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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guilty As Charged

As I had mentioned yesterday, Christa and I have been working on getting wedding invitations ready so that we can mail them out over spring break. I am bad enough at keeping in contact with folks, but I am even worse at keeping contact information up to date. I put myself in charge of compiling all of the addresses for invites. So, I definitely had some gaps to fill. And, I needed to send out the message asking, out of the blue, what people's addresses were. I'm sure it's obvious, but I tried to mask some of my shame in being bad at keeping addresses up to date.

One of my friends was able to figure it out...but, it worked!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Brain.....About to Explode

I have officially reached the most hellish part of the spring semester for me. Over the next couple weeks, many responsibilities come at once. This happens every spring and I'm ready for it, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

Over the next two weeks, I have the following:
  • The Oshkosh Placement Exchange (OPE) - This takes place March 1-4. For this, I have to supervise the Transportation Center 19 hours, help with 6 hours or so of interviews and just generally be available.
  • NBC Village Staff Interviews - Jocelyn, Michelle & I need to conduct seven hours of interviews for folks that want to transfer to the NBC Village. We will be doing these the same weekend as OPE.
  • CA/PA Selection - We will be doing this the week before spring break, but I will need to review all of the files before selection. There are a lot of files to review.
  • RHD Selection - Ia m on the RHD selection team. More files and more interviews.
  • The Wedding - And to top it all off, Christa and I want to have invitations out when spring break starts. So, we are compiling addresses and ordering stuff so that we are ready.
It's not everything, but it's quite a list. I list these items not to look for sympathy, but more to understand that I have quite a bit going on for the next few weeks, so you may not hear from me too much or see me as much as you usually do.

Many of us in the field of student affairs are in the same boat, so they can tell a similar story. It';s the fun of being in Residence Life. Peace.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Snow Frog...Thank Goodness!

Today was not the day to run, but I did anyway. Some sidewalks were plowed, some were surely not. But, at least the snow was packable so it provided opportunities for students to build a variety of different snow sculptures or throw snow balls at each other.

During my morning run, I was running on Cherry Street and noticed that a house had decided to build a nice frog out of snow. It was different than the normal snow man and showed a remarkable amount of detail. *sigh* This was in marked contrast to the variety of snow penises that could be found on the UW Oshkosh campus.

To think our residence hall student couldn't find anything better to do on a Sunday afternoon than build a penis out of snow. I will give them credit...the detail in some of these sculptures, was, well, disturbing. Luckily, most of them did not survive the night or were covered with new snow.

Also, in case anyone was curious...I found the following the UW System Code:

UWS 18.06(27) - THROWING HARD OBJECTS:. No person may, in a manner likely to cause physical harm or property damage, throw, drop, kick, hit or otherwise project any hard object, bottle, can, container, snowball or other item of a similar nature on university lands or within or from within university buildings or facilities.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Potpourri

It's been awhile since I have gotten to write a Saturday entry about random stuff from the week. Here goes:
  • Today at noon I will join a few of the residents of Breese Hall to create our ice sculpture for Winter Carnival. We don't really have an idea yet, but I'm sure will come up with something :).
  • Christa and I will continue doing wedding planning this weekend. I have added a link to our wedding blog. You can find it in the top right corner of this blog. Check it frequently for wedding updates.
  • The AD&D campaign continues to go well. I have had many folks express an interest in joining up, but there is no room. I might consider running two different groups next year, but I'm not sure yet.
  • I need to get my car's oil changes, but I'm worried that when I take it to the shop this time they are going to find a bunch of stuff wrong with it. Oh well.
  • The Bucks lost again...surprise, surprise.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Milwaukee Sports Report

Ok, so the Milwaukee Bucks just suck. This was supposed to be the season that we saw a real turn around. The Bucks had picked up some quality big men to help the front court and you always have Michael Redd. A few injuries later, this team is now one of the worst teams in the league. It's painful...I don't even just the box scores the next day anymore. I know it's going to be a loss. I hope they keep this team together next year. If everyone stays healthy, they have a shot. That requires them all to stay healthy. *sigh*

Here's to the Brewers being a breath of fresh air in the Wisconsin sports doldrums...there's a club with a legacy of winning. Oh, wait a minute. It might be a long spring and summer. Then again, maybe this is their year.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scandal at Algoma

Last night, I attended the Ash Wednesday service at Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church. It was a joint service with First Church. I let Jocelyn Crist, friend and fellow RHD, know about the service so we decided that we would go and sit together.

Sadly, the majority of folks in attendance were Algoma folks. However, a few First folks did attend and sat around us. As they sat down, they would look at Jocelyn and I and their glance would take a little longer than usual. Jocelyn picked up on it, too. It was not just one stare, it got to be passing glances and other stares.

I should point out that Christa has a Wednesday night class and knew in advance that Jocelyn and I were going. There was no scandal (sorry). I just found it amusing that if I hang out with a female that is not Christa, it might elicit thoughts and rumors.

Or, I'm just paranoid.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Running Revolution...Sorta

I am excited to hear of the growing level of participation in the upcoming Oshkosh Half Marathon on April 21. As I have mentioned before, the 2nd floor Breese CA Mike is doing it. He mentioned to me that several of his residents are interested in doing it. My goodness, this might actually turn into a hall program ;).

With a half marathon comes training, and I am also excited to hear about other folks in the building that are running. They tell me that they have run 3, 4 or 5 miles. They have started weight lifting. I can only hope that my new devotion to fitness might in some small way be rubbing off on them.

Eric Minix, the NCC/WCC for UW Oshkosh will be joining me for my runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He started yesterday and I will say it is nice to have someone else along for the run. Conversation always makes the run go faster. Others are welcome to join us. The catch is that I run at 7:00 AM each morning, although by the time I get up and get dressed, it's more like 7:10 AM. I run Monday-Friday. Let me know!

The countdown to the half marathon can be found in the upper right hand corner of the blog. It's getting close. My schedule running is becoming more regular and I think my body continues to adjust to a higher level of activity. Hopefully by April it's ready. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The National Anthem

When it comes to the US National Anthem, I am something of a purist. Based on personal beliefs and some national standards, I believe:
  • that you should stand and remove your hat.
  • that you should put your hand over your heart and face the nearest US flag.
  • that you should not sing along. (that's just me)
  • that you should never get the words wrong when you are performing it. If you need the words in front of you, do it!
  • that you can embellish the notes a little bit. I should at least be able to recognize the melody for the most part.
This past weekend, I attended an event where someone performed the national anthem and I was honestly insulted with the performance. The singer did not really stay in key, missed one of the words and changed the melody so much you wouldn't really recognize. I was very, very frustrated. I was close to the point that I wanted to stop this individual and sing it myself. My voice might break on the high notes, but I promise you it would be sung with feeling and reverence to out country.

*steps off soap box*

My feedback to the event staff supports these feelings and I am hopeful something like this does not happen again.

Monday, February 19, 2007

WURHA 2007 Reflection

Although I had to leave WURHA right after the banquet, I still feel like I had something of a conference hangover for most of Sunday. As such, I didn't really feel up to writing an entry yesterday.

So, WURHA 2007 was a good time. I had the opportunity to present two programs on Saturday morning. One programs was about listening to music; the other program discussed more effective leadership behaviors. If a program is highly rated, it has the opportunity to be selected as a "Top Ten Program." I found out that advisor programs were not eligible for top ten.

At first I was a little frustrated about that. If my program was in the top ten, it should be in the top ten. It took my friends and colleagues Ryan and Peter to put things in perspective for me. They helped me to realize that my program possibly being in the top ten would keep a student out of the top ten. The conference is for the students.

I enjoyed being a conference guest at WURHA. I appreciated having zero responsibility and just enjoying the sights and sounds of WURHA. I also was awarded a WURHA Star Pin by the WURHA president, Kaitlin Connor. That was cool as well.

This was Christa's first leadership conference; it was nice to share the experience with her.

Friday, February 16, 2007

WURHA 2007

I have a few minutes before I leave for a consultation with the oral surgeon. Details to come...if you really want to know.

I will be leaving for WURHA this afternoon. This will be the first WURHA event since WURHA 2000 in which I will have no responsibility at the conference. I am looking forward to presenting two programs and catching up with students and colleagues at various universities throughout the state.

Before I leave, I will also be doing four hours of CA/PA interviews...lunch will get fit in there somewhere. Um, I think. ;)

Have a good weekend everyone...no post until Sunday!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Amusing Story

Thursdays are my new "long run" day on my running schedule. Today called for a 7 mile run and I mapped out a 6.83 mile run. I was making my way along the running route and was running on Main St. for quite awhile. I was looking for 20th Street, but saw a jump to 21st with no 20th. So...I ran to 24th Street hooked up with Oregon and made my way back to 20th.

It wasn't until I got to 20th that I forgot 20th stopped at Oregon; there is no Main St./20th intersection. I completed the rest of my run as mapped. When I got done, I finished the run in 73 minutes. That seemed really slow for 6.83 miles, especially given the fact that I felt really good during the run and felt my pace was pretty fast. I check the run and sure enough I only the route going to Oregon which would allow access to 20th Street.

Re-mapping the route, my run was actually 7.83 miles. That was pretty sweet.

The good news is that I felt like I could have kept running when I was done...maybe 13.1 miles is not so out of the question.

On a side note, I began my weight training yesterday. I'll keep you posted on how that's going.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Check out this Valentine's Day card (with thanks to Ashley): COOL CARD

New Book Series: Left Behind

I have recently started reading the book Left Behind. It is the first in a series of 12 books that tell a story of the Earth's last days. I am about 25% through the first book. I must say the plot line is very good and I am getting drawn into the storyline. I have heard that the plot line gets very deep and the characters are very well developed.

My only dislike of the book right now is some of the historical context that the authors lay out for the world of today. I won't go into details, but some of it is a stretch. I realize it's a work of fiction, but when you are trying tell a story of the modern world, some of their changes feel a little out of place.

If you've read these books, let me know what you think.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A New Addition

I went out for a four-mile run this morning. My pace was faster this morning that it has been for a few weeks. I am assuming that the "warmer" temperatures are allowing we to warm up and stretch the pace out a little bit. After the run this morning, I made my way over to the Kolf Sports Center on campus and did eight 100-meter strides on the track.

If you aren't familiar with a stride, you basically take half of the 100 meters and build up to a speed that is not quite a sprint. You maintain this pace for the remaining portion of the distance. I have been waiting until I built up some mileage before I incorporated strides. It is also my intent to start building in one day of speed work each week as well. Hopefully, as the weeks go by we will see some improvement in the mile pacing.

Also concerning additions, I have added a wedding and half-marathon counter to the web page. You, too, can witness the impending doom....I mean, joy! :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Reflection

It was nice to go to church this morning and be among the congregation. My parents drove up this morning and Christa was off from teaching. We were all able to sit together and enjoy the service together. It was also nice to sit down with everyone at the fellowship hour and spend some quality time together.

To know that after a refreshing church service and conversation, I had the opportunity to again get to play AD&D. This was truly a blessed day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Potpourri

So, what's been happening? Here's my opportunity to catch up:
  • Wow...Christa accomplished a lot with the wedding today. It got a little frustrating today as well. We picked reception music today, which can for two music people can be very frustrating. It's done though...and we have a good list. We are also in the process of finalizing the guest list. This is also very much a bear. I am going to create the master guest list. Good times.
  • Christa and I ate at Victoria's yesterday. It is on College Ave. in Appleton, WI across from the Performing Arts Center. They have some of the best Italian food I have ever tasted. I had the scallops with the marsala sauce. Christa has a humongous plate of spaghetti. You have to try it.
  • Gaming day number two takes place tomorrow. Excitement seemed high after session number one. Hopefully this enthusiasm keeps up!
  • Ok, so maybe it's not an overly exciting week ;).

Friday, February 09, 2007

Engaged Encounters

Coming up on March 30-April 1, Christa and I will be heading to the Fond du Lac area for an Engaged Encounters retreat. This event is sponsored through the Methodist Church and it gives couples looking to get married an opportunity to dialog about what it means to be married and it helps couples to realize that a wedding is a one-day event; a marriage is a life-long commitment.

I must say I am intrigued by this event. I had never heard of it before. In speaking with our pastor, he said it would be a great event to attend. It also means we need to begin our meetings with Steve to get things for the wedding together.

Christa and I are also using this weekend to get all details for the wedding planned. Not done, but planned. Hopefully, we'll have everything covered. :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dentist Visits Are Never Dull

I went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday. The good news is that I didn't have any cavities. I did receive some valuable information about flossing and I will now be using ACT fluoride wash. I did receive some more sobering news...

...I need to have my wisdoms teeth pulled. *sigh* My dentist gave me a referral form for a oral surgeon in the area. I will be making an appointment as soon as possible. I made it all the way to 30; I thought I could make it a little longer. I am hoping to have this taken care of during the summer when not too much is going on...we'll see.

I also still have a baby tooth. My dentist gave me a variety of options. I can leave it there and see how long it lasts. His father had a baby tooth his entire life. I can have braces to make room for the baby tooth to come out and have the adult tooth come in (painful and expensive from what I can gather). or, I can remove both teeth and have a bridge where the tooth would be. Too many options, but for now I think I'm going to keep the baby tooth and see what happens.

Dentist trips are always exciting.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reacquainting With Old Friends

After our staff meeting last night, I had a little time to kill before hall government. I thought I would try prepping for my Sunday AD&D adventure, but I didn't feel like working on that. So, on the spur of the moment, I busted out Guitar Hero. After playing Thunderhorse, Freebird and Mother on Guitar Hero 2, it made me wonder why I hadn't played in so long.

Similarly, while I was showering this morning I wonder why I hadn't started any games of E-mail Scrabble. So...I did.

I try to have a variety of hobbies. However, sometimes I get focused on one hobby that I forget about others. I think we can all be guilty of getting caught up in one thing and liking it, but forgetting about the other things in life that we forget. I suppose that idea goes well beyond hobbies and it can relate to friendships, relations, academics, etc.

I also think part of it is that I have been so busy lately, I think to myself that I don't have time to play video games. There's always time for video games.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Credit Card Debt

As I was driving back to Breese Hall last night, I heard on the radio a commercial about how you can consolidate your debt. Specifically, this company worked with credit card companies to consolidate credit card debt. The claims about savings that they were making seemed quite substantial.

To qualify for their services, you must have at least $10,000 of debt. Wow. I knew of someone who had $7,000 of debt, but I never realized people got themselves into debt to that amount.

Credit cards indeed have a corrupting power and obviously allow us to spend beyond our means.

Weight/Exercise Update

I went out and purchased a new scale last night. The one that I had was over 6 years old and I always felt like it was not very accurate. I went to Walmart and purchased a scale that breaks weight down to the 0.2 pound increments...pretty sweet. It is guaranteed accurate for 150 years.

I weighed myself this morning and I was...190.2. I was a little worried because I have been on a 6-days streak of being 193. I was waiting for the next plateau to break. It did. After my run this morning, I was under 190. I can't tell you the last time I weighed 190. It would have to be during undergrad.

So, I am definitely seeing the benefit of all this exercising. I will be beginning my weight training regimen starting later this week and into next week. I will keep everyone posted concernign the results :).

Monday, February 05, 2007


I must start off by confessing that I did not run today. I was supposed to. There is a -35 degree wind chill out there today and I had no desire to go anywhere outside today! I promise that I will find some alternative for running tomorrow because I do not want to anything like this up.

Yesterday, I had six folks join me for a session of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I had current residents, past residents, students from other halls, colleagues and old friends. It was an eclectic mix of folks. We played for about 4 hours, although the first hour was spent more in preparation. So, I am excited for this Sunday when we'll have four solid hours of gaming.

It had been so long since I gamed. I am excited to have a group together that will be playing consistently week to week. You can read more about the campaign at our Campaign Page.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Saturday Potpourri

There are a few loose ends I would like to cover today. It has been a little while since I have done a potpourri:
  • Nick coming up to visit today. He is coming to create a character for the upcoming AD&D campaign. We will also be talking a little about the wedding as well as just hanging out. It will be great to talk to him again.
  • Tomorrow is adventure #1 for the AD&D that I am starting. It has been over 5 years since I have done anything that is remotely like gaming. I am going to be rusty in being a Dungeon Master and some of my players have never played AD&D before. Christa asked if I was excited; I am now! :)
  • Today is the "Bowl for Kid's Sake". I have raised over $130 for this event. I will be bowling with other student affairs folks from UWO. It should be fun.
  • Christa and I are now finalizing the gust list for the wedding. There are going to be some tough decisions to make.
  • It's the Superbowl tomorrow. Breese is going to have a kickin' party. Come check it out!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Despair, Inc.

How's that for a title? If you are at all familiar with the Successories line of products, they are know for pictures that have a word/statement underneath the picture with an inspirational quote or thought underneath. If you work at a university or in the business world, you will see these posters and other items everywhere. To me, they are often sappy and a little overdone.


...I was excited when I found the website for Despair, Inc. It is a parody of the Successories product with a more cynical view of the working work. My favorite example is the one they have for meetings:Now that's funny. I suggest you check out the website. They are pretty funny. You can customize your own calendar, among other product options.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Calling All Exercisers!

Mike Chastain (the Breese 2nd floor CA) and I were talking about running recently and he mentioned a website that would actually allow you to map out your runs and it would tell you the distance. I did a little exploring and found a website called: mapmyrun.com.

If you run, walk or bike this website will be very helpful for you. It allows you to pick a home address and you can plot courses all over the map. You can create a profile and you can save the routes that you have created.

Mike was right...this works much better than a pedometer. :)