Back to nerdiness

Now that the infamous projector is back on track, I’ve been able to devote myself to other nerdiness. Yesterday I set up a bulletin board (gotta love phpBB) for the Conversation Cafe that my pastor runs at his coffee shop. I don’t know that it’ll get a lot of traffic, but it will be a good place for the college kids that participate in the Cafe discussions to continue them online. I know next to nothing about administrating a bb, so I’ll be doing some quick learning over the next few days/weeks. At least I have a well-run board I can look to for an example. πŸ™‚

I should have my geek status revoked

As I noted in my post to Mr. Murphy a week or so ago, I’ve been having problems with the new projector at church. I talked to the tech support guy today and we walked through stuff for 15 minutes, and he couldn’t figure anything out either. He left me with two other things to try, and if neither of them worked, then we’d send the thing back for warranty repair.

I tried the first, which was to send a composite video signal through. It worked just fine. So then I tried the second, which entailed getting the projector down from its stand and taking it into the office to hook it up directly to a desktop PC. Still no dice. At this point I’m pretty frustrated, and just sitting there thinking about what else it could be. I idly started playing with the rotary input control on the top of the projector, and all of a sudden – voila! It’s working! What could it have been?

The whole time I have been pushing the VIDEO button on the remote control, trying to cycle through composite video, S-video, and BNC. What I hadn’t been doing is pushing the RGB button right next to it. Arrrgh. As soon as I push that button, it switches to the RGB source, and everything works fine.

I should have my geek status revoked for a week or two for this one.

[Note to tech support: even if the guy on the other end sounds smart, don’t assume that he is. Remember that there’s a RGB button on the remote, and ask specifically if he’s using it. Even smart-sounding guys can overlook obvious stuff when it’s a new piece of equipment.]

new horizons in wife appreciation

Becky went to a women’s retreat this weekend. She left Friday afternoon and didn’t get back until Saturday night. It was my first real extended time of getting to “kid wrangle”, as Steve puts it. (Of course, he’s got three kids, so my one probably doesn’t really count…) I have gained an entirely new appreciation for the things my wife deals with on a daily basis.

I had 28-or-so hours that Becky was gone, and had one real task I needed to complete: the back yard needed mowed. That was just about all I got done while she was gone. Well, not quite all. I did get over to church to finish debugging the problems with the projector… and didn’t get anywhere. I’ll talk through it with tech support today. And I did spend a couple hours while she was napping Saturday afternoon watching the Cubs game. So I could have gotten a couple other things done. But still.

There’s this whole issue of how much stuff there is to remember with a kid; you have to remember to take the diaper bag everywhere, and to remember to refill it when it’s empty. And remembering to check (and change) her diaper often enough that she’s comfortable and not overflowing… And remembering to take the opportunity to change her diaper at the “family room” on the one end of the mall before walking all the way to the other end. And remembering to use the facilities before you leave home since it’s a real pain to try to park a stroller in the restroom next to you when you’re out… And remembering that mealtimes aren’t nearly so flexible for Laura as they are for me… 7, noon, and 5 are pretty well set in stone. And on… and on… I assume you’re getting the idea.

Laura and I had a good time while Becky was gone; we spent a lot of time together, and that’s good. I don’t get to spend as much time with her as I’d like to. But I’ll tell you this – we were both sure glad to see her get home. πŸ™‚

[a nod to Prof. Peter Schickele for a title I could play off of…]

boredom

This has definitely been one of those boring weeks, especially as far as work is concerned. As I wrote about before, I have been assigned to be the team lead for a new project. It’s not a particularly big or long project as our projects go, probably me and one other software person for 12 months. It’s becoming less scary as I get into it further; I’m understanding exactly what needs done, and I know I can handle it… I’ve done most all of it before.

The bad part this week is the boredom; we’re in a planning phase where our plan isn’t due until the end of this month. My project lead was on vacation all of this week and will be all of next week, too. I need her input to finish planning. So what do I get in the mean time? I have a bunch of half-finished spreadsheets that need her input and approval before I can finish them. I’ve had most of those done since the early part of this week. So I’m sitting here now posting on my blog, inflicting my boredom on you readers who are probably now bored reading this.

I hate having nothing to do. If I have tasks to work on, I’m a happy camper, the day goes fast, I’m ultra-productive, things are good. When I don’t have stuff to do, I go crazy. Time drags. Listening to music doesn’t seem to help. I can’t exactly sit here and read a book… although maybe there are some technical journals or FAA publications or something that I can read. Yeah, that’d be exciting. πŸ™‚

I don’t even know if I feel better after having complained here about my boredom… but it least I spent 5 minutes doing it… less than three hours until the workday is over….

The process of the Christian life…

Was reading today and found this wonderful quote from Martin Luther describing the process of the Christian life. It challenges and encourages me…

This life, therefore,
is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.
The process is not yet finished, but it is going on.
This is not the end but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.

What’s in a name?

We’re holding some church leadership strategy meetings this summer, and one of the big topics is the proposal that we change the name of our church. It’s a big step – we’ve been Noelridge Baptist Church for almost 50 years. But the times, they are a-changin’. The denomination with which we’re loosely affiliated (Conservative Baptist Int’l, ‘CBI’) has mulled over a name change for the last year or so and settled on WorldVenture. The rationale for the name change is that when you poll the population at large and ask for church-name-type words with bad connotations, right at the top of the list are both “conservative” and “baptist”. Two strikes against you before you even get started. We have discussed it for a while and decided that Baptist has got to go. But what will we change it to?

Our leadership group at these meetings is comprised of eight of us: our four elders (two of whom are the staff pastors), two elder apprentices (of which I am one), the chair of the deacons (my friend Steve), and the chair of the deaconesses (my wife). (Did I mention we’re a little bit involved in our church? πŸ™‚ ) Anyhow, our group is pretty well split on naming philosophies right now. Our senior pastor (by far the dynamic leader of the group) is in favor of something more seeker-friendly, and is a big fan of something perhaps in Latin that will pique the interest of seekers. (Think of Imago Dei in Portland, for an example.) I think that both of us apprentices and probably the elder chair would go for that.

But then there’s the other side. Steve and John (the youth pastor) and Becky are all on the opposite side, thinking that a “foriegn-sounding” name will just turn people off; that they’ll go “huh? what’s that? can’t even pronounce it!” and that’ll be it. John (I love ya’, bro) likes to play the stupid card: “well you guys may be rocket scientists, but I’m just a simple guy and I wouldn’t even know how to spell it if you told it to me…” It drives me nuts sometimes. He’s not that simple. πŸ™‚ Anyway, their vote would be for something simpler, like “Peace Church” or “Potter’s Clay Community”. Sure, the names are simpler, but to me they don’t inspire the awe or interest that some other type of name would.

So there’s our dilemma. We will be making a change, but to what? Do you, the reader, have any ideas? Here’s the list of everything that was proposed yesterday at our meeting.

Peace Church
Peace Community
All Souls Church
All Souls Community Church
Last Baptist Church
Community of Faith
Glory of God Community
Image of God Community
Potter’s Clay Community
Last Chance Church
Last Stop Church
Noelridge Church
Gratia Dei Church
Charis Deo Church
Pax Dei Community
Imago Christi Community

Do any of them strike you as good or bad? I’ll take all of the input I can get.

What’s in a name?

We’re holding some church leadership strategy meetings this summer, and one of the big topics is the proposal that we change the name of our church. It’s a big step – we’ve been Noelridge Baptist Church for almost 50 years. But the times, they are a-changin’. The denomination with which we’re loosely affiliated (Conservative Baptist Int’l, ‘CBI’) has mulled over a name change for the last year or so and settled on WorldVenture. The rationale for the name change is that when you poll the population at large and ask for church-name-type words with bad connotations, right at the top of the list are both “conservative” and “baptist”. Two strikes against you before you even get started. We have discussed it for a while and decided that Baptist has got to go. But what will we change it to?

Our leadership group at these meetings is comprised of eight of us: our four elders (two of whom are the staff pastors), two elder apprentices (of which I am one), the chair of the deacons (my friend Steve), and the chair of the deaconesses (my wife). (Did I mention we’re a little bit involved in our church? πŸ™‚ ) Anyhow, our group is pretty well split on naming philosophies right now. Our senior pastor (by far the dynamic leader of the group) is in favor of something more seeker-friendly, and is a big fan of something perhaps in Latin that will pique the interest of seekers. (Think of Imago Dei in Portland, for an example.) I think that both of us apprentices and probably the elder chair would go for that.

But then there’s the other side. Steve and John (the youth pastor) and Becky are all on the opposite side, thinking that a “foriegn-sounding” name will just turn people off; that they’ll go “huh? what’s that? can’t even pronounce it!” and that’ll be it. John (I love ya’, bro) likes to play the stupid card: “well you guys may be rocket scientists, but I’m just a simple guy and I wouldn’t even know how to spell it if you told it to me…” It drives me nuts sometimes. He’s not that simple. πŸ™‚ Anyway, their vote would be for something simpler, like “Peace Church” or “Potter’s Clay Community”. Sure, the names are simpler, but to me they don’t inspire the awe or interest that some other type of name would.

So there’s our dilemma. We will be making a change, but to what? Do you, the reader, have any ideas? Here’s the list of everything that was proposed yesterday at our meeting.

Peace Church
Peace Community
All Souls Church
All Souls Community Church
Last Baptist Church
Community of Faith
Glory of God Community
Image of God Community
Potter’s Clay Community
Last Chance Church
Last Stop Church
Noelridge Church
Gratia Dei Church
Charis Deo Church
Pax Dei Community
Imago Christi Community

Do any of them strike you as good or bad? I’ll take all of the input I can get.

What’s in a name?

We’re holding some church leadership strategy meetings this summer, and one of the big topics is the proposal that we change the name of our church. It’s a big step – we’ve been Noelridge Baptist Church for almost 50 years. But the times, they are a-changin’. The denomination with which we’re loosely affiliated (Conservative Baptist Int’l, ‘CBI’) has mulled over a name change for the last year or so and settled on WorldVenture. The rationale for the name change is that when you poll the population at large and ask for church-name-type words with bad connotations, right at the top of the list are both “conservative” and “baptist”. Two strikes against you before you even get started. We have discussed it for a while and decided that Baptist has got to go. But what will we change it to?

Our leadership group at these meetings is comprised of eight of us: our four elders (two of whom are the staff pastors), two elder apprentices (of which I am one), the chair of the deacons (my friend Steve), and the chair of the deaconesses (my wife). (Did I mention we’re a little bit involved in our church? πŸ™‚ ) Anyhow, our group is pretty well split on naming philosophies right now. Our senior pastor (by far the dynamic leader of the group) is in favor of something more seeker-friendly, and is a big fan of something perhaps in Latin that will pique the interest of seekers. (Think of Imago Dei in Portland, for an example.) I think that both of us apprentices and probably the elder chair would go for that.

But then there’s the other side. Steve and John (the youth pastor) and Becky are all on the opposite side, thinking that a “foriegn-sounding” name will just turn people off; that they’ll go “huh? what’s that? can’t even pronounce it!” and that’ll be it. John (I love ya’, bro) likes to play the stupid card: “well you guys may be rocket scientists, but I’m just a simple guy and I wouldn’t even know how to spell it if you told it to me…” It drives me nuts sometimes. He’s not that simple. πŸ™‚ Anyway, their vote would be for something simpler, like “Peace Church” or “Potter’s Clay Community”. Sure, the names are simpler, but to me they don’t inspire the awe or interest that some other type of name would.

So there’s our dilemma. We will be making a change, but to what? Do you, the reader, have any ideas? Here’s the list of everything that was proposed yesterday at our meeting.

Peace Church
Peace Community
All Souls Church
All Souls Community Church
Last Baptist Church
Community of Faith
Glory of God Community
Image of God Community
Potter’s Clay Community
Last Chance Church
Last Stop Church
Noelridge Church
Gratia Dei Church
Charis Deo Church
Pax Dei Community
Imago Christi Community

Do any of them strike you as good or bad? I’ll take all of the input I can get.

Mr. Murphy works on Sundays

Mr. Murphy and his dang-blasted law were working busily yesterday. It was certainly one of those mornings.

It started off innocently enough, just another Sunday morning, with its usual hassles. It didn’t really start to go downhill until about 10:15, when I was trying to fit the pastor with the new earpiece microphone. It’s supposed to bend to fit to your ear. It bent just a little, and then… *snap*. It just broke in two. We’re talking a $400 microphone here. It’s still under warranty, so I’m hopefuly they’ll replace it. It shouldn’t just snap like that. We switched the pastor to the regular lapel mic and that went OK.

So then I ran back into the sanctuary to hook up the laptop to the new projector (which we used for the first time last week) to show some announcements before the service started and then to run the slides for our song lyrics. First, I couldn’t turn on the projector until Sunday School (which meets in the sanctuary during the summer) was over… and it ran late, didn’t end until 10:28 for a 10:30 service. So finally I turn it on, only to read with with horrified eyes, “NO VIDEO SIGNAL DETECTED”. Arrrgh. No time to debug, gotta switch to plan B. Fortunately the old overhead projector was still sitting in the back of the room, under the coat rack.

Sam was kind enough to grab it for me so I could go start my piano prelude. He also pulled the overheads for the songs we were singing. Becky agreed to run the overheads for me. We got the service started about 5 minutes late. When we finally got to the singing portion, the second song was supposed to be Open the Eyes of my Heart. I’m in my usual tuned-out, eyes-closed mode. After singing the first couple lines, I look up at the screen to see it… blank. I look over at Becky and see a helpless look on her face – Sam had mistakenly pulled the overhead for Open Our Eyes instead of Open the eyes…. I kinda stopped mid-song and apologized. But folks know the song, and were singing pretty well, so we just continued sans lyrics. I think it ended up working OK but I was so dang frustrated it didn’t really matter to me at that point.

I pulled out the ladder afterwards to check out the projector and I still don’t know why it’s not working. I tried a different laptop, but still no signal detected. Today I’m going to try a different monitor cable and see if that’s the issue. There’s not that many links in the chain, so I should be able to localize it…

…oh, and next time, Mr. Murphy? Take Sunday off.

random Saturday thoughts

So, it’ 8:30 on Saturday morning and I’m sitting here in the dining room watching Laura finish her breakfast. Her normal schedule is 16 oz of formula in the morning, but she’s drinking out of a 7 oz bottle. That means the real trick for mom and dad is to notice when the bottle’s getting empty so we can refill it before she throws it on the floor. Then she’ll eat her Cheerios, so I guess she’s doing like I do and having her bowl of cereal in the morning, she’s just having it separately whereas I put my milk and Cheerios together. πŸ™‚

I think it’s going to be a fairly slow Saturday, which will be nice. Just some odd tasks to complete around the house, and I need to go to the music store and buy a new microphone boom since mine at church has totally stripped out and won’t hold my mic up. Oh, and I have to type up the powerpoint slides for tomorrow’s church service…. such are the hazards of getting a new projector.

Well Becky just got up now so I suppose that means it’s time for the day to start. Thank God for weekends. πŸ™‚