Wednesday, August 31, 2005

day of prayer

Louisiana Governor Blanco has declared today a Day of Prayer in the State of Louisiana. Today would be a good day to join in those prayers.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

route 30

those who know me know i like maps. i'll take most any excuse to pore over a map. so yesterday i went to check out the route that jordan was driving to indiana, and then got distracted and started to follow US Route 30 through the country. route 30 is known as lancaster avenue in these parts, is one of the oldest highways in america, and i had heard tell that it went all the way to chicago. so i start following the route with my finger and it goes all the way to the west coast, in oregon. occasionally it merges with another bigger highway, but it does go all the way, from here through OH, IN, IL, NE, WY, ID, and OR. would make quite a bike trip or road trip. and a completely unrelated tidbit: for firefly / serenity fans (this is a .mov link): poor river. if you're interested, there are more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


so i need to go to shortridge park more often. always used to tromp around in the creek there when i was little. it's rather close to me now. last night kate and i (hi kate! she's a good egg.) went over there to argue over whether you can see more stars from devil's courthouse mountain in north carolina, or at the lesnie ozera sanatorium in vitebsk region, belarus. i need more nature. the other night i unexpectedly wound up on interpreter duty for a duo of friends of mine from belarus who are over here giving some concerts (flute / classical / worship / good stuff) for a few weeks. for anyone who was there: my russian skills are not as good as they may have seemed to you! translating from russian to english is sort of okay, but the other way i simply cannot! yulia made me sing on a song i'd only heard part of once before (at camp, while i was percussing, no less). i have to say, though, in spite of the trauma of having to try to sing it, i adore that song. it's been in my head ever since. i wish she had a recording of it. she comes up with these melodies that are so simple and pure, and then sings them with that voice that is both velvety and crisp... very groovy.

Monday, August 22, 2005

bikes in lyon

oh please oh please can we do this in philly? sharing bikes at transit points, and all very high-tech so that they don't get stolen like they did in a'dam...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

save ardmore coalition in the economist

wowie, the economist is running a nice article about the save ardmore coalition. seeing what lower merion is trying to do to ardmore does two things to me: A- makes me happy i live in narberth (surrounded by, but not part of, lower merion) and B- gets me really nervous about eminent domain in general. interesting to see the economist weighing in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

battelstar galactica...

so my new theory. this is probably partially due to my recent re-reading of "the last battle" by c.s. lewis... i finally got to watch eps. 3-5 of this season, so if you've not seen those yet, spoilers in the next paragraph. but if you watch it at all, you probably have seen them already. as soon as president roslin said "i'm playing the religious card," i realised she is the antichrist. toward the end of that same episode with the blessing the kneely people, my suspicions seemed confirmed. serious bummer, since i liked and respected her and thought the martial law thing was atrocious (as we were undoubtedly supposed to think), but i guess the antichrist is always likable and respectable. such a great show. i'm getting over a cold, which is the only reason i had any time to catch up on BSG last night. in other news, my computer files were recovered and i even managed to defrag the hard drive without it crashing last night, but that didn't help the horrendously slow performance. checkdisk remains totally clean. probably i will reformat the hard drive now that i know all the data is backed up to various dvds. among the recovered files were all the photos (quite a few, mostly taken by natasha) from the camp in belarus. i will post a link to them soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

looking good...

so it looks like the recovery process will be a success, at least for the items that i didn't back up. everything is accessible by booting from another machine. it's just mindnumbingly slow and i'm paying these folks by the hour. still, quite a relief to know i'm not losing much at all!

if it ain't one thing, it's a lot of things

well. yesterday afternoon i started feeling ill and was totally exhausted, so i left work about an hour early to go home and crash, watch some dvds or something. so i flipped on the computer, which promptly lost its mind. basically it looks like my hard drive has crashed. happily just before i left for belarus i backed up my documents and email to dvd, which i always do before a trip of any significance. there are some things (a lot of prophetic music recordings, for instance) that are not backed up, however... and a handful of my backup email files were apparently corrupt. my computer is 2 years old. to be honest i was looking at getting something else in the next month or so anyway. so i don't want to invest much in this -- probably i will just have the recovery people burn any recoverable files to dvd and not replace the hard drive. but wow, what a headache. last night when i had barely the strength to function i was trying to deal with this. somehow reading narnia books made it all feel better -- something about the nearness of G-d, even when everything seems to fall apart. and if it ain't one thing, it's a lot of things.... there are a lot of wrenches just like this one being thrown into the lives of people i love. i don't think it's coincidental. i think it's an all-out attack by a very confused spiritual enemy who doesn't like seeing good things happen, but doesn't know how to fight them either. so he pulls stuff like this. it actually makes me laugh a bit. so much of my life is wrapped up in my various digital files. emails and journals that defined phases of my life, recordings of song ideas and full-out songs, itunes and most of my music collection ripped from cd. i forget where i read this quote: "inside us is nothing lost." (maybe i wrote it myself? i really don't know. can anyone help me out?) i thought until last night that i couldn't possibly continue to be myself, with my vision and purpose and personality, without the digital archive of all that i do. as it turns out, that's not true. i would probably feel differently, though, if i hadn't backed up exactly what i backed up exactly when i backed it up. can we say "hahaha in your FACE enemy devil creature!"? documents (journals &c.): backed up 7/21/05. emails: backed up 7/22/05. i lost 2 weeks of email and a few corrupted files, but nothing earthshatteringly important. music ripped from cds (many cds i have lost): everything had already been copied to my work machine for work listening. music purchased from itunes: managed to get it all on my flash drive this morning before the computer died again. my own song ideas: the good ones never really left my head. the others can go their merry way (ouch, but...). prophetic music files: the best clips from each of our recorded sessions have gone online and therefore various people have copies. the complete sessions may or may not be recoverable. if they're not, they're not. again, sometimes you have to let go... all i can say is, G-d is faithful, and i trust Him for the grace to lose and to gain.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

and the whole world

so, i'm back. yael and i arrived in philly about midnight sunday night... she had to travel on to toronto on monday. i nestled firmly into home sweet narberth with a thought never to leave ever again, but of course that didn't last long. so this morning i woke up in the havertown house to a note from erin advising me to have coffee and a beautiful day. golly, how us girls need our sisters! so... i had the whiz-bang version of a belarus trip this year. i arrived in minsk july 23rd, spent one night at marina's place (my usual home in minsk) with aviva, and then the next morning we headed to the Middle of Nowhere, Vitebsk region, to the "Lake of the Woods" sanitorium (in belarus that's a retreat / vacation / center, not a place for crazy people, though i think we were crazy enough). we had two days of intensely disgustingly rainy training (cold! mold! damp bedding! soaked socks! solid hours of sneezing!), followed by ten days of incredible (and rare, in that region) sun for summer camp with 40 or 45 teenagers. one shower for the 85 people in the camp. squatty toilets that were usually nowhere near clean. bad food, by everyone's standards. so there were challenges. but it was still wonderful. i ran the "news club," which reported on the day's events every evening, and which contained two of the three worst behaved kids in the camp. and of course those were the two that i utterly adored the most, and tried to encourage the most, and groaned about the most. it was a victory when one of them decided to clean up her act and not get herself kicked out of camp after two days. it was a victory when the other started laughing and being his creative self instead of sulking or running away all the time. these kids come from awful backgrounds. my heart wept for them... and rejoiced in all the amazing stuff G-d has put inside of them, just starting to come out... most of my belarus friends were involved in the camp in some way, so at least i got to see them in passing while we all ran around. i had some good quality time with a few of them (i would have liked more) and with some of the "foreigners" -- a few who came to help and a few who came as campers. a wonderful woman whom i met in ukraine four years ago was there. it has been way too long since i've been to ukraine. i have wanted to go every summer and it never works out... next year in odessa... there were some friends who weren't at the camp. one was too busy having a baby (we saw little aaron from the street through the hospital room's window the day we flew out). others had other things going on. it was incredibly hard to be in belarus but not really have much time to walk around in minsk, have tea with friends, and so on. i did get to spend the saturday between camp and flying out with one especially dear friend who is going through a severely rough time. i can't believe how much we need our sisters. thank you to everyone who prayed for this time. i think most of the fruit is going to show up in the next few months, for the kids as well as for me. i learned a lot about myself. seems to be the summer for that, which is most certainly a very necessary thing. and it's very good to be back. america is so nice... everything is so nice... toilets... toilet paper... food... showers... my porch... english... take a breath and the whole world changes. delight yourself in the L-rd, and he will give you the desires of your heart. it's frighteningly true.