Saturday, December 21, 2013


It's one of my favorite parts of pre-Christmas prep. Throw some Christmas tunes on the radio (LIFE is non-stop Christmas now... just sayin...), grab some tape and pick out some nice paper. Then, get wrapping.

It's really too bad I'm terrible at it.

O.K, not terrible... just not great.

I used to be really bad. It was more of a ball of paper with a gift in it when I was a kid. Now it's a box with suspiciously rounded edges.

This year I discovered double sided wrapping paper. I'm not kidding! It's really a thing! I'm way more excited about this then I should be. I probably need a hobby...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I love fall. It's my favorite season. However, a close second is winter. If I had it my way we would go from 5 months of fall to 5 months of winter with a month or two of summer, just to shake things up a bit. Skip spring all together. Blech.

Why do I love winter?

The snow.

Shoveling? Love it! Driving in a white out? Awesome! 3 foot drifts? Face plant time!

I probably sound pretty crazy right about now. Maybe I am. But there's just too much to love! Sweaters and jeans are great, throw in a bowl of soup on a cold winter night then wrap it up with tea and a book. That's the life!

As previously mentioned, I enjoy winter driving. That's the statement that confuses the most people. Soooo I figure to up the word count of this blog, I'll explain!

Driving can get boring and stale (especially using the same roads over and over). Having snow cascading in front of you while you do it makes it picturesque and forces you to pay more attention!

The only thing I don't like is having other people on the road. Other people drive scary. Really scary....

And slush. I hate slush.

Otherwise, winter is awesome!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Into The Silent Night

Every year there's one album that becomes that year's "Definitive Christmas Album." It's the one I listen too driving home from work, my go to for Christmas inspiration and the one that I wish I had written all the songs for.

In the past it's been Down Here's "How Many Kings" and Jars of Clay's "Christmas Songs". Not to mention Future of Forestry's "Advent Christmas Collection" (Which just seems to be a constant favourite with me).

This year, it's for King and Country's Into The Silent Night.

Love it.

In the past, I've had a lot of love to give these guys. They sure aren't giving me any reasons to stop yet either!

In fact the only thing I don't like about Into The Silent Night is the length. It's only 4 songs long (plus a live version of Baby Boy).

By the time the ep is over... it's just getting started! Where's the Christmas LP? Oh well. Whatever. At least we get 4 songs of awesome.

Baby Boy and Into The Silent Night are my favourites, but Angels We Have Heard On High is a great imagining and Little Drummer Boy is enjoyable (making Little Drummer Boy enjoyable isn't the easiest thing to do either!)

For me, well worth the 5 bucks!

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Time

Is one of my favourite times of the year. It's awesome! Bright, colourful and the music has it's on special charm to it too.

There's only one thing that bugs me about it. People discussing it.

Every year beginning in November, the conversation begins. Should we be celebrating? Isn't it pagan? Santa!

It's starting to fell like beating a dead horse. Most of the stuff that is worth saying has been said. The internet is loaded with articles about the subject... Can't we leave it at that? Maybe I'm just a fan boy...

For me the lights, trees, bells, green, red, songs, tinsel, holly, turkey and gifts aren't distractions. They're reminders.

Reminders of what we are getting ready for on the 25th of December. The celebration of the birth of Jesus, but that's not where it ends. He was born to die.
Think about that!
It's like a pre-Easter celebration. What happens in a peaceful manger culminates at Calvary and concludes with the resurrection. It's this awesome (and life changing) series of events that all begin... with Christmas.

At least, that's how I feel about it.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

I really love this ministry.

There are a lot of great causes out there to contribute too. More than I will ever likely be able to get around to. That being said, I can honestly say that OCC is the most fun to give to.

Going around from store to store, hunting deals on stuff you imagine someone else would like. Trying to get a theme together for the appropriate age. Figuring out if you would have liked this thing when you were 5. It's great!

It's also helping an important cause.

One thing we take for granted in North America is gift giving. Not excessive "look how much I got" just simple "hey, I got you something special." There are families all over the world that never have received anything. Ziltch. Hard to wrap my head around that one. Operation Christmas Child aims to fix that. Plus, they present the gospel at the same time! Bonus!

This year I'm challenging myself to pack a shoebox every month. Call it an early New Year's Resolution. That way when November 2014 hits next year, I'll have a nice big stack ready to go.

If you've never given to OCC before, maybe you want to take the challenge too. Or, just pack one come November. Either way, it's great to imagine the look(s) on the kids faces when they get their new -- insert gift here ---

Friday, November 8, 2013

2013 Covenant Awards

I don't think I've been this excited for an awards show in a long time. Yes, the Doves (and Nashville) were awesome. But the Covenants were a bit more personal for me.

Mostly cause I was presenting 6. It was a blast. The thrill of knowing you will make someone's night... but not knowing who! I also got to use a teleprompter. That was cool. I've always wondered how easy it would be to use. I kinda want one now. You don't have to move your eyes to scroll the page, it does it for you!

The other thrill was Anthem for Today. Since first meeting them in January, I've been on an adventure or two with the guys

The Covenants definitely proved to be another. Not only were they nominated for 3 awards, they won one! It was Modern Rock Song of the Year for Inside Out. 

It was cool seeing Prosper and GPM (Air Raid Alumni) walk away with two! Dan Bremnes also managed to grab a couple.

All in all, it was a great night in Burlington!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I saw a trailer for Gravity a few months back. I couldn't believe it. Someone actually made a film about two people trapped floating through space?!?! That's going to either be awesome or dreadful.
It's in space... that should help make it awesome. Still, an hour and a half of floating...

I saw it over the weekend. 

I couldn't believe it.

To quote a friend - "That was the fastest slow movie I've ever seen"

It doesn't stop. From 5 minutes in to the time the credits roll you're on a rollercoaster ride.

I saw it in AVX which was a first for me. Glad I went with it this time! There were parts I was shifting in my seat to avoid debris. I never do that!

There was another part were one of the characters is exposed to space. There was no sound from the movie during that scene... or from the theatre. I just sat there holding my breath.

Plus the first 14 minutes is one shot. As in, no cuts in the film. I know that's my film nerd geeking out, but is it ever awesome!

I don't think I'd see the film again. It one of those things you experience and then remember fondly. Maybe once I forget a lot of the key plot points in 5 years I'll try again.. Still, was more than worth the 10 bucks to get in!

There was a bit of language at the start. Something to be mindful of.  For the content advisory, Plugged In has you covered-

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I grew up listening to LIFE. Every year I would hear about the Dove Awards and how big they were. And how cool things are in Nashville. When you've heard about something for that long you tend to romanticize it. I'm the first to admit, I romanticized both!

I recently had the chance to go to Nashville for the Dove Awards.

I was ecstatic.

It was awesome!

Scott Jackson has already done a great job recapping the Doves, so I won't get into that.

I'm going to talk about Nashville.

It's a really crazy place. Music is everywhere! It's in the airport, in the ads on the side of the road, playing on the main street.
Speaking of the main drag - Just taking a stroll down the main drag all you can hear are the live country bands playing in the restaurants and bars. It's crazy!

Another crazy part of Nashville is the Bi-Centennial Mall. No, you can't get cloths there. It's a monument to 200 years of Tennessee.

To sum it up in one picture is impossible.
I tried, it failed. There's not only the entire history of Tennessee, but the names of some of the most famous people Tennessee has produced. There's also a mammoth map of the State with cities and rivers marked on it. The whole thing is worth the trip to Nashville.

Another highlight was Rocketown. It's a outreach/venue type thing started by Michael W. Smith. Not only is there a concert theater and cafe, but a recording booth and skate park!

Plus really big beach chairs.

All in all, Nashville was everything I had hoped.
The Doves were awesome too. Lots of bright lights and Christian Celebs.
It was nice to watch an award show and know who 95% of the musicians were!

Friday, October 4, 2013


I really didn't want to get one. Yes, I'm a geek. Yes, I love shiny new stuff. Yes, I have a million and one things I could do with one.
Even with all that, I was still apprehensive.

Touch screen texting? Eww. Being able to access the internet everywhere? Great.... Facebook in my pocket? No thanks!

Then, I realized I have self control.

So I got the phone.

I love it.

If you've been holding off on a smartphone due to the whole "touch screen texting" thing, it's not actually that bad.

At least on an android. Google's keyboard is really something else. Even if I miss a key, it usually guesses what I wanted. Sometimes it guesses wrong, but never with really awkward results... well... except that one time...

Also, the great thing was, it didn't come with Facebook! So I had to consciously add it, and have to consciously open it too!

I never thought I'd say it - Lovin' the smartphone!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Smell The Roses

I've probably read the Bible 3(ish) times in my life. It may be 4, but I don't want to overestimate.
In that time I've gotten a pretty good idea of what all the books are about (except the minor prophets...) and where each story is going.

Recently I've found myself getting bored in devotions. I still think the content is great, don't get me wrong, but nothing was popping out. No attention grabbing verses. Nothing. Just "oh ya, this story" or "I like this part" or "oh no... this part is really hard to get through (*cough*Songs of Solomon*cough*).

So what do you do? Stop reading? I did for a day, that was enough for me! Missed it too much and realized it was only going to cause problems in the long run, not improvements.
Change translations? Maybe. The words are different, but the content will be the same.

So what do I do? I stop to smell the roses.

Part of my problem was putting so much emphasis on how much I was reading. I tend to power read to begin with, doing that with the same book over and over and over is a recipe for boredom.

Now, I'm taking my time. Sure devotions are taking longer. Sure I'm reading less in that time. But whole books that I thought I knew backwards and forwards are different! I'm seeing stuff I've never saw, understanding things that have puzzled me and even getting confused on things I thought I had figured out.

It's awesome!

tl;dr - If your devotions are getting stale, try taking your time to smell the roses. It worked for me!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Anthem For Today - Walk Away

You may remember a post I made a few months back about Anthem For Today. It was awesome being able to shoot a music video.

You know what's more awesome?

Doing it again!

I have wanted to do a camp fire video for a while, but there are problems with shooting one of those.
Mostly the music. You'd have to record an acoustic version of the song you are filming and then film it, then mix both. It would be a great challenge, just not something I figured I could talk anyone into.

Then I found out Anthem is releasing their song "Walk Away." It's acoustic. Bingo!

The day of the shoot was miserable. Rain, rain... rain... more rain... Then it stopped (thank God). Then it started again! After almost cancelling the shoot, the rain stopped again (after loads of prayer!).
This time it stopped for good.

The shoot only lasted around an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours. It was a blast! After going through an entire bag of marshmallows, firewood and kindling - we were done!

Two weeks later, I'm pleased to present the finished product!

All in all it was a great night! Now, let's shoot another!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Christian Movies

Christian Movies have gotten a really bad reputation over the years. Sometimes deserved, sometimes not so much. And while I tend to not like cheesy stuff, even the cheesy ones can strike a cord with me. Though I'd rather they not be cheesy.... really.

With this in mind, my list of most anticipated Christian films of the next... 8-20 months? Basically -- here's a list!

I'm In Love With A Church Girl
I've always wanted to make a movie where
a. Someone is faking Christianity to get a girl and in the end relizations how messed up they are
b. tobyMac is a burnt out breakdancer that needs redemption.
This movie has both... sorta... (If Toby breakdances at any point I'm calling foul!)
Either way... TOBY MAC

God's Not Dead
The story of a philosophy class student challenging his professor's opinion of God? Sounds good. And did I mention Newsboys are in it? NEWSBOYS!!!! The acting doesn't look like it's going to be Oscar worthy, but the premise is something I can get behind. And David White is in it, which makes things even better.

Grace Unplugged
The story of a girl trying to make it big in music... against her parent's wishes and the compromise it brings.
This sounds really promising. The messages that a plot like that can convey are a plenty. Looking forward to it! Ooooooohhhhhh and by the way, Jamie Grace is in it.

And that's what I'm looking forward to this... ah... yearish?
Oh, and Noah, but that doesn't have a trailer yet... yet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Miley Cyrus

I can't seem to avoid that name. She's all over the web, my FaceBook news feed, the news feed that's always on in the LIFE studio and she's even breached casual conversations. All from a very inappropriate performance on the VMA's (which I didn't even know happened until this whole ordeal).

I tried watching the video. I lasted about 5-6 seconds. I don't recommend you try to best me.

What I do want to recommend - we pray.

Whenever celebrities derail, it's so easy to point fingers! We call them names and even accuse society for causing them to go like this, but that doesn't really help All it does is makes us look/feel better. 

I've done that. A lot. Even with Miley. However, this time, I really want things to be different. 
Instead of coming up with cleaver ways to run her down, let's pray.

Pray that she would be able to see the impact stuff like this has, pray that she gets some solid role models/mentors in her life and pray she remembers her roots. I mean the Christian ones, not the Hanna Montana ones. She is (or was... not sure where she is now...) a confessing Christian. 

I don't want to sound preachy, or "holier than though". Mostly cause, I'm not. But I do want the church to try to be a light in this instead of a lynch mob.

O.K. That's my serious post for the year. Back to Batman, drooling over music and flying cats next week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kingdom Bound 2013 - Day 4

And what a day 4 she was! Today seemed to be "get a picture with an artist day" for me. I'm not complaining either! Just warning you that you're going to see a lot of mug shots in this post. Most of them are my mug too.

After going for a round or two... or three... on the bumper cars I happened upon Jekob Washington (from the Washington Projects and his solo project). I had the chance to interview him a few months ago so meeting him was a lot of fun!

After going for another walk... past the bumper cars... I happened upon Jenny Simmons performing. She used to be the lead singer for Addison Road. She's solo now, taking her sweet voice to the road with two acoustic guitars and nothing else. It was a great set. Doing some old Addison Road stuff, new solo stuff and a cover of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" as well as "How He Loves".

Plus - PHOTO OP!

After that, it was time to rock out... or dance out(?) with Capital Kings.

They're an electronic group, which always makes live shows hard. They basically just sang to the tracks. Yet it was a lot of fun... more fun than it should have been at least. There's just something about a driving kick with good synth backing it up!

After that Jason Dunn took the stage. He used to be the front man for Hawk Nelson. Now, he's a solo artist! The show was a mix of new stuff (three songs) and his Hawk Nelson back catalog. Jason did songs like "California," "Everything You Ever Wanted," and "Friend Like That." He also pulled a couple of random kids onto the stage to pretend to play the guitar. Many awes were heard! I did get a picture with Jason, but I'll spare you seeing me in another goofy pose... just kidding.

While Jason was on stage, Colton Dixion showed up at stage left... since I had the camera out anyway...
If only I had gel in my hair... that would have made this so much better... oh well....

Speaking of Colton, he put on an amazing show. I didn't expect it to be nearly as intense as it was. Lots of crunchy guitars and crazy drum solos.

Then came the grand finale to Kingdom Bound -- MercyMe. To be honest, I had really low expectations. Their songs are usually slow, long and about death. Not that that's a bad thing... It's just that it sounds like an awesome concert (sarcasm).
Man, was I wrong! They had a lot of rock to their sound. They weren't the most active (them getting up at 3a.m may have had something to do with it), but can they ever play. Plus, getting to hear "I Can Only Imagine" live was awesome. Bart Millard (lead singer) even gave a 10 minute sermon. It was really good. I may even have to do a blog post about that on it's own. Plus, there were a lot of people there. Like, a lot of people.
And that was my day. The best part was getting back to the hotel, walking past the lobby... and meeting MercyMe. I even got to ride in the elevator with them. I know I sound like a giddy little kid. I probably am too. But, man! What a day.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kingdom Bound 2013 - Day 3

Talk about a busy day! We got things rockin' and rollin' at 9:30... as in, that's when we left the hotel. DJs, as it turns out, take a lot of time to get their faces done up. 
After hanging out around the rides for a bit with some friends (which included a ride on giant moose... sorry, no pictures) it was time for the music to begin again. 

I only caught the tail end of We Are Leo. What I saw was impressive! They did their new single (listen for it Monday!) as well as another song that had a long dubstep break down. It was awesome! Plus, they had a keytar!
If all that wasn't enough, I even got to chat it up with David Duffield (lead singer). Which, lead to a photo op!

Then it was onto Shine Bright Baby. I am really loving their song "Beautiful Love"... but they're originally a punk band... so what would the live show be like? 

It turned out to be a cross of fluffy pop sounding stuff and punk rock. Was it a bad combo? Not in the least! 

Afterwards, another photo op presented itself. I couldn't say no!

Project 86 was next up. They were the loudest band I have ever heard live. It was pretty crazy. No pictures. Just imagine head banging and mohawks and you have it!

Two years ago at Kingdom Bound, I saw an up and coming band called For King and Country. They were awesome. I've loved 'em ever since. I was really excited to see them this year to see how their live show had changed. It's 10 times better!

4 sets of drums going at once, an accordion thing and a cello. Not to mention the piano and guitars. It sounds like it would be an eclectic train wreck. Instead, it was a musical masterpiece. If you ever have a chance. Check them out!

Thousand Foot Krutch was next. Man, that was intense. They did all their hits like " Let the Sparks Fly", "Be Somebody", "Falls Apart" and "Fire It Up".

Then the moment everyone had been waiting for, Newsboys. They have changed a lot since I last saw them. Now, they have huge video screens projecting the band members onto them with funky lighting effects. It made for a bright show! Plus, we got to hear 3 tracks off their new album Restart... that's not out till September!

And we get to do it all over again tomorrow with Mercy Me! Looking forward to it!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kingdom Bound 2013 - Day 2

Today was awesome! We got up and rolling with some breakfast from Cracker Barrel (always a personal favorite). Then it was off to the park! We saw Matthew West last night. He was really good. I unfortunately don't have pictures though...

TODAY is the subject though. After catching up and coming acts Everfound (surprisingly good electro-rock) and Kronicals (They claimed to be dubstep rock... it was mostly rock...) it was on to Aaron Gillespie.
He's the lead singer for The Almost. When he's not out with them, he does a "worship" side project. Worship is in quotes cause it's not like any worship you'll ever hear! He sang... and played the drums! It was crazzzzzzzzzzzy! Oh ya, he also had his eyes closed quite a bit...

After Aaron... I kinda went and saw him again at the worship tent... WHAT? I'm a fan. You would have done the same!

One of my must sees this year (aside from Aaron and Mathew West) was Audio Adrenaline. I never saw them when they were in their prime, so this would be the next best thing. And man, is it a solid thing.

Kevin Max (from dc Talk) is the new vocalist. That should be an awkward fit. But it wasn't! It actually sounded really good. Not the same as Mark Stuart's voice, but really good none the less.

Then it was time for tonight's headliners. Hillsong United!
The crowd loved them! I liked them too... it may have had something to do with the Aussie accents though...
The obsurd amount of lights didn't hurt either....

And that was my day at Kingdom Bound!
Tomorrow - For King and Country, Shine Bright Baby, We Are Leo, Thousand Foot Krutch and the headliners... Newsboys! Should be good!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mud Volleyball 2013

I have a distant childhood memory. It was me playing in the mud. I had never done that before. I hated it.
There was no point, you feel gross sitting in it, takes forever to clean it off. No more mud for me.

Fast forward X years, I'm off to Mud Volleyball (proof your 5 year old self shouldn't be allowed to make vows).

It was a blast!

The mud is thick enough it sticks to you, but thin enough you don't feel sick running through it. And man, did it stick to me!

I was staying fairly clean (mostly accidentally) until I got rushed by 5 friends with the soul goal of soaking me. They succeed.

After 2 rounds with my team, we were eliminated from competition. 38-7 losses do that I guess!!! That being said, it was a blast losing. How often is losing fun?!?!

That's not even mentioning the awesome show from Anthem For Today! They did hits like Falling Asleep At The Wheel, Earthquake and A Little Louder. Plus, they covered Switchfoot and Relient K!

If you  and your youth group like fun, definitely sign up for next years romp in the dirt. You wont regret it!

TL:DR - Just watch this video -

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heart of Worship 2013 - Recap

This might surprise a lot of people, but I love worship music. I'm not 100% sure why, though I have a hunch it's the singing songs to God bit. I love that. Especially when you're singing worship songs with other Christians. There's just something about having that community.

That's exactly what we had at the Heart of Worship concerts! Man, was it good!
Shae-Lynn August, Scott Towaij, Jordan Donald and Jon Bauer in Barrie and Peterborough totally free!

I missed out on the Peterborough show at Christian Victory Church, but managed to make it to the one at Hi-Way Pentecostal in Barrie. I haven't regretted it yet!

If you missed out on the show, here's a quick recap of all that happened!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Air Raid 22.1

Last night was the night! After months of planning and preparation (most of which done by people other than me!), Air Raid 22 hit the stage in Huntsville.

It was awesome!

Every Air Raid I always say "that was the best Air Raid yet." So I'm not going to say that, but MAN! I think it may have been!

Anthem For Today got things off to a rockin' start. It felt like a real life version of the music video for Earthquake!

They did hits like Falling Asleep at the Wheel and Inside Out, plus a great Taylor Swift cover.

Anthem for Today lead singer Pip Lucas

Then came Prosper and GPM... I didn't know what to expect. Hip Hop can be super high energy awesome or really slow and dull. It was anything but slow or dull!

The crowd and the performers were all over the place having a great time! They did amped up versions of songs like Yes I Can and Without You. Plus, they did the Harlem Shake!

Prosper of Prosper and GPM fame!

Then came the Color. These guys drove all the way from Manitoba. THEY DROVE. They did songs like Made to Be and their first hit, Let It Go. They even did a few acoustic songs!

The Color rockin' out

Then the headliners came. To Tell.

Zach Havens from To Tell

I love these guys. Always fun, always tight and they just keep getting better! From the crunchy guitars of In Your Eyes to the pop of The Problem, it was solid.

All in all a great night! Now, we get to do it all over again tonight! See you at Air Raid 22.2 in Owen Sound!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Man of Steel - Before

I'm really excited for Man of Steel. REALLY. I'm not 100% sure why either.

To preface this, I'm not that crazy about Superman in general. I think he's over powered. Super strength, flying, laser vision, ice breath, x-ray vision, bullet proof... shesh... he's only weak to kryptonite, which is cool... but that's his ONLY weakness!

New Superman movie? Who cares. Give me more Marvel.

Then I saw this trailer -

I still get chills watching it. I'm a sucker for tone, this trailer is full of it! No detail, just "Hey what's this movie?... wait...SUPERMAN?!?!"

I haven't seen a full trailer since (except for pieces I tried to ignore before Iron Man 3).

Trailers give too much away.

It's written by Christopher Nolan (Inception). That and the tone are enough to sell me.

It opens on the 14th. I can't wait! If it so inspires me, I will likely review this one!

Friday, June 7, 2013

God's Love

I've really been enjoying Shine Bright Baby's (yes, there's a band called Shine Bright Baby) song Beautiful Love. It really captures God's relationship with us well. The fact that he made EVERYTHING, sent Jesus to die for us and then, on top of all that, wants to have a relationship with us! It's crazy to think about and something I hope I never get dulled too.

I also really like the third verse -

"Everybody wishes they could change their past

He's forgiving everything, so don't look back"

I for one wish I could do some things (past and present) different. Not even the obvious stuff either. There are soooo many sentences that could be reworded! But, it's in the past. God's not holding us to it. We just need to press on and continue to live a life for him.

All in all, I recommend you look up the track... oh, look at that... it's right there! 

Friday, May 31, 2013


I love a good surprise. Note I said good surprise.
Finding out I didn't pay my phone bill when I thought I had, isn't something I love to have happen.
Having something happen that causes joy, on the other hand. I'm all over that!

As much as I love to receive (good) surprises, I think I like to give them more. Putting loads and loads of planning and prep, dropping subtle clues and foreshadows to the soon to be surprise-e... it's a little too much fun!

A week ago today, I got to be part of a huge surprise. I didn't really do anything either. I just showed up!

Anthem for Today had a secret show at Unity Christian High in Barrie. The students thought they were going to a boring lecture or something and got hit with a rock show instead! The look on some of their faces was priceless. It was a mix of shock, awe and .... wah??? Where am I?

To commemorate the occasion, here's a quick video chronicling the adventure.

I can't wait to see these guys at Air Raid 22!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I've been waiting to see this movie since November. I've always considered Abraham Lincoln to be a hero. The dude helped take out slavery AND win a war while doing it.
Not easy.

The movie really shows that.

It's not that action pacted a film. Which is fine. The content was great. The amount of back room dealing, strategic press actions and careful word placement needed to make the 13th Amendment fly (the one that killed off slavery) is incredible.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln is amazing. Spielberg knows how to make a character drama with lots of character. Abe definitely had that. From telling little stories in the middle of a crisis to allowing his son to come into the middle of a meeting. He just felt like a guy you want to sit and talk to.

There is a bit of language to watch out for... as a heads up. More on that here.

One thing that really hit me, was the war. We've grown used to the "Gone With The Wind" civil war. Everyone in their clean suit, in clean fields, taking clean shots with their pretty muskets.

That's not what we see here.

In the opening scene people are up to their knees in mud, in hand to hand combat. It's wet, rough and down right horrific.
I've always though the civil war was a horrible time in American history, I don't think words even describe it now.

It may be a little long, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. Well worth the (overly long) wait.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Retro Weekend

I am not 50. I know that will burst a lot of bubbles, but the truth can't be hidden any longer.

That being said, I love retro music. Back in the day it was Woody's Retro Show that gave me my love for it. The history, the sound, the craziness. It was a different time for sure.

This Monday we are going back to the days of retro with a Retro Holiday Monday.
Here are some of the songs I can't wait to hear!

dc Talk - I Wish We'd All Been Ready

It's not their song, but man do they nail it! Plus, it's dc Talk. What's not to love!

Newsboys - Take Me To Your Leader

Going to space? Take Newsboys. This video is great, as is the song!

Carman - R.I.O.T

I was going to say Addicted to Jesus, but we've already got dc Talk on the list. Carman is great! And he's got some pretty sweet videos too.

On second thought... my blog, my rules. Here's Addicted to Jesus whether you like it or not!

Steve Taylor - I Want To Be A Clone

I really love quirk and goofiness, Steve has that in spades (that's one of the reasons why Newsboys were so special back in the day... Steve co-wrote a LOT!)

Keith Green - So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt

Once again... quirk! Skip to around 3:20. He talks until then.

Whitecross - The Kingdom

Annnnnnd another live video... shesh there were a lot of those back in the day!

Happy Retro Long Weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've always wanted to shoot a music video.

As a kid I would get super excited whenever one would come on the t.v. As I grew up, I discovered this fandangled thing called the internet. This discovery lead to another - An infinite supply of music videos. Sometimes they're the traditional "band on a roof/garage/street", sometimes they reenact the song, sometimes they just make you wonder what the band was thinking and others are flat out AWESOME!

Imagine my delight when the offer came my way to shoot a video for Anthem for Today. After dealing with the logistics of it, I accepted.

If you read Scott's blog, you likely know how the shoot went. Really, really well! A good crew helps with any production. This crew was fantastic.

It only took around 15 hours total to shoot and edit. Hard to believe in retrospect, but it's true!

So sit back, relax, grab the cat, some popcorn and enjoy!

Now... what to film next?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Skillet - American Noise

I enjoy Skillet. I'm by no means a Panhead (a Skillet fan... get it? Panhead... never mind), but I never complain when they hit the air.

It's been 4 years since their last proper release (Awake). This June, that changes! The album is Rise and the debut single is American Noise.

I love this song. It's got a real power ballad/rocker vibe to it. Starting out more mellow then building to the crescendo.

Another thing I love about it - the message.

Our lives can get cluttered up with junk really fast. With that, we can lose focus on what's important... when that time comes, we really need to take some time to focus on God. Cut out all the "noise" and just do some devotions. Get our head back into the right space.

Enjoy the new tune! I know I am!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Everybody has something they like to do to unwind/clear their head.
Some people take rides on their motorcycle, others go to the beach and if you're Scott Jackson, you ride your bike.

For me it's walking . Otherwise it's cooking.
I love it a lot more than I probably should. I think it's the planning and preparation that goes into it. Organizing everything, cooking it to perfection and then savoring the taste.
It's like making music for your nose and taste buds. Or painting... or whatever.
The part I'm not as crazy about, is the clean up. I tend to taste test... a lot... so the supply of clean spoons drops quite fast. But I guess that's the price of doing something you love, right?

What's something that you love to do that you never thought you'd enjoy?

For the record, that omelette is courtesy of Google. I would have eaten mine before actually getting a picture... maybe I just like food...

Friday, April 19, 2013

How Animals Eat

I kept seeing a video pop up on the interwebs last week. I just ignored it. Then my sister sent it to me.
Did I laugh? Admittedly, yes...

I'm not sure what it is about this video. The stupidity of? Maybe. The concept? Perhaps. The fact that it's got a pink morph suit? Likely. Whatever the case, I got a few good chuckles out of it. Hopefully you will too.

The most surprising part for me is the view count. 40,000,000. That's a lot of people! Especially when you figure this was likely shot in a guys bedroom.

**Disclaimer - Shut your brain off now, it will save you the bother later**

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jurassic Park

This is the movie that made me love and fear dinosaurs as a kid. I loved it! It was one of those movies that you watch over and over and over and over until your parents are begging you to shut it off... that was Jurassic Park for me as a kid.
Infact, it made me always watch the bathtub... just incase a raptor was behind the curtain!

Fast forward X number of years and I still really like it. Mind you, I don't watch it over and over and over... I have more of a life than I did when I was 5.
The one drawback was never being able to see it in theaters. I was alive for the release, just didn't see it.... that changed this week.
To celebrate 20 years of dinosaurs having a field day on an island, it's been re-released in 3D. How could I pass that up?

I'm not normally a huge fan of 3D, but that was the only way to see it. I'm happy to say it works fairly well most of the time. MOST of the time. There was a bit of stuttering and blur at some points. Otherwise, it was good.

The true gem is the film itself. Seeing it on the big screen was amazing.
Even though I know what's going to happen next, I still jumped a bit and felt my heart race.

Not to mention the beauty of the films score is 100% better booming all around you.

If you're a huge fan of the film, I'd give 'er a look. Especially if you never saw it in theaters the first time.

If you HAVEN'T seen it before, I'd advise a visit here -
It is a thriller with dinosaurs so expect some less that cheery scenes... involving teeth...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sharathon 2013

It was a week ago today that I woke up at 7:00a.m. That is a sign that it was no ordinary day. In fact, quite the opposite. My normally busy place of employment had become so crammed full of balloons, people and phones it wasn't funny. Sharathon had arrived!

Over the two sleep deprived days we laughed, people cried and God provided. It was awesome! As I tend to do when a camera is handy, I took some pictures to document these amazing two days.


 Maria Lopez waves... yes, that is the caption this shot gets. Deal with it.

 Andy Taylor gets ready to jam it out on the air.

Steve Jones uses the fancy wireless mic.

 Tim Massarany chatting to an invisible friend!

 Turns out he was talking to Pastor Mathew Fox from Simpcoside Lifepointe Church in Orillia!

 Taking pledges in Phone Central

 Scott Jackson in studio.

 Life board member Andrew Hamilton get bit by the radio bug!

   Phone Central action shot.

 3SN Host Kyle Jenkins re-enacting his favorite scene from Jurassic Park.

 Pip Lucas trying to get a handle on the Promotions department. Congrats on the job!

Jen Melanson wrapping things up before mat leave

Monday, March 25, 2013

Barrie Colts

I have never seen a Colts game. I have lived in Barrie (and area) for the better part of 3 years and it still hasn't happened. I have wanted to, just never gotten around to it.

That changed this weekend.

Joined with some family and friends, we took the trek to the Molson Center to watch game two in the first round of OHL playoffs.
Barrie was leading the series against Kingston 1-0 going in.

What a game! The Colts scored 17 seconds into the first. Suffice it to say the crowd went nuts. They scored again 2 minutes later.
That was basically what the rest of the night entailed! The Frontenacs eventually got their act together and scored... with a two man advantage.

Barrie wound up winning 7-3.

I loved it! Aside from some really goofy penalties from the Colts it was 2 and a half hours of solid hockey.

We got to do the wave, see a guy get kicked out for being rowdy (he was let back in after a few minutes) and even had a brush with celebrity greatness, Charliehorse!

Will I ever do it again? An emphatic yes. Beats watching it on t.v any day.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Prosper & GPM Interview

I recently had the chance to chat it up with Prosper of Prosper & GPM fame.
He'll be joining us at Air Raid 22 this summer, so why not get to know him a little better?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Almost

Whenever I really love a band, I'm always scared of seeing them live. The thought of a group that brings me much joy being loose, boring or using tracks really does scare me. I'm not kidding.
The Almost is no exception. I really loved their album Monster Monster... could their live show be able to top the awesomeness they captured on the disk?

Yes. Yes it could.

I joined a buddy of mine at the 905 Venue in Whitby (Ajax/Oshawa... it's sorta confusing) on Sunday for the concert. Amazing venue for a youth group. It's in an old club so it's ideal for music, smoke machines and merch. Plus, that's where they do youth!

After a really good worship set and quick message, The Almost took the stage... wow, did they take the stage.

Unless I am mistaken, no tracks. I heard mistakes, which is very refreshing. However, they were few and far between.
Aaron Gillespie has one amazing voice. Going from singing to yelling to singing with ease. It makes for quite the dynamic... add in 3 guitars all doing different things.... well, you get the idea.

They covered instant classics like Monster Monster, Lonely Wheel and Hands as well as some stuff from their new (!) album Fear Inside Our Bones. After hearing the title track, I'm Down and Ghost, I'm more excited than ever for the April 9th release.

Afterward, got to grab a shirt and bumped into Aaron.

All in all, a really stellar night.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hawk Nelson Interview

As you have probably assumed from the title, I recently interviewed Jon Stiengard from Hawk Nelson!
Here's what the lead singer had to say -

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Or more accurately, fasting. I decided to do one a few weeks ago. Not just because of Lent, but because I wanted to do some heavy praying for some stuff and Lent was just around the corner... so why not do it at the same time?

You likely think this is going to be about how it brought me closer to God... and that blog is coming.... This is about how hard doing it is.

I am off of bread.

Which I thought would be hard... just not THIS hard. Never did I realize how much bread I eat! I usually have at least two or three servings a day (depending on what my meals are). Cut that out totally and my body just keeps asking "Now what?"

I'm not complaining. I really am surprised how hard it is!
The point of a fast is to do without something that you need/enjoy so that you can depend on God and put more time to prayer. Well, It's working.

So far things are really good, however bacon, eggs and muffin just isn't quite the same...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clever Movie

Cleverbot is a very (very) smart machine. You basically say stuff to it and it will reply.
Sometimes you think it's a real person, others you realize you are talking to a talking website.
I have spent a bit of time on it. Mostly to hilarious results.
One thing I never considered Cleverbot good for was writing movie scripts. Thankfully, this guy did.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love In The Air

With Valentine's in the air I thought I would get a little sappy this week... by listing the top 873 reasons my American girlfriend is so awesome.

I'm kidding... though I do plan to do something "romantic."

Disney put together this short film a little while ago ( I believe it ran before Wreck It Ralph).
It uses a combo of classic cartooning and modern computer animation.
I like a story that can be told without words. This is one of those tales.
Looks, movements and the (awesome) soundtrack (seriously, 5:15's music gave me chills) do all the talking on this one.


*Note - I will not be held liable if your paper airplanes don't have nearly the same effect on your prospective girl friend/boyfriend*

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Big Game" Commercials 2013

The Superbowl gets awesome commercials.... wait... the U.S version of the Superbowl gets awesome commercials. If normal commercials were nearly as good as Superbowl ones are... I wouldn't hit the skip button.
While I haven't seen every commercial, (after watching 15 minutes worth last year I realized how stupid watching 15 minutes of commercials is...) I have seen a few.

Here are my Top 3

At #3 we find National Geographic gone horridly wrong -

Doritos and Old Spice usually has very cleaver ones. This would have been #1, but another stole my heart...

I love over the top silly stuff. Oreo nailed that with this commercial -

Well, that's enough product placement for one day! What was your favorite this year?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time Lapsed = Awesome

I've always been a sucker for time lapse photography. In a minute you can see hours, days, weeks and even years (!) pass before your eyes.
It also takes a lot of work.
We're talking thousands of photos over hundreds of hours. However, like all good things, all that work pays off.
Especially if you have a good sound track.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fireflight Concert

As you probably hear once or twice... or 15 dozen thousand times... Fireflight was in town on the 19th. I was stoked! So stoked, I brought my camera along for the ride.
As before, I shall let my adequate skill as a photographer do all the talking...
Getting things started with some flying guitar.

 Why not add another guitar and a bass (not to be confused with a bass)?

 Dawn begins to serenade us
 I really like this photo... in case you were wondering
Slappin De Bass, Mon!   
I love this shot too... during one of the few calm moments
More concert shots
 Look! We found a fern!
 This is my favorite shot. Love the back lighting on it.