Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm pretty sure this:

is absolutely brilliant.

Well done, McCain. Well done.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here it is!

Here's the video from last weekend. Enjoy!

(the dancing starts at 3:34)

We Are Family from Dave Hartland on Vimeo.

In other news, I am looking forward to what will be a beautiful moment this morning down at the courthouse as Chrissy becomes the lawful daughter of Justin & Juli (she already is considered as such in the eyes of everyone else). She's great...and makes a great addition to an already awesome family! Praise God that Justin and Juli have chosen to give this beautiful child (and by child, I mean almost college-bound) a much-deserved chance for love, happiness, and success. She is also getting the opportunity to fall in love with Jesus for the first time in her life -- and that rocks. I love that they are doing this. It's like an incredibly happy story or movie -- only, it's happening in real life. I get teared up even thinking about it...

Like my wife said, we are heading to South Carolina this weekend to visit my daddy. He doesn't know yet, so please don't tell him. He turns SEVENTY (70) ::gasp!:: this weekend. I'm so excited to surprise him tomorrow!

Enjoy your holiday weekend, folks. Labor Day?! Seriously!? Wow. Doesn't it just seem like Memorial Day or 4th of July? Heck, doesn't it seem like it was just Christmas?!

By the way, speaking of Christmas: only 119 more days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Screenshot Hilarity

I took some random screenshots of the video I was working on for church this past weekend. Here's a sampling of some of the hilarious craziness that occurred during the shoot.

I'll hopefully have the video online within the next day or so!

An Expensive Winter?

As if we needed anything else to worry about, the Farmer's Almanac has released it's 2008-2009 winter forecast. It is predicting a "numbingly wild and cold" winter for most of the U.S. and especially around the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast. Now, of course as an avid winter enthusiast, I am completely and utterly stoked by such a prediction. But Peter Geiger, the almanac's editor, stated, "This is going to be catastrophic for millions of people." Of course, he is referring to the astronomical rise in oil prices (read: the cost to heat your home) since last winter and how a frigid winter may affect people this year.

For now, I'm just going to assume, hope, and pray that oil prices go down to $15/barrel by the start of winter so that gas is $1.10/gallon and our monthly gas bills are under $30 during the winter months. So, if I keep that optimistic and positive attitude, I will not feel guilty about the fact that I am excited for a "numbingly cold" winter up in these parts.
And yes, I know that it is the Farmer's Almanac. BUT, they do claim 80-85% accuracy. I'd say those are pretty good odds. :-D

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cold In August

...and I'm not talking about the weather. I'm talking about the cold that has overtaken my body over the last 24 hours. In my humble opinion, coming down with a cold when it is hot outside is the worst feeling in the world. Can I get an amen to that? Ugh.

I did have a fun weekend though. On Saturday, Danielle, Candace, and I went out on the lake with Aaron, Kelly, and the boys and had --hands down-- the most enjoyable afternoon of the summer thus far. We sailed out to a beautiful sandy beach at the tip of Presque Isle that I never knew existed (even though I have spent 24 of my 29 years here) until yesterday. Seriously, it was pretty much like being at a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. And I'm not even exaggerating. At all.

At this little spot of paradise, everyone pretty much just anchors their boats in the water and either gets out and wades to the beach, hangs out on their boat, or swims in the water next to their boat. For us, we swam for a while, had a BBQ on the beach, and basically just hung out and enjoyed the perfect weather. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera, so I have no pictures.

People who are close to me know that I can be a very fussy and hard-to-please individual (I'm not proud of that, by the way...). So when I say that Saturday afternoon was one of the best afternoons of my life, it goes without saying that it must have been a pretty dang awesome afternoon. I know that living in Erie has its ups and downs, but afternoons like Saturday make me realize how wonderful this place really is.

We completed our awesome Saturday by taking a little drive out to the White Turkey drive-in just over the Ohio line in Conneaut with Brian & Rachel. For anybody reading this blog that is currently residing in the Greater Erie area that has not been out to this place, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW AND GO. Well, unless it's after business hours...then wait until tomorrow. Anyhow, this place rocks my socks off. And when you go, get a root beer float (unfortunately, I'm not a fan of root beer...but I still highly recommend this treat because everyone I have ever gone there with gets it and loves it).

On Sunday at Grace, we experienced yet another incredible service. Mike delivered an awesome message about family. I love all of our teaching pastors. They all have wonderfully unique preaching styles. But for some reason, Mike is the only one that consistently makes me cry. Today was no exception. Awesome job, Mike!

What a great weekend!

Ok, time for some Nyquil. Night, all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Nice Evening

On Sunday, my friend Justin asked me if I would be willing to sub on Monday for somebody who is unable to complete the season on the Grace men's golf league. Derek has asked me about a thousand times to sub for him in the league, but I never did...mainly out of fear, I suppose (sorry, Derek!). Reluctantly, when Justin asked, I agreed since he said I would be playing with him (I generally fear unfamiliar social situations). I fretted about it all afternoon on Sunday and all day on Monday. I kept thinking I had made a terrible mistake, as I hadn't been out on a golf course in nearly two years.

Even as Justin and I were making the trek out to Elk Valley Golf Course in Girard, I was extremely nervous about how stupid I was going to make myself look in front of a bunch of guys who have had a whole summer of practice. Before tee-off, Justin and I hit some balls at the driving range. I immediately felt how grossly out of shape I was. I mean, I know it's golf and all...pretty much the laziest sport there is (besides baseball)...but I really felt it in my arms and my back. I was beginning to worry even more about how I was going to look in front of these guys.

It was finally time to tee off. My heart was pounding as I prepared to drive for the first time in two years with about 15 other people looking on. As the driver hit the ball, I was sure that I was going to make a spectacle of myself. I was sure the ball was going to go in the woods or in the water. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and followed my ball to a relatively safe spot just right of the fairway. My first drive was a success. Unfortunately, my next shot went right into the water. But so did Justin's. And so did Bob's (Bob was the other guy in our threesome). Instead of getting upset over losing a ball, we actually laughed about it because we all did the same thing.

As the evening continued on, I realized that I was having a great time. I had some incredible shots and I had some horrible ones (although, the only ball I lost was --ironically-- in the water on the first hole). I was with two other guys who also had some incredible shots and some horrible ones. I began to realize that my fears were completely unfounded.

What had unfolded was a perfect late summer evening. The sun was setting, the temperature was perfect, and --most importantly-- we were having loads of fun. The best part? Being part of intergenerational fellowship. There were 20-somethings playing. And there were 80-somethings playing. In fact, in my own group was myself (29), Justin (27), and Bob (between 70 and 80). I loved it.

Playing last night made me realize once again how much I genuinely enjoy golf. I grew up living on a golf course and, as one would expect, golf was a huge part of my childhood. As I grew older, though, golf became more of a luxury for me.

I am happy to say that I look forward to next Monday and, although this season is nearing its end (snow will be flying in less than two months, folks), I will look ahead to next spring when the league starts up again. Who knows? Maybe I'll actually do something I would have thought unthinkable a mere day ago: join.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My clock goes faster than yours

So, during the last week of July, I started working on a budget for Danielle and I for the month of August. I stayed up until 4am two nights in a row on July 30 and 31 to have it ready for unveiling on August 1. But I still wasn't finished with it on August 1. Now, it's August 12. The month is half over. And still, I have not completed a budget for us. I feel like it's not even worth it this far into the month.

I absolutely cannot believe how fast time is flying by.

The kicker is that I don't even have a full-time job right now. No kids. Not even a dog or cat. Or a fish.

So, I ask myself, "where does the time go?"
I'm still trying to figure out the answer.
By the way, it's only 134 days until Christmas.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I forgot to breathe for a few seconds...

I'm not a fan of the Olympics. That is, until last night.

Ho-ly CRAP! How amazing was this?!


Friday, August 08, 2008

just a season?

I had a good conversation with a friend last night. He and I talked about how thinking all the time has the capability to completely and utterly wear you out. Not only does it wear you out, but it also makes you numb. Numb to good, numb to bad, and numb to common sense. It's a very scary place to be, but I think that's where I am right now. Numb and tired. I'm constantly thinking, worrying, planning, wondering, and wandering. I'm worried that I won't ever be able to pull out of this deep funk I am in; that these are the cards I've been dealt and that's it. Every morning when I wake up and every night as I fall asleep, I am fighting what seems to be a losing battle.

It seems that everyday, Danielle and I are bombarded with more and more bad news. It's been a difficult season to be in just feels like we are being punched in the gut over and over and over and over again. And then when we're down and bloodied, we get punched in the gut again. Ah well, "it's just a season" they say. I certainly hope it is. But sometimes, I wonder if it's just the way life is always going to be?

Meanwhile, as I complain about what I perceive as 'difficult' happenings in my own life, all around me there are marriages crumbling, families falling apart, parents burying their children, and so many more horrible things that don't make any sense. I try to remember this and I try to put things into perspective, but -honestly- at the end of the day, it's still really hard for me to smile. Perhaps the combination of my own personal struggles combined with the intense pain and unspeakable sadness that those around us are dealing with is creating the perfect storm for my ever questioning mind.

So yeah, I'm tired. And I'm numb. But I'm praying that God brings me through this season. I just don't know how long I should pray before I think about giving up.

It's not that I don't desperately want to win this battle and win this war. But if you are fighting a war without end, what point is there in fighting the battles?

Monday, August 04, 2008


I found this while visiting my niece's Facebook page over the weekend. It tickled me:

Friday, August 01, 2008

YouTube vs. Vimeo

Although I'm not crazy about the interface of Vimeo, it has a clear advantage over YouTube in terms of picture quality.

Compare the latest video from Grace, a trailer for "The Awakening"; Grace's August sermon series.

This is YouTube:

And this is Vimeo:

The Awakening [trailer] from Dave Hartland on Vimeo.

It is obvious which one is better. My question is whether the ugliness of Vimeo's interface should be a factor in deciding whether to begin using it. Hmm. Thoughts?