Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama-McCain Phil 4:8 Challenge

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4:8)

With a little over a week left before the BIG election day, I thought I'd issue this little challenge. Are you up for it? It comes from personally wanting to vote FOR someone, not just AGAINST someone else.

Here it is, please read all the guidelines, I have the ability to delete your comment here and I will if you do not adhere to the guidelines to the T. 

OK let's's what you do:

1. Leave a comment with a list of true, honorable, just, pure, etc; thoughts about eithter Obama or McCain 
2. Your comment must adhere to Phil 4:8. In other words, what is true, commendable, praiseworthy about Obama or McCain?
3. Your comment must be true, therefore provide a link showing that it is (i.e. Obama promotes Fatherhood and Responsibility
4. Leave your name. You don't have to create a blogger ID, just do anonymous and leave our name inside the comment. We don't like anonymous around's hiding and cowardly.

If your comment is not in this format (i.e. McCain is a warmonger: which doesn't fit any of the top 3) I will delete it. This exercise is meant to be different than all the press coverage, blogs, etc you've been going to. They are negative, let's find some positive. One of these men is going to be our President. 

I'll combine all of these lists into one big blog. Thanks!

Here's an example of what I'm looking for:

1. Promotes Fatherhood and Responsibility
2. Wants to see better disclosure of the budget
3. Worked as a Civil Right attorney for more than a decade

2. Has 25 years of experience as a Representative or Senator
3. Has extensive military service experience as well as a war hero (good since he'd be commander-in-chief
4. Adopted a daughter from Bangladesh that his wife brought home from a trip with Mother Theresa

That kinda thing...looking forward to seeing whatcha come up with! 

Friday, October 24, 2008

BatB Part V: Illegal Maneuvers in the Dunes

This is the fifth part of Beauty and the Beast (BatB): The Linda and Patrick Story. On the main blog, there is a list of all the chapters if you need to get caught up.

DISCLAIMER: Please remember Linda and I were 18 and 19 years old, respectively, when this happened. We, meaning I, was young and foolish. Read on...

It was the summer of 1990 and we saw each other every day. We found jobs at the second biggest airport shuttle service in LA, (not the blue ones the crimson red ones) as reservation agents (RA). I convinced Linda into joining me there with lines like, "It's super close only 10 minutes from here." [It was more like 30.] So if we weren't working together or at Church, we went out on dates. It was fantastic!

Whenever you call a customer service center, like the one above, you can bet that the people are messing around when calls are slow. We were no exception. We would challenge each other to take entire reservations using Australian or English accents. One time, I turned my chair on it's side and pretended I was on the Millenium Falcon shooting down tie fighters.

The best thing we did, other than leave cute love notes in each other's inbox, was play pranks on those we worked with. We could see our friend Ruth in the reception area, through closed caption TV (now that I think about it I don't see the logic in that). So I called the main number.

Ruth: Red Van Shuttle, the crimson van not the blue, serving all of Orange, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties, some of San Diego, and for an extra charge Santa Barbara, this is Ruth, how may I help you?

Me (in my best old man voice): Hello!

Ruth (rolling her eyes, cursing the day she took this receptionist position, but with a very pleasant voice over the phone): Yes how may I help you sir?

Me: Um, I left my Depends on your van! [While I was talking Ruth would mute the phone and pound her fist on her desk]

Ruth: Sir do you know the driver's name or van number?

Me: It was a red van, red one! I need my Depends, I can't go to Puerto Vallarta without them! Uh-oh I think I just peed my pants [remember I'm doing this in old man voice]. Wait a minute, I think I left my teeth on the van too!

You get the picture. I must have kept the old man bit going for at least 10 minutes. Every 30 seconds Ruth's blood pressure would rise to dangerous proportions. The RA area was riotous! When calls would come in, the people on the phone had to mute every time they weren't talking. It was epic!

At the end, I changed back to my regular voice and said, "Ruth, it's me...Pat" Oh my Gosh, if it is possible she was livid and cracking up at the same time. If she wasn't afraid to get fired she would have rushed the RA area and killed me!

Here's the best part; through our 3 years of dating they kept asking us to come back to work for them...because we were so responsible! If only they knew. In fact, when the company hired some consultants to help take the business to the next level, they asked me, Patrick Zalamea, to be the RA representative...classic.

That's how we spent the summer, either at the shuttle company, on a date, or at church. It was great. A couple of times that summer we went on camping trips to the Oceano Dunes...yes the ones we live 10 minutes away from now. My family had a couple of Quads that we towed up to the Dunes in our RV. We'd get stuck, sometimes for a week at a time and just ride. It was insane!

On the first trip, we saw the sign above: No Passengers. We only had three quads on that trip for four riders. So we did what any red blooded, Bible believing Christian would do: we broke the law. Repentently, I think back on those days and wonder what the heck we were thinking! We parked right next to some Dunes and would sneak in away from the Park Ranger's trucks and jeeps and have a blast.

One night, we were doing a speed run. This is where we went as fast (and I mean so fast it scared you) as our Quads would take us along the the dark. I would wear no helmet, Linda would ride on the back with mine on, and my brother and his friend would try to keep up with us.

After a run, we were sitting on the Quads talking and up pulls none other than a Park Ranger. Pause. Remember, I had accepted Jesus less than a year before this time. So I sometimes still had sinful first reactions. This was one of those times. I started up the Banshee and took the pitch dark...into dunes...with a Park Ranger hot on my tail with lights flashing. It was like a scene out of the Dukes of Hazzard.

I remember Linda yelling into my ear, "What are you doing? Stop! What are you doing?" I remember thinking once we get past the first set of dunes there is no way he is going to follow us in that SUV. Guess what? He did. Not just past the first set, but the second and third as well. Then he stopped.

I remember looking back and seeing him at the top of a dune and turning back. I also remember us hurtling over a dune in the pitch black. It must have been a big one, because it took a while for us to hit the ground. When we did we almost hit some kind of dune vegitation and I had to swerve to miss it.

This is probably a lot like the Dune we fell off of

I turned everything off, engine and lights, and waited a little bit. Linda wouldn't talk to me...I think she was in shock. Once I felt the coast was clear, I started the Banshee up and headed back to the RV. Now I had already made mistake #1 by running from the law. So I made mistake #2 by leaving Linda alone by a mile marker in the pitch black to check our camp for cops.

The coast was clear and I went to go pick her up. She wasn't very happy with me and I apologized profusely. It was a knee jerk reaction from my old days. See back then: 2 broken laws (no helmet and passenger on quad) + Park Ranger shows up = RUN!

It was a crazy thing that we (ok maybe just I) look back on with fondness and regret. Another thing that happened on one of those trips was me telling Linda that I was going to Bible College that September. I remember the sun was setting and we were sitting on the trailer watching it and I broke that romantic setting with:

Me: Linda I'm going to Bible College [subtle Zalamea, subtle]

Linda: What? [I was genuinly surprised that she was so freaked]

Me: Yeah I'm going to Bible College isn't that awesome?

Linda: No, you are going to find some other girl up there.

Me: Oh, is that what you are worried about? There is no way! You are the only one for me.

Linda [clearly not convinced]: Ok, I think we can make it work.

I was so surprised that Linda was so concerned. She was, and is, the best person in my life other than Jesus. Nobody could steal me away from her. I tried to console her during that conversation and the days and weeks before I left, but she was very sad.

Me on the Banshee with all my gear

Linda, post-Banshee on my Honda 250X (ain't she cute?)

That concludes Part V of BatB. I'm not sure how much farther I'll take this, but if you wanna see more let me know. From here I live in Lake Arrowhead for about 9 months and that was an adventure before instant messaging, cell phones, e-mail, and Skype.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Iron Man on DVD

Not sure if I posted this...

Iron Man
Action-Packed Wake-up Call
And Tons of Bonus Features on DVD

This is a refreshing blockbuster superhero flick. Many of us waste our lives… maybe not as blatantly as playboy Tony Stark, but waste it nonetheless. I hope God uses this film to wake some of us, including me, out of that malaise.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Morning Surprise!

Here's a bit of a Ruby Update and random stuff...

Ruby has 600 miles on her, so that means I have to take it in to the dealer for it's "break-in" maintenance. My friend AMac thinks that's a crock! But I'm glad break in time is over (aka I can go more than 60 now...don't tell Linda). Seriously I don't go that fast yet. My safety course won't be done until mid-November, which means that's when I'll have my motorcycle license, which means that's when I can go on the freeway and actually go over 60 MPH.

Picture above is from my 2MP phone camera and I just took it. That's her parked outside my work. I usually keep her covered, but I'm going to probably have lunch with my bride and younger son after HomeBuilders so I'll just leave her be till then.

This morning I went to ride in and my neighbor/friend/fellow CalvarySLOer Megan was waiving at me vigorously. I was like wow she's happy to see me or Phil is riding his motorcycle this morning. But it's Thursday and he said he could only ride in on Mon-Wed-Fri. So I dismissed it and rode on in.

A few miles down the road I see a motorcycle behind me and I thought, "Huh wonder if that's Phil." At the stop sign, all of a sudden there he was on my right! So we took a round about way to work...and it was a great surprise to ride in with a friend. I just e-mailed him to see if we can do it again tomorrow, but leave a little earlier and go even more round about, plus have coffee after. We'll see...but that was a great surprise. Thanks Phil!

I've been meaning to do Part V of BatB, but things are kinda crazy. We put new wood floors in our house and while the baseboards were off we painted all the bedrooms. The Men's Advance is this weekend and the week before is always a trying time for me. I hope to do Part V next week. 

Just as a preview I'll be talking about Linda and my first summer together. We actually spent every day that summer together and we got chased by a Ranger in the Pismo Dunes...

Monday, October 06, 2008

New on DVD

Wow Wow Wubbzy: A Tale of Tails
Sticky Sweet Is Good In Small Amounts
And Children's Video Serves It Up Liberally

I had never heard of Wubbzy. In fact, when the publicist sent me an e-mail asking if I wanted a screener, I thought it was SPAM. But when I got home one day, my boys (8 and 3) were already watching the DVD. They were completely enthralled.

As usual click any of the hyperlinks to get to the "full" review.