November 2006


“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

I’m linkless again this week! That’s the second time this has happened, and the first occurrence was just a couple of weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure what the deal is, but I have a guess. Maybe a month or two ago I pretty much cut in half the number of RSS feeds that I read. I thought it was taking up too much of my time, so I just dropped a bunch of them. So now that I’m reading less, I guess I’m also finding fewer interesting things to bookmark. Does that mean I dropped all the good feeds and only kept the boring ones? :-)

My sister and brother-in-law came over tonight to play Settlers of Catan with us. They played with some friends down in Florida where they live, and when they found out that Joy and I also like to play, we decided we should definitely play a game while they were up here for Thanksgiving. We played with the Seafarers expansion because that’s how Becca and Matt played down in Florida, so it was what they were used to. We also used the new card deck add-on that you use instead of rolling the dice. It removes some of the randomness of the dice so that the “rolls” are closer to a normal distribution (but it still has some variability). I think the new card deck is both good and bad. The deck certainly removes a little bit of the luck factor, which makes each roll game a bit more predictable (i.e. you are not going to get a string or 2 or 12 rolls for the unfortunate few on those hexes). But in addition to showing the dice rolls, the cards also sometimes have extra activities that go along with the roll. The extras usually involve certain players gaining or losing resource cards based on their position in the game (some deal with harbors, knights, total points on the table, etc). The end result is that there are more cards in play earlier in the game, which overall is a good thing to get the game going a little quicker. Sometimes the initial rounds are a bit slow as people slowly build up enough cards to start building things. If I had to say right now, I’d say I probably like it better than using dice, but I’ll have to play with the deck a few more times to know for sure if I really like it or not.

I have so many things to be thankful for. My wife, daughter, family, small group, church, friends, new job, the list could go on and on. But most of all I’m thankful for God’s unending grace and extravagant love toward me. He turns all of my days into thanksgivings for all He has done for me.

We had a wonderful time with our families today. We got to have “lunch thanksgiving” with Joy’s parents and then “dinner thanksgiving” with my parents. That’s a lot of turkey, but it was also a special time to share with our families. We also had the extra treat of having my sister Becca and brother-in-law Matt in town from Florida, as well as my sister-in-law Ariana’s parents and her brother and sister (they came down from Chicago).

“Father of lights, You delight in Your children
Father of lights, You never change, You have no turning

Every good and perfect gift comes from You
Every good and perfect gift comes from You
Father of lights”

(from the song “Father Of Lights” from Vineyard Music)

I just wanted to make a quick post to say that today is my eighth wedding anniversary. I am so thankful to have been married to Joy for these past eight years. She has been (and continues to be!) such a great blessing, encouragement, and friend to me. I’m excited to see what the future holds for us as we continue our life together.

I spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening camping out in line at WalMart to get a Nintendo Wii when they went on sale at midnight. I went with a friend of mine, and we called around to WalMarts all morning trying to see how late we could get in line and still get one. Shortly after lunch the lines started growing pretty quickly, so that was our cue to get going. Both of the closest WalMarts already had lines long enough to sell out, so we drove to one about 20 minutes away. When we got there, they had plastic chairs set up with numbers taped to them. There were 31 chairs (even though we had been told they would have 36 Wiis), and 30 of them were already taken. Yikes! We were a little discouraged because there were two of us and only one chair. But we talked to a few people in line and discovered a mom and dad who were holding two seats for their two sons. It turned out they only wanted one console for their sons to share, so one of the parents got out of line and that freed up a second chair. So then my friend and I had seats 30 and 31 out of a total of 31. While I held the two seats, my friend talked to an employee in the electronics department and got him to go back to the stockroom and open up the shipping boxes and hand count how many Wiis they had to make sure they really did have 31. It turns out they did, so everything appeared to be good to go.

So we settled in for the long wait until midnight (it was just before 2 PM at that point, so we had 10 hours to go). WalMart had us wait out in the lawn and garden section, right by all of the fertilizer, so it was somewhat covered from the elements, although the fertilizer smell was strong at times. After we had been waiting about an hour, a WalMart employee came and told us that we all had to move our chairs outside onto the sidewalk because the power had gone out. So we all ended up out on the sidewalk for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, and then another WalMart employee came and told us to move all of our chairs out to the far side of the parking lot because there had been a bomb threat. Crazy! So all of us hauled out chairs and all of our stuff out to the far side of the parking lot. I’m sure all the people driving by on the road thought something pretty weird was going on. We waited out in the parking lot for about 45 minutes or so, and then they let everybody back in. Our wives and kids came by around 6 PM to bring us dinner, which was very nice, and then we just waited it out until midnight.

When midnight finally came, they lined us up and walked us back to the layaway counter where they had all of the Wiis and two registers to check people out. They had us make our purchases in numbered order, so we were the last two people to go. It wouldn’t have been too long of a wait, except for the fact that very early on one of the registers broke down so they could only check out one person at a time. We finally got our Wiis just before 1 AM, and then we headed home. Since it was so late, I just went to bed and didn’t even open mine that night. I’ll have to add another post later after I’ve had the chance to play it a little bit.

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