Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 25 of 2008

Here at year's end, you'll see all sorts of "Best of" lists.... Best Movies of '08, Best Fashions of '08, Greatest Nose Hair Sculptures of '08, etc. Every writer, blogger and disc jockey in America will be stumbling over each other coming up with their lists. Here are Mark's Random Musings, we're no different(please don't ask me why I just started to refer to myself in the plural - no idea). But there IS one way we're different, while the others stick to one "specialty" because that's all they know, I will offer up the defenitive list of all the great things 2008 has brought us (or at least me). Yeah, I'm just that cool.

So with no further ado, I'd like to present Mark's Random Musings Top 25 of 2008 List!!!!

25. Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics : I've heard this called the TV event of the year as well as the single greatest production in the history of mankind. Both things are probably true, it was absolutely incredible. It falls to the bottom of the best of list for one reason.. as impressive as the giant masses of people performing exactly choreographed movements was, it was sorta spooky for the very say reason. I'm still a little wigged.

24. Canon 40d - picked this bad boy up a couple weeks ago as a Christmas present for myself. Nice upgrade to my aging XTi. Low light ability is awesome.

23. Man in the Mirror - Rhymefest, Mark Ronson, Michael Jackson : Rapper Rhymefest and producer Mark Ronson got together for this "tribute" album to (pre-crazy) Michael Jackson. It's part mix-tape, part tribute, part parody - all unauthorized (read illegal). The best part is Rhymefest and Ronson broke the copyright laws so you don't have to. It's a free download (check out the link) but we forewarned, there's a bit of rough language in it (although generally positive messages - particularly for this kind of rap).

22. Mad Men - Ok, so this is the first of several things on my list that isn't exactly FROM 2008, but hey - sometimes I'm behind the times, so I just got into it in 2008. Best show on tv right now by FAR. And the look of it is the coolest thing going by far. It's way over my head, but I'd LOVE to homage to this with some stuff for R2.

21. The explosion of Billy Mays : Seriously, the man can sell anything. Honorable (albeit creepy) mention; this guy.

20. Wacom Tablet - quantum leap in my photoshop abilities with this thing overnight. skunks the mouse. now just to save up for this badboy.

19. Twitter : makes stalking and being stalked so much more convenient.

18. Av Club : Ken Wilson is Visual Director at NewSpring Church in Anderson SC. Quite simply, he's who I want to be when I grow up. His blog is funny, insightful, and above all else, inspirational. A daily read for me.

17. Sarah Palin / Tina Fey : I was in Wasilla the day Palin was announced as the VP nominee and even then people were looking forward to Fey playing her. The comedy that ensued (both intentional and otherwise) was the best of the year.

16. Lynda : online software training courses for well, anything. Recommended by Bean and the only thing I wanted for Christmas. Love it.

15. Mark's Random Musings : you're reading this, so you already know how awesome it is. (and I feel sorry for you if you clicked on the link in the header).

14. Jonathan Stewart meets Rhonde Barber

13. iPod Adapter : this little gem plugs my ipod into the factory deck in my truck, allowing me to control my ipod through the steering wheel controls and get great sound too.

12. Goal Line Blitz - call me a nerd, but this Football simulation role playing game is the most addictive thing on the interwebz. DEMON LLAMA!!!!!!!!!!!

11. Michael Phelps - yeah, that's him on the left. Still on the left. re-freakin-diculous.

10. Will's Elmo Costume

9. Barack Obama - Not to get political, but I still get goosebumps watching this.

8. Superhero Movies - Best year ever for them.

7. The return of this

6. Alaska: 17 days in the last frontier was by far the best vacation of my life. Special thanks to this big lady, these folks, this guy, this guy, that big ol thing and this old dude. Most importantly, this chick.

5. Chevy Avalanche - after years of good service, my trusty Silverado went down swinging in the blizzard of 08 (yeah, ok, so there were only 3/8 of an inch of snow on the ground). Fittingly enough, I replaced her with the new love of my life, a 2004 Avalanche. Lovely, ain't she?

4. Macbook Pro : My other Christmas present to me (I was a very good boy). it pains me to admit it, but I'm a Mac fanboy these days. :(

3. DeAngelo Williams : Set the Panthers Single season records for both rushing yardage and touchdowns. Led the NFL in overall touchdowns. 153 Carries for 993 yards, 6.5 yards/carry, 15 touchdowns... in the second half of the season!

2. Jillian and Selah : Seriously, it just doesn't really get any better than this.

1. Renaissance Road : I'll honestly never really be able to express how happy, blessed and humbled I am to be surrounded by something this meaningful and people this special. God is really moving in this region, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of it - and I'm so blessed to have met the wonderful people that make R2 happen. I can't wait to see what happens in 2009.

Forgiveness / Revenge

Yesterday at R2 Pastor Nick gave a great message about the importance of forgiveness. It was a really powerful message that I believe touched everyone that heard it. It's a message that I agree with...

...well, most of the time.

After the service we all went out to lunch at Fatz Cafe (awesome, by the way). While we were there, my good buddy Jace played a little prank on me where he swiped my camera and hid it for a good little while. While meant to be all in good fun, some transgressions are simply too severe to go unavenged. Click here to see the revenge I have taken out upon Mr. Breeback.

Now I am the champion!

The US Military and giant shape-shifting robots

Interesting article here about the military's involvement in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. Can't wait.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sam Hassas

Sam Hassas is a Bay Area wedding photographer I found out about on Fred Miranda's photo site. I've never really wanted to be a wedding photographer, but I love his portrait work. What he does with light is absolutely incredible. He's the first photographer whose blog I read regularly.

Cafe Music 12-28

Here's a rundown of the cafe music from today:

Feel Good Inc. - The Gorillaz
Killing the Blues - Robert Plant & Allison Krauss
Babylon II - David Gray
Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Man In the Mirror - Rhymefest/Mark Ronson/Michael Jackson
Triple Skinny - TobyMac
SRV Shuffle - Various Artists
Amazing Grace - Willie Nelson

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt

Singer, dancer, actress and, most importantly, Catwoman Eartha Kitt died today. Crazy hot back in the day. Here's to her.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ode to Jace

Sung to the tune of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (Symphony #9, Opus 125, "Choral")

Breeback, Breeback, oh Jace Breeback!
You're the one who's oh, so right!
You know all the hobbled gymnasts,
name them in the dark o' night.
Oh, why did I ever doubt you?
Should have never been so smug.
Breeback, Breeback, wise one Breeback,
How'd you know that was Miss Strug?

Breeback, Breeback, oh Jace Breeback!
How I long to be like you!
You're my favorite Right-Wing champion
turning all states red from blue!
Blogspot, Twitter, even Lynda,
You're my hero always, Jace!
Breeback, Breeback, awesome Breeback!
Please don't punch me in the face.

Pat Furey & Sarah

Ran across this post on Fred Miranda's photo site (a great place to learn about all things digital photo related, by the way. Man, I'd love to learn to be able to take shots like this.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Panthers clinch Playoffs

With the Cowboys' loss to the Baltimore Ravens last night, the Carolina Panthers clinched the playoffs. In honor of that, here's a link to the greatest Playoffs tribute of all time, from the legendary (for all the wrong reasons) Jim Mora.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Found out about Evernote, a sweet little reminder/note taking / general sting on the finger application from Ken Wilson. Downloading it now, it looks AWESOME. Can't wait to play with it more - I'll update as things go along.

Friday, December 19, 2008

R2 Halloween Outreach

Just finished the photos from the R2 Halloween Outreach in Lilliefield. Hope you enjoy! Full Gallery here.

2008 Balloon Rally

So yeah, the Balloon Rally happened back in October, and I've been slack. I just now finished uploading my photos. You can check them out here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cafe Music 12-14

Here's the rundown for the cafe music from this morning:

I'll Be Home for Christmas - Michael Buble
Frosty the Snowman - Fiona Apple
Someday at Christmas - Jack johnson
Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC
Carol of the Bells - BarlowGirl
Santa Claus is Comin to Town - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
O Holy Night - Faith Hill
Christmas in the Caribbean - Jimmy Buffet

The Countdown was "I Was Born to Love You" by Tobymac.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Annie Leibovitz

Interesting little interview with Annie Leibovitz about her legendary career as a portrait photographer.

I cant watch this enough

Rookie Running Back Jonathan Stewart vs. Future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber.

It's bad when you get stiff armed to the ground so hard that you bounce.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The one bad thing about R2

I'm watching my first complete Panthers game of the season.

GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contact Info

So now that I've got my fancy new Mac I'm updating my address book. If you've got a second, do me a favor and send me your contact info so that I can get a hold of you and such.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


pretty exciting announcement this morning at R2: Evolution is coming. Evolution will be the R2 theme for 2009, sort of a guiding idea throughout our sermon series. We're excited about the changes that are upcoming this year, for ourselves as individuals, for R2 as a whole, and for the community around us.

Above is the promo video we played this morning. This will play throughout the year (not at every service) but will also be supplemented by various other promos with live elements that feature Jason talking about the things to come. I'm really looking forward to putting this project together.

Cafe Music

So it's December at R2, which means Christmas music in the Cafe. For those interested in what's being played, here's the rundown of the cafe music for December 7th:

So This is Christmas - The Beatles
Baby It's Cold Outside - Ray Charles
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McGlocklin
Merry Christmas From the Family - Robert Earl Keen
Feliz Navidad - Los Lonely Boys
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Oh Come Let Us Adore Him - TobyMac

For our countdown we're playing "Prime Audio Soup" by Meat Beat Manifesto.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winston-Salem Baseball

Someone from the Former Winston-Salem Warthogs Minor League team must have been in attendance at R2 this weekend. They announced the new team name today, and clearly they ripped off Jason's "dash" illustration. Lame name? youbetcha. They got it from the dash in between "Winston" and "Salem". seriously. I mean if they wanted to play off the whole two names thing, at least call the team the Twins.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Proud Papa

I blame the convergence of Cyber Monday, Amazon, and fan-girl Sabrina... I've been officially converted to the Mac cult.


Today Jason spoke on the importance of leaving a legacy - that our dreams aren't realy God dreams, unless they continue on without us. It reminded me of the clip I had seen of Martin Luther King's last speech, given just hours before he was assasinated. Now this is a man who is most famously known for his dream, and who obviously had a firm grasp on his legacy.