Monday, November 17, 2008

Report: Mexico Missions with Amor Ministries

This is a guest blog from Chana. She kept a daily diary of our trip to Mexico this past weekend. We had an amazing time, and in 3 days of work, we built 1.5 houses for some wonderful families. I'll try to post some photos as soon as I can. MK

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Mexico with Amor Ministries. It’s almost 5 a.m. I probably got more sleep than usual but it was interrupted with McKenna’s tossing and turning and the blind roosters that crow all night. Mark and I are sharing a tent with McK and Micah has the small one to himself. He’s really digging that.

I’ve enjoyed the stars this morning and can see all my favorites although the moon is full.

We had fun on the ride here yesterday. McKenna and I rode in the back of the big church van that seats 11 people. Played a game called “Catchphrase” that got everyone going. The Beebe family, Jim, Jessie and Jeff, are really cool. He brought the games and when we weren’t being silly with that obnoxious, beeping thing, he and his kids were playing poker with imaginary money.

Had hotdogs and s’mores last night as well as plenty of good conversation although I still wish Mark had brought a guitar since that was so great last time.

One of our crew, Jillian, talked to me quite a while. She works with Disney setting up their excursions and doing various acquisitions and promotions for them. She was very interested in my writing and asked to read something I’ve written. I’d love to comply, but it would require reading from the computer since I don’t have any hard copies with me.

It was hard to leave Hannah, Sky and Maddie yesterday especially since Hannah will have to leave before we get back Sunday. Just love that girl. Also hard to believe she was sixteen when she came here with us three years ago. How I pray our kids find mates like her who love God with all their heart and spread light wherever they go.

Ah! I see the computer is charging through the pick-up battery. Cool.

Well, guess I’ll work on something else now. Hope I don’t regret the sleep loss later. If I can somehow eat a bit more healthy, I should be okay. Have to admit the hot marshmallow and graham crackers last night were yummy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yesterday was amazing but tiring. The house we worked on was already framed so we set about strengthening the wire in the walls and preparing it for tarpaper and chicken wire. I’d never stucco'd a house before, now I have. The stucco is a bit easier to mix than concrete but still labor intensive. The crew was absolutely amazing and a few of the guys had to refit door frames and such, fixing what was already there. They were lifesavers. A couple of them do construction for a living. They certainly moved us much farther along than was expected.

A few kids and kitties were always in attendance. Had a chance to pray for an older boy named Jose for healing since his mother told me he was sick and was on the way to the doctor. Also prayed for a kitten that appeared completely listless and on its last legs. Later it was running from a little boy that was terrorizing any cat that came in sight. Micah and McKenna kept trying to help the cat but eventually we just had to say, “Okay cat, you’re on your own.”

Micah also saw someone kick this really cool looking black dog so he tossed a piece of beef jerky to it. I thought it was going to stowaway in the van when we left since it seemed determined to stick to Micah no matter what.

NOW I’m getting tired whereas an hour and a half ago—right before 4 a.m.—I was raring to go. Figures.

I’ve been praying quite a bit this a.m. for safety for us and the families at home as well as outreach opportunities while we’re here. We’ll be doing a slab today so there’ll be tons more mixing and spreading. Maybe the stucco guys will just be glad it won’t require them to push up like they had to with the stucco. God be our strength, our glory and the lifter of our heads and arms. BTW, thank you for a pretty decent night’s sleep. I may catch a few winks right now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wow! What a night! As McKenna kept saying, “At least we’ll never forget it.”

The wind created such a fierce sandstorm when we returned to camp we finally sought refuge in the women’s showers—the only place sheltered from the wind. It was hilarious to see all our little camp chairs gathered in a big circle inside these stark concrete walls. Ya’d think we were vacationing in a concentration camp.

Think it’s kinda funny I spent about ten minutes walking around the camp, praying the wind would stop only to experience such an unforgettably crazy evening BECAUSE OF the wind. The bonding of that time was much richer than an uneventful night of s’mores around the campfire.

Brandon and Beth had ordered these amazing tacos from town to bring to camp. Good thing since it would have been impossible to cook in that wind. It woulda been water and Clif bars for a hungry, dirty, exhausted crew.

Most of the group gave up on trying to sleep in tents in the 80 plus mph winds. A few pulled their stuff in the women’s showers. Even there, tents wouldn’t work since some places were like a wind tunnel. Mark and Micah toughed it out in their tents. Jessie and Jim, McKenna and I each took a seat in the van. It wasn’t too bad. I probably got more sleep than ever since I wasn’t sure when I hit the hay and just slept. Dreamed like crazy.

Guess we’ll be going back to the site where we were yesterday to put up walls and, hopefully, get through to a coat of stucco. Our crew was amazing. The foundation was poured by 2 p.m. Had a really good mixing process going on. As medic, I got my fair share of blood due to big Jeff pounding his thumb early in the day. I think it was kinda because McKenna was there asking him how to do things. Oops! How to get a pro off-track…I can totally understand what an enthusiastic distraction she can be.

As usual, she’s a ray of sunshine. She was having such an awesome time playing with the little girl of the family we were building for—little cutiepie not more than two years old with little pokey pigtails, chubby arms and a love for putting dirt on things. She and McKenna sat for a couple hours just stacking discarded wood blocks or putting handfuls of sand into cans to pour it out. Oh the forlorn expression on her face when she realized McKenna was about to leave. I soon figured out it was because she wanted to stick her hands way down into the water barrel and clean them like McKenna did. She couldn't reach the water, so Mark reached in and cupped the water for her to wash her hands, her little face making him melt in the process.

Micah’s been working hard. It was good last night to see him dorking around with Kelsey and Jeff playing Truth or Dare. They got a big kick out of daring him to river dance around the neighboring campers’ fire. He did it too—until a guy stuck his head out of the RV window to yell at him so he ran away. That was better than Kelsay’s dare to kiss one of the porto-potty seats. That’s where I woulda ended it. I at least advised her to take along an antibacterial wipe to aid her cause. Whew! Would’ve given me nightmares otherwise!

Looks like everyone’s movin’ and shakin’ now. Nothing was stirring about an hour ago, though, when I took my moonlight hanging jug shower. SOO cold but I just couldn’t stand the grit in my scalp one more minute.

Felt horrible a little while ago when I was sneaking into the pick-up to write and forgot how persnickety the alarm system is about trying to open the door with the key. It started honking loud enough to raise the dead! I’ll probably catch hell for that.

Okay maybe not. I just witnessed Ron and Mike playing Reveille on a couple big pots. They walked right up to the doorway of the women’s shower and banged away. I can only imagine how that must’ve reverberated off those concrete walls!

We talked to Hannah and the gang at home yesterday because Bill had gotten reports of a major fire in the Valencia area that had shut down the 5. They were fine but Mark told her she could evacuate to Terri’s if anything got threatening. They were unfazed and were about to go see the premier of the animated movie “Bolt”. Sounds like they’ve had their share of movies, Red Mango yogurt and In-N-Out. Gotta love it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It’s 7 a.m. and I’m back to warm showers and Starbucks. I’m CLEAN!

Yesterday was amazing. Everyone stumbled out of their sandstorm night and put in a full day’s enthusiastic work. Had just a couple dealing with a touch of nausea and maybe dehydration later in the day but nothing serious — well, beyond a pounded finger here and there. Everyone worked hard and kept great attitudes. Got a classic picture of Mark and McKenna on the roof putting nails along the edge. Micah was happy spending most of his day up there among the roofing gods.

During lunch we all gathered in the house that now had walls and a roof and brought in the Luna family who would be living there. Little Donna, the two-yr.-old who had been playing with McKenna, sat up on a wooden perch and ate chili and fritos with her mom and dad while we talked with them through our interpreter, Daniel. What a sweet family! It was the single most gratifying mission trip experience I’ve ever had since it was so tangible. We got to see their gratitude and hear their plans for their new home as well as get wonderful feedback of their observations of our crew—that everyone worked well together and never fought and just kept doing what needed to be done, etc. How many times do ya get a chance like that?

They also said they had been a bit confused about “religion” since most seem to care more about manipulating money out of them. What a perfect opportunity we had to just GIVE to them and smile Jesus’ love.

We all gathered in front of their little house at the end of the day and big Mike (who had floated from job to job making sure the greenhorns like me didn’t screw up) picked up little Donna and brought the mom and dad to the front of the picture with him. What a golden moment!

When we drove away they were waving from inside the house and little Donna’s daddy had her perched in the window. It could have been a poster advertisement for Amor Ministries. I think the smiles inside our van were even bigger.

We had a crazy (and a bit delirious) trip back across the border. While we waited about an hour and a half to be allowed back into our country, Beth, Michael and Jessie started trying to think of 100 words using only the letters from the word "Thanksgiving". They had been doing well and were up to maybe 80 when Brandon started tossing out nuggets like “angst” and “vast” while we gasped in amazement. Right about the time they crossed the 100-word mark, Brandon started laughing and held up his cell phone to admit his success was due to wikipedia. Michael stated, “Brandon, you almost had us convinced there was a brain in there!” The word “turkey” seemed quite appropriate considering the circumstances.

As soon as we crossed the border we barreled toward In-N-Out to snarf down burgers, fries and shakes. Probably not the best idea after the chili and chips for lunch. I had ample opportunity to regret it all the way from San Diego to Valencia as we bounced along at 85 mph. Yes, Brandon was at the wheel.

We got back around 9 p.m. to unload. It was so neat to see my 16 yr.-old making a list of numbers and emails to keep in touch. Lots of hugs all around, despite our unwashed state.

It’s like microwave friendships the way people bond on mission trips. What might take years under normal circumstances is accomplished in a few hours of blood, sweat, tears and sandstorms.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Amor Ministries Trip

{My apologies to all about the lack of posting recently. It's partly a result of my new gig, and partly result from my new fascination with the immediate interactive nature of facebook, which makes me lazy toward keeping the posts coming. My plan is to keep this blog going for many reasons, so bear with me as I re-organize my cheese.}

I'm leaving today on a short term mission trip to Mexico. It's with Amor Ministries, an organization that facilitates groups going into Mexico to build homes for families that don't have one.

Chana, Micah and McKenna are going as well, and we're all really excited about the trip. Chana, Micah and I went on a trip with Amor three years ago, and the result was life changing. We expect nothing less this time. I will get some pics (and maybe some video) posted soon!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ridin' the Train

Tomorrow I start a new job at the Henson Co in Hollywood. It's as picture editor on a new children's series called "Dinosaur Train" to be aired on PBS starting next summer.

This will be the first TV show I've cut picture on, so I'm looking forward to the challenge and learning curve. Basically, my sound work stuff has been few and far between lately, so when this opportunity came up, I was happy to get it.

I will start off the job by creating animatics from the storyboards the artists create, then send those to the animators. Three months or so later, the animation will be ready for final editing.

I will continue to do sound work in the future for sure, but I have been wanting to hone my picture editing skills, and what better way than to get on a show doing it?

I'll post some artwork from the show as soon as I get my hands on some.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


{This is a letter I wrote to my Grandmother, Esther Faye Gilstrap (94). I read it to her Monday. She passed away last night.}

Thank you for choosing to quit your job and stay home with me, so I wouldn’t have to go to daycare.

Thank you for coloring with me on the couch everyday. I was amazed by how you stayed in the lines.

Thank you for not getting (very) angry with me when at four, I pretended to be passed out on the kitchen floor.

Thank you for sewing up the bottom of the label in my new coat, so I’d think there was a “secret pocket” in it.

Thank you for making me peanut butter and honey sandwiches everyday for lunch. I still can’t replicate your mixture.

Thank you for making me ‘koala bear’ shaped pancakes. I still can’t replicate those shapes for my kids.

Thank you for even having your own style of “bye-bye” wave whenever I left your house. Only, it hurt to see it when we moved out of your house.

Thank you for taking me to TG&Y whenever I came back for visits. Every model I made was for you, and my mediocre craftsmanship was always met with great accolades. And with every Lincoln Log home I built for you, you made me feel like a master architect.

Thank you for sending me money right when I seemed to need it most, and then telling me to spend it on something frivolous.

Thank you for nurturing a wonderful marriage with Granddaddy. You taught me how a selfless relationship is done. And by the way, thank you for being a model for the type of woman I would look for as a wife.

Thank you for opening yourself up to Chana when I first brought her to meet you. I witnessed kindred spirits bonding that night.

Thank you for contributing to our move to California. It would not have happened without you.

Thank you for teaching me about basic human kindness. You have left an indelible mark on my life and I am, in many ways, the man I am because of you.

Thank you for living to an age old enough for me to have the opportunity to get smart enough to really BE thankful; to know what I have been given.

Thank you, that when I am granted passage to heaven, we can again sit together on a couch somewhere and color. And this time, I will try harder to stay in the lines.

Thank you Grandmommy. I love you forever.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

iPhone, How I Love Thee

...but thou hast come at a great price.

I officially drank the iPhone kool-aid last week, by ending my 30 day trial early and porting my permanent cell # over. It's everything you've heard and more, living up to the "Phantom Menace" sized hype.

So if I'm so high on this marvel, what do I mean by great price? Before defecting totally from Verizon, they told me, "Make sure you don't have any voice messages, 'cause you'll lose what's there." I thought, "I don't have any new voice messages on there, 'cause I've been forwarding my number to the iPhone."

I forgot about my saved ones.

When I realized I lost my saved messages (30 minutes after it was too late), I was broken-hearted. I literally grieved for them. Sounds stupid I know, but let me explain what I lost.

I still had the message when Chana called me to tell me Maddie had peed on the potty the first time ever. It was hilarious, and I can still remember Maddies tiny voice telling me what she'd done, and asking for her treat!

I still had the message when Sky called me just to talk. He was 5, and decided he'd call me to chat, for no reason. I love that.

I still had the message from my Dad when he called me with pride in his voice, because he had received the Emmy I shipped to him.

I had many others, some silly, some more of keepsakes than anything else. My great mistake was putting off recording them to my computer over the last couple of years. I thought about it so many times, but never went through with it; and me, a sound guy for a living... sloppy.

The moment I figured out I had lost them, I prayed for God to embed them in my brain. I don't ever want to forget the sound of those voices. My only choice is to learn from this, and realize that there will be countless more beautiful messages from loved ones... messages that I will backup.

Monday, September 22, 2008

London Blog

Triibe: On the south bank overlooking the River Thames, across from Parliament is Gyle, Adam, Ron, Daniel, Robert and Mark.

I've been back for over a week from my "Triibe Goes to the UK" trip, and though the jet-lag has worn off, the impact hasn't. The 24-7 Prayer ILG (International Leadership Gathering) was a great conference that included 24-7 leaders from around the world. Real movers and shakers here.

Triibe was happy to be part of the program, but we were equally humbled by the company we were in. (I liberated the above performance photo from Carla Harding's blog, Amazed and Confused)

We stayed at a hotel about 30 minutes away from the venue, so we were using the buses constantly. Gyle, our awesome den-mother, kept us on budget and on the same bus.

Next to our hotel was a regional cricket field called the Rose Bowl, where we took our morning walks and prayer-times before each day began. It was a great time to get out with just a bunch of guys who love God, who were there for the same purpose - to serve. We have more international invites to play, so hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of those soon.

Set up at Central Hall in Southampton

Triibe in front of the coffee chain that put Britain on the map, Starbucks. Pictured with us in the middle is Doug Ross, a great DJ with a greater heart.

With Pete Greig, the man behind the beginning of the 24-7 prayer movement, author of Red Moon Rising, God on Mute and The Vision.

More shots from London town.

Mark taking Ron's photo. (Taken by Adam)

Is that a government office building or Buckingham Palace?

Big Ben at night.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bound for the UK

I'm leaving tomorrow for the UK. The Triibe is playing in Southampton this weekend for three nights. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward to it. We built in a little extra time to look around, but not enough.

Some of my favorite people on the planet are going on this trip, so that's a huge plus as well. I'll give you a report on the events when I get back.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Jack Done R-U-N-N-O-F-T

Last week, Jack (our Siberian Husky) decided he would like a break from us, so he slipped out of his collar and bolted like an Olympic sprinter from Jamaica. It was dark, and he's mostly blind, but he still eluded capture while we looked for him the next few hours.

I made up flyers before going to bed, and Chana and Micah put them out early in the morning, and we were so happy to hear from someone around 10am. A nice lady a few blocks away had put him in her back yard for the night; knowing he must belong to someone, even though he was without his collar.

Jack has run off before, it's a 'husky' thing and they just love go explore. However, we have never had to look for him longer than about an hour. We were all so excited, the whole family went to pick him up. Immediately after picking him up, we went straight to Petco to get a harness-style collar he can't slip out of.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Convenient Truth

You've probably already thought of this before, but these women could be sisters. They border on identical twin looks. Separated-at-birth type similarities.

So, my theory is that if the McCain/Palin ticket wins, I guess Tina could be a body double for the VP in high risk situations. Come to think of it, if they lose, I guess Sarah Palin could be a stand-in for Tina on "30 Rock". Convenient for both, you think?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Drumming For A Lifetime, pt. 12

Pass It On

The other day, I was playing ping-pong with the kids. It was McKenna's turn to play me, so Madeline went over to this little electronic keyboard we have. She likes to turn it on and run the beat-box on it. So after a few minutes of playing pong to the beat, inspiration struck. I busted out my bag of percussion toys for a full-on jam session.

We've played music together before, but this time I described how to play the percussion instruments correctly, and we played along with the different style beats on the keyboard. Chana came home after a while and joined in. Micah was out and missed the fun.

The kids did a good job staying on the beat, and enjoyed finding different ways to get unique sounds out of the instruments.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Travel Log

I traveled to Tulsa-town this weekend to rehearse with the Triibe. We are going to England next month for an international leadership conference, and we have been wanting to prepare some new material.

During my trip here, I had a little fun making notes about odd things I noticed. Here's some of my miscellaneous thoughts:

Generosity Stolen

Location: Las Vegas Airport

Situation: In between flights, at the cashier, buying my personal pan pizza, m&m’s and water. (hey, at least I got water)

Total: $10.96 USD

Cashier: “That’s eleven hundred”, with a slight chuckle at her own ability to break down dollar amounts into the hundreds.

Me: “Oookay, here ya go”, giving her eleven bucks.

Cashier: “Thank you.” She closes the drawer and looks to the next sap.

I say “sure”, or something and walk away.

At first I thought, no biggie, it’s four cents. Then I thought deeper into it.

I would normally say, “please keep the change”, not wanting to deal with the pennies, etc. You see those change cups by registers all the time, and I frequently throw coinage in them. My beef was that I wasn’t given the option to give the money away. I was robbed of that “to give is better than to receive” feeling.

As I ponder my shallowness while waiting at my gate, an m&m bounces off my front tooth as I try to toss it in my mouth, then I realize that I have never thought it odd when a cashier forgives a few cents owed to them, like if a total is $11.04. I pick up the m&m and move on with my life.

On airport bathrooms:

I love going to the bathroom at airports these days. Everything is automated. You don’t have to touch anything that doesn’t belong to you. There is no main door, the toilets & urinals flush automatically, the sink is automatic, now even the soap is automated. The towel dispensers are automatic, but I guess I don’t wave nice enough for them to spit out towels for me. Wave wave wave. Stop, look, wait. Wave wa- there's a towel. Repeat.

On airplane windows:

I’m 6’1”. (and a half – I have to say that as I vainly try to keep up with my oldest son who is about 6’3”) Anyhoo, I’m 6’1”. Tall, but not super tall. Not freakishly Yao-tall. So, why are all airplane windows designed for people 5’4” and below? It’s a neck breaker to take a peep through them.

On airplane comforts:

I have a new invention idea. I know I’ll never market this idea, so you can have it. (just send me a nice gift card if it does well for you) It’s a travel aid called “No Splay”. It would be a simple Velcro strap you wrap around your legs, to keep them together as you nod off in your undersized seat on the plane. This cuts down on the awkward involuntary leg bumping with your neighbors. (thanks Martin for the name)

On window gazing:

While flying, where does that barrier exist between the houses, cars, roads looking like a clean, beautiful and elaborate train set, to just some regular, full-size houses, cars and roads? I think about 50 feet up, there is a magical line where everything transforms to the coolest toy collection ever, and I have always wanted to play with it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Modern Technology is a Good Thing

Above is a screen grab of a Skype session with my youngest daughter Maddie. I've been at Skywalker Sound all week, and last night she lost a toof (tooth). I am bummed I wasn't there for the fun, but this morning I got to see her, so I'm happier.

Sometimes technology weighs us down, puts a leash on us, and generally drives us crazy. Sometimes it allows us to connect in ways that keep us feeling close, even though we're far away.

Oh, Chana told me she cried, 'cause she swallowed it! Not 'cause it hurt, but because she thought she wouldn't score a visit from the Toof Fairy!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Epic PCH Motorcycle Ride Report

Last Saturday, I rode my motorcycle home from Marin County... the loooong way. I have wanted to ride the PCH through Big Sur for a while now, and finally got the chance. I was on the road about 12.5 hours and 465 miles, and it was a great adventure; my longest ride to date.

I stopped an annoyingly large amount of times for pics. If I had been riding with anyone that day, I think they would've left me behind about halfway through. Here's a bit of a photo journal of it. (click on the pics for bigger sizes)

I left San Fran at about 5:30am. The above pic was taken on Conzelman Rd, on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge. The fog was so thick, you wouldn't even know the Pacific was there, much less an enormous bridge in the background.

Below, a little daylight allowed me to start getting half a view.

A few more early morning foggy pics:

Before long I found myself in Carmel. On a whim, I turned off PCH at Ocean Ave, followed it toward the water, and rode through this quaint town set back in time.

Carmel by the beach is gorgeous. The sun finally decided to make an appearance about now.

One thing I love about riding a motorcycle, but didn't expect when I started, is people come up to you and start talking about your bike, their bikes, your destination, whatever. People who would normally pass me by, will stop and talk to me because of this wonderful connection. This is Paul, and he and I had a great conversation by the beach about motorcycling. I chased him down later to get this pic of him in his sweet 50 year-old Cadillac.

The beach on the south side of Carmel.

Leaving south from Carmel is the beginning of the twisties (curvy roads). This sign promised good times, and boy, it delivered! They should just put a big sign up with a smiley face on it, 'cause that's what it gives you.

The heavy fog came and went throughout the day.

One of my favorite bridges of the day: Big Creek Bridge. First is close up, second in mirror, and third is distant.

I'll wrap it up with a few random coastal shots.

Monday, I'm making the trip back up to Skywalker Sound for more Clone Wars stuff, and if time allows, you can bet I'll be on this route in reverse.

I finally bought a new seat with gel inserts, so hopefully the long rides won't keep me squirmin'!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Simon's Cat 'TV Dinner'

I've become a big fan of the "Simon's Cat" series. Here's the latest. FYI, this is EXACTLY how my siamese cat Asia acts. And as usual with these, the sound effects make the video.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Star Wars, Now In Mandarin

I printmastered my first foreign version of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" mix today. It was a lightning fast mix; only three days! Star Wars is cool in Swedish though. The Dolby guy came in and monitored all the outputs with me, and I learned a lot about his side of the process.

More good news is that I've been asked to work here again next week. I'm dubbing the Taiwanese Mandarin version then. (I was to have a week off between my two weeks here) So, tomorrow I ride home, then the next day I ride back. That's a lot of riding just for 20 hours at home, but it's worth it to see Chana and the kids.

More sound news later. I gotta go. I'm getting hungry for oranges.

Chana Update

Just wanted to give an update on Chana's condition. She's getting around better today, though she's still hurting.

Thanks so much for the prayers and thoughts. When there's more, I'll let you know.

UPDATE: The X-rays are negative, so Chana will be taking it slow and sure. At least she won't have to deal with bone mending!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Please Pray For Chana

Yesterday, Chana took a fall from a tree (what can I say, she's still a tom-boy) and injured her ribs, neck and back. She is able to move about with extreme difficulty. At first the pain was merely severe, and she thought it would subside in time. It has steadily gotten worse and has become agonizing.

She has been x-ray'd, and we're still waiting for results. Unfortunately, I'm in Nor Cal on a job and can't be home until Saturday. Our family friend, Hannah is still with us, but she leaves on Saturday. She will be a great help until she leaves though, so I'm thankful that she is there. Of course, if I get news that Chana is in need of serious attention (hospitalization, etc), or just wants me to come home, I will be home before that.

Please pray for Chana's recovery. Please pray that there is nothing seriously injured, and she will be able to return to normal health immediately. God is the God of healing, and we believe He still does miracles. Please pray for this.

Thank you so much.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dancing Across The Globe

I saw this on Melanie's blog. If you spend a gazillion dollars on travel, or own your own airline, you too can make a video like this.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Clone Wars & Skywalker Sound

I am happy to say that I have been hired by Skywalker Sound to work on the animated feature, The Clone Wars. I've been brought on to help with the foreign language mixes. We are creating about two dozen foreign language mixes for this world-wide release. I'll be re-recording the Swedish and Catalan versions, starting next week.

Excuse me while I geek-out a bit; it is such an honor for me to have the opportunity to work on anything officially Star Wars related. After all, it is the most storied and legendary film franchise in history. I'm truly thankful.

**Educational Tangent**
I have to admit, I'd never heard of Catalan before. It turns out that it is understood by about 11 million people, and used mostly in Spain and remote parts of France. I would've missed that question on Jeopardy.

It's a two week job, so not necessarily a long-term position, but one thing leads to another, as they say.

This comes at a good time, because the start date for my other "next gig" has been delayed again and again over the last several weeks. That one will happen, just not in my time frame it seems. (as soon as "Escape From Planet Earth" starts for me, I'll fill you in on all the details, and I'm also planning a video blog series based on it)

So, right now I'm just prepping the Suzuki for a long-distance run up to Marin County. It should be a beautiful ride up the coast.

Be sure and check out the Star Wars site. There are a lot of great videos to whet your appetite for this movie. From what I've seen, it looks incredible.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Filmmaking To Make A Difference

When is the last time you watched an "important" film?

Keith, a friend of mine, worked on this documentary short, "Hakani". It spells out, (with disturbing clarity) what still takes place within many of Brazil's indigenous tribes: infanticide.

Hakani is about one of the few fortunate ones. She is a survivor.

In short, hundreds of children each year are buried alive by their families if they are mentally or physically challenged, or even presumed "soulless" or "cursed" by tribe elders or witch-doctors. Unfortunately, only a few of the families rebel against these death sentences.

Amazingly, the Brazilian government remains split over the necessity to include these people among the nation's constitutional bylaws that protect humans from heinous acts like this.

Getting the word out to the rest of the world is what this film is about, and it is certainly part of what will sway the world to pressure human-rights protection in this matter.

Please watch this doc directed by David Cunningham. It is not easy to sit through, but it is "important" enough to warrant your time.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Emmy Awards '08

Well, the Daytime Emmy Awards show (for below-the-line players) was held Friday night in New York City. We (our sound team from WB) were nominated again in the "Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation" category.

Too bad that Warner Bros thought it was not in their best financial interest to send out the team from LA to the show. However, I did have a couple of calls from nice friends who did go, telling me that we won for The Batman again this year!

Honestly, I was pretty surprised about the win; The Batman has been a perennial winner (this is our fourth win in a row on The Batman show for sound editing, and my fifth Emmy overall), so I figured that our luck had probably run out. Naturally, I'm glad the judges disagreed with me.

When I started working at WB, I had no idea I would be in the position to win awards too. Awards? I was looking for a paycheck really. I have found it an honor to work on such great shows while at WB Animation. I can still remember shortly after I joined the crew, I called Chana to telling her, "I just edited my first 'Zoinks!' Casey Kasem said 'Zoinks!' and-and-and I just cut it into the show!" I'm such a nerd, but it's also legendary stuff. What a privilege.

So thank God for the icing on this big slice of cake, and now as I move on to another chapter of my sound career, I will still believe that the greatest award (reward) is getting to do what I love, no matter whether there are tangible accolades or not.