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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free iPod Repair

Free iPod repair?

Yep... as long as you're the one willing to do the repairing.

I recently had an iPod go south on me after it fell flat on to the solid concrete floor of the garage. It gave me the opportunity to replace it with a cool new iPod (black - 'cuz once you go black you never go back). Before I threw my old 5th Gen. iPod Video away I thought to meself, "Self... let's open up this baby to see how it works."

When I opened up the case, I was surprised to find that replacing to hard drive would be relatively easy. I found a dealer for the drive (PDASmart) and picked up a replacement for about $100, plus shipping. When it arrived, they even sent the tools to open my iPod correctly (seems a dime is not the optimum tool).

I also found a great site for all do-it-yourself Mac repairs called iFixIt. They have instructions for fixing Mac desktops, laptops, iPod, even iPhones - in every conceivable way! They walk you through step by step with great pictures and instructions. After about 10 easy minutes, I plugged my iPod in and voila... it worked.

I will probably give this iPod to the youngest blonde boy (my artist/musician/athlete - a true Renaissance child). But don't tell him... it's a surprise.

By the way, it's not just hard drives that you can repair on your iPod. It turns out that you can buy the screen, the front case, the back case... heck, you can even by the main circuit board.

So what are you waiting for? Buy a new iPod... then repair your old one.

This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday hosted by Randy of Ethos.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Movie Review: Dan in Real LIfe

Key Player(s): Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Diane Weist, John Mahoney

Plot summary (from
IMDB): The Burns clan is gathering at their vacation place on the Rhode Island shore: Dan (a widower with three daughters), plus his parents, various brothers and a sister and their families. At a bookstore the first morning he's there, he chats up a woman, bares his soul and feels a connection before she gets a call and bolts. She's seeing someone, who turns out to be one of Dan's brothers. It's a dicey couple of days at the house as Dan can't keep his eyes off her, his brother is obviously falling in love, and everyone thinks she's great. In this big supportive family, who will be the first to find the tension too much to bear? And after the snap, then what?

My summary: Wow. I thought it was going to be hilariously funny (which it was), but it also turned out to be unexpectedly touching, like Jerry Maguire.

Rating (1-5): 4

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Incredible E-mail

I just received the most incredible e-mail. I am so excited. My prayers are answered and my dreams are about to be realized!

FROM: MR. Patrick K. W. Chan
(Executive Director & Chief financial Officer) Hang Seng Bank Limited
83 Des Voeux Road, Central
Hong Kong SAR


It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to share with you. I got your reference in my search for someone who suits my proposed business relationship.

I am Mr. Patrick K. W. Chan Executive Director & Chief financial Officer of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have an obscured business suggestion for you. I will need you to assist me in executing a business project from Hong Kong to your country. It involves the transfer of a large sum of money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.

Once the funds have been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us

I will prefer you reach me on my private email address below (kwchan_patrick@yahoo.com.hk or patrickchanhsb@gmail.com) and finally after that I shall furnish you with more information's about this operation.

Please if you are not interested delete this email and do not hunt me because I am putting my career and the life of my family at stake with this venture. Although nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Mr. Patrick K. W. Chan
Thank you, Mr. Chan. You are a true humanitarian!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pat and Randy Smash Stuff Up Real Good

The is the video Randy and I worked on for the message bumper for our new series (he posted pictures of the carnage left behind in the aftermath of the shoot). The idea came to me in the shower. Randy was part of the idea, but he had clothes on.

But I digress..

Our new sermon series is called The Leadership Toolbox. For each of the four weeks, Pastor Jan is going to look at four aspects of a great leader. The first one is submission.

The basic idea is that Randy and I are setting up the message with a "tool"... except we get the idea wrong.

And, of course, hijinks ensue...

What did you think?

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New Post Soon

I am working on a video message bumper for tomorrow that Randy and I shot this afternoon with Josh (no blog).

As soon as it's finished, I'll post it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Like Mike

I love this commercial... bringing back all the moves (and the memories of the originals):

RSS: Embedded video

HT: Dustin DeKoekkoek

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Set Design

I went in and snapped this picture of the new set design that Randy is working on.

He yelled at me. He didn't want you to see it before he was done. The great thing about being the boss, though, is that I can take the picture anyway and post it.

So... please don't judge the final design by this picture. In fact check back soon on Randy's blog or on the NewCov Production blog for the final shots of the set. It's going to be cool.

This post is a part of Creative Chaos, hosted by Ragamuffin Soul.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Books that Make Me Laugh

"A cheerful heart is good medicine..."

I love to laugh. I probably don't laugh enough. I think sometimes the older I get, the more serious/uptight I become. Maybe it's the result of being driven. Maybe I let myself be a selfish SOB and worry about myself more than others.

Whatever the case, it is laughter - good old-fashioned, side-splitting belly-laughing - that pulls me out and helps me take myself (and the world around me) a lot less seriously.

I have read a few books that work for that. The most recent I would highly recommend for a great laugh. Its British, which tells you a lot about the smarmy humor that you will find in it. It is really a delightful book. The short chapters are little pills soul medicine.

Here's an excerpt from my new friend, Never Hit a Jellyfish with a Spade (How to Survice Life's Smaller Challenges), by Guy Browning. It is in honor of my marathon-running buddy, Randy, and is this week's entry for Watercooler Wednesday:
How to... Run a Marathon

Occasionally you'll see people doing a strange sport called backwards stair-climbing. This is what happens the day after you've run a marathon because you've got hamstrings longer than a double bass.

Dressing correctly is vital for a marathon and everything should be chosen to maximize cooling and minimize energy loss. Which is why, if you're plodding round in your high-tech, high-cost running gear, it's incredibly galling when someone roars past dressed in a six-foot chicken costume and carrying a bucket of loose change.

Getting water on board is vitally important and most people drink may pints before they even start. This, combined with the very real excitement at the beginning of the race, means that shortly after the start of the race you have about ten thousand people stopping for a pee. Strangely, they never show this on the TV. One the way round, don't make the mistake of thinking you can pick up water on the run. You can't pick up your tea at home on the run, so don't try it during a race: you'll just end up soaking yourself and then, when you try and drink it on the move, you'll spend five minutes choking yourself to death.

During the race liquids are vital, but not solids - which is why you have mixed feelings about kindly spectators who hold out sweets, toasted sandwiches, and traditional Sunday roasts. If your body does run out of energy, you hit something called the wall. this happens around twenty miles (or earlier if you don't look where you are going). the wall is where you start burning parts of your body that are normally left for furnishing - like fat and muscle. There is another bit that starts to burn away and that is your will to live. Which is why during the first twenty miles of a marathon you can enjoy the scenery and the last six miles are like running in a small cupboard marked "pain."

At the end of a marathon you're generally so whacked you decide not to lift your arms at the finishing line because it involves too much energy. There's usually an automatic photo taken of you crossing the finish line and the expression on your face is probably the closest you'll ever get to seeing what you look like first thing in the morning. Then the sense of physical achievement sets in and you can start telling everybody what a supreme physical specimen you as (as long as they aren't upstairs.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Meeting with a Mentor

Perry Noble had some great tips on meeting with a mentor and maximizing their time (and your success):

#1 - I Always Adjust To Their Schedule–ALWAYS!

When I am attempting to set up an appointment with someone I want to meet with, I always ask them (or their assistant) to throw two or three dates at me that is most convenient for them... and then I adjust my schedule to make the meeting happen.

I NEVER send them the times I want and then ask them to adjust their schedules. I am the one who wants the meeting... and if they are available to me I will bend over backwards to hang out with them.

#2 - I Am Always Early For The Appointment

If I am driving from out of town I always make sure I arrive around 30 minutes early. If I get their TOO early then I will find a coffee shop – OR break out a book (ALWAYS have a book with you.)

Usually I will arrive at the person’s office to meet them about 15 minutes early... and quite a few times the person I am meeting with has been ready, thus giving me “bonus time!”

#3 - I Have A List Of At Least Five Questions That I Want To Ask.

I remember John Maxwell saying to me once, “I will mentor you, but you have to ask the questions. I am not preparing a lesson for you... YOU guide this meeting. If you want to know something – ASK. If you don’t ask anything then we don’t really have anything to talk about.”

SO… anytime I meet with a mentor (especially JOHN) I am LOADED with questions. Sometimes I get them all answered... sometimes I don’t... but I NEVER walk into a meeting without having a list of what I would like to know.

#4 - I Don’t Talk About Myself Unless They Ask.

When I meet with a mentor I don’t spend 30 minutes telling them about myself, my daily routine and how good I think I am. I ask questions and then SHUT UP! If I disagree I do not argue. If they ask me a question then I will answer... if not then I will keep on asking them my questions. They didn’t ask to meet with me... I wanted to meet with them – TO LEARN from them, not debate them.

#5 - I Always Send A Note/Gift Saying Thanks.

I haven’t done this until recently... but anytime someone gives me time I will send them a Starbucks gift card or a restaurant gift card–just to thank them for the time. (And I jot them about a four sentence note – NOT A BOOK, but a note.)

Those are my rules... hope they help!

HT: Perry Noble dot com

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Redemption and Baseball

I am sitting in bed, ready to start my day, wiping tears from my eyes. Is it allergies? A death in the family? The end of When Harry Met Sally?

Nope. It's baseball that got me.

Specifically, Bill Buckner.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Bill Buckner's ultimate error, here it is:
On October 25, 1986, the Boston Red Sox faced the New York Mets in game 6 of the World Series. Boston led the best-of-7 series 3 games to 2, and had a two-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning. New York came back to tie the game with three straight singles off Calvin Schiraldi and a wild pitch by pitcher Bob Stanley. Mookie Wilson fouled off several pitches before hitting a ground ball to Buckner at first base. The ball rolled under Buckner's glove, through his legs, and into right field, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run, forcing a seventh game, which the Mets won.

If you know baseball, you remember that moment. But do you also remember it was Buckner, playing for the Dodgers in 1974, who climbed the fence in an attempt to catch Hank Aaron 's 715th home run?

But I digress...

What got me this morning was the sight of redemption. After the 1986 error, Buckner was a pariah to BoSox fans. In the late 80's and 90's, "Buckner" was practically a curse word in Boston. He moved to rural Idaho and disappeared from baseball and the media because of the constant harassment he endured for his 1986 mistake.

Then on April 8 of this year, the city of Boston redeemed their lost son. Bill Buckner was invited to throw out the first pitch at Fenway. In an amazing show of love and redemption, fan gave Buckner an incredible 4 minute standing ovation.

I know, I know. There's no crying in baseball. But see if you don't tear up just a little bit - oh, and turn up the sound - the original is a little low.

RSS: embedded video

HT: Orange County Pastor

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Understanding Teenagers

My church hosted a debate (Dinesh D'Souza v. Michael Shermer) and a symposium. Today I went to a session with Chap Clark where he said that today's mid-adolescents (like the oldest blonde boy) struggle desperately to understand who they are and whether they matter/make a difference.

Me too.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cool Videos (Part 3 of 3)

We are doing baptisms this Sunday. One of our production team (The Weave) put these together. Jim (or "Pep" as we like to call him) has really taken these testimony videos up about 500%.

Here are a couple of examples of what's coming up on Sunday...

This post is a part of Creative Chaos hosted by Ragamuffin Soul.

RSS: Embedded video

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Nothing is Irrelevant

A little reminder that everything matters...

Right now.

Check the reception desk.
Check the reception area.
Check the bathroom.
Check your last Client email.
Check etc.
Check etc.

Check 10 "little things."
Right now.

Is each one stunningly, amazingly excellent?
Does each one confirm & extend & broadcast your "brand promise"?
You, personally?
Your training department?
Your 3-person accountancy on Main Street?
Your BigCo division?


(Remember: You are in control. There are things you cannot make happen, to be sure; but you can project Brand Excellence on a thousand "atmospherics" that determine Client-Employee perception.)

HT: tompeters!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Movie Review: Saving Grace

Key Players:
Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Tcheky Karyo

Plot summary (from
IMDB): A widow discovers after her husband's suicide that he has mortgaged everything they own and the banks are ready to foreclose. Faced with impending doom and little working knowledge except her ability to grow plants, she struggles to save her home. Enter her gardener, who is struggling to make a few marijuana plants grow in a hidden location and suggests that she use her green house to help grow the plants and sell them to make the money both need. He is wanting to get married, but needs capital. What he doesn't know is that his girl friend is pregnant and thus fears that they will be busted for growing marijuana. While supposedly working, the whole village including the local constable is well aware of the endeavor and is hoping for their success. When the plants come in, Grace takes the crop to London and tries to sell it to a ruthless, but charming drug dealer. Everything busts loose from there.

My summary: The movie was very funny, in a British sort of way, ig you know what I mean. I had a blast watching it.

Rating (1-5): 4

Note: This post is a part of Watercooler Wendesday, hosted by Randy Elrod of Ethos.

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Cool Videos (Part 2 of 3)

Here's a great moment from our Sunday service last week (04.13.08)...

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cool Videos (Part 1)

The other day I mentioned some cool videos that we showed last Sunday. Check out this video that we showed at the end of the service from our Easter baptisms:

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Movie Review: The Darjeeling LImited

Key Players: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Angelica Huston

Plot summary (from
IMDB): Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest", however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.

My summary: I had high hopes for the movie and was disappointed. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was in the wrong headspace (the first time I watched Being There I didn't think it was funny, now I think it is hilarious - but in a smart way).

Whatever the case, I didn't like the movie. I thought it was slow and rambling. It felt like it was trying to be smart and funny and ironic, but for me, it didn't work.

Rating (1-5): 2

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Worship Confessional: 04.13.08

This week was the last week of our Amazing Grace series. It was a great morning for the production team. The crew really stepped up in Randy's absence.

The highlight of the service again was the prayer time during the 10:30 service - people just kept coming. It was awe inspiring.

We opened the service with Tim Hughes' Happy Day (the North Point version). The band paid tribute to my post from Saturday with some sweet cowbell during the opening and transitional riffs. It actually worked really well.

Our second song was Glorious One, also from North Point. People are really grabbing hold of this one in worship.

It was a great morning, and Rollie's testimony was so powerful. I hope to have that posted on Tuesday. Also, The Weave's video at the end of the Easter baptisms was perfect for the moment (that video will also be up on Tuesday).

Here's the complete set list (with iTunes links):

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Got a Feevuh...

...and there's only one prescription:

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Here Comes Speed Racer

Along with JVo, I enjoyed the Transformers movie, but didn't get all the hype. I didn't grow up with Optimus Prime as my surrogate father.

I did, however, want to drive the Mach 5 and thought Trixie was HOT when I was a kid (as much as little kids think cartoon chicks are hot). So I'm looking forward to seeing what this new version from the Wachowski Brothers is going to look like.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Creative Space

Inspiration... I gotta have it. The Creative Question today is "Where do I get it?"

It's a good question and the answer varies. In fact, I'd say that I don't have one "place" (although I wish I did). The creative juices for me flow most freely in these places:
  • The shower
  • On a road trip alone in the car
  • On the boat
  • In the mountains
  • Anywhere with Randy
Why? Well, I think with the first two, my mind is disengaged from "work" and free to wander and experiment with ideas that it might not normally think about. Sounds weird, I know... but then, if you know me... well, 'nuff said.

When it comes to the boat and the mountains, I think it's kind of the same as the first two - i am totally disengaged from the hustle and bustle and the good ideas start poking their heads out. Add to that the beauty and (sometimes) solitude, and that's a great recipe for creativity for me.

And finally, Randy is just good. He's got great outside-the-box ideas that I love. He makes me look good every week.

This post is a part of the Ragamuffin Soul Creative Chaos Thursday, hosted by Los.

Where are you creative? Join the conversation.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Losing Your Identity

Check out this great post from Jeremy Scheller on how you can lose your design identity...

1. Have too many of them.
Not everything in your organization needs a name, logo and stylesheet all to itself. When you overbrand, you dilute your core message. When everything has it’s own identity, you end up competing with yourself. It’s like Fight Club all over again.

2. Borrow it from Someone else.
It’s easy to get inspired by design. Somethings are just drop dead beautiful. But it’s hard to be yourself, if you’re trying to be somebody else. Be inspired, but design yourself, don’t design to be somebody else.

3. All Sparkle, No Substance.
Design is great, when it communicates truth. if you’re trying to sell yourself as more than you really are, eventually, people will figure you out. You can only fool people for so long. A candy coated brussels sprout isn’t going to hide the bitter taste when you bite into the core.

This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday hosted by Ethos.

HT: Jeremy Scheller via Kem Meyer

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Quote of the Day...

“When TIME magazine compiled a list of the one hundred most significant people in twentieth-century art and entertainment there were only five who had shown any public signs of Christian faith.”

- Steve Turner, journalist, poet, "Imagine"

How sad is that? How can we make a difference? Leave a comment and let's start the discussion.

HT: Ethos

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Worship Confessional: 04.06.08

Sunday was great! We introduced a two new songs (All Because of Jesus and Glorious One). The house was jumpin' and Rick brought it with his worship leading. Hope to have some video up soon.

Here's the set from Sunday (with iTunes links):
By the way, I got the charts for All Because and Glorious One from North Point Music. The charts were great (although I wish they had vocal charts). But he real money was in the loop and click tracks they included. It added so much (and required no extra work on my part).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Apple Passes Walmart to Become #1 in Music Sales

Ars Technica managed to get access to unreleased data from NPD MusicWatch that shows that Apple is now the leading music retailer in the US, passing Walmart. Apparently the news was sent in an internal Apple email and Cupertino now controls 19% of retail music sales, against Walmart's 15% and number three Best Buy's 13%.

Needless to say, this is the first time a download retailer has taken the number one spot and represents a notable market share gain for Apple even since February. It will now be interesting to see if Apple can hold on to the top spot in the long run. In any case, this is a watershed moment and brings the mainstream death of the CD that much closer into view.

HT: TUAW.com

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Stations of the Cross

Here are some pictures from our Good Friday Stations of the Cross event. We set up the room with tables at each "station" with artwork and depicting each event. The tables had props for each station. Then we filled the place with about 500 candles and votive holders in blue and red that we bought from the Catholic supply house.

Randy set up some lighting with break-up patterns to cycle through to give some subtle, but interesting visual changes. We also had The Passion of the Christ playing (no audio) on the screens and created an audio track with some cool chants, masses, and vibey music that played non-stop throughout the day (6 a.m. - 6 p.m.).

When people arrived, they received a booklet that guided them through the stations, explaining each one, and suggesting a prayer for each station. They were also given a candle. The last station they arrived at was at the center of the room with the cross and communion. Each person took communion there and lighted and left their candle as a prayer.

We have averaged 500+ people and it has been a really powerful event for us.

This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday, hosted by Ethos, and a part of Creative Chaos, hosted by Ragamuffin Soul. Be a part of the conversation!

PS: By request, HERE is the PDF of the booklet that we used. It was printed in booklet for, so it needs to be printed back to back and folded in half, but you get the picture. Either way, the pages are numbered.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Things that rock my world...

  1. The view after coming out of the tunnel before the descent into Yosemite Valley.
  2. A quiet day on the water.
  3. Seeing my fiance coming down the aisle to be my wife.
  4. The birth of my sons.
  5. Notes from the oldest blonde boy, confirming that I am a good dad.
  6. That certain look from the youngest blonde boy.
  7. Friday, April 8, 2005.
  8. re:create afterglows.
  9. Seeing people encounter God.
  10. Those moments when God is overwhelmingly close, and you are not afraid or ashamed.
What rocks your world?