Monday, January 25, 2010


This was too good not to share. (But be warned, I reference some language I wouldn’t normally use that may not be appropriate for younger readers. =)

I recently decided to attempt online gaming.  This is a nerdy activity that I’ve always wanted to attempt, but assumed I didn’t have fast enough internet connection. Thankfully, I was wrong. For the past couple weeks I’ve spent some late nights enjoying the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”. For you non-gamers out there, it’s a war game where you try to blow everyone up while they’re trying to blow you up. I absolutely love it.

When you first sign onto Playstation Network it requires you to create an ID for yourself. That is a name that will be displayed over your character at all times so others will know who you are. As I am not very creative, I decided to use an old e-mail address of mine, SHWNSTNSN. It’s simply my name without any vowels. Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that people usually pick a name that can be pronounced. One of the cool features of this game is that with a bluetooth headset, you can talk to the other players. This comes in very handy on a game like this as you can work together or just talk smack to your opponents. So a name like BigSarge66 or Hitman47 might be very appropriate and easy for people to use to talk to you. Unfortunately shwnstnsn is not so easy. I had been using it for about a week without anything of interest happening. Since I didn’t have a headset, I could only hear what others were saying and could not reply, So folks were not talking to me. On Friday night that all changed.

01/22/10 2300hrs…
I’m hiding on top of an abandoned house, I have no doubt someone will be coming along soon. I have my sniper rifle ready to take someone out with a clean headshot. I have also strategically placed some claymore mines around the house in case anyone slips by my eagle eye and manages to get close to me. Then I see him. In the distance… “Gfulk2008” is heading my way. I have him in my sights, I take a breath, steady my aim, then…. “slice”. That’s the sound I hear as “WhosyoDaddy” knifes me in the back. Apparently he had come around the back and snuck up behind me.

I wish that were the end of the story… but no. He then says to his buddy, Gfulk2008, “Hey G, I just knifed this shwnstnsn guy.” He pronounced it like schwanstonson in a feeble attempt to understand what it was. Then he went on…. “How do you pronounce it anyway?” Gfulk answered, “I’m not sure, but after the way you took him out, it looks like it should be “s_ _t stain.” They both erupted in laugher. “Yeah, that’s what we’ll call him, s _ _t stain!” Clearly they were enjoying this. But me, in my living room, was not enjoying it so much. My response, which they could not hear… “Aw Man! NOOOOO!”

For the next 10 minutes, that was their war cry! Anytime they would kill me, and it happened a lot. I would hear it. “s…stain!” If they couldn’t find me “Hey, Where’s …stain?” If they took me by surprise and killed me, instead of saying “Alright!” they’d simply yell out “s…stain!!” Honestly, it got pretty funny. I got to where I was laughing so hard, I was almost enjoying getting killed just to hear their reactions.I think the best moment of all was one of the times I killed Gfulk and Whosyoudaddy made fun of him for being taken out by “the s…stain”.

Needless to say, I changed my name the following day. Thanks to Ethan’s suggestion you can now find (and kill) me under the name DonnerBlitzen. I’m very glad Ethan is more creative than I am.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BeardWatch: Week 3

I mentioned last week that I've decided not to shave during the month of January. I've never let my beard grow before, so I figured I'd do it once just for curiosity's sake.

I haven't shaved since Friday Dec 18th. That means it's been 3.5 weeks. This how it looks today. I think my mother in law has described it better than anyone when she said "It doesn't look like a beard. It just looks like you haven't shaved". What a perfect description.  Clearly, it's mostly a "neck beard". Unfortunately it doesn't connect with the "crust-ache" that's going on either. And sadly, I think it would look a little better if it were darker, but alas, there's a lot of blonde in it (tribute to my days as a blonde when I was a toddler). I have no doubt, I'll get rid of it come February, but for now I'm going to stick with it. I'm interested to see how (or if) it changes before being shaved in February.

What do you think? Should it stay or go?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Word Of Advice

Backup your data, now.
I'm not kidding, right this minute.
Stop reading this and go backup any important digital data you have. Hard drives can fail. It happens everyday. People lose important documents, pics, videos, music, etc. all because they trusted their one storage solution.

I give you this advice, because I was reminded of this lesson this week.

About a year ago, I started using an external drive on a regular basis. I mostly bought it to hold my iTunes files. Since iTunes doesn't want you to be able to sync your iPhone with multiple computers, I decided to work around that by holding all my files on that one drive and carrying it with me. That way, whether I was at home, church, or work, I always had access to that info. It worked out really well until a couple days ago when the drive died. I've researched it and talked to professionals. It is dead. Apparently the drive motor died. It is possible to get the information off, but it would cost close to $1000 and that's just not something I'm willing to pay.

I was fortunate though. Almost everything I had on that drive was either backed up elsewhere, or I still have the original CD's that I can reload. So far, I only know of 1 important thing that was lost. My tax files. I'd done our taxes on turbo tax for the past 5 years. Sadly, I think somehow that was the only place I had those files stored. I'm hoping I made a hardcopy last year of the actual returns, but I don't have a good feeling about it.

Today I will be purchasing a new external drive (maybe 2 =), and making sure I have multiple copies of everything. You should do the same.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I always strive to be a positive person.
I try to let that relect in everything I do, including this blog and my facebook status.
So usually when I put something out there, I want it to be something that's funny, or even just goofy.
Today is a little different. I've had a rough day. and I'm gonna complain some about it.

First, I started off my day looking at this face in the mirror. I know it's not obvious, but I'm attempting to grow a beard. I haven't shaved since December 18th. That's been almost 3 weeks ago. I've never seriously attempted to grow a beard before because I knew it would take so long. I was right. I'm one of those "lucky" guys who doesn't have to shave very often. Usually, as long as I shave once a week or so, no one even notices. But honestly, today as I looked in the mirror. I was pretty disappointed with my facial hair. It looks more like a patch of rainforest that has been stripped for timber than the thick manly beard I've been desiring.

So anyway, as I left the house I was already feeling a little down. Next, as I was driving to work this morning I noticed a white smear of something on the back of my left hand. I deduced quickly that is was toothpaste. I then glanced at the napkin in my passenger seat but decided that instead of using that, I would simply lick off the smear. Expecting the taste of toothpaste, I was more than shocked when it tasted more like what I imagine battery acid tastes like. But, not only did it taste bad, within seconds I felt my tongue drying out. What a weird sensation. Wondering if I'd just poisoned myself, I tried to figure out what I had just licked. Clearly my sense of taste and sight was of no help, so I smelled it. A-Ha! Deodorant! My feeling of joy from discovering the source was brief though, because my tongue was still in the process of turning into sandpaper. What to do?  Again, looking around my car I was happy to see the cup of ice still in my cup holder from the night before. Since I had left my car in the driveway last night instead of bringing it into the garage, the ice had remained frozen all night. So I quickly took a swig.

Thats the sound that rang through my head as the huge bulk of ice released from the bottom of the cup and slammed into my teeth. Instead of being nice little pieces of ice, my front teeth were met with one huge ice block. The ice had thawed some during the night then refroze into this wonderful sculputre.

 Luckily, I didn't crack any teeth, but my mouth was sore for a while this morning. So, I was now suffering from a sore mouth, and a drying tongue. So I did what anyone would do. I licked the iced block.

Honestly though , I laughed it off and didn't think much about how the day was starting.

When I finally arrived at work, I did my normal morning routine...
Turn on monitor, fill bottle of water, check voicemail, plug in my personal external hard drive so I can have access to my iTunes files, plug in my iphone, get out my pen and order book for the day, check e-mai....Hey, wait a minute.... My computer isn't recognizing my external hard drive!
So I tried unplugging it and plugging it again. All to no avail.
My external hard drive is not working. I did a lot of research on this, and it appears to have died. It simply beeps continuously, instead of turning on. Ugh! Luckily this is not a huge loss though. I did have photos, videos, and stuff for work and church on there, but it was just a backup source for all of those things.
The only thing I did lose was my iTunes files and all my music. Approximately 5,000 songs were on there. Now, if I can't fix my drive, it appears I'll have to reload all of those CD's. What a headache.

Overall, the day wasn't awful, just not a good as I hoped it would be.
I have no doubt it will get better tonight at church and choir rehearsal,. (At least, I hope it will.)

So, how was your day?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Netflix 2009

Last year I blogged about the movies I'd seen in 2008. As I've discussed many times, I love a good movie. Heck, I love some not so good movies. There are a lot of reason I enjoy movies. I enjoy the thrill of trying to figure out what's going to happen. I enjoy watching great actors, actors who can make you forget who they really are and other roles they've been in. I even enjoy just trying to figure out how they filmed a specific scene. Netflix is my primary source for this movie viewing habit. At the end of this entry, you can see my entire list, all 54 movies I watched from Netflix in 2009. Instead of reviewing every movie, like I did last year, there are just a few I want to highlight for you... So, here are the Shawny Awards for 2009:

Best movie that brought back good childhood memories: G.I. Joe
Best movie that went from my "Not interested" list to my "Liked it" list: The Proposal
Most overrated movie: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
Most out loud laughs from a movie: Step Brothers (wait for it on cable so they can clean it up )
Most tears shed: Marley & Me
Best Actress: Meryl Streep in "Doubt". Wow, that lady can really act.
Best Movie Title: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Best Actor: Meryl Streep (She's so good one award was not enough.)

Here are all the movies from Netflix I watched in 2009.
The Ugly Truth / G.I. Joe / Ghosts of Girlfriends Past / Anvil: The Story of Anvil / Angels & Demons / The Proposal / X-Men Origins: Wolverine / The Pink Panther 2 / Crank 2: High Voltage / Fired Up! / Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail / Sunshine Cleaning / The Last House on the Left / Duplicity / 17 Again / I Love You, Man / Knowing / Push / Race to Witch Mountain / Miss March/ Watchmen/ Defiance / He's Just Not That Into You / Slumdog Millionaire / The International / Marley & Me / Body of Lies / Flash of Genius / V: The Original Miniseries / Changeling / Paul Blart: Mall Cop / Australia / Transporter 3 Role Models / Last Chance Harvey / The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / Doubt / Yes Man / The Wrestler / Tropic Thunder / The Spirit / The Reader / The Day the Earth Stood Still / Bedtime Stories / Seven Pounds / How to Lose Friends & Alienate People / The Express / Ghost Town / Burn After Reading / Eagle Eye / The Rocker / Soul Men / Step Brothers / Wanted / What Happens in Vegas

Did you watch anything good this year?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Let It Snow...

Walmart's bread section Monday @ 10:40 pm. You think that's bad. You should have seen the milk section. People go nuts when they hear the word snow. And the potential snow isn't even due until Thursday. I wonder if our local weathermen have gotten their bonus checks from the milk & bread companies? Hmmm?

Posted via email from cshawnstinson's posterous

Sunday Setlist 01-03-10

Each week I post our setlist from church. This entry is part of the Sunday Setlists over at There you can check out what churches are doing all over the country.
Here's what we did in our AM service at Westwood Baptist Church in the Forestdale community of Birmingham, AL (With my notes to follow). Our services are typically a blend of traditional and contemporary worship. Our instrumentation includes brass, woodwinds, and rhythm section.

Prelude: Orchestra - Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Hymn)
2 verses in original key

Step By Step (Rich Mullins)
Chorus only Repeat as led.
Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Hymn)
1st, 2nd, and last verses with Key change for last

Welcome / Fellowship

Your Grace Is Enough (Matt Maher & Chris Tomlin)
V1, Pc, C1, V2, Pc, C1, C1, Pc, C1, C2,
The Potter’s Hand (Darlene Zschech)
V1, V2, PC, C, V2, PC, C, C

Offertory Prayer

Choir Special: Holy, Holy, Holy (Arrangement from musical "Sanctuary")
Transitional Chorus: Step By Step (Rich Mullins)
Chorus only Repeat as led

Message: Bro. Steve: “Seeing the Big Picture: Staring 2010 God’s Way” (Psalm 90:1-17)
Theme: Spiritual perspective

Invitation: Wherever He Leads I’ll Go (Hymn)
Closing Chorus: Your Grace Is Enough (Maher & Tomlin)
C1 only 2x

My notes: Musically everything went well today. No major hiccups or flaws to speak of. I went into the service kind of expecting the church to react with a little more enthusiasm in their worship. But I think, like me, everyone was still pretty worn down and tired from the holidays. It was a good Sunday, just not as "up" as I expected it to be.

How was your Sunday?

I Am Resolved

Since my last post was technically supposed to be posted last year, I consider this my first post of the new year.

As we all know, it's that time of year when people make resolutions. I've already read many friend's blogs that say they are going to lose weight, run every dayblog a picture everyday, or something else that likely won't last. I don't mean to discourage them in any way. I wish them all luck in their new goals. I just know that I've never, ever stuck with any resolutions I've made, especially when the goals were so lofty. So this year, I'm going to list things that I will definitely not do in 2010. I think I'll be happier with myself in January of 2011 if I can look back at this list and see that I've not done, exactly what I said I wouldn't do. I figure that's better than letting myself down. =)

1.) I will not lose 80 lbs. I might lose some, but not 80.
2.) I will not work out every day, leading to the ability to bench press my own weight. So, if I ever fall on myself, I'm in trouble.
3.) I will not finally convert all our old VHS home movies to DVD. I will more than likely leave them in the box where they've been stacked for years. That way, when asked "Can we watch that old Christmas tape?" I can continue to say "I don't know which one it is. You wanna go through them all to figure it out?"
4.) I will not watch less TV and read more instead. I might watch the same amount of TV and read more. But less TV is not on the agenda.
5.) I will not make our yard into the landscaping beauty that I know it has the potential to be. I know this is disappointing to both my lovely wife, and my bush eating, landscape destroying, dog.
6.) I will not go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I will more likely go to bed later and try to sleep later if I can figure out a way to make it happen.
7.) I will not be a proficient acoustic guitar playing worship leader. (Ok, I do plan to play some, but I promise not to be good at it.)
8.) I will not teach Tony (our dog) to do a stupid pet trick, leading to my first visit onto "The Late Show with David Letterman."
9.) I will not keep my car immaculately clean. But I will keep it clean enough for someone to ride with me without me having to tell them "Wait here while I get something out of my seat" (as they then watch me move armloads of stuff from the passenger seat to the trunk.)
10.)I will not blog everyday hilariously  about life as a husband/father/worship leader/nerd, causing my blog to gain in popularity, leading to large piles of ad income, and the eventual release of my bestselling book "Tales From Street Road: The Beginning."

Seriously though, there are a just few things I will do...
1.) I will strive to be a better father. Taking more opportunities to discipline & teach my boys.
2.) I will strive to make more memories with my family. Less days just shopping or running erands, more trips to zoos, parks, etc.
3.) I will strive to be a better husband to my awesome wife. One way I will do this is by trying to see our house through her eyes and helping to meet her cleanliness standards instead of mine. Then after seeing the messes me and the boys have made, I will begin to clean them without being asked. =)
4.) I will strive to keep all commitments and not over commit to church, friends, or family. Always sure to let my "yes be yes" and my "no be no".
5.) I will study (not just read) the bible more, striving to make myself more of a Christ-follower, not just a believer in Jesus Christ.

What are you gonna do, or not do?