Gaming for an Award

Cub scout award for… video games??  Where was this award when I was in Cub scouts?  I would have aced this one easily.  Okay, there is some work involved, but still- video games?  Here’s the text from the official site:


Requirements

Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. Tiger Cubs must work with their parents or adult partners. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.

Belt Loop

Complete these three requirements:

  1. Explain why it is important to have a rating system for video games. Check your video games to be sure they are right for your age.
  2. With an adult, create a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming. Do your best to follow this schedule.
  3. Learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.

Academics Pin

Earn the Video Games belt loop and complete five of the following requirements:

  1. With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
  2. Compare two game systems (for example, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and so on). Explain some of the differences between the two. List good reasons to purchase or use a game system.
  3. Play a video game with family members in a family tournament.
  4. Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game.
  5. List at least five tips that would help someone who was learning how to play your favorite video game.
  6. Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour.
  7. Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
  8. Choose a game you might like to purchase. Compare the price for this game at three different stores. Decide which store has the best deal. In your decision, be sure to consider things like the store return policy and manufacturer’s warranty.
  9. With an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system.

As most of you know, I was really into gaming back in the day. I spent hours at arcades and played my Atari and Colecovision systems to death. Ah, the days…  Speaking of scouting, JustJ would be pleased to know that the boy scouts are embracing modern technology in Geocaching.  One article mentioned a merit badge, but so far what I read on their site talks more of the activity than earning a badge.  Click here and here.  Scratch what I just wrote- merit badge information can be had by clicking here.

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Oh, you probably want an update on that quiz.  Of the three that garnered the most guesses, one of them is correct.  The one with no guesses?  You are correct in that it is not us.  The other video was among the two with a single affirmative response.  So without further delay, the two videos featuring our choir (at least in audio in the case of one) are:

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1. They Didn’t Know

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6. Rise and Sing

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Check out what the junior high kids do toward the end of the video-

I can name most of the boys from their time in 4th/5th grade, including

one who was in my cabin at camp two years ago.

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So, how did you do? 🙂

Looked Big to Me

Oh come on, don’t you like quizzes?  I know all of you loved quizzes in school [dodges tomato].  Seriously though, only one taker?  Come on lurkers, you don’t have to comment, just check out the videos two posts below and take the easy quiz.  No grades here, nothing to go on permanent records if you answer wrong.  Just step right up and give it a try!  Answers in one of the next couple posts. 🙂

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This week someone from Florida flew down to train with me on the use of the handheld computer, something that the office there was apparently never trained on for some reason.  He was placed in a hotel near me, right across from my church in fact, and is riding with me all week wherever I go.  I have to tell you, this guy is on fire for Jesus.  Like me, he serves in children’s ministry at his church which is apparently set up slightly different from mine (and many others) so he has kids from ages 6-11.  Perhaps he was sent not just to learn from me, but the other way around too.  I invited him to my small group last night and when there, he didn’t just sit back and listen, but was actively engaged in the discussion.  It was interesting to learn that like another in my group, he is an Annihilationist, one who believes that there is no active eternal torment for those who don’t accept God’s offer of  salvation through Jesus, but instead they are simply destroyed.  His children, of course, still have eternal life in Heaven.  Myself, I would love for this to be true but I know I must be careful to not try to read this into the scripture if and when I study this topic in detail.  One of the things I have thought is that *if* God has chosen ahead of time those He is going to save (part of the Calvinist doctrine, I’m not sure about this interpretation of Scripture), that is we can only come to Christ if God calls us, and if He calls us we cannot fail to come, if this is true then it would seem to be wholly unfair, and seemingly against the nature of God to not just deny us eternal life in heaven (more than fair for our rejection of Him) but to purposefully send us to be actively tortured by the one who was given the boot from Heaven for his rejection of God’s authority.  Of course, if we do have any say in the matter as Scripture *also* seems to say, then this argument falls flat- we deserve what we chose.

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Anyway, I have gotten far beyond the point of this post.  So today, we joined my coworker Rene again, and we practiced with the cars Rene and our other trainee were working on.  He is slowly learning, but is enthusiastic about it.  In fact, he is enthusiastic about everything- a very positive outlook.  Well, on our way home, when about to turn on route 14, we noticed a thick plume of black smoke rising.  I didn’t think to much about it, but as we drove, an ambulance and a fire truck headed in that direction.  About 15 minutes later we passed it just outside (I think) Barrington- I didn’t think it would be that far away and the area the smoke, now worse, was coming from looked really big.  However, we still couldn’t see what was actually happening.  We drove through the thin layer of smoke that reached the road, but that was it.  I figured it would be in the news, but so far I couldn’t find anything.  Well, it looked big enough for news to me.  I just pray for all involved.

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I also pray that my car does not need an expensive repair.  The “service engine soon” light just went on today and it is in the shop now to be looked at tomorrow.

Was it me?

Okay, it has been a little over a week since my last post and it’s time to post, and now that I have deleted the spam comments that have shown up in the last week I can begin.  I see that some of you have been posting machines over the last few days, so hopefully mine will be seen among all your furious activity. 😉  Let’s start with a quiz- which of last weeks videos were actually of my church choir and not just songs picked from the web by someone else?  C’mon- the post mentions one directly, and you might be able to logically deduce another one even if you don’t watch/haven’t watched them.  The answers are in the order of the videos in the previous post.  Good luck!  Answers will be forthcoming.

Which of these videos is actually of our church choir? There's more than one!

View Results

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So on to the post topic (and all said- “finally!” 😛 ), last night we had the second first of my small group events for the 4th-graders at my church.  Why the ordinal confusion at the beginning of this paragraph?  Well, last Saturday was the first scheduled event, for the Saturday night boys but one of the leaders backed out due to work so we are rescheduling it.  Last night was for the second-Sunday-service boys.  Or as it turned out, boy.  That’s right- out of over a dozen 4th-grade boys that service only one showed up.  So it was two leaders and one boy.  The chosen event was indoor mini-golf on a glow-in-the-dark course.  Being really nice out, and with outdoor courses starting to open, it was quite dead for a Friday night- no one in front of us though people started to come in behind us.  So since it was just the three of us, we kind of spoiled the one boy.  His mom gave him extra money for food or whatnot, but told him not to spend it on the video and redemption games, so what did Brian and I do?  Spent a few dollars on tokens for him of course!

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About the title of this post, even though last Saturday was canceled, I still can gather a statistic for that day as the one at church who was going to notify the parents of the cancellation failed to do so for some reason, so as far as the parents and kids knew it was still on.  The result?  Only the two confirmed students would have been there (only one showed up only to be disappointed since I called the other one personally as I had their number).  Lesson learned- if the parents don’t RSVP, the kids most definitely will not be there.

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So what was the deal?  I know warmer weather kept people away who would have otherwise dropped in, but these were planned events.  Do boys not like mini-golf?  Was it too expensive?  Do all of them have full plates outside of church to prevent participation in any event?  Well, the last can’t be true as there were plenty of kids at the official movie night last year and at the winter retreat.  I hope it wasn’t me! 😮   Okay, not likely.   I really want the next one to be successful.  To be safe, I think we will not make it mini-golf.  Plus, hopefully something cheaper than the $8.50 this one cost.  Maybe we could have an all-ministry event again like a picnic and games (maybe hiking) at the forest preserve- something to perhaps bring up to the leadership.

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Edit: I asked the kids tonight about it and they pretty much agreed that mini-golf would have been fun, but the outdoor kind not indoors.  So, we will likely try this again for the middle of May.  Of course, this was the kids talking.  I didn’t get a chance to question the parents so who knows if cost or transportation was a consideration?  In any event, now to locate a local, fun outdoor course…

A Servant’s Weekend

I may not always serve the Lord as I would wish too.  In fact I quite often find myself serving yours truly.  But the last weekend had me at my church for drama, singing, and leading.  It started Wednesday night with choir rehearsal when the director announced they were looking for a few people to be a part of a drama for Good Friday.  I thought about it and sent an email back saying I could, but for only three of the four services as I had to work for at least part of the day.

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The Good Friday service was made up of a few parts, starting with singing and followed by a short announcement.  For a half hour then everyone could walk around the worship center (95% of the chairs had been removed) visiting different areas.  One area had the text of the last days before the Crucifixion projected on walls for people to read.  Another had a giant cross people could sign.  There was a section with artwork portraying these days and an area with a looping video about a medical perspective on the Crucifixion.  There was also an area with replicas of a Roman flagrum, a spear such as used to pierce the sides of the victims to test for death as they did with Jesus, a crown of thorns, and others.  So following this time was another brief message followed by more songs.  The drama was during the half-hour tour time.  Like everyone who heeded our pastor’s wishes, we were dressed in black.  We would walk around and at various points break into one of two skits.  There were two main characters in one, the scene where Peter denied being a follower of Jesus three times, and one main character in the other, the scene in front of Pilate.  The rest of us were people in the crowd whispering or shouting out on cue- “crucify him!” or “yes, he is one of them” or similar.  The interesting part of the drama was it just happening right in the middle of everyone, and then we would be done, fading back into the wave of people- and boy, were there a lot of people, especially during the final service.  One could barely move at times.

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So Friday I was there from about 3:30 to about 8:00.  Then Saturday, I had to be back again at 1:00 for choir rehearsal, dressed and ready to sing.  We warmed up on our own then joined the worship band in the worship center, put back together from the day before.  I tell you, we sang for what had to be two straight hours on the entire worship package including our three songs and the five that the congregation sang together.  Since the majority of the guys sang tenor, I decided to sing bass.  Okay, let me not kid myself.  Some of that music, if it could talk would say, “first tenors only- second tenors need not apply.”  Following rehearsal we had a short break before lining up for the real deal.  I took this time to visit the 4th and 5th grade room.  I talked to some of the other leaders and kids before I had to go.  I would miss their worship time and craft time where they made crosses out of nails, but would be back during teaching time.  The singing went well, and so did the 4th and 5th grade small group time.  The teaching went well too, but it wasn’t me teaching.  In fact, due to choir I relinquished my own Sunday teaching time to someone else.  Following two choir times, who knew how my voice would be?

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Sunday we had to be back at 7AM, when we tried to watch a video from the night before.  It was either a bad disc or a bad player, but most of the video was a rapid, silent fast-forward.  Oh, well- that’s technology for you.  We had a short warmup and practiced a few of the songs, but not the entire set this time.  We performed, then breakfast was waiting for us.  Ahh…  There’s the real reason I serve.  Kidding aside (we did have to donate for the food if we were able!) both Sunday services went great as well.  I was back in the 4th and 5th grade room after the second service where we ended up merging 4th grade small groups which was fine.

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I went right to lunch from there, meeting my brother, nephew, mother, grandmother, and uncle for an Easter lunch (not brunch).  We ate, we chatted and bantered, and afterward we went to my house for some pie and chatted and bantered some more.  I’m tired of typing so I’ll skip the detail here.  As a bonus though, here are links to videos of most of the songs we did including the video shown at the start of our service with us singing.  I couldn’t include one song because it is an original from the musicians at my church and no one has made a youtube video with it.  Most of these are not us, just videos pulled from youtube.  Most.  Oh, and let me wrap up with this- in case you did not return to the comments of my last post, I mentioned that I updated some of the pictures by adding larger versions, so check them out- it may be easier to ID me now. 😉

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So anyway, the videos:

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If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

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D’s Wayback Machine part ][

So, you wanted some more pics, particularly pics of me?  Well, I’ll meet you partway- here are some pics, most with me in them, but you have to figure out which of those younguns is my younger self. 😈

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Oh, most them are clickable for larger versions.  Maybe I’ll go back and rescan some of the other ones in larger versions later. (done)

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Let’s start with extracurricular activities.  Outside of band, this was something I generally had nothing to do with, even in high school for the most part, but way back in 6th grade I seem to have partaken in one, though I have no memory of it.  And I only did it for that year apparently, perhaps because my aforementioned nemesis was also in the club.  Which club?  Well, it wasn’t a sport- shame on you if you know me and thought that! 😀 )It wasn’t drama as I wouldn’t take an interest until my final year of high school.  It wasn’t choir as that interest came even later.  It wasn’t backgammon, debate, french, leathercraft, comic books, D&D, or CO2 cars.  Wait- the school had backgammon and D&D clubs??  I think you might be able to guess it, it was none other than the beginning computer club.  Here is a picture- at least I’m 90% sure it is me in the photo- the 6th grade yearbook doesn’t give names under the photos for these group pictures.  The geeks among you might make a connection from this photo with the title of this post.

Beginning Computer Club

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The next several are of the one extracurricular activity that I was a part of for eight years.  Once I failed to make the army band, and then proceeded to fail an army physical (don’t ask, but- phew!) I quit altogether.  That was okay, I picked up singing a short time later when I became interested in musical theatre.  The first three are the normal concert bands.  In 6th I was in the lower band of course, strangely called “intermediate” as if there was another, lower band.  I suppose if you counted 5th grade band as the lowest instead, then I guess intermediate worked.  In 7th and 8th grades I was in the top band (symphonic), a trend that would not necessarily continue in high school.  The last two photos were from jazz band, which I was a part of in 7th and 8th grades.

6th Intermediate Band

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7th Symphonic Band

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8th Symphonic Band

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7th Jazz Band

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8th Jazz Band.

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No, I don’t remember why I put a big X through the saxophonist in the last photo.  I guess I didn’t like him.  I believe I had something nasty written on his other photo too.  I do remember he introduced me to the handheld Donkey Kong game & watch from Nintendo which he brought back from Japan.  When I discovered it was being sold on this side of the Pacific too, I obtained one for myself using the tried and true method every young income-free person uses at one time or another (“Can I have it Mom? Pleeeeeeze?”) 🙂

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The next few photos are just some random photos without me:

Gym

Just a photo to show what our gym uniforms looked like. Check out those socks we once wore!
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Wrestling

Urg- one of the two intramurals I have vivid recollections of. One was floor hockey when I didn’t understand what an “assist” was and tried to enter my name as one who assisted a goal which I did not. In one of the grades, I don’t remember which, I remember I truly stunk at wrestling and won the first game not because I actually remembered how to do the wrestling moves, but because my opponent was even worse. The next game saw me pinned within seconds.  And those socks again…  Nowadays intramurals are optional, but not in the early 80s.
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Check out those pants...

Even worse than the socks were the trousers on that teacher! 😛
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ArcheryCross-country skiing

Two gym activities I know for a fact the school doesn’t do anymore- too bad. Current kids do get ping-pong instead though…

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My school

A photo of the old junior high building. I think someone had said it was built in the 1920s, but I may be remembering wrong. It was replaced by a new one in the last 10 years or so.

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Couldn’t figure out which one was me in each photo, maybe because you never met me? Okay, okay- here’s a little help from the lunchroom:

Eating lunch

Great Moments are Born…

I’m not a sports fan at all, but as a kid’s ministry leader and former substitute teacher (if not a parent) I can find certain actions by kids cute.  This was a speech done at the opening day Red Sox game by a 5-year old boy.  He was very articulate, and great memorization (I would guess it was memorized) for his age.  Warning- you might be offended if you are a fan of a certain New York team or if you dislike strong language (not f-bomb strong, but fairly close) coming from a child’s mouth, though he only uses such language once I believe.

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The Greatest Day in History!

With Friday we honored the blackest time in history- God’s Son, put to death in the worst possible way, and the front page of this site went black in remembrance.  Peter, one of His closest friends denied ever knowing Him.  “Now what?”  People wondered.  Wasn’t this man Jesus supposed to save the world?  And for two days the Adversary laughed and people mourned.  Then came the third day, and the tomb was found open and empty, and soon the people’s grief turned to joy…

He is risen!

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He's alive!