Be Prepared: Bring Your Own Laptop

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A few weeks ago, a potential consultant dropped by the office wanting to introduce himself and his work.

Him: “Good morning. I’m so-and-so. I have a meeting with so-and-so. Do you have something I can plug into the TV and access Dropbox with? I want to be able to show my work.”

Me: “Sure. I’ll be able to help you with that.”

My boss came into the conference room at this point, shut the door, and started the meeting. I went back to my desk and proceeded to unplug my laptop for this person to use. Figured I could sacrifice an hour of not working, right? As I was about to unplug my first cable, I thought, “Why should I give up my laptop when this person is clearly not prepared for this meeting?” So, I did nothing.

The meeting moved along and there was no further mention of needing a device to look at work samples.

Side Note: I work in a visual profession. Not bringing visual items to look over = a massive mistake.

Got me thinking that when you come for a meeting, you need to be prepared. You need to bring your own device to showcase your own work; need to bring work that makes you look amazing. Being prepared puts a spotlight on the fact that you value the other person’s time and understand what is needed to put your best foot forward.

Scar, in the Lion King, sang it best, “Be prepared!”

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Titanfall 2

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The titan has fallen.

Titanfall 2 is an incremental upgrade/step forward for the Call of Duty formula. Mashing together the tried and tired Call of Duty fried pie shell with the filling of a boy and his robot story. This results in taking the best parts of Mirror’s Edge, the parkour, and putting that gameplay mechanic together with lots of shooting and emotional robot storytelling.

The level design is nothing to text your best friend over. While I found the overall gameplay and design enough to keep me moving forward, I did get bored. Bored enough to try and break the game by playing on easy/regular (I’d alternate), pushing through the levels without killing anyone. Once I figured I could power through a level, especially towards the end of the game, I would just run until the next checkpoint kicked in. Why battle through tons of enemies and bullet-spongy robots when I could move the “story” forward?

There are moments where Titanfall 2 shines. Moments where I loved being in a gigantic robot mowing down the masses of enemy troops. But those moments of joy were fleeting. As hard as the developers tried to shake up the Call of Duty formula, Titanfall 2 still felt like Call of Duty 1.1.

I’m happy I played the game.

SIDE BAR: My son kept telling me that it looked like I was playing Destiny. Speaking of Bungie, Destiny, with gigantic robots you can call down from the heavens, would be sweet. Get on that, Bungie.

Pew, pew, pew. My robot died. I didn’t cry. Game Over.

3/5 – A fun distraction that you can now pick up for $5. 

Title: Titanfall 2
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Reviews on: PS4

Mission Completed

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Wednesday night, Tabitha and I got another shot at watching Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Now where were we… oh yeah, in the bathroom!

Munching on Twizzlers, alone in the theater, Tab and I watched as Superman and Tom Cruise continued their BMW funded frenemy adventure. I was reminded that my most favorite types of movies are movies that allow you to click off your brain and escape for awhile. Movies that allow you to travel to exotic lands, drive really fast, and play front row witness to insane stunts.

My most favorite part of Mission: Impossible – Fallout is that Tom Cruise does every stunt you see on screen. Stunts such as:

  • Driving a motorcycle, super fast, through the streets of Paris.
  • Driving a boxy BMW, not as fast, through the streets of Paris, with your friends. (I think Tom Cruise was secretly auditioning for the next The Fast and the Furious movie. SPOILER ALERT: Tom Cruise turns out to be the bad guy in Fast 9.)
  • Running everywhere; Running all over the place.
  • Jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
  • Running again, because Maverick still misses Goose and this is how he pays penance.

By the end of the movie, Tom Cruise hops into a helicopter. Turns out he can fly a helicopter, for real (see video below). There is something about knowing that when Tom does something in the Impossible series that it is him.

SIDE BAR: Makes one wonder if Tom made a pact with the Devil to look forever young and be able to survive any stunt he tries. In exchange for these amazing abilities, he has to believe/preach aliens.

Tab and I had fun completing our mission to watch Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Summer action movies are the best. Especially when Tom Cruise and Superman, mortal frenemies, are involved.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle – Versus Mode

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Wyatt and I just discovered the versus mode in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The versus mode, for those who do not know, unlocks all character skills while pitting players against one another. Powered up mayhem ensues with each 15 to 20 minute match.

We’ve enjoyed strategically moving about the board while blowing each other away in hilarious fashion. Our match conversations are often full of trash talking while others are completely silent.

SILENT = SERIOUS!

I cannot recommend this mode enough. Reminds me of something that I would have poured hours into in high school. Our discovery of versus mode has breathed new life into Kingdom Battle for my family. If you have the game, grab a friend and check it out.

Mission Failed

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Tab and I were excited this past weekend, we were going to go on a date!

While Wyatt went to go spend quality time with his grandparents, we drove to one of my favorite local theaters. Where we grabbed some popcorn, Mountain Dew (on tap!), and made our way to our recliner seats.

The previews featured some nightmare-inducing crud known as Slender Man (no thanks). And then our feature presentation began, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

I’m not sure how far we got into the movie before the mission went south. Could have been thirty minutes to an hour before the sound cut out.

Up until this point, Tom Cruise had jumped out of a plane and was now making his way through a throbbing techno music infused party. That’s when the fight occurred in the bathroom. Superman decided to help Tom Cruise out.

The vocal and background music track cut out first. All Tab and I could hear were various grunts and bathroom tiles breaking from the fighting. One of those deals where you hoped it was just a momentary issue but knew something big, technically, had happened. The movie soon froze-in-frame and the lights came up. A major part of the theater sound system had blown. No more Tom; No more crazy mission.

The ultimate buddy flick.

Walking back out into the summertime blaze, Tab and I felt gypped. Mission: Impossible – Fallout had been fantastic ride up until the technical failure. We had been strapped into a most excellent rollercoaster only to have the ride malfunction and our tickets refunded. Bummer.

The backyard swimming pool ended up calling us for a bit. Nothing like floating around minus a kid making waves. Got to watch the thunderheads, off in the distance, grow and move about.

With our weekend date a sorta bust, we hope to join Tom Cruise and Superman again soon. We can’t wait to see how the movie ends.

Leading Family Worship

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Read a quote this morning that was a bit convicting:

Lead family worship It doesn’t need to be extravagant or long or particularly deep. But it does need to be consistent and it does need to be led by you. Set a time, sing some Psalms, read a Bible passage, ask each kid a question about the passage, and then pray together. Even if this wasn’t the Biblical pattern for Christian families, could you give me a decent argument why it’s a waste of time or unnecessary? – Read more here

Leading family worship has long been a struggle for me. One of those areas where I could easily lay blame on it not being modeled growing up–my parents did the best they could–. But at some point, I’ve learned, one has to forgive their parents and accept responsibility for what one is doing with their own family.

So what am I doing to lead my family spiritually? / How can I take the lead?

How are you leading your family spiritually? / How can you take the lead?

Away from the lights and fellow believers at church, in our homes, how are we leading?

I’m not sure what a family worship time looks like for my family. I can’t imagine us all sitting around singing songs. Sure, we’ve tried a few things in the past. When Wyatt was younger, we’d read Jesus Calling and pray before bed. More recently, we’d sit down and read scripture/pray in the evening. Consistency has always been my enemy. Kind of like with a personal quiet time. An evening would pop up that was out of our regular schedule and the first thing that would end up going were family devotions.

Jon Acuff, in his book Finish, talks about the day after perfect; the day after everything hasn’t gone 100% well. He asks what you will do after that day? Will you accept defeat or continue on?

I know personally that I often complicate things. Simple can be my enemy. And yet simple has to be the starting place for leading family worship. The simple acts of:

  • Taking/scheduling time for the family to sit down
  • Opening the Bible
  • Reading the Bible
  • Discussion
  • Prayer

I know that these are all things that I can do. I simply choose not to make them important nor do them.

It’s time to change that. Let’s consider this the day the family worship vehicle was put into gear.

Zoom, zoom.

From Across the Net – “How to Love the Life You Have Even If It’s Not the Life You Wanted”

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My wife sent this devotional to me this morning. I mention on my About page, which I recently redid, that: “I’m not where I thought I’d be and yet I’m exactly where God wants me.” The quote below, from the devotional, goes along with that.

The life you have today, and all it includes or doesn’t include, is the life God has given you. It’s the life you’re supposed to love, despite what it looks like. It’s the only life you have, and the only life you’re going to get. You can live it abundantly with joy based on Christ alone or let life pass you by as you allow problems, disappointments or drudgery to steal your zest for living.