There are Franks in your backpacks!

While I was at the office today Frank kept trying to climb into my backpack, so I decided to give him what he wanted. The funny thing is, once I zipped him up, he didn’t really want to get out. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time you’ll see us hanging out like this.

The Hup and Steph Rashup

Last weekend Stephanie and I headed out the Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay with some of our friends and had an awesome time. Little did we know, however, that we were going to be paying one heck of a price for that awesome time. We were going to get a rash.

At some point during the day we (or Frank) walked through something that we weren’t supposed to and by Saturday night I was already seeing a rash starting to move it’s way up my arm. The rash on Stephanie’s neck wasn’t too far behind mine and once our rashes started, they just seemed to take over more and more of our bodies. It wasn’t pretty and it’s taken us two trips to the doctor, three types of cream and oral steroids to get our itchy situation taken care of.

Although we have both been pretty miserable this past week due to our crazy rash attacks, we also somehow found some a lot of  humor in the situation. As we were moving into some more serious treatment, we both decided that we should document this hopefully rare moment in our relationship, so we did what we always do– we made a video about it. :)

I call the video the world’s first ‘rashup’, which is a play on words for a mashup, which have become very popular in the online video space these days. Take a look at the video and some pics that I took of our out-of-control rashes below and be sure to be careful the next time that you’re walking through a bunch of weeds. Believe me when I say that you definitely don’t want to get what we got, even if it was pretty funny.


This whole rash thing really freaked me out. And it itched…BAD.

It was looking bad and it was only spreading more and more. Not good.

A close-up of the nastiness.

I had to add like 15 minutes to my prep time just to put on Cortizone cream.

Another spot that magically appeared on my hip. Awesome.


Stephanie’s crazy neck-rash-thing. She wanted to scratch her neck off.

Checking out the best surfers in the world at the 2010 Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay

There are some really amazing things that can only be found out here in Northern California and one of them has to be the Mavericks Surf Contest. It’s one of the world’s most respected big wave competitions and is held every year that weather permits about 20 miles south of San Fransisco in Half Moon Bay. More specifically, the contest is held in an area that’s known as Mavericks that’s practically built to create massive size waves due to it’s unique ocean floor. Jeff Clark, a local born and raised in Half Moon Bay, was the first surfer to ever take on the once thought to-be-too-dangerous-to-surf waves that can sometimes top out at over 50 feet high.

Jeff Clark, having grown up near Half Moon Bay, learned about Maverick’s at an early age. At that time the location was deemed too dangerous to surf. He spent time watching the break, and conceived the possibility of riding Hawaii-sized waves in Northern California. One day in 1975, with the waves topping out at 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m), Clark paddled out alone to face Maverick’s. He was successful, catching a number of left-breaking waves, thereby becoming the first person to tackle Maverick’s head-on.

Well, today was the day that Mavericks came back to Half Moon Bay (due to lack of optimal weather conditions it was canceled last year) and Stephanie, our roomie Nic, Frank and myself (along with some other friends) all went to see what it was really all about. Although we weren’t able to get super-close views of the actual surfing the day was unbelievably beautiful and just being there to experience it was more than enough to guarantee that we’ll all be back there again the next time it comes around.

Here are a few pics and a video that I snapped at the event. They should give you a good idea of the popularity of Mavericks and just how beautiful Half Moon Bay is during this time of year.

A video and a pic of people who got caught in the aftermath of the 30+ foot waves that were swelling up at Mavericks this morning. Some of the people were actually swept out into the water and had to be rescued by medical staff. Some suffered broken bones and minor cuts, but most only had to suffer through being soaked for the rest of the day. We were literally just about to head into this area when the waves hit.

Can’t say that the people weren’t warned. These signs were posted everywhere on the beach.

What was left on the beach after the waves hit and cleared out a stage and several tents.

A view from a top the cliffs at the Mavericks in Half Moon Bay.

This was view from the opposite side of the beach where we were when the waves got the people wet. There were a ton of people watching the competition from over here. It was amazing to see how many people came out for the event considering that it was only announced a couple days before it happened. Also, most people weren’t at all scared of climbing all over the cliffs as long as it gave them a better view. I guess that they’re all used to hiking and aren’t too worried about falling hundreds of feet to their death, but for some reason it still worries me and Stephanie. Maybe we need to suck it up.

The sun was out in full force, which made for a beautiful day in Half Moon Bay. That weird looking tower with a ball on it in the upper right corner of this pic is part of the Pillar Point Air Force Base (which no one except press was allowed to enter today).

Frank loved hanging out at the beach, but we probably walked over 5 miles altogether, which is like running a marathon for a Pug. Here you can see him getting some much needed rest while we were checking out the surfers. He had no trouble getting up and down the cliffs and got to meet several other dogs that were also hanging out at Mavericks (including a few Pugs). People really love their dogs in the bay area, which makes is completely normal to bring them with you to outdoor events like this.

Here’s another view from the other side of the cliffs. The surfers were grabbing their waves right around the area to the right of cliff in this pic. Unless you had some binoculars or a serious camera lens (which several people had), you pretty much had to rely on people’s reactions to know whether or not someone had actually caught a wave.

This is a shot of the rest of the coastline, which I thought almost looked too beautiful to be real. If you look in the bottom right corner of this pic I snuck in a guy who was chilling on the side of the cliff. He was pretty high up there, but didn’t seem to be too worried about it. Like I said, it’s something that they’re used to.

After walking a couple of miles back to the car (part of which I carried Frank after he started panting like he was going to die) it didn’t take Frank too long to crash. He was so tired that he fell asleep on Stephanie’s 7-up bottle which was in our cup holder. I thought that this was way too funny (and cute) to pass up taking a picture of it. Frank’s just like us — he’ll go and go until he practically passes out, which he obviously did today.

End of an era? The cancellation of Hupdaddy.com (tear)

I just got this email notification today form Godaddy that let me know that my domain HUPDADDY.COM has officially expired. This domain was one of the first URLs that I ever bought and was where I did a lot of my first web development. Also, the first email address that I ever hosted myself was hup@hupdaddy.com and it was hosted on a server that was tied to this domain, too.

Not a huge deal and I’m not going to renew, but it’s always fun to reflect back on the past for a few moments before moving on. It’s been real HUPDADDY.COM and I hope that you find yourself a nice, new home.

Figuring out that ‘finding myself’ isn’t the point

Unfortunately I never ended up writing up last week’s post, but with the message that we heard this morning at church this week should more than make up for it. This week’s message was all about how Jesus died to make us righteous, which is actually a subject that Stephanie and I just talked about last night while having dinner at one of our favorite places in San Francisco, Miss Saigon (tasty Vietnamese deliciousness).

The conversation that we had and that I actually started was all about how in just the past couple of years I have had a strong sense of finding who I really am as I have made what I would consider to be several major life changes. Just to give you an example of these life changes, here are just a few things that I have personally experienced in just the past 24 months:

  1. Met Stephanie and she became my first official girlfriend since my junior year of high school
  2. Moved to California with Stephanie, which was also the first time that I have ever lived with a significant other (yeah, that’s quite a change)
  3. Changed jobs once I moved out to California
  4. Was saved and became a true follower of Jesus Christ in December of 2008 (a whole other story altogether)
  5. Became engaged to Stephanie on Christmas of 2008 (awesome)
  6. Moved from Palo Alto to San Francisco in April of 2009
  7. Had my first major surgery in May of 2008
  8. Got my first dog in June of 2009 (Frank is the best dog, ever)
  9. Got married in August of 2009 (should we now change it to HupandHup.com?)

So, as you can see, there have been some major things going in both mine and Stephanie’s lives and I think once all of the these things happened I started to wonder what God had in store for me and what I should be doing with my life. This is naturally something that many of us think about (especially once we turn 30 years old), but today’s message reminded me that I need to not worry so much about what I’m supposed to be doing or who I’m supposed to be, but instead trust that God will continue to point me in the right direction and enjoy the ride.

I say all of this because today’s message focused around how Jesus died to make us righteous and only through this gift can I truly become what God has intended me to be. I know that this sounds a little heavy and hard to understand, but that’s where having faith comes in. The idea of receiving the gift that God gave us with the death of His son isn’t something that just clicks and makes sense in an instant. It’s something that is a life long journey of learning and actively living out what God has built us to do — serve, love and spread the word about how Jesus gave up his life so that our sins could be forgiven.

I hope that all makes sense, but for some of you it’s probably sounds like I’m speaking another language. For those of you I encourage you to reach out to Stephanie and I through the comments below or our email/Facebook links to the right. We’d both love to chat with you all about it.

Church thoughts to chew on for February 7th, 2010: Jesus Died to Make us Righteous

thoughtstochewonHey guys!  It’s Steph writing our church thoughts for this week.  Ryan has some two cents to add in reflection to the sermon this morning, which you can read over here in his post. This week was all about righteousness.  Righteousness is another big church word that could use a good definition to truly understand what it means, so here you go:  Righteousness- to be accepted because you live according to God’s standards; comes from a root word that means “straightness”.

Wow, how can you be ‘righteous’ in the eyes of God?  What kind of good works can I do that will be worthy of His approval?  This concept of righteousness needs to be pulled apart and examined closely because in today’s culture, we so often believe that in order to gain something, we must buy it.  Can we buy God’s favor through our good moral standpoint and religion?

A deep conversation revolving around our future typically goes a little something like this…

person 1:  “Hey, so do you think you’re going to heaven?”

person2: ” I think so, I’m a good person.  I do a lot of really  nice things like drive hybrid cars, send friends nice cards , and give money to charities at Christmas.”

So, how good is good enough?  What can I possibly do to be good enough for God?  Can I give enough money? Enough time? Enough warm and fuzzies? The answer simply put is no.  The reason that we can do nothing to earn God’s favor is because we are all born with a sinful nature. We can not be acceptable to a just and holy God when we are identified by sin.  According to Genesis 3, the fall of man happened when Adam and Eve went against God’s commands and sin was brought into the world. Why is it though, that we must suffer the consequences of something that Adam and Eve did?  I didn’t eat the apple, why should I have to be born with sin?  Here’s a shot at an explanation: Do we not suffer the consequences of choices made before us in our very own day to day life?  We’re in an economic downturn, did something YOU do directly effect this?  No, but the choices made of those before us in government did.  What if your company goes bankrupt and you lose your job.  Did something that YOU did directly effect that situation? No, but the decisions and actions of the collective employees and superiors did.  We are faced with the ramifications of situations that we did not have a direct part in on a daily basis.   And so it is with sin, we are born into this world with sin, and there is nothing great and wonderful enough that we could possibly do to make up for it in God’s eyes.

There are two specific ways that people mistakenly  try to be good enough for God.

1. MORALITY

“For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself.  Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.” - Romans 10:3

Myth: if you live good, you’re righteous.  This is the classic example of how we feel we need to do enough good things to earn God’s favor.  It doesn’t just happen to non-Christians, either.  Christians can be guilty as well of trying to ‘add’ to the cross by tacking on our good works and morals.  You can’t add anything to the cross.  It’s because of the cross and only the cross that we have righteousness.

2. RELIGION

In Mark chapter 5, Jesus talks about the Pharisees incessant religious checklist of tasks and laws that they were to abide by in order to be ‘religious’.  Jesus used them as an example that even their obsessiveness over laws could never allow them access to Heaven.  Your works without the cross are meaningless.

In Philippians, Paul writes -

“Yes everything is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” -Phil 3:8

All of our works, good deeds, self-esteem, and religiousness is simply nothing in comparison to the undeserving gift God gave us through the death of His Son on the cross.  We need to stop searching for our own identity and self-worth, and instead trade it in for an identity in God.

When we seek God’s provision for our righteousness through admitting our sin and unworthiness He both transfers and transmits righteousness upon us.  It soon becomes apparent that we don’t need religioun, we need Jesus!

Here are some verses to look up describing how Christ died for our sins to bring us to God - 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21

Once we have been made righteous through salvation we have a power source to be moral and begin good works through faith in Christ knowing that our good works are not the earning of forgiveness, but a fruit of our faith.

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If you’ve read through this and you’re questioning how exactly you accept God’s free gift of grace and forgiveness and are ready to make that commitment, then please read on!  There is no “magic prayer” or exact wording that you need to pray.  It’s as simple as admitting to God that you are a sinner, and there is nothing that you will ever be able to do to merit forgiveness.  Believe that Christ, God’s son, came to earth to die on the cross and take our sin upon Himself.  Believe that He rose again on the 3rd day, and is alive today.  Dedicate your life to God and invite His spirit into your life.

If you have dedicated your life to Christ after reading this, then please don’t stay silent.  Contact us or someone that you feel comfortable with and tell them!  It’s a long road ahead but it’s a wonderful one, filled with hope, love, and new beginnings.

Also, each of these weekly messages can be streamed/downloaded on iTunes for free. Click here to open up the podcast in iTunes now!