I woke up very early this morning and went to go help set things up at church today. Port City Community Church, where Amanda and I (and Michael when he’s in town) attend, is held at Roland-Grise Middle School. Our church is a very modern one, with a band (drums, guitars, amps, speakers and all that) and audio-video equipment and an area for people to go when the auditorium is full where they can watch the service on a screen. We also tend to have different sets for different series or discussion. All this requires a lot of volunteers to build it up and tear it down each week. Once a month or so I direct the video side of it. That is, we have several camera people and I work the switcher board to pick what images get shown to everybody while trying to give general instructions to them to set up shots that we need. To be honest I hate getting up at 5:30, but it’s really fun when the music and the crew are popping.

Today was a very good service. For the past few weeks we’ve been doing what we call “going live,” which is when we show the main auditorium the images we’re showing to the video cafe. Let me back up. The video cafe is where people go when the auditorium is full or they want to drink coffee while they’re watching the service. In the video cafe there is one large screen and a smaller screen, and there are two screens in the auditorium. The two screens in the auditorium generally show words to songs and key points of the sermon. In the video cafe, there used to be only one screen, which showed whatever the video cameras showed, plus words to songs. It would also show Mike Ashcraft giving his sermon, and cut away to key points when he talked about them. Now, the two auditorium screens and the main screen in the Video Cafe all show the music being played while the music is playing.

I made that way too complicated. I don’t have the energy to go back and tighten it up though. Anyway, this was my first time directing while we were going live, and we got a lot of compliments about it. I give a lot of credit to the crew I had working today- Kirsten Ward, Emily Check, Joey Connelly and Nicky Bailey (who is convinced, without ever having read one word of it, that Harry Potter is of the devil).

I got home around 2:30 and vegged out a bit while Amanda ran out to do some shopping. She and Michael had gone to Wal-Mart after church, but she wanted to go out and get Bruce a harness and possibly get some new clothes for my high school reunion next weekend. I played some Gears of War and after Amanda got home we took Bruce for a walkto try out Bruce’s new harness. We got to the first street we turn down when two dogs, an old yellow dog of some sort and a very pretty reddish-brown Doberman, came up to Bruce. They had apparently gotten loose from the backyard of one of the houses directly behind ours and were having a good time. Bruce wasn’t too happy with them- he was showing teeth and everything, so we picked him up and turned around, heading back home. They decided to follow us though, and Adam and Renee were outside doing something with one of the cars. They had Tsota tied to a tree, and the dogs were really interested in her. Unfortunately, instead of jumping up the tree like any sensible anteater-raccoon-monkey would do, she tried to run, which wrapped her tighter and tighter around the tree. Adam and Renee were able to get Tsota and put her on a branch of the tree while I helped untangle the mess.

We walked Bruce back to the house the dogs came from and they followed, although they showed some common doggy ADD while doing so.Bruce was more relaxed with them at this point, so he didn’t mind being the bait I guess. As we were rounding the corner the owners pulled up, apparently on their way home themselves, and tried to get their dogs to follow them, but they still wanted to follow Bruce and another dog that was out there being walked. It was like a damn doggy parade.

The weather, by the way, was beautiful again today. I heard that it might be snowing on Wednesday or Thursday though. Some ginormous cold front sweeping in from Missouri or some such.

Duke played Miami at 5:30. After a 0-2 start to the ACC play, which hasn’t happened since the 1995-1996 season (that’s all I’ve been hearing about lately) they really needed a win. I’ve got to say, what I saw out of the Duke Blue Devils today was awesome. Yeah, Miami’s not a great team, but they do have a couple quality wins. Duke actually played some killer offense tonight- 81% shooting in the first half! Jon Scheyer had a career high night and Greg Paulus lit it up from three point land. He played with a lot more intensity than he has been for a while too. There was a lot of rotation and it was just an overall very good night. Duke won by twenty-two points and scored the highest they have since their season-opening game against Columbia. Now, if they can just carry this though for the rest of the season….

Zach Dotsey