April 30, 2006


I feel so alive right now. I just got back from the grand finale of ACEM's 28th Annual Missions Conference, held at Richmond Hill Chinese Community Church. Rev. Jamie Hudson Taylor spoke. Every sermon that I heard this past weekend either confirmed everything in my personal vision, or totally blew me away with God's amazing and awesome grace. Stories of how people were saved brought tears to my eyes, how these amazing heroic people we call missionaries faced trials and tribulations to reach the finish line.

Jamie Hudson Taylor is (I think) the 5th generation of Hudson Taylor's, the original being the one who founded China Inland Missions, and the man of lore we all hear about, travelling to China as one of the first western missionaries in China. It was totally awesome tonight, he delivered his entire sermon in Chinese (Mandarin) and then Domenic Tse [fan yi] translated. And there were times when Rev. Jamie had to correct Domenic's english.

This morning's sermon was great too, by Rev. Michael Sandstrom, a missionary in Northern Alberta, who is ministering to the First Nations people there. I was praying last night and this morning that somehow we could find a better way to promote Longlac, and my prayers were answered in Michael's sermon. It was a direct challenge to the congregation to go for missions, and he spoke about the First Nations people. I don't suppose we got any more volunteers, but it was cool to see God answer my prayers in that form.


The song you're listening to is called "Alive" by Building 429. I thought it would be fitting for this entry. I've been listening to this CD more lately now that I had gone over the deep end (overkill) of the Hillsong United CD. I'll post a review of "Rise - Building 429" soon. But what I can say quickly, is that it's even better than their first offering.

April 28, 2006

You can do it!

I've been giving this a lot of thought, about whether or not to blog about this but I feel like I need to do so in order to be accountable to it. It's kind of something I'm shamed of and also quite embarrassing.

So here goes.

I split my pants. Two days ago, I had heated my dinner, and was setting up in front of the television to watch. As I sat down, CRRRRRRRAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCKKKK.. My pants split right down the middle of my butt. At first I didn't even realize what it was, I just stood there feeling this funny cool breeze on my bum and I thought.. what the? And then I realized what had happened.

It's official. I am overweight. I can either buy an entire new set of (larger) clothes, or start working out.

So I'm gonna try the latter and see how it works out. Since that humbling day I have been working out slowly, ramping up to the point that I'll be able to go to the gym again. It will take some time because I literally have no endurance at all, no muscle, nothing. So it's like building from the ground up.

Aside from losing some gut and sizeable ass fattage, I also need to start working out the arms, just for the sake of the Longlac kids, so that I don't drop them when they ask for piggyback rides.

Wii will Wii will.. rock you

Nintendo has finally released the name of the next console. Previously codenamed "Revolution", Nintendo yesterday decided that the actual name of the console would be "Wii" (pronounced "we").

It's a cool play on words I suppose, but to be honest I liked "Revolution" a lot better. The whole idea of the Nintendo Wii surrounds the idea of a revolution, since they have supposedly revolutionized the world of gaming with their remote controller. Early promotional videos for Wii demonstrated its use by showing people aiming it like a gun, swinging it like a sword, and moving it as if to chop and fry vegetables. Also, Nintendo has decided to stay away from the hardware war that Sony and Microsoft have waged their battle in. Wii is only as powerful as Microsoft's original XBox.

Wii will be backwards compatible, meaning I'll be able to play all my old gamecube games on it. This is a major change from the previous Nintendo consoles as they changed the media for their games from generation to generation.

There are already a growing list of games that I want to have when I buy my Wii:
1. Red Steel
2. Super Smash Bros. Wii
3. Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz
4. Mario Kart Wii

April 26, 2006


I missed most of American Idol last night but I saw the highlights. When I watched last week with my parents, and we all agreed that Kellie sung the worst but would still go on because she has certain "gifts" that will win votes. Ace Young was consequently voted off, despite having a few assets of his own, at least, from a woman's perspective. I guess it proves that boys are way more shallow than girls.

When my parents watch, they close their eyes and just concentrate on the voice, in order to judge who is the best. Tonight, I could not do this for Katharine as she was wearing nothing but a yellow bedsheet. She looked *amazing*, although the singing wasn't great. The best singer by a mile was Elliot Yamin. He is an amazing singer.. it's almost bone-chilling sometimes.

My ranking for the remaining 6 based on this week's performances:
1. Elliot Yamin
2. Katharine McPhee
3. Paris Bennett
4. Taylor Hicks
5. Chris Daughtry
6. Kellie Pickler

The order in which I think they'll be eliminated:
1. Paris Bennett
She's been bottom 3 for like 3 weeks in a row. There's just not enough black people voting for her to continue surviving.
2. Chris Daughtry
Guys like him do well in the show but the trouble is the versatility. He's a rocker. How many rockers have won this thing?
3. Kellie Pickler
How has she survived so long? She has RACKed up a lot of votes based on her keen ASSets. Her "aw shucks" personality attracts all the southern US voters. And everyone else.. well they just like her boobies. I know it sounds inappropriate, but I ain't gonna lie -- America loves boobies.
4. Taylor Hicks
I think Taylor will sign a record deal and the CD will sell and he'll make good money.
5. Elliot Yamin
Voice wise he has probably the best sound out of everyone. Unfortunately Americans don't like people with crooked teeth.

Katharin McPhee has the perfect USA formula for winning this competition. She has similar attributes to Kellie Pickler, only she backs it up with a good voice.

April 25, 2006

Alone in the dark

After a trip to the airport, hugs and kisses all around, several frantic phone calls, messages, faxes and another trip to the airport, my parents left the country.

Back to the good ol' days, as they say. I had dinner in front of the television, watched an extremely exciting and entertaining playoff hockey game between (my) Montreal Canadiens and the Caroline Hurricanes. Watched Prison Break again, noting that Holly Valance is even hotter in HD than on the leaked episode of Prison Break that I had watched on my computer.

I also watched 24, where yet another character died. Although this time I was able to find some fun out of it, yelling "Touchdown!" with my arms raised when Secretary of Defense James Heller jumped off the cliff.

In the World of Warcraft (which I actually started playing again when my parents were here), because they hijacked my TV. I don't blame them for my playing again though, it was just a means to an end for me, not being able to watch television made me want to entertain myself in other ways, and since the only game I had on my computer was WoW..

Anyway, last night I played some more, but it's not so much an addiction as it was before. It's just a way to pass the time, and to see if I can kill enough furlbogs to give me high enough reputation with the Timbermaw tribe so I can get a trinket that summons a priest to heal me in battle. Yea, it all sounds pretty geeky, but you reading this makes you as geeky as I am.

Well, God has answered my prayer in letting the sun come back out, but unfortunately it's freezing cold outside. Let's all pray for warmth!

April 24, 2006


I find it strange, that when it comes to electronics I will almost never buy anything that is a combination of several different things. For instance, I am hugely adverse to buying a cellphone with a digital camera on it. Or a television DVD player combination. But then on the other hand I am searching for this jacket that simple does not exist because it covers way too broad of various uses for a jacket. Similarly with shoes, I have always questioned the usefulness of having several different shoes for various activities. I have a pair of dress shoes, non-dress shoes, and sandals. That's it.

I see people who buy shoes for every occasion, one for running, one for basketball, one for walking, one for baseball. I've always seen that as absolutely ridiculous, but for me to expect that one pair of shoes can take me to through all sports and non-formal events, well, I guess I am beginning to understand those crazy shoe people.

Last week I winded up buying a MEC jacket. It is extremely, extremely breathable, slightly weather repellant, and that's all. No stuffsack, no hood. The fabric is soft and will probably tear under harsh hiking conditions.

So in the end, I winded up with a jacket that did not even come close to what I was looking for but I got it anyway. There is another jacket that I have my eye on, an offering from Cloudveil that costs $160. I don't know if I can justify spending that kind of money on clothing, but it's a pretty sweet looking jacket.


Tonight my parents should be leaving Toronto. I say *should* because you never know what might happen. They are trying to get through despite the possibility of certain immigration/customs issues that may or may not arise. I don't really want to get into it but what I do want to say is, pray they do get through. For their sake, my dad needs to get back to work and my mom needs to get back to school. And for my sake, to help me regain my sanity.

I want my solitude back, my independence and my QUIETNESS. I want to not have to set my television volume to BLARING so that I can hear it. I want to be able to close my door and not expect that in 5 minutes people are going to barge in, without knocking, to have a conversation or possibly, an argument while I am trying to enjoy a tiny moment of peace and quiet. I want to be away from home and not be worried that someone is going to machine wash and machine dry an article of clothing that can only be handwashed and hung dry. I want to be able to find things in my room again. I want my car back.

April 21, 2006

Blading and Jamming

Yesterday after dinner, I convinced my parents to go for a walk while I bladed. I bought a pair of K2 In-Line Skates last year and never got around to using them (probably because I was too busy gaming). Anyway, my parents went for it. It's been a very long time since I actually rollerbladed and at first I felt like it was my first time. Eventually though, I got back into it and was fine.

I think the most daunting thing for me is learning how to stop. Apparently people can hockey-stop with rollerblades. I can't even hockey-stop with ice skates! I use the rubber thing on the back to stop. I think I should start learning how to T-stop at least. The new blades I have are much much better than the previous pair I had, which had my ankles bleeding within the first 30 minutes. Also the wheels have far less friction, allowing me to accelerate faster and coast longer. My old blades were ABEC, whereas my new ones are ABEC 5.

We visited some of our old neighbors, which was kinda cool. Seeing people that we knew from way back when was very interesting, catching up on old days and how my parents were in their new life in Las Vegas.

After blading and talking to a lot of people, we came home and it was already 9:30. My dad started playing on my brother's guitar, trying to play Third Day's "Your Love Oh Lord". It was really annoying me because he was butchering it and I think he knew that too. All week he's been trying to get me to teach him to play.

My dad is awesome at guitar, but he grew up playing classical guitar and can't strum a lick. Picking on the other hand, he's probably better than anyone I know. But yea, strumming it's a total disaster for him unless it's a spanish song.

Anyway, this time I bit and pulled out my guitar and showed him how to do it. Even with me playing alongside him he couldn't pick it up. So in the end I told him to just pick the song. It sounded great with me strumming and him picking. Soon after we were doing just about every song I have. My mom was singing too, and my dad was doing harmony. It was awesome! Totally AWESOME.

April 19, 2006

The jacket

Eric pointed out to me a while ago that it's easy to spot me in a crowd because I always have on the same black jacket. Spring or summer, winter or fall I have been wearing the exact same jacket for all kinds of weather. I bought the jacket from Costco at an economic price of $40, and I have never looked back.

Actually I have. I have been searching for the ultimate jacket, one that fulfills all of my needs (wants). I'm a believer in layering and last fall, I purchased the ultimate inner vest. It is nearly 100% windproof and that's all it does, protects from wind. It's a little warm, made of fleece and a little spandex in the back for comfort.

As for the jacket, the following is needed:
-water resistant
-hood that can fold into the collar
-stowable (jacket can compact into a stuffsack, possibly a pocket)
-performance fit
-tear-proof (ie, when i run through the bushes, i don't get caught on a branch, or worse, rip it)

These are my requirement and I've yet to find a jacket that does all these things. The closest I've come now is a North Face jacket, called the Amp Hybrid Jacket. It retails for $120. It has everything above except for the stowability.

Patience, young padawan.

April 18, 2006

This past week

For Good Friday (Thursday) we had our first ever production, with choir, music and actors. It was the story of Jesus with characters like Nicodemus, Caiaphas and Joseph. It was a very touching story and at the end it was capped off with Nichole Nordeman's "Why" -- a very very touching song that I'm sure brought a tear to many people's eyes. The impact of death, and moreso, death for my sake has always been a humbling, shameful and emotional time for me. Easter is a time of rejoicing that our sins have been washed away, but for me it is always a time of deep reflection and mourning.

These past few days, living with my parents again, has been challenging. I love them very much and I am happy they're here, but at the same time I miss living alone. It's quieter -- complete silence can actually exist -- and there's less complaining, nagging and bickering. On the flip side there's more food, less loneliness.

When I came home on Thursday evening, my brother came up to me and said "Brian, check out your room." Immediately I felt fear that my room had been cleaned and precious things had been thrown away. Sure enough, I walked in and it was clean, cleaned out that is. Don't get me wrong, it is cleaner than ever.. actually I don't remember a time it has ever been this clean, not since we saw the place before we bought it. But everything has been moved around, I don't know where most of my things are. I think once my parents leave I will need to get my bearings and figure out where everything is again.

I'm not looking forward to when my parents leave, but then at the same time, I am looking forward to things getting back to "normal". My parents read this blog on occasion, so let's just leave it at that :)

Baptism Sundays are my favorite, favorite Sundays. I think I am happier on Baptism Sunday's than I am on Christmas Day. I dunno if that is blasphemous or not. In fact it almost feels like Christmas morning, sitting in front of the Christmas tree, waiting to unwrap all the presents. Anyway this past Sunday, my friend Kenric got baptised along with 9 other people, and that made me very very happy. It's one thing to have so many baptisms, but when close friends get baptised that is a double bonus. It's like you just gained a sibling or something, it's pretty sweet.

Andrew's brother Allan also got baptised, and also Garman from my small group. And a whole slew of teens, a couple of whom I actually know and have talked to. It's also always so very exciting to hear about how God has changed the lives of people, and how their walks have progressed and matured. We're talking major awesomeness all around!

The Raptor season is over. Well, the truth is it was over weeks ago.. but officially it ends on Wednesday night. Last night I went to the last home game of the season. It was absolutely horrifying, the way they played. Awful. The highlight of night was when the announcer noticed Cindy Klassen in the audience. He announced her and Dick Bavetta (the ref) went over and brought her out to centercourt. The entire place erupted in a standing ovation.

5 Medals, nothing but class, humilty and grace. She's one amazing gal and a true Canadian hero. Oh, and for those who haven't heard -- Cindy intends to become a missionary after she retires.

April 12, 2006


I have become a major fanboy of two things. The first is the Toronto Raptors. I am in love with this team even though they suck badly. I follow them avidly despite their complete and total utter crappiness and hopelessness.

The second is the Nintendo Revolution. I week ago I posted about the need for consoles to have "must-have" games, in which the game is so great that it convinces people to buy the system. Microsoft's XBox 360 is a fantastic example, of a console that has superior technology built into it, but does not have a game to make people think "OH MY GOODNESS!! I want an XBOX 360 so I can play ______________".

From what I've been reading, Nintendo will have 20 titles at launch, meaning there will be 20 titles available when the console is comes out on sale. Haha.. that's more than I can say for the Gamecube, which doesn't even have 20 titles worth playing.

So far, the game that has been officially announced as one of the 20 -- looks spectacular. The game is called "Red Steel", and is being made exclusively for the Nintendo Revolution.

Brought to you by Ubisoft (Far Cry, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon), Red Steel makes use of Revolution's new controller -- the remote control that senses gestures and movements made by the controller. Meaning, you swing the contoller one way, and the guy you control swings his sword the same way. You point at a particular badguy on the screen and press the shoot button, he convulses and dies.

Taking advantage of the special controller and the fact that it will only be available on Revolution -- to me that's a "must-have" game. No more having to point my crosshairs with a joystick using my thumb -- this game gives new meaning to point-and-shoot.

April 11, 2006

Ten Commandments

Last night I saw what was quite possibly the worst ever rendition of the Ten Commandments, a miniseries or made-for-TV version that I flipped upon by accident. There are shows that you would call B-movies, where the acting is bad, low budget, etc. This was a C-movie.

What I found most confusing about this movie was that instead of Moses' cousin/brother Ramses running the show, it was his father instead, the man that should have already passed on. Wasn't it Moses' brother the Pharoah who's heart was hardened by God? Instead, this fellow was just a high ranking guard. And to make matters worse, Ramses' son -- the boy who dies when "first borns" die, was referred to by his grandfather, as his son.

April 08, 2006


Brett Favre is set to make an announcement this afternoon about his decision on whether or not to continue his career or retire. It would be hard for me to swallow that last year was his final year and that I'll never get to see Brett Favre play again.

When I think of "Brett Favre", I think 'prolific'. I consider Brett Favre as the greatest quarterback of all time. A lot of people have favorites, some like Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino. And there's a crop of new guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer. But if you compare him amongst the quarterbacks of his generation, it's hard to argue that he's not one of the best.

He's won the NFL's Most Valuable Player 3 times. He's thrown over 50,000 yards in his career. He threw 20 or more seasons for 12 consecutive years. 3000+ yards for 14 consecutive years. 30+ touchdowns in a season 8 times.

I think what attracts people to Brett Favre is his passion for the game and the inspiration he brings to the table. He's a loyal guy and durable, since becoming a starter on September 20, 1992 he has started every single Green Bay Packers game. (That's 221 straight football games. Think about that!).

Brett threw a lot of interceptions because he was a high-risk type of guy, a gunslinger. There's a lot of QBs nowadays that are not so much prolific as they are efficient. But QBs of Brett's generation, these were guys who stepped up to the plate to lead their teams by making impossible plays look easy. The use of determination and example to lead their teams.

Favre once threw 5 touchdowns in a single game -- on a sprained ankle -- to help the Packers beat the Bears 35-28.

On December 22, 2003, Brett Favre through for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns -- a great night -- but even greater when you consider his father passed away the day before. I remember watching this game and seeing Favre overcome with emotion, hugging teammates on every play and shedding tears. He dedicated the game to his father. The Packers went on to crush the Oakland Raider 41-7.

What I also loved about Brett Favre is that he made average receivers into great ones. Guys like Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Corey Bradford, Donald Driver, Javon Walker -- of all these guys Javon was probably the most gifted athlete. Green Bay was lucky to never really need to pay for a great receiver. Brett is the kind of guy to take over the game because he had to. Green Bay never had a great defense so Brett had to take matters into his own hands.

I would like to see Brett return for one more year. I'd love to see Green Bay win another Super Bowl but that is not going to happen. I think that Brett knows this and is probably the single most evident reason that he will retire today.

April 07, 2006

Coming clean

I watched 2 hours of television last night. My parents and I had gone out for dinner at Asian Legend and when we came home we were all vegging on the couch. My dad suggested to me that Lent was a catholic 'religious' thing that we don't participate in. I pointed out that it wasn't Lent, more like a fasting, of television. We talked some more about it, and we all agreed that God must be pleased with what I've accomplished, and that enough was enough.

I flipped on the TV and the 3 of us enjoyed an episode of CSI.

Then I watched some other shows which I can no longer remember at this time.

I was kind of disappointed, this past Tuesday I wanted to go to Mitchell's to buy Hillsong United's new cd "United We Stand". I called ahead and discovered they were sold out. To think they only had 50 copies of it for all of Toronto (they're basically the only Christian bookstore here, at least that I know of). Man, what a bummer. A bunch of us are going to their concert on Saturday, and we won't know any of the songs! That really sucks.

So anyway.. I "acquired" the CD by other means and have been listening to it, you know, at least until I get the CD. It's coming by way of raincheck in a few weeks. I know, I know.. don't even get into it. It's my way of assisting in the worship experience -- this way I'll know the songs prior to the concert -- because otherwise it's just a concert, but if you know the words they're singing, then it can be worship.

I'll review it again once it's "officially" mine. But the main difference I see of this album from the last is a lot less powerchords(?) or something, less metallic sound. More bass guitar and everything else. The CD in general is a lot more melodic, more mellow.

I'm not a big fan of an intro and a bunch of reprises and "Selah"'s they threw in, but otherwise the CD is okay.

Btw, if you haven't guessed, I have a cough/cold. It's irritating because I just got over a stomach thing. Coughing is way more annoying because of the whole needing to cough and the itch. Also, I need my voice for work when I'm constantly communicating with users and co-workers. I'm hoping it all heals up by tomorrow night for the concert. Then I can lose my voice (and hearing), and then do horribly at the choir practice on Sunday, and then be healed up in time for Thursday's Good Friday Service.

Yes, you read that right. Thursday's Good Friday Service :)

April 06, 2006


It's funny, I put that up that poll and on that very day this site got a record number of hits. Some people must've been trying to vote several times. I guess there are people out there with absolutely nothing better to do than stuff like that. That makes me sad for this world.

Direct Energy sends a guy to change the air filters every 6 months. They've sent the same guy now for about 2 years. I've talked to him quite a bit since he started coming. It all started when he came and at the time the place was a mess and he saw my guitars out in the living room. He talked about how he wanted to learn to play guitar.

The following visit, he told me he was taking lessons and was getting pretty good at it. And then the following visit after that, the patch cord was broken on my axe and I asked him to test it out. Sure enough, it was broken -- but I noticed he could play pretty good. I was impressed. 1 year in and he had accomplished what he had set out to do -- to learn guitar, rather proficiently I might add.

Today I went to pick up my parents from the airport, and I brought them home. My guitar pal was out in the hall doing someone else's filters so I asked him to come do mine. We spoke again at length about our guitar fun. He and a few pals had started a band and they had been together for awhile. They had about 13 songs they could play. He named a few bands (most of whom I had never even heard of, but what do you expect he's at least 15 years older than me) that they play. It was cool. I told him about my band, how we play Christian Rock and he was impressed too.

We both play rhythm, and his band is very similar to ours. He, the drummer and bass are all beginners, just like us, and the lead guitarist is experienced (just like us!). That was pretty cool. I wonder who does vocals for them..

It's a new feeling to have my parents home. They took my keys and will be driving my car around. It will be weird coming home to a non-empty home. There won't be peace and quiet. They watch television too and I moved my old tv into my grandparents' room and they'll be watching in there, at least until Lent is over.

For me, Lent ends on April 9th. The 8th will be the last of Lent for me, ending a span of 40 days without television. I've had some trouble at around the 30-day mark but otherwise it wasn't too bad. I had some annoyances such as people changing their MSN names to display something that had happened in one of the shows I missed. I turned "BLOCK" on so that I could no longer see or hear from them. Some of those punks know that I'm on Lent and yet they still do it. I'll add them again after Monday. :D

April 05, 2006


I have been reading about the new console systems that are planned to come out in the next year or so. The XBox 360 is already have problems in sales -- but what do you expect when you have a machine that costs $500 and no "must-have" game to go along with it? The biggest problem with XBox 360 is there's no game out right now that makes you think "Boy, that is a really cool game -- I should get an XBox 360!".

But on that note, there really is no game like that on the regular XBox either. What game on XBox is so great that you'd buy an XBox for? I can't think of any.

For Playstation and Playstation 2 (PSX and PS2), these systems are attractive because Playstation has almost a monopoly on Squaresoft and Square Enix games -- RPG games such as the Final Fantasy Series are top-sellers, there are the racing games like the Gran Turismo series. I just read that PS3 was going to cost $750US when it comes out. Who in their right mind would $750 for a gaming system?

Nintendo also has their "must-have" games. They have sole-rights to all Mario games, and then there's the Pokemon games, Zelda and Metriod Prime. Nintendo doesn't make nearly as much in sales as Microsoft or Sony, but they have a rabid following enough to do well. In Japan, Nintendo is still way more popular than Microsoft's XBox.

I guess it kinda makes you wonder -- when is Microsoft going to figure out that no matter how great the hardware, it's the games that make the difference?

April 03, 2006

Husband Store

I don't usually post jokes, but this one is hilarious and so unbelievably true!

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE !

There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch .... you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband . ...

On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.

Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!