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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A New Frontier

The Brewers will be playing their first playoff game in 26 years...they will be playing the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs. The folks at ESPN aren't giving the Brewers much of a chance. Everyone seems to think the Brewers will lose the series. Some think CC might game one game for Brewers, but otherwise it will be quick.

It's probably the correct assumption. The Phillies have more talent all around and have much more security when it comes to pitching.

The Brewers felt a lot of pressure this season. Last year, the Brewers surprised people. This year there was an expectation that they make the playoffs. They took the next step this year. The pressure is off. Let's hop they can actually relax and not tense up in the playoffs. Players are swinging for the fences...they must be patient.

If the Brewers can play relaxed and have fun...who knows they may just surprise a few people.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Turning Point

On Sunday, I was given the opportunity to lead the vesper service at the Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh, WI. The pastor who regularly leads this service told me that it should be no longer than 30 minutes and let me know the items that I needed to include in the service. This was the first time I took an opportunity to lead a service that I put together myself.

The process of generating a sermon, the proper prayers, hymns, etc. wasn't all that bad. What concerned me as the retirement community/nursing home environment. I wasn't sure how I'd react or how I'd be received.

Everyone there was so nice and accommodating while Christa and I were there. I was most touched by a comment that a lady made as she was leaving. She said to someone next to her, "It was so nice to be able to go to church today."

She said that about something that I led. I wonder sometimes how people feel about the services that I preside over. She didn't say, "Well that wasn't very good." She acknowledged my service as a church service, just like any other she might attend. That felt really good! I am really appreciating the opportunities I have to help with churches in the community.

It has me increasingly excited for July 2009 when I will hopefully be starting my own church appointment.

Other News:
  1. I will talk more about the Brewers playoffs prospects tomorrow. Needless to say, they are in after a 26 year drought. My parents had tickets for the game and were there on Sunday!
  2. It felt to get out this morning and do some interval training on the track at Oshkosh North.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Playoff Baseball

I have said before that I don't follow the Brewers all that much, but I have kept tabs on the team and recently have been checking the score and catching games when I can. Lat night, Christa checked in on the game while playing Rock Band 2.

It is scary how close the Brewers are to actually making it into the playoffs. With a win this afternoon and a Mets loss, they are in. They are one game up on the Mets in the wild card race.

If they do make the playoffs, they wouldn't play the Cubs in the first round (thanks, Jason). So, it could be interesting. I won't get ahead of myself. But it would be nice to see a Milwaukee team in the playoffs again in my lifetime. The Bucks get to the Eastern finals in 2000. I am wondering when something like that will happen again.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Can't Win

To concentrate on the problems with the economy, McCain has suspended campaign ads, campaign fundraisers and has asked to postpone the first presidential debate. He wants to concentrate on working with Congress and the government on figuring out what we can do to improve things...it's looking pretty bad.

I honestly can't tell you whether this is a genuine move on his part...or, if this is a way to pander to voters showing he is a "maverick" and will put the country first in comparison to Obama. What I do know is that people jumped on this one way or the other and totally take it too the extremes: McCain is a hero! McCain is going to lose, he's getting desperate.

I want to think he's genuinely worried about the economy. He should be. As one analyst pointed out on the CM POTUS Station, this situation is way more important than an election.

I suppose we'll find out the merits of his move. Will it help the economy? Will it help his election?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Think I'll Come Back

My first journey into the world of Group Exercise at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center was not all bad. Sports Conditioning lasted about an hour and had me doing a bunch of drills working areas that would not otherwise be worked while running. By the end, I was exhausted!

My instructor was surprised to see a guy at the session. There were only two of us there; the other person there was another RHD :). Maybe we can motivate more people to go.

There are two other classes I will be going to over the next few days. Hopefully, they will be a good complement to my running routine. If anything, for every 10 sessions you go to you get a free smoothie!!

Other News:
http://www.wptz.com/news/17539127/detail.html - This has to be the most disgusting thing I have read in awhile. Do they think people will actually take them seriously? Or, do they do this for the sake of being bizarre and different?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Small Victory

Thanks to a strong performance from Phillip Rivers, I managed to eek out a victory in fantasy football this week. Even at 1-2 I am now again in the cellar of the league. Four of my players are on a bye this week, so it might get even uglier. At least I have gotten any thoughts of an winless season out of the way.

Other News:
  1. The Brewers start up against the Pirates tonight. This is a team that they could easily sweep. If the Mets continue to struggle against the Cubs, they might be back into it. I should be more excited about the Brewers still being in the hunt for the playoffs. What curbs my enthusiasm is the fact that even if they do make the playoffs, they will play the Cubs right away in the first round. Ouch!
  2. I am trying out the Group Fitness classes at the SRWC Center this afternoon. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I'm Looking Forward to This Week:

Here is a list of things I am looking forward to this week:
  1. Getting preparations ready for gaming on the 4th of October. Maybe I'll finally get a post on the blog. People are curious.
  2. Seeing what the Brewers can get done this week. The playoffs are still possible. Can they do it?
  3. Seeing how the Packers do against the Buccaneers this Sunday. The Battle of the Bays is back! :)
  4. I do my first church service at the Evergreen Retirement Community. Their vesper service is at 4:30 PM on Sunday.
  5. On Thursday we are having a Staff Development which will consist of us gathering together and enjoying pizza. How fun is that!?
  6. After a break today, I will get back to running. I am hopeful to keep these workouts out for the rest of 2008 and see how my fitness and weight change. I am sprinkling in a few exercise classes at the Rec. Center as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Fox Cities Half Marathon

At 8:00 AM this morning, the gun went off for the Fox Cities Half Marathon. This is the first time I have run this course, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The first four to five miles felt good, but I thought I was going a little fast. My goal was to try and run the race in one hour and 45 minutes.

As I got to the eight mile mark, I started to feel labored and my pace fell off a little bit. By mile ten, I found a nice gentlemen who let me know my time and I realized I was pretty close to the time that I was looking for.

When I got to the last mile, I just didn't have much left in the tank. I tried to do a kick, but I only had the energy to keep my current pace going. Based on the website, it appears that my time was 1:49:50. That was the time from the gun, but I know that I didn't get past the starting line until well over a minute after the gun went off. I am curious to see if they post a different time based on the chips. We'll see.

Regardless, it is a PR for me and that is good! :) The Oshkosh Half Marathon is in April and the Green Bay Marathon is in May. I am hoping to do both events!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pirates in Our Pants

Not sure what that's about?

That's the name of the band that Christa and I play in for Rock Band. We kind of like Rock Band...a lot...and through the "World Tour" mode, Pirates in Our Pants has gained over 38 million fans. On XBox Live, that puts us around 3,600th on the overall rankings. I'm not completely sure what that means. One thing I can tell you for sure is that we play a whole lot of Rock Band :).

Christa and I are excited to pick up Rock Band 2. We're not sure when we are going to make that purchase, but we look forward to trying out that World Tour Mode as well. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Fantasy Nightmare

I have participated off and on in fantasy football leagues, all of which are based on internet drafts. For the second year, I have participated in a league where we have a live draft. Last year, I finished in second place during the regular season and did decent in the playoffs. Things were looking up for the second year. We were able to keep three players from our team. I kept Tom Brady, Reggie Wayne and Willis McGahee.

Needless to say, the season has not gone well do far:
  1. Tom Brady hurt his knee and is out for the season. Brady accounted for the majority of the wins I got last year. He had 50 TD passes.
  2. DeSean Jackson decided to showboat early and ended fumbling the ball on the 2-yard before he actually scored a TD.
  3. Willis McGahee has not played in the first two games.
I am 0-2 and I don't see things getting all that much better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Fox Cities Half Marathon

This Sunday I will be running in the Fox Cities Half Marathon. I have been training for months to get ready for this race. I will admit that Residence Life training and opening has made a few weeks more difficult, but I feel good about the race.

I have finished the Oshkosh Half Marathon twice so I know what I am up against. The weather should be at around 70 degrees, which shouldn't be too bad. It's the rain that I'm worried about. The race starts at 8:00 AM. If you're up that early, pray for me :).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A New Venue

This morning, I led the worship service at Waukau United Methodist Church. It was the first time I led worship there. It went very well! The group was very welcoming and Christa and I enjoyed our time there. A few quick thoughts:
  1. I got to do a children's message on the fly. That was interesting. We talked about pizza toppings, it worked.
  2. Although I developed a manuscript for the sermon, I often deviated from the script and it went very well. I need to learn to use an outline more.
  3. I inspired a few people to learn more about John Wesley. Dr. Colyer would be so proud! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Strange Experience

I killed my first Player Character (PC) today. No...don't freak out. This happened in our AD&D game. I am not guilty of any crimes, but it does feel weird. In our adventure, the party has been battling their way through a very difficult dungeon cairn in search of a very valuable item. This item is very secure and not meant to be found. I warned the folks in advance that character could possibly die in the process.

Saying it is one thing, but when five characters don't survive and only took make it, it breaks up the dynamic of the day's adventure:
  1. How do you continue? You can't. So, we ended two hours early. We filled the time with other games, but it seemed awkward.
  2. Those whose characters died wonder what will happen. Can they be brought back to life? Are they dead forever? Regardless, they wait weeks to find out.
  3. How do things start again? How do you bring this group back together with any confidence?
In any video game RPG, this happens all the time. But, with the save function you can always start at the last save point. And, it's usually just you. This is a whole group.

I suppose in the end, it's not a big deal, but it was a new experience for me. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tropic Thunder

So, I realize my Facebook status said that I had a lot of work to get done on Thursday night. I do have a sermon to finish for the church service I am presiding over at Waukau UMC. I am also doing another AD&D adventure this Saturday. I got some of that work done. But, I had an idea.
Christa and I have been trying to find a time to see Tropic Thunder. See decided tonight would be a good time to do it. The work will get done...eventually.

Popcorn and soda cost $13.00. $13.00!!! Yeesh...I like Regal Cinemas, but that is a little out of control when that almost equals the cost of the movie we are going to see. I did throughly enjoy the movie. Outside of the actors in the previews, there are some great roles played by mainline actors that were also priceless. Some of the humor is crude and minorly offensive, but still somehow funny.

If you have yet to see it, do so.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Go Crew!

I must admit, now the NFL has begun I have not maintained as clear a fix to the Milwaukee Brewers. When last I checked, they are 4.5 games behind Chicago in the Central Division in the National League. It is a shame the Brewers have been playing crappy when the Cubs have been playing crappy. This would have been a great time to make a run.

The Brewers are playing a four game series against Philadelphia, a team only four games behind them in the wild card race. Now would be the time to put them away. Be careful for Houston, who has won five games in a row and is also only four games out of the wild card race.

There are only 16 games left and the Brewers, if they keep winning, can make it to the post season. Twenty five years since they made the playoffs. I will be seeing the Brewers play the last week of the season. Let's hope the game is meaningful!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


At yesterday's A/RHD staff meeting, we had a lengthy discussion about calendaring systems. As RHDs and ARHDs, we are being asked to utilize iCal through Apple for calendaring purposes. It will be a new venture and a little weird to get used to and may cause some frustration, but I think it is something I can manage.

We spent quite a bit of time talking about it, and it helped me to realize something:
  1. No matter our quibbles with technology upgrades and technology change, we are truly blessed in our computer access and computer upkeep. It is amazing at how current we are with trends. It also can cause some headaches.
  2. It's gonna be a tough transition when I move into a church environment and no longer have the computer technology that I do now. I will probably be lucky to have a computer with access to the internet. I doubt I will need to worry about what scheduling program I use. Heck, there were colleagues at licensing school that talked about congregations where no one has an E-mail account. Yikes!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Safe Until Sunday

Well, the Packers managed to win the game last night. Although not a resounding victory, it was a victory none the less. The Packers have a few things to work on:
  1. Way too many penalties...the first few drives were killed by penalties. A penalty also called back a touchdown.
  2. Getting beaten in coverage a few times. There was a sure touchdown that a Viking wide receiver dropped that could have been a touchdown. I appreciate the desire for man to man coverage, but it leads to pass interferences penalties and getting beaten on coverage.
  3. Offense was a little slow. Rodgers managed the game and didn't make mistakes, but they also did not generate a whole lotta yards. Like the Superbowl, they needed a big special teams play to put it away.
On the plus side:
  1. Rodgers looked poised and calm in a high-stress game.
  2. The defense was solid overall, but was on the field way too much due to a lack of offensive production.
  3. The wide receivers did well and look to be in rhythm with Rodgers.
  4. Favre who? Just kidding...
We can enjoy the victory until Sunday. Let's hope the Packers don't have too much trouble with the Lions.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tonight's Game

I am curious to see how the Packers do in tonight's game against the Vikings. If the pre-season is any indication, they may be off to a slow start. I think the defense is pretty solid, the running game should be OK. A lot of the Packer's future rests in the hands of a QB who has not started a single game in his career. He is backed up by two rookies. Wow...

If Rodgers can have a halfway decent game (and season), the Packers could do great things. If he struggles, the team struggles. The defense can only do so much. It's so hard to predict the game, but I just don't see the Packers coming out on top in this one. But, I hope they do!

In fantasy football news, Tom Brady was my team savior last year and is likely out for the season this year with a knee injury. This could spell major trouble for my team this year. Two of my keepers from last year did not play! Argh.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Now, A Day to Catch Up

Yesterday was a fun day, today was a day of chores. Don't get me wrong, I will be watching the various football games today. I already saw Favre play quite well in his Jets debut. I also saw the Brewers get destroyed by the Padres.

Today has been an opportunity:
  1. Do the laundry
  2. Clean the apartment...which was never cleaned in the month of August. It was a mess!
  3. Catch up on some stuff related to gaming.
  4. Catch up on spiritual discipline stuff.
  5. Pay bills and other paperwork items.
It's not all done yet, but hopefully it will be. It will make it much more pleasant to start the week.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Day of Leisure

I was able to do something today that I have not been able do to in a long time. I had a complete day of leisure. With training and licensing school, that has been about impossible.

I woke up when I felt like it (still at 9:00 AM) and watched TV and slowly got things ready for gaming. I DMed a AD&D adventure until 5:00 PM, went out for BBQ at Pearson's Pig and Poultry in Oshkosh and then played Last Night on Earth until a little while ago.

After church tomorrow morning, I will have the chance to watch football all day, while cleaning the apartment and working on small tasks throughout the day. It will be nice to come into the week with the batteries recharged.

One of the things I am trying to be conscious of this year is having enough time for myself. I want to be able to exercise, pray and practice my spiritual disciplines. It means sacrificing things that were important to myself and others. The hardest thing to give up was choir. The choir could probably use me and it's not a big commitment...but choir was frustrating and energy draining. I have decided not to be in church choir. I will probably get flack for it, but oh well.

I have also cut down on committee and other outside involvement with my job. As I transition into a new career, I don't feel the same drive to excel in the field of student affairs. I still care about my job, but it is not the focus of my life.

Hopefully this becomes a theme, more centered in life with less stress.

Friday, September 05, 2008


While I was at Licensing Schoo in Dubuque, I heard a few of the folks talk about how they incorporated fasting into their spiritual disciplines. They would fast until 3:00 PM. I thought that seemed reasonable to try some time.

Today was the second time I tried it. I first designated Thursday, but that's my long day for running. It's hard to run nine miles and then not eat until 3:00 PM. Fridays fit better into my overall schedule :).

It's about 1:15 right now...I should be able to make it until 3:00. It's amazing how much you think about eating or snacking during a day. I fended off many opportunities for chocolate...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Weekend...Yay!

I can't tell you how excited I am that the NFL season kicks off tonight. In fact, as I write this the Giants are beating the Redskins 13-0. Usually games not involving the Packers didn't matter all that much to me. Thanks to Fantasy Football, many games become important. I have the Giants defense...so far, so good!

On Sunday, there will be three games to watch on TV and two games on Monday, one of which is the Packer game. Here's to hoping that the Packers can beat the Vikings. Should they lose, I can always try for a fantasy football victory.

In addition to lots of football, the AD&D group gathers again to continue adventuring. I am excited for this as well. It should be a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Reunion with the SRWC

My membership to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the UW Oshkosh campus started up again today. It felt good to get in there and lift some weights.

It should work out well together with the running.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tweener Day

The Tuesday after move-in is always an interesting day at UW Oshkosh. Classes don't start until tomorrow, so people have way too much time on their hands. There are packs of students wandering all over campus, figuring out where their classes are, checking out Taste of Oshkosh, or doing who knows what else.

For me, it provides an opportunity to catch-up on tasks that I did not get to during move-in. I think I finally have the office the way I want it to be...sooner or later I need to get started with the real work of my job. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Countdown Day

It is returner student move-in today. The nice thing about today is that people move in at a pretty steady pace and, more the most part, they know how they process works. Unfortunately, they also skip steps and make things difficult. We may have a few disgruntled people that won't be able to get into their bathroom tonight!

Hopefully by around 4:00 PM today we should have almost all of our folks moved in. It can be loud at times, but it will be nice to have the building at full capacity again.

I hope everyone out there is enjoying a relaxing Labor Day Weekend. I do appreciate the irony that we move in about 1,500 students into the halls on a day that traditional celebrates relaxing from the labors of life :).