Did I post about this before?

If so, consider this an update.  A few months ago I found out about a talented Japanese boy named Yuto Miyazawa on the Ellen show (found out via the ‘net of course- I don’t watch shows like Ellen).  This boy at just nine years of age plays a mean guitar.  Here is the clip of him on the aforementioned show:

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Too unfortunate he chooses someone like Ozzy Osbourne to imitate, but I suppose they can’t all choose more godly heavy metal like Disciple, Kutless, or Red. 😉 ) The update, if this is one, is that Ozzy just had Yuto as a guest at a concert the other night he did for Blizzcon 2009.  Here’s a clip:

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Put me on the crazy train, but I think Yuto did a better job singing the song on the Ellen show than Ozzy did at Blizzcon!  Okay, to be fair Ozzy had just finished a set, and to put this politely he ain’t getting any younger.  I did have to cringe though when he dropped the f-bomb right in front of Yuto, twice.  So what do you all think?

I’m not dead

Just haven’t felt much like posting, though I did make an attempt to do a post yesterday, like fellow blogger JustJ did the other day, after playing around with Vista’s voice recognition software.  Incredible in comparison to Dragon Dictate from several years ago, though I suppose if that software is still around it is at least as good as Vista’s.  Of course, knowing Microsoft their software may very well *be* Dragon Dictate, or some other commercial package bought by them.  They started off that way back when when they bought a DOS from someone, relabeled it MSDOS, and licensed it to IBM way back when, so why not these days with voice recognition?

Anyway, I still don’t have much to say, so I leave you with this hilarious video mentioned on Majorgeeks in today’s news:

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Getting close now…

Well, school is almost upon us once again.  Depending on where you live, it can be a week or three, or maybe your kids attend an all-year school that started up again in July after a much shorter break.  In the two districts I’m signed up with, it starts in 1½ and 2½ weeks.  What’s that you say?  Two districts?  That’s right.  I am only in hometown and supersized districts this year due to my continued job of shooting pictures of cars.  I have chosen to work three days a week on the cars for now leaving two days to teach.  Of course it will likely be another month before I am needed as a sub, but that’s the plan.  As you probably figured out already, these two districts are where I have gotten most of my work in the past and so I stuck with them, losing the less productive ones, even though near-urban paid me the most.

So how is the new job going?  Well, I got my first store finally- unfortunately it’s 45-minutes away!  The one who had this store didn’t do a very good job so he was replaced.  Not the best way to start, but I’ll take whatever I can get.  Today, in fact, Kim (one of the owners of the company I work for) and I spent much time fixing the stickers on the cars that were tilted, stuck over unremoved adhesive from previous buyer’s guide (warranty info which by law has to be in the window even if just handwritten) or otherwise placed with a lack of care.  I think we did no less than two dozen.  The rest of my time was spent in doing four cars that were ready for me.  Not a lot, but the idea is to have three dealers (four if they are small like this one) in one day to shoot a reasonable amount.  The most I had in one day training with Rene was 42.  At $7 a car that was nearly $300 for the day for her.  Of course that was three large dealers, and even then that number is rare.  My goal is eventually 20-30 cars per day.  Another trainee may be leaving as his school just gave him a reality check- no, it is not possible to graduate in a reasonable time if you only have classes two days a week.  If he leaves then I am hoping to get one of the stores promised to him, but not the other one.  There is a dealer that is way over toward Chicago (strike one for the bad traffic).  They require the cars to be shot in their warehouse a mile away, meaning the cars have to be driven from their lot to there, adding a tremendous amount of time (strike two).  Also, the warehouse has bad lighting with three of the five lights burnt out the last two times I was there making it difficult to take pictures inside the cars (strike three).  I am scheduled to do new cars every other week, but the one who has been doing the used cars while Pat was training to take it over can keep that part as a punishment for his bad performance at the dealer he lost (yes, same guy)!

In the meantime, all this work has meant that I haven’t gotten the DVD done yet for my kids from camp- I’d better start on it soon, or just do what I did the first year- give them a CD with all the pictures, but that’s no fun and can’t be viewed without a computer.

Camp- the final chapter

It has been a while since the last camp post, so why don’t I just wrap it up in one post?  Since we’re talking two days, I have a lot of photos this time.   The highlights of course were the games and instructionals.  But before we get to those, the themes for the last two days were the tongue and the hands/feet.  The tongue refers to what we say and the hands and feet refer to our actions.  If you’re keeping up with the key verses, here they are (can you match up the theme with the verse?):

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

The one heart lesson on Thursday night was the good news- the faithful heart.  After three nights of learning about the bad hearts it was refreshing to finally get to the one that hears the Word and takes action, letting it take root strongly in one’s heart.

The first game was Man Overboard against the Blue Shields.  Man Overboard is a running game where the kids have to follow the directions of where to go and what to do.  There are four sides to a ship, but for this large of a group we only used two- bow and stern.  Besides the two places to go, the one in charge can call things like octopus!, shark!, hit the deck!, and of course the title, man overboard!  There are more too.  When the kids hear this they have to do an action associated with the command.  See the photo section for two such actions.  Since this is a relatively short game for the allotted time, they played a couple of games and followed with a couple rounds of Simon Says.  The boys actually played this the night before before going on a hay ride at the end of the day, but not for a good reason- it was because several boys didn’t listen to directions.  It was a fun sort of reminder for them I think.  Our team rocked on these games.  The next morning the game was Bedlam against the Red Cross.  This was a more subjective game where the teams were given an action to do, like act like a particular animal or object (i.e., ice-cream truck), and whichever team did it best overall according to the leaders judging would win the points.  I have no idea who actually won this one.

Hey, did I skip a game?  Well, that’s because I saved the best for last.  Last time I mentioned Counselor Hunt was switched to Thursday.  This is quite a different game from the rest.  This annual game is where the counselors all hide somewhere in the camp and the kids, working in groups, have to find them.  Over the last four years, I have tamed a bit on this one.  The first couple times I played it I hid so well that almost no one found me.  Last year (or was it the year before?) I switched tactics to make it easier for the kids- I placed myself so that I was hidden from most directions, but visible if they looked from a certain angle.  Several found me of course, but that was the idea.  Another strategy some take with this game is to hide in plain sight.  That is, they will place themselves in a spot they can’t be missed like the middle of the road or reading a newspaper in front of a cabin.  They are so obvious that they must not be playing, or so most of the kids think.  This year I didn’t hide at all.  I was one of the runners, called viruses in this medical theme.  You can tell by the name that this is bad news for the kids.  Instead of hiding, I was one of about four who would chase the kids.  If caught, they would be marked and would have to have the virus “cured” before they could continue the game.  This was a very tiring job- no wonder the high school kids were usually the ones to do it!  I think I marked about five or six kids throughout the game, regrettably one of my own (hey, we had to play fair!).  I ran up to three from my cabin, and instead of running away like they all should have, one of them ran toward me, an excited look on his face that he “found” me. Doh! (visualize hand slapping face here).

There were of course four instructionals throughout the two days.  I won’t talk too much about most of them though for brevity sake.  On Thursday we had fishing and archery.  Yes, there were actual fish in the lake but they didn’t get to cook up what they caught- just catch and release.  I’m sure the kids weren’t too disappointed they didn’t get to clean, gut, and cook the fish…  Not much to say on archery- most kids were, let’s just say not quite Robin Hoods, so I will move on to riflery on Friday.   The kids from Iowa put us to shame here.  They were so practiced at shooting that when they ran out of targets to hit they shot ours!  These were actually pellet guns powered by air- no real bullets for this camp.  This was a new event this year and I was looking forward to it as I remembered my times at Boy Scout camp, though there we had to pay for each round we shot.  You can see what the rifles looked like below.  Rock climbing was the final event of the week for us.  All but one of the boys in my cabin gave it a try.  Again, a couple of pictures below.

The only things left to write about (I’ll probably come up with more once I post this!) are the campfire and going home.  Wednesday night the girls had a campfire while the boys went on a hayride, which, by the way, had no hay- just the cart.  Thursday reversed these roles.  The campfire was to serve a couple of purposes.  The obvious one was marshmallows for s’mores.  The other was to burn a list of fears we wrote up the night before as part of the lesson, signifying that we release these fears to God’s control.  Since we had to wait a day on this for our turn at the campfire, you can guess what happened.  Myself included.  I’ll just say that I found my list once I got home and unpacked.  Speaking of going home, that’s what we did Friday night.  Cleaned up the cabins, packed, and headed to the bus bus.  Once again I was grateful for the buses coming down Dorothy’s Hill so we didn’t have to climb it with our luggage.  All but one of my boys boarded the bus- we left one behind.  On purpose.  Are you curious?  Okay, he was staying for family camp.  His parents wouldn’t arrive until the next day, but he stayed with another dad who stayed behind with his own son.

In the end, our team was not victorious.  We came in a close second, still far ahead of third place.  There’s always next year. 🙂

Oh, one more thing- winning the cleanest boys’ cabin twice really messed me up for one of the things I wanted to do one of the days.  Lots of balloons was the key here, but I guess I will be saving them for next year now.  On Thursday we decided that since we would probably not be allowed to win two days in a row, we saved them for Friday.  On Friday, we were busy cleaning and packing.  Oh, well.  Enjoy the pics, and be sure to click on whatever catches your eye for larger versions.

Oh, no contact lenses were really lost as far as I know.  What?  You don’t read the pop-up tooltips when you hover over the pictures?  For shame! 😛