Monday, December 29, 2008
I've rearranged the sidebar on my blog.
I found that I actually use my blog as a starting point for frequent connections on the internet. I don't always get to use my own computer to connect to the internet. This just works better for me.
So I've pushed my archive down to the bottom because I rarely use that. (Though I am surprised at how much I do use it.)
I actually updated my reading list. And moved it to some more obvious locations.
I updated my listening with a few links that will let you listen to streaming songs. You can listen to Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward in the complete She & Him Vol. 1 album for a limited time on Merge Records. Check out www.sheandhim.com for a very fun website. I love the mouse-over on the main illustration.
And, I've brought my friends up toward the top, mostly so that I don't have to scroll down when I'm looking for the latest thing that has been written.
I added the little Folllower Icons, faces of people who subscribed to my blog.
I added the ability for you to comment on the blog without having to open a separate window.
And, I added some reaction buttons for you to check on each posting if you want to let me know what you think of what I'm writing. I don't know how long I'll keep that.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I couldn't sleep last night after I had climbed up on my bunk bed so close to the highest shelves on my wall. It's nice to find old friends that still keep me company when I can't sleep. Just reading the titles and feeling the shapes brought back floods of memories. I don't know if I could have handled the memory of smells had I ventured to open more of them.
Squeezed between Quotes of CS Lewis by Jerry Root, Homer's Odyssey, Jane Eyre, and Aurthur Miller's Essays I found a book that fit my mood. It was one of the younger books that I own. It's just a book of poetry by a singer/song writer. I reread almost the whole book. Skipping just a few poems.
Here are some of my favourite:
I have just
caught a glimpse
of what my life
is to become
for a second I could see
around the curve
and wondered where you were
your bright face
beside the road
no longer lending
themselves to familiarity
I saw Love
in the rear view mirror
with its red skirt
about its knees
to catch up
and before the curve
swallowed itself again
There is all this love
but nowhere for it to grow
each second continually
devours the next
and we're moving too fast
for it to fasten
to the wind
I Guess What I Wanted Was
I guess what I
you'd stay with me always.
I guess what I
those hands vowing
never to leave my own.
I guess what
I wanted was
I am not loving in vain.
You Are Not
you are not
the brave soldier
you are not
the dark horse
with all the weight
have won you
you are not
driven by the need
to free all people
from meanness and
I know you
you are asleep in your church
on Sunday afternoon
looking for god
in answers you seek
of being the answers
you are praying for peace
but unwilling to be it
praying for mercy
but unwilling to give it
praying for Love
but too busy
making sure you got your own:
a good job
a good girl
all the trimmings you are
all the bells and whistles
that are meaningful
but only to those who possess
a heart most common
Monday, December 22, 2008
Got to love the Parent's house. A warm fire, a ceramic Christmas tree, a 60" LCD monitor, and Final Cut Pro. What else could you ask for when you have to work from home?
Hmm, yes, some hot tea with cream and sugar. Rebecca brought that down just minutes later.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
A cruise ship carrying 122 people has run aground on the Antarctic coast, the Argentine navy has reported.
Is there something wrong with me that I long for this kind of adventure?
Yesterday was my "Sabbath" day. It's a day when the organization that I work for pays me to take a day to spend time alone seeking God. They provide each of us with one night and the whole next day in a room in one of our fancy lodges. I didn't want that. Instead, I chose to spend mine outside in the forest. I drove my truck up above the Huckleberry rock crawl, parked it and hiked up and up about five miles until I reached the top of the peak on Park Ridge, past Panoramic Point. It was a 200º view towards the east at around 8000 feet. I spent the night in just a sleeping bag on a tarp under the stars. It was beautiful, and the sunrise the next morning was the most spectacular I have ever seen. The temperature dropped probably close to zero, and I was wakened by a mountain lion sniffing around me in the middle of the night. I don't think I've ever been so scared. I read Psalm 19 and 104 out loud when I woke the next morning. I spent the day reflecting on my fear, and what it really means to trust God with my life. "If I believe that God is in control, then why is my heart beating so loudly right now?" I read through the Gospel accounts of Jesus' times alone with His father. What does it mean to depend on the Father for everything? To know His word, to obey His word, to love Him, to love my neighbor.
I loved the whole experience. I would do it again if I could.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
While I was in Papua New Guinea, we had a boxed milk. It's Ultra-Pasteurized, no additive milk. All we had for breakfast one morning was cereal, so I tried it. It didn't bother me at all. I was really surprised and just figured that there must be something strange in American milk. When I got back to the United States, I read my Lactaid milk carton and found that it is also Ultra-pasteurized and free from additives. So, I decided to find some boxed milk and try it.
I found some organic milk and have drunk almost a half gallon already today. NO PROBLEMS at all!!
I'm excited. And, a little bitter at the American dairy industry for putting weird things in our milk that make it harder for people my age to digest.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Conservationists are planning to bring the sea eagle, the UK's largest bird of prey, back to the skies above England.
The bird, known as "flying barn doors" because of its size, could be reintroduced into Norfolk next summer if the scheme gets the go-ahead.
It was driven out of England more than 200 years ago and had disappeared from the UK by 1918.
The plans come after the sea eagle, also known as the white-tailed eagle, was brought back to west Scotland in a project that began in 1975.
"They are also the missing piece in the jigsaw, the top predator which should be in a wetland ecosystem."
"A re-introduction must be done properly and with due regard to the people and wildlife nearby but, if it can be done, then the sight of eagles soaring over Norfolk would give a huge lift to people's spirits and to the local economy."
The reintroduction of the birds in Scotland has produced problems, including poisoning incidents and claims that the birds have been taking lambs.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
American dominance is likely to weaken by 2025 as India and China grow stronger, a new US intelligence report says.
'US dominance over' - Says Russia's Medvedev
New players challenge order
Death of the dollar?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
But, I think that's the worst of it. I'm tired enough, and been getting pretty close to the proper time zone adjustment that I think I'll be able to drop right back into the schedule where I need to be.
We left Tokyo at 4pm today and arrived in LA at 8am today.
Today is Tuesday. I feel mostly like I went to sleep on Monday night and had a crazy dream that I flew to another country in another world, made new friends, shared food in a grass hut, saw peoples world changing, saw women who believed they were less valuable than a pig on the side of the road, flew in a tiny airplane, ran camp for the most awesome high school students, saw a life that I believed I would be living since my sophomore year in high school, wondered with wonder why I am not there still, walked the streets of the richest city in the world, from the Starbucks on "Saks 5th" Armani suits and Loui Vitton purses to five blocks later in little India, joking around with strangers from Pakistan, trying to find a pair of shoes at a busy "mall" at 2am...Years went by... I was dreaming, wasn't I... I went to sleep on Monday, had a crazy dream and woke up on Tuesday. Now I'm back, nothing's changed, nobody else sees anything different. It must have been a dream, and that quick I'm back in place.
Hmm, a larger piece of my world has been blown to pieces. A larger hole than I have seen before has opened up, letting in more light... I'll probably have to spend the next few months rearranging furniture.
Thanks for praying.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I led everybody with me to find the only 24 hour mall, asking strangers all along the way. I bought a new pair of shoes.
We're at the gate about to fly to Tokyo, then home to Fresno via LAX. It's been such a good trip!
More to come later...
Monday, November 10, 2008
We are all staying in a dorm style house and have been eating meals, split up in groups at three different homes with different families each meal. It's really fun getting to know them and hang out with kids in their own context. We start camp on Thursday at a different location.
I found a new favourite animal. I wish I could take it home with me. It's a marsupial, related to the possum, but incredibly cute! It's called a Cuss Cuss in Australia and a Capul in tribes around here. It's so mellow and friendly. It's soft and cuddly, but has a tail like a possum's that it can hang by. It's feet have opposable thumbs. And, it's eyes are huge.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan
Just a few hours of layover here and then we'll be off on another long flight to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.... and then another flight to our final destination.
So far this is how I've been spending my time:
A cup and a half of Tea
(or half of Three Cups of Tea, it's a book. I've had four actual cups of tea in the last 24 hours)
Cribbage with Jen and Dave
The first half of Get Smart
Sleeping through the last half of Get Smart
(I slept through the last half, which I already saw without the first half two days ago.)
Walking to the bathroom (as often as possible, even when I didn't need to go)
Ate Chicken Curry and Rice at a restaurant in the airport. (oh how I've missed you!)
Walking back and forth in multiple international terminals.
(at LAX I walked from Terminal 7 to 6, then under the runway to Terminal 5, out the door and around the corner to Tom Bradley International, and then back to 7 all just for fun. Here at Tokyo I just walked back and forth from one end to the other several times with Ryan White.)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It's the first night of the trip. We fly out of Fresno Airport tomorrow morning early. So, we're camped out here at the Piccadilly Express for the night.
Fact: my carry-on weighs more than my checked luggage.
I've got to keep all the video essentials with me in case nothing else makes it.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I love their use of media! Both, video and photographic, but beyond that, they made installation art, and wove it into the fabric of what their project was all about. It gets people to think, and then each piece of media is somehow connected to the public discussion.
Check out the continuing discussion: Is Google Making Us Stupid?
All times listed are for that specific location. ]
Friday, November 7
• 6:55AM – Fresno to LAX – United 5538
• 8:10AM – Arrive Los Angeles (Terminal 8)
• 11:06AM – LAX to Tokyo – United 891 (Terminal 7)
Saturday, November 8
• 3:55PM – Arrive Tokyo
• 9:05PM – Tokyo to Port Moresby – Air Niugini (PX) 55
Sunday, November 9
• 4:30AM – Arrive Port Moresby
• 9:15AM – Port Moresby to Goroka – Air Niugini (PX) 960
• 10:25AM – Arrive Goroka
Monday, November 10 – Wednesday, November 12
• Lapilo (New Tribes Base) – Possible Bush Trip on Tuesday
Thursday, November 13
• Morning – Head to Interface Camp
• Afternoon – SEW (Spiritual Emphasis Weekend) Begins
Friday, November 14 – Saturday, November 15
• SEW – Interface Camp
Sunday, November 16
• SEW – Interface Camp
• Afternoon – Return to Lapilo
Monday, November 17
• 10:45AM – Goroka to Port Moresby – Air Niugini (PX) 961
• 11:55AM – Arrive in Port Moresby
• 3:00PM – Port Moresby to Singapore – Air Niugini (PX) 392
• 7:20PM – Arrive in Singapore – Terminal 1
• Night at Crowne Plaza – Terminal 3
Tuesday, November 18
• 7:20AM – Singapore to Tokyo – United 804 (Terminal 3)
• 8:35AM – (PK & Derek only) – Singapore to Taipei – Singapore Air 876 (Probably Terminal 3)
• 2:50PM – Arrive in Tokyo
• 4:10PM – Tokyo to LAX – United 890
• 8:41AM – Arrive in Los Angeles
• 11:22AM – LAX to Fresno – United 5584
• 12:34PM – Arrive in Fresno
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I went riding with a bunch of friends yesterday. There were six of us on Motorcycles (one KTM 535mxc, four Honda XR400's, and two XR250's) and two on Quads (a Honda 250 and a 300).
I ride a '91 Honda XR250xl, with all black gear and a white helmet.
We went up to Buck Rock, then on the Buck Rock Jeep Trail, and to a place called The Sand Pit. It wasn't really a pit, and it wasn't very sandy (more like loose granite), but it had some fun places to jump. I felt like a kid again, out with all my buddies in the dessert or on a BMX track. We had at least one Ferreira so it still counts. Allan took the pictures.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A crew of us hiked Half Dome this last weekend.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
He says my daughter, and all the love he has is wrapped up in the tone of his voice when he says those two words, he says my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?He looks at her and he knows she doesn't understand, he doesn't think she'll even remember it to understand when she is older. But he tells her these things all the same, it is good to say them outloud, they are things people do not think and he wants to place them into the air.
~Jon McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
Upstairs at number twenty, in the kitchen, the old man is looking for his hat, he's talking over his shoulder to his wife, he's saying I'm sure I left it on the side have you seen it, he can't hear her reply so he raises his voice, calling through to wherever she is, in the bedroom, the bathroom.She says I've got it right here, and he turns and she's holding his hat out to him.She says there's no need to shout, and they catch each other's eyes, the day she first said those words to him flashing clear again in both of their minds.The day he'd come back to her, a husband to his wife, the rain had fallen from the sky like it was God's own washday. His kitbag was sodden and heavy, his uniform chafing wetly against his skin. The water streamed off his hair, sending thick dribbles of grease down the back of his neck, and his cigarette hung smokelessly from his lips. All the way home he'd been thinking about comfort and warmth, a pot of tea by the fire, a hot bath, a night's sleep in sheets and blankets, but when he'd turned the last corner into this street he could only stand and look.He'd looked at the houses, their front-room curtains all drawn and their doors all closed. He'd looked at the gardens, their small hedges all neatly trimmed, their rows of vegetables and herbs all protected from the birds by pegged lines of string. He'd seen a furl of faded bunting tangled in the top branches of the tree opposite his house, a car parked outside number seven, the railings all cut down to stumps. But there'd been no people in the street. There'd not been a crowd of cheering children waiting to meet him, waving the Union Jack and jostling round him while he handed out sweets and stockings and gum. That was not the way it was. People had not been leaning out of windows to welcome him home. There was not even a brass band marching down the middle of the street with a fat man playing a rousing tuba.There was quiet, closed doors, a gray sky, pouring rain.He'd stood there, on that day, and he'd called his new wife's name. Dropped his kitbag to the floor, filled his lungs with the cold damp air, and called out her name. He'd wanted to meet her in the street, not knock on the door like a delivery boy, he'd wanted to see her running excitedly towards him. There were faces appearing at windows, but he couldn't see her face and so he flung her name into the rain. Doors had opened, and people had hovered in their hallways, looking at him, but the door of number twenty had stayed closed and so he cupped his hands around his mouth and called and called her name, not caring what people thought, relishing the syllables of it, sending them echoing down the street.And it had only been when he'd stopped for a long breath that she'd put her shopping bag down and said there's no need to shout I'm right behind you and he'd turned, and they'd held each other, and it was the closest fiercest embrace they have ever had, knocking the breath out of both of them and leaving them unsteady on their feet.They still say it to each other now, sometimes making each other laugh, there's no need to shout I'm right behind you they'll say, sneaking around the other's back, slipping a pair of arms around a waist, I'm right behind you they'll say.
Friday, September 26, 2008
"I don't care how strong you are, it's a breakdown of the human psyche when you start to lose everything you have."
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
This is from Sunday night.
Download it here.(42:09, 14.6MB) (Right-click, save target as)
or just listen here:
If you want to get the whole weekend, you can buy an MP3 disc here.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Once they were on stage the light they were holding, the only light in the room, went out one candle at a time till it was dark again, bringing the song to an untimely end.
Then, David would come out and deliver this poem written by Kevin LanFlissi.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
These guys are one of my favourite groups of filmmakers.
They have a brilliant eye for new and unconventional perspectives; the camera work and cinematography are amazing. You don't even need to have an interest in extreme mountain biking to appreciate the beauty of their work. They started as a group of guys from the Pacific Northwest who were kind of outdoorsy and really into innovative ways of making movies. Their other close friends were kind of outdoorsy and really into BMX and mountain biking.
These guys would build trails in the trees, but not on the ground, up in the air forty feet with little planks that they would ride and jump from tree to tree. The film guys decided to come up with a way to shoot it and strung up ziplines to follow the path of the bikes while holding the camera to get the shots.
That was just the start of their adventures.
Their second film, ROAM, follows several riders as they travel around the world attempting "lines" that have never been tried before. I saw ROAM at the Ken Theater down in Kensington, San Diego several years ago. The guys were all there and I got to hang out afterwards a bit and talk to them about what they had made. They've since moved on to another film, Seasons. I just ordered it and am very excited to see it. I think it looks to be even more amazing. I expect nothing less.
Click on any of the titles if you want to check out video teasers and other photos.
Check out my 'currently-reading' shelf:
I found this photo today. It was still on my camera from when I was in Mexico.
The day I took it had been a really long day, with a long night and morning of editing. We had already moved out and packed up most of the comforts of home from our "Program Office" (the hall way in the guys dorm building) I still had more editing and another long night in front of me. Basically, I had a long day ahead of me and there was no coffee to put in the coffee pot. But, no worries, I had my well stocked backpack that I take with me everywhere, ready for any emergency. (Okay, maybe not any emergency, but mostly any emergency that I might find myself needing to be prepared for. You can only macgyver so much and this helps me beyond that level of cleverness*.)
I opened up the front pocket and started digging, knowing exactly what I was looking for. You can see it in the lower right corner of the picture. Oh, what you can't read Hebrew? It's a single serving travel packet of instant coffee. But, not just any instant coffee. It's instant Turkish coffee from Israel. It's just about the nastiest stuff I've tasted, but, wow, does it pack a punch. It has better flavor than a packet of Nestle Instant from an "Instant Coffee Shop" in South Africa, but that's not really saying much. It's like making a shot of espresso and then just dumping the grinds back into the cup. In Israel, I usually drank it with two packs of sugar. Now, I was desperate. I was going to drink it straight.
I had dumped out the contents of my back pack on the tiled floor, when somebody came in and asked what I was doing. "Getting an emergency ration of caffeine," I replied. They informed me that I didn't need to take such drastic measures, "We took the coffee down the road to the dinning hall; there's some percolating in the kitchen." The emergency backup was saved for another day.
Before I packed everything back up I snapped a picture, struck by how odd my make-shift first-aid kit was. I've kept this stuff in my backpack, more or less, for over two years now. It's served me well. I've used everything in it at some time or another in many different situations. I'm sure any other adventure/traveler would recommend a different stash, but this is mine. It's changed a bit as supplies get used or new ones get added, but most of it has stayed the same, and there have been some upgrades. (I used to carry regular cheap plastic utensils, but then I got these Lexan short utensils from Singapore Airlines last October.) There hasn't been a whole lot of thought put into it; I just kept what I found to be useful and needed, most of it is probably here by accident.
Here's the list, roughly from left to right:
- Magnesium and Flint fire starter
- Attaching chain
- Lexan Utensils
- Burt's Bees, Medicated Lip Balm with Clove Oil
- Chemical Water purifier (MicroPur1, containing Sodium Chloride)
- Crest Toothpaste (The tooth brush is in the Pen pocket of the backpack.)
- USB Flash drive 512MB (badly needs to be upgraded, but it will do in a pinch.)
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Medicine Bottle with Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, and Chlortrimaton (anti-histamine)
- Phenylephrine (fake Pseudoephedrine, used as a decongestant instead of Sudafed, easier to buy because you can't make Crystal Meth out of it, or so I've heard.)
- Lactaid Pills (I am Lactose intolerant, and it seems like I meet someone new everyday who just found out that they are too.)
- United States Passport (The only time this isn't in my backpack is when it's in my front pocket because I am in another country, or it's at the Papua New Guinea Consulate in Washington, D.C. getting a temporary Visa for my next travel assignment.)
- Record of Immunizations (I just about have all of them now, though I hear that there's a new one for Mono.)
- A sewing kit with scissors. (This always seems to get through those TSA screening scans somehow.) But, just in case...
- A sewing kit without scissors.
- Blister treatment. (These are water proof, sticky as all get out, and can double as band-aids in pinch.)
- Wet-Wipes Singles (Antibacterial)
- Tide, single, just right for doing laundry in a sink.
- Instant Turkish Coffee.
*As a side note, I've recently concluded that excellence in the game of Cribbage is merely based on luck and a certain level of cleverness.