Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How I spend my time...

Arggh!!* Has it actually been a month since I last posted???

Well, no, just 28 days -- if you count that brief snippet I swiped from Mark Cuban as a post. But still, it has been a while.

So what have I being doing with myself since the last entry here? Well, lots of things, but here are the main ones:

1. Singing with Swedes.
2. Burning myself.
3. Repairing chasms in the Earth's crust.
4. Building Walt Disney World.
5. Helping a village in Uganda.

"Yeah, yeah, Wombat, sure you have," I hear you saying. (Yes, I can hear you where you are. Yes, you. Stop looking around, you can't see me.) But those things are all certifiably true. (Where does one go to certify such things?) Here are the facts:

1. Singing with Swedes. The Vocal Majority had the honor of hosting a men's chorus from Sweden, the Entertainmen, in June. The Entertainmen were traveling to compete in Nashville at the international convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society, but wanted to come to Dallas first and spend some time with the VM. Apart from rehearsing together, we got together with the Fort Worth chorus, the Texas Millionaires, and put on a show for each other. The Entertainmen were wonderful, fun, and sounded awesome, and a good time was had by all. It gave new depth to the society's anthem, "Keep the Whole World Singing," when the three choruses gathered together at the end of the show to sing it.

2. Burning myself. Two hours, blazing Texas sun, outdoor swimming pool. Yes, I did use sunscreen -- SPF 45 -- but roasted a bit nevertheless.

3. Repairing chasms in the Earth's crust. Okay, I may have exaggerated this one a wee bit. My house is blessed with a big yard -- although I say "blessed" with some degree of sarcasm because of the care it takes, especially since yard work is not my favorite thing in the world. And my big yard does not have an automated sprinkler system. Or any sprinkler system, for that matter. So, it is dependent on me to give it the water it needs, poor thing. If my neighborhood held a "brownest grass" competition, I'd take first, second, and third places.

I'm finally getting my act together, but only after cracks started to show up in the dirt large enough to swallow a minivan.** Since I'm making up for lost time, I'm hoping that I can get it almost back to normal before any watering restrictions kick in. (It's also possible that I could be the cause of watering restrictions. I can just imagine the conversation between city officials: "The reservoir's water level has dropped a foot in the past day! What's going on?" "Oh, Wombat is trying to rescue his dry yard.")

4. Building Walt Disney World. From the comfort of my computer chair, I might add. My wonderful family got me this incredible train simulation program, Trainz, for Father's Day. It comes loaded with all sorts of scenarios and geographic areas to explore, and you can drive all types of trains or just order them around and watch them run. You can also create your own worlds, molding the landscape, adding trees and buildings, and laying tracks. It's like a virtual model train kit.

Some brilliant person with too much time on his hands actual used the program to create the Walt Disney World monorail trains and track as a add-on to the program, along with the Contemporary Hotel -- the giant toaster-shaped building that the monorail runs through.

What he did not create was Walt Disney World itself, for the monorails to run in. And so I (a less-than-brilliant person but still with too much time on my hands) (when I'm not singing with Swedes, at least) have taken it upon myself to recreate Walt Disney World within the program, or at least the parts of it that the monorail runs through -- over 3.2 square miles of theme parks, roadways, trees, lakes, and parking lots! I've had to learn a lot, particularly in the area of 3-D object modeling, but it's fun and interesting. (And it costs much less to visit this Disney World!)

5. Helping a village in Uganda. This one's serious. I haven't gone over to Uganda, but my family has just begun sponsoring a child through World Vision International. Nabiiru is six and lives in the region of Kyalulangira*** in southern Uganda, a location which my church has adopted as a missions focus and which is at the earliest stages of World Vision intervention. It's amazing how much impact $35 a month can have in an area where people have almost nothing, and I certainly can do with one less time eating out each month if it means making a difference! My boys and wife and I are excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to hearing from Nabiiru and seeing the changes that are made in his life. Check out the World Vision link above to learn more.

So, you can see I keep busy. Almost enough, perhaps, to excuse not writing here. So... what have you been up to???

*Pronounced "Arggh."
** I'm exaggerating again. The cracks would barely swallow a moped.
***Pronounced "Arggh."


Darren said...

Trainz eh? I want that. I thought I got it, but it is a smaller, cheesy version of it. Yes, I want it just so I can drive the monorail. When I finally get my hands on this, you MUST send me your models so I can enjoy them as well!

So, is it fun driving the monorail?

BRWombat said...

It's awesome, ktulu! One of many cool things about Trainz is that they maintain an online library of user-created content -- so theoretically I could add my creations to it for anyone to use! Either way, for sure I'll make it available to you.

Check on SGT soon -- I plan to post pictures of this tomorrow or Friday.

The Strange One said...

Yes, ktulu, I agree with my dad when I say it is pretty cool, but it does get kind of boring when Wombat wants to show me every new building that he has made. Though he is almost done with EPCOT.

BRWombat said...

Hey, it's not like I strap you down to a chair and force you to see every building. Okay, I do, but you could probably get out of the knots with a little effort.

Darren said...

strange one, is he like "this is a porta-potty that is backstage and viewable from a sooper sekrit satellite photo visible to those who work in some sort of government function!"

Tell him you want a 4-4-0 American on the Monorail route, pulling the holiday blue with the lilly belle :)

BRWombat said...

Ooo, wouldn't that be cool! And then I could model the interior of the Lilly Belle, and ride around in it at night while enjoying the park. And then I could model the entire Wishes fireworks show!

Or not.