Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oaks Amusement Park

Yesterday we went to the Oaks Amusement Park located in Sellwod, OR. It was a rather hot day (though apparently not has hot as it will get today and tomorrow) and some of us ended up with sunburns.
Oaks Park

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vacation Odds and Ends

There were a few photos from Discovery Bay that hadn't been posted so I got those up into an album. I also included a few photos from our lunch yesterday at Sinju Japanese restaurant in Bridgeport Village located in Tualatin.

Odds and Ends 201007

Shelley got a Karaoke machine at Toys R Us. It is one that she had been wanting ever since she used it at a friend's several months ago.

I weighed our filled suitcase and it came to 50 pounds. I moved a couple of heaveir items to our second suitcase. It too, is now filled and feels like it is right around 50 pounds.

Yesterday we also went to the cinema to watch our first 3D movie on the big screen - Toy Story 3D. (We have seen 3D movies, but only at the various Disney theme parks.) We enjoyed the movie and the 3D, but the admission at $12.50 per adult was a bit of a shock to us. (The IMAX admission is even steeper...)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New roads

Yesterday evening on our way to visit a friend we drove around the neighborhood where we lived only four years ago. I had the GPS navigation directing me and it was taking me towards a path that did not exist then. With a little doubt I went along and discovered that the road that used to dead end now goes through, resulting in a much shorter drive.

On our way back we drove up to the neighborhood where we lived to take a look. It looked pretty much the same except that the trees along the street were noticeably larger.

On our way back we drove the route that we used to take, but at the intersection where we would have turned left, it was now a four-way one with a road going straight through. "Odd," we thought, and I moved out of the left turn lane to go straight, wanting to know about this new road. It turns out that the roads near this intersection was realigned, and the road that I wanted was the one that indeed went straight through. If we had gone left, we would not have found the road that used to be to the right just a hundred feet down.

We continued with more shopping yesterday. We purchased a couple of large suitcases to take back with us. We filled one, but have yet to weight it. I'm not sure if is already over 50 lbs.

I also purchased a nice duffel-style luggage. It doesn't look that big, but it is about the same size as wheeled carry-on luggage and can fit more due to the lack of wheels and frame. With this I should be able to comfortably travel without having to check-in luggage.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shop and shop

What do Alaskans do when they go on vacation? They shop. That's what we did yesterday -- all day long.

Elise and girls went with their grandmothers (yes, plural) and did their thing. I went on my own to run a few necessary errands and then hit some stores to find out if what I needed was available and if not, to place some online orders to hopefully get them delivered in time.

I went to the bank, got a haircut, dropped in a few luggage stores, had some coffee, looked at vacuum cleaner bags, looked at kitchen equipment, went to pet supply stores, Home Depot to get some replacement faucet handles, a late lunch...

Then we all met at the Washington Square Mall. Elise got an iPhone and wanted a case. We got much more than that. I picked up an All-Clad 10-inch stainless steel fry pan (now I have a fry pan that can go under a broiler, yay!). I also got an additional 10W power adapter for my iPad. (It includes a 6-ft cord, which makes it much more useful than the one included with the iPad.) And then I finally found a sporting goods store that carried BuzzBomb lures at a good price - $2-4 less/each than in Petersburg. I picked up 13 of them plus more line and some fishing tools.

Meanwhile the girls found a prom shop where each of them found and purchased dresses for next year's prom.

We ended our day by having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

More shopping today? Yes... We need to get a couple of suitcases to replace broken/worn ones that we left at home.

Monday, July 19, 2010


We did not do much this past weekend. On Saturday we drove over to the Sequim Seventh-day Adventist Church and enjoyed the service there. We met some people who have been in or lived in Alaska, including a couple who had been in Petersburg before. We met another couple who spends part of their summer fishing around Bristol Bay.

With the Lavender Festival going on, the westbound traffic on US-101 looked slow going for many miles. We were happy our way back was eastbound. We took a break in our condo for the remainder of the day.

On Sunday it was time to pack up and head south to Portland. There was still a good amount of perishables and leftovers sitting in the refrigerator, so we made a concerted effort to finish all of that off. We did pretty well and only ended up throwing out a small amount of leftovers.

Shelley wanted a car charger for her iPhone. We first drove up to Port Townsend but discovered that the Radio Shack there was closed on Sundays. Our next stop: Olympia. When we got there we discovered that it was a full shopping mall with a Best Buy. We picked up a charger and then wandered about the mall for another hour.

The drive down itself was rather uneventful and we arrived in the evening.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sequim and Bainbridge Island

The day started out foggy, misty, and overcast. We went over to Sequim and the 14th annual Lavender Festival where we spent a few hours at the street fair. We left early afternoon, stopped by the resort for a few minutes, and then drove over to Bainbridge Island to meet one of my classmates from Monterey Bay Academy.
Bainbridge Island

Plug: Thoughtless Faith

I think that perhaps a thoughtful atheist is closer to the Kingdom than a thoughtless Christian.

Full article at

"Too often, I encounter thoughtless Christians who, frankly, know little or nothing about what they believe and why they believe it and, worse, have little interest in changing their condition. I am not sure they ever even give these larger questions a second thought. Instead their faith, it seems, is often based on a common set of popular assumptions that fall under the banner of Christianity with which they agree. In other words, they believe in God, Jesus, the Bible, conservative values, and so on, but they scarcely know or demonstrate how these beliefs should impact their lives...

"I respect this friend because he takes seriously the ultimate questions of life and he is endeavoring to make sense of the world... While I disagree with my friend’s worldview, I cannot condemn it as being thoughtless. He has invested tremendous energy and effort into trying to understand and work out his perspective of life and the world. More so, I fear, than many professing Christians."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials in the Adventist Church

Browsing updates at another blog site, I was directed to a new anonymous Adventist web site that popped up recently, encouraged by Ted Wilson's election. It smacks very much of McCarthyism and the communist witch hunt as well as the much earlier Salem witch trials. See site at

I continue to be troubled by the polarization, dogmatism, and inflexibility that I increasingly observe being manifest within Adventism. The path I see this particular branch of Adventism taking is one that does not fit into what I believe comprises Biblical Christianity.

Sea Life and Port Angeles

After breakfast and seeing off grandma and cousins, we went down to the dock to see what kind of sea life the resort's divers brought up. We saw quite a few starfish, crabs, some shells, and an octopus. There were explanations given for each species. The interpretive talk ended with a demonstration of how to quickly kill and clean a crab.

Following this we drove out to Port Angeles and wandered about the downtown district for a few hours. The women once again found some apparel shops and went in and purchased some items. We stopped in a small coffee and ice cream shop and took a break with smoothies and an affogato for me.

Port Angeles is one of the locations found in the vampire novel series, Twilight. The city has capitalized on the series' popularity and makes mention of a number of locations found in the novels.

Sea Life Discovery Bay
Port Angeles

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Port Townsend, Day 3

It was another very warm, summer day in the Port Townsend area. We remained at the resort through the morning. Past noon there was a scavenger hunt held at the resort.

Immediately following we drove out to Port Townsend again where the women spent a lot of time shopping for beads and clothing. (I got rather bored -- thank heavens for iPad with 3G, and a camera!)

After two hours we drove uptown to the Wednesday Farmer's Market where we purchased some pastries, artisan cheese, and raspberries. (For supper one of the dishes was a spinach, raspberry, and cheese salad).

We stopped at Safeway for some ingredients with which to put together a black bean chili, and then we returned to the resort.
PT Day 3

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ATdoay: State of Adventist Church in Japan

Dennis Hokama writes the above article in which he relates the decline of Adventism in Japan and how that may be a portent - a "canary in the mine" - of Adventism in other developed nations.

Port Townsend, Day 2

This was our second full day in/around Port Townsend. The morning was spent with our kids and cousins taking part in a T-shirt tie-dye project held at the resort.

We drove out to Port Townsend in the afternoon and stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Afterwards we went over to Fort Worden State Park and spent a little time on the beach where the kids got rather wet in the surf.

On our way back we stopped at a couple of stores to get some new clothing (shorts) and for a few more groceries.

The day was sunny and rather warm. The morning started out a bit cool but the sun quickly warmed the air.

PT Day 2

Monday, July 12, 2010

Port Townsend, Day 1

We drove over to Port Townsend for a few hours today. We stopped at Subway for lunch and then wandered the city afterwards. We stopped in a number of bookstores, some art and antique shops, clothing stores, sporting goods store, and a drugstore.

The morning started out rather damp and even rainy, but by the time we started out and got to the city the skies dried up and it was a nice day.

The person at the front desk thought the day got rather chilly, but we are Alaskans! I thought it was pleasantly warm.

Port Towsend, WA

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back in the Lower 48

It was an uneventful trip back down to the Lower 48. We flew from Petersburg to Juneau, and then to Seattle. From there we drove to Discovery Bay.

Along the way I spotted a Target coming up so I whipped over to the exit. We purchased a number of necessities, including a chef's knife. From our past experiences at WorldMark resorts, the units don't have decent kitchen knives. I wasn't about to pay to check-in baggage just to bring along a knife from home. I figured I could purchase a decent one for the same cost as a check-in bag.

A little ways further down the road I spotted a sign for Safeway. We purchased a number of grocery items and then resumed our drive.

We made it safely to the resort, mostly thanks to the MotionX GPS Drive HD app on the iPad directing us all the way. I was somewhat skeptical but it worked admirably in getting us to our destination, even with the several detours that we took.

The unit that we are staying in is a 3 story split-level. The master suite is on the bottom, the laundry room and entrance half a level up, the living and kitchen on the second floor, a bathroom the next half level up, and then a sitting room/couch and a bedroom on the third floor. I checked the kitchen knives and as I suspected/expected there was no chef's knife.

Along the way the cell data coverage was for a time just EDGE, but getting closer to the resort 3G returned, so we are all happy.

Before leaving the airport we stopped at the Mexican food counter and purchased burritos to take along. We had them after our arrival at the resort.

ESV Online Study Bible

I’ve been using the ESV (English Standard Version) Online Study Bible for a couple of months now and I am quite pleased with it. Crossway, the publisher, just upgraded the site and added some new features, including the ability to invite five people to share the purchase. Yes, it does cost $19.99, but it is a lifetime purchase and not a subscription. Or you can purchase a print version of the ESV Study Bible and the online version is included.

The purchase provides access to the full Study Bible notes, articles, and maps. It also allows you to add your own notes and highlights. You can access the Bible text and reading plans without a purchase.

The site is currently not compatible with iPad/iPhones because it uses Flash, but the FAQ says that they are working on a mobile product.

I find the $19.99 purchase cost to be a bargain for what you get. More information on the ESV Study Bible can be found here. The online study Bible can be viewed here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Against Fundamentalism

Here are a couple of links responding to a resurgence of fundamentalism. The first is a sermon, and the second uses the first as a launching point for further comments on the topic.

  1. Answering Fundamentalists from Adventist Today
  2. The Adventist Myth of the Bible Only

Friday, July 09, 2010

One-month reflection on the iPad

I’ve owned the iPad for a little over a month now; enough time I think to provide some informed thoughts on it. The reader must realize that this is meant to be a reflection on my experience based on my needs and priorities. Your mileage may vary.

I initially decided to purchase it because I wanted a web-connected device more functional than a smartphone and more portable than a notebook PC or even a netbook. With it I also ordered a dock, a Bluetooth keyboard, a case, and a camera connection kit. My aims were to travel light, be able to offload photos from a digital camera, share photos and words while on the road, and have portable access to books. For me, music and videos are not that important.

First of all, I love it. It has replaced nearly all my PC use. For e-mail and web browsing it is completely adequate for my needs. I love that very functional apps can be had for so little cost – nearly all under $10, many under $5, and some very good apps for free.

I think the Bluetooth keyboard is an essential companion. Yes, it is possible (much more than on an iPhone) to use the touchscreen keyboard, but I’d hate to think of having to rely on that for longer documents. The keyboard is very compact, thin, light, and adds very little weight nor takes up much space in a carry-on.

If I were to get a second chance, I would probably skip the Apple case and opt for a third-party one. The case works but one of the big issues is that it is not compatible with the dock. I had to perform some surgery on the case in order to get the iPad to connect and stay on the dock. Even with that the connection is somewhat tenuous.

I find the dock to be worth the cost. It stands up the iPad securely in portrait mode. There is a audio line-out on the dock so if you have external speakers you can leave it permanently connected to the dock.

The camera connection kit is an essential accessory for on-the-road photo work. The photos are imported unaltered; i.e., full resolution JPEGs or RAW. The main issue I have with the iPad’s photo features is that I haven’t yet found a way to upload full-resolution photos from the iPad to an online service. All the apps I’ve found reduce the resolution. The only way to access the full resolution images is from a PC (or Mac) after connecting via the cable. The PC sees the iPad as an external photo device. With the camera connection kit, the iPad functions as an external photo storage device. A comparable standalone unit can run $300 to $700 and doesn’t offer the kind of editing, touch-up, and online features that iPad apps provide.

Early on I discovered how useful the iPad is in the kitchen. Whether on the dock or propped up with the case, it functions quite well as a recipe book. Unlike a book, you don’t have to weight the pages to keep them open. The recipe doesn’t go across pages, but rather all that needs to be done is swipe the finger to scroll around the recipe. Not only that but many recipe apps (I use the free Epicurious) generate shopping lists that can be used on the iPad or e-mailed to another device (I’ve e-mailed the list to my BlackBerry).

Another unexpected discovery is the use of the iPad as a full-featured voice navigation GPS system. We are taking a vacation shortly and I looked into renting a GPS unit on our rental car. What I discovered is that for the duration it was cheaper to purchase a unit. As I began researching GPS units, I discovered that the iPad can do the same thing for much less. The GPS Drive HD app can be purchased for $2.99 and voice-navigation is $2.99 for 30 days. Since we live on an island and have no need for GPS navigation except when we go on trips outside of the area, this is much more cost effective for us.

I found a free piano app, Virtuoso, that is quite usable. The latest update turns one of the two keyboards around so that two people can play a duet on the iPad. Who needs to carry around a guitar when you can have an iPad?

A travel advantage of the iPad over a notebook PC is that according to the TSA web site, it is treated more like a phone; i.e., I should not need to take it out and have it scanned separately. (Btw, netbooks are also supposed to fall into this same category.)

I’ve already commented on the iPad’s usefulness in sermon delivery. While browsing apps yesterday I came across another app, a scrolling teleprompter, that may be useful for people who manuscript sermons.

Is the iPad worth it? For my needs, the answer is a resounding yes. Since my notebook PC is still non-functional (waiting for a rework shipping label to arrive…) the iPad is my portable PC.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blogging from an iPad

I finally got the last piece of the iPad equipment I ordered back in May. This afternoon I picked up the Camera Connection Kit.

So here it is. I used Photogene to crop and adjust the photo, used iPicasso to upload the photo, and Blogspace to create and post this entry. (Only Photogene is a native iPad app. The other two are iPhone apps.) It is more work than what I'm used to, but I don't seem to have too much of an option at this time. Perhaps someone will create a good, native iPad blog editing app. (I think I saw one, but the reviews were not very good.)

Psalm 69:19-28

Reflecting back over the past six to twelve months, Psalm 69:19-28 expresses my feelings quite precisely. The words are harsh, but I do not apologize for how I feel and continue to feel.

19 You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. 20 Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food,      and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. 22 Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. 27 Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Plug: Time to take back the Adventist Church

In light of some of the events that transpired at the General Conference session last week, I found a blog post that is particularly relevant: Time to take back the Adventist Church. It begins --

A while ago the following article was submitted to Adventist Today who appear to have rejected the article for publication so in fairness I thought I would publish it here as it almost seems prophetic when we consider the events of the recent General Conference selection of President and his sermon this last week.

Other comments, editorials, and perspectives regarding the session from non-official sources can be found at

Official reporting can be found in the Adventist Review online archives.