Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Acoustic Guitarists Antoine Dufour & Andy McKee

I have been getting into some acoustic guitarists. I have found a couple of artists that have something different then just playing fast. They are on the CandyRat label. Their names are Antoine Dufour and Andy McKee. Of course there others than just these two, but I have watched a bunch of their videos of them playing on YouTube. So I thought to post some videos. They do things that not everybody does. They use their guitar as drums which is really innovative. Here are a couple songs from each artist. Enjoy!

Antoine Dufour - Scratch

Antoine Dufour - Trilogie Acoustic Guitar

Andy McKee - Drifting

Andy McKee - Africa
Toto Cover

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

When I stepped outside yesterday I wasn't ready for what I saw. I saw it had been busy snowing. I was like: "It wasn't like this yesterday. It was colder than it has been in the last few days. They were advising against traveling. So a lot of people didn't show up to work. Also I had to help push Greg out of the parking lot. Greg manages the Capital One project at work. He was driving his BMW. I don't know why.

So has it been cold and snowing where you are? I hope you stay warm or at least try to.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wal-Mart Nation

On CBC Newsworld they showed a documentary called Wal-Mart Nation. Here is what it is about:

Source: CBC.ca

The highest-rated LENS documentary ever! Wal-Mart Nation is an hour long, documentary journey through the complex and fascinating world of the international anti-Wal-Mart movement.

Wal-Mart's emergence as a global corporate force has triggered an unprecedented political backlash. Wal-Mart has single-handedly galvanized a progressive, grass roots and labour coalition of activists determined to roll back the tide of corporate power and domination. This is a generation baptized by the anti-globalization protests. This is the Wal-Mart Nation. These are their stories.

Carolyn is an unlikely anti-Wal-Mart activist. The former Miss America (1992) is a beauty queen turned feminist activist. She's also a Reagan Republican and anti-abortion crusader. Sapp founded Wal-Mart Versus Women as a vehicle to pu blicize the largest civil rights class action suit in US history.

Anna Liu is a 23 year old, Chinese Canadian union activist determined to unionize Canadian Wal-Mart workers. Despite her militancy, Anna tells us that before attending university she scarcely knew what a union was. We follow Anna and her cadres as they "gate crash" Wal-Mart stores in a desperate attempt to sign up members.

Forbes magazine calls Al Norman, Wal-Mart's number one enemy. Norman, also known as the "Sprawlbuster" is the dean of anti-Wal-Mart activists. Ten years ago the well-connected Democratic Party activist successfully prevented Wal-Mart from building a store in his Massachusetts hometown. His surprising victory spawned the anti-Wal-Mart movement.

Environmentalist Ben Bennett is the leader of a ten-year long battle to keep Wal-Mart out of Guelph, Ontario. But Bennett is now facing his final battle in this decade long war.

Chris Kofinis is a political science professor from Kingston, Ontario. But Kofinis has found himself on the front lines of the anti-Wal-Mart battle, along with presidential hopefuls John Edwards and Barack Obama. As Communications Director for the Washington D.C. based Wake-Up Wal-Mart, Kofinis is spending millions of dollars for on a sophisticated media campaign against America's biggest employer.

These stories are set against the colourful backdrop of the Wal-Mart annual general meeting. Here, Wal-Mart executives, employees, and shareholders gather for a weeklong celebration of the world's most successful company.

Through interviews, animation and actuality sequences, the filmmakers explore the Wal-Mart Effect and how the company has transformed the economy of the United States and the world.

Wal-Mart Nation is a first person journey through a year in life of the anti-Wal-Mart movement. The filmmakers blend actuality footage, interviews, archival film and photos, text and graphics in a provocative, engaging and often-humourous point of view documentary.

Wal-Mart Nation was produced by Ultramagnetic Productions and directed by Andrew Munger in association with CBC Newsworld.
I watched this thinking that so many tried to get in the face of Wal-Mart. I was thinking that people are trying way too hard at being anti-Wal-Mart or trying to unionize Wal-Mart. But the anti-Wal-Mart groups and individuals ultimately fail at doing what they set out to do. What's even sadder is that some of the people who were with their respective organizations are no longer with them. For instance Anna Liu is no longer trying to unionize Wal-Marts. There are two unionized Wal-Marts in Quebec. They attempted to unionize the North Battleford Wal-Mart but feel flat on their ass and got nowhere. But in the documentary, they were spreading their literature all throughout the store. They even gave some to employees.

Ben Bennett has been fighting Wal-Mart for ten years and well it's not looking like he has succeeded. I do give him credit for not stopping in his crusade. He even goes as far as to take it to the court. But he ultimately fails, even with his appeal attempts.

Chris Kofinis, a Canadian, used to work for Wake Up Wal-Mart and this is a well funded agency that is anti-Wal-Mart. It doesn't hurt that they are backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Even he left his job with them to go and for a candidate in 2008 presidential election. I guess he realized sooner than later that you can't beat them all.

I just wanted to touch on these three people, but I could on and on. I cBut overall, the documentary spent the bulk of time giving facts and portraying Wal-Mart in a negative light. Is Wal-Mart really that bad? I mean my mom works for Wal-Mart and has worked her way up to a department managers position. The only time she had a problem was when she didn't get the assistant manager position based on some guy going to be assistant manager so they gave it to him to train him or something like that.

Here is the link to the official site:

Wal-Mart Nation

Again I ask, is Wal-Mart so bad?

Kingdom Culture Paper

Here is the paper I wrote while attending CBC. I have finally gotten around to posting it. It takes about female external beauty, lusting, woman as art. Enjoy.

Kingdom Culture Paper
Chris C. Sheldon
April 27, 2007

Throughout the year, I have been thinking about external beauty a lot. I have these set of standards in which I judge women. These standards I set most of the time set me up for the falls. I look at some of their external features and compare them with another females. I know that this is a wrong thing to do, but I do it. I don't know what sparks that in me to do that. Is it so wrong to compare? Some would say no, but others would say yes. For some people, they think about their personality more than their external features and personality is a good thing as well. I just think about external beauty for some reason (Proverbs 6:25).

I have not been trying to compare, but it's not the easiest thing to do. Sure it's good to know what you want in a wife or significant other in terms of physical attraction. But I have been learning somewhat that you should not be consumed with the physical aspect of someone. It's also good to have someone who you can carry out a conversation with. It's great to be with someone attractive and that is s0mething I value. But that idea has been slightly altered throughout the course of the year. Just talking with some friends has made me realize that as good as attractiveness is, being able to carry out a conversation is also very important. But you don't want a relationship where it's just you talking and your significant other is not giving you much of a response. Over the course of this year, I have come to appreciate the value of good conversation. Beauty can be found in other areas like good conversation, intelligence of a person, etc. Beauty does not have to be external. This is something I do know, but can be hard to do at times. Sometimes a woman's features sre the first thing you think about when you see an attractive woman.

Talking with friends is God's way of showing me that beauty is not just external, but internal. It's a way to just talk about how you are trying to deal with that. God wants me to hold in balance external beauty and the personality of a person etc.. It's good to know what to look for in a woman, but we need to go beyond that (Genesis 29:17).

One thing I have been thinking about over the course of the year is whether it is right or wrong to appreciate the feminine form. I have taken a more keen interest in the feminine form over the year. I am not objectifying woman. I have taken a keen interest in an art form per se. I think that it's all right to appreciate the feminine form in an art form. I mean, if I don't do go any further than that, which I try not to, than I think it's quite alright to appreciate woman as works of art, but woman are more than just works of art, too woman bear the image of God, rather than just symbols or objects of sex. Seeing them as works of art is the more dignifying thing to do. I know for many men that seeing woman as works of art is not possible as they think of a woman in a lustful way. I don't want to go that route. I want to separate lust from art and keep it separate because I don't want to blur the lines, for myself, when it comes to woman as art and woman as sex objects.

My thinking has changed as I think about and talk with God about it. I have been shown that it's not wrong to appreciate the feminine form and external beauty in woman as long as I don't lust. I have been fairly good at not lusting. I don't want to stray off the path of not lusting when thinking about female external beauty. I know that I could easily lust when thinking about female external beauty, but I have been trying to keep disciplined over the course of the year to not lust when thinking about it. In 2 Samuel 11:2, when David saw this woman bathing on the roof, he probably had thoughts of lust. I mean, there was a naked woman in his midst and David acted upon that lust and he ultimately had sex with her. I know I wouldn't go that far, but just lusting is bad enough in the eyes of God. I just don't want to be lustfully thinking about woman in a sexual way. I mean there have been some instances of lust, but not to a large extent which that is due to my talks with God.

Also over the course of the year I have solidified my thinking that women are not objects. All throughout the media and our culture we see women objectified. Television, movies, music videos, pornography, etc. have created this unreal standard in which a lot of men view woman. Than this standard of external beauty is set that can be seen as a way too ridiculous and unobtainable. In some sense I set standards that I as I mentioned earlier, set me up for the fall. I don't want to set myself up for the fall. I don't want to have such unrealistic expectations in what to look for in a woman. I have learned over the course of the year not to do that. I will be tough for me not to do that. But as I go through life after CBC, it will continue to be difficult for me not to set these unrealistic standards, but with help from God, I will try my best not set unrealistic standards.

Living In A Clutter Of Mess And Dirty Dishes

I have been forever been meaning to clean my basement suite. I have trash lying around, clothes on the floor, dishes that need washing, a carpet that needs vacuuming. Next weekend my mom and stepdad are coming down for the Michael Buble concert. So it gives me a good excuse to clean my place. I will be cleaning all day Saturday (today). I have been putting it off for so long that I really to have to do it or it will never get done. I mean I have started, but never finished. So I have no excuses and I need to do it.

I guess the reason I haven't cleaned my place sooner is because of my lack of motivation. Motivation should be knowing I have a clean place. But... NO! I am lazy and that interferes in a lot of things I should do. I guess I have no choice but to get on with it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Thinking About Lent And Vespers

Yes I know Lent is not for a couple of months, but lately it has been creeping into my brain. I have been thinking about what I should do for Lent. Should I do what I did last year and not eat any junk food and not drink any pop? I already proved to myself that I can go without that stuff. So is it worth it to do it again? Or is it something I have to do again? I mean I went back to eating that stuff and the promises I made to myself when I came to Saskatoon seem to not be happening. It seems easier to just forget about not keeping up with promises that I know I need to keep. But when there is nobody to keep your accountable all the time, than it's easy to stray from what you should be doing.

So I am wondering what I should do for Lent. Should I just do the same thing as last year? Or should I just go forty days and nights without any food? Even the thought of going without food has crossed my mind. But my mom says that everyone needs to eat no matter who you are. In some semblance I do agree with my her. In another sense, it's no how much I eat, but what I eat that is the problem. Eating junk food, fast food, quick and easy food that doesn't take long to make, etc.. Stuff that not necessarily the healthiest for you. I need to get off that and more healthy. But if you know me than you know I have thing about eating vegetables. I only eat corn and potatoes. I guess I am straying too far off topic.

I guess I am having a major brain fart as to what I should do or rather no do for Lent. Maybe I am putting to much thought into all of this. Bah! God will show me what I am to give up for Lent. Or at least show me signs. I guess I should pray about this. I just need some direction. Any direction at all.

Another thing I have been thinking about is vespers. I have been strongly considering going to the Evangelical Orthodox Church here in Saskatoon and partaking in there Saturday nght vespers service. I have thought that it would be a good way to get back in a regular routine in my Christian life. Since moving back to Saskatoon, I have basically been in a slump as far as my spiritual and religious portion of my life. I need to get back to praying and just getting back to how I was at CBC with being devoted to praying. I want to get back to that in someway. Getting back to doing vespers would be a good start.