Moving On Over

February 16, 2009

I’m no longer blogging at this site.  I’ve moved to http://erikullestad.blogspot.com/

(For those who do the rss thing, here’s the new feed — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/blogspot/erikullestad)

Why move?

I’m tired of explaining the “godsnowhere” gimmick to people.  I need a break from WordPress, which is an awesome blog site (probably the best), but the features are limited if I don’t self-host my website (which costs money)…and requires a certain level of tech-savvy that I don’t have.

I’ll be doing the same kinds of things at the new site.  I would be much obliged if you’d join me over at KOINONIA.  Thanks…


More Extravaganza Thoughts

February 11, 2009

I had a great experience at the 2009 Extravaganza.  Lots of wonderful moments, including:

 

  1. Keynote speakers Chris Scharen (video divina) and Leslie Hunter (Pencil & the Pen)
  2. Varied styles of worship, all led by the incomparable Pastor LeAnn Stubbs
  3. Talking about cultural shifts in communication during my Facebook 101 workshop
  4. Seeing people that I had “met” on-line, but never had a face-to-face encounter with
  5. Hanging out with the Unholy Half Dozen + 1
  6. The best meal I’ve ever eaten (Sunday jazz brunch), courtesy of Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter
  7. Reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in years
  8. Dancing and singing until the wee hours
  9. Lost And Found giving away a disc of PDFs of all their songs
  10. Willy the Bike Man

 

I didn’t take any pictures while I was there, but there are about 500 shots from E’09 over on the ELCA Youth Ministry Network site.  And, for those people who wondered why two of the pictures I posted earlier were with women who aren’t my wife…here I am with DotCom hanging out at the Wartburg Seminary booth.

Bouma / Ullestad


Across the Universe

February 10, 2009

Just saw the movie for the first time, at the urging of many friends and youth from church.  Good flick.  Artsy…intense…trippy…odd…amazing.  It’s cool that they were able to weave 33 different Beatles songs into the plot (in many cases, entire songs!).  I’m not a huge Beatles fan, but I have much love for their body of work.  

A few highlights:

  • I counted at least 5 songs from the “Abbey Road” LP, my personal favorite Beatles album
  • The “Let It Be” scene…powerful
  • JoJo’s character (akin to Jimi Hendrix)
  • Jim Sturgess (I also liked him in 21 and The Other Boleyn Girl)
  • The “Oh Darlin” scene 
  • Cameos by Joe Cocker, Bono, and Eddie Izzard

 

It’s lengthy, confusing, and drawn-out in spots…but not so much that it detracts from the overall quality.  Beatles fans will be pleased.  I liked it.  All in all, I recommend it.  8.5 out of 10.


Two Favors

February 6, 2009

I don’t ask much out of you, my faithful godsnowhere reader.  But, just this once, I’m asking two favors of you…

 

#1 – Watch Friday Night Lights

I think this is the best show on television (which isn’t saying much because I don’t watch any other shows on TV, other than Sesame Street and Sid the Science Kid).  The best thing to say about FNL is that it’s real.  Really real.  Like, the realist real you can really imagine.  The football scenes aren’t overly choreographed.  The depiction of football’s place in a random Texas town, from what I’ve read, is dead-on.  Even the interactions between parents/children, teachers/parents, coaches/parents, parents/parents, and teens/teens are brutally authentic.  You could do a lot worse on a Friday night…and probably not a whole lot better.  It’s only 3 episodes into the season, so it’s easy to catch up on.  Sadly, it seems that FNL might be in its last season, which means that 21 Jump Street, My So Called Life, and Boomtown will have a new comrade at the Table of the Criminally Underappreciated.  That is unless you start watching!

 

#2 – Read About the Gospel According to Willie

Emily did a great job recapping a random encounter we had with a homeless dude in New Orleans named “Willie the Bike Man.”  Take a few minutes to read her story and listen to the audio of our 2am songfest.

(Note, the recording was made on my BlackBerry Curve 8330; played through the speaker on the phone; recorded through the air with Garage Band on my MacBook; converted to an mp3 file; paired with pictures of homeless people on YouTube.  Hopefully we can get a more “pure” version of the original digital file, once my phone & computer start playing nice with each other.)

 

 

Now, was that so difficult?  I didn’t think so…


Extra(awesome)vaganza

February 1, 2009

I’ve had such a rich experience at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza this week.  I’m not sure where to start…so I’ll start it off with some early-week reflections from my friend Emily Harkins:

I am currently in New Orleans. Watch out Bourbon Street, there’s a new girl in town! Lock up your stray cats and dogs, I’m on the prowl.

Actually, I am here for a conference in Youth Ministry. Imagine a hotel filled with crazies, all running around with lanyards and name tags, loving on each other and Jesus Christ.

Can I get an AMENHALLELUJAH

Here’s a little something to tide you over until I get back and have a blogathon. Miss you Blog World!

My new friends, El and An at “Mothers”
Friend E likes Bread Pudding. I don’t know why.

McLos and E representing Iowa and the color brown in the land of jazz.

Who loves citrus fruits? We do. And mouth guards.

Yes. Being in my presence is that joyous. Eat your heart out blog world.

More to Come.


No New Ideas

January 13, 2009

I’ve learned many interesting things in my foray into blogging these past 9 months.  One of the things I’m still trying to figure out is Copycat Syndrome — the tendency of bloggers to write about the same topic within a short period of time.  I don’t really know what to make of this.  Do these people come up with their ideas independent of one another?  Or did one person read a blog, recreate the gist of the article in their own words, and then pass it off as their own?

The former doesn’t bother me much.  The latter kinda does.

Audre Lorde the 20th century author and feminist, once wrote, “there are no new ideas.  There are only new ways of making them felt.”  To that end, I concede the reality that like-minded bloggers are going to have a lot of the same ideas and make those ideas publicly known.  

Yesterday I found myself on the unflattering end of what appeared to be a Copycat Syndrome situation.  My friend and fellow-blogger Emily recently offered a post on how much she loves playing Tetris on-line.  (Here’s the article.)  She even included a screen-grab which demonstrated her ridiculous high score.  Well, wouldn’tcha know it, a few hours later, I wrote a similar post that professed MY love for the same game, and even included a screen-grab which demonstrated my modest high score.  The thing is, I had no idea she had written about such an odd topic.  I promise.  So imagine my horror when, literally minutes after “publishing” my post on Tetris, I read Emily’s not-too-dissimilar article.

What can we learn from this?  

 

  1. The appearance of impropriety does not always designate it so
  2. There are no new ideas; only new ways of making them felt
  3. Emily is a crazy-good Tetris player

Tetris Friends

January 12, 2009

Ever since my buddy Jason Hunemuller showed me how to program Tetris onto my TI-85 calculator in high school, I have been a bit of a Tetris addict.  My love-affair with the game is sporadic.  I’ll go months or even years without playing…but once I get the urge, I become consumed.  

Recently I was at the Apple Store and saw a reasonably-priced copy of Tetris for Mac.  I almost bought it, but then I reminded myself about the year of living simply.  Instead of dropping $20 on the game, I started poking around free Tetris sites on-line.  The one I like best right now is called Tetris Friends.  Check it out sometime, if you’re so inclined.

(For those of you who are competitive, my best effort to date is Level 16 and 220,632 points.)

tetris-high-score

 

*** UPDATE ***  Just set a few new records — level 16; 234,877 points; 157 lines.  All for now.  Done with my “lunch break”.