Monday, March 31, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

Jet Li & Jackie Chan come together for the first time to make a Kung Fu flick. I'd watch this movie just because they are in it but WOW! That movie looks like it is going to be awesome.

Turn it red

Evidently it is looked down upon to like both UNC and NCSU. The way I see it, most people start liking the team of the school they went to because for the first time they start going to the games with painted faces and yell at the top of their lungs. I was lucky enough to do that before college so I already had that loyalty to UNC. As a NCSU alum, I obviously cheer for them as well but as for hating the heels, that's something I can't do.

Recently, I received an email saying to be accepted as a state fan, I'd have to say an oath. The whole thing sounded communist so I suggested the oath sound something like this.

(Slam, slam, slam!) Blood alone moves the wheels of history! Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation which everyone finds during the day, how long we have been striving for greatness?

(Slam!) Not only the years we've been at war, the war of Basketball. But from the moment as a child when we realized that the NCAA could be conquered.

It has been a lifetime struggle (Slam!), a never-ending fight, I say to you (Slam!), and you will understand that it is a privilege to fight!
(light applause) We are warriors!!

(moderate applause) Fans of NC State Basketball I ask you, (Slam!) once more rise and be worthy of this historical hour! No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend (Slam!) itself!

(applause) Some people will tell you "Wolfpack" is a bad word. They'll conjure up images of cinderellas and next-year charlatans. This is our duty to change their perception. I say, Pack men, and Pack women, of the world, unite!

(applause) We must never acquiesce, for it is together, together (with the audience) that we prevail! (takes microphone into his hand) We must never cede control of the motherland for it is (with the audience again) together that we prevail!


Actually, you might recognize this as Dwight's speech from the Office but it works quite well.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Street Kings Screener

The link to sign up for Street Kings is here.


First time on Shakefire? You have to create a user in order to be eligible.
Click here to do that now or copy the link below.
http://www.shakefire.com/boards/register.php?s=f0412e7345e1facc07c422f39b8e84d4

One of the questions is were you referred by anyone. My screen name is thirdconspiracy if you'd like to answer that question.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Cleaning

The other day I got in the mood to clean. The warm air and the aid of a late night amp energy drink (see previous blog) allowed me to break out the vaccume and the duster. I got rid of my heavy bed spread and washed my sheets. I hung a picture on my wall and cleaned out my closet. I was actually surprised at how much I was able to accomplish but now I realize what I was doing was getting the spring cleaning bug. Evidently it goes around this time of year along with the need to grill things which also lead me to buy my first steak this year. As much as I love winter, the spring could have a lot of promise so for that I'm excited.

Those pesky borders

I like posting pictures in my blog as I feel it ads to the readability. Most of the pictures I post have a white background which should look real clean on my blog but for some reason my blog kept posting this pesky border around all of them making them really stand out. I tried several thing including making the border white but that got rid of all borders and we can't have that.

Luckily I thought to look at the template code and found where it assigned images a basic format. A quick delete of the border info and bam! the border's gone. It now looks like this. Notice no border.

I used this code in the template html:
.post img {
padding:4px;
}

This is Keeley btw.

Prayer

Jesus answered them, " I assure you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

God, you have always been faithful and I pray you answer this prayer I pray for my soul aches with anticipation.

Buying mp3s

I was searching for the cheapest way to buy a song on line. I came across this Russian site which had all songs for 15 cents. That's a great deal and they have a lot of songs but they are all in Russian. I'm just kidding.

So at that price, I bought the whole album ($1.20). Then I bought another. And another. Some one please help me stop.

I then made this Mix tape. I bought the Kyle XY album and used some of those songs on my mix cd so I called my mix Jessi XX which makes sense if you've seen the show. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing since I also bought a cd alarm clock. Tomorrow morning I'll be waking up to something other then a buzz. Yippie!

Friday, March 21, 2008

This just in... Ninja!

First still images from GI Joe movie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Are you loved by your cubical?

Happy 40th birthday 8X8 box of gloom aka my cubical.

Evidently the author of Dilbert has created the perfect cubical. It has a fold up chair for when some one comes in. After a set period of time, it will ring the phone so you can excuse yourself and get back to your own privacy. There is also a mechanical plant that wilts when you leave and comes to life when you enter the cubical. One might say it even shutters for joy. That's one way to feel loved by your cubical.

See THIS article for the all of his cubical inventions and enjoy the movie below.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shine a Light Screening

Chud.com has a screening for the movie Shine a Light.

Go to THIS page and it will give you details on what you need to do to receive the pass in the mail.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's like Christmas in March

No, it's not snowing or even cold here. I'm referring to the feeling you experienced at Christmas time as a kid. I remember being so excited about Christmas morning and all that went along with it. As I grew older that feeling was still there but not like it was when it was new. Now I've not experienced this myself but people say that when they have kids of their own, that feeling comes back. As you watch them get excited you can't help but catch that Christmas spirit again and you remember the excitement of your youth.

What a great analog to be applied to many different situations. Because I recently re-experienced the joy of my salvation by being drawn back to God and then by seeing others do the same, I'll compare it to that right now. We are the lucky ones to be in a free country and be able to listen to the Gospel. We also have the privilege to share our experiences with others and what a blessing it is when they listen to it and rejoice with you or are turned to God. Vague I know but all I can say is God is calling and He is good.

Robes of Righteousness

When you’ve been a Christian for a while, certain things become easy. I really have no problem not cursing when I stump my toe or stealing even if I knew I wouldn’t get caught. The more you try model after Christ, the better person you become. Like I said, after a while these things become easy and you can end up relying on yourself to be the right kind of person. I say all that just to say I came to a realization a few days ago. I was talking to Thomas and I said love was a choice. You look at the Bible’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and it gives actions and not feeling therefore I figured all you had to do was to chose to do those things and you could love some one. While I know love still to be an action, Thomas said that we can not chose to do all those thing since it is not in our nature to be patient and long suffering when we are hurt by the ones we love. When you compare the fruit of the Spirit to the attributes of love, it is remarkable how similar they are. Also, looking at the first part of 1 Corinthians 13, it shows a lot of actions done not filled with the Spirit and those were seen as empty and with out love.

After reading that, I can’t help but think about my life and how I try to do good things on my own. I think God is probably trying to tell me something because in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) this week, we studied Matthew 22:11-14 on day six. I would suggest reading it so you know the whole story but I took out of it the man tried to get in on his own works aka, he wore the wrong robe to the wedding. Let broaden our understanding of what they mean by robes using Isaiah 61:10, 64:6, Philippians 3:9, and 1 Peter 2:24. In those passages, we see our best efforts as filthy rags while Jesus gave us a robe of righteousness through what He did on the cross. Basically, for us to accomplish anything meaningful and lasting, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to work through us by grace. This is just like wrapping a clean new robe around us and taking us in even though we don’t deserve it. That’s grace my friend and it is by grace we are saved and through the Spirit we accomplish what God has for us to do.

God is not a she

Evidently weird things rattle around in my head late at night. I don’t know what I was thinking but I decided to drink an Amp energy drink around 10:00 therefore around 1:30 in the morning, I was wide awake with my mind racing. Because I knew I would not be able to sleep if I didn’t write these things down you will get one of my late night thoughts.

Counting Blue Cars was a popular song back in the nineties. I never bothered to look up the lyrics so I am probably mistaken but I want to say at one point they say they’re on their way to meet her referring to God. In this big PC age, assigning God a male or female attribute has become the focus of many conversations. I in no way consider my delirious late night ramblings an official source but I thought it might be fun to tackle that question.

Jewish-Christian religion defines God as three parts but one God. Just like H2O can be water, ice, and steam, God is “the Father,” “the Son,” and “the Holy Spirit.” To start out, I’ll go with the easy one. There is little question that Jesus, “the Son” was a man. When referring to Jesus, it would be improper to say she just like it would be improper to say I was female. Now that was easy, if only the next two were just as easy.

Next, I’ll attempt to tackle God the Father. In Jewish culture and writing, men and women were assigned typical roles and casts which they were expected to fulfill. Men were known for physical strength and leadership while women were known for beauty and stability and happiness. What? Don’t believe me? Lets quickly look at the Asian language. The symbol for man in the Japanese language (男)is actually the symbol for rice patty and power. The symbol for woman is a stick figure but you make a loop for the belly since women have the ability to become mothers (). Here is where the PC crowd might go crazy. The symbol for happiness or peace is drawn by taking the symbol for woman and putting that under the symbol for roof (). As you can see these roles are still around today so let’s look at God through them. God is obviously powerful therefore that would be a male a traditional male trait. God also created the Heavens and the Earth therefore that would be work; Also a male trait. God the father is starting to look male according to Jewish culture but it doesn’t stop there. In God’s creation, it was said God poured beauty into it which was mirrored after God. Also, God created balance and stability which also was seen as a trait women brought. Looking through the Bible, a case could be made that God the Father could be both male or female but neither one is given. This is ok because God is more then just ineffable. I am reminded of a quote that I think demonstrates our inability to understand things. See the quote at the top of THIS article. God is beyond our understanding therefore we should just decide on one sex and just accept that as the standard. Before doing that, let’s look at the last part of God.

The Holy Spirit is the final part of God. The Holy Spirit is often seen as the hand of God. The Spirit can be seen as a pilar of fire or a cloud of smoke. The Spirit could be a might rushing wind or a still small voice inside you. In any case, when the Spirit is involved things happen but I’ve never seen any attributes associated with the Spirit just like you wouldn’t say your hand was a male or female.

That doesn’t help too much in defining a sex to God but combined; I think most will accept where I’m going next. Since one third of the trinity would be considered all man and none would be considered all woman, I lean one way but I still leave the sex being beyond my understanding. Tradition however calls God the Father therefore if the early disciples and even Jesus Himself said God was a father, who am I to say otherwise?

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter if God is male or female. What matters is that even one sin condemns us to hell just like only one crime would condemn you to jail time assuming it was a jail-able offense. Jesus says all sins are “jail-able offenses therefore male or female, I’m glad He is able to save me even if I don’t get His sex right.

By the way, I am saying the sex is always male if we had to decide on one therefore Dishwalla was wrong.

Best Movie I'll never watch again

A quote from the moive:
So if I asked you about art you could
give me the skinny on every art book
ever written... Michelangelo? You
know a lot about him I bet. Life's
work, criticisms, political
aspirations. But you couldn't tell
me what it smells like in the Sistine
Chapel. You've never stood there and
looked up at that beautiful ceiling.
And if I asked you about women I'm
sure you could give me a syllabus of
your personal favorites, and maybe
you've been laid a few times too.
But you couldn't tell me how it feels
to wake up next to a woman and be
truly happy. If I asked you about
war you could refer me to a bevy of
fictional and non-fictional material,
but you've never been in one. You've
never held your best friend's head
in your lap and watched him draw his
last breath, looking to you for help.
And if I asked you about love I'd
get a sonnet, but you've never looked
at a woman and been truly vulnerable.
Known that someone could kill you
with a look. That someone could rescue
you from grief. That God had put an
angel on Earth just for you. And
you wouldn't know how it felt to be
her angel. To have the love be there
for her forever. Through anything,
through cancer. You wouldn't know
about sleeping sitting up in a
hospital room for two months holding
her hand and not leaving because the
doctors could see in your eyes that
the term "visiting hours" didn't
apply to you. And you wouldn't know
about real loss, because that only
occurs when you lose something you
love more than yourself, and you've
never dared to love anything that
much. I look at you and I don't see
an intelligent confident man, I don't
see a peer, and I don't see my equal.
I see a boy. Nobody could possibly
understand you, right Will? Yet you
presume to know so much about me
because of a painting you saw. You
must know everything about me.
I write now about a movie that came out a while back. I believe I was a senior in High School at the time (1998) and saw this movie with a girl from another school. I remember the first time I watched this movie, I was just amazed by the whole thing. The story was brilliant and the character development was thick. You had a boy genius working as a janitor at a local college in Boston. Life had given him a bad deal but by solving one problem he was given a chance to fix it all. Obviously one who screwed up his whole life, he ruins that chance and makes a fool out of the men who try to help him. Lucky for him, they saw past the rough hedges he put up and helped him grow into the man he was meant to be. You would know this movie as Good Will Hunting and I do not suggest you go watch it. I only write about this because I'll be using the quote above in a future article. Despite all the good things, I can not for entertainment's sake sit through that movie again.

The movie glorifies an inner city lifestyle that involves language that would make a sailor blush, drunken bar hopping, random hookups and a model of dating that has been proven unsuccessful in the past. To be fair to the movie, it was done in a believable way and everything was probably pretty accurate but it just listening to the movie, I can't help but cringe as every sentence they say involves some profanity.

Because I'm a computer guy, I'll use some basic shelll calls to find out how many times certain words show up in the script. Granted this does not take into consideration when the same word is used more then one time on a line. Also note, I try to keep this blog pretty clean so I've replaced the actual search word with a few *$& type characters.

$ grep -i sh*& will_hunting|wc -l
29
$ grep -i fu*& will_hunting|wc -l
93
$ grep -i bit*& will_hunting|wc -l
4
$ grep -i da*& will_hunting|wc -l
7
$ grep -i da*& will_hunting| grep -i g*&|wc -l
4
$ grep -i "a$$ " will_hunting|wc -l
25

The F-bomb was dropped at least 93 times? That's pretty strong by itself but total you're looking at over 150 profanities in a pretty short film. Like scratching a chalkboard, it kind of just gets under your skin to hear that much profanity. Yes, I loved the movie back then but that one along with American History X and Saving Private Ryan (for different reasons) will go down as one of the best movies I'll never watch again.

Screener for Leatherheads

The link to sign up for Leatherheads is here.


First time on Shakefire? You have to create a user in order to be eligible.
Click here to do that now or copy the link below.
http://www.shakefire.com/boards/register.php?s=f0412e7345e1facc07c422f39b8e84d4

One of the questions is were you referred by anyone. My screen name is thirdconspiracy if you'd like to answer that question.

Screener for The Ruins

The link to sign up for The Ruins is here.


First time on Shakefire? You have to create a user in order to be eligible.
Click here to do that now or copy the link below.
http://www.shakefire.com/boards/register.php?s=f0412e7345e1facc07c422f39b8e84d4

One of the questions is were you referred by anyone. My screen name is thirdconspiracy if you'd like to answer that question.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where did all the cynics come from

I think this pretty much captions the attitude I've seen and read a lot lately. It seems most women have this super cynical view of men and some how all men are to blame for all their problems. They rant about all the men they know being peter pan boys living like they're teens despite being in their late twenties and early thirties.

Being a twenty seven year old single male, I at first take offense to this stereotype. I feel I am very responsible and demonstrate leadership when leadership is needed. In addition, I know several Godly men who are like me. I would say of all the men I know and hang out with, I know way more responsible men then I know men who go for the forever young dream. It is true that I do spend a good deal of time and money on entertainment but I don't feel that defines my life. I am not opposed to finding a wife. On the contrary, I'm all for it. I believe God made man and woman to be together but there is no reason for me to put a hold on my life until I marry some one. Had I done that, I would not own a house, any pets, and would not have a life at all. For a single woman to say that I shouldn't spend time and money on things like snowboarding trips or movie tickets would be like me saying they should quit their job, move back home with her parents and wait by the phone for some one to pursue her. With all the articles preaching to men about settling down and looking for some one, I wonder where all the articles are about women being worth pursuing or accepting the offers God has given them.

I however can not dismiss this because of countless articles talking about it. I enjoy blog reading and one blog that I frequent is called boundless.org. Boundless is a page put on by focus on the family therefore can be trusted to have a good moral compass when they give advice. One would not go a week with out seeing an article like THIS based off of THIS article where they point out all the single men who only go for random hookups and avoid commitment like the flu. It also shows that there are single men who are pursuing women but because they don't pursue in the perfect way or they do not fit the perfect prince charming, many women don't give them a chance. Looking at this article, and many others, I wonder if there are parts of me that are becoming a “bad egg.” I may not be dating around but maybe I’m doing these things to a lesser degree just as Jesus says to be angry in the heart is the same as committing murder in God’s eyes. With this realization, I’ll have to do some self reflection and start looking at this avalanche of guy bashing articles from a different perspective. I can already see areas I can change and I hope to do just that.

Superbook

Surely I’m not the only one who remembers this series. It’s a Christian anime series that takes kids back in time to the age of the Bible. Since my sister is now the mother of a young man, she bought these DVDs for Christopher. He’s a bit young to understand what is going on but it’s always good to start him out early so he can understand what God has done for him.





It turns out there was another series while different, was very similar. It was called the flying house. I just found it on line for pretty cheap so I decided to get it. I don’t really remember that one as much but it’s supposed to be almost as good. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if it will be any good. Hopefully the lessons will help him understand God.

Meeting with God shows

Monday, March 10, 2008

What a long day this will be

So I started out the day wrong. I tried pressing snooze this morning but in actuality turned my alarm off. I woke up at 8:30 (what used to be 7:30) and was already late for work. That's not a big deal because I can come in at 9:00 if necessary but I was wanting to get out early so I could do some things before BSF.

Right now, I'm half sleeping from the trip this weekend. We got up to snowshoe around 1:00 AM. The next two days, the four of us went snowboarding. Since we had already checked out of the room, we rode home with out taking showers and got back around midnight.

The trip over all was good. Despite the rain Saturday, we had a great time on the slope. We went on all the good trails and a few super icy ones. Mike did a great job even though he struggled a little to keep up. By the end of the day, he was speeding down like a champ. Aside from the expected enjoyment of being outdoors, the thrill of riding down a mountain, and all the other things you would could with quality guy time, there was one unexpected thing that came up that made the trip much better. Many know that for the longest time, my relationship with God was not the closest. I went through a period of doubt and rebellion and it was only through God's calling me back that I was able to return. This one guy I was talking to on the lift seems he was going through the same thing. He actually asked me if I went to church and believed all that went along with it. He told me he was going through a period of doubt and wasn't really going to church right now.

It's an awesome thing to go through something like that and make it out to the other side but to be able to share my experience with some one going through the same thing was great. I shared with him two things I had learned in BSF. First, that if we really seek him, Jesus/God would reveal himself to you and show you He is real (ask, seek, knock). Most people who have been Christian for a while know that but it's an easy thing to forget. Second, in my opinion, it is ok to doubt. Some people like myself wouldn't let ourselves admit we had doubt only allowing it to grow stronger in my mind. Knowing Jesus is God does not come from worldly wisdom but from God so for us to be sure of who He is, we need to ask God to reveal that to us. I based that on when John the Baptist was about to be killed. He had a moment of doubt and asked Jesus "are you the One or should we expect some one else?" What I think is so important here is Jesus' response. Often he would call his disciples "you of little faith" but not John. He revealed himself through fulfilling the prophecy in the book of Isaiah and after that commended John for who he was. God knows we can not understand Himself fully and that can lead to doubt. God wants us to take that doubt to Him so He has a chance to reveal Himself to you. I don't know if that helped him but I know it helped me when I was going through that situation.

Stiff and sore, I had to put things away and set all my clocks forward. That brings me back to this morning. I'm looking forward to BSF and the social after but they picked a hard day to do it. I dont know how long I'll end up staying but there are a few people I'd really like to catch up with. I might write more about that tomorrow but now, I need to stretch.

You know the bad thing about blogging is the bad habits it builds. I'm sure I made many spelling and grammar mistakes but since this is a blog, I'll probably keep it as is. If bulldog or the fox are reading this, maybe you can let me know what changes I should make.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Stop Loss Screener

The link to sign up for Stop Loss is below here.

First time on Shakefire? You have to create a user in order to be eligible.
Click here to do that now or copy the link below.
http://www.shakefire.com/boards/register.php?s=f0412e7345e1facc07c422f39b8e84d4

One of the questions is were you referred by anyone. My screen name is thirdconspiracy if you'd like to answer that question.

Disclaimer:
I do not endorse this movie or any movie I have not seen.

In particular, this one looks pretty dumb. The idea is when you sign up for the armed services, you sign up for 4 years active and 4 years quiet. Stop Loss basically sends soldiers over again after their first tour of duty. This typically happens around their 3.5 year mark therefore they end up serving in their quiet years. This is in no way unfair as they are being paid to be in the army. They also signed a contract saying that if required, they will serve again since it is more efficient sending experienced soldiers then training new ones. This is the case at every job and that is why companies often like to promote from within.

Most people don't know this and they think when they sign up for the army, they are signing up for just 4 years and the government after that is just giving handouts. Like any contract, it's important to read the fine print.

Snowshoe


I'm so pumped for this weekend. Last Monday at BSF I was talking to one of the new guys in our group. He's from Wilmington and enjoys the X type of sports. He was saying they opened up 2 new slopes on the left side of the mountain that were both choppy black diamonds. Of all the slopes you can ride, choppy blacks are by far my favorite. Super steep slopes aren't much different then your average slope because you can always slow down. It's only that initial descent that takes your stomach. The huge moguls (sp??) aren't very fun on a snowboard either. They tend to be too close for such a wide board and being on the East coast, they tend to be all ice. That's why I love choppy blacks. They are steep and give you that gut feeling when you drop in. Also, you have to think the whole time about balance and staying light on your feet. Like shocks on a car, your legs go up and down with the rhythm of the mountain and when you want something different, you can always stiffen up and jump. That brings a whole new aspect to the session. Unlike big air, you chose when and where you want to jump. Also, if you make a mistake, you can go a few feet and jump again. If those two runs are good, that along with Shay’s Revenge and Cup Run will make the whole trip worth the 6 hour drive.

Now what I hear is that Snowshoe tends to be bad luck for our bible study guys. Some one gets hurt ever year so I’m a little nervous about that. There’s something I’ve been putting off for a few weeks but I’d really like to do when I get back. Hopefully I’ll be fit enough when I get back to do it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BSF lesson learned

In BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we read about a rich man who came to Jesus asking how one becomes saves. Jesus named several of the 10 commandments and it turns out the man had kept all of them. Despite all that man had done, he realized that he could never be good enough and he was still lacking something.

It was at that point, Jesus looked at the man with compassion and pointed out the one fault he had. The man was in love with his wealth and status. All of the 10 commandments and anything else God has asked us to do can be wrapped up in two commands. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Second is like it in that we should love our neighbor as yourself. Jesus asked the man to give all he had to the poor and follow. The man was lacking this. He loved money more then God therefore he broke the first of the two commandments. Also, he loved himself more then the poor since he would not give his wealth to them.

At first we think this is for the non-Christians out there. Upon further review, I realize this is a lesson spoken directly to me. Anytime we sin, we are putting things in this world over God. James says (taking a little out of context) that we sin because of the desires that war within us. I look over this last week at how selfish I've been. I knew I was putting things above God and that keeps me not from heaven but from experiencing the joy and blessings only God can provide.

I am convicted by that lesson and also the lesson on humility just a few verses before. I'd like to always choose God because my love for Him is that great. I think in the past how each time I chose God over myself, I have never been disappointed. Going back to my testimony, I was with out joy for 4 years. I was with out hope so I gave God all I had. Only then did things turn around for Jesus said “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Don’t you love it when you discover something like this? It’s a simple lesson that I’ve learned many times over but each time it’s fresh. I like to think of it like grade school. The first time God showed me this, I graduated K-5. I gave up one more area of my life and God says, well done, you’ve now passed 1st grade. Each grade the lessons get harder but once we finally get it, wow! Through it all, we can always say God is good.