Thursday, December 31, 2009

At Last / At First

to nobody in particular:

...i question whether anybody will actually read this, and, again, that won't be a problem with me if it goes unread -- not a big deal. if it is read by one person, that is great. two, greater. three, unexpected. that's the wonder of treating a blog as a personal journal -- it's personal to a point, and yet public to a point...

...after a full year of blogging and recording learning points on a daily basis, i took a small break. that small break ends tonight. my last blog was august 11th. when deciding when to write again, i thought: perhaps a september 11th post, equaling a one month break, would be appropriate? perhaps writing after my parents visit would be a meaningful time to restart? perhaps, now that's it's november, i could write a Thanksgiving post? maybe it would be good, rather than working around an "appropriate" time to restart the blog, i could just avoid that and do it at a random time with no significance? hey, Christmas is right around the corner -- perhaps a Christmas post would work? and now, here i am, on the last night of the year, writing -- finally...

...and it turns out, the timing is significant, yet the writing will be rather insignificant -- except in the fact that i am restarting my blog, 86 the learning points...

...it's nice to be writing out my thoughts in an informal and fun manner again -- hopefully it lasts and continues strongly in 2010...

...with that said, i am done here...


------------


currently watching: "LOST"



my wife gifted me with "LOST" on dvd for Christmas, so we are starting to watch the series again from the beginning -- and it is still spectacular...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1ne Year Is Over / God With Man

to nobody in particular:

...i write this blog on the eleventh night of august, and to many of you, or at least the one or two of you that may actually read this, perhaps the importance of this date is yet an enigma...

...exactly one year ago, i began to test the theory that "you learn something new every day", and on the twelfth day of august, i started recording my daily learnings...

...three hundred and sixty five days later, i can honestly say that i believe this theory to be true -- with limitations...

...such limitations include: personal motivation, intentional interaction, boring living, lack of imagination -- if any or all of these are present, this could hinder one from learning something new every day...

...so go on -- go and live life, go and learn new things -- there is a whole world out there to discover, a plethera of lessons to learn and things to know...

...but as i've recently re-valued, in discussion with a friend, that in a culture where knowledge and self-discovery is cherished, perhaps wisdom should be sought after most of all...

...what good is anything without wisdom to accompany it?...

-----

and now, the last (and final?) installment if theory testing for this past year:

..."you learn something new every day"...

two days ago, i learned: Mauerpark Flohmarkt + two strollers = stupid idea...

yesterday, i learned: it's hard to tell what the ratio is for how much manpower/"doing" does and how much prayer/"relying" does...

today, i learned: no matter how many people there are in number, just add one more, because God is there all the time anyway...

-----

recently watched: Taken



...this was a pretty intense movie, and well-done...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

English Camp / Almost There?

to nobody in particular:

...here's the latest blog post from our family's site (www.xanga.com/thecareyjourney)...

-----

It was a wonderful experience for me (Ben) to spend the week up in Karchow for English Camp 2009! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement in preparation for it and during the camp. We had 24 teenagers and 14 staff (including me and Don from our team here, Katie who has taught three years now, Caleb our intern, two friends of the Jones family who helped cook and a team from Kenmore Alliance Church near Buffalo, NY) enjoy a week full of classes, activities, good food, fun times and, hopefully, spiritual encouragement! I served this year as Asst. Director for the camp and was able to see it all from a different perspective as last year. Next year I will be filling the Director role for the camp, and am excited about that. It was a fairly busy week, but we were able to enjoying moments of relaxation and genuinely spend quality time with the teenagers...

During the classroom sessions, they were able to develop their English proficiency, work their creative artistic juices through painting, baking apple pies/crisps and even doing Improv skits (think "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). It was really fun to see how they all interacted with the different sessions...

Team and/or leaisure games and activities included Don't Touch the Can, Ultimate Frisbee, baseball, volleyball, "Kickerball" (Fussball, to Americans), 4-way Capture the Flag, Bandanaball, Intersection Races, and more -- and being fully-staffed this year (as compared to last) made it more flexible for all of us staff to join in or watch. All the students were separated into four teams, and throughout the week, all four teams were competing for points, which were gained from winning activities, saying the daily Bible verses (in English), receiving daily votes from staff for "Most English Spoken" or "Most Improved English", and more. In the end, the team I was on came in second, but all in all, it adds an element of excitement and motivation to it all...

Some of the teenagers come from a church-background, and that does not necessarily mean very much. However, several of the teenagers, when prompted near the end of the week, re-committed their lives to Christ, and that was refreshing and encouraging to see! You wouldn't believe how awesome the singing sounds during the worship/music time, and just the fact that several teenagers asked for us to have an extra praise time before the evening "Etwas Mehr" ("Something More") Bible session was encouragement for all of us...

God was truly working, and it was clearly evident -- but we're all praying that the teenagers would carry that encouragement on through these coming weeks and months. We're able to keep in touch with many of the students via internet/facebook and, when possible (but hard to come by) face-to-face visits, but are trusting for the extra bit of spiritual encouragement from the Holy Spirit to continue moving closer to Jesus, no matter where they are in their journey/relationship with Him...

Would you pray for them with us too?

Thanks!

Here are some pictures that capture a general feel for the week



...our main building...




...English Camp 2009!...




...us guys playing a traditional German kindergarten game...




...no, not any of the campers (although there was a hospital visit during the week)...




...what do us manly non-teachers do while everyone else is in class? why, pick berries of course!...




...me and Caleb photobombing Lisa Z.'s picture...




,,,"Etwas Mehr"...




...Jen's Beginner class...




...Laurie's Intermediate class...




...Katie's Advanced class...




...stretching their English through improv skits...




...4-way Capture the Flag explanations...




...bike trip to the gas station...




...volleyball...




...painting...




...Caleb, Dave (both staff) and Michel (camper)...




...playing Settlers of Catan...




...Adeline and Lisa E....




...Don and myself...




...and we had to give them even just a little bit more of American culture (and our generation) on movie night: The Princess Bride...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

seventeen days ago, i learned: book-smarts and street-smarts are oh so very different...

sixteen days ago, i learned: i can bike down to Alexanderplatz from Open Door church faster than the Straßenbahn can get there...

fifteen days ago, i learned: what a pastor shouldn't do...

fourteen days ago, i learned: English Camp 2009 is going to be awesome!...

thirteen days ago, i learned: these six years of marriage have gone by quickly but wonderfully -- so much has happened, and i'm eager for the next six and more!...

twelve days ago, i learned: i think i may have seen the best/funniest improv impersonation of Michael Jackson by a 16 year old German girl...

eleven days ago, i learned: to walk in to your room at camp and find flies mating on you bed is fairly disturbing -- "i sleep there, dagnabbit!"...

ten days ago, i learned: 4-way Capture the Flag does work and is fun...

nine days ago, i learned: the genius and wonder of The Princess Bride goes over many of the German teenagers heads...

eight days ago, i learned: slugs are cannibals...

seven days ago, i learned: English Camp 2009 was awesome!...

six days ago, i learned: i can play and sing an original song i've written in front of other people, including both friends and strangers...

five days ago, i learned: playing catch-up is not as fun as it sounds!...

four days ago, i learned: Hertha will be starting this season 33 million Euro in debt -- ouch...

three days ago, i learned: when there, buy it...

two days ago, i learned: Hertha tickets don't go on sale until the 10th of August -- bummer...

yesterday, i learned: men plainly should not wear short jean shorts, no matter how athletic or hairy their legs may (or may not) be...

today, i learned: my daughter is one smart cookie...

-----

recently watched for the first time but definitely not the last: Casablanca



...i'm not sure why i had waited so long to watch this classic, but i enjoyed it very much -- i think it's also my first Bogie movie, as well...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nowadays / Thenadays

to nobody in particular:

...Travis' third birthday today!...

...English Camp next week!...

...sixth anniversary on sunday!...

...life is good!...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

eleven days ago, i learned: fridays are overrated...

ten days ago, i learned: i can give great college-course-picking advice!...

nine days ago, i learned: some people got it, and some really don't...

eight days ago, i learned: Obama on Twitter? what?...

seven days ago, i learned: i kind of miss watching "Survivor"...

six days ago, i learned: i hate that the sound doesn't always work on our computer -- annoying!...

five days ago, i learned: take the background...

four days ago, i learned: Topfschlagen!...

three days ago, i learned: change and differences are okay, if not highly recommended...

two days ago, i learned: our first baptism was awesome!...

yesterday, i learned: good intentions followed by effortless actions equals uninspired normalcy...

today, i learned: it only takes less than thirteen months to get your front door fixed!...

-----

recently started watching online: "Survivor -- Tocantins"

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Old Parents & Mysteries / Old Queens & Histories

to nobody in particular:

...these last several days, Sarah and i have been working on finding a Kita (pre-school/daycare) for Travis, for him to start in a few months -- and everything has fallen into place in this last week: Travis will be starting at a bi-lingual, large school in a Kita group at the end of September -- it will be a great class, with tremendous teachers and a fantastic atmosphere for him to play with other kids, improve both his German and English, and for us to get to know other parents...

...and i was excited about this last point especially, but then last night, at the parents' info meeting, i was struck with the odd reality -- one which i was aware of, but had never let it sink in: 85% of the other parents are in their mid-40s or older...

...it is amazing to me that most of the kids that Travis will be spending time with that are his age or younger, that they have parents that could be old enough to be my parents -- it is just a ridiculously crazy fact that i still can't grasp!...

...i shared with Sarah, as we walked home after the meeting, how funny i find it that many Germans wait until they are around the age of 40 before they decide it is time to have children (or one child, at least) and then, when that child is less than a year old, already send them to a Kita for four hours a day (at least), increasing that time apart as they get older -- i haven't figured it out yet...

...i love my kids...



-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

nine days ago, i learned: there must be some kind of strange, bizarre, terrible connection between me and technology...

eight days ago, i learned: oh my, my dear Cleveland Indians -- why do you do this to yourself?...

seven days ago, i learned: performing Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" is never an option, and that's my final word...

six days ago, i learned: don't fall behind...

five days ago, i learned: i don't need fireworks on a 4th of july -- but steak and baked potatoes are swell...

four days ago, i learned: just be flexible and adapt, and the positive side of things will emerge...

three days ago, i learned: mmmmmmm...Guylian Dark Belgian Chocolates...

two days ago, i learned: what i've been missing all this time!...

yesterday, i learned: i am a young parent (see above)...

today, i learned: on this date in 1982, some guy broke into Buckingham Palace and made it into the Queen Elizabeth II's bedroom before getting caught (i read it somewhere in passing in German, so i think i got it right)...

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currently reading: Earth: A Visitor's Guide

Monday, June 29, 2009

Three Highlights / Thirteen Lessons


to nobody in particular:

...it has been a busy couple of weeks -- always something to do...

...in tonight's blog, three items...

...the other day, a bunch of us were chatting about some crazy people, and Sarah mentioned how one's parents go crazy over pregnancy, especially as they are those type of people who are always "biting at the chomp"...

...pretty funny...

...can't remember if i wrote this one yet -- i asked Travis if he pooped and, after getting off the potty when he didn't do anything, he answered, "no, poop not ready yet"...

...also funny...

...and an extra-special mention of something i learned recently: Merv Hughes, and Australian cricketer, who i remember watching play cricket when we lived in New Zealand, actually had his gloriously beautiful moustache insured for $38,000 US...


...and why not?...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

twelve days ago, i learned: Merv Hughes insured his moustache (see above)...

eleven days ago, i learned: if both kids are gonna be sick in the same week, just have them be sick and throwing up in the same night! -- better to get it all done at once...

ten days ago, i learned: The Sting (1973) -- still got it after all these years...

nine days ago, i learned: the number 7 is the number most often picked when asked to choose a number between 1 and 10...

eight days ago, i learned: some kids just don't listen -- Travis included!...

seven days ago, i learned: was Arnold Dorsey such a bad name that he changed it to Engelbert Humperdinck?...

six days ago, i learned: don't brave it -- embrace the sickness and get better quicker...

five days ago, i learned: some things that you think will only take a couple of days can take about five or more...

four days ago, i learned: i have the power!...

three days ago, i learned: for the most part, the BBC News "breaking news" e-mail makes it to my inbox before the USA Today "breaking news" e-mail, but in the case of both Farrah Fawcett's and Michael Jackson's deaths, USA Today won by a few minutes...

two days ago, i learned: saturdays are never a complete day off...

yesterday, i learned: i'm not the only one who thinks that...

today, i learned: the Berlin Zoo Aquarium sometimes has to feed the jellyfish either by hand or with tweezers...

-----

recently watched: The Sting



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacation Pictures / Sex, Church, and Rock & Roll

to nobody in particular:

these are my "top five" favorite pictures from vacation...






-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

six days ago, i learned: sexuality is a rarely discussed topic in the church-world (not sex or sexual morality, but sexuality in general)...

five days ago, i learned: not all Germans scrub...

four days ago, i learned: photography is my favorite medium...

three days ago, i learned: check and double-check the lyrics before you print them out...

two days ago, i learned: there is a place for the song "Tired of Sex" in church...

yesterday, i learned: "look, see, it's waterfall"...

today, i learned: be ready!...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Post #100 / So What?

to nobody in particular:

...vacation was great -- we relaxed and relaxed a lot...

...swimming, walking, sleeping, reading, playing, laughing, eating, enjoying, watching, resting, sandcastling...

...that's about it -- relaxing...

...exactly what we needed...

...one of the things that was impressed upon me was "faith like a child" and "fear like a child" -- i saw moments when my kids were stress-free, care-free and totally relying on us for all their needs and desires; and yet i saw moments in which, in situations of clear uncertainty, they were overcome with fear, forgetting about their faithful, trustworthy and loving parents...

...i could expand, but i won't...

...and i don't think i need to spell the connection out in our daily lives -- it preached to me clearly, and i think the recognition of truth can be grasped...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

fourteen days ago, i learned: 2:26am to wake up for a flight to vacation in Mallorca is worth it...

thirteen days ago, i learned: yes, there are many Europeans who hang out at the beach topless...

twelve days ago, i learned: neither of the kids have any fear of a fifth floor balcony...

eleven days ago, i learned: Mallorca has a pretty sweet aquarium...

ten days ago, i learned: we booked a hotel on the quieter part of the beach -- thankfully, not on the party end of the beach (as a young family, we would've REALLY stuck out, even more than we already were)...

nine days ago, i learned: Travis doesn't like the ocean, maybe, but he likes the swimming pool...

eight days ago, i learned: more than half over? vacation goes by quickly!...

seven days ago, i learned: push the limits!...

six days ago, i learned: Sarah and i organize and prepare, more than enough in advance, for most things...

five days ago, i learned: the Mallorca airport is nice, but please, clean the men's bathrooms more often!...

four days ago, i learned: i got the gnome!...

three days ago, i learned: booooooo...

two days ago, i learned: God makes sure we come into contact with the right people...

yesterday, i learned: goals are good, and sometimes hard to reach, but just try it anyway...

today, i learned: my family -- parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews -- are astoundingly awesome (of course, this was more of a refreshing reminder, not newly learned)...

-----

recently watched: 12 Angry Men


...cinematically simple, philosophically complex -- love it...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vacation / Vacation

to nobody in particular:

...vacation starts in just a few hours...

...amen...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: i can blog two days in a row!...

-----

currently looking forward to: vacation, of course

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Already Done? / Not Enough Fun?

to nobody in particular:

...we have been busy, busy, busy -- yet a good kind of busy...

...having the Crown team here has been tiring, yes, but it has been great to solidify our relationship with them more through this trip of theirs, and they've been very encouraging for us, too, as they've helped out with their project and even more -- spiritual encouragement and lasting effects that will continue to work for our advantages...

...it was a fast two weeks with them...

...early on tuesday morning, we get on the plane to head to Mallorca (or Majorca, depending on how you would like to spell it) for nine days -- it will be a welcome time of relaxation and rest...

...i'm looking forward to it...

...God is perfect...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...eleven days ago, i learned: not extrovertness, nor extrovertiviticity, but extrovertism...

...ten days ago, i learned: Hertha still has a shot...

...nine days ago, i learned: University of Leipzig since 1409 -- take that, United States of America!...

...eight days ago, i learned: Hertha can't take 1st place, but will finish in the top 5, so that's nice...

...seven days ago, i learned: liturgy has its place, somewhere, of course...

...six days ago, i learned: i have no desire to ever encounter vampire fish -- ouch...

...five days ago, i learned: is the obvious too obvious, or are some people really that silly?...

...four days ago, i learned: Alan Arkin was a musician with hit songs before acting?...

...three days ago, i learned: i still, after all these years, don't understand the God/weather connection sometimes...

...two days ago, i learned: the necessity of flexibility is exactly that -- necessary...

...yesterday, i learned: Hertha, congrats on 4th place -- much better than last year...

...today, i learned: mauerpark + karaoke = greatness...

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currently enjoying: the enjoyment and talent of Stevie Starr


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Team is Here / Vacation is There

to nobody in particular:

...been pretty busy around here, and will be for the next couple of weeks -- we have a team here from Crown College in Minnesota, and so we'll be helping with them...

...exciting days around here! -- the team got here today, will be here until the 28th, but we're heading off for vacation on the 26th...

...it'll be fun to see what happens with the team here, and how God will work in and through all of us these coming days...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

eleven days ago, i learned: buy a newly updated Bahn map -- just go ahead and do it already!...

ten days ago, i learned: nobody has the distinct "right" to an abandoned recyclable beer bottle...

nine days ago, i learned: preparation, preparation, preparation...

eight days ago, i learned: the average mosquito lives for about two weeks...

seven days ago, i learned: don't go through anything alone...

six days ago, I learned: Alfred Hitchcock spoke German

five days ago, i learned: add more European movies to my hit-list...

four days ago, i learned: i don't have a big desire to be a college professor...

three days ago, i learned: computers are like women -- you can't live with them; you can't live without them...

two days ago, i learned: i rock the Thurn und Taxis...

yesterday, i learned: the Bundesliga is INSANE with only a couple of games to go in the season...

today, I learned: “a rhinocerous beetle can push an object 850 times its own weight – the equivalent of an adult human strolling along pushing a fully grown hump-backed whale in front of them. Or one of the main supporting stones from Stonehenge.” (from Earth: A Visitor’s Guide)

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currently longing for: vacation

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Celebrations & Demonstrations / Respect & Internet

to nobody in particular:

...May 1st (Labor Day) is "celebrated" all around the world...

...in Berlin, there are fests, cherished traditions and a day off of work...

...there are also registered demonstrations, intentional riots and planned mayhem...

...depending on how i feel tomorrow night, i may go check out an area or two, just to see the experience -- we'll see...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: "Respect" by Aretha Franklin is such a sham -- as a quintessential women's movement anthem in the '60s, it was actually written and released by Otis Redding two years earlier...

...yesterday, i learned: wouldn't the internet be awesome if it didn't cause any problems?...

...today, i learned: there's some "action" expected tomorrow just down the road from us (see above)...

-----

currently reading: Love & Respect by Emerson Eggereichs

Monday, April 27, 2009

Testing / Discovering

to nobody in particular:

...thursday and friday were fairly intense, but after roughly five hours of test-taking, including written, reading, listening and speaking sections, Sarah and i both passed our language proficiency test -- we'll go in and pick up our certificates and results in a few weeks, but we were already told that we passed, and that we did a great job...

...i passed with 84.5 points (out of 100)...

...i'm happy with that...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...seven days ago, i learned: leadership team meetings in German are with my reach!...

...six days ago, i learned: some people are difficult, whether you like it or not...

...five days ago, i learned: 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12345678987654321 -- interesting, right?...

...four days ago, i learned: when waiting to take a huge test, it doesn't help that the test-giver is ten minutes late and apparently clueless...

...three days ago, i learned: i am able to pass the Zertifikat Deutsch B2 test at the Goethe Institut in Berlin-Mitte...

...two days ago, i learned: the Czech Republic is country that consumes the most beer (per capita) -- with Ireland and Germany in a close 2nd & 3rd, respectively...

...yesterday, i learned: Aids as a hoax?...

...today, i learned: baby humpback whales drink 500 litres of milk daily...

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recently finished reading: Blink by Ted Dekker

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Upcoming Test / Anticipating Rest

to nobody in particular:

...this past week has been an odd one, and the one to come will be, as well -- it will be nice to enjoy this coming saturday...

...on thursday and friday (23rd & 24th), we'll be taking a language proficiency test -- i can't say that i'm super-excited about it, but i will definitely be glad when it is over...

...i'm confident that we are going to do well, and am really praying we do better than well, so that we won't have to take again (a specific "grade" is hoped for/required)...

...but this week we'll continue our studying specifically for it, as it is the giant that we're gawking at right now...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...seven days ago, i learned: Easter is so very especially fantastic...

...six days ago, i learned: i'm not necessarily afraid of or intimidated by females that are taller than me, but i do kind of notice when their a foot or more taller...

...five days ago, i learned: smaller groups can bring bigger results...

...four days ago, i learned: the Goethe-Institut only gives the B2 test every two months, and the next one is on april 23rd/24th -- register & pay, then study & pray!...

...three days ago, i learned: the Eisbären won the DEL (German Ice Hockey League) again this year, for a total of four times in the last five years -- dynastyabulous!...

...two days ago, i learned: the left side of the brain has two language learning regions -- one for grammar, the other for vocabulary...

...yesterday, i learned: even though language learning only takes place in one small region of the brain, your whole head will hurt after a super-long day of studying...

...today, i learned: Travis picks up and understands more than i realized...

-----

recently watched: Man on Fire



Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Week / Last Week

to nobody in particular:

...we had a fantastic brunch last week -- our first one in a public setting...of course it had its ups and downs, but overall, it was a great one...

...i turned 27 this past week -- and it was the first time in my entire existence that i didn't blow out any candles on my birthday...pavlova for dessert...

...we have a four day weekend this weekend, which is very nice...it has had a decent start to it, and we'll see how it pans out tomorrow and monday...

...Jesus is tremendous...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...eight days ago, i learned: rebuilding a lost template is annoying, but finally finishing it is rewarding...

...seven days ago, i learned: kaffee und kuchen with neighbors is gooooood...

...six days ago, i learned: brunch is goooooood (but don't get all your hopes up)...

...five days ago, i learned: just take a day off -- seriously...

...four days ago, i learned: working on your birthday is a bummer, but it's not all that bad...

...three days ago, i learned: finally!...

...two days ago, i learned: each time i watch The Passion of the Christ, i am challenged with a new insight...

...yesterday, i learned: Travis rocks the Laufrad...

...today, i learned: stop and think about what the shortest way to your destination would be before you go ahead and start out with the first idea that pops into your mind...

-----

currently watching: "Fawlty Towers"



...truly wonderful...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Weird Week / Gorgeous Days

to nobody in particular:

...this is a busier week -- we are having our first brunch in a well-known local church building here in the area on Sunday, and we are still working out the logistical and practical details -- but it is a huge step for Freischwimmer...

...Germany won both of their World Cup qualifying matches this week (saturday and yesterday), so that is good news -- and England won their match yesterday too...

...Berlin Eisbären are tied in their semi-final match-up...

...fantasy baseball starts this week -- look for me in the middle of the standings...

...Hannah isn't sleeping very well, Travis is showing more attitude, and Sarah and i love them tons anyway...

...this has been a weird week so far...

...God is speaking to me though, of course...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...seven days ago, i learned: yes -- i can (and do) buy rice cakes...

...six days ago, i learned: the new exhibition at the gallery is pretty awesome -- i like it a lot...

...five days ago, i learned: days where Travis and i can hang out together are good for my soul -- i am looking forward to more, especially when he gets older...

...four days ago, i learned: even though it's gorgeous outside, some people will stay inside...

...three days ago, i learned: Sarah's mom owned Richard Simmon's exercise tapes -- and Sarah exercised along with them...

...two days ago, i learned: some days are just crappy -- but they usually end...

...yesterday, i learned: it feels good to sigh and take a victorious look at a completed 2000 piece puzzle...

...today, i learned: there are roughly 4 million (out of 80 million) illiterate people in Germany...

-----

just finished reading: The Brethren by John Grisham

...randomly grabbed this book of the shelf at the library a week or so ago -- i liked it...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Weather / The Forecast

to nobody in particular:

...yesterday, it was overcast, then rainy, then chilly, then a little windy, then sunny, then blue skies, then dark clouds, then hailing, then snowing, then very windy, then dry ground, then just cloudy...

...and that was all before the clock hit noon...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...nine days ago, i learned: opportunities slip by, so make the most of them -- sincerely...

...eight days ago, i learned: i don't pray for my neighbors nearly enough...

...seven days ago, i learned: a hippo can run up to 30 kph...

...six days ago, i learned: it's still a little too cold out yet to "spend the morning or afternoon at the park"...

...five days ago, i learned: a new way to play dominoes...

...four days ago, i learned: i am really, really looking forward to the day when Travis and i can really Lego around...

...three days ago, i learned: bad stress and/or good stress?...

...two days ago, i learned: i want to read more...

...yesterday, i learned: some things have been thought through very well...

...today, i learned: i'm sad for some friends of ours...

-----

currently enjoying: doing jigsaw puzzles

Sunday, March 15, 2009

At Least Ten Days / At Least Ten Lessons

to nobody in particular:

...new bed for Travis / finger blisters /a computer crashed / forgetting to eat meals / lost electricity in living room / brunch planning / laughing / eating ribs once a year / video game anticipation / a 3D puzzle (a first) / tons of encouragement / three classic movies / a reminder of priorities / disappointments / challenging words / idiocy / everything lost on computer / tasty almonds / gained wisdom...

...i encountered and experienced all of these since i last blogged...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...ten days ago, i learned: finally, there's a Ghostbusters video game coming out this summer -- sweeeeeet...

...nine days ago, i learned: time limits on certain things are necessary...

...eight days ago, i learned: roughly 82.4% of the time, first gut instincts are about right...

...seven days ago, i learned: riding the Straßenbahn + a big wet hairy dog = smelliness...

...six days ago, i learned: Jaws has still got it after all these 34 years...

...five days ago, i learned: giving up music (from cd's, mp3 player and radio) for Lent has been rough, but fantastic...

...four days ago, i learned: i want to first-hand experience an Amish barn-raising...

...three days ago, i learned: buy and use an external hard drive (i learned this the hard way)...

...two days ago, i learned: full, odd, random, spontaneous, multi-faceted days can be somewhat tiring yet beneficial...

...yesterday, i learned: don't wait to prep a song for a sunday morning on the saturday night before...

...today, i learned: sometimes that song will turn out great anyway...

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recently watched three classic movies with Sarah that i like, of which i am too lazy right now to post their respective trailers or clips:

Jaws -- directed by Steven Spielberg; with Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus and Robert Shaw

Witness -- directed by Peter Weir; with Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis and, as i realized this week for the first time, Viggo Mortensen

The Birds -- directed by Alfred Hitchcock; with Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy and Tippi Hedren

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Recent Reminders / Lively Lessons

to nobody in particular:

...there's some kind of invisible connection between young kids and elderly individuals -- it is interesting: i can't count how many times Travis and i have been walking along and someone older we pass bends down to say hi to him, in a nice, friendly, non-threatening, nostalgic way...

...i was reminded of this today...

...also, i was reminded of the following yesterday, which i wrote to several people:

"I think it would be fair to say, that the face of the world has changed dramatically in the last several months – financial and economical changes that will alter how we live our day-to-day lives, possibly morphing the way we make decisions that affect the days ahead. However, I believe that these events could also lead to relational and spiritual changes – bringing into focus our priorities, our predisposed beliefs and assumed expectations. No matter what the days ahead bring us – whether in Berlin or in Washington D.C. – God is not caught off-guard, He is not powerless to interact, and He is not careless in being a part of our lives. We can trust His faithfulness.

He is here. He is active. He is good. He is love. That’s enough for me."


...on another note, here are some pictures!...

here's me and the daughter -- she is a cutie...


our ice hockey game, after they won 7-2...


i spontaneously cut my hair last night, after months of letting it grow out...

...and now my neck and ears are cold...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...five days ago, i learned: coming home to an apartment smelling like nail polish is nothing fun...

...four days ago, i learned: Travis & i can have fun cooking breakfast for Sarah on her birthday...

...three days ago, i learned: vor vier Jahre war mein Leben vollgepackter als heute...

...two days ago, i learned: even sicknesses sometimes have their reasons...

...yesterday, i learned: technology doesn't simplify everything -- absolutely not...

...today, i learned: people living in Berlin pay roughly 10% more for rent than in 2007...

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recently watched: The International



...i liked it and Sarah liked it -- semi-good acting in a decent dramatic thriller -- don't expect an action movie...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thawghtz / Payschintz

to nobody in particular:

...it was fun to see Travis getting more courageous with his Laufrad (sort of like a bike without pedals) today -- he's starting to feel more comfortable with it, and was actually going almost as fast as my walking speed for a little bit...

...apples are tasty...

...i know i'll be a little late, but still undecided about what to give up for the next several weeks...

...patience was difficult and lacking today...

...excited to see what God is going to do this year in my life...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: patience, patience, patience -- so very difficult, so very imperative...

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currently looking forward to: Sarah's birthday (28th on the 28th)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Morecambe F.C. / Berlin Eisbären

to nobody in particular:

...i am desperately looking forward to warmer days -- it is depressing at times...

...and now, on to fun!

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Here are the rules for the album meme:

this is a fun one...

1. Go to Wikipedia. Hit "random" or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random Wikipedia article that comes up is the name of your band.

2. Go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations" or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very LAST quote on the page make up the title of your first album.

3. Go to Flickr and click "explore the last seven days" or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
The third picture in the top row, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use Photoshop or whatever to put it all together.

5. Post it to Facebook with this text in the "caption" or "comment" and TAG the friends you want to join in.


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..."you learn something new every day"...

...three days ago, i learned: sundays can be long -- good, but long...

...two days ago, i learned: i really do miss watching/seeing ice hockey...

...yesterday, i learned: Berlin Eisbären rule! -- got to go enjoy seeing the Berlin ice hockey team (last year's champions), who are now number one in the league this year as well with yesterday's 7-2 victory -- and the kicker is that Nathan Robinson, former Toledo Storm player, got an assist on the very first goal...

...today, i learned: birthday shopping for the wife can be difficult -- especially when she gives you ideas...

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recently watched: hilarious English football own goals and embarrassing mistakes on Eurosport...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The World / The Cup

to nobody in particular:

...there is so much in the world...

...then again, is there?...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...four days ago, i learned: even really great things can be frustrating...

...three days ago, i learned: "Travis" is also the name of some deranged monkey who used to act but now attacks humans with a vengeance!...

...two days ago, i learned: two sick and out-of-it kids are NOT fun...

...yesterday, i learned: World Cup 2010 tickets are on sale!...

...today, i learned: i can accept the fact that i won't be able to go to any World Cup 2010 games, sadly...

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recently finished reading: The Shack by William P. Young

...after being recommended by 83% of the churched population, we were given this book as a gift for Christmas...with it being so popular, i reverted to automatic skepticism, yet read the book...

...the book is alright -- not bad, but not amazingly fantastic either -- it was interesting and challenging at times, but i felt that it was nothing so new and fresh as i expected -- at times, it felt like it had taken recent thoughts and beliefs and re-packaged them in a new way -- it did have helpful words that spoke truth, but it was also a little sketchy...

...then again, that's what opinions are for, right?...i guess i just wasn't so sold on it as many others have been...that's just me...

...but it was a good read -- now, on to the next...

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Anything?" / "HOWZAT!!!!!"

to nobody in particular:

...i live in an age where it seems almost anything can be possible, anything can be believable, anything can be true, anything can be tested, anything can be comprehended, anything can be lived out, anything can be accepted as "right", anything can be denied and anything can be...

...i do question things, a lot, and in a few ways it can come off as a weakness, but overall, i believe it to be a necessary, sharpened strength...

...so, needless to say, i was recently encouraged by the following words:

"A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps." -- Proverbs 14:15

...beautifully stated...

...don't inhale what you don't know, don't wear what doesn't fit -- take a moment to realize what is going on, and then move forward...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...four days ago, i learned: always know which cafe you're going to meet the other party at...

...three days ago, i learned: nothing unlucky happened...

...two days ago, i learned: i love being married to someone that doesn't care if we do anything for valentine's day or not...

...yesterday, i learned: i miss cricket...

...today, i learned: bike-riding + snow + slushy-ice + below-freezing + two-and-a-half-year-old-on-the-kid-seat-on-the-back + groceries-in-backpack = EXCITEMENT!...

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currently watching: "Heroes" (Season One)

...i'm glad we're re-watching it before we start season three, because i've forgotten a bunch of the bigger details from the earlier stories...

...yes, i'm kind of a nerd, but when i only watch a handful of television shows, i am a little pickier, and "Heroes" has some fantastic elements to it -- elements that can definitely connect to everyday life, relationships, purpose, sacrifice, inner-change, intentionality and motivation...

...Peter Petrelli is the bomb!...

*spoiler alert!*(pun intended)*end spoiler alert*

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Berlin Sports / Berlin Television

to nobody in particular:

...13 days until my first Berlin Eisbären ice hockey game -- nice!...

...they are only 2 points out of first place, so we could be seeing another Berlin championship this year...

...Hertha is doing really well in the Bundesliga as well, and they play Bayern this weekend...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...three days ago, i learned: a good idea? -- move forward with it...

...two days ago, i learned: i question lots of things, and disagree with lots of things -- but that's not a weakness...

...yesterday, i learned: even though i can't understand some spoken German, that's okay -- some native Germans don't even understand some spoken German...

...today, i learned: "Richter Alexander Hold", even though an interesting experience, will not be a regularly-watched television program in my life...

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recently watched: Amadeus



...mmmmm -- good film-making...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Superbowl Without Commercials! / Appetite Without Satisfaction!

to nobody in particular:

...it's hard to sit here and blog over when i haven't done so in six days -- makes it hard to choose something to write, especially when i've had so many ideas and topics pop up, making me think, ooh, that would be a good blog, but then never get around to it because of busy-ness/lazy-ness...

...maybe that's my lesson learned for today...

...oh, Superbowl -- watched it, enjoyed the game, a little disappointed by the result, but noticed two things: the Superbowl, to me, didn't seem to be a display of tremendous amazing football, but was more of a semi-alright game of flag football, if you know what i mean (penalty after penalty after penalty); and two, i know that commercials in the States are a big thing during the Superbowl, but when you are watching it overseas on channels that don't normally have commercials every two minutes, it becomes ridiculously tiresome watching the teams during all the commercial timeouts and seeing the players standing around on the field waiting for the signal that they can continue play -- unbelievable!...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...5 days ago, i learned: biking home at 4:30am in the dead of winter is coooooooooold...

...4 days ago, i learned: Travis is infatuated with Mary Poppins -- craziness...

...3 days ago, i learned: i'm photographyhungry...

...2 days ago, i learned: index cards rule!...

...yesterday, i learned: it's not Jim's baby, of course -- but i think Jim's theory would've been better ("The Office", to Jim Halpert and Jim Rudd, respectively, with the theory that it is/was Ryan's baby)...

...today, i learned: see above...

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in the middle of reading: The Last Battle, the final book of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia -- and, so far, it's really good (essentially, the whole collection is really good -- i had just, sadly, not read them all up until now)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dogs, Frogs & Midichlorians / Potential, Anger and Just-Plain-Silly Ideas

to nobody in particular:

...before i head out to our small Superbowl party, just wanted to write this really quickly -- laughter may be a result of reading...

...a couple days ago, i had Return of the Jedi on, and Travis saw Jabba the Hutt and said, "look, daddy, frog!"...

...and then, after calling Chewbacca a doggie, i said, "no Travis, Chewbacca's not a dog, he's a Wookiee", to which he replied, looking me straight in the face, "no wootee, daddy, doggie"...

...it was cute...

...but this young Padawan needs some more training...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: the Force is strong with my son...

...yesterday, i learned: even though i ride a bike and do not drive a car, i still get angry with other drivers...

...today, i learned: a remake of Capricorn One?...what?!?!?!?!...the first one is terrific already!...if you ask me, that's just plain Psycho (even though i didn't see the remake of that classic, i feel i can make that statement)...

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recently watched: Capricorn One



Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Favorite / Old Goalkeeper

to nobody in particular:

...Wir Sind Helden are a band from here in Berlin -- they are a new favorite of mine and they are great...



...see?...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: next month the 13th is a friday -- oooooooooooooh...

...today, i learned: in 1971, neither Arsenal nor Liverpool goalkeepers wore goalie gloves...

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currently listening to: Wir Sind Helden (see above)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Late on a Tuesday Night / Lovehate

to nobody in particular:

...this is from a facebook thing, so i figured i would just gloriously cut 'n' paste it...

Rules:
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

i. i was born and lived in New Zealand for the beginning phase of my life, but haven't been back there since 1993
ii. my nickname in high school was "Bubby"
iii. i don't have a favorite comedian/comedienne
iv. one of my favorite people in the Bible is Shamgar
v. i loved playing and watching cricket growing up
vi. i regret not watching "Futurama" as much as i did
vii. roman numerals are a great thing
viii. i once had a desire to be a movie editor/post-production worker
ix. i contemplated studying photography and becoming a photographer
x. i think the english language needs to come up with a great adjective for when someone needs to go to the bathroom to poop or pee, instead of one having to say "i really need to go to the bathroom" (it's too long and tiresome)
xi. my suggestions for the previous statement are: "i'm crossed" (meaning "i need to go pee"), and "i'm brick" (meaning "i need to go number two and have a book with me")
xii. i love reading books, but i take a long time to read them
xiii. i realize i am a nerd when i hear a popular song play somewhere in a public place and i automatically start singing the "Weird Al" Yankovic lyrics
xiv. i own a ps2 and it helps me relax and unwind
xv. when i eat a meal, i have a habit of eating one item at a time -- rarely do i mix it up
xvi. i want to see the United States embrace bicycles
xvii. i like candles
xviii. one of my worst birthday gifts in the last several years was when daylight savings time hit the morning of my birthday, and i lost an hour of sleep
xix. even though i'm not the biggest american football fan, i do enjoy watching and hanging out with others while watching, and will be awake to watch it at 12:30am on monday morning at Don's place
xx. i love Gob's chicken imitation/taunt on "Arrested Development"
xxi. i love my wife and love my kids, but don't think i want to add to the number of kids
xxii. i love to do puzzles
xxiii. Ron Howard hasn't made any movies that i really like
xxiv. Philippians, Ecclesiastes and the Gospels are my favorite books in the Bible
xxv. freezer mugs are the best, and you are amazing for reading this here thing...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: i love my kids a ton and a ton, but i hate it when they don't sleep when they should...

...yesterday, i learned: Travis really WILL eat cereal...

...today, i learned: twenty-five things barely scratches the surface...

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currently thinking about: going to sleep