Month: February 2007

How I Acquired a Nikon FM2

Ford Country Squire

Our Ford Country Squire, RIP

Yesterday I posted a photo of my for-sale Nikon FM2. Here’s the story of how I got it.

About a month before I was to be married, the two unmarried Hertzlers boys and our parents set out for Langewood for a last vacation before we went off and changed families. Hertzlers have a vacation packing rule: The volume of items packed for a vacation is exactly equal to the amount of space available in the vehicle. We were packed to the gills with all our toys.

Just north of Madison, I dozed off in the back seat while reading my book. My dad, getting a reprieve in driving from Jim, fell asleep in the seat next to me. Between us was our toy poodle, Trixie. Soon Mom fell asleep in the front seat along with our cat that had recently been diagnosed with feline leukemia. Jim, feeling all the good vibes, fell asleep, too.

We all woke up after the loud crash on the bottom of the car and discovered we were careening over a small embankment into the oncoming lanes of southbound traffic!

Jim, always calm and collected, brought the car under control on the shoulder without hitting any of the oncoming cars. We all gathered our wits and felt like we had just cheated death.

But that’s not all.

Just to our right, up the embankment, was a good samaritan who had stopped to help us. He was flailing his hands and yelling wildly, “Get out, get out!!” This was rather odd, given that we had landed safely, but we gave him our attention and looked around for more clues.

Out the back window we saw flames approaching from the rear. Now we understood and all bailed out – all except for Mom whose passenger door was pinned against the concrete retaining wall. Jim, Dad, and I had cleared the car, and as we looked back we could see black smoke billowing out the back of the car and flames beginning to lick the back tires. Dad, the hero, ran back and helped drag Mom out the driver’s side door just as it all was about to blow. Mom, the hero to our dog, kept her grip on Trixie and managed to get her out, too. The cat disappeared, though, and we never saw her again. I’m sure she enjoyed her last days chasing mice in some nearby Wisconsin farmhouse.

We watched as the car became completely engulfed in flames a few seconds later.

The roof sagged in, the tires all burned away, and the flames reached twenty feet in the air. By the time the fire truck arrived, the flames had done their job; the car was fully cooked. It was a fitting end to this Ford which had been unreliable from the start.

Thanks to the wonders of American household insurance, we got to replace all our burned up stuff with new stuff. I walked into Creve Coeur Camera the next week and bought myself a new Nikon FM2.

I made it to Langewood that year after all, only with Cathy as my new bride – on our honeymoon.

I guess I can sell stuff here, right?

Nikon FM2 for sale

Nikon FM2 for sale. $150

[27 Feb 2007 Update: SOLD!]

In search of resources I can sell to get enough money to buy a digital camera I have my eye on, I’m selling my old Nikon FM2 film camera. For the last several months I have listed it on Craig’s List, but so far a buyer has not appeared. My ad on Craig’s List expired after 45 days, and I had to renew it just now. That’s when I got the great idea of listing it here where there is no expiration date.

So if you are interested in buying this gem, send me an email via the contact form. Or just leave a comment, and I’ll see it.

Here is the description.

Mint condition Nikon FM2. No scratches or dings. Everything works flawlessly.
Includes Nikkor 50 mm f1.8 lens AND Sigma 35-70mm f2.8 zoom lens.
Includes UV filter on each lens.
Includes IR filter and Polarizing filter.
This is a great camera for students or for photography purists!
Contact me at – use the Contact form.

P.S. I bought this camera shortly before I was married in 1988. I’ll write the story behind it in another post.

Stink Bombs

The other day Audrey asked me who my oldest friend was, the person I’ve known the longest. James is that guy. One of my earliest memories is him telling me he was three years old. He did so by holding up his first two fingers and his thumb, just like any child of European parents would do. My three year old thought was, “That’s NOT how you do three.”

This week he sent me an email with a link to the object of a prank we pulled in 7th grade; stink bombs. (You might want to skip this post, Mom.) I wish I had enough maturity at the time to enjoy all the great fallout from this prank, but instead I was just afraid of getting caught the whole time. Anyway, after James showed me the stink bomb I agreed to break it in English class. It STUNK, of course, so our English teacher went to get the Chemistry teacher to see what was up.

Mr. Petri, the Chemistry teacher, came in and gave us all a very serious explanation of what sulfur is, and the nauseating effects it can have on those exposed to concentrated amounts of it. Then he speculated that someone must have done this foul deed purposely. All eyes turned on Jerry. And since the Principal had accompanied the Chemistry teacher I was pretty much busted.

What happened next is not something I am proud of. They took me up to the Principal’s office and extracted a confession from me. Everyone has their breaking point. Unfortunately mine was not far under the surface. I ratted out my friend, James, as the source of the stink bomb.

It ended fairly well, though. They let us off without calling our parents since somehow the blame was distributed among two people. I’m not sure how that logic worked, but I didn’t spend much time trying to understand. This, I believe, is the first opportunity my parents have had to discover this event, so whatever arrangement I made that day proved effective.

And now that I know where I can buy more stink bombs…… is Go!

Lunch in Bucharest with Beni

Tom, Florin, Beni, and Jerry

Beni broke his leg, and a whole bunch of Romanians responded in faith to Jesus.

Since he couldn’t get out on campus last fall after breaking his leg quite badly, he decided to produce a Romanian translation of,

Two weeks ago the Google ads went live for this site, and since then over 100 people have indicated a decision to trust Jesus while reading the site!

Meet the Parrots

Our Parakeets

Our Parakeets

Washington lobbyists and children with pets have something in common. Eventually they wear the system down until they get their way.

First it was rabbits, then Cat, now parakeets (not really parrots). The strategy is to get the animal into some emotionally connected position in the family and then extort that position until it takes center stage. This was also how Annie and Reeses, rest in peace, became members of our family.

The rabbits never slept in our bed, but the cat did. The parakeets began in Audrey’s room, but now they live in the family room. They make rabbits look tidy.

Their redeeming quality is the nearly constant background chatter. Occasionally it gets annoying, but most of the time it’s nice.

Homework on the Roof

Cathy left me today.

She left for a week-long NILD conference in Virginia Beach (National Institute of Learning Disabilities). Throw in some good friends from Budapest who are there, a room with an ocean view, and a meal package, and this is shaping up to be a great week for her. She deserves it, and I’m happy for her. The ongoing education will keep her teaching skills fresh, too.

On the home front things really aren’t bad for me. Andrew and Audrey could take care of me rather than the other way around, if necessary. After the leftover food runs out they might be.

Anyway, this afternoon Andrew came home on his own, did homework, then went skateboarding with some friends in the neighborhood. He was in his element; friends and skateboarding.

Meanwhile, I kept busy at the office until the end of the day. I left Lake Hart and went to retrieve my daughter from our friends’ house. When I got there I found them doing their homework in the sun on the roof!

This is when I began to realize how good my life is here. My whole family is doing things they enjoy, and I didn’t have to work to make it happen. Maybe that’s just being lazy, but it was a nice feeling anyway.

And yes, they had permission to be on the roof.

Testing Photogallery Plugin

Andrew's Drawing - Vanishing Point Landscape

Vanishing Point Landscape

This is something Andrew drew last semester in his art class. I posted a photo of it on my Flickr account, and I’m displaying it here using code from Joe Tan. My goal is to find a solution for displaying photos on this site in albums rather than one at a time. My old method broke, and I can’t add any more photos to it.

Click the photo for a larger view, just like before, only now you should remain on instead of going to Flickr.

Buddy Guy’s Off Stage Blues Concert

Blues legend and Grammy winner, Buddy Guy, came to Orlando for a free outdoor concert tonight. It has been a long time since I have been downtown at night, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Cathy and I went with friends.

2007-02-17 Buddy Guy Blues Concert Rocket Launch

Blues Concert Rocket Launch

The show began with a rocket launch. I’m sure it wasn’t coordinated, but it made for a spectacular beginning anyway; something you would only see in Central Florida.

A few songs into Buddy Guy’s concert he jumped down off stage and walked around with the audience, all while playing his guitar. We were off to one side when he headed over to where we were sitting. This was at least a hundred feet from the stage, but his wireless pickup kept working. I walked next to him while he played as the crowd closed in around him. This was an unbelievable experience.

2007-02-17 Buddy Guy Blues Concert

Buddy Guy Blues Concert

Click here or on the photo to see a video of him playing off stage.

I think tonight was the most interesting thing I’ve seen since moving back to Orlando!

Later update: You can also watch this video on Click below.

Booked for Asia

The last time I was in Asia was 1999 when I went to our offices in Baguio and Singapore to work on computer networks. I just booked my second Asian trip for this spring and summer; first to Bangkok, Thailand then to Pusan, South Korea. Both are conferences where the team will be helping other parts of Campus Crusade learn how to use the Internet to tell people about Jesus Christ and what it might be like to know him.

Asia doesn’t interest me much (other than the food), so I haven’t been too excited about these trips. But going through the process of getting oriented, I see they will be fun. On the back end of the South Korean trip it looks like I will have the chance to stay a couple days at a youth hostel outside the city, and upon arriving in Seoul, I will take a three hour train ride across the country to the conference city, Pusan. I’m getting more enthusiastic about this trip! My only regret now is that Cathy can’t join me.

New Sites and are our two newest members of the family. (still under construction) will be a Polish translation of the site, and it will be led by my friend, Bartek. I am really excited about this one, as I think we will see great response from visitors. Bartek produces a student site,, which has seen as many as 500,000 visits during some months. is a Romanian translation produced by Beni, my friend in Bucharest. He set the record for fastest translation and production of a new site; 4 months. He also produces a student site,

An interesting side note: As of today, Google does not show in its results pages when you search for it, even after we purchased a Google online advertising campaign for it. Maybe this blog post will help.

Finally, a Macedonian language site is almost ready to launch, Scott leads this ministry effort and is excited about using it to help reach every student in Macedonia with the opportunity to know who God is and what it might be like to know him.

Dancing in the Park


Father Daughter Dance

Tonight was the second annual Christ Kingdom Church Father Daughter Dance at Avalon Park’s Founder’s Square. We had a great time, but it turned out different than we expected.

First, the main coordinator of this event had to leave town at the beginning of the week for a funeral, and Cathy volunteered to pick it up in her place. Cathy did a great job making this event happen, along with others, but she was pretty busy this week.

It was also different because I became the photographer. The one who was scheduled couldn’t make it, so I filled in.

The DJ’s were our ballroom dancing instructors, Bobby and Judy Chapman, and they did a great job and made it fun.

And this time I actually knew how to dance, kind of.

Beyond the Ultimate and my new job

Beyond The Ultimate website, featuring articles and streaming video from players and coaches who share their stories and talk about their faith in Jesus Christ

Beyond The Ultimate website

This Sunday, sports fans around the world will watch the ultimate game in professional football as Tony Dungy’s Indianapolis Colts face Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears.

Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, has teamed up with both head coaches and several players to create an opportunity for them to use this historic stage to talk about their common faith in Jesus Christ.

Beyond the Ultimate is a new website featuring articles and streaming video from players and coaches who share their stories and talk about their faith in Jesus Christ. There will be a full page ad in USA Today on Friday for this site, and we have begun Google advertising for the site as well.

This also gave me a new project. Our follow up site,, will be the destination to which we point all the visitors who indicate a decision to trust Christ on We added a new response form and have made an attempt at sending college students who have questions to our volunteer team that specializes in responding to students while sending other visitors to a more general group of email volunteers.

I had fun making these minor changes. It reminded me of the fun I had setting up this site,, a couple years ago.