Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Top Ten of 2005

I find it hard to believe that this is my fourth top ten of a year list to post online. Have I really been blogging that long? Anyway, this has by far been one of the most eventful years I think I have ever experienced, and I think this list reflects that!

10. Online Gaming Return to Castle Wolfenstien touched me deeply. I played this game a ton my junior year of college and all of that was online play. I think since the first week of being married, I begged Abigial for a broadband internet connection so I can play online. Last year for Christmas I got one, and this entire year was spent playing games online! Most of my gaming time this year was eaten up by the following games online: Star Wars Battlefront, Killzone, Timespitters Future Perfect, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, World Poker Championship, and Battlefield 2 Modern Combat.

9. Fall Retreat This is the most major thing I have done with the youth group at Epworth so far, and it went well. With the exception that I got taken out by an 80 lb 6th grader. Her head coliding with my knee sent me to the emergency room. My knee has still not fully healed, it is not something I want to repeat, but it is a memory I will definatly keep!

8. Old Capitol Youth Service The service was near perfect, but the reason why this is on the top ten is because I spoke perfectly. I have mediocre confidence in my public speaking abilities at best, but I know that on that day I hit a grand slam.

7. Cedar Point I am a huge roller Coaster fan. This trip was my first exposure to the youth at Epworth (I technically had not even started working there yet). The trip was fun, but I got to ride some absolutly incredible roller coasters like Millineium Force.

6. Miller/Conrad Wedding I know getting excited and thinking it is so cute when people get married is a girl thing to do, but it is really cool that Joe and Suz finally tied the knot. I really enjoyed going to the wedding and the reception was a great time to catch up with old friends.

5. Casting Crowns Concert This is the second time we have seen them in concert, and this was better than the last. This "concert" was the absolute best church service I have attended all year, and for that reason alone it is on the list.

4. Icthus Now this is the best concert I went to. I took the youth group from Old Capitol for only a day, but it was the right day to go! I got to hear my favorite bands: Thousand Foot Krutch and Pillar. The fact I also got to hear Kutless, Reliant K, and Charlie Hall just makes it better.

3. Midnight Showing of Star Wars It is odd, it felt like a liftime between Episode I and Episode II, but it felt like there was no time at all between Episode II and III. Due to the pre-selling of tickets, I didn't have to wait in line for five hours like I did for Attack of the Clones, but it was still fun. What made this midnight showing even better is I got to enjoy it with Abigail (that and Revenge of the Sith is the best Star Wars movie since 1980)

2. Moving Moving is always a major life event, and it was for Abigail and I. The month of June contained so many crazy emotions, and it ultimantly ended with getting hired at a new church and preparing to move. Looking back now, six months after the fact I notice that I freaked out a bit to much, God's faithfulness is amazing, and as Abigail insistantly told me, it all worked out.

1. Scotland I have a feeling that our vacation to Scotland is going to be one of those timeless memories that I will always hold dear, and that if at the end of my life I were to make a top ten life events, this would be on it. Seriously, I think that each day of those ten days could have there own top ten list. I loved every minute of it and would not trade those ten days for anything.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

December 24th. . .

It is the day of Christmas eve. At one point in my life this was the absolute longest day of the year. Seriously, it crawled! My brother and I would create elaborate schemes to find ways to pass the time on this day (personal favorites stay in bed all day and spend the whole day drawing comic books. I think the only one that worked in passing the time was playing Mario Kart all day). Now, it is 11am and I am trying to figure out where the time went! So tonight I am in charge of the family service at church. Yep, completely in charge. I planned the entire service (with some help), and making sure it works is all on my shoulders. I am a tad nervous. After that we are driving down to Washington (and hopefully the weather cooperates). So Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Great Video

on the subject of sweet, sweet revenge

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Video Game Double Post!

Because Abigail does not like it I rarely post about video games here (which is why this other blog exist). However, I feel like sharing my latest two post from that other blog with all of you, so here it is.

1. Mr. Johnson Goes to Washington
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Well not really, but I did notice that Hillary Clinton's Family Entertainment Protection Act is gaining support, and it now has as one of the sponsors, the senator from my state, Evan Bayh. Now I know as soon as gamers hear about any law that limits video games in anyway they scream cenesorship (especially if they are under 17). I tried to look up the actual bill, but since it has not yet been submitted, the text is not available online. So here are my thoughts on the summaries posted on Senator Clinton's website.

1. Prohibition on Selling Mature and Adults Only video games to minors
I don't have an issue with this. Most major retails stores by policy don't do this anymore anyway. The question I have is, it a law not to sell rated R movies to minors? Because if that is already an enforable law then it is only fair that video games be under the same scrutiny. However, if not selling rated R movies to minors is based on the honor system like video games currently are, then that is not fair and the bill should be tossed or ammended to include all forms of entertainment not just video games.

2. Annual Analysis of the Ratings System
This part says there will be an annual assessment of the ESRB as to if it is working properly or not. The ESRB has done a fine job. This is overkill and an waste of taxpayer money

3. Authority for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to Investigate Misleading Ratings This is not a bad thing, in my opinon. All objetive boards like the ESRB need oversight, and if the FTC is granted this oversight that is good enough, further making an annual analysis even more unecessary.

4. Authority to Register Complaints
This is the major sticking point that I do not like. This section of the bill allows consumers to file official complaints if they find the ratings to be deceptive. The problem is a lot of parents have proven to be less than competent in buying video games, and don't even look at ratings, and then complain when they see the game being played (like the grandmother in Flordia who sued over GTA: San Andreas). If the FTC handled these complaints fairly, then it would be ok. However, based on the fallout over the Hot Coffee thing, I have a feeling the ESRB and the video game industry will get the short end of the stick.

5. Annual Retailer Audit
This will use mystery shoppers to determine if retailers are for sure not selling to minors. This is a good idea, and will ensure the first part of the bill gets adequetly enforced.

For those who are under 17 who regulary read this blog, I will, at the risk of angering you, say that I am mostly in favor of this bill. Like I said the only problems I have with the bill is the fact it allows video game ignorant parents to blindly buy a game and then officially complain about the content, and if similar laws are not already in place for the movie industry then it does not treat video games fairly. I don't like some of it but basically all this bill does is legalize what should already be the case. Minors should not be allowed to buy rated M games. Yes I am well aware that some 14 or 16 year olds are emotionally and socially mature enough to play rated M games, but that is a decision the parents should make. If the parents are ok with it, then they can buy the game for the minor, no big deal. Of course that is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Top 5 PS2 Games I am Looking Forward to Getting in 2006

Image hosted by 5. Snoopy vs. the Red Baron The premise of this game sounds so cool. If it has any kind of decent gameplay, it could be the next Lego Star Wars (ultra cute + fun gameplay=success!) Sadly the screenshots have yet to show flying doghouses.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com4. History Channel: Battle of Bull Run
This PC game is being ported over to consoles, and it has so much going for it. First it is a battle strategy game (something consoles despertly lack). Second, it is historically acurate. Finally, for the PC it was a budget price game so hopefully it will be the same for the consoles.

Image hosted by 3. Greg Hasting's Paintball Tournament Max'd.
I am a fan of all things FPS. I also think paintball is really fun. A paintball FPS sounds fun to me, as it would present a new style of gameplay. To top it off the game has got decent reviews and has a map maker!

Image hosted by 2. Battlestations: Midway
My favorite games are Battlefield 2 and the Battlefronts. I like the big war game feel, and this takes that nautical. Instead of commanding an individual grunt, the player is in control of vehicles from bombers to entire battleships. There is also a strategic general part where the player gets to posistion their units and set attack patterns. Sounds like a game made for me!

Image hosted by 1. Black
This is by far my my most anticipated game. The screenshots all look incredible. I love the idea of every bullet counting. I know in multiple interviews that they want Black to do for Shooting games what Burnout 3 did for racing games. If they even get close, I am so there.

So what games are you looking forward to in 2006?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It must be cold outside

I have several reasons to deduce this fact:

1. The ground is still white. In fact it has been white for just about a week. There is suppose to be a down pour of freezing rain tonight, so that might melt it just so the roads can turn into a big skating rink.

2. This past weekend I watched one of the huge holiday blockbusters. Since King Kong was not out yet last weekend I can only be referring to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe . The word excellent best describes this movie. It is a near perfect adaptation of the book, with an epic scale. All of the reviews that refer to it as LotR light, our full of it.

3. Our house is being invaded by little furry creatures trying to avoid the artic temperatures. I have had to dispose of two dead mice in a 24 hour period. Evidence suggest, I will be doing so again in less than a day or two.

4. Due to a mistake on Abigail's part, I got an early Christmas present:
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It contains highly popular soda flavors like Turkey and Gravy, Brussel Sprouts, Wild Herb stuffing Pumpkin Pie, and Cranberries. I have already had the cranberry one and it was good stuff. I am looking forward to drinking turkey :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blog Dump

Gosh darn it, I went a week again without an update, sorry about that. So since last week I have seen three movies on the big screen, two were on Saturday at a $1.75 theater. A History of Violence, is not so good. However, watching Serenity a second time=awesome! I can't believe that it comes out on DVD in less than a month (Dec. 20th) . On Tuesday I got dragged to see Rent. Bloody Awful. That is all I got to say about it. It takes a simple point, that their opening song makes and then painfully spreads it out over 2 1/2 hours with pointless song after pointless song. It easily earned a spot in my own personal Top 5 worst movies. In case you are curious here is the list.
1. Mulan Rouge
2. Titantic
3. Pocohontas
4. Sideways
5. Rent

On Wednesday I got the rare opportunity to play Axis and Allies. My brother and three of his friends wanted to play Risk, but he talked them into Axis and Allies instead. I was the only one who had really played before and they insisted on blind draw, so I was playing Russia. The person playing Germany did not attack Russia on the first or second turn like he really needs to to win, so I had to act and steam rolled over them, Though the guy playing Britian managed a costal landing in France at the same time, so Germany fell fast. The guy playing Japan decided to take on U.S. instead of back dooring Russia, and forfeited after Germany fell, he was blockaded by the United States, five British bombers were in striking distance, and I had 20 units in manchuria waiting for transports to cross over. Thursday we got seven inches of snow. That is a lot of snow, in fact it caused Abigail to have a snow day. Her school system's first in three years. Today there is a youth fundraiser of going around and doing work for people, and afterwards the group is going to see the Chronicles of Narnia.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Best. Comercial. Ever.

Holy freaking crap! This is so wrong but so funny! Check out this Gameboy comercial

Friday, December 02, 2005

Seriously best live band ever!

Over a year ago I posted about an awesome Casting Crowns concert Abigail and I went to. Well, we did it again. We drove up to Fort Wayne yesterday and saw them again. Last year we saw them in a church with maybe a 1,000 people. This year it was in a huge room that had close to 10,000 people, and they were a headlining touring band. Despite all of the rock star cred they had built up in the past year, they were still as down to earth and authentic as the last time we saw them. Just like before, the band intentionally doesn't treat it like a concert but as a church service and it really comes across as such. Seriously last night was really close to one of the best church services I have ever attended. All three hours of it! After the concert ended we had a free hotel night to use, so we did so. This morning, Abigail, of course had to hit up the mall. While there, I took advantage of a deal a store had and got this game to use for church purposes (between Wyldlife, Confirmation, and Jr. High Sunday School I will get my money out of it):

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And yes, the quality of the cover art really does say it all, but the game does have it's purposes and uses. By the way, this game carries something very Important:
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