Mother’s Day 2019

This picture, worth nothing monetarily, is one of my most treasured items in the world. It has been in my wallet for almost 20 years!
The story of how I met Sonnie and how God kept his promise of me getting married before the age of 30 (we got married a month before my 30th b-day) is a story for another day, but today, it’s all about the motherhood.
Our kids were born with a genetic defect – every developmental stage was delayed. Throughout our lives in California, Sonnie spent most of her waking hours taking care of them, driving hundreds of miles a week to/from specialists; physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, doctors. She massaged their legs, administered their exercise routines daily – all these on top of taking care of her mother who lived with us.
The kids’ cognitive development eventually normalized, but their legs never did, but one thing is for sure. If Sonnie didn’t do all that, Joseph and Jonathan would have been much worst off.
Superheroes are real. They do not live just in comic books and silver screens; they live right among us. They might not leap tall building with a single bound, or dodge bullets, but they are much more powerful. They don’t need infinity stones. They shape the world the way we can never imagine. They are our everything.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all. God Bless.


Upper Room

Filming and editing an Easter Special web series in Jerusalem this week.
This is The Upper Room, where the Last Supper took place, where Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. It is also the place where the disciples gathered in fear after the crucifixion, where Jesus appeared again before and after the resurrection. It is the place where Jesus revealed his wounds to Thomas, to be seen and to be touched. It is where tongues of fire appeared, filling the disciples with the Holy Spirit.
It is a place where it symbolizes who we are, what drives us, where we are heading.
It is a place that reminds us that the truth sets us free.
It is usually packed with tourists, but we were lucky enough to get there before the rush. It is a must-see place when visiting Jerusalem.


Senior Picture Day

Today was the Senior Picture Day. It was the first time I ever burned through the whole 64GB SD card in one session! 🙂
95% of these beautiful young men/women are going to continue their education after graduating in June. That’s probably one of the highest rates in the country, if not the world!
Most importantly, they are going to take their Christ-based educational values with them wherever they go. They are going to change the world, just watch and see..


School Spirit Week

The School Spirit Week just whipped by, and it consisted of dressing up for a different theme each day. Out of hundreds of pics shot, these are my favorites from each day.


Cotton Candy Car

A few treats are better than freshly spun cotton candy – warm and sticky, airy and fluffy, right from the back of the candyman’s car! Notice the generator on the roof, a machine in the trunk – ingeniosity never stops even with no Amazon/Walmart nearby! 🙂


Learning from Dogs

Stray dogs are common around here. They roam, scavenge, and breed if they are lucky. Puppies, especially the weaker ones, regularly get left behind.
These two pupsters probably weren’t, but they refuse to leave their dying sibling’s side.
Animals might not have spirit, but their souls are often more compassionate than ours. We could learn a thing or two from them.


Technical Aspects of Editing

This one is the best episode out of nine so far, when it comes to technical aspect at least.

1. The original audio had lots of wind noise, despite the deadcat windshield. Izotope audio plug-in software did a nice job removing almost all of it, but the narration sounds a bit tinny and digital. Like all other aspects of video editing, it will get better with practice.
2. Drone flying is getting smoother, especially with manual camera movements.
3. Google maps animation enhancing the narration.
4. Color grading is more natural, mimicking film. It took 8 nodes (layers) to achieve the look, but heck, whatever it takes! 🙂
5. Bible verse references help the narration move along nicely.
6. Lots of b-rolls!
7. Accompanying graphics – simple yet effective.
8. Low light drone footage with video noise removal and heavy color correction – takes a long time to render, but it looks pretty good for 1/25 shutter speed with minimal natural light.
9. Narration – good mix of history and Bible stories.
10. Mimicking the “Star Wars” speeder biker chase scene footage (1:22), but through the palm trees! 🙂

Sewage Line Blessing!

When you are out of shape, any hill becomes a major obstacle. There is no such thing as ‘runable’ flat stretch of land around here to get you started again. BUT, then, there is this – a newly constructed sewage line that stretches out for more than a mile. It’s like a custom made flat trail just for me! Oh.. the city of Beit Jala/Bethlehem or whoever is responsible, you have blessed your people in more ways than you know! )


Coffee Culture

“Sir, where could I find some banana trees?” I asked using a combination of broken Arabic, English and lots of body language.
“There, right down the road, about 5 minutes. Would like some coffee?”
“Yea, sure, on the way back, in about 20 minutes.”

This is how it is in Palestine. Every encounter is an opportunity to share a cup of coffee/tea, to see, to hear, to reflect.