Archive for October, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Halloween Skull and Lights

Today is Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve. It begins an intriguing part of the life of the Church. It is the bane of fundamentalists and misused by some pagans, but it still remains the Eve of All Saints Day. Many Christians, including myself, take part in the festivities but also pray against the evil commonly associated with the night.

I always enjoy Halloween. I feel like it is a chance to be a kid again. Tonight my family and Jennifer and I are dressing up as Wizard of Oz characters as we hand out candy to the trick-or treaters. I forgot to carve a pumpkin this year…working full-time does that I guess. Happy Halloween to all my readers.

An Autumn Trip

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Fall Scene

Today Jennifer and I took a trip to the Hocking Hills area of Ohio. It is well-known for beautiful scenery and excellent hiking.

Small Waterfalls

This year, the autumn is a bit muted. I have noticed that in my area, the Fall is about a week or two behind last year. Maybe it has been the extended dry spell that happened this last summer. Either way, the Hocking Hills area’s Fall is muted as well. The colors are not as vivid, and the trees seem to be mostly green and skeletal. The photos show the color we saw.

Water Spattering

We started the day by visiting an Amish buffet. While it is not run by Amish now, it serves "down-home" food, like mashed potatoes and stuffing. I always look forward to eating there, and it has become an important part of my tradition of visits to the Hocking Hills.

Spring Water

This year, like last year, I was armed with a camera (and a girlfriend with a camera). Ever since I got my new camera, I have been trying to capture common moments of my life a little more. With Wal-Mart’s 19 cents/print service (that I can send from my home computer), taking images of my life has never been easier. I find that I don’t have many photos of the mundane things in my life. I don’t have any photos of my friend Dave and I from 1996-1999, yet we hung out almost every weekend during that time. I wish now I would have taken some photos.

So I have decided now to take photos of everything, and give them my own "touch" in the process. Happy Fall!

The photos:
Top: a scene by a road on the way home
Second: waterfalls
Third: water sprinkling down from rocks above
Last: spring water, near my home

Upcoming on

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Upcoming Church Holidays and what is on ChurchYear.Net:

Halloween, October 31-Halloween Prayers
All Saints, November 1-All About All Saints Day, All Saints Day Prayers
All Souls, November 2-All About All Souls Day, All Souls Prayers
Advent, November 27-All About Advent, Advent PrayersAdvent Wreath

ChurchYear.Net is a site my brother and I run with the help of a few friends. Our goal is to provide plenty of Church Year resources (for Christians of all churches) as well as other resources related to prayer and the liturgy. If you enjoy the resources we provide, we always appreciate links.

NTN Trivia

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

NTN Trivia Screen

My drug of choice lately has been NTN Trivia. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is a nationwide trivia competition played at bars and restaurants. Each bar has the trivia boxes that you use to answer the questions that appear on various TV screens in the bar. They have in-bar and national rankings. I used to play NTN trivia a lot back in 1997 when I first went to college. I even amassed over 250,000 "Player’s Plus Points." Each game you play gives you 500-1000 points, so you can tell I played quite a lot, since all of those points came in a 8-month time period.

A local wings place has the trivia, and I just can’t resist the lure of hanging out with Jennifer, playing trivia, and eating spicy-garlic wings. Just so you know, my handle is sthil, short for my patron saint, saint Hilary. Last light I won most of the games we played, except the Sci-fi trivia…I bombed that one! If you are interested in trivia, I suggest you click on the link above and find a local place that has it. It’s pretty darn fun.

The image on the left gives you an idea of how NTN is played. This is the local rankings for one particular game. I am not on there yet, even though I did beat the guy at the top, TOMHH, twice last night.

An Autumn Evening and Night

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Autumn has to be my favorite season. We have All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Halloween,  and Thanksgiving that fall within Autumn. Advent begins in the Autumn as well. Plus, where I live, the leaves start turning colors, the weather gets crisp, and the air just seems to smell differently. I took a few photos yesterday and the day before, specifically trying to capture some of the uniqueness of the Fall on film (well… in digital memory!).

Moving Clouds

This is one I took at night with a nearly full moon illuminating the sky. I had to set the shutter speed to around 8 seconds to get the same color/light that I saw with my own eyes. I had to set up a tripod to accomplish this. Afterwards, I kept asking myself why the clouds were blurry. Then it hit me: it is because the clouds were moving, quite quickly, and within the 8 seconds the shutter was open, the clouds had moved. Nonetheless, it is a neat effect. I only wish I had captured more of the home and water tower below.

Sunset Over Trees

This is an autumn evening scene I took. I didn’t have to use a long shutter speed because it was evening and there was some natural light. I had to adjust the speed a tad because the auto-mode was coming out too dark.

Well, as you can tell, we have been having some very beautiful autumn nights and evenings. I have been saying for about a month now that I am ready for Fall. Now I guess it is here!

Clicking on the images will result in a bigger image with better quality.


Sunday, October 16th, 2005

You are Kip Dynamite and you love technology.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
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Ain’t It Great…

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Painted…when two of your favorite musicians have blogs? Roger McGuinn, former lead singer of the Byrds, has the Roger McGuinn Blog. Barry McGuire, a singer most well known for his work with the New Christy Minstrels and his #1 1960s hit "Eve of Destruction", has Barry’s weblog.

Rogerstanding3Both musicians have been very influential in my life. When I discovered "oldies" back in 1994 as a 15 year old, I drifted toward the folkier sound of McGuire and others. I was certainly out-of-place listening to the Byrds, P.F. Sloan, Bob Dylan, Joe South, Bob Lind, and Barry McGuire at that time, when most teens were listening to Nirvana or Boyz 2 Men. I can still listen to these artists, and they always sound fresh.

What a nice surprise it was to find out that both McGuire and McGuinn are now Christians. Barry has been a Christian since the early 1970s (and has worked with Terry Talbot, whose brother is the praised Catholic musician John Michael Talbot), and Roger since the late 1970s. Jonathan and I have a Byrds page set up, and I have compiled a Discography of Barry McGuire. Thanks for having blogs guys!

Barry is on the left (as pictured in the 1960s)
Roger on the right (from

Halloween Tack

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

HalloweenhouseYes, Halloween, the eve of All Saints Day, is coming! If you don’t believe me, just look around at all the Halloween tack going up. Pumpkin lights. Dracula Inflatables. Homemade scarecrows. I love them all. I must admit, I like things a little tacky (I am Catholic, aren’t I?). I have a wall above my TV where I place a decoration every season that cost me no more than a dollar. It’s my way of saving money, and allowing a little bit of tack in the house.

Jennifer’s mom bought me a nice little Halloween House, which I photographed (left). I don’t consider it too tacky I guess. Just so you know, the house is next to a birdhouse decoration, and a few McDonald’s Monopoly pieces I have yet to find a place for.

Playing Around and Look What Happened!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

I was playing around with the camera’s macro features, and I took a photo of a crucifix that I got at a dollar store. It turned out to be pretty nice.

Yes, behind Jesus is a scandisk adapter and a pack of Trident. Hey, like I said, it was initially a test shot. Ok, maybe there is a message here. Jesus takes on all of our burdens, even those of ordinary, modern life. The crucifix at my desk is simply positioned among modern things. Jesus bears common burdens, and he bears modern burdens. Thank God.

Some More Photos

Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

I recently have started an Online Photo Collection. I hope to regularly add photos to it. It is a creative outlet of sorts. Here are the two photos I have up now. The first is one of my cats outside. The other is another cat of mine inside. I am using a Kodak X7590 Digital Camera for these two photos. Let me tell you, taking photos of cats is work. They either turn the opposite way you want or walk towards you too quickly.