Its almost ready…but not quite!

Well,

I almost have the 05 caper completed. It would have been done by now but I had to do a little project for work. So just as a little present while you wait, here is the video I made.

Its called Danger in the Streets and its an edited version of a bunch of 1930’s public service video footage with some 1950s Sci-Fi movie music added for effect. I made it in an attempt to communicate all of the perils we face in trying to collect money in our business as the Duke University Health System CBO. If you think of the traffic as all of the problems we face in getting paid you’ll get the idea.

And bonus points if you know the movie the music came from!

Let me know what you think!

-Brian

Fun with Photobooth

{moszoomthumb imgid=528}Well, we hit the mall for a few minutes yesterday so Mary could return something and of course I had to stop by the Apple store and check out a few things. While we were there we played with the new Photobooth software from Apple. It comes standard on the iMac now that it has a built in camera.

Check out the fun in the media gallery

Yikes. Maybe we shouldn't play around so much!

-brian

Christmas Caper 2005 is on it way!

We thought we might not have a caper to solve this year but then we got the call…This year Santa needed help in order to save Christmas for boys and girls everywhere and the Doerrstop Detectives had to fly to Texas to help.

Stay tuned to doerrstop.com and be the first one on your block to see this 2005 blockbuster! We hope to have it finished by New Years.

A new website project completed

Well, I’ve done it again. Over the past few months I’ve been implementing a new church website for our church, Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC. This has entailed not only an entire redesign of the existing site, but moving the site to a new server platform (Unix), implementing a back-end database (MySQL) a content management system (Joomla) and implementation of many add-on services such as podcasting, daily bible verses, bible searches, online calendaring, blogging, live stats and comment systems.

Its been a lot of work…you can just ask Cheryl. 🙂

The site went live a few weeks ago and is now starting to be promoted. So far the comments have been very positive and I’m hoping this helps us reach more people, more effectively.

I even wrote the email promoting the site…here it is:


Grab a seat, buckle up, and go for a ride on our new little piece of road on the information superhighway…all from the comfort of your favorite browser.

Our site has been overhauled and supercharged to incorporate the following new elements:
– Updated look and feel for the CUMC portions and a special look for our Evolution pages.
– Artwork incorporating photos of our buildings and people
– New content sections including church news and missions news
– Ability to subscribe to our sermon podcasts
– New online Church calendar
– Online polls for research and feedback
– Online prayer requests
– Site registration for financial information, commenting on articles, news and event submission.

So click on over to the new site, register, subscribe to the podcast, and take a spin.  And don’t forget to bookmark it for future use.

The address is http://www.christmethodist.org/

See you on the road!

I am currently working with the staff and lay leadership to train them on entering additional content in each of their areas.

When you have a moment, please go over and check it out. If you feel so inclined, feel free to register (that gives you the ability to comment on things, see our financials, and submit church events for approval and inclusion in the calendar.

If you didn’t catch it above, the site is located at http://www.christmethodist.org/

If you know anyone who might be interested in setting up a system like this, email me. I have hosting contacts and can put together a package deal with them for web hosting, email, development, and training. We also have the ability to set up storefronts with a database back-end for web sales and inventory management.

-Brian

Podcasting

OK…so here’s a little secret…I’m trying to get my brother to start a podcast.

What’s a podcast? A podcast is basically a listing of audio recordings you put on the web. The utilize a technology called RSS which makes it easy to subscribe to them and get new recordings as they are made available by the author.

Why would a podcast from my brother be interesting? Aside from being just a very cool and interesting fellow, two recent events have will make the next chapter of his life even more interesting that usual. Let me explain.

First, he just turned 40. You know what that means…"I think my ‘brother’s’ gone crazy!" He’s taking stock of what’s important and what he needs to change up in his life. He quit his job in hopes of restarting his acting career, is taking on a job setting up an drama program at a local school, and taking workshops in hopes of honing his acting skills even further.

On his 40th Birthday I called him up and told him I had a present (an mp3 recorder and headphone mic) , a proposition (start up a bi-weekly podcast about his transition and life) and a plan (setup the podcast and use it as a marketing tool to get agents and casting directors to look at him).

He took me up on all of it and has been playing with the tools since mid July. Now with his gig over at Marksmen and his new life starting, we need to get this moving. I’m thinking this would be a very interesting podcast and if you agree let me know by leaving a comment so I can push him to get moving on this.

I’ll have more soon about my first foray into the podcasting realm (just setting one up…not about my insane life).

-Brian

Darn Hot!

I can’t believe how hot it is! The high has been over 90 degrees for what seems like ever. Actually its been almost 2 weeks . Tuesday it was 101, yesterday it was 100 and today it supposed to be about 95. Two days ago we lost power for about 8 hours, which I’m sure was due to the heat. Luckily it went out about 8:00pm (when it was still 88 degrees outside) and our house stayed below 85 until 3:00am when the power kicked back on.  

From the forecast , it sounds like we’ll finally get some reprieve tonight/tomorrow when a cold front moves through and the high is only in the mid 80s.

The funny part is that I’ve been complaining to everyone about how darn hot it was in TX while we were there and I must have brought it back with me. Guess thats what I get for talking about it so much.

If you have any good heat remedy’s "comment" below and let us know how we can stay cool in all this heat.

-Brian

Its been a while

I know its been a while since the last update and boy have we been busy.  In mid-June we took a two week road-trip to Texas to visit our old neighbors (and 2 of Matthew’s God parents) the Perryman’s. It was a great trip. Texas was hot but there was a heat wave going through much of the rest of the country at the time so it didn’t seem much worse than anywhere else. Each day it was around 95 degrees and sunny but there was a constant breeze so, in the shade, it was very comfortable. Standing out in the sun was definitely another story.

While we were there we took day trips to Austin to visit the Apple store, look around downtown and head to Dave and Busters for a few. One fun fact is that the Texas state capital is a rotunda similar to the US capital and is actually taller than the US captial…figures…it’s Texas.  

We also took a day trip to Ft. Worth (photos) and the historic old town (read tourist trap). They claim to have the only daily public cattle drive in the US. Cattle drive is a loose term at best and while it was neat to see the longhorn steers stroll through the town (all 12 or so of them) I got the feeling this wasn’t the way it went down back in the day.

The kids got souvenirs there, we stopped by the world’s largest Honky Tonk bar called Billy Bob’s for a softdrink and we even brought back some Texas salsa mix. Best of all, our friend Angie’s mom met us there (she lives just outside Ft. Worth) and she tagged along with us and showed us the sites. The highlight of the day was the photographic archive they have in Ft. Worth. We spent some time looking through old pictures of cowboys and the townsfolk from the 1800’s. The neat part was you could buy copies of the photos you liked. We found this really cool old snapshot of a larger family from the time. They seemed to be one of the wealthier families. I bought and scanned in the photo and you can see it about halfway down the page in our Ft. Worth photo gallery . Very neat.

During one of the hot days we took the kids to an indoor rock climbing facility called Boulders where we all tried our skills at climbing up to the top of 35 foot walls without much to hold onto. Hunter and I made it up all the way (Hunter climbs like a monkey) and the whole crew had an awesome time climbing around for a few hours. Here are some photos .

During pretty much every other day the kids played in the Perryman’s swimming pool (photos) where we took tons of action shots of great diving board maneuvers like the triple-lindy and more.

Then one night we decided to go to a putt-putt? mini golf and entertainment center and played a round of mini golf. Everyone had a great time until we went over to the go-kart race track. It was all fun and games and everyone was having a good time…then the Mom’s got behind the wheel. Suddenly kids cars were being driven into walls and flipped around on the track when they were cut off in a corner. If the crew had been watching both Cheryl and Angie would have been ejected from the park.

Speaking of racing, one night the grown-ups went out by themselves and guess where we went…back to Dave and Busters to play games. While we were there, Cheryl and I raced against each other and for the first time ever she beat me…not once but twice. Its a sad day and now I know I must be getting old 🙁 Maybe I was just scared from the go-kart track…yeah that’s it. We played lots of other games and wo n lots of prizes for the kids.

After a week and a half we packed up and began the trip home. Just after we got on the road, the sky opened up and it poured. We thought we were in for a tornado as the clouds were only about 20 feet off the ground we actually saw some clouds that looked like the funnels were forming. We drove through the driving rain and gusting winds for a few hours and finally stopped late that night to rest in Alabama. We got up early and headed home.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. Thank you to the Perryman’s for putting up with all our craziness! If you haven’t seen all the pictures by now. Head over to the photo section and check out the 4 photo albums we put together.

And then there was the bed and breakfast we ran when we returned home…but that the next installment…

-Brian