Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Operatic Fusion

I spent the night at the Opera. My daughter participated in a program through her school called Operatic Fusion. She had an opportunity to have an understudy with a professional opera singer during the performance. She sang in the choir in accompaniment to some of the performances. She also got a small speaking part where she thanked supporters of the opera program at her school and in general. It was a chance for her to experience performing before a large crowd in a real theater.

God Calls

Last night God called my name three times. After I went to bed I called back "Here am I". And now I wait to hear what He has to say to me.

Joshua 24:15

Friday, January 23, 2009

Going offline soon...

We are scheduled to go offline some time today. We are changing our ISP in hopes of a much better internet connection. Internet is more important to our family than TV, though I hope to enjoy the video service as well.

If you are looking for us, but don't see us, we are probably offline, but hope to return soon.

Update 12/24: Well, it's 6:30 right now, and Internet is still up. I suppose the termination could be automated and take place this evening. More likely that it's Christmas eve and the work order didn't get processed. We'll see what happens by tomorrow morning.

It's now 10:20 and the Internet is still available.

Update 12/25: Christmas day and we are still on-line. Now I must wonder if I will have to call on Friday and get it terminated. I was hoping that I might be with the new ISP by Christmas with minimal downtime. Worried now that down time will impact kids school work.

Update 12/26: Still on-line. Think I will have to contact Earthlink.

Update 12/27: Called AT&T to see what was going on. It would "take a couple of days" for the DSL to stop working in our house, like the signal is latent in the line and slowly draining out. Then it would "take a couple of days" for the line to clear entirely; latent DSL signal slowly dripping out of the central office perhaps. We can order whatever we want after all the DSL goodness has left our presence.

Update 12/28: Still on-line.

Update 12/29: Late on 12/28 our DSL connection stopped working because my log in ID was terminated. The DSL modem still indicates we have an active DSL signal on the wire, so not sure what impact that will have for ordering the new service.

We are no longer available on-line and will have limited access to internet and e-mail.

Update 1/1: We have arranged to use our neighbors Internet via Wi-fi while waiting for ours to get straightened out. We should be around a bit more.

Update 1/9: I had to call Earthlink today to get them to actually disconnect the DSL off our phone line so the signal will drop off and we can order/install the U-verse. They said they are working on it today and it would take 2-3 business days to drop off the line.

On the other hand, we are seeing how stable our neighbors DSL is as compared to what we had. Incredible difference. Hope our new service is up to par.

Update 1/19: Finally, after several phone calls to Earthlink, we have had our DSL completely terminated. After some discussion with my father in law, we have decided to stay with DirecTV, so have ordered AT&T DSL which is due to be online this Friday, Jan 23. If the AT&T DSL does not meet our expectations, then we will once again consider the U-verse with fiber optic connections.

Update 1/23: I had to call AT&T again today. The order had not been processed yet. Further, we are only able to get 1.5MB at our current location. Should be hooked up by Wednesday.

Update 2/1: Today I am finally seeing a 1.5MB connection. Definitely wish it were faster, but if it just proves to be stable, I think I can live with it for now. I'll be keeping my eye on it.

I'm redating this entry so that is stays on top until my running commentary is done. Please find regular blog entries below.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Guided Tour of Papua New Guinea

After church this morning, we hosted a small group in our home. We usually have several families over for lunch, followed by a study. Today, we opted to skip the study and have a guided tour of Papua New Guinea with Matthew's photos. It was fascinating seeing all the pictures of where he grew up, getting visuals of all the things he's been talking about for years. I stole one of Matthew's pictures for your viewing pleasure; he is on the right.

We displayed our new alligator to everyone at lunch.

He also brought back treasures to give to everyone in our small group. He had a bracelet, a bunch of necklaces, and a number of bamboo plaques (for lack of a better word). My boys and I each grabbed a little bamboo plaque. My daughter got a necklace for herself. It was very generous of him.

He showed off a bag woven from bamboo fibers that was extremely strong and flexible. He also showed off his prized possession from his trip. His parents had a large piece of wood carved with scenes of all his childhood memories in Papua New Guinea. Matthew said it was made from Iron Wood and it was about 1.5 feet by nearly 2 feet, and about 1.5 inches thick. This was his Christmas present from his parents.

The slide show and display of goodies kept everyone well beyond our regular meeting time, and several people stayed until about 5:00 p.m. It's so nice to have such good friends.

Garage Sale

My wife was gone all day on Saturday. I missed her, but I was extremely proud of her.

A few years back my wife and her friend Shellie set up a homeschool park day. Shellie moved to New Mexico shortly after, leaving the park day event for my wife to coordinate. She has been faithfully organizing it ever since and has been the primary host and greeting party for all new visitors. I took my kids over to a birthday party and felt like I was being treated like royalty, all the while being introduced as the husband of "The Founder of Park Day". I've taken every opportunity to tease my wife about this telling her things like "they must buzz around you like your the queen bee" and "they must make you sit in the mush pot as they circle around their founder". All in good fun on my part, though I am sure she gets a bit perturbed at times. I know all her friends at Park Day have a great respect for her, as do I.

One of the families that regularly attends Park Day has hit financial problems, with both parents now unemployed. The families of Park Day organized a garage sale. I am not sure who, but am pretty sure my wife was somehow involved. She spent all day Saturday working the garage sale, from 6:00 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m. I know they raised a considerable amount of money, but won't quote the figure here to protect the innocent. They will also be having another garage sale with all the left overs, so the job is not done yet.

I know my wife will not toot her own horn about this, but I wanted everyone to know how proud I am of her and everyone from Park Day that got involved.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Years Resolutions - Nothing New

I've been putting this off, mulling around all the possible New Years Resolutions I could pursue. Honestly, I usually ruminate on my birthday about my previous year. That sometimes makes me a bit of a grouch on my birthday.

There are so many things that I could vow to improve; more exorcise, better diet, loose weight, stop procrastinating. These are all things I think about and work towards on a regular basis.

I have to say, and this is sometimes despite *ME*, that life has been pretty good to me. My blessings include:
If I plan to openly admit to anything that I want to continue to work on it would be to continue removing negativity from my life; both external negative influences (people and activities) and internal negative thoughts and habits.

I hope 2008 treated you as well as it has me, and here's hoping for a wonderful 2009 filled with more blessings that you can count!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Alligator

A few weeks ago, before Christmas, we took our friend Matthew to LAX so that he could visit his parents in Papua New Guinea. We picked him up again from LAX on Saturday. He had a nice visit, though it seems there were a few mishaps like canceled flights and out of the way re-routes to get where he had to be. He had his brother and sister with him, so he was not alone. They got it all worked out and had a great visit with his parents who do language translation missionary work with the tribes there.

The last time his parents came out to visit, he raved that they had brought him a wooden alligator for Christmas. We thought that was fabulous. So Matthew brought us our very own wooden alligator that we proudly have on display in our book case. It took up a whole shelf.

Thank you Matthew!