Monday, May 31, 2004

Last Post

Okay, the time has come, this is my last post on a regular basis, for now at least. I don't know when I'll next be able to post anything, maybe next weekend, maybe sooner, maybe not. If you would like to keep in touch with me, I welcome your emails at michellejohnston[at]gmail[dott]com. :)

Tomorrow morning I leave for Ontario and will be there for the months of June, July, and August at least. I am working as the "Program Administrator" at a small Christian camp near Toronto.

The year so far has already been full of many accomplishments (doing all my blogging surveys and starting Dialog:Breaking the Bubble, finishing my MRRP, passing my oral comprehensive exit interview, graduating from Briercrest Biblical Seminary, and passing my driver's liscence test, and a whole lot of other little fun things have come to pass as well. :)

After August, I really have no idea what the future holds. I'll be looking for somewhere to live and a job as well, and in what order I'm not sure of.

Despite this uncertainty though, I do know one thing for sure: that out there in the heavens I have a Father who is watching out for me and He knows what is in store. He's got it all planned out and taken care of perfectly. Horray for that.

"O LORD , you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD .

You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you."

-Psalm 139: 1-18

Sunday, May 30, 2004


I think on my list of Least Favourite Things To Do, packing is up there near the top.

I leave home tomorrow morning at around 6AM, I don't get to Toronto until about midnight, so it'll be a long trip.

I do have a copy of Beautiful Girl Magazine that my friend Joanne sent me in April that I have been saving to read. It's new, a "Christian version" of YM or Seventeen or CosmoGirl. We like to check out "Christian culture" so that's why she got it for me. It's interesting to see what develops out of a youth group culture.

Anyways, I should get back to packing. Ugh.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Officially Liscensed Driver

I passed my driver's test. Phewff... because I didn't know when I was going to be able to take it again for a long time because I'm leaving Alberta on Monday and don't know when I shall be back again (I didn't want to have to switch it over to another province, that would be a big hassle).

So, my 10.5 year streak of being a learner has ended and I've now been deemed appropriate to drive alone.

Isn't that exciting? :)

Tea Partyers

This is a picture of Cheddar when he had a Teddy Bear's Picnic...

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Harder Than Getting Your Masters

I have my Class 5 Driver's Liscence Test tomorrow morning at 9AM CST. Sure I have my Masters Degree, but I have had my Learner's Permit for 10.5 years. Hopefully that long streak ends tomorrow.

Another View

I think this is a funny picture. I took Jenny for a walk to the pond and our field and we ended up watching the traffic go by for about 10 minutes while she insisted on a dog snuggle. :)


This little guy is going to try out for the next Spiderman movie.


Two inquisitive little squirrel cousins. They were hilarious to watch.


Another silly lamb got out, I chased it around the yard a few times and eventually managed to catch it.... and this is me and Norah posing with it. Well, actually, I'm the only one posing, Norah's just making sure I don't hurt it.

On a side note, lambs are actually a log bigger and a lot stronger than they look. This one bopped me in the teeth once or twice. It also smelled not too great.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


"I want to spend my time living life instead of just letting it pass me by while I'm waiting for it to begin."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Loving thy Neighbour

Dr. Mark Vincent, a social psychology professor at Augustana College, is looking for Christians to participate in his websurvey.

"Seems a bit ironic, but I'm truly having a difficult time getting Christians to lend me a hand with a survey about Loving Thy Neighbor. :) I believe passionately in this work, but simply cannot do it without Christians who are willing to help out.

With this study I am attempting to determine how people view their Christian faith, and the ways in which that faith relates to daily behaviors."

The link for the survey is here.

Info via Benediction Blogs On.

More gmail News

The release of Google's new gmail email service in beta testing stages with limited numbers of accounts available created hype and birthed people desperate for an account. This desperation led to heafty prices being paid on ebay for the free accounts.

I posted about the hysteria a couple of weeks ago. I had two invites and gave them away.

Too bad this site wasn't created earlier, gmail swap:because people are nice... I could have gotten one of these nifty swaps instead of a pat on the back from a stranger.

Unfortunate that You've Not Met

My Gramma is supercool. Really, she is. I wish you could know her.

Tonight she called me, wanting to talk to me before I head out for the summer once again. She is really one of the coolest people I know, and it's a bonus that she's my Gramma.

She always has a few funny things to say.

She always likes to bring up and broach the subject of me getting married. Someday. You know, grandmothers are like that. So, she did this, and then I mentioned about how my Mom the other day said something to the effect of "When you're thinking about marrying a man someday, make sure that he knows how to comb his hair." Gramma laughed at this. Then she said, "You know, I think I've seen your father with his hair combed properly maybe once." Then she paused, and added "I think that was your parents' wedding day." Then she laughed.

And, sometime near the end of our conversation, while we were talking about old age and aches and gardening (which is what she really loves to do) and that sort of thing, and she said, "You know, Michelle, if I could just find a new pair of feet, a pair of feet that fit, I'd be all set. But I can't seem to find a pair that fit!"

And then she giggled.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Dog Days

Jenny and I took a walk to the pond this evening and took this horrible self-portrait. :)

Right now she's chasing a big magpie around the yard and it's hilarious to watch. I love having a bedroom window. I miss that from my big old brown house that I lived in two years ago at school.

And Holly. Holly lived in that house. I miss Holly too.

It's Started

I just killed my first mosquito of the year.

This is not looking good.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Summer Love

Monday, May 31st I am flying to Ontario to work at a children's camp for the summer. Those of you who were regular readers last year might recall that I don't get much opportunity to post and/or read many blogs during my 12 weeks of camp work and have very limited access to the internet...

But, I do send a lot of mail in the summer, which is good news for you :) . If you are a regular reader and commenter, and I do not yet have your snail mail address, please email it to me at michellejohnston[at]gmail[dott]com.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Role Model You, Role Model Me

I often wonder if stars like Britney and Christina and Avril know how much of a role model they are to millions of people. I wonder if they ever stop and think how much what they do and what they sing impacts the lives of others, whether they like it or not. I wonder if they ever stop to think about how much power they have. People are watching what these people do and are imitating it whether they realize it or not.

Avril Lavigne has a new album and a new song out hitting the charts. I was surprised by the lyrics:

You held my hand and walked me home I know
While you gave me that kiss it was something like this it made me go ooh ohh
You wiped my tears, got rid of all my fears, why did you have to go?
Guess it wasn't enough to take up some of my love
Guys are so hard to trust
Did I not tell you that I'm not like that girl?
The one who gives it all away

Did you think that I was gonna give it up to you, this time?
Did you think that it was somethin I was gonna do and cry?
Don't try to tell me what to do,
Dont try to tell me what to say,
Your better off that way

Don't think that your charm and the fact that your arm is now around my neck
Will get you in my pants I'll have to kick your a** and make you never forget
I'm gonna ask you to stop, thought I liked you a lot, but I'm really upset
Get out of my head get off of my bed yeah thats what I said
Did I not tell you that I'm not like that girl, the one who, throws it all away

This guilt trip that you put me on won't, mess me up I've done no wrong
Any thoughts of you and me have gone away

Better off that way
I'm better off alone anyway

- Avril Lavigne, "Don't Tell Me"

I was pleasantly surprised to hear this song... I mean because it is speaking about not giving it all away. That is positive, but I'm not so sure the rest of the undertones of the song are that positive. But I am hopeful that it will make those who look up to Avril think twice about this issue when it becomes an issue in their life. I am encouraged that Avril is relaying a positive message like "not giving it all away."

Sometimes I wonder if what I do impacts others... but of course it does. So does what you do, what you say, what you wear. It can't not. We're affected and influenced by those around us.

I hope my blog is a positive place. I hope somehow it has a positive impact. I'm hopeful it's not harmful.


"As subscribers pull the June Reason magazine out of their mailbox, something about the issue should look familiar. The magazine published 40,000 individualized covers displaying an aerial photo of the subscriber's home and the surrounding neighborhood... Inside, the personalization continues."

'Living in a database nation raises innumerable privacy concerns,' writes Gillespie in the June issue. 'But it also makes life easier and more prosperous. We may have kissed privacy goodbye -- and good riddance, too.'"

- from npr, link via Fixed and Considering.

Steppin' It Up

On May 11th McDonald's Restaurants of Canada followed other McDonald's restaurants around the world and introduced "Canadians to McDonald’s new line of entrĂ©e salads. The salads (are) part of McDonald’s Canada’s new saladsplus™ menu category..." (source here). These salads are the ones featured as part of McDonald's new Go Active!™ Happy Meal®s.

In order to promote their new salad line and Go Active! Happy Meals, McDonald's has been running a television commercial for the past couple of weeks advertising a free Stepometer that measures the number of steps you walk. According to their site, while supplies last, when you purchase a New Chicken Caesar Salad, New Bacon Ranch Salad, New Fiesta Salad, or a Chicken Oriental Salad, and a bottle of Dasani® water or a medium drink, you will receive a Stepometer™ and a Step With It!™ booklet. The booklet was developed by Oprah's personal trainer Bob Greene, and includes a description of his walking program.

The stepometer has even birthed a new blogging meme of sorts.

The commercial that promotes the free stepometer, and ultimately the purchase of the salads, features shot after shot of different women walking.

The t-shirts feature the following slogans:

* Put the Pedal to the Medal

* Giddy-Up

* Outta My Way Jose

* Shake Your Boots

* My Pace or Yours?

* You Go-Go-Go Girl

Seeing this advertisment reminded me of cpyu's recent article, Double Take: Apparel That Speaks. While the t-shirt slogans used in the McDonald's advertisement are not as extreme as some of the ones in Doug West's article, the placement of the camera more than makes up for that.

The advertisement only features shots of women from just around their lip or chin area to slightly below their waistline (to which the step-o-meter is fastened of course).

There are only women featured in the McDonald's ad. And, it is not until the last woman walking is shown that we see a face. Before that, we see mostly chest area. And, the placement of the camera draws the attention of the viewer to the chest area. Sure you're supposed to be reading the slogan, but that's not all you are seeing, that's not all your attention is directed towards.

McDonald's current slogan is "I'm Lovin' It." I'm not loving your ad, McDonald's. I find it offensive.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Squirrel Treats

There are obnoxious numbers of squirrels around here, and now they're having kids. They're taking over the place. Yesterday I gave Jenny a piece of doggie jerky and then she ran away with it and around the house over to where the squirrels like to hang out by the pine trees and then disappeared for a second and then emerged WITHOUT ANY JERKY from behind a tree. Cheddar says Jenny has been feeding the squirrels jerky treats. He says this is the obvious reason for the population explosion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

For Jodi

I made this for my good chum Jodi, for her blog. You know, if she ever catches the cool bug and starts a blog.

She's one of the world's biggest consumers of cheese and cheese products.

I'll Be Rich

My friend Joanne emailed me yesterday to tell me she had just recieved a cheque in the mail from our alma matter for eleven dollars. She graduated a year ago.

Do you think they send everyone eleven bucks a year after graduating? If that is the case, that will be a nice surprise in a year (if I forget about this before then). But also, if that is the case, then they owe me twenty-two bucks for previous graduations that I have endured. Maybe the eleven bucks only goes to people who have left town.

In that case, I am looking forward to my eleven dollars. I can't wait.

I am currently taking suggestions on what I should, in a year from now, spend my eleven bucks on.

"Hello, I'm 26, and I'm Retired"

Or at least that's what I felt like when I woke up this morning and had no schedule to attend to and realized that I have not really had any commitments at all since April 1st. But I don't think most retirees wake up with a student loan debt.

The past two years, being a graduate student in a seminary that offered modular courses, I've had a lot of free time. The beauty and sheer genius of the modular class system means you have a few pre-course homework assignments, then class for a week 8:30am-4pm, and then one or two post-course assignments that aren't due for two solid months after the first day of class.

Sure there are a few students who spent every Monday to Friday in their own personal rented cubicle in the library reading and writing. But me, on the other hand, I have an aversion to the mere word "cubicle." The only time I ever went to the library was to use the free internet or to grab a few books for an assignment I was working on at my house. Other than that, the only thing I went to the library was to socialize.

I'm a procrastinator at heart. Down to the core. All my best thinking and comprehending and writing comes at the last minute. All those personality tests and Myers-Briggs tell me that I take forever to make a decision. Yeah, that's right, I take forever because I need that last moment push to make it. Most of my assignments I didn't start a week before they were due, usually when writing a paper I would only start a day or two before it was due (except for my MRRP, it took a bit longer than that!).

College life was perfect for me because it gave me a schedule in which to follow. I had classes to go to and assignments that were due at pretty regular intervals for the most part. And in dorm I had meals at scheduled times and curfew to come in by.

Seminary life was a bit harder to adjust to. My schedule was a lot more broad and flexible and free flowing the weeks I didn't have class. I could wake up whenever I wanted to and do homework or hang out with people or spend three hours on the internet or do absolutely nothing at all if I wanted to.

In the month and a half I've had since completing all of my course requirements, I've not really accomplished anything concrete. I packed up my scholarly existence and physical things and moved back home for a month. I take my time getting up and getting ready for the day, I take my time eating and checking my email and walking outside and hanging out with our animals and watching the television shows I like to watch and leading a leisurely existence. But I haven't had a real imposed schedule to follow.

In thirteen days I'm starting my summer job. I love my job.

But it only lasts twelve weeks.

After that I'm headed out into the great unknown. No more fake adulthood, no more "adultolescence," no more student discounts, no more safety net of a perfectly planned existence of classes and semestered living with set schedules.

I've procrastinated long enough. I'll have to find a job and somewhere to live and eek out a living. I'll have to start paying real bills with real money that I've somehow worked to earn. I'll have to learn what it's really like to punch a timecard and struggle to pay for all the "neccessities" of life like food and telephone bills and electricity and toilet paper and seven years of post secondary education, and learn to live without things I can't afford like new CDs and strawberry marshmellows and V8 juice and mortadella sandwiches. I'll have to figure out really how to schedule my time for myself around the imposed responsibilities of life.

It's a moment I've been preparing for for the last several years, yet never really believed would actually come. Yet, in around 94 days, there it will be, staring me in the face.

And there alone I'll be, staring back at it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Squirrelly McSquirrellerson

This little guy was taunting me and Jenny (the dog) with another friend of his (whom you can't see). They were running around the tree and kept peeking out at us this afternoon.


"You could be a youth pastor's wife. Hello- the mother ship. Bring it on."
- Joanne

Monday, May 17, 2004

Looking Up

This is spring.

Scrapbooking 101

a.k.a. "A Year In Review"

A few people have asked about scrapbooking before, and due to the fact that I currently have access to a digital camera and Blogger has this new Hello Posted by Hello picture posting ability, I can show you a bit of it. These pictures are all from my scrapbook from the past school year (September 2003-April 2004). These are just a few of the pages and not all of them. I tried to not get glare off of the photos but a few of them do have some, sorry about that.

If you click on the photos you will get a closer view.

The first page of my scrapbook from this past school year 

A page done after a walk I took with my housemate Rachel. I loved the pictures I took that day. 

Also known as "The Jodi Page," due to the 5 pictures of Jodi and two of me, this page was done after lunch and a picture shoot in a park in Moose Jaw in early fall. 

Craft Time... showcasing the time spent knitting first semester (I think I made 6 scarves) and a late night that Jodi and I spent colouring. This is my first foray into hand lettering the title, as opposed to using a stencil.  

My sister came to visit for a couple of days at the end of October last year. We had a picnic at the park on the last day without snow. We took these photos in a park in Moose Jaw. I hand-lettered this title too. 

One day in Wal-Mart Jodi needed to use up her film...  >

The "Christmas Season" includes pictures of our house Christmas evening when we exchanged gifts, our awful Christmas musical outfits, and the Yearbook staff Christmas tree with the president of our schools as the angel on the top. 

I like the colours of these two pages a lot... in January I went with my sister to visit our Gramma in Manitoba. 

"Let's Make A T-Shirt"... started in September and continued throughout the year. I made two t-shirts as gifts, and then second semester Jodi and I had a T-Shirt Making Sleepover. We're professionals now. 

Holly visisted in February. I like the colours of these pages, and the pictures are neat too. 

You may rememember my road trip to Regina that ended up lasting 25 hours... here are the photos from it. 

This page is a mishmash of extra photos. My favourites are the one of me choosing the appropriate chicken piece, and the one of me counting change when Jodi "wanted to do something fun." 

Easter in Montana... a fun road trip with Jodi, Josh, and Keith. 

These are two more pages from our trip to Montana... they don't really match each other but whatever. I think the carousel one is especially fun. I like the neat vellum flags and the hand-lettering and the horse with the writing on it. 

I wasn't sure what to call this page but ended up titleing it "A Time for Goodbyes." Six of us got together one of the last days at school and went out for supper and took pictures in Moose Jaw. I relaly like the one on the staircase to the right of the title. 

I use acid free paper so these pages should last for a long time and not eat away at the photographs. I started out making all the titles with stencils, but this year I started doing a lot freehand. Most of these ones are freehand. I'm not very good at writing captions for photos so most pages I leave the captions to a minimum.

Scrapbooking takes a lot of time and generally costs a lot (film, developing, the appropriate tools, paper, special tape, etc... it all adds up). And it has a geeky reputation of being a Christian housewife kind of thing. But I'm not a housewife. Or even close. I love taking photographs, being creative and cutting out paper.

A Little Project

Jenni asked me to be a guestblogger for her while she is in California... so in honour of her, I worked on this little project, my first how-to in the blogging world.

I'm not sure if it's actually even followable, but it was fun to photograph the whole process.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Life Choices (Abridged)

"How are you?

good. i'm moving next week. :)


yeah, me and my boyfriend are getting a place.


we decided it would be cheaper to do so its pretty expensive living here.

i know mom and family and karen have all gotten on my case about it already. i have been thinking about it.

yet for the moment i think it's okay.

I know that it isn't what God would chose for you.

i know

And it is something you will most likely regret later.


so then why do it?

cos its what i want to do for the moment. i love him very much and want to be with him.

Have you thought about marriage?

we have talked about it.

So you just want some of the benefits without making the actual commitment?

prob when we have more money

I would hope that if I was going to do what you're going to do that people would talk to me this way that people would care enough that I was being stupid or making stupid choices.

yes i know people care and love me enough to talk to me this way and i thank you for caring and loving me this much

Then slow down and listen... think about what you are doing and the consequences that it will have.

i have been listening but it is my choice and not others."

Please pray for her.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Reality TV is Out of Control

Jodi concurred with me, this is waaaaay better than American Idol. By far.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Daily Chuckles

1. This post.

2. This lamp.

3. This book for Jodi.

4. This thing.

5. This job.

6. This job.

7. This one too.


Some Days

I've been reading Heather Armstrong's website for awhile now. You've probably been by her site at least, if you're not a regular reader. Technorati says her site has 1551 Links from 1427 sources. That makes hers a pretty popular blog. Mikao's World only has 79 Links from 58 Sources. (That always surprises me though, that there are over 50 people who think my blog worthy of linking! How is that possible?).

But, anyways, I have gotten a tad off topic. I have been trying to figure out exactly what it is that makes Heather's site dooce so popular. She lives pretty much an ordinary life. Except she's an ex-Mormon living in Utah. That's pretty un-ordinary I would suspect. Currently she's sharing all that comes along with being a new mother. She's pretty much shattered all of my perceptions of what it's like to be a new mom... which is probably a good thing! I think from reading what she writes, with all of her humour thrown in, I have learned a lot about what new parents go through. Some day, that may come in handy.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of email she must get though, because sometimes her posts are a little over-the-top if you do not understand her sense of humour. But she's raw and vulnerable and shares it like it is.

Blogging, I think, for many, is a coping mechanism. Sometimes you can write out anything on a keyboard and post it and sometimes it makes you feel better. And the community helps as well. I think especially those who keep their blogs secret from those they know in real life use it as a big coping tool. It's neat to think that there are people out there who are not attached to your "real life" who read what you write about and sometimes help you through it.

Sometimes I miss those days, when no one I knew in real life read my blog. I felt like I could write anything. But now I don't think that that was neccessarily healthy.

Some days I wish I had someone in my life that I could tell everything to.

I know that God is listening, but sometimes I wish I had someone physically present to tell everything to.

I've been thinking a lot lately about marriage and how completely intimate it is. I mean, this person knows everything about you and has made the commitment to spend the rest of their life with you, through thick and thin. And what a process it takes to get to that point. A relationship moving towards marriage requires openness and vulnerability and a willingness to communicate the very inner self.

Some days I wonder if I could do that. I want to. But could I really be that vulnerable with someone? Could I really be willing to and make the effort to share with someone else everything that is in me?

I hope so. I talk to God about it.

Maybe some day I'll talk to that person that He has picked out for me about it too.

Some day.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Somebody wants some grass treats...

Three White Tails

There were three deer in our yard this afternoon. The cats found them very suspicious.

Profile You, Profile Me

The new Blogger profiles feature is great. I have found so many interesting people and their blogs to read. I like it that you can click on an interest and find other people with that interest.

The problem is... there are too many. Too many good ones that I have never known about before.

But then again, the blogosphere is continually expanding and getting bigger. I don't think it's going to get any smaller any time soon.

And, by the way, I'm starting a club. It's going to be pretty exclusive. To be in it you have to be a Blogger user who has not changed their template to a new Blogger template. It's going to be a cool club... so let me know if you want to join. :)

The Random Interview Project

The Random Interview Project is now complete and finished. Here is the complete list of links for all posts pertaining to it:

#1: Jodi Chambers

#2: Holly Skelton of A Day in the Life of Vegetation

#3: Flip of Stuff

#4: Rebecca Wood, of World Wide Wood

#5: Neely of Unquenchable Songs and Endless Praise

#6: Rachel of Life Being Beautiful

#7: Jen Kibler-McCabe of Meditatio

#8: Jake of Mainstreet American

#9: Brett

#10: Ryan of Ryan's Bytecave Blog

#11: Marissa of Simple Games

#12: dave of funkypancake

#13: Carly of Jeffersonair

#14: Sharon of God's Child

Many many thanks to all fourteen who participated and answered the random questions I came up with! I think this was my most ambitious blogging project to date... and I loved reading what you guys came up with. Hope you each had fun answering the questions and reading everyone elses' interviews as well.

Interview #14

Sharon is number fourteen of The Random Interview Project:

1. Who has been the most influential person in your life in the past year and why?
"A friend named Lorene.. She lives in America and I in Australia and we found each other through what I believe was Gods leading..

She stumbled onto my website by doing a search that had nothing to do with finding my site and read a book I had written on-line and contacted me.. and I wrote back and we have been friends since.. I had been at a point where due to being at home.. raising children.. not getting out much.. not seeing many others that could encourage me at this time in my life that her friendship has become like a life-line.. She is like a sister to me.. Writing about her own life including the ups and downs.. encouraging me with wisdom and understanding.. and sending things to me that has made me feel very special.. But it is not all about what Lorene gives to me.. I feel so honoured to be a friend back. that through the letters we write back and forth I can help her too in her life!!

Even with being so far away and Lorene being older then I we have a very special friendship and I believe I am a better person because of Lorene's friendship!!

2. If you could live somewhere else, would you, and where would that be?
No I would not live anywhere else because I believe that where I am now is where God chooses me to be whether I like it or not.. If I could choose anywhere else to be I would not be where He wanted me to be and if would only lead to unhappiness and being out of His will for my life..

3. Who would you most like to meet that you haven't yet met?
All of my friends via internet especially those that are not in Australia I would love to meet.. I think maybe I might meet up with those friends I know in Australia but I don't think I will ever get overseas.. You see pictures every so often and get to know them somewhat through chat and mail but to meet them in person would be wonderful!!

4. What was your favourite food as a child, and is it still?
Cannot really remember.. LOL... but I know I always loved my Mother's home cooking and still do now in fact even more now!! Especially being a mother of my own family.. when to eat something someone else cooked no matter how simple
is a treat and my mother continues to take care of me even when I am a mother of my own kids!!

5. Tell us briefly about three of your favourite blogs to read right now:
This in no way means they are the only favourites..

*But Rachel's blog.. is one of my favourites because she is such a beautiful person..
She also is a Christian and even though we are different ages.. we share a friendship and an interest in each others lives..
Rachel is varied in what she writes and honest in what she shares..

* Sparrow's Blog is another of my favourites.. Though I have not been reading her blog long..
I feel a connection with her and more then reading her blog and her reading mine our comments seem
to show a parallel that our lives were meant to meet up..

* Stacy's Blog.. is one of my favourites that I wish I could visit more but the times I do I feel blessed for being there..
What Stacy shares I can relate too.. our fellowship with each other through our blogs is meaningful!!

6. How did you get introduced to blogging?
No one introduced me I found them on the Internet and loved the whole idea.. If anyone was responsible at all for me being a blogger it would be Annie... She hosts my blog for me and I could not have the blog or have come to enjoy all I do without her..

7. What are a few of the things that blogging has taught you or given you?
That by sharing my thoughts I can help others... and by sharing others thoughts it is a help to others and to me!!

8. If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what three would you choose and why?
Fruits, vegetables and junk food.. Fruits and vegetables can be cooked, eaten raw or combined to make all sorts of varied meals..And they are good for me..

Junk food is a break from eating so healthily and would help tide me over for having to eat only three foods for the rest of my life!! And LOL *blush* because I like eating it too!!

9. Suppose for a moment that the rapture was going to happen tomorrow and you knew this (even though it isn't possible for you to know...). What would you do with the time you had left?
Well I would have to spend the time explaining to as many as I could what was going to happen and why then I would tell them no matter whether they believed me or not that if was going to happen and explain to them the way to escape the coming wrath.. The good thing about having a blog or page on the Internet is that you could leave a message on their that people from all over the world could read and those who you knew if they had been left behind.. It would be the fullest 24 hours I would have ever spent.. I would not want to waste a moment..

10. What is your favourite summertime memory?
I cannot really remember the exact moment really well.. but we have a photo of my sisters and brother and I frolicking in the ocean in Broome Western Australia.. I was the oldest of 4 children and our parents were on the way to an Outback Australian job as Missionaries, we were relaxing in Broome as we were nearly at the end of our journey.. It was the last picture of us together as family playing happily before my youngest sister Belinda (nearly 5) died.. only 4 days of being at our new home.. This picture springs to memory.. every happy moment should be treasured because we never know when it may be out last."

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Photos from Today

I took Jenny the dog for a romp today. We visted the sheep and went to the pond.

Jenny, up close.

A Running Lamb

If you click on them you get a bigger version.

Photos from Dunvegan

I'm trying out the new "Hello" picture thing that Blogger has to post pictures now. These are some photos from yesterday.

The Dunvegan Bridge, apparently Alberta's longest spanning bridge.

We saw a lot of deer on our way back, this was just one of them.

Mary, "Lady of Peace," at Dunvegan Provincial Park, Alberta.

Interview #13

Lucky #13 of The Random Interview Project comes from none other than Carly Bishop of Jeffersonair:

"Sweet! :)

1. If you were exiled to another country for the rest of your life and had to live there for the remainder of your days and could not leave said country, which country would you hope to be exiled to and why?
Probably Italy. There's tons of culture and history there I bet I'd never get tired of learning about. I've always wanted to see it and I can't imagine it ever being a place that looks ugly.

2. Why did you first start blogging, and why do you continue to do so?
I was at a high school football game and hanging with friends Leah, Austin, and Sarah. The game was over and we were walking toward the school buses, where the band would be taken back to school. Austin played sax and had to get on the bus, but just before he got on, he said, "Go to Blogger! Blogger dot com! Go blog!" And I remember thinking, What is he talking about?? But I was soon introduced to what would be the start of an addiction quite impossible to break.

3. If you could change anything about your personality, would you and why or why not?
I probably wouldn't change it. I remember making the conscious choice to practice not judging people and I've gotten really good at not doing that. I think if there's something you admire about someone else, you can make a choice to practice that same characteristic. Mostly, it's just a matter of swallowing one's pride. And knowing that no one is perfect.

4. What was the best thing about being a teenager, and what was the worst?
I think the best thing about being a teenager was the wonder of seeing things you've never seen before. And meeting people who inspire you. I think the worst part is that which makes you feel inadequate and less than what you really are. That constant aspiration to be something but coming up short the majority of the time. Only to realize that it's kind of supposed to feel that way.

5. In ten years, where do you see yourself?
Married to a sweetheart-of-a-man, possibly pregnant with our first child. Maybe living near the beach somewhere. And planning some romantic surprise for my husband, because I'm going to be the type of wife who is always thinking of things I can do to make him feel special.

6. If money were no object, what sort of a house would you live in?
A really nice beach house with a large portion of the beach belong to me. Lots of room and one of those outdoor living rooms that you can put nice furniture out, relax, and stare up at the stars at night.

7. What has been your favourite part of your college experience so far?
Probably certain people. If I had to pinpoint specifically what I really enjoyed, I'd have to say my Psychology 101 class and definitely the weekly meetings with Campus Crusade for Christ.

8. If you could meet anyone in the blogosphere, who would you want to meet and why?
Probably Jason Killingsworth. Just because he changed what I first perceived was the purpose of "the blog". He changed the way I viewed writing completely. He made me realize what I could do as a writer. How I might inspire those who read. Yeah, him... And Michelle, of course. Duh. (Michelle's Note: I think that's cheating! ;) )

9. Pretend for a moment that you and Paris Hilton had been switched at birth and you grew up in her environment. What do you think would be different about you as Paris?
Oh my goodness. Interesting scenerio. If I grew up in the same environment, I doubt I'd be as grounded as I am now. I pray I'd be mostly the same as I am now. But for sure, I wouldn't have the chihuahua. Nu uh.

10. What is something that you are extremely thankful for?
My desire to meet people and see the world. I imagine I would not be the same person if those were not as strong as they are. I am thankful that I am passionate about life and living it the best way I can. I'm extremely thankful for God's salvation. Everyday, in fact."

Long Day and Big Toes

Today my Mom and I went to drop my brother off at his college, he was here overnight. It was nice to see him, he seems to be doing really good.

Afterwards my Mom and I went to a few stores getting scrapbooking supplies, I got some really cool new letter stickers that look like those neat brown tags, you know the old-fashioned kind that you attach to gifts and stuff? Like those but little.

Anyway, we also we to Dunvegan, which you can read about a little bit here and here. We went to the Provincial Park and to the greenhouses. Dunvegan Gardens are really famous, I'm not sure why. I did get this cool white cow cream pitcher though in their giftshop.

I have my brother's digital camera for the next two weeks... so if I can get it to work (I'm having trouble getting the pics off the camera and into the computer), then I'll have some pictures to show you. We couldn't go into the buildings at Dunvegan (the church and the rectory I mean, or the interpretive centre), but we did take some pics of the bridge and the cool fort that kids can play in and I got my picture taken with Mary. She is standing on a snake that is eating an apple. And she's holding a dove that someone broke it's head off. That's sad. Her big toe that is on the foot that is standing on the snake is very big and manly.

I find a lot of female statues have man-toes. I have noticed this through observing many different statues in many different galleries and places over the years. Look sometime, I dare you. It's odd. But I guess the men who make those statues look at their own toes as models.

I like my toes. They are nice and not manly. Not like Mary's.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Interview #12

This interview is from my favourite photoblogger, funkypancake:

1. What is the coolest place you have ever visited, and why?
10 Downing Street, London. in a previous job a few years ago i had to go and explain about broadband to one of Tony Blair's advisors. I got to go through the gates on Whitehall, knock on the big black door, mill around in the reception area (which is just like someone's front room). We went up the famous staircase with pictures of all the previous prime ministers and half way up i looked down and saw Tony Blair walk by with his entorage on the way to Prime Minister's Question Time !

We then had our meeting in a palacial room usually used for formal parties. we sat on a little gold and marble table with massive works of art on the wall which i recognised as being famous but didn't know what they were !

the coolest thing was that i was doing this as part of my everyday job.

2. Where did the name "funkypancake" come from?
"funky" as in upbeat and fun and "pancake" as in easter (the most important time of the Christian calendar). and most importantly, no one had registered the domain !

3. If you could go back a year and relive the past year of your life again and change things, would you? Why or why not?
There's always stuff you do wrong deliberately or accidentally and wish you could go back and do things differently. I'm made those kind of mistakes all my life (one of the problems of being human i guess). I'm happy with how things are now so the danger of going back and changing stuff is that you end up with a different 'now' when you play things forward.

4. Of all the photos you have taken and posted on your website, which one is your favourite and why?
i don't take much notice of what photos i've taken and am my own worst critic. so i haven't really got a favourite ! what a boring answer.

This is probably my best self portrait.

5. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
i'm not very adventurous food wise but snails and emu would probably be the strangest. i once inhaled a Twix by mistake once and was in agony for a few days as biscuit came out of my nose !

6. What is your favourite wedding memory?
the whole day was fantastic so there are too many excelent memories, but the random memory is my potty friend elton carrying a black rubbish bin bag around with him whilst videoing everything that happened. the video (which we now have a copy of) is fantastic !

The other bizarre memory is the whole place bursting in to mad Russian dancing for our first dance (which was Rasputin by Boney M).

7. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life (it could be performed by a myriad of different singers and bands though in different recordings), what song would you chose?
i've had Leo Sayer's "you make me feel like dancing" in my head for about 10 years non stop, so i may as well have that one since it's going to be there anyway.

8. If you had to chose to live the rest of your life in perpetual daytime or nighttime, which one would you chose?
tricky. definately would have been the night time when i was a goth. probably be daytime now. you get a few more colours in the daytime. and more people are awake.

9. Tell us about something you have read that was life-changing:
my big bible moment was reading the bit about justification by grace not faith bit in romans. i suddenly realised that there was nothing i could do to earn my way in to heaven cuz god had done all the work through jesus. that totally blew me away ! i must have heard it said a thousand times before but that was the life changing time which reset my priorities.

10. Imagine for a moment. What do you see?
i see all sorts of pictures when i start imagining. but if we are just making things up, how about a frog carrying a calculator on the back of a yellow canary ?

i'm have a non-creative period at the moment (too busy at work at the moment) so we can blame that for the boring nature of all these answers.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Made via Button Maker

Good Stuff

Okay, there are a few things about the new Blogger that I like. Like how it tells me this:

Blogging Since September 2002
Recent Posts 84
Avg Posts Per Week 10
Posts Written 945
Words Written 160,169
Outbound Links 1,052

160,169 words??? That's crazy nuts. That's like 640 pages if you use the old 250 words per page thing. I don't imagine that I could just print it all up and sell it as a book though. I don't think anyone would buy it. Well, I would, just so I'd have a copy. But the beauty of the online blog is that you don't have to buy it... you can just go and read it.

Anyways, I'm not sure this is really even an interesting thing to post, I'm just tinkering around on the new Blogger like everyone else is.

Read Marisa's interview. It's interesting.

Interview #11

This eleventh interview is from Marisa of Simple Games:

1. If you could have spent a year of high school in any other country, what country would you have chosen and why?
Well, my considerations should be culture, environment, and education. But those would fly out the window when I think of jolly England. I love England inordinately. Every particle of me. It's a curious thing. So, it would have been supreme happiness to have spent a year there. I think the standards of education are greater there than in the US, Latin in high school and so forth. And an education there might have led to some time in a deliciously stuffy, old university, like Oxford or the lower college of Cheltenham or somewhere. Then we can imagine familial bliss with a smart young earl of some ancient family. Why not?

2. Tell us about the place(s) you grew up in and a few of your favourite things about having grown up there.
Hey, you spell favourite like I do. I've just barely picked up that you might be Canadian, or be studying there at least. True? Anyway, my spelling is affectation, an attempt at being more British, you know.

My childhood was spent in a series of dwellings, which I regret sometimes. I listen with envy when someone says, "Oh, yes, I was born in this house and all of my memories are here." I spent a lot of time with a special grandmother at her red brick house with mimosa and pecan trees in the yard. She also had bushes with red berries that were perfect for gourmet mud pies. At one time, my mother and I lived near train tracks, and so the steady clop, clop of a train has always been a pleasant sound. Another grandmother had honeysuckle in her backyard. Pulling the flowers off and sucking the sweet juice was a favourite pastime between cousins and myself. Funny, my memories seem to center around plants. Hmmm.

3. What is something you are really good at doing?
Talking about myself. :-) Well, it's not very modern, but I can make a home look fresh and clean if I'm not too lazy. I'm rather talented musically, but that's not something I wish to define myself by. Still, playing guitar and singing is a hard-earned skill that most people would probably identify me with. I love reading and have own a shocking number of books. I'm proud of how well read that I am. I feel like this is becoming a boasting answer, but this whole interview is about me, so obviously I've passed the point of modesty anyhow. Books that I've devoured have included Sense & Sensibility, Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, Notes from a Small Island, The Secret Garden, A Man Called Peter, All This and Heaven Too, and more recently, Anna Karenina and A Wrinkle in Time.

4. What is your favourite Bible passage, and why do you think it is your favourite?
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. -- II Corinthians 4:18

This scripture comes to mind first. I like thinking about the great unknown that exists beyond our experience. The flow of history and the great energy that drives all life. The seen world, that is, the culture in which we exist, the media and it's darlings, the success of the world and the pride of life, those things are evident, and, I believe, far from Yahweh (the Hebrew name of the God of the Bible, if you were wondering). There are strange and wonderful things going on that we can't see except by being still and knowing the Father. We should probe into the unseen world as He does, the world of hearts and motives, the ideas behind actions. Whew! The mind reels.

But it's way too difficult to pick just one. I also like Psalm 51 because it presents such a striking portrait of human fraility and the depth of Yahweh's forgiveness. David's soul is breaking because of his departure from righteousness, but his God is completely faithful even in David's imperfection.
The description of the knit souls of Jonathan and David in I Samuel 18:1-5 is moving, and David's eulogy of Jonathan and Saul in II Samuel 1:19-27 is something that I read with great sadness.

Deut. 30:6 is an important passage that's pinned up on my wall, and reminds me daily of the fact that our God does the work in us and that we rely totally on His son for our rightness.

5. What is the most completely-out-of-place CD in your musical collection?
Now that's a different question. A cd that's non-typical of my general music tastes? I would have to say the soundtrack of a tv series called Jeeves and Wooster. It's a British comedy that happened to be at our library on DVD. Wooster gets into scrapes in typical English aristocratic fashion, and Jeeves concocts brilliant solutions to save his master's hide. The music is quite fun, 1920s popular songs, including banjo and Broadway. I don't think the music is for sale anymore, too rare. Go here for the clips. My usual fare is almost pure Uk: Coldplay, U2, The Police, Yes, Travis, but extends through Bach and Mancini, Sinatra and the Monkees.

6. Have you ever had what you would consider a perfect day? If yes, describe it to us. If not, tell us what it would be like if it were to happen.
My perfect day lasted in various degrees for a week. It was spent at a lodge in hilly country, perfect for woodsy walks. Different friends came and went through the few days. Every afternoon, I would walk down to a freshwater creek, which flowed into a dammed up lake. The swimming was glorious, cold water and bright sunshine, with moments under a waterfall where the dam spilled over. All the fresh air and exercise was marvelous. Even better was going over to a concrete ledge off the dam and relaxing on the hot cement while baking in the sun. So, one day, with my best friend and her brother, I enjoyed a few fantastic moments of swimming and sun and relished every single second.

7. If you had a choice to live either in the mountains or on the seashore, and were never able to see the other again for the rest of your life, which one would you pick and why?
Hmmm. Mountains vs. the sea. Tough choice. I've always been scared of the verse in Revelation that says there'll be no sea after the re-creation of the world. So I would pick sea, just to be sure of a little time there. The steady swish of the waves and vastness of the ocean itself, beaches and sand. A seaport in England would be ideal, with salt-encrusted pubs and weather-beaten cliffs. Plymouth, Portsmouth or Penzance. Scarborough, Southport, and Sunderland. Alluring, aren't they?

8. What do you remember most about being twelve years old?
I hardly remember anything specific about my twelth year. Being more general, I was thinking the other day about tree climbing. When I was 10 to 14, we had a great backyard with one big, wonderful tree, made for climbing, smooth bark, a notch in the trunk for a foothold. My neighbour, Rachel, and I spent many a happy afternoon amongst the branches, and for me, one special spot named the Crow's Nest, a small and high seat in a crook. We have a great number of trees at our house now, ten acres of woods, but a sunlit walk around the edges this week yielded none that were easy enough to climb into. Sad, no? Still, I'll keep looking.

9. If you were to win the chance to spend the afternoon with the pop princess of your choice (i.e. Britney, Christina, etc.), whom would you chose and why?
Pop princess? Well, they certainly have interesting lives. As with almost everyone, I'm fascinated at times by how material girls live in luxury. Jessica Simpson seems pretty fun and mercifully human. If Lisa Marie Presley would take me over Graceland and fill the day with personal reflections on life without Father, that might be worthwhile. Truthfully, though, there's plenty of other people I'd rather meet, and satisfy my curiousity by having a peek into their lives.

10. Imagine for a moment tomorrow you were going to wake up somewhere other than the place you fell asleep. Where would you most like to wake up?
Where on earth or where in time? For places today, I would like to wake up in a stately bedchamber in Buckingham Palace, a cozy flat next to Notre Dame, or in a room with a view beside St. Mark's Square in Venice, and maybe on the QE2 bound for Southampton. In time, I'd like to rise (probably unnaturally early) as a guest of General Lee at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, while he was president there, say 1867. Having a conversation with him would be a great honour and pleasure. Or perhaps I could greet the day with a survey of the land from high in a Scottish castle, and look forward to a hearty breakfast and a good deal of heavily brogued talk with Robert the Bruce, around 1322. Dreams all. We'll all have plenty of time for communion with our fellow heirs on the other side (in the unseen :-).

Thanks for the chance to reveal myself yet again to all curious eyes. Interviews are a capitol idea, Michelle. I'm glad you let me join in and if any of your readers wish to continue the acquaintence, I'm here at


Blogger's New Look

Dear Google:

I do not like Blogger's new look and posting area. I've used it for about twenty minutes and I don't like it for the following reasons:

a) It looks like a kiddie website. I don't want to be somewhere (in my home or somewhere public, wherever I may be posting from) and have it look like I'm on some kiddie site.

b) I liked having my post typing area on the top half of the screen and then the other recent posts or drafts or whatever you wanted on the bottom half. That was a good system. Easier to find stuff that way, it took less time than this new thing is taking.

c) It takes a lot longer to load pages with your new format.

d) When you go to "edit posts" you don't see the full text of the posts anymore, just a little summary. It was more beneficial to me the other way.

e) I don't deal well with change. But I would appreciate it if you changed it back.

Thank you.

Cordially yours,

Faithful Blogger at Mikao's World

Dying Day

Jodi says: i don't think that any of my good friends were ever rebellious
Michelle says: oh pooo... i just discovered i have a big hole in the crotch of my jeans
Jodi says: oh my...that is interesting.
Michelle says: and a quotable quote
Jodi says: which ones? those gross silvers?
Michelle says: I LOVE THESE PANTS
Jodi says: am I right?
Jodi says: I know. they're not nice
Michelle says: yes, you're right
Jodi says: they have seen better days.
Jodi says: much better days.
Michelle says: my mom told me tonight they were gross pants
Jodi says: well...time to bury them.
Michelle says: they are not dying, i will sew them and they will live on
Jodi says: I agree with your mom.
Michelle says: i will pass them on to my children

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Through One Eye

I keep looking at zoom lenses on the internet because I'd really really like one for my camera. But they're kinda expensive.

Then I look on ebay and I find all sorts of old neat cameras with attachments and stuff for not too terribly much money and I think it would be neat to get one of those and tinker around with that, but then I realize that hey I'm not in school anymore and I'm currently unemployed and it's not like I am going to make tons of money at camp working for three months this summer and as of yet I don't have a job for September so I really don't know what I'll be doing then and if I'll end up unemployed and eating crackers and peanut butter for the rest of my life and living in a sleeping bag in someone's basement and so I really shouldn't spend the money.

But hey, if you've got money lying around and want to buy me something, feel free. ;)

Or, you know, if you've got an old cool camera that you don't want anymore.

Chuckle chuckle.

Interview #10

The tenth interview of this never ending series comes from Ryan, a.k.a. "Me!", of Ryan's Bytecave Blog:

"Were these randomly formulated? The questions aboot sussex and aboot going back to America seem awfully tailored to me...

1. What is one thing you can get in Canada that you can't get in the States that you miss when you go home?
There are three things really. All Dressed upRuffles, No Name Brand Cheesies, and Sarah Brown.

2. If you could change anything about your hometown, what would you change?
I'd put my school there so I don't have to travel so far.

3. Of all the photographs you've ever taken, which one is your favourite so far and why?
I Still like My big tree and small leah one. It was basically the first one I ever really liked and it got me started in photography. It was the very first one I ever posted to my fotolog... It's hard to say that is the favorite though, I like so many of them, but that one was a key photo.
I really like a few others as well....

I love the colors of the sleeping Gypsies... And the fact that it's real gypsies is so cool too

And I've always loved this rock amthem ish shot of Lauren Rimkus' hand....

4. What is your favourite book of the Bible and why?
Genesis... There's so much richness packed into that book.

5. If you had to live in either the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or the town of Sussex, New Brunswick, for the rest of your life, which would you chose and why?There's NO contest.... TO live with cows or ompa loompas? Wonkavision all the way baby.

6. What is your earliest memory?
I don't remember

7. What is your favourite thing to cook? Is it your favourite thing to eat?
To Cook... I dunno, its hard, I love to cook in general... I miss the reseraunt I was a chef at, so I'll say Tirimisu. To eat, I'd have to say Lobster... It's so good.

8. What are three of your favourite things to do online?
Play DoD, Be a forum rat, and look at fotologs

9. If you had a pet cockatiel, what would you name it and why?
Bird. I dunno, I tend to call my pets by their species.. Hello cat, hey puppy ect. So I'd probably just call my bird bird.

10. Pretend for a moment you are required to spend the next year in the army. What do you think about that idea?
What am I doing in the army? I'd love to be a combat photographer, I'd love to be a chaplin, well, if I had to go that is... I wouldn't be happy aboot leaving, I would NOT be happy about having to leave Sarah, and I'm wicked oot of shape, so boot camp would be hell, but I think if I had to goto iraq or something like that, it would be quite the experience, and I think I could do some good as a chaplin, or take some wicked rad pictures as a photographer.

Chasing Liberty

"Because the things you're scared of are usually the most worthwhile."

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Stolen Survey

15 Years Ago, I:
1. Was eleven years old.
2. Won a provincial writing contest.
3. Wore a lot of mint green.
4. Thought grade six was the best.
5. Was not looking forward to junior high.

10 Years Ago, I:
1. Was 16 years old.
2. Was finishing grade 10.
3. Loved coloured jeans and my jean shirt.
4. Wanted desperately to be cool.
5. Listened to a lot of Mariah Carey and Richard Marx.

5 Years Ago, I:
1. Was 21.
2. Had just finished my last semester of art college.
3. Was looking forward to working in Maine for the summer.
4. Was still in Ontario and was having a horrible time.
5. Was unsure who I was and where I was going.

3 Years Ago, I:
1. Was 23.
2. Was getting ready to spend the summer in Illinois as a youth intern.
3. Got a few vaccinations for an upcoming missions trip to Mexico.
4. Was excited about where God was taking me.
5. Was looking forward to learning much still.

1 Year Ago, I:
1. Was at home getting ready for my second summer working at a camp in Ontario.
2. Spent a lot of time on MSN... seems like in May I always do!
3. Took a lot of photographs I still love.
4. Was looking forward to being done with school in the next year.
5. Was looking forward to another awesome summer.

4 Months Ago, I:
1. Started my last semester at school.
2. Was cold. January was very very very very cold.
3. Got my last haircut. I desperately want another one.
4. Went to visit my Gramma with my little sister for a week.
5. Did not do too terribly much homework.

Yesterday, I:
1. Redesigned two blog layouts.
2. Talked on MSN.
3. Talked to my friend Joanne.
4. Entertained Blackey.
5. Watched part of a really odd movie ("Boy Meets Girl") before I got bored and shut it off.

Today, I:
1. Had pizza for lunch.
2. Took the dog for a romp, talked to Norah, the donkey.
3. Watched the snowflakes fall (right now, they're doing it again!!!)
4. Read a bunch of YM blogs.
5. Made a card for one of the girls I stayed with in Illinois.

Tomorrow, I:
1. Don't really have any plans.
2. Assume I'll spend too much time on the internet.
3. Will probably sleep in.
4. Will chat with Norah again.
5. May do something constructive.

From Erin's blog.

Absence of Mine

It snowed a lot last night but melted by suppertime today... sometimes it's so odd here up north. Different from what I'm used to.

I've been a bit busy lately doing things other than personal blog posts and emailing much. I hope you don't mind. Sometimes it's nice to have a break.

I'm thinking of doing some more surveys and a bit more research for my other blog. It's been awesome to have dialog around the blogosphere and elsewhere on the internet about the ideas I have presented.

And, I got my paper back the other day with great comments from my professor. And, I got a 90% on it. It didn't say how I could have done better though, and I always wonder about such things.

Friday, May 07, 2004

More on Gmail

From what I have been able to learn about Google's new currently-in-the-Beta-testing-stage email service, gmail, we shouldn't be worried about privacy when we are using it any more than we would be when we use other free email service providers like Yahoo and Hotmail.

What makes gmail different is that it uses targeted advertising. Most, if not all, free email services, have advertising. That's how they pay for themselves and make money. People use the email services and are advertised to.

An article I found today about gmail says this:

"As soon as the Internet giant (Google) announced the specifics of its offering, privacy advocates and others began lambasting the company, complaining that Google's policies would violate user's privacy rights..."

"Before I get into the specifics of why the attacks on Google are wrong, it's helpful to know exactly what it's offering. Gmail is a free Web based e-mail service that will provide 1GB of free storage space. Messages will apparently be threaded in some form to make seeing the message in context easier. A Google e-mail search capability will also be provided as part the service."

"Compared to some of its competitors such as Hotmail and Yahoo, Google is taking a quantum leap in terms of e-mail storage space. But this comes at a premium--Google will be using its computers to scan user e-mail for keywords, in order to deliver targeted advertising in each message received by or sent from Gmail accounts. The company is promising that no human being will ever read user's e-mail."

"...The hysteria about Gmail has spread beyond the tech industry--even government (people) are getting in on the action. One legislator in California, seemingly clueless about the legitimate place of advertising in free Web services, is vowing to block Google from offering its services in her state if the service includes targeted advertising."

"Users also need to get a clue about the reality of e-mail security in general. If you think that your communications using free Web mail services or any other unencrypted e-mail service are 'private,' you're way off. E-mails can be read by anyone with access to the various servers your messages are transmitted to as they make their way across the Internet."

"If e-mail security and privacy are your top concern, free Web services are something you should already be steering clear of. You should be using a regular e-mail account hosted by your ISP instead, and then begin using PGP or some other encryption agent to make sure that your e-mail remains truly private."

I am actually surprised that other email services do not use targeted advertising. I don't really see anything wrong with targeted advertising on my email, but then again, I've been seeing targeted advertising for years. We see it on the top of Blogspot-hosted blogs. We see it when we use search engines. We see it all over the web. Why the hoopla about targeted advertising in our email?

Interview #9

After a two-day break from The Random Interview Project, this one comes from Brett, who doesn't have a blog:

1. If you were to live the rest of your life in your choice of another person's shoes, who would you chose?
probably, i would choose someone who has clean feet, has good taste in footwear, and most importantly, wears the same size shoes that i do. i mean, the rest of my life may be a long time, and i have bad feet as it is, without having to wear someone else's shoes.

2. Tell us about your favourite vacation that you have taken so far:
i would have to choose any one of the four trips i have taken to hungary. i know mission trips are not really defined as vacations, but each trip was 10 times more enjoyable than any time i've ever spent frying myself on a beach.

3. What nicknames have you been called in the past and why?
i've never had any really good ones, so i decided to come up my own suggestions: mr.handsome, six-pack, master of time and space, (or MTS, for short), and maybe bubba, just because it's fun to say.

4. If the rest of your life could only be composed of one month, what month would you want it to be and why?
since i don't have a good one from my past, i'll imagine one from my future. here goes: beginning with my wedding (on an alaskan mountaintop) to the most godly and beautiful woman on the planet, (an incredibly humble and intelligent gal, yet doesn't know how beautiful she is, but thinks i am the greatest, and super handsome too), who never complains about anything ever, even when we're tent camping in a thunderstorm, in fact she actually LOVES
thunderstorms, AND camping, because she can wear a hat and stuff, which is why we take our month-long honeymoon biking around iceland, camping the whole way, except for occasionally staying in a motel, where we meet lots of
people, getting to pray for them, all while learning a bit of icelandic simply because it's strange and different and challenging.

5. Were you named after anyone? If you had been a girl, do you know what your name would have been?
my mom just thought it was cool. girl name: sunflower?

6. If you could have any animal for a pet, what would you pick and why?
my dad had a big fat python in vietnam named "moonbeam". hey, that would make a good nickname too!

7. Have you ever gambled with anything in life? If yes, tell us about it.
once, i had a layover in las vegas, and they had slot machines in the terminal! i had four quarters, and after playing two, i won like, eight bucks or something. i got back on the plane and called it good.

8. What is your favourite memory of your last year of high school?

9. If you had the opportunity to change anything about your appearance in the blink of an eye with no surgery or adverse reactions, would you, and what would you change?
i was going to say a more prominent jaw, but that's pretty boring. so i'm going to go with six-pack. i'm not really fat, but i think one of those supermodel six-packs would be pretty cool. and a tan. alaskans of predominantly swedish heritage are known to possess the most brilliantly bright midregions. how many potentially godly and beautiful future wives
have i scared away with my big, white belly?

10. What is your favourite kind of tree?
this is not the best answer to end on. i don't even know what kinds of trees there are. the names mean nothing to me. i have no strong feelings one way or the other about them. trees shmees. my interview comes to an uncertain
reckoning, with me feeling like a bland, tepid and uninteresting fellow that doesn't even like trees.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I Don't Get It

Jordon Cooper said this:

"(I recieved) over 200 e-mails asking me for a Gmail invite. That was a bad idea to mention that on my site. I had 3 invites to offer out. I an't believe the traffic my site got from Google searches looking for "gmail invite". Calm down people. Everyone will have them soon."

I got a gmail account. I got it because I'm an "active Blogger account user." I've used it a bit, but not a lot. I don't know that I like it yet. What do the rest of you that have it think of it?

I wonder if it's any good at spam blocking... I haven't tested it to see if it is. The 1000MB of space though, that is nice. The email threads are a neat feature too. I don't like the look of it though.

Later: I did some websearching. This is what I found. People were auctioning gmail invites on ebay. That's ridiculous. They're free!

And, by the way, turns out people who have gmail accounts (i.e. Blogger users), each have two invites. I just gave one of mine away.

"The number of people 'desperate to get a Gmail account' makes Gmail the most awaited Internet service at the moment." - WebProNews.

From what I can gather, there's a lot of hype (duh) over what people think is going to be the ultimate email service. Google has not said when it's officially launching the service to the public, but it's guessed by various sources on the internet that it will be soon. I saw people on ebay willing to pay $38 for an account. People want to be sure that they can get the username they want. "michelle" was already taken when I signed up a few weeks ago. There are already a lot of gmail users I would assume, based on the fact that there are a lot of Blogger users, and most have two invites to give away.

There's too much hype. But I do still have that one invite left, if anyone I know wants to try it out, and you know, "get the gmail username you want," email me at michellejohnston[at]gmail[dot]com and let me know.

I Forgot

I was going to post the results of this questionaire on my birthday, but I forgot, so you get it today instead.

Many thanks to dave, Brett, Carly, Holly, and Neely for participating. My comments are in italics.

1. My blog name comes from what?
- yours or mine ? is it the noise your cat makes ?
- mary kate and ashley olsen
- Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. From camp.
- camp name Mikao = mary kate and ashley olson mkao but you added the i, cause other wise it wouldn't make sense
- Your camp name, Mikao.

2. Where did we meet?
- third IP address on the left by the domain name
- i don't think you ever actually met mary kate OR ashley.
- Though Jason Kill's page.
- in dorm, you were the cool girl in the corner room with all the wierd stuff on the walls
- Online. :)

3. Take a stab at my middle name:
- aha. so it is about you. albert ? Good guess!
- lynn
- Gracie/Grace.
- grace irene
- Grace Irene

4. How long have you known me?
- does anyone realy know anyone else ? 9 months ?
- a week
- About 1.5 years.
- 4 years ish
- almost a year.

5. When is the last time we saw each other?
- you sent me your picture last week.
- i read your blog yesterday, but i pretty sure you've never seen me at all.
- NEVER! :(
- february
- We haven't, but that's ok

6. Do I smoke?
- only when you are realy angry. and it's actually steam not smoke.
- i'm going to say no.
- No, ma'am.
- nope

7. Do I believe in God?
- is the pope catholic ?
- quite evidently, yes.
- With a passion!
- yes
- yes

8. When you first saw me what was your impression?
- dreadful colour scheme. What??? What colour scheme was that?
- the first picture i saw of you, i thought you were pretty cute.
- I thought you were nice. You'd commented on my blog.
- i don't remember ever meeting you.. you were just all of a sudden my friend..
- Well I'm sure if I do meet you, you'll be one swell person! Chuckle chuckle.

9. Month of my Birthday?
- incorrect. you were born on one day not a whole month. you have one day for your birthday and it's up to you if you want to celebrate it for a whole month. Perhaps I shall celebrate for a month... that' s a good idea. ;)
- i'm going to say september
- March? No? June?
- May (6th?)
- May.
Now you all know. :)

10. Colour hair?
- you probably don't. i did though. i used to have really long pillar box red and flamingo pink hair. then i got a job and stopped dying it. then it went thinning so i chopped it all off.
- brown.
- Darkish auburn.
- brown
- brown
It's brown, and I have never coloured it.

11. Color eyes?
- what, with food colouring or something ? i hope not.
- brown?
- Brownish? Not sure.
- umm brown i think, though i've never really checked..
- brown?
You all struck out on that one...

12. Do I have any siblings?
- i'm starting to worry now. is this some amnesia course ? you should know. ask your parents.
- i have no clue. but i'm going to guess yes, 1 brother, younger.
- Yes.
- 2 sisters, one brother, multiple cats..
- Yes, three I think - 2 sisters and a brother

13. What's one of my favorite things to do outdoors?
- come inside
- biking?
- star gaze
- camp,or bikeriding..
- Be in the prairie wheatfields, bike
All good answers. Except camp... if that refers to tents and that sort of thing, I'm not into that kind of camp... I don't like sleeping on the ground!

14. What's one of my favorite things to do indoors?
- go outside.
- knitting. or blogging My first thought to this answe was "Knitting's dorky!" But, yes, I do knit!
- Blog. :)
- scrapbooking, crafting in general
- Craft up a storm, blog Good terms :)

15. Do you remember one of the 1st things I said to you?
- no. do you ?
- i don't know yet. but i'm going to guess 'thanks for participating'.
- "Hi, Carly!!"
- somthing to do with Jacob Yodder
- Umm, nope but I'm sure you left a super nice comment

16. What's my favorite type of music?
- christian at a guess
- ooh. umm, no offense, but you strike me as one of those 'sixpense' freaks.
- Good music. :)
- the kind that makes me crazy
My goal in choosing music is ultimately to make Holly go crazy. ;) She's particularly fond of that "Dance" song by Caedmon's Call. No Sixpense though...

17. What is the best feature about me?
- you're heaven bound and want to take others with you.
- you seem like a pretty honest person, and i admire that sort of thing.
- Genuinity.
- your ears ;)
- Your genuineness and desire to be a Christlike woman

18. Am I shy or outgoing?

- secretly shy, but professionally outgoing.
- bloggers are, by nature, in front of their computers more often than most. but you seem to be fairly people-centric, so i'm going to go with outgoing.
- Shy around people you don't really know yet, outgoing around people you know. This was the best answer.
- both
- Both to some extent in different situations, I'm sure

19. Would you say I am funny ha ha or funny sarcastic?
- ha-de-ha.
- little bits of both. kinda like a ha ha sarcastic blizzard.
- I think you're funny.
- funny period
- Funny ha hah
People whom I know in real life would answer "both" probably, but people from the camp I work at would say "sarcastic." It's one of my goals to change that this summer.

20. Am I a rebel or do I follow all the rules?
- a rebellious rule follower. you improvise around the correct theme.
- don't seem too rebellious to me.
- You make things from construction paper... You rebel, you.
- deffinetly a rebel
- You follow the rules, except for that one graffitti experience

I like to think I'm a rebel, but in all truth, I don't know that I really am. People who don't follow the rules usually annoy me.

Although, when people would put up those stupid signs on the doors of the Doug Little Crossroads area at Briercrest that said "Please Use Other Door" I would *always* use the door with the sign on it, no matter what. My friend Lowana said this made me a rebel.

21. Would you consider me a friend, an acquaintance, or a good friend?
- friend.
- we're still a few steps before being acquaintences, i think.
- We are friends with potential to be great friends.
- good friend, chum
- a great online friend, thanks Michelle!!

22. Would you call me hippie, glamorous, nerdy, snobby,or something else?
- i don't know what a snobby is so probably not that. probably most hippie like of the list.
- nerdy with hippish tendencies.
- a mixture of nerdy, campy, and artsy
- All-around wonderful Christian girl
I'm definitely not hippie.

23. What phrase(s) do I use too often?
- i haven't analysed sufficiently.
- maybe.
- *chuckle chuckle*
- "everyone always says michelle your funny, no one ever says michelle your cool, or michelle, your pretty" I can't say that anymore though, Carly said I was "COOL." :)
- chuckle chuckle - it's too cute :)

24. If there were one good nickname for me what would it be?
- groovy God girl
- something canadian.
- "Chuckles."
- grace
- Mikao but if I ever met you, I'm sure I'd come up with something too

25. Are my parents still together?
- what kind of a question is that to end on ? i suspect they are. but don't know for sure.
- i'm going to say yes. oh wait, you're family isn't christian. well, i am still going to say yes.
- Yes they are.
- i just noticed i didn't answer the parents question, though i do know they are still together.. and OBVIOUSLY i knew the answers, anyone who has been someones friend for 4 years should at least know the basics
- Yes, very happily so!

Thanks for your answers, it was neat to see what everyone thought. Thanks to Michaela for the original questions.