Friday, November 18, 2016

October 2016

We continued our weekly soccer in October, which the weather remained beautiful most of the month. My local college where I graduated had their homecoming, which my friends (Joey & Shannon) came again for another consecutive "countless" year. They weren't able to arrive till later (Friday) due to personal reasons. I picked them up and greeted them at the Student Center after a KUMM (local radio station) concert. Unfortunately, my car wouldn't start. After countless tries with the factory alarm going on late at night (10:45ish pm), the local campus police officer was successfully able to to stop the alarm after I handed him one of my wrenches in my tool box that was in my trunk of my car. I decided to leave my car there and follow the suggestion of the campus officer to replace the battery the next day when there will be daylight. I gave up fixing it after I wasn't successful getting a response via text from friends to help as it was late! My friends ended up calling the Morris Taxi service and I just walked home.

The next day, I got up early to get a new battery and replace it myself as my friend (Tim, the mechanic) still hasn't replied. I carried my new "expensive" battery ($160!, which Tim called it a rip off) via bicycle and was able to fix it. Tim finally came after I put the new battery and was able to drive to my house. Unfortunately, the car shut off as it remained idle in my driveway. It started up again after contacting Tim to check it out again, which we test drove it around town and couldn't diagnose the problem-probably just had to warm the battery more by letting it run.

I was thankful to God that this car was able to start and run, but was still weary it wouldn't start again. I told my friends that my car isn't 100% working, so I suggested them to use their Morris taxi pass the remainder of the weekend of Homecoming if they need a ride. I would later get my car working with no problems...praise the Lord! This car issue came along with other 2 challenges at the time ("comes in 3 saying" :( ). I was already having problems with my desktop computer, which I wouldn't get running for the most of the month of October. I ended up replacing my hard drive with a $300 Samsung solid state drive, which I never heard about until after doing some research. Tim spoke highly about it, so it was actually a blessing to purchase this and haven't had any problems since replacing it sometime the last week of October. It was such a blessing as it got my computer to start quicker and run smoother too! I was able to upload one of the songs I recorded the previous month...

During Homecoming, I was able to see my former mentor (who motivated me to ready my Bible daily) Stu F...

...who I passed by on my bike with my new car battery, but wasn't able to chat as I was going down a small decline. I would meet him at my local church, which we were able to catch-up and share what God has been doing in our lives in this small group fellowship activity during our monthly community "communion" fellowship.

The third "challenge" during the beginning of October was my bike, which I had 2 flats within a week time. I ended up buying a new bike "back" ($70) wheel after taking it to the bike shop (Eul's Hardware), which they suggested me replacing it as the bearings were worn out (probably caused by me going over the curb too many times and my weight was too much for the thin back tire). Fortunately, I got it fixed and was thankful to God for all these challenges to be taken care of....Praise the Lord!

A former co-worker invited me to meet with her friend about this potential business at Old #1 on Tuesday (11th), which ended up being one of those "make money quick" pyramid scheme business. I learned from my mistakes in the past (e.g. Equinox International, Quickstar, Powermall, etc..), so I wasn't able to get tempted by their fancy presentation.

I went to the cities the 3rd weekend (14th-16h) as my renters' younger brother (Saad) needed a ride to the airport early Saturday morning (@6am on the 15th). I took advantage of that weekend doing family time (e.g. watched my niece and nephew during swimming practice). My younger brother invited us (mom, kids, and I) to a spontaneous road trip -Southeastern: Great River Road-Scenic Hwy 61. The weather was cloudy, but still nice and warm to enjoy the beautiful fall colors!

I attended the annual health expo in town , which the local hospital featured a key note speaker that was a former NFL Super Bowl Champion. I shared with him a little how I had some health brain concussion like symptoms too, which I would encourage him via instagram with my blog

We had our annual dance during this time at my workplace on Friday (28th), which I dressed up as a baseball player. I would do my monthly singing with my local church worship team on the 30th. I attended 2 funeral-memorial services on the 29th & 31st, which is always a good time to self-evaluate's ones' own life of purpose , gratefulness, and goal-setting.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

September 2016

I continued the weekly soccer on Thursday (1st). It was Labor Day weekend, so I did the paper route with my workplace on Friday (3rd). I then went home (St. Paul) the next day for the weekend, which I spent family quality time-including my annual time with family (only my mom) at the Minnesota State Fair.

Above is a stuff animal I won after hitting a plate after three throws in this carnival like-game.

I decided to go back to the cities the weekend after as I wanted to check out the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Below is one of the songs I recorded...

I never been to this annual festival as I really didn't have interest when I was growing up until I got older (e.g. culturally appreciative). I invited a couple of friends of mine, which was their first time too.

Fall was coming soon, so I did some house projects (e.g. exterior window boundaries screws got tighten). Also got an oil change.

Personal Mile Record Vlog Pt4

I went to the cities again for the third weekend in a row for a family member's birthday. Great time!

On Tuesday (27th), I went to donate blood

...I ended the month by going to dance my friend (Mark) personally invited me, which I brought Luciano along. We watched a preview of this adoption documentary video (e.g. He Came to Me) he's currently working on. Learning more about my friend's adoption story make me more appreciative of my own blessings (e.g. family). Hope you can check the video out and pray fully consider supporting him with prayer and a financial donation.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

August 2016

I started the first week of the month by working on my car (headlight bulb cover has been lose). On Tuesday (2nd), I was personally invited by a "facebook" friend to the local Morris Police Appreciation Picnic after all the "negative" (see "Netural Perspective: Law Enforcement-Police “Protect and to Serve?” in the news. We then had our weekly "Morris Pick-up Soccer/Futbol at Green River Park Thursday, which we would not miss at all this whole month. We had different people almost every week as not everybody was able to come the same time. My renter and his friend (from Kazakistan) was even able to come, which my co-worker (Oray) enjoyed meeting. It's been a great social community connection.

The 1st weekend of the month, I would go to the cities to attend my niece's birthday. I used the weekend to spend quality time with my parents too and celebrate my dad's birthday early since I couldn't come down here the 2nd weekend. I treated him out for his b-day by paying lunch for both him and my mom at Denny's-great wheat pancakes by the way!

My renter for 3-4+ years finally was moving, which took a longer start than he hoped for as finding a place in Mankato was challenging. He ended up moving out the 18th (compared to early July) while 2 friends he referred to already moved in (Saturday the 13th). We managed to all live together for 3-4 days as this has happened before.

One of my ESL students (Caio from Brazil) did a presentation about his country on the 10th (Wednesday) as our tradition in our classes before students leave. This gives the opportunity for the community to come and learn; however, it didn't workout for many people's schedule. Fortunately I was able to video tape it and I'm able to share it.

It was Stevens County Fair time, which I would go there only once due to busyness of two new renters moving the same weekend. I ended up taking both of them for lunch to get to know them on Saturday (13th). It was great weather and the only threat of severe weather the whole time was Wednesday night, but nothing much came out of the dark scary looking clouds that evening.

On Wednesday (17th), my workplace took our annual trip to Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, which I would drive the big bus again for 2 wheel chair clients to go the 2nd year in a row. It was great weather (foggy for awhile south of Willmar) , but there were a lot of road construction along the way that slowed us a bit, but not too bad.

We saw "Beauty & the Beast", which I had to comment on the great costume designs the characters wore. I wasn't able to watch it "fully" because I had my hands full with work.

The last weekend of the month, I would drive to the cities with a friend/ESL student from Brazil (Luciano) as he was willing to help my sister and her b/f move. It was kind of "last minute" (planned ahead) as my co-worker (John F.) volunteered to take my shift on Saturday (27th) the day prior. I called Luciano if it was ok to leave Friday (same day), so it worked out-Praise the Lord! It was an answer to prayer! We ended up going to the Minnesota State Fair that evening as a treat and some fun before moving the next day...

Minnesota: State Fair-Sky Ride (Sal & 1st time for Luciano)

Luciano had so much fun that we ended up going back here on Sunday for 7-8 hours before driving back to Morris...

On Monday (29th), I had our quarterly Adult Basic Education Consortium Meeting in Alexandria, as part of my teaching English certificate qualification for the up-coming academic season. I then went to Menards to gather some landscaping supplies that I never had a chance to work on for the beginning of the summer because I just was slacking..hehe!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

July 2016

My July started with a 1 1/2 week vacation, which I started my 1st full day off by going to an evening concert (Johnny Holm) with friends..

I deliver papers with clients in my regular ft-job, so we decided to do it on Saturday since Monday was a holiday. Unfortunately, the door to the local paper was closed, so I decided to ride my bike at the local park after dropping off the work vehicle. I took a lot of video and pics of various birds along the bike trails.

Later on, I would drive to Albertville Outlet shopping mall with a couple of friends. On our way, we stopped at Starbuck to check out some planes during a fly-in breakfast at their airport. On our way back from Albertville, we drove to Lake Maria State Park along I-94, which I 've always wanted to check it out after passing the sign of this state park many times. We timed it to head back and stop at Starbuck again for their annual fireworks show.

I would take advantage of our week vacation by going to the cities to spend time with family-friends in St. Paul. I would watch the fireworks through my parent's backyard patio screen as I watched other firework show "live" on t.v. My nephew had baseball practice at Battle Creek Elementary School, so I joined him, my brother, and his teammates. I ended up playing soccer with this young boy (Somali) playing nearby as his mom watched.

It was the annual big summer "Prairie Pioneer Days" in our town (Morris), which I went with some friends to a a rock concert in town. They had fireworks in the background, which made the venue more interesting. I got a free drum stick when the drummer threw several at the crowd towards the end. It capped the evening for me!

The following day, I would attend my favorite pancake feed and watched a little of the parade from my house during the afternoon. It was a great weekend before I had to go back to work the next day after a 1 1/2 week vacation.

One of the karaoke songs I did this month was Annie's Tomorrow, along with many theme parody songs from church worship-praise music: Come & Let your "peace" (parody from "presence" & NO longer a slave to...."anger" (parody from "fear"). I ended up sharing a short 10 minute message at church (Sunday, July 17th) about these parodies, which we can change the wording and fit/declare (in Jesus' name as spiritual warfare) our own personal life challenges or circumstance in life.

"Lord give us a New Song..."

I took advantage of the nice "hot" summer weather by going swimming at Glacial Lake with a couple of co-workers after work on Tuesday, July 26th. I was able to build enough confidence to swim past the swimming area and go as far deep out shore. I was hoping to do it more as "fresh" water is a lot better than "indoor" chlorinated water!-> see Health: Be more safe in Swimming Pools?

On Thursday, July 28th-we had the first of many weekly soccer/futbol pick-up games in Morris. We met for the first time at the UMM soccer field and it was fairly hot (80's)!

My friends who had the last weekend off from work, joined me on a road-trip up the North Shore on Saturday, July 30th ..

Gooseberry Falls State Park Visit (July 30th 2016)

and the South Shore-Wisconsin- side & Michigan: Upper Peninsula the following day (Sunday, July 31st 2016)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

June 2016

I was inspired to write this song titled "Why do you do what you do?". I worked on my video house project (e.g. DVD labels) for the guy I've been doing this since almost the beginning of the year. On the 7th, I helped my renter with more of his college writing paper by editing it. I attended this community mentoring (Kinship) fundraiser information meeting, which I biked in hot steamy weather Thursday evening (9th). The following day, I did more biking as it was my Friday "off" from my ft-job. I went biking over 6+ miles or so with my pastor (Pat) despite my pedals breaking off mid-point of the ride. We then went to Don's Café for breakfast.

The 2nd weekend of the month (11th), I took Caio & Luciano (ESL students visiting from Brazil) to Glacial Lakes State Park, which I had fun kayaking-great upper body workout!..

I continued my bike-workout by riding to the local grocery store carrying 2 empty gallons and would fill it. Then rode back with one in each side of my handle bars. I was part of my local church worship team on Sunday (12th), which is always a faith building growing time for me.

On Tuesday (14th), I attended our annual "Defensive Driving" in-service, which is always a great life-application review (e.g. just take your time and not speed!). I worked more on my health-fitness blog (15th) as we didn't have any ESL classes. A "friend" on facebook mentioned about TMJ, so I decided to share my personal experience on how I deal with my TMJ.

I went to the cities for my monthly visit on the 17th, which I spent time with parents as my "fathers' day" weekend. I helped my dad (along with my younger brother) replaced a leaky toilet.

The Morris Kiwanis Talent Show was only 2 weeks this year due to lack of participants, so I would take pictures and videos of the last 2 Thursdays of the month. It was a great time to get-together with people in the community and hangout with Caio & Luciano-introducing them to some friends that were present.

The last weekend of the month, I rode with 4 of my ESL students to Benson's outdoor water park, which we had a great time. We ended up going to DQ for a cool treat and then went back to Morris to this "Hog Roast Fundraiser" for Options for Women...

The next day, I took the guys from Brazil to the annual "Vikingland Band Festival Parade" competition in downtown Alexandria. It was the biggest and longest for this annual event, but we stayed till the end and met this cool guy that took our picture..

During work, my co-worker asked for a prayer request for this kid that was missing from her family's town in South Dakota. We would find out later the kid was found..praise the Lord!

Current Bike Challenge Stats as of 7.24.16...

6,002 (out of 42K in the Nation) National Rank (this Challenge) 1,667 Points (this Challenge) 286.9 Miles (This Challenge) Points Impact 25%Recreation 75%Transportation 2.5 miles This week 1 Active day this week

Sunday, July 3, 2016

May 2016

I watched the "National Day of Prayer" online "live" from my house after finishing up some yardwork. I was about to attend the special service locally, but wasn't able to finish mowing in time.

The first weekend of the month, I brought some of my ESL students (Caio & Luciano from Brazil) to the cities to stay with me at my parent's house. We first went to Hudson, Wisconsin just so they can say they've been to another state. We then drove a little north across back to Minnesota to the beautiful river town of Stillwater.

We were waiting for my co-workers/friends (Oray & Olga) to call us to meet us at the Festival of Nations late Saturday morning. However, due to family circumstance, they wouldn't meet us till 2:30ish. I would give them a tour of the riverfront in downtown St. Paul. To kill time, we walked around the big outdoor annual "Cinco de Mayo" in the beautiful sunny day. We still had some time, so checked out Como Zoo for awhile before they told me they were on their way from the west area of the Twin Cities. Ironically, they happened to get lost and saw us coming out of Como Park's parking lot..coincidence?..not! God divine baby..hehe!..Praise the Lord!

We ended up driving together to the River Centre in downtown St. Paul. Along the way, I accidentally led them to a Wrong Way street, which was my 2nd time doing this in the Twin Cities (1st time happened in Minneapolis..hehe!). When we finally got to the parking lot, we met my sister and my niece & nephew outside of the parking ramp...

We all hung out at the Festival of Nations, but it was hard to stuck together as a big group. We ended up going our separate ways to see the rest of the event.

After the event, we visited a mass service at the St. Paul Cathedral, where we met my parents at the end. We toured around the beautiful church building before heading back to my parents' house for the night.

The next day, Caio & Luciano wanted to go shopping at the Mall of America, which I would see "Sea life Minnesota Aquarium" for the first time. We would walk all floors of the mall from 11am-5pm or so. It was nice to see some new additions and the remodeled front area (north side)..

We then drove back to Morris and went through downtown Minneapolis along the way. However, the guys were too tired, so we didn't stop to take any pics around the city.

When I got back to Morris, I picked-up my new fixed lawn mower, so I'm ready for the new year. On Thursday (12th), I had a "challenging" day at work, but it worked out. I would spend 3 hours of yardwork after going home, which is somewhat relaxing to just be outside.

On Saturday (14th), I missed the local college graduation for the first time that I can remember. They started a new rule that you need tickets (invite from students) to attend. They've had some over-crowding issues indoors in the past, to it was probably a way to cut down on congestion. I ended up working out at the nearby gym and would see the guest speaker (former Minneapolis mayor) coming out.

I painted the garage in my backyard of my house, which was supposed to be my summer project. However, due to the early nice weather. I decided to start early.

We had no work on Friday starting the last week of the month, so we had had a 4-day Memorial Weekend. I spent it by catching-up on many of my on-going projects. I was supposed to do the paper route on Saturday (28th), but the door to the local paper place was lock. I decided to ride my bike around Pomme De Terre and caught a lot of great footage of various birds. I love the wildlife and nature!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

April 2016

I started the first weekend by going to the annual "Taste of Asia", which I used to take part in organizing this event when I was attending the college here at Morris. It's nice to see this event still go on since graduation and enjoy watching the new students of ASA each year organize this...

"Picture of Kevin C., who I got to know through my current renter"

I spent the first weekend doing my taxes, which is a little later than last year due to no snow days this past winter. I like to do it on days with bad weather, which there weren't that many. I was then able to have some "fun" by going golfing on Monday (4th), which I took a couple of my English students from Brazil (1st time)...

"Trying" to teach golf (driving range)

The second weekend of April, I joined thousands online around the world watching the #Azusa Now Revival 2016 that was being web telecasted "live" via online. This comes in a critical time in our nation-world with the up-coming "crazy" Presidential campaign election.

I went to the cities the 3rd weekend to celebrate both my mom and sister's "be-lated" birthdays. We celebrated at a Chinese restaurant (House of Wong) in Roseville, which was a good quality time spending with family.

I got back on Sunday evening, so I can attend a concert some friends were putting on at the Platform. I bought a CD and was flattered to see my name on the credits (thank you)...

The Platform Present: Matt O' Leary & Friends (Nina & Kurtis) 4.16.16 Pt1

I then came home to upload this video (above) and realized my name was mentioned in the song ....aww :)..thanks Matt O!..

Passover (around the time of Jesus' resurrection) was the 4th weekend of the month. I "tried" to recognize this "feast of unleavened bread" by not eating "bread" for some days as a rememberance of God's blessing. I attended a concert by a guy from IHOPKC on Sunday name Ryan Kondo, who will be going to New Zealand by the end of the summer for a mission calling.

The following day, we had our annual staff board -appreciation supper, which my co-worker's husband (Fred M.) cooked some great ribs. I rarely eat "red meat", but was opened to it just this once ;) Thanks Tammy & Fred M!