Wednesday, August 24

Tuesday, June 12

Blastr Article

I thought you'd be interested in seeing this article from Blastr:


Tuesday, February 8

Doctor Who Infographic

Doctor Who Infographic
Originally uploaded by bob canada.

Friday, January 15

From: Ken Van Dine

The following was written by the volunteer coordinator at the mission where we have worked in Pignon.
For His Sake,

Begin forwarded message:
From: Lorrie Beauchamp Berg
Date: January 15, 2010 5:18:09 PM EST
Subject: Haiti

Hello Everyone,
I am writing with a heavy and anxious heart. I returned from Port au Prince last evening around 7 pm after spending a little over 24 hours there. I travelled with Pastor Caleb Lucien and Dr. Batsch to find the families of Dr. Batsch and several other doctors that work in Pignon but live in Port au Prince. We also planned to assess how we could help so that we could coordinate our assistance in Pignon. I must say that the leadership and compassion of Pastor Caleb and Dr. Batsch was a tremendous blessing to me and the people of Haiti. We carried some medical supplies, water, and tents and were able to help several neighborhoods with the few supplies we had. Thankfully and by the grace of God we found Dr. Batsch's wife and seven year old son and the other doctors that we travelled with were able to find their families alive although some were injured.

I saw first hand the destruction and loss of life and it is incredible. I cannot fully describe the scene and I am still trying to process it all myself. I wept this morning as we continued our 40 days of prayer. It is simply very hard to experience. Imagine over 3 million people displaced, hundreds of thousands of dead bodies, no power, no water, no shelter, no fuel, no food All of this is unimaginable in a developed country let alone a country like Haiti. From what I saw the city is for all practical purposes destroyed. I was able to see all of the government buildings, finance, justice, health, mayors office, palace, all destroyed. Four large hospitals destroyed, and all hospitals damaged. Nearly all the major businesses were destroyed or severly damaged and commerce has stopped. I saw two working gas stations but each had run out of fuel by the time we left. I saw dead bodies everywhere, lining streets, lying in rubble, piled on street corners and being slowly carried away by men with carts. I saw people erupting in joy at the news their loved ones survived and I saw families erupting with grief as they learned of the loss of their family, the scene repeated itself thousands of times all over the city. I saw thousands upon thousands of people sitting and lying in the streets unable or too scared to enter the shelter of the buildings left standing. I slept outside with many people and listened to the sweet sound of relief planes arriving and carrying hope more than anything else. I listened as thousands of people cried out to God and even praised him. I felt ashamed at my lack of faith as they sang "tout bagay déjà byen" "all things are already good". Unbelievable. I counted people as we stood and waited along the road out of Port au Prince. The average was 81 people per minute heading north, with that average over 14,000 people passed by me on there way out, many unsure where they will go. I'm sure you have all seen pictures and heard the news stories but the reality is astonishing and will worsen in these first days of this tragedy.

I returned to Pignon with Dr. Batsch and his family and 9 others whose homes were destroyed. We had the business of seeing the Fargo, North Dakota team off, graciously arranged by Pastor Caleb and we will be planning how we can provide for victims in the next few days. They announced on the radio today that patients can be taken to the our hospital here in Pignon so we will see what happens. The patient load here is heavier than normal and I suspect will continue to increase. We will begin planning how we can accommodate any refugees that come to Pignon. We have talked briefly about areas we can use to set up tents and will plan further as we know more.

The needs are enormous. I wondered this morning how you take nothing from nothing. Someone said yesterday "if Port au Prince is broken, Haiti is broken" and that is correct. This tragedy has deeply affected all of Haiti. The availability of all supplies here is decreasing or gone and the means to get supplies here is crippled. Diesel fuel is nearly gone and the price has nearly doubled. Diesel is $5 a gallon and a gallon of gasoline is now $12.50 in many places. I know the town of Hinche is out but this morning when I went to find fuel I was fortunate to get some of the last diesel in Pignon. Dr. Guy said that he had tried to buy as much diesel as possible in Cap Haitian, I don't know at this time if we have found that fuel. Without diesel fuel we have no electricity, no transportation and no water at the hospital. Most of the rice, flour, sugar here in Pignon is gone or disappearing fast. Many vendors hoped they would have more tomorrow from Cap Haitian so we will see. We could find a little rice, and could only buy sugar in small quantities and could not find flour. We purchased enough supplies this morning to last about a month. Food, water, medical supplies and fuel will be the main concern all over Haiti. Dr. Batsch is preparing a list of medical supplies we will need here at the hospital and will email that soon to our supporters. If we have connections to money and supplies now is the time to use them.

We are working on improving our communication by getting some Voila phones. Digicel service isn't working but Voila is intermittently so we hope to get some cell phones up and running. We are still trying to figure out how we will get Stacey's parents home next week.

Thanks to all of you who have sent or left supplies with us we will be able to use much of the clothes and medicine and other items that have been left with us. Thanks to everyone who has shown so much concern for us and the people of Haiti. I'm sure we have forgotten some things and we'll try and keep updates coming. Please forward this on and we'll try to post it on the blog as well. Keep Praying and God Bless.

Lorrie Beauchamp Berg
Promise for Haiti Volunteer Coordinator
2724 38 ave S
Fargo ND 58104

I do not ask God to answer my prayers, I ask that He gives me the Strength, Courage and Grace to deal with whatever challenge he places before me.

Sunday, September 13

Chicago 3/4 way

I went to a fast food place this weekend. They had a new take on the
combo. Italian sausage and gyro meat instead of Italian.
This gives me a new idea for Chicago food. The 3 way 1/2 Italian
sausage 1/2 polish cut long ways. Topped with gyro meat. The 4 way
same as the 3 way but with italian beef. And to top it off the Chicago
5 way top all that off with hot peppers.
What would your Chicago 3/4/5 way be?

Wednesday, August 19

How to lose 40 pounds

"Under 300 pounds for the first time in 12 years!"

How I did it: Not sure how I'm doing it it. But in the last 6 months I've lost about 40 lbs.
Most likely I've reduced the quantity of food I've eaten. using smaller portions and cutting out appetizers and deserts.
I'm more active socially rather than staying at home watching TV.

Lessons & tips: I'm drinking more ice water over soda.
Smaller Portions
No appetizers.

It took me 6 months.

It made me surprised

Monday, June 15

How to attend a live broadcase of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" in Chicago

"It was a great time in Grant Park. The show was very funny"

How I did it: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me had its annual free out door show.
The weather was awful. But it cleared up by showtime.
The show was at Millennium Park instead of the Chase auditorium.

It took me 2 years.

It made me Laugh

Monday, January 26

Speed up your podcasts, part 2

I listen to a lot of podcasts during the week. But that doesn't mean I like to listen to long casts. With podcasts longer than ~40 minutes. I like to get some of my life back. I do this by speeding up them up.
I used the Juice pod-catcher and converted the file using WMP9 Encoder, detailed in this post

Now that I use an iPhone I've stopped using Juice infavor of iTunes
iTunes/iPhone/iPods can play the audiobook/podcast "faster". Approx 1.8x speed.
It does adjust the pitch so people don't sound like chipmonks.

How to do this:
1. Convert the mp3 to AAC.
2. Right click on the file and select "Show in Windows Explorer"
3. When the conversion completes rename the extension m4a to m4b (Audiobook) and delete the mp3 file
4. Add the m4b file to the Audobook folder in iTunes.

Good news is that it will maintain the mp3 tags and embeded images.

More tips:
Create a smart playlist that filters by time and Kind contains mpeg

Monday, January 19

Monday, December 29