Monday, January 31, 2011

Reflections on my Mission Trip to the Philippines

In the Summer of 1995 when I was 21 years old I participated in a 27 day trip to the Philippines.  The trip was through RHCC and I had to "raise" like $1500 dollars for it if I'm not mistaken.  The raising of the money involved me sending out a letter that said that God has given me a heart for the Philippines and was leading me to go there, please gimme some money.  Here now I am going to tell you some things you might not have known about this trip.  First lets meet the players.

Jenny- A girl in her mid twenties who was the leader of our group.  She would be described as "A very Godly woman"  She is a nice person who was carrying about 30 extra pounds, but she was a cute blonde.  When asked why she wasn't married she said, "God hasn't called me into the 'ministry of marriage' whatever that means.

Dwight- Dwight was an impish creepy guy in his mid twenties who lived alone with his mother in a one bedroom apartment and had a secret crush on Jenny.  Dwight had to deal with a homosexual Philippino boy named Digoy who used to sexually harass him much to Dwights dismay.

Scott-  A very nice guy and a confused homosexual who told me about his experiences making love with a man while in the "catcher" position.  Scott also liked to sleep nude.  I hope he is fully "out" now and enjoying life.

Rochelle-  A 19 year old Phillipino American who had family there, she was a typical teenager, nothing too interesting to report here

Erin-Erin was just a typical normal person who wanted to go on a mission trip.  She was cool.

If you have never had the chance to immerse yourself in a 3rd world country I suggest you do it.  The experience was great, from the insane humidity, to watching cockfighting, to having our hosts think they were reminding us of home by driving 1 hour to Bacolod mcDonalds and one hour back to bring us disgusting big macs.  The people who I was supposed to witness to would pretty much sit stonefaced as I would recite the basic four spiritual laws, and do evangelism 101.  But they were friendly.

Our hosts were very nice to us.  We stayed in the church which also had a house attached to it.  The Shower was a bucket and a faucet in an outdoor shack area.  We did have an indoor toilet and running water, just no shower for whatever reason.  I got to see a part of the world I would have never got to see...I got to ride a WaterBuffalo through town....I got to eat some pretty delicious mangoes....I was woken up every morning at the crack of dawn to the sound of roosters, or a pig being slaughtered.

It was a unique and beneficial experience for me.  If you are reading this and you are one of the people who gave me some money so that I could go, I offer you a heartfelt thanks!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is it harder to give up God or Directv?

Question? What is more difficult? Accepting that there is really no god, and that we don't go to a magical place when we die....or accepting that I don't need to keep paying Directv $120/month.

They are both scary and weird...and you feel all alone when you come to the full realization!

I watch way less TV now then I used to...I don't have the desire to do it. I am mostly on the computer instead of TV. We have 3 of them in our house..there's like almost one in every room. And they have replaced the compulsion....there are only two reasons to stay with TV...Sports and maybe HBO. Sports though, is the only thing that right now cannot be replaced by TV...etc. I say right now..because in the near future mlb and the nhl will lift blackout restrictions and make there services streamable to all devices. But right now it aint worth it...I tried to lower the cost of directv per month, but if I tear down all the channels I don't of those just happens to be Prime Ticket..which happens to televise 120 Dodger games a year. Directv isn't stupid..they are a great company with a great service.....but like Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, and Blockbuster..people are waking up to a new reality.

Here are the only things I watch..
MSNBC, FOX News, and CNN
A&E (Intervention, Hoarders, Huge)
True Blood
Mad Men

But like I said before, there are other ways to get most of that, that doesn't include paying $120/month.....Stay tuned....What about you? Are you with me on this one...or could you never see yourself not paying a TV provider.

Will Grabbaggar get a bit edgier?

There's a big conflict between wanting to be open and honest about everything that I think and feel about things in our world, and realizing that everything that I put down here is saved and can be read for posterity by anyone (namely current future employers)

I put forth a straight-laced image in my corporate life..clean reputation is the key to $ and advancement. In fact my company would not have hired me if this was not the case.

So I have made my blog about as off the grid as you can will see subtle changes to things if you look hard enough.

I still have the policy of reviewing comments and deciding whether or not to post them. I will post basically any comment though, with the exception of abuse or spam..

So this blog just got a little bit of a reboot..there won't be any more discussions of things of a personal nature or about my family or friends...As Stuart Smalley would say, "Accept my anonymity"

Making my computer my home entertainment server

About 20 years ago when we had two VCRS, I used to hook them up together and copy movies that we would rent at the Wherehouse. All the good ones were always checked out and on friday and Saturday nights it was always crowded. I would copy them from one tape to time denise brought back the copy to the Wherehouse and they got mad at her LOL.

So I went from this to copying dvds through dvd shrink and then having a massive collection of DVDS in 6 binders in one of our shelves....There was always the option of leaving the ripped copies of the movies on my computer, but who really wants to sit down in front of their computer and and watch a movie? Not me.

Along comes the latest version of Apple TV, which takes content from Itunes and streams it to your TV...So now I can make backup copies of my own personal collection and house them on my computer...with the price of storage so low, I can house about 2000 movies for a couple hundred bucks. What I love about digital copies is the control that I have over it. From my iphone, I can call up any movie in my collection and play it on both of my TVs. The picture quality is near dvd and the sound is 5.1... It is fantastic.

I have also gotten addicted to renting new movies in HD on my ipad and streaming them to either tv, or watching them on the ipad if I want. The days of renting physical discs...late fees...and movies you want to rent being "checked out" are over!! Goodbye Blockbuster!!