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, April 30, 2009

Deep Breaths

I wasn't sure when this point of the semester would be occurring. There is usually a time when the craziness of the end of the semester catches up to me and I freak out a little bit. Yeah, I've gotten to that point :).

I've had the of the year task list for a few weeks, and unlike before, I've been able to take that in stride. The preparations for Express Checkout have been going pretty good. It's when you combine one job with the transition into the new one that things get a little overwhelming.

It feels somewhat liberating to acknowledge the stress level. Exercise will help and working on the task list day by day will make things easier. This happens every year; it just took a longer for the stress to hit me.

This is the last time I'll have to deal with closing as an RHD. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ministry Update

I know many of you have been sending me E-mails, Facebook messages and have otherwise been inquiring as to where things are in the process of me becoming a pastor in a church. The placement process for pastors is a little strange. I thought I might take a few minutes to explain how this would work. At some point in the next few weeks, or months, I will get a call about a possible placement. I would have the opportunity to take the placement at which point I would then take an opportunity to meet with the Staff/Parish Relations Committee at that particular church to see if the placement is a good fit.

Given how the process works, you would not likely hear anything from me until the meeting with SPRC has been completed the both sides agree this would be a good match. I assure you that once there is something for me to share, I will certainly do so.

I appreciate everyone's concern and interest in this process. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


As with many things in life, I am late to catch on to the latest trends out there. If there's a new video out there on YouTube that is all the rage, I am the last to know about it. One of my staff members let me know about Kittens Inspired by Kittens. Apparently this has been popular for months...guess I missed out. I must say that I caught on the Susan Boyle phenomenon quicker than many, but that was because of my dad.

Just last night, I downloaded a new game for the XBox 360 called Peggle. This game came out for the PC in 2007, and several other editions have come out in the last few years. I finally caught on and started playing the game. It is addictive. Again I miss out on the latest trends ;).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back to My Roots

This weekend, UW Oshkosh will be hosting State Solo and Ensemble. They have hosted this event for a long time and I remember participating as a high school student for two years. Musicians come together as soloists and ensemble to perform for a judge that gives them a rating on their performance.

While at UW Oshkosh as a college student, I had the opportunity to volunteer for quite a few years. In my last year as an RHD, I have come back to volunteer one last time :). I was a room monitor when I was in college, and I now have the opportunity to be a runner. Sweet!

I am volunteering on Saturday and I am helping a few hours on Friday with set-up. It still leaves some time to relax from what has been a crazy weekend. We also start gaming again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Changing of the Guard

With the new Sodexo contract for UWO, there have come some changes with food options on campus. The addition of a Pizza Hut Express has been great and I think students would agree that it is a vast improvement over the Stone Willy's pizza that was there before.

Recently, there has been discussion about some changes in the food options at the Union. Apparently Burger King is on the way out. This is probably for the best, as we have had a Burger King on campus since I was a student at UWO. The question becomes, what do you replace it with?

Well, Taco Bell, of course. There are rumors circulating that this was the original intent, but it did not work out. That is a real bummer because I was thinking for awhile of how cool it would be to have a Taco Bell in the Union. Panda Express is too expensive, but that would also have been really sweet.

So...the final decision? Kentucky Fried Chicken. *sigh* I was a little disappointed to hear about this choice. The menu will be decreased from the regular menu given the size of the space they would have to work with. KFC is not the most healthy option out there (as fast foods go) and it has a reputation for right animals rights violations. Students have already mobilized a petition to stop the KFC from coming in.

I will be curious to see how all this goes down. Students didn't seem dead set against a KFC, but nor did they seem super excited. Will student activism play a role as the year closes? We shall see.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mediation on the Road

Christa had mentioned to her cooperating teacher that I attended a mediation training a few weeks ago. Her cooperating teacher is currently teaching an elective course for the 6th graders about mediation. Thus, I got recruited to come in as a guest speaker to talk about my experience.

I wasn't really thinking in advance having already committed to taking a staff member's duty night on Sunday. In bed by 12:30 AM and up by 5:45 AM. Sweet!

Having done presentation for college students over the last eight years, it was quite a switch to speak to 6th graders. I often had to catch myself and not use some pretty complex words. Otherwise, Christa was very helpful in bridging the gap to where they were at.

Hopefully they learned something and it was an interesting way to start the week.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Howdy from UW Stout!

Hey folks! I am currently sitting in a classroom in the Applied Arts Center on the UW Stout campus. I have fought a valiant battle with the wireless internet connection, and finally won a few hours ago. It is amazing the sense of calm one can receive when you have access to E-mail and Facebook ;).

I can't say I have any earth-shattering news to share, but here are a few thoughts:
  • UW Oshkosh really needs a bell tower. They are always cool!
  • The Brewers lost it last night in the bottom of the 9th...*sigh*.
  • Everything seems cooler when you see it on another campus.
  • I have actually gotten a lot of work done while sitting in the board room.
Tomorrow is going to be quite the day:
  • Church in the morning.
  • I will be spending the afternoon getting ready for the Evergreen Vesper service.
  • We have spring training for the 09-10 CA staff.
  • Then we have hall government E-Board.
  • Then I am on duty until midnight or so.
  • Then...I get up at 6:00 AM on Monday to do a presentation.
That's all for now. Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Friday, April 17, 2009

800th Post

The blog rolls on...to post 800 :). This weekend I will in Menomonie, WI at UW Stout playing the role as delegation advisor for the UW Oshkosh group at French Dip 2009. I'm not sure if I'll have internet access, but if I do, I'll have plenty of time for updates :).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Relay for Life

I was planning on participating in Bowl for Kid's Sake this semester. Unfortunately, my team for this event did not materialize. I decided that I would concentrate my efforts on an event that I have participated in three times before, Relay for Life.

There are Relay for Life events throughout the United States. They raise money for cancer research through the work of the American Cancer Society. I participated in one event at Western Illinois and have participated in the first two Relay for Lifes that have been hosted at the UW Oshkosh campus. These events present an opportunity to honor those that lost the fight with cancer, those that survived their fight with cancer, and those that want to help and find a cure.

I would appreciate your help and your donation for the Webster Hall team. There are 16 of us and each of us needs to fundraise for the event. Any help you could provide would be most appreciated.

If you would be so gracious as to donate, you can go here. Otherwise, just shoot me a message over Facebook.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Movie Perspective

Christa and I decided to watch The Neverending Story on Sunday as we continued fighting getting back into our regular work routine. When I was a kid, this movie was awesome. Now...meh. It's not to say that the movie is bad now, but it's just so much cooler when you are a kid.

It also makes me think of a TV show, Tour of Duty. When I was younger, we watched this show as a family and I was really into it. Watching episodes now, I think what a corny show it is. It doesn't have even close to the same meaning for me...

...what examples do you have of movies that were really cool when you were young, but aren't quite the same as adults?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Vacation Review

My three days removed from the rigors of work was most welcome. I will admit that it has made it difficult to transition back into the work environment. I do think that I more productive than usual because of the break. I would like to review a few highlights from the weekend:
  • We visited the Mars Cheese Castle on our way down to Gurnee. This was not an anticipated stop, but we bought some great cheese and a new beverage. If you like good ginger ale, you'll love this!
  • Gurnee Mills is just a big mall. Not that exciting.
  • Christa and I bowled at a bowling alley in Waukegan, IL that had 40 lanes!
  • We waited in line 45 minutes to get into the Shedd Aquarium. It was well worth it to Christa, who easily took over 200 pictures.
  • On the way back we stopped at the Jelly Belly factory. We bought a bag of Belly Flops, failed jelly beans that still taste good.
  • Once we got home, we watched Twilight. Wow...that movie is awful.
  • The next day we watched Defending Your Life. Much better.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Remote Post: Waukegan, IL

I write to you from our hotel room in Waukegan, IL. Christa and I had the opportunity to check out Gurnee Mills. It's a big mall with a lot of stores, but that's about it :). So, we had some extra time so we went bowling and watched a view movies on the four HBO channels we have at the hotel.

We are excited to head down to Chicago tomorrow! Hopefully we can gloat about two Brewer victories over the Cubs ;).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tying Up Loose Ends

The plan is that Christa and I will be heading out on Friday morning to take a small vacation until Easter. It's not much, but we could really use the chance to get away. We're not planning anything fancy. We'll be taking in the Gurnee Mills experience on Friday. I have been to Six Flags Great America many times, but I have yet to be to the mall.

On Saturday, we are heading down to Chicago to check out the Shedd Aquarium. Again, this is something we have known about for a long time, but have yet to check out. Whatever time we have left will be spent in Chicago, which is always exciting! :)

To get to that point, however, there is a lot of work that I need to get done. So, today will involve some extra hours to make sure everything gets done. A few other highlights for the day:
  • Mark and I will be playing Gears of War 2 tonight. I am excited to see what allt he fuss is about.
  • The beard gets shaved off for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

How Can You Say No?

There are many reasons why I love living in the residence halls. One thing that I don't like so much is that we can't have pets. I know, I know. We can have fish.

But, we would like to have a dog and a cat as a pet. So, we are hoping that we will be able to move to a house/apartment that will allow us to have both.

Christa has been doing quite a bit of research to find out perfect dog. She found this one today. How can say no to a face like that?

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Dinner at Chili's

If anyone is a fan of fajitas, Christa and I would definitely like to recommend Chili's. We have come to appreciate their food, but have also been really impressed with their service. If only they had a Chili's frequent buyers card. We would have quite a few points racked up. ;)

On Mondays they have a special with their fajitas for two being only $12.99. In addition (for you 21+ folks) they also happen to have $2.99 margaritas in a variety of flavors.

We both look forward to Mondays...perhaps you can, too!

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Christa and I watched Munich last night. Wow...that was a very powerful movie. I don't want to reveal too much of the plot, but it was not what she and I were expecting.

The movie actually portrays the response of Israel the deaths of eleven Israeli at the Olympics in Munich, Germany in 1972. I thought the movie was going to cover the Munich incident. Instead it covers a small group's missions to get back to at those who planned the attack.

The movie was very well done and really sucks you in. The acting is incredible and the dialogue is quite good. That being said, the movie is difficult to watch. It is bloody, but I suppose that is to be expected. What was really difficult to watch was how futile their efforts were. Despite fulfilling their missions, it was counteracted by the other side with more death.

I would recommend this movie, but beware...it will leave you somewhat speechless when it is over.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Shack

Last night, I finished reading The Shack.

I had heard a lot of folks in my church talking about what a wonderful book it was and when our Lenten book study was going to be about The Shack, I had my chance.

Overall, it is an interesting book. It is the story of a man's visit with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In his meeting with them, he works through the pain and sadness associated with a tragedy in his family.

My largest gripe with the book is its political slant. It is interesting to see the characterization of God that the author uses, one that is quite liberal. Patriotism is looked down on. Any kind of power is looked down on. Weapons are evil.

The leader of our book study commented about how the author definitely studied his bible. I would agree that there is a biblical context in the book. I do question some of the components of the theology outlined in the book. Even if you don't agree, it's still interesting to read and debate.

If you are curious to find out more information about the book or the causes that have stemmed from it, please go to there website found here.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's Warm Enough...

I feel as though each day we get a different season. We've managed to get up into the 50s a few times over the last few weeks and today it was 21 degrees when I woke up.

It is finally warm enough that I can start running outside again. There were a few icy patches out there, and the temperature was a little chilly. Overall, though, I don't feel uncomfortable out there. It does feel good to get outside and get some fresh air. I much more feel like I worked out when I can get outside.

Running indoors was starting to get old especially when I was trying to run more than two miles as a time. Twenty laps can be tedious and the scenery doesn't really change ;). Plus, it's easier to run indoors without all the fun elements of Wisconsin weather. I am hoping to supplement the runs with the some weight training and some core workouts.

With the stress of finishing out the year and waiting for a pastor position, the exercise will definitely do me good!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Gaming Realization

* geek alert *

As I have gotten back into playing Mass Effect, and making a more conscious effort to get into the story and the character development, I am finding myself interested in going back and re-playing games that I have including BioShock and Fallout 3. That's when it hit me. In the end, I enjoy RPGs when is comes to games. Whenever I try to play a game that is not in that genre, I an generally not all that excited about the game. Along with RPGs, I also like music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Perhaps, I am concerned that if I don't play all sorts of games, I wouldn't be viewed as a true gamer. But, I've tried Halo 3...and I suck. I'm not interested in putting in the time to be better, because I don't enjoy it. I kept trying Madden games, and they only brought overall frustration. I do feel a peer pressure to be playing the games that are popular at the time, but what is it worth if it's not that enjoyable. I'd rather get a few more achievements in a replay of an RPG than try to muscle out achievements in Halo.

I need to embrace the fact that I am a niche gamer. It will probably be cheaper in the long run, and I'll be playing the games that I enjoy.

I don't know what you call that...a geek rant?