Cold day in Ruskin

We spent the week in Ruskin, Florida at a mission conference. It was a wonderful week. I really enjoyed meeting each one of the other missionaries in the conference and even got to interview them. I will be sharing those on Missionary Talks in the coming weeks.

I got to run 3 days while we were there. Monday was 54 degrees when I stepped out the door. That was a bit cooler than I expected. I had a nice run of almost 4 miles. On Tuesday the temp was even colder–47. I personally have a rule that I can run without gloves down to about 47 degrees. Since I did not have any gloves with me, the decision was easy. Running 6.4 miles kept me plenty warm. Then on Thursday I ran just under 4 again.

Ruskin Chamber of CommerceRuskin
The town had a great Goodwill store. The Goodwill is between Ruskin and Sun City Center, which is a huge retirement community. When you wear conservative suits like I do, the same suit that looks good on grandpa looks good on me. Generally the more elderly you have in an area, the better stocked Goodwill is with clothing.

On Tuesday as I ran by the Chamber of Commerce in Ruskin I noticed a funny sign out front. Under the large chamber of commerce sign there was an advertisement for Julia’s Florist. It looked like the Chamber was selling flowers to be able to pay the electric bill. I talked to someone in town about it. They informed me that the Chamber rotates advertisements for local businesses. Boring. I liked my explanation better.

The guest speaker in the conference was AV Henderson. Dr. Henderson is an old preacher who I have heard speak on a few occasions. It was great to be part of a team with him for the week. Saturday night before the conference started I was privileged to sit and talk with him for a couple of hours about mutual friends. It was interesting as we talked that the pastor of the church and I, as well as Dr. Henderson, had several mutual friends and acquaintances yet we (the pastor and I) only know each other because of our mission board.

Sometimes you really connect with a church and it’s people more than at other times. This was one church in which we really felt like we belonged. Those are always fun meetings.

Because we were the only missionaries there with children present, we were allowed to stay in the missionary apartment at the church. This gave us a lot more room than a hotel would. There were only two disadvantages to the arrangement. When you are sleeping just 12 steps up above the church auditorium, you can’t easily blame your tardiness on the traffic. The second thing was that we did not have constant Internet access. We had to plug in through one of the staff member’s offices. Since the church had a school using the same Internet connection, there was a filter that locked us down from several sites. Basically any social media sites was blocked. No Facebook or Twitter except through our iPhone connection. I love my phone more and more every day.

The return trip was through a different route than we came down. We were able to pass through my wife’s hometown of Homassassa Springs, FL. In Homassassa they have an animal park that she and I have visited before. It was fun taking the kids and to see how much the place has changed since the state took over several years ago.

We were also able to visit with my wife’s brother. They have not seen each other for almost 3 years. It was good to get them together again.

We have gotten a few phone calls on our Suburban we have for sale, but no one has come over to give it a test drive. As we were pulling into the driveway upon our return from Ruskin, a truck pulled up at our house. Within an hour of getting home this week, I signed over the title to our truck.

Home….for now
We will be home a couple of days and then hit the road for about 5 weeks. This was a tune-up trip to get us ready for the big one starting Monday. We realized a few things we left behind this last trip that we will make sure goes with us on the next adventure.

King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain visit Pensacola

King Juan Carlos I of SpainMy son and I got to take part in a unique celebration. We were privileged to hear the King of Spain, in person, give a speech in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola claims the distinction of being the first European settlement in North America. The King and Queen of Spain came to town to participate in the activities for the celebration of Pensacola’s 450th anniversary.

I recorded the speech by the Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, and his Highness, King Juan Carlos I.

Of course the audio is not perfect, but I am glad I got what I did and am able to preserve it. A very neat memory.

Interesting side note. I saw several people carrying around Greek flags and signs printed in Greek. Queen Sofia is from Greece.

Missionary Talks 63: Katie Folden

Katie Folden and Don SiskIt has been a while (too long) since I put up a new Missionary Talks episode. I was thrilled to be able to interview Katie Folden yesterday. She is a young lady going to Japan as a missionary. Her closeness to the Lord is encouraging and convicting. She is on deputation now and still has a ways to go to get to Japan. I am interested in following her progress to the field. Check out her website, Katie’s Journeys, to stay up to date with her ministry.

I found this picture at Katie’s blog. Here she is goofing around with Dr. Don Sisk. Dr. Sisk is a man who will go down in the history books as one of those great missionaries of the faith. He was a missionary in Japan for many years. This picture is great in that it shows the old Japanese missionary along with the new.

I have two excuses for not having another Missionary Talks episode out sooner. Neither one of them are really good excuses, but here they are.

I have not had my equipment set up to do phone interviews. Since we have been back in the US this was the first phone interview I have done. I have also not done much recording in my office here at the house. I have quite a bit of echo in this office. I need to do something to cut down the room noise. I was pleased, however, that this interview sounded so good. It was well balanced on the volume between us. I skipped two steps of post production because the sound was so good without them. There was no need to degrade the quality of the recording.

So my first excuse was equipment. I have another phone interview tentatively scheduled for a couple of weeks from now.

My second excuse is that I did an interview in December that I really wanted to have work. It was an interview with a friend of mine in Africa. What he had to say was tremendous. How he said it was an editing nightmare. This was the first interview I have recorded that I did not use. I kept holding on to the hope that I could make it work, but it wouldn’t. I put off any other interviews because of that one.

But, I am now back and on the right track. I have another interview scheduled for tonight (which I will put up next week some time) and I will also be at a missions conference next week. That should yield another couple of interviews. It has not been as easy grabbing interviews at conferences as I had hoped, but I am making it a goal to wrestle at least two missionaries to the ground and make them talk with me.

Enjoy Katie’s interview.

My Thought Spot 26: I’m Back

This is really just a sound test episode to see how my recording equipment works. I was having problems with the XLR connection on my mic. I fixed that by buying a new connector and soldering it on. The new connector cost as much as the whole cable cost originally.

I mainly just talk about some interviews I have planned for Missionary Talks and I talk a bit about running.

There is not much here. It is short. Enjoy.

What does your handshake say?

A couple of weeks ago I heard a podcast where The Public Speaker was talking about shaking hands and the proper way to do so. One thing I found interesting was what she had to say about types of handshakes and what they mean. I did a little more reading on the subject this week.

HandshakeAccording to The Public Speaker there are different ways to shake hands based on country and culture. In the US we like a firm handshake that neither crushes the hand nor feels like a limp noodle. There are variations as to how long you should linger holding hands based on many unspoken cues. There is also meaning in the way you hold your hand during the shake. Humorously, I have read that the sandwich, or two-handed handshake should be reserved for politicians and clergy. Maybe that is why I have a tendency to shake with two hands.

When one person turns their hand palm down during the shake that indicates they are the dominant one. They communicate that they are in charge. The one whose’ palm is face up is supposed to be the submissive one. Ideally you would see yourselves as equals and have your palms perpendicular to the floor.

Last week we met a man who shook my wife’s hand first and intentionally turned her hand palm down. He was indicating that he was “at her service.” When he shook my hand he kept our palms as equals.

After doing all this reading, I had a funny thing happen to me. There is a lady at church that I have been wanting to talk with, but did not take the time to call her. I figured I would just see her at church. I was pleased to walk into church 15 minutes early the other day and see her. As I approached her she started walking towards me with her arm outstretched for a handshake. Her palm was down. That meant nothing to me a couple of weeks ago, but this time it did. She was one of my teachers in college. Though I see us as equals, I needed to talk with her about an area of her expertise. That pronounced the fact that she was in charge of the conversation.

This is just something I would have never noticed before.