Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Facing The Giants

On Sunday night I watched Facing The Giants on DVD. This was a great movie with a great message! It is one of my favorite movies! This movie is about having faith in God and glorifying Him in all you do. My church, Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City, had a screening of Facing The Gaints as a fund-raiser for Easter at the E but I wasn't able to watch the whole thing because I had to go to work at Club Vortex. I'm glad that I finally got to see it! I also want to see Flywheel, another movie produced by the producer of Facing The Giants, Sherwood Pictures.

I used to play WoW (World of Warcraft) when I worked at GoodGame but when I quit working there (because they could no longer afford to pay me) I quit playing. This past January, when I was working at Teleperformance, I bought the expansion for World of Warcraft called The Burning Crusade. I've been playing WoW on a regular basis since January but I'm probably not going to renew my monthly subscription next month because I want to spend less time vegging in front of a computer and more time reading the Bible, reading other books, hiking, and playing basketball & volleyball.

Last Sunday I wasted two hours of my life watching 28 Weeks Later with Phil. He really wanted to see it. I didn't want to and should have just done something else instead. We'll probably watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End this weekend. I'm also looking forward to seeing Ocean's Thirteen, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and A Mighty Heart.

I've avoided posting about the Virginia Tech Massacre until now because it is a very negative topic. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre. I do believe that if students and faculty at Virginia Tech with Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits had been allowed to carry their guns on campus, Seung-Hui Cho might have been stoppped before he killed 32 people and wounded many others. Mike Kinsey wrote a good article about this issue on the Ohioans for Concealed Carry Website. I took the training for my CCW permit last year and finally got around to submitting my paperwork and paying for my CCW a few months ago when I started working at Club Vortex. Because of the increased number of CCW applications following the Trolley Square Mall Shooting (where an off-duty police officer prevented the shooter from killing more people) it currently takes up to 100 days to get your CCW so I should be getting mine soon. I'll be getting my XD 45 out of the pawn shop in July.

Barry Eisler's newest book, Requiem for an Assassin, comes out today. I'll be getting it when I get paid on Thursday. Check out Barry Eisler's blog. I'm still reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe. After Requiem for an Assassin, the next fiction book I want to read is Shibumi: A Novel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I have been playing games online at Gamerzz in Taylorsville for about seven months now. I've been their unofficial Security guy for most of that time and, as of December 31st of last year, I am their promoter for their Lock-Ins (all-night LAN parties). I got Sky High Party & Pizza and FastKart Indoor Speedway to sponsor the Lock-Ins. This means that they provide passes to their business as door prizes and prizes for tournaments. I also got Dominos Pizza to provide pizza at a discounted price. Right around the time that Club Vortex got shut down, one of the employees at Gamerzz got let go (he got into a fight with one of the owners and I broke it up) so they needed to hire some people to cover his shifts. Another regular at Gamerzz, Finkle, and I got hired.

Let me back up a little bit here. Around the beginning of the year Gamerzz started implementing a "No Loitering" policy. This LAN center, being just a few blocks away from Taylorsville High School and Salt Lake Community College, was a "hang out" for several high school/college age students. This was becoming a problem to the point where sometimes there were more loiterers than customers. Sometimes this group would be so loud that it would be a distraction to the paying customers that were trying to conentrate on their gaming. They would also loiter next to the building. Because Gamerzz is in a strip mall, the owner of the strip mall complained to the owners of Gamerzz about this group loitering next to the building. The employees would have to repeatedly tell this group not to loiter next to the building. The rule (or "guideline") that was implemented around the time that I started working there was that these loiterers had half an hour to either get on a computer or leave the property for the day.

The leader of this group of loiterers is a 19 year old disrespectful, mouthy pothead whose nickname is Rick James. Rick James has, on several occasions, shown disrespect to the employees of Gamerzz by doing things such as flipping them off and arguing with them when they try to enforce the rules. On a couple of occasions we have wanted to suspend him from Gamerzz for a short time to punish him for his inappropriate behaviour but one of the owners, Jared, has not let us do this. He is afraid that if he punishes Rick James then him and his group will no longer come to Gamerzz. Rick James just "apologizes" and continues to be disrespectful. Although some of these loiterers, one of them being Rick James, are actually paying customers on a regular basis, some of them are not.

I worked there two or three days per week for the two weeks following Club Vortex being closed down. During this time I did a good job of enforcing the "No Loitering" policy. The other employees were not as consistent on enforcing this policy. When I got hired at Teleperformance my training schedule conflicted with my schedule at Gamerzz so the schedule was adjusted to cover my shifts. I am now just a back-up.

On Saturday, April 21st I was playing at Gamerzz and there were a lot of loiterers. They were being noisy. After two or three hours Finkle, the on-duty employee at the time, told the loiterers that they had half an hour to get on a computer or leave for the day. Rick James claimed that there were no open computers even though there were. Even if there weren't any open computers, Rick James and the other loiterers know that they can get on a waiting list so that as soon as a computer becomes available they will be the only ones that can log onto the open computers. The fact that they know about the waiting list and had been there for at least two hours but had not got on the waiting list proves that they were not intending to get on a computer. Rick James still wanted to argue and complain as he often does. At this point I told him to not argue with Finkle. Rick James's friend Spencer, who was sitting on a couch near the back of the LAN center about 10 feet from where I was sitting, told me to sit down and play my game.

Let me back up again. A month or two before this incident, I was playing at Gamerzz when Luke came in and told me that there was about to be a fight outside. I ran outside and asked Spencer, who was sitting in his car, what was going on. He said that a group of Polynesians, who were now standing next to their car, had tried to pull him out of his car and beat him up. At this point they got in their car and left. So I came to Spencer's defense when a group of guys were trying to beat him up.

Now back to the story. I told Spencer that he needed to leave now. He refused to leave and again told me to sit down and play my game. I moved closer to him, pointed towards the door, and told him to leave now. As an employee I was telling him to leave. By refusing to leave he was trespassing. He stood up, got in my face, and told me that he wasn't going anywhere. Technically by getting in my face he was threatening me. I told him to get out now. He told me "No" and stuck his tongue out at me. While that wasn't as bad as spitting on me, it wasn't the smartest thing to do. I spun him around, wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dragged him towards the door. At this point Rick James and his group of 6-9 guys rushed me and grabbed me. One of the smallest in the group jumped on me and was hanging from my neck in a futile attempt to throw me off balance. I stood my ground and told them all to get out. Luke, who works there and is friends with these guys, told them to get out too. Finkle, who is also friends with these guys, called the police. All of them, except for Rick James, left the building. Rick James was trying to provoke me to throw him out of the building. I just stood my ground and Luke and I told him to get out. After talking some trash he got out.

After everyone was out, Finkle called Jared, the owner. The police showed up within 5 minutes. We told them what happened. Then Jared showed up and we told him what happened. He then talked to the police and talked to Rick James and his group. After he had talked to everyone he told me that it should not have come to this. I should have called him. I explained that the customers should respect us and we should not have to call him to enforce the rules. I also explained that if we were all consistentt in enforcing the rules and if he hadn't overridden us when we wanted to suspend Rick James then he might respect us more and it wouldn't have gone as far as it had. He told me that if he suspended Rick James then him and his group might not come back. I told him that them not coming back would be a good thing. He explained that if they left, his business would suffer a major loss of revenue. I explained that as long as he let a bunch of troublemakers continue to break the rules and disrespect his employees, it was going to be hard to attract a good crowd. He again stated that it should not have come to this and told us to call him in the future.

Jared then went over and talked to Rick James and his group again. While he was over there Finkle and Luke took Jared's side of the argumnent basically saying that we had to walk on egg shells with these guys because we couldn't afford to lose them as customers. I explained that this "gang" of guys should not be running the shop, we should. They went into the whole "loss of our customers" spiel again. I said that I understood that but said that we had to draw the line somewhere.

Jared came back over and told us that he was going to let them stay. I asked Jared if he was serious and said that they should have to leave for the day, at the very least. They basically tried to jump an emplyee and Jared wasn't going to punish them at all. He said that he was going to tell them that they could either get on a computer or leave. So basically, after loitering for two or three hours, arguing with an on-duty employee, and then trying to jump an off-duty employee, they were just told not to loiter.

In a recent blog post, Luke claimed that I "snapped" and "assaulted a customer by putting him in a chokehold". He obviously doesn't understand what snapped means. Snap means "to suffer a physical or mental breakdown, especially under stress". Just because he doesn't understand the gang mentality and how to deal with a group of guys doesn't mean I "snapped". Just because I chose to physically remove a loiterer that had been trespassed and was challenging me doesn't mean I "snapped". If I had snapped, or lost control, Spencer would have been unconcious, I would have layed those guys out when they rushed me, and I would have thrown Rick James out when he was provoking me.

I didn't put Spencer in a chokehold. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dragged him towards the door. He wasn't enough of a threat to warrant me putting him into a chokehold. I knew that I could handle him without putting him in a chokehold (click here to read about a situation which did warrant me using a chokehold). Luke's lack of experience with physical confrontation, the loiterers being his "friends" (although I doubt that he spends any time with them outside of work and they don't respect him as true friends do), and his passive nature lead to him making an incorrect assesment of the situation. I like Luke and he has treated me well from the first day that I met him. I guess I just expected a more objective assessment of the situation from one of my co-workers that I have backed up on several occasions.

Rick James and a few of the paying customers from his group have still been coming to Gamerzz but the loiterers have not been there as much as they used to. So, while Jared and the other employees might not like my methods, they are effective.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Second Car

On Monday Preston called me to let me know that he had some family drama on Sunday and that was why he didn't call me. He picked me up from Gamerzz and we stopped by Auto Zone to get some fusible links and some wire cutters on the way to work. On our lunch break Preston replaced the two fusible links but the truck still wouldn't start. Preston game me a ride home.

Tuesday morning I called Scooter and asked him if he could tow the truck to his shop and fix it. He gave me the number to the tow truck guy. I called the tow truck guy. He was really cool. He came to my house and got my keys so he could go to my work and tow the truck. Tuesday afternoon I called Menlove Dodge Toyota, where I had bought my first car (the one that got totaled last year), to see of I could get another car. They said that I could and scheduled me to come in on Thursday at 1:15 to pick out another car. Preston gave me a ride to work and a ride home.

Wednesday morning Preston picked me up and we went to get our paychecks from work. Shortly after picking up our paychecks, Scooter called me to tell me that the truck was fixed. Preston insisted on giving me $50 because he had mistakenly told me that the battery in the truck needed to be replaced but it didn't. I told him that he didn't need to do that but he told me that he wasn't going to take no for an answer so I took it. After we ran a couple of errands Preston took me to the shop that Scooter works at and I picked up the truck. He only charged me $200 for the tow, the parts, and 3 hours of labor. He had to replace 3 fusible links (he said Preston had put the wrong kind in), and some wiring. He also had to wire the starter correctly because he claimed that Preston hadn't hooked it back up the right way. The truck started just fine but the radio wouldn't come on. Scooter suggested taking it to R.C. Willey to get it fixed. I went to R.C. Willey and Best Buy but neither of them could get the radio fixed that day. When I got to work I talked to Preston and he told me that his friend Travis could fix the radio for me.

Thursday morning I went over to Travis's house and he fixed the radio. All it took was removing it and replacing the fuse in the back. I tried to give Travis some money but he wouldn't take it. Then I headed up to Menlove Dodge Toyota to get my second car from them. I have been making payments ever since my car got totaled last year and still owed them $4,300. They waved $2000 of what I owed them and added the remaining money to the loan for the new car. I got a gold/tan colored 2002 Buick Regal LS. The car is what they call a "sleeper" because it is a luxury car but it has a 3.8 liter V6 with 195 horsepower and 225 pounds-feet of torque. It does 0-60 in less than 8 seconds! It has also traction control and a FF (front-engine, front-wheel drive) layout. The FF layout puts the heavy engine over the drive wheels which gives it better traction.

Preston gave me a ride up to Menlove on Friday to pick up my car. By the time I got done filling out paperwork I had less than 15 minutes to get to work. I made it easily. My new car handles really well!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Da T.R.U.T.H.

On Sunday mornings I usually watch Lift Every Voice on BET. Yesterday morning the guest on Lift Every Voice was a Christian rapper named Da T.R.U.T.H. In his song Who Am I? featuring Tye Tribbett & Kirk Franklin, which will be on his Da T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE DVD (in stores May 15th), Da T.R.U.T.H. talks about something that has been bothering me lately. This song, which is similar to my friend Theorian's song What If featuring Ms PHD, asks the question "When people see me do they know that I'm a Christian?" I know that I am a Christian but I don't always act like one. When I curse, I'm sure that people don't think that I am a Christian. I pray that God will help me change my ways and be the light of the world that he has called me to be.

Training at Teleperformance is going well. We learned about Windows Vista last week. We had an assessment every day. On Friday we had 2 assessments and a final assessment. I aced all of them all week except for the final, which I got a 96.67% on (I missed one question). The assessments were open-computer and open-note. Also, my trainer gave a very thorough review before each assessment so it's nothing to brag about. I'm just happy that I am doing so well because the better I do on the assessments, the better the chance is that I'll get the schedule that I want when training is done.

On Friday it was raining so I had my headlights on in Dave's truck when I went to work. I forgot to turn them off when I went inside to work so when I came out at the end of the night, the battery was dead. Because it was dark I put the jumper cables on backwards so it wouldn't start. I didn't figure this out until Saturday evening when I came back with one of my co-workers, Preston to try jump-starting it again. It still wouldn't start so we took the starter to Auto Zone and they tested it. It passed the test so we assumed the battery was bad. I bought a new battery but it still wouldn't start. I called Scooter, the sound guy at Club Vortex who is also a mechanic, and asked him what was wrong with the truck. He said that it was probably the fusible links. It was dark by the time he told me that so I treated Preston to the buffet at Godfather's Pizza.

After we ate he drove me up to Harry O's in Park City so I could get paid for the security work I did up there during Sundance. I got paid, and paid well. When we dropped me off at home, he told me to call him at his friend's house yesterday afternoon and he would come take me out to the truck and replace the fusible links. I called his friend's house yesterday afternoon but he wasn't there. I couldn't get a hold of him all day. I hope that I'll be able to get a hold of him today so that I can get it fixed without having to pay a mechanic to tow the truck and fix it.

Last night Phil and I saw Spider-Man 3 (B) and Next (A). Spider-Man 3 was good but it wasn't as good as Spider-Man or Spider-Man 2. It did have good special effects. Next was really good. It was very well written. Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel played there roles very well. Jessica Biel is one of the most beautiful women that I have ever seen. I'm looking forward to seeing Home of the Brave (another Jessica Biel movie!), The Hip Hop Project, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Everything Will Be Alright

Yesterday afternoon Steve Ketter finally paid me the rest of the money that he owed me from working Securty at the Main Event Lounge at Sundance. He claimed that the money that he was pre-paid was not only for me and the other Security guys, it was also for work he had done for Debbie setting up the Main Event Lounge in the months prior to Sundance. His experience reinforces my prior conclusion that in the future, when doing private security, I should get a contract so both parties know what is expected and to help in collecting any money owed. Tomorrow I am going to finally get paid from Harry O's for the security work that I did up there during Sundance. Once I have been paid from Harry O's, I will be completely paid for all security work done during Sundance!

Back when I was working at Club Vortex, I bought Tye Tribbet and G.A.'s latest album, Victory Live! Listening to this CD really helped me through a difficult time. The songs that were especially uplifting were Everything Will Be Alright, G.A. Hymn, Still Have Joy, 1-2 (Victory Check), and Victory.

There are several good Christian events and concerts coming to Utah soon. The Akiane Art Tour and Gallery is coming to the Patrick Moore Gallery in Salt Lake City. The Akiane Art Tour and Gallery will showcase the art and poetry of Akiane Kramarik, a 12-year-old prodigy that has been blessed by God and gives him credit for her gifts. It will run from Saturday, May 5th to Saturday, June 2nd. Click here for more info.

The Jeremiah People will be performing at First Baptist Church of West Valley City on Sunday, May 13th (Mother's Day). They will be doing free concerts at 9:30 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. At 6:00 P.M. they will be performing their drama, Dear Diary. Check out their tour blog by clicking here.

Christian rock group Flyleaf is coming to the Gallivan Center Plaza on Saturday, June 2nd at 12:00 noon as part of 94.9 The Blaze's Viva S.L.C. event. Tickets are only $12.50 and can be purchased at Smiths Tix or any Graywhale CD location.

The Tooth & Nail Tour is coming to In The Venue in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 11th at 5:00 P.M. The Tooth & Nail Tour features several punk/rock bands (most of them are Christian bands). MxPx, Project 86, The Classic Crime, The Fold, and Sullivan will be performing. Tickets can be purchased at

To find Christian concerts and events in your area check out and

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thought Crimes

Our “First Freedoms” to free speech and religious expression are under attack! There are two imprtant bills that have been introduced in the House of Representatives. The first bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on his sexual orientation or "gender identity". Such acts would be considered crimes subject to severe penalties. This bill would force organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Veterans of Foreign Wars, day care centers, Christian business owners, adoption agencies, public schools, municipalities and a host of other businesses and organizations to hire homosexual applicants. For a list of the co-sponsors of ENDA, click here.

The second bill, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act (H.R. 1592), is a Thought Crimes law which aims to silence biblical Judeo-Christian speech and beliefs about homosexuality and “transgenderism.” This bill would inevitably create federally protected “class status” for homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, “transgender” and “transsexual” persons. H.R. 1592 paves the way to religious persecution – with “hate crimes” laws inevitably leading to “hate speech” laws targeted specifically at Christians and other faith groups who hold traditional beliefs on homosexuality. If this bill passes, it would be illegal for you to say that homsexuality is immoral! This has already happened in Canada, Sweden, Belgium, France, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England, and New Zealand. Even here in the United States in Philadelphia, Christians have been arrested and jailed under a state “hate crimes” law!

Although these bills might look good on the surface if you just look at the titles, "non-discrimination" and "hate crimes", their goal is to normalize homosexuality and "trangenderism" and to punish those with opposing viewpoints. The vote for these bills could come as soon as tomorrow. If you oppose ENDA (HR 2015) and the Hate Crimes Act (HR 1592), please call your Representative at (202)224-3121 and let him or her know that you oppose these bills. If you don’t know your representative's name, simply give the operator your address and you will be given his or her name and connected with his or her office. You can also click here to send an email to President Bush asking him to veto these bills. Don't wait. Take action now!

To receive alerts via e-mail on similiar issues from the American Family Association, click here to subscribe today! You can also check out the American Family Radio website. If you're a father you should visit the website. Mothers, you'll want to check out Also, don't forget about Meet at City Hall and other National Day of Prayer events tomorrow! Click here to email this post to your friends and family.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Life's Getting Better

Life's getting better. I passed the A+ Essentials and A+ 220-603 (Remote Support Technician) tests at my new job at Teleperformance so I am now an A+ certified Remote Support Technician! The money that my Uncle George and Aunt Beverly sent me allowed me to pay Keybank the money that I owed them and catch up on bills. I'm still going to go to the Labor Commission this week to have them try to make Travis pay me for my bounced paychecks from Club Vortex. I'm finally going to get paid from Harry O's on Saturday for the Security work I did there during Sundance.

Last month I saw two other movies that I forgot to mention in my last post, Amazing Grace (A) and Pathfinder (B+). Amazing Grace is the story of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce. It also told some of the story of Olaudah Equiano's life. Olaudah Equiano was a slave who bought his freedom, became an anti-slavery abolitionist, and then went on to write about his life as a slave in his bestselling autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vass, The African. Pathfinder is the story of a Viking boy who was left behind after his clan raids a Native American tribe. He is then raised by the Native Americans and helps them battle his clan when they come back several years later.

I saw The Condemned (B) with Phil on Sunday. He still owed me $400 when Club Vortex got closed down (not including the 2 bounced paychecks) so I don't mind him paying for a movie every now and then. He still wants me to come back and manage Club Vortex when he gets it reopened but I'm not planning on working for him again. Phil really wanted to see The Condemned. It wasn't my first pick but it was better than I thought it would be. Although the story was basically about a live internet broadcast of several death row inmates put on an island with the last man (or woman) standing gaining there freedom, it had a good moral. It pointed out that people who enjoy watching people get tortured and murdered are the ones that are condemned.

Back when I was working at Club Vortex I ordered START Fitness's Fit to Fight DVD package. The Fit to Fight DVD package is a boot camp style workout on three DVDs. There is the basic level DVD titled Operation Wake-Up call, the intermediate DVD titled Operation Double Time, and the advanced level DVD titled Operation Fit to Fight. I did the Operation Wake-up Call workout once last week and I'm going to do it a couple of times this week. I'm planning to workout regularly starting next week. Hopefully I will be more consistent with this workout than I was with Combat Conditioning.

I'm currently reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe. Although I'm not in a hurry to work at a night club again, this is a book that I have been wanting to read for a few years now. It applies specifically to working at night clubs in the UK, but it still has good information for anyone working Security in a night club anywhere.

This Thursday, May 3rd, is the National Day of Prayer. I encourage you all to Meet At City Hall from 12:20 to 12:40 PM to pray for a moral rebirth in our country! Click here to find other National Day of Prayer events near you.