Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Mac vs. PC Battle [Gator]

Saw this YouTube clip over on Josh Griffin's blog (which he saw on someone else's blog, who, I think, saw it somewhere on Facebook...) Really creative, but I wasn't sure what the ending was supposed to mean.

And - just to save you a minute, if you've been trained like my children to wait to the end of the credits before you leave the theater - the last minute of this video is all credits, nothing else. Feel free to leave.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Z to the I to the 6 [Rev]*

In the world of mini USB-enabled video cameras...did you know there was a whole world of them?...the Flipseems to be the clear market favorite. The idea of a very simple, inexpensive, but high-quality camcorder for spur-of-the-moment video recording has interested me for most of this year.

I have been watching and reading about the Flip and its many competitors, including the RCA Small Wonder, the Aiptek A-HD Pro, and the Insignia 5.0MP. Each of these cameras are very small, yet very powerful. The newer models include the ability to take HD video.

In the end, I decided on the Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera. I've been using the Zi6 for over a week and, in case you've ever thought of getting one of these little jewels, here's some information for you.

The best thing about this class of camcorder is the price. I got mine at Radio Shack on-sale for under $140, and the prices keep falling as new models with more features come out. Best Buy has the Insignia for only $85. These are very good cameras for (relatively) very little money.

The Zi6 has four recording modes. The default mode is HD, which shoots 720p video at 30 frames per second. There is a higher HD60 mode which shoots 720p video at 60 frames per second. This would be good for slow-motion or time-remapping your video. There is also a VGA mode which shoots standard, 640X480 video. And there is a picture mode for shooting stills.

Although I didn't need HD-quality video, for the money it seemed like a no-brainer. The problem with HD-quality video is that my older Powerbook doesn't have the power to work with it quickly. (Don't even get me started on the old Dells in the playroom.)

These type of camcorders aren't really made for low-light situations, but in outdoor or well-lit situations, they do quite well. (This still shot was taken outside the Asheville Mall.) Since it doesn't do low-light well, you also have to be very careful when taking still pictures, since blurring the picture is very easy to do and there is no image stabilization like most larger camcorders have. Happily, you can easily attach the Zi6 to a tripod for steadier shots.

This piece of video was shot in the default HD mode, then encoded to an iPhone-compatible mp4 file at 480X272 resolution using MPEG Streamclip. Unhappily, Google re-encoded the file when I uploaded it, reducing the resolution further. The original video file looks much better.

The Zi6 has little internal memory - less than 24mb is available - which is basically useless for video. But the Zi6 accepts SD memory cards. I purchased an 8gb high-speed SD card for only $14. After a vacation trip, Christmas, and some goofing around by Sammy, there is still over 2gb of room left.

The 2.4 inch display is bright and clear enough to see what you've shot, but composite cables for hooking up to your TV and component cables for watching in HD are also included with the camera.

The combination of HD-quality and SD-card acceptance pushed me towards the Kodak, but the batteries clinched it. The Zi6 runs on two AA batteries, which means you don't have to wait for proprietary batteries to recharge. However, while purchasing the camera, I discovered that Kodak includes rechargeable AA's and a charger, making it an even better deal. The rechargeables don't last too long - maybe an hour or so - but I can always pop in some regular AA's in a pinch.

The Zi6 is a good camera for quick and easy recording. For the price I believe it's a very good value.

{* "Rev" is in the title because this is a "Rev" post, related to my work or worship. In this case, it could also mean "review", but it doesn't}

Monday, December 29, 2008

All in all it's just another...

As part of my effort to blog better, the next step is to become more consistent in my schedule. Ideally, I'd like to blog daily. I'm not sure that's realistic. But perhaps I can make it 3 times a week.

My original idea for the blog was to split it into three parts, and I'm going back to that - Rev. Mc. Gator. In other words, the blog will be roughly 1/3 about things that relate to my work and worship (Rev), 1/3 about things related to my family (Mc), and 1/3 related to my leisure and interests (Gator).

Things will overlap. In fact, my next post will relate to all three areas. And so will the next one after that. But that's the plan. Roughly.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome to the Amazon

I generally stay away from New Year's resolutions. A very cliched thing, in my opinion.

Instead, consider this an Old Year resolution, and what I would like to see happen in the next one.

As is the case for most bloggers, I would like to blog better. By that I mean more. More frequently. With more interesting things to say. With more things you can actually use and think about.

One thing I've meant to do is to become an Amazon associate. If you don't know, you can link to stuff at Amazon.com, and if someone uses your link and actually buys something, you get a commission on it.

I love Amazon. I have an Amazon credit card. Most of the gadgety and tech stuff I buy comes from Amazon. I have an Amazon Prime membership, which gets me free 2nd day shipping on most items.

I promise not to overload the blog with links and commercials and junky stuff. But you might notice the Amazon search bar on the side (use it to find something, and if you buy it, I get a few pennies!).

And there are a couple of things I've read or used recently that I will be linking to. Hope you find it useful...and interesting...and better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am Second

If you haven't seen it, here's a link to a great new web site. Outstanding testimonies. It's called I am Second.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Great to be...

Quick post in the middle of a really busy week (while I wait for some video to render - that's a story for another time. Follow me at www.twitter.com/TimMcDaniel if you want the play by play.)

The real story is the Gators - back in the championship game. And this is how they got there...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Non-Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

No, not Happy Turkey Day. The only happy turkeys are...well, you can't be a happy turkey. Either you're dead or you're still a turkey. Not a great choice. The point of the day is not to celebrate turkeys, it's to celebrate thanksgiving...you know, the giving of thanks.

And it's not just the giving of thanks, but giving thanks to our Creator, our Maker, the One who provides life and all the good things we enjoy.

Like turkey (and dressing and mashed potatoes and football and the Gators and - you get the idea).

To repeat myself, we don't celebrate turkeys, we kill them.

That would also make this a good day to kill the Turkey Spirit. That would be the attitude that doesn't give thanks, that takes things for granted, that complains at everything, that is awed by nothing.

That's the intro to this clip, which is perfect for Thanksgiving, and which I may use the next time I preach about complaining.



(Honestly, this has to be one of my favorite clips ever.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh boy, oh boy!

Doesn't she have that look on her face?

Happy Birthday to my best friend, my partner, my {blush} lover, my wife...the Lovely Trudi celebrates the day the world was blessed with her.

And we celebrate, too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sci-Fi Tribute

I think you have to make up your own joke about this guy. Except it's not really him singing. It would be cooler (and slightly more disturbing) if it was. But it's actually a group called Moosebutter. Still, it's a pretty good video if you haven't seen it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Enemy...only in a football sense

As a Gator fan I have a unwritten contract to despise everything that has to do with FSU and Georgia. They are our rivals - okay, not Georgia so much, since we own them. And there's no way you can like your rival's coach.

That's easy with FSU. Yes, I know, I've heard it..."Not like Bobby Bowden? But he seems like such a nice, Christian man." I don't buy it. I don't like him.

And Georgia's coach? Well...rats. I can't not like him, which is really terrible from a football perspective. After all, not only is he the head coach at Georgia, but he used to be on the staff at FSU. Trouble is, he's genuine, a good coach, and really represents Christ well.

Was I mad at what he had his team do on the goal line last year, stomping and jumping around? No. It was a tactic which worked well...last year.

And since we throttled them last week, it's all good.

I say all that to explain why I'm posting this video of the Georgia coach and his family. Because it's good. And inspirational. I hope Georgia does well for the rest of the year.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What if Starbucks Marketed Like the Church

Funny and painfully true. The obvious answer is that most of us would never have heard of Starbucks if they operated the way the church does. (And, no, it's not a bad thing to operate your church with quality and forethought.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Tim and I approve this message.

Without further ado, my thoughts on the election and how I'll be voting a week from today...

President and Vice-President
There are 13 choices on the ballot. Make your own conclusions on that number. If I were going to vote for the person I would most like to see as President from the list, I'd choose Alan Keyes, who is running on behalf of the American Independent Party. However, with no chance to win, that would be a wasted vote.
I vote: John McCain and Sarah Palin.

District 14 Congress
Another case of wishing I could vote differently, but this is the best choice I have.
I vote: Connie Mack

Public Defender, 20th Judicial Circuit
Sole candidate.
I vote: Kathy Smith

State Representative, District 72
He seems to have done a good job in the last four years.
I vote: Paige Kreegel

Sheriff
I was one of 9% that didn't vote for Mike Scott in the Republican primary. Even though he would've received my vote anyway, he secured it by speaking the truth at Sarah Palin's Fort Myers' appearance.
I vote: Mike Scott

Property Appraiser
He's done a good job in a tough market.
I vote: Ken Wilkinson

County Commissioner, District 1
I haven't heard or seen enough from the other candidates to remove this incumbent...yet.
I vote: Bob Janes

County Commissioner, District 3
Ray Judah seems like a fairly nice guy. I don't know him. Les Cochran seems like a nice old guy, too. I don't know him either. Republican incumbents usually have an edge with me, but at a county level, party isn't as important, and Cochran is actually a Republican, too. Judah has been in office for a long, long time. So I like his experience. But such a long time in office means that future decisions will be impacted by old alliances, past choices, and wanting to defend things that you were part of.
I vote: Les Cochran

County Commissioner, District 5
I don't know him, but I like him.
I vote: Frank Mann

Lee Memorial Health System, District 1
You can vote for 2 out of 3 in this category. Anna Clark's whole reason for running seems to be a bad experience a relative had at Cape Hospital. Um...work that out with your lawyer, dear.
I vote: Stephen Brown and Marilyn Stout

Lee Memorial Health System, District 3
Again, we get to pick two. I'm sure these are important positions to the community, but... Lois Barrett is 84 and would seem to be past her time, but I'm not sure I like the fact that Jason Moon's father-in-law owns an Oncology practice. Seems conflicting.
I vote: Linda Brown and Lois Barrett

Lee Memorial Health System, District 5
Vilmar Ribeiro needs to finish working on his associate's degree.
I vote: Kerry Babb and James Green

Mosquito District, Area 1
"Another office that is very important in our county, but should this really be an elected position? Even the News-Press didn't offer an opinion on these races." That's what I originally wrote, then I found out that the Lee County independent taxing district for Mosquito Control is the largest of its kind in the entire United States! It has 87 full-time and 125 seasonal employees, and carries a budget of $25 million. Huh.

Larry Murphy is the incumbent and carries a good resume. James Opp's resume seems to consist of his dad having been the director of the district for 12 years.

I vote: Larry Murphy.

Mosquito District, Area 3
According to the Naples News, Mike Ellis knows "bugs inside out." I guess that's a good thing. And I know nothing about Tim Gardner. Sorry, Tim. You have a good name.
I vote: Mike Ellis.

2nd District Court of Appeal
Should Judge Whatley be retained in office? Sure, why not?
I vote: Yes.

Amendment 1
This is a housekeeping amendment, seemingly unnecessary in practice, but a good thing theory.
I vote: Yes.

Amendment 2
Also a housekeeping amendment, of sorts, seemingly unnecessary in theory, but a very thing in practice.
I vote: Yes.

Amendment 3
Seems to be a good thing that should be tied with other good things to make a comprehensive policy, but let's take what we can get.
I vote: Yes.

Amendment 4
There seem to be some positives for this, but do we have to mess with the Constitution to do it? Don't we elect legislators to do this kind of thing? This amendment would encourage land conservation, and further limit the amount of land that can be developed. Down the road I think this will make property even harder and more expensive to acquire by the average person.
I vote: No.

Amendment 6
Seems like a good idea, but, again - does it have to be a constitutional amendment?
I vote: Yes.

Amendment 8
Gives voters flexibility in what to do with tax money.
I vote: Yes.

County Charter Amendment 1
Makes the Supervisor of Elections position a non-partisan office. Good idea.
I vote: Yes.

County Charter Amendment 2
Allows for things to by-pass County Commissioners to be put on ballot.
I vote: Yes.

[Note: Yes, the title of this post IS the same as the title of our latest episode of the ChurchDramaPodcast. This post is specifically for my daughter, Shae, who gets to vote for the very first time this fall.]

Monday, October 20, 2008

You never know


Boating on Lake Weir, originally uploaded by RevMcGator.

That's a cliche that is used in many different ways, but ends up being true more often than not. "You never know."

It's true because we don't know the future. We have a perspective on what's happened in the past. We have a perception of what is happening around us at the present. We use both of those to help us predict what might happen in the future.

That's especially true when we think about people.

But you never know.

Things happen we didn't predict, and that can put a whole new set of circumstances in motion. And just when you think things are going to turn out one way...well, you never know.

"The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken." Psalms 33:10-11

He knows.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For the Record

John Sidney McCain III
Sarah Louise Heath Palin
Barack Hussein Obama II
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

posted by me, Timothy David McDaniel

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Summer Fantasy

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Great to be...

Other games might not go so well. (LSU and Georgia are on the schedule)

But it's always great to play Tennessee. Neyland Stadium is beginning to be like another home game. The Gator Sports Shop should set up an outlet store there.

The best part of winning any rivalry game is to read the newspaper of the opposing school afterwards. This article is good...but the comments at the bottom of it, from loyal fans of the Stumbling Vols, are priceless.

This picture, from the Gainesville Sun, of a guy going with the Heath Ledger/Joker look...how appropriate, if not a little creepy.

Go Gators.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cap'n Edmund Earbeard

Cap'n Edmund Earbeard is my supposed pirate name, generated by one of several pirate name generators that are now available. Of course, I had to find out what my pirate name is because this is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

What's your pirate name? And what, exactly, does it mean to "shiver me timbers"? Are they cold?

(Other names that I was given were "Dastardly", "Dagger Wilson", and "Commodore Drunken Tongue".)

Monday, September 15, 2008

No Thank You

Sigh.

Do you know the guy in the picture? Probably not as well as you think you did.

I'm very disappointed with the latest "coming out". Granted, it's always disappointing when anyone chooses to live in a way that is contrary to the love and holiness of God. But it's especially troubling when people who are given the special task of communicating the truth and hope of Jesus Christ walk away in self-deception.

Ray Boltz is a creative guy, and made a bunch of amazing songs, which are all still good. Unfortunately, his false assertion that his chosen lifestyle doesn't cause a rift between him and God is cause for sadness.

(And when did he lose his hair?)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back in the Day

I'm finishing a video on the history of Faith Assembly for tomorrow's celebration of 75 years of the church and 20 years of Pastor Goss. The video will mention all the lead pastors in the history of the church, but won't mention any of the associate pastors (except for Pastor Art Shell). Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing this video of one of the music ministers of Faith. (Sorry, Mark)

Friday, September 12, 2008

More with me than without me

A little sympathy for Trudi today...she's spent more of her life with me than without me. We've been married 22 years today; she was only 21 when we married. Obviously, she didn't figure out how to get her fingers out of those rings quick enough. (Odd games photographers play, don't you think?)

It's been a great 22 years.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricanes Don't Roar, They Only Whine

Apparently, Miami coach, Randy Shannon was angry about the late field goal by the Gators last Saturday. Upset about Urban Meyer's decision to keep playing football, Shannon whined, "Sometimes, when you do things and people see what type of person that you really are, you turn a lot of people off." Was he talking about himself?

Loved Tim Tebow's response. "They're paid to stop us and Coach Mullen (offensive coordinator Dan Mullen) is paid to score. If they don't do that, oh well."

We see what kind of person you are, Randy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Growing Up Pentecostal

Here's a revealing video of Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Here's a video of her at Wasilla Assembly of God, telling a little about her background, and growing up in that church.

What's even more interesting is that this same video, and pieces of it, are being used by people who are scared of religious-right wing-fundamentalist-wacko-extremists.



Sarah Palin Speaking at a Church from Vimeo.



An alternate source is this one, sent to me by Jim Wells. Thanks, Jim.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Never Be Surprised by Man's Ability to Deceive

Having previously posted the "Healer" video, and now regretting it, here is the sad follow-up to that video. I'd like to be mad at the guy, but I pity him, and feel very sad for people hurt by this.

Which is better - to live in this life while cut off from God, or to leave this life while having full connection to God? Sort of sounds like "gain the whole world or lose your soul", doesn't it?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Number Nine

Happy Birthday, Sawyer Layne!

As I've said before, she's a delight to her family and everyone who knows her. Kind, generous, sweet...okay I'm getting mine in early for our little family tradition. (What family tradition, you ask? I'll blog about it some other time.)

Nine years have gone by quickly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In case you said, Why her?

Did you know Sarah Palin, McCain's new Veep was raised in the Assemblies of God and attends Juneau Christian Center, an AG church in Juneau? Interesting.

The following clip is from the Alaska District Council newsletter...

Monday, August 25, 2008

When Oops is a Good Thing

Alley-oop dunks are a great example of teamwork. The one who actually dunks has to have the ability to jump and handle a basketball, but the real beauty of the alley-oop - from my perspective, probably since I don't have the dunk-ability - is in the execution of the pass. This video has some beautiful and creative passing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Shae!

Another huge milestone in the McDaniel family. Shaelyn Cherie turns 18 today. Unhappily for us, she's not here with us in North Fort Myers, but away at the University of Florida. (School begins on Monday.) She's only been away for a few days, so we are still trying to adjust to her not being here. I'm sure there will be other birthdays that we won't be able to be with her, but this is the first, so it's a little more difficult.

We're very proud of this little girl of ours, who has grown into a wonderful young lady. We are excited about how God will use her and what He has planned for her.

[And a very happy __st birthday to my OLDER sister, Cherie. Yes, that's where Shae got her middle name.]

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Playing the Devil's Advocate

With apologies to Jon Acuff and his blog, StuffChristiansLike, please allow me to mention something that Christians seem to like...but I just don't get. It's been a long-standing puzzle for me, something that makes me cringe when I hear it.

It goes like this.

You're having a discussion about something - ways to do ministry, methods of outreach, structuring of teams, what you want for lunch...you know, something relatively important - and as you start to reach consensus on an idea, someone says, "Well, let me just be the devil's advocate on this."

Really? He needs one? And he needs you to fill that role?

I would think if I felt that phrase about to come out of my mouth, I'd stop and say to myself, "Hmm. If I am about to align myself with the Prince of Darkness, maybe I'm not on the right side of this issue."

I'm not sure how finding the will of God by being the devil's advocate would work out. Perhaps a full and correct translation of Matthew 16 would read more like this:
Jesus I'm going to be killed. The Pharisees and other leaders are out to get me. I'll rise again on the third day, but I'll have to die first.
Peter Okay, Jesus. Let me just play the devil's advocate on this...
Of course, you're free to pick which side you want to be on. If you feel the devil needs your help...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Moving Story and Song of Healing



A moving story of the song, Healer. Watch this, then watch the live Hillsongs performance.

She's Running, Too???


An odd coincidence, isn't it?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

She's a Little Lioness

Trying to describe someone can be difficult. It seems like you would need words to describe every moment of their life, because each one is different and reveals something else about them.

Try to describe someone with just one word, and you can come up many words short of really capturing who they are.

I'll try it anyway with our Summer, who turns 12 today. The word I'll pick is energy.

We are mostly a family of phlegmatics, with some melancholy on the side. For those of you who haven't read personality books, like those from Florence Littauer and Tim Lahaye, the phlegmatic personality is most compared to the ox - slow, steady, reliable. The melancholy personality is concerned with detail, precision, and having things just so. They are also liable to be slow.

Summer gives our Phleg-Mel family a push. Although she has some of the same familial traits, she brings zest and power into the mix. When she's happy, you know it. She loves to go full throttle, she loves to do things, she loves to try new things, and she loves to love.

Just look at that bright, energetic smile, and you might know what I mean. Even if I didn't use enough words to fully describe it.

Happy Birthday, Summer!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

McCain, Obama, or...?



You just never know who might run for political office!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dish Diss

This picture is great for this post. I think it's the same clock they use at Dish Network to schedule customer service appointments. If they used a clock. Actually, if there was one that just had the numbers 8 and 5, that would probably be good enough. But the lack of hands on the clock is completely perfect.

Can you tell I'm not happy with Dish Network?

To be fair, I'm not happy with every large company that has a convoluted phone system, anonymous first-name only operators, and no way to reach someone who has any real information.

"What's the name and number of the company that will be doing the service call?"
"We don't have that information."
"Then how do they know to come? Telepathy?"

Directv and Comcast might be frustrating, too. But Dish stinks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tribute


This is one of those posts that I feel should be deep and serious and profound and full of touching wisdom, the kind that has you reaching for your box of tissues and hugging your loved ones.

Failing that, it would be great if I had a really funny story or anecdote that would leave you with a smile and warm fuzzies tickling your spine.

I've got nothing. (Which is a shame, because I know there were plenty of stories of both varieties.)

Instead, I'll just mention that Christi would have been 50 today, and her family and friends miss her. We know she's having a great time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wiilationships on iTunes

After several attempts, we were finally able to begin recording in our Sunday school class last week. The audio still isn't great, but at least if you are not able to be with us, you can listen in.
Our class is called "Wii" and the broadcast is called "Wiilationships", not because we play the Wii in class, or even talk about it (much), but because the idea of playing well together is what we're trying to accomplish.
You're invited to listen, comment on our blog, and play along.

Friday, July 11, 2008

2.0

My new applications in iPhone. Unfortunately, iTunes is still not
working correctly.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A rule to live by


Saw this great video on Josh Griffin's More Than Dodgeball blog. Love the video; I guess I need to check out the book. (And, yes, I find myself complaining way too much.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sams Club

> Pastor invited a bunch of us to the Miracles baseball game. There
> are fireworks afterwards. Sam and Allison Neal are here with us. So
> far, the Miracle are ahead, 1-0, bottom of 5.
>

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fearsome Foresome

Time to catch up a little with the blog. Sam, Stephen Goss, and Dalton
(Sam's almost-brother), and I went golfing Friday. It was the first
time on a regulation course for Sam and the first time anywhere for
Dalton. They did pretty good for first-timers, shooting a 56 and 57 on
the back nine. Of course, if we had counted their penalty strokes, it
would've been a bit higher. ("Penalty strokes? What's that?" said Sam.)

They lost some balls, but gained some knowledge (you can't ground your
club in a bunker before your shot; it's easier to hit a 3-wood than a
driver; if you lift your head, you might miss the ball), and they
learned that Tiger Woods on the Wii is easier that the real thing.

Good times.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Children Make a Father

Happy Father's Day. I share in that by virtue of my four wonderful children (given to me by God and the lovely Trudi.) Here are just a few pictures from this weekend of the fab four.





Children make a granddad, too. (Happy Father's Day, dad!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Social Butterflies

I'm fairly internet/computer capable. I have this blog, plus a few podcasts, a Twitter account, an unused MySpace page, and a newly energized Facebook presence. On the right side of this blog page, you can see the things I'm connected with.

I follow a few people in Twitter, subscribe to several blogs, and listen to many podcasts.

The best blog post I've read recently was today's from Mark Lunsford, via Dr. George Wood. (Nice one, Mark)

The Facebook thing is something that's really been surprising. More surprising has been that, after some initial hesitation, Trudi seems to be enjoying her Facebook experience.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to add the junior high and elementary schools I went to into Facebook. (I only see the high school and college options.)

For those of you that haven't tried Facebook yet, try it out. It's kind of large and imposing, but fun once you try it. The important thing to know is that people can't see your personal information unless you let them. Only your "friends" (people you specifically allow) can see the stuff you post on Facebook.

Another interesting thing is that all of these things can be associated with one another, so my Twitter posts get posted on Facebook as well.

Why all the different things? Well, they're interesting to me. They also perform slightly different functions. I couldn't fit all these thoughts on Twitter at once. And I didn't really want to post them on Facebook. And you might even be wondering why I'm posting them here. But I can, so I am.

So...do you have a solution to my Facebook problem? Do you write a blog that I can subscribe to? Or have a podcast? Or have a Twitter account? Let me know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's a Moral Statement

Just got done watching myself, again, on the Church Drama Podcast. Posted the video of Episode 60.6, which is me doing a monologue about...well, the underlying message is about society's current view of homosexuality and the ways people try to justify it.

After the monologue, Trudi calls it a political statement, and because society has made it a political issue, I guess it is. But it's really a moral issue.

One line I wish I had added to the sketch would be right after I talk about Jesus pardoning the thief on the cross, I should have said, "And how has Jesus promised to come to us? As a thief in the night! Indeed - what would Jesus do?"

You'll understand that better if you watch the video.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's official

She's happy to be a Gator. Having her picture taken? Not so much.
We're almost done.

New Gators

Shae and Trudi, at the beginning of our two-day adventure - the
Preview for incoming students and parents at the University of
Florida. Shortly after this picture was taken, so was Shae. We haven't
seen her much since.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First room

Checking Shae into Broward 213 for the night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Me and Verizon

John Gruber's blog, Daring Fireball, points out that Me.com is kind of linked to Apple. There is much speculation that Apple's dot Mac will become Me.

I'm new to this DNS tracking stuff, but it's interesting that MeWorld.com was bought on May 25th....by Verizon.

Is this a possible sign that the iPhone might become available through Verizon? Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

4th Place Form

Here is a picture of Steven P. doing the "Happy Gilmore" on the last
hole, our 90th in three days.

Monday, May 26, 2008

36 - Day One

By reading the previous post, you probably know two things:

1) I'm in North Carolina, again, for the annual Southeastern University tournament at the Pearl in Calabash, NC. A group from our church has come to this tournament every year for the past several years.

2) I'm posting on my blog again. At least, I am during this tournament. If I have pictures to share. Otherwise, I'll be updating everyone via Twitter. The easiest way to use Twitter is by following.

This picture shows Mark Carr, Phil Goss, and Wendell Williams at a very picturesque hole. I don't think my iPhone quite captures it.

The 9th at the Pearl

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Really Tweet

Don't know if you have heard of the latest fad on the internet. It's called Twitter. It's like a blog, but restricted to 140 characters, so updates are really short. The idea behind it is to answer the question - What are you doing?

You can follow me at www.Twitter.com/TimMcDaniel. You might also notice my twitter updates in the sidebar of this page. A very good explanation of Twitter is in the video, posted from The Common Craft Show.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Great Idea I Wish I Had Thought Of First

Joshua Cody at Church Marketing Sucks pointed out a relatively new blog that is absolutely one of the best blogs I've ever seen.

Prodigal Jon is a pastor's kid and advertising person who has a couple of other blogs - that I guess were mildly viewed. But this one - Stuff Christians Like (* fixed link: 4/12/08, 1:12pm) - has caught fire. And for good reason. It's hilarious.

I've spent the last few minutes trying to go through all his posts - he's up to #141 and he only started the blog in January. The reason to read all the old posts are that they are timeless - and true. His topics have been varied, but all skewer the things Christians like, such as - Love Offerings, Saving Seats at Church, and the Side Hug.

Post #139 is about the Choir Side Step Dance, in which he writes:
Choirs invented this move in 1973 when they realized they wanted to dance a little but they didn't have room on the stage. So they came up with this side move so they could still express about 12% of the funk without bumping into each other.
This is one of those sites that I know if my sister Tammy had seen it, she would've already emailed a link to me by now. (Check it out, Tam)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wii Did It!

Count the McDaniel household among those that have come under the influence of the Wii.

After several months of casually looking, I walked into WalMart last Wednesday afternoon, only to be confronted by SIX Wii's. I had promised myself - unbeknownst to Trudi and the kids - that if I saw one anytime, I would purchase it...if I still had the cash.

I've been saving birthday, Christmas, and casual money for a couple of years. My first goal had been a killer sound system for our big-screen TV. But that had been replaced by the goal of a new iMac. However, since I hadn't been able to save a big enough amount, I had finally settled on purchasing a Mac Mini the next time they are updated.

Unless I saw a Wii first.

I did, so we are now the active owners of the Wii. I also got a couple of games and everyone has really gotten into it. Here you see Shae - who was unhappy to have her picture taken, but not enough to stop playing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

18

The common - and too easy - line is that the joke was on the church...or us.

It was eighteen years ago today that Trudi and I came to Faith Assembly. We had no idea we would be here this long or that our children would grow up here. We had hoped to make it 5 or 6 years before God moved us on.

An interesting 18 years, full of memories and people and experiences.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Good Takeoff

We recently did a takeoff of the Levitra commercials on the Church Drama Podcast. It was okay. Then I saw this takeoff from NewSpring Church which I thought was really good.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sugar & Spice

This will obviously be used again in a more public place. You'll have to provide your own punchline.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter with the Stanleys

Tammy, Terry, and Luke came to town for Easter. After 2nd service we came home for Trudi's fabulous subs, a relaxing afternoon, a viewing of "Enchanted", and evening pizzas.

We all had a great time. Wish the rest of family and many friends could have shared it with us.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rainout

Over four hours round-trip to Tampa today...to see 1 1/2 innings of baseball. The Yankees made 2 errors and the Blue Jays batted around in the top of the 1st, scoring 6 runs. But with a 2-1 count on Jorge Posada in the bottom of the 2nd, the umpires had had enough rain. Me, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

THE Tournament

I have four brackets. I kept them pretty consistent, with only a few minor variations between my picks. A few games are still going on tonight, but currently:

Picks of Faith bracket (church league)
Current score: 19 (tied for 8th out of 12)
Leader score: 21
Best pick: Davidson over Gonzaga
Worst pick: Cal State Fullerton over Wisconsin
4 of my sweet 16 have already been eliminated.

BQ Bracket Busters (Bible quiz league)
Current score: 20 (5th out of 11)
Leader score: 23
Best pick: Davidson
Worst pick: South Alabama over Butler
Again, 4 of my sweet 16 are gone.

Hoops Gurus (league with Gary Robles)
Current score: 100 (7th out of 7)
Leader score: 168
Best pick: Davidson
Worst pick: CSUF
Only 3 of sweet 16 gone, but I've lost interest in this bracket. Rules were changed after tourney began, with players allowed to change their picks before today's games, though I didn't know it. Weak.

Google (my bracket, no league, just to test the iBracket widget on the Google home page)
Current score: 42
Best pick: San Diego over Connecticut
Worst pick: Georgia over Xavier
3 sweet 16 picks gone, the worst being Drake, whom I had making it to the Final Four. Crazy, but what did I have to lose?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bobby Kingsley

(See yesterday's post for an explanation.)

Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley had always loved children. It was not the love of the idea of children. Theirs was not the case of a couple who wanted to have children, but were prevented from doing so. No, they loved children through experience. Two years after the wedding their first child, a daughter, was born. Two boys followed within the next three years.

While having children by natural birth was very fulfilling to the Kingsleys, they knew they were made for more. They eagerly pursued the avenue of adoption. A girl from South America was first, followed by another from the Pacific Rim. From the outset there was no distinction within the Kingsley household between “natural” and “adopted” children. All were loved, disciplined, nourished, appreciated, and respected. It was understood and unquestioned - they were a family.

A family that grew even larger when Mrs. Kingsley delivered yet another daughter and, shortly afterwards, the paperwork was finalized for the adoption of a boy from Eastern Europe.

Four girls, three boys, two very proud, and very satisfied parents. Of course, it takes more than love to pay the bills, but Mr. Kingsley had succeeded in business, so finances were never a concern. And even with all the demands of young and growing children, time had never been much of a factor either. Mr. Kingsley was fond of saying, “There’s always time to do what’s important,” and the strength and attitude that was evident in their home seemed to prove him right.

That strength and attitude would be tested most severely.

Of all the Kingsley children, Wally, the eleven-year-old, and third of the Kingsley clan, was the one who could brighten any mood. Perpetually sunny in disposition, quick in thought, compassionate in relationships, Wally was not only the peacemaker in sibling squabbles, his ability to bring a smile and his lack of self-preoccupation invited the admiration of his younger brothers and sisters, and the protection of his older ones.

Unfortunately, their watchful eyes didn’t see the car that crushed Wally’s bicycle as he rode to a friend’s house. The driver never stopped and the Kingsleys would never know precisely what happened. They only knew the result.

Even in their courtship, both Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley had decided that, when their time came, they would be life-givers. It was on each of their driver’s licenses. A real discussion , then, wasn’t even necessary in Wally’s case, only signatures on a form. As hard as losing a child was, the Kingsleys’ grief was lessened, if only slightly, by knowing that other children would live as a result. The strong and kind heart of their child would power the life of another.

Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley met Bobby several months before Wally’s accident. Orphaned at birth, left at the front door of the local firehouse without a note, Bobby was without any clue to his background or his lineage.

The system had cared for Bobby in the twelve years since. Cared is probably overstating what Bobby had experienced. “Tolerated” or “kept” might describe it better. Bobby had never caught the eye or the heart of any prospective parents. He had been carried along by the bureaucracy, existing, but not belonging.

Despite the lack of warmth and affection that nourishes and sustains any young child, Bobby was relatively well-adjusted, even hopeful. He had experienced more than his share of disappointment and rejection, pain and loneliness. He lacked any real knowledge of what a loving family could be like. Not knowing what he was missing, it was said, Bobby missed it less.

It was shortly after the Kingsleys met him for the first time that Bobby’s kidneys began to fail. The medical professionals disagreed on the cause, but were certain of the prognosis. Bobby needed new kidneys. He was put on the list.

Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley normally sought to adopt a child as an infant or toddler, but felt inexplicably drawn to the case of this pre-teen with daunting medical needs. They had a vision to meet the great need of children from other countries, but felt compelled to touch this child from their own community.

They hesitated. Then came Wally’s accident, and suddenly tragedy and opportunity intersected to make their decision for them.

Bobby could be taken off two lists at the same time, gaining two titles - organ recipient and son.

Only hours after losing one son, the Kingsleys would participate in the possible gain of another.

They never thought of Bobby as Wally’s replacement. Just as they had loved each of their children specifically and independently, they saw Bobby through an exclusive lens. This was simply making the very best out of the very worst.

The surgery went better than any of the medical team had hoped. The unusual step of replacing both of Bobby’s kidneys was an unqualified success. Rather than rejecting the transplanted organs, Bobby’s system responded vigorously. It seemed that he was almost instantly cured of whatever had caused his original condition. Recovery would be brief.

The grief of the Kingsley family was more prolonged. The loss of Wally was profound, piercing. Those feelings of emptiness were mixed with the hope of gaining Bobby. In time, the children were introduced to their potential sibling, and Bobby and the Kingsleys became acquainted.

In the next twelve months, the Kingsley clan gradually regained their footing, and the addition of Bobby to the group was another step to healing. Even the youngest Kingsley sensed a bigger purpose, as if it was all calculated in advance.

From Bobby’s perspective, it was nothing short of overwhelming. Having never known the benefits of belonging, he was given a wonderful taste of what it would be like to be a brother, a son. He liked it. He couldn’t wait to be known, not just as Bobby, but Bobby Kingsley. It was all miraculous, too good to be true. But if Bobby ever doubted the reality, he only had to touch the scar that signified the sacrifice and provision he had received.

It was exactly a year to the day of Wally’s accident - coincidentally - that papers were signed, and it was official - Bobby Kingsley, the newest , if not the youngest, Kingsley child. A bittersweet day, to be sure.

---

Mealtimes were always the best times at the Kingsleys, No better food could be served than what was prepared by Mrs. Kingsley, but it was more than food that made mealtimes special. Mealtimes were a time to laugh at the stories of the day, a time to look in each other’s eyes, a time when connection became the most real.

In the years following, as the family grew yet again, those family dinners bonded them ever closer. There was one more baby, a boy, to close out Mrs. Kingsley’s child-bearing years, followed by twin - yes, twin - girls, orphaned by a terrible east African civil war, now adopted into positive American civil bliss. Then the grandchildren began to arrive.

It was the empty place at the table that created the difficulty.

Of course, there was never any physically empty place at the Kingsley table. Space was too precious for that. The emptiness was felt, if not seen. No matter how many other Kingsley children and grandchildren made their place at the table, the emptiness was real and tangible. It was the place their brother should have occupied.

No one could explain why he rarely did.

In the days after his adoption, Bobby had quickly meshed into the fabric of Kingsley life. He enjoyed everything about it. Even discipline was administered with genuine compassion and charity. That’s what he loved most. They really cared.

That’s why it was only a little unusual when he started asking if he could spend the night back at the orphanage. Surely he just wanted to share the new attitude and sense of belonging he had discovered with some of the kids he left behind.

It wasn’t long before everyone realized that there must be more to it. Nights became weekends, that quickly became weeks. And each time he returned, Bobby acted less like a son, more like an orphan.

How could a twelve, now thirteen, then fourteen year old boy decide where he was going to live, who he would listen to? And why, having experienced the love, belonging and close-knit unity of a family, would he choose the cold loneliness of the orphanage?

The excuses were varied, if not predictable, until at last the excuses stopped being offered. Instead, there was silence. And the empty place at the table.

Every once in a while, their paths would cross, Bobby and one of the other Kingsleys, though the younger ones didn’t recognize him, and couldn’t know that the man with the prematurely graying hair and slight limp was one of their own. They might make the connection if they caught sight of him on the fringes of the annual family reunions, held - not by coincidence - on the anniversary of a very special day. Even Bobby wouldn’t miss that day.

But he would miss most everything else about being a Kingsley.

---

Married for over sixty years, sharing life, love, tragedy, loss, and great joy, it surprised few people who really knew them when Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley passed away within a few hours of each other.

At the reading of the will, the room was abounding with Kingsleys. Their family had grown quite large, and Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley had planned on generously blessing each family member at their passing.

Their testament mentioned each by name, from the youngest to the oldest. In most cases, there was included a favorite story about the family member, along with the qualities Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley had most admired. There were many tears, but many laughs as well. It was as if Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley were still there, with the rest of the family gathered at the old mealtime table.

It was almost incidental when the endowment of material possessions was finally mentioned. Almost. For nothing that they had known of the Kingsley patriarch’s generosity and financial acumen prepared them for what was to come.

They were rich. Each and every last one of them. From the youngest great-great-grandchild - for the record, Emma, born only three weeks before and, actually, the only great-great grandchild - to the oldest daughter, they had all become instant millionaires. Multi-millionaires, to be more precise, who, if they followed the advice handed down to them as well, would eventually approach billionaire status.

One name was conspicuously absent, a fact not lost on anyone that were present.
He stood near the back of the room, moving little, saying nothing. At the beginning of the evening he was hopeful, but not expectant. He hadn’t seen any family member, much less the parents, in the few months preceding their deaths, but the scar was still there, the one that reminded him of the first gift they had ever given him. He was hopeful for one more.

But as the night wore on, and the names were read, and everyone swam in the rich sea of family memories, it occurred to Bobby that perhaps he had already missed the real inheritance. When he finally heard his name, he couldn’t help but hold his breath.

“...and to Bobby. We still love you. You heard us say, there is always time to do what’s important. We were wrong, because now there is no time for us to know you as our son. We wish you had joined us for dinner. It was more than a meal.”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Illustration Post Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning I will be posting a short story. It was an illustration that I originally wrote for the sermon last night. I am doing a series on the book of Numbers and last night we were in Numbers 9:1-14.

The illustration turned out to be quite long, turning into a short story, which I've decided to post here.

The basic idea I was trying to illustrate was this: what is it like when someone says, I like God, I just don't like the church? Or, I'm a Christian, but I don't have to go to church for that.

In Numbers 9, God makes it clear to the Israelites, if you don't partake in Passover, you have no place in the congregation, and if you have no place in the congregation, you have no part in me.

Check back tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's a Family Event

At the risk of being accused of worshipping dumb idols, I'll admit that we - as a family - are regular viewers of American Idol. (Some people just need to get over the name. Please.)

We have our favorites. Last night I thought Jason Castro was one of the best. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I like his sound. And something about him reminds me of a friend of ours. (What do you think, Rachel?)

Just to clarify, our friend IS a sharp guy. Still, there's something...