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Friday, August 31, 2007

I've been slackin'

Man...
Have I been slackin' or what???

I've only posted 10 times since last week. Maybe it's school... which started on Tuesday. Maybe it's the beginning of fall... schools were back a couple of weeks ago and our regular weekly student ministry programming resumes next weekend. Maybe it's other things... which I'd rather not share here.

But I haven't been posting in a while.

I'm going to try to rectify that situation... between chapters of Luther...

Jim

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rock Band demostration

This looks awesome!!!

I can't wait until it comes out... and eventually, it's supposed to for PS 2. Awesome... drums... guitars... singers...

Jim

Guitar Hero Encore... Rock out session


Tonight Boone and Jeff O came over to my house for some pizza and rocking out on Guitar Hero Encore...

It was a great time.
We plowed through a couple of pizzas and 2 liters... Played plenty of GH Encore.

It was awesome.

Here... Boone is working to concentrate.

Good times.

Jim

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I survived...

Well...

The first day of the new semester is over... And I survived...

That's all I got.


Jim

Monday, August 27, 2007

a good friend's birthday


Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a good friend, Todd, for his 31st birthday. It was some good times.

Todd, Mark and Ben (Todd's girlfriend's dad) spent some time at Dave and Busters having lunch and play pool.

Then we all (Jackie and I, Todd and Andi, Todd's parents and Andi's parents) met up at Andi's parents house for dinner. It was a great night.

And Todd even put on his birthday hat!!!

Jim






Seminary starts back tomorrow!!!???

Class starts back tomorrow.

Right now, I'm looking forward to getting started again. Probably about this time next week, I'll be wishing for the carefree days of summer again...

This semester, I've got a Reformation History class (Church history... Luther, Calvin, etc) and a Worship Class. (The worship class is required...)

It should be an interesting semester.

Jim

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question

huh???

what was the question again? and what does her answer have to do with anything?

you've gotta see this to believe it... I watched it twice and still don't know what she was trying to say...

Jim

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wicked Weather!!! (part 2)


As I mentioned before, the weather has been crazy around here. This afternoon, I was getting ready to cross the Fox River here in St. Charles, as I waited, I was looking at the river which is basically on the same level as the road...

Kinda crazy!!!
















Here's the look from on the bridge...

I almost looks (and when you're on the bridge, feels) like the water is right below you.


Jim

Rain!!!

I am enjoying a day at home...

Surfing the Internet... watching TV... enjoying the power being on (which isn't the case for many others in the Chicagoland area).

But the news just said that for St. Charles, in the last 24 hours, we have received 4.02 inches of rain!!! And they are calling for more this afternoon.

Jim

Google searches that lead here...

I'm always amazed at what folks are searching for on Google... and end up here...

Here are a few:
-Is Man vs. Wild fake
-Man vs. Wild update
-tunak tuank lyrics
-lifehouse everything skit
-qvc blog
-Lifehouse Everything Skit letter of song
-james clark world records
-cubs game last night
-sav rocca video
-youth jims the game
-saverio rocca philadelpia eagles
-how to say good bye to a good friend
-iphone starbucks
-tunak tuank
-coffee-face-kiss

Awesome!!!!

Jim

59 Year Old Mike Flynt is ready for action... weird...


I heard about this briefly on the radio the other day... I could hardly believe my ears...

A 59 year old dude is eligible for his senior year of college football... and has actually made the team at Sul Ross State University!!!!

Go Mike Flynt!!!

Here's a snipet of THIS story:
"Flynt is giving new meaning to being a college senior. After all, he's a grandfather and a card-carrying member of AARP. He's eight years older than his coach and has two kids older than any of his teammates."

Weird... I would actually like to see him playing in a game.

Jim

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wicked Weather!!!


We had some wicked weather today... tornadoes... thunder... lightning... power outings... it was a mess.

In fact, for about 15 to 20 minutes, Jackie and I spent some time in our bathroom because we were afraid that a tornado might be in the area. In fact, some were talking about a possible funnel cloud in Geneva... near the Starbucks where Jackie works.

So... with the crazy day, we decided to grab some Subway for dinner... As we walked out of Subway, this was the view of the sky...

Pretty!!!







Just another reminder that even the dark clouds have a silver lining...



Jim


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Texas Rangers score 30 runs...

The Texas Rangers scored 30 runs today!!!!

I would have hated to been on the losing end of this...

Check out part of the story:
"The Rangers smashed their way into the record books on Wednesday night with the biggest offensive outburst seen in the Major Leagues in 110 years.

Marlon Byrd and Travis Metcalf both hit grand slams and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez hit two home runs each as the Rangers walloped the Baltimore Orioles, 30-3, in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Camden Yards."

Check out the rest of the story HERE.

Wow!!!

Jim

Rock Band for PS2 and songlist!!!

Jeff... One of my Guitar Hero buddies and one of my leaders has been talking about this game called "Rock Band." Supposedly the deal is that you can play guitar (like Guitar Hero), drums and sing. Looks kinda crazy...
But today, he sent me a link for it and if this song list is the list, then I will have it. It looks pretty darn cool. This looks pretty darn awesome...

Especially this line-up of music:

1970s
- The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"
- Mountain, "Mississippi Queen" (cover recording)
- David Bowie, "Suffragette City"
- Black Sabbath, "Paranoid" (cover recording)
- Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear the Reaper"
- The Ramones, "Blitzkrieg Bop"
- Deep Purple, "Highway Star"

1980s
- Rush "Tom Sawyer" (cover recording)
- Bon Jovi "Wanted Dead or Alive"
- The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
- Faith No More "Epic"

1990s
- Foo Fighters, "Learn to Fly"
- Metallica, "Enter Sandman"
- Nirvana, "In Bloom"
- Stone Temple Pilots, "Vasoline"
- Weezer, "Say It Ain't So"
- Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock"
- Radiohead, "Creep"
- Beastie Boys, "Sabotage"

2000s
- The Hives, "Main Offender"
- Queens of the Stone Age, "Go With the Flow"
- The Strokes, "Reptilia"
- Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
- OK Go, "Here It Goes Again"
- Nine Inch Nails, "The Hand That Feeds"



Looks awesome... I'll have to start saving up my allowance once my iPhone debt is paid off.


Jim

Monday, August 20, 2007

Messfest Video 2

Here's the second of the Messfest videos... starring Matt Galloway with the towel on his head!!!

Jim

Messfest Video 1

Here's a short video from last night's Messfest "Steal the Bacon" with a little victory dance at the end by Rory Newbrough!!

Messfest!!!


Last night was our annual Messfest night!!! It was an incredible night of fun, food and MUD!!!

It rained just about all of the 24 hours leading up to Messfest. Plus a couple of sprinklers that keep consistent water on the mud pit made it a pretty muddy night.

Here, Natalie, Bailey and Paige get ready for some Tug-O-War.

By the way... for more photos, surf over to my myspace page or my facebook page. I just posted all of the good pictures there... I simply don't have space to post them all here.




Looks pretty muddy!!!













I think there is a "Matt Galloway" under there somewhere.














Lilly, Elisabeth, Mari and Brooke look pretty coated with mud. It was very muddy and cold (notice the group of students standing around a small fire in the background.)











Here is the whole group as we wrapped up. It was a great night!!!


Jim

BTW: I will have a couple of videos here in a few minutes from YouTube...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saying Good-Bye to a Good Friend...

Chris Genders, our Teaching Pastor and the leader of the search team that brought me to Fox Valley Christian Church two and a half years ago, has officially made the decision to leave FVCC for a different ministry opportunity in Peoria.

On his blog, HERE, he posted about what it will be like to say "good-bye" to all an entire church that he loves and has been a part of for 11 years.

For me... the question will be different... how will I be able to say "Good-bye" to someone that I have worked alongside, ate lunch with, did life with and shared ministry with for almost 3 years? But that will be the question that many of us will have to figure out as well.

Jim

Sav Rocca - Philadelphia Eagles NFL kicker

Ouch!!!!

Wow... This punter got planted...

Jim

starbucks + iPhone = no blog

I sitting at Starbucks today... hanging out with Jackie on her lunch break. And I thought to myself... "I wonder if I can log into blogger on my iPhone and blog from there." So I tried it out... I could log in, but I couldn't 'click' into the typing field...

I will have to do some work to figure out how to do that.

Jim

Dominos now accepting pizza orders via SMS... in the UK





I saw this story HERE...

It seems in the UK, you can order pizza from Domino's via text message...

That's pretty incredible. What will they do next??? "I'm thinking pizza..." ding dong...

Jim

One of my articles on Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Website!!!

A while back, I wrote an article for the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry website. (I'm a PDYM Mentor for Illinois... I also submit some resources... etc.)

I just happen to notice on Josh Griffin's Blog that it had been posted on the PDYM website!!!!

Here is a snipet:
"Fast forward to the present… This week I found myself lying awake in bed for the countless time. I was thinking about everything and nothing all at the same time. I was thinking about problems that had come up over the weekend. I was thinking about tasks that were looming and not yet completed. I was thinking about obligations that I had made but had been either unwilling or unable to follow through with. I was thinking about church office politics (and how much I hated it). I was thinking about lessons that needed to be written, messages that needed to be finished, emails that needed to be sent, phone calls that needed to be made, meetings, to-do-list items, projects, trips, calendars, attendance…

And then it hit me: Why don’t I feel the same way about ministry now that I did eight years ago? "

Click HERE to read the rest.

I was stunned that it was posted... Thanks Josh!!!

Jim

Friday, August 17, 2007

Big Zambrano stays put!!!


Big "Z" is staying put for 5 years!!!

Good news for Cubs fans... Bad news for everyone else...

Check out part of the story:
"Carlos Zambrano got his wish to stay with the Cubs after all.

The Cubs signed the animated right-handed pitcher to a five-year, $91.5 million contract with a vesting option for a sixth year, presenting him with the highest average salary awarded to a pitcher in a multi-year contract in Major League history."

$91.5 Million!!!!!!!
Click HERE to read the rest!!!

Go Big "Z"!!!

Jim

Youth Leaders' Cookout

We had an incredible little cookout tonight at the Deuerlings. It was our group of Student Ministry Staff Leaders... both small group leaders and worship leaders.

It was great to have a chance to sit down and talk with some that I haven't seen and talked much with since June or July. We spent some time talking about the next school year... and wrapped up with prayer.

It was really great!!!

Jim

Coffee-Face Kiss


I saw this picture HERE.


Very cool... very cool.


Just thought I would share it.

Jim

Last Ditch yesterday!!!


Yesterday was our last official summer event for Student Ministry for Summer 2007. It was a swim party and BBQ at Chuck and Ruth Anne Boone's...

And it was excellent!!!!

Here is a picture of the action (taken with my new iPhone!)

Jim

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Apple iPhone Ad: All These Years

This is exactly the question that I am trying to answer...

Jim

(It's now in my pocket!!!)

the iPhone is HERE!!!


Yep...

That's an iPhone...

Yep...

That's my hand...

Yep...

I got myself an iPhone today. I've been spending most of the day trying to figure it all out... all it's in's and out's and getting everything set up. At this point, I am extremely impressed. There are a couple of things that I haven't figured out yet... but I will. But it is impressive. I've been looking forward to going to a PDA type of organization for quite a while. In fact, I almost broke down and bought a different phone back in April.

But I'm glad I held off.

It is truly amazing!!!

Jim

Cubs game last night...


Jackie and I, Steve and Tysha visited the friendly confines last night.

The Cubs were taking on the Reds.

This is the famous flag pole in the center of center field... from the street outside.








However... the confines didn't start off so friendly... we had to endure an hour and half rain delay. And at times, it rained really hard.

We were lucky enough to be under the roof and so we didn't get wet at all... even though we took along some rain ponchos.








This is our view from our seats looking at the outfield. The only bad thing about where we sat (and we only paid $35 per ticket... so that wasn't bad) was that we couldn't see the high fly balls.











We could see home plate... but not close enough to see if the pitch was a 'ball' or a strike.' But not too far away to get a picture of Ken Griffey Jr.












Jackie and I took a second and posed for a picture. It was a good picture.












We enjoyed our trip to the Confines... The only the downside to the night was that the Cubs lost... 11 to 9. But it was a pretty exciting game... with plenty of hits, runs, cheering...

I will be looking forward to the next time that I get a chance to go...

Hopefully soon.


Jim

Two Huge Posts coming up: iPhone and Cubs game

Last night was a pretty awesome night...

We went to the Cubs game at Wrigley... and after an hour and half rain delay, they played ball. I'll have pictures for you here shortly...

After the game last night, my cell phone began to go crazy... it has been slowly going... this morning it went just about totally unusable... So, I'm heading out to get an iPhone. I'll have pictures of that a huge post tonight too...

More to come...

Jim

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cubs game tonight: Rain, Rain, Go AWAY!!


Jackie and I, Steve and Tysha have tickets for the Cubs game tonight!

I'm pumped. I've been waiting for this day to get here for quite a while. But of course, as luck would have it, Weather Channel is calling for rain... a 40% chance... boo!!!

Rain, Rain... GO AWAY!!!! Far away...

Jim

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Spot was catching up on some Seinfeld...


I was watching a little Seinfeld tonight...

While I was watching Seinfeld... Spot (our cat) decided to join me in some Seinfeld...

I just thought this was amusing.


Jim

Monday, August 13, 2007

Apple iPhone Ad: Instead

I can't wait to start carrying this...

Jim

Welcome "Underground"

Coming on September 9th, we are making a ministry move that has been a long time in coming.

We are launching a new middle school ministry called "Underground."

For the last 3 or 4 years, our students have been combined into mutual middle and high school events. But the ministry is growing and it's hard for high school students to feel that they are being heard where they are at with the younger middle school students are there. And it's not that we don't want to hear the middle schoolers... but it's just that in many ways, they are speaking different languages.

So, we're going to provide a location for each group of students to grow and flourish.

Part of the problem, up to this point, has been space. We moved into an incredible building about a year ago... but space was limited even though the new building was over twice the size of our previous building. But we have finally moved some things around to the point where we can launch of new middle school ministry.

This afternoon newsletters went out to those students who receive a newsletter via email. Those who don't, will get their copy after they go into the mail tomorrow. We are also preparing a letter to go to all parents of students in our student ministry. We (Steve Osborne (worship-guy-extraordinary and I) are planning a run of postcards every week leading up to the September 9th start. Plus, our normal promotion in our weekend program, other newsletters and what-not. We will also be calling students the week leading up to the start on September 9th.

I'm pumped about this.

It's going to be tough... but awesome at the same time. But what really has me excited is that it is going to be healthy. And I'm looking forward to that. It will give our middle schoolers a place to be at the center of attention... and our high schoolers a place where they feel like they belong... and both ministries the chance to grow to the potential that God has for them.

And that's exciting!!!

Jim

Two More Weeks...

Two more weeks from tonight... instead of relaxing on the couch, watching Rocky III on Spike... I will be getting ready to go back to seminary at Lincoln Christian Seminary down in Lincoln, IL.

Then...
No more Guitar Hero...
Less blogging...
Less TV...
More reading...
More homework...
More stress...

Oh well...
Two more weeks of bliss before it's back to the grindstone.

Jim

Last 10 Visitors...

Man...
There have been some major hits on my blog lately. So, I thought I would take a second and post some of the locations of those reading... my... blog...

1. Aurora, IL
2. Arlington, TX
3. Poughkeepsie, NY
4. North Aurora, IL
5. Logansport, IN
6. Nadinah, Saudi Arabia
7. Nashua, NH
8. Los Angeles, CA
9. St. Louis, MO
10. Winnipeg, Canada

Keep surfing.
If you didn't see your city there on that list... come back and visit more often... maybe it will be your city next time.

Jim

Voltron: Could this be true??


I saw this tonight... HERE...

Could this be true??? Oh, I do hope so...

"We’ve already seen “Transformers” rise to the top of the box office charts this year, now it’s time for Voltron to morph into the movie world.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe” is currently being made into a feature action film by New Regency, who is also working with the Mark Gordon Co..

You can almost guarantee that this ’80s cartoon will be a sure hit once it opens on the big screen. No fixed release date has been set yet, but look for it in 2008 according to IMDB."


That would be so sweet!

Jim

Internet Crash 2007 - Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

This is hilarious...

Enjoy!

Jim

David Crowder Band - I Saw the Light (Harvest 2007)

Oh man...
To go to a barn party with the David Crowder Band...

Jim

Cougar's Pillow Fight fails???

On July 27th, I posted about a local "A" baseball team, the Kane County Cougars who were hoping to set a new "World Record" for the largest pillow fight...

The date was this weekend. At this point, I haven't heard any official statement, but I'm taking it from this article that they failed. This is what leads me to believe that:

"Sight seen: After the Cougars tried to set the record for the “World’s Largest Pillow Fight” after the game, several team employees were trying to clean up in right field after several pillows burst, littering the field with feathers."

I had considered going... but didn't end up in the end. It sure would have been fun... or at least funny trying to see them clean up all the feathers.

Jim

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sermon Outline 8/12/07

Here is this morning's outline from Adult Worship Service.

It was a great service. If you want to listen to the audio of the service, visit FVCC's website.

Here's the outline:
Truths about worry:
We all deal with worry.

Worry can be extremely unhealthy.

Worry can become a never-ending cycle.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25
Jesus’ instructions on worry:
Don’t allow worry to overtake your life.
Because:
Life is more than food.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26-27
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

The body is more than clothes.
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30
But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 29:4-6

God will provide what you need when you need it.
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31-32
Instead we are instructed to worry about God’s kingdom first rather than worrying about tomorrow.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

Action Steps:
Realize the destructive power of worry in your life.

Recognize those things that cause worry in your life.

Refocus your worry from earthly things to eternal things.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:4-6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
The Bottom Line:
When your priorities are right… we can release our worries in faith that God will provide.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Jim

Friday, August 10, 2007

Diet Update... 257!!


Jackie and I went out on a date tonight. It was a great time. We went shopping... we had dinner... finished it off with a bit of ice cream.

But in the midst of our shopping, we stopped at Old Navy... one of my favorite places to buy clothes... and they were having a great deal on jeans. $20!

So I grabbed a couple of pair... 38w by 32L.

Before I started the diet... I was wearing 44w by 32L!!!!

Jim

Furnature that changes color???


I believe that this falls into the "what in the world" category...

Check it out for real HERE. This really is a story... I'm not making this up... You can't make it up this good.

" An interactive table-and-chairs set that can change color has been developed by Japanese researchers.

On display at the Siggraph show, the Fuwapica furniture uses sensors embedded in the table-top to work out the color of items placed upon it.

The colors of the stools then change to match the color of whatever has been placed on the sensitive table-top.

The stools' sensors work out the weight of anyone sitting on them - heavier people are treated to darker shades.

The circular table acts as the central control point for the four stools. Sensors sit beneath a glass plate on the top of the table and scan any object placed on it.

The sensors bounce red, green and blue light off the objects and record which hues are reflected.

An Apple Mac buried in the table then sends wireless messages to the four stools, which project light through their translucent shells to match, as closely as possible, the color of the object on the table top.

The colors are also made to pulse lighter and darker at about the same tempo of human breathing in a bid to make the stools seem more life-like.

Placing many objects on the table-top makes the system mix and merge colors to match the shades seen in the collection of artifacts.

The designers suggest that people can change the color of the chairs to match their mood.

Dreamed up by Shinya Matsuyama and colleagues from the Studio Mongoose design company in Japan, the Fuwapica furniture draws on the country's ancient notions that gods inhabit all man-made objects, be they chopsticks, dishes or tables.

The designers say that instead of furniture being inert and silent, it should be given a chance to interact with the people that use it."


Whatever!!

Jim

Driving while txting??


Driving while txting...

Reuter's reports...
"Ninety-one percent of Americans believe sending text messages while driving is as dangerous as driving after having a couple of drinks, but 57 percent admit to doing it, a poll released Tuesday said.

The Harris Interactive survey commissioned by mobile messaging service Pinger Inc. found 89 percent of respondents believe texting while driving is dangerous and should be outlawed."

Are you guilty???

Click HERE to check out the rest of the story.

Jim

Apple iPhone Ad: Amazing

I can't wait...

I'll be getting mine here in about a month.

Jim

Lifehouse's Everything Skit

This is a pretty cool skit. I've seen this type of thing before, but this is a great one!

Jim

Preaching this weekend!!

I am preaching this weekend in Adult Services...

I'm preaching on Matthew 6:25-34.

It should be fun. But it has not been an easy week for Sermon prep.

Jim


Guitar Hero Encore (Rocks the 80s): Review


Greetings.

Last night, I finally finished Guitar Hero Encore on PS2 in "Medium" mode and moved briefly into "Hard" mode. But I wanted to provide a review of GH Encore.

I was mistaken in thinking that this was "Guitar Hero 3." I have since learned that GH3 is supposed to be out in the fall. I didn't find this out until after purchasing GH Encore.

But here's what I thought.
First, realize that my review is coming from the PS2 platform. If you are playing it on Ps3 or XBox, your experience may be different than mine. So, realize that disclaimer up front.

First, the Good.
1. There are some extremely fun songs to play on this edition of GH. Songs like "Radar Love," "Hold On Loosely," "I Wanna Rock," "What I Like about You," "Heat of the Moment," "Round and Round," "I Ran (which I actually downloaded for my iPod as a result of this game)," "18 and Life" and "No One Like You" are generally fun songs to play. They are memorable songs that are enjoyable to rock through. In fact, as I was playing one night I found myself singing along to "The Warrior" by Scandal.

2. There are some really fun bands with great tunes to play. Bands like "The Police," "Ratt" and "Poison."

3. The Grim Reaper has some 3D shades... after you unlock him for game play.

But that's about it for the good.
The Neutral:
I'm going to call this section "Neutral" because it could be either good or bad... but its not necessarily both.
1. The Game Play on GH Encore (graphics, maps, characters, venues, etc) are exactly the same as GH2. GH2 was a big difference from GH1. And that was what I was expecting. But that is not however the way that the PS2 version was. As the band travels from venue to venue (which are the same as in GH2), the band travels along the map of the US (which is the same as in GH2).
This could be both good and bad. It could be good in that it is comfortable. Having played GH2 extensively, I felt right at home. I knew what to expect. I knew where we were going and everything. It just felt like I had a new crop of songs to play along the way.
But it's bad in that there isn't anything new. Some of the loading graphic one-liners are different, but it's the same o' same o'. No new graphics... no new maps... no surprises. And at this point in my play through "hard" there aren't any new venues.

Now for the Bad... which is actually more than I wish it were.
1. There are less characters to buy and unlock. At this point, I have completed "Medium" through, even nailing a couple of 100% on the way, but there is only one character to unlock with money earned. And there don't even seem to be shadows available of other character to unlock. I have played one set list on "Hard" and there don't seem to be any more to play. My hope was that there would be some more on "Hard"... but there aren't... and I haven't worked up to "Expert" yet. So that may be the one hopefully item in this "bad."

2. There isn't a single song to purchase. Not on "Medium" which I played entirely through. And at this point, not one on "Hard" either. I have played one set, so my hope is that some will unlock as I play. But it doesn't even give you an option in the "Store" to buy more songs. To me, that's a waste.

With #1 and #2 in mind, I almost find short changed... but there is more.

3. There are of course a crop of songs that I have never heard and are not at all familiar with. This is bound to happen... but I still find myself thinking, "Why in the world is this song "Only a Lad" on here. The song stinks. It's almost like they got a great group of songs together, but it was 10 songs short so they threw on some more to round it out.

4. Some of the songs have that annoying 80s rock "fade." Where the song isn't really done, but the volume slowly begins to fade out as the song wraps up. One would have thought that they could have re-recorded them or something. I have never been to a single concert where the band ended a song with a slow fade of the music.


That's my humble opinion. I'm a huge GH fan... I've logged hundreds of hours on the end of a GH controller. My hope is that this version of Guitar Hero will get better and maybe I'll be surprised by some songs, more characters and what-not. But having played a bit of "hard," I'm not optimistic.

My rating for Guitar Hero Encore (Rocks the 80s): C-

Jim

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Starbucks with a good friend...

I had a chance to sit down and have a Starbucks with a great PDYM friend this morning. Eric and I grabbed a Starbucks in Wheaton... talked about life, youth ministry and other items.

It was a great time of connecting and conversation.

Jim

new iMacs!!!


The new iMac's look awesome!!!!

Click here to visit Apple's website.

The keyboard looks sweet.
-2.8GHz dual processor
-built in wireless
-up to 1TB of storage!!!

Wow...

Thou shalt not covet... thou shalt not covet...

But it does look pretty sweet!

Jim

Lego Man out for a swim???


I didn't know that lego's liked water...

I guess so... since they found this one swimming toward England.

"A giant, smiling Lego man was fished out of the sea in the Dutch resort of Zandvoort on Tuesday.

Workers at a drinks stall rescued the 2.5-metre (8-foot) tall model with a yellow head and blue torso.

"We saw something bobbing about in the sea and we decided to take it out of the water," said a stall worker. "It was a life-sized Lego toy."

A woman nearby added: "I saw the Lego toy floating towards the beach from the direction of England."

The toy was later placed in front of the drinks stall."

Yeah... this is a real story. Check it out HERE.


You can't make up stuff like this.

Jim

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Now this is a big fishtank...


And I thought my fishtanks were big and hard to clean... I have a 46 gallon bowfront and a 50 gallon tall.

This guy is having his custom built 1,000 gallon fish tank cleaned. Sometimes when I clean my tanks, I feel like this guy.

This just made me chuckle.

Check out the story HERE.

Jim

Monday, August 06, 2007

Coming tomorrow: Guitar Hero III: Encore "Rocks In 80s" review


I'm currently working on wrapping up a run through Guitar Hero III Encore: Rocks N 80s.

I am hoping to have a full evaluation up tomorrow or Wednesday. Check back for a full review.

Jim

Reading Update: The Kite Runner... 1662 pages


I finished "The Kite Runner" tonight by Khaled Hosseini. It was the first book by Khaled... with "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Actually, story-wise, "The Kite Runner" was better with a better plot and story wrap up. Overall, it was a really good read and certainly worth the 372 pages...

That takes me totally up to 1662 pages for the summer... about 600-650 pages behind.

Next... "Chronicles of Narnia."

Jim


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Diet Update!


As mentioned below... in the Vacation Randomness... I gave a brief diet update.

But I thought I would take a second an give a little better diet update and set out the next diet goal.

This morning, I was excited to get on the scale and see 260.5. The Saturday before I left, I weighed in at 261.5. So, over the course of the week, I lost a pound... chalk that up to morning walks... golf... or whatever. Regardless, I ate terrible all week... but still managed to maintain.

So, needless to say... I was pumped.

Now, it is 43 days before I go to the "Gathering" at Saddleback Church in Orange County... Jackie and I are planning to spend a little vacation time in San Francisco before we come home. And my plan to be weighing at at 240.0 before leaving. That's down 20 pounds.

It's my goal... and I'm hoping to make it!!!

Jim

Quantum Leap!!!


I'm chillin' at home tonight...

Enjoying a little Quantum Leap Season 2!!! I was a Quantum Leap junkie when I was a kid... I watched every episode when it was new on TV... And I didn't realize that they were on DVD until I saw them in Wal-Mart a while back.

Tonight, I'm relaxing on couch watching some Quantum Leap! It's great!!! Right now I'm watching "The Americanization of Machiko"

Jim

Shuffle Up and Deal

Vacation was great... But Jackie is closing tonight... so I find myself sitting on the couch, watching the Cubs (play the Mets) and I'm a little bored...

So, here's a fresh edition of "Shuffle Up and Deal." If you've never heard of this, you open up your MP3 player... tell it to shuffle and list the first 5 songs without skipping any... And absolutely no cheating... Show others what is on your MP3 player... in my case, iTunes.

1. "Me In Honey" by R.E.M. off the "Out of Time" Album
2. "Those Nights" by Skillet off the "Comatose" Album
3. "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman off the "Everything Glorious" Album
4. "O Holy Night" by Point of Grace off the "WoW Christmas" Album disk 1
5. "If We Are The Body" by Casting Crowns off the "Casting Crowns" Album

There you go. Hope your Saturday is great!!! Go Cubs!!!

Jim

The Hauntening

This is a pretty darn awesome video... Enjoy!!

Jim

Vacation randomness...


I am back from vacation... and typing is hard... but it's been a week since I typed, so my fingers are little rusty. Vacation was great!!!

But I don't that I've got time right now to write all the stories... but I thought I would throw out some random happenings from my vacation:

Vacation Randomness:
1. The PT Cruiser's odometer turned over 77777 miles... check out the pic.
2. I played golf 4 days this last week... best score was 48.
3. We had 2 90+ degree days... we swam for about 5 hours each day.
4. I skied on both Wednesday and Thursday... last summer I couldn't get up!!! It was awesome.
5. It never rained all week.
6. "P" for porch! (It's an inside joke... don't ask!)
7. We had fish and ice cream Thursday night! It was good.
8. I ate terrible over vacation... but when I got home, I had actually lost a pound... 260.5!
9. I ate "Chick-fil-a" twice... on Saturday on the way to vacation... on Friday on the way home!
10. Our ski boat... 1976 Galaxy Mercruiser... broke down on Thursday afternoon... after I skied!!

All in all... it was a great vacation! It was very relaxing and restful. It was definitely the best weather that we have ever (ever... EVER) had for vacation... in the 90's... not a drop of rain... it's was great!!!

But it's good to be back too!!!

Jim