Monday, July 28, 2008


Let's face it. I don't like doing weekly review on a blog, so I will only recall a few days in detail (the good ones) along with some information for general activities such as swimming and a friend coming down to stay.

On Saturday, Rachel came over for the evening and that was a lot of fun. We played Sequence, ate pudding, and had a nonsensical-type-writer-war lasting through much of the night, or at least that's how the paper described it. Oh, and we talked about good names for our Thursday meetings (most likely something involving the Trinity).

Sunday, Mr. Farley preached on Psalm 6, which is a prayer involving grief and enemies. His main point of application was that grief and joy are both real, (putting aside the grief-does-not-exist idea) but that joy completely overpowers grief because our God raised Jesus from the dead. 

Most of us went to the beach (Sebourns, our family, the Hatts, the Mcnairs, and Mrs. Martin's sister, Kendall) and delighted in the partaking of sushi (what doesn't Costco make?) and other fine foods. With myself in particular, I had some good conversations getting to know Jeff and Donny better (especially Jeff), talking with Rachel about the modern church's pre-millenial views and it's huge differences from Doug Wilson's teaching.

So, that mostly explains the weekend.

On a different note, I was surprised last week to find that Brian (an old friend) is staying with his grandparents (our neighbors) for 2 or 3 weeks, so we have been hanging out and having a good bit of fun.

Swim lessons are finishing up (the last session is on Wednesday), and they have gone really well. I have met my teacher's goals of learning the basic strokes (freestyle, backstroke, side-gliding, dolphin kick, and some strange sort of float/glide titled MAS (monkey, airplane, soldier) and also side-breathing. Mum talked to the teacher today and found out that I am ahead of my level and doing really well. I still have a little bit of trouble with MAS and the dolphin kick but most of that was resolved today (at least for one of the strokes).

One of the boys in my class, Raymond (not Rayman as I spelled it before) is really nice and we have been talking in-between swimming. Now, I only wish that we had a big pool to swim in....

Thank you for reading my post and look forward to more soon.... (sounds like an advertisement). <_<


Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Review

Friday:Nothing exciting. Made pizza, watched a movie, relaxed, did some math.

Saturday: Mowed lawn, cleaned up junk that the tree dumps in our yard (cut it down! =) Mum and Dad looked at carpet and came back with a sample. Dad and I don't like it, but Sarah and Mum do, so it appears that we are going to get some other kind...

Okay, I'm going to stop the day-summary as Sunday and today are full of details.

Mr. Farley preached on Psalm 4, and exhorted how we should not be ashamed of Jesus, His works, and the church. He also talked in the beginning about the chief musician and some history about that in Deuteronomy.

The Claydons got their fairly-new baby, Royal, baptized also. He didn't cry when the water came on his head, and Sarah whispered to me that it must have been warm (I can think of a certain little relative that got cold water on her head and she did not like it). A reception followed with some simple breads, cheeses, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Oh, and there was another cake from the Buttery (yum!!)

Not long afterwards, we Machamers left for the Johsens with tour-guide Nai-Noah giving directions, and there's no need to tell about the drive as there is more interesting stuff. I liked their house a lot and had fun talking, playing some games, and eating salmon for an early dinner. An exciting game of chess was played (with a battery taking the role of the rook, such a positive element) and a check-mate squashed me.

The psalm sing was at the Brownlee's, about a 10 minute drive from the Johsen's, and what fun it was! (Complete with Mr. Farley wearing his 1st baseball cap.) Everyone split into two groups, the men practicing their parts first, and the women watching the children. Approximately 10 minutes go by and roles are switched. Most of the guys start playing knock-out, (a basketball game) where you try and shoot a basket before the person behind you does; otherwise you're out of the game. Once the women were done practicing, the people gathered in "the room" and sang Psalm 100. Then, repeat the same mixture for Psalm 1 and you have the cake (actually, there were cookies). After singing, I finally joined in on knock-out and watched as Mr. Farley beat all the players up (most of the time) without even losing his flip-flops.

End Sunday.

Today, swim lessons started! (See note)
While waiting, I chatted with Rayman, an eleven-year-old Asian (yeah!) boy who lives close to the pool. All the cattle (er, kids) were ordered to sit down, and we were classified in levels 1-6; though the unknowns were taken for testing (Rayman and I). Our level-3 teacher, Katelyn, went ahead and started the lesson while also watching to see if we could keep up. We went through some basic kicking, freestyle, back stroke, and a little bit of side-breathing. By the end of the course (3 weeks of Monday and Wednesday), we will know the common strokes, be able to do a perfect back-stroke (her own words), and even be able to utilize side-breathing.
And since the lessons are semi-private, there are only two other boys in my class.
The lessons are very fun and also, it gives me a chance to swim as our own modest pool
has a hole-filled sun-baked liner.

God bless,


Note: Mum signed Katherine and I up for aquatic swimming lessons (Mondays and Wednesdays) for different reasons. I want to re-learn the main strokes and such, and Katherine needs to learn how to swim (she has almost done it in the past but has had various incidents that have prevented her from doing so).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Yes, everyone says it, and here I am doing the same; but it's not like there is anything else
to say unless you want to be weird and say something like Happy 7-month of the fourth day!

Humor aside, here is an excellent post by Doug Wilson.

God bless,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


After some more reading, the Sigma DP1 is actually lacking in a lot of ways, rather disappointing.
It has no viewfinder, no zoom at all, a bad LCD screen that locks when you go to focus and that
does not adjust to exposure change very well, and no macro mode.
Now, I really hope that Sigma comes out with a DP2, or that Canon or someone else will make an improved version of the DP1 in their own way. Canon could do a really good job; their LCD screens are good, their PowerShot's have a viewfinder, and there is a macro mode (other companies have these features too, most likely, but I am just recommending Canon). Anyway, it's better to just wait right now, and see who continues next. I'm going to do a little Blender now.


Sigma and links

Not much today, just a few neat links.

Hooray for Sigma! Yeah, the camera has a few flaws, but hey; it's the first of it's class!
Recently, I was telling Sarah about how I wished a company would make a raw-shooting digital camera that was very decent, and it looks like my talk has become reality (and an expensive one at that).
Finally, something to go against Canon's PowerShot motto of "all you have to do is point and push a button." Yes, I have a PowerShot (A560), but I don't want to be like the no-brainer consumer that just wants to take a "picture". Maybe the other mainstream companies (Nikon, FugiFilm, Canon) will take a hint and improve on Sigma's design (and then maybe I can afford one because of competition). *Grins*

As with Firefox, I'm happy to say that I was one of the 8 million plus people that helped set the record. The day it came, out, I actually got very excited, even to the point of telling my friend, Tony how cool the scrolling tab bar was, or the new location-bar features.

I'm going to go exercise and then probably read some more of my Blender book.
The tough part is deciding whether to take a bike-ride or use the weight-bench...


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In Your Face DreamWorks!

I came back not too long ago (9:15 or so) from seeing Wall-E; so here is my semi-review and thoughts on the movie.

Mr. Gregg and Charlie met us at the theater for a 7 O' clock showing at the Chabot Cinema in Castro Valley. One of the best things (aside from the movie of course!) was that as I returned to my seat after getting up, I came in only to see Big Buck Bunny (the latest open-source Blender film) playing on the screen! (the theater must have needed some fill-time or something). The sound was too low, but who cares; the movie was still there in it's high-definition glory, and it was so great to see. "Hey dad, that's the Blender movie on the screen!"

And now, back to our feature presentation

Though it isn't my favorite Pixar movie, Wall-E is an excellent movie. I loved it's themes of good stewardship, and taking care of others, and what God has given us. I wish there had been more character development, but at least the plot is over-the-top (in a very good way) to help fill it in.

[SPOILER] The love between Wall-E and Eve was very moving to me (and actually cute), and my eyes were a little bit wet at the end scene, but not even close to crying. And I say that with no embarassment. =) If you saw it, you'd understand, I'm sure.

The tribute to Apple was pretty funny too; I noticed 3 things which I list here.
1. Video Ipod
2. All computer sound effects were from Mac OSX.
3. The designer of Eve was the same person who designed the Ipod (from what I hear).

There is a pleasant amount of humor in the movie, even down to the Chuckie doll in Wall-E's truck, the spork, or the cleaning robot, Mo. Now, there is far more humor then that, but the mentioned items are just a few subjects that come to mind.
The level of detail is astounding, even more so than the previous films; and it was quite fun to witness the beautiful world of space and Earth. The animation was top-notch, and I love how Pixar decided to try something different and go with the art of pantomime. It was also fun to have the sound design all done by Ben Burtt, the man who worked on Star Wars.

If you were doubtful of Wall-E, at least know that I give it 4.5 stars (though I'm sort of biast towards Pixar.) =) Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed my thoughts on Wall-E in yet another blog post.

God bless,