Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm not popular.

There are only two people in the US with my name, including me! I knew I was unique!

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

A Great Apple Store Story.

I have been holding back for a couple of weeks, but here you go. A bout a month ago I started experiencing problems with my 12" PowerBook. It kept crashing and a weird kernel notice kept popping up. Well, I decided I would take a ride over to the local Apple Store to see if a Mac specialist could lend a hand. After a whole bunch of diagnostic tests they called me to let me know that the logic board needed to be replaced and it would take about a month to get back. I agreed to the repair and at that time decided to purchase my new MacBook. About a week later I received a call from the Apple Store people to let me know that the California tech guy said there was nothing wrong but they would run more diagnostics. The next day they said I could come pick up the PowerBook. The manager met me with my computer and said that there was a problem. The California tech guy DID indeed fix the logic board AND the memory, about $700 in repairs. He said because of the miscommunication with me that Apple would waive ALL fees and he thanked me for being so patient. That’s what I call customer service. No calls to India, no hassle with a half-know tech guy. People ask me why I prefer Mac to PC. This is just one reason, an awfully big reason.


Monday, October 30, 2006

My Week.

Do you ever have on of those weeks where you just don't stop? Here is a breakdown of what I would consider one ridiculous week....
Tuesday - after our weekly church staff meeting I had an appointment at my dermatologist to remove a skin lesion. Ouch! It required some stitches and a couple of needles.
Wednesday - In the morning Jeff and I led the chapel at our local Christian school. I spoke out of James 1:2-4 about trials and their purpose. I had fun even though the students were pretty much non responsive. I got back to the office and started the prep for our Wednesday evening Student Ministry MERGE environment. My day ran non-stop form 7am-10pm. No complaints just truth.
Thursday - In preparation for our upcoming high school campout I had to make a Costco run with one of our student leaders. We then went to our camp location in Okeechobee (about 60 miles away). We got out there and set up all of our tents and other necessary camping items. The day started around 8am and concluded at 8pm. I got home in time to watch "The Office" when unbeknownst to me IT WAS A REPEAT! I watched it anyway. It was the famous kiss episode.
Friday - At 8am I had an appointment so I arrived at the office with one of my more needy students waiting at the door (no school on Friday!) and my appointment there as well. I had to get our bus started, checked and then had to make a round of student pick-ups. Our departure time was 5pm from Jupiter and arrival at our camp was around 7pm. We had a great evening with our students around the campfire. Several gave testimony to what God is doing in their lives, unbelievable. We all then went to "sleep". Around 1:30am the skies opened up and we got poured on! All I have to say is Florida rain.
Saturday - We "got up" around 6am and ran around in the rain and mud, ate breakfast and had a devotional. The day then began as we kayaked, canoed, played games and did the whole rope swing into the beautiful old Kissimmee River, true Florida blackwater. Around 4pm we took off for Jupiter and arrived around 6pm. After taking students home around town I got home around 8pm.
Sunday - We all got a beautiful extra hour sleep and I awoke at 6am and arrived at church with a cube truck at 7:30am. We start our set up and transformation of math classrooms into children's ministry rooms; it's pretty much a miracle! I then go, pick up some students around town for church at 10am. We tear down all that we set up, go to lunch, then to the church office where I get prepped for our Crave high school Bible study at 6pm. I got home at 10:15pm and crashed.
Monday - Nothing, absolutely nothing.

On Life.

Read this interesting post by singer/songwriter John Mayer, pretty thought provoking and unexpected. CHANGE

Saturday, October 28, 2006

More Banana Republic.

In April I posted on the banana republic known as Palm Beach County. I mentioned a few things that I thought qualified the county I live in as corrupt. I mentioned in the post what makes this place a joke is it's lack of leadership from a civic standpoint. Here is an addendum to that post and as we rack up corruption, I will surely fill you in.

Mark Foley - as everyone in the world know former Rep. Mark Foley resigned about a month ago after it was disclosed that he was flirting with House pages. My friend was in Istanbul, Turkey at the time and he called me to say, "dude, I heard about Foley!" Putting Palm Beach County on the map again. Foley was raised in this area and served and various political positions. I always knew he was a homosexual (so did everyone down here) but he wasn't flamboyant, at least we thought.

Ray Liberti - about a month after my post this was the headline on the Palm Beach Post: "Charged with fraud, Liberti to resign". Who in the world is that, you ask. Well, let me tell you. He was a two-term West Palm Beach City Commissioner. The FBI investigated him, accusing him of using his public position to pressure the owners of a nightclub and a massage parlor to sell their businesses at below-market prices. Nice, huh? You can read more about his fiasco here.

Tony Massoloti - the Palm Beach County Commission Chairman has been under pressure from federal investigators, so he resigned on October 26th. What is he being investigated for? He was using his position to make personal land investment deals. The Palm Beach Post says "federal prosecutors are threatening to charge him with "honest services" fraud, a crime that upon conviction carries a prison term of five to 20 years."

Lois Frankel - She may be the most crooked of all the PBC politicians. She has been involved in PBC politics for many years. She now holds the mayoral post for West Palm Beach, the most coveted of all local positions. I will not be surprised when one of the local papers has a headline featuring her highness. Here are some of the recent comments in the PB Post about her: "...she is being paid off by the developers - her personal finances need to be investigated..."
"...she is a corrupt mayor, taking bribes from the big money condo developers..."
Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.....it goes on and on.

To be continued.....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Ultimate Air Guitar Competition

Last night in our Student Ministry we had an air guitar competition. Here is the champ.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Adoption Update

It's been awhile since I have given an adoption update. We are still waiting on our travel dates for our first trip. Our agency rep is telling us we could be leaving for Moscow in as little as two weeks! Pray for us as we are feeling a little "adoption fatigue". Thanks to all Life & Times readers for your prayer and financial support! To find out where we are financially check out the latest post on our Russian Adoption blog.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday!

On October 23, 2001 the iPod was introduced to the world! I remember my first iPod experience. I purchased a second generation gadget and to be honest, I didnt really start using it until about two months later! Since then I have grown quite fond of this piece of hardware. I have since sold my first iPod to this guy and have purchased a black video iPod. What was your first iPod experience like? Did you ever think that they would be a huge flop? Will you buy a new enhanced Pod?

Day 120

It has been four months since we began our Great Experiment with our entertainment system. If you recall, we eliminated our Directv account, purchased a MacMini, Miglia TVHD hardware and an HD antenna that is mounted outside where our satellite dish used to be. We have had a very easy time of adjusting to limited channels, as we only watch 3-4 shows a week.
Here are some observations:

We record shows with the EyeTv Software that was bundled with the Miglia hardware. The playback with the EyeTv software is pretty good, not fantastic. Because the shows are recorded in HD each show is massive in size (typically 3-7 GB per show!!). There is a cool option with the software, you can edit shows you have recorded, meaning you can remove commercials and you can save them as Quicktime movies (remember they are MASSIVE files!).

Hardware: Don't let it's small size fool you (3.8" long, 2.6" wide and 1.1" high). This little piece never ceases to amaze. For it's small size it has tremendous power. I have taken it with me on the road and connected it to my laptop, it works great! There is nothing like watching HDTV on my black MacBook!

HD Antenna: with the mounted outdoor antenna occasionally there is interference in the reception and when you go to watch a recorded show it can be messed up (this has happened just a couple of times). Reception of all 32 South Florida HD channels is not a constant. I will have to mount the antenna higher so that we can receive all of the channels more consistently.

Other: We have been utilizing our 250 GB external hard drive by storing all of our digital media (pictures, music, movies and TV shows). As of today we have all of "The Office" episodes, the past two years of "Smallville" episodes and about 50 feature films. All of the TV shows have been downloaded via Azuerus and bittorents, the movies are downloaded by using Handbrake freeware.

***NBA season starts next week. This will be a real test for us as we follow the World Champion Miami Heat. Heat games are very rarely on broadcast TV, so we'll see.....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Go Old School!

I don't know if I would buy this (I wouldn't), but I thought this was a sweet piece of retro equipment. Better than those things that people clip to their ears. Those things have gotta go.
Check it out here: Retro Headset Goes Bluetooth!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Mac Repertoire.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Great Surprise!

A couple of weeks ago I received a package in the mail. This is always good, especially when it's unexpected, which on this occasion, it was. I opened the package and what was inside was very much a surprise. Some how, some way someone was kind enough to have a Gillette Fusion razor sent just for me! Needless to say I cracked that baby out as my head needed a nice clean shave. The Fusion is advertised as "The Best Shave Ever!". Well, I can testify to all "Life & Times" readers that is exactly what you get in this product. I have since bought a pack of Fusion blades and I'm a clean shorn, happy bald man. Thank you Gillette!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Celebrating 40 Years!

On Sunday, October 15th my parents celebrated 40 years together as husband and wife. This just blows my mind. I know very few people who can say that their parents are still together. This is just a testimony of the power of our great God and His impact on the lives of two of His kids. My parents have been such an example to me over the years on what it is to love and serve. I have put together a tribute movie that plays like a time line. Each picture and song used is unique in the time spanning five decades. I love you mom and dad! Heres to another 40!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.

Godzila, Batman, Shaq, Indiana Jones, Superman and Chuck Norris in a hilarious and very weird music video by the creators of "animutation" (you know all of those Ebaums music videos) the band Lmon Demon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bear Suit John.

Last night we went to the John Mayer concert and we were treated to quite the performance. We sat on the lawn which was actually a good thing. The sound was incredible, kind of like sitting in the living room, just vibin' to the sounds of choice. You can find Mayers set here, great song selection ("I Dont Trust Myself for Loving You" was my fav!). Anyway, I was blown away by the quality of John Mayers concert. Sheryl Crow was there too, and to be honest I was disappointed. She was a very blah performer who seemed to choose the songs she thought would show her as a deep contemplative "arteest". The best part about Crow's set was when she introduced John Mayer and he came out on stage in a bear suit! Too funny, I almost wet myself. Props to Bob and Mark for the close view for this! When the bear comes to town again, I will not miss it. This guy is a legend in the making.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Today I was with Jeff & Bryon at lunch and we were talking about all of the weird things that Christians do. The whole Ray Boltz song "Thank You" came up. I really don't know what to say. I remember back in the day at an old church, we had all of the Sunday School teachers stand up and a soloist sang this song to them. There is just something that disturbs me about this. Is it just me?

John Mayer in West Palm Beach.

I check John Mayer's blog on my Bloglines. Well, today he has posted from West Palm Beach where he will be performing with Sheryl Crow tonight (Penny and I are going with Jeff and his wife, Charlene). Anyway, this guy is very funny, and as you read this post on his blog it kind of makes you wonder what his inspiration is. Could it be all of the weathered, leather faced sun worshipers that have migrated down to this part of the country? You decide.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Get a call from Dwight Schrute.

The Office is the greatest show of the decade, period. They have taken it up a notch with their latest experiment, recieve a call from Dwight Schrute, office suck up! Go here and pick from one of five messages, leave your phone number, and Dwight Scrhute will call at some point and rip into you for being late to work, ordering an inordinate amount of salmon-covered paper, or something bad on your resume. Try it out on one of your friends. This is like a modern day prank call but someone else is doing it for you. Oh yeah, there is a perk at the end of hi message, he gives a code that will unlock a part of the website that shows deleted scenes from Season Two of the show. Sweet.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall in South Florida.

I have lived in south Florida pretty much all of my life. There are pretty much two seasons here, summer and "the season". "The season" is when all of the snow-birds come down for about 4-5 months to get away from the northern winters. Well, fall is a great time of year, in some parts. People in the areas where the weather actually changes are getting ready for the cooler temps and they get to watch the leaves change. Not here. The temperature is about 3-4 degrees cooler now than it was say in July or August. As much as I love "the season" down here, I really despise the fall, or what we don't have for a fall. We went to the mall the other day and saw all of the fall fashions. For what? It really doesn't make sense.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Yard Sale Fundraiser.

On Saturday, September 30th we had a HUGE yard sale to raise money for our adoption.
Read here to find out how much loot we made!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My friend.

Please pray for my friend as you can see by the picture, he is in desperate need of help.

Picture courtesy of Photobooth (Apple Software) and Billy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Adding to the resume.

Last week I was having problems with my 12" PowerBook G4 so I took it to the local Apple Store to get it looked at. The genius at the Genius Bar ran some diagnostics and gave me the prognosis: fried logic board. After 3 years of faithful service my baby (as I have called it) was in dire need of care. After talking to Penny we decided to take advantage of the latest Apple deal of 3 months no interest and we purchased the jewel of the latest line of Apple laptops, the Black MacBook. All I can say is wow! A few new perks with the MacBook: built in iSight, Photobooth software, glossy widescreen, beautifully in laid key, the cool two finger scroll deal (it's rather nifty!) and the smell, it's that new electronics smell. Yankee Candle needs to get in on this! Here are the specs:
  • 13.3-inch widescreen display
  • 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo1
  • 1 GB memory (2x512MB SODIMMs)
  • 80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive2
  • SuperDrive (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Monday, October 02, 2006

iPod and Jesus.

Last week we had a Student Ministry outreach event. It was one of those "I pray this works" deals. For about a month we had been encouraging students to bring their friends to "Friend Night". The person who brought the most friends would win a new iPod Nano, you know the cool colored ones. We kept it simple, mostly because it takes so much effort to set up our environments, being portable, we meet in a local middle school cafeteria. We set up everything from the seats to the sound system to the lighting (props to Chip) to the projector and screen, you name it, we set it up. Anyway, the students responded by bringing out their friends in hoards. Jeff led our Student Ministry band and all of the students unexpectedly went nuts. I shared the message (straight from John 3) and 12 students excepted Jesus as their Saviour. Our volunteer staff had the opportunity to get with the students and talk about their decision which is a very cool thing as we hope that they will be able develop a discipleship relationship with the students. It's a amazing to me, that a little piece of colored metal can be such an instument to draw people to Jesus.