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Showing posts from April, 2017

The 5Kx3 Challenge

After a winter hiatus, I have resumed my running routine! It's great not to have to dress in three layers and wear a hat and gloves when going out. I've been busy searching out new trails in my area and cultivating a new playlist of music.

My season starts off with a bang over the next three weeks, when I run a 5K each Saturday. I didn't get too much training, but I am running races where people I know will be watching me. That's kind of incentive enough to do well!

Saturday, April 29 - Seminary Scurry 

My brother attends Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, located on a beautiful campus in Wisconsin. Last year he posted pictures from his experience at the Seminary Scurry, and I knew that since I was living closer, I was going to do it!

This is going to be a much smaller event than I'm used to, which is a bit intimidating. The weather isn't supposed to be great, and that is a shame, considering the beautiful weather Wisconsin had earlier this week.

Still, not only do I …

Sports Nuts

In the 1990s people in Michigan had so much amazing sports stuff going on. Between the Pistons Bad Boys and the Red Wings dynasty, we were in the middle of a sports renaissance.

This jovial time was absolutely perfect for me, a wide-eyed kid who was gleaning on to anything that was awesome. I because obsessed with ESPN. I watched sports on channels like PASS. My father, seeing my interest, taught me everything he knew and took me to as many games as possible.

I rode that hot sports streak until a few years ago. Even in a world where the world is at your computer, I was starting to lose a bit of interest. It wasn't a massive denial of all things sports, mind you. But when my father started bringing up trades or struggling athletes in conversation, I started to realize I didn't know what he was talking about.

Blame my moves to Wisconsin and Colorado all you want, but I think it was more of a problem in the world of sports. I was starting to realize that sports works in cycles, a…

One Conducting Technique to Solve Them All

I would like to preface this by saying I am not an excellent conductor. I am decent, but that's all the credit that I will give to myself.

Because I majored in a music program in college and have continued in music through my career, I have been able to see many other conductors at work. Some are amazing, and some were average. Honestly, none were outright terrible!

All conductors have their own styles, and choirs gradually learn to adjust to each style that is presented. However, there is one key technique that all excellent choir directors have a tendency to do. I try to do this as much as possible when I conduct, and I have noticed an improvement in my choir's singing each time I emphasize this technique.

What is the technique?

Breathing before directing the choir into a line of the song.

The biggest issue is that many directors cue their choirs right on the choir's starting note. If a director is doing that, then it's too late! The choir won't come in until a h…

Bad Timing: Star Wars Celebration

Two years ago, Star Wars held its amazing convention in Anaheim, California called Celebration. A new trailer for The Force Awakens premiered, amazing costumes were seen, and memories were made. I was able to watch a lot of the convention thanks to Star Wars' live stream on YouTube, and I loved it.

As a matter of fact, I texted my brother on that Saturday night and said,

"I'm totally going to Celebration next year!!!!"

Well, during the closing ceremonies in 2015, it was revealed that the next Convention would be in 2016...in London.

Well, shoot.

That wasn't going to work out for me at all. So my statement changed slightly.

"I'm totally going to Celebration the next time it's in the US!!!!"

Star Wars Celebration London came and went, and I got excited again because the next Celebration was announced to be in Orlando! I always fly to Orlando and getting around would be no problem.

WELL, then they announced the dates for this year's Celebration…

Melancholy Goodbyes - My Childhood Stadiums

I spent my Sunday evening watching the Detroit Red Wings play their final game in Joe Louis Arena. Many legends came back, tears were shed, and a game was won by the home team.

As I watched, I realized that with the opening of the Little Caesars Arena next fall, all of the Detroit-area stadiums of my childhood will be gone. Back in 1999 Tiger Stadium closed its doors for the final time. In 2001 the Lions wrapped up their tenure in the Pontiac Silverdome. I already mentioned the Red Wings' final game at Joe Louis Arena. And finally, tomorrow marks the final Pistons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

How am I supposed to feel about all of this? When I was growing up everyone knew where you were talking about when you heard "The Joe." The Silverdome might have been a giant piece of garbage, but that's where you watched Barry Sanders score touchdown after touchdown. People knew what you meant when you say "teal uniforms" because of the idiots who decided the P…

Baseball Stadium Etiquette

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I have gone to many baseball stadiums over the years to watch a variety of teams play. Many of those games were at Comerica Park, but I have been to other stadiums in Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and - most recently - Oakland.

When going from one stadium to another, some people have their opinions on what to bring to the ballpark. Should you bring in outside food? Should adults bring gloves? And should you wear uniforms of teams that aren't even playing that day?

I have my own thoughts. Feel free to disagree:

Packing/Buying Food

If you're family is attending a baseball game, then it might be a cheaper, budget-friendly idea to pack snacks. It will also prevent kids from demanding every single piece of food that a vendor brings their way!

Coming as an adult, the best way to avoid the temptations of the stadium is to tailgate beforehand! But another idea is to make sure to only pack a certain amount of cash so you don't buy everything. Set a goal beforehand and stick with …

A Guide to Naruto for the Curious

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I have had a connection with the Japanese anime Naruto since I started watching torrents of it back in 2003. It turned into an obsession two years ago when I rediscovered it on Netflix and Hulu. Last week, the anime finally ended its run after 15 years on the air.

Now I have time on my hands - I can turn my Google Chromecast to Naruto without fear of someone else coming into the room to watch something else. Unfortunately, many of my friends probably don't have that luxury.

But never fear! I've got your back with this little primer. Want to know about what I'm obsessing? Want to know specific episodes to watch so you're not inundated with filler and flashbacks and only get the good stuff? Read on.

Naruto isn't divided into seasons, so instead I'm going to divide everything by story arcs.

Introduction (Naruto episodes 1-5) Overview: We are introduced to Uzumaki Naruto, a very annoying 12-year-old orphan who lives in the Village Hidden in the Leaves (which is in th…