Tuesday, July 25, 2006

iPods and Podcasts

The iPod is an icon of our generation. It's a must-have tool of entertainment. Every contest offers a free iPod, demonstrating the iPod's dominance and demand in pop culture. And I'm getting mine in 3 days.
(go ahead, click on it...)
Yes, I know other mp3 players are cheaper, hold more songs, and may even be higher quality that Apple's iPod, but I just can't pass this one up. I was set to get my iPod and then something happened - I got married. Oh stop... I'm not dissing my marriage. I just had to change my Game Plan in regards to the iPod b/c this husband and wife are all about the budget. My impulsive consumer ways have been tamed (sometimes violently) with Katie's wise handling of our finances, and I will someday thank her for her discipline. Until then, I just apologize to her for my years of bad habits.

Back to the iPod. So we're going to Chicago - we actually get to go to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue. That's sure to be a blast. And when I walk out of that store, I'm making a b-line for Borders. Sitting with an iced vanilla latte, I'm going to plug in my iPod and hook it up to iTunes. If I need to describe iTunes, you need to get out more.

The thing with my iPod is that I'm going to finally have a place to store all my podcasts. I subscribe to 14 of them. Podcasts are audio or video files that are uploaded to iTunes. For example, our church (Blackhawk) uploads their video sermons each week. Then people like me can go to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast. Then whenever I open iTunes, one click on the update button keeps all my podcasts current. It's a wonderful thing for people like me who are always mobile and don't know when we'll have time to listen to a podcast.

(Podcast icon)

So what podcast to I subscribe to? There are a few pastors around the country that have some great things to say about the Church and how to be relevant in today's world.

Erwin McManus - Mosaic
Rob Bell - Mars Hill Church
And of course Chris Dolson and Company - Blackhawk Church

Then there's the leadership. Ahh, the leadership. I haven't touched on this a lot, but over the last 4-5 years, the study of leadership has probably become an addiction (don't even get Katie started...). Here's a couple I like:

Leadership Podcast (simple, but good)
Defining Moments - anything with Bill Hybels is A+
Practically Speaking - anything with Andy Stanley is A++, more exciting

Lastly, there's the culture. In this area, I have 2 that are absolutely wonderful.

One Campaign - Bono's deal fighting AIDS and global poverty
Relevant - the magazine's podcast with great interviews and highlights from pop culture

So there you have it - Hans' Podcast Subscriptions. I'm always looking for more, so if you find one (other than Ask a Ninja), write me a comment.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Athletes Get Injured

Sunday was very hot. Not an ideal day to run 12 miles, but that's what where Katie's at in our training for our Milwaukee Marathon (I'm a little behind, but will be back on pace next weekend). After running through the Abroretum and Vilas Park, we were coming down Monroe Street when I hit a crack in the sidewalk and went down. Fortunately, I was able to roll out of it and escape injury free. As we continued, Katie was amazed that I hadn't hurt myself. But as we were talking about it, Katie's foot hit an edge on the concrete - and down she went. I could tell she was more angry than hurt (which is a good thing). But the run was over. I ran back to the car and picked her up. After ice and elevation all afternoon, we talked to Joel Dreier - our friend who's an athletic trainer. He said she could run as long as it doesn't hurt and that she wouldn't make it any worse as long as she didn't roll it again. Well now the ankle's swelling is back along with some black and blue coloration.

Athletes get injured. It's bound to happen. We're glad it wasn't more serious. She'll be on the bike this week and we'll hope to get out running soon. We're also glad the marathon is still 2+ months away.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Devi's Lake

One of Wisconsin's greatest summer destinations is Devil's Lake State Park. With Katie's planning, the two of us and four of our cousins made the trip on Independence Day 2006.

Katie had our spot set up by 9am.

Grant, Tori, Brad, and Kelly came a little after noon, and we fired up the grill.

After burgers and brats, we played a game of Boche (complete with huge doses of ADD).

Ususally the players don't balance their balls on their shoulders, but these aren't usual players.

We decided to hike the famous bluffs from our spot on the south shore. If you've never been here, the pictures probably won't do it justice. It's an easy climb and the views are beautiful. Grant was struggling b/c he was in flip-flops.

Our dilema was finding Balanced Rock. Here's the sign pointing 2 different ways to it. The thing is, Balanced Rock is actually behind the sign - you can see it in the background (click on the left picture and you can see it in the background above and to the left of the sign). Brad and I pose when we actually found the thing.

As I said, the views look good here but are better in person.

So visit beautiful Devil's Lake. You won't be disappointed.