Dallas Willard Quote

We need to have vision, intention and means in order to achieve spiritual formation. That’s the basic issue regarding the teaching of Jesus. There isn’t a single thing that Jesus taught that a person cannot by engaging His grace come to do. Not a single thing. But you have to want to. And you have to decide to. And that’s what is lacking.”

-Dallas Willard

Making Some Changes

I am just making some changes to the blog. I am moving it off of the main domain and to the blog sub-domain so people who randomly explore the domain name that is linked to McCormick Diesel. So please bare with me in the meantime. And I can’t seem to get this page to post.


Okay, so every post season my youngest brother, Reid, posts a baseball playoff preview. He takes great pride in that he has called the last two champions. Now despite the fact that the Brewers just fell to the Phillies 3-1 I too shall provide my analysis for the Division Championship Series:

Phils and Brew Crew

As we just saw the Brewers will be out classed, out pitched, and out hit. Ned Yost can at least have some closure in knowing that his team was swept by a dominant Philadelphia team. Although is C.C. was hitting 8th it might of been a whole other ballgame.

Chicago and Los Angeles

Unlike most brothers I have I am willing to say that the Dodgers have a chance and I think with strong pitching from Lowe, Billingsly and Kuroda we can take this thing. I say Dodgers in 5. Joe Torre looks like a genius and make Steinbrenner has a heart attack.

Halo and Red Sox

Angels are the best team in baseball right now. Mike is taking no crap as manager and he is about to enter that arena of managing greats. The Dodgers not evolving him in their organization was one of their biggest screw ups ever. Red Sox…
Beckett is hurt, no Manny, J.D. Drew did his one heroic thing for the year. Sox are screwed Halos in 4.

Rays vs. White Sox

Rays in 4. I BELIEVE!

Pop Tarts & Red Bull

Blueberry Pop Tarts and a 12 oz. Red Bull has pretty much been my breakfast this week, and let me tell you it isn’t too shabby. Although last weak I read a story that pretty much all energy drink are restricted by the FDA as to how much pure caffeine they can put in a drink. The same story stated that an average Starbucks coffee has three times the caffeine that an energy drink has, and that…well made me a little sad. Because, while I can appreciate the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee beverage I cannot stand the taste, no matter how much vanilla, English toffee, caramel, or creamer additives you mix in.

For the first time since Spring we slept with the windows open last night. The Antelope Valley is returning to the cool mornings and evenings that make this area a sometimes pleasant place to live. The layout and location of our specific apartment does not allow for great natural air circulation, so I bought a window fan to blow in air to the bedroom. Amy does not like the sound, which I just equate to a little white noise. So I had it turned on in the evening to keep things cool. Amy turns it off just before going to bed. I swelter in shallow sleep and wake up an hour later to turn it back on. And finally I wake early this morning and turn it off so she doesn’t get too cold or get angry at me.

Earlier this week I was suffering from a bought of insomnia so I fired up the old Xbox 360 and continued my game of Mass Effect I had been playing, and within the course of about an hour I finished up the game. For a Sci-Fi RPG I really enjoyed it. Bioware really knows how to make an engaging and entertaining role playing game. I had previously enjoyed the original KOTOR also developed by Bioware and this game lived really lived up to my expectations. This game is supposedly just the first part of an anticipated trilogy of games, so I am eagerly anticipating the next game in this series. In the meantime I guess I can do some other things like read or spend time with my wife, now that I have saved the galaxy…for now.

A Not Quite Laborious Labor Day Weekend.

I realize it is the Friday after Labor Day Weekend, but I thought I would update with what went on that week. Suffice to say the week was rough, not only did the Antelope Valley provide sweltering weather but work at the Shop was frustrating. We continued to face some real tough jobs in the shop that just really had us racking our noodles to figure them out.

Thursday night, though, provided a real treat with a visit to the Antelope Valley Fair to see Weird Al Yankovic perform live. Amy and I saw him last year when he was performing at the Orange County fair and we really enjoyed it, so we thought we would try again. The concert was free which was great and we arrived early enough that we were able to get great seats. I also ran into two former school mates Jeremiah Horton and Brandon Morgan from High School, (You are always bound to run into someone you know at the fair). The concert was great, it was the last official show of the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour, and we were center stage only about 12 rows back so we had perfect seats. Al was again very funny and energetic. The show was easily worth three or four times the price of admission.

Friday night was a crash night, we stayed in watched TV, and I probably played some video games. Basically a night to enjoy the fact that we could afford central air conditioning.

Saturday the party kept on rolling as we hit up the Hollywood Bowl with Amy best friend Anna and her boyfriend. Conducting that evening was the always great John Williams. The focus that evening was on Hollywood Musicals and there was a special guest appearance by the famous Hollywood choreographer Stanley Donen. The weather was little warmer then I would of liked but the music was absolutely great. John Williams and the LA Phil also played all his hits which is always fun, especially when they hit the Star Wars theme and all the nerds bust out their lightsabers.

Sunday we returned to the AV Fair to see the bull riding. I remember back when I was younger going to see when they used to have a full rodeo, but those days are gone as is much of that element in the Antelope Valley. It was much cooler then Amy and I expected and the bull riding was not very good. Or at least the riders weren’t very good, the bull I guess were excellent.

Labor Day was full on no laboring, we stayed cool in doors, I continued to try and finish up my current video game obsession Mass Effect and Amy ran some errands and started some scrap booking.

A good weekend overall, and we got to do some fun driving in our new Honda Fit Sport, so yea us!


Yesterday was Amy’s 23rd birthday, I didn’t really have a gift for her since we just purchased a new car which will be her primary form of transportation, and she understood that. But, she did have one request for a birthday meal, Sushi. Now for a guy like me, that is asking quite a lot. I tend to favor bovine when it comes to dining out. When I do defer to food forthcoming from the sea my favored preparation tends to be deep fried. Alas, Amy want sushi, Amy get Sushi.

I researched and found a rather small place called Shogun here in Palmdale. A search online will reveal rave reviews. Tucked away on Avenue Q-6 between Sierra Highway and 10th Street East, it is not a large establishment by any means. The restaurant has maybe five booths total and a sushi bar you can sit at.
Only one Sushi chef, Massa, and only one waitress Judy. We were promptly seated and handed menus. After careful consideration Amy ordered the California Roll (Not realizing that it contains avocado which she dislikes) and Noodles. I hade a combination dinner of Fried Shrimp (Yeah I took the easy way out), Golden Shrimp (Baked easy way out), and the Shogun Roll. I really had no idea what was in the roll, but I figure if it is named after the establishment it can’t be too bad.

The meal was quite good I am happy to say. Amy enjoyed her noodles and roll, even though she had to pick out the avocado. The shrimp dishes were all great, and the Shogun roll was very good, I think it had some tempura crab, avocado and something else. Either way a very nice meal that didn’t really fill up the stomach too much. I enjoyed it and I hope to go back again. And since the place is so close to work maybe I can start eating there at lunch. Yea, maybe I can be one of the SoCal guys who is always eating sushi….I can see myself doing that.


That New Car Smell

A very exciting moment in the life of a young couple, we just bought our first new car. The other day we snaked down the grand Golden State Freeway to the Norm Reeves Honda Superstore and became the proud owners of a 2008 Honda Fit Sport. Prior to this car Amy was pretty much driving a dump of a car. A 1992 Mazda 626, which at the time of purchase was one heck of a car, but now it has 250,000+ miles on it. And it seems like it could go at any moment. It has had its share of dings and dents, having the front bumper ripped off, losing it driver side mirror and having a terrible transmission slip problem. But now it is no longer a problem. We now have a new car with working air conditioning and plenty of leg and head room for Raymond, so even I am happy. Even the back seat has a decent amount of room for a compact car. So suffice to say we are excited and look forward to our first long drive to see the Grand Canyon and my Grandparents in Arizona. I hope to post pictures soon.

Movie Quickie: Step Brothers

Yesterday in the afternoon Amy and I went to see the latest Will Ferrell movie: Step Brothers. This movie puts Ferrell back on the screen with his acting buddy John C. Reilly and also puts Adam McKay back at the helm. The move and the plot and pretty pointless but it is funny. The best Ferrell movie in quite a while, lots of stupid joke and just general silliness but with the R rating you get all of that with a lot of coarse language which can be great fun. The movie will probably move to the discount theaters next week but I think it is worth seeing. Nice to see Ferrell back in top form, although I am still not sold on John C. Reilly as a true comedic actor, despite his Dewey Cox turn earlier this year. Also a great cameo by Horatio Sans as the leader of a Billy Joel late 80’s cover band called: Uptown Girl. Good times.

Movie Quickie: Tropic Thunder

While Amy was away in Orange County this weekend I snuck in to see Tropic Thunder. I will be quick with this one. The movie while retaining a quite a bit of the Stiller brand of zaniness is full of some pretty good satire and parody. I enjoyed it and it does deserve the #1 movie spot. Also the best role Tom Cruise has had since possibly Mission Impossible in my opinion.

Movie Quickie: Pineapple Express

If “Die Hard” and “Up In Smoke” had a baby it would come out looking and acting like “Pineapple Express”. The perfect mating of a high times stoner flick with a violent action movie. Plenty of laughs, lots of people getting shot, lots of people getting high and some great violent deaths. The movie slows at times when it focuses on the friendship of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s characters but that really shows the movies heart, there are also enough action sequences to keep you going, and it is good to see Rosie Perez is still getting work these days.