We had a church picnic today and it was great. From 2 to 6 at Marymoor park. It was a pretty happenin’ event. Hal was grilling up some fine eating. It was a long day, and I’m a little tired. But we had a lot of fun. It’s a rare occasion to get the whole church together.
For those of you who listened to Pastor Judah’s camp message you will be able to freshly recall God prompting Abra(ha)m to “count the stars if you are able to number them” in Genesis 15. If you would like a fresh revelation of just how impossible that is, you’re in luck. Google can afford you that very opportunity. Their newest version of GoogleEarth lets you flip your viewpoint from looking downward toward the earth to gazing upward at the stars. You can scroll across the familiar constellations and zoom into some incredible detail. And zooming in, you will find that spans of the sky previously appearing empty and black are quite literally filled with countless stars. If you don’t believe this was created by God, then certainly we are living in an accident far more beautiful than I could ever conceive. So, if waiting for dusk and pulling out the telescope were too much effort, you’ll now have to come up with a new set of excuses for not checking out the sky.
It’s been raining the last few days here. I know, I can’t believe it either. Although, I don’t really mind too much, some people are bummed as our summer here isn’t entirely too long as it is. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to long sleeved shirts and jackets again.
Having been so relieved to have finished working on our last game, I almost forgot to anticipate its release. So far as I know right now, it will be coming out the second week of September which is rapidly approaching. We’re pretty excited about it.
I sold my recovered Accord to my good friend (and prior roommate) Ryan. I’m back to one car again. Anyways, it’s about that time now. Bedtime that is. Goodnight.
I’ve been at camp. It was awesome. Being a counselor/coach was way more fun than I was expecting. It was incredible to see the growth in the campers even over just a few days. Not to mention quite a bit of growing on my part as well. We all left camp with a greater understanding of what God sees in each of us, and a deeper passion to make sure everybody else knows the same is true of them. I really can’t put into words how awesome it was. Hopefully some of the messages will be online soon.
Also, there is a cool new site I came across. If you have trouble finding time to read, but notice that you waste a considerable amount of time galavanting across the internet each day DailyLit.com may be able to help you get your reading in order. Via email or RSS feed, you can have it deliver you 5 minute spans of reading material for daily ingesting. Kind of like reading a book in self regulated chunks delivered right into the midst of your regularly scheduled online activity. It doesn’t have a huge selection of modern material, but there are a number of older classics which have made their way into our good friend, the public domain. Right now I’m trying to read Robinson Crusoe (finally, huh Mom?).
Update: They made Pastor Judah’s camp message from Friday available for download here.
I finally got the router working with our internet so I was able to upload some (now old) pictures. Most of them are from our Sunday afternoon volleyball excursions to Greenlake in which I primarily participate as a spectator. There are also a few from my first Mariners game, and as usual some other random shots too. I’ll be at camp next week Wednesday through Saturday so I won’t be blogging, but I will probably come back with a bunch of fun pictures.
For most people much of their online time is spent visiting favorite sites, and browsing through for new updates. Often this leaves you scanning through a number of sites that haven’t changed. Or struggling to find what information is new and what you’ve read or seen already. This would be like going online to check your email and having to type in your friends’ names one at a time to see if each has sent you an email since you last checked. But emails you receive conveniently shuffle themselves into your inbox.
Feeds are like emails from websites, and a feed reader, such as Google Reader, is like an inbox for your feeds. Most web pages with frequently updated material have a feed. At the bottom of this page you can find a ‘feeds’ section. These are usually not too difficult to find on most sites. Look for an icon similar to this . There are also a number of key terms that can help you locate a feed. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and ATOM are the key types of feeds and usually these terms will point you to a feed that is available.
Google Reader is like any other Google application. You just need to have a Google Account to set it up. I’ll spare you the details, if you need a detailed walkthrough this video has more specifics. The main idea is you once you find the feeds you would like to ‘subscribe’ to, you copy the link which should like vaguely like the following:
Once you have the feed address click the [Add subscription] button in your Google Reader home page and paste the address into the form. Once you’ve subscribed it will initially show a number (usually 10) of recent posts. From now on when you log onto Google Reader any new posts that have been made will show up for you to read. If an article grabs your interest and you wish to view in its original context, you can always click the headline to jump directly to the story or blog.
A word of caution. Don’t go feed happy. If you fill your reader with tons of feeds you will wake up tomorrow with ten thousand stories in your inbox. Try to stick with pages you know you always check and build up your list slowly. Another help is that many sites have more specific feeds. Don’t get the CNN feed of all stories. If you’re primarily interested in business, get the business feed. Politics? the politics feed. You want to get the highest percentage of stories that will be relevant to you in your feed reader. Otherwise instead of saving time, you’ll wind up browsing through more garbage than you can manage. Don’t be afraid to remove a subscription if you find that most of the stories are not of any particular interest to you. This is going to be key in finding the right balance among the feeds that you track.
Google Reader also lets you share stories that you find interesting with friends. You can email links to the story (from your GMail account). Or there is a share button under each story. If you click this, it will show up on your shared page. You can send the link to your shared page to your friends and they can keep tabs on the stories you like. You can see a list of my shared stories here.
With the right usage, feeds can significantly decrease the time you spend online, and make you more productive. They can help take control of your internet usage so it doesn’t control you.
“A freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi River collapsed during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending many cars into the water… The entire span of the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed about 6:05 p.m. where the freeway crosses the river near University Avenue in Minneapolis.”
Does anybody know if all our Minneapolis friends are all right?
Update: I talked to two of my friends from Minneapolis this morning, and it sounds like everybody we know is okay. Camille had driven over the bridge half an hour before it collapsed. Yikes.