Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chicago Bears: Week 16

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Location: Away
Outcome: Win
Record: 9-6 (2-3)

11-4 (5-0) Green Bay Packers
9-6 (3-2) Minnesota Vikings
4-11 (0-5) Detroit Lions

Charleen and I were out of town this past weekend, and I completely forgot about writing this post after the Bears game on Sunday. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is looking forward to having a safe and happy New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Reading

Doing this one a bit early. I would hate for the world to end without telling you all what I read in my final days.

Actually, it's because we're heading out of town this weekend and won't be back until the new year. Not that I won't have internet access, but we have lots of plans that don't involve the computer, and I don't feel like squeezing a post in there somewhere. Also, I'm pretty much done reading for the year; it's hard to find snatches of time and a quiet space when I'm away from home.

Anyway, here's what I've been reading since last time:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogging and Commenting

Very quickly, you'll notice I haven't said anything here about the events from Friday. I wasn't going to, not because it's not worth talking about, because I simply don't have the words to do it. But about ten minutes after posting this, I saw this post in my reader, and it so beautifully says everything that I wish I could. Thank you, Ginger, for these words.


In the past several months, I've started posting a lot more regularly than I had for most of the run of this blog. I've also started reading a lot more blogs than I have since my World of Warcraft days, when I was very into that part of the blogosphere.

There are a lot of blogs that have made their way into and out of my feed reader as I continue the search for those I can really relate to. I don't think I'm all that unique, but it's been surprisingly difficult.

There have been blogs that had an easy conversational language that I instantly loved, only to find that I didn't care about any of the post topics. There have been blogs that, based on their focus, I should have loved, but the author didn't grab me. I think there have to be at least some elements of both of these things: you have to care about what the person is saying, and you have to appreciate the way they say it. There's a spectrum, for sure, but connecting on only one or the other just doesn't seem to cut it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chicago Bears: Week 15

Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Location: Home
Outcome: Loss
Record: 8-6 (2-3)

10-4 (5-0) Green Bay Packers
8-6 (3-2) Minnesota Vikings
4-10 (0-5) Detroit Lions

If you remember from last week (Thursday), I mentioned that I was traveling to a friend's house to watch the game. It was a fun time. There was a good balance of Bears and Packers fans. Regardless of the outcome of the game, I knew I'd have a fun time which is why I took the 6 hour round trip to do it. I especially enjoyed the host and his mom shouting "Booyeah" back and forth at each other when their team did something well. Thanks Dan and Toni for hosting!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Year of Reading

I'm not quite done reading for the year, but I wanted to get this done before the holidays. This end-of-the-year survey is hosted over at The Perpetual Page-Turner. On the off chance that I read something in the next couple weeks that deserves to be on this list, I'll edit accordingly. Now let's get to it!

Best in Books 2012

1. Best book you read this year?
The Bells, by Richard Harvell. It's about love and music and it's just wonderful. I had a few 5-star books this year, but this one in particular had me completely enchanted. (The others I'll be sure to mention when they come up in other questions.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicago Bears: Week 14

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
Location: Away
Outcome: Loss
Record: 8-5 (2-2)

9-4 (4-0) Green Bay Packers
7-6 (3-2) Minnesota Vikings
4-9 (0-5) Detroit Lions

Sorry for the delay in this post. I've been a bit under the weather this past week.

The banged up Bears lost to the also banged up Vikings this past week. The Bears have lost 4 of their last 5 games. They are no longer in control of the NFC North, and unless they win out, they're not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. These games are getting harder and harder to watch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Failed Vlog Experiment

A while back, when I first got my new laptop, I think I wrote about wanting to possibly do a vlog, now that I had a fancy new webcam. (If I didn't write about it, I at least thought about it, and I'm too lazy right now to go find out if I actually mentioned it or not.) But then it turned out that the webcam didn't actually work; it refused to record sound. So unless I wanted to post a vlog silent movie style, that wasn't happening.

Well, I recently got a working webcam from a friend, and today I finally hooked it up and gave it a trial run, and here's the result: the most awkward 78 seconds you will ever see.

The worst part, I think, is when I turn my head, trying to show how weird it was to turn my head to the right, and see it turning to the left on the screen . . . only to realize that it's not weird at all in the video, you have to see it from my perspective for it to be weird . . . so then I sort of ramble and try to explain what I meant and completely lose any sort of confidence and momentum I might have had to start.

Anyway . . . it's all very awkward. But I'm sharing it anyway, because I guess I'm a glutton for embarrassment.

Thanks, Jeanette, for the webcam! I promise I will put it to better uses than this in the future. When's the next virtual girls' night?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Anticipation: The Order of the Sanguines

"What's your most anticipated book of 2013?"

This is a question I've come across a few times recently, and it's one that I'm pretty quick to answer. For me, it has to be The Blood Gospel, the latest from personal favorite James Rollins and new-to-me author Rebecca Cantrell. It's the first in a new series, The Order of the Sanguines, and fortunately for me it comes out a mere eight days into the new year!

Since we're only a month away, I thought I'd share some of my enthusiasm.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Short One Today

Three quick things today:

1. I've added some tabs up at the top of the blog. Instead of just "Home" and "About Us," there are now links to some recurring blog topics up there. I also kind of want to make a "Favorites" one, so some of our better posts aren't just lost to oblivion (I've got the top posts by page views over on the side bar, but I think every blogger knows that the posts you WISH were most popular usually aren't the same as the ones that ARE), but that requires a bit more thought. An idea for the future, though.

2. I'm not really sick anymore. I mean, I feel mostly fine. Like 97% fine. But I can't seem to shake this cough, and my throat -- even on days when I make an effort not to talk -- is raw by bedtime, if not sooner. It really sucks.

3. I've been . . . I don't know . . . just feeling kind of down lately. More so than usual. Maybe it's the holidays, who knows.

BONUS #4. The cat's being super annoying today. And by super annoying, I mean wants to snuggle. I'm thinking that my negative reaction to this is probably related to item #3.

Sorry I'm being such a downer. Here's something to cheer us all up:


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Results Are In

The results of the Goodreads Choice Awards were just released today. I still think it's ridiculous to have to wait a week for the results when the whole thing's automated anyway, but maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn't actually have all the results tallied immediately (even though the longest we had to wait for results between rounds was a day). Maybe it wasn't just a ploy to keep the anticipation building for a week (during which I almost forgot all about the awards). Who knows?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicago Bears: Week 13

Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
Location: Home
Outcome: Loss
Record: 8-4 (2-1)

8-4 (3-0) Green Bay Packers
6-6 (2-2) Minnesota Vikings
4-8 (0-4) Detroit Lions

That was tough to watch. The Bears lost to a team who has played lousy on the road, and surprisingly it was the defense who was the bigger letdown.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

No-Shave November

It is no longer November which means that yesterday morning, I went from this...
to this.
It was an interesting month. There were definitely some pros and cons to growing a beard for a month.

I didn't have to shave.

It was itchy for about the first week and a half.
After about 3 weeks, it got long enough where I felt like there was something crawling on my face.
My wife hated it.
As illustrated above, I can't grow a good thick beard.

Obviously, I'm not much of a beard person, but it was kind of fun to do it knowing it would probably be coming off in a few weeks. Did anyone else participate in no-shave November or Movember (mustache)?

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Whew! So, November is finally over. Between NaNoWriMo and spending half the month either legitimately sick or just generally feeling like crap, I kinda thought it would never end. And now that it's finally December, Christmas will be here before we know it.

I am really terrible at coming up with ideas when people ask me what I want for Christmas. Which is funny because I have no problem coming up with things I want to buy at any other time of the year. I think part of the issue is that my personal lists tend to be so specific that they don't really translate well to gift-giving. It either feels like a demand instead of a suggestion, or it's just easier to say "gift card."

I'm also really terrible at shopping for others. I wish I could be one of those people who gets more excited about giving gifts than receiving them, but I just can't, because I'm no good at it. I think I've had that experience of having the "perfect gift" and being so excited for the other person to open it maybe once or twice in my life. And, when I can get it right, yeah, it's great. But most of the time I'm not aiming for perfect; it's all I can do to come up with "not terrible."