This past weekend, my dad, brothers, and I were able to go to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was on my dad's "bucket list". I was so glad we could all go. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.
It's hard to capture the scale of the grand canyon. Standing on one side, the other side is roughly 20 miles away and the length of it is hundreds of miles. This picture captures layers of ridges and holes, and with some rock in the foreground to the rock at the horizon, this is the best picture I had that captures scale.
Today has been a long day. Tomorrow we arrive at the Grand Canyon. One of the things dad's always wanted to do. I'm afraid of the "what then?" The "what next?" I know fulfillment in life isn't doing a certain thing or going to a certain place. It's in knowing a certain One and knowing each other. I guess that's what tomorrow should be about. And the "what then" is to keep building our relationship and to keep fighting. And mostly, no matter the future, to draw near to the God who made us and who makes us whole.
For a camera to use high altitude balloon project, I ordered a Canon Powershot A560 from E-bay for $15. I want to use the camera to take pictures and also create a time lapse video. I reprogrammed it with the Canon Hack Development Kit to take a picture every 10 seconds.
As a test, I laid the camera on its back facing the sky and left it taking pictures for an hour and a half.
I used a software package called VirtualDubMod according to instructions published online to convert the images into a video. Here it is:
This morning changed with a phone call. My dad called and rasped one word. "Help." I threw on my clothes and drove across the street. I walked in and my dad was on the couch, shaking. I looked closer. It was like a seizure, but limited to his left side. His arm and leg. He was scared. He kept saying "damn" over and over again. I called 911. EMS arrived. His oxygen level was low. They put him on oxygen. I helped carry my dad to the gurney. They loaded him in the ambulance. Through the ER he made it to ICU. Tumors. One in his head. A large one in his lung. Several lesions in his liver and bones. Cancer. Stage four. No cure. A year left at best. Biopsies on Friday to confirm and identify.
My wife was here. My brothers. My aunt Brenda. My sister. Her mom. We cried. We helped each other.
Yesterday, my dad was sick. I thought it was depression and COPD. We thought he had pneumonia. I thought he was tired.
I should have checked in more. I should have taken care of him more.
After they told him, dad asked about my sister, Misty. He was going to take her to thanksgiving with her mom. My dad, after hearing about his limited time hear asked about my sister. I think everything he's done the past several years to care for her. As best he could.
It wasn't "good enough" for me. My dad's house is a wreck. He's been unemployed. I didn't understand why he only sat on the couch watching TV. Turns out, he's sick. Very sick! I didn't give enough grace. I didn't give enough time. I didn't check in as often as I should have.
I need to give myself more grace too.
We have an opportunity most people don't. We see the train coming. There's still time to right the wrongs. There's still time to give the grace.
Dad keeps signing that he's sorry when he comes to. He sorry he's sick. He doesn't want to be a burden. Always thinking of others and not himself.
We're still at the hospital. I'm tired. I'm a wreck. I'm holding it together. Trying to be here. Trying at the same time not to wear out. I owe him that and much much more.
I love my dad. I just want him to know his life means something. To have no regrets. To be at peace. If I could have anything, it would be for his health to return. For him to see his grand kids grow up. There's always hope.
On the night of November 9, I got to play with my Meade Jupiter Telescope. My wife bought it for me for Christmas about ten years ago. I've used it about a dozen times. This was my first video I've captured through the telescope using its electronic eye. It was a clear night around two days after a full moon. The electronic eye sends out a standard NTSC video signal, that I captured on my laptop using a Pinnacle video capture device. The video turned out awesome!
Everyone I've shown it to has the same response I do. Isn't it amazing the things God has created and put in front of us that we all take for granted. In a word, the moon is, by all measures an amazing creation of God.
I'm embarking on a journey 95,000 feet into the air, a short voyage into near space. But I'm not really going. A camera, GPS receiver, radio, and some specialized electronics are hitching a ride on a weather balloon. I'm getting a start in high altitude ballooning, a recent "nerd" hobby. One of the parts is the radio. You need a radio so you can track and recover the balloon. What fun is it send a camera nearly to space unless you can get pictures off of it, right? A solution is to use APRS, which is a system built by HAM radio operators to exchange digital information including GPS coordinates. In fact, several websites tie into the system to provide you with maps and help you track objects reporting their GPS coordinates. To use APRS, you need a HAM radio license. To get the license you have to pass an exam.
Tonight, I attended my first Tri County Amateur Radio Club meeting. I walked up, introduced myself, and mentioned that I was interested in getting my license and had been studying. The gentleman I was talking to said, you want to test tonight? I said, why not? And he called out to Roger, who was getting two other people ready for their exams. I sat down, listened to the instructions, paid $10, and took the test by moonlight (we were outside and the sun was setting). And, I passed the exam!!! My thanks to Roger, the VE (Volunteer Examiner), and to the Tri County Amateur Radio Club for their help and friendly welcome!
Jonathan Weaver (KM4FIK)
These are some AZ Shelves I made for Evan's room based on a picture Samantha showed me of some Pottery Barn Shelves that are out of manufacture. The hardest cuts were the 30 degree cuts on the inside of the A. I used a vertical sled to mount the board vertically on my table saw with the blade set at 60 degrees. The shelves turned out nice and the Sketchup model is available for download below.
This morning we lost a great business man. Truett Cathy was the founder of Chick-Fil-A. Chick-Fil-A sponsors the Winshape program at Berry College. When I was a sophomore at Berry, I got to hear Truett speak and shake his hand. But what strikes me about him is how he operated his business, a franchise of fast food Chicken restaurants that I didn't even know existed until I was in high school and now are spread all over the Southeastern United States and nearly nationally.
Truett operated his business from a Christian perspective that values people above profits and others above self. And he taught his family, employees, and customers like me to do the same.
Why Not Tripod
Congratulations, you've found me. I've abandoned my Tripod site. I had been a Tripod customer for over a decade. The reasons I'm not hosting my site there anymore are:
I decided to look at other free hosting solutions. I had tried a couple of sites and my wife suggested Weebly. It's turned out to be the best I found because:
Why Free Website Hosting
I can afford paid hosting, and I've hosted this content with a paid host before. Here's why I went with free hosting:
So, if you have a good idea, story, music, pictures, or videos, etc...just put it out there!!! It'll be worth it. And Weebly is both easy enough and inexpensive enough anyone can do it!
Husband. Father. Follower of Christ. Electrical Engineer. Electronics and woodworking hobbyist.