August 30, 2005

Fall Line-up

I get excited every fall because of all the new shows cropping up. Here's the "new show" fall line-up. It will take some manuevering to them all in. I basically went through the synopsis to see which ones I'd be interested in. To see ALL the new shows, you will have to do your own research. Most of my list will have drama's only. The reason for this is that I can find no shows that are funnier than Seinfeld reruns. Drama's like Alias or Lost are shows that I schedule my time around. I can't do that for a couple of laughs when there are already 3-4 showings of Seinfeld per day.

8:00pm Fathom (NBC)
9:00pm Prison Break (FOX) Comments: See below.
10:00pm What About Brian (ABC) Comment: Just threw this in, probably won't watch.

8:00pm Smallville (CityTV)
9:00pm The Amazing Race (CBS)

9:00pm E-Ring (NBC) Comment: I hope they move this so I can watch it.
9:00pm Lost (ABC)
10:00pm Invasion (ABC)

8:00pm Alias (ABC) Comment: The move to Thursdays will kill CBS's Survivor.

Friday is the blackhole of television. If a show gets moved to this day, it means it's about to get cancelled. Malcolm In The Middle was moved here this season :(

See above.

8:00pm The Simpsons (FOX)
9:00pm Family Guy (FOX)

I watched the 2-hour premiere of Prison Break last night. It'll show again on Thursday night. I suggest you all watch it. First of all from what I've read, girls think the guy is hot, so that's reason for girls to watch it. From my point of view, it's just really exciting. The story is about a guy Michael, who deliberately gets himself thrown in jail so that he can meet up with his brother in there who was framed by the Secret Service for killing the Vice President's brother. There, he plans to help his brother break out. There's tons of drama in the jail, lots of violence. And there's intrigue as people in the outside world race to solve the frame-up.

Michael is a very intelligent guy who has everything planned out, but things start to unravel because of various conflicts in the prison.

You have to check this show out.

August 29, 2005

CDs, Lactose and Canadian Artists

I was going over my CD collection last night. I think my Christian pile is about 2/3 as high as my secular pile now. Going over my collection made me realize how much money I've spent on music. It also made me realize that music is a big part of my life..

My brother is town now, btw. He's going to be attending the University of Toronto.

Anyway, he bought around 15 chocolate bars and other kinds of treats for us to share -- anything that he could find that he knew we didn't have here in Canada. Americans have some pretty yummy goodies. And they're dirt cheap. The average chocolate bar costs around $1 here. He was getting 3 for a US dollar in Vegas. That comes out to 45 cents. No wonder Americans are so fat.

Anyway, I had 3 chocolate bars without having any stomach problems.

I was giving my radio idea more thought. According to the CRTC, radio stations are required to include 35% Canadian-content. This concept is puzzling to me because if you listen to say 96.3 (Classical music) -- all that stuff is coming from Europe. How in the world do they manage to maintain that 35% status quo?

Similarly we'd have the same problem if we had a Christian radio station here. There aren't a whole lot of Christian artists available to choose from. And if you want to maintain an all-hits theme, it becomes even more difficult. Starfield and Brian Doerksen? Thousand Foot Krutch? The Kry? ...

August 27, 2005


Toronto needs a Christian radio station. Not some cheesy station that plays sermons all day long (not that there's anything wrong with that) or one that plays old hymns all day (not that there's anything wrong with that either), and it must be an FM station.

August 25, 2005

Calm before the storm

Well.. I've gone and done it again. It's like what I had before only with a different focus, even if it might seem like the same. I've created a second blog for my missions sharing. It was partly because I knew that my posts on Longlac would eventually get lost in the midst of musings, movie reviews, ponderings and laments on the way. My hope is that this 'alt' blog will last longer and that I'll be more consistent with it, unlike the first attempt. It is a missions themed blog, not a "Longlac" blog.

To find the new blog, look for "mission sharing" somewhere over there ------->

I ordered the old David Crowder Band CD, "Can You Hear Us?" from Amazon while listening to my brother's mp3 collection. It's supposed to arrive on Friday. EDIT: It arrived today! In the meantime, knowing full well that the new Switchfoot CD arrives September 13, and then the new David Crowder Band CD arrives 3 weeks later, I've decided to spend a couple days listening to non-Christian stuff.

I pulled out my "Room For Squares" disc today. I've forgotten how much I love John Mayer. I could never play like this.

Btw, that reminds me of worship at South Hills this past Sunday, my family's church in Vegas. They worship leader sang "He Is Our King" by David Crowder, the new song that's been released from the upcoming album. First time I've song it in worship and when I got home I practiced it a few more times. I guess that as soon as I get a chance to have jamming (probably in a few weeks) I'll be able to teach it to everyone!

August 24, 2005


I slept about 2-3 hours last night on the plane, then went to work today. It didn't occur to me that I had 2-3 hours and then lost 3 hours until around lunch time when I found myself wandering around downtown in a half-daze. I am 27 years old and today I discovered that I can no longer function with just 3 hours of sleep.

While I was at camp, we went to this Chuckwagon performance/dinner. We sat with the South Hill Church Community group for dinner and then watched a show 4 guys (singing in parts) with guitars. It was a fantastic show, even if it was all hee-haw music. I talked to a woman from church who was from Philly, and she was talking about the experience of living in Las Vegas. My impression from most people is that no one really likes living in Vegas, they are just there whether due to work or family, and all plan to leave whenever it is possible. She talked mostly about the produce and freshness of meat and how none of that is available in Vegas. Oh, and most importantly, she said I looked 21. Looking half a decade younger than you really are rocks! Woot! :)

Well.. I'm about to crash now so I'll just leave you with this.


What can I do with my obsession
With the things I cannot see
Is there madness in my being
Is it the wind that moves the trees?
Sometimes You're further than the moon
Sometimes You're closer than my skin
And You surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss

And my heart burns for You
And my heart burns...for You

And I’m so filthy with my sin
I carry pride like a disease
You know I’m stubborn, Lord, and
I’m longing to be close
You burn me deeper than I know
And I feel lonely without hope
And I feel desperate
Without vision
You wrap around me like a winter coat
You come and free me like bird

More reviews

I saw 3 more movies before returning to Toronto. I am at work now, taking a breather from catching up on emails.

"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" - Another film festival flick. The more I watch film festival stuff, the more I'm realizing that most of them suck. Before, I thought it was an artistic thing, these indie films were good because we were only watching the good ones. But when you've seen them all and start digging to find them, that is when you run into awful movies. This is a british movie starring Clive Owens. It's a story about this drug dealer, a nice kid, who is raped by another guy and then commits suicide because he felt so ashamed after having ejaculated during the rape. Clive Owens plays the older brother of the kid, who has a dark (gangsta!) past and returns to the town where he once ruled and gets his revenge on the rapist.

What I didn't like about the movie -- too much character development. This stage of the movie lasted about an hour and the movie was only around 90 minutes. For a movie called "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", I expected more action, less talking. What's worse, is that the ending didn't make any sense. He ended up killing the rapist, but then his mom gets murdered. So then you think he'll seek out revenge for that too, but no. The movie ends there. 4/10.

"I Heart Huckabees" - This was supposed to be a good movie. Even at the store, someone walking by who had seen it commented that it was the funniest movie they had ever seen. I'll admit it had it's moments. The movie was about existentialism. A guy who hired a couple of nuts to spy on him and figure out whether or not 3 coincidences in his life had any meaning (he kept running into a big tall black guy).

If you just read the above, you're probably thinking "what the..?". Don't worry, I was thinking the same thing, and well into the movie and after the movie, the same thing. It was a quirky movie that made very little or no sense. It tried to provide some meaning at the end, but it failed.

Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman were funny. Mark Wahlberg was annoying. New guy Jason Schwartzman was also annoying but I think he did a decent job. Jude Law and Naomi Watts put on good performances. The girl from Wedding Crashers was in it (the crazy one). I'd give this movie 5.5/10.

"Hitch" - I saw this movie and then 10 minutes later I was on my way to the airport to fly back to Toronto. Hitch was a funny movie and I would love to see it again. The movie is about a guy named Alex Hitchens (Will Smith) who "empowers" men into meeting and persueing the woman of their dreams. He gives them advice and ideas, and the do's and don'ts of dating. Eventually he finds a woman for himself (played by Eva Mendes) and tries to woo her. He goes through a series of disastrous dates but she falls for him anyway, but then she finds out about his business, and because one of her friends was negatively affected by one of his non-clients, she exposes him as a womanizing date doctor and ruins him (she writes for a tabloid).

A very typical romantic comedy. Completely and totally predictable. Will Smith is one funny dude, and Kevin James (a fat lawyer who wants a supermodel) was also hilarious. I will never forget the sequence when Hitch tries to teach Albert (James) how to kiss. It had me rolling on the floor laughing!

I give this movie an 8/10. I would see it again because of the fun I had. I felt like it had a positive message. It was very funny and romantic in some points. It had me laughing and also crying. Good times..

August 21, 2005

More movies

I've been wanting to blog about my camping trip but I won't have pictures to back them up until I return to Toronto so..

I saw another 3 movies. My parents have this deal with Hollywood Video (it's like Blockbuster here), they pay $10/month and get unlimited rentals for a month. It's $10 for the first 3 months and $15 thereafter. $15 is insane, if you ask me. I'd pay $30. Anyway, it's called the "MVP" deal, it's only for movies that have been around for like a month or more -- they have a "MVP" sticker when that time comes. We walked up and down the aisle for movies and almost every movie I suggested my brother said he'd seen it already.

So.. we grabbed movies that were a little more obscure. This time we saw "Primer", "Mean Creek", "The Pacifier". Pacifier just turned MVP a few days ago.

I made a lot of noise about "The Pacifier" with my friends, wanting to see it but no one else wanted to. I figured it was a breakout performance for Vin Diesel, like Kindergarten Cop was for Arnold. Arnold was great in Kindergarten Cop because of the awkwardness of having such a huge guy taking care of kids. Vin isn't nearly as big as Arnold was, but you get the idea.

Let's be clear -- Vin Diesel is as bad an actor as Arnold, if not worse. I think we are less forgiving because Arnold was one of a kind while Vin is like many other "big guys" out there these days. I'd give this movie 7/10. It was funny and cute. The kids were great, especially the younger ones -- very cute.

"Primer" was a Sundance Film Festival winner.. best drama in 2004. They must have had some really bad movies that year because Primer wasn't very good. (SPOILER -- as if you'll actually see this movie ever) The idea of the time travel was good.. The concept of only being able to travel back one day was cool. It wasn't like "Back To The Future" -- it wasn't about changing the time, it was more about the moral issues of it. They were engineers and were more concerned about the consequences if breaking the time continuum than about what actually happened. They tried to play it safe. But then when they started putting a time machine inside another one, then I got totally confused. By the end of the movie, the 4 of us looked at eachother and none of us had any idea what had just happened, what time they were in, who was still alive, and who was the "real time" person left. 5/10.

We saw the preview for "Mean Creek" while watching "The Machinist", so that's why we rented it. It was in the Cannes Film Festival and also the Sundance Film Festival. Anyway, Mean Creek is about these kids who plan a revenge on a fat bully (George), because the guy beat up one of the kids. They trick him into getting on a boat with them and the plan is to dare him to strip naked and swim home naked. Later on they find out he's kinda nice, and change their minds.. But things go awry and to make a story short, he gets pushed out of the boat and drowns because he couldn't swim.

The main character "Sam" was played by Rory Culkin, the younger of the Culkin (Macaulay, Kieren) boys. He has some talent..

Overall the movie plot wasn't spectacular but the kids did the right thing in the end by coming clean. One of the boys got scared and ran away, which I could see happening to certain "less stable" individuals. A little accident like this can completely ruin your life.. It's kinda scary because I do think the boy would have died if I had been on that boat. George got what he deserved -- I would have pushed him out of the boat too, and since I can't swim well I wouldn't have been able to save him. George, upon finding out about this grand scheme of embarrasing him, became defensive and started hurling expletives at each of the kids in the boat. He attacked each one personally. He was extremely offensive and hit people hard, picking on one kid's gay parents, calling the girl a slut. Ultimately he verbally attacked the biggest kid on the boat (the unstable one, "Marty") and made fun of the guy's father who had killed himself when he was younger. Marty was pushed to his limit and pushed George in. Anyway, I give this movie a 8/10 based on an average plot but one that makes you think, and based on the excellent performance of all of the kids.

August 15, 2005

4 Stitches

My brother was cutting wood this morning. He was chopping away with the dull axe that my dad brought along.

Anyway, at some point he swung through the wood (missed) and it hit his foot. At first he just kept going cuz he didn't feel anything. Then he decided to check his foot and noticed that there was a hole through his shoe. He went down to feel the hole and there was blood all over his fingers. So he took off his shoe and ---- yikes! his sock was soaked red. I was really scared. He took off his sock and blood was gushing out of his foot. There was a hole about an inch long. So we dressed it up as well as we could and took him to the medical clinic about 15 minutes away. Then waited cuz the clinic didn't open til 10am (it was 9:30).

The nurse gave him 4 stitches. He was pretty brave for the whole thing, actually he didn't feel anything until the nurse was giving him the anesthetics. Those needles stung a bit :P

The South Hills people were all told of it somehow so whenever they saw him they asked him about it. It was really nice.

August 12, 2005

Las Vegas

It's hot here in Vegas. It rained the day before I got here, and that made the weather turn humid. Not has humid as Toronto, but when you have 40C without humidity in the first place, you can imagine how hot it is now WITH humidity.

I spent about 4 hours working on the Longlac slideshow, not nearly enough time. I wanted to spend more but.. well.. I'm on vacation =]

Didn't do much the past two days. Every afternoon I've gone swimming in my parents' pool. This has been really fun and has got me thinking about going swimming more often when I get back. It's just so relaxing, not to mention really good exercise.

My stomach problems have continued despite having my mom's cooking which makes me think that perhaps there really is something wrong with me.

My family has a monthly deal with the local video store, they pay a fee and get unlimited rentals. Yesterday I watched The Machinist (Christian Bale) and today I saw The Jacket (Adrian Brody). "The Machinist" was a really messed up movie, the entire story was about guilt. The plot was kinda nuts, like a psychological thriller type movie. I don't like these kinds of movies.

"The Jacket" was a very good movie. It's the first movie starring Kiera Knightly that I actually liked. Adrian Brody is really good in this film too. You have to watch it to find out what it's about. I don't want to give it away.

I give The Machinist a 7/10 and The Jacket a 10/10. I actually really liked Jacket, it's among one of my favorites this year, with Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Millions.

Anyway, I've got a really bad headache from too much swimming (lol) and I'm going to bed now, even though it's only 9pm (12am jetlag).

Tomorrow we are going to drive to Wyoming for camping. Turns out it's a 13 hour drive which will take two days. And the park has bears. Apparently lots of them, we're all bring whistles and bear bells. Haha.. should be fun!

August 10, 2005

Random thoughts

Some random tidbits before my vacation:

- I am getting tired of World of Warcraft. I played for 4 hours last night, and wasn't even paying attention. I had a fantasy football draft at the same time and wasn't even paying attention to that. I was packing as well, chatting with my brother, and even in between I had a friend come and drop something off.

- The significance of the above statement is that I've always felt like WoW would be the last game I played...

- Just tried "sport socks" for the first time. Such a weird feeling of not having my ankles covered up. I feel like the socks are only half on.. or half off. Very, very weird..

- Why Anita hasn't been updating her site: No more dorkisms to share because they've all become "cute things", or "cuteisms".

- Longlac kids keep asking me for my phone number.. hard to turn them away.

- I hate packing for this trip because of the camping aspect of it. I have to pack so much more than usual which means I can't go shopping afterwards because I won't have any room.

- I've really been feeling like I want to leave my profession (not just my job) and do something else. I notice how when people talk about what they do they are often quite passionate about it. Whereas I'm pretty nonchalent about it. It's been something I've half-jokingly thought about since March but am thinking more and more about it. Hopefully God will say something to me during my vacation and give me a chance to reflect on what I should do.

August 07, 2005

Not enough..


I haven't packed at all. Normally this wouldn't worry me because I could easily just bring nothing and buy everything there. But we're going camping so there are so main essentials that I *need* to pack.

I need to finish the Longlac slideshow before I leave. I got the pics on Thursday at midnight. Friday was busy because of fellowship. Saturday, all day Stan & Yee Lee's wedding. Which leaves Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

But what I really wanted to post about was about Longlac -- not enough time spent there. Jasmine basically hit the nail right on the head, on what I've been thinking about the most over the past week, about Longlac. One week was not enough time. One week is nothing.

Alf and I talked extensively about the topic of missions and how one week wasn't enough to do anything. From the missionaries standpoint, 1 week is a small taste, like many say -- an "eye-opener", but in terms of doing something significant from his/her point of view, kinda useless. I look at it this way: Did we accomplish anything? Yes. Did we do God's work? Yes. Will it make a difference? Unsure.

Case in point, Anita and Gladys are travelling to China to teach business stuff to students there. How significant is that? To the person, it may seem like nothing. Your objective is to teach a topic, while your mission is to interact with the people there, build relationships and maybe in a few months you might build a strong enough relationship to share the gospel with them. Unfortunately though, you're only going for 1 week.

The bigger picture though, is that you're part of a large group that is streaming in teachers on a weekly basis, just one of the many faces headed down there, and over those large mass of people, relationships will be developed and opportunities will eventually arise. It's a collective effort. Similarly, Longlac had 3 teams going. We went for a week but 2 other teams went prior to us. The larger picture is the 3 weeks' worth of people coming in to build relationships with the children and adults. The purpose of Longlac was to teach about God, so less time was required -- however, in both cases there is that bigger picture that encourages us to believe that we really did make a difference.

We put the time in, God does the rest.

Alf suggested that if I wanted to make a real impact, I should sell all my belongings and move into the reserve. After a few months of tanning I might be dark enough to pass for a First Nations native.

I guess that moment when he suggested this crazy notion was the first time I've ever considered doing full time ministry.

August 03, 2005

Kepano chords

I've been thinking about moving all my Longlac posts to another blog -- err.. not moving but copying, just so that people can read them whenever and not have them get lost amongst my non-Longlac related posts.

I emailed Kepano Green to ask about the chords in their songs. Didn't really expect a reply, but I got something similar to the response I received from "Anabret" (boy, that was what, 2 years ago?). Here it is:

Thanks for promoting our stuff in Toronto, Brian. Unfortunately we don't have our songs charted ... There's a lot of wierd chords in the songs with names that probably look like flight locator numbers, so we've just never done it. If you're adventurous then you can do like I do when learning someone else's song: figure out the bass progression and build the chords from there based on if they support the melody/harmony. It's time consuming, but it will really improve your guitar playing. If you have a question about a specific chord in a certain part of a song that's stumping you then I can help you out by email.

Take care,

-- Josh
How exciting it is to be contacted by a superstar ;) I am going to take Josh's advice and try this bass progression thing he talks about. I hope he's right and that I improve my guitar playing.

In all honesty I don't really feel like I've improved much in the past 3-4 months. I've had jamming over my place every weekend for a year now. Lately I've incorporated 'feeling' into my playing. But that's really more showmanship than anything else.. I haven't learned anything new at all.

Some of you have seen me make a fool of myself trying to play Unchained Melody. I am probably the worst guitar plucker there is, for a person who's played guitar for 3-4 years. Sad indeed, but at least it gives people a good laugh when they see me try it. On Thursday I will have a video to prove it :)

Correction: Gosh! The time I featured anabret on this website was actually 3 years ago. This is crazy..! 3 years?? Where has the time gone?!

August 01, 2005


Romans 12:4-8 says:

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

Here is a photo of Longlac STM 2005. Top: Mike. Middle row (l to r): Dom, Miriam, me, Jakin, Daniel, Nathan, Shirley. Queena in the middle. Bottom row (l to r): Tiffany, Pamela, Crystal, Elaine.

We did "Golden Bricks" during the trip. Each person had a brown paper bag with their name on it. We hung them up on a wall in the church (where we were staying). The bags were for little notes we could leave for each person, words of encouragement, thanks, verses to remember, things like that.

I think this was really great for me because it made me more aware of the gifts and abilities that each person had. Being forced to think about meaningful things to say in the cards -- gave me a sensitivity towards knowing how complement other peoples' abilities and how they might react to certain situations.

One thing I did overlook until towards the end of the trip was the sacrifices that people made to go. Parents took a huge sacrifice from spending time with their own kids to go off and care for someone else's kids. Most of us took vacations -- for people with families this is a really big deal!

My thoughts are kinda scattered right now because I want to share more but some thoughts are better suited for my next entry. Let me just say that there was a lot of really good bonding and I really feel like I gained 12 new friends.