As some of you may know, Alia had congenital cataracts shortly after she was born. The condition was anticipated, and doctors were ready to perform surgery. They removed the lenses from her eyes, thus resulting in her having to wear very thick glasses with very limited vision. It is planned, some day, when her eyes grow to mature size, she will have artificial lenses surgically implanted in her eyes, so only minor correction will be needed with regular glasses. In the mean time, her vision was limited to a narrow field of vision right in front of her with an eyesight of about 20/80. Her eye doctor strongly suggested giving her contacts. This would improve her eyesight somewhat, and give her a new look. The very thick glasses were “cute” when she was an infant, but now that she is in the second grade, some of the more uncivilized students are taking the opportunity to use their uncivility on her. Click the pictures to see larger views. John
I had to go out to Eastern Montana this week for my job. I stayed over night in Glendive. When I was getting ready to leave the motel, I was greated with the most beautiful sunrise. Click the picture to see this one and others that I’ve taken while traveling around Beautiful Montana.
As I travel around the state, I bring along an MP3 player (a music player that plays computer audio files). I down load audio programs from the Internet on subjects that I am interested in, mostly Ham Radio, Computer, or Christian programs. Several programs that I listen to are hosted by Leo Leporte. He does a live call in show called “The Tech Guy” and he often gets questions like, “I got a virus, and don’t know how”, “Spam is being sent out with my name on it, how did that happen”, “My computer runs real slow and it used to run fast”. Time and time again, he tells his viewers that YOUR ACTIONS are more important than anything else in preventing the bad guys from getting a hold of your computer. Here is a list from one of his programs:
1. Don’t open email attachments; even if it’s from someone you know. If you do get something from someone you know, make sure that they really sent it to you. Email attachments are the number one way viruses and trojan horses get into your email. You might also want to turn off HTML email in Outlook and other programs. HTML emails are just as dangerous as rogue web sites, and can spread infections just by previewing them.
2. Don’t click links in email. That link could lead you to a phishing site, or the link may lead you to install malicious software. Copy and paste links into your browser, or type them in by hand instead. Another reason to disable HTML email – the HTML hides the real destination of that seemingly innocuous link.
3. Don’t download files from places you aren’t absolutely sure are safe. Stick with the well known sites. Teeneagers who use filesharing software like BitTorrent, Azureus, Kazaa, Morpheus, Grokster, and Limewire, often unwittingly download spyware and trojans. If you must, quarantine all downloads then scan them a few days later with an updated anti-virus.
4. Update your OS regularly! Turn on automatic updates in OS X and Windows. Apply all critical updates immediately. Criminals often create hacks within 24 hours of Microsoft’s patches (these are called zero day exploits), so you need to protect yourself the day the patches appear.
5. Use a firewall. The best firewall is a hardware router – the kind you use to share an internet connection. Even if they’re not billed as firewalls, they are, and they’re quite effective. I also recommend turning on your operating system’s firewall – even if you have a router – but I don’t recommend third-party software firewalls. They cause more problems than they solve.
6. Never run as an administrator in any operating system. Administrators have way too many priveleges that malicious people/code can take advantage of. Run as a limited user as much as possible. Windows Vista, Linux, and Mac OSX allow you to run a majority of features, but with some additional safety, as a limited user.
We had our church picnic yesterday evening. What a great time we had. The picnic was at the Kleffner Ranch betweeen East Helena and Montana City. It was well attended with probably 200 or so people. Denis Young and his wife Stacy own the ranch, and host many events there all year around. Denis gave us a grand tour of the barn and of all the work they have done renovating it. The barn was build in the late 1800’s and is in great shape. Click the picture to see a slide show of our fun picnic and the tour of the barn. John
Tomorrow, we have another meeting for our preparations of our missions trip to Moldova in October. We have only 40 days left, and any loose ends are being tied up.
One thing that is requested of us, is that we be prepared to give our testimonies on how we received Jesus as our Savior. We need something that is short, three to five minutes, and to the point, as if we give our testimony, it will be through a translator, and to a culture different from our own.
Tonight, I went to www.5clicks.com, and prepared a simple short testimony. I also updated my “long version”. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, you should write it down.
Click to open a pdf of my “Long Version” of my testimony.
Click to open a pdf of my “Short International Version” of my testimony.
We enjoyed the day at the Jefferson County Fair in Boulder. Jefferson County is does not have a huge population and the county seat is Boulder. Boulder is right over the mountain from Jefferson City. Even though this is a small County Fair, we really enjoy it, for the very fact that it is small. There are not drunks all around, no carnies trying to vie for our buck, and home town people that are just pain nice. We had a great time. A plus to it was the classic car show at Boulder Park. We walked through and reminisced about the good ole’ days. Click the pictures to see some of our fun and also see the new Gallery page I am putting together. Enjoy! John
Click the picture to see the head of Santa Clause coming out of the egg
A couple of nights ago, I was hard boiling some eggs for my lunch at work. While cooking, one of them broke; and the results was a miniature Santa Clause head sticking out the side of the egg. I remembered a while back when someone sold a corn flake, that looked like the state of Illinois, on eBay for a bunch of bucks. I could have sold my Santa Clause egg on eBay and made a million dollars! But…. I was hungry and I ate him!
Our family to a road trip yesterday (Saturday) to Great Falls to attend the annul “DownPour Festival” held there every year. From their website, “DownPour Festival is a home-grown free-admission music festival held in Great Falls, Montana. This was our first time attending, and we had a great time. It is nice to be able to go and be thoroughly entertained, while keeping all the focus on Jesus. It was a wholesome clean fun event for the whole family. If you live in the area, I encourage you to check it out next year.
My interest was mostly in “Rush of Fools”. Their CD “Rush of Fools” is packed with great worshipful music. Unfortunately, because of technical problems, their show was an hour late and thus shorteded, to keep everything on schedule. They were fantastic though. Check our their web site HERE. Also, if you pre-order now, you can get their up and coming new release, “Wonder of the World” Cd for $10. You can’t beat that.
I am not too familiar with many of Jeremy Camp’s songs, but his concert was fantastic. His testimony was awesome, and the whole thing was filled with God. God’s presence throught out the whole evening was very “thick”. We definately came away, not just entertained, but fed. When Jeremy sang “Oh No, You Never Let Go” by Matt Redmond, J.J., our four year old, went nuts, as this is his favorite song. J.J. has a play guitar and he plays and sings “Oh No, You Never Let Go” until he is exhausted. HERE is a video clip of J.J. playing and singing that one.