23 January 2015

Next Adventure in 3...2...1...

When you seek out adventure, half the fun is waiting to see what will actually happen... half the terror is also waiting to see what will happen!

Just a little over 6 months ago our family committed to looking for the next adventure.  We didn't have much of a plan, but knew it was time to move on from where we were.  We weren't sure where we would end up, but we were open to anything.  I know not everyone shares the faith system we have, but we believe that if we seek out God's will in each decision we make, step out in faith, God is moving with us throughout all the choices we make. We also believe that when you look to do what is right  there isn't one set path, because God is working it out with us.

So guess what?
We're going back into the life of camp! 
I have just accepted the role of Director at Camp Kadesh, in Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan.

Camp Kadesh is an awesome camp with some great people.  They have an excellent team in place already and were seeking a Director that could take on things like marketing, budgets, strategy, vision.... the fun stuff that became little add-on parts in my past role, but wasn't really my job. I'm really excited to take on a new leadership role and work with the full time staff, seasonal staff, board and volunteers that have already poured many years into the camp.  It is going to be a challenge to learn (again!) the culture, traditions and history of a camp, but it really excites us as a family to get this chance to be part of camp community again.

When we left the camp world, I don't think we ever expected to be going back into camp life this soon. Sometimes you just don't know what you have 'til it's gone.  (feel free to sing along)  We will be leaving (Brea and the kids via plane, me via U-haul truck for the loooooong drive) for camp on Jan 31st and will hit the ground running in the first week of February. We know this is short notice for some people. For us, this is the end of months of transition and waiting to see what would be next and we are ready for this.

Along the way we have some big thank yous to give.  First, to Andy and Ang MacDonald (and their awesome kids) who provided us a place to stay for as long as we needed it.  As a family, they disrupted their lives to make space for us. It will be sad to to leave "the farm" but we are grateful we got to live there and get to know them all so much better. 
Secondly to Jon Hisey and Yake Engineered Systems.  Jon let me come back to a job I hadn't done in over 6 years and jump right back in.  He was willing to let me be looking for what was next and I hope I helped accomplish some things while I have been working for the company.  Make sure if you're in the market for audio, video, lighting or any and all things multimedia to contact them about their services.

The direction of the next adventure has been plotted.
Now to find out what it looks like!

5 July 2014

It's time for the next adventure.

"You have the perfect job!"

It get that a lot.

I thought that too once, maybe I still do at times.
But life is bigger than a job.

So as of the end of September, my family and I will move on to something new.  We just don't know what yet.  (more on that later)

Why you ask?
It comes down to three things really.

1) We miss being a part of a community of friends.   You know those real good friends you call on a Sunday afternoon, because you feel good just being with them.   For Brea and I that is also connected to being part of a faith community or a church.  We want our kids to be part of serving the community and living out faith.  Camp is a good 45 min away from any community like that for us.  Shoot we're 20 min away from groceries.  We miss having real, live friends close by.

2) I'm not really a pure administrator.  Oh I can handle many balls in the air and refine systems till the cows come home, but you know those people that love list and crossing things off list... yep... not me.  Camp Crossroads has grown and my weekly/monthly task list has been added to so much that I just can't keep up with everything.  Most days I go home sick and tired of my job, not camp, just my job.  But my family gets this husk of a person that is left when I walk through the door.  I want every moment to count with my kids and my wife. 

3) The work load in my job as just become too much.  I feel lazy just writing that.  The reason above likely plays into it, but most days I end of back at work in the evening, and usually on weekends for a bit.  I still can't keep up.  There are some great parts to my job, but the pure administration just keep getting bigger and bigger.  I'm not sure that they can change my job to make it better... sometimes you just have to move on.  It's true I live in a crazy beautiful part of the world, but I sit inside most of the day.   I don't want to wake up one day and have people telling me I'm not doing my job well... I can make that call.

So what's next?
I don't know... got any ideas?

One thing I believe is that God is in it.   I know... some of you don't get it when I say stuff like that.  That's ok.   I believe God gives us all the choice to make decisions and to give us options, and when we listen, he tells us.  I'm trying to listen.

For now, I'm not going to worry about it.   I have one summer left at one of the best camps I have ever been at, and I'm not going to waste it.   Because you know what?  I still love camp... still love Camp Crossroads, just don't like being the administrator.   I'm hoping camp will have time to fill my position with some awesome administrative genius that can up the ante from what I have done.

If you know of something pretty cool starting in October, just let me know

And if you know of someone looking for the perfect job.   There is an opening. 

31 October 2011

Why I hate the new Google Reader

If you're a fan of Google Reader you might have noticed the web has been talking about the changes that were coming.  Some people were upset that Reader was loosing the "social" functions.  I only followed a few people and will miss some of the links they sent.  Twitter is great for cool links so I won't miss it much.  (although the signs make me laugh)
Up until tonight, even though I was reading about the changes, I hadn't seen the changes.  But tonight as I subscribed to a new feed, I was forced into an "upgrade" - and I'm not happy.

Now I should say.  I spend a lot of time in Google Reader.  I have over a thousand feeds, sorted and filed and organized.  Many feeds I read everyday - some I mostly skip, unless I'm in the mood.  Some feeds post rarely (I have an MIA folder that can sometimes surprise me) and some feeds fill up if I don't read everyday.  All that to say I read a lot of feeds.... and that is where I have a problem.  The new design is terrible for READING.

Here's a screen capture of the "Before"
If you look at where the reading pane starts it is just below the Google menu bar... some space taken up for search and title bar, but nothing unreasonable.

Now look at the "After." see how much is wasted on the screen to give me things like a subscribe button and drop down menus?  Come on....  I've only spent about 3 mins with it and I hate it.  I know it looks like Google plus, but lets keep things functional.

I'm sure there is a script out there that will fix things (love you Firefox) and maybe even fullscreen mode will work.  There is Full Screen Mode, but I guess I just don't feel like toggling back and forth.
The whole thing seems kind of monochrome as well... although as I type chrome, I think Chrome and wonder if that is the point.  I know I'll get used to it, so not that big a deal.

In fact from the time I started typing about 4 hours has passed....  I still hate it, but admit that, much like a Facebook user, I'm just complaining and will go back to whatever they keep giving me.

(and wow a full screen shot gives you a lot of information about me)

15 October 2010

Internet the new TV

In the mix of an article looking at Malcolm Gladwell's examination of social networks and real social change... I saw this.
“If the Internet didn’t exist, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States,” says Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org. “The fact that the most powerful person in the world wouldn’t be in that position without the Internet and organizing online says something.”
It reminded me of reading about how TV changed everything for elections.  How the early leaders of both the USA and Canada would likely not have been elected in an era of TV  (or radio possibly for that matter).   The importance of how the visual changed debate.   Marshall McLuhan said that the televised debate changed everything and likely the internet changed the landscape again.  

One question I have is:  did the internet really organize people?  The answer is yes if you voted for (or were in favour of) Obama.   Or did the internet change the game again?  Where TV made elections about how good you looked in a suit and how much you fidgeted and looked dishonest etc,  did the Internet make the person with the most tech savey-ness, the best iPod play list or cool factor win?

I'm no Marshall McLuhan so I'm not going to state it as fact.   But I do think the "change" came it lots of places.

Working group sizes

Picked this up from Bill Kinnon  originally on Cult of Mac
The Mac team they were all in one building and they eventually got to one hundred people. Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team. So if you wanted to add someone you had to take someone out. And the thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: "I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. So if it gets bigger than a hundred people, it will force us to go to a different organization structure where I can’t work that way. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.” Through the whole time I knew him at Apple that’s exactly how he ran his division.
It's an interesting statement about how many people we can work (live, cooperate) with.  While I don't like to contribute to lifting up Mr. Jobs and Apple as bigger than necessary, this is an interesting quote from someone who's success is obvious.  I do think that the 100 person threshold is important and so many people hang on what Jobs says (or at least sells) - so take it at the value you assign.

11 October 2010

Technology and Education

Q. Do you think it is our job as educationists to increase the capacity of the student to come to grips with this new experience of a new technology?

A. They are totally at grips with it and what we want to give them is some detachment.

--Marshall McLuhan, Education in an Electronic Age,
in The Best of Times/The Worst of Times:
Contemporary Issues in Canadian Education, 1970
(As posted by

10 October 2010

Wake up and smell the iCoffee

Ending the article - Is Facebook Killing Our Souls?  Shane Hipps writes this...
Now it will be tempting to conclude after all this ranting that I am simply a Luddite, a technophobe bent on the dismantling of all digital technologies. This is not the case. Admittedly, I was hardly even-handed in my observations. However, to herald the virtues of our technology is mostly redundant, it would be like trying to argue the importance of breathing. It’s already here, and the value it adds is self-evident. This is why the technologies are so prevalent: we automatically know their benefits, otherwise we wouldn’t use them. My concern is that our culture seems only capable of seeing the benefit and utterly blind to the liabilities, the inevitable losses certain technologies bring. I have no interest in trying to end or stop such technological innovations; to do so is like trying to resist the wind or the tides. Instead, I want us to understand them with depth. Not with na├»ve embrace, or fearful rejection.
If we learn to wake up and understand, perhaps we will be able to use them rather than be used by them.
 Neil Postman wrote about the one eyed prophet that could only see one side of the invention.   This summary is how I feel every time I point out how the latest greatest anything might not be such a device of salvation to whatever.

But it still needs to be said.

6 October 2010

Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

Continuing a theme here.

Malcolm Gladwell is skeptically that social media is going to change the world.  The types of inspiration and motivation that social media generate are essentially shallow in results.
Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.
If you want to change the world, you better make some real friends, not Facebook friends.  It's the real friends that you will have some influence over in the long run

(HT to Ben Arment)

2 October 2010

So many things to read.

Malcolm Gladwell is becoming one of my favorite authors.   If you haven't read Tipping Point... or his other work, you need to check it out.

Just saw that Adam at The Second Electric has posted a few interview quotes from Gladwell in a Q&A piece at The New Yorker.

I really do think he has some awesome thoughts on things.
On the Internet’s transience:

The essential fact of the internet is that nothing is permanent. AOL was once the king of online—remember? I doubt that anything that is done electronically will facilitate social activism all that much—at least not unless you’ve put a real world structure in place first.

I do love his skeptical nature about technology (good luck finding him writing anything much online)  He just doesn't buy into the hype, yet has an excellent awareness of what is going on.   He's not some cranky old Luddite - he's young and aware that maybe we're being feed a big hard sell on technology.  (my words not even close to his)
On technology’s impotence:

This is what drives me crazy about the digerati. They refuse to accept the fact that there is a class of social problems for which there is no technological solution. Look. Technology is going to solve the energy problem. I’m convinced of it. Technology is going to give me a computer in ten years time that will fly me to the moon. Technology is going to build a car that goes 100 miles to the gallon. But technology does not and cannot change the underlying dynamics of “human” problems: it doesn’t make it easier to love or motivate or dream or convince.
I wish I could spell it out like that.... Isn't that the opposite of ever Apple commercial you've ever seen? (Actually most technology selling commercials)   I think somewhere in there is the baked in truth of what is going wrong with a lot of the big show church stuff...   You can't motivate change with technology... even when you try really hard.
On using Twitter to motivate social activism:

The issue isn’t informing people. It’s organizing people. Twitter is great at the first. But not so great at the second—and Dr. King and his counterparts needed organizations, not communications tools. Remember in the 1960’s you could reliably reach upwards of 95 percent of the black community in urban areas in the South through the church. And there you had their undivided attention for an hour! Who needs Twitter when you have sermons and regular prayer meetings?
I think the thing I notice most in that statement is the difference of information and organization.   I need to think more of ways that different media do this (or don't)