Friday, December 15, 2006

Nice play...

Last week I wondered about the Aitu core- Jonathan was a strange choice to send packing, and the rationale that appeasing the Raro leftovers by sending Jonathan home before them would earn votes on the jury was pretty dodgy to me.

This week I wondered if Ozzy was going to do something rash and whack one of the Aitu core to build some brownie points with Parvati. It's about this time in the game that the pecking order crystallizes and people start to realize what they have let unfold: the rest of Aitu, who really survived weeks of must win immunity challenges to lessen the huge numbers gap that had opened on the back of Ozzy's physical domination in the water, is now seeing that Ozzy's strength is now their greatest enemy.

No one is touching the guy in immunity challenges. It's not even close, and the only guy who has a remote shot at it is Yul, and for the rest of Aitu, that's a worse scenario because he would have both the immunity idol AND necklace, making everyone left game.

Momentarily I worried that Ozzy would let his foot off the gas and depart from the gameplan of the Aitu 4 to the final 4, but he was sharp. Don't stick your teammates in the eye before the game turns to an every person for themselves free for all where the only immunity that matters is the kind you have been kicking everyone's butt for for weeks.

If Yul makes the final two, which is highly doubtful given his overt leadership and deal-brokering, he will have a hard time overcoming the perception that he didn't manipulate the game like crazy, and an even harder time rebutting that view because he dislikes argument or controversy so much. If he goes to the final two with someone who is collected in their thoughts and can make a persuasive argument and pour gas on the Yul's fire, he would face a tough time winning.

Adam, once again, turns in an AWFUL showing in the immunity challenge. He won ONE, and despite being viewed as a physical threat, he has been useless, like an ice machine in the arctic. No strategy, no physical prowess, no game at all.

Sunday is the finale. My prediction? Ozzy, for the sole reason that his focus has been singular since the game started, and no one has remotely touched him in challenges in a long time. He dominates his way to the final two and takes Sundra or Becky and argues that no one has dominated the game physically like he has or carried a tribe like he has, and that Sundra or Becky were along on his coat tail and survived because he brought challenges and fish home in fistfulls. He's also lucid enough to make the tough decisions, and will whack Yul at the first possible opportunity and sidestep the emotional pitfalls the rest of Aitu wil conflict themselves with about voting each other out.

And Probst will leave the last Tribal Council in the Cook Islands on a giant leatherback turtle and ride it all the way to Burbank....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Home rev.2.01

Yep. We're homeowners! Lori and I closed our first home on December 11, 2006. My blog neglect can be traced directly to heading to our new place right after school daily to work on renovating the place.

This is the culmination of 5 long years in Halifax waiting and persisting. It's a dream come true, and getting the house is a reminder that we need to be careful not to put our dreams on such high pedestals, as in "when I get my first home, I'll be ecstatic. I can die happy." Not that I've ever said or thought that, but the reality of my dream of having a place for Lori, Jonah and Wozney #4 (due in 4 weeks or less) isn't all roses and giggles.

There's gobs of old wallpaper to scrape and steam off, loads of painting to do and two days worth of flooring to lay.

I'm really thankful that God has helped me to treat events as milestones on a journey instead of destinations. I love our new place, and it's going to look awesome when we're done all the stuff we want to do, but at the same time it's just a house. It can burn down or blow up or blow over or ANYTHING that can happen to a building.

The really important part about it is the home we build inside it and the light we let shine through it so that people see and feel Jesus when they visit.

Hope you can stop by sometime and enjoy God's faithfulness to us. (well, maybe AFTER we're done renovating...and having the baby...).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

with AND for...

Loving the arrangement of Jesus Paid It All on the new Passion CD. Got me thinking about what I believe God thinks about me.

There was a time in my life where I believed God was always with me- I knew he was there no matter what, but I didn't believe that he was for me. That was a lonely time, not because God wasn't for me, but I limited God- I never expected anything from him, and I closed doors in my life that God really wanted to break through for me in.

I come to see more and more all the time that God is totally for me. He's not just there, but in every circumstance and situation, he's contending for me, for the fullness of his purpose and best for my life, and I am growing in my trust in him that whether I feel it or not he's my biggest fan and backer.

He laid it all on the line for me, and he still does that everyday. Life is a lot easier, even when it feels impossible, walking in that knowledge- I can make it and overcome no matter what because he's for me. If you didn't know, he's totally FOR you too. Let that sink in...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holy traffic Batman....

Yesterday was our first snowfall of the season here in Halifax. We had an appointment with our lawyer yesterday at 4pm about the closing of our home next Monday. Getting there was no problem at all (there in less than 21 minutes, even with the snowy rotten roads).

Getting home? Another matter altogether. That same drive took over 3 hours and 35 minutes (even more if you count the 50 minutes we took to get out of traffic and eat dinner at East Side Mario's). At one point, we sat in the same spot for over 40 minutes and didn't move an inch....

I have driven in Montreal, Toronto and Boston, and I have never been in traffic for that long in either of those cities.

Thank God it's over, we got home safe and Halifax is due to return to its balmy ways soon. Safe driving all!

PS. Need snow tires? We got a great deal and fab service from the Halifax guys. Highly recommend them!

photo copyright Halifax Herald Ltd/Peter Parsons, Staff Photographer, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Incredible spouse outraged by muffin-snub....

My wife, Lori, asked me to post her comments on my muffin blog that were cut short due to a 300 character limit on comments. Being the dutiful husband, I will oblige. Here they are:
I tried to reply to your blog but was censored to a limit of 300 characters.. and you know I've never spoken using less than 300 characters in my life so I am sending this to you via email so I can be free to express myself!!! You have my permission to post this if you so chose:) Love you lots.

"I feel compelled to point out the egregious error you made whilst listing your top muffins. Whilst the carrot-oatmeal-berry-whole wheat-healthy-applesauce replacement tactics are a big part of our muffin regime, it is with great moral outrage that I say “WHAT ABOUT BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP!!!!!?”. I realize sweetheart that I tend to take more than my fair share so you don't get to enjoy them as much… but come on now… you know you love them! I feel you are perhaps ashamed of your white flour-chocolate-infused tasty treat and thus neglected to mention it…so I will air our dirty laundry in honor of the great banana chocolate chip muffin. We eat them... and we love them."
Moral outrage duly noted. I wish only to add this in response to these passionate thoughts:
1. There is no partiality in my list due to hidden shame about liking banana chocolate chip (although I suppose my recipe adaptions do smack a little nutritionally-elite). I actually PREFER the recipes I listed ahead of banana chocolate chip, mainly because I find them a little cakey (especially the recipe we use which uses a lot of butter). BUT, you are right that I do like them- just not quite enough to make my top 5.
2. When I bake the banana chocolate chip muffin, it is with 50% whole wheat flour. I can't replace the butter, because I find banana muffins burn easily without enough oil/fat in the mixture. So they are buttery, to be sure, but they ARE 50% whole wheat, in keeping with my equal opportunity approach to flour mixing.
3. My only beef over the disproportionate number of banana chocolate chip muffins consumed by you has to do with there sometimes being none left to defrost in the morning to eat on the way to work. Other than that, I have no problems with the general enjoyment of muffins, banana chocolate chip or otherwise.
4. If the top 5 muffin list were composed using a democratic process where all family members' votes were weighted equally, I agree that
the banana chocolate chip would trump some of my faves.

Whew. Muffins debated, democracy and free speech defended and my wife listened to and affirmed. :) A blog to be proud of! lol

That said, I guess I should pencil in a banana chocolate chip muffin baking session sometime soon.... :) I love you too Lori- you're the best. I'd share my muffins with you anyday....