This Christmas will be something different for me. For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a large number of technologically driven services to plan and execute. In fact, we don’t even have a Sunday service this weekend! It’s almost too quiet…

In fact, I’ve been pretty busy. January will bring a series based on movies, which means I have a 15-20 minute video to cut together each week. I’ve also been working on a click-track video set to “While You Were Sleeping” by Casting Crowns. We’ll use that one on Christmas Eve. Plus there has been the standard “getting up to speed” in a new church setting, and just figuring out what I need to fix first (and there’s a lot to choose from…lights, video, audio…it’s all broken). I’m also working on developing PowerPoint templates, sermon notes templates, and a bunch of other time-saving standardization tools. All of this to explain the lack of posts recently.

On Monday, we’ll fire up a full day of services; the good news is that I’m only responsible for 2. Upper Room will put on the 2 PM “Family Friendly” service, followed by CPC’s 4, 6, 8 and 10 PM services, and at Midnight we’ll be back for a candle-lit gathering. It’s nice not having to be there all day, but the set up/tear down/set up/ tear down thing will be challenging. We’ll be breaking out our new ETC Expression 3 light board for the day, along with some MAC 600 lights for good measure. That should be fun.

I’ve been using Media Shout 3.5 for the last few days. I have a review that I’m working on that will be posted sometime soon. It started off as a “why I don’t like Media Shout” and is turning into a “Ok, they’ve fixed a bunch of things I didn’t like about it” article. I’ve also been playing with ProPresenter. I’ll try to get some thoughts on that one up also.

It’s been about 3 weeks of working with my new MacPro (2.66 Ghz dual-dual core), Leopard and Final Cut Pro Studio 2. All I can say is, “Wow!” I’ve run across a few minor bugs and a little weird behavior now and again, but over all, it’s a great package. It’s a blazingly fast (with 5 Gigs of RAM and a 500 Gig 2-drive array), and looks great with dual 22″ monitors. Leopard is great, and I have to say I’m quickly becoming addicted to Spaces and QuickLook. Networking is also vastly improved (I had to laugh that my Macs joined the network in about 2 seconds, and it took 3 people almost 30 minutes to get the Windows computer to join the Windows network), and adding printers is a breeze.

A BlackMagic Intensity Pro card showed up yesterday as well. I bought it primarily to use the analog I/O for monitoring and ingesting analog stuff. At some point, it would be cool to use the HDMI interface for monitoring, but for now, I’ll stick with my trusty old Sony PVM CRT. BlackMagic bundles some cool software with the card, and hopefully next week I’ll have some time to play with it. I don’t have use for it, but it’s interesting that you could put 2 Intensity cards in Mac or PC for under $500 and use their switcher to switch between 2 HDMI sources and key text over it. That would be a pretty sweet little package.

Here’s a pic of my office. It’s shaping up nicely. I’m still waiting for some storage to be delivered, but it’s very usable space. Just beyond the blue wall is my office mate Steve, who until recently played Bass for Rebbecca St. James. That’s all I’ve got for now. As I said, I’ll be working on finishing up my Media Shout review, and as time allows, I’ll be posting about the new toys I get to play with in my new playground. May God richly bless you this Christmas!

UR Office