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, December 30, 2008

XBox 360 Gaming Update

Over the last few weeks, I have had the chance to rent a few games and catch up on some of the recently released titles. Here are my brief thoughts on the ones I've been able to get my hands on:
  1. Army of Two - Dumb...the "aggro" concept is difficult for me to master. Draw attention to you so that your partner and do other stuff. I got frustrated by the second level. A little to out there for me. I would not recommend it.
  2. Call of Duty: World at War - I am glad that I only rented it. I thought the single player campaign was pretty cool and visually stunning. It seemed like a best of CoD 3 & 4. There was not a whole lot of new content there. I thought the achievements were skewed a little to the hard end, with each board being completed on the hardest level netting 30 GP. The multi-player options look good, but there are no achievements associated with them. Overall, go for me for five days.
  3. Left 4 Dead - So far, I like this game. Simple mechanics and mass carnage. Playing this with three other folks on-line is priceless!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mequon Update

I write to you from Mequon, WI. I am hanging out at my parent's house for the weekend! The Christmas celebration was great, with three meals of great food:
  1. Breakfast in Oshkosh (eggs, bacon, hash browns and homemade waffles :) )
  2. Lunch in Mequon (prime rib!)
  3. Dinner in Sussex (ham, pot roast and lots of other food)
I did get some wonderful gifts (and many gift certificates). Christa and I are also proud of the gifts that we got for others.

My mom had an avulsion fracture on her foot. The swelling had gone down, but it is still pretty painful and she will have more tests to find out exactly what is going on. Prayers would be appreciated so that her recovery might be as quick as possible.

I have appreciated the time to relax, with some reading and video game playing sprinkled in. My Dad ran an internet cord into the guest room, so I am able to use XBox live while I am at home. That is pretty cool!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Filing Updates

When it is -2 degrees outside, it's best you stay indoors. I started work on it this weekend, but over the course of this week and the next I am going through my personal files, updating and throwing out. An emphasis can be placed on the throwing out part. It's time to make room for more files :).

Otherwise, Christa and I have been utilizing our Netflix account and have been watching about a movie per day. It's working out great.

We will also be finishing our Christmas shopping today. Sweet!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Post Semester Report

Hey folks! I know it's been awhile. The 14-week fall semester is over and UWO students now have a three week break until the three week fall interim. If they don't have an interim class, they have a seven week break! As a 12-month employee, I need to take vacation to have any time off. I will be taking the next two weeks off, but decided to do some work this week.

I would definitely say that motivation has been a struggle as there are no students around, but I have been productive in working ahead in working ahead on items that would have otherwise needed to be taken care of during interim.

Christa and I have officially signed up for Netflix as our two week trial has run out. I think being members of Netflix will allow us to watch more movie for less money. We really enjoy watching movies and we appreciate the flexibility Netflix offers. also having the option to watch movies instantly with the XBox 360 only sweetens the deal.

This Sunday, I will be participating in the performance of a Bach Cantata at our church service. I will be performing the bass solo and singing with the choir. Even though I haven't been able to sing in the choir throughout the semester, I was able to make the last few rehearsals because school being over. It has been nice to be back with the group. If my schedule isn't quite as crazy on Wednesdays, perhaps I can sing with the choir in the spring semester.

When I got the red ring of death on my XBox and had it fixed, they gave us a free month of XBox Live with it as well. I attempted to use it for Christa's account, but her original account got corrupted. We created a new one and we have been able to play Rock Band 2 on-line. She is going to rent a few games and try them out on the 360.

Having the next two weeks off will definitely free up some time to play some games that have come out recently. On my to play list:
  1. Fallout 3
  2. Call of Duty: World at War
  3. Grand Theft Auto 4
  4. Left 4 Dead

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fun Time

I saw a friend do this on Facebook. It is posted here and on Facebook. Feel free to to post a comment if you can name the song and an artist(s).

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: For those who are guessing -- looking the lyrics up on a search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own.

1. No one knows what it's like to be the bad man.
2. Someone's knockin' at the door, someone's ringin' a bell.
3. Very superstitious, writing's on the wall.
4. Please allow me to introduce myself; I'm a man of wealth and taste.
5. The place where nobody dared to go, the love that we came to know.
6. I don't mind stealin' bread from the mouths of decadence.
7. The sun shines, people forget.
8. No I can't forget this feeling or your face as you were leaving, but I guess that's just the way the story goes.
9. In the town where I was born lived a man who sailed the sea.
10. Don't go changin', tryin' to please me, you never let me down before.
11. I know when to go out. I know when to stay in. Get things done.
12. Never know how much I love you; never know how much I care.
13. Seems I got to have a change of scene, every night I have the strangest dream.
14. It's very far away, it takes about a half and a day to get there if we travel by dragonfly.
15. When you were young and your heart was an open book you used to say live and let live.
16. I hear the train a'comin', it's rolin' 'round the bend and I ain't seen the sun shine I don't know when.
17. Risin' up, back on the street, did my time, took my chances.
18. Darlin' you've got to let me know.
19. It's been such a long time, I think I should be goin'.
20. There once was a musical troupe, a pickin', singin' folk group.
21. I have a mansion forget the price; ain't never been there they tell me it's nice.
22. Happy, and I'm smilin', walk a mile to drink your water.
23. Really don't mind if you sit this one out.
24. They say we're young and we don't know, won't find out until we grow.
25. I lived alone, my mind was blank; I needed time to think to get the memories from my mind.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

24 Hours from Now...

...Webster Hall will be closed. The 14-week fall semester will be over. Students (and staff) will get a three week break. Granted, I'll be working next week, but it will be a different kind of work. It will be an opportunity to clean my two offices. It will be an opportunity to begin (and finish) projects that have been pushed back. It will also mean a well-deserved two-week break where I can re-charge my batteries and think about fall interim and spring semester.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The CC Situation

I figured that CC Sabathia would not be signing with the Brewers. When we signed him last year, most of us knew that he was a hired gun. He was a player that would give us the extra push that we needed to make a playoff run. This goal was accomplished! But you figured he would go where the money is.

There were rumors that he wanted to live on the west coast, where is building a home for his family. I heard that he wanted to play in the National League where he could bat as a pitcher, something he is pretty good at doing. I also figured he wanted some serious cash, as he is probably the most sought after pitcher in free agency.

This is what I didn't think would happen:
  1. He would sign with the Yankees! Boo...the most hated team is baseball.
  2. That any player would get signed for that much money.
  3. That apparently what was important to him was all less important than making a boat load of cash.
Well, the Brewers can't compete with a seven year, $161 million deal. There's a recession going on?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fantasy Football Ends...

...well, at least it ends for me. Despite a furious attempt by DeAngelo Williams, who gained a whole bunch of yards and 2 TDs on Monday night, I lost in the first round of the playoffs 112.5-110. That was rough.

Again, though I feel as though with DeAngelo Williams, Thomas Jones & Tom Brady as my keepers for next year, things are looking pretty good! We'll see.

Other News:
  1. So we did get hit with quite a bit of snow. It should be fun digging my car out of the snow bank.
  2. The 14-week fall semester ends in three day. Yippee!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Two Monday Random Thoughts

There is a big storm coming through Oshkosh (and elsewhere) tonight. The predictions keep getting bigger and bigger. They are not up to 11-14 inches of snow. They started with 3-5. Every time they predict a big storm, it is usually quite underwhelming. I'm guessing 2-3? :)

The Packers lost again yesterday. For the second week in a row they had a lead or tie late in the game and gave it up. I was ready this time...I was not surprised. The Packers play just good enough to stay int he game and then find a way to lose. They have major issues to take care of on defense. Geez!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Redeeming some credit card points, Christa and I received a $25 gift card to Chili's. We are big fans of Chili's so we decided to use the card last night. Christa got back late from rehearsal and I was going to hang out with someone later, so we wanted to get up to Appleton quick.

We got there, ordered our food. I wanted to see how much cash I had in case our bill went over $25. It was then that I noticed that I did not bring my wallet with me. I flagged down the waitress and let he know to hold our order until we could figure what we could order that would stay under that dollar amount.

The manager happened to stop by when he saw our worried and faces and asked us what was wrong. We explained our situation. He said that because we were so upfront about what happened, that he would comp the cost of the meal to fit within our $25 budget. That was wonderful! We felt bad about the situation, but we really appreciated what they did.

It took a awkward situation and made it much better. It also secured our business with Chili's! :) We plan on sending a letter to their restaurant and to the corporate headquarters letting them know our appreciation.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My House Is Worth What?

Last night, Christa and I were sitting down together watching television. I was waiting to leave to hang out with my little brother and she was relaxing from taking her exam. We were watching the Home & Garden Channel, a channel I do not watch often. Specifically, we were watching a program called My House is Worth What?

In this show, homeowners have their house assessed because they usually are interested in putting it up for sale. They talk about how much they paid for it and also talk about the improvements that they made to the house. A expert real estate assessor comes in and gives them a theoretical sale value.

What disturbed me the most was how much these houses were going for...most were valued at around $700,000-800,000. Now, I realize that some of these houses were in rich neighborhoods, but seriously...

...who needs a house that big? And most of these folks were interested in getting a bigger house. I just don't understand. I realize we all need shelter, but can't it just be a matter of finding what meets our needs as opposed to purchasing a castle? I also realize that houses provide equity, but how much do you really need?

I wonder what Jesus would say to those who have houses so large. How might some of that money be put to better use?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

In what was really a formality in my ministry candidacy process, I received the endorsement of my home congregation to continue being a ministry candidate. The vote was unanimous and did not involve much discussion. I was touched that the pastor leading our Charge Conference (annual meeting) said that he would highly recommend me :). Granted, he is the pastor that leads my bible study class.

One member of our church said that we should vote no so that Christa and I could stay as members of the church. That was also very moving for both of us. Having E-mailed Gordon (the District Superintendent) with my placement preferences, I now play the waiting game.

I go before the District Board of Ordained Ministry in April to have my candidacy (hopefully) renewed. Let's hope by then there is also a church placement in my future.

Other News:
  1. I did make the playoffs for fantasy football. I am the seventh seed. I play the second seed, and I think I match up well. First round upset anyone?
  2. I trying out the weightlifting thing again. I am tired of running every day. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fantasy Football Update

In what can be described as fantasy football hell for the first few weeks, my team was in deep trouble:
  1. Tom Brady went out in week one with a season ending knee injury.
  2. Willis McGahee has totally underperformed and now doesn't even start for the Ravens anymore.
  3. I traded Reggie Wayne to get a starting QB, Philip Rivers.
Those were my three keepers! Needless to say, it was a scramble to put a team together. Over the course of the season, things have gotten better and I will win three in a row if finish our regular season. I am pretty sure I will make the playoffs. I think I already have my three keepers for mext year settled:
  1. DeAngelo Williams - Had a big year. Had 4 TDs last week!
  2. Thomas Jones - With Brett Favre, he has had a great year!
  3. Phillip Rivers - Decent year statistically...the Chargers have just sucked this year.
The match-ups for my players this week are favorable. We'll see what happens in the first round of the playoffs.