Musings of a Young Pastor

Saturday, January 31, 2009

RSS feed ending! Please update your links!

I'm switching my blog (my entire web site, actually) over from Blogger to WordPress this weekend. If you're reading this via an RSS feed, this is the end of the line - PLEASE take a sec and resubscribe yourself to the new feed. And for my readers who do things the old-fashioned way, just hop on over to the main page at - that's where all the new stuff (including blog posts) will be happening.

If you have any questions, just fire me off an e-mail, and I'll help you out.

Here's to a smooth transition!


Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm doing some blog maintenance this weekend. The blog may behave strangely, go away temporarily, not be updated for a while, or other assorted weirdness. Sorry. Hopefully this will lead to some good changes down the road. Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mine! All mine!

Sorta big milestone for me today – I paid off my auto loan. That’ll mean an extra $300 in my pocket each month for as long as my Subaru keeps holding up. It’s nearing 150,000 miles, so I don’t expect it to last forever, but I’m looking forward to driving it “for free” for a while. Never done that before. :)

On the death and disease front, I’m home sick yet again today. Cancelled confirmation class and everything. Still having some of those wonderful gastroenteritis symptoms I’ve come to love so much the last few days. I’m out of supplies at home, and I’m pondering the protocol for running to the Pig for groceries and medicine when I’m officially home sick. Not like I can send anyone on my behalf, but it still feels weird that someone might see me “out and about.” Then again, maybe the sight of me at my unshaven, sick-day best would be enough to convince any church people I’m not faking it.

How can it possibly only be 10:37??? Sleeping in 1-2 hour bursts really messes up a guy’s sense of time.

Guess I’m gonna shower and see about getting those supplies. And I’m not going to leave the package of crackers sitting on the couch where it is right now, despite Ellie’s fervent desire that I do so. (She just looked at me and moaned. No kidding. But I think it was an “I’m very comfortable right now” moan, and not a “Please can I have them?” moan.)

Oh, and when I e-mailed Debbie this morning, she replied that I should just stay home the whole week, since she needs to be healthy for an outing she’s taking. :) At the rate I’m going, it may come to that.

OK, done for now. Carry on.


Monday, January 26, 2009

I’m dying, Ferris.

What a day. I’ve worn out the carpet between my bed and the bathroom today. I haven’t been this sick in I can’t remember how long. I wish I could keep down even just some liquids – I’ve lost all kinds of fluids and electrolytes today, and I’m sure I’m taking a stroll down Dehydration Road. I need to watch that real carefully tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I’ve already e-mailed the office to let Debbie know not to expect me in the morning. I hope I’ll improve overnight, but even so, I’m expecting to feel lousy until I’m able to eat and drink again.

I’m going to try slowly sipping something before crawling into bed. I’ll probably be up off and on throughout the night, so we’ll consider this the “first watch” of the night. *sigh*


Yeah, the dog’s a lot healthier…

…which means that right now I’m sicker than she is. Without getting into the unpleasant details, I can say that I started feeling a little off last night before bed, but I just chalked it up to staying up too late and sleeping too little the night before.

If only! I’m home sick today, wondering whether I’ve picked up the same nasty that closed down schools up in Manawa earlier this month. I understand a “stomach flu” has been making the rounds at the Evansville schools, too, and when I was out making my visits last week, one older couple told me how a bug had ripped right through their entire family the week before.

At any rate, I’m feeling lousy, and I don’t want to share my lousiness with anyone else!

Back to bed with me, I think… I hope I can stay there for a while. :(

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Annual meeting day

St. John’s held our annual meeting this morning. No major news to report – it was all over in less than an hour. My major contribution was to talk about the ways the synod and churchwide use our offering dollars when we send them along. All in all, a piece of cake.

Felt like I was wearing a sign saying, “Ask me about the unfortunate incident with the curling iron,” though…

In other news, I got to wear my new green paisley tie today. Aren’t you jealous?

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photo test


I hope this works – if it does, it’s extremely easy to include pictures in my blog posts. The one at left is Gretchen’s favorite “engagement” picture. It was taken the weekend after we got engaged, while we were painting with friends at All Fired Up! in WL.

Time to publish it and see what happens. Here goes…

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Now featuring “Writer”

I’m using a new tool to post to my blog, Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer. I like it really well so far, and the reaction in the blogosphere seems to be positive, too.

My next post will be a test to see how uploading a picture goes.


I’m a pastor, Jim, not a sysadmin!

If you’re going to be a pastor, it helps to be something of a jack-of-all-trades. The more diverse your abilities, the better you’ll do in most parishes. Got some skill fixing pipes? There are probably some leaky ones that could use your attention. Know how to balance the books? The treasurer sure wouldn’t mind a hand. Have a good eye for design, interior or graphic? There are decorating or publishing tasks waiting for you, young padawan.

Me, I happen to be a geek, and a former worker drone in the seminary Network Services office. So by default I’m essentially the sysadmin at St. John’s!

Jeff was the one who pointed it out to me this week – I’m actually managing a fairly impressive little network. Here’s what we’ve got:

  • A computer in every major (non-server) flavor of Windows from the past nine years – one running Windows 2000, two running Windows XP, three running Windows Vista, and (when I connect my personal laptop) one more running Windows 7 Beta
  • A network MFD (Multi-Function Device – that’d be our copier)
  • A color network printer
  • A 1TB wireless network storage device for backups

I spent my afternoon installing our new StorCenter, which will let me configure automagic backups of each of our three primary machines on a daily and weekly basis. Since it’s wireless, I’m able to sequester it away in our vault, which, with its concrete walls and big steel door, is the safest, sturdiest place in the church.

I also enjoyed installing a VNC program on our network to let me remote control computers – it let me install a boatload of updates to one of our neglected XP boxes without leaving my desk.

We’ve come a long way with our office technology since I arrived two years ago – I hope I’ve made things straightforward enough that whoever inherits this network after me can make it all continue to work… and doesn’t find herself constantly muttering, “What idiot set this all up, anyhow???” ;)

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Men's Style Guide

There's a lot to learn when it comes to men's dress clothing. The library of articles at A Tailored Suit do a fine job of explaining the ins and outs... and also the WHYS of it all. Makes me want to go out and buy a couple of suits, a half dozen or so shirts, and a bunch of new ties! (Oh, to have a budget that would support my latent clotheshorse tendencies...)

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