Not enough macs

July 26, 2009

only three macs between two  :-(

not enough macs2-web

CLANkidz 2009

Tech Life at CLANkidz 2009

July 22, 2009

4th Year this team has led CLANkidz (the wortk with children from P1-P7 at Clan Gathering in St Andrews).  My role is to provide visuals, control lighting and background music as well as record (photo and video) what goes on to make people aware of the children’s work and for the children to see themselves on screen.  It takes a month or so (of ‘spare’ time) to get all the videos, music, images together as well as arrange and prepare the equipment we take.  Then CLANkidz runs from the Saturday evening through to Friday evening with three sessions a day.

We arrived on Friday afternoon with a van load of technical equipment, props, office equipment, cushions, TVs, cables, cables and cables, and met up with some of the Edinburgh team who were dropping off their van load of props, staging, tables, instruments, etc.


The most immediate, in your face and overpowering problem was that our venue was lacking a vital piece of equipment – black out.  The more we thought about it the more of a problem this was with lots of the way that we work requiring the ability to control lighting and to clearly see video screens.  Which takes my to the next problem – actually we didn’t find this out till the next day – the video projectors in place were really not up to the job and in particular weren’t performing in the bright-non-blacked-out venue.

But enough of that, this isn’t going to be all about moaning and blaming.  The set up went fairly well.  My initial technical plan had a multi-layered backup option involving complicated duplication of wiring and the ability to quickly switch over everything from a VGA signal to composite if anything went wrong.  I had also planned to use the visual software to control screens independently with multiple layers of images.   However, as it looked like nothing much was going to be visible whatever I did we shelved most of the ideas straight away and went for a much more simple plan (which so far has worked OK).  This gave us time to focus on the programme items we needed to know about.

It has been frustrating to basically be a button pusher, trying to follow queues to play the right video or music at the right time and not being able to do any background video work to enhance or be spontaneous alongside the teaching or worship.  But, on the other hand, I have been able to give a little more thought to the background audio and to help out more (I think) in the actual running of the programme.


So this far at least (about half way through at the time of writing) it is swings and roundabouts.  I’m not doing what I expected to and what I believe is my main ministry but I am more than busy and fulfilling a need.  The team as a whole are doing much more than I seem to be in terms of bonding with the children who come to CLANkidz and as I can’t guarantee I will be free I really can’t get into that side of it.  However, already I have been doing more of that than previously.

More soon, with an update on our magnificent texting service!

3 Mac Monkeys

July 14, 2009


This photo from a Deeper planning meeting has been kicking around for a while, not sure why I’ve never put it online before now, so here it is.

stop motion video

July 10, 2009

a great little video


July 4, 2009

Well Murray is out of this year’s Wimbledon, however lots of questions remain…

ball boys / ball girls – surely teenagers displaying this level of discipline is a lesson to us all.  They stand at attention for long periods of time or crouching at the side of the net ready to spring into action.  During the breaks they run to their other duties ready to serve the players on court and in the mean time seem to play a subtle game of “who’s got the ball” by rolling balls to each other while the players are distracted.

As an experiment in community involvement it would be nice to see some teenagers at the other scale of social acceptability serving as ball boys – say as part of community service.  Stick a hoodie on each corner of the court!  Admittedly the games may take longer due to the attitude of the “yoofs” not wanting to do as they are told.  The ball would keep hitting them as they wouldn’t be able to see what is coming because of the hood (and trying not to make eye contact) and they couldn’t run very much as their jeans would be hanging around their knees.  Ball boys and Ball girls are, after all, there to add some entertainment to the normal activities:


(view video here )

Another thing that puzzles me about Wimbledon is, what is it with the towels?  The players seem to need to wipe their faces after each serve, or after strolling the length of the court.  OK, don’t get me wrong, this tennis thing doesn’t look easy and I’m sure it is a good workout but there has to be a limit – there isn’t enough liquid in the human body for the amount of toweling that these guys do and the poor slaves (ball boys/girls) are forced to run to them with the sweaty towel then walk backwards in a sign of humility as a cursory wipe of the face is made then the towel thrown back at the slave.  Down with this sort of thing.


Lastly, what’s with all the armed forces?  There always seems to be a sailor or uniform of some kind standing around the center court.  They never seem to be highly decorated officers just enlisted men.  Is there some Victorian tradition that requires the representation of military at all Center Court matches or is there a need for a military presence that I can’t figure out.  They are often seen when the TV coverage cuts to the score board so perhaps it is something to do with the security of the scoring system?


The Talking Heads Worship Challenge

July 2, 2009

A Challenge to all Worship leaders and church musicians:

  • watch this video of Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
  • find a worship song that will fit this type of choreography
  • try it out with a congregation and let me know how it goes