Reflections on a cool week in summer

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Cool summer weather,
Is welcome, though strange.
We open the windows,
The air off, for a change.

The pool is quite cold,
The crowd is quite small.
We shiver, but swim.
Is this summer or fall?

The dog loves the weather,
He’s at home in the cold.
The rest of us dread
The weather of old.

Next week will be warmer,
The heat will renew.
Enjoy this small break
Before our summer ensues.

Good-bye to Seth

Brandon, Aaron, Shannon, Seth, Betsy, Jonathan
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When we got back from our vacation, we received the unwelcome news that our new organist (who, IIRC, has been here for about six months), was going to be leaving us.

That’ll show us to go on vacation ever again. ;-)

He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he’s working on his doctorate, and traveled an hour each way, twice a week, to get to our little church in Kansas City North. So, it really makes sense that when a church organist position opened up in Lawrence, he’d take it.

We really are going to miss him. It’s entirely possible that he was too good an organist to really belong in our little church, but we weren’t going to complain about that. :-D One thing that Jonathan and I were very thankful for was how well he and our choir director, Aaron, get along.

It won’t be easy to replace him. Organists of his caliber don’t come along every day, and getting that degree of chemistry is even rarer.

Good luck, Seth. We’ll miss you.

Back again

Kissing
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We went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, driving to upstate New York and back within a week. Long days. But it was fun to see Jonathan’s family, and go to his 30th high school reunion. Of course, that is really impossible, since we’re both much too young to have gone to high school that long ago. :-p

Niagara Falls Rainbow

On the way back, we went by Niagara Falls, and enjoyed looking at them, being sprayed by all the mist in the air, and the never-ending breeze. As well as wondering both why people would throw trash over like that, and how on earth they mowed the grass on the other side of the fence, before the deep drop-off.

Trash by Niagara Falls

We had an incident with a flat tire as we drove through Canada to Detroit, but fortunately were able to get a new one fairly easily the next morning.

Meeting with Cedar

And then we met an internet friend for lunch in Ohio, who was just as nice and interesting in person, as she is on the internet.


And now, we’ve been back for over a week, and I’m just now getting back to blogging again. I need to make sure that I keep my writing up. Though it was fun to ignore it and let my mind wander for a while when we were gone.

Psalm 7, Versified

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The Lord is my refuge,
My place to hide.
They chase and pursue me,
But there I am safe inside.

They would tear me apart,
Lord, keep. me safe.
I have no ransom,
Except by your grace.

I’ve done no evil,
No wrong in their sight.
I’ve harmed no one,
Why must I take flight?

Stand up, Lord! Get angry!
Face the wrath of my foes.
Wake up, Lord, Show fury!
Let them face what they chose.

If I’ve done wrong,
If a friend I’ve hurt,
Then let them catch me,
And turn my name to dirt.

The peoples come to you,
You reign on high.
Rule, justly and strongly,
Let them know you are nigh.

And give me my justice,
For you know I am right.
I’m innocent know,
I did not cause the fight.

Let the evil be gone,
The righteous in charge,
And the Lord over all,
With justice writ large.

The Lord is the shield,
For the upright in heart.
He is the pure judge,
Let no evil take part.

His anger is swift,
His bow is strong,
His weapons are deadly,
His reach is long.

Men conceive of evil,
They labor for pain.
They give birth to trouble,
Then do it again.

They set a trap,
And then they fall in.
Trouble circles around,
Their attack hits them.

Thanks to the Lord,
Who is ever right.
I will sing his praises,
Both day and night.

Waiting for the rabbit

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Jasini:

The bunny, the bunny, we’re waiting for the bunny . . .

Originally posted on Be Swift, Be Precise:

Last night we started hoping for the soon arrival of Google Fiber in our fiberhood more than ever. A thunderstorm started and our Clear.com modem was able to get the tower but not able to get the internet.

Betsy had just really gotten into her play time on ToonTown Rewritten, and Nathan was counting down the last of his hours in the PlayLine to be able to get in. But with the internet out at the tower, Betsy couldn’t play, and Nathan was in danger of losing his place in line and having to go back to 3-4 days waiting time. If you lose connection for more than 15 minutes you lose your place in line.

Clear.com kept us without internet for 14 minutes.

So Nathan didn’t lose his place.

Me, I was working remotely from home, and thought I would have to make today even longer to finish last…

View original 15 more words

Psalm 6, Versified

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For the choir director. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Lord, keep me safe from your anger,
Don’t punish me in your wrath.
God, hold me up in your mercy,
For I’m too weak to follow your path.

My bones quake in agony,
I cry out to be healed.
My soul burns in anguish,
How long must I wait afield?

Lord, you are my salvation.
Turn and deliver me.
Your love unfailing I long for,
And your merciful face to see.

Among the dead no one praises.
No corpse can call on your name.
No songs are heard from the casket.
The graveyard is ever the same.

I am grown weak from moaning,
I flood my pillow with tears,
My eyes grow weary from sorrow,
I cannot face all of my fears.

The Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has accepted my prayers.
Flee, you evildoers,
I follow the Lord who cares.

My enemies are in anguish,
The all are put to shame.
They turn back in their fear,
But I will praise your name.

Mugshots of characters

Screenshot-451
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I still owe a few people book reviews, which I’ll try to get out in the next week, but I thought today I’d do something else today, once I finish battling with WordPress, which has changed its posting interface without notice. (Going through the Dashboard to create a post brings us back to the old posting interface).

Some time ago I Simmed all the main characters in my An & Mattan story (currently available unedited under “Writing” in the sidebar, if you can get through it). So, just for kicks, I’m going to show what the characters look like. Since I’m not one for making custom content, I’ve been stuck using whatever hair I can find, and sometimes I’m not too happy with what I come up with.
But anyway:

  1. An
    Screenshot-451Her picture turns out pretty well. She’s almost smiling (unlike most of the rest of the pictures, where my characters are scowling at me). At least you can see her green eyes, freckles, and red/brown hair. I’m not sure what’s going on with the shine in the mirror, though.
  2. Mattan
    Screenshot-459 Mattan’s hair is wrong in this picture. It should be pulled off his forehead, not over it, and everything below the band (which should be more of a flat clasp or barrette) should be blue. (His hair also should be slightly shorter in the back.)
    Screenshot-444 Mattan with short hair. I forgot to have him wear his leather jacket when I posed him for this picture. He pretty much always wears it. When he’s working in his workshop, he also wears a baseball cap turned backwards, but I decided not to post it this time.

  3. Jasin
    Screenshot-439Jasin turned out almost too cute (he’s better looking when he smiles), though once again I’m not sure what’s going on with the shine in the mirror. He has the same red/brown hair as An. I tried to make his hair redder, and An’s browner, but I couldn’t give them quite distinguished the way  I wanted without going  too obvious.

  4. Belinda
    Screenshot-449Belinda’s hair is fine, but I don’t like the way her face turned out as much. (She’s dressed for working in the restaurant.) She should be prettier, without losing the strength in her face. She has a bit too much jaw/chin, or something. More than I’d like anyway.

  5. Tolly
    Screenshot-447Tolly suffers a little because all Sims of the same age group are exactly the same height. (If you give Sims high heels, it doesn’t make them taller, it shortens their legs.) Tolly is supposed to be considerably taller than the other characters, so this doesn’t come off well. I’ve tried to make his shoulders as broad as I could, but I’m not sure it helped much. But his orange, slightly rumpled hair came through just fine.

  6. Glorina

Screenshot-453Similar problem to Tolly, Glorina is supposed to be smaller than nearly everyone else. I settled for giving her narrow shoulders.

 

 

  1. Jelana

Screenshot-457 Jelana is the one I wish most I could find the right hair for.

In the first picture, the hair is much too curly, in the second, it is a little too long, and in the third, it is much too smooth.

Screenshot-456If I had the skills to combine the three hairstyles, I’d probably be able to figure out something.

I made her a teen, rather than an adult, because she’s supposed to look very young. This also makes her shorter than the others (though it  doesn’t usually work  that way in real life.

Screenshot-455 I also gave her slightly alien eyes, which did seem to work out better for displaying her not-quite- human status.

I didn’t even try to Sim Daved. I don’t think I could give him enough of an “Uncanny Valley” enough of an appearance. Especially since the Sims are quite Uncanny Valley on their own.

Psalm 5 (Versified)

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Hear my words, Oh Lord!
I weep, for help I cry.
Oh Lord, my God, My King,
Hear my voice and draw nigh.

In the morning I call,
At dawn I offer my prayer.
I wait and wait for your help,
For I know that you are there.

You hate all evil.
Wicked men run in fear.
The proud kneel before you,
Humbled when you are near.

Those who lie and do wrong,
Those who cheat and steal and kill,
You hate with a burning fire,
Destroying them as you will.

But by your great love I come.
In reverence I bow down,
In your temple, your house,
Wherever you may be found.

Lead me, Lord, I pray.
You know what is right.
My enemies pursue me,
But I walk in the light.

They breathe out lies,
Their heart is filled with hate.
Declare them guilty, O God!
Banish them to their fate.

Rejoice, those who take refuge,
Singing ever in praise.
Hide them under your wings,
Let them sing your name always.

Surely you bless the pure,
Around them put a force field.
They sing for joy to you,
With your favor for a shield.

The King of the Earth and the Sea

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(To be sung to the tune of Ada. That is the other tune for the song “Redeemed”.)

The King of the earth and the sea,
The Lord of the wind and the rain,
Who rules o’er all that might be,
Is now and forever the same.

He reigns, he reigns,
He reigns in heaven on high.
The world he holds in his fingers,
He reigns over ocean and sky.

He came to the world in a manger.
He lived, learned, he laughed and he grew.
To mankind no longer a stranger.
His word will make everything new.

He came, he came,
He came to dwell on the earth
His presence will light up the darkness,
And give to us all a new birth.

He died that the world might be free,
No longer to sin be a slave.
Open in your eyes and you’ll see,
The price of the gift that he gave.

He died, he died.
He died to bring life ever more.
His blood shed to ransom your pardon,
That your soul in heaven might soar.

He rose that world might behold him,
To see him in glory and light.
To show that the grave could not hold him,
And, like him, our souls can take flight.

He rose, he rose,
Death no longer can win.
The grave no more may conquer,
Our hearts are now free from sin.

In heaven, the Lord waits the hour
When back to the earth he will come.
The world waits to see him in power,
The summer we worship the Son.

He comes, he comes,
The world no longer need fear.
He comes, shouting out in his triumph
As we will forever draw near.

Flying Lessons

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Yesterday, while I was out, I was still in my car, when I saw a bunch of teenagers (what is the collective noun for teenagers anyway?) walk by, looking at something on the ground. I looked in the same direction, and saw a baby bird, all grey and fluffy, hopping  around on the ground. Another bird, black and shiny, flew down next to the baby bird, and flew off again. I noticed the black bird had a mouth full of stuff, and assumed that the kids had scared off the parent bird from feeding her baby.

Then the kids wandered off, and I saw the parent bird flying back down to the baby bird, perch there a moment, then fly up into the tree. She did that several times in a row, and I realized that what I probably was watching wasn’t actually feeding, but a flying lesson of sorts. “You fly up into this tree, squirt, and you can get this food.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the baby bird fly up into the tree. It hopped around a bit (the bird, not the tree), and flew across a corner of the parking lot, getting about a foot from the ground, but not up into the tree. It seemed more interested in looking around than in the food the parent was holding.

Kids today. Can’t teach them anything.