June 27, 2011

Judas is the Demon I Cling To

I sometimes feel like I have a lot to say, but I know it's not usually anything of value.  I've been debating doing an entry on the change in morals and values in just my short 35 years of life, but I know that some would be offended and I'm not always the softest person when it comes to dealing with differing opinions.  My wife (poor thing) can tell you about that.  But I feel like writing something.  So here goes...

First, remember that I added myself to this blog for the attempt at adding spiritual topics.  So, when you see that I've written an entry, feel free to skip it if that's not something that interests you.  Or, if you think me a hypocrite, based on something you've observed in my life that doesn't seem to fall into what I write, realize I already know and that's why I am so glad God saves by grace not merit.

Now, here comes my way of starting a spiritual topic with something that doesn't really sound too spiritual.  I love Lady Gaga.  Honestly, I find her to be a very talented musician.  She does things that can not be considered boring or just like every other artist.  She has an ability to go places with her music, harmonies, and sound that others wish they could reach.  And, unlike many of the artists today, she is actually musically talented.  Now, I didn't include the video to the song I'm going to refer to below, because she does do things that are provocative and inappropriate to my topic, but she is good at her job.

Her newest album, "Born This Way", was recently described to me as "very Catholic".  And, while I've never really been to a Catholic church or Catholic mass or Catholic friend's house, I can see how someone not necessarily involved in a "Christian religion" could believe this, with some of the songs and lyrics on the album.  Which brings me to my main point.  There is a song on the album called Judas, as in the guy who betrayed Christ.  Some of the official words of the song are:

I'm in love with Judas.
When he calls to me I am ready
I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times he betrays me

I'm just a holy fool oh baby it's so cruel but I'm still in love with Judas baby

Jesus is my virtue and Judas is the demon I cling to

Besides the artistic license taken with regards to biblical accuracy (woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair, Peter was the one who denied knowing Jesus three times, etc.), I actually choose to look at this as a pretty good understanding of the depravity that we "cling to".  The betrayal of Jesus was the ultimate sin, since it was the complete rejection of Christ (the only sin that is not forgiven, since it is the rejection of the only way to salvation).  But we all do it every day.  We all choose self gain over the glory of God.  I would attempt to roughly translate her words as:

I'm in love with myself
When I want something I go after it
I'll do anything for self gratification
Excuse myself for what I do
Deny the prompting of the Holy Spirit

I know what I do is wrong, but I do it anyway because I seek self gratification

Jesus is virtue but I choose the desire I have to satisfy myself

Now, she may not be thinking of it like me.  Perhaps she loves doing what is wrong.  She may find Judas so attractive that she doesn't want to believe he is wrong, but I choose to think of it as a cry against what she knows to be wrong and lacks the strength to deny herself of.  In another part of the song she says, "I'll bring him down, bring him down, down."  What happens is, we think we CAN fight and defeat our sinful desires on our own.  But it's not possible.  Sin, the desire for self gratification and self glorification, is so  strong and so deeply rooted as part of our nature, that we can ONLY cry out for Jesus.  Sin is over powering without the strength granted us from God, through the Holy Spirit.  And only by the blood of Christ are we able to be freed of the sin we have, do, and will commit.

Finally, I know that I may be stretching it a bit with my translation of this song and its meaning, but I think apart from God, all creatures are seeking the completeness that does only come from fulfilling the purpose for our creation, which is to say, we were created to glorifying God and therefore, will only find true joy and wholeness in doing that.  Although the desire to gratify and satisfy our self seems most important, by seeking instead, to glorify God first, total joy and wholeness will be a result that voids our need for self gratification.

And now I've written it to go out tomorrow and not live it.  If only God came now to take me home with Him, so that I would no longer betray him daily with my life.  Damn you Judas.

June 21, 2011

The Baby Birds That Fell From The Tree

The Nest

I arrived home to my awaiting family this evening, greeted at the door by my two beautiful boys, kissed by my wife and welcomed home from my long day at work.  My wife had prepared the dinner, and all but the meat was ready for consumption.  I knew my grilling expertise would be required for the handmade burger patties waiting on a plate.  I needed to fire up my barbecue.  As I opened the sliding glass door leading to the patio, I hear a scratching noise coming from some boxes.  The boxes, left over from the bunk beds we build last weekend for my boys, were stacked against the fence line of the patio.  I cautiously approached the boxes, not sure what I was going to find trapped within.  I carefully peered into one of the boxes and saw a little bird, which I assumed was unable to fly out due to the narrow walls and the depth of the box it was in.

I decided, in case it was sick or injured to the point of an impending death, I would lift the box over the fence and dump the bird onto the soft bushes on the other side.  This would also allow the bird to perch atop the bushes for an easier takeoff, once the shock of the ordeal wore off.  What I didn't notice was the large hole at the top of the box, which caused the little bird to fall out of the box and into my arms, and then onto my patio slab.  It hopped around the patio, scared and searching for a safe place to hide from me.  (Now, I'm not going to lie.  I let out a little sound that any good, startled person would emit.  Okay, I slightly screamed.)

I ran casually strolled into the house to tell my wife what had just happened.  I formed a plan of how to get this little bird out of my tiny backyard.  I decided to use a broom, not to push the little thing, but to guide the bird out of the side gate and onto the sidewalk.  The plan worked perfectly.  The little bird found its way into the landscaping in front of our residence.  And then, the most amazing thing happened.  The mother bird arrived.  It was then that I realized this little bird was actually a baby, who had fallen from its nest.  The mother began calling to the baby bird as though to say, "Spread your wings little one.  Fly.  Fly."  The moment was almost precious, nature at its purest.
Nature at its purest

I ran into the house again, this time to tell my family of the little storybook scene unfolding in front of our home.  The boys ran to the front window to watch.  My wife gently reminded me of my original purpose for going to the patio.  I decided to sneak another peak at the reunited baby and its mother, of course, after I started the grill.

As I approached the grill and began to remove its cover, I could hear myself screaming again found myself startled again.  Another baby bird was on the patio, this time waiting to jump out at me as I removed the cover from my grill.  This little one knew the escape route and took it, passing my jumpy legs and heading for the hole under the gate and on to the freedom its sibling found.  The mother bird screeched at this little one too.  "Fly children. Fly," she said.  She hopped up, and adding a quick thrust of her wings, landed herself on the lowest branch of a tree.  "See children, it's that easy.  Try it.  You can do it," she was diligently calling to them.  She knew it was not safe down on the ground.  "Squawk Squawk"!  She showed them a few more times.  God's creation is amazing.
Where's Waldo?  There are two birds in this picture.  Can you find them?

Realizing I needed to cook up some amazing burgers (which I know were amazing because I'm writing this hours after eating them.  It's not bragging if it's true), I turned and started the grill.  While it warmed and I began to comprehend the horror that will ultimately become those baby birds' last day if they don't get the flying thing down, I realized I'd better go wash my hands before I touch any of the burger patties my wife so lovingly prepared for our dinner, you know, just in case I got bird on me.

I think the moral is clear here.  Have a point to your stories or you'll just end it with everyone wanting to wash their hands of you.  So good night, and thanks for reading.

June 20, 2011

Music beta by Google

So Google finally sent me an invite to its music service.  I started the upload, at 10:40pm tonight.  I have about 4000 songs (or so says Google's Music Manager software), so we'll see how long this upload takes.  For now, I like the web interface.  I'm disappointed there is not an iOS app for it, but I'm sure Apple will block that for obvious reasons.  Amazon, for that matter, needs an iOS app for their music service too.  I mean, iPhone is the #1 phone, right?  You can't really count all the fragmentation that IS Android, can you?  Is Android actually #1?  I don't know.  I don't do research.  I let the blogs do that for me.  I just repeat crap they say.

So, there's a bunch of nothing to say, I'll let you all know what I think about Music beta by Google.  Thought #1: get a better name than Music beta by Google, or Music by Google, which I assume is what it will be called after coming out of beta testing.  How about "Goosic"?  It's Google and Music smashed together?  Huh? Okay, that's more lame.  

Goosic.  It's Music.  Anywhere. by Google by Jimmy the Gun

MY Google +1 Button...Click It

I've added a Google +1 button to my website.  I'm not really sure what it does, even after reading the description on the website for it, but +1 my site any way.
|I added this picture so you could find it.

UPDATE:  If the +1 is blue, it means you've already +1'd it.  If it's gray you still need to do it.  SO DO IT!

June 14, 2011

Make 7, Up Yours...7UP Retro Review

It's been a while since I've done a full beverage review.  Why?  Besides the fact that my wife and I have been working on reducing our sugar intake, nothing has grabbed my attention.  I'm sure most people who follow my Twitter account or read my blog regularly, have seen that Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback are now back for good.  These are the "real sugar" varieties of the originals.  Dr. Pepper has also done the real sugar thing.  And now 7UP, the uncola, is doing it.
Apparently, if you are a Celebrity Apprentice fan you already knew this was coming, but I'm not a fan.  I did hear about it through the grapevine (my wife), but I only heard about the lame can designs.  When I saw these glass bottles in the store for the first time, I got excited and purchased a 6-pack.  The green glass, retro logo styling, and the use of real sugar made this Retro a "must review" for this amateur.  I mean, it's an excuse to drink a soda and voice my opinion, with some obvious stuff to write about.  Like all my reviews, I smelled it first, poured it into a glass with 3 pieces of ice (to prevent too much diluting) and reviewed the color, bubbles, and taste.

Smell, Color, and Bubbles:
There is nothing to report for smell. There wasn't a smell.  I even had my wife check it.  There was maybe a super subtle hint of lemon/lime, but it was so super subtle the smell could have been from earlier at dinner, when I squeezed lime on my taco salad.  Weird huh?  Actually, in reviewing the label, it's printed in big letters over the "nutrition facts" that this beverage "CONTAINS NO JUICE".
Interesting enough the color goes right along with the smell.  There is no color.  In fact, some people in the more rural areas around me might think their drinking water has more color than this soda.

The bubbles were huge.  In contrast, the Pepsi Natural's and Pepsi Throwback's bubbles were much smaller, which I thought might have to do with the sugar verses HFCS.  I might have been wrong.  I'm no scientist, you know.  It's probably just the CO2 they use.  Anyway, big bubbles were nice, giving the drink a really crisp texture.

At first, I recognized the familiar 7UP flavor.  It made me think of being home, sick from school growing up. My mom would treat me to 7UP and Nabisco Saltine Crackers.  But, I enjoying this Retro 7UP. In the 90 degree shade of my backyard, while I watched my boys play in the water from the garden hose, I ended up finding the 7UP incredibly refreshing.  It wasn't heavy or too sweet.  It wasn't overly flavorful or dramatic.  It was bubbling, cool, crisp and refreshing goodness, with a subtle hint of lemon/lime (which is not lemon or lime, since it CONTAINS NO JUICE).
What it does contain is water, sugar, acid, natural flavors, and some other stuff I'm sure is okay for you in moderation.  All-in-all, I give this a thumbs up.  I felt refreshed and really enjoyed the drink.  I love the look.  I enjoyed the taste.  And with NO CAFFEINE, I can drink it at night and not worry about being kept up late.  YES!, I'm that old now, and drinks that contain caffeine affect me at night.

Good job 7UP.  I was actually ready to knock you as "the uncola".  I had a conversation with a Pepsi marketing person this week, who told me "7UP is called the UNCOLA for a reason, because it is".  And, while I'm not sure I understood her meaning, I think she was saying 7UP is not her competition for Pepsi.  Though this may be true, and Sierra Mist Natural may be outselling 7UP (which I say, not based on fact, but pure speculation), 7UP did a good job here with the Retro 7UP.  I hope this brings some good brand recognition to them.  I think commercials they SHOULD run need to include the "Make 7, Up Yours" campaign from back a few years ago.  Nevertheless, Dr. Pepper/Seven UP, Inc. is doing some interesting things and I hope it works for them.

June 12, 2011

Mountain Dew Designed a Pinball-like Skate Park

I love Mountain Dew.  I wish I could skate.  Since I've owned a pair of Vans since 1988, doesn't that make me an honorary skater?  No?  Well, this is cool.

June 8, 2011

Star Wars The Old Republic Trailer

A trailer for the upcoming Star Wars The Old Republic game came out.  This game is going to be similar to the World of Warcraft MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), where nerds will begin living life inside this computer game, as characters from the Star Wars story line.

It might be time to return to the world of gaming.  Here's what the game play looks like.

June 5, 2011

Another One-Man A Capella Video Song

This is the first video I got with my YouTube search for "a capella video song" today.  I'm impressed by this guys range and different vocal sounds.

June 4, 2011

The Chevy Silverado is NOT Equal to The Ford Raptor

Someone was either ready of a new truck, trying to drive their Chevy Silverado as though it was a Ford Raptor, or was drunk at the dunes.