5/31/2007

Myth Busted...

In the past two days, I've found myself in several debates as to whether something was scientifically possible or not. As I've attempted to offer my best retort to my opponent's assertions, I've found myself wielding an unnatural, but strangely effective, power. It appears as if I possess the ability to win any argument over plausibility by simply speaking this magic phrase:

Mythbusters did it. And they said it was (true/untrue).

Seriously. Tonight, someone said Diet Coke could dissolve a penny. Well, I bought the first season of Mythbusters on DVD and they tested that and said it wasn't true. So I said so. They instantly dropped the argument. Somehow, the magic phrase carries with it quite a bit of authority.

So, next time you find yourself in a friendly, or not so friendly, debate with a friend; just speak the magic words "Mythbusters did it. And they said it was (true/untrue)." and step back and enjoy your victory.

P.S. For the other reason why I love this show, just click here...

5/29/2007

I've Been Through the Desert On a Horse With No Name...

I'm leaving today to go to Palm Springs for a few days on our yearly Staff Huddle. Here are some things that, as I've been packing this morning, have run through my mind...

  • I'm not looking forward to the drive out there. It's about two hours and I'm not the biggest fan of long (anymore than an hour) drives. But, at least I'll get to see the windmills.

  • I'm going to Joshua Tree this year. I don't care if I have to go by myself. I'm going...

  • I think I'd also like to go to the different restaurants featured on Rachel Ray's $40 a day. I've already printed out the list.

  • One of the perks that I get as a pastor is that I get my own suite at the hotel. The first year that I went, I was amazed to find that the suite is bigger than my apartment. I was also amazed to find that the couch in the living room is the best napping couch that I've ever slept on in my life. I like it better than the bed in the room.

  • I'm one of two single people going on this trip. The other is also a dude. I'm not sure how I feel about this...

  • I hope it's not 114 degrees like it was last year.

  • Editor's Note: This doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the post, I just wanted to write it. This morning, my Google homepage had this quote on it: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." -Ronald Reagan
    Good one, Mr. President. Good one...
  • The Dark Knight...

    USA Today just released 2 new pics from the Christopher Nolan directed sequel to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight. Check out the article here, and check out the pictures below...

    5/28/2007

    Updated Tourney Bracket...

    Here's an updated bracket for the best summer movie. So far, the highest Yarmulke™ rating belongs to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, but that should change pretty soon.

    Just to review, as the movies come out, I'll ask you to vote on which of the ones that are matched up you liked the best. It looks like the first vote will be on June 15th between Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Shrek the Third. Keep tuning in...

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End...

    "The only way for a pirate to make a living these days is by betraying other pirates. "

    This is the third trilogy movie that I've seen this summer. It's also the third huge summer blockbuster. And, on top of that, it's the third movie with huge build up that critics have been disappointed in. But who am I kidding? Of course I'm going to see this on opening night...

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
    Running Time: 2 hrs. 28 mins.
    Directed By: Gore Verbinski
    Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Chow Yun-Fat

    This movie picks up where the last left off. Jack has been eaten by the Kraken and taken down to Davey Jones' locker. After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue him, they must face their foes, Davey Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett. Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Delma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe, including the infamous Sao Feng (Chow-Yun Fat), to a gathering that will make their final stand against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.

    I was really nervous walking into this movie. I mean, including previews, it's a little over three hours long and I had just eaten. And on top of that, the other two big movies that have already come out (Spider-man 3 and Shrek the Third) in May have been let downs. So, I was really hoping this one would be good...

    What follows is a SPOILER FREE review.


    So, what was good?
  • Johnny Depp. I saw A&E's biography on Depp this past Saturday and it confirmed what I've thought for a while now: the man can do no wrong. Seriously, from Donnie Brasco to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Finding Neverland he's a guaranteed good performance. He absolutely deserved his oscar nom for part 1. He's the heart and sould of these movies.

  • The special effects. If you thought part two looked good with the introduction of Davey Jones and his crew, this one will blow you away. The final battle inside a maelstrom is the stuff that will be remembered for a long time. I'm talking Indiana Jones giant boulder remembered...

  • Bill Nighy. It would have been so easy for Bruckheimer and Verbinski to get someone to phone in a voice performance for this character. After all, the effects make him look so good. But Nighy makes him human... so to speak...

  • Geoffrey Rush. The addition of Barbossa back to the cast was a great move. To me, he was almost as fun to watch as Captain Jack in this movie.

    But...
  • I can see how it could be confusing. I didn't have any trouble keeping up, but I could see with the length of the movie and the multiple story arcs how others will. I think they could have possibly cut about 30 minutes out of the movie.

  • I just don't like what they've done with Will and Elizabeth. I can't really elaborate without spoiling things, but I don't think that their characters remain true to who they were in the first film. And, plain and simple, I just don't like these characters.

  • Dot dot dot. Of course they're going to leave room for more. How could I have possibly expected a clean ending to put a period at the end of the series?


    And so, to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, I give the honor of being awarded a certified 3.5 Yarmulke™ rating.

    I would say this is an opening night movie. Lots are saying it's better than two, but I think it's because it's the conclusion to the series and two was open ended. Careful taking the kiddies though. Lots of darkness and quite a lot more death and violence. Good times...
  • 5 Things That Are Interesting About Me... Plus One...

    This is a post that's been circulating around the blogosphere a lot lately. I was tagged by Mindi. So, here are some interesting things about me. And, as a bonus, they're also things that I'll bet you didn't know. Just add them to the two previous lists here and here.

  • I have three scars on my head. One's along my hairline in the front. It's from rolling off of my dad when I was a baby. He was laying on the couch with me on his stomach and I rolled off and busted my head on the coffee table.

    The next is on the under side of my chin. It's from when my dad took me to a bar with him one afternoon. I tried jumping up onto a milk carton and missed, hitting my chin.

    The final one is next to my left sideburn and is from college. A guy on our hall challenged me to a wrestling match. I didn't know he wrestled in High School. I held my own, but he had left his watch on and it got me. It left a pretty descent sized gash...

  • I can only eat small candies (like Skittles or Reese's Pieces) in even numbers. Seriously... I'll shovel a handful into my mouth and push them to the left side. I count them by moving them to the right and, if it's an odd number, I just add one more...

  • I've never been able to do a cartwheel. Ever. I've never even done one...

  • My first two CD's were Tom Cochrane's Mad Mad World and Mariah Carey's Emotions. Yeah... I know. Hey, Life is a Highway is an awesome song. I have no defense for Mariah...

  • When I moved from South Carolina to California, I brought 3 suitcases. One of them was filled with nothing but DVD's. Let's talk about where my priorities were...

  • Every year that I was in school, from 1st grade through 12th, my mom was called to the school for parent/teacher conferences. Josh talks too much in class. Josh isn't doing his homework. Josh daydreams too much. Josh says that one day, information will be freely exchanged between people via a worldwide network of "computers". And that our daily lives will revolve around this "worldwide web". Yeah, look who was right...

    I'm not tagging anyone. Enjoy Memorial Day...
  • 5/26/2007

    Looney Toon...

    So, what would it be like if I were a Looney Toon and you tried to punt me as far as possible? I don't know. Play this game and find out...

    Want to make one of your own? Just go here...

    5/25/2007

    My Idea For a Superhero...

    Not fair! Is this really a super-powered shrimp? A shrimp... that has super powers? So, just to get this straight: this shrimp is more powerful than me? Hmm... too bad I would destroy it with a little butter and pepper...

    It's a Small Group After All...

    I've been steadily doing Middle School small groups for about 4 1/2 years now. It started at the last church I worked at, about 2 or 3 weeks into the job, when Matt (one of my bosses) drove with me to the house where I'd be meeting my first 7th grade boys small group. He sat with me through the first meeting (even taking me to Del Taco afterward to debrief) and, as soon as week 2 hit, handed me the keys.

    I've been hooked ever since.

    I've had three groups (not including ones I've been with temporarily) and I still stay in touch with (although not as much as I'd like) most of the guys that I've had the priveledge of leading. Of course, that's not to say that, much like the elevator business, it hasn't had its ups and downs. Editor's Note: That was my granddad's joke. And I love it.

    No matter how you personally assemble your small groups, whether they be 8th grade girls or 6th grade boys; no matter how different the group dynamics of each may be, you begin to notice patterns. At least I have. I've had groups from very affluent families and groups from more working class backgrounds. I've had groups from broken homes and groups from very godly, supportive families. But, I somehow always end up with some of the same kids.

    In fact, this past Wednesday night, I had a weird déjà vu moment. Even though I haven't been with them in 3 years, it was almost as if I were leading my first small group all over again.

    Here are some students that I seem to have in every small group:

  • The Late One- No matter what we're doing; no matter what time it starts, this kid will be at least half an hour late. And, somehow, it's never their fault. I could announce that I'd be giving away free monster trucks filled with money and they would be tardy.

  • The Human Tapeworm- Snack cannot come quickly enough for this kid. Nor can it come in a proper amount. Maybe it's the Middle School growth spurt or that they go all day at school on nothing but a pack of Sour Skittles and a Dr. Pepper. Either way, when they raise their hand during group, they're not wanting to ask about why Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls, they want to know when they can gnaw on some Oreos.

  • The Spleen- Whatever this kid ate before they came should be illegal. Make sure to have proper ventilation...

  • The Gun Jumper- Things you can't use as a part of your teaching style around the Gun Jumper: rhetorical questions, stories that build to a point, or any idea that has more than one part. This one wants to ask the final point before you get to it. On the one hand, you want to applaud because of their ability to grasp what you're talking about. But on the other hand, you want to throw your shoe at them for messing with your set-up that you've worked so hard on.

  • The Megaphone- This student talks... all the time... and loud. No matter what you try, short of surgical sutures, they won't stop. They're usually the ones you want to read the verse out loud...

  • The Quiet One- They could be shy... or mute. Who knows? You can't get them to say anything! There's a lot of variations of this type of student. My favorite is the one that you can never get to open up at group who then goes home to tell his folks that he can't wait until next time because Small Group is his favorite part of the week.

  • The Alpha Student- A natural leader always emerges. Sometimes, they use their powers for good. Sometimes, they turn to the dark side. If you can hook them in, you've almost always got the rest of the group.

    Even though there are times when it seems like I can't get control; and I doubt if they're even listening. Even though there are times when I feel like we'd be better off just watching a movie. I wouldn't trade this for all the money in the world.

    That's the beauty of Middle School Ministry: you get to see messy, dorky kids who can barely sit still for more than 5 minutes turn into young men and women who love God and want to give Him everything. Editor's Note: Then, you can encourage them to lead a Middle School Small Group. And be there when they come into your office to ask how to deal with The Megaphone!

    Just ask Mark Shelley, my youth pastor. He had to deal with a kid who was talkative, smart mouthed, and prideful. Thank God he saw something in me. He pushed me to give more to God; in my relationship with Him and in service. And you'd better believe he was there to laugh the first time I came to him and asked how to deal with a kid who wouldn't stop mouthing off to me...
  • 5/24/2007

    Two Great Tastes In One...

    Somewhere, someone thought, "Gosh. I love the taste of Pepsi. And I love the taste of cucumbers. But, my heart aches for some type of beverage that combines the two into one. I wish..." Never fear world, Pepsi is planning to release a special Ice Cucumber-flavored drink in Japan this summer. According to the official press release (in Japanese), the new drink flavor will hit stores across Japan on June 12th, but it will only be available for a limited time.

    Yes, hello? Air Japan? I'd like to book one ticket...

    Finally, Finale...

    After watching the season finales of Heroes and LOST, I'd like to share some of my qualms.

  • Heroes had an incredible season long run of amazingly captivating television. It gave us questions. It gave us answers. But it never did so without swapping them (the answers) for new questions. In short, it became everything that LOST should be.

  • LOST had its most bumpy season yet. There were amazing episodes and iffy ones. It was sometimes great and sometimes ehh...

  • Heroes had a completely anti-climactic finale. I didn't get my giant comic book good guy vs. bad guy battle. I got a wimpy, easy resolution.

  • LOST had its most UH-mazing episode/season finale yet. For the first time this season, maybe even the whole series, I felt the urgency of the survivors to get off of the island. My favorite character came back. The plot finally moved forward. All in all, I was on the edge of my seat for the whole episode.


  • LOST went out on top. Heroes has to prove itself all over again next season...
  • 5/23/2007

    Scrubs...

    Today, I purchased the fifth season of Scrubs. As I sit and watch it, I can't help but to be reminded of a quest that I gave up on last September.

    You see, one of my volunteers and I tried to discover the reason why medical personnel wear scrubs. Even though she's a nurse and I'm a genius (when it comes to comics, obscure pop culture references, and all things Ernest related), we couldn't discover the truth behind the myth. Alas, the quest died along with the fall. But, never fear dear reader! For tonight, the quest was renewed and completed!

    Do you want to know why? Just click here...

    5/22/2007

    Body Double 11: Puddles vs. Drama...

    Now I know that I just posted a Body Double yesterday, but I'm hitting a little bit of the writer's block tonight and I needed something to loosen up the old... what do you call it? Thinking... brain... idea come from... spot. Crap.

    Even though I said that I wouldn't do it, I came back and watched the second and 1st part of the 3rd season of Entourage. After careful observation of one of its characters, namely one Johnny "Drama" Chase, I would like to confirm and give credit to someone else who made a great call.

    This Body Double belongs to Alice. She said, and I completely agree, that Drama looks just like a beat version of Puddles. So, Puddles, take good care of yourself. Otherwise, you could end up living rent-free in your movie star best friend's house doing nothing but hanging out and getting paid for it.

    Wait... you're my best friend. That means I'll be the movie star! Never mind! Live it up buddy...

    RIP Veronica Mars 2004-2007...

    I still remember watching the first episode of this show and thinking at the end, "I'm hooked." Oh Veronica, once again a show that is too good gets cancelled, while crap like The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll and Girlfriends lives on.

    Maureen Ryan wrote a great article on it for the Chicago Tribune here...

    It's All Fun and Games...

    Part of my desire here at "Part of the Process..." is to meet the needs of you, the reader, in creative ways. And lately I've heard your cries for help. "Josh, help us! We've become too productive at home and at work! What can we do to break up all of our time that we spend doing what we're supposed to be doing?" Well, dear reader, never fear. I have been a 7th degree time waster since my senior year of high school.

    Ben and I found this game on Friday before church. Your misson: to mix a combination of three potions together to hurl at an advancing troop of skeletons that are trying to attack your wall. We must've played it for 20 minutes straight before we noticed how much time had passed.

    Readers: enjoy.

    Employers: I'm sorry...

    Body Double 10: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...

    Watching the news is getting more ridiculous than ever. I've seen a couple of reports on the Phil Spector murder trial, but all I can think about is his hair. Actually, I suppose I should say his toupee.

    How much does he look like Hair Bear from the Hair Bear Bunch?

    I hope my hair never gets that out of control...

    5/21/2007

    The Clown Prince...

    As per this website, I present to you the very first OFFICIAL pic of Heath Ledger as Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime...

    Shrek the Third...

    "I know he's a jerk and everything but I gotta admit that Charming makes me hotter than July."

    I'm not sure that this movie warrants an entire review. It kind of is what it is. So, I'll keep things brief.

    Shrek the Third
    Running Time: 1 hr. 33 mins.
    Directed By: Chris Miller, Raman Hui
    Starring: (Voices of) Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake

    I'm getting worried about the '07 summer movie season. First, there was the whole Spider-man 3 disappointment. And then, all I'd read about Shrek the Third is how it jumped the shark. But, critics aren't always right.

    What follows is a SPOILER FREE review.


    So, what was good?
  • Your usual mixture of humor for kids, humor for everybody, and humor for adults. I've always liked Shrek for laughs. This one has your usual jokes.

  • Amy Poehler and Eric Idle. Two solid appearences from two incredibly talented comedians. Oh Amy Poehler...

    But...
  • No news isn't necessarily good news. Seriously, there's nothing new here. If you're looking for something different from the first two movies, this ain't it...


    And so, to Shrek the Third, I give the honor of being awarded a certified 3 Yarmulke™ rating.


    This is a movie that's dependable for solid, if totally predictable, laughs. Go check it out, even if it is totally formulaic...
  • 5/20/2007

    Big Deal...

    I realized, on Saturday, that there's something kind of crazy happening with my birthday this year. I'm turning 27 on October 27, 2007. With three numbers, not just the regular two, it's not a golden birthday. It's platinum...

    5/19/2007

    Shoes...

    Today was our big "Help Us Help You" service day. Brian, Sarah, and I (especially Brian) worked our butts off on getting this thing together. I have to say that it was incredible. The team of guys that worked with me worked so hard and were so funny that the 11 hours we were together flew by like we were playing Ninjas while eating banana spring rolls. Here's a few quick stats:

  • 56 different locations in San Diego, El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, Lakeside, and Santee...

  • 87 middle school and high school students...

  • 11 car wash teams washing 45 cars and 1 motor home...

  • 7 house cleaning teams going to 24 homes...

  • 9 yard work teams serving in 21 different places...

  • Tune in next week to see how much money we raised for "Journey Up"...

    Google Analytics...

    Do you guys know about Google Analytics? It might be the best thing that's happened to my blog since this post. It's a program that allows you to find out all types of great information about who's looking at your blog or web page. All you have to do is paste the HTML code into your template and you can embark upon a magical journey of reader information. For instance, because of Google Analytics, I know that:

  • During the month of May, 26.88% of everybody who visited my blog did so by linking directly to it. 10.34% came from Puddles' blog. 5.21% came here from Marko's blog.

  • The top 5 things searched for in Google that led here were Josh Treece blog, Weird Al stuck in the drive thru, we've all done terrible things to each other Spiderman 3, the landlord Will Ferrell, and Alanna Pearson. Not quite sure how they would end up here by searching for Alanna...

  • 47.64% of everybody that reads my blog does so by using Internet Explorer. 2nd place? Firefox. 3rd? Safari.

  • I have readers from North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. But no Africa... Hey Africa! What gives?

  • 24.32% of everybody that visited did so for the first time ever.

  • Seriously, if you have a blog or a webpage, you have to get this...

    5/18/2007

    Doritos X-13D...

    I had to leave the residence pretty late on Wednesday night. You see, Brian locked himself in our offices and couldn't get out. So, after letting him out, I headed back home. On the way, I stopped at 7-11 to grab some chips. Upon entering the store, my eyes caught sight of a new bag of Doritos. They're called X-13D. It's the company's try at the old "mystery flavor" gimmick. They want you to try the chips and then log on and suggest a name for the flavor.

    Well I've figured out what flavor they are... and I'm not pleased. You see, these chips are cheeseburger flavored. When I chomped down, I definitely tasted some ketchup flavor, as well as some pickle flavor (which I hate).

    So, rest easy readers. I, much like Nehemiah, have become your cupbearer. I have tasted this mystery food, and deemed it gross, so that you don't have to...

    5/17/2007

    Pay No Attention To the Man Behind the Curtain...

    I always wrestle with whether or not to post personal thoughts and feelings here. I mean, on the one hand, it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. But, on the other hand, anyone in the world can read it at any time. And I'm not sure if I'm totally comfortable with that.

    However, God has given me a voice and a calling, and I feel like those two things are intrinsically tied to each other. He has given me a voice (and in some cases, this in particular, a voice in print) that I can use to speak truth and love, and a calling to use it for His glory.

    I'm not sure I ever feel like I'm more in the center of what God wants me to be doing than when I'm sharing who He is with others. Through His word, through what He's done in my life, and especially through all of the billions of mistakes (most of them hilarious because of how stupid they are) that I've made along the way. So I suppose the times that I do somehow fight through the walls that I've built up over the years to allow some light from the outside to shine in are there because I hear God saying that someone needs to hear it. They need to hear the story.

    So, tonight you get a bit of the story.

    For some reason, God has been speaking to me through music a great deal lately. A few days ago, I posted about how I had been inspired by Coldplay. Today's inspiration has come from a band called Mute Math. Rather than try to explain the various details of how my life relates to this, I'll just let you read the lyrics:

    "Chaos" by Mute Math
    Complication's my claim to fame
    And I can’t believe there’s another
    Constantly just another
    I can’t avoid what I can’t control
    And I’m losing ground
    Still I can’t stand down
    And I know, yeah I know, yeah

    I know you stay true when my world is false
    Everything around's breaking down to chaos
    I always see you when my sight is lost
    Everything around's breaking down to chaos

    It’s hard to trust anyone again
    After all the let downs I’ve been through
    Haunted by what I’ve been through
    Air still trapped while I still can't breathe
    And I’m screaming out
    Give me help somehow
    And I know, yeah I know, yeah

    I know you stay true when my world is false
    Everything around's breaking down to chaos
    I always see you when my sight is lost
    Everything around's breaking down to chaos

    We've all been hurt. It's almost a guarantee in life. Some of us have been hurt more than others. Sometimes, to the point that we don't think that we could trust anyone ever again. I've been there. I hope you haven't, but more than likely you have.

    Sometimes, in the midst of our hurt, we're tempted to give up. We're tempted to give up on ourselves. We're tempted to give up on others. And sometimes, and here's me being really open here, we're tempted to give up on God.

    Why is it that, when people hurt us, we blame God? Oh sure, we may not actually say it. "God, it's all your fault! How could you let this happen?" But, deep inside, almost unconsciously, we withdraw from Him. As if He's the one who hurt us. As if He wanted it.

    But that's just not true.

    I've discovered through my life (all of the times that I've succeeded and all of the times that I've failed), that it's during our times of hurt; when people fail us, that we need to run as hard as we can into God's embrace. Like a child who's fallen down on the playground runs into his father's arms for comfort and security, so too should we run to our Father.

    I've found myself meditating on God's unchanging nature a lot lately. I don't know why. But for some reason, it's been a big comfort to me: to know that, no matter who comes and goes into or out of my life, He'll be there. No matter who loves me or not, He'll be there. No matter where I go, what I do, what church is on my business card, how big my ministry is, who I'm dating (or not dating), how big (or small) my income is, how many friends I have (in real life, not on myspace), or how badly I just want to quit it all sometimes... He'll be there; waiting to pour His love down on me.

    Nothing can seprerate me from that love. Not even me.

    So, I'll leave you with this. On February 16, when I delivered the eulogy and message at my grandmama's funeral, I closed with this verse. I chose it because it reminds me of how passionately (and sometimes crazily) God is in love with me. It reminds me of the lengths He's willing to go to for me. All because He loves me.

    Don't let yourself give up. Ever...

    Romans 8:38-39
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Web Wednesday: Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero...

    It's Web Wednesday! I have to admit, I'm not a very good multi-tasker. Maybe some of you, like me, have trouble doing more than one thing at the same time. If you could do any two things at once, what would they be? What's that? Sit at your computer and fly through the heavens? Deal! All you have to do is click here, then click on "sky" and all of your multi-tasking dreams will come true...

    5/16/2007

    Target, We Are In a Fight...

    Target, I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to air our dirty laundry in front of the world. But what you've done needs to be told. This story is important. It's telling could help people. They could benefit from my righteous anger. Much in the way that Jesus purged the temple, I will rid your stores of this vile example of cultural downfall.

    What do you mean you don't know why we're in a fight? Ugh... I'm so disappointed. I'm not even sure I should tell you. This afternoon, as I walked your aisles in search of candy to reward my small group for memorizing their Bible verse, I noticed a DVD in your electronics section. Now, I should say that it's not the apparent subject matter of this "movie" that upsets me, as I stilll find Half Baked to be extremely funny. But, it was the "marketing enhancement" that you chose to allow to be placed on the packaging that has me angry.

    Now, I understand your concern that a quality film the likes of Bong Water might not sell the most copies. And, I understand your need to somehow spice up its marketing with a modern twist like "scratch n' sniff". But why on earth would you feel like it was a good decision to make the scent that was produced upon one's scratch to be that of the sticky icky?

    Don't you remember that there are kids that walk your aisles? Kids that like to both scratch and sniff things? How could you allow such a product into your stores? How could you be OK with being the sole entity that is potentially responsible for introducing children to the scent of pot?

    Seriously Target, I am pissed. Until this product disappears from your shelves (or at least the "scratch n' sniff" packaged version) you can officially consider us in a fight.

    You'd better hope this gets solved quick...

    5/14/2007

    When the Moon Hits Your Eye...

    According to Puddles, via the last conversation that we just had, these two things equal each other:


    He's doing a teaching series in his Jr. High weekend service called "On Location", where a different teaching point is illustrated by a location around the world each week. He called me asking for help in finding a song that could go with each location. For instance, Egypt goes beautifully with "Walk Like An Egyptian". When he asked for help in thinking of a song to go with Italy, I was stumped. So he said:

    "What about that song from Lady and the Tramp? You know, 'when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's amare'."

    To which I responded:

    "Amare? You mean like the guy that plays center for the Suns?"

    "No! Like the Italian word for love", he said.

    "Dude, I think you mean 'Amoré'"

    "Oh. You're right..."

    So remember, when the moon hit's your eye like a big pizza pie, that's not love. That's a 6'10", 245 lbs. center from Orlando, FL named Amare Stoudemire...

    What the French Toast...

    This commercial has been running for a while now. I've been searching youtube for so long, and I finally found it. This version includes the finishing line, "You Hoboken...", that was edited out after the Don Imus controversy. Enjoy...

    Quick Robin, To the Divorce Mobile...

    We had Jarred's bachelor party two weekends ago. On the way to one of our 5 stops I finally captured a pic of my most elusive quarry yet: The Divorce Mobile! I've seen it down by the Mission Valley Mall almost every time I've gone there, but I've never had my camera. So, along with my camera, I've actually gone there with the expressed purpose of finding this van. But, everytime I've tried, I've been met with disappointment. But not this time. I spotted my prey, made a quick u-turn, and the rest is photographic history...

    Here are some problems I have with advertising your law services for the dissolution of matrimony on the side of a van:

    1) When you advertise your law practice on the side of a van, it makes you look cheap. People might be led to believe that your business isn't doing so well and that you can't afford classier places to advertise. Places like a bus stop bench, a poster in the window of a tattoo parlor downtown, or on the scoreboard of a WNBA game (David Hughes knows what I'm talking about).

    2) Oh, I get it. You're trying to be clever. You're advertising the speed of your services using a motor vehicle because motor vehicles are fast. But, you picked a VW van, a vehicle not commonly associated with speed. May I make a few suggestions for faster vehicles on which to advertise your classy services? I don't care if you answer yes or no. Here's the list:
  • A 1996 Toyota Corolla
  • A mobility scooter stolen from a local assisted living facility
  • A pair of Heelys
  • Pretty much anything
  • 5/12/2007

    Maybe This Will Redeem the Movie... Nah...

    After the huge disappointment that was Spider-man 3, I found this little gem here. Does it give even the littlest bit of redemption to an otherwise monumental let down? Nah. But it's a start...





    10 Things We Learned From Spider-man 3

    1) Emo kids are a product of alien symbiosis.

    2) If you find yourself running from the law, no problem! Just hop over the gate that says "DANGER! Particle Physics Experiment in progress" and you’re in the clear.

    3) If your girlfriend is hanging from the roof of a demolished skyscraper, never fear. Nonchalantly take some pictures and introduce yourself to her father, who also doesn’t seem to give a crap.

    4) Flipping pancakes and listening to vintage dance songs will only lead to adultery.

    5) Black is the new red. And alien goo is the new cotton.

    6) If you ever find yourself battling a giant sand person and a jagged-toothed photographer alongside your best friend who just tried to kill you, be sure that you and him exchange "witty" banter at every opportunity. “I’m a little busy over here, buddy.” “I’d love to help you, but I’ve got my hands full, buddy” and so on.

    7) If you want to kill someone real bad, then go to church and pray and maybe, if you’re lucky, God will provide you with an alien suit made of pure evil.

    8) Sufferers of amnesia just can’t help smiling ridiculously and eating ice-cream. Life is good when you can’t remember anything.

    9) Bad boys eat cookies, drink milk and mimic their college professors on the phone in a hilarious manner.

    10) Is your girlfriend feeling down? No problem, make her feel better by passionately upside-down kissing some really hot chick in front of her.

    5/11/2007

    Hail To Thee Dear Brookland-Cayce...

    Two weddings in two weeks!

    I have the honor of being in a wedding this weekend. My friends and volunteers, Jarred and Emily, are getting married on Saturday. Even though we've only known each other for 2 years, Jarred is one of my great friends and asked me to be a part of the festivities. So I said yes. I said yes because it was a great way to honor two of my dearest friends and because, quite frankly, I look great in a tux. Which is the subject of this post...

    I went to Friar Tux this afternoon to pick up my suit and, it was there, that I had an interesting interaction. As I entered, I noticed the presence of about 5 high school aged dudes picking up their various tuxes (all white and pimp versions, complete with chain). I finally got to the front and told the girl my name. She looked for a few minutes but couldn't find it. Turns out she had spelled it TREELE instead of TREECE. I told her it was for a wedding and she looked up the name of the groom.

    She apologized and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know it was for a wedding. I thought you were here to pick up your tux for the prom." "Really?" I said.

    I don't think anyone's mistaken me for a high school student since I was... well, in high school.

    I was a nice little boost to the self esteem...

    I Respectfully Disagree With Coldplay...

    I've been thinking a lot lately.

    Now, it should be stated (and it's commonly known amongst those who know me best), that this is not an unusual occurrence. The fact is, there's always something on my mind. I guess Willie Nelson and I have more in common than I thought.

    This past week, a song lyric stirred something in me. And wouldn't you know it, it came from Coldplay. Editor's Note: If you're wondering why I think that this is strange, see (as in reference) the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin and chapter 1 of Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Especially the latter.

    I first heard the song Fix You on an episode of Scrubs. I remember thinking, "Wow. What an appropriate song to play in that scene. I wonder if I have any Lean Pockets in the freezer..." And I didn't think about it again for quite some time.

    That is until Wednesday, when I heard it again. But this time, one lyric in particular stuck out to me. This is that lyric:

    When the tears come streaming down your face
    When you lose something you can't replace
    When you love someone but it goes to waste
    Could it be worse

    I asked myself, "Have I ever wasted my love on somebody?" I'm not necessarily talking about romantic love, although that's part of it. In this case I mean love in general: romantic, friendship, etc.

    So, of course, I began to think through a lot of my relationships. Most of the ones I thought were "wastes" were ones that didn't end the way that I pictured them ending. Or, I guess if I were to be honest, they didn't end the way I planned them. But I began to wonder, what about a relationship makes it a waste vs. making it a success? I think to answer that question you have to examine the purpose and definition of love.

    I know that God is love (1 John 4:8). I also know that love is patient and kind. It doesn't envy or boast. It isn't proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. It doesn't keep a record of others' mistakes. It doesn't delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. I know that love always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. And It always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

    Ugh! This is where I realized that the standard I had been defining "success" in relationships by was wrong. You see, Christ said to love other people as you love yourself. But, so far, I think that maybe I've considered a relationship a failure unless the person loved me in the way that I loved them. The problem with this, is that it's not real love.

    You see, a love that says "This is only worth it if you return to me what I give to you" is selfish, it's self-seeking. It's conditional. And according to how God defines love, that ain't it.

    I don't want to love others because I want them to love me. I want to love others because God loves me. Not only that, but I want to love others in the way that God loves me: a way that's not conditional on them reciprocating my love. A way that says, "No matter what you do, no matter how you treat me; I will love you".

    If our goal in any relationship is to see an equal return on our love, then most of the time we'll be met with an outcome that could be considered a waste. Editor's Note: Those of us in ministry know this to be especially true. We, especially I, need to approach every relationship we have with a goal like Christ's. A goal that says "I love you without any expectations. I love you regardless of whether you even like me. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride. I love you because someone first loved me and He says it's the right thing to do."

    I'll have to ask you to excuse me now. It seems that I have a lot of relationships that I need to start over. Only, this time, with a redefined goal...

    5/09/2007

    Announcing the Greatest Tournament of All Time...

    Forget about March Madness. Throw away the NBA playoffs. Ditch the King of the Ring. This is the only tournament you'll ever need. After Sam Raimi broke my heart (see the banner to this blog), I decided to find out what the best movie this summer is the good old fashioned way: by asking the people.

    As you can see, I've set the bracket below. Seeds were determined by the website Fantasy Moguls. As you can see, as my service to you, I will place each movie's official Yarmulke™ rating next to it. That way, you can take my opinion, which means about as much as the plot to Spider-man 3, into consideration when voting.

    So, as each movie is released, I'll ask you guys to vote on which movie you thought was better. Simple enough, right? I can't wait to see what you guys think...

    5/08/2007

    They Can Feel It All Over...

    We're now approaching the time in American Idol where things get interesting. Well, usually things get interesting. This season: not so much. Anyway, I've always loved how they give the contestants a chance to sing with an artist of their choosing. This past weekend, Puddles and I talked about, if we were on the show, who we'd pick to sing with. Here's my list:


    I couldn't pick just one. So, I'd start here and narrow it down.

    1) Aerosmith

    2) Jamie Cullum

    3) Elton John

    4) Rascal Flatts

    5) Third Day

    6) Stevie Wonder

    If you had to pick, who would you want to sing with...

    5/07/2007

    Spider-Man 3...

    "We've all done terrible things to each other, but we have to forgive each other. Or everything we ever were will mean nothing."

    This will be one of the most painful posts I will ever have to write.

    If you think, for even a second, that I wasn't in line to see this movie at 11:59pm on Thursday night, then you don't know me very well. Editor's Note: And you don't read this blog regularly. I have seen this movie 3 times in 3 days. I wanted to make sure that I took some time to really think about it before I gave my review of it. Spider-man is iconic to me, so anything I say about him deserves to be carefully measured, weighed, and considered before it's put into writing. Believe me Spidey, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you...

    Spider-Man 3
    Running Time: 2 hrs. 20 mins.
    Directed By: Sam Raimi
    Starring: Tobey McGuire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard

    This is, perhaps, one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of all time. Especially by me. I have been salivating over this movie since they announced it. And, if you look at the box office receipts from its opening weekend, you would be led to believe that it was everything people wanted. However, I have yet to meet a person who would agree. I'm going to skip the usual rundown on what the movie's about, since every person on earth has probably seen a commercial, and head straight for the review.

    Words cannot describe how much I was let down by this movie. The first one was my Episode IV. It introduced me to a whole new unimagined world of movie sweetness. The second movie was my Empire Strikes Back. (How do you like those comparisons Josh?) It upped the story, acting, and effects. Better movie, but second in my heart to the first. This movie had inspired so much hope in me. It was going to be bigger (rumored to be the last in a trilogy, the studio was sure to break the bank on it). It had my favorite Spider-man villain in it (Venom). And it was getting pushed much more than it's predecessors. But, in the end, it couldn't deliver.

    Everything about this movie was too much. I hate to say it, but this movie brought to mind when Joel Schumacher took over the Batman franchise from Tim Burton. He changed the whole feel of the franchise; making it campy, neon laced, and packed with too much useless fill. (Not to mention the nipples on the bat-suit.)

    When people have asked me about my opinion on it, I have said that I have two; one as a life-long Spider-man fan, and one as a movie goer. Both were disappointed, but the movie goer a little less so. So, I'll do my best to seperate the two opinions and indicate where one takes over for the other.

    What follows is a SPOILER FREE review.


    So, what was good?
  • The special effects. This movie makes the effects in the first two look like a five year old trying to wear his dad's suit. It's been said that it's the most expensive movie ever made (upwards of $250 millon) and you can definitely tell. The first battle, Sandman's initial transformation, the crane sequence, and the final battle are amazing sequences visually.

  • Peter vs. Harry. I think that this was the most powerful aspect of the movie's story. James Franco steps it up bigtime. You can really feel the emotion of a friend who feels betrayed and is out for revenge. I can't say anymore without spoiling things...

    But...
  • There's too much story here. You've got Peter vs. Harry, Peter and MJ's relationship, the Sandman story line, the Eddie Brock/Venom thing, and Peter's internal struggle with revenge and hatred. As a result of trying to include all of this, none of them are very developed. I would have been happy to just see the Harry vs. Peter angle developed more, even if my heart ached for more Venom.

  • I know that camp is part of every summer, but this is ridiculous... I know that, previous to Spider-man, Sam Raimi was known for the Evil Dead trilogy (which is campy in a good way). And I know that parts one and two had their campy parts, but Raimi went overboard here. If there was ever a movie in the series that had license to go way dark and serious, this was it. Instead, it felt like they tried to play up too much to the kids. For my reference point, see the dance scene, which was used to prove how dark and hate-filled Peter had become.

  • Horrible pacing. Here's what the story boards for this movie must have looked like: "Ok guys. Put the 4 big action sequences on the wall. Great, that's our movie. What? We still have an hour and a half to fill? How long will the dance sequence take? Shoot. Only 2 minutes. Ok fill the rest up with exposition and eyeliner..." I found myself on the edge of my seat during the action parts and bored to tears during the rest.


    And so, with a heavy heart, I award Spider-man 3 with a certified 2.5 Yarmulke™ rating.

    I can only pray that the inevitable 4th installment turns out better. Because up until then, my favorite movie franchise has been desecrated. Of course this is an opening night movie. In fact, you've probably already seen it. But, don't get your hopes up. As I'm sure you'll walk out disappointed like me...
  • I'll Be There For You...

    The silence... it's deafening... Sorry about not posting this weekend. Friday night, I went up to Orange County to attend the wedding of a friend.

    I found out Tuesday that it was a "formal" dress event. Now, it should be noted that, "dressing up" for me means khakis + button up shirt + shoes (instead of Rainbows). But, out of respect for my friend, I decided to bite the bullet and get some nice threads.

    Here's the downside to that: I spent $80 on a shirt and tie.

    The upside? I looked good. ...I mean good. I was a solid "8"...

    Family Matters...

    During the National Day of Prayer, I gathered with a few other people in our worship center to pray for our country. One of the things we prayed for was the condition of our country's families. While praying, the Lord brought to mind a couple of things.

    For the past 12 years, God has blessed me by putting people in my life who have invited me into their homes and lives. They have listened to, cared for, sheltered, fed, prayed for, corrected, laughed with, taught, employed, driven, encouraged, welcomed, recommended, guided, cryed with, hugged, believed in, pushed, and well... loved me. And I thank God everyday for them. They have become my family.

    And so I dedicate this post to these people who I love and have been shaped by. I am who I am because of you. Those who I am able to bless are blessed because of you. It is my prayer and desire to love others as you have loved me. I hope that, one day, I can make some lonely, disillusioned, naïve, and scared kid part of my family. Just like you made me part of yours.

    Thank you:
    Ted Neely, Clarence Pope, Ron & Barb Lawson, Terry & Karen Boyce, Mark Shelley, Dr. David Olshine, Howie & Amy Biemick, Katie & Ron Edwards, Kurt Johnston, Matt & Misha McGill, Puddles, Taffy, Rich "Coach" Kelly, Allison Hibbard, Josh Griffin, and Steve Faiai.

    I owe you my life...

    5/03/2007

    The Believer's Heaven -Or- The Magic of Estus Pirkle...

    I think that, yesterday, this might have floated around to every single youth worker I know (and even some of the married ones. Hey OOOOOhh!) I didn't know it could happen, but it earns the dubious distinction of simultaneously being HI-larious and deeply disturbing. Check out the kid's face right around 2:50...

    USPSR2D2...

    A couple of weeks ago I saw some things pop up on the internet about someone making some USPS postal service drop boxes into R2D2. Well, the postal service liked the idea and started doing it to drop boxes all across this great nation of ours. This is usually the type of thing that a nerd like me drools over, but never gets the privilege of seeing in person. However, as I was driving back to work today, I saw this bad boy sitting on the side of the road. You better believe I hit the brakes and pulled over to take these pictures. So sweet...

    An Open Letter to America About the Price of Gas...

    Dear everyone in America that lives outside of Southern California,

    I took this picture today when I filled up my tank. See that price that's slightly highlighted? Yeah, that's what I paid per gallon. I know that, on average, the price of gas in South Carolina is about 30-35 cents cheaper than southern California. But I don't live there anymore. So, I guess in a way, the southern California sunshine is costing me $3.49 a gallon.

    I know this makes me sound super old, but I remember being a freshman in college and paying .89 a gallon. What's the cheapest you've ever paid?

    Just wanted to make you aware of my plight...

    Angry at Shell,
    Josh

    5/02/2007

    All In...

    I started a new weekend teaching series in our Middle School group this past Sunday. We're doing it in conjunction with the High School ministry and with big church. It's all about how to give God your whole life, without holding anything back.

    Brian and I were trying to think of a way to visually communicate the idea of giving everything over when we landed on the idea of a poker game, and going "all in". Now, I know that in a lot of contexts the idea of using something like poker, which is typically associated with gambling, to communicate Biblical truths wouldn't work. But, it works where we are. Maybe it's the fact that we have a ton of Indian casinos around us. But, all of our kids are totally aware of poker and what it means to go "all in" as part of the game.

    So, as a way for them to walk away with something to remember what we're talking about, we had some custom poker chips made. Each chip coincides with the lesson that we're teaching that week. That's a picture of them above. Editor's Note: Also featured prominently; my official David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight action figure. Oh yeah...

    5/01/2007

    An Open Letter to Starburst Fruit Chews...

    Dear Starburst Fruit Chews,

    Seriously... Ditch the "Little Lad". He haunts my dreams...

    Sincerely,
    Josh