Tuesday, January 30, 2007

turn your Wii into a media center

In my continuing quest for all things geeky, I have discovered a brand new gem for Nintendo Wii owners. A new program called Orb enables you to view video, pictures, news feeds, and listen to music from your high-speed connected computer.

You use the free Opera browser on the Wii to navigate to the Orb webpage and access your media. Here's the cool part: they recently made the interface Wii friendly and you can connect to you PC through your LAN. That means you use your local network connection instead of over the internet - it's really fast too.

The only downer I've found so far (that I care about) is the lack of support for iTunes DRM-ed music. But most of my CD's I've purchased online I turn into mp3's anyways.

Pretty cool huh?

Here's the website: http://orb.com/

Friday, January 26, 2007

Album Review - Oh Gravity

Switchfoot is one of my favorite artists I own. My first Switchfoot album was "New Way to Be Human" and ever since I've been hooked on this San Diego bands sound and lyrics.

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed by their last album "Nothing is Sound." Sure there were a few solid songs and a few radio worthy singles, but the album lacked a replay value. Not so with Switchfoot's new album: "Oh, Gravity!"

I pre-ordered this album and had it in my mailbox when I got back from Christmas vacation. It's been in my CD player on and off ever since. I think both musically and lyrically this album is headed back in the direction I have learned to love Switchfoot for the most.

Some tracks that stand out to me:

Oh Gravity (title track) - It has a fun and (admittedly) poppy sound. I'm still trying to get my mind around the lyrics, but I get the general push which is a common Switchfoot theme: entropy. The world is falling apart. Gravity seems to be all messed up when it comes to events and happenings in the world.

Dirty Second Hands - this one took me a while to decypher as well. I thought Jon was talking about second hand - like second hand clothing. After reading an article on the album, I found that he is talking about how time is against us. Another poppy song that has a lot of meaning to me.

Awakening - I can't stop singing this song, it's great. Definitely one of those radio crafted songs that sticks with you. I love the fresh feel of this song as well as the message about truth.

Faust, Midas, And Myself - Wow. This is my favorite song on the album. Sorta reminds me of "Something More" off of the album "New Way to Be Human." The song tells a modern day parable of Midas - the man with the golden touch. The song explores the dangers and failings of success and challenges the listener to enjoy what God's given them because "a heart that's made of gold can't really beat at all." Also, if you like the game "Kingdom Hearts II" check out this amazing AMV on Youtube.

Album grade: B+

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I got a Wii! Ouch.

My day has had it's ups and downs. I had a dentist appointment for the first time in over 2 years today. My teeth were in better shaped than I thought although I have a filling to replace. The lady who cleaned my teeth scraped my teeth and gums for waaaay to long, but I made it through ok.

As has become my custom lately, I stopped by GameStop on the way to get my hair cut today and low and behold...

I got a Wii!!!

I was was very happy (to say the least). I've decided that while I did drop $250 bones for the console, I wasn't about to spend another $100 with new games and accessories...well sorta. What I did was buy the "classic controller" so I could play any Gamecube games and virtual console games (Zelda Link to the Past!) and I bought an amazing game (Metroid Prime) for $6. Ah, you gotta love used games :)

The cool thing is that I can borrow the new Zelda game from one of my teens (thanks Justin!) and not have to pay $50 for it.

So you can say...I'm a thrifty gamer ;)

I've been playing Wii sports for the last 2 hours and I must say I'm shocked...I broke a sweat! I've heard about some people loosing weight playing the Wii, so I think I've found my new excercise plan. Just don't make fun of me when my left arm starts to get bigger than my right

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flirttoconvert.com - I'm serious

Rachel called me this morning and shared with me a website she found out about today in her Human Sexuality class- It's a website called "Flirt to Convert." It's a Christian dating service that encourages Christians to use their "hotness" to witness. Flirt to Convert is a supporter of the "Date to Save" ministry. From everything I've gathered, this site is not a joke. Here is the introduction:
Hello, my name is Tamara! As you can probably tell, I'm a Christian woman who loves Jesus Christ and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don't know is that I'm hot. My picture below isn't really that good. I want to use my beauty for GOD, and want to encourage Christian women (my sisters in Christ) to do the same, according to the Great Commission.
And here's a list of 10 Dating Tips from the site:
1. If he tells your that you are hot...
Tell him God made you hot.

2. If he wants to hold your hand...
Give him a Bible.

3. If he tries to get closer...
Tell him the Holy Spirit is wooing him.

4. If he asks to pay for dinner...
Remind him that Jesus also paid a debt He did not owe!

5. If he reaches his arm around you...
Tell him that nobody will ever be as close to you as Jesus is.
(or ask him if you instead could "lay hands" on him in prayer)

6. If he tries to kiss you...
Remind him that a kiss killed your Savior.
(and you're not ready to "speak in tongues")

7. If he asks to come inside...
Ask him if he has asked Jesus to come inside his heart.

8. If he tells you he loves you...
Tell him that Jesus loves him.

9. If he gets angry that you won't put out...
Clarify to him that W.W.J.D. does NOT mean "Who would Jesus Do."

10. After you dump him...
Tell him that Jesus Christ will never leave or forsake him.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about a site like this one...I think I'll laugh!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No Wii love :(

Well, I got up extra early today to try and purchase a Nintendo Wii. Target didn't have any (rumor had it that they would), and I couldn't get to best buy until an hour after they opened. Minutes before I got there, they sold out (24 units!). Oh well, I guess I'll get one eventually.

If you've noticed, I'm slowing putting the pieces of my blog back together again, we'll see if I can get it to 100% by the end of this week.

In other news, I finally caught up with the TV show 24. Somewhere in season 4, I decided to start watching the show, so I rented the DVDs from Netflix and started catching up. After 8 episodes Friday and Saturday morning, I was able to watch my 4 hours of 24 I had taped from last week (yes, my VCR is still useful). So there you have it...I'm now an active 24 fan (I did the same thing with Lost and now I'm caught up with that as well). I'll sure miss the no commercial convienience of DVD. Oh how I wish I could afford a Tivo.

Any other TV shows out there now worth watching? I heard Heroes is good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm design lazy right now

I've been meaning to get back to this blog template...but I've been busy using my creative juices on another project- namely my student ministry website.

I'm in my third year of ministry now at Brewster Road Alliance in Birmingham and when I arrived here, our student ministry was called "Alliance Youth." I thought that was a bit weird, so I temporarily changed it to "BRAC Youth." I figured it to be good that I associate our student ministry with our church less anyone think I had some lone ranger mentality about youth ministry. BRAC Youth was meant to be temporary until I was able to nail down a better student ministry name.

Over two years later, we were still BRAC Youth and it was time for a change. At the beginning of January, we finally launched our new ministry name: Invert Student Ministries. I won't go into the name too much here, but here's a snipped from our website:
The vision of Invert Student Ministries is that we can live our lives in such a way that we are in the center of the beautiful collision between heaven and earth. Invert Student Ministries is passionately, obsessively, and undeniably about the upside-down Kingdom of God and bringing it to the world around us.
"Invert" is all about God's upside-down Kingdom, and as Christ-followers bringing Heaven to earth is part of our mission as believers.

If you get a moment, check out the new site and let me know what you think :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

new blogger template for the new year

I'm in the process of setting up a new template for the new year. My old template was wonderful, but I can no longer make changes to it.

Please don't mind the mess while I tweak things and get them up to snuff again :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

now this is what I call a parade!

Check out this amazing and elaborate star wars parade setup that marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade Monday.

Happy New Year

I managed to crawl out of bed this morning after our New Years All-Nighter Sunday Night. I spent half of yesterday sleeping, and the other half trying not to sleep. We had a blast and we wound up with more teens than expected (most always good).

I'm not big on new years resolutions, but I am hopeful that this will be a great year. Our student ministry website and name is getting a face lift (hopefully launching January 8th). This Wednesday night is our first worship night of the year and I'm psyched!

Since I don't have any new years resolutions, I'm taking suggestions. Just leave me a comment if you have a suggestion.