Random Thoughts

Over-full Public Motor VehicleI haven’t written much, here. I’ve been pretty busy with life, in general. There is so much that I want to do, and there seems to be so little time to do it. It takes some time to adjust to such a different place and culture, even though we have been here before. Not only is it different than where we were in the USA, it is different in that many things have changed since I was here, last, and I’m doing a different job, here.

As I write this, I hear a flying fox outside. It seems to like the fruit on one of the trees by the front of our house. Fortunately, it is leaving our bananas and oranges alone. 🙂 Flying foxes, bats with 4-foot wingspans, are interesting animals with a distinctive flapping sound to their flight. I still haven’t gotten a very good picture of a flying fox at night, although I’m thinking that a flash camera trap aimed at that fruit tree would work… but that sounds like too much expense and trouble to go through for a picture, right now.

Since arriving in PNG, I have felt four noticeable earthquakes, none severe enough to do any damage or wake up any teenagers trying to sleep in.

Last weekend, I worked on writing a newsletter. This time, I tried something different. I wrote it using Scribus instead of Adobe InDesign. I was very pleased with how well it worked, and how little time it took me to learn how to use it. Scribus is no where near a sophisticated as Adobe InDesign, but it is also nowhere near as expensive. Scribus is free and open source software. Adobe InDesign has a price that I never would have paid just to get software to do newsletters with. (I had a copy for use in Scripture typesetting applications.) Scribus has a very simplistic story editor that serves to emphasize the fact that you should author any nontrivial length of text in OpenOffice Writer, not Scribus. Actually, you can write a decent newsletter, complete with pictures, in OpenOffice Writer (also free software). However, the layout options and precision of picture placement and much richer in Scribus than OpenOffice Writer. I was also pleased with the PDF creation options built into Scribus. OpenOffice Writer can create PDF files, as well, but it doesn’t have an option for picture downsampling and recompression like Scribus does. Being able to tweak those things really helps when trying to find the best trade-off between high picture quality and small file size. Besides, it just plain feels good to be using free/libre open source software. Some activities are just too important to be locked into expensive proprietary software.

So, why would I post a picture of a truck carrying more than a truckload of people? Maybe you’ll be inspired to agree with us in prayer for the Lord to supply a good, reliable 4WD vehicle for us to use while we are in Papua New Guinea. The road in the photo is paved, but many roads are not paved around here, and some are often impassable without 4 wheel drive.

I told you this was a posting of random thoughts, didn’t I. 🙂