Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Video Dump

March 8th, 2012 No comments

Due to our poor internet, we rarely get the chance to upload videos.  So, here are three that we have had in waiting.

First up is Mikayla showing off her "Boing-a-hopping"


Next up we have Mikayla and I running away from the waves at Mission Rock during our trip to St. Lucia, South Africa:


Then, here is a video of Mikayla "reading" a book.  Technically she has it memorized from the Kindle, but I thought it was pretty impressive none-the-less:


And finally… just because I can, here are a couple of my favorite videos of Mikayla:


Categories: Family Tags: , , , , ,

Swaziland Pictures, Audio and Video

March 19th, 2011 No comments

I was able to put up a couple blog posts during my quick trip to Swaziland, but because of the lack of reliable internet, I couldn’t upload any media files.  But rather than going back and "spicing up" the previous posts, I figured I would just throw everything into this new post.  So here you go for your multi-sensory enjoyment:

Let’s start with some pictures.  Most of these are pretty low quality because they were taken on either my cell phone or the video camera.

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Airplane I flew in on

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Dome of the church from the backside of the mission

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(blurry) Swazi Sunrise


Posing with Janet, a pharmacy volunteer from Eastern Kentucky and one of the youth from the child care program


Two youth from the child care program.  The dresses they are wearing were made by a church in Auburn Kentucky.


Several kids who live on the mission.


Mural on the side of one of the child care buildings painted a few months ago by Write on Africa.


A look at the agricultural fields on the mission.


A view of "Execution Rock" from a cafe in Mantenga


A little piece of Kentucky in the Ezulwini Valley.


I could think of a more appealing name for hair product.


A rare rain storm begins to roll in.  Even though it was the "wet" season, it hadn’t rained in over a month before this.


While the rain made things green… it also made things pretty muddy.

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A look at the village center several hours after the rain.  It actually dries out really quick.

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This is where the priest on the mission lives.  You can see the residual mud from rain storm.


We actually had a second storm come through a few hours later, which I happened to get stuck in. 
However, it was worth it to be able to see this rainbow over the mission.


Thanks to I was able to score the best seat in economy – extra leg room because of an access panel.

One of the cool experiences I had this week was attending mass at St. Philips church.  It was all in siSwati, and despite a crowd of only about 100 people, the building resonated with the sound of the singing.  Here is a brief audio clip I recorded:

siSwati Singing


You can download the audio only here.

Now let’s get to the videos.  Here is some wildlife I fould on my porch.  Just so you know this is a small one – I just happened to have my camera handy.  Some of these on the mission are twice as large.


Giant African Land Snail living outside our house


Speaking of our porch, one of the great things about taking this trip was I had the opportunity to stay in the duplex where we will be living in July.  Here is a video of the house to give you a feel for what our living arrangement will be like:

Home in Swaziland


Finally, I wanted to end with a short panoramic video from the center of the mission.  You can’t see many of the important buildings (such as the clinic, high school, hostel, offices, etc.) but you do get a feel for the place.

Quick look around St. Philips

Tying a Prusik Knot on the end of a line

November 17th, 2010 No comments

Everyone has those little tricks that make life so much easier.  This little knot is one of those that I always go back to and comes in handy for everything from rock climbing, to hanging a clothes line, to putting up a tent, to tying stuff down.

msapg25-prusik-hitches[Standard way of tying a prusik.  Illustration credit: Western Safety.]

A prusik (prussik, prusic) knot is a friction knot that allows you adjust it along a line, but it remains taunt under a load.  It is often made by taking a loop of knot and passing it through itself.  That is a helpful technique, but at times not feasible.  Often you need to be able to tie a prusik on the end of a line.  That is when you need to be able to tie it in an alternate way.

I used this knot on a kite I recently created.  In trying to illustrate my technique, I looked all over the internet to find instructions, but couldn’t find them so I decided to create a how-to video explaining the process.  Hopefully this is helpful, and you can add it to your own bag of trick.

Mikayla and Magic

September 11th, 2010 1 comment

Here is a video of Mikayla being entertained by my slight of hand magic tricks.


She figures out early on that moving my hand makes a difference, but it takes her a bit to figure out exactly what is going on.

Categories: Family Tags: , ,

5000 Barrels a Day

May 20th, 2010 No comments

By now everyone knows about the environmental catastrophe unfolding in the gulf coast.  Initial estimates of 1000 barrels a day were horrendous enough and soon upgraded to an estimate of 5000 barrels.  However a few weeks ago, new footage emerged showing the actual leak:

This lead to researchers to conclude the leak could actually be as high as 80,000+ barrels a day.  That means that every 3-4 days as much oil as the entire Exxon Valdez spilled is leaking into our oceans.  Just yesterday, experts testified before congress that the actually amount is most likely close to 95K barrels per day.

What really chaps me is that BP is refusing to acknowledge the extent of the flow (and thus the extent of the damage).  They are sticking by their early figures of 5K despite the fact they are woefully inaccurate and they are refusing to put forth the effort to actually figure out the flow rate.

After many unsuccessful attempts to address the problem, BP finally was able to insert a tube into the broken pipe to siphon off the oil.  They claim they are now capturing up to 5,000 barrels of leaking oil.  That just happens to be the magic number — the amount BP still claims is all that is leaking.

The problem is, the leak is still flowing.  Check out this footage:

This has been going on for a month.  Even when we aren’t thinking about it, or the news media isn’t covering it, thousands and thousands of gallons of toxic crude oil are blasting into our oceans.  It literally makes me sick to think about the towns in Alabama that survived Hurricane Katrina, only to be (irreparably?) damaged by this man-made disaster.

Now who thinks “Drill Baby Drill” is a good idea?

UPDATE: Right when I posted this, I found this article where BP finally admits the leak is bigger than 5,000 barrels, but still refuses to acknowledge the extent of the damage.

Counting to 10 in Zulu

February 2nd, 2010 No comments

Beth and I have (slowly) been working on our siSwati in preparation for our move.  Since siSwati is only spoke by 1.5 million people in the world (0.02% of the world’s population) there is not a whole lot of learning resources.  Because siSwati is related to the Zulu language, we have also been looking at some of those lessons.  Below you will find a video clip of the numbers from 1-10.  We were feeling pretty good about things until we got about half way through things.

Learn Zulu Numbers for Free with Byki

What are the chances we can 5-10 years without using the numbers 7-9?

MLK Day Remembrance

January 18th, 2010 No comments

I am not a very sentimental person and rarely get caught up in traditions or holidays, but today represents a significant day of remembrance as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This man was so influential in my life and my understanding of the world that we named our daughter after him (Mikayla Lillian Kickert).  It was an honor this morning to march along side my brothers and sisters and to have my daughter join us.  Here is a picture of me and little MLK from this morning and a shot from the march:

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If you haven’t already done it, please take the time to listen to MLK’s prophetic “I have a dream” speech.  I still cannot listen to it without tearing up.  I have included it below for your convenience

Finally, I want to share with you a prayer that I wrote several years ago to commemorate the day.  The following is an invocation written in 2008 for the annual MLK remembrance service in Bowling Green.  It is inspired by the UMC Book of Worship prayer for such occasion.

God of all creation, we stand together today and acknowledge your presence among us as we seek to be your people united in love.  As we worship today, we pray that you grant us a glimpse of your Kingdom. A kingdom where everything is made new and all nations walk together in the light of your Glory.

We thank you for your servant Martin Luther King Jr. who lived out the principles of your kingdom, and through his prophetic voice, offered the vision of what could be.  May we be challenged by his courage, emboldened by his passion, and inspired by his actions.  But heavenly father, may we not rest of the laurels of his godly work, but instead strive together to bring deeper love and greater unity as we all seek to live out your calling on our lives.  May we, even today, experience the same divine discontent that spurred Dr. King to be a voice for justice and an advocate for love.

Today we remember the conviction of Dr. King, who said:

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Therefore, let us pray for courage and determination for those who are oppressed.  And at the same time, may we not be blind to the oppression we bring, nor deaf to the voices crying against it.
Today we remember Dr. King’s words that

True peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.

Therefore let us pray not only for relief from tensions and conflicts, but for a just and compassionate world.  May those who work for peace in our world be those crying loudest for justice and may we find peace not in the comforts of life, but in the tension that comes from standing in the gap.
Today we remember Dr. King’s insight that:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, because we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny,

Therefore, let us pray that we may see nothing in isolation, but instead find ourselves unified in love and perfected in peace.  May we rejoice with those rejoicing, and mourn with those morning.  And today father, may we join the struggles of those bothers and sisters throughout the world who are striving for peace and justice.
Today we remember Dr King’s lament that:

The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound, often the arch-supporter of the status quo. 

Therefore, let us pray that neither those gathered here today nor any congregation of Christ’s people may be silent in the face of wrong, but that we may be disturbers of the status quo when it comes into conflict with God’s Kingdom.

Finally, we remember Dr. King’s prophetic words that:

The dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Therefore, in faith, let us contend against evil and make no peace with oppression so that we join in the legacy of Dr. Martin King Jr. and work together to fulfill the vision he shared of your Kingdom come. 

Lord, while we still hear jangling discords in our nations, may we be beautiful notes in the symphony of brotherhood. 

In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace we pray, Amen.

Seriously? Pat Robertson? Seriously?

January 13th, 2010 4 comments

It is bad enough that your theology is atrocious… must you really play the “God’s Wrath” card within 24 hours of the most devastating natural disaster since the tsunami.

I would break down all the theological errors and examples of eisegesis in this argument that God is punishing the Haitians, but the hateful, tactless Pat Robertson does not even deserve a response.

Mikayla on the Move

December 21st, 2009 No comments

Beth and I have known for a while that we need to have the house “baby-proofed.”  We are also chronic procrastinators which of course means we wait until things are immediate needs and not just distant threats.  Well Mikayla is on the move now and we have had to follow through.  Just take a look:

We can no longer sit her in the middle of the room and expect her to be there when we get back.  Not only can she crawl across the house in a matter of seconds, she has always been inquisitive and her new mobility has only served to heighten this.  Now we keep small items off the floor, our electrical cords are (usually) put away and we have a baby gate we can put up when we need it.

Of course the epitome of baby-proofing gear is the outlet plug.  We bought several packs and dutifully installed them throughout the house.  As you can see below, that sure did us a lot of good:

From install to defeat it is less than 10 seconds.  If you take it down to the frame-by-frame analysis you will find Mikayla has an impressive removal time of less than 2 seconds.  Unbelievable!

However you look at it, I can’t help but think this reveals some traits my daughter has picked up from me.  She is curious about how things work; she likes to live dangerously; and unfortunately she knows what she isn’t supposed to do yet she still wants to do it.

Hopefully she will pick up some of my good habits as well!

Categories: Family Tags: , , , ,

Pain of War told with Sand

December 10th, 2009 No comments

[Video Link]

In the above video, Kseniya Simonova, a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent” uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

You would think that a medium such as sand would not lend itself to being graphic, but the pain of war is clearly conveyed through her finger strokes.

Take the time to watch the whole video.  At first you will be captivated by her skill, but very quickly you will drawn in by the story of the invasion and the subsequent pain and tragedy.

Categories: Thoughts Tags: , , , ,