Caleb Harrison

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Advent

This post was written by my wife, Kaitlyn.

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I’ve been so excited for Advent this year. Like, since September I have been talking the ear off of anyone who would listen to me about it - that excited. I love Advent. I love how it changes the way I view the Christmas season and the way that I celebrate Christmas Day.

Growing up, my church, like many others, lit the candles in the Advent wreath on the four Sundays before Christmas, ending with a candlelight Christmas Eve service. It was beautiful and Christmas-y and I had no idea what it meant. But as I’ve learned more and more over the last few years, Advent has taken on a new shape in my life - less about lighting candles (though I do still love this tradition), and more about the posture our hearts are to take during this season.

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival” - and the season of Advent is marked by the expectant...

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Old & New

Writing in this format doesn’t come naturally to me.

Over time, I’ve constructed this idea in my head that publishing anything - be it a tweet, a podcast, or something similar - is nothing more than offering something unsolicited to an audience that doesn’t care. I suspect I cling to this line of thinking because it’s how I tend to approach things as a consumer myself - when browsing the internet, my cynicism causes me to be critical first, and genuinely interested last. As a result, I find it easier to project my own pessimistic ideology onto literally everyone else in the world than alter my perpetual negativity. I find myself thinking, “I wouldn’t care to read what I’m writing, so why would anyone else?” I get so caught up in the unjustness of presuming that someone might be interested in what I have to say that I end up rejecting the possibility outright.

Tweets of mine are...

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The Best Podcast App You Can Buy Is Now Free

I love podcasts.

As someone who spends two hours commuting every day, podcasts help me retain my sanity. I started listening to tech shows and various sermons right before college, and I’ve been listening pretty regularly ever since.

The first show that I listened to from start to finish was called Build and Analyze on the 5by5 network. Dan Benjamin hosted, but Marco Arment was the real star. Marco slowly rose to prominence during his time building tumblr with David Karp, but became a fairly high-profile developer with the success of his Instapaper product back in 2008. While I never used tumblr, I really loved Instapaper, and I always found Marco’s insight about independent software development to be fascinating, especially as a college student studying computer science.

Fast forward a few years, and Marco released his own take on what a podcast app should be. Since its launch...

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Destiny and Bad Avocados

Last September, after several years of development, a protracted curtain lift, and 500 million dollars in production costs, Bungie finally released Destiny. This marked the first franchise launch for the popular Bellevue, WA developer since the original Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001. Despite its strange inability to communicate what the game actually was prior to its release, the studio’s impressive pedigree and passionate fan base fueled a massive hype machine that dominated the gaming conversation in 2014. Following the holiday 2013 launch of the then-next generation consoles, Triple-A titles were predictably sparse in the first half of 2014, and all eyes were on Bungie’s “next big thing” to push the industry convincingly into the new generation.

Despite insurmountable expectations by fans and tepid critical reviews, it only took the game one day to earn back the 500 million dollars...

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New Pokémon Game Coming to iOS, Android

At this point in life, I consider myself to be an adult. I’m 22 years old. I went to college and got a Bachelor’s Degree. I got married. If you were to ask kid-Caleb if he considers current-Caleb to be an adult, he’d emphatically say, “DUH,” and then ask you how soon he gets to have a beard.

Every once in a while, though, something comes along that makes me feel like a total child, and Nintendo’s announcement earlier today that it would be bringing a new augmented reality Pokémon game to smartphones has done just that. I haven’t really played a Pokémon game proper since the second generation of games on the original Gameboy - mostly because I grew tired of having to familiarize myself with all of the new creatures that each successive generation added to the universe. After having to do this once with Gold & Silver, I never wanted to put in the effort to do it again, and I moved...

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Expectations vs. Reality

I’ve liked the film (500) Days of Summer since I first watched it in late 2009. From the first few minutes to the final scene, the narrative consistently and unabashedly ditches the sappy tropes of the romantic comedy genre in favor of brutal honesty. This distinction alone makes the movie worth watching, but its unique and clever presentation choices - the non-linear editing, shattered 4th wall, cartoon birds, and the like - are what make (500) Days of Summer so special.

In one particularly memorable scene, Tom, the protagonist, attends a rooftop party thrown by Summer, the girl with whom he is hoping to rekindle his romantic relationship. As Tom enters the stairwell from the ground level and begins his ascent, the screen splits in two. The film’s narrator notes a difference between Tom’s expectations for the evening before him and the reality of it.

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What follows is a painful...

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Song Discussion: Oceans

Over the years, one of the questions I’ve had to answer the most goes something like this:

“Why don’t you guys ever lead us in [insert song here]? Do you not like it?”
I still get this question frequently, and I must confess that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I hate it because I’m well aware that my convictions on these matters are frequently considered disagreeable by others, and I don’t want to be perceived as nothing but a fussy old grumpy bear. On the other hand, I love it because I get a chance to share those convictions with people who are curious, and I always find the discussion that follows very fruitful and enriching.

Such discourse is extremely valuable, and it is for this reason that I am sharing my thoughts here. Even if you disagree with me (which is very common), it is my hope that you come across something new to consider when thinking about how...

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