John's comments from life.

Desk work

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 0 Comments

Working has been different for me lately. Because I'm planning on driving off tomorrow afternoon (to head to Springfield, IL for my cousin's wedding, and then to CT for my brother's), it is difficult to get started on a big project, knowing it's going to sit for a couple weeks. That, and since my data recovery is not complete yet (waiting to hear back from Runtime Software) projects done with that equipment are still on hold.

It's not my desire to see projects needing to move forward just sit there, but at the moment that seems to be the best course of action, give the situation. So today will be tying up some loose ends, and some time in getting ready for the drive ahead.

We are close to sending files out to the printer for our WorkBook reprint. This is a new cover, perfect bound instead of spiral, with some corrections. We are trying a little lighter paper this time, which should shave some costs here and there. It's not much, maybe $0.06 a book. But if it is still high quality, and even helps shave shipping costs (both ways), then it will help.

New Stranger DVD set...almost

Thursday, September 25, 2008 0 Comments

Today we received the boxes for our DVD series - a new cover design and updated video content. This is a project that has been in the works for quite some time. I actually finished the DVD authoring a year ago, but didn't need to reprint until just recently. Jim did the re-design of The Stranger cover (which will be on our next reprint) and Rachel implemented this in the DVD box. But we needed to get the DVD's out, so I guess this is going to be the release for that design. One thing I didn't do with the video content, was update the book image as it spins and stops at the beginning (and the WorkBook at the end). Perhaps I'll change that over before the next release (we didn't have time to get into that this time around.)

Some changes on the Video content include: Subtitles have been added (Closed Caption is still there), I removed the music in the chapters in-between sections (so the music isn't playing while people are filling out the WorkBooks), and improved the menu structure a little.

I've also been working on getting the WorkBook reprinted. The files are about ready to send out, and hopefully will have that underway soon. One change on this too - we are printing a perfect bound book, instead of a coil bound. Being a use-one book, we thought it might be better to save a little on the production, as every bit helps out. The WorkBook will have the new cover design, too.

With this new cover, the roll-out will be incremental a bit. Being a small organization, with limited people / resources, it's hard to orchestrate a 'neat' release. But after a while, it'll be forgotten, and all will go forward. Actually, the new cover will sport Edition 4 of The Stranger - a minor re-work, but using more translations of Bible verses inside. The main reason for this is to eliminate having to pay royalties to use certain translations. I guess we just put too much scripture in! NOT

Another note: Edition 4 will be the base for The Interactive edition, The Teacher's edition (based on the Interactive) and a new AudioBook. Again, with these products based on The Stranger, it will help out a lot to not have to administrate the royalty issue with each product / each print.

Drive home, with a stop at Broom Lake

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 0 Comments

Another long day. Loaded up my truck with 4 cases of books, as well as a 10kva UPS (yeah!) and some other personal items for others. I stopped at Banff and bought me a day pass (which is not needed if you are driving straight through.) But I wanted to hike again, somewhere. The $10 was used to go to Broom Lake, about 5.3km in and out, and took me about an hour each way, with an hour there to take it all in. Very nice indeed.

Another day in the field.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 0 Comments

Spent most of the day in the field. And a picture from the front of church on Sunday!

Olds to Wetaskiwin

Saturday, September 20, 2008 0 Comments

Today I unloaded my truck, helped stock the shelves with that, and then headed up to Wetaskiwin to hang out around harvest, helping where I could.

Drive from Idaho to Alberta

Friday, September 19, 2008 0 Comments

Today, I drove up to Canada, from Coeur d’Alene to Olds. On the way I stopped in Crowsnest Pass to climb Turtle Mountain again. This time I went to the other peak, which was quite a bit more than I expected, but made it just fine.

Data Recovery Update

Monday, September 15, 2008 0 Comments

Things are going well. The plan to create non-compressed images of each drive is paying off. So far I've been able to recover 855 gb of data, and it's in process right now, just takes time to get all that out.

This image actually has 2 partitions on it, and the bigger of the 2, (w/ the video content) is the one that is recovering now. I did try to do the smaller one earlier, but it's success rate was much lower (most of the files were corrupt.) So, when the video drive is complete, I'm going to look into the other a little more thoroughly.

I'm very thankful to those who prayed w/ me to recover this, but thankful most to the Lord who brought it about!

Day at church

Sunday, September 14, 2008 0 Comments

Just thought I would put some pictures up from church this morning…it used to be a movie house, and so our backdrop of the stage is one of the old screens. Also, they put a video-announcements up inbetween the songs / service. I’ve been going here for about 10 months or so, and starting to get to know some folks.

Hike up Canfiled

Saturday, September 13, 2008 0 Comments

Been in the office too much this week, so I thought I better go for a hike again. This way I wouldn’t have to do it on Sunday, allowing me to rest around a bit. Here’s some pictures of the hike, so if you come to visit, you know what to expect when you bring your mountain bike or walking stick. Sorry if there’s too many picts.

The star of Bethlehem

Saturday, September 13, 2008 0 Comments

If you haven't seen this video, I suggest you do!

The Star of Bethlehem

Go watch the trailer, at least.

Another Friday...

Saturday, September 13, 2008 0 Comments

Today was a full, full day. Started around 6:30 am (slept in!) and is lasting past 10:00 pm. I've been building these images from my old drives, and the last one should finish up in about an hour. Once that's one, I'll re-boot, then run GetDataBack, and let it run through the night. I'll stop and check in on it in the morning to see how things are progressing.

There was a pleasant surprise in the day, though. I was expecting it, but a new GoodSeed camera came in today, one of which I'll be able to use. It's a Nikon D700, and is such a breath of fresh air for me. With it I shot some new photos for The Lamb PowerPoint - you can see the vacation bible school material--just a couple product shots, nothing major. But one plus was that I was able to hook up my bellows unit that I got years back, but haven't been able to use it with my last digital camera. I'm looking forward to playing w/ that in the future.

And, of course, had to take some pictures of my co-workers blowing out some diet Pepsi bottles. They blamed it on being Friday afternoon.

Added responsibilities

Thursday, September 11, 2008 0 Comments

Today I jumped into the print world in a different way--becoming a Project Manager for printing our books. I sent 3 quotes out to 3 different print houses - for our new WorkBook. It's actually the old one with a new cover, so because of that, it gets a new ISBN number and all that jazz.

This is new ground for me, as Ken used to do all this for us. He is no longer working with us, though he would love to be able to do so. As we would love to have him still. But we aren't in control of much of life, and need to roll with the times.

So, Russ and I have been working the print jobs together, so he can cover for me when I'm gone and vise-versa. There is a lot to learn, but the good thing is that we are familiar with a lot of it. But there is still much more to know - and we appreciate your prayers in all of this. Making the right decisions for the different products, as well as relationships with each vendor.

Server Restore Update

I've run GetDataBack over last weekend, and it didn't work that time either. After calling the company, it was decided that the images of the drives I was using (in compressed format) is probably the problem. So, I've deleted those, and am currently in the process of rebuilding my images from the drives. I've done 4 already, working on the 5th, and hope to have the other 2 done by tomorrow afternoon. Once that's all done, I'll run GetDataBack once again and see how it goes. If it works, it will be very sweet.

In the plans as well is to drive a truck load of stuff up the the Canadian office. I think I have enough for a load, and looks possibly like I'll be packing the cab too, but we'll see. The plan is to get my data back, then re-configure my desktop to be able to edit video again, and then take that and my files up to go over the last 4 videos w/ JRC. He leaves on Sunday, so timing is getting tight to pull this off. I may have to wait a week or two if things don't fall into place. It is my prayer that they do, but there may be Other plans.

Moving out and in

Friday, September 05, 2008 0 Comments

Well, after owning a condo for 282 days, I'm finally going to move in. I have my bags packed, ready to load in the truck, which should take place this afternoon, after work. It has been a blessing for me to be able to house-sit during this time, as it's given me an 'empty' house as I fixed it up. Most of the necessities are out of the way, just 2 bathrooms to tackle as well as a finishing the heating system and kitchen counter top and floor. For now, my gas fireplace will serve me well through the winter if I can't get my HVAC system finished out. But other than that, it's pretty well done.

Now comes the task of trying to get organized after living out of a suitcase for so many years. I have many boxes filled with odds and ends from the years gone by, never before properly categorized and placed. So, though I am looking forward to moving in, I'm not looking forward to not having any more excuse for not being as well organized as I could very well be. Yeah, it's a triple negative, so you'll have to figure it out.

Today at work, I'm triyng another go around w/ my data recovery. Now I'm putting 3 (1) tb drives in my MacPro, installing Vista Business 64bit, copying all 7 images to my hd's, and running GetDataBack once again. I was able to recover some files last night, but it's not where it should be. I've been thinking it was a lost cause, but after calling the tech support, I figured I'm not done trying things just yet. Hence the re-arrangement of drives and data, hopefully be able to pull this off this time. I am getting more experienced, but not more confident! I'd much prefer 'knowing' what to do, instead of guessing all the time and trying something different after yet another failure. But I think we all can say that.

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