The Alarm Clock Rang

Do you remember the book “The Doorbell Rang” by Pat Hutchins?  It’s a fun book about a batch of tasty chocolate chip cookies that has to be shared by more and more people every time the doorbell rings.  This book actually has nothing to do with this post other than the title “The Doorbell Rang” inspired the title ‘The Alarm Clock Rang’.  So I’ll put in a plug for this fun book.  Check it out!

IMG_0670Now back to alarm clocks.  We all have different relationships with our alarm clocks.  I’ve had this white one since high school and maybe even junior high.  I was in charge of getting myself up and ready for school.  And I was pretty good about making it happen but I was thankful for a reliable alarm clock, especially for those early morning swim practices.

Fast forward to Papua New Guinea.  I often used an alarm for days when I needed to be on western people’s time.  But many days I just woke up with the sun and the rest of the village.  It’s easier to wake up early when you go to bed when it gets dark and are able to get a good night’s sleep.

I now have a very different schedule and do my best to not use an alarm clock unless I have to.  On days when I wake up early to teach online, Ryan is my alarm clock.  Since he’s up at 4:10 anyway, he makes sure I get up too.  But since we often go to bed early, many days I find my eyelids fluttering around 4am.  However, on the days I don’t have to get up, I happily roll over and go back to sleep.  Other than Ryan waking me up, I generally don’t use an alarm clock.  Even on days when I teach at the school, I only set an alarm just in case.  But i’m usually up and moving before it ever makes a peep.

Whether it’s an actually alarm clock, a setting on our phones, a crying child or something else, many of us have a love/dislike relationship with this noise that usually gets us up and out of bed in the morning.  Mornings are often a struggle for me but recently i’ve been trying to think about my mornings differently.  I want to look forward to each day and the possibilities that it brings.  Some days are more difficult than others but each day can be the start of something new.

So I’d love to hear from you.  What gets you out of bed in the morning?  What do you think when your alarm clock rings?

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I Ran.

I ran and no one was chasing me.  No bodily harm was being threatened.  There were no zombies in the vicinity.  No mobs or natural disasters.  Nothing.  I just ran for exercise.  Now I realize some of you are wondering why I am being so dramatic but others are probably stunned and speechless.  And with good reason because I didn’t just run today but I’ve now run 4 times in the past two weeks.  I just stood up and took a bow because i’m sure you’re all applauding my efforts.

IMG_0471Here’s the deal.  I’m a terrible runner.  I did cross country in high school until I discovered the joys of water polo.  There is a reason that I never lettered in a sport out of the water.  And i’ve tried running post high school without much success.  I tried in PNG but the uneven rocky roads and my lack of motivation kept it from really taking root.  I’ve tried running with my dad who does a 4 mile route 6 days a week.  He claims that it’s more of a shuffle than a run but I couldn’t keep up with him and in the end my poor hips hurt for days.  No thank you.

So what changed?  Well, i’ve been working out regularly with the help of Jillian Michaels workout DVDs.  Seriously, you should try these.  It’s great, only 20-30 minutes and she makes it easy to start and builds the intensity as you go.  If you’re a Prime member you can stream some of her longer work outs but I love the shorter ones.  Anyway, this coupled with hiking and swimming laps has been my go-to exercise.  But unfortunately Camarillo doesn’t have a good outdoor public pool and as much as I love the variety of Jillian workouts i’ve been needing something new and different.  It’s also not as easy to just take an hour and go hiking in this area.  So this is where the running comes in.

I ran once just to try and see if I would be incapacitated for a week and no harm came to me.  I ran again to see if the second time would cause me terrible horrible no good very bad pain.  Once again, I was ok.  So I downloaded a recommended running app that tracks my progress, gives me workout suggestions (like run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds, repeat for 20 minutes) and logs other data like speed, duration, progress, etc.  I’ve now run twice with the little voice tracking my progress along the way.

I’m not sure if this is just a phase or if this will turn into something more.  Check back in a month and see if I’m still hitting the pavement a couple times a week.  This definitely won’t replace Jillian but it’s something new and different for me.  Variety can be good when it comes to a workout routine.  And if and when the Zombie apocalypse happens, maybe i’ll be able to outrun my neighbors.

Road Trip and Instagram

The car is packed and we’re ready to go.  We’re off for a weekend in Sacramento and we’re going to celebrate our marriage.  Saturday is the second reception!  I’m going to take a few days off from blogging while I enjoy my family and friends.  I am very excited to introduce my husband to more people who are near and dear to me.

IMG_0294In case you’re missing me, you can catch me on Instagram.  My username is joycandee so search for me, add me and I will be sure to approve you.  For those of you not familiar with it, Instagram is a picture sharing app.  With just short descriptions, this is a fun and visual way to keep track of family and friends.  I’ve been using Instagram for awhile now but this will hopefully inspire me to be more intentional.

Have a wonderful weekend and catch me on Instagram!

Mail Chimp and Monkeys

Over the past year or so, I have been receiving more and more newsletters that use some sort of service to create a personalized email look, they also keep track of subscribers for you and i’m sure do many other things that I am still learning about.  The one that has been recommended to me multiple times is Mail Chimp.  This service is free although you can pay for upgrades.  And so far it looks like a fairly straightforward way to make my newsletter and work communications look different than just a standard email.

Another bonus is the chimp himself.  I mean, who doesn’t like being greeted by a monkey?  This little guy says things like “I’m feeling a bit peckish.”  If you are unfamiliar with that term it means that he wants a snack.  And his words come with a link so you can watch a monkey video.  As far as I can tell, you get a different video each time you sign in and they aren’t all about monkeys.  I’m not sure yet if I think these are distracting or amusing but they are probably a little bit of both.

So hopefully I will be able to figure this system out and get it to work for me in positive way.  Maybe in time for my February newsletter if I don’t monkey around too much.  Ok so that was a bad joke but I had to get it in their somehow.  Anyone out there use Mail Chimp and have any tips for me?

 

Good Morning from Papua New Guinea.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up in PNG this morning although it would have been pretty great if I had.  Instead I woke up to an email from a work colleague giving me a little update on the work that has been going on.  The Gospel of Luke is well on it’s way to being drafted and ready for village checking.  There is still a lot of work but the progress is sweet.  Pray that it would be completed by the scheduled February 5th village trip.

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Another exciting development is that the Sabers and Megavoices are ready now to go out to Walagu!  This is what a Megavoice looks like after a pig chews on it.  The new ones will be not chewed on but still not pig proof so people will have to take care of them.  Despite the pigs, it is really nice to see multiple years of work continuing with this step.  The first recording we did for the Onobasulu was in July of 2010.  My friend Sara came to the village and helped do the first recordings.  Then we brought some tester ones out just to see how people would respond.  They loved them.  And I even wrote about it in September and October of that year.  It takes a lot of work to get the recordings and everything edited and ready but then it is just a simple transfer process to the device.  The positive response from the village gave us the incentive to record some more material.  This included the AIDS and Marijuana books.  These books are filled with great information that will be more easily distributed not in book form.  Literacy is still a goal but we have to realize that there are people in the village who may never learn to read.  These Sabers and Megavoices can fill that need and be a great resource for everyone, even those who can read.

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In November 2011, a man named Dan came out and did some more recording for us.  And now those recordings are finally ready to be distributed along with about 100 different Sabers and Megavoices.  The Onobasulu people will be able to buy these and have them in their own homes, carry them to the garden, etc.  They can also be updated once more recordings happen.  Out hope is that these players will encourage scripture use, help with health concerns by giving information about AIDS and Marijuana and also be an incentive for people to practice their reading.

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This is Juledy and her husband Jonathan.  They are both good readers.  But now they are better readers.  During the first recording sessions with Sara, Juledy rarely made a mistake but her reading was staccato, word by word, with very little is any inflection.  She read very steady but it didn’t sound like speaking.  Her husband on the other hand read very quickly and would sometimes make mistakes but his inflection was wonderful.  Both had never heard themselves read but after spending time with a trial Saber, they both began to practice more.  After all, reading is a skill.  Jonathan’s reading continued to be fluid and quick but he doesn’t miss as many words.  And Juledy now reads just as well, if not better than her husband.  She reads with emotion, very fluidly and clear.  I hope that more people will be inspired to read more by the Sabers and Megavoices.

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And while this is just one step in the long process, I am excited to see us moving in the right direction.  Here I am introducing some co-workers to the players in 2010.  They will now be the teachers to help pass these great little devices through the villages.  Please pray that the translation would continue, the gospel would be preached and lives would be transformed through the hearing of God’s word.

My Kindle- Is it love?

I don’t know about love but I definitely will never travel without my Kindle again.  I read 6 books during the last month and for this reason alone, it is worth it’s weight in gold.  I would have never been able to carry 6 books in my suitcase but on the Kindle this was nothing.  But as great as this is, it was also frustrating in its own way.  Yes, the Kindle can hold a whole library of books and I have scarcely used even a portion of this memory.  However, it’s this amount of choices that is sometimes overwhelming and makes it difficult for me to finish books or choose what to read next.  This is hardly a normal library because even if you download free books, for me all the books I have chosen, I want to read.  I guess I will get use to this with time and it does open me up to books that I might never have chosen otherwise.

My choice of Kindle was the Kindle Touch.  It is a bit bigger than the basic Kindle but not too big and I also splurged for the lighted cover.  The reviews for the lighted cover were all over the place but I have used the light often and with no problems.  It makes the Kindle even more useful in airplanes, for reading in bed and anywhere else the light isn’t bright enough to read.  It also isn’t an issue that the cover doesn’t latch closed.  I’ve had no issues with it opening when it shouldn’t and it is very nice to have something to protect the screen.  It didn’t take long to get use to reading on the Kindle screen either but I do find it annoying when I brush the screen accidentally and it makes the pages go crazy.  I’ve slowly figured out how to make it go back to where I want it but some time as well as a few reading frustrations.

Having no reference for where I am in a book is also a challenge for me.  I know there are numbers and percentages at the bottom of the Kindle page to help with this process but it’s not spacial enough for me.  When finding quotes or a certain place in a novel, I usually don’t use bookmarks but instead just a feeling for how far along or what part of the page I am looking for.  This obviously doesn’t work on the Kindle because the Kindle looks the same no matter what.  Each page is exactly the same.  So while lamenting this loss, I have been trying to get use to the highlighting and note-taking features.  These are very useful but I don’t like to write in books because of the permanence of it.  However, with the Kindle the notes and highlighting can be erased and redone anytime.  I appreciate this and have been trying to highlight more liberally.  Of course there is also the search features but this all takes some time to get use to.

I know the e-reader people have worked on ways to make the Kindle as book-like as possible.  Although the sharing features definitely leave me wanting.  It is very satisfying to be able to recommend a book and then to be able to put it right into a friend’s hand.  You can check out books at libraries and share books for 14 days but you can’t pass them along.  Something about it just isn’t the same.  I also miss the look of books.  Being able to peruse someone’s library just by looking at the spines and picking out what’s interesting.  You can look through someone’s Kindle but once again, it just isn’t the same.  And of course the feel and smell of books is also missing.

So after a month of traveling and extensive use, I come away very appreciative of my new Kindle but i’m not sure if I really love it.  I know the Kindle will ever replace books for me.  Yes, you can read on the Kindle but it’s not a book.  It doesn’t even meet the basic definition of a book as a “written or printed work of fiction or non-fiction, usually on sheets of paper fastened or bound together within covers.”  I do like the benefits of new technology and when I move overseas once again my Kindle will be packed and useful.  It will be filled with everything from cookbooks to reference books and novels that would otherwise not be use the weight they take up in the suitcase.  The Kindle now has a place in my life.  I’ll even give it an important place but I don’t foresee it ever replacing my beloved books.

Time Well Wasted

I saw this sign in a room filled with typewriters.  “To save time is to lengthen life.”  This was then accompanied by a list of that same quote in 84 different languages.  I can only assume that this was referring to the time saved since the typewriter was invented.  I could elaborate on why I disagree and find this quote pretty amusing but instead I will just put it out there for you to draw your own conclusions.

*This was found in the Slovak Technical Museum which has some very interesting exhibits on communication technologies.  The museum also displayed some copies of Leonardo da Vinci’s work which included models of some of his drawings and inventions and how they worked.  Needless to say I thought the museum tour was a very interesting and worthwhile… and my life is no shorter for it.