December 31, 2010

Ringing In The New Year Right. 2011 Here I Come.

I saw True Grit tonight and loved it, enjoyed 2 bean burritos from Taco Tree (the best), and now I'm putting my kids and myself to bed. Happy New Year all. 2011 will be the year to least as well as you remember 2001 or 1991. Actually, 1991 was when I started high school, if I did my math right. And 2001 is when I moved back to NorCal from a year of life lived in The OC. I was going to write some resolutions, but instead I'm going to watch a Dog the Bounty Hunter and go to sleep.

December 30, 2010

A Sort Of, "Apple Redemption" Story

I went to a different Apple Store today from my normal one, based originally on a co-worker's daughter being an Apple Genius employee.  After finally getting my appointment scheduled (see previous post), I arrived to find it was the Genius daughter's lunch hour.  Disappointed and feeling like I was going to have a similar experience to my last Roseville store visit, I proceeded with my appointment to find myself in the very capable hands of another Apple Genius.

Blah, blah, blah, my sob story, and some heavy research into a serial number issue by the Genius, the employee and manager decided to help me out with my issues.  Because they chose to listen to me and believe my story, they were able to confirm why I was frustrated and replace my phone.  Sure, it's still a 3G model, but I didn't pay a dime for the replacement.

Thanks Apple, for having some great employees in the Arden Mall Apple Store today.

Apple Store App Is Another Reason...

...I'm so sick of Apple. I just want to make a Genius reservation and this is what I get? Come on. And forget about trying to do it on Apple's website. That is one of the worst site to navigate on an iPhone.

Top Gear USA On The History Channel...and A Rant About Internet Video Availability

First, let me tell the History Channel people that they need to free up some of the video on their site.  I wanted to embed a video of an awesome, hilarious, and super entertaining scene from an episode, but they didn't allow the video to be embedded.  Why not have some of the scenes or episodes available for embedding?  I'd be free advertisement.  Check out a small portion of the episode here.

Anyway, the episode (#3) I just watched using my DVR so I could skip commercials, earning The History Channel $0.00, had a bootlegger challenge with the hosts.  The 3 hosts each had to buy a car for $1,000 (I think) and run moonshine through a set of challenges that were designed to mimic the challenges the original moonshiners faced.  This episode was really funny and amazing to watch.

I actually want to support the show.  I want the morons at the History Channel to realize they hurt themselves by not having web content of their shows.  Embedding and allowing a site like Hulu to stream episodes is a great way to continue to make money off of the show.  AND, web content makes me watch at least one commercial every break.  You can also set up embedded codes that first play a commercial before playing the clip.  This seems like a no brainer to me.

This is actually about to start a rant on how all the major networks keep pulling away from the Internet, streaming, embedding codes, and even the Google TV idea.  Why?  This doesn't seem like its a good business idea.  A site like Hulu forces the viewers to watch commercials.  Currently, I use a DVR to watch TV.  I never watch live TV because I refuse to watch commercials.  The Internet figured out a way to make me watch them again.  But, it's done in a bearable way.  The streaming sites make you watch one commercial at the beginning, which matches the other ads on the site.  Then for longer shows or videos, they add just one commercial per break.  It's short and sweet, and I do watch them.  Currently, the sites Funny or Die and Fail Blog are playing commercials for the Duramax Diesel engine and the Allison transmission that are in the Chevy Silverado.  SEE History Channel?  That's from embedded videos and streaming content.  See that major networks?  That sponsor got their money's worth.  If the Internet was utilized, advertisers would see the rewards from views.  This would drive the cost of Internet advertising up and the networks could charge more for this type of ad, MAKING THEM MORE MONEY.  Instead, every network thinks they can do it better than the next.  No one is seeing the benefit of using a site like Hulu to be the go to Internet place for video.  And don't get me started on Netflix.

Well, there's my spontaneous rant.  I really just wanted to tell my readers to watch Top Gear USA.  It's actually pretty good, even if the hosts are all really cheesy.  Night!

December 29, 2010

Just Because You Have A Sports Car Doesn't Mean You Know How To Drive It

Watch all these idiots trying to drive their expensive sports cars on a nice winding road.  I think the smog of Southern California is getting to these drivers.

Lesson 1: "high, low, high" doesn't mean use the other guys lane for "low" and the shoulder for "high".

The Body Is For The Lord

Well, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 is an awkward topic because sexual immorality is so prevalent in our society.  I'm sure it's similar to the time of the church of Corith.  Today we have gay rights, porn ruling the Internet, and everyone having sex with anyone at any time.  We've made sex just an okay thing that anyone can do with anyone else.  Sex is not saved for marriage anymore.  I've even heard people say you have to have sex with someone before you marry them to make sure you are "compatible".

"The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."  Sex joins two people together. "The two will become one flesh."  This is a real thing too.  I hate how people today have sex with anyone and everyone, and pretend that it was "just sex".  There is a connection that sex creates.  The only thing that I can agree with is, the amount of sex people are having with others numbs the connection to each other that sex causes.  Think about why people need each other.  There is a feeling of completeness for a moment.  But this is a perversion of what the body is meant for.  The body is not meant for sexual immorality.  The body is meant for the Lord.  We are called the bride of Christ.  We are meant to have that connection with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  He is the head of the church and we are the body.

Just a last minute thought, if the body was made for the type of sex people are having today, do you think there would be so many sexually transmitted diseases?  If we were meant to have sex with anyone and everyone, there wouldn't be so many dangers from having sex in this manner.  There isn't a sexually transmitted disease caused by one man and one woman having sex with each other only.

We are here for a short time.  We have lusts of the flesh that lead us to sexual immorality, but for our time here we need to fight against those urges.  If we can focus on God, and not ourselves, we will be better equipped to fight the temptations of the flesh.  It's not easy, but it's required of us.  If we can place our focus on things above, not on things of this earth, we will succeed.  Colossians 3 talks about putting on the new self and verse 2 tells us, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."  These instructions will help us put to death our sinful nature and live as those called to be children of God.

December 28, 2010

Remember, "Who Cares" Is the Slogan For Earthly Troubles

1 Corinthians 6:1-11 asks believers the question, "When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?" This talks to the problems Christians have with each other. I've seen my share of Christians having issues with each other. I've been involved in church splits, pastoral resignations, and more. Almost always, someone's opinion is chosen over another's, feelings are hurt, people retaliate, and sin occurs. Instead, we should deal with this as fellow believers. Now, I will say, this passage is talking more to the fact of legal wrongs being done, because they are taking things to the local law instead of the church, but I think the application of how to handle a wrong done against you, either actual or perceived, by another Christian should be handled in a manner that pleases God.

Verse 7 asks rather than sue, "Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?" We all wrong and defraud people. Suck it up for your short time here on earth. We have so much more coming ahead that we should be focused and excited for that. We will inherit the Kingdom of God. Sinners won't inherit heaven, unless they are "washed...sanctified...and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." Just like the old saying, "like water off a ducks back" we need to let go of the troubles of this world. Try to say, "Who cares." in trials and tough times, or when you don't agree with something that wrongs you here on earth. Who cares about getting cut-off on the freeway (I say with my hand raised). Who cares that the government and some of the banking industry giants messed up our finances and housing. Who cares that I'm over looked for this or that. Who cares that the music guy wears skinny jeans. Who cares that this person or that doesn't see things the way you do. Who cares. Work on loving others. Work on showing GRACE. Work on glorifying God forever and in all things that you do.

Praise be to God, who is patient and working all things for His glory. Praise Him for the grace that He gives us. Praise Him for the gift of Jesus, who paid the price we never could so we can be saved from these sins that rule our lives here. What a wonderful perfect plan. How great is God, that we can call Him Father, Savior, and Lord. And if he is these things to you, you are saved from death and eternal sorrow. I think for 2011, I will work to make Him Lord.

Blog Notes and Updates

Once again, it's been a while since I've updated my devotional blog. I've even had a vacation during my hiatus from blogging here. What's sad is this is really a record of how often I'm reading my Bible outside of the church setting. (Speaking of church, you should really listen to Lance's message from Christmas. It's amazing what he did with the Christmas story. I've heard the story at least 34 times, and this message really spoke to me and caused me to want to work harder this coming year at becoming a witness to those I work with.)

Another blog note before I get back to my study: I updated this blog to work better on a mobile device. Just go to from a mobile device, and the site will recognize that you are on such a device and format the site accordingly. It loads a little faster and is easier to navigate. Also, I'm going to start tweeting when I update my blog. For those of you seeing this blog for the first time because of my tweets, I don't put a lot of time into the editing and formatting of the blog, so you may see lots of spelling and/or grammatical errors. Really this blog is for me to track what I've read as I go through books of the Bible. I try to work through a book in order, so I don't take things out of context, but feel free to comment or correct anything you don't agree with in my entries. Anything you can add will help sharpen me as I study God's word.

December 27, 2010

This Century's One-Man-Band

First, let me say I'm getting so jealous of all these musically talented people combining technology and music to make amazing videos like this one.

So, this is similar to laying down tracks on top of tracks, or recording one line then another and another and layering them to create the complete song.  I used to do this with two tape decks (that's the last time I understood technology enough to do something with layering my own voice like this).  The difference here is the professional quality of the sounds and the way the video is edited together to make the whole song come together.  Here's another song.

This seems a lot like Pomplamoose's music, but this is a one-man-band and it's a capella (no instruments).

December 25, 2010

December 18, 2010

Bad Parents and Bad Drivers Unite

I almost didn't post this video because it made me angry when I saw it.  I'm only posting it to show, like Autoblog said, "Bad parenting and bad driving know no bounds".  People like this should lose their license....and more imporantly, their kids.

My Test Drive Of The 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI

There was a point in my blogging when I thought I'd do more reporting on cars and my own opinions and impressions; including test drives, looking at statistics and specs, and being more honest about a vehicle then the sponsored car magazines and blogs.  Then I realized, I don't have time, money, or that much talent.  I have to hold down a real job, love on my family, and live a real life away from the computer.  Plus, if the manufacturers are giving you a vehicle to test drive, it's not a quick loop around the AutoMall.  When you have the vehicle for a few days, as part of your daily routine and job functions, you can really get into the handling and drive of the vehicle and write a really great (although sometimes wordy) review.

Well yesterday, after a Costco visit that went horribly wrong, where our Christmas Eve tri-tip was paid for but never made it home, I went to the AutoMall after retrieving a new set of tri-tips (I say "set" because it's Costco and you can't just buy one of anything).  I was originally going to check out the new 2011 Ford Explorer, as we are in the market for a bigger, more practical, family vehicle, but on my way around the AutoMall loop, I thought about the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sale (a genius marketing idea by VW) and decided to stop at the VW dealer.  And, while my intention was to check out the Jetta, the salesman asked enough questions to realize if I was actually in the market to buy a VW, it'd be a fuel efficient commuter for myself.  He asked if I'd heard about TDI, Volkswagen's clean diesel engines. Of course I had, but I had never driven one.

The 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
This was the Golf TDI on the lot for me.  This was the only 4-door TDI on the lot, in white, with a manual transmission, and well equipped.  It had a sunroof (I don't need), fog lamps (cool), and a rear spoiler (sweet).  It had the European style turn signals on the side mirrors and a cool feature where it gives the driver 3 blinks of the signal if a tap to the signal switch is made, rather than a full push into the on position.  It had Bluetooth that worked with my iPhone for calling, and more importantly it integrated with the iPod features.  That was great, an they still make a really great sounding stereo.  I could play music right through the car stereo, without wires or any additional configuration beyond syncing with Bluetooth.

The Drive
We took it for a spin.  Because I understand diesel is more about compression than lighting the fuel on fire, I expected it to be a little slower to respond. was and wasn't.  The initial provision of fuel at take-off seemed to be an issue for me.  I stalled it twice in a row.  It seemed like I had to really stomp on the gas pedal to get enough diesel into the engine for take-off.  BUT, once I figured out the take-off (and I do drive a manual transmission every day so I know what I'm doing) the car got up and moved.  I loved the quickness of this car.  We were able to take it onto the freeway and I got up to speed with ease.  I did miss the instant "push you back into your seat" feeling my 1999 VW Golf 2.0 gasoline engine still provides, but I believe that's the diesel way.  I'm not saying it wasn't quick, there just wasn't the instant push.  I think it would still beat my '99 in any type of race.

The Numbers
I'm averaging between 25 and 28 MPG in my '99, which according to it's sticker is supposed to get 24 and 31 MPG.  This car boasts of 30 city and 42 highway.  That's great, but with an MSRP of $23,435 this car is over-priced. With the basic 4-door starting at $19,685 and an MPG of 23 city and 33 highway, the TDI 4-door bumps the vehicle up $3,750.  That's huge.  It would take over 9.5 years to make back that difference.  Not such a money saver when you figure that out.  Not to mention, my wife's Nissan Altima is a bigger car, handles great, has some added features over the base Golf, with similar MPG (23 and 32), and priced almost the same as the base 4-door.  If you are looking for a car that will fit the kids too, go Altima for the price.

The Verdict
Would I buy one if I had the money?  I think not.  For the price of $23,435, I'd look at a GTI or wait for the Type R that is coming.  Although the Diesel has been an interesting idea to me, the fuel savings does not afford the sticker increase.  It was a nice drive, but the instant push of a gasoline out weighs the fuel savings in the end.  Sure, my '99 is 11.5 years old, meaning I'd be into the money savings period now with the TDI, but the 9.5 years of less "get up and go" a TDI would provide would make me regret the decision.

One last thing about Volkswagen: I love them and their vehicles.  They look great, drive amazingly, get great mileage, and have some nice extras.  But they are all over-priced. I mean, they are consistently several thousand dollars over their class equals.  The 2011 Jetta is a trend towards fixing that pricing gap, but Volkswagen started as the people's car, affordable and simple.  I think they need to work harder towards returning to those roots.  Like I said, the 2011 Jetta is a start towards the pricing correction, but the rest of the brand needs to make similar moves.

December 12, 2010

"Crazy" on Guitar

All I can say about this guy's ability to play the guitar is, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?"

Seriously, this is some of the best guitar playing I've ever heard.  I'm so impressed.  And what's with me and this song?  Honestly, I love this song.  I posted back in April 2007 a video of Nelly Furtado and Charlotte Church singing this song together that was awesome too.

December 9, 2010

Can I Save Enough by 2012 For This VW Golf R?

I've talked about my love for Volkwagen in the past, so this news is not really unexpected for me to post.  But today, Autoblog posted that VW is going to bring the Golf R to the USA in 2012.  With somewhere around 270hp (155 more than my 1999), this VW would be an amazing upgrade for me.
 The interior is awesome too.
And, just in case Volkswagen is listening, my 1999 Golf is still going strong and I love it.  If say, VW was thinking about a cool PR deal with a no name consumer, where they wanted to give away one of these beauties to a huge fan, I'm ready for a new car.  Here's my baby:
I'm now at over 191,000 miles and still going strong.  I get great gas mileage and have an awesome amount of power and handling.  This is an older car, but I still really love to drive it.

If you want more info on the 2012 VW Golf R, check our Autoblog and their gallery.

December 4, 2010

Star Wars: The Old Republic

MMO stands for Massively-Multiplayer Online Game. Games like World of Warcraft are very popular with nerds around the world.  I recently heard about Star Wars: The Old Republic.
This is an interesting and large game.  The website for the game has classes on all sorts of aspects of the game play.  It's a little overwhelming.  Here is a trailer on the game.

I've had an idea for a while about an MMO that was based on normal life.  It would allow people to play roles in the game that they may fantasize about in real life; things like stealing cars, being a cop and chasing bad guys, owning a club, becoming mayor, etc.

Check out more about the game at

More About The Audi Quattro

More about the Audi Quattro Concept is coming out.  Here's a video with the 1980 Quattro.  This would be the 30th anniversary of the Quattro.

Also, Audi's PR chief let Car and Driver take it for a spin is Southern California. Read more here.

December 3, 2010

A Little Leaven Leavens The Whole Lump

1 Corinthians 5:6-13. "A little leaven leavens the whole lump." We are called to share Christ with the world, so we are going to be around sin and sinners. But when that sin is committed by someone who calls themselves a Christian, and they are unrepentant of that sin, Paul says not to associate with them. Leaven leavens the whole lump just like association with a believer who is unrepentant of sin will corrupt others, or appear to do so. The church at Corinth was proud of their acceptance of sinners. Paul tells them not to boast because it's not good. I think they were boastful in their acceptance of sin, instead of sinners. We are called to share God's grace with sinners so they might turn from their sin to God. Corinth understood God's grace incorrectly. Just because we are saved by grace, doesn't mean sin is okay. They were accepting of people's sin, and this was not at all what grace meant. We are still called to judge the actions of believers. There is still a responsibility to live holy lives as believers. Sin is still wrong.

Life seems to get harder and harder. Sin seems to be more and more tempting. I think the early church had the same problems, only they didn't have the whole Bible to study and be encouraged by. We all need fellow believers to come along side us and encourage us too. But, if those believers are living in sin, how can they be encouraging to us? We need to be blameless for the sake of our brothers, just as we need to find ourselves surrounded by believers who are blameless and who can guide us and help us.

November 26, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Cats?

Well, it's the day after Thanksgiving, and we take this day to put up the tree and decorate for Christmas.  We laugh every year when we pull these cats out of the Christmas boxes and give them a squeeze.

Also, notice the Starbucks ornament over the black and white cat's head.  I am a Gold Card member so...seriously, you should register a Starbucks Card.  I get free coffees, free refills, free syrups, free, free, free.

November 24, 2010

System Of A Down...Classed Up

I've always liked this song. My old roommate and I would play FPS video games while listening to System Of A Down and other hard rock. I mean, what better music is there for killing bots and noobs? Anyway, I don't know what this girl is wearing, but I do know she makes Chop Suey! sound really good. It's a powerful classical type sound. Maybe the artfulness is the real reason for the songs success.

Star Trek Home Environment Controls

I want one of these. I want all the Starship Enterprise Technology for my home.

I posted a similar type video in May of 2008, but this one is clearer and more detailed.

November 23, 2010

Hyundai and Pomplamoose

In October 2009 I discovered Pomplamoose.  I fell in love with their style of making music and something they call VideoSongs.  Fast forward to today, and these two are now making commercials Hyundai.

It's exciting to see someone so talented be successful. Great job guys. Also, what I treat for me. They combined two three of my passions into one video; automotive, music, and Pomplamoose.  Check out my other posts about them here.  And check out Pomplamoose on YouTube.

Special thanks to TechyTed for sending me the video link.

November 21, 2010

Autoblog Takes Away My Thunder...VW Microbus

I started writing this post yesterday, but I was on kid duty and ran out of time to finish it.  Then today I see that Autoblog tweeted about VW's design chief saying a new Microbus is in the cards.  While that announcement is SOOOO exciting, it takes away my thunder.  But, I'm still posting this because I know my loyal fans need something new to read, as my blog has been lacking entries for a few weeks now.

Why don't I know how to use Photoshop? I need to know how to use it. I have so many ideas (I think are great) for vehicle revisions. Take Volkswagen for example. They created the Microbus in the 1950's. Now, they've moved to a modified Dodge Caravan, completely losing their focus on European design and ingenuity. Why? Because they think Americans want more crap? I don't know. But Dodge was sure not the way I would have gone. Look at the original Microbus or "Bus" as so many people call them.
This is a totally cool looking van. If it was modernized, like the Beetle (or "Bug") was, the Microbus could take a whole segment of vehicles retro and make the "minivan mom's" seem cool again. Nissan and Toyota redesigned their vans, but VW has the retro game down.  And, because VW has the nostalgia of the Bus, they could get away with some really cool things.  A few years back, they did come out with a Microbus concept, but it didn't take off for a few reasons.
First, VW did not do a great job with the headlights.  The original are round, not thin slices.  I'm not sure I would want the same style as the original, but something that is reminiscent of the old style would work better.  Here is why the round doesn't work:
Second, although pushing the wheels out to the edges is one of the things I love about VW's, this concept pushed the wheels beyond the outer edge to where they had to design fenders that popped out too far too.  Also, the rear wheels seem to be falling off the back of the van.

I do love that it is really close to the same shape as the original.  I love that there are vents in similar places to the original.  I love that inside it has some of the things the Bus is famous for, tables, movable chairs, etc.
I'm not sure about safety issues or why the engine can't be in the rear, except for the fact that this would never be built as a rear wheel drive vehicle, but it would be awesome if they built it that way.  If they did this, they could  push the driver forward even more, giving that "no nose" front end to the van.  Again, safety standards today may require a crumple zone in front to provide protection for the driver and front passenger, but I just wanted to mention it.  In reality, this is going to be a front or all wheel drive vehicle and the engine placement would work better in the front.

VW did have the Vanagon and the Eurovan, which were both pretty unsuccessful here in the USA, but they are more true to VW style than the current Routan, which is based on the Dodge Caravan.  The Vanagon and Eurovan were more boxy than rounded like the Microbus, but they had some of the VW interior queues that made these vans really practical.  This van still exists (not here in the USA) and its latest form is shown in these two pictures (silver is standard, black is customized).  I actually like these as a starting point for the new Microbus.

Finally, I'm not going to hold my breath for the new Microbus.  I've talked about it before and it hasn't happened yet.  I think the concept came out in 2001.  And now, here we are 10 years later and we have a Dodge Caravan to show for it.  Yuck!  So here's my standard letter to the company, as though they read my blog:

Dear Volkswagen,

First let me say, I learned to drive on a 1976 Diesel Rabbit,  I purchased a 1999 VW "New Golf" as my first new car purchase, and I'm now wishing I could replace my '99 (which is over 190K miles) with a 2011 Golf.  I love your company.  I believe you know how to make vehicles that are fun to drive.  I believe you know retro.  I think that American's love retro too.  The Beetle was a success, and other companies have had huge success with retro designs as well (Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro).

It's time for a Microbus, one for those of us who need the capabilities of a van without all the ugly minivan stereotypes.  The VW Microbus could be that answer.  Take design queues from the old Microbus with modern family traits from today's T5 model.  Make us a retro style Microbus that no one will consider "just another minivan."

Do it right VW.  Do it well.  Make me proud to be a fan, a family man, and a future Microbus owner. 


Jimmy the Gun

November 16, 2010

Delivered Over To Satan So The Spirit May Be Saved?

The memorial service for Doug Healing was amazing. He was a true example of what a Christian should live like. People got up and spoke about Doug from all aspects and times in his life, and the consistent message was that he was a godly man. Through this whole thing, I've really had to take a look at my life and I've realized there is nobody that can say the types of things about me that were said about Doug. There aren't people from work that would come and say I loved the Lord and I was always sharing my faith. I don't even know if there are people that would come say the standard, "he's a good guy."

I need a drastic turn around in my life. I need to live like I'm required. I need to glorify God and make that my chief priority. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 talk about a sinner in the church needing to be removed. Paul pronounces judgement on this person and tells the church they are to "deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh". Yikes. They do this "so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord." I do not want to be separated from the church. I definitely don't want to be delivered over to Satan, but I'm a reached sinner living in arrogance and sin, instead of working to glorifying God with my life.

We all need to take a look at how short life can be and what our example is here. Right now, I've done the kingdom of God no good. I've failed to witness to the people I work with. I'm a Sunday morning Christian. I really don't know what the fix is either. I don't know how to recover and change at work. It's going to be a slow process of changing people's opinions with the way I act and speak. Prayer and continued study are all I have. I have no strength on my own.

November 6, 2010

Google's Law Enforcement Tool Opportunity

Have you heard about Google's self-driving car? If you read my blog on a regular basis, you would have seen the article I posted here. But, as a refresher, Google has a Toyota Prius that uses cameras, lasers, and radio frequencies to control the vehicle, allowing computers to do the driving.

Now, my genius brain has come up with something Google can do to make this system useful right now and get some major beta testing free of charge. Google could offer law enforcement agencies across the nation the use of this system in patrol cars. First, this would allow officers to use their MDC or Mobile Data (or Digital) Computer, without the worry of crashing into someone or something. It would make it easier for an officer to read the details of an incoming call, the records checks on persons or vehicles of interest, and even allow the officers to write notes or reports while still moving through their designated beats. Second, Google could also offer their excellent maps services to help officers locate the exact location of a call, and the fastest routes to them.  And finally, law enforcement officers are already the cream of the crop in our society.  They write reports all day long, they are very observant, and they love to be "in the know" about everything.  They would prove to be an excellent resource for feedback on the system, they would test it to its limits, and would be honest about its performance.

I do realize there are some old guys in every department that are any technology.  I also know there are guys that are too busy, too active, or too tough for the system.  I get that.  But, every department has the middle of the road officers too.  These guys do their job, go to calls and do some proactive police work.  They are decent report writers.  And these are the guys that are looking for tools to help them in their performance.  These are the guys that should get the test cars.  It would only take 1% of the police force for Google to get a great sampling of its software's performance.

Anyway, that's my idea.  Let's do this Google.  I'll get you into at least one department where I have connections.  Call me.  I mean, I do have a Google Voice line.

November 5, 2010

Doug Went Home for Eternity

Although many people prayed for healing, God decided he wanted to bring Doug home to Himself. If we can think about it from Doug's perspective, he is in total peace with God. God decided it was time for Doug to enjoy Him in His presence, and that is so great for Doug. I feel sadness for the family. I really hurt for Josh, who was with his dad when the accident happened. Obviously, the whole family is hurting, but as a son myself, I would not want to be with my dad when a life ending accident happened to him.

Continue to pray for the Healing family. Pray for peace for them. Pray for provision for Betsy. Pray for the comfort that comes from knowing God.

November 3, 2010

We Never Know When Death or Christ Will Come

I just looked at my last post and I noticed I mentioned our time here on earth is short. We really don't know when and how we are going to die or if Christ is going to return. Monday evening, my dad received a call about a close family friend falling off a his roof. He apparently broke is neck and ribs. At this point, we are not sure he is going to make it.

I know that I often think to myself I'm going to get my life right with God later or I'll be able to be a good witness next time. But the truth is, we don't know how much time "later" we have. We don't know if there is going to be a "next time". God could decide to take us home at any minute. We need to be living our lives correctly, properly worshiping God and glorifying Him with all aspects of our lives, right now.

I really wanted to write this to request that you pray today for a miracle for Doug Healing (his actual last name). He would need major healing from all the injuries. He is probably paralyzed from the neck down. They're not sure about proper brain function at this point. God can do miracles if He desires. My pastor talked about death a few weeks ago and reminded us that the death of a Christian is awesome for that person. They get to be with God. And, although we miss them and wish they were still here with us, the truth really is, they don't want to come back. Once they are in the presence of the Almighty Creator, they are pain free, worry free, in perfect peace and joy. Please pray for comfort for the family. Pray that God is glorified through this tragic accident.

November 1, 2010

Rebuked Out of Love

Paul really does rebuke the church at Corinth a lot. But he loves the church and in 1 Corinthians 4:14-20 he reminds them that he writes to them in this manner not to make them ashamed, "but to admonish (them) as (his) beloved children." He refers to himself as their father in Christ Jesus. He also rebukes those that are arrogant and think they can get away with poor leadership and direction because Paul isn't going to come back. But Paul tells them he will come back if it's God's will. He also sent Timothy there to help the church and to report back to Paul. He tells them he will find out the power of these people and deal with that, not just what they are saying, because the kingdom of God consists of power. And Paul's final warning in this section is that when he returns he can come back ready to punish or to love in gentleness, and it's up to the people of the church.

Seriously, we have a short time here on earth. How can we make it right and good? How can we find joy and satisfaction in worshiping God with our lives and our actions? What do we need to do to avoid sin and run away from temptations? How do we clear our minds of things of this world and focus them on the things of God? Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."

October 28, 2010

The Apostles Had It Rough

I'm glad I'm not an apostle...OH NO. Did I say that out loud? The truth is we are all called to live sacrificially and humbly like the apostles. We are called to live sold out for Christ and to spread the word of God like they did. We are called to be lights is the dark world. But it's too hard for most of us. I know it's too hard for me.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13 is where Paul paints a small picture of the sacrifices he made living for Christ. "To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, as we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered we entreat. We have become, and are still,like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things."

As I break it down point by point, I look at my own life in comparison and find that I'm never hungry or thirsty, i have nice clothes, no one ever beats me up, and I have a nice warm place to live and sleep. My job can be stressful, but nothing like hard manual labor. Also, during Paul's day, Greeks and some in the church at Corinth thought of manual labor for slaves. On top of that, Paul was trying to preach to the world about Christ. I come home at night and relax like a lazy, tired, fool. When reviled, persecuted, or slandered I attack, defend, and return fire on my accuser. I'm pretty good and striking back with force and a great deal of harm. Unfortunately, as I type that there's a level of pride in that. CRAP! Speaking of that word...Paul finishes this section by calling himself "the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." He calls himself the crap or garbage or trash of the world, knowing that's how he is looked at by society and both Jews and gentiles.

So, back to the beginning...I'm glad I'm not an apostle, but we don't face the kind of persecution Paul did. The United States is so politically correct that no one is even allowed to persecute anyone else. But we are not out there preaching and living the way Paul did either. We don't have the passion of Paul, the zeal of the apostles. We are more like the Corinthians, who thought of themselves as kings. It's time to live as Paul.

October 25, 2010

Gaga's Bad Metal Romance?

First of all, the guy in this video is a nerdy old school rocker.  I think I went to HS with someone exactly like him.  But, this is really awesome, and I like Lady Gaga's music.

Makes me want to run or get something to eat.  Heehee.  That's an inside joke.

Also, does he remind anyone of Aaron Copeland?  Again, that's a reference for those in the know.

All We Have Has Been Given To Us

We have nothing that hasn't been given to us. And we should live like that. Instead of thinking highly of ourselves, as though we earned something or deserve something, we should all realize what we have has been given by God. In 1 Corinthians 4:6-8 Paul continues his rebuke toward those who were self-satisfied because they believed they'd reached some level of spiritual greatness(like in 1 Cor. 1:10-17). He asked them this questions, "What do you have that you did not receive?" to point out that God gave them everything they had.

Verse 8-10 is where it gets a little more my style. Paul get's sarcastic with, what the John MacArthur Study Bible calls, false praise. He tells them, "Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!" Paul goes on to call himself a fool and the church at Corinth wise, as though he was mimicking the attitude of the proud Corinthians towards him.

Now, I don't want to pretend that I translated and explained this passage as I usually try. I was a little confused by most of 8-10 because I didn't realize that Paul could be sarcastic. But it makes more sense if it is read this way, and that's why I believe the John MacArthur explanation is valid (that and Johnny Mac is a great expositor of the word and has great men working with him). The point is to be humble in our lives. I know I'm not. I even think that God allowed an error at work to humble me a little because I was getting too arrogant in my own abilities. We need to take this humble path and realize all we have comes from God and Christ crucified.

Praise God for His Son.

October 24, 2010

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

I remember when this thing came out there were lots of jokes about its name.  And, although I still hate the name, the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg would be a great SUV and I'd buy one if it was affordable.  VW has not yet announced the pricing, but the Autoblog link below takes you to a gallery of photos of the all new VW.

October 22, 2010

October 19, 2010

A Message From CHiPs to Germans

Oh my goodness...this chippy is P.Oed.  This is like a warning from a movie.  If you ever saw Super Troopers, this is the type of speeches they gave in that movie.

There is a little graphic language, but it fits the warning. LOL.

BTW, I'm not actually sure it's CHP, but the uniform is close enough.  I choose to believe it is.

The Lord Is The Only Judge

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 is a hard one to understand for me. Paul reminds us that we are the be regarded as "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." He goes on to say that stewards are required to be found trustworthy. And up to this point I understand what he's saying. But then he goes into being judged and judging himself, or I guess the lack of judging of himself that he does. He says it is the Lord who judges. Perhaps (as I write it seems to become more clear) the word judge is talking about the opinion we form about a certain person without even being able to know their heart. On one hand, we may judge someone as "a lost cause"; someone we think would be a waste of time to share Christ with. And on the other hand, we may judge someone as holier than they really are. We do not know the heart.

All of our judgments don't matter. The Lord will come and He will shed light on all the hidden thins in our lives. He will "disclose the purpose of the heart." Only then will we receive our commendation from God. Are you going to be commended? Are you doing something in your life that God can commend you for? Does your life fulfill the great commission?

October 18, 2010

The Wisdom Of This World Is Folly With God

I had a tough week last week. I had to go to Redding Monday and Tuesday, on Wednesday and Thursday my most sound operational branch didn't do so hot in an internal review, and Friday since finding out the results of the review I haven't been able to snap out of the funk I'm in. This all coupled with the fact that I feel my life will never be in order again, I feel like I'm falling into a dark place. I can admit I've never loved people, but I think now I don't even have the ability to fake it. I have no patience, no understanding, and it just keeps getting worse. I pray and plead with God more now than I did in the past. I recognize the sin more and feel it's controlling my life.

So last night I asked God to give me this morning as a refreshing time with Him to start over. And, besides the mosquito flying around in my living room, I'm able to have a quiet time in the Word. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23 is a weird way to gain some peace about the last week, but it's what is next in my study and all parts of God's Word are important. This passage starts out, "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise." Although I don't think I will get a commentary book deal for the way I'm about to apply this to me situation, I think there is some correlation. I believe I'm good at my job. I think of myself as a knowledgeable and efficient employee who makes good decisions in how to perform my tasks. But, this weak performance has taken a lot of the arrogant wind out of my sails. As the "best" operations employee in the district I'm in, I just showed I don't have it all figured out.

I know that God is not pleased with my life. I know that my claim to Christianity is a Sunday morning thing, and that I do no bring glory to the name of God on a regular basis, if ever. I think my job became a source of pride for me and a place where I felt I had things "figured out." But the wisdom of the world is folly to God. Although I don't consider myself wise, I think I thought of myself as really knowledgeable about how to run a branch. And now I think that God is trying to remind me that my pride is in the things of men not the things of God. It is important to work hard and be the best at what we do because it shows we have integrity and we are not lazy, but in the end, our work achievements have no baring on our Spiritual health. We need to be proud to say was we children of God and shine the bright light of salvation in what we do. Our source of pride should come from our relationship with the almighty God. Focus on God. Let the concerns of this world pass by.

Although I'm still really disappointed (and I have to face my boss today and feel like I let her down), I am going to try and focus on things that matter. I am going to work hard at not hating the people who do not do their jobs correctly. I'm going to work on patience and love. I will find a way to stay quieter and calmer than I usually do. I will not get frustrated. I sound like Stuart Smalley with daily affirmations right now. I'm not looking in a mirror though.

October 16, 2010

Google's Self Driving Car

If you haven't heard about this, Google is spending some of it's advertising earnings on technology that is designed to drive your car for you.  ABC News picked up the story and here it is:

I know computers can make calculations faster than we can, and I know a computer can't be easily distracted, but I'm a driver.  I love to drive.  I almost live to drive.  I love driving and being in control of my own vehicle.  Sure, sometimes it would be nice during the stop-n-go traffic commutes to have a car that did the driving for us, but I don't want to completely give up my ability to maneuver my own car.  Still, this is really cool.  The safety behind faster reaction times and the ability of the Google car to travel closer to other cars because of it's better reaction times makes it a pretty good idea, and a technology I can get behind.

October 12, 2010

If I Were CEO...PepsiCo (Updated)

Once again, I've decided to dream. Also, I learned from my Grammar Girl friend that my series should be called, "If I Were CEO" because this is really a fantasy series. Using the word "was" is for things that are or could be, where the use of "were" is for the dream world. You can read or listen to the whole explanation from Grammar Girl here.  And, as you can see, I've changed the title to reflect "were" in this and my past posts in the series.  I figure since this one is going to be on my favorite beverage company, about one of my favorite topic, and contain a list of "if" statements that are easily achievable by Pepsi, I'd work hard to make this a grammatically correct post.  You never know when PepsiCo may follow you, right?

I've been a Pepsi fan since having my first "soda".  I have a specific memory of drinking a Mountain Dew (made by PepsiCo) when my dad was a maintenance/music pastor/landscaper at a church we attended when I was in elementary school.  That means, I've been a fan now for over 20 years.  I also remember being in a contest in Jr. High where I did a blind taste test of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, RC Cola, and PC Cola (the generic brand from Lucky Supermarkets where PC stood for President's Choice not Politically Correct).  I was able to decipher which soda was which just by taste even back then.  I've loved a variety of sodas made and sold by PepsiCo too.  Pepsi, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Vanilla Pepsi, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Natural, Mountain Dew, Code Red, Live Wire, White Out, and even Dr. Slice are some of my all time favorites.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, the first thing I would do is return to real sugar for all the products under the brand.  Yes, this would be more expensive than HFCS, but it would be the start to a move towards more natural ingredients.  I would market the soda that way.  I would provide the research and funding to show that sugar is more easily digested than HFCS.  I would move Pepsi and the other products toward a healthier choice in soda consumption.  Even as I'm writing this, I'm seeing a new line of Sierra Mist Natural commercials that are done exactly the way I would want them to be done.  Go here and click on "see the ads".

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would also change all diet formulas to use Stevia instead of the chemical sweetener, Aspartame, currently being used.  Once again, I would show the benefits of a natural ingredient over a chemical one.  These two sweetener changes would instantly give PepsiCo a leg up on the competition because of its health benefits.  The body can deal with natural ingredients much better than chemicals and chemically altered sweeteners.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would bring back the option of glass bottles for all the soda lines.  I would offer this option because there are so many people that feel like glass doesn't leave an after taste.  Also, glass is an environmentally friendly option because it is easy to recycle and doesn't have the same harmful properties of plastics.  I would offer only the 12 oz bottles, similar to those of the Pepsi Natural (pictured below) or current "made in Mexico" style (pictured above) because it could be made to work for all brands and streamline the manufacturing.  I would research using the Pepsi Natural bottle, with the Pepsi Logo stamped in the glass for all brands to bring the company's brands together (similar to GM badges on all their lines, although this may not be a great idea).  I would re-introduce the glass bottle 6-pack at $5.00 per pack.  This price is easily recognized as less than $1 per bottle, but is not so cheap that production costs would make it too expensive to offer.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would introduce an entire line of "Natural" labeled beverages, made with no artificial flavors or ingredients.  I would start by re-introducing Pepsi Natural.  I would market the beverage as the healthier, all natural soda.  And, unlike the first round with Pepsi Natural, I would spend some money on the campaign with TV, radio, and Internet advertisements, very similar to what is being done with the Sierra Mist Natural campaign.  Again, go here and click on "see the ads".  I would look into the Whole Foods/Trader Joe's type stores and work on qualifications for that market as well.  I would move on to a "Natural Mountain Dew", providing real citrus flavors with a natural caffeine and sweetness required by Dew drinkers.  I would go after the Hansens soda line with a whole new line of Sierra Mist Natural flavored soft drinks.  I would introduce all the classic flavors, such as, black cherry, citrus, cranberry, lemon/lime, and others.  I would take Sierra Mist to the natural food stores as an alternative to Hansens.

Finally, I would continue the Refresh Everything campaign.  Pepsi is handing out grants to people that come up with great ideas for the planet, community, environment, education, etc.  This is a great way to let everyday people have a chance to make a difference in the world.  I would also continue the Green Label Art and Green Label Sound.  I would continue the Dew Labs and other social networking programs that let the everyday people feel like they are part of the company.  I know when @pepsi or @mtn_dew retweet something I write on Twitter, or when they ask my opinion in designing a new flavor, I feel like I'm already a part of the company.  I love it.  It builds on my loyalty to the brand...even if my original flavor choice didn't win in the DEWmocracy 2 campaign.  I can admit, I picked the wrong flavor to back and help design (although it would have done better if my ideas were more closely followed, heehee).  I ended up liking White Out more than Distortion anyway.  I love PepsiCo.  I hope they hear me and some of this happens.  But even if they don't, I'll still drink the "Nectar of Life" (my catch phrase for Mountain Dew), and the beverage of choice will always be Pepsi.

Update:  PepsiCo wrote me on Twitter and told me they enjoyed my post.  They also provided some links to some things they are doing along the same lines.  Check out how PepsiCo is changing the way they innovate, here.  And read this about the way they are working toward nutrition and "good for you" products.

October 11, 2010

"I Am Hampton"

This is my shout out to Joe and Heather at my Hampton Hotel.  My job takes me out of town every couple of weeks, and I stay in a Hampton Hotel.  Tonight, Joe and Heather let me play the piano in the lobby for a while, and we talked about our common customer service experiences, both providing service and receiving it.  I noticed on their name badges the the phrase "I am Hampton."  I challenged them to use this phrase with their next customer.  Heather accepted the challenge and worked it into a conversation with the very next customer, telling him, "If there is anything else I can help you with, I am Hampton", (or something like that).  It was so awesome.  It was seamless, as though she says it every time.  The customer even thanked her.  Joe and I were so impressed and we both think Heather deserves a big fat raise for it.

It's a little bit of fun while I'm far away from my family.  Thanks you two.

We Are God's Temple and Where The Spirit Dwells

Yesterday in church, our pastor talked about the Holy Spirit living in us Christians. He explained something I've never thought about from 1 Thessalonians 5:19, "Do not quench the Spirit." Our pastor talked about the fact that we have the Spirit and not Jesus on earth because the Spirit live in all of us. But we can "quench the Spirit" or grieve the Spirit like Ephesians 4:30 says. Sin and selfish desire make it as though the Spirit is silenced. And if we no longer are listening to the Spirit, we are not able to enjoy the benefit of having the Spirit of God dwelling in us, being our conscience and our guide.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 goes a step further and tells us we are "God's temple" where "God's Spirit dwells." We must live as God's temples. We must live holy, blameless lives. Just now, when I wrote the word "blameless" I realized I am not blameless. I get blamed for things too often. I do not separate myself from situations and conversations that are not honoring to God. And, I don't mean that all conversations have to be about showing honor to God. But God is honored when we do our jobs in a professional loving way, that shows the love of God in patience and humility. We are God's temple. We need to only allow actions in our lives that are acceptable to God. Maybe if I think about the appropriateness of something I'm about to do or say in the context of being in church.

The point today is to live with an open heart for the prodding of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and works with our conscience to direct us in everything. We must live as though the God of the universe is with us and in us; that we are a dwelling place for His Spirit and a temple for Him.

October 10, 2010

Rap I Can Handle

I retweeted this a few weeks back from Jimmy Fallon's tweet, but I decided to post this video because I'm so impressed by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's ability to perform this "History of Rap".  JT is pretty talented, but Jimmy holds his own.  Plus, Jimmy is a nerd like me.  He loves tech and other nerd related topics.

Mountain Dew Stole My Description...Sort Of

Anyone who knows me has heard me refer to Mountain Dew as the "nectar of life". Now, MD has stolen that description, modified it to be confusing, and called the new White Out the "nectar of gods". I'm not saying I'm upset, but nectar of gods sounds stupid. My wife even thought it was not really as clear as mine. "Nectar of Life" is my description of the original Mountain Dew; and really, it is.

October 9, 2010

Stop Motion: Wolf vs Pig

This is an amazing video.  Lots of pictures taken and put together with stop motion video.  This must have take a long time.  The other thing to notice is the different angles used.  This had to be planned out ahead of time to have the picture angle match the video angle (or the point of view of the viewer).

October 6, 2010

World's Scariest Job

This is ridiculous.  I would never, ever, ever, do this.  Never.

WARNING: This video may make you sick.