Cuff Daddy to the EXTREME!

Alright, lets start at the beginning because that seems to be a very good place to start. Adam arrived at our house and we loaded up our bikes into the back of Jon’s truck. Pretty non-eventful ride on the way up to Cade’s Cove. The eventful thing that would happen would happen as we are unloading our bikes from Jon’s truck. In his hands, he had his sunglasses… In the truck, were the keys to his truck… Yes, we got locked out of the vehicle. Luckily, there were some Park Guides nearby and one of them had a hanger. After a few attempts Jon was able to get his truck unlocked and we could continue (start) on our bike trip.

I guess it really helps to not eat burgers before you get on the loop. For those of y’all other there, may remember my last attempt involved stopping at the Tipton house (the name of one of the houses in Cove) and having to purge myself of the food. This time around, though there was one place I felt like it, I didn’t actually barf! Yeah!

I really like this new bike. It handled the hills a lot better than my other bike, i.e. I can actually get it into low gear without having to fiddle around with the shifters. This bike is a hardtail, so I do miss the rear suspension a little, but oh well.

Ok, so now your probably wondering why I have EXTREME! in the title and its all caps and has an exclamation point. Well here’s why… After we got done biking, we went into the campgrounds to see if we could find some of the Laurel members that went camping out. Luckily we found them pretty easily. It was nice, they all had extra food which we were able to help them dispose of them. So that was fun. Up were the Garton’s (Phil and Leah, Phil is like a year younger than me), the Owen’s, the Bell’s, the Farrar’s, the Ross’s, the Clark’s, and the Lewis’s. Lately, a lot of the younger kids have gotten to know me through helping out with VBS and the new Kid’s Heart to Heart group. Well this time around, they all wanted me to get on my bike and ride with them. They took me to some places they called EXTREME biking. EXTREME biking always involved going off road and usually down a hill. Ok, its approaching 10:00 and I’m really tired.

I mentioned I wanted to do the Lakeshore trail tomorrow, but now looking at what all I need to do, I don’t reckon I’ll be doing it. I should probably use tomorrow afternoon to prepare the Wednesday night Youth Group class. I’m not a big fan of doing all the talking, but I also hate being in a class where its discussion and no one really wants to discuss (except the few that always do). So I’m trying to come up with something that’s not going to be those two but still good enough that the kids will get something out of it. I think I’ve got something from my old ChallengePoint days, but it will definitely need some work to make it work. Then, I’ve got to start attending the Elders, Deacons, and Ministry Leaders meetings.

Knoxville Needs Longer Trails

Got a new bike this week. Its a Trek 3900. I looked at a few Diamondbacks, a couple of Gary Fischer’s, and a Cannondale.

So today after work, I told Jon I was gonna go riding and wandered if he wanted to go along. We started at the Third Creek parking lot on Neyland and went up to the end of it at BiLo and turned around. When we got back, we went up Neyland to the nearly completed James White trail and then back. There’s nothing to see past Riverside Tavern. All in all it was just over 15 miles. That the longest trail you can do in Knoxville. I wish there was an even longer trail.

Tomorrow we are going up to Cades Cove to bike the loop. Due to the number of vehicles we will encounter, I’m hoping to test this bike’s off road handling abilities.

Worship Pages? Auditorium Completion?

You may have noticed, some time ago I added a link under the pages section called worship pages. I really haven’t started that page but will be doing it soon. Why you might ask?

For sometime, Chad, Joey, and I have been doing the PowerPoint / MediaShout during the worship at Laurel. It has been done kind of ad hoc. The elders would like to see a more formal team in place to do this. They have asked me to be the leader of the Technology and Media team. I was reluctant at first (actually I still am), but have agreed to take on this responsibility. Since both Chad and I will be leaving for Brazil in a couple of weeks, I thought it was best to get this team started after that. A more formal announcement will probably be made at Laurel in the next few weeks. We will be looking for people that are interested in volunteering for this ministry.

I hope to get us all using MediaShout by year’s end. I’m really waiting to get my hands on our Version 3 preorder. I’ve been using 2.5.5 for a while. I’m really interested to see if it handles PowerPoint slides better than 2.5.5 did. This could be a real maker or breaker. I’ve been creating my own slides in PhotoShop and Illustrator. While I am comfortable using these programs, I know its going to be harder for others to use. With MediaShout, doing scriptures and Song Lyrics couldn’t be much easier… Well maybe if the publisher of Songs of Faith and Praise would put out a file that could be imported into the MediaShout Library… This book tends to change some of the lyrics. Even after going over the lyrics before church with the song leader, you can still miss lyrics.

Another function of this ministry leader will be to get involved on the auditorium committee. With the new auditorium expansion, they wanted someone who has experience with audio/visual stuff too. I want a system in place that will not only serve our current needs, but that will serve our needs in the future. While currently, we aren’t using any kind of praise team; there is a very good possibility that one will be used in future. The audio system needs to handle that kind of duty.

Now I guess your really waiting for the part about auditorium completion. I’m meeting with Danny B. later this week and hopefully I’ll have a better idea of when this is going to happen.

The Synchronous Fireflies of Elkmont

Last night several of us from the CSC went to Elkmont to see the Synchronous Fireflies. The group was Adam B, Adam F, Joey and his agape kid Justin, Dan, Sarah M, Chris (a new older guy that you may not know), Wilson and of course me. I wanted to make sure that I got to see it again this year since I didn’t get to last year. Its a really cool thing to see if you’ve never seen it before. The fireflies will flash very near to the same time. In the past, parking was always an issue. Parking has become even more of an issue since this event has gained popularity. I wanted to avoid taking two or three cars, so I asked and secured permission to take one of the Laurel vans. My plan was to meet right after class and leave. I wanted to stress that its not exactly just down the road and it will take some time to get there. I wanted to arrive back at the church building by midnight. We left about 30 minutes later than I had planned on.

Once we got there, the park service started directing traffic where to park. I think we were like the next to last vehicle in BFE land. It seemed as we were hiking up Little River Road, they had started to let cars park closer since several cars had started to leave. Oh well… Thankfully we were all relatively young. Walking a couple of miles to the Jakes Creek Trailhead isn’t too much for us to handle. On Thursday-Sunday they run a trolley so that you can park at Sugarlands visitor center and ride it to Elkmont. That would have been the preferred thing to do, but they don’t do it on Wednesday.

For those of y’all wanting to go see it, you have only this weekend left. Afterwards, they start dying off. Also the best place to view them is to head up the road that leads to the Jakes Creek trailhead. If you take the Little River Trail, you’ll run into a lot of people. Both are good places to view, but the road up to Jakes Creek has a lot fewer people. I think we only ran into like 4 or 5 groups total that went up that way. I’m wandering what it looks like on the Cucumber Gap trail?

Anyways, so we saw it and headed back. It was cool. We arrived right on time. Actually we arrived at the church building at 12:30, so if you take into account that we left 30 minutes later than I had wanted to, thats not too bad at all.