Something New

I think I will try something new and make an occasional post featuring some of the music I listen to.  This will mostly feature Christian artists as it is pretty much what I listen to these days, though who knows?  I might post something retro to my life.  Of course what I post depends on what youtube has to offer- current music seems to be abundant, but older stuff, and probably certain genres, can be hard to come by.  All videos have been posted by other people and may be pulled by youtube at any time.

I think I will start with a Christian artist that has stood out to me in contemporary Christian music: Chris Tomlin.

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I probably should put an Amazon link here to appease any industry readers in case you would like to purchase some of this fine music 😀 : Chris Tomlin

Camp 2009: Day 1

Days -2, -1, and 0 were getting ready days of course.  Day one however is where it begins.  Past years have had a check-in time of 10:00AM.  Not so this year.  With a brand new 8:00AM check-in time I dragged myself out of bed early and got a ride over to the bank lot across form the church.  While I didn’t really care much for the early call time, it did give us a couple extra hours once we got to camp.  The chaos of checking in seemed less this year for whatever reason.  I know numbers were down due to the you-know-what, but even considering it seemed pretty tame.  Parents checked in the kids, picked up tags, saw the nurse, carried the bags to the appropriate bus, waited for departure.  During this time I had the chance to say hi to three of the kids in my cabin and their parents.  Another one I found out would meet us at camp while the fifth I didn’t know at all, leaving it a total surprise when I finally did.  Around the final prayer and departure time, I finally met him as he was pointing to some bags that hadn’t yet been loaded on.  I looked at the tag and saw the bags were for someone in my cabin.  I turned to him and saw he was the fifth boy- Diego.  I later found out that the bags were for his stepfather who was coming with him.  This was no ordinary boy either- he was in two leg casts (to straighten his legs- they weren’t broken) and was… small.  Ever watch Little People, Big World?  Yes, he has that condition.  After a prayer with the parents and campers we hopped onto the buses and we were off.  We gave them about a half-hour of chat time and then the first movie went in.  All the movies were Disney of course- rated G animated features.  Ratatouille was first and it engaged at least 95% of the kids.  Wall-E followed.  Too bad the bus DVD player had no remote as Wall-E had a couple of nice shorts in the extras.  Halfway through the bus ride we stopped at a rest-stop so the drivers could take a quick pit-stop.  Yeah, leaders too. 😉 ()Kids were stuck on the bus, but the movie was kept playing so most didn’t mind I’m sure.  Having forgotten my lunch (it’s always something, right?) I scrambled here to get overprice vending machine offerings while still trying to pick up something extra for the kids in the same boat as me.  Other leaders chipped in too.

So 3½ hours later, or 4½ when you take the time change from CDT to EDT into consideration, we arrived- about ten minutes after Wall-E ended.  We got to the usual drop off point- and kept going.  Yes!  No walking a half-mile to the camp, partly down a 40º incline (or back up that same incline at the end of the week for that matter!).  We were greeted with large welcome signs from the staff, waiting for us on the game field.  While the bus was unloaded and the luggage carried to the cabins we were given an introduction speech.  The week at camp was officially underway!  We split for the cabins so the kids could get ready for their swim tests, then headed for the swim front.  For one of only two times during the week the gate was swung open so we could enter without checking in.  At all other times the kids were required to check in to the swim front to keep track of who was there in case something happened.  I had told Diego’s stepdad that we would start out with a sandcastle/fort competition when others were doing their swim tests, two cabins at a time.  Wrong!  Just because we had the previous four years didn’t mean this would be year five- oops.  Instead, we played a friendly game of nuke ’em, a volleyball variation where instead of hitting the ball it is thrown up in the air.  If it isn’t caught by the other team, the person on that team who last touched the ball trying to catch it, or the one who it fell closest to otherwise is out.  The game is over when one team is out.  At the end of our swim test during this time, three of my kids had red bracelets for non-swimmers.  Diego was one of course as he did not even take the test because of his casts.  This was definitely different for me with more than half my cabin wearing red bands; in the past I have always had only one or two.

So with that done, we changed out of the swimming gear, went to the court on top of the hill by the girls’ cabins for more instructions for the week, then hit the lodge for dinner.  It looked like this year they turned the tables 90 degrees from previous years, but other than that it was the same as previous years.  Following dinner was the first lesson.  This week’s theme was Code Blue: Having a Heart for God, so all the lessons were based on this theme.  The main passage of scripture was the parable of the seeds and the soils they landed on or in.  We broke out for small group, and what was another first we never broke into smaller groups.  In the past I have had 7-10 kids in my cabin so the kids could be split into two groups since every cabin had at least two leaders, but with only five kids we just stayed together with all three of us leaders taking turns leading discussion.  My five kids this year all had been raised in strong Christian homes, and they all had stories to tell of accepting Jesus.  I have had others in the past that had not and have even been able to lead such kids to Christ, but this year it was all about living the Christian life with all these kids which I will be the first to say is a struggle.

As the last part of the night the kids had some “free time” which for this age group is staying in one area free to play whatever games they wished in that area.  This was their first opportunity to hid the canteen, a short bus painted like a bee where they could buy candy and pop (Gatorade and water as well).  This first night was also where I received my first scars which still populate my arms to an extent of mosquito bites as I was eaten alive.  After this I would remember to put on bug spray…

The students were given a choice on whether or not to take a shower- the only night I gave that option since they didn’t do much activity that day- and then we prayed, turned out the lights, and this post finally ended. 😀

Okay, okay

I can’t stay mad at all y’all (that’s how a Southerner says it, right?)  so here’s some sub news.  Monday and Tuesday I was in near-city district again, and will be back there again tomorrow.  3rd grade was the name of the game Monday, and one of the first things I noticed was the teacher’s computer, or rather what was taped on (click pics for larger size):

How awesome- the teacher is a Christian and not afraid to show it! 🙂 . Once class started, I found she had a good group of kids making it a much easier time than 3rd grade last week.  I also got two breaks in addition to lunch- art in the AM and PE in the PM.  Besides the monitor dressing, probably the most memorable part of this job was the huge spelling packet we had to grade- without a key!  Seriously, this packet was about a dozen pages, front and back, for around 24 pages of work.  Using some time in the morning and some time in the afternoon, we were able to get through maybe half of it.  It took longer than it should have because I had to think about the answers before I said them.  It’s 3rd grade work, but that doesn’t mean the answers come instantly.  I have corrected work without a key before, but usually it’s math and usually just me grading papers, not the whole class.  At least in those situations I made a “key” by grading one studen’t paper then using it (at least the correct answers) as the key for the rest.

Tuesday I subbed for art in the open middle school and was pleasantly surprised to find I only had five classes.  There was a second art teacher who taught two classes before going to the elementary school next door.  Actually, she had a sub too, but you get the picture.  All periods were pretty easy.  The 6th-grade just got a video.  We watched one of the HBO Artist Special movies.  I picked the Rembrandt one.  These movies, or at least this one, really don’t talk much about the artists’ work, but instead take the artist and his setting, and make it into a historical fiction story utilizing a boy or girl somehow to make it more appealing to kids.  7th and 8th grade were in the middle of projects so they just continued to work on them.  I actually ran into the daughter of my church’s camp and one-time youth director- I guess I know what town his family lives in now. 🙂

Today- just a half-day in PE.  I had the option of changing it to a full day in kindergarten, but I really didn’t want to drive all the way there (one of the further schools in near-city district) and, well, you know me and younger grades, especially when “ELL” shows up in the job description. 😉 . For PE we just played scooter tag, which was just a sharks and minnows tag game on scooters, where two at a time are taggers and anyone they tag have to sit down but may tag others as they pass.  The gym becomes quite the minefield for survivors after awhile.  It was fun.  I had planned on getting gas for the mower after work and doing a quick job on the lawn, but probably because of the scheduled walkathon at the school (okay, not really) it started to downpour just as school finished.  Since rain is scheduled for the next several days I guess I will have to wait a while longer.  Oh, well.

Silence and the Truth

The last time I wrote, I forgot about a big detail from Friday.  I have been subbing for a few years now and I must either have been in elementary schools on this particular day, or in districts that don’t support it.  The day I’m referring to is the day of silence.  This is a day where non-heterosexual students, and those who support them, make vows of silence (which many don’t keep outside of the classroom by the way) as a response to the bullying many receive.  Being what and who I am, I cannot support their lifestyle of course, but neither do I support people bullying them.  As such I do support their right to make this particular point.  However, in doing so it does bring to the forefront their lifestyle for everyone to see and discuss during schooltime, so naturally I support the counterpoint that follows on the next school day- the Day of Truth.  The truth being that this lifestyle is dangerous, particularly for males, and it is counter to God’s Word.  As such, some Christians started this day in response, though I understand many schools that support the DoS do not support the DoT even though it is completely run by students and so doesn’t fall under separation of church and state.  This year there were some who promoted a Christian walkout on Friday, but I think this person has a better Christian response:

I propose instead of walking out, that evangelical kids pledge to do better, to do things differently.

Last year, on the Day of Silence, Campus Crusade for Christ Regional Director, Michael Frey and I promoted the idea that students in high school and college take the Golden Rule Pledge (LINK). In response to silent peers advocating for safety and respect, we hope evangelical kids will agree and pledge to treat others the way they want to be treated in return. Over 30 schools took part last year, and we hope this year we can build more bridges instead of walls.

Click this link to go to Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog to read the whole thing.  Anyway, the school I was at supported the DoS in a big way, even giving students packs of notes they could hand to teachers in each class they were in.  I really didn’t do much about it, though as I said I (silently) supported their right to do this, and at the same time I treated it as a small blessing- fewer students talking in class 😛 . Unfortunately Monday I was in an elementary school in supersized district so I have no idea if the Day of Truth meant anything at Friday’s school.

As the basketball turns

An interesting story hit the Christian school news recently about one girls high school team that beat another in basketball 100-0.  No, that’s not a typo.  There has been much drama about it since Christians are of course supposed to reflect Christ and show Christ-like behavior at all times.  The principal of the winning school apparently felt that the team did not in this extremely lopsided victory and made a formal apology to the other school.  Their school after all had a winning team and the other one hadn’t won a game in the last four seasons.  The coach of the team felt the apology was in error and respectfully disagreed with it.  Shortly after, he was fired.  Just from this, it may seem that the coach was in the wrong and should have been fired, but from here it just gets interesting.  The coach had apparently just a few years ago led this school from lopsided losses to their current winning team.  Also, according to the players they did not try their best on purpose: missing shots, not taking some shots, and generally not playing hard once they racked up 25 points.  From their testimony there was really not much more they could have done as the other coach wasn’t giving up and it would be silly for the winning team to just up and call the game just because they were winning so badly.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Read the articles and let me know what you think.

Original article (mistitled- the principal was the apologetic one)

Article about the coach being fired

Testimony from the coach and players

Please vote, too.  Voting is good.  After all, voting is what finally removed our disgrace of a governor tonight:

Should coach Grimes have been fired?

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(Sorry for the misalignment of the question vs. the options.  I don’t know how to fix this, though I did try in the templates section)

Prayer power

Some will undoubtedly write this off as coincidence, but those in Christ know better 🙂 .  There are far, far too many of this type of story out there to be anything but divine intervention.  Just recently, two Christian pilots (in one airplane) in New Zealand ran out of fuel in their plane.  The engine died and they couldn’t see a place to land, so they did what came natural to them being Christians and prayed that somewhere to land would present itself to them just over the ridge in front of them.  They found an actual airstrip just beyond the ridge just then which they hadn’t known about before, and get this- Once they landed they found themselves right next to a 20-foot sign that read, “Jesus is the Lord.”

Here is a link to the original story: Pilots run out of fuel, pray, land near Jesus sign

Other sites

What’s the use of coming here if not to get a look into my life?  Such a look into my life might include some of the websites I visit often, including some message boards. Just click on the title to go there and see what this sub likes to read and do.

Worthyboards: This is a Christian message board. It is part of a larger ministry, but I tend to stay on the message board. I don’t post often being more of a lurker, but if you see any posts by Qun Mang, that’s me. There is a prayer forum there so if you need a lot of people praying for you, sign up and put a post there. There are also some forums you can’t see until you sign up, and one or two you can no longer see once you do!

MAMEWorld.info: This is the message board for MAMEWorld.net, posted in my last retrogaming post. It primarily deals with the arcade game emulator MAME, but people sometimes post about retrogaming in general there. Just do yourselves a favor and walk carefully in the Loony Bin. This part of the site is not safe for work, if you get my meaning. I try to avoid certain posts on this part of the site, but there is much posted here that is actually interesting so that’s why I visit it.

English Amiga Boards: All Amiga, all the time. This board is everything dealing with the Commodore Amiga, a very popular computer in the late 80s/early 90s. That is, popular in Europe, not the U.S. English refers not only to the language, but to where the site is hosted. I had an Amiga 500 back in the days. A certain administrator had an Amiga 3000. You can also visit the main site, abime.net. From there you can find information on just about every Amiga game, read old Amiga magazines, and more.

Internet Movie Database: Most of you regular readers already know of this site. If there is anything to be found about a movie, you can find it here. TV shows as well, but the next site is a little better for it, excepting in some cases the forums. IMDB forums seem to be more popular, however you have to sign up to even read the IMDB forums let alone post in them. I’ve been using this site since before it became a website, when it was a database you downloaded from the internet and read via software you install for it.

TV.com: Same as above except for television shows. Their search engine stinks though. I typed in an exact title once and the search came up empty. I typed in a couple of key words and suddenly the show was found. Here you can read about the characters, the actors, episode guides, news about the shows, forums you don’t need to sign up to read (just to post), and more.

Geek.com and Neowin.net: A couple of sites with computer-related news.

Majorgeeks: Lots of software for Windows computers, including both shareware and freeware. If you need an application, try this site. They also have some news at the end of each daily roundup. They seem to be based in Florida, so a lot of news revolves around that state.

Well, I think that’s enough for today. Maybe I will post some more another time. There are also the sites I mentioned in my previous post, so check them out as well.

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