June 29, 2005

Charlie Brown

Tonight I went to the Raptors Draft Party. Kenric and I went last year and it was a fairly sparse crowd compared to this year. I think word got around about the free food and booze. The news of free booze travels fast :)

This year we went with a few others, I'm not sure who's friends they were. Anyway, we had a fairly good time. Miller Genuine Draft is pretty good. We lined up for chicken drums that were massive. I mean MASSIVE. They were bigger than the wings from Local Heroes in Ottawa.

Raptors went into the draft looking for a big man and a point guard. They went about it in a round-about way, but ended up with what they wanted.

Tonight confirmed in my mind that the average Raptor fan doesn't have a clue. There were people there who hadn't even heard of Charlie Villanueva, and many fans appeared to want Gerald Green. In fact I'm willing to wager that if we had picked *anyone* other than Green at either of the picks, the fans would have booed the pick.

I won't lie, I wanted Gerald Green too. I don't think he'll be a *great* player, but he'd sell tickets and Raptors need that too. However, a winning team will sell tickets more than a dunker, in the long run. I would have prefered SF Danny Granger though.

There was excessive booing of all sorts when we picked up PF Charlie Villanueva. I'll agree that we took him earlier than expected, however if you look at the way the draft was going, he wouldn't have been available at 16. Teams were drafting big. Anyone who has played fantasy football knows that you don't want to be on the tail end of an RB run.

Btw, I learned that CV has a disease (not rare) which explains his odd look.. the pale skin and no eyebrows, etc.

I'm tired now but will comment further when I get a chance.

June 21, 2005


Today I succeeded, in not puking.

I woke up this morning with some major discomfort in my stomach, so I headed straight for the bathroom where I made chocolate milk for about 40 minutes. When I was done, I felt light-headed.

I went back to bed and within 10 minutes I was back in the washroom.

It was at this point that I decided it would be best to call in sick. I could barely stand up (and it's not as if sitting down felt so good either). I had some medicine and played some guitar and took a nap.

When I woke I was feeling fine. I went and had some lunch, and afterwards thought about going to work. But then I had this feeling like I had to throw-up. But I didn't.

Went on the computer for a bit, and played some games, chatted with my brother.

Then the power went out. So I took a nap, and was awoken by everything turning back on about an hour later. Still felt like puking.

On and on it went like this, the day is a complete waste. However right now I feel good enough to drive out to church for my Longlac meeting so I'm gonna do that. I'm starving but I don't think it's a good idea to eat anything.

So uh.. not much of a blog here. Sorry.

June 19, 2005

Peanut butter and WORSHIP

Something that has been on my mind lately is the progression of the weekly jamming time I've been hosting every Sunday over the past year. I've been thinking a lot about what it's purpose is and how we can improve it. And ensuring that it doesn't just become jamming.

I learned in small group last year about the constant communion we should be having with God. Constant, meaning all the time, never ending. Eternal.

A couple of times during jamming, secular music would be played. At first, I thought it was fun, it was fun to reminisce the old songs we used to listen to, and then to play and sing them. That was fun. However at times it becomes excessive. For the guitarists, it might not seem like that big a deal, but I'm often reminded by the others who attend — they aren't there to 'practice', they're here to sing. Moreover, they're here to worship.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't want secular music played during jamming because it's an inconvenience to others. To me it's more like it's an inconvenience to God. And it's an inconvenience to me. Not to sound selfish either, but I want to spend that time worshipping. For me, practicing guitar is the by-product of worship, not the other way around.

Coupled with this concept of worshipping — not just jamming — is that when we worship God, we are on Holy ground. And with that comes a certain amount of understanding that God is with us. It's kind of like how everyone always prays before fellowship or food, that "our discussion and conversations may be pleasing to You". I've found over the past few months that occasionally it stops being about God and more about hanging out or guitar fun.

This is usually when I'll stand up and go back to my room. When the focus is lost, I tend to retreat to the confines of my bedroom. I know — that people come for different reasons. Some probably do come just to hang out.

June 17, 2005

Help me find this

My co-worker brought this to work. He took it from his daughter, doesn't know where it came from. It's a fairly large flat bag, yellowish white in color. Here's what it says on the package:

Crisp Sweet Potato: Series foods for leisure time

May the breeze bring you The tenderness and
warmth from me Far from each other we may be.
Yet still you are here,At the bottom of my heat.



These things taste great. Find it please.

June 15, 2005

If there is one thing you could do and you knew you couldn't fail, what would it be?

This is question #1 in the Networking class I am attending at church. The purpose of the class is to find your spiritual gifts, and the first part is to find your passion. I could not answer that question for the longest time. I have been pondering the answer to it for about a week and I am slowly reaching an answer.

Alfred and I stood at the elevator waiting to go down. He told me how he had meetings from 9am-1pm today. We both rolled our eyes. We're both sick of work again, and it's not March this time. The two of us have been brainstorming over the last 3-4 months about what we can do so that we can quit our jobs and still make a living, doing something else.

In the subway I read my paper as usual. There was an ad for perfumes and we revisited another one of Alf's brilliant business ideas. There's gotta be something we can do. I wagered a bet with Alf saying that not one single person in the subway car was happy with their jobs. I mean you look at everyone, they've got this gloomy look like they're heading towards impending doom. It's the same look every day. People have these blank looks on their faces in the mornings, and then an exhausted look in the evenings, with a hint of dread because they know they'll just have to go back and do it again tomorrow.

Okay so I might exaggerating slightly. But it is still the truth.

I suggested that maybe we could sell stuff on eBay for a living. Alf suggested getting stuff wholesale from China. It could be anything. Buy something for $1, sell it for $3.. that could work. King. Alf went to work. I switched on my mp3 player. The bridge from "Sing" was playing (Hillsong United).

I'll give my life for You Lord
For all You've done
I'll give my life for You Lord
For all You've done
I'll give my life for You Lord
For all You've done
I'll give my life for You Lord
For all You've done
I'll give my life
It reminded me that the only way to reach the state of pure joy, was to be giving my life to God. And it made me think about my passion again. What's the one thing I would do if I knew I couldn't fail?

I would quit my job. I would take guitar lessons, drum lessons, and voice lessons. And then I would start a band. That's my answer in a nutshell.

June 12, 2005

What are you doing right *now*?

I had this hilarious thought during Sunday school today. Kinson was talking about communication, about how it's like 10% words, 30% tone of voice, and 60% body language when Stan asked about how the numbers were now that there was telephone, email and chatting.

Anyway the thought I had was what it would be like if you were chatting on MSN with someone and they could see everything that you were doing at the time of your conversation. Please keep in mind that this is just an example and I am not doing all the things nor implying that you are doing the same things when we're chatting.

I pictured a guy and a girl sitting in front of eachother talking. Behind the girl would be 3-4 other people, also talking to her. And the girl would be doing her hair while reading a book, and occasionally another person would walk over and show her some clothing.

Meanwhile the guy would be reading a car magazine while cutting his toenails, sitting in his underwear and have music playing in the background. There'd also be 3-4 other people behind him talking to him as well, and there'd be a FutureShop representative walking in and out showing him things.

I mean let's face it, when we talk to eachother we have no idea what the other person is thinking, doing, or feeling. For all we know, there's no one there and just some machine typing out random messages of "lol" and "hahaha" and "sup?". We may not even be talking to who we think we're talking to.

I used to pose as Lon and talk to his friends on his laptop when he wasn't home. None of them could tell it was me until I started talking about eating poo.

I guess this is a post about communication, and also multitasking. There are definitely times that when I am having a meaningful conversation with someone, or conversing with someone who is important to me, that I stop everything else I'm doing and focus on the conversation. But there are also times when I talk to 4-5 different people at once and find myself having to scroll up to remember what that person was talking about.

Back before MSN/ICQ, if you talked to 4-5 people at once, that would be considered rude. If you cut your toenails while talking to someone, that would be disgusting. Talking with your mouth full was also a no-no. Back then, you couldn't talk to someone while you were naked, or brushing your teeth, picking your nose, q-tipping your ears, plucking your eyebrows, etc etc etc.

Brings new meaning to the expression "ignorance is bliss" doesn't it?

June 10, 2005

Move aside, Larry

I didn't watch the game. I was about to and then a guildie contacted me to take his place in Molten Core, so I obliged and missed watching the game. My comments below are based on what I think happened based on the boxscore. For some reason the sporting world hasn't released a "recap" of the game yet so this is all I can go by.

Everything that I said Detroit needed to do, didn't happen. The end result -- Spurs win 84-69. Let's compare what I said Detroit needed to do, and what really happened:

- The two Wallaces need to combine for 35-40 points
- Rip needs to take no more than 15 shots
- Neutralize Brent Barry
- "Billups will get his 20-25 points in and Prince his 15."

Here's what happened:

- Wallaces combined for a paltry 11 points on 5 for 11 shooting. This tells me that they weren't being used in the offense. 11 shots by your big men? Come on Larry!
- Rip took 21 shots. Why would you take 21 shots if you're being guarded by Bruce Bowen? The way to neutralize the best one-on-one defender in the league is not to try to score on him! Again I blame Larry because we all know Rip is *not* a ball hog.
- I'm not sure if they did this or not. Spurs barely used him because they appeared to be in command of the game for most of the night. Their guys weren't tired because of their weeklong layoff. Only Horry got lots of minutes and he didn't do much.
- Billups got 25 points. Prince had 11.

I think what happened last night (because I also have utmost respect for Larry Brown), is that he went with the same game style as last series. Larry is one of those guys who sticks with what works. Unfortunately, the Spurs are nothing like the Heat. They are not just a two-star team, although in truth they do only have 2 stars.

So.... Where do we go from here. Larry will make adjustments to the offense to get Rasheed open more often. And Sheed will have to come through for them. Ben Wallace scored well last year but not much this season. He needs to put in 10-15 points, and Rasheed 20-25. This is imperative. Rip has to take less shots. And then everything else is fine.

11 of the past 14 teams who won Game 1 went on to win their series this year. However, they were all 2-2-1-1-1 series' and not the 2-3-2 format for the Finals. I think Detroit can still pull through!

June 08, 2005


by Hillsong United

Did You rise the sun for me?
Or paint a million start that I might
Know Your majesty?
Is Your voice upon the wind?
Is everything I've known marked
With my maker's fingerprints?

Breathe on me
Let me see Your face
Forever I will seek You

'Cause all You are, is all I want, always
Draw me close in Your arms
O God, I wanna be with You

Can I feel You in the rain?
Abandon all I am to have You
Capture me again
Let the earth resound with praise
Can You hear as all creation lives
To glorify one name?
This is a song that I've been listening to for the past couple of weeks. I think it just percolates the idea of constant worship, constantly seeking Christ, constantly standing before Him, no matter where we are.

I have been bickering on and off about worship. And this morning as I was singing this song and marching up the escalator to work, it dawned on me that God created us all differently. Each of us worship differently. Some of us need to *feel* something, while others can feel nothing. Some need to exalt Him using long sentences and profess intricate details, while for others, a simple I love You is enough. For some, meditating on lyrics is enough, while others may feel the need to harmonize and sing with a full-scale band or choir.

And what it all comes down to, is just pleasing God.

There are two issues at hand here. One, is pleasing God. The other, is getting yourself to place where you feel like you're communing with God. Both are actually the same thing but as humans, there is a separation between the two because we're all wired differently.

I feel like a worship leader's responsibility, aside from us worshipping too, is to try to take the rest of the congregation closer to that point where they are in tune with the worship at hand. Hmm.. I don't have the words to describe it.

wqotw has an interesting and somewhat related quote this week on this subject.

I'll finish my thoughts later, as they come to me.

June 07, 2005

NBA Finals

If you wanted to see my Zo post, ask me for it and I can send it to you. I thought it was a bit much :P

The matchup.

I want Detroit to win. I like them because they have no big stars, they're just a bunch of really hard-working guys. And they are fundamentally sound. There's no player on the Pistons who plays unorthodoxically -- they all play their position to the T, the way they were meant to be played. It's like a well-oiled machine and grinding it's way through NBA's finest.

I hated Detroit last year.. but that was only because the beat Kobe. I disliked their playing style because I thought it dulled the game. Now I find it invigorating, watching their carefully planned out defense unfold. It's like a thing of beauty, if you can call it that. You really need to know basketball and understand the game to fully appreciate what they do.


These two teams matchup really well.

In the frontcourt, Detroit has a bunch of hybrid PFs in Wallace, Wallace, Campbell and McDyess. The combination of these guys will match up well against Duncan and Mohammed/Nesterovic. I can see Rasheed Wallace being the primary matchup with Tim Duncan, while Ben kind of hovers between the two. He's one of those guys who makes blocks out of nowhere and he will get his opportunities because Nazr and Rasho are basically decoys in the Spurs offense. From the flip side if Duncan ends up covering Rasheed, it will cause problems for the Spurs because of Rasheed's perimeter abilities. He'll be able to pull Duncan outside, thus allowing Big Ben to clean up on the offensive boards.

The midcourt is the most intriguing matchup. Tayshaun Prince will be assigned to Ginobili, and Prince will not be able to stop Manu. Ginobili is going to score 25+ every game in this series. He's gonna have his way with Detroit. On the flip side there is Bruce Bowen on Rip Hamilton. I have never been a big fan of Rip at all, and I think Bowen will shut him down almost completely.

Here's something interesting that I just thought of. What if they just let Rip guard Manu. Rip is super athletic and won't tire out, although he won't stop Ginobili, it's not like anyone can. Then they can put Prince on Barry and pretty much neutralize that threat. Prince can help Rip at times when Barry isn't in the game. No one needs to cover Bowen, he's a non-factor on offense.

Backcourt -- it all depends on which Parker shows up. I've never liked Parker because he's so inconsistent. He has the skills to put up 20/8 every night, but he doesn't do it. He could easily be as effective as Billups but more often than not he just ends up sucking. He's just one of those guys who is extremely explosive but doesn't know how to do it every night. Also I've found he's really streaky.. if he sucks in one game, it'll take him awhile to get back. He doesn't know how to "turn it back on".

Benchwise, the Spurs will kill them. With Brent Barry and Robert Horry, they have two guys who would start on most teams coming off the bench. There's also Glenn Robinson, although I don't think very highly of him. The Pistons have Arroyo, who has just about every intangible Billups has, minus the mind-boggling clutch shooting. Then there's streaky Lindsey Hunter (can you believe this guy has like 4 rings?), and Antonio McDyess. These guys are not huge impact players.

Detroit will be looking for offense from Rasheed and Big Ben. Billups will get his 20-25 points in and Prince his 15. But they can no longer rely on Rip in this series. I imagine that if Detroit plays like they always do, which is a patient game, Rip will rack up on the assists. If they don't play well, then we'll see awful 4-for-15 nights from Rip, with 5 turnovers and no assists.


I started this post thinking the Spurs would destroy the Pistons, but having written the matchups, I now feel like the Pistons even have a chance to win this whole thing. But it will be hard. Detroit can win this thing in 6 games. In fact they *have* to win it in 6 because the Spurs are such a strong home team.

Everything depends on Detroit's composure. If they can stick to their game, they can win this series. Essentially, this thing is San Antonio's to lose. Like LA, if they can just control Duncan (Shaq) and just let Ginobili (Kobe) go nuts, they can win this. I'll say this again: The two Wallaces need to score. I'm thinking 35+ from the two of them per game for Detroit to pull this off. Or, some miraculous performance from McDyess or Hunter. If one of these guys can score 15 points, it is game over for the Spurs.

You can tell that I'm reaching here in my "if Detroit can..." statements. You can tell that I think it will be a long road and that it will be very difficult. You can tell what my prediction will be. So I'm not going to say it. You know what I'm thinking so there's no point. The important thing is that I enjoy these games and cheer for the team I want to win, rather than who I predicted to win.

Therefore, I say Detroit in 6.

June 06, 2005

Days of Elijah

Yesterday I found out that many people at my church, not just myself, disliked the song "Days of Elijah" by Robin Mark. Our pastor had actually received complaints about this modern hymn.

For me, it was the fact that the song has too many words and you find yourself being forced to catch up on the lyrics whenever you're singing it. Secondly, I found the words were lacking real meaning, at least to me.

The chorus bothered me because it had pictures God riding through the clouds like Superman would. Airplanes, birds — the things ride through clouds. The idea of that the almighty God sharing the skies with birds, airplanes and Superman. There's nothing pristine about that. True, God is omnipresent — so we could just as easily be singing "Behold He comes, riding on the subway".

And the bridge. "There's no God like Jehovah." I prefer to skip the bridge when I sing this song. There are two things I dislike about it — redundancy and blasphemy. It repeats 4 times, that there is no God like God. Wow, very enlightening. Really? God is God? Wow! The blasphemous part, is that it's almost as if they are saying that there are several gods but that none of them is like our Jehovah. He's saying all the other gods fall short of the Jehovah. There is only one God, period. What we really should have been singing is "You are the One true God and the rest are phonies."

Just my opinion.

I had a discussion with a friend about this and it made me think more about the words and their meaning.

Robin Mark has written an article that sums up why he wrote this song, and its purpose because — apparently I'm not the first to ask: "What's the point of this song?"

Robin's idea was to write about a song of hope. It's the notion of bringing back the OT days as a reminder of these great prophets and leaders who took hold of their own lives to proclaim God's kingdom. That despite any kind of trials or tragedy, God is here and alive, we should also follow in their (Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel, David's) example.

Or a converse way of looking at is, is that we are living in a time where we have never faced the kind of tribulation that those guys did, and thus we should have all the more reason to be shouting from the rooftops.

Regardless, it is an interesting read, and has given me something else to think about the next time we sing it.

June 03, 2005

Working out

I've worked out about 13 times since my last birthday. I had planned to workout 52 times -- once per week -- this "year", but it hasn't really happened. To workout 52 times I'll have to workout 39 more times before my next birthday.

That's 72 days away, which means I have to workout more often than every other day.

It's impossible. I'm shooting for 26. It's way more reasonable. After all, how could a guy go from working out *NEVER* to once a week. It's way too much to ask. Now once every two weeks, that's not so bad. This means I have 13 more times to go with 72 days remaining. I'll have to workout at a pace of once every 5 days to reach this goal. This is certainly attainable. This week I have worked out twice -- Wednesday and Friday. At this pace I will most certainly reach my goal because my co-worker and I are on a 3-day-a-week workout plan. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

I'm also away for a week in July, for about 8 days. That leaves 64 days to work out 13 times. Or, once every 4 days.

June 01, 2005

Star Wars 3

I wanted to write this the moment I stepped out of the theatre but it has taken awhile to put it all together. At first, all I wanted to do was to track down George Lucas and strangle him to death. But I've calmed down a lot now and have decided a simple blog review of the movie will suffice.

Suffice to say, I hated this movie. Putting aside that it provided some closure to this awful, awful trilogy, I cannot even begin to fathom what Lucas was thinking when he wrote this one. All I can think of is that he knew that he was going to make billions of dollars no matter how good or bad the movie was, so basically just "winged" it.

Many people will say this movie was better than the first two. I will concede, this is true. But saying that Episode Three was better than Episode One and Two, is the same as saying eating a bowl of crap is better than eating two bowls of crap. So although it's true, it doesn't really mean anything.

I have heard some say Episode Three was the best of all 6 Star Wars movies. To those who have thought this, I suggest you go to this site. In the words of my OAC calculus teacher: "You need help. Help is available".

So.. where do I start. The thing I hated most was the plot. I felt like it was "too easy". There were things Lucas put in there that made no sense at all, he put them in there conveniently to complete a nostalgic storyline and hoped we wouldn't notice.

Point #1: The Plot

I'm not even going to go into the plot holes connected to episodes 4-6. I feel those are unfair to judge because the movies were made 20-25 years ago and looking back I'm sure Lucas wishes he could have changed a few things here and there.

In non-force terms, the plot of Episode 3: A youth pastor at *THE* church has a bad dream about his wife dying while giving birth. A satanist convinces the pastor that he can prevent this from happening but he has to start worshipping the devil first. So, he goes for it. Years of seminary, training and discipline goes out the window because after all, he dreamt about something bad and dreams ALWAYS come true. He becomes a satan-lover, and his first task is to kill hundreds of people — including small children — and then tries to kill the senior pastor at his church when he confronts him. He then accuses his wife of cheating on him with the senior pastor, and tries to strangle her to death. The senior pastor defeats him in a battle, and then when he wakes up, he has no legs and has to wear a big mask.

Point #2: The Force

The Force. People with The Force can sense feelings in others. Remember lines like "I sense that the force is strong in you". "You must learn to suppress the anger I sense in you". How about an entire evil plot of the Sith Lord, pretending to be the Senator? No senses on that one? Maybe the Sith Lord could mask his own feelings. But how about hundreds of thousands of clone troopers who were in on it? You'd think that all these Jedi's could sense something more than "something doesn't feel right".

Point #3: It's for kids!

People argue this movie (and all the other Star Wars movies) are for kids. This explains the Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks, Pod Racing, R2D2, and robots who say "ow" when they get their limbs cut off. Lucas even stated on television: "The movies are for children but [the fans] don't want to admit that." Um.. for kids? What about when Darth Maul was sliced in half? Was that suitable for kids? When Anakin's legs were chopped off and the stumps caught fire while his face melted off, was that for kids too?