All posts tagged: reviews

in_the_name_of_the_siege_poster.jpgLast night we rented “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale“. I should have trusted my instincts which always tell me to never rent a movie with the word “Dungeon” in it. But it had that dude from Transporter in it and he kicks butt, so it can’t be that bad right? I think this is a case of “how can we have some fun blowing $60,000,000”, sounds like a fun game huh? So here’s how you make a really bad movie:

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First find a Bad-A actor and pay him so much money that he takes a role that makes him look like a girl (no offense to girls). Oh yeah, and name him “Farmer”.

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Then cast Burt Reynolds as a the King. (really?)

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Add Ray Liotta as an Evil & horribly dressed sorcerer with a terrible voice. (really, really?)

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Hire Gimli Son of Gloin (John Rhys-Davies), but don’t make him be Gimli, have him be the good sorcerer, but have him speak with the same accent as Gimli. (sorry LOTR fans)


Just for fun throw in this guy* as your court jester, oh wait – he’s actually a villain.

*I say “this guy” because he’s the guy from Scooby Doo, She’s All That, Scream, Scream 2, Hackers, and other movies – he’s the goof, the funny guy, but I never know his name.

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And to top it off, bring on Leelee Sobieski as your token sex symbol/woman fighter. I know, I know as if it couldn’t get any weirder!

Have all your actors speak with their normal voices & accents (except numb-nuts – I seriously laughed out loud every time he spoke).

Steal cinematic scenes from movies like:

Lord of The Rings (all three), Gladiator, Willow, Star Wars, Braveheart, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, 300, Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, Bonanza

Steal fight scenes from movies like:

Lord of The Rings (all three), Gladiator, Willow, Star Wars, Braveheart, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, 300, The Matrix, Planet of the Apes, Walker Texas Ranger,

Spend all your budget on special magical effects, but none on your fighting scenes (or continuity).

Have Orc’s as your bad guys, but call them Krug’s.

Get all your costumes from Party City.

Throw in the surprising “You are the son of the King” twist!

Use phrases such as:

“Tell me something nice. Tell me how you love me…” – “You know.”

“Respect is my Birthright!” in a horrible British accent.

“You already killed me once today, and yet here we are again.”

“I’m with you Farmer!”

“I have a mare. She’s old but still strong.” (to which an older fighter says) “Old but still strong”.

“Must you always appear suddenly from nowhere?” “I don’t; I appear suddenly from somewhere.”

“I can’t come pounding on miladies door now can I?” (spoken in an American accent, by Liota)

“Be gone from my chambers.”

“Farmer! You know what people say. They say… there are… things in Sedwick Forrest.”

“Long live the King!”

“In the name of Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeehb!” (pronounced like bed)

“God blesses those who die for honor, and troooooooooth!”

“Wisdom is our hammer and prudence is our nail”.

“Sometimes the gods know what is best for us”. “What the hell does that mean?”

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And then to wrap the whole thing up, have a little Irish Folk Song play as the credits role. (by the way, you MUST watch that video link!)

Honestly, I’m glad I got to see this little gem, I couldn’t wait to blog about it! There’s some more fun comments at this review site.

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Spam – not the stuff that Hawaiians eat, the stuff that clutters up your inbox and steals your valuable time. It’s a fact of life now. To my surprise, many people I talk to still deal with a lot of it on a daily basis, a LOT of it.

This is a solution that has helped me & I’ve been promising some people that I’d do a post on it for a while, and am just now getting to it. This will kill about 90% of your spam, at least it does for me and people I know who do this. It’s really very simple.

Normp0-9oally anyone who works for an organization uses an @mycompany.com email address which uses something called POP to download messages from a server. Normally you yourself download messages right your your computer into you email application and trust whatever spam filters it has, or you might even have some third party software that you bought to filter spam. The problem is that they usually don’t work well and you still spend precious time sifting through your email.

What if there was a gatekeeper between your computer and the big bad internet? Introduce: Gmail, Google’s free web email application. Gmail has an incredible spam filter that works as that gatekeeper, removing almost all of the spam that would normally steal your time, space, and bandwidth. Here’s some easy (hopefully) steps to make this all work.

First try and imagine what is going on, so you feel comfortable doing this. What’s happening is that Gmail is grabbing emails off your server, filter them, and then holding them safely until you decide to download them (spam free) from your Gmail account. It’s that simple!

  1. Get a Gmail account (don’t worry about finding a perfect username/address – it won’t matter)
  2. Setup Gmail to get mail from your server (I suggest not leaving a copy on your server)
  3. Setup Gmail for POP (so you can download onto your computer’s email application)
    1. You can leave a copy of your mail on Gmail for backup if you’d like (kind of nice)
  4. Setup your email application to download from Gmail (Google has a nice list of apps for you)

That should be all for you to download mail.

Now sending mail is a little trickier. What you’ve got to do is check the settings for your “outgoing server” on your mail application and make sure that it is set to send mail as your “myname@mycompany.com” – usually your email app is setup to send and receive from the same server – what you need to do is receive from Gmail and send as your server’s domain (@mycompany.com).

Once this is all setup right you should receive way less spam, and all your sent emails will still have @yourcompany.com on them.

Another plus to this is that you can login to Gmail from anywhere at anytime and check your email. You can also send email directly from Gmail, as yourname@mycompany.com with a little more setup.

*One known issue that I’ve had is sometimes not getting an email on my mail app immediately when someone sends me something. All you have to do in that case is go to Gmail, click on Settings, then Accounts. It will tell you when the last time Gmail has checked (ex: 10 minutes ago) – then you can simply click on “Check Mail Now” and that email will be brought into Gmail. Go back into your computers app and send/receive – walah! (There have been instances when I’ve checked my setting on Gmail and it’s been like 40 minutes since it has been checked – don’t know why, it seems like Gmail randomly checks your server, but normally it should be automatic).

*Another issue is that sometimes an email from someone new might get stuck in your Gmail spam folder. That’s ok, just find it and mark it “not spam” in Gmail and it will never go there again.

Hope that wasn’t too techy for y’all.

palm-treo-755p.jpgThis is a little old, but about 2 weeks ago my Treo 700 took a major dump. The bummer was that it was Sunday afternoon so I spent the evening & next morning “unplugged”, which is weird for me. So on Monday I took it into the local Sprint store to see what they could do for me (I had a pretty good idea it was a dead soldier). I learned something cool about our store – you can put your name down for a later appointment and come back – or you can even call the receptionist and make an appointment! So I did, and I only spent about 10 minutes waiting, which is a record for me in that store. So I dropped off the phone and waited for a call.

A couple hours later I got a call with some very good news. We have the protection plan on our phones so if they break, get lost, or whatever we can easily and cheaply replace them.

Backstory:

I started my Palm Treo journey with an Ebay’d 350 – the old flip phone style. A total piece of junk, but since we had the replacement plan, as soon as it broke, which it did very quickly, we were able to get it replaced with a 600, and so on and so forth until I had a 700…

So, the Sprint tech told me that my 700 was dead and they were upgrading me to the 755! I was stoked, mainly because my 700 looked like it had been to Iraq and back. Plus the 755 had no funky antenna knob sticking out the top. Nice. So I went down and picked it up. When I got in the car I tried to check my voicemail – not worky. I thought it might just take a little bit to connect, but I knew by the time I got home that something was wrong. So I called the store again, and they said that the phone must not have been setup right. Back down to the store, and after a quick wait the phone was up and running. I tell this story because usually it’s all horror stories when it comes to cell phones – this was the opposite.

Now I know it’s no iPhone, but it didn’t cost me $400 either, and I’m not stuck with crappy Cingular/AT&T service. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love an iPhone. But the Treo gets the job done. I check all my email, do a majority of my Google Reading, and use it to connect to the internet as a modem, using USB Modem.

What’s your phone of choice?

Strange. That’s the word to wrap up this past weekend, for me, at LifeChurch. I heard a lot of compliments, and there was a great vibe, but for me – watching from different angles, this weekend was strange.

First of all, it was our first weekend of Grand Opening, so we were expecting a lot of guests – which we got – quite a few new families. Here’s a list of the elements for this weekend:

  • Guest speakers Graham & Treena Kerr
  • Communion
  • Baby Dedication (only at 1 experience)
  • Starting Life (Membership classes)
  • Music: Forever, I am Free, How Great/How Great Thou Art, I Can Only Imagine
  • All Church BBQ
  • Mandatory all-staff meeting with our Deaf Ministry

Of course this was the end of a week of really hard work by all our staff to get ready for the Grand Opening. Let’s hit each of these areas quickly:

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Graham & Treena Kerr; a lovely couple with a powerful message. Only problem was that we didn’t talk too much about the timing of the worship experiences, so we went long every time – which creates chaos for our KidsLife program and a parking nightmare. Another slight issue was that they both have pretty strong British accents, which made them a little hard to hear/understand through our system. And there were a couple culture shock statements that we won’t go into, but it’s interesting to see how generations deal with different topics. They were amazing guests and we were really excited to have them.

Communion. For me this always seems rushed. It’s just the nature of our church culture because of timing issues and all that goes into our weekend worship experiences. One idea that we’ve been bouncing around is something that some other churches do; I’ve heard it called “First Wednesdays”. The basic idea is that more time allotted for worship through music, prayer, scripture, and communion. We have this idea called “Breaking Bread”, where we would actually eat together (like the church in Acts), and then spend time in worship, prayer, & scripture. We’re still up in the air on this – what do you think?

Baby Dedication. These are actually “Family Dedications”, we need to change our vocabulary on this one because it is really about the family choosing to raise their child in a Godly environment, with the help of the local church. These are always special and unique. Normally we do these always on the 3rd weekend of the month (so as to not conflict with Communion and other things) – but this one was special since some family was in from out of town. It’s nice to be flexible.

Starting Life Classes. These are one of my favorite things we do at LifeChurch. We get face to face with new people and share with them our vision, mission, core values, beliefs, etc. and then give them the opportunity to join the LifeChurch family. This is where people really get “plugged in” to LifeChurch. We actually hold these classes every other month across our parking lot at the Community Resource Center, who graciously allow us to use their facility.

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Music. The music was good – powerful songs. I think there was something going on with our band though, something just didn’t feel right. Me and Karl talked a little about it and weren’t really sure how to pin it down, but remember how I said this weekend was strange? That’s what I’m talking about. I tend to be hyper critical of music/production – but I’m sure that people had a good worship experience. Again our transitions kill us – those times when we go from one element to the next, when they’re not done with intention and passion, we just seem to lose momentum. Tech was OK. Our second (or third) week with no “official” sound tech – and on Saturday night we ran the whole service with 3 tech people (one of which was me).

BBQ. This was a great idea – just lots of extra work, and mainly for people who were already working hard in other areas of service (ushers, greeters, parking, tech, band). It was great to connect with people after church, although not as many new people stayed as we thought would; mostly a lot of our core families stayed.

Deaf Ministry Meeting. This was awesome – even though most of us were completely wiped out! We spent about an hour with our deaf ministry as they brought us up to speed on their culture and how their ministry is growing in our church. They are amazing people with great hearts – especially for outreach, which fires me up. I can’t wait to see how they grow in the future.

So that was our weekend. Good, but just a little strange. How was yours?