I update this blog almost every day. It could be about anything: politics & current events, religion, work, geek-related materials. Sometimes I just post random thoughts.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tales Told by An Idiot...Signifying Nothing

I was trying to find a goof name for blog entries that are simply just filled with random thoughts and ideas:

I have received a lot of positive comments on how I handled our church controversy at our council meeting. It makes you wonder what the problem is, or at least it makes you wonder how many people have a problem.

I couldn't make it to the softball game on Tuesday, hence no stats. I wonder if we one...I obviously want us to win, but there is that part of me that says, "You need me." ;)

Ryan Bronkema leaves tomorrow, we are having a lunch to wish him luck on further ventures. It is good to know he will only be a few hours away but he will be sorely missed. I can't believe Jacque hired Ryan, Peter and I in the same year. What was she thinking?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Moving Times & Council Meeting

I have a couple friends who are in the process of moving. I didn't post yesterday because I was up in La Crosse helping Ryan move his stuff into a storage room in his new Residence Hall where he will be working. Some highlights of the trip:
  • Getting a $10 parking ticket (Welcome to UW LaCrosse)
  • Waiting 30 minutes to return the keys to the U Haul (You're a good man, Gus!)
  • Waiting 10 minutes to get our food in the Hardees drive through (Customer service in LaCrosse in currently 0-2)
  • Good conversation on the trip home
We managed to get back from LaCrosse with time to spare, so I was able to get to my Church Council meeting on time. When all was said and done, the meeting lasted 90 minutes and I stayed after to talk to folks for an additional 60 minutes. It was a very intriguing meeting and speaks greatly to the status of our church. This is what I know:
  • Our church has continued to lose members over the last 30 years, to the point that our church has currently 340 members when it used to have 800 members.
  • Our church is old...meaning, there are not a lot of young people to keep the church going as our church continues to age.
  • Our church has a habit of not following procedure when disagreements come up and as a result, things are made much more difficult. I realize this more now as Staff/Parish Relations Commitee Chair.
  • Our church has a habit of always looking at things negatively: money, membership, ministry. It can be challenging as a member to be positive when people jump on the negative.
You may wonder why I am a member is I am struggling with my church so much. I think we can turn the bend and I hope to play my part to make this happen. Check my other blog for more about this coming soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 16, 2007

Well, Christa and I have secured a reception hall for our wedding. It will be at the Vineyard in Appleton. Now that we have a church, a reception hall and are close to securing a hotel I suppose you can say we are holding firm to this date. I am sure I will be posting more details on the wedding as we go.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Exodus International

In a Facebook cycle of links, I found myself at the Exodus International Website. I checked the everytitan.com website, which eventually took me to the Exodus website. Essentially this website is supposed to serve as a way for those identifying as homosexual to follow a path out through God. On the outset, I struggled with the background of this website...it essentially says that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God. I do not believe this. However, I do appreciate the fact that there my be people who are again questioning their identity and they may appreciate the opportunity to talk to someone. Unfortunately, the counseling services offered by this group would be one-sided. I am curious to know what is out that their that allows for open religious counseling about thosw who may simply be questioning their sexual identity. I am certain it is not Homosexuals Anonymous.

Ugh...to be a Methodist and see stuff like this is very disheartening as a Christian.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Are You Kidding?

Send Your Global Warming Stories

Oh boy...this one is hard to comment on. First of all, you have to be convinced that if global warming is happening, it is happening at a significant rate. Second, you have to be convinced that mankind is the major contributor top this global warming. I am not convinced in either case. As a result, I find this story completely laughable.

Thanks to the Drudge Report for these two interesting links.

Just Cause?

WMDs found in Iraq

Surprise! There is now a fledgling democratic government in Iraq and WMDs have been found in Iraq. I am not at all surprised. I have been supportive of the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq, take out a known dictator and establish a democratic government. I would not deny mistakes have been made on the way in its execution, but I would never question why it all began. I realize this story will be overlooked and the Bush bashing will continue.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Softball Game #5 Statistics and Commentary

Tonight's game found me in the "rover" position, otherwise known at the fourth outfielder who plays shallow left field. I have three good catches and assume that this will be my permanent position for the season. For the game I went 1-3 and had to RBIs. The batting statistics continue to look good for the season:


Yesterday's game was disheartening because we were actually winning for the first three innings of the game. We were hitting well and our defense was superb. Ultimately, our pitching was not as consistent as before and that meant walks. We also got sloppy in catching fly balls which then led to lots of runs scored. We gave up 15 runs in one inning and that pretty much sealed out fate. We have one player on our team that has a really crappy attitude and it sucks because I think the rest of the team has a pretty high morale despite our fate in many games.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


For my small but loyal following, I apoligize for not posting for a few days. Things have been a little crazy for me. I won't get into details, but I might as some of the craziness gets settled. I assure you that I am back into my usual routine and the posts should be more regular.

This past Thursday and Friday I was in Milwaukee to stand in my friend Nick Sayner's wedding. It was really nice to see him again and to connect with friends who I have not seen in a really long time. It was nice to see Nick and Shawnta so happy...I hope they are enjoying their cruise (they left Sunday).

Tonight is our softball game. Hopefully Christa will be able to make it on time. She will be towing the line for our Vacation Bible School group while I leave to be on time for a game that probably won't start until 8:00 pm. She has been there for all my games...it would cost our team 25% of our cheering section ;).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Apartment Cleaning

Why is Jim posting at 7:45 am this morning? Well, I stayed over at Christa's last night (*gasp*) because the floater custodians were coming over to my building at 6:00 am to begin cleaning my apartment. Yes, you read that right. Each year, he have the opportunity to have custodians come into our apartments and do the following:
  • steam clean all of our furniture
  • shampoo all carpeting
  • wax all tile floors
  • clean all windows
  • powerwash the bathtub
This is now the third year that I have had the opportunity to do this and it is wonderful. What a benefit that I will not have in the future. Knowing that the cleaning folks would come right at 6:00 am and I would need to pick up things in the apartment before they arrived, I decided it would be best if I prepped the apartment the night before and simply found another place to stay. I will also be out of town for the weekend giving anything that needs to dry plenty of time to do so.

It's not the most exciting thing to post about, but I am really impressed by the fact that we receive this service.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Softball Game #4 Statistics and Commentary

We managed to play an entire game last night and we were remarkably competitive. Thus, the batting stats are much more inflated, seeing as though I had five at bats in this game.


So, let's move to the commentary. We only lost 9-8 and we played an entire game. Ironically, we actually were down a person and were only playing with 9 guys even though you are allowed to have ten. I assumed we would have done worse, but we did better. I can think of a few additional reasons why we faired better than usual:
  • We had a really good pitcher this game who almost always put the ball where it was needed and got a lot of guys to fly out.
  • Our old pitcher was able to play left field where we truly excelled and caught at least five balls.
  • All of our other players were playing in positions where they were good. No one looked like a liability.
  • We did not have any opposing batters that were left handed.
  • Their pitcher was awful and threw a lot of balls. I would say he walked at least 10-12 batters during the course of the game.
So, cheers to use for playing well, but I felt like we also had some help. I feel like our practices are finally strating to pay off. Hopefully we can keep this up. It is much more fun to play a game when it's competitive. :)

I also have to say that our opponents were some of the worst sports I have ever played against. I have never seen a team talk so much trash in a game. When I blew a throw they all laughed at me...what are we in, grade school? They got mad at us when we weren't swining at their pitches...however, if I did not move out of the way the ball was going to hit me. Sorry folks, not swinging at that. They would shout things when the ball was in the air and we were trying to catch it. The jawed at runners when they were on the base. It finalyl came to a head when one of our players got into an elevated discussion at second base. Yeah, they were bad. At the end of the game one of their players said, "If we lost to these guys, I would have cut all of your nuts off!" *sigh*

This being my fourth game, I am starting to relax out there. I think the first few games I was getting over the nerves of playing a game I had never really played competitively. Now, I feel more relaxed, especially playing first base. The fice at bats last night also had me more comfortable batting. I need to be careful not to swing at anything that comes over the plate. I could probably get a few more walks that way.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Today is a day of Kudos out to various folks who have done some cool things.

Kudos to Christa for playing softball for the last few practices or our ever-improving team. Tex, our captain, has called several practices over the last few weeks so that we can improve our skills and attempt to be more competitive in the games that we play. Sadly, our practices have not been too well attended, but Christa has helped out by throwing with us and also hitting for two hours somtimes so that we might practice fielding and catching. It has been wonderful. There is talk of sneaking her into one of our games...we could use the help :).

Kudos to Peter and Ryan for advising an amazing group of students to get NACURH 2007. That bid team was focused, prepared and motivated and those two played a key role in making sure that happened. I was simply happy to be along for the ride and see a lot of excited students and advisors when we got the bid.

Kudos to Chris CA-walish for his internship at Notre Dame. How cool is that? He's come a long way and I am excited that he has the opportunity to grow as a professional.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Happy Summer Work Day!

Today is my first day doing summer work for the Department of Residence life here at UW Oshkosh. My primary assignment will be working at the NBC Village and makign sure this first-year student initiative is ready for the 2007-2008 school year. I will also be doing work on NACURH 2007 as well.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Profession of People

Today begins a two camp stint in Breese Hall over the next two weeks. It is easy for me to look on the bad side of the summer conferences. After all, I found a sign on my car saying that if I didn't move my car from my own parking space that it would be towed at my expense. *sigh* Couple that with issuing 3 parking tickets and having my office dry erase board ruined last year and you can say that I am not always a fan of the summer conference season here at UW Oshkosh.

However, there is something to be said for having people in the building. The last week has been rather strange with it empty. I have appreciated the silence for sleep purposes, but often my motivation was low and I think it was because there was no one in the buliding. When you live in a building with 220 residents 9 months of the year you get used to it. Even as an introvert, I know that I gain motivation and inspiration for my job from the people in the building. So, it is nice to have things back to "normal".

Saturday, June 10, 2006

X Men: The Last Stand

Christa went home for the weekend and I really had the desire to see a movie. I have seen plenty of movies by myself, despite the social connotations that might be associated with it. It still seems funny to be engaged to someone and still see a movie alone. Oh well...I went and saw X Men: The Last Stand. Let's look at the movie this way.

What I Liked: I really enjoyed the new characters that were added. I especially liked Kelsey Grammar playing the role of "Beast". I also thought they did an "Ocean's 11"-like job of giving all of the major characters a decent amount of screen time. I thought the action sequences were incredible and overall there was a pretty decent story line.

What I Didn't Like: For a 1 hour and 45 minute film, it seemed very busy. With all the characters and subplots, I felt like the movie could have been longer and more developed. It seemed like many doors were open and they needed to be closed quickly.

Overall: It was an entertaining movie, what I would expect from a summer blockbuster. Grade: B.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Finality to the Year

Well, my keys are currently being checked in for the end of the year. I have completele cleaned my office of paperwork from the year so I feel like I can focus on summer projects. I originally anticipated the opportunity to work on the "Freshmen Village" project which will begin for the 2007-2008 school year. With winning the NACURH 2007 bid, it seems like I will have a split focus with NACURH and the village. I should have no lack of things to do :).

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Salem State College

At the NACURH 2006 conference, it was announced that Salem State College won the School of the Year award. As was said during the speech before the unveiling of the award, it is the highest award that a school can earn. I was very, very excited for Mathew Chetnik, Kathy Neville and the staff of Salem State College. They do some great work and I appreciate the fact that they were rewarded for it. I was honored to have an opportunity to work with Mathew and Kathy as part of an ACUHO-I summer internship. Both of them were excellent supervisors and I gained some great skills that I was able to apply to both my graduate school work as well as my work as a Residence Hall Director at UW Oshkosh. It is also exciting because Jayme Gaffke, who was once an Assistant Residence Hall Director at UW-OShkosh is now a hall director there.

Softball Game #3 Statistics and Commentary

I moved around a little bit in Tuesday's game. I started at first base and was then moved to right field because it was discovered that I could actually throw the ball. I also was struggling with a left hander hitting some real zingers at me. Here's the batting breakdown...



Sadly, this game ended in three innings. A 20 run mercy rule was invoked as we were down 22-2. The one week we were actually competitive I was not there. I come back and we get slaughtered. Argh.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

NACURH 2007 in Oshkosh!

I realize that not everyone may know what NACURH is, but regardless, it will be in Oshkosh for 2007!!!

The National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) is a student run and operated leadership organization. They host a yearly conference of anywhere between 2000-3000 delegates at a school that wins the bid to host. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh had a very motivated and excited group of students that bid for and won the opportunity to host this NACURH conference in 2007.

I will one of two advisors working with this group of students to make NACURH 2007 happen. Afte the initial excitement of getting the bid, it is beginning to set in that we have a lot of work to do. Woot!

Friday, June 02, 2006

NACURH Update 2

June 1, 2006 – I am sitting at the computer at 12:43 p.m. Pacific Time and we got back from lunch. The NACURH 2007 bid team just presented this morning and they were phenomenal. It is hard to encapsulate my thoughts at this moment. I am proud on many levels, but what is most satisfying is that they presented a strong bid, gave a flawless presentation and answered the Q&A session very, very well. From a sports perspective, they left it all out on the court and there is nothing more that they can do. It is out of our hands now and we will need to wait until Saturday.

On a different level, I was very impressed with the excitement and emotion that this group of students (and advisors) has shown for this process. Regardless of the outcome, they really accomplished something here, and even for the brief amount of time that I helped out, I am proud to be a part of this process.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On an interesting side note, during one of the rehearsals, Peter thought it would be good for the bid team to know about our advising experience in case they were asked a question about it. It is pretty crazy if you broke down the conferences we have attended, the awards we have won and the organizations that we have advised. I am pretty excited for the opportunity to possibly co-advise the NACURH 2007 conference with Peter.

NACURH Update 1

May 31, 2006 – I have yet to hear about the results of our Breese softball team. I did not play so my stats will remain stable for another week. I talked to Christa earlier this morning and she said that the senior/central staff members won the game against the CAs and PAs in the first annual Residence Life Softball game. I honestly thought we were going to lose and lose badly. So that was a pleasant surprise. I wish I could have played in the game.

I am really happy with the progress that the NACURH 2007 bid team has been making. They sounded really good yesterday and I was excited to see them finally get to practice on the stage. I think this group has some real potential. What will be difficult is that we present on Thursday morning and then we play the waiting game. We will find out the results on Saturday night at the banquet.

Done With Da Vinci Code

May 30, 2006 – I am writing this first entry from Towle Hall in Berkeley, California. We officially got into our rooms at 5:00 pm Pacific time or around 7:00 pm in Wisconsin. It was quite a day. We left from Oshkosh to leave for a flight to Minneapolis. From there we flew to San Francisco. From there we took an hour long subway trip to a stop on the subway where vans took us the remaining few miles to the Berkeley campus. It made for a lot of sitting, but also a lot of walking. I was able to get in a good two hours of solid music listening (including some recent I-Tunes downloads) as well as the opportunity to finish The Da Vinci Code.

I read the first 150 pages of the book in one sitting…I was completely into the book. I was really impressed with the clues and how the book unfolded. Unfortunately, I let the hype of the book/movie ruin it for me because I watched a History Channel special which revealed the secret of the Da Vinci code. So, what was probably meant to be the climax of the book was actually a little disappointing.