HI everybody! [in a Dr. Nick kind of accent]
Okay, so I’m in Chicago now, at the Gospelcom conference. But I’m going to try to get caught up on what all has happened since Monday, which is I believe as far as I’ve gotten so far with this blog. First off, I have pictures of Dallas set up now. Check them out, as they feature some lovely ping-pong action. Jay is currently [about to be] leading a session, part 2 of 2. The first half was quite good, so I thought I’d stay. That, and I finally have a consistent internet connection, and the Cubs are playing the Reds, and they’re up 4-0. Go Cubs. It’s funny, cause everyone knows I’m a big Cubs fan, so i’ll be walking along, and all of a sudden someone will pass by, look at me, and say “they’re up 3-0 in the 2nd” and I’ll smile. Or he’ll ask “so… how can you blow it in the 9th?” And I’ll slit my wrist with a rusty butter knife. Baseball rules. Hell, it’s just nice that people know my name, at this point.
I was going to tell you what I’ve been up to. hehe.. They have Orange Fanta here, the kind that I talked so highly about when I was in Europe. So Jonathan just came in, smiled, and pointed at a can of Fanta that he had.. I nodded, and pointed at the one I had.
Let’s try again. Dave and I flew to Midway. Only the plane from GR that was supposed to leave at 9 am. GR-time left at 10:30+ GR-Time. Our flight in Chicago left at 10:30 chi-time.
So we arrive in at Midway at about 10:25 Chi-time. We get off the plane, and we head (quickly) towards our gate. We reach what appears to be a very long hallway/extension, and we hear “final boarding for flight blahblahblah to Dallas/Fort worth”, and we increase speed. way down at the end, we see our gate, and I wave my ticket at the lady at the podium there, and she does the “yeah, I see you way down there” smile nod thingers, and we make our way there, get on the plane, and all is well. Dave and I are pleased that we made it on the plane, because we thought there was No chance when we left GR.
The flight to Dallas was fairly uneventful, save for the inevitable desire for death for the first 45 minutes, when my ears refused to pop, and the pressure grew to almost unbearable levels. After that, I just slept. It wasn’t a tired sleep, it was a “I’m so hella bored” sleep. We arrive in Dallas, and begin to wonder where we’d meet our ride. We stepped out into the lobby area, and there wasn’t anyone holding a sign for us. We looked around the baggage claim, and no love there either. We walked around for a while.. nothing. Some old man who worked there looked at me, and said “looking for something”, and so I said “Yeah… our ride is supposed to be here.” SO pointed to the door “Probably outside, waiting along the road there, just head on out and you should find it.” So we headed out, and sure enough, a mini-van with a sign for Veenstra/Hutchful was sitting right there. We hop in, and we were on our way.
Our driver was a really nice guy, and talked to us all the way to SIL. What is SIL? Go here. They explain it better than I could. Bottom line, they do a lot of language study, teaching, and work throughout the world. So the campus we went to had a lot of people studying linguistics, phonetics, etc. Graduate students, and kids just out of college, etc. A good group of dedicated people, who were a lot of fun to get to know, and spend time with. SIL is partnered with Wycliffe Bible Translators, so they had a group of people from both there. We arrived around 2 at the meeting, and everyone was gathered together. Devotions had just finished, so we introduced ourselves, and sat together for some talks about the history of this, that, and the other thing. Then we split up. Dave was in a technical training track, where they’d teach people how to take Bible files, and convert them into Valid OSIS (OSIS is the XML format created specifically for Bible scripture and Bible related texts (and hopefully soon, Audio and additional Media). I was in the strategy track, which was “now that we have this, what should we do with it, what can we do with it, and what are the next steps, etc.. It was a lot of “how can we work together, and get stuff done, without pissing off the lawyers and all going out of business?” Dave and I were starving, cause we’d had nothing but peanuts all day, so when the break came, we went to town on the grapes and cookies they had provided. My meeting that day went well, and much was learned, and I was pleased to see that other people were having the same problems, and had the same goals as I/We had: (problem = protection of Digital rights, and pleasing publishers without becoming just big flashy advertisements for them. goal = provide God’s word to people on their terms as easily and helpfully as possible.) An aside: It was really great being with a group of people that were really passionate about getting The Word to people everywhere. It kinda reinvigorated me, and made me want to get BG3 done asap, so we could be a part of all this. Okay. So the meetings were done for the day, and Dave and I headed back to our room, then met up with Jon and Mike in the community room, and played a little ping pong. A little turned into a lot. Then a group of people joined up with us, and we all decided to head out to eat. We ended up going to a Mongolian Bar-B-Q place, which was really more of a Chinese place, that was playing really bad “muzak-banjo-harpsichord” versions of patriotic/Texan/US music (Swannee river, Home on the Range, Etc..) I don’t like Chinese food.. ever. But I was starving, and this was a lil different, and it wasn’t too bad. Dave’s fortune cookie taught him how to say “Adult Movie” in Chinese.
We returned to the dorm, and played more ping pong. We played some with the people we had met from SIL, and they were fun to hang out with. We also met up with Matt from World Bible Translation Center (WBTC), and he was quite kewl. He and I took on Jen and Paul from Sil, and we got slaughtered. Our second game we were slightly less pathetic, but we still lost. Nevertheless, I was charming, and everyone wanted to be my friend.
DAH!!!!!! 5-4 Cubs. If they lose, I’ll kill everything.
Around midnight, Dave and I called it good, and headed to our room. We hung out for a while. I did some writing, and some work on some things on the laptop, then we decided to watch Van Wilder. We were laughing quite hard at around 2 in the morning, and I flet kinda bad. In my defense, that movie is really funny.
SHIT. 6-5 Reds. What’s going on!?
Next morning, I woke up, and Dave was already dressed and set to go. He mentioned it was 8 o’clock. I asked when the thinger started, and he said 8 o’clock. Hrm. So he left, and I quick got ready. I headed out, and got lost, as I completely forgot what building I was in the day before. I called Dave a few times, and eventually made it to the room, and I hadn’t missed anything (but seriously, I was wondering around for a good 20 minutes. Meetings went well again. Before lunch, I think, I gave a presentation on the Bible Gateway that seemed to go over very well. I had a meeting with a few guys [well, 2 guys, including Matt, plus Jon Hirst, the guy in charge of everything] from WBTC, and they seemed really excited about getting Bibles on the Bible Gateway, so that was pretty kewl. An afternoon full of meetings, and then dinner with Me, Dave, Matt, and a guy from Trans World Radio who was pretty kewl (pretty much a bunch of guys our age). Fun stuff. Then more Ping pong, where I proved myself unstoppable (besides the 2 games against Jen and Paul, I was unbeaten.. and I was never beaten when i plyed on my own, so you can just go ahead and bow to me.) We headed to the room a little early, as we were tired, failed to get any internet connection (turns out you have to pay.. who knew?. We watched an episode of Home Movies, then fell asleep. Dave snored really loud, and I started playing music on my laptop with my earphones on.. .then I realized that my alarm wouldn’t wake me up then, so I turned that all off, and just fell asleep eventually.
Woke up the next morning, took care of my bill, got packed, and waited outside for my ride. We got to the airport, made it to my gate (I got pulled aside for a search again. The guy I rode with to the airport was standing near me, and he had a Van Wilder DVD, and I found that funny, just the coincidence of it. Soon there after my flight was leaving. I got on, it took off, I had very little ear trouble. Listened to Nine inch Nails – The Downward Spiral, then fell asleep. Got to the airport, BDF picked me up, and we headed to his place.