Why do we always second guess?

I'm referring to the situation in Miami yesterday where Air Marshalls were forced to shoot and kill a man who claimed to have a bomb. Please keep in mind that this opinion is formed on the information currently available. If new information proves that somehow this was an intentional act of violence by the Air Marshalls with no provocation, then my opinion will probably change.

Here's what gets me about this... I just watched Katie Couric (love ya Katie!) second guess whether or not the Air Marshalls had to kill the guy. "Maybe he should've tried to shoot him in the arm or the knee or something." Her guest, a former air marshall, pointed out that such a feat would be quite difficult and increases the chances of collateral damage. Good point, I thought. Katie followed up with "Well, maybe more training is required so that such things would be possible."

Now, lets think about this. If a guy goes ballistic on a plane, claims to have a bomb, refuses to drop it, and then goes to put his hand into the bag that has the bomb, I think we can agree that we'd probably like to stop him from setting off a bomb. At that point, law enforcement officials are playing for keeps. Their training most likely calls for them to stop the person completely. Darn right, too... if you shoot a guy in the knee, he may still set off a bomb.

So, as far as I can tell, the air marshalls handled it perfectly. If the guy HAD a bomb, we'd be throwing a parade today. Instead, CNN, NBC, and all their friends will spend the day second guessing whether or not this had to happen.

Final word: Yep, it had to happen. But not because the air marshalls wanted it to. A man threatened to set off a bomb on a loaded (and fuelled) passenger jet. The man set his own course, whether he was ill or not. The air marshalls followed through on their training and kept the public safe.

If someone gets on a plane I'm on and says he has a bomb, I hope these two air marshalls are there to do their jobs.

Someone throw a parade, darn it.



This bulldog knows where it's at.


to continue with yesterday's post

So, apparently this whole "Can we say Christmas" thing isn't going to die quick... and I thought the following article (linked to in Christianity Today's blog) was pretty hilarious.

In Merry (Deleted) , Tom Purcell says

"The point is, in our efforts not to offend any particular group of folks, we're generating larger offenses that affect all of us."
"Such as?"
"Such as the Orwellian use of language we are spawning. Saying 'happy holidays' is one thing, but some nuts are now refusing to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. They're calling it a winter celebration tree. Others are forbidding the use of Santa Claus at public places because Santa evolved from a European folk tale based on Saint Nicholas."
"Hey, it's a free country."
"Yes, and free countries thrive when their citizens think clearly, when words are clear and concise and things mean what they really mean. When language gets murky and clouded, thinking does, too. Murky thinking doesn't bode well for any democracy."
"Look, I'm busy and need to do some winter solstice season celebration shopping. You got anything else to say?"
"Just one. Merry Christmas."

Since I couldn't say it any better myself, there you have it.


You've got to be kidding

So, I was flipping by ABC right at the end of their "Nightly News" broadcast. They were talking about whether the government could call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. The reporter mentioned the "two reindeer rule." The thing was, he didn't seem to be joking. And I thought... what? Two reindeer?

So, I did some research. The best synopsis I found was probably this one: University of Missouri-Kansas City's Doug Linder presents "Exploring Constitutional Law." Turns out, it's totally legit... a public Christmas display is constitutional only if there is a balance of secular and religious symbols. So, you got your manger scene? Make sure you have Rudolph's blinking nose nearby.

I guess what blows my mind is that even people who hate Christianity have to acknowledge the place that it has in the history of civilization. I will grant that some bad things have been done in the name of Christianity, but a lot of incredibly good things have happened in the name of Christianity too. Do we now have to throw out the heritage entirely in order to serve special interest groups desires?

Two reindeer... who knew.

Also, Zach from saved by the bell is joining the cast of Commander in Cheif... how crazy is that?

It's all right, cause I'm saved by the bell...

Maybe they could bring principal Belding on the show, too.


Another one bites the dust

171 - 133... And they're down for the count. Whoo Hoo! Now all I have to say is, lets give Stephen Harper a chance!

watching history happen

now playing: Global News' coverage of a no-confidence vote in the Liberal Government

Here's a link to a canada.com story about the soon expected fall of the Canadian government.

A brief primer for my American friends... in Canada, elections are called either when the sitting Prime Minister wants one or when the government cannot get a majority of parliament to support them. About 7 months ago (I think) the conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois tried to defeat the government's budget. The liberals managed to win by a couple of votes after a high ranking conservative crossed the floor (for a cabinet seat, mind you... and the poor guy she dumped). This time around, the semi-socialists party is bonding together with the conservative party and the separatists to defeat the liberal government. This is political intrigue at its highest point. It's exciting. Particularly if you dislike the sitting government.

Anyway, it's pretty fun. It's not like this is the first time it's ever happened, but it's the first time I've ever been able to watch it. And, I'm loving it. So, Paul Martin, I salute the end of your tenure as Prime Minister, and gosh... I hope I won't be seeing you again.

This is interesting stuff. Primarily, it's interesting because I get to watch Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, and Gille Duceppe team together to turf the liberal government.


C.S. Lewis is my favourite rockstar?

Now playing: random Christmas songs; yep, it's that time of year!

I spent the weekend at a reader's conference (that had a built-in mini writer's conference). The theme was, unsurprisingly, The Chronicles of Narnia. I got to hear Gene E. Veith of World Magazine and Michael Coren of CFRB and CTS talk about Lewis, the Chronicles of Narnia, and about why Lewis, and the upcoming movies based on his childrens' series, can and do provide such an incredible opportunity for western culture and Christianity to intersect.

In the same vein, then, I thought I'd point you at this Christianity Today article titled "C.S. Lewis Superstar." It's a good mini-biography of Lewis and provides a good explanation of why he was/is such an effective communicator to those who have little-to-no interest in Christianity.


pedestrians first

Now playing: Vikings at Giants. 2nd quarter. Blazing headache. Dad has one too... must be an atmospheric thing. Or a coincidence. Nah.

Belleville is an interesting little town -- It's not at all well conceived and isn't helped by the fact that a river runs through it. But, there are a lot of pedestrians walking around Belleville, and I think that's a good thing. I mean, who doesn't want to live in a city that is relatively safe for kids to walk around in? However, drivers tend to be dangerous. I mostly realized this when I clued in to the fact that I tend to drive a little quicker than ideal through residential areas. You start to realize that soccer moms give really great dirty looks.

So, yesterday I made a point of slowing down for pedestrians, and chilling out on the gas pedal in residential areas. You know, it didn't consume a lot of time (ten seconds isn't going to kill anyone), and people were able to cross roads and smiled at me even when I stopped to let them pass.

Moral of the story: don't mess with soccer moms. And, make life safe for pedestrians.


gross-out tactics

Now playing: some v show... my brother hid the remote, so I can't even change it no matter how hard I try. Well, i guess I could get up and go change it at the tv, but really... it's easier to just complain.

Okay, so I work with kids on thursday nights. It's a neat opportunity. These are not church kids, and it's an interesting dynamic. But, I was reminded tonight of something that I guess I had forgotten. When kids are, say, ten to thirteen years old, they impress each other by saying the grossest things possible. You know, maybe it doesn't stop at thirteen... I guess it kind of just morphs from there into worse, more subtle gross stuff. It's really kind of shocking. Someone needs to tell them that they're in fifth grade and that they need to enjoy it while they can. You know, there's even a lesson there for all of us.


story flow

recently playing: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

I was watching The Two Towers today. As I watched it, I thought about the fact that I like The Empire Strikes Back better than I like A New Hope or Return of the Jedi. I realized that I like The Two Towers best of The Lord of the Rings.

I started contemplating why that might be, and I think it's truly because the tension builds to the highest point during the second movie. At the end of Empire Strikes Back, there is very little hope for Luke and friends. It's hard to see how things are going to work out. I think I remember hearing George Lucas describe his story arc as "In ANH, you introduce the characters; in ESB, you get them into the worst possible situation; and in ROJ, you get them out of it." At the end of Two Towers, granted there is a victory, but the victory pales in comparison to the war about to begin. And Frodo and Sam get away from Faramir, but they've been held up royally. (Aside: Tolkien actually did a better job than Peter Jackson in creating a cliff hanger... At the end of the book, Frodo's KO'd from a spider bite IIRC... just awesome. If you didn't have book three, you'd just lose your sanity. /aside)

So, my conclusion is that readers, or at least myself as a reader, like tension. They like it when the characters they like are challenged and put into stressful situations. Maybe that'll help me be a better writer. Or maybe it'll just help me to find more books that I like.


The Chicken and the Egg

There's an article by John C. Dvorak about how the media has a pro-Apple Computers Bias. I find this interesting in a lot of ways, probably because I've always wished I could make the switch back to a Mac. But you know what's really interesting about all this? Dvorak says "With 90 percent of the mainstream (computer) writers being Mac users, what would you expect?" He takes it from the point of view that mainstream writers happen to use Macs. I know lots of aspiring writers, though (although I don't know anyone who wants to write computer articles other than me). And none of us use Macs. So, what I'm taking away from this article isn't that mainstream writers have a Pro-Apple bias. Rather, if I'm going to be a successful writer, I'm going to have to get a Mac. Dvorak just put the egg before the chicken. Or vice versa, depending on which way you see it.



Okay, relevant had a link to this, and they called it the "most offensive Christian product" they'd ever seen. I'd have to agree... my only reluctance is that I'm trying to figure out if it's some big parody or joke or something. But if it is a joke... not a great joke. Anyway... talk about ridiculous.

a cry for help

Now playing: Amos and Andrew on TBS... samuel l jackson and nic cage... it's actually slightly funny. in a lame sort of way.

Okay, A brief note on punctuation. I may have already said this, but I'm going to say it again. Let me explain why. I work with self-publishing authors. Self publishing is a pretty ambiguous field. On the one hand, sometimes self published books do great and are great. Several really great authors started out by independently publishing their first book. On the other hand, sometimes self published books are horrible. That is just fact-of-matter. The same is true in the traditional publishing field. But in the traditional publishing field--usually--some editing is foisted upon every book. Thankfully, there are good companies in the independent publishing arena that are beginning to bring editorial quality to this arena, but that isn't at all my point...

My point is actually that I've gotten to work with quite the cross-section of people. I've worked with doctors and with people for whom English is a second language. And you know what? (Hahaha, I commited a sentence fragment as I tried to wax eloquent about editorial labour.) ...Know what? Everyone has at least one punctuation issue. Everyone. Seriously, I'm talking, like, 100%. My personal favourite is that sometimes I have a hard time remembering that you don't put a comma in a compound predicate. I hate that.

Right now, I want to address the issue of punctuation and quotation marks. I'm reading stuff, and people write:

So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week".


So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week", but I'm not going to be here.

The fact is, both of those sentences are wrong. Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks. At least, in North America. And also, there might be an exception in writing on legal issues. But that's it. Any other time...any style: prose, poetry, whatever...any other genre: fiction, biography, whatever... Inside the quotation mark! So the preceding sentences should be:

So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week."


So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week," but I'm not going to be here.

When it comes to question marks and exclamation marks, it depends on whether the punctuation belongs to the quote or to your sentence. For example:

I called him dumb, and he yelled "I'm the smartest person ever!"

compared to

I was shocked to find out that there were "63 murders per 100,000 people in Columbia in 2003"!


He asked "Who was the smartest person ever?"

compared to

Can you believe that there were "63 murders per 100,000 people in Columbia in 2003"?

So, there's your punctuation lesson for the day. As a parting shot, triple exclamation marks don't emphasize things any more than a single exclamation mark. It's just plain gratuitous. Straight up.


cities and accents

now playing: the updog commercial from kelseys. My fiance used this joke on me once, and seeing it in a commercial made me laugh quite a bit.

I was talking with a guy tonight who is from Belleville. And he works for a major fuel company. I am constantly surprised about the stuff you find going on around little towns like belleville. They fabricate oil wells in Belleville. There are several fuel companies in Belleville. There are call centers for dell computers, hewlett packard, t-mobile, sears, and various other companies in Belleville. There is a big building industry in belleville, and a lot of truck drivers too. All that to say that modern economies are fascinating. You really can do just about anything--manufacturing / service wise--anywhere you want and find someone who will buy it from you. and ship it across to where they need it, even.

And then, accents. I realized tonight that as much as I love being Canadian and having a Canadian accent, I'd trade it for a cool european/african accent in a second. I don't even know why, except I'd sound way cooler and people would listen to me with ease... and yeah, I'd be all about that.

So, that's it for me. What a useless, shallow post. :-)


if I were a drinking man

The internet can be a funny, odd place. I've often thought that there is room for awesome Christian Web sites--well designed, with good content and perhaps even a forum setup for feedback and discussion. I remember well the day in my first year of college when I happened upon a little web site called Antithesis. I went to school the following day and told everyone I bumped into about it. I won't link to it, cause it's gone now, but for a while it truly was the happening place to be. And while there is plenty of discussion on various blogs as to the changes that occurred prior to antithesis and its affiliate companies shutting down, I lost track before any of that happened. All my memories of Antithesis involved being challenged and made to think. For that I am thankful. If I were a drinking man, I'd propose a toast to Antithesis, Discerning Reader, and the whole Christian Counter Culture family of sites. I guess the baton is waiting to be picked up somewhere... there are plenty of good blogs in the world, but not a lot of thematic, thought provoking Web sites that are magazine-like, but more profound. Anyway, Antithesis, here's looking at you kid. Rest in Peace.


what a day

Dear Friends,

Today is a memorable day for two reason.

First of all, today is the first time that I have managed to see hockey since the lock out. Yes, sports fan, in the background I can hear Pittsburgh at Ottawa… I haven’t seen that Crosby kid yet, but I’m excited. He was excellent for Team Canada in the World Juniors, so I like him already. Hockey is back… and if everyone was even ¼ as excited as I am, hockey would be the new football.

The second reason is slightly sadder… you see, today for the first time, the Mazda became a killer. I mean, I’ve killed bugs and stuff before, but today… well… I was driving back from the doctor’s office, and I was coming up the road to work. All of the sudden, from under the bushes, a l’il groundhog, let’s call him l’il brudder, ran out. I tried to avoid, but he basically gave’r right for my tire. So, he got smoked. There’s something sad about anything dying… and the poor little guy definitely died. I had some help from the guy behind me with moving him off the road, but… shoot, I just felt bad. So, the mazda is a killer. And I am an accomplice.

and that was my day.


God and Hurricanes

Allow me to preface the following by saying, it's interesting to see the varying reactions to natural disasters. Also, allow me to tip my hat to Sam at Adagio County for the link to the Piper article. Not only is he really cool, he's also gonna be related to me one day.

Here's an article by Dr. Tony Campolo.

and, here's a quote:

"Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined."

and an article by Dr. John Piper.

and, here's a quote from him (replying to a NPR Senior News Analyst):

"Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Shall the pot say to the Potter, 'This is an unintelligent way to show your justice and your power? Come, Maker of heaven and earth, sit at my feet—I have lived 89 years and have gotten much wisdom—and I will teach you—the eternal God—how to govern the universe?'

No. Rather let us put our hands on our mouths and weep both for the perishing and for ourselves who will soon follow. Whatever judgment has fallen, it is we who deserve it—all of us. And whatever mercy is mingled with judgment in New Orleans neither we nor they deserve."



a concert

now playing: Notre Dame 14 \ Michigan 3. 4th quarter, 14:19 to go. My fiancee is en route to go see our team play live. Lucky... speaking of napoleon dynamite... check out the Utah State Fair page for 8 ads Napoleon and Pedro did for them. Sweet! The real question is, why didn't Idaho think of that?

So, this week I have been quite sick. I missed three days of work. I still haven't recovered. In the midst of all that, Derek Webb came to Canada on Tuesday. He apparently has been to Canada one other time, years and years ago, with Caedmons where they crossed at Niagara Falls, drove for 20 minutes, played a show, drove back across the border and that was that. There was no way I was going to miss the chance to see him in the True North Strong and Free. Especially not when tickets were only $10. Remember that fact... cause all of you will wish you had gone by the time we get done here...

So, we got to tyndale an hour and a half early. Matty went and found a bunch of people he knew, whilest I, with the rest of the crew, went for a walk. We got back at around 7:25. They opened the doors at 7:30, and we were amongst the first in. Funny fact: no one wanted to sit front row. So, for 10 bucks a ticket, we got to sit front row at a derek webb concert. There ended up being maybe 200 people... It was totally phenomenal. He played every song I would've listed if you said "Andrew, if you ever got to hear Derek Webb live, what songs would you most want him to play?" Except maybe
Take to the World from She Must and Shall Go Free. But everythng else. It was awesome. I was going to post pictures, but blogger is not cooperating. I'm a little frustrated, but I can at least look at the pictures.

So, final summary: Derek Webb live is like hanging out in someone's livingroom while they play some songs and talk about stuff that is heavy on their hearts. He was very honest and sincere, and plays like a phenom. One dude... one guitar... one phenomenal concert.


for your ears


Click here to read what I'm freaking out about.

who's going to come? $10!!! Just 10 bucks. Wahoo... for the past 5 weeks, this has been listed as a private show... now it finally looks like it's open to the public. Holy cow. I'm so excited.

for your brain

The Christian "Movement" seems a lot of times to be best described as pendulum swings... take the works / grace pendulum: the Reformation marks a drastic swing from an over-emphasis on works. But then, some might say that the cheap grace and quasi-universalism the church delves into today is a result of the over-correction of the reformation.

Mark Noll writes a neat little opinion peice about another pendulum that's swinging away (thanks to CT blog).

... swing low, sweet pendulum... coming forth to... wait a minute.


a phenomenal couple of weeks

now playing: video killed the radio star. I'm feeling historic. Drinking hot chocolate too...

Wow. So, what a fantastic couple of weeks. It's just been good, you know? Getting engaged? Yeah, I recommend that. Hanging out with someone fantastic who you also happen to be supremely comfortable around? Yeah, I recommend that. All in all, I'm... well, to quote the great Carter Duryea, "You know I'm psyched."

Anyone else been watching the price of gasoline? Hahaha... Darn it, I'm laughing at my own jokes. Experiencing shock as I drive past the gas pump has become an everyday experience (note, the preceding sentence was brought to you by an extreme desire to use the word
everyday. Otherwise, it would've read "I've gotten used to experiencing shock every day as I drive past the gas pump." But, everyday is so seldomly used properly that I had to do it. YES!). The other night, I was watching TV (which does not cost $1.03 a litre) and saw some news dude (yeah, pretty sure that was his title) driving a car on vegetable oil. And I had to ask myself: "Andrew, do you think this means that there's a renewable resource we can use to run combustion engines on?" Of course, the easy answer was "No, that couldn't be."
Cause if that was true, wouldn't we all be running vehicles on the renewable resource, instead of the non-renewable one that costs an arm and a leg? I think so. Think about how much easier it'd be to drive down the cost of fuel... Plant another corn field! Plant olives... plant nerds... plant something oily. Gosh. So, moral of the story is, I'm investing in corn futures... the market is going to be huge by 2040, I'm sure of it. And, to any of my friends who might work for car dealerships (There didn't used to be any like that, but now there's at least one)... where's my vegetable oil car?
Meanwhile, I gotta go get some gasoline... wow... only 98.3 today!


Must See

Okay, not much to say except go and watch this: Lego Starwars... pretty well the coolest ever.


a tim hortons economy

My Fellow Canadians:

I appear before you tonight to address a dire situation. Recently, we've watched as our economy has been imperilled by competeing factors: the cost of crude oil going up seems to devalue our dollar. Fluctuating world currency markets seems to devalue our dollar. Heck, Martha Stewart Entertainment seems to devalue our dollar. But, I bet that Martha herself likes Canadian money, cause think of all the pretty crafts she can do with it... all those great colours. But, I digress...

Today we face an economic challenge that is incomparable. As much as we Canadians appreciate crude oil, world currencies and Martha, there is one item that I believe serves as the bedrock of our society; one item that, with every shift in its cost, threatens to crumble the very foundation that this great country is built on.

That's right: Tim Hortons coffee. Now, we've all been through rounds of Tim Horton's inflation before. The most recent one I recall was when the large went from 1.29 to 1.35. Man, that bugged me for a while: but then I realized they were really just keeping the penny that always annoyed me, plus a five cent service charge for storing the penny. Anyway, our markets re-aligned, and we survived that scare.

Unfortunately, today we are faced with another round of inflation. This time it won't hit you when you buy that double-double (yes, that is a word -- it made it into the dictionary this year!), instead it'll hit you when you buy a canister of the good stuff to brew at home. You see, until recently, you could buy a small can (13 oz) for $4.49. You could also opt to go big -- a 39 oz -- for 11.49. That's a savings of six cents an ounce! Unfortunately, Tim Hortons in conjunction with their retail partners (A&P in this buyer's case) have decided to lay the smack down on bulk buyers. No more do you save when you purchase the larger canister... in fact, purchasing the same amount of coffee in the smaller canister saves you two cents over all.

The impact of price gouging like this is dangerous and obvious: as the cost of coffee goes up, the value of our dollar plummets. If Tim Horton and Dave Thomas were around, would they let their chain run the Canadian economy into the ground? I think not. It's time for us to stand up, united in Canadian pride, and say "No more price gouging on my coffee!"

This has been a public service announcement. My name is Andrew Mackay, and I endorsed this message.


observations from chilling with my nephews

now playing: clifford the big red dog.

just a quick observation: cartoon characters never (or almost never) have to brush their teeth. Clifford's owner just woke up several days in a row, and went right to hanging out with her friends. No brushing of teeth, whatsoever.

It'd be cool to be a cartoon charater. Or... maybe not.


and a week later...

now playing: the derek webb girl songs. what a great playlist. good for when you're missing someone.

Well folks, I've had a pretty long, great couple of weeks. Sit back and relax, I'm going to tell you all about it!

Rebecca came to visit on the 20th of June. I was pretty excited to see her. She came up with her parents, who are family friends and hadn't seen my parents in 4 or 5 years. It was good to all be together. We got to see some old friends who were passing through (Betsy and Laurie, from ESD where my parents were missionaries for 8 years), and generally to hang out a lot. There was even an attempt at a trivial pursuit game, which -- to be honest -- Rebecca and I were losing. Big time.

Anyway, Rebecca's parents left on friday, and Rebecca stayed an extra week. We started out that time by going to Peterborough to hang out with some friends.

To our left, we have Luke and Matt with Rebecca. It was the first time Rebecca met Luke, and the first time she'd seen Matt in a LONG time. Luke had just come back from Europe, and every story started out with "So, we were walking the streets of Munich..." or "We were in Berlin and..." Yeah, SHUT UP!!! ;-) Anyway, it was pretty hilarious.

So, then we went to Caleb and Megan's wedding. It was gorgeous! Well done guys... it was pretty darn cool. In addition to the fact that Caleb and Megan got hitched, and we got to see that, Rebecca got to meet a lot of my friends (she's detailed it on her blog, you can check that out). It was a blast, and it was super cool too. You know, it's pretty neat when two parts of your world merge and everything works out great. I really enjoyed getting to introduce Rebecca to everyone. She's pretty cool, and I'm pretty happy that she seems to like hanging out with me.

I lucked out, and I got to take a couple of half days off work. We got to do touristy / date-y things... We went to Bloomfield (in Prince Edward County... the only Island County) one day, ate ice cream at slickers (which is fantastic... highly recommended), and took pictures of funny things. Yep, like Dead People's Stuff Antiques. How funny is that? Prince Edward County is great - there's like a MILLION bed and breakfasts, which I'm sure are good for something, and lots of little chicky shops - which I wasn't forced to enter on this trip. Lucky! We stopped on the way home at Zwicks park right on the bay of Quinte, it was awful pretty. We looked at water,

played in the park, and did silly stuff like that. It was great. Then, a couple of days later, we started a bit of a minigolf tournament that -- I hope -- will continue for many years to come. I won the game we played in Ontario. Not by a lot, but I won it. I was pretty proud.

Anyway, on Canada day we woke up early to drive down to West Virginia. We lost two hours at the border (if you ever want to hear a funny-ish story, ask me about the jamaican guy who was running between cars with me on the way to the bathrooms). Then, we got lost for about an hour when I got us lost in Erie, PA. We never did find Mercyhurst college - but I'm sure we will one day. And when we do, many ridiculous pictures will result.

So, we got to West Virginia Friday night. West Virginia is a pretty state (see picture to the right). As we pulled up Rebecca's driveway, I heard a funny noise in the car, and as I backed in, it was loud... but we figured that "it was probably nothing." We went out Saturday morning to play round two of the mini golf tournament. (yeah, I lost this time, big time. Really big. If Rebecca's short game hadn't fallen apart on the last few holes, I think she would've won by 12 strokes. As it was, it was a 5 or 6 stroke victory. She also beat me at p'diddle on the way from Ontario to West Virginia... I can't win, seriously.)

Anyway, we got home after eating some lunch (at a restaurant where the entire staff welcomes every guest to come through the door) and I decided (owing to the very loud noises every time the car turned) that I'd let someone smarter than me look at the car. Rebecca's dad took the car out for a drive and to a mechanic friend of his to check out. Turns out the coil over the strut was broken. And of course, by the time we figured that out on Saturday the parts places were closed. So, repairs were going to have to wait out the long weekend. I got to spend extra time with Rebecca. What an awesome deal! We did stuff with her family, celebrated the fourth of July, and generally just had a blast. I even golfed (real golf) for the first time ever. It was a blast... even if I did awfully. I guess I need some practise. Also, Rebecca and I WON a round of Trivial Pursuit. Are you impressed? I sure am.

And oh yeah, we even got to see some fireworks. Anyway, on the morning of the fifth, we went down to the ford dealership to hopefully by the part - turns out, there's a "campaign" on for that part (I think campaign is a polite term for recall), and they fixed it for free. So, an extra few days with my girl, the chance to hang out with her family, and a car repair for free. I really got the best deal possible.

Oh, but when I got home, the mazda had a flat. Meh. You win some, you lose some. That was pretty winsome. :-)

Anyway, this has been your "where the heck has andymack been" update. Pretty soon, I'll blog about some metaphysical things just to make sure you're all entertained. For now, thank you, you're beautiful, good night!


from West Virginia

now playing: the sound of birds singing, and the whirring of my girlfriend's laptop's hard drive.

I'm sitting in the living room of Rebecca's house. We drove most of the day yesterday to get here, and now, having slept quite well, I am ready to face another day. It seems like a beautiful morning out -- kinda foggy, not too hot, like I said the birds are singing, and I'm in West Virginia. It's a very beautiful place. The drive down yesterday proved that fact. Just a gorgeous state. Of course, with all the mountains, and a speed limit of 70 mph, and the intermittent-at-best guard rails, well... the driving feels more adventurous than it is. Also, for those of you who wonder, it's more fun to do the trip in the summer than in the winter. Guaranteed.

The past couple of weeks have been great. Rebecca and I have gone to weddings, gone to movies, gone to places I've never been (searching for ice cream in bloomfield, for example), and in general, hung out. It's been a lot of fun, primarily because the company has been so good. I won't lie to you, long distance relationships can be challenging at times, but man, it makes you appreciate the time you get together a lot more.

So I'm going to close with that I think. The trip has been good. The trip back will hopefully go well as well. I'll talk at you guys again soon.



Now playing: the tail end of brainstew by green day. Speaking of whom, I found a great remix of boulevard of broken dreams and wonderwall by oasis. The songs are fairly identical. It makes me laugh. That's playing now.

So, it's been a little while, eh? Yeah, I guess. A little. Happy father's day to the dads out there. Especially mine. i love you man.

What can I tell you? Matt came down for the weekend, that was pretty darn cool. I miss him a lot, and hope his summer at Elim Lodge is great.

I'm pretty wicked excited right now - Rebecca is coming to visit. Someone (I don't remember who... Matt Cook?) told me that I don't blog about her enough. Rebecca is my (insert favorite relationship word here), and she's from pretty far away (that's the only way I can find anyone to put up with me.) Anyway, she's coming to visit with her parents, and i can't wait. It'll be good to see her and good to hang out.

That's my mini update for now, i guess. Now I can say that I updated my blog. Peace!


thoughts and stuff

now playing: video killed the radio star / the buggles.

So, for the past 24 hours, I've watched the fallout from the Mac/Intel deal. I'm kind of embarassed—a long time Mac-vocate, I had to be alerted to the deal by my buddy gurr a day after it occured. Sheesh. But, seriously though. In a year, we'll be able to buy macs that run on intel processors (obviously, the term mactel will come into colloquial usage or something). I think I'm excited, except that now the whole
XBox360 and PS3 use PowerPC technology thing is pretty well irrelevant. Still though, the possibilities of Mac on Intel are pretty cool, and I for one say "go for it!" But, I also say "Yeah, i won't be upgrading until I can get a Mac on Intel." Up til recently, I thought a MacMini would be a good idea. But, why do it now when i can wait a year-ish, and get a MacMinIntel? For you non-nerds, this is the equivalent of Superman deciding to accept Robin as his sidekick. It's pretty wild.

In other news, read this article cause it's good (thanks to Adagio County Independent.)

All right, I'm done for now. Go play a guitar or something!


brown shoes and paper cuts, oh my!

now playing: goldie's last day by the late, great pfr

hello blogosphere! It's Tuesday. Wait, no, it's monday night. I just got done working a little OT (which is a lot like a hockey game, but less exciting). Today as I was on the phone discussing our company and what we offer, I managed to give myself THE WORST PAPER CUT, EVER!!!! No word of a lie. It actually hurt quite significantly. It went like this: "Yeah, hard cover is an option but *pause while Andrew thinks of words he'd like to say* sorry... yeah, hard cover is an option but..." It was quite humorous - much akin to the time that I stapled my finger while selling a pair of cell phones. That time, i was way manlier (probably cause there was a 50 dollar commission in it for me)—I actually completed the sale (while the lady was like... "Is there a staple in your finger?") before I took the staple out.

A pair of brown shoes can be a man's best friend. Comfortable brown shoes are even more likely to acheive that status. I spent the last two months searching for brown shoes that would fit. Sound ridiculous? Yeah, well... it is. Everytime a freak like me goes to look for shoes, it's a bit of a laborious process. When you're a 13-14w, it's hard to figure out just precisely what fits. In the last two months, i've tried on a pair of vans 13s (way too small), a pair of walmart 13W (way too small), several pairs of payless 14s (some too small, some too ugly). Finally on Saturday I saw two pairs of brown "old man" shoes (the very best kind!). They had both a 14w and a 13. Obviously, since up til this point my experience had been heavy in the "too small, freak" vein, I tried the 14w first. For once, I felt like a normal person: they were huge. Positively, absolutely too big. It was awesome. Luckily the 13s fit.

Okay, so the men out there are going "why is he rambling about buying shoes? Is this andymack's blog? Did I get the address wrong?" I feel like my shoe buying experience has mirrored the downfall of customer-oriented sales environments. It used to be that people in stores
wanted to help you. They would go out of their way. In all my time shopping for shoes in the past 2 months (probably 4 hours total - and I'm not a shopper, i prefer to go in, grab what I need, and book it) I have found one helpful employee. I think his name was Chad. When I told Chad that I was looking for shoes, he actually got my size and went "in the back" (aside - what does it mean when they say "let me check in the back"? I wonder what's really back there) to find the two pairs they had at that size in the entire store. Juxtapose that experience with the girls at payless... no word of a lie, this is how the pitch went:

her: "Is there anything I can help you with today?"
me: "Yeah, I'm looking for shoes, and I need them in an abnormally large size like a 14."
her: "Wow, that's too bad." *walks away*

What the heck? Isn't she getting paid to help me buy shoes? Isn't it about the consumer? So, while I'm glad about my brown shoes, they really are a sign of the end of western civilization as we know it... retail isn't about the consumer any more. I guess I'll just take my brown shoes and walk.

what about that nut from the observer... Frank something... you know, the one who's in love with his typewriter?


on / off relationships

NP: recruiting sargeant by great big sea. gotta love the sea.

So, I have, or appear to have, an on / off relationship with my blog. When it's on, boy is it on. When it's off, not much can get me motivated to write. Then, I get frustrated with never screaming "listen to me, oh please, listen to me" (basically the content of a blog post, no?) and so I start again. Wash, rinse, repeat until hair acheives desired softness.

Anyway, it bugs me. I read serious writers, and they all write something--anything at all--at least once a day. That's how they pull off the whole "Yes, I do what I love and manage to subsist on it." I envy them that. Not so much the money (although money isn't "the worst thing in the world"--just the root of evil), but the doing what they love and pulling it off.

I was reading about the Lemony Snicket dude -- how brilliant is that (note - I am not speaking to the content of the books... I have only seen the movie, and probably won't ever read the books. I will note that I'm not sure how gung-ho I am about kids books trending darker. Seriously, I was in the kids book section at Chapters yesterday and WHA! Talk about darkness)... he creates a character and then lets the character write the books. That's smart! And, it makes for some pretty good jokes.

So, i guess that's it for my "On" post. I guess I'm back on for now.


Photos from Jenn and Jord's wedding

Hi Guys. Jenn and Jordan are now the newest branch of the Webb Family, and that's pretty stinking cool. I've uploaded the best of my photos from the weekend to www.photobucket.com. You can login with the username andrewmackay and the password mackay. If you want to actually get prints, you can contact me and I'll send you the original files (about 2x the resolution of those posted to photobucket.com... basically way better for printing from). So, there you have it, or most of it. Also, there's photographic evidence that I'm actually fractionally taller than Kara, and I'm excited about that!


My friend Matt Cook is a dad

Dear friends, surf on over to http://matthewcook.blogspot.com and rejoice in their gladness. How cool is that!


also, read this...

Hokey dinah. I can only imagine one better way to see star wars than the way this guy managed it. What a neat experience.

There is nothing like...

now playing: high noon by andrew peterson.

There's nothing quite like driving through country side in spring time and listening to folk music while you do it. We went to Peterborough today. It was a good trip. We saw family and had a good time.

I think watching the farm process is good for a man. As we drove down highway 28 we passed unplowed fields. We also passed freshly plowed fields. In between the two, we passed a field that was just getting started. There was a man in a tractor (yes, in... not on. Tractors are way fancier than how a cidiot imagines them) pulling a plow behind him. In the manner of any imperfect analogy, it reminded me of the work of God. Sometimes my heart is a lot like an unplowed field - hard, caked together, kinda nasty. You can tell that maybe something grew there before, but you have to stop to wonder if anything ever will again. All that's really necessary is some work. It's encouraging to see that process taking place.

I guess that's it for me. I need a cup of tea. No more rhymes, I mean it. Does anybody want a peanut?


read this

now playing: zombie by the cranberries.

In the spirit of my previous post, read this article about absolutes and evangelical culture. I think it's a good read, and it's short too.

animal crackers

Now playing: don't tell me, the avril and central vac, the mom.

I bought animal crackers. You know, animal crackers—the popular children's snack; predecessor to Goldfish and other gimmicky kids snacks: what were the graham cracker bear things? I totally can't remember. I'm actually presently looking quite forward to enjoying some animal crackers with my tea. Which has now steeped for far too long. One sec. One tip on animal crackers before I move on: don't buy the cheap ones: they all look like mutated bisons. All of them. 'Cept maybe the lion, cause he's skinnier.

So, here's what's been bugging me about my thought processes of late. There is no synthesis. It's not like I don't have a solid grasp on who I am or anything dumb like that, rather I do not think critically and incisively about the events that take place around me or that I read about. I read about the pastor who left the church after the whole political thing blew up in his face and think "Hmm, I wonder what happened in NHL negotiations today." This reveals two things actually. 1. I'm really, really dumb. Nothing happened in NHL negotiations today! Duh, I already
knew that, cause nothing ever happens in NHL negotiations. So, that was just stupid. 2. I've slipped into a dangerous apathy.

If I'm going to be a true Christian—a thinking Christian whose worldview impacts the way he sees the world around him, whose desire is to see change (not necessarily governmental or institutional) and to have an impact, I'm going to have to change that. "'
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.' Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise' (Eph. 5:14-15).

Yeah. So, lets challenge each other as a generation to not fall into the same traps of apathy and self-centeredness that have plagued us for so long. Lets try to have a sphere of awareness that is encompassing, not just obsessed with whether or not the NHL plays hockey this year, or whatever other mundanity may be easy to obsess about.

Welp, I hope that made some sense to someone other than me.


everybody's working for the weekend?

now playing: video killed the radio star // the presidents of the united states of america, covering the buggles.

Hiya folks! It's the end of a Tuesday, and I'm not too sad to see it go. (You'll note that the comma in that sentence was necessary as it was splitting two complete sentences (subject and predicate) joined by a conjunction.) I realized today at work that I've turned into one of those people who live for weekends. I guess that to a certain degree everyone does it... but, it can't be healthy. I guess I haven't really capitalized on the things about my job that i enjoy and can be happy about. (You'll notice that, while there was a conjunction in it, the preceding sentence did NOT need a comma as the conjunction joined a compound predicate. Basically, the easiest way to distinguish is to ask yourself "is there a new subject?" If not, then no comma. If so, then throw the comma before the conjunction. Of course, when you're separating items in a list or a series, there's a whole different set of rules (including the dreaded serial comma). We'll handle that next week or something.) There's absolutely no reason to constantly rush headlong through life looking forward to future events. That sort of an attitude is simply silly, wasteful, and immature. (<-- Serial comma... did you see it?) So, I guess i need to take a page from monty python and "Always look on the bright side of life."

Good tip. This message brought to you by Elements of Style and the Chicago Manual of Style. Your ad could go here next post. Contact me at thisspaceforsale@orsomething.com.


resigned detachment

Now playing: Big Yellow Taxi, Counting Crows. Heh. Ironic.

I'm struggling with how to interact with the world. I look at the news (yes Justin, at www.foxnews.com) and I have a hard time not going "meh, who cares?" It just seems easier to not be concerned at all about the world around me. Why should I bother? I've got enough to worry about, darn it.

If I was being dishonest, I'd probably blame my eschatology. Afterall, everyone knows that a dispensationalist - even a progressive one - can't have a positive outlook on the direction the world is going. On the one hand, that's kinda true. On the other hand, when you look at the news and the leading story is about two second graders being found stabbed to death, it's hard to understand how anyone could have a positive outlook on the ultimate direction of mankind and history.

I know better. My eschatology does lend itself to caring about the individuals who populate the world. They need Jesus, and how.

So, it ends up being far more basic than that. It ends up being a selfishness thing. Cause ultimately, I sell myself on the fact that I'm better than them, and more deserving of good things; ultimately, I convince myself that loving myself is really the best thing to do.

Why am I telling you this? Cause confession is good for the soul? I'm not sure. What I do know is that my perspective is off. I guess starting from a selfish perspective leaves you with no choice but determining in the end that it's all about numero uno.

Blah blah blah, I'm rambling.

You should read matt cook's blog. It's funny. I'm not only a member, I'm also a client.

Wow. Maybe I'll come back when I can act like maybe the world isn't all about me, and make some logically sound, relevant arguments. G'night!


what a funny world

now playing: Am I Wrong by Love Spit Love / from the Angus Soundtrack.

We live in a funny world - a world of instant publishing, where anyone can have a platform, anyone can spread a message, and supposedly everyone has a chance. I was thinking about this as I started a book today that was writtin in the early 19th century. The author had been rejected (like most traditional authors go through today, at least for a while) outright for her first book. Her second book managed to find a publisher (for good reason: I won't mention the title, cause it's a little lame, but she uses lots of big words to describe people, and she's very british), and she lucked out. It's not like she could've started a blog or written a book on a web page. She couldn't have published an E-book in PDF format for free. We've got it easy.

I think a little bit of everyone wants to be a writer. It's inherent to our nature to want to leave something behind, something permenant. The written word is really one of the few tangible things that tends to stick around if it's done well. It's easy to want to be a part of that. It's really a lot harder to actually be a part of that.

If you do some research, you'll be told to write every day, write with discipline, write with soul, write what you love. Not that any of that stuff is bad, but darn it, I just need to write. Forget about it being good or bad: that's what revision is for.

Why am I lecturing you all? I have no idea. This one's really for me. Don't think about writing, don't intend to write. WRITE!

I think that's it for me, for now. You may notice updated links at the side. Visit some of them.


spring car cleaning

Now playing: ghetto-old petra songs... that make me feel like getting together with 30 or 40 other musicians and signing a lame song to try to raise money for aging Christian rockers. Seriously, John Schlitt, Louie Weaver, and Bob... I can't remember Bob's last name... are going to need pensions pretty soon, and I understand Larry Norman could already use one.

So, it's that time of year that everyone loves: Spring. In spring, bible college students form couples like it's going out of style. In spring, people start to exercise again, cause winter's over and the extra layer of blubber is no longer necessary (unless you live in ohio, where you can possible have 30 cm of snow on the second last weekend of april. Gosh.). And, in spring, you get to clean your car out. You know what I'm talking about... wrestle out the shop vac, try to figure out why it smells like it got in a fight with a Christmas tree (always take the easy answer - it must've just got in a fight with a Christmas tree. Way better than finding out that your dad loaned it to the local sawmill to aid in clean up efforts. Gosh), wipe down all the dusty surfaces, try to figure out what all the new noises under the hood are. Of course, with my mechanical capabilities, I was able to determine that my car had a motor. I felt like I had made a substantial discovery, so I celebrated by giving up and getting back to cleaning—at least I understand that part. It's nice to have a clean car - nicer if it's a nice clean car, but I guess i can't win 'em all.

Life just keeps on rolling. And, that's a good thing, but sometimes it all just seems weird. If I could sit down and drink coffee with you, I'd tell you stories, and you'd be like "a, he's self absorbed, b, God's plan is funny and awesome, c, no one else thinks in lists like me, so no one else would get to c." Anyway, things are going well, I am happy, and I think (for todd and matty who will care), I actually wrote a song the other night.

Alright, i gotta go. I smell like I was operating a shop vac that got in a fight with a Christmas tree. Go figure.


remember when?

i'm listening to various rock and roll songs and enjoying it.

Do you remember when you lost your imagination? I remember even up to the age of 13 (i know, loser?) playing some serious lego with my brothers (who will remained unnamed for their own protection), and man... we had imagination. We would make whole cities... okay, more frequently they were army out posts... and we'd have people who had lives... or at least armies... and we'd have a blast.

WHAT HAPPENED? How come I can't think that way anymore? It's almost like with the media saturation I've put myself in, I don't ever have two creative thoughts to rub together. I stopped caring about the fantastic and instead became obsessed with the mediocre. I think that, to some degree or another, that's probably true of most of us. I'll concede that there MUST be exceptions, cause otherwise we wouldn't have things like Calvin and Hobbes (come back Mr. Watterson, please, come back!), or Ender's Game, or the Lord of the Rings... at least, the books. But, I think that for most of us, reading other people's imaginitive spewing forths is probably as close as we get. We're constantly surrounding ourselves with noise and things to occupy us. Even as I'm doing this, my computer features Hootie and the Blowfish (pre-burger king ad days), there's some dvds waiting to be watched, and some laundry to fold and stuff. Mundane. If i try real hard, I can explain it away with "well, that's real life." Realistically though, that' s not real life -- it's life the way we've fashioned it. And it's not cool. So, take the time to imagine something... there's nothing wrong with imagination. Or playing with lego, either. (Is legos the plural of lego? does it matter?) Gosh, a little more media saturation, and we'll all be brain dead.


someone else's words

I'm sitting here, listening to Andrew Peterson's Carried Along album. This guy can write. BUY HIS ALBUMS, seriously. I did, and I'll never regret it.

And actually, Mr. Peterson is the focal point of this particular post. He's been very candid in his last few journal posts on his website. I recommend that everyone who is a fan of Christians playing music go read his words, just in terms of understanding what their world is like. He also has some ideas for what we can do to help, which brings up pretty well my favorite quote:

You can also let other people know about the
music--especially that they don't have to force themselves to
like every song on the local Christian station. Being a
Christian doesn't mean suddenly liking the same kind of
music as every other soccer mom-Sunday School teacher in
your city (which is the demographic I've heard Christian
radio bases their format on). I always ask myself, "What
about the rest of us?" Those of us who are more ministered
to by songs with artistry, honesty, music that's raw and
compelling? I believe there are millions of people in the
world who would prefer the kind of music I'm speaking of to
what they hear on the radio, but they just don't know it
exists, or where to find it. You can spread the word.
(from andrew-peterson.com/journals.php)

Some good words by a good man and a great musician. I wish I could've said that, but since I didn't, I'll rephrase... I don't care what genre you like, be it punk, pop, or a little down-home folk-rock—find musicians who are genuinely good at what they do and write good music that says something. Then, support those musicians. Go to concerts, talk about them in your blogs, do everything you can to let other people know that they are out there. Darn it. I dunno, i guess it just gets frustrating how Christians tend not to support the real artists in their communities and beyond.

In other news, well... I'm mostly working, spending a fair deal of time making long distance phone calls (to antarctica, I swear. I run... ya, I run an arena penguin football team. We're trying to draft some new talent, and it's not easy. It's not like I'm calling a girl. Gosh! :-) ). I'll post more this weekend—for once a weekend where I'm not travelling around! YES!

Keep it real.



now playing: Noel and Liam and their buds. Although, with as much as they hate each other, you'd think they'd have a hard time finding anyone else to jam with them. I guess there are advantages to making lots of money.

I'm embarking on my 22nd circling of the sun. It's kinda exciting and daunting and all of those things, but it's also kinda... blase. I guess it all depends on what you do with it; what you pursue. I hope my 22nd time around is better than the 21st. I think I'm learning some things lately. I want to share one of them with you. There's a danger in even saying it outloud, for, as the same author I'm about to quote points out later in his book, it can be easy to become good at being a teacher or a pastoral type (ie, sounding wise) without actually ever knowing God.

I picked up a copy of JI Packer's Knowing God the other day. It's possibly the best book money I've spent lately. It's a pretty good book. You know a book is going to be amazing when you're floored by the intro.

"In A Preface to Christian Theology, John Mackay [no relation to yours truly] illustrated two kinds of interest in Christian things by picturing persons sitting on the high front balcony of a Spanish house watching travellers go by on the road below. The 'balconeers' can overhear the travellers' talk and chat with them; they may comment critically on the way that the travellers walk; or they may discuss questions about the road, how it can exist at all or lead anywhere, what might be seen form different points along it, and so forth; but they are onlookers, and their problems are theoretical only. The travellers, by contrast, face problems which, though they have their theoretical angle, are essentially pracical—problems of the 'which way to go' and 'how to make it' type, problems which call not merely for omprehension but for decision and action too. Balconeers and travellers may htink over the same area, yet their problems differ... In relation to evil, the balconeer's problem is to find a theoretical explanation of how e4vil can consist with God's sovereignty and goodness, but the traveller's problem is how to master evil and bring good out of it... Or take the problem of the Godhead; while the balconeer is aksing how one God can conceivably be three, what sort of unity three could have, and how three who make one can be persons, the traveller wants to know how to show proper honour, love and trust toward the three persons who are now together at work ot bring him out of sin to glory. (p. 7-8)

A quick clarification: JI is certainly not arguing that theology is bad, just that without application it is useless. He's right. It's time for us, especially us who climb the steps to the balcony so easily, to get down again, and start walking the road. Remember how I said it was easy for me to be cynical and presume I'm better than everyone else? This is why. Cause I sit in my balcony all day long and critique everyone else. Eventually, if we stay in the balcony, we end up like the old guys from the muppets. Kinda amusing to listen to for 10 seconds once a week, but otherwise quite pase, cause they're irrelevant.

21:retrospective... sitting in the balcony just won't do.
Get walking.


there's looking for a date, and then there's desperate

Given the topic at hand, somebody told me by the killers seemed appropriate, or not.

Hi kids. Before I launch into a post on the topic of dating, i want to say that the serious side of me agrees with my friend megan when she talked about dating. I know where she's coming from and was there fora while myself. God plans the seasons of our lives for a good reason. When the right person comes along, that's an awesome thing. But if they haven't yet, that's an awesome thing too, cause God's still working on stuff. In making light of dating below, I certainly don't mean to be frustrating to anyone, nor to slight God's sovereignty even in these things.

Now, on to inane-ity. Read this. Yep... now you don't even need to go to one of those dating websites to find a date... just do your shopping like you normally would! Except, with a red bow on your cart. Go figure. Man, I wonder if Walmart will start offering some discount relationship counselling, too? That'd be great. And perhaps a "valu" wedding chapel out back... wait, they'd just have to convert the flower section. Great! You could get hitched in one evening at Walmart. I laughed pretty hard on this one. What's next? Is there no institution that Walmart will not try to become a part of? What a strange, strange world.

Thats it for now!


thought process

You'll never believe this, but I'm presently listening to High Noon by Andrew Peterson again. Shocking? You know it! It's a great song. I recommend Mr. Peterson whole-heartedly.

I have another shocking revelation for you all, though. I'm a jerk. Now, you're thinking, "here we go, momentary conscience attack" but that's not it at all. I've been sitting here trying to come up with something to talk to you guys about, scouring the internet for inspiration. I've looked at news, at Christian commentary, at music info. All i can say to any of it is, tell me why I care. I don't care that Amy Grant is getting a reality show. I don't see what it matters that the pope thought about resigning — it's like football stats. I find it just passably interesting that Relient K is opening for Simple Plan and Good Charlotte.

Now, it's all fine and good to not care about pop-junk-info. (a.k.a. 3/4 of what the news media reports.) My problem is that this often sweeps from my view of culture into my view of people. It's easy to despise people for being petty, self-obsessed, and caught up in a super-lame culture. the problem with that is, most of the time I'm petty, self-obsessed, and caught up in a super-lame culture. But, I don't think of that. I just marginalize everyone else, and act like I'm the king of everything. Self deceit is an interesting thing, i think. I'm good at convincing myself that I'm good, fair, important, right, and all those other things. Everyone else is a moron... me? Great. And not even regular great, but Tony the Tiger... GRRRRRREAT!

Anyway, the moral of my story is, I ultimately found something to talk to you guys about. Click here to read it. (Also, the connection may not be perfectly clear... and that may be a reflection of how my head works. Either way, it's a good read) It's an interesting little meditation by John Piper.

It's easy for me to try to be a firebrand and to tell myself that "It doesn't matter what people think." But, there's an important aspect of my Christian calling that does put some weight to what people think. And while, as JP points out, there is the possibility that they will hate our message, if we act like I've outlined above, they won't ever get around to looking at the message—they'll be too busy hating us.

Thats it for now.

High Noon

now playing: Andrew Peterson can seriously give me goosebumps. Especially in the song "High Noon." Easily the coolest "Jesus conquering sin" analogy I've ever heard. Also, it's in dadgad, I have chords if you want them. I like this song so much, I'm going to share the first verse with you guys.

High noon in the valley of the shadow
When the deep of the valley was bright
When the mouth of the tomb shouted,
"Glory, the groom is alive"
So long, you wages of sin go on,
Don't you come back again
I've been raised and redeemed;
You've lost all your sting
To the victor of the battle at
High noon in the valley
In the valley of the shadow

buy this guy's albums!

So, it's been a while, i guess you could say. In fact, it's been so long that I'd wager no one will check this. Hehehe... we'll see how it goes. Anyway, I'm back for a while... back to the land of thinking i have something to say to the world, even if it's small and pointless. Heck, everyone else gets to have a platform, why not this kid? Wait! You're not supposed to answer that.

A quick side paragraph about grammar and composition.

First, a note about Satan, based out of something I've observed a lot lately. This may come as a surprise to some people, but... I'm pretty sure Satan—if he's even aware of it— isn't insulted when you write his name without a capital on it. In fact, I think it takes more time to conciously think about lowercasing it than is healthily spent on the topic. Satan doesn't really care if you violate the rules of the English language because you don't like him. So, how's about we just follow the rules of ENGLISH and keep the exceptions for meaningful things? Capitals on proper nouns.

Also, while we're chatting about grammar and composition, excessive use of exclamation marks doesn't help your writing. It makes it seem like you're self-obsessed to the point of exclaiming everything you say. For example:

I went to the beach today! It was great! I walked in sandals! My reef sandals are pretty well the best I know of! This one time, I got hurt at the beach! But, I didn't get hurt today! Yippee skippee!

Now, did any of those sentences stand out from the rest? No. Why? Because when you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.

So, that's it for my grammar lesson for today.

In other news, last time I wrote, I stated... " I think I'm going for a bit of a road trip. It should be awesome. I'll follow up and let you guys know how it goes..." It's funny how you say something, and people really hold you to it. I can think of a few people who have been waiting to read me at least say something about the whole thing. I'm prepared to make a statement. It won't be as elaborate as the ones I usually make on behalf of my little brother (who, by the way, is dating that girl again. Remember, back when I issued the retraction? For the first time ever, I'm retracting a retraction). I did go on my trip. I went to the great state of West Virginia. It was a fantastic trip, although the driving was a little scary at times. I had a great time visiting friends. Oh, and also, I guess mentioning (for those of you who haven't already either heard it "through the grapevine" or seen it on my face) the fact that there's this girl down there that I'm crazy about could be relevant. Yeah. Probably. Hence Luke's comment on my last post. It's not a long distance relationship, though. It's a distance challenged relationship. :-) She's great, and she's also reading this, going "Gosh Mackay!" so I think I'll leave at that. Suffice it to say, if you bump into me and I look giddy and slightly mournful all at once, you know why.

Alright, i think that pretty well covers my return to blogging. You know what's interesting about blogging? There's supposed to be this element of commentary on web sites that one is visiting. Hmm... hopefully I'll have some comment in that form for you guys... there's a lot of stuff I'd like to get others thoughts on. So, help me out.

I'm done for now. Keep it real.


i blog in fits and starts

I think I could write an emo song about that... except I think it's more emo to use Xanga than blogger. Oh well, I wasn't ever really emo anyway. And I'm okay with that, i think.

Okay, for those who care, yesterday was a wicked long day. We went to pick up mom and dad's new car (which I will totally steal whenever I've got a long trip to go on :-) Thanks mom and dad), and man... you get to do a lot of running around when you're picking up a new car. It all worked out though, and...

to quote Napoleon (kinda)... "You've got disc brakes, a cd player, a spoiler, fog lights, cruise control... lucky."

Anyway, so that's cool. What's also cool is, I have a week of vacation time coming up, and I think I'm going for a bit of a road trip. It should be awesome. I'll follow up and let you guys know how it goes... possibly with pictures. :-)

Alright, it's 8:00, I gots to go! Peace.



morphing plans

Hi Guys,

Well, now that everyone knows, I can talk about it i guess - Our grand trip to Thunder Bay (by our, I refer to myself and the three totally awesome people who voluntarily were going to go) has been cancelled. It's kinda weird when you've been planning for something for months, to have it cancelled, but I'm fairly comfortable with God's sovereignty through it. He tends to know what He's doing. Anyway, yeah, that's that.

It's been a very long week. I'm writing this on Friday morning, sitting here listening to Franz, and dreading work -- not for works sake, but because I'm tired like a mad dawg. And dawg is way more serious than dog, dontcha know. Speaking of dogs, my mom is pretty fixated on getting one - which makes me start to think about the age-old question of mutt versus purebred. Actually, this question probably isn't age old. It probably dates back to when snobby nobility in Europe who were all inbred needed one more card to pull out over top of the rest of the family, so they started inventing paperwork about dogs. Sounds dumb, no? I kinda think so. I guess the nobility just wanted dogs that were as inbred as they were. Wow, I sound like I'm bitter against European Aristocracy. I guess I probably am a bit, since realistically, that socio-political/economic system totally sucked.

Anyway, i need to get ready for work, but get a mutt! They're way cooler... plus, there's no paperwork to track.


P.S., I definitely need to stop signing these Mack out, cause it sounds like I want to be the stupid aemrican Idol guy - I think I've been saying it longer than he has, but that doesn't matter. Blech. Also, I shaved my beard.


Make-up talk

Okay guys, this kind of follows along the same vein of my last post, but seriously... what's with make-up product talk? I started thinking about this the other night; I was in my bathroom the other night washing my hands, and I took a look at the hand soap bottle ... Now, please note, i probaby wouldn't be able to pick a good hand soap if I tried; my mom bought it for me. But, on the bottle it says "Vitalizing." Now, i've heard of re-vitalizing, but can a soap be just vitalizing? Then, we were watching TV, and some pretty girl who was way too skinny and wearing way too much makeup started talking about the fresh feeling she gets from her make-up, how it awakens her skin and soothes it and such. WHAT?! It's make-up! Holy cow! It's like a bad book review! Words that make no sense! Why not say "My make-up highlights the facial features I want to highlight." Or something like that--something that makes sense? All this metaphysical, soothing fresh feeling hoighty toighty crap has driven me up the wall! Let's use true words, and leave the marketing BS for the people selling "Oil-Based, Non-Dairy whipped topping."


citizens for accurate food names

Dear friends with a capital f. wait wait wait, let me start again

Dear Friends,

Today, a global menace has creeped ever closer to taking over. Up til now, we've sat by and kept quiet. We can do so no longer. It's not as though it's any one particular thing... but it's rather the conglomeration of ever expanding mis- or mal- named products that have driven us to this point. Whether it's the "Roasted Chicken" sub at Subway (roasted? chicken?) the filet o' fish at McyD's (fish? filet?) or the 100% beef burgers also at McDonalds, this has just gone far enough. There's a definite line between good marketing and just plain lying. Good marketing doesn't lie about products, it casts them in the best possible light. Cool Whip just sounds better than "No Name Oil-Based, Non-Dairy Topping." Plus, Cool Whip is easier to write on trademark forms. "No Name Oil-Based..." well, you get the point. Just dumb. We're not arguing that companies tell us precisely what the product is IN the name, just that the name doesn't explicitly lie. Let us lie to ourselves about the product! Everyone knows we will.

For a limited time only, CFAFN (yes, that's pronounced exactly how it looks... except, if you could give it the same inflection that Jo Jo the Super Nanny would, that'd be a little better) will grant the use of our exclusive "Our Trademark Doesn't Lie" sticker to organizations that meet the accurate marketing requirements, as well as a couple of other ones (ie. lots of cash. In fact, you don't even need to meet those other requirements if you have lots of cash. Call my cell, we'll talk)... Er, Um... yeah, so look for the "Our Trademark Doesn't Lie" sticker on all the products you buy.

And, this exciting news just in - Walmart is the first brand to qualify for the "Our Trademark Doesn't Lie" sticker! Lets give a hand to the Walton clan, and the 6 million dollars it cost them to license the sticker. Also, we'll be producing a special sticker for use in the alabama market: the "Our Trademark Don't Lie" sticker.


also, oil-based, non-dairy topping sucks.


what do you give to the person who already has everything?

Now playing: caedmon's call guild 99 concert bootlegs. Pretty sweet. I'll say.

You know, sometimes I feel like that guy who already has everything, except I feel like i've already blogged everything. That's not even possible. But, in the little box that I've painted my blog into, maybe I really don't have anything left to say. maybe I need to start being sillier and writing about jumping beans and prada backpacks. You know, I think I'm just desperate to be relevant and sound cool. And that's pretty pathetic. So, as I try to figure out how to blog with integrity, I'm gonna go and eat chocolate. Chocolate helps me think.



... my life feels like a loop of the Fatboy Slim Praise You video... if you don't remember it, download it somewhere, you'll see what I mean.


just another day

You know guys, sometimes weeks go by and I feel like i have nothing to say. That is frustrating. Right now is one of those times. I hope everyone's doing good and having fun. I hope sometime soon, i have something to say.


an interesting article

Note: I do not EVER read GQ. Someone on a webboard I read referenced this article, and I was curious, given the fact that it's a journalist from a guy's magazine (a genre that I don't associate with, say, journalistic integrity), and it's about Christian music. It's worth a read (if you can handle a few swears) and it'll certainly give you something to think about, even if you don't think his conclusions about faith are necessarily right.

so, read the article!


an ammendment to the previous news release

It is the unfortunate responsibility of the Office of the Press Secretary for the House Mackay, having given the situation some time to allow for clearing of the air, to announce that the aforementioned relationship is now not to be aforementioned again. The media's understanding is appreciated in this matter. We expect that all car chases involving members of the press and the girl involved in the un-aforementioned relationship will cease and desist at once. Let this also serve notice that pedro has offered us his protection, and anyone who messes with the House Mackay regarding the un-aforementioned relationship will be faced with a chat with "Pedro's Cousins with the sweet hookups." You have been warned. Thank you.

The Office of the Press Secretary for the House Mackay

winston churchill ate my girlfriend.