One more thing. I changed the layout here so that posts will be listed chronologically by date rather than reverse chronologically. That means that under each day the posts will be sorted in the order I wrote them, rather than the newest at the top. Get it? Good. And yeah yeah I'm going to mow the lawn already.
nothing that is broken cannot be made new

I've decided that today is a pretty good day. I got productive early and took my car in to America's Tire Company. As it turns out the murderous curb only managed to screw up the valve stem on my tire, so the net cost to me was ten bucks. Plus I discovered I have a faulty spare tire; because you see, last night I was informed by a number of people that my spare looked awfully unhealthy. As it turned out the spare was mostly flat and Frances was kind enough to let me use hers in the meantime. Also mad thanks to Jesse who had the right tools in his car for my spare both times and he even got down and dirty changing them for me. He owns. So now I need to acquire a new spare tire and spare tire jack, so when a real flat tire emergency pops up I'll be prepared. So I now view all this flat tire junk as good because

1. I found out my equipment for a real flat emergency would be insufficient.

2. I have learned to always keep my trunk clean. A messy trunk cost me 200 bucks.

I also paid off my phone bill. Other productive things I will do today include mowing the much-neglected lawns and practicing for the church band. I'm singing a solo song this weekend, but the original was too high for my voice. Daniel used some software to drop the recording a couple keys (or whatever increment you drop things by) so I could actually sing it. The amusing thing is, the voice on the recording now sounds like some sort of shemale.

My digital camera has once again decided to enter the realm of the living, and for that I am happy. It's pretty temperamental, ever since I dropped it. Sure holds a grudge a long time, I'd be over it by now.

This is actually turning out to be one of my more productive days since my acceptance to the Planetside beta test. It even prompted me to purchase a headset and join an outfit.


It really is just about everything I've wanted out of a computer game for a long time. The short of it is that there's a persistent online world wherein three factions fight over various continents, facilities, etc. You get a number of certification points to spend that allow you to do various things like be an engineer, medic, hacker, pilot, driver, etc. Then it's best when you join up with squads or outfits and go wreck shop together. You really get to do all sorts of fun things.

Hot drop into bases with your squad from a flying transport. Cross a bridge after a prolonged firefight to take a tower on the other side, from where you can better attack a larger facility. Be escorted by squadmates in flying things as you race to restore power to one of your facilities that's under attack. Breathe a sigh of relief when you run into a base where you're protected by teammates in big armor suits. Stuff like that. It's cooperation on a mass scale, and being able to wear a headset and communicate via voice with your squad makes it that much more fun. It's still a beta so it's still pretty freakin' buggy, but it still freakin r0x0rs.


Off to mow that lawn.


sometimes you've just gotta shake your head

A span of about twenty minutes yesterday was in many ways a testament to how stupid and absent minded I can be sometimes. I debate the pros and cons of describing exactly why I had a flat tire but there are times you have to just throw pride and dignity out the window.

At church I decided to park out on the street by Jesse after driving through the parking lot. When exiting the lot I decided being careful was a fairly low priority so I just turned sharply right because the spot was right there. As was my intention I was close to the curb - a bit too close, however. My front right tire sort of bumped into it. Then scraped along it. I backed up. Scraped the tire a bit more. I got it the tire away from the curb, exited the car, and walked into church, hoping nobody had seen what just happened. Every now and then the curb will make a fool of you and if you're lucky nobody will see it. Here I am describing it to the general public.

You do know the general public reads this don't you?

After church a number of us decided to pay a visit to Ye Olde Olive Garden for dinner. I pulled out in my car and immediately knew something was wrong with my front right tire. Almost afraid to look, I stopped and got out - sure enough, flat front right tire. At first I was afraid to admit, even to myself, that I had a flat tire because I hit a curb. As Jesse and Mike helped me change the tire it became apparent, however, that I had in fact received a flat by running into the curb. Either that or we have some real mutant cats around these parts.

Towards the beginning of the tire-changing venture we were rummaging through my trunk (rummaging being the only appropriate word considering the state of disrepair I somehow allowed my trunk to reach) and I found a small black case. In this case were the glasses I was sure I had lost a couple weeks ago. The glasses I just paid 200 bucks to replace.

At least I won't have to buy a new pair next time I lose my glasses. If I really do lose 'em. Like I said, sometimes you just have to shake your head, even if it is in disbelief at yourself.

I was called on Friday to see if I'd preach at First Baptist Church of Newark this morning. I accepted with no small amount of trepidation. This is a traditional congregation - I am going to wear a tie when I'm up there speaking. Thankfully I at least had an expository sermon that I could use. I just had to go through and re-write it a bit, changing all the instances of "guy" to "man" and "crap" to, well, something else. I won't know a soul in this congregation either. My worst fear is that I'll get up there and start to preach, then realize about ten minutes in that I am totally not connecting with them.

Well no, I suppose my worst fear is that giant alien spiders will attack and devour me slowly, after many excruciating nights of torturous probing, but that really doesn't apply here.

So I'm off to go get all groomed so I can go to this Baptist church and try to preach to 'em. Hopefully they'll take kindly to a 22 year old kid with spiky hair and a trendy goatee teaching them about the Bible. Joking aside, the good thing is that God is the one who will really touch the hearts and not me, so I'm trying to put the onus on Him. We'll see if He wants me to learn from this in a good way, or if He wants me to learn through adversity. I'm hoping in the former.


i could be the treasure you are searching for

So yesterday I went to an asian karaoke place for the first time. I've done karaoke at a couple bars, most notably the Derby in Niles and the King's Inn by the coffee shop - but I've never done it in a private room with couches and a TV. But that's what I did yesterday. It was Adam's birthday and it was a pretty good time, especially considering the company of Honda and Masa, two nice guys straight from Japan, and Chris.

Let it be said that one may question whether or not you've lived until you've watched Japanese guys sing their hearts out to songs like 3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite" or such J-Pop/Rap songs like "Funkastic." (Btw, I order you to listen to that song.) I swear I heard more J-Pop and C-Pop than I've ever heard in my life. I did my best to stick to (english) songs within my range like Dean Martin and Jim Croce and Ronan Keating, which Adam was less than pleased with. So let it also be said that any video he has of me singing a Meredith Brooks song horribly off-key is a forgery.

Hanging out with people from another country is fun too, especially when idioms come into play. I did my best to explain what the whole "six to one, half dozen to the other" means but wasn't entirely successful. Honda and Masa wouldn't have let me know though, because they were polite and said "ooohhh, okay." It's also good to see common human threads that cross all cultural and language boundaries. At dinner Chris asked me about my girl situation - and when I briefly shared the gist of it with him, Masa said - "ah yes, I undahstand. I like him."


and he reeeeigns, forevermooooooore

One thing about singin' songs at church is you get 'em stuck in your head. I suppose there are worse things to have running through my noggin' than songs about "the resurreck-SHUN of our Loooord." Good old Easter always brings out the energetic choir-like stuff. The service at church today was pretty great as far as I'm concerned. I always enjoy the subject matter at Easter. You can only do so much as a speaker with the theme, but Paul manages to so clearly and passionately communicate that it feels fresh even if I've heard the words a hundred times.

After service I discovered that my car had been decorated with toilet paper by certain people. Thankfully this time the little vandals didn't use any shaving cream. Nevertheless they will pay for their crimes, at a time and in a manner of my choosing. Ph33r m3.

You may have noticed that I changed the picture of myself up on top there. It's a kinda goofy smile but whaddya gonna do. It's me and it's less pretentious than the last one. Also some people seemed eager for me to change it for some reason.

I got this story off a link to Dave Barry's site from Netters'. Follow that? First things first - Dave Barry is a hilarious writer and you should read everything of his that you possibly can. Secondly - did you read this article? I read it carefully and it seems to actually be credible - have we found a way to deal with the whole "running out of oil" problem? I always figured technology like this would eventually be developed - it's just very cool and exciting to see it happen. I'll be interested in seeing how it develops in the next few years.

In sports news,good for the A's. Sure, they're beating up on the Rangers, but a win is a win.

Time to hit the sack. Singin' in the morning and all that. It's also my little bro's 21st birthday tomorrow. Wow we're getting old. Or more appropriately, our parents are. Muaha. I will leave you with this:

My niece is cuter than yours.


i for one welcome our new ant overlords

Tonight I played a 60+ minute game of Slaps with Mike and Nate. It ended with a victory for yours truly, which is always a good thing. First time I've won that game. It probably would have gone longer if Nate hadn't decided to eliminate himself after he lost his cards for the second time. Good times though.

We also read through 1 Samuel 1-3 together. In discussing the stuff with Mike and Nate I realized how deficient I really am in Old Testament knowledge. I know generally what the deal is, but I haven't read most of it. Need to rectify that situation. Want to too - every time I start reading I really enjoy it. Funny how that works.

The A's finally ended their skid! Hooray! Good ol' Huddy. So now we have 3 teams tied atop the AL West at 8-7. It's gonna be a long (hopefully exciting) season.

And finally, I found this amusing. Netters gives you cute pictures and moments of zen, I give you dinosaurs cursing their fate.


there are currently no jobs available

Went to dinner tonight with a few good buddies I don't get to see very much. Glenny Glenn, the Tedro, and Pat Berch. Good times. After much deliberation and a number of failed random selection techniques Glenn ended up driving us to Afghan Village, a restaurant right by my house as it turned out. It was my first experience with Afghan food. My favorite thing was the massive bread-leek-potato pancake we got. In general the food reminded me of the Armenian food I've tried (I'm told I make a mean madzoon soup, by an actual Armenian, heh) and some Greek food. Don't think I'll be partaking of the Afghan food very much in the future, but at least I gave it a try.

I'm fairly certain the waitress hated our guts. We were four white guys, two with shaved heads, and one with a beanie (me). We were the only patrons in the place - and from the beginning the waitress seemed a bit leery of us. Patrick didn't help the situation when he, hunched over his glass, asked her "what is that perfume? Or is it some kind of lotion?" From that point on she was stand-offish at best with us. It also turned out that they weren't serving dessert tonight. Uh huh. We left her a good tip at least. When will there be social equality for the white males in our society?

I'm at a point in my life where I can do a lot of reading and I'm really appreciating it. I can get a lot done while subbing, and in my free time even, when I'm not getting worked at Warcraft. I have torn through a few books on the emerging church and I can't seem to get enough of that stuff. Right now I'm reading "The Wounded Healer" by Nouwen, "How to Build Your Christian Character" by Baldwin, and "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer. Good times.
Bad timing is right!



I've been doing a lot of reading for the past couple hours and I feel like doing some talking. So here are some fairly unformed thoughts, I haven't worked through them but here they are anyway.

reading things like this make me start to feel a bit uneasy. Before we irrevocably turn an entire region/population against us we need to be sure we're doing things the right way. As I think I mentioned before I was marginally in support of taking Saddam out, if only to show we mean business. We can't make resolutions and rules and have them broken without consequence. So we need to be careful about what sort of demands we make on the outside world. Lots of rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding other nations like Syria and Iran. I have an underlying feeling that we are treading on very dangerous ground but many people don't realize it. For so long we have been sitting on top of the world, so to speak, we can't imagine anything different. Well, if we successfully piss off most of the Arab world, and China, and Russia, there may be some issues. What issues? Not entirely sure. I do know that we should start paying more attention to North Korea though. If I were in the Middle East and the US went after Syria or Iran before dealing with North Korea I think I'd start to feel they had it in for me.

The fragrance of victory might become intoxicating for the administration or politicians making decision, to where they feel like the US needs to keep stomping its big feet all over every perceived threat. Who knows - maybe some of these places really are serious threats. Maybe there are terrorists hiding out in Syria right now planning the release of a nerve agent or horrific biological weapon in some major US city. In fact there probably are. Do we stop that by laying waste to Syria? Is it possible to stem the tide of terrorism by knocking over regimes that support it? Possibly. Maybe we stopped another 9-11 by taking out Saddam. Maybe we've cemented three more. Maybe we've sent a message to states that support terrorism that we mean business, and made them reconsider doing so. Maybe we've steeled the resolve of those who hate the U.S. and created more orphans that will grow up to become Bin-Ladens. There are so many unknowns, time can only tell what the repercussions will be.

Part of me starts to wonder if it's worth it. Is it worth it for us to start a crusade against the "Axis of Evil" or states in the Middle East that support terrorism? Is it worth us to take out the governments? Not everyone in the world sees things the same way we do, obviously, and while we can't be beholden to everyone else's opinion, we have to pay attention. If half the world hates what we're doing but half loves it, what happens? Does a large-scale war break out? Do Russia, China, France, and Germany lead a 'coalition' against U.S. 'paranoid aggression?' Is that price worth paying if it means we prevent more terrorist attacks? Or is it better to take it on the chin and try to find other ways to make the world a safer place? Are there other ways to make the world a safer place? If there are, is it even a possibility for us to pursue them?

What if the US were to change its tune? What if we were to become humble and take our lumps while we honestly strive to improve the world around us in non-violent ways? Is that easy for me to say when I'm not the chin that's being hit? I mean, I know Hitler would never have capitulated if we simply let him eradicate the Jews. We can't adopt a destructive policy of appeasement. Maybe I'm just saying that the use of force has to be intensely conservative. Let's say for argument's sake we decided to wait and not go in after Saddam. Then in six months 4000 people die in a dirty nuke explosion in NYC, and the evidence all points in his direction. Everybody in the world can acknowledge and see that it was him. Should we wait for something like that before we actually go in and hit people? Our international support would certainly be broadened if that were our policy. But maybe the evidence is sketchy and we can't figure out who did it. And there will of course always be people blinded by hate of the US so much that they wouldn't admit it were Hussen if he were claming credit. So is pre-emptive self-defense a good idea or not?

I could probably ask questions all day long. In fact I probably have more question marks than periods in this entry. For some reason today I was just struck with the feeling that we could be entering into a very profound period of time for the US and the world; without paying attention we may be chasing a criminal into a minefield. We may get him, but is the price we pay worth it?
good weekend

My glasses are still MIA and it looks like I'm going to have to drop some cashola on new ones...but whaddya gonna do. Sucks, the end.

This is the coolest news story I've had the pleasure of reading for some time.

The A's are now on a 4 game losing streak. Hello April, my old nemesis.


I am really frustrated right now. I am supposed to be going to a wedding tonight, and I've somehow lost my glasses. This has put a damper on an otherwise totally awesome day. So maybe I shouldn't let it bug me. But it's really annoying because it's something totally preventable. Arrrrrgh!


today was a good day

I was awakened this morning by a phone call from my old french teacher, Mrs. Kamei, around 5am. She was calling to see if I could sub for her today as she's suffering from vertigo. Somehow I was able to carry on a conversation with her and remember that it was real in time to get out of bed and get ready for work. I tell ya, fighting through the sleep funk in your brain to intelligently converse with someone can be rough. The cool thing was that I'd already been in this classroom twice before, once in March and then just this past Monday.

So, the classes were happy to see me, which was good. Just about everyone in 3rd period cheered when they saw me, that always makes me feel good. I felt like I connected with some students today too, in an odd way. During 3rd period a group of five girls was sitting at a table making some sort of list. I was sitting nearby so they started talking to me too. I ended up sitting down with them at their table for most of the period and talking to them. The object of our conversation was somewhat amusing, though, and I'm pretty sure high school is the only place you're going to see someting like this.

The list these girls were making was a list of the boys they'd made out with. Two of the girls had made out with 15+ boys each, but still called the other two who had made out with "and them some" with 25-27 boys various names alluding to their looseness of character. One girl had only made out with two boys, and when she discovered 'making out' involved...hmm, no nice way to say this...tongue, she had to disqualify herself and say she hadn't made out with anyone. They asked me to add my names to the list of girls I'd made out with in high school. Initially they didn't believe me when I said zero but I offered to show them my senior picture to help explain the low nature of the number. But seriously - I mean - 27 boys?! And they messed around with some of them? That was so sad to me. I was almost shocked - not like "oh my how inappropriate" shocked but "yikes that's a lotta guys." Physical intimacy or contact is becoming/has become cheaper to a lot of people. I just worry so much about these kids playing with fire and they don't know it. They're looking for fun or validation or something, I don't know every kid's heart - but they're playing with these things that can get them really hurt or who knows what else.

That being said, I'm glad they included me in their little conversation/competition. I got to share a little bit about what I thought and though it was an odd way of doing so I kinda bonded with 'em. Relationship building yo. I had to sub my prep period in another teacher's class and one of the girls was there. She ended up sitting with me all period talking about school and college and her parents, so that was good. Before our list-making conversation she probably wouldn't have done that. So anyway like I've said before I love my job. I almost hope Mrs. Kamei decides to take the day off tomorrow to be fully recovered so I can sub the class again.

In other news, the A's have lost another game. Hopefully this won't begin their usual "It's April So We Suck" month. Those guys have dug themselves such holes the past two seasons during this month that they've had to go on amazing runs in the second half to make the playoffs. They do it too - so that's good. But for once I'd just like to see them dominant throughout the entire season. They certainly have the potential to do it.

"Let's burn down the observatory so this never happens again!"


the a's rule

Went to a Minus Vince show in Campbell tonight, their first down there. There were a number of bands playing and the crowd was fairly sparse. Most of the people that came showed up for MV, so that's cool I suppose. They did a good job as usual, and have many more gigs scheduled. Maybe this is the beginning of a more dedicated season of gigging that will take them out of the confines of the Fremont Iceoplex.

There was a documentary on PBS a while ago called "Merchants of Cool" that talked about marketing to teenagers. I'd be interested in seeing that. Maybe even watching it with the youth group. I don't know how excited they'd be to watch a documentary...but the subject matter is totally interesting to me. It's about the people in big companies that decide which bands to market, what trends to push, that sort of thing.
ps i love you forever and today

Some probably unconnected thoughts, courtesy of Jackson.

I think the caliber of players on bnet declines as the day gets older.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and time and take saying something back, if only so I could say it again later.

Tonight is my first, best chance for a good night's sleep for the past two weeks or so, provided I don't get a call to work in the morning.

Bottles of cologne last a really long time. Well, they do with me. Does that mean I'm stinky or efficient?

There is always more work to do.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just put my head in the sand. Then I realize I wouldn't be able to forget about the rest of me.

MFP has a very funny way of writing and while I will miss him while he's on his Blue Highways road trip I'll look forward to hearing of his exploits.

Let's go Oakland!

I'm not sure how I'm going to make money during the summer. My medical insurance is going up, and my income will be dropping rather dramatically, due in large part to the general lack of school to sub during summertime.

I have been working more lately, subbing, and really enjoying it. I think I have two of the greatest jobs in the world.

God r0x0rs. His faithfulness when I so completely don't deserve it is pretty amazing. I used to think I was 'gypped' by being raised in a Christian home so I don't have the whole conversion story. But the longer I live the more I realize I am constantly living a conversion story. I am always learning the depths of my need for God, and the realities of His love.

That's all for one night I suppose.


i'll write sincerely yours and sign my name

The weekend has been pretty spectacular so far. Friday night I went with Nate and Jesse to the A's game. Nate had a good hookup through work and we got great seats, the best I'd ever been in. Once Jesse put away the thundersticks he'd saved from Tuesday night I was able to truly enjoy the game. Thankfully he didn't make it through the second batter with those accursed things. Lilly did a good job, if he can perform like that consistently then I like our chances. The #4 and 5 spots in the rotation have been terribly inconsistent - but I'm guessing that's probably the norm with most teams. There aren't that many awesome pitchers to go around. So the game was a lot of fun.

Saturday I went to a youth ministry training thing with a few friends, my de facto youth team. I enjoyed the time and if it weren't for trickery I would have been the Champion of "count the fingers on your hands." I'm not sure of the official title of the game we played, but that works for me. Of course it was a woman that beat me - devious creatures, they are. Church on Saturday night was pretty good, I did the whole welcome dealie where you get up and try to make everyone feel welcome and at ease after the worship set. I did a better job than I've done the past couple times, and the same for this morning. We were also able to hand out t-shirts, which we'd sold as a fundraiser for the youth ministry. Frances did a fabulous job with the fundraiser and it was super easy to get everyone what they ordered. So props to Frances!

Today was awesome because Jesse and I went disc golfin' in Santa Cruz. The weather was fairly blah, but it was a lot of fun. Neither of us did particularly well, though Jesse did record his first 2 on one of the holes. It seemed like the trees were uprooting to get in the way of our discs. In fact I'm pretty sure they were. After golfing we gorged ourselves on Round Table pizza and breadsticks. We also discovered that Metal Slug 3 rules because in Level 2 when you get killed by a zombie you become a zombie yourself. Rule. It was just one of those days where I appreciated the heck out of Jesse's company and it was clear to see why we're such good friends. He rules.

While changing in one of the church's bathrooms I noticed an odd sign placement. We have this little house on the church campus that we use for classroom space and whatnot. We also share the campus with another church, which likes to print up little statements on paper and put them on various walls. Well, right next to the toilet in this bathroom is a sign declaring: "You would be surprised if you planted pumpkins and corn sprouted. It's a natural law to reap what we sow." Maybe I'm just weird.

In other news: don't you hate those sites that take urls close to what you'd guess for real companies (such as www.inandoutburger.com) and then bombard you with pop-ups? I do. There should be a law against them. Getting rid of them is especially bothersome on a laptop.


AUUUUUGGGGH! I hate losing close ones like that. They freakin' traded runs from the 9th inning on...stupid Rincon.
and the trogdor comes in the niiiiiight

Let it be known that Jesse, or MFP as some of you know him, has entered the world of online journaling. This is a momentous occasion, because Jesse's sense of humor, sometimes muted in person, shines through quite clearly in his writing. He's already off to a wonderful start with his first entry. You really oughta check it out.


sup dawg

Today was an odd day; I was inexplicably tired. Well, perhaps not inexplicably, since I haven't had 8 hours of sleep in over a week. But I was more tired than I thought I should've been. Still had a good day though. Took care of a few things around the house, met up and talked with Brandon, and worked some more on getting an adult volunteer packet together for...um...adult volunteers.

Had a little mini high school reunion at Bay St. tonight. Talked a while with Ben and Tina. It's pretty funny to me how I'm better friends with more people from high school now than I was when I was in high school. I always thought Ben was a cool guy, and we were in a lot of classes together. But Tina, she was one of those people where I just knew her name and who she was. But now I know that she's pretty darn cool and likes good movies and call her my friend. It's weird where life takes ya.

I should get some rest. Tomorrow I have my last day with the home hospital students I took over for the week. They're pretty different too. One's a 3rd grader with leukemia - he has chemo on Fridays. Poor guy. The other is a junior in high school - she's pretty cool. I think I enjoy her the most so far out of all my students. We spend the time discussing stories and history and our thoughts about them and how they apply to things today; she's pretty smart so we can get our minds churning a bit. It's just a little daunting showing up where I can't give her busywork to kill time - I have to carry on a conversation for ninety minutes, ya know? Haven't had a problem yet though, I'm sure it'll be fine.

One last thing - you know what's good? Cottage cheese with honey and fruit. Mmmmmm.


dun dun dundundun dun dun dundundun dun dun dundundun - TEJADA!

Good past couple of days! Sunday night I got to see Five Iron and tonight I got to go to the A's season opener with a bunch of friends and my dad. I would just like to say I think it's rad that I can invite my dad places with my friends.

I'm hoping I'll get a call to sub in the morning. If I don't though it will give me some much needed recovery and rest time. Either way, I win. One more thing before I go - Mark Cuban can be pretty funny sometimes.