Monday, September 24, 2007

Some Verses

Part of why I created this blog is to keep a log of what I read and some of my thoughts about different books. Lately I've been trying to read a chapter from the New Testament every day. Then I focus on a verse or two that stand out and write about them in my journal. Today's stand out verses were these.
From 1 Corinthians 12:

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
I've always liked thinking about the church as the body of Christ but these verses brought a new angle to it for me. The angle of the weak and least important being the most necessary. It forced me to ask, what do the weak and seemingly unimportant members of the body look like? And am I treating them as the most necessary?

Here are some other verses that have been standing out to me lately. It's interesting which ones God chooses for me to focus on. I got the verses from and most of them are in the New Living Translation.

1 Cor. 10
11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Cor. 6
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

1 Cor. 4
4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

1 Cor. 2
7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God[c]—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.

Gal. 6
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Gal. 4
31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

James 5
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James 3
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. (NIV)


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Canadian Dollar worth over 99 cents US!!

While we all slept last night the Canadian Dollar continued its climb towards parity with the US dollar. Quite unbelievable considering where the Canadian Dollar was while I was living in Tennessee. My wife and I moved to Tennessee back in Spring of 2001. Here's a graph that shows what's happened since then!

What does this mean for us Canadians? Well for this one, since I get paid in US dollars this basically means I keep getting a pay cut! Other Canadians who export to the US (which there are a lot of) are losing money. Back when the Loonie (we call our dollar a loonie because there is a picture of a loon on it, see pic below) was quite low in 2002 you could sell something in the US for $100US and make almost $160CDN on it. Today however, that same person would only get $102CDN. Pretty rough! It also means all of us Canadians will be vacationing and generally spending more money in the US for a while since it will be so much cheaper for us!

Check out these articles to learn more.


Monday, September 17, 2007

ipod - Lost Albums?

I don't think this is an iTunes glitch because Apple doesn't make mistakes right? But if anyone else has had this problem it would be worth reading this to fix it.

There have been a few albums that I have in iTunes that are often quite difficult to find when looking on my ipod. For instance, an album I have by Oscar Peterson called Oscar Peterson Trio + 1 Clark Terry. (Great album by the way!) I would search under Oscar Peterson on my ipod and never find it yet I knew the album was there because a search in itunes would find it. If I searched by album I would find it by the album title but it wouldn't show up under Artist! The same thing happened for The Wallflowers. I have two of their albums and I couldn't find either one when I searched for The Wallflowers. The Wallflowers would never show up under artists. I can never remember the album names so I would never be able to find them.

Today I discovered the problem. I think it has to do with when I am importing the CD. The CDDB database that iTunes gets all the track names from brings in other information too. The key piece of information here is that sometimes it considers an album to be a compilation. When that option is checked, it doesn't list the artist under artist on the ipod. Or at least that's what seems to happen. After I changed it, everything worked like a charm so here's what you do.

Go into your home directory and find your iTunes folder. Under "C" find compilations. Go through that folder and look for albums that you know are not actually compilations. When you find one (like I did with Oscar Peterson) then go into iTunes and find that same album. Select it so that that album shows up in the bottom window. Highlight the entire album, right click or apple-i to 'get info' and you'll get a window like this.

In the bottom left corner you'll see an option that says "Compilation". That will say "Yes" as mine does in the image above. Change that to "No", click OK and that will fix it all up. Now your albums will be where you expect to find them.

Now I have a bunch of "new" albums to listen to.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cleaning the bladder.

Back in June, for my birthday, I received the backpack pictured here. It's made by The North Face and is called Dogfish. The reason I got it was because I needed something to help carry my hydration and food needs on long runs. It's been working great!

If you are unfamiliar with "Hydration Packs" they come with a water bladder inside that looks like this.

Before my first use I figured I should clean out the thing but couldn't find any instructions anywhere. So of course I Googled it but still nothing. So after owning it for a few months I figured I should post a blog on how to clean it out for future hydration pack owners. It's not like it's rocket science but I searched and didn't find anything and we can't have that happening on the good old world wide web now can we?

So the biggest issue is really drying it out after it's been cleaned. I haven't noticed any taste issues by using normal dish detergent when washing so that's what I would suggest doing. Hot water and soap. If you've just got water in it in the first place it shouldn't be a big deal but if you don't get it dry, that's when things can get gross. Things will grow and then yuck! So the best thing to do after cleaning is to just stuff a towel in it and move it around until it's dry. Brilliant eh? As for the straw, I'm open to suggestions. But I think it dries out pretty good if you just hang it in such a way that in can drip.

There you go new hydration pack owners. You are welcome and enjoy your new pack!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good 3-Year-Old Ear

Just a quick story about coming home from this last trip.

Yesterday, Sherri, Jonah and I arrived home after a wonderful two weeks in central Washington state. To see some great pictures see my previous post and Sherri's blog. While we were there, the band spent some time recording and Jonah got to play the drums in the studio. Quite exciting for a 3-year-old. I even recorded him using the top notch recording gear they have there. Anyway, when we got home Jonah went straight to his drum kit to play some beats. He hit his snare drum a few times then stopped. He hit it again. This time he sort of looked around, confused.
"Daddy, this snare drum doesn't sound too good" he says.
You see, Jonah had been playing a pretty nice drum kit at the studio. Pretty expensive too, especially the snare drum. The snare drum he played before he got home is worth about three of his drum kits so . . . yeah . . . your snare doesn't sound too good buddy. Sorry. But at least he's got the ear to know the difference already!!


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Detroit Marathon Training Update

I blogged last week about my 18 mile run. This week my long run was 22 miles and once again it was gorgeous. Even prettier than last time. So pretty that I had to get out with a camera this morning and get some pictures. Below is a screen shot of my elevation graph from my GPS. I didn't realize during my run how much of a hill I climbed, so when I saw this graph I was quite surprised. I discovered I climbed a total of 2,781 feet and descended a total of 3,334 feet!!

The picture below is taken from the highest point on that graph looking back at the road I ran up. I tried something a little different on this run. I thought I would bring a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich to eat during my run, you know, instead of the usual not so tasty energy snacks. So imagine me running up that hill with half a P.B. and J sandwich in my hand. I guess it worked out. My energy stayed consistent and I felt great all day after the run.

The following two pictures are the view that you have when you reach the top. I think I will have to plan on doing this run again next year!!

And for those of you that run, here are the stats from the run.

Distance - 22 Miles
Elapsed Time - 3:17:36 (I started at 6AM, early for me!!)
Average Pace - 8:58 (Decent for having that hill in the middle of the run)
Calories - 3908

Next week will be a bit of a break, only 16 miles! Ha ha.



Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Marathon

Well I did it. I booked myself another marathon to run. On October 21st I'll be running the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon. It's a pretty cool race as it takes place in the USA and Canada. Here's a map of the course. It crosses the Ambassador Bridge then crosses back through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

Anyway, all that said, I was planning on trying to do a 30 mile run before my next marathon to see how that would affect my race performance. So I mapped out my training schedule that would be necessary for me to reach that goal and it's a little tight. Last week I ran 15 miles and today I ran 18 miles. The crummy thing is that I just checked my schedule and realized it should have been 19. Ooops. Oh well. It was a good 18 with a killer hill at the end. Check out the elevation chart.

Today's run was beautiful. Really the whole day was pretty much perfect for a long run. I ran it here in the middle of Washington state through a small town called Winthrop. The air was cool, the scenery was great and the roads weren't busy. I ran the whole thing with my The North Face, Dogfish hydration backpack. Having enough water and energy sources makes all the difference. There wasn't once when I felt like quitting or felt too tired. I attribute that to replenishing my energy needs well. Here's how I started. Before the run, 1.5 pieces of toast with natural peanut butter and a glass of apple juice. 49 minutes in I started a Clif Shot Raspberry energy gel. I finished that by 1:09:00. Then at 1:39:00 I started my Clif Bar energy bar, Crunchy Peanut Butter flavor. I took two bites nearly every 9 minutes till I was done. I drank at least 2 or 3 sips of water every 9 minutes too. When I got back I drank about a full litre of Gatorade rather quickly. I then had the privilege of having a 1 hour massage courtesy of our record label. After that, it was nap time. It doesn't get much better than that on a long run day. Here are the run stats!

Distance - 18 miles
Time - 2:39:35
Average Pace - 8:52
Approx Calories - 3811 (I never believe this number)



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