Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Visiting with friends

Hello everyone, a quick recap:

Monday morning I woke up and set about cleaning up the kitchen/dining room/living room area. Most of it consisted of putting all of James' new presents into a box for him :)

After finishing, Quin swung by and picked me up from my house, and we drove over to Clackamas Town Center to meet up with the Reich sisters, and Lydia Neumann. We ate lunch at Chipotle, and after about two hours, comprised of conversation about Teenpact, Worldview, and life plans, were joined by Rachel Aldrich and Shelby Bennet. We spent another hour or so there, and around 3:00pm, we spent some time in the mall browsing through various stores.

Shelby, Rachel and Lydia had to leave, so Quin, Betsy, Molly and I drove back to my house where we made dinner and then played Quelf with the family. If you haven't played Quelf, you need to. It's pretty entertaining :)

This is just to give you a little idea of how awesome Quelf is :)

Today has been very relaxed, and I've spent a good deal of time working on debate. Really looking forward to this next year, it's going to be great. We'll see how everything unfolds :)

For now, I am going to watch the Blazer game, listen to the rain falling heavily outside, and finish up some debate research :)

Hope you're doing wonderfully,

Isaac Franklin

Sunday, December 26, 2010

...And a happy new year

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas week. I'm doing well, just trying to remember what I need to recap.... let's see....

Well the days leading up to Christmas were spent working on debate (surprise!), spending time with Alex, Courtney, and Brett, and doing a ton of dishes. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot. You never truly realize how much dishes baking creates until a holiday comes around. So the combination of Courtney and Sarah's baking made it rather... a lot. I did 5-6 times in one day. And I swear, I washed the same pan like 15 times in two days. :)

Christmas was actually really nice, Sarah did an incredible job. Among the gifts I got was a wallet, a shirt and tie, and a switchblade. Which is really cool. My brothers know how to give gifts :)

I also was able to give my gifts, which were as follows: to James, the Settlers of Catan expansion: Seafarers. To Sarah, a silver necklace. To Brett, a leather messenger Fossil bag. To Alex and Courtney, a gift-card to Fossil, and to Dad, an iPad leather carrying sleeve.

The Edmonds came over in the late afternoon and stayed for dinner. We spent the evening eating, talking, playing interactive games on our iPhones and iPods. It was a blast. (Ben and I also squeezed a little debate in there as well ;) ) We wrapped up the evening by watching an episode of Ben's christmas gift, which is the new Sherlock Holmes series from BBC, which is actually set in modern day. It's BRILLIANT, and very, very well done. I'd encourage you to go watch it :) (please note, it is a little dark, so it may not be suitable for young children)

Today, Alex and Courtney took off for Colorado, just a little while after the church service. I spent the time at church talking politics with Ben, Christian, and Judah Rancourt, and playing Encore with a group of young people. That's a very stressful game :)

Later in the afternoon, dad took me to Nordstrom for my Christmas present and we got a new suit! It's really awesome, it's a three piece (coat, vest, and pants) and it's a really dark navy blue with not-quite-pin-stripe lines running down it. It's really sharp, I'm so excited. I'll try to get some pictures as soon as we get it back from the tailor. The prospect of having two suit options now at debate tournaments makes me happy. And I know that's sad, but that does make me happy :) I'm weird like that, I guess.

After that, my dad and I watched Tron. I actually was very impressed, it was well done, nothing cheesy. There was a couple character development weaknesses, but not very much to complain about. I think most people would enjoy it.

So now, I am home. And tired. And ready to face a new week. We'll see how it unfolds :)

To a new day, an unfading hope, and a never-ending assurance.

Isaac Franklin

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Late nights and debate seem to go hand-in-hand

Well, quite a lot has happened since my last post, so let's see....

Saturday: Saturday night was rather long, I was playing on the worship team, and because of this crazy new sound system at church, we've been practicing on Saturday nights. However, because there was a lot of Christmas songs, there was only four songs that I really played on, so much of the practice was them working on technical issues, and me waiting for my song to come up. Thank goodness for my iPhone. :)

Sunday: Sunday morning we had church, which went very well, over all, and even though the sound system was complaining the whole time. After the shared meal we watched this incredibly documentary on the Star of Bethlehem which actually shows scientific proof of it's existence. It was really incredible, I was quite struck.

At around 3:30pm, I left with my dad and Colton Best for the Rainmakers Christmas party. It was really awesome to be able to sit down with all my club-members in a setting outside of debate where we're rushing around getting ready for a round, or researching something. That said, we still talked about debate ;)

We left at around 8:30pm, and came home where dad and I cleaned up the house for Alex and Courtney's arrival. They landed at about 10:30pm and went to bed pretty soon afterwards.

Monday: Monday was a rather low-key day for the most part. Mainly spending time with Alex and Courtney, wrapping presents and making food. At around 3:00pm I left for the Edmonds where I got a much needed haircut, and then Ben and I rode with Quin and Kenny to.... the Rainmakers Christmas party.

Allow me to explain: Rachel and Ted decided that they all missed last year's Rainmaker's club so they had a Christmas party for the 2009-2010 Rainmakers. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone again, and we spent the evening watching Lucas and Justin rap, playing Debate Jeopardy, singing Christmas carols, drinking Henry Weinhard's root beer, and doing the white elephant gift exchange. All in all, a great night.

Tuesday: I slept in. A lot. When I got up, Alex, James and I played Risk, which didn't go too far because it was James's first time and he wasn't prepared for the high-intensity environment :) Instead we opted for some games on the iPhone, since Alex always brings back some nifty game for me to download. It's very distracting. :P :)

Tuesday night, after dinner, we went with the Edmonds to Lloyd Center to go ice-skating, which I have only done once before in my life. It was really fun, and I'm pleased to say that I did not fall down, not even once. I just had to get that out. I was very proud. However, my toes did not fair as well. My skates were made of some very rough leather, and the tongue wasn't wide enough, so the edge rubbed against my small toe, so after about 30 minutes of skating, it felt like it was on fire. :P That aside, we had a great time.

In other news: Ben and my case to ratify START has reached it's end. Tuesday afternoon, Senate passed cloture on START (which essentially means they're bringing it to a final vote) and the consensus is it will pass by this afternoon. So while we're sad we lost an incredibly strong case, we're happy that this policy has been passed. Now, I know there's a lot of disagreement on this issue, but I have spent literally months dedicated to research on both sides of this issue. In the end, I have to side with US military generals, and the expert analysts and negotiators that are actually working with the treaty, as compared to Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. I understand the concerns, but I believe they are unmerited.

So, back to debate. Knowing that we had to find a new case, Ben and I started research at around 11pm last night. And by 4am, we had a complete 1AC and 8 pages of back-up for our new case. We are very proud of the accomplishment, even though it meant a late night.

So that's all for now, I'll post again soon. Love you all :)
Isaac Franklin

Friday, December 17, 2010

A title? No thanks...

Life really is one large roller-coaster. Perhaps not quite the same adrenaline rush and joy-ride as most of them are, but a roller-coaster all the same.

Instead of updating you on everything that's happened since my last post, I'm just going to review the last day or so, and try to keep up to date from there :P

Yesterday I finished the last of my Christmas shopping (yay!) which was a tremendous load off my back. It's really strange how the presents you buy change as the years pass. Now, James is pretty much the only family member we get toys for.

I drew Brett's name for a gift, which means I get him something extra special. The annoying thing about shopping for Brett is that we both like the same things. So I find myself wanting the gift I bought for him, but I probably never will because I wouldn't spend that much money on myself :P Oh well.

Yesterday evening was also the Christmas party, and to make it crazier, we were arranging to do some filming at the party for my dad's new project "Household Embassy." So for preparation, I was helping light candles, set up video equipment, render video files, and load them onto a hard-drive for our web guy to take back with him the next morning. It was quite the experience.

Besides that, the party seemed to go very well, from my perspective. My sister Sarah did a lovely job of playing hostess and everything looked absolutely beautiful. Some guy is going to be very lucky someday.

Looking ahead, I'm planning out Christmas break, and trying to figure out how I'm spending time with the family, as well as make sure some important conversations get factored in. Prayer would be appreciated, as this is a really important time.

That's all for now, I shall work very hard to post again soon.

Isaac Franklin