Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lavender latte

To the espresso ground coffee in the coffee part, add a small amount of dried lavender (I use organic so it isn't all pesticidey). Brew as normal. I put in about a tablespoon with enough espresso grind for 4 shots and Rob said that was too lavendery and I loved it just as it was. Next time, we'll use a lot less dried lavender, maybe 3/4 tsp.

Also, we will put the lavender on top of the ground coffee or mix it in. Last time, we put the lavender in first and coffee on top and it got all stuck in the holes kind of.

Hey… I guess you could add it to regular coffee brewing too, eh? I played around with the idea of making an all lavender latte. Rob grimaces.

Peace links for later reading

Here are some links from the Kairos resource guide:

Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Equip For Peace
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Foreign Policy in Focus
Declaration of Peace
Global Policy Forum
National Priorities Project
Center for Defense Information
Arms Trade Resource Center

There are lots more but I'll have to go back to the original document to see them; I'm tired of copying links. And these are just here for my future reference, not as an endorsement. I'm just organized in my curiosity.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New songs

In case anyone was wondering, we recently recorded (and Rob produced) some songs for an RPG project that we're involved with, Dark Waters. My favorites so far are Maid of the Underwave and Maiden Faire. Our main music site is here.

Introducing Snap Shots from

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Friday, July 27, 2007

my first Facebook poll

I ran a poll on Facebook asking people to finish the following sentence: "I think that making the Bible available to all people everywhere in their mother tongue is…" I limited the poll respondents to those who listed "The Bible" among their Favorite Books in their Facebook profile. I also limited the poll to the first 100 respondents. These are the results of that poll. Click on any of the graphs to the left to see them larger.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ramping up again

The past few days were a bit of a blur. We got a document list on Friday for the new Namibia visa application and got cracking on it on Monday, when people's offices opened. Early Monday, we got word that my Canadian passport was trying to be delivered to our Woodinville address and that they would hold it there for me to pick it up between 5:30 and 7PM. So, we repacked and booked it back south to pick it up. We got my birth certificate out and made photocopies. Meanwhile, Rob had also found his birth certificate for copying and we arranged to go into Seattle Tuesday morning to get our police clearance letters. We caught a bus downtown, got the letters, bussed back to Redmond and mailed the birth certificate stuff and clearance letters off to LBT for preparation for sending with an LBT missionary to Namibia when they fly next Tuesday.

The next task, which I unsuccessfully worked at on Monday, was to get an appointment with a civil surgeon to redo our medical paperwork. It would appear that all the civil surgeons in the area have increased their prices. We had both of our exams done for $220 in January. Now, the best price we found was $200 each. Yikes! And most places were booked up until mid-August, due to the recent hike in USCIS fees. We did manage to get an appointment, after much calling, with a civil surgeon in Burlington, WA for Monday. Hopefully we'll get out of there fast enough to successfully overnight the forms to the misisonary to take with him on the plane. Though we could just mail them express international, I guess. It's only $25 plus $5.50 for document replacement insurance.

So, yes – we're aiming to be somewhere in southern Africa by September. More to come, as details becom clearer to us.

Monday, July 16, 2007

On our way home

Johanna took us to Turtle Bay yesterday. Today, we left to drive back to Ferndale. Tonight, we're in Sutherlin, OR.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

in Cali

We're in California until Monday morning, just so everyone knows. We decided quickly on Sunday that we were going to do so, remembering that Carl Knight (fellow LBT missionary) was going to be in Seattle for an appointment on Monday. So, we spent Sunday night in Woodinville, met with Carl for lunch on Monday and got as far as Cottage Grove, OR by Monday night. We arrived in Anderson, CA late Tuesday afternoon.

Interesting media bits en route:
* saw the movie Dhoom 2; very fun Bollywood action movie, will be buying it
* am reading Inventing the AIDS virus by Peter Duesberg in the car; highly interesting, well referenced book

Monday, July 02, 2007

Just thinking about it makes me infertile

I opened my Google Reader and saw this headline:
Clues to stress-infertility link

OK, not so funny. The next line, though, had me doubled over in my chair:
Stressed-out African naked mole-rats may provide clues about infertility in humans, researchers believe.

Suddenly, all I could see in my head was a cluster of stressed-out African naked mole-rats, chain-smoking cigarettes and twiching as they give researchers the clues as to where they'll find the elusive infertility cure. After I blew my nose and regained some measure of self-control, I went to the article as linked and saw this:

Spasmic laughter resumes. Methinks the mental image alone of stressed-out African naked mole-rats might induce infertility in even the most (previously) amorous of couples.

How low can you go?

Does it seem like we're in limbo? Well, that's because we are. Rob and I are still waiting for an update on what our next steps will be to get us closer to a Namibia departure. And be assured that we will update you as soon as we have information.

So, what are we doing in the meantime? That varies from day to day. Here are some of our projects of late:
❂ Rob has been working with his recording gear. We put down some tracks for a musical collaboration that he's been into with a drummer that he met online. We finished up some voiceover work for a game that we like to play, for another online friend, Adam Miller. For this, Rob has been using his new audio gear that he'll be using in the field. He set up in a house that we house-sat for a few days last week, somewhat simulating field circumstances. Hey, you work with what you got, right?
❂ I began an online record of churches that are partnering with us. This was more a way for us to remind ourselves of who our partners are but also creating a place where we can go and access church websites and contact information readily. I also thought that I might be able to use it when contacting new churches, if we end up doing that sometime in our near future partnership development, as sort of a "Wondering about us? Here are some churches that can vouch for us."
❂ I used a flowchart program to organize my thoughts on Namibia plans, referencing whatever pertinent documents I had on hand. I have documents on BSN and LBT priorities and merged those in this flowchart program. I added those to my own thoughts and sort of narrowed the playing field for future projects by this method. Just thinking, processing, getting thoughts down.

We've been doing other projects that aren't directly related to LBT but that keep us on an even keel emotionally, something that we're finding to be increasingly important the further away we get from our most recently projected departure date of end-of-May. These include:
❂ Rob has been doing driving and heavy lifting tasks for his folks, where we're living right now. With his dad's vascular surgery recovery and his mom's torn retina recovery, that leaves task-gaps that Rob can fill (e.g. lawn mowing, putting out the trash).
❂ I have been in charge of vacuuming and communication with family and friends on his dad's health.
❂ I recently started answering questions on a question-answering website. Not Bible-related stuff, actually. I've been making it research-related. Like, someone wondered about their caloric intake requirements while they're recovering from anorexia. So, I searched until I found her answer. I posted a thorough, fully referenced and hyper-linked answer. She thanked me. Everyone's happy.
❂ I've been taking photographs and video footage with the new digital camera, with great results. My flower series (video sample of some shots in the column to the right of this blog entry) was especially gratifying. The shots are clear, esthetic and soothing to the soul. This camera makes photography easy.

I'm finding these things to be helping me feel better while I wait to go overseas. There's just something about completing a series of short tasks with immediate, grateful and/or positive feedback from others that does wonders for lingering feelings of futility.

This afternoon, Rob and I are going to have a little business meeting, talking about future plans. Specifically, we're going to be looking at little LBT-related projects that we might work on to achieve that elusive mood-boost.

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