Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Wow, I almost hate to use that word at all anymore. However I am changing my work group at NML from being a software architect in Investment Products to being a "free range" architect in the Agency Business Systems/TNC (The Network Connection) area.

I didn't so much choose this group at this time as I am being redeployed to a group that has projects to work on. This is a good thing as there are not a lot of development projects in my current group to work on. Whereas at one time I interviewed to be in one sub-group of the 4 sub-groups represented within this organization, I wasn't necessarily looking to go there now. They just grabbed me because they remember me from those interviews. At the time they were debating between Siebel expert or Java Architect...they went Siebel Architect. Now look who wants the Java architect after all.

I like that I will be floating across all 4 groups designing software for a wide variety of applications. I think this makes a little more sense anyways. Software architecture should be kept at a domain level anyways.

I have to move to the Van Buren building. I don't know where I'll be yet but I doubt it will be as cushy and nice as my corner window location I have now. Plus I have the airconditioning vents blowing on me all summer. ..it is so awesome and if we ever have a very cool federal trial, I have a perfect vantage point for watching it in the federal courthouse across the street. Oh well. I'd rather be busy and engaged than bored and properly chilled.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Victory and St. Marcus Update

It surely was a great weekend for Victory of the Lamb. This last weekend we hosted our 2nd annual Easter for Kids. Last year we had nearly 70 and this year we had 93 kids. Many of the kids were unchurched and were from families that we have not met before. The community is getting familiar with our distinctive Victory postcards I believe. That is 93 kids who got the true Easter message in stories, games, and crafts. Each event we do is growing larger and larger.

So is our congregation. We are moving to the Showtime Cinema across the highway on May 3rd. We will now be able to have a small theater and meeting rooms for the kids ministry and a theater that seats 270 for church. We are working on expanding the team that makes church happen each Sunday. Set up is more complex now. We are getting new sound equipment to #1 upgrade our sound for music but also #2 to make our band properly portable as we need to be to use a theater. We are also improving in videotaping services and providing a live feed of the service to the lobby.

The Victory Cafe will be our fellowship time now but will be bagel's/donuts and premium coffee before church. There is a nice little "cafe" like seating area with 10 or so tables with chairs. Ike is the official coffee barista for the church and has been serving Ike's Sunday Morning Blend for two years now almost. I think with the upgrade of our coffee blend he just might want to consider starting a chain of church coffee cafes. He has done wonders making 100 cup pots of Folger's so far. Imagine what he could do with Stone Creek or Alterra.

We will need a decent sized team to setup and take down each week as well as greeters and people to help direct people where to go and how things work. It’s going to be exciting to move to this next phase of Victory's growth. We are only increasing our capacity for a service by 100. Unfortunately I think we will be filling this somewhat quickly. I'm actually a little concerned as to what we will do a year from now. I suspect a 2nd service will be needed and it will need to be at 8:00 am. Then the Cafe will be operating as fellowship time after the 8:00am service and before the 9:30 service. That might be a good time for the two groups to mix. Who knows? That is a little ways off but unfortunately not as far away as we might think.

Pastor gave a small financial report yesterday and I was particularly gratified to see that we are ahead of schedule to becoming self-supporting. We are at 80% self-supporting in just two years. Our goal was to be 100% self supporting in 3 and we are definitely ahead of our goal for that. In addition to that our Land fund has been blessed as well. Not bad for a church that started out 2 years ago with 10 people and only a small amount of money.

St. Marcus

I went to St. Marcus last night for 6:30 church because Kt wanted to go to the contemporary service. She had gone to St. Marcus for the 10:30 traditional service because Ike had to sing for church and she had to drive him. Kt was a lil freaked out that they knelt for their confession and not keen on the traditional service. She also was not thrilled missing Victory in the morning so she figured she'd go hear Pastor Ben preach at St. Marcus. Our pastor has been filling in for the contemporary services at St. Marcus until they fill that pastor vacancy (the pastor who is considering the call was there last night visiting)

At the end of the service, they gave an update on their building project. They have some designs that they are gathering input on. Basically they are doubling the size of the school from 340 students to 700 (currently there is a waiting list to get in). The entire plant/campus plan is 10 million and they will start building when they have 8 million. Currently they have $4 million so they are doing pretty well. The plan is to start building in 2010 and deliver the building in summer 2011. Too bad..Ike will be gone by then. I guess it wouldn't matter as they would be using the addition for the younger grades and keep the middle school where it is and just give them more room to expand.

I continue to be impressed with the ministry here as it flourishes even in the inner city. God be praised for all the success.

Next Up...the Auto Industry

Today I read in the paper that Obama is giving the Auto industry the heave ho. This could just be some political grandstanding to distract voters who are still pissed about AIG but the gist of the story was that GM and Chrysler have missed their deadlines, are not meeting the current terms of their loans and won’t be able to meet the requirements of the additional requests either. If that were to hold true, that means that Chrysler and GM would either need to close up shop and sell things off, or declare bankruptcy and try to reorganize.

Now no one would want to see 150,000 people without jobs because those two companies went under, not to mention the many other jobs out there that supply the auto industry. I believe my mother’s former employer that she retired from, Hamlin Electronics and its parent company KSS, would be one of those companies severely hurt as they supply air bag sensors to airbag manufacturers. I don’t want to give the impression that I would relish in that individual financial toll. I have lived that problem after a shakeup in the Internet industry. It’s not fun losing your job and eventually your house, cars, retirement accounts, and racking up debt that might take ohhh 6-7 years to just get on top of not to mention repay it all. If you’ve ever had to get food from a church food pantry you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about. It’s not something you wish on someone, but on the other hand it was something that has strengthened me and taught me valuable life lessons. Amazingly enough I recovered without any kind of government assistance and ironically a great part of the debt I was repaying was a crushing burden of taxes. It’s striking how the assistance and help of Christian friends and family pulled us through. This is the model of America I strive for….oh but that would rely on Christian values to provide the nations charity. We wouldn’t want to advocate that.

However I would have to admit I would love to see that kind of shakeup in the American auto industry. I would think it should knock the unions back to the stone ages in terms of their 50 – 60 year expansion of wages and benefits well beyond the scope of reasonable. I would think this will not serve Obama well as he lines up a few hundred thousand union workers (also called voters) and summarily betrays them. I'd think this would be like shooting Old Yeller for the democrats. Do you see me doing a little jig? So I’m waiting for Sally Struthers to do a commercial showing the starving children of autoworkers and we can help them with as little as $3000 a month. This should persuade the administration and the democratic majorities to pass whatever stimulus is needed for the auto industry.

No matter what happens this should be interesting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Word of the Week

For my readers under the age of 5, I apologize profusely for not putting out last week's word. I'm sure this put a damper on the pre-school playground conversation. In any case I have an excellent word this week. I decided that it would be the word after watching Obama on Leno. This week's word is:


Here are some sentences that contain codswallop:

"But I think the most important thing that we can do is make sure that we put in a bunch of financial regulatory mechanisms to prevent companies like an AIG holding the rest of us hostage..." (this is a nice was of saying socialism)

"The change I'd like to see in terms of tax policy is that we have a system, going back to where we were back in the 1990s, where you and I who are doing pretty well pay a little bit more to pay for health care, to pay for energy, to make sure that kids can go to college who aren't as fortunate as our -- as my kids might be." (like the AMT maybe...grrrr)

"Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal. And that is a sign of how much we've got to change our laws -- right? We were talking earlier about credit cards, and it's legal to charge somebody 30 percent on their credit card, and charge fees and so forth that people don't always know what they're getting into. So the answer is to deal with those laws in a way that gives the average consumer a break." (or PERHAPS the average consumer should wise up their little tuckus so we don't have to have 3.2 trillion laws for the lowest common denominator...I think the movie Idiocracy is coming true)

When you buy a toaster, if it explodes in your face there's a law that says your toasters need to be safe. But when you get a credit card, or you get a mortgage, there's no law on the books that says if that explodes in your face financially, somehow you're going to be protected." (who says there should be...because living life is a risk. It requires education, patience, and an ability to adjust when the Sh*t goes down. It is totally worth it to retain true freedom. We do NOT need the government as our salvation. Go to CHURCH maybe)

To my readers under 5. Do not believe these sleek, suave, sophisticated lines of codswallop. They are all ways that will slowly rob the American people of the ability to think, act, create, and build. By devoiding the country of Christian values....the very values that feed charity, and good to our fellowman...there is a void for the government to step into and be the new "heart" of the country. I think you will find that for all the good to fellow man the current administration wants to achieve they are the very ones removing it.


Welcome to Referred Ichabod Readers

When I insert pictures of cats....
they are my own cats.
I took this last night and we can say this represents
Ichabod cramming Lutheranism into a small box.

I saw a plug on Ichabod for my blog and I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Ichabod readers to my humble blog. If this is your first time here, you might begin to wonder why I was referenced at all. Well on occasion I have posted personal commentary on contemporary Lutheran subjects here. They are buried in an amongst the other general posting which are mainly for the benefit of my extended family and friends. Much moreso, I add many longwinded thoughts on other blogs about the topics that Ichabod cares about. I'm sure you'd find that more interesting overall. I never directly link people there because I would not want to be responsible for sending a family member there.

I have also posted my own thoughts on the ....oh what’s a good word for lunacy...."interesting" spin put on things in Ichabod maybe only two times. Every so often it seems like a good idea. Quite honestly, if Greg stuck with political and economic posts, I would find it so much more appealing and credible.

However, his posts on many things he opposes in WELS Lutherandom are just so unsubstantiated, unresearched, taken out of context, and certainly not considered in the best possible light. I think in general If I would use one phrase to describe his blog I would say "non sequitur." This stands in stark contrast to his many degrees he has obtained because the information he presents lacks all the research, scholarship, and critical thinking you'd expect of someone with that kind of education. If he applied that kind of scholarship to the information he spews out there at least it might lend to a nice debate or study opportunity. I'm always up for that. He is no Freddy Finkelstein, that's for sure.

In the spirit of Ichabod though I did come up with my own nickname for Ichabod. I call it Area 51. I have referred to Greg as Joe McCarthy. I used these nicknames because, due to the yellow journalism aspect of the blog, any followers who can give any factual credence to the information presented would automatically be susceptible to believing in UFO's, the shooter in the grassy knoll, and Area 51. I use Joe McCarthy because Greg clearly got a few things stuck in his craw in the early 90's because 15 years later they still come up over and over again. He has been on a witch hunt ever since to the point where his personal vendetta clouds any sense of rationalism. Maybe Don Quixote would be a good one to use although I'm sure Greg would rather be "the voice of one calling in the desert.."

Now, I don't want to leave this on a negative note. I like Greg. I respect that he gives his unadulterated opinions. That is what the blogosphere is about. I like his sarcasm. I know so many get their undies in a bundle about such things but I always respect a healthy sense of sarcasm. That might be because I am similarly sarcastic. I get a little dismayed when people who disagree with him (who will be summarily attacked back no doubt) go crying about the 8th commandment even when they are "on my side." I guess I don't like seeing any side of a debate being such a bunch of pussies. I admit his "ohh not the 8th commandment again.." graphic makes me smile every time. I like his politics. For the few items he adds about politics and economics I actually appreciate. You need people out there like Greg if only to sharpen your own mind, your own positions, and at times do the research to validate what you believe and Greg will certainly help you do that.

So welcome Ichabod readers!! I'm guessing I'll be more glad to have you than you will to be here. Oh and here I won’t care about your spelling. You can save the spell check for your Thesis or perhaps an upcoming syndicated columnist deal.


In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel today there was an article on the recreational game of Dartball. It talked about its origins and its somewhat aging and dying continuance in various church leagues. This is something that although I don't think my family ever participated in I know my churhes in my youth had a dartball team. However, this article had some quotes from some aged individuals that just cracked me up. Maybe its not that amusing for you but I found these quotes awesome. Here is the end of the article containing the awesome quotes.

"Unlike many of the players who have been tossing darts since they were in high school, George Brill took up dartball 10 years after retiring from a welding career. That was two decades ago. Now a spry 91, Brill said he enjoyed the camaraderie of dartball, though he lamented his lackluster play.

"I think I've got the lowest average in the league," Brill said. "That's because I can't feel some of my fingers."

Denis Larsen has played dartball for 44 years, and he said the key to playing well was keeping his throwing arm in shape. He didn't say how he does that.
Why has he played so long? "It's a night out of the house," said Larsen, 62, a retired church custodian.

Just then, a shout erupted from the Brown Deer United Methodist Church team. James Sheldon, 81, nailed a home run on his first throw. His excited teammates high-fived Sheldon.

"Hey, I'm happy. My eyesight is so bad, I can't see where the darts go," said Sheldon, who has played dartball since 1956 and whose son, Harry, is a teammate.

Told that at least he didn't have to run the bases, Sheldon gasped and said, "But I'm still out of breath."

When I'm 91 or 81 thats what I want. I want to do an activity I love and be able to say. I don't do so well because I can't feel my fingers...or I can't really see where I throw the darts anymore....How awesome would that be.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Proof of Squirrel Organization

In today's Journal-Sentinel, I found an interesting article about a Man's battle with a squirrel. I just want to keep people aware of the increasing number of squirrel attacks. These are the creatures we want to put corn on a stump for? I think not.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Squirrels are Preparing...

...for battle. This picture from my neighbors yard proves it. They are from the dark side however. Train I must, for the empire's fate on me depends.

Welcome Kelly and Lori

I just wanted to take the time to thank Kelly and Lori for joing the rest of the family on Facebook. It was a momentuous day and already their self-esteems are growing by the hour as friend after friend add them. Even as we speak I am contemplating the first bumper stickers I will be sending them. Maybe you like sending flair...don't worry the flair is nothing but bumper stickers made to look like pins. So make sure those of you who both read this and know Kelly and Lori that you inundate them with comments and wall posts on Facebook. I sure will.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Alright…now I’m pissed. I apologize to my readers under 5 right now. I might suggest some Elmo time right about now. As I was going out to my car this morning out in the garage, I discovered that a very friendly sight was missing…my little red toolbox. Upon further inspection the lid of the sunroof on Zach’s RX7 was lying on the windshield of his car and the two doors were open and the hatch was open. This car had been locked up tight. It would seem to follow that his remaining sub woofer (the other which got stolen in the robbery of the house in December) His 2000 watt amp and some smaller speakers all got taken out of the car.

My tools were no great set of tools. Mostly sets of old ratchets and cheap wrenches. And a hodge podge collection of sockets. They left my favorite tool set, which was the hex/star wrench set, the ball joint separator, and the tin snips (I believe that tin snips was my father’s) They also left a hammer (my grandpa’s). They also took my cordless drill and power drill and a box of power saws. Granted I have never used those saws and still use my Dad’s old Craftsmen saw over the somewhat new black and decker one that is now departed. It’s ironic that they saw my dad’s saw and left it.

I am happy of course they overlooked the bikes, ski’s and snowboard and other equipment. They poked all the audio boxes on the shelves to find they were empty. Ohhh I better check to see if they got the car stereo that was sitting on the shelf destined for the BMW (of course it never seems worthwhile to put it in, as the BMW should die any day. 5 days after that stereo was placed in the Diamante it died)

I also have a broken door jamb/frame to fix. So this weekend is house security weekend. We are getting whatever I need to secure the garage door/frame with a deadbolt and such. I’m getting sensor lights for the alley side as well as replacing the ones in the back yard. I will make sure that our yard lights up like the second coming if a rabbit so much as farts. I think the light on the side of the house can get a wattage upgrade . There are a few other things as well we will do but I don’t want to give away the secrets to avoiding the shotgun blasts, saw blades, and blow darts security system.

As privileged as I feel to be the honored recipients of 3 break-ins in 3 months I am beginning to feel like these might be desperate times if thieves have to resort to stealing my stuff. For the most part robbing me is like robbing Goodwill. We don’t keep anything that nice around. It’s like yeah you stole it…but who wants it. If they want to steal something…take my credit report. On the upside there will be less seismic activity in the area with Zach's stereo incapacitated.

So I think from now on I will refer to my family postings as the “Ghetto Report: The Musings of a Conservative Living Amongst the Ethnically Mixed Working Class Population of the South Side of Milwaukee” Perhaps I should sign up for that Serbian “protection service” those nice young men were offering. hmmm...

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yesterday and still today I want to acknowledge and be thankful for my blessings. Karen and I got our raise and bonus info yesterday. The good news is that we got a raise and bonus. That seems to be a big deal in this economy and I am very grateful for that. I'm grateful that Karen and I work for a very stable employer. Although we are shedding contractors in the IS area (which is sort of what they are for) we are well positioned to weather the storm as a company.

I am very grateful to be married to an uber employee who consistently wows her management. Her success of late is mind boggling yet very pleasing as I wait for her to soar past me and make my early retirement a pleasant reality.

I am also impressed with her ability to complete her schooling through the adverse and harsh studying conditions at home. Here she is studying statistics with Coco our cat. See if you can spot the difficulty.

Apparently Coco has a deep interest in statistics as well. Such as what percentage of cats have an urge to sit on your books, notebooks and papers exactly when you want to view them.
However Eloise and Smudgie prefer more esoteric repartee in deciding whether it is better to be "in the box" or "out of the box".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Word of the Week - 3/11/2009

For my readers under 5 years old, here the word of the week. I hope you have been working on these words with your friends at preschool.


There is a possibility that I myself might be contumacious. My daughter is definitely contumacious. Actually everyone in my immediate family is contumacious in their own special way. So to my readers under 5, I want you to find all the contumacious people you know and point them out the next time we get together.

Have a great week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I apologize..

I officially apologize to the incompetent support staff at ATT Uverse. It would appear that the problem is officially with Comcast in blocking my ATT IP address from my own web server on Comcast's network. If I could force my router to take a new IP address from a different range I will prove it most thoroughly. I switched to openDNS for DNS support and that proved that it actually was not a DNS problem. Then I switched to route through an open proxy (shhh) to mask my ip address and I was able to reach my server.

Comcast has a policy where they feel free to block certain kinds of traffic. They do this to prevent Spamming and phishing. They also do it to block telecommuting. Time Warner will also block telecommuting. My use of Remote Desktop Connection, MS Frontpage and FTP all together I'm guessing must send up big red flags that I'm "telecommuting". That is not cool. What is the point of having business class broadband if you won't allow remote access to your business servers. Grrrr. We'll see what we can do.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Word of the Week

I almost forgot to put out the word for the week for those readers of mine under 5. After that last post where we talked about bunny sex and crack bunnies which are more serious topics for preschool, I felt we should provide more direct educational benefits. The word of the week is:

Diminution: (dimi NOO shun)

Some good examples of ways to use diminution. Obama's economic plan should result in the diminution of everyone's wealth. Less corn in the neighborhood would result in the diminution of the bunny and squirrel population. The diminution of Christian values seems related to the rise of socialism.

The Squirrel Altar

I finally remembered to take a picture of the little squirrel mecca my neighbor has created. Oh the blessings it conveys as the snow is melting and everything on the ground is exposed. In our recent snow from the beginning of the week, the evidence of the bunnies doing little pagan dances of celebration in our yard are evident. Probably an excellent argument that partying and dancing while high on corn leads to rampant bunny pregnancies.

Probably the answer for these bunnies from working class neighborhoods such as our own is a good education program sponsored by a stimulus package grant. I believe if I could get $1,000,000 in a grant to teach bunny sex education we could reduce the strain on the local bunny economy. Soon there will be so many bunny babies that some will go hungry due to lack of enough corn. This is a real problem and I can't think of anyone better so solve my problems than the government. Plus, my own economy will be stimulated enough to move to my high rise condo downtown ...where there are fewer bunnies. Then of course I'd have to get a grant to help the downtown crack bunnies. The cycle never ends.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Family Update

I don't have too much news family wise. Zach called yesterday and said he got his promotion to PFC. It'll be 9 months for lCpl. Unless you have two people who will enlist and go through boot camp for the Marines...let me know. Then he would get lance Cpl when those two have completed boot camp. He is still waiting for class to start and is spending some good character building time cleaning mostly. I think he is working out too.

Ike in a typical winter activity
Kt and Ike are just sorta moseying through the winter. Kt starts track next week. That will get her occupied. Ike is waiting for track to begin but I think he has another 5-6 weeks to wait. They both work 1-2 days a week now. Kt doesn't work as much as before because JCP as most retailers, are cutting back and making do with less. Ike starts a 5 day winter break tomorrow and Kt gets a 4 day winter break starting Thursday. Ike will most likely have his peeps over in that time period. They are pretty much a standard Friday night crowd now.

Katie has been receiving introductory mailings from every college in the world. They pour in day after day. I'd be happier if they were just scholarships right off the bat. We'll see. If Kt can nail an ROTC scholarship or similar deals she just might try to get into a few schools she is currently interested in. At the moment Norwich University is near her top pick. It is a university with a military emphasis similar to VMI or the Citadel yet not quite so nutty. It is in Vermont so that would put her back in the land of her youth and only a little ways away from spending quality time with the Johnson's. I can just see Terry and Cheryl hunkering down in their house and turning the lights off..."If we don't move..maybe she'll go away". If there are no scholarships and aid and what not Kt still seems interested in plan B which is to enlist in the Marines, get some education while she's in the marines and then finish up college afterwardswith the GI bill.

Karen is gearing up for two more classes as well. Hopefully they will be more fun than her English class. Although Mrs. Smarty pants aced her classes and maintains her 4.0 it was not without an undo amount of angst and whining and complaining. That probably has a lot to do with the academic world's view of writing compared to the more practical world of business writing. Having a chance to read the drivel and commentary of the professor and its no wonder our youth come out of college so screwed up. Karen and I share an equal distaste for the conventions of academic writing. Thankfully that was her last college English class.

I spent two hours talking with ATT Uverse last night trying to resolve a problem where when I use Remote Desktop Connection/ FTP/ and MS Frontpage all at the same time, the connection will crash and then the IP address to my webserver becomes unavailable at my home router. I can reach it from work or anywhere else. Just not from any computer in my house. I know whats wrong. Clearly something is bumping my IP address from the DNS machine. Then days later when they update the DNS machine it will come back. HOWEVER. finding a person at ATT who understands this level of technological sophistication is impossible. I had to take them through all the diagnostic procedures and commands just to prove to them that there is nothing in my personal router or network causing this problem. So after all that time I had to end the call with no resolution. I believe I will be designing a hack that forces a refresh on stale DNS machines within the ATT domain. grrrrrr.

Sammi Goodger

I promised Sammi that I would write a blog entry and dedicate it to her. This will be a great validation that she has friends. I'm pretty sure her self-esteem will be boosted for a half an hour or more.

Sammi is a lovely young lady from church who plays guitar and saxophone in the church band. Her husband Mark plays the drums. She is a teacher in Kenosha and probably is often confused with being a student due to her very youthful appearance. I think she teaches special ed reading or english or maybe its just regular reading and english...or maybe Kenosha kids are slow so teaching reading and english to them is like teaching special ed. I'm growing more nervous as I write this, because the chances of screwing up in spelling, grammer or inproper use of the passive voice just keeps growing. Who wants that kind of pressure? I should've just written the entire thing in texting/IM speak. No pressure.

Sammi and Mark are cute together. I think they are very similar in nature which is unusual to see. Karen and I are such polar opposites. The Goodgers are goody goody two shoes. That would make them goody goody Goodgers (3 points). My wife is also very strongly in that category....wait.. My wife is in that category very strongly...no.. My wife is also a member of the ruling family of goody goodies. This is a good thing because if I ever need to know what a person with ethics and a kind disposition would do I can just pull out my WWSD and have my answer. It's like keeping goodness in your back pocket. Which for me of course means that I sit on it a great deal and when I pull it out of my pocket it is sort of messed up and gross like my wallet. It will have a unique scent, be barely held together, yet be perfectly formed to my backside. That is not to say that Sammi is perfectly formed for my backside...just her goodness... if it were stored in my wallet ( Let's not even mention this part to Mark....shhhhh )

I think having the Sammi join us at Victory has been great because for a little while the band had no blondes in it at all and I think it might have been perceived a little too seriously. Adding a blonde to the mix though has definitely improved that image. As long as no one finds out she's actually smart, that should work out fine.

So that concludes my dedication to Sammi. If I'm lucky I might just snag her as a new follower with my other big fans. I see double digit readership coming up here within the year.