Hollie and I decided to watch 2012 for the first time last night. She hates watching suspenseful movies because she always gets super stressed out. It's really cute because she always yells at the screen and curls up in a ball. Even though she knows I haven't seen the movie, she always asks me what's going to happen next. I always just make up stuff to make her feel better like, "Oh they all go out and get ice cream after this!"

Anyway, she was okay after the movie and I didn't have to sleep on the couch :)

People are asking how we have 2012 when it's not on DVD yet... we know the right people :)


Mac Mini Lunch Box

My broken Mac Mini came to me one day and said, "Parker! I'm sick of being a broken computer! Make me better!" He was very demanding, so I made him into something better... a lunch box! (Mac's rule btw) The lid is held on by a set of high powered magnets with spring locks. Just press down on a corner and POP! The lid pops up! You can't exactly fit a huge meal in the MacMini Lunch Box. Maybe you can use it to encourage you to eat less! Or just fill it with candy :)




It looks like we're starting a series :)

Special thanks to Tim for the sketch of Hollie crying. He really captured the intenseness of her emotions :)


My New iPhone Dock Creation

Click here to see my first dock.

There was a mannequin in the dumpster outside my office for some reason. I noticed that the hands looked like they could hold an iPhone if positioned correctly. So, I ripped them off and took them home. After about an hour with my Dremel, I ended up with an iPhone dock :) I showed it to the guys at work and got the same response I alway do with this stuff, "Wow, you have way too much time on your hands." So, I drew different times all of it. Thus, too much time on my hands :) Thanks Nate for the idea!


YouTube Commenters :)

Haha! For whatever reason, the videos of Hollie crying after watching Sci-Fi movies are getting a lot of attention. Tons of YouTubers are leaving comments and some of them are hysterical! Here are a few of my favorites:

"wow shes a life noob" - JyaLeaf1911

"Why this video is so full of win.
a) chipotle napkin. yum
b) xbox360 controller as a remote
c) crying after watching it for the 2nd time in like 5 minutes.

You should do movie requests! Your wife would die after watching "A Land before Time""
- cmasterchoe

"I can't wait until she uses this as evidence at your divorce hearing. She'll get all your stuff, including your camera...then film you crying, while the "Lonely Man" theme from "The Incredible Hulk" plays underneath. Please ask her to upload that ASAP Thanks!" - youareyourownhell

So great :) Special thanks to the following types of commenters:

1. The "FIRST!" guy.
2. The guy who thinks she's acting.
3. The guy who understands that it's funny.
4. The guy who gets mad at me for uploading this.
5. The guy who hates the fact that I'm Christian :)
6. The guy who thinks she's emotionally insane (she's not).
7. The guy who thinks I'm gay.
8. The guy who gives awesome suggestions for more movies.
9. The guy who still lives in his parent's basement.
10. The guy who doesn't understand the humor.

#3 and #8 are cool. The rest... meh ;)


3 Types of Annoying People Part 2

Take this as a light hearted rant.

1. Grocery Cart Guy: I see this all the time and it drives me nuts! Some guy finishes loading his groceries into his car and proceeds to either prop his cart up on the nearest divider, leave his cart in the middle of the empty spot to his right, or roll his cart to a stop directly behind the car parked to his left. Seriously?
Go to any store parking lot and you'll see a pasture of confused carts randomly dispersed like antisocial cattle. It's ridiculous! It amazes me that strategically placed areas, designated for carts, with big signs that say, "CARTS GO HERE", have absolutely no effect on the self-absorbed minds of these shoppers. Do they realize that some poor worker has to go out and wrangle up all of these rogue carts that they left to the side? Are they just not aware of the fact that people can't park in the spot is being occupied by their cart? Are they just too important to walk that cart over to it's designated area with all of its friends?
So, what do I do about this? I help out by not only putting my cart away, I grab at least 3 other carts sitting around put them away as well. It's a sad thing that I've never ran into a situation where I did't have 3 other carts to grab. It's inconsiderate and flat out rude to put your cart anywhere other than the designated cart area. You take up parking spots can cause more work for the guy who has to wrangle up all the carts. Think about other people and walk the 50ft to put your cart away.

2. The Temperature Guy: No, I'm not talking about the guy who fixes your air conditioning unit. That guy is awesome. I'm talking about the guy in your office who constantly adjusts the temperature so he is comfortable. As long as the temperature is perfect for him, everything is just fine. He'll come out ever half hour and turn the dial based on how he's feeling at the time.
The reason this is annoying is because there are other people in the office who don't work well in extreme temperatures. If this guy was normal, the temperature would range from 73 to 76 degrees and he would never need to change the dial as if he was trying to tune a broken radio from the 50s. But alas, he's not normal. He likes it hot or cold... no warm. If he's wearing a sweater that day, chances are you're going to be freezing in your office. Casual Friday means Hawaiian shirts and an indoor sauna. It's even worse when you have two of these guys. It's a constant game of cat and mouse as one turns the temperature up and the other it down shortly after.

So, what do I do about this? I keep a jacket at my desk just incase it gets cold :)

3. The "You think you're..." Guy: We all love him. No matter what your situation, it's nothing compared to his past experience. Maybe you're cold, he has been colder. Super tired? That doesn't come close to that time he had to pull three all nighters while finishing those reports! In fact, you might have some malignant disease... his is terminal.
Every time you mention some discomfort in your life, he'll be the first to jump in and belittle your gripe with, "You're ______! That's nothing! I once _____", or "You think that's bad? I had to _______...." This guy has seen it all, heard it all, and done it all in worst conditions than you. You lack any real pain compared to him. No matter what, he can top you.

So, what do I do about this guy? It's simple. I play into his ego. "Man, it's cold out." I say. "You think you're cold!? I used to work in a meat packing facility that was 30 below!" He boasts. "Really? You're right. I'm not cold at all. In fact, it's really hot! I'm going to wear nothing but my boxers! Thanks for showing me the light!" Then I run off with joy as I start removing my clothes.

I hope you're not one of these guys :|


I Dare You to Throw the First Stone!

We got an email today from our head pastor, Rick. The email was a link to a story in the OC Resister about a former security guard from our church who was arrested for burglary... of our church. The full article can be read here, but there are a few things that I really want to get off my chest. Call this a rant if you must, but something needs to be said.

Charles needs prayer, not vilification. As I read through the comments on the OC Register page, I was disgusted to read all of the horrible things people posted. For one, we don't know the full story. I don't care about the sin that was committed. I care about the person who committed the sin. Charles was such a nice guy who served our church for many years. We don't know what circumstances in his life took place that pushed him to allegedly steal from the church. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

My heart breaks when I see people go down a bad path. It just means that they're hurting in some way. Who are we to point fingers and condemn this man? Do we base our sins off of what he does? Compared to Hitler, we're all amazing! Compared to Jesus, we ALL fall short. We are all sinful and need Christ for redemption. I don't care if you're a believer or not. Charles is a fellow brother who needs prayer and love. This is true for everyone in his situation. Don't just throw people to the curb because of this sin. Jesus died for sinners like you and me. Charles is no different from us.


Married for 364 days!

Our one year anniversary is tomorrow and I've been sick for the past 3 days :( I'm feeling better, but tonight, we're going to take it easy and watch a couple movies. My pick is awesome. Hollie's pick is not awesome.


Hollie Crying After Flash of Genius

Short and simple.

See the others here!


Church People are Hypocrites!!!

Over the past 3 days, I've had conversations with 5 different people who have the same opinion of church goers: they are hypocrites. The generalized, average statement sounds something like, "I don't go to church because everyone is there to just hangout with their friends." That may be true for a big chunk of people, but not for all. In fact, more power to the people who show up to church to hang out with friends! Maybe they're not there for God, but they are there! God can grab their hearts when they're in a church environment with believers. Those are the people we should be praying for and encouraging to show up more often. I would rather them be unbelievers hanging out with their friends at a church than unbelievers hanging out with their friends at a party.

God can do amazing things with people who have no motive to follow Christ (i.e. Paul). I once knew a guy in our college ministry who showed up every week just to hit on the girls. A lot of the other guys didn't like him because they knew his game. I wasn't too worried about him. Most girls turned him down, but he kept trying! Eventually, something happened at home and his world got turned upside-down. He showed up to church that week, not searching for girls, but searching for God. Since then, he has made some major changes in his life. He's still single and showing up to church ever week, but his motive to go to church is now God centered.

So, to the people who don't go to or don't like church because of hypocrites, here are a few things I want to say:

1. Keep in mind that every hypocrite is a life and every life is important to God.
2. You are a hypocrite. I say that in a loving way from one hypocrite to another. You have your flaws and still show up to church every week (hopefully). You have one up on the other hypocrites because you go to be fed the word and worship the Lord. Pray for the others to grow in spiritual maturity so they can do the same.
3. God is the big picture, not you. If you don't go to church because you have a dislike of certain people, you're only hurting yourself. God wants you at church. He wants you to worship, serve, disciple, have fellowship, and evangelize regardless of what the guy next to you is doing. You should pray for that guy, not judge him.
4. You're probably lacking true fellowship. Be honest with yourself, are you jealous when you see clicks around church? Nobody likes a click unless you're in one. True fellowship is not a click. Join a small group and spend time with people and God. Hanging out is fine, but fellowship what you really need.
5. The members of the church are your family members. Love them. Pray for them. Serve them. Encourage them. Be an example. Complaining will only turn others away and make you more cynical.

Love the hypocrites! Love yourself!



Ninjas4Christ is an epic and fake ministry run completely by ninjas! I made this site for a skit I'm doing for HSM this weekend. Should be fun! Everybody loves ninjas!
To view the website, you must first prove that you are a real ninja by taking a short test. Try it out! It's a lot of fun :)


Character Flaws

Disclaimer: This is a pretty lengthy one, but I'm pretty sure you'll benefit from reading it. Keep in mind that when I say flaw, I'm talking about our small, negative habits that we all have. I'm not talking about addiction, abuse, or anything that you wouldn't feel comfortable with talking about with stranger (you can tell a stranger that you procrastinate). Though many of the same principles still apply.

I committed my life to Christ when I was 19. Before that, I was a mess. After I accepted Big J into my life, I suddenly had everything together and all of my character flaws where poof'd out of existence! It was amazing! I no longer had anything wrong with me and everything that was good came natural.... And then I woke up :)

In reality, accepting Christ gave me this freedom in my life, but all my problems still existed. The only thing that changed was my heart. Now it wasn't all about me and I had a purpose for life (though I didn't know what that purpose was at the time). For the first year or so, I lived on a "Born-Again-High". Basically, I ignored my flaws because I was so happy to be apart of an amazing community of other believers! Who cares about my flaws anyway? That's all they talked about at church. "Nobody is perfect! We all have our things." I was totally happy with letting Jesus take care of my flaw-bucket (an imaginary bucket that I dumb my flaws into when I don't want to deal with them) when I pass on.

It wasn't until I was doing some research on other religions (just some extra brain food) when I came across the Mormon idea of working your way into Heaven. What? You mean you have to fix your flaws to get into Heaven? "I'll do my best and let Jesus do the rest!" That was a common little rhyme that I kept reading while looking at Mormonism. This, however, is not a post about the Mormon religion. It is simply a stepping stone in my journey towards growth and a healthy relationship with God.

So, "Doing my best and letting Jesus do the rest" sounds pretty good. Right? Not really. It depends on why you're doing your best. This was a tough one for me to wrap my mind around, but I did and it really changed how I do life. There are two ways to look at this:
1. You HAVE to do your best because God commands you to. Since we're incapable of being perfect, we look at Christ's sacrifice to pick up our slack.
2. Because of Christ's sacrifice, you are MOVED by the Holy Spirit to do your best.

The first one suggests that Jesus didn't cover all of our sins. If we don't put forth an honest, human effort, Christ will have to pick up more of your slack and therefore costing you a pretty penny when you die. The second, which is what Christians believe, is saying that because you are in no way perfect, the sacrifice of Jesus will cover it all. However, once you become a true believer, the Holy Spirit will move you to live a life that honors the one who saved you. So, do you do your best because you HAVE to or because you WANT to? It should be the latter. Oh, and it should be mentioned that "Jesus does the rest" is bogus. Jesus does it all, regardless of what you do.

Where am I going with all of this? Most people I meet at church live in a third category. It's a category that basically says, "I accepted Christ and that's all I have to do." Sure, they may serve others and attend Bible studies, but are they growing? Do they still have that problem with laziness? Do they still get really annoyed with bad drivers? Are they even looking at themselves, or are they using the holy sacrifice of our Savior as a crutch. "Christ has already taken care of it, so I don't need to change." If you believe that, you can refer to the first paragraph of this blog and file both of them under "in your dreams"!

Parker Parable Time!

Lets say that you have a cell phone. You pay the bill with your own money every month. Then, the bill goes up and you realize that you can't pay it anymore! You continue to use your phone and the bills keep piling up. Finally, they're about to cut your service, so you go to your parents and let them know what's going on. They love you and want you to have a phone so you can stay in contact with them. So, they decide to hold back on buying a new mattress and instead, they pay your phone bills and all of the late fees. Not only that, they agree to pay the phone bill for the next three months.

At this point, you're super grateful and agree to call them more often! In fact, you also agree to visit every Sunday morning to spend time with them! On top of that, you go ahead and help out all of the workers at your dad's auto shop!

Things are looking good! That is, of course, until your parents get the next phone bill. You've been racking up more charges than ever before! You've been texting way too much and making long distance calls for hours at a time! The bill is enormous! Your parents love you and pay the bill. You are so grateful! You continue to work your butt off, but the bill next month isn't any better. Again, your parent's agreed to pay the bill because they love you.

When are you going to realize that Christ paid your phone bill and you're still making long distance calls to Australia for hours at a time! You should want to look at your flaws and make some changes in yourself. Nothing says, "I'm not grateful" or "I don't fully understand" more than apathy towards wanted to change. Maybe you're not grateful and therefore feel no need. Maybe you just don't fully understand the cross and have nothing to be grateful about. The bottom line is that we live in a messed up world because we are messed up. Christ died for us to move on to a perfect world, but until we pass on, we should be making changes in ourselves to glorify and thank Him.

Practical Application:

Once a month (or every few weeks), my wife and I have a deep talk about our flaws. The first thing we do is pray that God would reveal our flaws to us. Then, we begin to talk about where we struggle. I, for one, used to get ticked off at bad drivers. The key words are USED TO. Once my wife and I identified this issue, we made a commitment to change. I would no longer flip out at other drivers and she would keep me accountable with that. It took about a month of consistent awareness and discipline, but eventually, I changed. One flaw down, on to the next! Flaws can always seep their way back into your life, so make sure you have someone to keep you accountable!

We do this because we feel like it's important to be the best representatives of Christ that we can be. We don't do it because we feel like we HAVE to. We do it because we WANT to honor our Savior by sacrificing our bad habits. NEVER say, "This is my character flaw and that's just who I am." You have been adopted into God's family. You have a new identity in Christ. Represent!

Don't get me wrong, not all flaws are easy to give up! You may need to join a 12 step program or get counseling, but it's your heart that matters. Start off simple. Get with a spouse, friend, pastor, family member... and ask them to help you with a small issue. Maybe you don't trust God enough in your life. Have an accountability partner encourage you for a month. Take some actions steps and trust God in small ways. "I trust that God will get me to work safely today." Gradually trust God more, day by day. Have your accountability partner check in with you to see how you are doing. Have a goal for the end of the month and try to reach it. Your goal might be, "I trust God with this new job opportunity." It may take longer than a month, but as long as you're on the path of change and growth for the Lord, you're glorifying the One who died for you. And lets just face it, we become less annoying when we rid ourselves of bad habits and character flaws :)

Don't be the same person you were yesterday. Be a better person because of Christ.


Top 5: Answer from HSM Small Group Questionnaire

Our HSM Small Group is awesome! We were given a questionnaire by HSM (High School Ministry at Saddleback Church) to have our guys fill out. I knew there would be two types of answers: 1) A serious, heartfelt answer and 2) 99% goofing off answers. Sure enough, our guys delivered. Here are my top favorite answers from the guys in our group:

Q) List one goal you have for your life:
A) Live on the beach / never give into technology (robot war)

Q) Who are the THREE most INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE in your life and why?
A) 1. Obi Wan Kenobi - Great Wisdom - Love him
2. Father - Smart man - very good at a lot of things
3. Ben Kenobi - Great Wisdom - Love him

Q) What are TWO things that describe YOU?
A) 1. Gangbuster 2. Dog the Bounty Hunter

Q) What do you do in your free time?
A) Dance, eat pancakes, say no to drugs!

Q) What are TWO things that describe YOU?
A) 1. Its got three letters 2. It is capitalized


Family Feud

Another project for HSM. Josh Griffin hosted HSM's Family Feud last night (with awesome co-host Chris). It was 4 girls vs 4 guys. They surveyed 225 students (I think) and used the top 7 answers. The question was, "What makes you happy?" The first guy said "Money"! haha! The girls decided to play (instead of pass). Bad move on their part. They got three strikes and my new buddy, Pickle stole the game with the answer, "Sports". He may or may not have had a slight advantage by knowing me. All the guys won $10 iTunes gift cards! Awesome! Sorry girls!


Space Bar: Takes you from the logo to the game board.

Space Bar again: Takes you back to the logo.

Q: Displays the question.

1-7: Displays the corresponding answer.

Z, X, C: Displays either X, XX, or XXX for wrong answers.

R: Resets the board

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD (right click and save as)


Old Post from the Nerf Wars of 2008

About a year ago, the IT team and HSM team had a Nerf War in the office. It was pretty fun. During the war, I started a blog called Nerf Chronicles, to document all that went down. I recently came across it while deleting some old bookmarks. Here's an excerpt:

It's been weeks since our last battle. My wounds have almost completely healed, except for the heroic scar down the side of my arm. I'll have to live with it I guess. Oh well, it makes for a good conversation piece. It's not everyday you meet a man who was able to take out an entire army of nerf warriors while simultaneously wrestling two Bengal tigers into submission. It's a good thing those jet packs on the backs of the tigers malfunctioned as they did, otherwise I probably wouldn't have had enough time to disable that bomb that threatened the bus of school children hanging over the side of that cliff directly above the dynamite factory that sat between the orphanage and home for the elderly. Yeah, I got lucky.

Those were good times. You can checkout the whole ordeal at nerfchronicles.blogspot.com



3 Great Business Ideas

Feel free to steal these. If you make millions, I trust that you'll give me 50% out of the goodness of your heart.

Idea #1

w&w's - This requires little effort on your part when it comes to production. Simply buy a bunch of m&m's and repackage them with "w&w's" on the bag. If ever confronted by the Mars Corporation, deny everything, forge a company called, "3&3", date it back to 1940, and claim they stole the idea from you!

Idea #2

Replacement Aglets - You have to find a need in this society! What's something that everybody has and eventually falls apart over time? Exactly! Aglets! Aglets are the hard tips on the ends of shoe laces. All you need to do is manufacture cheep pieces of plastic, have some celebrity use them in a movie and BAM! You have a replacement aglet business brining in tons of money! Be like Apple and sell them in a bunch of groovy colors! You're going to want to make a profit quickly, so charge somewhere around $8.95 per replacement. Genius!

Idea #3

Teriyaki Snow Fries - Take 3 things that everybody loves. 1) Teriyaki Chicken. 2) Snow Cones. 3) French/Freedom Fries. Combine the three and you get Teriyaki Snow Fries! Just think about it! The great taste of teriyaki sauce, with the salty experience of French fries, and the delicious texture/temperature of a summer day snow cone. I smell a new menu item at Dairy Queen! The best part is, it's an all year long treat! Or better yet... Teriyaki Snow Fries on a Stick!

I have more great ideas like the ones above. Those are just a few samples to get you going. Again, if you make millions, I'm expecting 50%!


My Very First Animation!

I was digging through an old hard drive and came across my very first animation! I made it back in high school (I think I was a freshman). I used nothing but Photoshop and Final Cut Pro (key-framing). Old school! Anyway, here it is:

The song is called, "Lonely" by Akon.


My Wife After Lord of the Rings Trilogy

We just finished watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy! Hollie never fails with the crying! This is great! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Hollie is completely aware that I post these on youtube. She thinks it's funny. The crying is real, but after the fact, she's laughing.

A Demonstration: Forgiveness

A quick video I made with a few students last night. Thanks Jesus, Satan, and You! (Joey, Steve, and Grant).

Satan: Steve
You: Grant
Jesus: Joey
Sin: Nasty mud
Forgiveness: My wife's dirt devil


Great Advice from the Veterans

Last night was our first small group leader training night. It was awesome to see all the men, women, guys, girls, and ninjas who have such huge hearts for students. Of course there was free food, so that was a plus. We were assigned tables with other leaders to get some diverse conversations going. Our table was awesome. Some of us were fresh out of the box, while others were on their 4th year. The great thing about youth ministry at Saddleback is that everyone is clearly there for the same reason, the students. Everybody is very open to giving advice, sharing stories, and offering support. Great community.

Josh (of morethandodgeball.com) got up on stage and offered for some veterans to stand up, grab the mic, and give some insight to all of us n00bs. The first guy that got up gave some great advice about "life changing students". He told us about a few years ago when he told his guys that "Two of you in this group, statistically, are going to make life changing decisions during the course of this year." My initial, internal response was, "Oh, he means they're going to commit their lives to Christ." Or something happy along those lines.

As he continued his story, he revealed that those life changing decisions were not happy at all. And sure enough, two of his guys were making them. The moral of the story was that you need to make a deep connection will all of your students. They all have something going on and as their leader, it's your obligation to understand and help them. That made me think about the group I lead with Boyd. We love our guys, but do we really know their troubles? We're going to make it a goal to connect with our guys at that level.

Dennis Beckner (of volunteeryouthministry.com) got a hold of the mic and told a story about the culture that formed in his group. He talked about this giant, neon American flag hanging on the wall in their meeting room. Apparently it's pretty ugly (or that's at least that's what I imagine). One day, when Dennis walked in the group, all of the guys began singing the National Anthem. I can just picture a group of high school guys trying to stay in key! So, that became a common thing in their group. That's great because now the guys have a bit of culture that they can identify with. That's their group. They sing the National Anthem as a joke in front of a ridiculous, neon American flag. They own that and I guarantee that it brings them closer together.

There were more, but those two were my favorite. It gave me two solid goals for our group: 1. Encourage culture within the group, 2. Build those deep relationships with your guys. It kind of seems obvious that those two concepts should be applied, but when you're with a group of high school kids, it's easy to forget your goals. I'm excited!



A friend of mine just wrote a post about creative people (Jon Varner's Blog). His bottom line was that not everyone is creative and he wanted to know how the brain of a creative person works. I thought I'd share a bit about how my brain functions when I get a creative idea.

My brain has three creative settings: modify, visual, and event.

Since I was a kid, I always had this tendency to see things as potential to be something else. For example, you might see an empty can of Monster energy drink and think it's trash (or recyclable). I see it as a mini-sculpture of an actual monster.
When I see something, I can't help but imagine what else it could be. I have a habit of taking things apart :)

I am a very visual person. I'm able to close my eyes and picture a design in full detail... before it's made. When I have a basic idea of something that I need to make in photoshop, I'm able to close my eyes, add/change/remove elements of the image in my head, and have the final product laid out in detail in my mind. From there, I just get on Photoshop and copy what I have stored in my noggin.
The same goes for video. I already know exactly what the movie is going to look like way before I even start a script. Sometimes I'll listen to music that we're planning on using. I just close my eyes, listen to the same score over and over, and I produce the movie in my head, one shot at a time. Then, I just make the movie match what I thought of.

Event creativity can be many things. For example, what happens on a flash site that I make? Or how can this game be more fun? Basically, making an experience fun/better.
I'll typically see something that gives me a very basic idea of something fun. I'll close my eyes and imagine, "What would it be like "A B and C?" From there, ideas just start flowing. "After C, it would awesome if D E F!" And so on. Whenever I see an event or have an idea, my primary thought is, "How can this be added to/tweaked/improved."

So, basically, my creativity comes to me when I'm able to relax, close my eyes, and visualize all the great possible outcomes. That doesn't mean that everything I come up with is gold. The bacon belt was a huge failure! <--- but that's where my creativity comes in. Now I'm going to make a bacon belt and link it to this post. Why? Because it's funny. So look out for that.

I have absolutely no musical talent! Musicians are extremely talented and creative. I'm also colorblind, so I'm never really paying attention to color and lighting... just shapes :)

And that's the mind of my creative personality. What about you? How does your brain work? Are you creative? Leave a comment!


Retro Rotary Phone iPhone Dock

I couldn't come up with a cool name for it, but the Retro Rotary Phone iPhone Dock was something I made/built/created/invented a little while back. I saw a retro phone at Target and instantly saw its potential as an iPhone dock! It took me a few days of intense labor, but it was worth it!

So basically, it's awesome. The dock will fit almost any iPhone/iPod comfortablly. The bluetooth handset sits on top and can easily be linked to the iPhone via bluetooth. Just under the handset is a dock for the Apple Bluetooth headset. The headset slides easily into the dock and begins charging.
On the back of the dock is a 5 port powered USB hub. 3 Ports are easily accessable in the back. The other two ports are internal, one of which has a cable that comes nicely out the back and plugs into the bluetooth handset for charging (leaving the front three open). The other is connected to the headset dock internally.

Well, I decided to put it on eBay to see what happens. I'm excited! I hope people like it! Here's the link if you want to bid and help a guy out :) I priced it at the price that I did because it comes with two different bluetooth devices and a powered USB hub.


Oh, and it's on Digg:

6 Personalities In Your High School Small Group

While waiting for my flight in the airport over the weekend, I struck a conversation with a really nice guy named Steve. Steve is a Long Beach police officer and his stories were amazing and funny! We had about 5 hours on our hands and eventually got on the topic of high school small groups. To my surprise, Steve was a small group leader for a group of students in Long Beach! In fact, he had been leading his group for four years. I asked him for any advice and he began telling me about the six types of student personalities in a typical small group.

I decided that I was going to blog about it and began writing the first three. At one point, I had to look something up and came across a church in Lakewood, CO called Bear Valley Church. They had a document linked to their site with tips on small groups. It was exactly what Steve was telling me about. I'm sure this is nothing new to veterans, but for new guys like myself, it's really interesting. So, I simply did a copy & paste into my blog because I didn't want to write it myself. Thank you Bear Valley Church!

The Talker
Description: This is the student in your small group who never stops talking, who always has a comment for everything. You’re tempted to apply duct tape, but don’t -- there are more productive ways to handle this student.

Possible Solutions: First, position the Talker next to you when you begin your group, which reduces eye contact with her when you ask a question -- and when she interrupts someone, lets you reach over and touch her arm (usually a silent but effective cue). If you have a whole group of Talkers, you may want to try the ground rule that stipulates that the small group must circulate an object -- a stuffed animal, Nerf Ball, spit wad, whatever -- and that a student must possess it before speaking. This will help Talkers wait their turn.

Chances are, the Talker has some natural leadership ability that you should encourage. So let her lead the small group now and then. This can help her appreciate what you endure as a leader, and she just may become more supportive when you lead.

If the problem persists, get some time alone with her and talk with her about giving others a chance to answer the questions. Help her feel that she’s on your team, and that the two of you need to work together to encourage the other students to respond.

The Thinker
This student is quieter (and usually shier) than the others, with a tendency to get drowned out by the louder personalities in your group. So bring him out more by positioning him across from you, to increase the chances of eye contact with you. You can also use the tried-and-true method of occasionally directing questions to specific students, thereby eliciting responses from the Thinker.

If the Thinker is particularly shy, spend one-on-one time with him to discover what he’s interested in -- and so you can create the kinds of questions that will bring him into the discussion. Use the positive reinforcement of affirming him on those occasions when he actually does respond publicly. And when he lapses back into silence, don’t interpret that silence as something that needs to be fixed. Some kids just learn by listening and watching -- and there’s a good chance he’s one of them.

The Church Kid
This kid has already spent more hours in this church than you probably have. She’s progressed from the church nursery to the high school room in the course of her 14 or 15 years there. She consequently knows more about the Bible than any other kid in youth group, not to mention her small group. Of course, her knowledge may or may not indicate spiritual depth.

Church Kids can be the hardest to reach because they’ve heard it all, and therefore feel they have nothing to learn. One way to challenge them is by not being satisfied with pat answers. Always ask why. Or play devil’s advocate by countering her squeaky-clean, correct answers with provocative arguments from the “wrong” side of the issue. Such strategies usually work for a Church Kid to think more deeply about her answers instead of just rattling them off.

Ask her to help you create questions for a Bible Study -- or even let her lead the small group once in a while. In any case, avoid asking questions that invite a “right” answer. Opt instead for question that leave room for a variety of valid responses.

The Distracter
This is the student who can’t sit still and ends up distracting everyone in your small group -- including you. Rather than constantly stifling him, direct his energy toward productive ends: ask him to help you pass out Bibles, set up chairs, serve refreshments. Or (and this is good advice for all small groups, with or without Distracters) do some active-learning experiences with your small group -- like object lessons or field trips -- instead of just sitting and talking week after week.

You may better understand this student (and where his energy comes from) if you get together with him outside of your small group. Even a Distracter can be good for your small group. Even a Distracter can be good for your small group, if only because he doesn’t let you get by with boring Bible studies. (Remember that when you’re tempted to quit.) Really -- your leadership skills will be sharpened as you find ways to engage him as well as the tranquil students in your lesson.

The Debater
She irritates you by challenging every point you (or anyone else) tries to make. Sure she brings a creative energy to the group sometimes -- but she often stifles the other kids by making them feel too threatened to voice their opinions or feelings.

Deal with the Debater by establishing ground rules for you small group, (the first and perhaps the only) being: It’s okay to disagree with
opinions, but it is inappropriate to attack or put down other small-group members if their opinions differ from yours. A second ground rule
may be that only one person may talk at a time. Ground rules like these help make a Debater’s criticism less caustic and restrains her from interrupting others in order to make her point.
The good news: once Debaters understand and abide by such rules, their input can actually enliven your discussion. Just remember that your goal is to direct, not stifle, their participation.

The Crisis Producer
This student is in perpetual crisis -- and lets your small group know about it every meeting. He’s often self-absorbed and therefore unable to participate in the discussion, except when it’s focused on him. So get together with him before your small group begins in order to talk through his problems with just you instead of bringing them to the small group. (Lucky you.) Or begin your small-group discussion with the assurance that everyone will have a chance to share problems, prayer requests, etc., at the end of the group. This helps members -- and especially Crisis Producers -- stay focused on your bible study.

Whatever your strategy with your Crisis Producer, your long goal is to help him see past his crises to some solutions, and then to participate in you small group without having to constantly bring the focus back to himself.

What about a student who raises a legitimate crisis during the discussion? Be flexible enough to postpone your study and deal with the issue at hand.

Here's their link to the full deal (it's a word document): Small Group Leader Skills


5 Things: First Night at HSM

Here are 5 things I observed, experienced, or thought about while volunteering on my first night at HSM (High School Ministry at Saddleback Church).

1. Students are very cool and confident among their peers.

2. I am very uncool and uncoordinated among students. My voice cracked multiple times that night... I'm 23.

3. While standing on a chair in the front row of the theater... I slipped and fell. My leg got caught between the seat and backing as I descended, forcing me into the splits. Oh, did I mention that this was in front of 300 students on my first night?

4. A group of student were not paying attention during the message. However, during worship, they were on fire. Works for me!

5. Students have a habit of scanning the room while standing around talking to their friends. What are they scanning for? Other people looking at them of course! Once they notice someone looking at them, they act like they didn't notice and smile while continuing the conversation they momentarily left for scanning purposes. The funny thing is that the person who they noticed looking at them was actually just scanning as well!




Face Demo

Here's a quick demo of the interactive face that I created in flash for HSM. I'll put up a version that you can play with soon!


My Wife After Back to the Future III

She didn't cry at the end of Back to the Future II because it was a cliff hanger. I made sure I had our camera ready for the end of Back to the Future III. Those tears start flowing like clockwork! Just keep in mind that she's crying because of Back to the Future!

Disclaimer: Hollie wants me to make it clear that she only cries like this at the end of happy movies. She never cries like this in other situations. She is a very emotionally stable person... cough... cough :) But seriously, she's only a baby after happy movies and that's why I have no problem sharing it with the world! And yes, I do get in trouble for uploaded these videos :P


My Wife After Back to the Future!

Okay! If you haven't seen my wife cry at the end of Star Wars, you have to watch it first. We just finished watching the first Back the the Future and sure enough...

Watch how she reacts after:


My Wife Crying After Movies

My wife (Hollie) is amazing! I love her to death. She has one of the funniest tendencies I've ever seen. After we see a movie with a happy ending, she can't help but turn on the waterworks! It's hysterical! She's very adorable.

Recently, I grabbed our camera and began capturing these classic moments! I guarantee that these are 100% genuine tears! Keep checking here for updates! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Hollie is completely aware that I post these on youtube. She thinks it's funny. The crying is real, but afterwards, she's laughing. She's adorable and it's funny to watch her get so worked up over something like a SciFi movie!

A Flash of Genius

Lord of the Rings

Back to the Future III

Back to the Future

Star Wars Trilogy

Keep checking for updates!


Annoying Type #1

The "Legally" Guy

Who is he?

This is the guy who knows everything about the law, even though he has absolutely no formal education on the subject. He can tell you anything from the legality of carrying a switchblade on government property, to the amount of jurisdiction an off duty officer has while in a different city. If you have a legal question, he's the first share is knowledge of loopholes and did-you-knows to all ears within hearing range. He will aways use the word, "legally" somewhere within his first sentence.

Most common sayings:

"Legally, he can't do that."
"I legally have the right to defend myself under any circumstances."
"As long as the blade is less than 3 inches, legally, you can carry it anywhere."

Why this person is annoying:

He has no idea what he's talking about! This guy gets all of his "knowledge" from a mixture of word-of-mouth, wikipedia, and his own desire to sound smart. Most of the time, he's just making it up as he goes because it sounds like it should be a law. If you're ever in a fender-bender, he'll instantly become your legal advisor. It doesn't matter what you say, he'll chime in with some obscure legal fact that makes the rest of the room question his sources.

When challenged:

He'll either claim the law may actually only apply in Mississippi, then throw out a similar, yet unverifiable law factoid from another country like Italy, or he'll claim that he has family or a neighbor in law enforcement and that's what they told him. He'll then tell you that he'll check with them to confirm what he had just told you. Just don't expect him to come back to you with an answer any time soon. Unless, of course, he's able to print something out on Wikipedia that quasi-supports his earlier statement.

How to deal with this guy:

Just let him talk. Take nothing he says seriously. When he offers to help because he has a friend/family member/neighbor who is in law enforcement, just let him know that your neighbor is a highly respect judge in the area. Other than that, he's harmless. Plus, legally, you have the right to remain silent when you're around him... legally.


My Wife After Return of the Jedi

As I said in my last post, my wife and I decided to watch all 6 Star Wars movies, in chronological order, over a period of 6 days. She had never seen Star Wars before this marathon.

Another thing to note is that Hollie, my wife, cries at the end of almost every movie we see together. She's super adorable. I grabbed our camera to capture this classic moment after we finished, "Return of the Jedi". Keep in mind that she's crying because of Star Wars :)

I love Hollie to death. She was okay after about 25 minutes :)

Watch how she reacts after:


Star Wars + My Wife = ???

I've been a fan of Star Wars since I was 12. My wife, however, didn't even know who Yoda was. We decided to watch all 6 episodes in chronological order, over a period of one week. We succeeded :) Most people said that we should have watched 4-6, then 1-3, but I assured them that it would be better if we watched them 1-6. Trust me. You'll understand why in a minute.

Each episode took about 3 1/2 hours watch because I had to constantly pause the movie to explain what was going on. She actually loved all of them and now considers herself a fan! She's a very cute girly-girl, so here are some of my favorite quotes/conversations while watching Star Wars:

1. (While watching a battle in space)
Hollie: "Oh! That's so pretty! They should all have different colored lasers so it will look like a rainbow!"

2. (Attack on Hoth, referencing the AT-AT Walkers)
Hollie: "Those look like elephants without noses!"
Me: "They actually studied elephants to get the motion correct."
Hollie: "Baby elephants are so cute!"

3. (Mace Windu's light saber)
Hollie: "Why is his sword purple?"
Me: "Because Samuel L. Jackson said he wanted that color."
Hollie: "I thought his name was Mase Wodu?"
Me: "It's Mace Windu and the actor's name is Samuel L. Jackson."
Hollie: "Purple's a girl color."

4. (When we first meet Lando)
Me: "Did you know that he was the first African American to play a major role in a sci-fi movie?"
Hollie: "What about Mase Wodu?"
Me: "It's Mace Windu and he was in Episodes 1-3 which were filmed later."
Hollie: "But I thought that Mase knew Darth Vader when he was a kid."
Me: "Never-mind."

5. (When we first see the Death Star)
Hollie: "Is that the Death Star?"
Me: "Yes."
Hollie: "They did a good job."

She wasn't talking about the special effects department. She was talking about the actual Empire construction crew.

6. (Episodes 1-3)
Hollie: "I don't like Anakin. He's too whiny."

7. (Episodes 4-6)
Hollie: "I don't like Luke. He's too whiny."

8. (When Palpatine tells Anakin to kill Dooku)
Hollie: "Wait! I thought they were the same guy?"
Me: "Who? Palpatine and Dooku?"
Hollie: "Yeah, don't they work for the Sith Lord guy?"
Me: "Palpatine is the Sith Lord."
Hollie: "But he just got his head cut off?"
Me: "That was Dooku!"
Hollie: "Oh... who's the Sith Lord then?"

9. (I'm trying to remind her who Darth Maul was, literally the day after watching Episode I)
Me: "He's the guy with the double bladed light saber."
Hollie: "I don't remember him or that light saber."
Me: "He was red and black with horns on his head."
Hollie: "There was a red and black guy with horns?"
Me: "He was the main bad guy who killed Qui Gon Jinn."
Hollie: "Qui Gon who?"
Me: "Never-mind."

10. (She knew Luke and Leia were twins because of E3)
Hollie: "Right there! They just kissed!"
Hollie: "There! Rewind that! They totally kissed! Gross!"
Hollie: "Does he know that she's his sister?"
Hollie: "What's wrong with the director?"
Hollie: "Did you see that! He just gave her a look!"
Hollie: "Please tell me they find out before it's too late!"
Hollie: "Why can't she just get with the Indiana Jones guy?"
Me: "I saw. I know. Not yet. Don't know. No he didn't. They do. She does."

I love my wife :)