Sunday, January 31, 2010


Some thoughts and questions I was pondering today:

"How do people who know you, who read what you write, or who talk to you know you're a Christian?  You say you're a Christian, but is being a Christian just a label applied to yourself, or is it a way of life?
Like Peter and John who said 'For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,' (Acts 4:20) are you shouting out what you have heard and seen and shining like a beacon of truth for the world to see, or are you just claiming to be a Christian and keeping Christ in a 'little box' somewhere inside of you? 
Are you showing that Christ truly matters to you - that He died, saved you, and He is the reason for your existence?  Are you a Jesus Freak?  Now if you really mean what you say, what are you going to do about it?  

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
  15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.       

So help me God.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My comments on the earthquake in Haiti

I think it's sad that the earthquake in Haiti killed and injured so many people and left many homeless, but it should help to remember that God is in control, and whether He directly caused the earthquake or simply allowed it to happen, He is not surprised by what happens, and anything that happens is according to His plan.
Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movie Montages

If you like action movies, check out OasisUnlimited's (Samuel's) YouTube channel here (note: you may want to make sure your volume isn't on high for the "Hero - [Superhero Montage]" one): 
(note: you may want to make sure your volume isn't on high for the "Hero - [Superhero Montage]" one)
I think video editing like that is pretty cool...what's your opinion?
I would have embedded his 2010 Teaser Trailer and others, but haven't found the embed code yet.  I'll do so when I find it.

-Max out

Friday, January 22, 2010

They are LEGO bricks, not Legos!

What not to say...

Here are a few things not to say to a psychopathic terrorist/warlord/etc. bent on world domination or at least one who is holding you or someone else captive or is gloating over his evil plan while you're helpless at the moment to stop him/her.  The reasons not to should be obvious: it doesn't work and makes you look silly.

1) "You won't get away with this!"

2) "You'll kill lots of innocent people!"

3) "You can't do this to me!"

I'll try to think of more, but if you have any suggestions for other things to not say when faces the "bad guy," please leave a comment and tell me.

Oh, don't forget to download Yahoo! Widgets here and the "Evil Overlord" widget here.  This evil overlord knows not to make the same mistakes many previous ones have.  Here's one of his rules I particularly like:
"Rule 178: If I have the hero cornered and am about to finish him off and he says "Look out behind you!!" I will not laugh and say "You don't expect me to fall for that old trick, do you?" Instead I will take a step to the side and half turn. That way I can still keep my weapon trained on the hero, I can scan the area behind me, and if anything was heading for me it will now be heading for him."

Prov. 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

-Max out

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Several more sweepstakes

As with many sweepstakes, you have to be 18 to enter these two cash sweepstakes, so that means I'll be able to in just a few more months.
1) Road & Track Cash Giveaway Sweepstakes

2) Car and Driver Cash Giveaway Sweepstakes

For the sweepstakes from, you can be 13 or older.
3) Hearitfirst Sweepstakes (including an iPod Touch and a Dell Netbook)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Here are some books I recommend you read:

1) Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink is one of the most interesting nonfiction books I have read in a long time.
It deals with a variety of topics, but the central theme is that your subconscious split-second decision-making processes may make better decisions than if you'd thought for a long time about something and made a choice after gathering lots of info.  Also, it makes the point that your subconscious plays a larger part than most people think in how they act and think.  

Note: there is a little "strong language," mainly partly because the book quotes actual statements and situations word-for-word, so in case that might deter you from reading it, I just thought I'd put a warning.   

2) The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible, by Ken Schoolland
This book presents principles of a free market economy as well as liberty in general and puts it in an easy-to-read story format.  The story is fairly interesting, and even more so when you see what it's talking about.  

3) Schott's Original Miscellany, by Ben Schott
This is a book of facts and knowledge that you might never use, but some of the things in it are useful.
Some are simply interesting, so if you like fact books, this is a good one to check out. 

This is another post that I am finishing right now and I'm not going to have a "to be continued" note at the bottom.

-Max out

Dust to dust

Gen. 3:19b
"for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Ecc. 3:20b
"all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."

Ecc. 12:7a
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was..."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photos from Raven Rock Park

We went to Raven Rock Park today at around 11 am and got back at around 3 pm.
Here are some photos from the hike there.

[more to follow...]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

At the mall

Today we went to the Cross Creek Mall for the same reason we usually go there - my mom went to Gymboree to buy children's clothes.  While there, my younger siblings usually watch the movie playing on a TV at a Smart Buy stand next to Gymboree or next door at the movie store. 
I either 1) do the same, 2) wander around nearby and pick up free food samples from the food court, 3) sit and read or do something else.  However, this time I got to do something a little different.
As I passed by the Chick-Fil-A in the food court, I noticed that a girl behind one of the cash registers looked very familiar.  I wasn't positive she was who I thought she was - until I saw her mom behind the counter as well.  I have mistaken people I've seen for someone I know before, but as with a recent case in which I saw my piano teacher and her daughter together (incidentally, at another Chick-Fil-A), I knew I wasn't mistaken, because the likelihood of seeing two people that look like people you know - together - is pretty unlikely.
Anyway, I was right; she was a friend from when I played soccer (who will remain unnamed for now, for security and privacy reasons), and her mom was my soccer coach.  

Well, I'll get to the part I thought was slightly amusing, considering I like to surprise people in various ways.  
To tell the truth, I wanted to say hello to her and her mom and wasn't interested in buying anything, but you can't just go up and have a conversation - even a short one - with someone when they're on the job, and particularly when the job involves doing something like taking customers' orders and there are people waiting in line.
Because of that, I looked at the menu to try to decide on something to buy.  Unfortunately, there is no dollar menu at Chick-Fil-A, so I decided on getting a lemonade.  After making up my mind and getting in line, I tried to keep my face hidden or at least turned away, until I walked up to the counter.
I should mention that I also put on my sunglasses before getting in line.  
As my friend saw me, she said "hi" like she was saying hi to all the other customers, and then "Hi!" - with a surprised look of recognition - as I took off my shades.  That was done for the effect, naturally.  Her mom showed less surprise, but it was still fun to give them a surprise.   
I then got a medium-sized lemonade for $2.80.  Unlike most restaurants in the chain, this one doesn't let you get unlimited free refills - you only get one for free. 

So if you want to surprise someone by saying hi, just make sure that if you see them, they don't see you.
-Max out  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All better?

Today it seems my cold is entirely gone, or at least just about completely gone.  Unfortunately, I also lost my left contact lens, but unlike the other times this happened, I don't have any more to replace the missing one with.  So right now I'm doing everything wither with my left eye closed or with both eyes open - which produces a somewhat disconcerting effect.  To see clearly I have to only use my right eye right now...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reclaiming the Blade

Last night, my brothers and I watched the documentary, Reclaiming the Blade, on Netflix's internet Instant Play.
I'd first become interested in the movie after watched the trailer before the movie was released, but I hadn't thought much about it recently until it came to mind and I asked my mom to look for it on Netflix.

To say it in a sentence, Reclaiming the Blade is about how the art of the sword (the European styles of swordsmanship, that is) has, for the most part, been nearly lost to us, but is now returning.
Thanks in large part to movies that have kept interest in the sword alive, as well as the resurgence of texts from centuries ago about the sword and its use, the mysteries of the blade are once again being unlocked to us.

The film shows that now, people are starting to rediscover the old ways of the sword - and how it was really used.  What is being spoken of here isn't fencing or period reenactments like the SCA, but an actual attempt to duplicate the art of the sword as it was done in the past.
A few things said by some of the people featured in the movie went something like this:
"I think if we wrap pipes in foam padding, whack each other with them and call that 'swordfighting,' that's not being true to history."
And another one:
"Once, I had a fencing match with a guy and as he lunged at me with his foil, I slapped his blade aside with my left hand and "stabbed" him with mine.  He protested, 'You can't do that; it's not fair…it's illegal!"

I'd say this applies in all sorts of fighting, not just sword-fighting, essentially, that there is no such thing as a fair fight.  Well, you might say that a "match" fight, such as professional boxing, MMA, and various martial arts tournaments are fair fights, but that's not how it works in the real world (i.e. in a life-or-death fight).
Quite simply, there are rules (designed to prevent the competitors from being permantently injured) in a pro fight, but not in a street fight, so in my opinion, there isn't much real-world value in learning a martial art purely as a sport.  For instance, fencing, Tae Kwon Do, and a whole bunch of other things.  I concede that there can and often are benefits to be gained from such things, such as exercise, dexterity and improved hand-eye cooridination, and more.   

The movie also addresses the fact that some people think that foreign swords from Japan, India, or other countries were "so much better made" than those manufactured in Europe.  While this may have been true in many cases, it wasn't true for every sword.  Proof of this is seen in an artifact found in England - a sword thirteen centuries old.  It had an iron core for flexibility and steel on the outside for a strong cutting edge.
It should be noted that this sort of technology was very rare and it would cost a fortune to have a sword like that made, it still existed in Europe - as early as 700 AD or perhaps earlier.

I would also think that there is a certain beauty and grace in the skillful handling of the sword that is absent when shooting a gun (given, you're not likely to chop off limbs or basically, be as bloody, with a gun as with a sword, but I might address that at a later time).
I suggest you watch this movie if 1) you are interested in history, especially European history, the history of combat, etc.; 2) you are interested in various aspects of fighting/martial arts etc.

The documentary features such notable people as Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy); Karl Urban (also from LOTR); Bob Anderson, who has choreographed many famous swordfight scenes in movies such as those in The Princess Bride, some of the ones in the original Star Wars trilogy (he was actually in Darth Vader's suit at times), and others; an assortment of people who have some connection to the art of the sword; and John Rhys-Davies, the narrator (Gimli, from the LOTR trilogy).

If you are like me and appreciate realism in fight scenes and combat in general in movies, (you know, everything from a guy getting shot and flying across the room; silenced shots from a pistol making no more noise than a spit; flashy fake sword fights and much more, this movie will show you somewhat of how it's really done.   

 Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

-Max out   

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Here are some photos of clouds I took three years ago:


 Ecc. 3:11a 
 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lingering cold and not much else

I still have a cold that I had the day after we got back from the SoS conference, so it's good germs can't be spread over the internet, otherwise you might be sick after after this.
Besides that, there isn't really anything of interest to tell about at the moment.
Well, maybe there is.  I should be taking my driver's test to get my full license later this month, my dad left for a week for a work-related school, I got our Wii to connect to the internet, and, well, that's about it.
-Max out

Friday, January 1, 2010