Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Blog

I just wanted to let everyone know that we are doing a blog that is directed specifically toward discussing our ministry at Wheeling Jesuit! Karen Leuthold, (the other CCO Campus Minister/Area Coordinator here at WJU), Rachel and I are all going to be updating the blog on a regular (weekly) basis. Go there to check out our most recent posts or just see what it looks like! I'm posting a link to it on the sidebar, but here's the url if you want it:

See you there!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nice Weekend

I went home this weekend. It was a very welcome break. Rachel and I left campus around 10:30pm on Thursday night and drove home. We dropped off one of our students at John Carrol, and got to my parent's house around 2:30. We opened the door and little gizmo's collar started shaking and rattling from my parent's room. So, we walked down to the dark end of the hall, and opened the door. Out burst the two dogs, Gizmo shaking and standing up on her hind legs-reaching her paws high and then stretching toward me, Molly wandered sleepily down the hallway into the kitchen.

We let the dogs outside, and then brought Gizmo back to our room to go to bed. The next day we woke early, played a bit with the dogs, and I worked on carving a circle, two inches deep and ten inch across, into a stump on the back porch. When I finished, I dug up a tiny crabapple tree, snipped off the tap root, and snipped the top off and stuck it in the little "pot" I had made. I sprinkled dirt around the root, and watered. In fifteen or twenty years, it'll be a true bonzai tree. That is, if it doesn't die this spring.

The weekend was nice. We relaxed a lot, and I taught Rachel how to play Backgammon. She smoked me the first time we played, and the third time, and the fifth time.

We also played a few games of Settler's of Catan. That was nice. I love sitting around late at night playing that game in the kitchen with my mom and brother. It was a lot of fun for us.

The drive home Sunday was nice as well. I got to spend some good QT with my friend Damian who agreed to take me home. He stopped at Mom and Dad's house Sunday around 3:45, and after Mom and Dad left, we made pork chops. We thawed the chops, and butterflied them and seared them on one side. Then, we put cloves of garlic on top of the pork chops, and on top of that we spread a mixture of spinach, farmer's cheese, sea salt, crushed peppercorns, thyme, parsley, sage, olive oil, and freshly grated parmesean cheese. We then put it all in the oven for twenty minutes or so and had dinner with a bowl of corn and green beans. It was really yummy.

After dinner, we drove home. We took route seven which winds down the Ohio River most of the way into Wheeling. So that was nice. It was dark by the time we got to the river, but the river at night is pretty as well. The whole way we drove the lights from Pennsylvania bounced and bobbed in the river. And we saw a handful of smoke stacks with huge fires bellowing out of the tops. It was strange to see--just enormous blue flames raging out of the tops of the smoke stacks. "We're going to see a lot of those burning." Said Damain as I expressed my surprise again.

We talked a lot. We talked about stuff in his life, and stuff in my life. We talked about living in a college dorm, and being a music therapist. We talked about our friends and how its strange being friends but knowing deep down inside that you're going to relocate one day. It was a good talk. And it was a good way to end the weekend. We had three days of comfort, quiet and normal. Coming back to the blur of things here in Wheeling is going to be hard after that very quiet weekend.

P.S. we found these glasses in our Settler's of Catan box. I think the last time we played was either at my parent's house, or Rachel's parent's house. So, if you're missing these glasses, please just let us know and we'll get them back to you.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mimic Bird

It takes a minute for you to realize just how freakin' unbelievable this bird really is, but watch the whole clip. If you aren't amazed, I'll give you your money back.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Al Gore and C-SPAN

It's 1:45 in the morning. I couldn't sleep, so I migrated to the couch and turned on the tube. I changed the channel and saw Al Gore on the television. I finished watching "An Inconvenient Truth" a while back, so I wanted to hear what he had to say. It turns out, the US Senate is questioning Al Gore regarding the issue of global warming.

So, I've been sitting here for an hour and a half now, watching Al Gore talk about the serious problem of global warming. After an hour and a half, I can't believe I'm listening to people like Senator Inhofe honestly claim that global warming is a myth. Seriously! An educated US Senator is sitting here calling hard science a scam. I'm really not joking, here is a man who honestly does not believe in hard measured scientific research because believing in it would cost money. Al Gore is starting to remind me a lot of Galileo.

I just want to say thank you to Al Gore for working as hard as he is on this nearly utterly thankless task. I hope that the Congress can see how important it is for us to make some serious changes.

Al Gore is right, this is a dangerous situation, but on the other side of that coin is a huge opportunity. An opportunity for jobs, to save billions of dollars on wasted energy, and an opportunity to be a leader in the world on something as important as the health of the planet we inhabit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


So I have a myspace profile now. I realized that a lot of people are on myspace, and it might be a good way for me to keep in touch with people. After one day, I've already been in touch with two people that I haven't really talked to in nine years. (You're right Stephanie, I didn't realize how long it's been.)

Anyway, you've probably noticed the slide show I put on the side bar. I'm trying to figure out how to make it so that it doesn't sit 20 pixels from the left border... any suggestions would be helpful.

I'm going to toy with it tonight, hopefully I'll get it looking much better than it does now.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Anne Coulter

I read on my brother Tim's blog about Anne Coulter calling John Edwards a faggot. I am appaled. I commented on the incident on his blog, and wanted to post that comment here again.

Sorry for doing this twice in a row. Apparently, you can stop checking my blog and just start looking at Tims. (Kidding.) Anyway, here's my comment to Anne Coulter and Tim's feeling like he hates the Christian right:


Tim, if I may offer another lengthy comment:

Tonight I started reading "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the quest for political power is destroying the Church." by Gregory A. Boyd.

I just want to quote a few bits from his introduction:

"My thesis, which caused such an uproar is this: I believe a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry To a frightful degree, I think, evangelicals fuse the kingdom of God with a preferred version of the kingdom of the world...For some evangelicals the kingdom of God is largely about, if not centered on, "taking America back for God," voting for the Christian candidate, outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, winning the culture war, defending political freedom at home and abroad, keeping the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, fighting for prayer in the public schools and at public events, and fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings... because this myth links the kingdom of God with certain political stances within American politics, it has greatly compromised the holy beauty of the kingdom of God to non-Christians. This myth harms the church's primary mission...Because the myth that America is a Christian nation has led many to associate America with Christ, many now hear the good news of Jesus only as American news, capitalistic news, imperialistic news, exploitive news, antigay news, or Republican news. And whether justified or not, many people want nothing to do with any of it."

Needless to say, I can't wait to get deep into this book. I have a hard time not hating the right, because they make me, and Jesus, look like offensive, damning fools.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Def Jam Icon Review:

This was the review of Def Jam Icon that I posted on my brother's blog. For those of you who don't check his blog, here's my review of the game my big brother helped on:

Ok, the moment you've all been waiting for: Joshua's Honest, No-holds-barred review. (This is what I would say if my big brother didn't put fire in the game.)

I really, really, really, really, really freakin' enjoyed playing this game. I sat down in one of my resident's rooms and loaded the game with five other guys. It took an immense amount of time to load each character before the match started. So, if you want to see who you're going to be, you have to either know what EB-40 or Ghostkillah look like, or you have to wait a long time for the character to load. That bugged me.

Oh- I should say, I was playing the PS3.

Once the game was loaded, the contrast or something on the screen was ultra high. The guys TV screen had the contrast set all the way up, so I turned it down a good bit, but the PS3's inability to render anti-aliasing was disappointing.

Onto the game play: I love that I don't absoluetly HAVE to use the buttons to hit people. I can just toggle around on those thumb sticks and kick Lukes big white butt.

I loved the way the fight is set to the music. The first time we figured out how to use the DJ controls, Sergio and I just sat there going "Check that out! NO WAY!" Then there was a whole lot of: "I'll stand here, now you grab me and throw me into that thing. Quick! Do the DJ thing! Quick! AWWWWWWWW YEAH!"

Once we actually figured out how to use the buttons, the directional attacks, and then use the DJ controls to hit hard, it was even more fun. I love the fact that there's no damage bar. It looked like there might be something like that in the Lil'John video, but I never saw it while I played.

I think the graphics, (okay, the fire) looks un-friggin-real. I seriously loved just looking at the game. Sitting back and watching a few of the guys as they pummel each other was a good time because the game just looks so nice.

By far, my favorite part about the game is that it feels like a real fight. If I get hit, I stagger a bit. Likewise, when I'm beating Luke's white bones, he staggers back into the helicopter and BAM!

I really enjoyed the fact that when your opponent is on the ground, you can use that time to taunt him some, make fun of his sorry butt, or you can change the song that's playing, or you can just go step on his face or kick him in the junk a few times.

On to the bad stuff: There were a handful of times when the camera was obstructed. If there's a broken vase on the ground, and the camera gets in front of it, you can't see anything at all. Likewise, if your opponent gets in the way, you can't see yourself at all. I liked that the screen changed when the OTHER guy started to die. (I hated it when I knew I was losing.) But on the PS3 and on the LCD TV I was using, the contrast was so high, that at times, the color was completely gone. Sometimes, at the end of the match the normally beautiful screen was pretty awful to look at. That was a disappointment. I don't know if it was the PS3, the Game, or the TV. (But it was a pretty nice TV, so I'm thinking it was the PS3... one more reason I'll never buy one.)

All in all, I really enjoyed the game. I think it's something that is going to have it's ass played off in a college dorm, because it's perfect for that. It's perfect for a bunch of guys sitting around with some... soda... whoopin' on each other. I can't tell you the number of times we said "Holy Bleepedy Bleep! Yeah! Blam! Sit DOWN! steve steve steve down..."

It was a good trash talkin' time. I do think that people who buy the game to play alone in their mother's basements probably won't have all that much fun. It's a blast with a room full of people. Probably because it lends itself so well to trash talkin'.

Anyway, that's my $.04. (Because I said a lot. It's more than $.02.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Orleans Update

I was going to publish the journal that I kept while I was in New Orleans, but I haven't reread through it, and I'm not sure I want to do that. So instead, I went true to Joshua style, and made a little slide show of the pictures I have from New Orleans. If you would like to see them outside of the slideshow context, you can go here.

Otherwise, take a look at the video. It's not as nice as it is on my computer when it's seen in full resolution, but you'll get the general idea.

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Orleans

We just got back from New Orleans yesterday. I was planning on updating my blog while we were down there, but we didn't have any internet access. I then wanted to update with pictures and things once we got home, but I managed to contract some kind of cold while we were down there and I went to sleep yesterday at 5:30 p,. I slept until a few minutes ago - 7:30 am. Now, I have to run to the office, and when I get back, I'm going to update to let you know what I thought.

For a quick synopsis: I was surprised at the amount of rebuilding, and I was surprised at the amount of work that was still not done. I'm both happy about the situation in New Orleans, and horribly disappointed in our Government. Let alone, I'm pissed that the President came down and all he did was talk to a Charter School and meet Brad Pitt. Ugh...

Anyway, more to come later.