessions, it seems are the best way to describe it. Becoming obsessed with something temporary fills that void.

I wonder if, one day it will come to the point that "Christians" will come full circle and be the ones accused for being too liberal. That God will be so far removed from peoples' every day lives that the sheer mention of Him will be considered "cool"? I suppose this is a possibility, and if so, brings some positivity to all this nonsense.

Someone tonight expressed their disappointment with the world and society, how so-called real Christians have disappeared, they're too passive and not really outspoken. They aren't standing up to their beliefs.

In some ways this expression of thought really annoyed me, because I felt that if they think that we as Christians are not doing enough, they should first look at themselves. I really annoys me when people looking for answers won't look at themselves as the answer. It's like those people who complain about things but refuse to take matters into their own hands. What's that expression, "put up or shut up" ?


One other topic we discussed tonight was worship, and whether or not some of us were getting anything out of the choir. They were saying basically that they were almost thinking of quitting because they weren't getting the sense that they were truly worshipping God and rather it was becoming more like a job.

And then discussion became broader, like, what is worship really? It's obviously not just singing. Prayer, meditation. That's it? I know, I should have spoken up but again, I cite the above 3 reasons in my defense. Someone mentioned something about sometimes not getting anything out of worship, and so it is not really worship.

When did worship get twisted around like that? Worship is for God. Worship is everything you do that pleases God. Worship comes hand in hand with the concept of pleasing God. Worship pleases God, and God made us so that we could worship Him. Thus, God made us so that we would please Him.

And thus, one shouldn't ask oneself whether or not they got anything out of their worship. The only question we should be asking is "God, did You get anything out of that?". And therefore when people say things like "man, worship really sucked today", or "service was kinda dead", you need to ask yourself, do you think God thought it sucked? Do you think God thought service was "dead"? Or were you just disappointed that you weren't emotionally touched by the music or the message?

If you've skipped over most of this post, at least read this:The purpose of Worship is to please God, not yourself.

Is God disappointed in us?

I believe this question is a recursive question, and not meant to be answered by us, as humans.

What instigates disappointment? Disappointment is when an appointment is broken. It's when you expected one over another, but the another came through. Expectations and disappointments come as a pair. I think I've talked about this before..

Anyway, if God is disappointed in us, that would mean He had certain expectations of us. But God is all-knowing, which means He knows whether or not we are going to actually do what He expects. And that means that He won't expect anything more from us than He knows what we are going to do. And so, how can He ever be disappointed in us, if His expectations of us are those that we are going to do?

Make sense? Let's say I made a ball, and I made it so that it would bounce a certain height. I would expect that the ball would bounce that height. Now I know everything there is to know about this ball, so I know that it will never bounce higher than the height I set it to bounce at, no matter what. I made this ball to bounce that height. I am all-knowing of this ball and I know that this ball will never bounce higher or lower than the height I set it to bounce. So the ball, can never disappoint me.

Something interesting that I read the other day was a false perception, that when God looks at us, He sees all of our sins. The author makes the point that God may see us a sinners, but our sins were washed away have been washed away.

Well, it's 4 in the morning and I have lost my train of thought. Take care everyone!

April 16, 2004

My search for the best philly cheese steak sandwich is over. I am a big fan of the philly cheese steak, and I believe that I am eating the best philly cheese steak sandwich I have ever tasted. Oops, that statement is outdated now. I believe I have just eaten (and now digesting) the best philly cheese steak sandwich I haev ever had.

The cheese was melted, and there was ample amounts of it. The beef was tender, yet had the chewy texture needed. Perhaps there may have been a bit too much bread, but overall definitely the best one so far. Mushrooms, green peppers, onions, all cooked evenly and were juicy. Sigh, if only I was fatter, then I could eat two of them..

Gosh, i don't even know the name of the place that sells em. It's in a complex next to the 168 at Queen/John.. across from Amato's pizza (which is also *really* good).
Another night wasted, but at least it was somewhat productive. Tonight was The Apprentice finale. It was really good to wrap up this obsession. I was hoping to have some people over but no one actually commited to coming, and even those who said they might come, didn't show either. When someone says they 'might' come, what does that really mean? Would you get all excited and clean up the place for a 'might'? I did, but I guess I'm just a tool.

Anyway, The Apprentice finale was pretty crappy. Bill won the whole thing which is what I was hoping for. But most of the show was recap and milking the whole Trump thing. The last 30 minutes was filled with shameless and blatant advertising. The first 30 minutes was recap too. Trump essentially got free advertising and promotion for two of his biggest projects, and then went on to thank some major sponsors.

Keeping in tradition with Survivor they brought the cast to a live set where they filmed it pretending to still be in Trump Tower for the final judgement. And they interviewed people afterwards.

Sam's last minute skit was hilarious, where he attempted to pay Trump to give him a job.

Speaking of Survivor, I'm somewhat glad no one came to see me bawl my eyes out. Man, there's something about a massive guy pouting because he misses his wife and kid. The instant they showed Rupert tearing up I could no longer stand it. Tears streamed down my face. It was pretty sad. Not just the episode but my reaction to it.. talk about pathetic. It wasn't even like I thought about my own family, I just really felt Rupert's joy/sadness all mixed up in one shot of the camera. Crikey, that is good tv.

I'm on the last level of Freedom Fighter, which means that they don't even make console games like they used to. Traditionally console games take me longer because I am terrible with the gamepads, and this game (will have) taken me just about 15 hours to complete. Ok, I'm not upset that I ripped off because I only paid $25 for it, but man, what a short game! The fact is if I didn't remember to save more often the game would've taken probably around 8 hours.

So here I am again, up at 1 in the morning, knowing full well that my brain will wake me up in exactly 5 hours and 20 minutes. Today at work, one of my co-workers took one look at me and asked me how much sleep I got last night. Apparently they can see it my eyes that I haven't gotten enough sleep lately. That's really hard for me to believe since I'm a morning person and am fairly alert in the mornings. But yeah, I don't know how I'll survive small group (tonight). Better not sit on the couch or I'll be out in seconds..

April 15, 2004

the amazon search engine a9 is pretty fast, and has this cool little "traffic rank" system. Blogspot is #454!
a night of horrid television

When I got home yesterday, I turned on the television and gamecube, and played until about 7:20. Switched to the Leafs game where they were being dominated again. Wondered how long Belfour would last. Literally 5 seconds after the announcer said "in 1 minute Belfour's streak will reach 158 minutes", Ottawa finally scored. But they didn't stop there, scoring 3 more times. I was talking to a friend of mine about how Leaf fans would discover (last night) whether Belfour was just like Cujo, in that they 'unravel' after some extremely awesome games. I think we got our answer.

Then I watched American Idol for the first time this season. Boy, the talent is really getting thin.. I remember in season 1, by the time they reached the top 10, everyone could at least sing in tune, but this time maybe 3 people can sing in tune. That's pretty sad..

Next I watched The Bachelor, with QB Jesse Palmer. This guy is an idiot. Although I admire his honesty, he blurted out to 8 gorgeous women looking for a good husband, that he's woken up next to complete strangers *many* times in the last 2 years. Then, despite his friends' urgent warnings of Trish, he still picks her and his friend -- essentially wasting two of his picks. Before this show started, I thought maybe this show might disprove the notion that football players are dumb, but goodness gracious.. Palmer should really get his head checked!

After that, I went back to Freedom Fighters and played til about 12:30. The game is pretty fun, but the lack of save opportunities is a pain. I wanted to sleep but I was into the level for about an hour before I was able to save.

Wow.. first completely pointless post in a long time.. I guess that's what gaming does to a guy..

April 12, 2004

leafs, broken lent

We just keep rolling. ottawa played really well tonight, but it was the same result as saturday. 2-0. ottawa scored the most goals in the NHL this season, but they couldn't buy one tonight. Belfour was on fire! it was one of those nights that whenever ottawa got scoring chances, we all gasped but deep down inside we all knew that Belfour would make the save.

it was kinda funny, how the most telling stat, was that the last time a team had been shutout in back-to-back games in the playoffs was when Cujo did it to Ottawa 3 years ago. the Sens just can't seem to shake this monkey off their backs.. it doesn't make sense.. first, we dominated them overall. then they got some really good players, and we'd just pummel physically dominate them. now, they've got size and speed, youth and finesse -- and we still beat them. it doesn't matter who's in net. Joseph or Belfour, it's all the same. Heck, Kidd might be able to stop Ottawa.


I had the day off today, as most of you know. I went to futureshop today to pick up a couple of games. I wanted "freedom fighters" and "painkiller". I had played the Painkiller demo prior to Lent and really liked it, and I tried the Freedom Fighters demo this morning before I left. Future Shop had a sale too, so the games were really cheap.

And yet, I walked out of FutureShop empty-handed. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I gave it a long look, and even had Freedom Fighters in my hand walking towards the cashier, and then I put it back on the shelf and left the store. A thought crossed my mind.. "How badly do I want this game?" and the answer was, "not badly at all". And so I put it back and left. However I did see Bomberman for GameCube for $30, which is really cheap, so I headed over to Electronic Boutique to see if it was cheaper there. They had it for the same price, and I noticed Freedom Fighters for GC was just $30 too. So I bought both of them.

So... is this a good thing? I'd say yes, because I don't play GC very often. GC is really a party console and made for games involving more than one person. That's why I bought it after all, originally, to play with my brother. But he moved. So yeah, I think it's a positive sign that I passed up on the PC games. Bomberman is really a pure-party game. I played Freedom Fighters for about 3 hours today. It wouldn't have taken so long had I not died so much. I really suck at games on console.. Oh, and playing games is exhausting.. I'm absolutely dead tired right now and it's only 10:40. I wonder if that means I can start sleeping like a normal person again..

I woke up at 8:20am today.

April 11, 2004


today, Duncan got baptised. it is always a joyful time for me whenever someone, especially someone I know, gets baptised. every time there is a baptismal at church i always like to sit at the front, i'm like kinda like a little kid at a candy store. it's truly an exciting experience to see one of my friends decide that they want to 'officially' commit their life to Jesus. it's that, and weddings, I guess.. two events which i'm most excited for the people involved.

perhaps, that's the reason people are hesitant when it comes to baptism, they think it's like a wedding, the commitment and all that..ha

after service i went to sunday school, and again the topic was faith. dL (and the video) talked about how when the israelites crossed the Jordan River, the priests carrying the covenant thing pretty much stepped right into the river, and how, the river wasn't shallow at first, it was pretty much "the deep end" as soon as you walked off the shore. And thus, those guys had to have tons of faith to just to make that first step. Of course, God stopped the water from flowing, but would you have enough faith to take the first 'plunge' ? It's not like it's just you, you can just swim back up.. you're carrying something really heavy -- and sacred too. it was their duty to protect that thing.

it got me thinking about taking those 'first steps' towards anything, about how maybe God holds back on things He has prepared for us, just waiting for us to take that first step before He unleashes the awesome wonders He has in store for us.

I've decided that I will name my second daughter "Faith".. I mean, if i have a second daughter.

Today, Lent is over. Time for games? I dunno.. life has been 'different' without games. Here are the PROs and CONs that I've discovered:

(a) More time in general. Literally 2-3 hours of spare time per day.
(b) More focused; the 'obsession' was gone, i used to daydream about gaming while at work, or at church.
(c) Spent more time with friends, got more reading done, practised more guitar.
(d) Better health; less video games = less skipped meals.
(e) Saved money; a gaming life is not cheap!

(a) Loss of alertness; my brain has been less worked up, and thus I have not been as 'sharp'
(b) Lost an outlet of anger; Games allow me to vent my frustrations and anger at a inanimate object. Without games, I have been more likely to lash out at people, for no reason.
(c) Watched a ton of television (mostly garbage) during my Lent.
(d) Messed up my sleeping patterns. (I think this might have more to do with something else, but for now I'll blame it on this.)

April 10, 2004

great friday

Singing for choir was really rewarding for me today, I enjoyed it immensely and really felt like the Spirit was watching over us as we sang praises to Him. Tim's rendition of Agnus Dei was awesome, I think I will be singing that way from now on! I sang joyously and was really able to belt it out.

Afterwards we (Stan, Yee Lee, Big Jon, Krazy Kat, Gladys, Elsa, Nancy, Duncan) went out for lunch at the Golden BBQ restaurant up at the plaza next to the No Frills across from Star Walk Buffet. As Gladys pointed out, it was really good value. The portions were huge, and each plate was about $4, and came with a soybean milk or soup! That's an even better deal than what the food court offers at Metro Square.

After lunch, I drove Elsa back to my place where we awaited the rest of the group to come and cook dinner together and feast. It was a really fun night. At first it was just Gladys cooking and preparing the roast, while I was running around assisting her with various minor tasks. Then as more people arrived we started making sushi, both the rolls and those nifty cones. In total there was: Gladys, Elsa, Nancy, Duncan, Kevin H, Anita, Carrie, Kevin L, Suzanna and I. The dinner was great, sushi was awesome and the roast beef was delicious.

I tried mashed yams for the first time, and it was really good!

Here's a few pics from the night:

April 08, 2004

Brutal! And I'm not even talking about the listless Leafs' performance!

Amy and Nick, my choices for The Apprentice finals were fired today. The challenge was to be interviewed by 4 of Trump's executives, they those two got shot down. What's interesting to me is that Trump threw everything out the window for this 'challenge'. It didn't matter that Amy has only lost once, or that Nick had also been on many winning teams and was the reason they won last week. In the end this show (produced by Mark Burnett) is still the same as Survivor. You've got people who are really good at winning the challenges and immunities, and a couple people who lay back and do their own thing, only to bite everyone's arses at the end and win the whole thing.

Anyway, final two are now Bill and Kwame. I think Bill can win this thing, but judging by the way Trump directs his questions and answers with his two sidekicks, it seems like he really likes Kwame. Kwame and Bill had both always seemed pretty weak in terms of leadership, but in the last couple of shows Bill has really stepped up. He seems more outspoken than he was before. Possibly he's been this way all along and was just using some strategy, or possibly he's learned over time his weaknesses and his improved himself.

Regardless, I think Bill is pretty darned impressive.

Kwame picked Omarosa second. I can only think of 3 reason why he would choose Omarosa second.

(1) He's loyal to his african american culture.
(2) He was so close to Troy that he simply didn't make a lot of other friends and Omarosa was closer to him than everyone else left.
(3) He's an idiot.

I'd like to think that Trump is hoping it's #2, while everyone watching the show is thinking #3. Who in their right mind would pick Princess Omarosa? Goodness.. this one's going to come back and haunt Kwame..

Fixed? I thought about this for awhile, that Trump liked Kwame all along but wanted to test them out. First, he let Nick and Amy win last week so that he could get a chance to see the other 3. He got a good chance to speak with them and see how they performed under pressure. I think he wanted Troy fired ever since he tricked Katrina in the rental episode. Then this week he gives Kwame the Jessica Simpson concert.

If anyone has seen the Nick and Jessica Newlyweds show, they must've been thinking "Oh dear God" like I was, when they heard about this challenge.

Tonight, the Leafs will beat the Senators, I'm predicting the score to be somewhere like 900-0, but I guess that's unrealistic, so let's say 7-1. It will be a humiliation for the Senators, just like every other time they have played Toronto. Complete, utter annhilation.

I feel sorry for Ottawans, not that they have a crappy team (they should know this already), but that year after year they put so much effort into cheering for this team that is clearly going nowhere. That and the fact that they have a pathetic inferiority complex that causes them to hate Toronto. (I only know this because I have lived in Ottawa).

I am so certain that the Senators will be embarrassed (anything short of beating us will be an embarrassment) that I hereby promise to *completely* give up video games for remainder of this years' NHL Playoffs, if the Senators win the series. That is how certain I am.

..and my blog for today

Today is Thursday, which means I'm up for a FOUR DAY WEEKEND! I've always wondered, what could be better than a 3-day weekend? Well, a FOUR DAY WEEKEND of course! Can it possibly get any better than this? Probably not. Yesterday after choir practice, I realized how lucky I was to have a FOUR DAY WEEKEND, because I remembered that since Stan wasn't working with the government anymore, he wouldn't be getting this wonderful FOUR DAY WEEKEND. Speaking of FOUR DAY WEEKENDs, congratulations goes out to Kenric, who will also get a FOUR DAY WEEKEND. Admittedly (and pathetically) I don't have any plans for this FOUR DAY WEEKEND but at least I have one. Not many people can honestly say that they get a FOUR DAY WEEKEND, so I guess in that sense I should be grateful for having a FOUR DAY WEEKEND.


April 07, 2004

Just goes to show you that everything works out in the end. I woke up at 7am today.

My phase in acoustic guitar songs has passed again. I miss my Creed mp3s. Anyone ever hear of the group "12 Stones"? Their guitar solo's sound a lot like some of the popular bands out there. Reminds me a lot of Creed actually, except the leader singer's voice isn't quite as good, and they're a bit more 'metallic'. I'd like to hear Creed sing some of their songs.. that'd be cool. I like "The Way I Feel" and "Broken".

I was chewing my pinky finger yesterday during a meeting, and proceeded to peel off the callous I had built up there from guitar playing. It's quite tasty, you should try it sometime! But I peeled it too far and well.. it hurts.. can't really play guitar anymore.

Work was brutal yesterday. Don't you just hate it when you've got TONS of stuff to do, and your boss decides he wants to release the product a week earlier? And all your work has to be done before the release, your phone is ringing off the hook, and you've got two 4-day weeks coming up? Yeah.. I get Easter Monday off. No complaints there, but...
I saw The Producers on Sunday with a bunch of people. It was Kenric, Ken, and Gladys.. and a bunch of others which I can't remember their names because I just met them. Anyway, the story is about a producer who teams up with an accountant to produce the worst possible show. The idea is that they raise tons of money to back it up even though it's worthless, and then the show crashes, they run off with the money. But the show ends up being good and they get there arses hauled to jail. In between there's a really tall swedish girl, horny old ladies, nazi's, and gay people.

To be honest I had an inkling to leave this one halfway (not that it was as bad as Monster) but I sat through it, mainly because I didn't want to insult the people sitting with me, and well, the 'tunes' were alright. Plus it was $70, that's like.. 4 hours of work down the drain!
UPS has been most impressive. I ordered some goodies, (which I will post pictures of as soon as I receive them) last Friday and they already attempted a delivery yesterday morning. That is pretty quick. The originating location is Maryland. That's not super far, but considering my cd's took 2 weeks to get here, it's pretty impressive.
Yesterday I had fish sticks and chicken fingers for dinner. It's getting pretty desperate here, I think may have to go shopping tonight. I may have to throw out those fish sticks.. they're pretty disgusting. And "So Good" soy milk? At first I thought they should rename it to "NOT So Good", but on second thought "BARF" would be more appropriate. I mean.. Yuck!

April 06, 2004

I hate it when you call someone and they don't call you back. I mean it takes what, 5 minutes? And I hate it when you leave a message for them, and still get nothing. It's one thing to call and not get a call-back, but when you leave a message and still get nothing, that's the worst. They should seriously change their message to "don't leave your name and number, cuz I'm not calling you back."

Yesterday at work I had an urge to play, but by the time I got home the feelings were gone. This too easy. I should have given up email, or internet. I wonder if I could give up the internet for an entire month. I swear, I'd become a holy man, if I thought about God whenever I felt the urge to surf. I have a tick to click, I'm a nympho for info, a hog to blog. Ha. Okay, that was gay. I'm not sure if I could give up internet for more than 48 hours.

Concerts. I've always had this beef with Canada, because none of the christian bands come to play here. Heck, the only way to listen to christian radio in Toronto is through webcasts. However, there are a few goodies coming our way in the next couple months.

Chris Tomlin is coming on May 1 to play at the Queensway Cathedral.
United Live is coming on May 20 also at the Queensway Cathedral.

There's Spring Celebration at Canada's Wonderland on May 8th. Newsboys, Reliant K, Audio Adrenaline, Superchic[k] , Thousand Foot Krutch. I don't really care for the last 4 groups, but Newsboys are like legends of the Christian rock industry.. I remember listening to them when I was 12. My brother went to see them recently and apparently they are still good.

April 05, 2004

For the first time in about 2 months, I have an incredible urge to play video games. Talk about timing. There's but a week left til Easter.. and up until 15 minutes ago it has been what I'd call a "ho-hum" Lent. But just 15 minutes ago, my co-worker asked me if I wanted to join his friends to play in a "Halo Fest". I told him "no", but added that I would probably beat them all if you gave me a keyboard and mouse. And that comment led to a discussion with another co-worker about playing first person shooters on gamepads, and all my past glorious memories of deathmatches flooded back into my head.

And now... I'm officially struggling with my promise not to play video games. For God. For me. Just one game.. just one *kill* even. What's the worst that could happen?

April 04, 2004

Let's move onto a more interesting topic, such as the idea of "engineered worship". This follows the first point of discussion we had last friday at small group. Is engineered worship so wrong? For me, as a believer, engineered worship can be dangerous because it can take the focus away from God and pump up my emotions during praise. Thus, I would be enjoying the worship time because of the music and not because of the presence of God.

Once again I ask, is this so wrong? In bible times, many people went to listen to Christ, for the sole purpose of wanting to be healed, or to see a miracle being performed. If you heard that there was some guy travelling through town who could make a blind man see, or walk on water, wouldn't you want to go see him? I sure would. I wouldn't be going because I wanted to learn about Him or listen to a parable.

Did Christ rebuke these people, or did He simply allow them to come? Many of these people came for the wrong reasons, but left with some new profound knowledge and faith, from listening to the parables, seeing miracles being performed, and witnessing Christ's love. What does it do to a person, I mean, how does a person feel when they witness a miracle? It is probably a much more overwhelming feeling that someone playing the piano while another person prays, or a really nice acoustic guitar being played while someone asks "Raise your hand if you wish to accept Jesus into your life."

Very simply put, we cannot perform miracles, but what we *can* do, is use devices to stir the heart and mind in order to bring people in. If not to save them, but simply to move them into realizing what they're missing, or to soften their hearts, or to peak their curiousity.
Here's an oddity -- I got a full night's rest last night despite the loss of an hour by sleeping early. And yet, it's 9:30pm and it feels like 12am, even though it's really 8:30pm. Which leaves me to believe that maybe there's something going on in my brain that's making me more tired than I should be.

I've been thinking about how I can blog about this without damaging the situation, hurting feelings, or causing a commotion, and I've decided it's simply not possible.

So.. let's talk about sports. Tomorrow is the NCAA basketball final. It pits the University of Connecticut Huskies against the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech University. I'd like to see the Huskies win this one. I did one of those basketball bracket pools, and based my prediction strategy upon which players who would be drafted in the next NBA draft. The Huskies have Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, both projected to be picked within the top 10. (In fact, recent mock drafts have them at #1 and #5.) With the highest draft outcomes being Huskies, I chose them to win it all.

In retrospect I believe it was a mistake to base my predictions on this, even though it has allowed me to beat my cousin and his friends (from Maryland), as well as Kenric and Ina. The reason being, the mocks of the NBA draft have changed so much during the tournament because some players have been "exposed" while some have been "discovered" during this important tournament. For instance, Ben Gordon, the point guard of UConn was at the time only the 4th or 5th best rated point guard in the upcoming draft but has since moved to 2nd or 3rd.

*Sigh*.. This is pointless.

April 03, 2004


Kevin picked me up to go to the Campus Crusade fellowship dinner at Wyndham Bristol Place. It's funny how events such as this usually drag on through the night but because it wasn't organized by asians, everything was so prompt. Dinner began at exact 6:15pm, as stated on the invitation.

Anyway, we got lost on the way there. We were supposed to get off at Dixon Rd, but for some reason we thought we were going East on 401 when we were really going West. And we followed the directions for people going East. Anyway, we drove right past the exit, and was in Vaughn before we realized it. Then, we went back and realized there was no exit for Dixon on the way back, so we had to get off on the next exit. Even as we were on Dixon we almost drove right past the hotel.

As I was saying, the dinner was sharply 6:15pm. The food was pretty good, basically the same food as the only non-asian wedding banquet I've ever been to. Prime rib. The presentation was alright, it mostly made me realize the time I wasted in university not going to fellowship and just doing my own thing for the first 3 years.

Also funny, was that Kevin thought it was going to be very formal (he told me to dress like I would for a wedding), so we were all dressed up more than most people.

On the way home, more fun times. First we took the wrong exit, started heading south. Then we wanted to turn around but it was taking forever, there weren't any exits for miles! Finally we ended up on 401 East, but minutes later it turned back into 427! We winded up going to the airport because Kev was most familiar with it. Haha.. We passed that hotel in total 4 times tonight..

Anyway, here's a pic of our table.


Physically, I am exhausted today. Mentally also but mostly physically. It doesn't really make sense though. I went to bed at about 1am, and although I did wake up again at 6:30, I refused to open my eyes and forced myself to sleep more. I did this 3 more times until finally opening my eyes. Success! It was 8:30! Yet, I'm still dead tired. I can't quite explain it.

Last night at small group we focused on what I believe were two major points. The first was whether or not "feeling" was a positive or negative thing in worship. I think we agreed that "feeling" is not necessarily good in the singing/music aspect of worship but overall we should "feel" when we are worshipping God. That is, in prayer, meditation, study -- in every day life. We talked about how musical worship is often engineered to induce emotional feelings from us. Such as playing the piano in the background of a prayer, or during an altar call. Or how in those crazy evangelical praise nights, even after the song is finished they keep drumming and playing and everyone has got their arms lifted high and the leader keeps chanting "Hallelujah! Praise God, Hallelujah". If you've ever heard a live recording of Hillsongs you'll know what I'm talking about.

The second topic was two different mindsets while worshipping God. On one hand we often worship God because of what He did for us. His sacrifice, His Grace, His abounding love. We pray by thanking Him for dying on the cross and relieving us of our sins, allowing us to become one with the Father, etc. The second mindset is worshipping God for who He is. The all-powerful, all-knowing being. Our creator, our Abba Father. I think because of our human nature of thinking in the give and take mindset, we often forget to praise God in the latter mindset. We've learned to do things and get things in return and in the same way we think God works the same way, so we thank Him for His grace and then we ask for things. We bow before God, not because He is all powerful, but because He made that all-important sacrifice for us.

God IS all powerful though, He's a unstoppable force and sometimes it's good to kneel before Him just because of that. Think of in the movies, when they show a servant serving a king. That king has done nothing for this poor servant, except probably embarass and abuse him for his entire reign. Yet, he kneels before the king, constantly cowering before him. He's a lowly man-servant, unworthy of facing his king. He won't even dare to steal a glance at Him in fear that he will be punished.

Well, the difference is if the servant makes eye contact with the king, he'll probably lose his head. Whereas if we look into God's eyes, well who knows, but the Bible tells us that we cannot possibly do it, that we would not be able to handle or bare the sight of God because He is so wonderful!

I think that there needs to be a balance between the two 'styles' of worship, but that the 'cowering in fear' has got to be emphasized more because people have forgotten just who God really is. He's not just some being out there who made the universe for fun. He is not "Q", but our sovereign Lord.

April 02, 2004

After reading karen's blog, I realized something that I've really missed out on while living here. Birds. I don't hear birds whistling or chirping anymore. I'm too high up in the air that I don't get to see squirrels running along, scampering around the fences, digging up treasures they hid in the ground last fall. Nature.

And sitting outside on the porch/patio just enjoying and marvelling at God's wonderful creations. When I look outside now, all I see are man's creations. It's just not the same.

I miss camping. We used to camp every year, sometimes more than once a year back when I was little. I still remember our yellow tent, it took so long to build it but it was always so fun doing it. Dad would dig a moat around the tent so that we wouldn't be washed away when it rained. And it always did. I don't think I have gone camping when it didn't rain. You pray that it doesn't rain, but it always does and I think the truth is it wouldn't be camping without rain. God knows it, I know it. Rain forced us all to huddle together either in the tent or under the tarp we set up over the picnic table.

I also miss fishing. I was never a very good fisherman, but I've always loved just sitting on the dock or in a boat, waiting patiently for a nibble. My biggest achievement in fishing is still the eel I caught when we went to Trenton. We went with a bunch of other families from church. None of the parents knew how to cook eel, so we threw it back in the river. As I recall it was about 3 feet long and 2 inches in diameter.. and it was feisty!

April 01, 2004

Happy April Me's Day everyone!

Now that my barre chords are finally coming to being, I figured the next step is playing solo's. Not that I'm any good at the barres, but at least I can somewhat eke out sound when I attempt it. From there practicing will just help me to switch quicker. Ultimately I'd like to be able to play songs using only the barre's, but I'm still a long ways from that.

I pulled out my exodus cd last night. Exodus still has to be one of the best "Various Artists" cd's that I own. My goal is to learn the guitar part of My Will by DC Talk. I think that learning the entire song will take me 2-3 months if I work hard at it, and hopefully by the 1 month mark I'll be able to start attempting other solo's as well. So far I have figured out the intro, which is pathetically easy. The first line of verse 1, I've managed to get the fingering but the switching is tough and I haven't gotten the timing down yet.

The callous that I'd built up from last month's playing have started to peel. I'm a bit concerned because if they fall off then I'll have to rebuild them again. I found that the skin behind the callous is actually a bit harder than normal, so for my pinky I (chewed) off the callous to reveal fresh skin. I think of all the fingers the pinky has the softest skin and will need the most work growing hard skin.

Right.. so anyway, I read on the newspaper that a judge has ruled swapping music to be legal in Canada. He equated swapping songs to photocopying books at a library. If those two are the same, then isn't copying software the same? And what about DVD's? I guess we'll have to see how this whole thing unfolds. In my opinion, if the entire country allows such things, the record labels will simply boycott the entire country, or tax Canadians heavily on all sorts of media. Once again, the honest people will get penalized.

There was a funny feeling in my index finger on my left hand all yesterday and until 10 minutes ago. As if there was a sliver in it, and yet there was no red spot or anything showing. Curiously, it's gone now after an hour of guitar practice. Hmm..