Followup

Sorry for the lateness of this followup.  Here is the short of it: GO SEE WHAT IF… Well, if it is playing in your area- it opens this Friday.  It truly is a heartwarming movie about breaking down one person to show him what his life should have been like had he not made one bad decision that ended up changing him for the worse.  But you watched the trailer I linked to last time.  As for my experience, I arrived there Monday night at about 5:40 and there were already a lot of people waiting.  By the time the doors to the worship center opened, the lines practically went out the door.  But I did manage to get a seat, even if I never did meet up with any of my small group (or my mother, who someone from my group- Matt-  brought since I didn’t have time to go home then back to Elgin) until afterward.  My mother got a seat too- she and Matt made it inside just as they were adding an extra row.  Everyone else had to go to an overflow area where I presume they had a feed from the worship center.  Around starting time, everyone got a laugh when John Ratzenberger came out with a camera in his hand recording us- his way of returning the favor. 😀

Once the guests were seated, my pastor came out and introduced everyone and talked particularly about the director, Dallas Jenkins, since he is now on staff at the church.  Introductions aside, the movie started.  As I said already- go see it- if you are a follower of Jesus you won’t regret it, and even if you aren’t it is still a very enjoyable drama.  Anyway, once the movie was over, the campus pastor, Jeff called up the three actors present and Dallas to the comfy chairs set up on stage and there was a discussion with them about the movies.  The three actors present were Ratzenberger, Kevin Sorbo, and Debby Ryan.  If you or your child watches Suite Life On Deck on the Disney Channel, she plays Bailey.  Sorbo is best known for his role as Hercules and Ratzenberger from Cheers or more recently as a voice on many Disney/Pixar movies.  I took some pictures with my iphone, but they were pretty bad.  I’ll just say I was in the 5th (I think) row, toward the side of the center.  I was able to see three of the four without a problem, but for the last, and for Jeff, I could only see them on the screen.  Afterward, I went to my car to get my work camera (why I didn’t think of this ahead of time I don’t know).  By the time I met up with my mother and got my camera, we were at the end of the line.  How long was the line?  Well check it out:

AVI of looooong line

Sorry, I don’t have any sort of youtube or other account so you will have to bear with a link to the avi on my webspace.  Anyway, here are some photos of the guests signing What If posters.  Needless to say, I did not get up there before I left, but one of my 5th graders recognized me and offered me one since his family had a few already- God bless him.  So since I didn’t meet the actors myself, I just took these photos from the balcony above which was not blocked off by security.  As always, click on a picture for a larger version:

Sorbo and Ryan

Ratzenberger

All three actors

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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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

D’s Wayback Machine part 1

Okay then, here is the first of a round of posts based on the yearbooks I have sitting around.  Let’s start with some kids of whom I actually have memories beyond just their names.  It has been quite awhile since my junior high years so unfortunately my memory won’t take us as far as I’d like…

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The guy above would be none other than my best friend in my intermediate years.  Sorry C, but I hadn’t met you yet and beside, you were still a tyke in 2nd or 3rd grade at this time.  J and I were practically inseparable.  Unfortunately after 7th grade he moved to live with his dad.  I never met his dad, but I was jealous to hear how he had an Atari with a ton of games.  Well, I had an Atari too, but not so many games.  One time our boy scout troop was away at camp and we were trying to live Indian style (hey, political correctness was not the behemoth it is today so we didn’t use the friendly Native-American term).  Anyway, most of us wore breechcloths- no I don’t know what tribe(s) used breechcloths instead of pants.  While most wore them over shorts, J and I didn’t! 😯

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This guy started off disliking me in 6th grade for some reason.  He would call me something then run away, and I would chase after him.  Eventually we became friends.  We used to hang out at the teen center through this time and in high school.

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This is someone else who started of as sort of an enemy in elementary school.  As in the last photo though, T and I became friends.  He lived in an apartment by the railroad tracks with his mom.  There was one time I invited him over, then went into my back yard to climb a tree.  That was the time I fell down 12 feet to the ground from a lower branch.  My bones must have been made of rubber because I broke not a single one, though I was dazed when he arrived.

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Someone likes striped shirts… These two weren’t friends with me, but were best friends themselves.  They belonged to a different boy scout troop, one that met at a nearby church instead of the junior high.  At least their troop didn’t fold like ours…  The first one above told me at one time in 4th or 5th grade that he could be friends with anyone.  Then I asked if we could do something at his or my house sometime.  He was “busy” on each day I proposed.  I guess I wasn’t a part of “anyone.”  Together, the two of them shared the names of an famous cartoon duo.

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He wasn’t a friend of mine either, but for some reason I wanted to imitate this guy in 8th grade- I have no idea why.  He must have been new to the school for 8th grade, as he isn’t in the other two yearbooks.

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I wrote something rude on this guy’s 8th-grade photo, though I don’t remember crossing paths with him.  I do know we were in the same music class in 8th grade, and one of the assignments was to take a rock song, find the lyrics and discuss them after playing the song in class.  I chose a song by The Police.  He chose one by Iron Maiden.  After that Iron Maiden was my favorite band.

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This one was in cub scouts with me I think- I’m pretty sure it wasn’t boy scouts.  He was someone with a similar personality to mine, which is to say introverted.  However, we didn’t become good friends though I’m sure we did hang out together occasionally around this time period.  A few years ago I subbed for his mom in near-urban district.  I remember picking up a book in her room and thinking, “hey- this is the book we used in 7th grade language arts with all the stupid sentence diagramming.”  I opened the cover and there was his name.  I just have to wonder why he never turned the book in at the end of the year…

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I do not have fond memories of this guy.  He lived in the house behind ours and a couple over.  I wrote something rude about him in my 8th grade yearbook, but not on one of the main photos.

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This is another one of whom I have less than happy memories.  In fact, I guess he was sort of my nemesis.  He came up with a creative unpleasant nickname for me based on an incident at shower time after gym class.  Not one of those “you’re growing up and your body is changing” incidents, but nonetheless, I am not going to share…  He ticked me off enough that a couple of times I had him on the ground punching his face.  He is the only one I ever had a fist fight with.  Thankfully I never saw him again after junior high.  Oh, I wrote something rude on his 8th-grade photo too (smart-***).  I guess I was just mean that year. :/

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The only girl this time around, she lived about a block from the school.  She makes my memory list for this reason- one time my friend J and I decided to walk to an arcade in the next town over, about four miles away.  Afterward, we walked back and we had an amazingly stupid idea to hitch a ride back.  Her mom was the one who picked us up- J knew it but I didn’t.  Oddly enough, she did not report this back to our parents.

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Well, that’s it for now.  I’ll see what other memories I can dig up for all of you for future posts. 🙂

Posted in School. 6 Comments »

Life Update

Whew. Okay, I have now gone through my junior high yearbooks and will soon have a post or two on that topic. Several memories, some forgotten mysteries, and general strangeness. More on that to come. I still have four high school band yearbooks (yes, the band had its own yearbook) and my one surviving yearbrickbook from my freshman year, but I won’t wait on those books- they will be a post or two all by themselves.

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So what have I been up to?  More of the same, really.  A couple days a week are dedicated to just looking at and fixing photos online, usually adjusting the color when they are too blue or brightening dim or dark photos.  I also report photo problems I cannot fix like photos taken at bad angles or ones so dark (or bright) that they can’t be properly fixed.  The other days I am still out in the field taking pictures at my own stores (soon to be given away so I can be free to fly out at any time) or helping another photographer who has been inundated as of late.  Just Tuesday, she did over 50 cars with the assistance of the co-owner.  She wants to give up some of the stores, but the owners like her too much apparently- for good reason as she is a very good photographer.

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Besides that I have been rehearsing for Easter choir.  I finally got the music I need to practice at home.  For some reason they thought it would be a great idea to distribute the private link to the music over facebook instead of just emailing it to everyone, so when I realized an email was not forthcoming, I had to finally ask someone in the choir for the music.  No, not everyone uses facebook and I have no intentions of ever signing up, especially after hearing about what’s happening with Myspace and a company called Infochimps right now.

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As for now, it’s a weekend of rest.  Two days off from work, no choir until next week, and no 4th/5th grade ministry.  I do enjoy what I do most of the time (even if fixing photos is a bit tedious), but it’s nice to have a rest now and then.

Preview, and…

Okay, I’ve been back to post-lazy for the last several days, so time to post something even if it isn’t in-depth.  I have had a couple of posts in mind that I just haven’t gotten around to.  First, I have next to me some yearbooks, mostly middle school.  What can I do with those, I wonder…?  I have also recently started training someone.  Okay, I am one of a few training him, but he’s my first.  Something soon about that.  Lastly, though I tend not to get responses to retro-gaming posts, it is still one of my interests and it’s time for another one.  I will probably go the youtube route with this one.  Speaking of youtube, here are some videos from another Christian band I have become very interested in, partly due to growing up on metal in the 80s like Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Scorpions and the like.  That’s right, it’s a Christian metal band called Kutless, but that’s not all they do.  In fact, they have done several versions of worship songs which tend to be lighter but still with a little metal flavor.  The first video from Kutless is a recent release.  In fact, this video comes in high-def  versions.  The second one is the title track from an older CD, one of the two CDs from them I own.  The third is the song that made me notice this band when it was played on the radio- they are not so heavy that they don’t get playtime on Christian radio and this song was one of their hits from a couple years ago.  The last song is a common worship song done Kutless style.  Enjoy!

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Amazon link for Kutless

Kutless on Wikipedia

Official Kutless site

End of an Era

A while ago I mentioned becoming the national trainer for the photo job I do.  Well, today I talked with the co-owner and the job is finally becoming a reality.  As of this week I am the manager of training, or quality, or something like that.  My new job will involve keeping a single store for photos, but in addition involve filling in for others’ vacations, do quality control on their work, and of course train.  In fact, I will be training someone really soon now to take over two of my stores.  My compensation has also become consistent, no longer dependent on the number of cars I do.  As for traveling, that will come sometime as well- they already have stores in another state, though mostly for those stores they will bring the people here for me to train.

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So what do I mean by the end of an era?  Well, this job has now become full time so that means no more subbing.  Maybe once in awhile (with the co-owner’s blessing I should add) if I want to as long as I get the work done, but for the most part I’m done.  I will drop down to one district I think, probably hometown district and sub maybe once every other week just for the extra cash until the end of the school year.  Or mornings once a week if I can.  I don’t know.  In any event, that means a rebranding for this blog as certainly I won’t be signing up again for next year unless something goes very wrong with this job and so the name no longer works.  I will have to think about a new name though I suspect the URL will remain the same.

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I know I haven’t said this yet, so I will say it now.  In big bold letters:

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROVISIONS

AND HIS BLESSINGS!!!