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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Posts of the Year

As 2009 comes to a close I would like to take this time to list my personal top ten favorite posts I have written this year. Here they are (with links to them) in no particular order:

#1) And They Lived Happily Ever...?: This post is from when I used to have themes for each day of the week. Thursdays were titled "Deep Thought Thursdays"

#2) I Am 7-Iron Man: Another one from my theme days, "Story Time Tuesdays"

#3) Jesus Junk: This is a two-part series I did within another series called "Christian Culture Edition" on "Freakin' Funny Fridays" Click here for part 2.

#4) Caught in a Webb: This is an "Artsy Fartsy Wednesday" post about Derek Webb along with a couple music videos and audio clips from Derek Webb speaking.

#5) I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Designed that Way: A "Freakin' Funny Friday post about poor design, poorly placed design, my discovery of Photoshop Disasters, and some fun me and my friends had with Photoshop.

#6) Reduce, Reuse, Re-Create: An "Artsy Fartsy Wednesday" post about recycling as art.

#7) Big Old Box of Crap: A "Freakin' Funny Friday" post about weird, useless, and products that just should not exist.

#8) Jared Didn't want a Snickers Coupon: A series of random events that happened at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.

#9) Culture Clash: I share some thoughts on a story that I read on Stacy From Louisville's blog.

#10) Justice Has Been Served! So Why Don't I Feel Good?: A post about how we sometimes try to look down on others when we should be spending time building each other up.

I hope to have more in 2010, see you then! Hey, that rhymes! I'm a poet and I didn't even think that I was one!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part Seven

Ok, I'm gonna wrap up this Christmas video countdown today. I'll do #24 and #25 since I shouldn't be wasting my time on the internet on Christmas day. I'll be wasting time with my family instead...I mean spending quality time with my family. Before we get started I just want to talk about the whole "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" controversy. A bunch of other blogs I read have mentioned it as well and I agree with what they say. I don't think it matters what your holiday greetings happens to be, what matters is where your heart is and what your motivation is when you say it. If you say "Happy Holidays" because you are being friendly, that's fine. If you say "Happy Holidays" out of spite, that's not fine. Same thing goes with "Merry Christmas". If you say it, fine. But if you say it after someone has told you "Happy Holidays" and you reply with an arrogant "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" that's not fine. So here's a video that I found amusing that kind of deals with what I just talked about.

#24) Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas:



I don't think the problem lies with certain religions, systems of belief, lifestyles, etc. I think the problem happens when people of certain religions, and systems of belief try to force others into doing things their way. Plus there are always going to be people who just want to argue about things and they'll always find a way. This time of year seems to be the time those people tend to get loud and voice their opinion openly. Look, if you celebrate Hanukkah, then celebrate Hanukkah. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, then celebrate Kwanzaa. If you celebrate Christmas, then celebrate Christmas. If you don't celebrate anything, then don't celebrate anything you party-pooper...just kidding.

I accept however people want to greet me. If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, great! If someone tells me Happy Hanukkah, right on! If another person tells me "Have a kickin' Kwanzaa", awesome! If you have found something that you believe in and you want to share it, go for it. That's why I'll continue to say Merry Christmas because I believe in Jesus Christ and what he taught us and what he came to do for us. I want to share that, but I'm not going to force it on anybody. If someone has a problem with me saying it, then that's their problem, not mine. If I tell someone Merry Christmas and they reply with any other kind of friendly greeting besides Merry Christmas I will be thankful for that. I feel like I'm repeating myself. But anyway, to wrap this up, there is a little boy named Linus who sums up what Christmas is all about. Remember you don't have to watch it and you don't have to agree with it. I'm just saying this is what I'm about, this is what I agree with.

#25) Linus and the true meaning of Chirstmas:



That's what Christmas is about. It's about the birth of Jesus Christ. I think the best way to celebrate Christ and celebrate Christmas is to spend quality time with friends and family. To love and help the needy. It's not so much about the gifts, even though it's nice to give and receive. It's definitely should not be about stressing out, because if you do, you're missing the point. Sometimes this time of year can be depressing for some people and that's understandable. We need to reach out to those people. We need to be a light to the world. Some of our lights have dimmed, I know mine has at times. But let's do our best to make our light shine. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you prefer.

BONUS!) I found this clip while searching for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and I had to share it:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part Six

Is there anything you don't like about Chirstmas? I'm sure we could all name a few things we don't particularly care for. Today I found some videos of people/animals that don't like certain things at Christmas time.

#19) Here's a dog wearing a jersey that doesn't like snowmen:



#20) Some kids think it's terrible when Santa eats their cookies:



#21) This kid's grandmother was a good sport for helping him make an instructional video on how and how not to react to getting a bad Christmas gift. I thought it was funny:



#22) One of my personal pet peeves are those tacky over-priced battery operated animatronic Christmas decorations:



I've always wanted to do that too!

#23) And speaking of tacky over-priced battery operated animatronics, the Grinch doesn't like Elmo:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!"

Don't worry, I'm not going to have a video of the 12 days of Christmas. That song is so annoying. I'm going to do something worse...here are some songs that parody the 12 days of Christmas.

#16) The 12 Days of Christmas, Indian style:





#17) The 12 Days of Christmas, Canadian style, (maybe it should be the 12 days of Christmoose) brought to you by Bob and Doug Mckenzie from the 1983 movie "Strange Brew" starring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, no not the Wendy's guy. After the song is a preview for an animated series which may be a little inappropriate for the little ones:





#18) The 12 Days of Christmas Norah Jones and Jimmy Kimmel style in a tribute to YouTube? Didn't see that one coming did you? Me neither:




By the way, Christmas is only a week away. Good thing too, it's hard to find videos for this countdown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part Four

It's time for some more videos!

#12) One of my favorite Chrismas specials was Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas by Jim Henson. Here are some bloopers from that special, it's a long video, but it's funny, especially if you are a fan of this one:




#13) A couple of inconsistencies with Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer:




#14) Kids love Santa...at least they do from a distance. Up close, not so good. I love the picture shown 46 seconds into this video:




#15) And here's robot Santa helping out with the Salvation Army:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part Three

Okay, I'm back with a few more videos. One of my favorite Christmas specials they played on TV when I was little was the Garfield Christmas Special. I don't know it they still play it, but I found it in three parts on YouTube, enjoy:

#9) Garfield Christmas Special part 1:



#10) Garfield Christmas Special part 2:



My favorite part is when they light the tree and everyone goes "Ooooooohhhhh!" Their mouths look funny. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, atleast watch 2:32-2:44

#11) Garfield Christmas Special part 3:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown Part Two

The videos I posted yesterday were fun, but I want to be serious today and show a clip from Morgan Spurlock's documentary "What Would Jesus Buy?" I know it's not very "Christmas-y" but I think it's something you should watch and really think about.

#8) What Would Jesus Buy?:



"More consumption, less satisfaction...how about, less consumption and more satisfaction."

Wise words.

It's sad to think that some of the clothes we wear and the toys our kids play with have caused injuries and cost lives to people who get paid only cents per day working 19 hour shifts. Is that what Christmas has become? Does this kind of Christmas have anything to do with Christ? Absolutely not.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Video Countdown

I thought I would do a Christmas video countdown for each day in December until the 25th. I know it's the 7th already so I have some catching up to do, I'll do it right now. I will find the funniest, most sentimental, craziest, most memorable, and meaningful Christmas videos I can find. They won't be in any particular order. So here we go with the first seven videos:

#1) We'll start of with a few clips from the movie "Elf" with Will Ferrell. I could do this entire countdown with clips just from that movie, but I'll do the first three instead. Here's the scene where the department store manager announces that Santa will be in the store the next day:



#2) Here is the "Angry Elf" scene:



#3) This is the scene where Buddy the Elf discovers the mall. My favorite part is in the beginning of this clip when he gets hit by a taxi:



#4) I just stumbled across this one. Even villains and horror movie monsters take a break from terrorizing and rampaging to celebrate the holidays:



#5) Next is one of my favorite clips from a clay animated Christmas special that came out years ago. I haven't seen them play it on TV in a long time, but here is the "Carol of the Bells" scene. Carol of the Bells is one of my favorite Christmas songs too:



#6) Here's a parody of Frosty the Snowman called "Snowy the Frostman". I found it on Aniboom's channel, and you can check out the rest of the series by clicking here:



#7) And now I will end this post with the Yule Log, enjoy. I will post more videos in the coming days:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Getting into the Christmas spirit has taken on new meaning for me throughout the years. When I was little I would make a paper chain out of construction paper and number each one. I would hang it on a hook that was screwed into the ceiling and I would rip one paper chain link off each day to count down to Christmas. I would usually make my chain in September, so it was pretty long at first. And then I would get really excited when the paper chain would get short enough that it wasn't lying on the ground anymore. Christmas was coming soon! Toys! Games! Candy! Christmas Specials on TV! Christmas tree! Pretty Christmas lights!

As I've gotten older I've found it harder to get into what we call the Christmas Spirit. I can't find it in the same things that I did when I was a kid. Although I did sit down with my fiancée and her little four year old boy the other night to make a paper chain and it brought back memories. I think that's where it started for me this year. Then I went to my church for a service we call Carols and Candles. It was a great time for fellowship with friends and family and that got me even more in the mood for Christmas.

I'm still unemployed and that has really been bogging me down, I never thought I would get excited for Christmas this year. But I'm starting to. It's almost like the Whos in Whoville. They woke up on Christmas morning with nothing but each other and they were thankful for that. I need to be thankful for what I have rather than worry about what I don't have. What I have is a family that loves and cares for me. I have a great girl in my life who will soon be my wife and that's all I've every wanted. She has a little boy who looks up to me and I'm going to try to be a good father figure even though I'll never be his dad. Why should I be sad, I have everything I need to be joyful. I have a God who loves me and a savior named Jesus Christ who sacrificed everything for me and you and all of humanity.

There is a saying that goes "Jesus is the reason for the season". But what happens when someone hears that saying and all they know about Christmas is trying to get a good parking spot so they can go Christmas shopping and try to buy everyone the things they want?

Is Jesus the reason why we go into debt this time of year?

Is Jesus the reason why people get stressed during the holidays?

Is Jesus the reason why we get annoyed while trying to string up the lights on the house?

Is Jesus the reason why some people get trampled in the stores and killed just to get that one item that's on sale?

NO!

That's our own stupid fault. We've made Christmas into the monstrosity it has become.

Jesus is the reason for the season because he came to show us how to live. He showed us how to love our family, our friends, our neighbors, our enemies. He came to give of himself, not to have things given to him. He was a teacher, a servant, a savior. That's what the Christmas Spirit is all about. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that. And it isn't something that should just come once a year, but all year long, continuously forever and ever.

Amen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

It's the first week of December. Christmas is coming! Beware of junk like this little battery operated waste of space I found at a department store recently:


video


Buying gifts for your friends, family, and loved ones is great, don't get me wrong. But instead of buying them that sweater that they'll only wear when you come to visit or that exercise video their never going to use (not to mention how insulting that would be), try to do something a little more thoughtful this year. What my family is doing this year is getting a bunch of money together to help people in third world countries. We are doing this through an organization called Gospel for Asia Through this we will donate money so a family can receive farm animals for eggs, milk, and/or meat. As far as gifts for each other, we've decided to keep it simple and not spend much on each other because there are so many out there who need so much.

There are other organizations out there that are doing similar things. One of my favorites is Advent Conspiracy. Here are two videos, I'll put a link to the site below:





Click here to check out Advent Conspiracy.

Also, click here to see the post I wrote for charity:water

Blood:Water mission is also a great outreach started by members of the band Jars of Clay.

Also, be sure to check out how you can get involved in helping others in your local community as well.

So have a stress-free holiday and don't trample anyone to get your kid the one thing they really want. Believe me, they'll still love you if you don't.

And try not to get trampled.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A trip to the Big  : Day Three



So now that Thanksgiving is over I can finish up talking about the trip to New York City. We didn't go into the city until the afternoon. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Café and saw a bunch of music memorabilia:



Billy Joel's motorcycle



Suits and backpacks worn by The Beatles



Paul McCartney's guitar



The original doors from Abbey Road Studios



This is where we sat, below Keith Moon's pants.
Oh, you're asking me what band he was in?
Yes.
Who.
Keith Moon, what band was he in?
Who.
That's what I want you to tell me. Who did Keith Moon play for?
Yes, he played for Who.
That's what I want to know!
Okay, I suck at this, watch this clip:



When I saw the pants of the Who's Keith Moon at the Hard Rock Café it reminded me of this clip from the Animaniacs.


We just walked around Times Square most of the day and checked out all the different shops. We looked at the Hershey's store and M&M World. I think I got a cavity just from walking around those places. We stopped into a bunch of other places and saw a few more familiar sights in the Times Square area:






Look at all those M&M's...I just drooled on myself.







There we are. It was so nice of that random guy who took our picture not to run off with my camera. Of course my mom offered to hold his camera while he took our picture. Good thinking, mom.


We ended the night by going to a comedy club. It was okay. I didn't see any comedians I recognized but most of them were pretty funny. It was a small crowd, there were maybe only ten people there so of course the comedians were a little more interactive with the crowd. Some of them got my mom and my sister pretty good but they left me alone for the most part. We called it a night after that and went back to the hotel.

The next morning we had to check out of the hotel and we were going to look around the local area where we were staying, there were some mini-malls in the area. But after we loaded up all of our luggage, souvenirs, and everything else we realized that the car had a flat tire. So we had to call around to see who could help. We had to put the donut on it and we took it to Sam's Club. My mom ended up getting four new tires since the others didn't look so good either. She got a pretty good deal. It was a pretty smooth ride home from there. Overall it was a pretty good trip, but I think I know what to expect the next time I go to New York.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I have another post to write about my NYC trip, but I'm taking a break today to wish everyone a happy Turkey Day! I thought I would type "Thanksgiving" into Google's image search and see what interesting and unny pictures would come up. So here's ten that I found:

We'll start off with some Norman Rockwell




Mom burnt the turkey again



Here's an updated version of Norman Rockwell's classic Thanksgiving painting



Now for some cartoons and funny pictures:











Then, of course, is the tradition of the president pardoning a turkey:




Who started this tradition anyway?

This last one is a classic:




And lastly, here are a couple of funny Thanksgiving videos:





Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Trip to the Big  : Day Two

I would have had this post up last night, but New York City kicked my butt yesterday and I was ready for bed by the time we got back. If you didn't read yesterday's post, click here. One thing I've learned about New York City is that whatever you plan on doing, make sure you know every little detail about doing what you want to do, especially when it comes to things like making reservations, national security, and timing. Timing is everything. You'll see what I'm talking about a little later in this post.

We had to get up early yesterday because the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall started at 9am. The show was so much better than I had expected it to be. I thought it was just going to be a bunch of Rocketts kicking their legs in the air since that's all you ever see on TV. But yea, there was more to it, including a part where we had to put on 3D glasses. Here are some pictures from RCMH:








After the show we walked to Rockefeller Center. The tree was up, but it was covered by scaffolding so I couldn't get a good picture of it, but here are a few pictures from Rockefeller Center:


The tree is behind that giant poster.




We continued walking to St. Patrick's Cathedral. We went inside during their Sunday Mass, it was very interesting. The architecture of this building is beautiful:




After stopping for a little lunch we walked back to the Port Authority to ask how we could get to the Statue of Liberty. They told us we should take the subway rather than going by bus. They said it would take about three hours in traffic to get to the ferry. My mom and my sister weren't to thrilled about having to ride the subway, they had never done it before, but it was the best way to get there. It took us awhile to find out which subway train to get on, we asked a bunch of people and walked through a few underground tunnels and we finally found the train we were supposed to board. We went from 42nd and Times Square to South Ferry. While standing in line for the ferry we realized that security was pretty tight because of 9/11 of course. I had forgotten that I carry one of these in my coat pocket:




Oh, wait, I guess you can't really tell what that is. Here, let me take it out and show it to you:





It's a multi-purpose tool, but to national security, it's something that I might use to take over the world. So when we got to the part of the line where we had to put all of our belongings in the bins, that's when I remembered I had that in my coat pocket. They ran it through the x-ray machine and when it came out on the other side, they started looking through the pockets of the coat and I showed them where it was. They said they couldn't hold it for me, but if I went out and asked one of the hot dog or nut vendors outside to hold if for me and hand them a few bucks to do so, then I could get it back. So I did that. The guy I gave it to said he was done at 4:30 so we would have to be back by then. Then I had to go and walk through the metal detector again. The first time I went through before I had to take my multi-purpose tool to the nut vendor guy, the metal detector didn't go off, but when I came back in, it did. OH, GREAT!! So I was asked to take my shoes off and they ran them through the x-ray machine, just in case I would use my shoes to take over the world. After that fiasco, I put my shoes back on and we boarded the ferry. When we got to Liberty Island we found that not only could we not get into the statue, we couldn't even get into the monument below the statue. So what was the point of even paying to ride the ferry? So we walked around the Jolly Green Giant...I mean, the Statue of Liberty and snapped some pictures...HERE...ENJOY!:




Here's a shot of the backside of the Statue of Liberty which is an angle you probably don't see too often.

Ok, I'm finished with my rant, but if you learn anything from me, remember to make reservations and get tickets (they're free, you just have to pay for the ferry ride) for the Statue of Liberty, and don't carry any multi-purpose tools with you. Here's one more shot of the Statue of Liberty from the ferry ride back to the city:



So, that was yesterday. We traveled on foot, by bus, subway, and ferry, but mostly by foot. Today we're looking at going to Central Park and check out the zoo and the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), and a few other things. Tonight we're planning on going to a comedy club, hope it's funny. I'll have another post up either tonight or tomorrow morning, it depends on how the city treats us tonight. Oh yea, and I did get my multi-purpose tool back from the nut vendor guy right at 4:30. I really didn't think I was going to get it back.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Trip to the Big  : Day One

So here I am in the Big . Well, actually, I'm in Secaucus, NJ because that's where our hotel is. See, here it is:



I'm here with my mom and my sister. We had a pretty good trip in, except for when we switched from looking at the Mapquest directions and starting using my sister's GPS. Somehow we ended up in some ghetto in New Jersey. We were sitting at a red light and the street sign said Dr. MLK Ave. which of course stands for Dr. Martin Luther King Ave. But my sister didn't know that at first. She said something like "Who's Dr. Milk?" and with my quick wit, I replied "He's the guy who started his famous speech with the phrase 'I have some cream'". Yes, I know, I'm hilarious.

We arrived at LaQuinta and our room is on the top floor. We were upgraded to a nice suite, it's sweet! Here are some pics of our room:


Our living room...



...another shot of the living room area...



...the bedroom and my sister relaxing before heading into the city...



...the bathroom...



...and the view from our room.


Then I had some fun with the mirrors on the closet door:



It was a long trip and I was a little tired, okay?!


After we checked in and rested up a little we hopped on the bus, went through the Lincoln Tunnel and went into the city. Our first stop was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant for dinner:





I won a free t-shirt at there for answering a trivia question. The question was "What was the name of Forrest Gump's boat?" I was the first one to shout "Jenny!" After dinner we went to the huge 3-story Kids-R-Us to look at all the toys we're all too old to play with. They even have a Ferris wheel in there:




...and a Lego Statue of Liberty...



...and a T-Rex...



...and Steph made a new friend.



We walked around the city for a little while more before getting on back on the bus and here's some of the sights we saw:



Radio City Music Hall, which is where we're going tomorrow to see a show.



A fountain near Radio City Music Hall



My mom and Steph in front of the fountain, kind of blurry.



The New York Times building...



...and the rest of the New York Times Building.


So we went back to the bus station to ride back to the hotel, but as we tried boarding the bus driver said we needed a ticket and we couldn't pay cash, which is weird since we paid cash when we got on the bus earlier. We had to go get some bus tickets and then find another gate to catch another bus because the gate we originally went to closed after the bus we couldn't board left. It was a real hassle, but at least we know now.

When we arrived back to our hotel room, Steph decided to go downstairs to look around and because I was tired and delirious I decided to dress up her stuffed koala bear she brought to use as a pillow:


I used her gloves, scarf, vest, shoes, and a bag of pistachios. Then I put my sunglasses on it but that was after I took this picture.


And now it's time to go to bed, good night. I'll have more tomorrow.