Sunday, September 28, 2014

Confirmation Retreat Campfire

Just a brief snatch of one of my favorite moments on what was a very successful Confirmation Retreat this weekend at Greenkill YMCA Camp upstate in Huguenot, NY.

Tami and I (along with new lay leaders Brad & Jess) took 14 kids (from 8 different schools!) for a weekend of teambuilding exercises in the woods.

On Saturday night, after a full day of activities and hiking, Tami led a wonderful service of "Night Prayers" we had adapted from the New Zealand Prayer Book which ended with us leading the kids off into the woods to a campfire, where they put prayers they had written and tied around sticks they had collected earlier into the fire. What followed was a wonderful period of quiet and peace as we all just watched the fire and listened to the wildlife in the woods, and then one of the kids who had brought his ukulele with him started playing quietly. It was a lovely moment as these boisterous teenagers got to enjoy some natural downtime before we headed back to our cabin to make s'mores and chat some more :)

Confirmation Retreat, day 2

We survived the night, all the kids were quiet by 11:30 :) And now breakfast is happening and there is oatmeal!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall in the woods

After yesterday's humidity today is a complete contrast- cool and windy and sunny. I'll take it :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Not quite ready for prime-time

So, after having lived with it for just over a week I have made the decision to return my moto 360 watch.

It was fun to play with, and the concept is great, but it's just not ready. I had no problem with the size- it's large but I have largish wrists and have always worn larger watches, and I loved being able to choose and customize the watch face- it was partly the lousy battery life and partly problems with android wear (the software than links it to your phone).

For me a watch needs to be, first and foremost, a watch. And while this was a great watch while the battery lasted, at about 7 or 8 o'clock each evening it became a very expensive bracelet. On the plus side it charged very quickly on it's wireless charging dock (or either of the other Qi charging pads I have), but I don't need the bother of having to remember to charge it at some point during the day if I wanted it to last until bedtime. And added to that, my phone (my nexus 5 which has almost consistently been at about 20% when I plug it in to charge overnight when I went to bed) was also dying by 8 o'clock too- I guess the super-low-power Bluetooth it uses to connect to the 360 had to take it's toll.

But even beyond the battery, the actual usage of the watch did not do what I needed to do. Sure, it's fun to get texts and emails on your wrist and not have to pull out your phone to read them, but there was not the capacity to then do what I needed with emails. I have 3 email accounts (all gmail or Google apps) that come to my phone, 2 personal and 1 work, and my modus operandi has always been to speed read emails as they come in while I'm on the go, and then "star" (gmail gives you the option to check a little star on the email) the ones that need further attention. Then when I get back to either my work or home computer I have my gmail inboxes set to put any "starred" emails at the top, above all the others, this way I can respond to or act on the ones I starred, uncheck the star and move on. But the android wear software on the 360 does not allow you to "star" emails, it does not even mark the ones you've seen as "read". The only options you have are to reply, archive them, or open them on your phone (which kind of defeats the purpose). I was hoping that perhaps someone would write a third party app that would give me this functionality, but from some discussions I have had on reddit apparently this is not something that anyone but Google has access to.

So, it's going back and I'm back wearing my old, faithful , self-winding Invicta 9937 . If I had paid $99 for the 360 I would keep it for the novelty and fun value, though I think that would wear off pretty quickly, but at $249 it's just not worth it to me. Maybe when version 2.0 comes out I'll take another look...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Looking good

Crisp is home after a kilted day at school- he says he got many comments, but all of them positive :)

The general consensus from everyone who heard about this, and I have to agree, is that he has balls of steel. It's one thing for me to wear a kilt all day at work, but quite another to walk into an American high school in a skirt! Good for him :)

Better Together :)

Crisp and I have dressed today to show our support for a United Kingdom (though perhaps the sight of our legs will do more for the other side!)

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A bit warm for a wedding...

... and when you figure in the humidity it's close to 100F!

I feel a bit sorry for the happy couple, but then again it was hotter than this when Jackie and I got married 20 years ago and our reception was in the Parish Hall :)

Lucky, happy dog

This how you cool off after a walk when the heat index is 96F :)

Kind of wish I could join her!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

And after the first day of school...

... surrounded by materials lists, participation requirements and 4 sheets of HOMEWORK :(

Off to school

The obligatory first-day-of-school picture :)

10th Grade, a Sophomore!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hot afternoon walk

Just a leash walk around the block in the heat today (still ugly humid and oppressive). Holly got attacked by bees/wasps/hornets earlier and had to be rushed to the vet as we think she swallowed one and was shivering and retching :(

She had a benadryl shot and stayed for an hour for observation, but seems fine so she's been sent home with benadryl capsules for the next couple of days.

But what with that excitement and the heat I decided a gentle stroll around the neighborhood was enough for today :)

Monday, September 01, 2014

End of summer

Hot and sticky, but the kids don't care as long as they have 6" of water in a blow up pool :)