The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes Live Stream Bible Study

I am trying something new, a live stream Bible study, filled with life applications and biblical storytelling techniques. Classes will be half an hour long and enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. The first class begins May 15, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. EST on the J.S. Brooks YouTube channel. All are welcome and invited to join. Subscribe to the channel and keep up with all the classes from the comfort of your own home, wherever that may be.

Check out the details at:

For the most concise instructions on joining the live-stream Bible study (book of Esther first), see:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How To Live Stream On YouTube - Start To Finish

I'm getting ready to try something new and need to review this when I have more time. I will be providing a live stream Bible study for those who are time challenged. It will be available live at a particular day and time and then will be uploaded to the Lansdowne Baptist Church blog site for further viewing later. The working title right now is Beyond Loaves and Fish: Bible Study Live Stream. As I say, it's a work in progress. It will be on the J.S. Brooks YouTube channel. Subscribe now if you're interested. In the meantime, I need to study some more.

For more details, see:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rail speeder cars tour Parksville

Just learned about these trips for the first time near Pottsville, PA. Here's a different tour. These folks all own their own old railway maintenance vehicle, the "speeder cars" and they tour with them on flatbed trucks, get to the railway they will use with permission, unload the speeder car directly onto the track and off they go. There must have been 20 lined up for the PA tour. They use flag signaling, keep a set distance from each other, are trained (there is a manual), and carry insurance. I had no idea.

New Adventure: Live Stream Bible Study

We are told to learn new things, try new things, and to have no fear of failure.

So, I'm going to boldly go into the land of live streaming on YouTube. Why YouTube? Because I have a channel there (created for other reasons originally).

How do you do that?

You state your intention to live stream to YouTube and they either agree you should or tell you you can't for a variety of reasons. Within 24 hours, I learned that I could. Then things got interesting. You can't just go to the Creator Studio, hit Live Stream, and go. I discovered I needed a program called an encoder. I found OBS was free. That caught my eye. I downloaded it and was stumped by a key it asked for. By then it was late, so I left that off until the next day.

Then I remembered how a friend in seminary was always saving money repairing his car himself. He did it by watching YouTube "how to" videos. Sure enough, there are brilliant how to videos on You Tube about how to get that key number and start live streaming. I paused the video many times (it was only 6 minutes long) to make sure I was correct in each step.

When finished, I was able to make two private experimental videos that actually worked. Two more videos and I had the OBS system formatted properly for my needs (I'm not playing games via computer).

At this point, I have enough to use my volunteers to see if they can find the live stream at the appropriate time and communicate with me on the Top Chat section. If that goes well, we're ready to run.

As one wise volunteer said, "It doesn't have to be perfect to start. We'll walk toward perfection together." Too true ... to be sure, it will be a long walk.

Still, new adventure begun. Learning lots. Still need to pick a title for an evening Bible study people can join from their own kitchen with tea or coffee, that will be recorded and others can watch later, plus will provide much in the way of application to the modern day. Hmmm. Suggestions, anyone? First Bible study will be the book of Esther, the Game of Thornes of the Old Testament. Life lessons will be learned and applied.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New High Point: 1800

Well, following the blog post about scaling the highest elevation in the state of Delaware, J.S. Brooks Presents scales new heights. We have just passed 1800 posts since we began.

Always celebrate the small milestones. Enjoy life, enjoy the journey, enjoy everything that goes into your creative work.


Thanks for coming. Thanks for reading. Come back soon. 

Highest Elevation in State of Delaware

After my wife and I found the highest elevation in the state of Indiana, I headed out for a new and lower low. The state of Delaware has a much lower highest elevation than Indiana, a mere 447 feet and change above sea level.

Finding Indiana's high point was a whim while we were on vacation. It was well marked with multiple signs guiding us to the site. On the way home, we sought out Ohio's highest point but failed as it was not nearly as well marked. We realized some research would need to be done to be successful. I did my research online and discovered the highest elevation in Delaware was the Ebright Azimuth, just over the southern Pennsylvania line just off of Naaman Road.

To be able to use a driving directions program, an address was required. These elevations don't have one. A little more research showed a high school was just down the street on Ebright Road from the Ebright Azimuth. That gave me all I needed to succeed. Some photos of the locale online also showed me the lay of the land.

Interestingly enough, recent Lidar findings show that there is a slightly higher elevation of 450' above sea level in the private community by the radio tower (built in the late 1940s). So, now we have two down and 46 to go if we want to cover all the contiguous 48 states. We shall see. I wonder where New Jersey's highest elevation might be? How about West Virginia's?

For more information, you can check: and It turns out the Ebright Azimuth also has a Facebook page!

To see what started all this, see the Hoosier Hill post:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Falcon Heavy Test Flight

This was one heck of a test flight and a major accomplishment with a showman's flare! I don't know what was the biggest eyeful, a Tesla convertible leaving earth orbit or the synchronized landing of two booster rockets on SpaceX pads at Cape Canaveral. What a day that was! Now eagerly awaiting the BFR (Big "Falcon" Rocket).

Perspective: Dung Beetles and Us: Frederick Buechner Quote

I follow Frederick Buechner on Facebook. He offers up some powerful perspectives on Christianity. I found this particularly useful for keeping us in our place.

"Theology is the study of God and his ways. For all we know, dung beetles may study man and his ways and call it humanology. If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated. One hopes that God feels likewise.

Have a blessed day and adjusted perspective. 

Hope for Spring

Three nor'easters down and another on the way. We're getting twitchy in the Northeast USA, and not just about news out of DC. So, we grasp at any straws that float our way on the snow melt saying spring is coming. The snow drops and crocus are giving us hope. So, I'm going to share. I do this every year. Reminds me I'm alive and warmer weather is coming. Hope it gives you hope too, wherever you are. 

Hobby Time: Wiring Complete

Last pictures until I have something really new to show. The wiring is now complete. This provides more satisfaction than I thought it would. Then again, I rarely do much wiring. The process is fascinating. You think you are doing one thing ... but that one thing is full of countless decisions you have not actually anticipated (in my case I've been around long enough and done enough DIY repair around the house to have all the tools required). For instance, how to corral all those wires once they are in place. Where do they go? Over the surface of the control board or beneath it. How are they held in place, wiring staples or cable organizers (I went with cable organizers and ended up using more than I had imagined. Now everything works and is squared away. As you can see, at least one old control unit (blue) will need replaced. It is an easy matter with this system.

For now, old fashioned straightforward wiring is working just fine. I don't see the wireless system in my immediate future. For now, lots of landscaping and modeling work to do. Lots more decisions to make. It will all begin with track tweaking and graveling. Onward! A whole lot more time spent not worrying about work, politics, the future, etc., etc. Wishing you all luck in your hobbying endeavors.

For more detail on the wiring, see: and Watch it evolve.