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24 posts from October 2010

iPad test: Can I embed this Joe Stowell video using BlogPress app

I'm still using my iPad as my main computing device because my MacBook Air is in the shop. How far can I take the iPad in using it for my daily activities on the computer like posting on my blogs?

As I get ready for church this morning, I ran into this video by Joe Stowell of the Radio Bible Class who talks about Thanksgiving in this short video. Can I embed it into this post using the iPad? Here's the result:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thinking seriously about Michigan's upcoming election

I wish Michigan provided voters the same choice that Nevada does on Election Day by allowing to select "none of the above."

I keep asking myself what difference my vote or anybody else's will make when we go to the polls the day after tomorrow. The political campaign this year was not a serious discussion of the issues and the ability of individual candidates to do something.

It was all about the two major political parties trying to hang onto power with no real explanation of what they will do with it.

This attitude seems to be epitomized by the race for governor and by the many contests for both houses of the Michigan Legislature.

And in my opinion, the Tea Party here in Michigan hasn't helped. They do their war dances at various rallies, but they make little effort to understand the issues or to learn how the process works.

How about this item mentioned this morning on where consultant Craig Ruff talks about one of the most important qualifications to be governor? Michigan's new leader needs to be able to get along with and have relationships with people, particularly legislators to get anything done. And that takes some serious skill and effort.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Here's how political candidates could get my vote

When having lunch together on Monday, my friend Ken and I were talking about the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the current political campaigns around the country.

He had a great idea: The candidate who takes $100,000 from his campaign treasury and who uses it for rebuilding the country of Haiti instead of one more flight of attack ads would have his vote.

Having just returned from that country two weeks ago, I've seen the extreme need for just about everything. They need clean water to drink and they need food. The live in squalor.

Just think if U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers from the mid-Michigan area took $100,000 from his campaign war chest and gave it to Samaritan's Purse which is working hard to meet many of these needs. What if his opponent did it? By doing this they would forgo a chance to stretch the truth or lie about their opponents.

But they would be helping a group of people in serious need.

They'd have my vote and they'd have Ken's. Any takers among the candidates?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My grandson has got his seat for the MSU v. Iowa game this afternoon

My grandson Xavier is four-months old plus and is already a serious college football fan. He and his dad will be watching today's crucial game between MSU and Iowa. He's ready as you can see from this picture.


PLEASE NOTE: For those of you following my effort to make my iPad my main computer while my MacBook Air is in the shop, this post was set on my wife's Mac Book.

Virg Bernero's statement about teachers makes sense

Virg Bernero shows that he recognizes some important facts about public school teachers and their role in education.

He emphasizes that students are not widgets where teachers are dealing everybody being at the same level. This could be related to the fact that he's married to a teacher turned principal in the Lansing school system. It shows he listened to her. He said:

"What do you judge a teacher on? Yes, they should all be competent. They should all be skilled in their area. But these are not widgets that they're working on. These are students, who all come in at different levels," said Bernero, whose wife is a Lansing elementary school principal. "I just think there's more important things."

However, does Bernero take his understanding far enough? Does he recognize the role of parents in a child's education? Can a teacher serve as a surrogate for the parent in that role?

Any comments?

Please note: This is written and posted on my iPad using the app BlogBooster. Using this device I seem to have less than minimal formatting capabilities.

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

We will be watching MSU beat Iowa this afternoon

We will be watching MSU this afternoon when it plays Iowa. Will my alma mater be able to continue its winning streak? Here's a link to the Detroit Free Press story about the game: The Detroit Free Press on the MSU v. Iowa game today BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

This is part of my continuing test to see if I can use my iPad as my primary computing device. Here's I tried inserting a link using the app BlogBooster. It was made for the iPhone but can be used for the iPad

Using "Blog Boost" app to write post with iPad

In my quest to test the limits of usefulness for my iPad as a primary computing device, I downloaded the app BlogBoost from the app store.

My goal is to find a way to use this device to write blog posts with links, formatting and to be able to add pictures and other images.

This app allows me to post to several different blogging platforms, including Typepad and I notice that it allows me to use "boldface" and "italic" and a handful of other formatting.

I can also add images through the Picassa photo

album program. My test continues.

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

I didn't take any vitamins yesterday

It's 3:33 a.m., Saturday morning and I'm wide awake sitting in our living room using my iPad to write this post.

We are wide awake drinking Traverse City Cherry-flavored coffee. Perhaps, its because we went to bed at 9:30 p.m.

My primary computer-a MacBookAir-is in the shop for an overhaul and so I'm using this device as a fill-in.

To write this post on this blog, I'm using a Typepad app from the "app store." I'm really amazed by how little flexibility it gives me. I can't link and I can't use formatting tools that I can use ordinarily. And I can't easily use images.

Are there any other blogging apps that would allow me to do those different things?

About my headline and the vitamins, I have a notebook where I list the various eyedrops and vitamins I take during the day. It's a skinny Moleskine notebook that I can carry in my backpocket.

No vitamins yesterday. Could that be why I'm awake? Could it be an aging thing? Could I just have gone to bed too early?

My experience using my iPad and G-Mail to post on my Typepad blog

I tried using G-Mail on my iPad to post to my blog which is on the
Typepad platform if you follow all that. My conclusion: there's no
way to use the formatting tools in G-Mail to send a post to this blog.

My only choice is this skinned-down version of G-Mail which allows
only the simple sending of e-mails. That really reduces the utility
of the iPad as a primary computing device.

My primary computer--a Mac Book Air--is in the shop and I'm trying to
see how far I can use my iPad. I'm posting this using G-Mail going
directly into Typepad.

I have plenty of things I'd like to post about where I would like to
include still pictures and video. I am using Apple's external

I'm writing this on my iPad and I'm not sure I like it

My primary computer is in the shop because it stopped working and I'm having a chance to use my iPad as my main online device. How do I like the switch? Using it to post to Typepad is a real chore. Typepad has a pretty user-friendly interface. On my Mac Book Air, this blog platform has plenty of easy to use tools for formatting a post. On the iPad, they seem to be lost. What am I talking about? With the iPad, there's no way to boldface with Typepad. This is a basic for blog posts. I also see no way to add pictures or other art to a post. What am I missing? Should Typepad/Six Apart be responsible for making this compatible or Apple? I will give this a fair try. Maybe it's time to switch my main blog to Posterous and then be able to format it through G-Mail. Any comments? Thoughts?

My new Brooks shoes from Playmakers, E. Lansing will help keep this boomer walking

Super-wife and I have been walking just about everyday since early spring, but I ran into a problem that became an obstacle to continuing that.

PA220134 While on a short-term mission trip to Haiti last week, I left my old pair of good walking shoes there for people who really need them.  So, we went to Playmakers in East Lansing (MI) to buy a new pair.  I no longer run because of no meniscus in my left knee, but I can walk. 

The clerk who waited on me-I think his name was Steve-was great.  First, he didn't laugh that a 64-year-old baby-boomer was trying to buy a new pair of shoes and not for running.  He was incredibly supportive.  He watched the way I walked and made a recommendation about the kind of shoe I should buy.

I got a pair of Brooks shoes.  The box says DYAD 6.  I gave them a full try-out this morning and they feel great.  I could have kept walking further and faster. 

They cost $106.  But, I compare that to the $40 per month that I used to pay for a co-pay for blood pressure medicine.  I'm actually getting off cheap.  I really feel good about the purchase and I recommend this store.

Going to Haiti for us was like getting a tattoo

It's going to take a while for me to sort out my feelings about what we saw and who we met during our seven days in Haiti.  We've been back a few days and I feel like I have this big tattoo on my heart that will never go away and I don't think I want it to.

While Gladys and I make new friends and re-visit old ones here at home like Mr. Merilax and Ms. Immodium, we've had a chance to sift through some of our feelings about our experiences in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Little girl What stands out are our remembrances of the Haitian people.  Check the picture here of the little girl who we met just outside our little bus that was across the street from the National Palace that was pancaked during the earthquake in January.  She couldn't have been more than three or four-years-old and she had been abandoned by her family and then taken by another who doesn't have the resources to care for her. 

Room is being sought for her in an orphanage.  We didn't learn much more than that about her.  But those types of stories seem to be repeated over and over.  Here are other things we saw along with my impressions:

  • The Haitian people we saw don't complain and they smile.  This seemed to be a constant in what has to be one of the toughest places in the world to live.  Where do they get their hope?  It has to Me come from inside.
  • A week ago Sunday on the way to church and riding through the center of the city, we saw hundred of men dressed in a clean shirt and tie carrying a Bible proudly on their way to church.  We saw women and kids dressed up and headed in the same direction.
  • One of our team members, Dr. John Partridge, a MSU faculty member, figured that we went about  seven miles-per-hour in our bus rides which were made memorable by a variety of things.  But, the air pollution stands out.  It's thick.  It's nasty and inside the city, it seems to be everywhere.
  • At the orphanage that we worked to get ready for occupancy, we hired kids to help haul cement and we paid them well.  They shoveled sand and pushed wheel barrows and they did it with an unabashed enthusiasm and persistence.  It was something to see.
  • One of our interpreters, Jamie, saw day-to-day living and the future as something to be embraced.  He's 27 and lived through the earthquake with vivid memories.  He wants to learn and to keep learning.  Conventional wisdom says the odds are against him.  But . . .regardless of what happens, this guy is a winner.

I will be writing more as thoughts settle in.  I invite you to visit our trip blog, The Haitian Chronicles, where I've posted a lot of Flip video and still pictures and shared experiences and impressions.


My last day in some of the most extreme poverty in the world

I'm sitting outside overlooking a small courtyard in an orphanage/guesthouse at quarter-to-five in the morning. It's our last day in Haiti and my mind is filled with thoughts as my body is covered with grime and sweat. I've seen vast extremes here. Many people live in what can be best described as a hovel. The tent cities we see on the news don't come close to seeing them in real life. It's many steps below basic living. On the other end, I see the continual smiles from the Haitians. I think of two youmg guys who I spent a lot of time talking to on rides to our work site. One, Jamie, gave me a gospel presentation. He says he has real hope and he say s it with conviction. His hope is in Jesus Christ and he say a he wins regardless of what happens to him. He says this as we ride through air pollution that you could cut witn a knife and which made breathing an exercise. What did I learn from this past week? I'm going to spend some time sorting that out. Meanwhile, as you get ready to go to church this weekend, remember to pray for Haiti and it's people.

ELCA bishops say that traditional biblical teaching on sexuality is sinful

Even though the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly committed the ELCA to “respect the bound consciences of all,” recent worship services receiving the new ELCA pastors have included “confessions” stating that holding the traditional teaching of the Christian Church on sexual ethics is sinful.


Do I read this right about the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and what they're now teaching about what the Bible states on sexuality?

According to this post, certain ELCA bishops are saying that traditional biblical teaching on sexuality is sinful.

They say this during services where pastors in gay marriages are recognized.

Click on the above post for the details. Any comments?

These are home improvements that won't add resale value

Even though the current homeowner may greatly appreciate the improvement, a buyer could be unimpressed and unwilling to factor the upgrade into the purchase price. Homeowners, therefore, need to be careful with how they choose to spend their money if they are expecting the investment to pay off.


As an older, retired baby-boomer, I'm thinking about the day when we sell our home for something in a more hospitable climate or just smaller.

We've made a lot of improvements to our home over the years, new furnace, new roof, new windows and new air conditioning.

Will we ever get our money back when we sell?

Click on the above article on Yahoo about six things you can do to improve your home and thinking that they will raise your resale value and they don't.

This is sobering and it's important to keep in mind.

Michigan needs to decide if it's college or welfare, says Detroit News columnist

We cheated our fate for decades with the help of unionized manufacturing jobs that provided fat paychecks for low skills. It was a false universe that had Michigan entering the new century ranked 16th in household income, while standing at 30th in the percentage of its adult residents with at least a bachelor's degree.


Have Michigan residents been the victims of the big cheat perpetuated by past governors like Bill Milliken, James Blanchard, John Engler and Jennifer Granholm?

Click on the link in the quote above from today's column by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News.

He says that our state's leadership knew that the auto industry was headed for a big dive that would turn Michigan into a second-rate state for making a decent income.

And Finley says, they knew that future success would come from having a workforce with a college education. But instead of sacrificing, they spent the state's money on welfare programs, rather than colleges and universities.

The result speaks for itself in the amount of household income lost in our state in the past decade.

What would the Dems Virg Bernero and the Republicans Rick Snyder do to make college education more affordable? Anybody hear?

Teaching myself how to do a live UStream broadcast from Haiti

PLEASE NOTE:  This is cross-posted on The Haitian Chronicles.

Super-wife and I will be joining a group of Baby-Boomers on a short-term mission trip where we will help ready for occupancy an orphanage severely-damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake.  One of my jobs will be to keep folks here informed about our status and about the individuals involved.

One of the things that I want to try is a live UStream broadcast from the guesthouse where we will be staying which has broadband service through a satellite. That way we can stay in touch on a real time basis with our network back in the states, especially those from the Martin Luther Chapel community in East Lansing, Michigan.

To get ready, I've been experimenting with using UStream around home and with relatives in other states.  And it has worked.

Does anyone out there in the blogosphere know of this being done from Haiti or other remote locations?  How'd it work?  Any advice? 

Here's a recording of my first test.  It's pretty boring. I talk a little, pick my nose a lot as I play with the controls on the UStream dashboard.

I'd consider getting a tattoo because of this sermon from Ephesians 1: 3-14

Do you ever struggle with your identity?  Maybe it's your age, too young, too old.  Your health.  Maybe it has declined.  Maybe rejection by a family member.  Husband.  Wife.  Child.

The whole question of identity has dogged me for most of my 64-year-old life.  It's like a monkey on your back that's just there and then at a certain point gives you a kick in the ribs to remind you of something or somebody. 

I heard this sermon at Ada Bible Church last week on Ephesians 1:3-14 about where real identity comes from.  It's stuff I heard before, but I heard it more clearly and in a way that's relevant to me.  Pastor Jeff Manion made three key points and that's where the taattoo comes in.  I need to be reminded of these and sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis and sometimes less often:

  • I was adopted.
  • I was bought.
  • I'm his.

Click here to either watch or listen to the sermon.  It's part of a 14-week series on Ephesians.  It's another piece of my spiritual journey.  And it's a key piece.  "I'm his."

Jeff manion