Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday 2007

Right after my previous entry, the night just started because it was simply Black Friday. =)

The guys and I met up at our friend's place around 11pm to prepare. We put our BF lists together and played some PS3 and ping-pong while waiting for the rest of the group to rendezvous with us. Two hours later, our group of nine strong headed out in two cars to Woodland Hills for some shopping.

There was already over a hundred people outside Circuit City when we got there around 2am. We split our teams into two: Aldous, Jimmy, and I took Circuit City while Charles, Andre, and Edwin took Staples right next door. The rest alternated in providing support, bringing food for us and checking other stores' lines.

Needless to say, it was freezing in the mid-40s and we warmed up as best we could with our clothes (I even brought my bed blanket). As the clocked ticked closer, people started rushing forward to close up any line gaps, but unfortunately, several patiently waiting customers got cut big time. =( Andrew, Shawn, and Ted noticed the commotion and surged ahead for us to keep up with the crowd pace.

When the 5am opening came about, lines were almost completely useless as people started pushing others around to get in. Salesmen "bouncers" kept a steady stream of people in and out so things didn't get too crazy, and the six of us got most of what we needed when it was our turn.

We loaded up the trunk and headed over to Staples next. With the exception of an extremely LOUD and rude woman in line behind us, it wasn't as brutal (only 2-3 customers were let in at a time). After paying for the stuff, we looked up Pep Boys on one of our newly bought GPS navigators to get more stuff, and then hit Office Depot and RadioShack to call it a night (or in this case, an early sunny morning).

By-the-Numbers Summary

  • # of twenty-something guys participating: 9
  • # of transporting vehicles: 2
  • # of degrees Fahrenheit of outside temperature: 47
  • # of stores visited: 5
  • # of customers waiting in line: several 100s
  • Treasures
    • 10+ 2 or 4 GB USB memory sticks
    • 8 GPS navigators (TomTom and Mio)
    • 1 PlayStation 3 & controller
    • 5+ 2 GB SD memory cards
    • 2 Logitech webcams
    • Several $3 DVDs
    • 5 USB computer mice
    • 3-4 Bluetooth Earpieces
    • 1 Laptop
    • 1 Paper Shredder
  • # of Carl's Jr $1 chicken sandwiches consumed: 8
  • # of miles traveled: approx. 60
  • # of hours: approx. 7-8
  • # of $ spent: ??? (should be < $10,000)
  • # of bonding/conversation moments: too many to count
We were all sorta edgy going into the whole thing since getting what we need on the busiest shopping day of the year is a gamble. But after you walk out the stores' front doors with your stuff in hand, well, it feels pretty darn good. =) At Pep Boys, a customer even mistaken us for salesmen who worked there because "we looked so d*** happy!"

Now back to sleep.  Good (early) night.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just finished Thanksgiving dinner with the family and I am stuffed like the turkey we just ate. It was also my grandmother's and aunt's birthday today (they are twins a half-hour apart), so there was a plethora of desserts afterwards. We were talking about a TWO cakes and THREE pies. So good. =)

In all seriousness though, for this year, I am really thankful for my community - all my friends, family and even those I see on a daily basis. I think part of it has to do with the time passing, and after being home for a couple years now, people around me are warming up to me fast. That they know I am not leaving or flaking out on them, but that I really care about them and here for the long haul to serve and honor them. For that, I am thankful for God working His plan and leading me onwards. =)


Sunday, November 18, 2007

23rd Birthday Celebrations

One of the most memorable weekends in my life, and I am so grateful for the community around me.

After worship and Bible Study on Friday evening, Eureka Fellowship celebrated the November birthdays w/ two cakes and much more.

On Saturday.....

On Sunday:

And finally something to toast to the night and weekend. =)

A big THANK YOU to all those who wished me a very happy birthday through phone calls, text messages, IMs, emails, voicemails, some 50+ Facebook wall messages (which ended up flooding my inbox!), and simply ol' fashion in-person. Also a BIG Happy Birthday to Leo Chick, who I have the honor of sharing a birthday with me. A first for me. =D

I honestly didn't think so many people would remember and like to celebrate with me. I am really thankful for these wonderful relationships with so many friends of all ages, and of course to God my creator for these beautiful people. =)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Eureka Leadership Core Prayer Retreat

A weekend of prayer, worship, and bonding with God and each other. More on this later. =)

Welcome! Schedule
Ice Breaker Peace, Approval, Rock on, Hang Loose


Retrieving from tree Shall I...?


Crazy shot