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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Break Highlights

I had a good opportunity to relax over the Thanksgiving Break. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but the time was productive:
  1. I had two tasty Thanksgiving meals. It's just a shame that the football games weren't worth watching.
  2. Christa and I saw Quantum of Solace in theaters. It may not be as good as the previous Bond film, but it is a great action movie. The stunt sequences are some of the best I have ever seen.
  3. We also saw Hancock on DVD. Not impressed. The first half was pretty good, but then it took plot jump after plot jump and was not enjoyable anymore.
  4. I realize the Assassin's Creed is not the video game for me. I don't do well in games of stealth. It only took me one evening to realize this ;).
  5. Fable 2 freezes up on me now. I think it might be because of the XBox Live Update. Let's hope not...I have gotten pretty far in the game and would hate to have to stop playing.
  6. The Packers suck! But, DeAngelo Williams was my fantasy football RB. Sweet! 4 TDs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Building Closing

At 10:00 PM tonight, the residence halls close for Thanksgiving Break. Given that we have been in school for 12 weeks straight, the student deserve a break! They can use some time to relax and get away from the stress of school. I know I can use a break. This is one of my favorite days of the year...slowly seeing people trickle out of the building. Soon, it gets quiet. I forget how quiet a residence hall can be when there aren't any people in it :).

Other News:
  1. Wow! Did the Packers lay an egg or what? Way to show the world what a crappy team you are.
  2. I have won two in a row and have climbed to 7th place in the league. I just might be able to sneak into the playoffs!
  3. I am excited to be having lunch with Peter tomorrow. He is in town for the Thanksgiving Break.
  4. This break will be a great chance to catch up on my video game playing and a great chance to get working on the AD&D campaign.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Highlights

  1. I saw the Badgers barely beat a Division I-AA team on Saturday. I definitely enjoyed seeing the Madison Marching Band, especially at half time. I also enjoyed participating in the "Jump Around" at the end of the 3rd quarter. The game was a joke, but at least they won.
  2. Christa and I saw Shooter this weekend. Good flick! It was an under the radar movie, but we really enjoyed it.
  3. I got to help out with the church service this Sunday, sing a quartet and make a salad for the potluck. It was a busy Sunday, all before noon.
  4. Christa and I watched Empire Strikes Back on the HDTV with the new sound system. Wow...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The New XBox Live Experience

Yesterday, I downloaded the new XBox Live system for my XBox 360. It only took 20 minutes total, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Here are my brief thoughts:
  1. I sense a need to compete with the Wii. I now have an avatar that looks strangely like what is offered with the Wii.
  2. The interface is much more hip and high-tech, with lots of graphics and a fancy interface. Personally, I find it much harder to navigate. But, it doesn't have the three year old feel of the original interface.
Huh...really, that's about it. I am curious to check out the new features over the next few days. It's probably like Facebook. We hate anything new, but later get used to it and don't find it too bad ;).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shouldn't Air Be Free?

One of the tires on our car was pretty low on air...our hall custodian pointed this out to me. I stopped by a gas station on the way back from Waukau to get the tire filled with air. I thought air would be free, but it cost $0.50! I don't want to be that old guy, but I do remember a time when the air machines were free. How much money do they expect to make?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Badger Game

I am pumped! My friend Jason Renard invited me to see the Badgers play the Cal Poly Mustangs this Saturday at 2:30 PM. I have yet to see a Badger game and I have never been in Camp Randall.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back To It

Today was one of those days where I didn't have much of a chance to breath. After a full day of work in the Webster RHD Office, I ran off to three hours of CA/PA interviews. Now I am sitting in my office helping out with the pizza sale. OK...I am pretty much sitting in my office chair, playing Scrabble, but I'm here.

As the day went along, I had very random requests come up that kept me away from some of my more major tasks this week. I am presenting the book Fish Out of Water for the RHDs on Tuesday and I am starting to coordinate the application and selection process for a Residence Life scholarship.

I am definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving Break...it has been a crazy fall semester!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Sorry for not reporting much for the last few days. It was a busy week for me at work. I had a nice relaxing weekend and can report on a few highlights from the weekend that was:
  1. The AD&D group I head up actually played yesterday. It was necessarily the most action packed in the combat area, but the group can to a decision on where they were headed next. It also helps me to prepare for what is in store for them in December and 2nd semester.
  2. Nick stuck around and I got to preview some games that may be worth a look at: Fallout 3 and Assassin's Creed (which he let me borrow). We also got to play some Rock Band 2 with Christa.
  3. Christa and I got to watch a whole Packer game together. We haven't been able to do that in quite some time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fable 2 & Video Games

I have not had a lot to talk about over the last few days. Now that things have seemingly died down a little bit in my life, I felt as though I could start playing some video games. I finally cracked open Fable 2 and have played it for around 1-2 hours for last couple nights. The game is quite good! I haven't advanced too far into the story, but I really appreciate the open-ended of the game. The combat system is simple and reminds me of a Kung Fu movie; one person attacks while the others wait around. I will keep you posted as I continue playing.

Christa and I have had the chance to play Rock Band and it's been great. But, it has been nice to get back into playing other games on the 360. Making some time to play has rounded out my day and decreased my stress level, especially when I play late at night before I go to bed. I do make sure only to play games after I've gotten all other work done (It's like being a kid!).

My good friend Nick is right, there are too many good games out right now:
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Guiter Hero World Tour
Thank goodness for Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Time of the Season

The temperature is getting colder. Rain becomes sleet; sleet becomes the "wintry mix"; the mix becomes snow. Snow accumulates. Accumulated snow can only mean one time:

Jim begins growing his winter beard! (This is the point when my Mom cringes.)

In what has become a tradition since I have been an RHD were in Oshkosh, I will start growing a beard beginning with the first measurable snowfall of the year and ending on Good Friday. The weather this week is looking good for some snow. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Highlights from the Weekend:
  1. Christa's presentation at MSOE went very well. She was forced to go over time because she answered so many questions!
  2. Hamilton won their football game. Robby will get to play more football. They are one win away from the Division II Championship! Hamilton will be playing Verona next weekend. I am hoping to be able to get to go to that game. I will need to find someone willing to hold the duty phone...
  3. The Shully's reunion was a lot of fun, but it was at the end of a long day. I had the chance to meet some of the cooks that I worked for in various parties in 98 and 99. Almost everyone remembers me for making all of those Parmesan cheese cups. I did make 1,500. That's hard to forget.
  4. The church service I was supposed to do today was already being covered by someone who assumed he had the service, but never contacted the pastor to verify. So, two people were ready. He already had an organist on the way and was set-up, so it was fine with me. Christa and I got some grocery shopping in.
  5. Packers...not a highlight. Just poor play. They were lucky to even be in that game. *sigh*

Friday, November 07, 2008

Another Weekend on the Road

This Saturday Christa and I will be making our way down to the Milwaukee area. In the morning, Christa will be making a presentation at a Science Olympiad Conference in which she will be explaining the rules for the robotics competition. She has about an hour to present and she will be presenting at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

After that, we will be making our way to Mequon, WI. We will going with my parents to a 25 Year Reunion of Shully's Catering. Back in middle school and high school, I worked for Shully's serving food and doing clean-up. When I was in college I came back and worked a couple summers in the kitchen. I have great memories of that job and met some great people. Scott and Beth Shully are wonderful people and were wonderful to work for. They are also our next door neighbors in Mequon.

On Sunday, I'll be running the soundboard for our church service. After that, Webster will be hosting the 3rd Annual Webster Taco Fiesta (WTF) in the basement starting at 11:30 AM. We will have tacos and hopefully watch the Packers beat the Vikings. That afternoon, I will be leading the vesper service at the Evergreen Retirement Community.

In between all of that craziness, I am hoping to have the chance to play some Fable 2. It is look amazing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Who's in Charge?

If I have learned anything over the last few days, I have learned that I am not in charge. I have learned this lesson continually throughout my life, but only until the last few months have I been learning to let go and let God. I have become better about realizing who is in charge.

I have found that there is no point is sweating things that I can't control. Obama won the presidency. I may not like it. But it's the presidency. One person does not change the world...no matter what he or others think. He may make it a little better or worse, but the world will keep going. I have uncertainties in our financial planning, but they all work out. I get stressed, do some research, and realize we are fine.

In 1 Chronicles 28:20 it is written, "Then David said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.'"

I continually have to remind myself of who is in charge and where the glory goes. This is not an excuse to sit back and enjoy the ride. It's knowing that while we're on the ride, let's not loose sight of what's most important in our lives. God.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Reflection

I will go on record saying that I am disappointed with the results of the election. I voted for McCain and was hoping for a McCain victory. Oh well.

Barack Obama's election as president is a historic event. It is a huge step forward for America to have elected a person of color to the White House. It is exciting! What is not exciting, however, are his promises and platform.

While I respect Obama as a person, I think he is completely backwards politically. I think he has made promises he will soon discover that he cannot deliver. I think his liberal thoughts will creep up and really surprise people...although, I wouldn't necessarily consider him socialist. But he has said some things that come close. He's going to change the world? Umm...OK. But, he may have the ability to cause a lit of change with Democratic majorities...scary.

Some say we were able to survive eight years of Clinton. Others say we were able to (soon) survive eight years of Bush. I say we can survive four years of Obama. Only time will tell what he will be able to accomplish, good or bad.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Today I turn 32. Technically, I turn 32 at 6:35 PM today. Since turning 30, there really isn't any big milestone to "look forward to" until you turn 40.

It's been a good day today:
  1. I voted at 8:00 AM. I was glad to take care of that. Now we sit back and wait and see who wins. At least the advertising will stop after today.
  2. I will dining at Kodiak Jack's with Christa tonight. They offer $20 off your bill if you dine there on your birthday. That's pretty sweet!
  3. Otherwise, it will be a day to relax and enjoy.