Tuesday, May 30, 2006

my weekend trip to Pittsburgh/Ohio

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Pittsburgh, PA and Akron, Ohio where Rachel and I traveled to a friend of mine's wedding. It was great to see my family and friends over the weekend, my only regret is that I didn't have more time.

The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast. My only complaint about the reception was that our table got served last (#17!). By the time we got our food, everyone else at the other end of the room was done with their food. I was hungry!

Friday night I got to see X-men, Last Stand. If you have not yet seen it...Don't read the rest of this paragraph. Actually, I saw the movie 2 times this weekend and I must say- good effects, but VERY disappointing for X-Men fans. They managed to kill of 3 extremely important characters to the franchise AND botched a lot of details in the story line. I was disappointed that a third movie in a trilogy would be so poorly put together. My advise to Hollywood: if you are going to make a comic book movie, try to stick to the comic book! There is a reason that people of all ages read comic books...That is that they are good. Generally they have well thought-out writing and a humongeous fan base. After seeing the "Last Stand" I highly doubt there will be a (good) X-4. I read that they are doing another movie but the only way they can get out of the mess from this movie is to make it a prequel or a bad dream or alternate reality. Rule number one for a successful movie franchise: don't kill off your best actors/characters if you want to keep the franchise going. (/rant)

All in all, it has been a great weekend and we had a ton of fun. I know I've seen enough of the inside of my car for a while, but I couldn't have asked for better company. Here's another picture that my friend Jason sent me from the wedding, check it out:

Friday, May 19, 2006

If you LOVE music, read on

A teen in my youth ministry introduced me to the very best music website I have ever seen on the internet...really. If you know me at all, you will know that I simply love music. I have hundreds of CD's (iTunes says I have 8.1 days of straight music).

In the last 5 years, my taste in music has grown immensely. I used to listen to Christian music exclusively (with the exception of Wierd Al). My reasoning was that "all secular music is bad for you." Have you ever thought this? I just figured that if I bought only Christian CD's that I wouldn't have to worry about what lyrics I was putting into my head. I guess for a time in my life, that was good for me.

I have not abandoned Christian music, but I am getting to the place where I like and appreciate good music. My definition of good music would be when the lyrics and the music fit together in perfect harmony. Songs and bands that seek to do that, I enjoy very much. So what's a 25 year old youth pastor to do when it comes to discovering new music? Open up Pandora's box.

If you have never visited it before http://www.pandora.com is simply amazing. You can select pretty much any artist or song and it will build you a radio station based upon that genre of music. Not only that, but there are over 400,000 songs in their library. If you don't like something they put on your playlist, you simply give it a thumbs down and it removes that song and others like it. You can add more songs and artists to diversify the music pool. They classify songs not by their religious tones, but by music alone. That means I hear Christian AND "secular" artists (and those who are not looking for Christian music will find it). Try it out...see if you agree that this is one of the best music resources on the internet. You won't be sorry.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Going to Pittsburgh (and Ohio)

Just when I thought I was done going to weddings, I have one more. My friend Marvin is getting married at the end of May and I am using the wedding as an excuse to have a mini-vacation as well as a chance to see my friends and family. An added bonus is that I am brining a travel buddy with me: Rachel. We get to spend some extended time together AND we are going to stop by and have dinner with my family on the way back, so they get to meet my girlfriend finally (which I admit, having family in another state is difficult for those kind of reasons).

In other news, I've been racking my brain (and the brains of my teens) for media ideas. I will be speaking at our camp in less than a month and I'd like to use multimedia clips throughout. I have a new video camera and I would like to pre-record some funny & serious clips to show. If any of you out there in cyberspace have any ideas, feel free to share.

I'm also thinking about doing some sort of video or audio podcast. It could be my Wednesday night talks or something else...dunno. I just don't want to have to spend several hours a week working on multimedia stuff. Once again, any comments/ideas?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006