Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Count down revisted

2.5 days left.


Monday, November 26, 2007

For lack of better things to do:

4.375 days left: that's how many more days I have until I'm finished work at Turkstra. I'm planning on taking the month of Decemeber off, woot! (first real holiday since I graduated University), then going to work somewhere. But not entirely sure what, or even what I'm doing. But it could be a significant change. So check back in about a month.

bye bye now!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


To those of you that don't already know, I will be leaving Hamilton. I'm moving back up north to be closer to family and work on the farm. While it will be disappointing to close a chapter in my life, I'm looking forward to moving on and exploring what God has in store for me.

I have been planning this for some time now, since about March or April of this year. My original target date was the end of August, but since my employer has not found a replacement and I do not have another job to move on to, I've agreed to stay until the end of October. Turkstra has been good to me (for the most part), and I want to leave them in a good place rather than a hole that they have to recover from.
I will miss having the gym at Redeemer close by, the beautiful waterfront and escarpment trails, and the all night grocery stores.

I'll also miss being close to friends who have meant so much to me, and have played a big part in the man I am today. Surprisingly, it was the decision to being away from these people that was the hardest one to make. However, considering that most of them I only see once or twice a month anyway, I figures I could still see them on weekends and days off.

So, farewell to the fair Hamilton. Think of me breathing the fresher air of Grey County, milking cows and eating steak.

If you're in the area, come visit me at the intersection of Southgate Road 22 and Grey Road 23, Southgate Township.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Long Time No Post

I admit it has been a very long time since I've posted anything. But simple put, there hasn't really been a whole lot exciting to blog about. But still, I've given myself 10 lashes with a wet noodle and maybe will have something better.

That being said . . .

Welcome to the world Sophia Estel Elizabeth DeGraaf

All cute 5 lbs 13 oz of her on Sept 25 2007. And being the unbiased "uncle" that I am, she is one of the cutest babies I've ever held.

When she's 14, her dad and I will get baseball bats to keep all the boys away.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lesson Learned

Don't try to cross the US/Canada border with the following:
  • a truck cap
  • a tool box
  • wiper fluid, brake fluid, car wash soap, wax, tire cleaner, oil
  • 1 duffle bag
  • gym bag
  • roller blades
  • bible
  • hymn books, praise and worship music
  • hat
  • digital camera
  • spare tire
  • hub caps
  • seat covers
  • red gear shift knob
  • watch
  • cell phone
  • . . .

Ok, it wasn't that bad. The people inside were actually really nice. But it's still intimidating.

But really, it's just little ol' peccles.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sometimes, I need a kick in the pants . . .

Awake, My Soul (Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow)
Ken Thomas, Man­u­al of Pray­ers for the Use of the Schol­ars of Win­ches­ter Col­lege, 1674

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, Who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My New Toy

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bach's Mass in b minor

I'm going to see:

BACH: Mass in B Minor
Apr 6, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Centre in the Square
Suzie LeBlanc soprano
Susan Platts mezzo soprano
Michael Schade Tenor
Peter McGillivaray baritone
Grand Philharmonic Choir
Howard Dyck conductor


I saw Bach's St Matthew Passion last year on Good Friday and it was amazing! (only thing better would be if Redeemer/Alumni did it . . . hint hint)
I highly recommend this to everyone! Get your tickets now!


Friday, March 09, 2007

New Level of Stupidity

Ok, now really, how stupid can people get?

Failed attempt to copy 'Jackass'

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - Attempts to duplicate a movie stunt landed one man in the hospital with burned genitals and another facing criminal charges.

The men were trying to do a stunt from one of the "Jackass" movies, in which a character lights his genitals on fire. Jared Anderson, 20, suffered serious burns to his hands and genitals, according to the criminal complaint.

Randell Peterson, 43, who sprayed lighter fluid on Anderson and lit him on fire, was charged with felony battery and first-degree reckless endangerment Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court.

Witnesses told police that Anderson, who was drunk, volunteered to do the stunt Sunday after watching the movie, the complaint said.

After Peterson ignited Anderson, he ran into the bathroom, jumped into the tub and put the flames out, according to the complaint. He was taken to hospital and treated for second-degree burns.

Anderson told police that he didn't want anyone to get in trouble because of the stunt.
Peterson was freed on a US$2,000 bond. He has a hearing scheduled April 16. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Songs Rediscovered

I Can Onyl Imagine - Mercy Me

I can only imagine
what it will be like,
when I walk by Your side...
I can only imagine,
what my eyes will see,
when Your Face is before me!

I can only imagine. I can only imagine.

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine,
when that day comes,
when I find myself standing in the Son!
I can only imagine,
when all I will do,
is forever, forever worship You!

I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine,
when all I do is forever,
forever worship You!

I can only imagine . . .

I know this song isn't that old, but I haven't heard it for a long time. I especially love the last four lines. It's very rare that a song moves me to tears, and even rarer when it's in English (probably because I'm emotionally dead). But still, a really good song.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I'm loving YouTube. Why? Because I'm re-discovering favourite cartoons from my youth.

Case in point: Thundercats

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Pancake Day!

Happy Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, or whatever you want to call it. I hope your not on a Low-Carb diet today.

"The reason that pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent is that the 40 days of Lent form a period of liturgical fasting, during which only the plainest foodstuffs may be eaten. Therefore, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar and flour are disposed of immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. Pancakes and doughnuts were therefore an efficient way of using up these perishable goods, besides providing a minor celebratory feast prior to the fast itself. " (wikipedia)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Happy lunar new year, or "congratulations and be prosperous." If you were born in 1980 like me, you are a Monkey:

The Monkey is the most versatile sign of the Chinese zodiac. Such people are often inventors, plotters, entertainers and the creative geniuses behind anything ingenious, including mischief. They have natural quick-wittedness which enables them to understand what is happening and then make a right decision. Even during a conversation a person born in this year is aware of what is going on around him/her, and then makes a mental note of who said what and stores it away for future reference. In general, with their agile minds and multiple talents, monkey type of people can master any subject. They are reliable and honest people so that any secret is safe in their hands. These people are also honest in their dealings. Monkey people are very good at problem-solving. Monkeys know how to listen closely and work out solutions at the same time.

Although these people are trustworthy and unlikely to hurt someone out of spite, they would never let people escape if they have behaved badly or damaged a monkey's reputation. Their stamina and determination to achieve their main goals can make these people appear vain or manipulative. It means that people born under this sign should be careful so they do not damage their friendships. It is important to remember for these persons that it would be wiser sometimes not to pursue their goals and simply let things pass.

Monkeys have flexible principles and serene self-confidence so they are completely content; but they usually manage to complicate the lives of others. After yet another plan or project has gone wrong, they are seldom there to help clean up the disorder and confusion that they leave in their wake. Monkeys can handle that too; with their charm and persuasiveness they can make people believe that just knowing them is a privilege (of course knowing me is a privilege).

Also noted on a placemat in a Chinese restaurant: "thinks lowly of others. " Probably not entirely untrue . .

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wiarton Willie forecasts early spring

WIARTON, Ont. (CP) - Wiarton Willie says the winter that arrived late to most regions of Canada will give way to an early spring.
The country's most famous weather prognosticating rodent failed to see his shadow when roused from his slumber this morning.

Good Commercial

Ok, rather than appear to be a negative Ned and post about bad things, I thought I'd post about one of my favourite commercials: The Nicoderm Angry Steward(ess). If it comes on tv, I have to stop whatever I'm doing and watch it because it's hilarious (it doesn't hurt that she's good looking too).

And because I'm slightly technologically inept, I'm just posting a link to it.

It almost makes me want to take up smoking, just so I can quit. Not really.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I didn't think Leon's could do any worse than their Christmas commercial, but I was wrong. Now they have a "that's hot" commercial. Worst . . . commercial . . . ever. I vote for a Leon's boycott.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cows Like Snow

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Word of the Week

1. having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

4. the concept of beauty (usually prec. by the).
5. (used with a plural verb) beautiful things or people collectively (usually prec. by the): the good and the beautiful.
6. the ideal of beauty (usually prec. by the): to strive to attain the beautiful.

7. wonderful; fantastic: You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!
8. extraordinary; incredible: used ironically: Your car broke down in the middle of the freeway? Beautiful

I use this word way too much. Beautiful.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Ok, I'll be the first to admit I am not a winter person. I wish I could just curl up and hibernate from January through to mid April.

There is almost nothing I like about winter: it's cold, dark, and just makes life in general difficult (and I've convinced myself that winter is the result of sinful man, but that's another story).

But I have realized something: I think all my reasons for not liking winter is the difficulty it causes for getting around. If I never had to go anywhere, it'd be fine. I wouldn't have to worry about putting on 12 layers of clothes just to go to my truck. I wouldn't have to adjust my schedule to driving conditions. I wouldn't have to worry about slipping when I go for a run. Winter has become more of an inconvenience more than anything else to me. It just gets in the way of what I need to get done.

When put in this context, winter is much more manageable. On a day like today when it's -10, but clear and sunny, winter isn't so bad. Although I still wish it was +25 and sunny. But those days will be back soon enough.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Any moderately physically active person will tell you the importance of stretching before and after a workout. I say this myself, although I don't always follow through.

Friday I hit legs hard after being off for two weeks for Christmas. Usually after a leg workout I do some moderate cardio to "cool down" my legs. However, this time I did not. Consequently Sunday night after sitting for 2 hours of driving, I was having a hard time walking. I probably looked pretty funny walking across the parking lot.

But I like feeling sore, to a point. It's the feeling that I've had a good workout and actually accomplished something. Today my shoulders, chest, and arms are a bit sore after yesterday's workout, and my legs have recovered just in time to do a leg workout tonight.

Anyone who wants to join me, just show up at the Redeemer gym around 5-5:30 ish. But of course, you have better things to do with your time, don't you?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Computers are stupid

Ok, why if I tell my system that I have 0 pieces of something, it thinks I mean I have -1028?

Friday, December 22, 2006


Coughing is a good ab workout.

The Cost of the 12 Days Of Christmas for 2006.

* One Partridge in a Pear Tree: $144.99 ($15.00 Partridge, $129.99 Pear Tree)

* Two Turtle Doves: $40.00 ($20.00 each)

* Three French Hens: $45.00 ($15.00 each)

* Four Calling Birds: $479.96 ($119.99 each)

* Five Gold Rings: $325.00 ($65.00 each)

* Six Geese-a-Laying: $300.00 ($50.00 each)

* Seven Swans-a-Swimming: $4,200.00 ($600.00 each)

* Eight Maids-a-Milking: $41.20 ($5.15 each)

* Nine Ladies Dancing: $4,759.19 ($528.80 each)

* Ten Lords-a-Leaping: $4,160.25 ($416.02 each)

* Eleven Pipers Piping: $2,124.00 ($186.66 each)

* Twelve Drummers Drumming: $2,224.30 ($193.09 each)

The grand total of the song for 2006 - $18,920.59 USD

That's one exceedingly expensive year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

World Oil vs Gas Prices

Ok, I've ranted about this before, but just thought I'd bring it up again:

In the past week, gas prices at the pumps in Hamilton are up by about 8%-10%, while world oil realistically is only up a marginal 4%, and commodity gasoline has been steady for the past few days. The weather has been unseasonably warm, which is bringing down demands on fuel oils and natural gas, which is why they're down from this time last week.

So, why is gasoline up so much? Market analysts will argue that it is the result of the OPEC production cut to bring up the price of crude since there will be higher demand for less oil. However, with the draw down in demand for fuel oil, more non-OPEC markets coming online, and as commodity gasoline prices remaining steady, this argument just doesn't hold much weight for me.

Coincidence that the Christmas & New Year's travel season is less then a week away? I think not.

Friday, December 15, 2006

On the previous post . . .

Maybe the materialist aspect is why Christmas often leaves me feeling empty and unfulfilled. It seems like there is a huge build up to the "big day," and then . . . bam! Where'd it go? I feel like there should be some great feeling of completion and satisfaction, yet the day after in reality is just like any other day, aside from feeling bloated and gassy from eating too much.

We have this huge build up to Christmas that starts right after Halloween (in Canada anyway), with decorations and flyers and the Wish Book all hitting us in the face . . . and it lingers like a . . ., well, a bad fart.

The material aspect of Christmas (and the increasing secularization of Christmas) completely robs us of the true joy of what Christmas is: celebrating the joy of the Birth of Christ who ultimately gave His life to save ALL of us. The only true joy I seem to find at Christmas is in worship, or when I have the opportunity to attend a concert that celebrates Jesus (rather then Christmas fluff like some rouge santa running down Grandma).

So, my New Year's resolution for this year: to remember and hold the true Joy of Christmas through the whole year.

What is Christmas?

I found this while just flipping through some random blogs. I think there's some truth to both sides. (Aside: it's amazing how many useless blogs are out there . . . oh wait, this is one of them).

Insight of the Day
Upon passing a church sign that read "Christmas without Christ equals materialism" a 17-year-old "guy I know" said: "Uhhh, NO... Christmas without is just 'mass'."
Asked to explain what he meant, he said, "Christmas empty of Jesus leaves you with an empty ritual, completely unsatifying to anyone, like church without real worship."

So there, he said it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tim Horton's Breakfast Sandwich

I just had a Tim Horton's Breakfast Sandwich and urge everyone to go out and get one right now! They're just so good! MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

But let's have a look at the nutritional information:

If you can't read that, the most tasty one has 500 calories and 20g of saturated fat. Not very good for you. The average moderatly active male should consume around 2000 calories a day, 1500 if he is trying to lose weight. This means I could eat 3-4 sandwiches a day provided I only drink water and don't eat anything else. A fair trade off? I think so.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Music

Christmas is one of my most favourite times of the year. Why? I love the music that celebrates the birth of our Lord and Saviour. This is some of the greatest music ever written, except for maybe Easter music.

But one of the things that drives me nuts is some of the "fluff" Christmas music. You know what I mean. The overplayed sap that just gets on your nerves every time you hear it.

So I've come up with two lists. First, the Top Four Christmas songs I hate the most (I'm sure I could come up with more), and then a listing of some of my favourite Christmas Songs.

Top 4 Worst Christmas Songs:
#4: The Little Drummer Boy
#3: Old Toy Trains (Old toy trains, little toy tracks, little boys toys . . . etc)
#2: The Christmas Shoes
#1: So This is Christmas.

Favourite Christmas Songs (in no particular order):
Joseph's Lullaby - Mercy Me
The First Noel
O Holy Night
O Come All Ye Faithful
Worthy is the Lamb & Amen from Handel's Messiah (I know those parts are for Easter, but it's most often performed at Christmas)
Joy to the World
My Heart Would be Your Bethlehem - the Gaither Vocal Band
Praetorius' Mass for Christmas Morning
Magnificat - Bach or Buxtehude
In Dulci Ubilo - Praetorius
Grown Up Christmas List

I Heard the Bells - Mercy Me (12/5/06)

anything to add?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh yeah


Friday, November 24, 2006


Does anyone else hate the Leon's commercials? They're annoying and sound incredibly cheap. And the girl on the new Christmas one is so over the top cute it makes me want to puke. Maybe it's because all their money is tied up in holding accounts for their delayed pament programs. All I know is that Leon's is quickly going the way of Marineland: one more place I will never go specifically because their commercials are so bad and a company that I hope will go bankrupt simply so I don't have to see their commercials any more.

As an aside: are there any companies that you don't like because of their commercials?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Using your Gifts for God

Ok, first of all I need to apologize for not blogging much. I'm the type of person who doesn't say too much unless I have something to talk about. Life has been very busy lately with work, so there just hasn't been too much exciting to talk about. However, I had a bit of a personal revelation this weekend, so read on and you'll find out.

The Parable of the Talents: Matt 25:14-30

14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

As some of you may or may not know, I'm working part time right now as an organist for a United Church. I have said before that I would never work in a United Church again, partly because I strongly disagree what their national church advocates (which I've found is not necessarily what the local group professes), but also partly because of some discouragement I've felt in the past working in a United Church.

However, this one is quite different. The pastor there truly loves the Lord, and it has been quite an eye opener for me to work with Him.
After service one day we were talking about the new hymn book in the United Church and what we don't like about it when Pastor Kirby said something that rather stunned me. He related about when he was looking for a charge, that he would not accept a call to a church that uses the new hymn book. But after thinking and praying on it, he thought to himself, "If God tells me to go to a church and preach the Word, am I really going to say 'no' because of a hymn book?" This made me realize the arrogance that I've been living in my life.

God has given me a gift of music, and I love to share it with people. But how can I say to God that I won't go where he tells me because that church doesn't believe what I think they should? If God was telling me to go somewhere and use my gifts to His glory, who am I to say "NO"! How arrogant is that? Can I claim to be a Christian, have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, but tell Him "No"?

In case you haven't caught my point yet, the answer is a resounding "NO." I have been given a gift by God, and I am called to use it. When the day of judgment comes, I shouldn't stand up and say, "Y'know God, I really didn't want to go into that church because they don't do this and that and they do this and that and they smell funny and wear cheese slices with the choir gowns." I want God to be able to say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Personal Best

Leg Press 390lb. Now if only I could get my bench press moving up like that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It was on CBC, so it must be true

Singing in the shower adds 9.08 minutes on average to your shower time.