Archive for May, 2008

I finally got my Certified Birth Certificate. Carol and I can now apply for our passports to go to Moldova.  Yeah!  John

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As many of you may know, I work for the Montana Department of Transportation.  A video has been produced by MDT called “Room to Live” that describes the importance of seat belts.  This is a very impactful video and I encourage you to watch it.  In your car, there is “Room to Live“… if you have your seatbelt on.

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Several days ago, Katie started complaining that her knee hurt.  It eventually got so bad, she pulled the crutches out of storage and started using them.  On Sunday, a large bruise looking thing started to develop on the side of her leg near the knee.  We brought her into the Emergency Room.  After FIVE hours, an X-ray taken, blood tested, and a biopsy taken of the fluid in the knee, and an I.V., the Doctor came up scratching his head.  He gave us a prescription for a pain killer and antibiotics just incase it was an infection, even though he said that he doubts there is one.  We also were advised to have her see an orthopedic specialist.  On the next day, Monday, the bruise looking thing started to move down her leg.  On Tuesday, Carol made an appointment with her regular Doctor since it was getting worse so quickly.  She was scheduled to see the Doctor today (Thursday).

Last night, she went to Youth Group at our Church.  The Youth Group prayed for her for a long time, and she was instantly healed.  When she came home, she said to me, “Look”.  She was carrying her crutches and she jumped up and down on her leg.  There was NO PAIN at all and she continues to be pain free.  The bruise looking thing is rapidly vanishing.  Carol canceled her Doctor appointment for today and we will cancel the one with the Orthopedic Specialist.  Praise The Lord! Thank You Jesus!  He is so good.

Today at school, Katie was telling everyone how God has healed her.  Many of the kids said, “I want to go to that church!”  God uses such things to draw others to Himself.  How about you?  What are you waiting for?  He loves you so much!

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We decided not to go camping over Memorial Day weekend because we had several days of rain and cold weather.  See our posts from the past several days about this adventure to get filled in.  We usually plan a big meal for at least one evening while camping, so as not to miss out on anything, even though we stayed home, we still had our big meal.  We had barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes.  Yum! It was all very good.

 We are substitute camping however, so we have to finish the meal off with something we would have camping…. S’mores.  How can this be done without a campfire?  Oh, the conveniences of home.  The good ole’ microwave oven was put into use.  If you have never cooked a marshmallow in a microwave oven, I dare you to try it.  The marshmallow puffs up very large and gets very gooey.  Through some experimentation, we came up with a time of about 15 seconds for the most delicious s’more.  It melts the chocolate perfectly and makes a nice gooey mess.  So, the next time, you need to do some substitute camping, try a microwaved s’more.  You will be glad you did.

We had our big meal with some friends that were supposed to go camping with us; and we were blessed to have Carol’s Mom and Brother come down from Kalispell for the weekend.  Friends, Family, and good Food for a fun Camp IN.  You can’t beat it.

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I mentioned that Carol and I started the processes necessary to go to Moldova in October with a team from our church.  I mentioned that I sent away for a certified copy of my birth certificate.  I found the web site with all the necessary details of what was required and sent it off.  I have since gotten it back with no birth certificate.  Apparently, I didn’t see the form on the web site I had to fill out.  So, I filled one out, and away it went again in the mail.  But, anyway, we are back on track with step two.

Also, check the Moldova link at the top on the top of our home page, or the picture in the right hand column of our home page (like the picture on the left of this paragraph) for all our stuff on Moldova.  I will be adding content to that page regularly so check back now and then.

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Have you ever wished you had all of your favorite computer applications handy when you were on someone elses computer?  How about your e-mail, or passwords to different web sites?  How about your word processor and documents? comes to the rescue.  Portable applications are specially designed versions of your favorite applications that run completely on a USB thumb drive.  They don’t have to be installed on your computer and when you are done, there is no trace of them left on the computer you are using.  They all reside and run from your USB thumbdrive.

This is a snapshot of my portable apps menu. Many of these applications, I use all the time, so I don’t have to learn new programs just to be portable.  Here is my list:

  • Firefox Portable – If you are still using Internet Explorer, you don’t know what you are missing.
  • FSResizer – This is a picture resizer, that I use all the time to change the size of my web photos
  • KeePass Portable – Do you have problems remembering all of your different password for different web sites or applications?  This is a handy organizer that keeps them all nice and safe.
  • KompoZer Portable – This is a WYSIWYG application for creating stand alone web pages.
  • Portable – This is an office application suite similar to Microsoft’s Office, but completely FREE.
  • Sunbird Portable – Is a calendar and organizer similar to Microsoft’s Outlook.  It is much more complete than Outlook Express.
  • Thunderbird Portable – is an E-mail client that I have setup with all of our E-mail accounts and I can check my E-mail very easy where ever I go.  I still prefer to use an E-mail program like this, than to go onto the Internet to check my E-mail.
  • Gimp Portable – I just added this one and is not shown on the picture of my Portable Apps menu.  Gimp is a photo program similar to Photo Shop.  I use it all the time on pictures we take with our digital camera.

Take the plunge and pick up an inexpensive USB thumb drive and carry your favorite applications with you.  There are many many other applications that can be added to the list.  Check them all out at  It’s fun! John

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Since we decided not to go camping because of the rain and cold weather, we decided to make the weekend an enjoyable one anyway. As I am typing this, it is still raining.  The rain stopped awhile yesterday from about 1:30 pm into the evening, but started up again in the night and is continuing right now.  Helena, which is quite arid, received 1.5 inches in the last two days.  That is very nice.

Last night, we spent a cozy time in our family room watching two classic movies I picked up at Costco yesterday.  We like the oldies much more than the new ones, and if there is a remake of an old one, it is sure to be stupid, filled with bad words, have sexual references, and for some reason, they all have at least one butt joke.  Give us the classics any day.

We watched Dr. Doolittle and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  We were all entertained and had more than our fill of TV for one night.  We snacked out, and slept in this morning.  We ate a late, huge breakfast of sausage, eggs, and hashbrowns, and will probably skip lunch.  All this, and no dirt, rain, wind, cold food, or cramped quarters in our overly small camper.  I could get used to this; but strangly enough I miss some of those things I just mentioned that cause us to get along, co-operate, and have fun.

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Here are some photos of a simple power meter, and a QRP receiver and transmitter that I built in March and April of 2007.  All of them were from “Experimental Methods in RF design“.  I actually made a contact with another Ham Radio Operator using the setup exactly as shown in the photo with Morse Code.

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It has been raining for two solid days now. The moisture is actually a blessing even if it interrupted  our plans for this weekend.  The rain is really bringing out the green in the area around us.  Here is a picture of the beautiful Elkhorn Mountains taken from our front deck. Click on the picture to see a larger view. What a nice morning!

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Our colorful weather map from yesterday got even more colorful.  It has been raining or snowing all day long; and we have canceled our camping trip.  We were to be camped right next to a river that may be out of it’s banks while I am writing this.  We decided that if the kids can get all of their chores done, we will relax around here and do whatever we want and have a good Memorial Day weekend in spite of the weather.

We live in a nice migratory path, and get some very beautiful birds coming through in the spring.  Today, we had a bunch of Lazuli Buntings come through.  HERE are some very blury pictures of some of them.  I took the pictures through the window with the lens zoomed in as far as it would go.  There was no way I was going to go out in the rain to take the pictures.  That is for the birds!

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