Busy, Busy, Busy

The time leading up to Easter is always busy for anyone on a church staff. This year we added another wrinkle, in that on top of our massive, multi-night Easter presentation, we are holding one large service at the Amway Center in Orlando. So I have not had a lot of time to write. I’ve also been involved in pre production for the pilot of Peculiar. Busy.

Here are a couple of promo videos we did for the Amway service:


Following Instructions: Design Flaw or My Mistake

So I finally bought a grill. I have thought about it for years, but never done it. I went down to the store, picked it out and told the sales guy I wanted to get it. He asked if I wanted the assembled one or the one in a box.

Sadly, the assembled one was a bit too big for my wife’s car. So we got the one in a box. I took it home and started to put it together.

About 10 minutes in, I was almost laughing at the poor design. The angles didn’t match right, and the screw holes seemed out of place. I had questions about it’s structural integrity. I assumed cheap grills all had this issue.

Then I suddenly realized that I was putting it together wrong. One piece was upside down. Swap it out, and suddenly the pieces all fit together.

My perspective on the designer suddenly changed. I wasn’t laughing, I was appreciating the way the thing went together. It was surprisingly easy once I was following the instructions again.

Made me wonder about when I think God has gone crazy, maybe I’m looking at a piece of the grill wrong.

At any rate, I’m eating steak tonight.

GCB: A “Good Christian” Review

(I use a particular word a lot in the post. Consider yourself warned.) I am watching the pilot of this show. I wanted to speak from knowledge, not speculation. A little over 30-minutes in I’m almost convinced it represents everything wrong with TV. Find a group to vilify, then use them to cover up lame humor and poor character development. Let controversy drive the ratings until you can fix what’s wrong with the show. ABC did change the name from Good Christian Bitches to Good Christian Belles and then to GCB. But there is still plenty of controversy.

What is the one group in America TV execs think they can mock on with impunity? Christians. I’ll bet quite a few good Christians end up watching this on a regular basis, if it doesn’t get canceled soon.

Pick another demographic… Good Black Bitches, Good Jewish Bitches, Good Muslim Bitches? Good Scientologist Bitches? Would that ever be allowed by any network? Nope, it’s Christians. What other group could be portrayed like this without immediate, public backlash of sponsors? No, Christians will organize boycotts and petition drives that do little harm and keep the public interested in knowing more about the show. And many Christians will watch it, because we don’t live life differently than non Christians. (That’s another post.)

I have been in church all my life and never met anyone like the Christians depicted in this show. Nor have I ever been to a church that would put up with the antics displayed in the services. I know that some Christians have done stupid things, and acted wrong. I know that the writers are trying to create an extreme character set for humor and to set up long term antagonists, with plenty of room for growth, but really?

The show would be easier to stomach if there was at least one decent Christian character. I don’t know if the writers ever met any decent Christian people. But they have yet to introduce them into the show. Could they not have the pastor have a backbone and put a stop to the mess in the service? An older church member who could show kindness to the protagonist?

The problem with this whole mess is that the controversy, that we religious types will unwittingly perpetuate with good intentioned boycotts, will actually end up keeping the show on the air longer than it would be if it just had to stand on it’s writing and acting. There is a chance that enough negative backlash could come that ABC would pull the show, but that’s unlikely. But, eventually the controversy will die down, and the show will stand on it’s own merits. As it is right now, it won’t stand long.

Update:Heard tonight, and double checked. As of now, GCB is cancelled for next season.

March 7th: New iPad and Apple TV Predictions

Every year when Apple announces a new iPad or iPhone, I like to make a few predictions, and then see how close I was after the fact. Now, the first Apple announcement (Second if you count the new iBook text book app) is on the calendar. March 7th we will see what the next generation of iPad is like. I’ve been doing a little reading on the blogs, and here are some predictions.

Generally, I predict a lot of grumbling. The iPad 3 (If it is called that), when compared to the iPad 2, will be similar to the iPhone 4S in difference from the iPhone 4. The iPad 2 is still outselling everything else, and is a capable device. Still, for those of us with 1st generation iPads, the iPad 3 will be a nice upgrade.

I think the iPad 3 (or maybe iPad HD?) will finally get a retina display. I like the display in the current model, but there is a difference in that and the iPhone 4/4S. I’m looking forward the the retina display on the iPad.

Speed/Processor-wise, I think the iPad 3 (or iPad 2S?) will have a slightly faster processor. I’ve been seeing images of a new A5 chip. Like the A5x, or something. I don’t think we will see a huge leap forward. I’ll bet it does the same sort of things that the iPhone 4S does. I don’t expect a big jump in cores or anything radical.

Home Button: There have been some rumors about Apple finally getting rid of the Home button. I am unsure about this. I’d hate to see it gone. If they did remove it, the the next gen of iOS would have to add some gestures to replace the functions.

IOS: Rumor has it that there are already devices running iOS6 out there. I suspect we will see further implementation of Siri and maybe a few extra tweaks. Nothing major here either, except added gestures if the Home button goes away.

Pricing and Size: I think the pricing will remain the same for similar sized offerings. I’d love to see a 128GB model, but that may still be a long shot. There are rumors that there may be a new version of the iPad 2, and 8GB version. This is similar to the iPhone 3GS, or 4, when newer models came out. Apple continued to offer a lower end model with smaller storage for less cost. It is possible that the iPad 3, or whatever it all be called, will just be an high resolution version of what already is offered, with a premium price tag, but that isn’t what Apple normally does.

One more thing: It’s time to upgrade the Apple TV. Supplies have grown short, and the rumors are flying. I expect at the very least a 1080 capable machine. If there are any new streaming components in iOS6, these will be integrated here. I would love to see an app based TV store where I can download network apps and content from creators, some free and some pay or subscription based.

There have been a lot of rumors about an actual TV set from Apple. They could roll this out, but it’s a long shot. In over to really compete in this market they would need multiple sizes of TV, and would have to keep the cost down. It’s much simpler to build a box that plugs into a monitor of any size. If they were to enter the TV market, expect the set to have all the Apple Tv features, plus a Bluetooth keyboard and wireless trackpad for gestures support.