Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Warehouse 13 is a new series on the SyFy network -- and it is, well, cool. I like it. I like it on a few levels, actually.
First, I like the concept. The series follows United States Secret Service agents Myka Bering and Peter Lattimer as they are reassigned to the government's secret Warehouse 13, which houses supernatural objects. They are tasked to retrieve missing objects and investigate reports of new ones. The promos for this show call Warehouse 13 "America's Attic."
Second, I like the ensemble cast. As the characters develop, they are growin growing on me. (Here is a list of the characters that I grabbed from Wikipedia. I've added some of my comments to the list.)
- Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock), a "rule-bender" Secret Service agent. Agent Lattimer is smart, handsome, athletic and has a knack for quick thinking. He's a recovering alcoholic and can sometimes be prone to petulance. He has a deaf sister who taught him lip reading. He has a sixth sense in regards to immediate dangers and a weakness for cookies. Peter reminds me of a cross between Tony on NCIS and they guy on Bones.
- Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly), Lattimer's "by-the-book" partner. She has more book smarts and an eye for details. She takes her job very seriously and has many clashes with Lattimer.
- Arthur "Artie" Nielsen (Saul Rubinek), the Secret Service agent in charge of Warehouse 13. Although incredibly smart, he is uncouth and lacks certain social skills. He has a fondness for baking cookies, which is good for Peter. (Arite is in the photo above.) He brings a good bit of comic relief to the story -- and add the important connection to the history of this multi-century operation at the Warehouse.
- Leena (Genelle Williams), the proprietor of the bed-and-breakfast where Lattimer and Bering stay. She can see auras and also knows about Warehouse 13. She has been aware of Warehouse 13 for quite a while and has known many of the Warehouse agents that have died -- making it seem as if she is much older than she appears to be. We'll see.
- Daniel Dickinson (Simon Reynolds), Lattimer and Bering's former boss at the Secret Service.
- Mrs. Frederick (C. C. H. Pounder), the director of a secret government organization, who IS older than she appears. She is a shadowy figure and is usually accompanied by her bodyguard. She is apparently Artie's superior. This woman is truly a trip.
- Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti), a "young, hip, brilliant techno-wiz" whose brother was believed to be dead. She hacked into the warehouse computer systems and kidnapped Artie so that he would help her bring back her brother and now works in the warehouse with Artie. She's the Abby from NCIS character -- but not exactly.
Finally, the gadgets are delicious. Not the artifacts, the gadgets. The ways they communicate and record or search for info, get around in the warehouse. That stuff. I imagine that the design team who creates these things is having a great time with this job. Set design and props. (What do that call it in television?)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Honestly, I was both surprised and honored by all the people who gave their opinions and shared their preferences and observations. How cool that people would take the time to invest themselves in this process.
Today (while I watched a movie I picked up at the library -- love free dvd "rental"), I worked on what I think will be the final 10 designs. They are also posted on Facebook. Click this link and you should be able to see all of them (one of them is the image above) whether or not you are a registered user of Facebook.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I decided to do something that people often do for missionaries -- I sent money to be deposited in her account (not as a ministry gift which is assessed, but as a personal gift -- I actually sent it directly to the person who manages their personal bank account here in the States). But I wanted to make it fun for Charlene so I created a "fake" gift certificate that I sent to her electronically.
Because I'd been to Kiev this summer, I knew of this store (found a photo of it online so I could fake the logo) and wanted to give the gift from here. I saved the certificate as a .jpg file and had it ready for delivery. Oh, I also used an online currency converter to get the amount right in local currenty.
I fired up Skype and watched for Charlene to come online and delivered the gift via Skype while we chatted a bit. It was kind of like stopping by to drop off the gift.
Why am I blogging about this? I figure that most of you who read this support missionaries here and there or have friends/family living overseas. You may find yourself choosing to give cash gifts, but would like a way to make it feel more like a gift that has some thought behind it and less like a financial transaction. So, if this sparks any ideas for you -- then I've accomplished what I'd hoped.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
2. thunderstorms are brilliant!
3. i want to go to improv camp -- do that have that for middle-aged women?
4. the gator nation is a powerful force
5. a hand full of tootsie rolls in a little brown bag can be a fantastic treat
6. there's an ap for that
7. there is a reason they call it the rainy season
8. i'd best get to making a plan for the fantasy football draft -- like, what will I wear?
9. i am not insane
10. laughter oils the gearbox in my brain
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As Hamel continued, I must have realized that I was not going to be able to keep up with him because my notes start getting less and less complete.
So, after he said that we must (in order to catch up with the pace of change in the world which is our context for ministry) (1) overcome the temptation to take refuge in denial and (2) generate more strategic options, he said that (3) what we're doing now has to be destructed before the new can be built.
How in the world does one accomplish that and, well, isn't that dangerous?
Clarification came to me with this next directive: CHALLENGE YOUR OWN ORTHODOXY. His instruction is to consider what has not changed for 3-5 years (and in that he implies "or longer") and ask WHY? Those long-lasting things are "orthodoxy."
As he started to toss out ideas of ways that the church could do this, my head started to swim (the good kind of head-swimming) with questions and wonders. He asked evocative questions. Why don't we outsource sermons -- put the topic out there a week or two ahead of time and let people contribute to it -- participate in it's development. Why don't we bring lap tops to church for note taking and online interaction?
"The further down in the trenches you are, the easier it is to mistake the edge of the rut with the horizon."
Yeah, just about everyone who took notes (whether it was like me in the mole skin or like many by Tweeting) got that one recorded.
So, when you're looking at all of those things that have become "orthodoxy" for you -- and arguing with yourself about why it's okay that you're holding on to tightly to strategies that don't work any more and to programs that are ineffective, ask yourself this question: Am I more committed to redemption, renewal and restoration or to policies, processes and procedures?
...Gary Hamel, continued
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Lourdes joined ASHI (Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc.), an MFI and KIVA partner in the Philippines, in 1999, and during her ten years as a member of ASHI, she has been noted for her exemplary performance in meeting her obligations in the organization. Her previous loans were carefully used as rolling capital for her fishing business. Because fishing allows her to earn just enough income for her family needs, she recently ventured into raising pigs, an enterprise that will bring her enough profit to save for the future of her children. Fishing will now become her secondary business.
She is now requesting her ninth loan, 45,000 pesos to pay for 10 piglets, 26 sacks of assorted feeds, vitamins and transportation expenses. Lourdes is hopeful that the trust and opportunity given by ASHI and KIVA, coupled with hard work, will allow her to reach her dreams of expanding her business, sending her children to school, and building a new and more spacious house.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Most of us (individually if we're over 40 years old and organizationally) are already running to catch up with this new thing. The learning curve is steep because it's not so much about the technology (we've survived new technology before) as it is about a new world view. If you've been thinking that you can ignore Social Media for a few months and it, too, will die in popularity like salad shooters and mood rings, then you're going to wake up in a few years more confused than ever.
Sometimes I'm already confused.
If you're needing to get a sense of just how powerful and how widespread this revolution has already spread, then the video below is a good place for that conversation to start. (Thanks to Lynn who posted this on Facebook from YouTube where I saw it and grabbed it to post on my blog. Next step? I'll Tweet it. Crazy.)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Because I did not blog during or immediately following the Leadership Summit this year (like I did last year), I am not sure I'll go back and do it. It's possible that I will use future blog space to think through the notes I took. You know, a little cud chewing.
Friday, August 07, 2009
So, we should be sleeping soon...but started playing oldies from our youth now found on YouTube. Like this one. Oh my. If we would have had the right technology (aka cables), we could have played these on the big screen and had kareokee night.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
I first heard this song on a recording by Lost Dogs quite a few years ago. It was Track 18 on their 1992 release Scenic Routes. When I read the playlist on that recording I find myself able to hum all of them and recall the lyrics for most (at least for parts of the songs).
Vernon and the team offered this version in worship recently and I was, as I often am, amazed by the power of the right song as part of a whole -- with other music and Scripture reading and a sermon and the lights and graphics. All of it.
I was also reminded of why I love this song which so clearly reminds us that ALL are loved by God and ALL are invited to breathe deep of his very breath. He does not ask us to straighten out our act or get our stuff together or make things right or figure them out BEFORE we are loved, invited, included. He promises to walk with us through all of that mess and do the straightening and cleaning and restoring for us. He knows we can't do it ourselves.
I am also reminded that many of the things that we think divide us (status, titles, roles and such) actually don't. Or only do because we let them, but by letting them we are listening to the one who deceives and divides rather than the One who is Truth, the One in whom everything is brought together in unity.
The lyrics are in the video above, but I'll put them here too.