Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas music

Here are some Christmas albums and songs I've found that I've liked.  In many cases, I think most of the songs on an album are ok, but I particularly like a few of them.

Albums (in no specific order):
1) Home for Christmas - BarlowGirl
Although I didn't notice that much harmony (something the band is well-known for), but the songs are still done well.  BarlowGirl is my favorite Christian band (quite possibly overally favorite group), but I don't think I'm being too biased here. 
2) Winter Magic - Hayley Westenra
3) Christmas...From the Realms of Glory - Bebo Norman
4) Peace on Earth - Casting Crowns
5) Noel - Josh Groban
Perhaps you'll agree with me that Josh Groban has one of the best voices of any male singer out there today, but even if not, you may find you'll like some of his music anyway. 
6) X Christmas - Various Artists
7) My Christmas - Andrea Bocelli
Even if you don't care for Andrea Bocelli's style of music (classical/pop, etc), you might be able to appreciate his impressive voice.

Songs (also not in any specific order):
1) Veni Veni Emmanuel - Winter Magic - Hayley Westenra
2) Carol of the Bells - Home for Christmas - BarlowGirl
3) I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - Peace on Earth - Casting Crowns
4) Carol of the Bells - X Christmas - August Burns Red
5) Mary, Did You Know? - X Christmas - Kutless

Also, Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra have some cool "modern-sounding" Christmas songs.

Once again I'll sugest that you check out the free mp3s on Amazon.  Right now there is a lot of free Christmas music from well-known artists such as BarlowGirl, Casting Crowns, Jars of Clay, House of Heroes, and many more, as well as non-seasonal music.  Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to see, say, all "free Christian music" or "free Celtic music", or...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Hello readers,
I'm now back at home, having arrived safely at somewhere around 5:30 pm.

-Max out

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Down" in Durham

Or something like that.  Whatever.  Anyway, right now I'm at a Marriot Courtyard in Durham.
I'm with my church's pastor and a guy from my church; we've been here in the city since around 8:00 am.
We've been at a pastor's conference (for pastors, that is, although it's been mostly pastors who have been preaching/teaching) all day.  Considering I fell asleep probably sometime past 1:30 am and got up at 5:30, I've been a little tired today and especially a couple of hours ago, but at the moment I'm actually not really tired.  A good portion of the teaching has been on noted personalities in church history such as Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards.  Besides Cooper (the other guy from our church), the other young guys who aren't pastors are with a pastor of a church in Wake Forest, Scott Brown.  He brought his interns and some of the other young guys with him, so there were others around my age.  We'll be at the second day of the conference tomorrow morning.  Right now I'm writing from a computer in the hotel lobby, watching people come in through the front doors.  It appears there is at least one girls' soccer team staying here, as well as some other people...but that's not really worth mentioning.  And no, none of the girls I saw were particularly attractive.  Believe me, I would have noticed if there were, as I tend to notice a pretty girl...
Anyway, I'm going to go back up to the room now, since I'm just about out of stuff to say.  

-Max out  .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food, Inc.

Yesterday, my family and I watched the recent documentray, Food, Inc.
It shows the process of food production and delivery - that is, how your food goes from part of a cow to becoming part of your cheeseburger, and much more.
If the fact that animals are herded together without regard for the conditions they're in (many chickens don't even see daylight) because you figure, like some people, that the animals are going to be slaughtered for food in a short time anyway, some other things in the movie might make you sit up and pay attention.
First, the conditions that the animals killed for food, including the food they eat and how sanitary their living conditions (as well as the food processing plants) are should concern you, since what animals eat and have put into them becomes part of them, and in turn becomes part of you.
Also, because these big food companies are only concerned about money and not about the health and conditions of the animals used for food, the workers, or consumers, even though there have been numerous deaths and serious illnesses (some that affect people for the rest of their lives, requiring them to have constant treatments, alter their appearances, and more), "big food" doesn't want to take any steps to change things for the better.
The government constantly wastes taxpayer money, due in a large part to the idea many people have, namely, that the government should take care of them.  That is an incorrect mindset to have,
but it should be said the government does have some responsibility to take care of its citizens, at least in the sense that it doesn't allow big corporations to take advantage of consumers and workers.


[to be continued...]

Friday, November 13, 2009


Well, today my dad, brothers and I ran a 10k annual run today.
It was pretty tough, as always, and true to the tradition of this race, it rained!
This time, it had already been raining for a few days and only rained lightly during the beginning of the run, but the ground was still all muddy and full of mud puddles, slippery mud and clay, etc.
I drastically improved my previous time (I think I did 66:30 two years ago and then 69:00+ last year) this time, with a total elapsed time of 57:31.  Not too fast, but better than before.
Here's the website where you can find the link to register, provided you want to run in the race next year.  I believe it's open to the public, once you get onto Ft. Bragg.
Scroll down to close to the bottom of the page and you'll see a slideshow of photos from last year's run.
There's a photo of me at #87.  Photos from this year's run should be on the site soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just chillin'

Let me see…
We put up Christmas lights on our front porch after getting some LED light strings at Home Depot (you'd get a $3 off coupon for the LED lights if you traded in your old lights) on the 5th, so we were (and still are) the only people in our neighborhood to have Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving.  Actually, we're the first to have the lights up at all.
I'm going to take a shower now, so that's all for now.
-Max out

[update from 11/14/09:]
My brother found my Zen X-Fi for me the other day, and last Saturday I saw a new white Nissan GT-R; the second I've seen so far.  The first was also white (possibly the same one, but I'm not sure).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Not doing much

Well, as the title of this post states, I haven't been doing much recently.
My car has engine problems, so we're proably going to take it to the mechanic's shop.
Hopefully it won't be permantly messed up, since I don't have the money to buy a new engine (or a new car).  Another engine can actually cost almost as much or even more than the car.  :(

We had a family over for dinner this evening.  We both used to go to the same church (Northview Baptist), but they now go to another church, as do we.
We hadn't seen them in a long time, so partly because of that, we had a pretty nice time with them.
Not to say that we wouldn't have a nice time with other people we have over at our house, but  you know what I mean.

Well, I'm heading off to bed now.
-Max out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Max is.

I've used this (the post title) as a current status on different sites before.  It kind of reflects how I feel quite often; could be better, could be worse, but I'm pretty much just ok. 

Let's see...
I watched The Bourne Identity recently.  I thought it was pretty good, and pretty believeable as well for an action movie.  In a lot of action movies (think the Die Hard series, for instance), a good amount of suspension of belief is required.  For someone to fall out of a car from a long way and just get up and dust himself off is a bit too much for a non-superhero.  The only things I think are unrealistic are the silenced gunshots sounding like spits (as with many movies and books), and maybe Bourne shooting accurately while falling through the staircase railing.  That might be possible, but I'm not sure.

And now it's late, so I'm off to take a shower and get ready for bed.

-Max out

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free MP3s on Amazon

For those like me who like free stuff, including free music, is a good place to check out.
Just go to "MP3 Downloads" and find the free ones.  There will be links that will get you to pages with free songs and albums.  There are some that I've gotten that are classical music and others from names I've never heard before, but there are also free songs I've gotten from well-known artists (today I got Hello Sunshine, by BarlowGirl, for free).