Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Final Thoughts About Mississippi

Mississippi was a great place to live. The commute was fantastic. The people were very nice. The gym was nice. Beaches were nice (pre-oil spill). The winter was very pleasant.

Two words meant a lot down there to me... casino buffet. We tried all the major casino buffets in Biloxi. The best was hands down the IP Casino Buffet. We visited the Hard Rock Casino the most... for the Ben and Jerry's they had inside. In spite of this I managed to lose ~15 pounds.

We took a trip to New Orleans. I would not take my children to visit that city, and I will likely avoid it whenever I can. The most interesting thing about New Orleans is the constant juxtapositions of "ideas" found throughout. Examples include the main cathedral/church has a line of tarot and palm readers at the doorstep. Also, St Anne, St Peter, intersect with Bourbon Street. You can sense the religious history all around but scratch your head at "everything else" going on.

Amanda is luckier at slot machines than I am. This was not really a surprise. Just confirmed. We prefer penny slots.

We went to a great church Mosaic. It was a great church plant. I would recommend it to anyone moving down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

We left before the oil disaster.

I tried crawfish for the first time.

Between Gulfport and New Orleans it is very clear that there are towns that have just never recovered from Katrina.

blah blah blah...

It is nice to be back in Virginia. If only for six months.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Diet and Exercise

This week has been mostly diet and no exercise but this morning I had a nice run over a 1.8 mile bridge and back. It was a little shorter than my former Sunday runs, but my knee held up well. This week at the gym I will start some strengthening to try and help my knees. Especially since I have a new penciled in race with Jason to be announced once finalized.

On the diet front, last Monday morning I weighed in at 210 punds and this morning I weighed in at 200 pounds. It looks like I will be less than 200 shortly which will be the first time in a while. I am hopeful that this makes running easier. I would like to get to 185-190 range, and then maintain it. So week 1 on the South Beach diet has been good. In truth I don't even mind the diet. It is relatively easy to do.

Could it be?

This morning we attended Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs, MS. This church is 1 year 3 months and meets in a skating rink that they rent and set up on Sunday mornings. They have two services (9 and 11) and are considering adding a third. The music is contemporary and the pastor is good. They are a part of the Acts 29 network of churches. They had good coffee. To pick up your kids you had to have matching stickers. It was a computerized sticker printout and they gave you a little key chain card like a value card at a grocery store so that next time you come you just scan it and it brings up the kids info to print. It was a fairly mixed demographic of ages. The one amusing thing they missed was that when I went to their website it did not have the service times on it. Apparently they just updated there site. It was a good sermon about sharing the gospel. I think we are going to look for a Bible study to get involved in with the church. Right now we plan on going back. Thanks for any who prayed for us about finding a church.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Church Search

Two Sundays ago upon our move to Mississippi Amanda and I began our first church hunt in 7+ years. It is very strange, and I do not like it a bit. I am not sure how people are able to do it for a long period of time. So far no decision on a church home, but we hope to make one as quickly as possible.

On churches in Mississippi to date: Both places we have attended seem to have everyone who wants participate in music. They both had choirs, and a lead singer, and a guitarist, and a drummist, and a keyboardist. One of them had an orchestra and praise team too. It was rather fascinating. Both churches so far used media shout. I could tell because of the backgrounds used for some of the slides. The first preacher pretty much read a scripture verse, and then he proceeded to rehash the scripture just expanding the storytelling. The other one was less smooth, but with a better message. Both of the churches had a time at the end where people could come up to the front to either talk with a pastor or pray. No one came up. The demographics at both churches tended towards an older crowd so far as I can tell.

The big thing that struck me after the second (and then thinking back to the first it was the same) is that it was too easy to just leave and walk out the door. Nobody grabbed my attention introduced themselves after the service or tried to have a conversation. Everyone went on there merry ways. This is even though we parked in guest spots at both places and people walked by as we got in our cars.

A sad week

This week on Monday morning I weighed in at 210 pounds. Thus began my diet. I have been put on the South Beach Diet. The first two weeks you eat lean meats and veggies (basically). On day one I walked into a training class that had donuts, pastries, and cookies. Sadly I did not partake. On that same day I stopped putting cream and sugar in my coffee and began drinking my coffee with one artificial sweetener packet in it. Day one I tried Equal and I think I am allergic (seriously, I had headaches). Day two I did sweet'n'low which I do not seem to be allergic, but I do not like. Today I switched to Splenda. It is fine, but it is not cream and sugar. Oh well. It is actually not to bad to go on a diet. I think I may make it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Date in Mississippi

Amanda and I went on our first date since we moved to Mississippi. I decided to review the various things we did.
Hard Rock Casino: Giant guitar out front sets the scene for a good environment inside. Amanda walked around the high rollers area for a few. Easy to lose five dollars in 20 minutes. I was actually up 1.50 on video poker. I liked the casino, but I did not play any table games. I would go back, but not until I go to several others.
Mary Mahoney's: I had Fried Shrimp which was ok, and Amanda had a veal which was not so good. If those two items are any indication, then I do not recommend the restaurant for dinner. Desert was good I had pecan pie which was good and Amanda had Mississippi Mud Pie which was ok. Decaf coffee was good. The service was good, but the restaurant is built into an old house and thus has a strange shape of the dining areas. This restaurant has served president's, but I was not impressed.
Riverdance: The drummer was amazing. The dancing was very good. It was a good show. There was a hiccup with the coliseum in the intermission when it looked like a circuit blew. During the show it was all good. It was a little strange from a spiritual perspective at times. All in all it was very enjoyable. I would recommend that you consider seeing it if you have not already.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A guessing game about Isaac

Here is the challenge. Answer the following question if you can.

Why did my 2 years and 4 month old Isaac find a clothes hanger on the ground and say, "Look Dada a mystery."?

I think I know the answer. You may get a hint from an earlier post. Please put guesses as a comment. If I have previously discussed this with you, then clearly you should not guess.