Friday, January 30, 2009

Famous Google-Wide [Mc]

Even though I'll be posting this picture on Facebook, I thought I'd post it here, too. The picture is from Google Maps, in street-view mode. On the skateboard is Dalton. Well, we mostly call him Dalton, even though his name is Russell and that's what a lot of people know him as. We know him as our "son/brother/friend/the-kid-who-comes-over-and-eats-our-food."

Dalton is graduating from high school this year. Immediately after that, he is scheduled to head off to the Marines. We'll miss him.

Wonder if he'll take his skateboard?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Gator Pix [Gator]

A couple of pix sure to be unpopular with the non-Gators who may read this blog...the first comes from my Gator daughter, and the second was taken from the Orange and Blue Hue blog.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who You Really Are [Mc]

Saw this great video on the Ragamuffin Soul blog. Great for a few reasons.

It's a great follow-up to my previous post about the President. What a wonderful tribute by two who know him best.

It is also thought-provoking for any dad, but especially any dad with a public title. I'm in the ministry, on staff at a church, so I have one of those titles. Pastor. Different than a president, but with some of the same pitfalls. You can forget who you are. You can forget what - and who - are really important. And you can forget that while you try to change the world and try to bring change into your sphere of influence, the greatest purposes are found under your own roof.

That's as introspective as I intend on being for the next couple of days. happy birthday to me. tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Godspeed, Mr. President [Mc]

It's really rather remarkable when you think about it.

The elder President Bush gained access to the White House in 1981 as Vice President. By extension, so did his son, George. For the eight years after, then for four years when his dad was president, George became increasingly familiar with the place.

For the last eight years, it has also been the home of his family, with Laura, their daughters, and their pets.

It must be a strange feeling tonight, the last they will spend as primary occupants. Tomorrow they will leave, and many will be gleeful and rejoice. Enemies - no less a term will do - of President and Mrs. Bush will enthusiastically try to expunge any trace of the former tenants' presence in the place. They will trumpet "change" and "new hope" and denounce the backward and bumbling steps of those that have gone before.

I will be praying for President and Mrs. Bush. Only Divine Wisdom could tell which steps have been best and which have been faulty in the past eight years. But I am thankful that these great Americans have been leading us. I am thankful for the energy, wisdom, caution, strength, patience, generosity, and goodwill that they have used in serving our country. They have served every person in this country - rich or poor, black or white, conservative or liberal - with dignity, sincerity, and faith in God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God bless you and your family in the years ahead.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Kind of Counseling [Rev]

I saw this on Jeff Leake's blog, The Launch Pad. He said that he was not recommending this counseling methodology...but I like it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Live and Learn [Rev]

[Warning: The following post is technology-filled and totally about me. I mean, even more about me than normal. Really. You've been warned.]

The beginning of 2009 has been almost completely about software for me. I am in the middle of editing the video for last month's Gospel According to Scrooge. This is a time-consuming project for a couple of reasons.

We shot video from four cameras on two different nights (Sunday and Monday). That means there was 16 hours of video to import and work with.[1] On top of that, I'm not experienced with video editing, nor with the editing software. Most of my video editing experience has come from the last few years of editing the Scrooge video.

During that experience I have been using Apple's Final Cut software. Because of some software and operating system issues, I was forced to upgrade[2] to the latest version, Final Cut Studio 2
. It's very powerful software with many cool and wonderful features. That's what makes software powerful - cool, easy-to-use features, that give great depth and complexity to what you can accomplish. It also means there is a lot to learn. So, I'm learning.

One of our choices[3] this year in Scrooge was to use some pre-recorded video as part of the production. We used four different video segments this year: the opening montage, taking us from the opening titles to the opening song; the bedroom sequence, which shows Scrooge entering the bedroom, undressing, hearing the voice, then encountering Angel #1; the graveyard, with the Cratchit Family; and the final bedroom scene, where Scrooge discovers he is still alive. In order to accomplish some of the effects used in these segments, I used a trial version of Adobe After Effects CS4. After Effects is widely used by video professionals, but I had never used it. I quickly had to learn some key features in order to have the video ready for Scrooge. But, as I said, it was a trial version, so I had to purchase the full version in order to finish the edit of the DVD.

I ended up ordering Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, which includes After Effects. Again, it's another powerful program with many wonderful features. More learning.

Both of these programs are more than one program. They are suites that include several programs, each with many parts and pieces.

With so much to learn, I've turned to a some internet sources for instruction and help. The first is MacBreak Studio, a podcast from Pixel Corps. These are short video podcasts that cover one specific feature for video producers in each show. Usually these are features specific to Final Cut Studio. Some of these shows originated in Pixel Corps' original podcast, MacBreak.

Another great podcast is ChurchMediaDesign, or CMD, from the media guys at Watermark church from Grand Haven, Michigan. This is a phenomenal show that gives a lot of great how-to's. (They also give some free resources to use in your own ministry.)

A third informative podcast (can you tell I love podcasts? It's because they're free!) is Creative Cow's Creative Cow for Photoshop Video podcast. As the title says, it's video help for Photoshop users.

After I wrote the previous paragraph, it got me thinking, so I searched iTunes and - duh - it turns out that Creative Cow has a range of podcasts covering the range of both Adobe and Apple products. I'll have to check them out when I'm done posting this.

I'm also exploring It has a tremendous amount of video tutorials on all of this software and more. Unfortunately, it's not free. However, it's not that expensive, and they have a trial period.

Although it's not theologically correct, it does bring to mind something I often quote from my dad...

Live and learn.

Die and forget it all.

I hope to work on the first part...and delay the second part for awhile.
[1] Okay, not exactly 16 hours. One camera didn't film the first act on Sunday. Very disappointing. But the import of the video was only the beginning. Two cameras shot in LP mode, which our JVC was unable to replay. I didn't discover why until after I spent most of one day trying to use the JVC. Editing will mean going through all of the captured video frame-by-frame.
[2] When I say "upgrade" or "bought", I mean that I did it on behalf of Faith Assembly. This software is more than I can personally afford. Although the upgrade to FC is cheaper than the full version, and, since I'm a homeschool dad, I can get the education version of CS4.
[3] And when I say "our choice", I mean "my choice." Yes, I asked the opinion of everyone in the leadership team of Scrooge, including Pastor Goss. Those that liked the result can thank them for their decision. But those that didn't can blame me, since it really came down to me pushing this through. More on that later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Superman would be if he didn't have to deal with kryptonite [Gator]

Tebow Skips Senior Season, Ascends Directly Into Heaven

MIAMI (SP) -- Shortly after leading the Florida Gators to a national championship with a 24-14 win over Oklahoma, junior quarterback Tim Tebow announced he would skip his senior season and ascend 
directly into heaven...{Read the rest of this story here}

I guess this is meant to be a jab at the press, including the Fox announcers, ESPN announcers, CBS announcers, and every other person who has ever met Tim Tebow. I just think it's funny, mostly because Tebow doesn't believe all this stuff. (And I don't think his friends and family would ever let him.)

Thanks to Bob Henley for sending this my way.

(And if you haven't seen this video, then you probably don't watch much sports news.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

More to come [Gator]

Where do I begin?

A great, great, great day to be a Florida Gator. From the moment that Major Wright separated Oklahoma's Manny Johnson from his senses, it was a wonderful thing to watch the Gators capture their 3rd National Championship. [The picture is from]

And there's more to come, we think. It's good to be on top. It's good not to be Florida State or Miami or Notre Dame or Tennessee or many other teams that can only look up from their position far down the mountain.

One of the best things about this was being able to share it with my children, having been able to attend games with them this year, so they got to experience what a championship season is like. It's good.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Kodak on Vimeo [Rev]

Among the new things I'm trying this year is Vimeo, a video service that is much like YouTube, but allows free upload of HD content. I shot this HD video at 60 frames per second on the Zi6 at Sammy's basketball game last night. When I play it back, it doesn't look very good on Vimeo on my computer...don't know how it will look on yours. (The video on my computer, straight from the camera, is amazingly good.)

Also, the preview here is only 400X300. When you click the link and go to my Vimeo space, it's in full resolution.

Sammy playing ball from Tim McDaniel on Vimeo.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Name to Have in Ministry [Mc]

This past Sunday Trudi and I were trying to figure out which church we would like to visit. I was on vacation, so I did a little web surfing to see where we might go on Sunday morning. There are many great churches in Southwest Florida, so it's not an easy choice.

I was able to rule out one church right away - Cape Christian Fellowship. Not that I have anything against CCF. I've heard good things about both the church and its pastor, Dennis Gingerich.

But their youth pastor - whom I've never met - is...Tim McDaniel. Great name (even if his middle name is Kenneth, thereby distinguishing him as the Tim K. McDaniel who is a pastor in Southwest Florida, as opposed to myself, the Tim D. McDaniel who is a pastor in Southwest Florida.)

Tim McDaniel wouldn't seem to be the most common name. To have two of us serving on ministry staffs just miles apart...strange. And probably wonderful. (But I'm the Tim McDaniel you'll find at

We went to First Assembly instead. Good service. And no one on staff was named me.

[Edit: No, the picture is NOT me, it's the other Tim. I have (a little) more hair.]