Nice Day for a White Wedding

I'm off to help two people in love get married. This is one of those absolutely fun parts of my work!


Here is where the Bride is at:



"I'm excited. The day is almost here. And it's forecasted to be sunny, which is a good thing because the reception's happening outside. I'm feeling so very happy. I was talking to a co-worker yesterday and telling her I am totally a 'fairy tale' kind of person. I love to hear real-life stories that are like fairy tales. And I feel like my story is like a fairy tale, too. I love happy endings! Even though this is the beginning of something new, it is a happy ending to the journey I've been on for the past 3 1/2 years. Thank you to all the friends who have supported me along the way. I'm looking forward to celebrating with you on Monday!"


And now, the Groom:



"I am now officially freaked out.  I'm scared, nervous, anxious, excited, pumped, tired, stressed, touched, encouraged, inspired and comforted.  How can so many different feelings come at one event?"


 


Oh yeah. this is going to be good!


 


Keep your eyes tuned to this station for updates!

Yes, yes of course

The power windows stopped working on the van today.


Then they worked, half,


Now the passenger window is half down.


Or half up, depending on your perspective.


To me it's half down.


And tomorrow we need to travel, in good clothes, some distance.

I just realized, this summer it's different.

My need for a break seems more pronounced this year than it has in previous years. I think I'm realizing why.

Usually, the week before holidays, I spend some time at a friend's cabin in a prayer retreat. I review the year and my work and effectiveness as a pastor. I pray through things and my spirit quiets down. The healing begins even before my "Official Holiday" starts. This year for various reasons, that has not happened. I guess I really value that. 

Usually our family spends a day at the lake with another family. We celebrate my birthday and the birthday of the other families' mom. We have fun and relax and unwind. This year we will not be doing it. The other family finds itself in a life and death struggle with cancer. -"Death, thou shalt die."

Usually I'm the one straggling into holidays, needing a break. Lauralea makes the plans and reminds me of the importance of getting away from here. Even just to help renew the spirit, getting a new view is invigorating, life-giving.  This year even she is saying she doesn't have the energy to move.

Usually there are four kids at the table clamoring about going here or there. This year I've heard only one voice asking about "Vacation." I've got enough failed fathering techniques to choke a horse. One of the biggest to me, is how I've needed used holidays to recuperate, get healed up after a long year, rather than spend it making memories with the kids. 

Usually I feel physically ok, but emotionally tired. This summer I don't even feel well physically. Recently, headaches and neck and back pain have been new additions to my life. I have discovered the sweet relief a well-placed muscle relaxant can bring. Those and Tylenol have become my companions. I think the problems are related to the emotional stuff going on inside and should ease up as I rest and take a break.

 And what is this "Emotional Stuff" inside of me? Why should I even need time to "Heal" or "Get Better."

This work can be very demanding. One of the reasons I've been asked to sit on a few boards and hey, one of the reasons I'm an ok pastor is because of a high level of sensitivity I was created with. I try not to develop a thick skin which makes me insensitive to the nuances of the needs I see. I bring pastoral, shepherding gifts to all I do, even this webpage. And, I suppose the things' I experience are not easily left to the wind.

The things that still sit with me from the past year?

Telling the 9-year-old boy that his mom, who he was in the accident with, is dead. His dad died two years ago and he's an only child.

Receiving the news that a friend's daughter is dead.

Sitting with a 16-year-old girl who found her dad dead from a suicide. She found her mom the same way three years ago.

Listening to a sobbing broken heart as they tell me they are very sure their spouse is having an affair.

The girl who tried so hard to take her own life after her mom died.

The friend who called me to say cancer has been found.

Listening to the young person actually wail as they realize their father has rejected them, and nobody wants them.


The amount of pain that is encountered on a regular basis in the average life is astounding.
I get to be there for those moments.

And I don't begrudge it. I hold it as a high honour.

Just been too many this year, I guess.

The routines of church life don't always allow time to recuperate. People to check on. Promises to pray. Structures to challenge and change. Practices, studies, stories.

Yeah. In many respects this summer is different.

And I didn't realize how much, till just now.





Comments are turned off for this one. I don't want this to be a pity party.
Seems to have helped, just to write it down.

Holidays Delayed

Last night there was a death in the Gateway Covenant family.


We'll be around another week.

I'm a pastor Jim, not a webdesignerguy!

Tests have proven that the average reader of RandallFriesen.com is above average in terms of intelligence, creativity, and just good looks.


This surprises me no end, given who they are reading.


But this creative intelligence can be used for good.


For instance, tonight I've been messing around with design questions. I am enjoying taking pictures and learning a bit about it in the process. While it's ok to have little thumbnails on the site, they don't make any real statements the way they should.


I want to be able to include the odd big picture, on my site.


So, I've played around with a few ideas and would welcome your input. Simple, minimal, styles that would allow for some more creativity on the site.


Take a look at these and le'me know what you like and hate. 


http://www.randallfriesen.com/bob1.cfm


http://www.randallfriesen.com/bob2.cfm


http://www.randallfriesen.com/bob3.cfm


http://www.randallfriesen.com/bob4.cfm


And remember, I'm more interested in the styling, rather than the images or titles used.


What's easy to move around in. What's hard to read... kinds of things.


So, put your minds together and talk to me.


Leave a comment.

Still livin in Lucky Strike-ville

Today I saw a little old lady in a lovely pink outfit, sit down on a street bench. She seemed very frail but her hair was nicely done and she looked ready for church to begin as she sat down there.


And pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and took a long drag on it, smiling.


I adjusted my stereotypes accordingly.

IM, therefore I think

Last night as I was thinking about going to bed, I realized that I hadn't checked my email during the day. Sometimes a piece of gold might show up in that little box you know. Especially now that I have a child "Out There." Course sometimes, most times, the mail promises to help me enhancing something. My relationships, my wallet, or my "Special Purpose." But I digress.


As I logged into windows, my MSN Messenger started up and faster than you could say ... well, just about anything, three Messenger windows popped up, lookin for a chat.


Now, being a guy, I take a lot of abuse about not being able to multitask. I don't know where that comes from honestly. The sexist argument that says guys can only do one thing at a time.


I mean, isn't it important that I give my attention to my driving, so we can get you there in one piece, rather than be up to date on the minutia of life??


Isn't it important to be a good steward of our financial resources so that when I watch the football game on cable, I should be watching the game rather than be carrying on a conversation at the exact same time. That would be like a waste of money!


Multitasking? Hey, you're speaking to a guy who can watch two programs at the same time, while listening to a radio or CD! It's just that it's not always profitable.


Well, last night as the three windows popped up, the adrenalin started pumping and there before me was a test of immanent proportions. Three conversations, three different directions, three relationships that I value, all at the door at the same time.


Click, click, click and off we went.


One conversation was with a friend who's wife just had an ultrasound and they had the first pictures of their baby girl! How cool was that! And they were able to show me the pictures. And God was right in there knitting the little thing together. It was really inspiring.


Another conversation was with someone who was having a hard time with family expectations and pain. Having children is just not easy. The problems only get bigger as they do. And when your child becomes broken, it just hurts in places you never though you had places anymore.


We talked a while. I was looking for solutions. They were tired and simply communicating that weariness and pain. It was good to know what was happening, as I look for ways, helpful ways to be involved.


Another conversation went a few different places before I got them to evaluate some site changes I'm contemplating. It was helpful for me. And just having a friend as near as a mouse click, is a comforting thing.



Instant Messaging can be a pain when you're trying to keep out interruptions, but I'm using it more than email these days. It is a great way to be available and included in other people's lives.


In fact, I've probably had more good conversations with Johanna over IM, since she's been in Winnipeg, than I have had voice conversations with her. I knew she missed me when she took me off of her "can't see me list."


The other day I had a conversation with a friend and our conference Superintendent about some conference issues and concerns and some possible leads for our Annual Meeting next year.


I'm preparing to officiate at Leighton's and Carol's wedding next week and a lot of the communication has taken place over Instant Messaging. I even received his written Vows over IM, and am now waiting for hers. Hint hint...


My brother and I catch up with each other, and we send game mods and other files quickly to one another through IMing.  In fact, we get our webcams working and we have full audio and video conversations with each other, even though we live a couple hours apart. George Jetson's got nothing on us!


With MSN Messenger, you can instant message my cell phone, with really no great cost to me. I'll be sitting in a meeting in Calgary and get a message from Micah or one of the other kids. They've had an awful day and need to tell me about it. Then when I leave to drive home for seven hours after two long days of meetings, I message my changing location into Lauralea all evening, and she messages me, helping to keep me awake.


Another connection possibility with people. Another chance to share life. Another chance to grow and learn, and love.


Last night was rare, which was probably why I wrote about it. But it does illustrate some of the possibilities.


You should try it yourself. Install MSN Messenger, and sign me up as a contact, randall_friesen@hotmail.com


Lets "Talk."

Dear Hillary

You asked me the other day what I would like for my birthday. I was pleased that you happened to remember my special day, after so few hints!


I appreciate that you ask me this most years, and most years I reply with the standard, "Whatever you want to get me, it doesn't matter -just no socks."


But this year is different. You have been working regularly and saving up your income nicely. Knowing the size of your bank account, and the size of your heart, I thought I would respond in kind.


What would I like for my birthday... hmmm. Here are some options.


 


Your mother and I (This could cover her birthday present too!!) could really use two plane tickets to the UK. Now don't put yourself out by getting the First Class seats, the regular ones would do just as well.


 


How about a lovely Dell Inspiron 6000. This I could use for work and play. It's great for taking notes, planning worship, writing emails, organizing meetings, and searching the web for quality illustrations;I could use for my lectures to you. We could also use it to watch DVD's  while on vacation!


 


The Axim X30. This little puppy is great because it keeps me on date and on task and online, only cheaper than the Inspiron 6000.


 


 


 


 


And, if you decide to go with the Axim over the Inspiron 6000, you'll still have money left over to get an mp3 player. The Apple ipod, springs to mind, but the iRiver IFP799T would do nicely, if money becomes an issue.


 


 


 


 


The AIWA AWPZP5 is something I've looked at for a long time. A stereo that also plays the tunes on your hard drive, through USB.


 


 


 


 


You know I love music. The Classical Chillout CD 2 would be cool.


Course there's old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatras - Come Fly With Me! 


or, Moby - Mobysongs: The Best Of Moby 1993-1998 


Of course I always love some Licorice Cigars   or Pipes!


 


But you can always get me something from here.


 


 


Thanks for asking Hillary.


I look forward to my birthday with great anticipation!!


 


Love, dad.

it's just me

Well, it's Monday morning, a very rare sleep in opportunity, and yours truly was up at seven. yeah, I know, go figure. The whole rest of the house is sleeping, and I've been up and had breakfast and caught up on the news and washed my dishes. And I did all that while hobbling around on one foot.


I kinda fell down some stairs last night. The pain was, and is, exquisite. I actually had some moisture appear in my eye sockets last night, don't know what that was. Anyway, that kind of pain is gone. Now it only hurts when I put pressure on it, like walking.


I was going to see how it was today, before I decide if I want to do anything about it. It seems less painful than last night, so maybe it only needs more time to get better. We'll see.


People around here seem to think I'm more miserable than usual these days. I don't know what the blighters are on about. I thought I was just helping them learn life skills! And because I don't usually wear a grin, it seems the assumption is that I'm grumpy. All the time.


I suppose it's good that I don't get up and put on a happy face mask and walk through the day appearing to be Happy Happy Happy. I thought it had integrity that I could honestly be myself round here. And honestly? I'm not dishappy, really.


I am a bit distracted, personal and work stuff. Some concerns and prayers I carry around all day. It's a kind of a list that I carry around. I don't think it's worry stuff. I'm not really worried about church stuff or people. But it's like carrying around a list of things I need to give my attention to.


We need to do this, or we need to get that done. I want to phone and check up on this or that person. I gotta get those emails out. You know, just list stuff.


Maybe I'll take some time today to write down the stuff that seems to clutter my brain these days. That usually helps.


And holidays start in a week. I'm so totally ready for them and I'm not sure I'm ready for them, yet.


And what is "Happy" anyway? And how do you measure it?


 


My foot's throbbing. At least I now have an excuse for the "Frown" on my face.


That makes me happy.   :-)

"We must use this power for good"

I remember when my grandpa first got a television, in the early 90's. Being a good churchgoing Mennonite, he was convinced that the moving pictures on the screen happened as a result of witchcraft.


Zoom ahead 10 years and we sit here with the Internet. Similarly, for some people the only way to describe it would be to say it's a result of witchcraft. 


It's all technology, and technology can be used for good or ill.


Yes, the Internet can be dangerous, and yes you could be hurt while being involved with it. (I suppose the same could be said for stoves, cell phones, and Clap On Clap Off light switches!)


And again, it's what you do with it.


Yesterday as Lauralea and I sat with a bunch of other people having lunch, I thought what a great thing the Internet has been in my life, if only to enhance my friendships.



We had lunch with a few people, most of whom I met as a result of the net. We had beef and veggie burgers, and deserts, and a bit of a gale force 5 hurricane. But we had a great time of connection, catching up on each others stories.


It was good.


And I thought what I might have missed, if it were not for this here internet thingie.


 

the power windows happy dance of joy!!

oh yeah!


The reader will recall that this spring, my air conditioning went down on the van. This would require much much cash to resolve, so I've resorted to opening the windows.


Last week, for whatever reason, the power windows stopped working. No fresh air. No joy. No happiness.


Thomas and I have been working hard ever since to make it better. We studied and pulled apart the doors and switches and battery and fuses and and and, we couldn't find the problem.


That's a major problem.


Till today, on my way home. I sent up another prayer and as I pulled into the driveway, I tried them again.


First, slowly, the passenger window went down, then up. Then I tried the drivers window, and with a little inspiration, it too began to work.


Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.


No idea on the problem, or the solution. But now we can get air into the thing.


C'mon do a happy dance. You know you want to!!!

The family that blogs together...

Master of the understatement, Micah, is now blogging too.


I've been away a lot lately with work, so tonight we hung out together and finally put the finishing touches on his blog. I promised him I'd link to it, but do you think I got any credit for it?


Eleven years old, but he doesn't know it.


micah.friesenworld.com



Believing the Lie

All our lives people tell us things. Some things are the truth, and some things are lies.

You're stupid, you're an idiot! How dumb can you be, you failure.

We hear those things from people. Sometimes these people are close to us, our parents and siblings, and friends.

We grow up a bit and society says to us you're fat, you're poor, or you're ugly. You dress lousy, you have no taste, you're a loser.

We age some more and the boss tells us we're no good at what we do. Our parents remind us we are not amounting to anything, and we can't get a date to save our soul. Literally.

When is it exactly that we start to believe the lies we hear. When is it that we give credence to the voices that have found their way inside our heads. When do we give them power over us?

When we were five and that man touched me "There?"

When our dad said "Why aren't you more like your older brother?"

When no one would take us to the "Prom?"

When we couldn't loose that extra weight?

When?

It's easy to understand that when you start to believe the lies you hear about yourself, you withdraw from the world around you. After all, it hurts out there. And at the exact time they need people to speak the truth into their lives, they remove themselves from public access. There can be no loveable thing within them.

Their heart is already safely cut off from others, and they withdraw into a dark downward spiral which confirms all the lies they ever heard about themselves.

They end up alone, hurting, living the lies they believe.

Once and a while, if they are able, they will screw up their courage and stick their heads up out of the darkness. But what they are projecting is not themselves, it's an image of what they want us to see. A safety mask. And you never know who they really are, because in believing the lie, they don't have a clue who they are any more either.

They are broken people.

They end up alone, or living on the street. Some are diagnosed as having personality disorders, but really they are just people who believed the lie, and having believed it, they broke.

Take a friendly reminder from a pastor. Watch what you believe about yourselves. And watch what you say about others. And don't withdraw, but get involved in community.

(This public service announcement brought to you by one pastor who sees far too many people who have been broken.)

Lauralea and I just went to see a movie

We saw War of the Worlds.


Hmm.


Lot's of amazing images. But worth $26.00? I don't think so.


Now excuse me, I need to go change my underwear.

Alright, I confess

my day off freaks me out.


It didn't always, but lately it's been scary. I feel like I should be doing something, something I'm missing. The list of people to connect with keeps popping up in my head... I should be working, but I have to wait till this day off is over before I can work again.


That ain't healthy.


When the day off becomes about waiting for the next work day to arrive. That just isn't right.


I think I'm wrong in my head.


Or someplace.

Today I went to Kinshasa, then Copenhagen,

Then Bermuda, London, and the Canadian Arctic.


If you've not downloaded and tried Google Earth, baby are you missing a perspective.


This software does have some high requirements, but it is an amazing piece of work. It will show you the earth, in pictures, from satellites. Zoom in, get close, see people in their yards. Check the traffic on the roads. You name it.


Some parts of the earth are better photographed, mind you, but it's cool just to skim along at a few thousand feet, and enjoy the scenery. Through the Canadian Arctic or the African deserts, it's amazing.


The other day I "Flew" from Winnipeg to Prince Albert, nice and quickly. I followed the highway all the way, just like it is in real life. Just a few thousand kilometers faster.


If you can, check it out.


If you can't, sigh, I guess an atlas will have to do.

Looking for my muse

I'm having a cold drink at my favourite watering hole, on my way home from a hot and busy week. My 4 o'clock cancelled on me today, so it's a free moment. I spend it wisely.


I stopped in at the mall as I walked down here. I wanted to pick up a sketch book. I think it's easier to get the new Harry Potter book, than it is to find a decent sketch book!


Simple, I thought. I want a sketch book, -no lines- because I need some wide open spaces these days. Spaces to find words and room to put them down. Space to be creative, again. Sitting in my basement, in front of a glowing screen isn't doing much for my creativity these days.


I figured I need to write on paper again. Paper in a hard cover, so I can write anywhere. Paper with no lines, to constrain and limit. Paper in a ring binding, so it's easy to write on. Paper that's thick, so I can't see what I've written before. A good sketch book.


Cheapest and best deal I could find is a Leonardo Da Vinci sketch book - about 11 inches by 15 inches, a huge beast. I look like some starting out artist with this cool new book by his hero.


My plan is to be able to write in different places, at different times. Hopefully find some creativity again.


Although I don't know, carrying around this huge tome may make me a bit self conscious about breaking it open in public.


But I hope not.

Your Book of Days


You lie in your bed, a tired, old woman.
Caught between here and there,
God only knows the day of your journey.
For now you wait, sure of only one thing,
that your yesterday and your today pale in
comparison to your tomorrow.


What of yesterday?
Yesterday holds the love of a man who has known you,
inside and out, for fifty six years.
The warmth of his embrace, his lips on the nape of your neck.
His look across a crowded room. How he made terrible coffee
and always thought he was right about everything.


Yesterday holds four children, each so different,
yet so much the same
- good and bad - joy and hurt.
How they disappointed you
and how they surprised you,
again and again.


Yesterday holds the smell of turkey roasting in an oven
or fresh bread being cut.
It holds the taste of an orange,
the feel of chocolate in the mouth,
the tang of a new wine.
It contains the colours of the setting sun,
the scent of the ocean, the smell of a baby,
and the beauty of a single rose.


Today is for reliving your yesterdays -
and looking ahead to your tomorrow.
For tomorrow you will go with Him who holds your future,
and you will realize that it was Him who held your yesterdays, all along.

I dunno...

these dentist's are relentless.


They phone me, send me pleasant reminder notes, and have their staff remind me on the street corners, but this is new.


Sigh. Guess I better just make an appointment.


 


(Great piece Linea.)

It's hot here today

and i know, it's not hot hot, only around 31 C.


Compared to Meg who should just be arriving home in Virginia, (hot and humid Virginia i should say) i would be cool!! But she always loved the heat, the moisture floating in the air, making it feel twice as hot as it really is.


She did well this winter, up here in Prince Albert. Minus 40C, Prince Albert. Poor girl had never been anyplace colder than a Safeway freezer aisle, till she came here and met the cold, face to face.


And, face it she did. Well, you couldn't really see her face, it was covered with a full head toque, a scarf, then her huge hood was pulled up, just to make sure. And this was her driving outfit. In a nice warm car, no less.


When she would arrive at small group, it would take her half an hour just to get her protective gear off. We used to laugh at her limitations.


And now, she laugh's at us. Least she would laugh, but she probably couldn't bring her heart to do it.


And anyway, today she should be in her home state of Virginia for a warm holiday. And I'm thinking of her as the sweat drips down my back.


I find it hard to concentrate here in my office, when it's so hot. Hard to be creative, hard to focus. So today I tackled my stack of mail, cleaned off my desk of all the old files and work and mail..


Turns out my desk is made of wood! Who knew.


At least I will feel like I got something done today. And tonight I have a Constitutional Committee meeting! Woo Hoo!


Hey, at least it will be held in a nice cool basement. Hopefully get my core body temperature down before I head home to the Hot House.  

This morning I had a realization. Just a small obvious one mind you.

As I was being awakened from a deep sleep early this morning, there was a new understanding, a realization I hadn't known before.


It is this; that there is an exquisite moment when one transitions from sleep to wakefulness that is more like moving from life to death than any other thing we experience.


A sudden awareness of life unknown during the previous hours. A realization of new sounds heard. A slow testing of the bodies extremities, new systems coming online. Heightened awareness of your surroundings. 


It's like, "Oh, this is what it was all about."


I suppose that after a particularly good rest one would also have a desire to look and see and experience all the new reality had for them. To explore and experience all the gifts of the new day.


There would be a clarity of vision unknown before. You would see clearly, and know truthfully like you've never seen and known ever before.


A true awakening, to new life.


"Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now."   via.

Lovely morning this morning

till I left the house and found the driver's door open on the van.


Yep, "they" broke in again.


Don't they know there's nothing left in it? Don't they realize they have taken everything of value?


They should have meetings where they compare notes; "Don't break into the van at 1179 4th St. I already cleaned it out, -twice!"


Oh well, I suppose they needed the nothing more than I did. 


 


But to add insult to injury, they didn't think my cassette tape collection was worth stealing,


again.

lauralea.ca comes to life

Just wanted a quick note to say thanks for those of you thinkin about me these days. It helps, really.


Thomas and Hillary are off on a campout with the youth group from church, so it's Lauralea and I and Micah hanging around this week, and that'll be ok. Weird, but ok.


And Micah will have to cut the lawn by himself this week, i think!!


Today wasn't as hot as it's been and you know, that might be a part of my problem with sleep. Trying to get to sleep while sweating just doesn't do it for me, i confess.


But last night i was up a bit later, but then so was Lauralea (nudge nudge, say no more) so that was ok.


Anyway, you can see what I've been up to lately, design wise, over at Lauralea.ca.


She was an easy customer. Paid up on demand.


:-)


nite.

Well, I got alot done today

I got to the office early today and worked hard for most of it. Glad to get alot done, even through the heat.


I've mentioned it before but in this pastoring gig, you don't always see an imediate response to your efforts, if ever. So, whenever I can work through a pile of stuff and see it move from one side of my desk to the other, well, it does my heart good. Makes me feel like I've done a solid day's work.


Tonight I spent a bunch of time doing another part of my work.  And that's been my Saturday.


In theory, I'm due for a good night's sleep.

S l e e p

Day three, or rather night three of going to bed before 11, and still being awake after 2am.


I'm so tired.

It's not that I don't want to sleep...

it's just that I can't.


It's a little after 2 am and I went to bed three hours ago.


But I can't sleep.


Prayed for you, and for you, but I still can't find rest.


So I got up, walked around this quiet, dark house.


Looking for where I lost my ability to sleep.


MORNING UPDATE: Sigh, i should have been praying about this.


 

Night falls on the prairies

Yesterday after a few meetings throughout the day, we headed into Saskatoon for a meeting that was scheduled last night. The boys and Lauralea came along.


The  guys went to my parents place and Lauralea and I attended to our appointment. It was late when we started our journey home. The sun was setting and it was cooling off a bit, finally.


It had been a very hot day, and since the air conditioning in the van didn't start when the hot weather did this spring, we rolled down the windows all the way.


And we drove home, across the prairies with the wind in our hair and the roar of it in our ears.


It surprised me how much you miss things when it's all sealed up tighter than a drum. The prairie smells, the humidity, the bugs, so much life closed out, kept out.


The smells would bring back memories of different places we'd visited and lived. The sun was setting and you felt closer to it, without seeing it through the glass. The wind, roaring through the windows messing with your hair and cooling off everything at the same time.


Lauralea who was born and bred in the mountains, always comments about the amazing beauty of the prairies. I admire her ability to love wherever she's at, but last night I had to agree with her.


It was a beautiful evening for a drive across the prairie.

Bit of navel gazing going on here, just move along if you don't like navels...

I'm running out of gas here these days. As you can well tell. I think I'm just in need of a little rest or a break these days.


I came out of spring with a nice bounce in my step, but it's really caught up with me the past four or six weeks. I can't really put my finger on it, but it is like running out of gas, quickly.


Some frustrations at work, illness and family sickness, a few very emotional seasons, some overwhelming issues in some situations I'm helping with, and..., yeah, you get it.


So we get a break in August, and until then we'll keep on, doin our best and leaving the rest.


Think I'm gonna go for a walk now.

Graduation "Video"

For the relatives, here's a collection of photos of Johanna's graduation last weekend, in a video format.


Enjoy.

Photo Story 3 for Windows

Maybe, just maybe, Microsoft is beginning to get it.


I heard about this free little program that would take your pictures, add some audio and Badda Bing, shoot out a nice little video clip, at a compressed size.


Photo Story 3 is that little program I can't say enough about. Sweet indeed.


Now, it needs XP and Media Player 10 to create the videos. But others can download them and they will play on some of the older Window's Media Players. They simply will download the Codec for it.



Here is a little 2.22 min clip I threw together of the grad last weekend. It's about 4.5 megs in size.


I added the pic's and the tune. The software made the transitions and settings.



See what it does for you.




It's 1:15 am...

do you know where your __________________ is?


I went to bed three hours ago because I was so tired.


I'm still awake.


What's with that.


 

Some observations on Live 8

Yes, I was watching the Football game but every time a Saskatchewan player did something dumb, I flicked over to the Live 8 concert to catch a glimpse.


Some observations:


Wow, Neil Young ain't so young anymore. 


And Madonna? Some of her team of dancers did amazing things on their heads, but when she shrieked that last note, well I quickly went back to the game.


McCartney and U2 started the day, and U2 nicely set the tone.


Historic Moment? Pink Floyd singing "Money" like they had never stopped playing together.


Biggest surprise? Mariah Carey running the stage and not falling off those heels!


Brian Adams. Always good.


Booing Celine Dion? Come on people, we're Canadian here.


Dan Aykroyd. He makes me feel skinny.


Most uncomfortable looking Artist singing his hit from a bagillion years ago? Sir Bob Geldof singing "I Don't Like Mondays."


Really, not a bad day at all, as Bono said, not for charity but for justice. Interesting that it takes a bunch of artists to do what the church has been called to be doing all along.


Maybe the Artists are indeed the prophets to this generation.

Got that gazebo/pergola thing painted today

Thomas and I spent some quality father/son time painting that outdoor stage in our back yard. And I got a nice farmer tan.


Sheesh.


How hot is that gonna look when I hit the watersides this summer with my family?!?


Oh, and the Stain I purchased included a warning; Do not apply in sunlight. Do not apply in rain. And, the best, Do not apply on horizontal surfaces.


Huh? Don't paint in the sun or clouds and for sure don't slap any stain on any surfaces which are Horizontal!!


Good grief.


Let's just say I broke their rules. So now I'm a Bad Boy, with one sweet farmer tan.


Good thing Lauralea likes Bad Boys. I'll just make sure the lights are off.