Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just Because: Real Life Examples

A couple weeks ago, our friends at Popple did at event at Shannon's parish in Jeff City, MO. They sent us this picture a couple days later, that they had found online:

It reminded Orin of a similar scenario from his growing up. Visiting his family over the weekend, he dug out a newspaper clipping from the Summer of 1993:

As silly as it is, "Just Because You Can" does have some real-life implications, folks.

Happy Halloween!

(photo courtesy of Lucy Gossett's facebook page)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Orin always has to one-up Shannon

So, remember that story, like, a couple weeks ago, of Shannon getting two flat tires the day before a big weekend Oddwalk trip?

Yeah, well, Oddwalk is hitting the road again this weekend, to the diocese of South Dakota, and what happens?

That's right, Orin's car bursts into flames. No, I'm not kidding, says Orin.

I was driving home from temple about 9:15 Friday night, and the car stalls out. I drift over to the shoulder, and turn it off and try to restart it a couple times. The second time, I heard a faint poof sound, and saw flames shoot out the passenger side of the hood/tire area. So I quickly hopped out of the car, not thinking well, and called Erin then 911 - yeah, don't ask me exactly why that order. Anyway, I then discovered in my haste, I had successfully locked myself out of the car, in which was still my keyboard, all my books for school, and several other less important possessions.

Within a few minutes the fire trucks, police cars etc. all arrived, and completely shut down Eastbound I-64 in St. Louis. That's right, I shut down the whole eastbound highway. The flames never really were that impressive, but there was an awful lot of smoke as you can see. Miraculously, they got the two important items just mentioned out of the back seat and continued to put out the fire. Miraculously, all of the other possessions, save a couple Spirit and Song hymnals were completely unscathed in the process - no fire, smoke, or water damage. Amazing.

Erin and our soon-to-move neighbors Dave and Jen came out to load up Orin's stuff and help out. The tow truck came and took Orin's car off to the lot, and We all went home and relaxed for a while. Now, I write this post, before going off to bed.

What may have caused this? Let's just say that Allstate and JiffyLube might be having some conversations in the near future.

Orin's car has served him well for just over 9 years, and as we recently observed, over 200,000 miles. It is a sad passing, so to speak, but the car served honorably and faithfully until tonight, 10-26-07, about 9:15pm. Farewell old friend, you will be missed.

Orin's car on Orin & Erin's wedding night

We've Got Garageband Too!

Jared alerted us to this site, - now, not everything there is clean and "appropriate" shall we say, but there are some real winners, like this tune about Apple's program for Macs called Garageband, which is a basic music editing program with loops and such in almost any style of music. Oddwalk has used it as an aid in composing and even on some of our early CDs. However, when placed in the wrong hands... well, as the description of the song says, "Perhaps this wasn't such a great idea."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If You Grew Up In Rural Minnesota:

Some of these work for rural America in general, I think. Thanks to Orin's sis, Gwynne:

If You Grew Up In Rural Minnesota:

· You know what knee-high by the Fourth of July means.
· You know the difference between 'Green' and 'Red' farm machinery, and would fight with your friends on the playground over which was better!
· You buy Christmas presents at Fleet Farm.
· You hear someone use the word 'oof-dah' and you don't break into uncontrollable laughter.
· You or someone you know was a 'Dairy Princess' at the county fair (pictured, above.  Orin doesn't know her, but is amused the picture file is "tinabutterhead.jpg")
· You know that 'combine' is a noun.
· You let your older siblings talk you into putting your tongue on a steel post in the middle of winter.
· You think Lutheran and Catholic are THE major religions.
· You know that 'creek' rhymes with 'pick'.
· Football schedules, hunting season and harvest are all taken into consideration before wedding dates are set.
· Saturday you go to your local bowling alley.
· There was at least one, if not several, in your class who had to help milk cows in the morning.
· You have driven your car on the lake.
· You can make sense of 'upnort' and 'baatree'.
· Every wedding dance you have ever been to has the hokey pokey and the chicken dance.
· Your definition of a small town is one that only has one bar.
· The local gas station sells live bait.
· You think that the start of deer season is a national holiday.

A Little Good News

As Orin and Erin approach their 3rd anniversary, here's a nice story about a couple on their 27th:

Couple get wedding photos after 27 years

MANSFIELD, Ohio - A couple won't mark their 27th anniversary until Thursday, but they've already received the perfect gift: the wedding pictures they couldn't afford when they married as teenagers. Their photographer showed up last week at the diner where Karen Cline works and surprised her with a photo album from her big day in 1980.

"About a month ago, I was just cleaning out some of my old things and I found it," said photographer Jim Wagner, who's now 80. "I knew she didn't have any money back then, and I just thought she might like to have it."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is it Christmas Yet?

Thanks to

Archery Banned in Archery Park

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The city's Archery Park may need a name change. How about No-Archery Park?

Tom Draper was surprised recently when he found a sign that cited a city ordinance prohibiting bows and arrows.

"Several archers that I've talked to are kind of in disbelief," Draper said, who along with his bowhunting friends have practiced archery at the park for more than 20 years.

Haiku Challenge IV is still going strong as well!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Erin (H) Saves the World in Her Own Unique Way

Orin's wife, Erin H, is changing the format of her blog a bit. Right now she has this amusing story posted:

For Church History I we were assigned a ginormous annotated bibliography to help us further along our research. I was having some trouble finding recent enough scholarship on the Early Irish Church, when I found an essay that I really wanted. I checked the library and the book wasn't there, so I made an interlibrary loan request - like you do.

Here is the response I received:

This request has been cancelled by the interlibrary loan staff for the following reason:

Other. Please see note field below.

You have Pius Library's copy of this book checked out. The due date is 1-31-2008.

Don't forget to keep playing our Haiku Challenge (no. IV), just below!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Haiku Challenge IV

Hey, we haven't done this in a while (here are rounds I, II, & III)! The rules are simple - a haiku is composed with three lines, of syllable-lengths 5-7-5. Add yours in the comments, below. Your haiku must begin with the last word of the one just before yours. You may play more than once, but not twice-in-a-row. Here's one to get us going.

Orin feels lazy.
No motivation, rather:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Keep In Mind

On Tuesday, October 9, 2007, Reverend Lucien Deiss, CSSp, celebrated what he often referred to as "the most joyful day of my life" in returning home to be with his Lord. Fr. Deiss, a native of France and resident of the Seminaire des Missiones in Larue, France, was during his lifetime a pastor, liturgist, author, international lecturer, renowned Scripture scholar, and an expert on liturgical music.

Orin grew up in his youngest years singing the music of Fr. Deiss. Please pray for him and his family. One of his more well known pieces his quoted below:

Keep in Mind
that Jesus Christ
has died for us
and is risen from the dead.
He is our saving Lord.
He is joy for all ages!

Another New Look

You might have noticed that we've done another facelift here at the Oddblog. Let us know what you think of it by voting in the OddPoll over in the sidebar:

What do you think of this look for the Oddblog?

– Groovy! Keep it.
– Eh.
– Bring back one of the older ones!
– Hey, I ordered a cheeseburger.

As usual, you can vote for about a week. Whee!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Do Shannon's Blog Post Titles Always Contain Bad Puns?

Or, "I'm Tire"d, Part II (by Orin)

Saturday Morning, Oddwalk hopped in their rental car and drove 5 hours west to Cedar Rapids, IA for a middle school rally, themed "SuperGod" as evidenced by the picture of the team members' shirts.

Oddwalk had a great time, and a couple pictures will help tell the story. First, as part of the art and environment for the day, the team attempted to put a Superman mannequin in a mock-up of a
phone booth. Superman turned out to be really short, and his head wouldn't stay on. Also, he had the head of a woman:

During the day, Oddwalk business cards and stickers were very popular. After taking this pic, Orin informed the youth that they should check the website in a few days to see it. One of the youth with the sticker-card-beard asked if we had any paper so he could write down the website. Orin lifted the bottom of the bear up in front of the young man's eyes and said, "Here it is."

I'm "Tire"d (Part 1 of this weekend's saga)

Before starting this post, I would just like to say that Orin and I are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to do what we do. If it weren't for the growth of our ministry, none of the following would be possible:

So...Thursday morning, Orin and I led music for the all-school Mass at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville. Thanks again to John Bouc, Althoff Campus Minister, for the invitation. After Mass had finished, we packed up and headed out to our cars. It was then that we discovered that my front driver-side tire was flat. Those of you who are aware of my procrastinative nature will not be surprised that, up until that point, I had been putting off fixing my flat spare tire. This meant that I owned a total of three (for now) fully aired-up tires.

Luckily, we have a lot of really great friends. Among them is the aformentioned John Bouc, who took care of my children while I went into Belleville and got my tire fixed. When the repair was finished, I gathered up my children, got some lunch and headed back home to Fulton.

Later that evening, I dropped my kids off at my wife's parent's house and headed to Helias Catholic High School to help with the Sophomore Retreat. When it was over and we had cleaned up, I offered to walk Kate, a fellow youth minister, to her car. She then offered to drive me to my car on the other side of the school. These details are important because, as we drove up to my car, we discovered ANOTHER flat tire. This one was rear driver-side tire. This was a problem. A BIG problem. It was now 11pm and there was no way of getting a tire fixed. There was also no spare tire because of my troubles earlier in the day.

I then spent the next 30 minutes or so on my cell phone, sitting in Kate's car, trying in vain to get someone to fix or replace my tire. The reason for the urgency was because Orin and I had a 6 o'clock flight to Chicago the next morning and I had no way of getting there. I hadn't packed yet and I had no idea if I would even make my flight. Luckily for me, Kate is a really nice person. She ended up taking me to my house so I could pack and then took me half-way to Orin's house in St. Louis (about an hour from Fulton). Orin then picked me up (at 2am) and brought me the rest of the way to his house. THANKS KATE AND ORIN!

After getting about 1 1/2 hours of sleep, Orin and I woke up, drove to the airport, and flew to Chicago. Why Chicago, you ask? That's where the practice was being held for our concert at NCYC sponsored by GIA. Actually the practice was in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, and included Gary Daigle and Chris DeSilva. A lot of work got done and all of us had a pretty good time.

On one of our breaks, Orin, Chris, and I went down the street to get some sodas. On our way there, we saw a promotion for an upcoming Barrington festival:

What a start to our weekend!


An Early Start to Halloween

Returning to the Shrine after a long weekend (more about that to be posted here soon, just you wait), Orin opened his unusually shut door, only to discover this little person waiting for him behind his desk. Some of the staff for Youth Sing Praise had been sorting through costumes and props this weekend, and apparently left Orin a friendly greeting. He/She seems nice, but a little quiet, and with an interesting fashion sense.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Automated Confession

Thanks to Oddwalk friend David B:


On the way to an Oddwalk appearance this morning:

Public Service Announcement from Orin's Wife

Erin H works as the Catholic campus minister in conjunction with the Tim mentioned below who does Methodist ministry for the school...

Lebanon, Ill. - McKendree University will host its first Fall Youth Fellowship Day on Oct. 13, treating more than 100 area high school students to Bearcat football, free food, prizes and a Christian concert at the Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

"The purpose of this weekend's event is to provide youth in the area a chance to experience McKendree University and its religious life program,'' said the Rev. Dr. Tim Harrison, McKendree chaplain and director of church relations.

Harrison said the fellowship day recognizes McKendree's 180-year tie with the United Methodist Church. Youth groups from Christian churches in Southern Illinois and the St. Louis area were invited to participate.

Events kick off at 1 p.m. at Leemon Field, where McKendree's Football Bearcats will take on St. Ambrose University. Following the game, there will be a welcome program at the Hett and scavenger hunts with McKendree students serving as campus tour guides. The day includes dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. performance by the Harvest Worship Band, led by Tim Price, director of the Harvest Ministry Teams. Price also serves as worship design pastor of Troy United Methodist Church in Troy, Ill.

"The event will be lots of fun, and it is free so as many young people as possible can participate,'' Harrison said. "I hope this will be the first of many youth events which invite young people from local churches to McKendree's campus."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Catholic Coke

Thanks to Oddwalk friend Mike for the lead:

Sweepstakes Winner Revealed!

So, late last night, Orin and Shannon continued to analyze the data available to us - fully aware that information contained within it was of the utmost importance, for what else might reveal to us and indeed the world the Oddbog Sweepstakes grand prize winner?

It soon became apparent to us that Erin H was visitor 10,000 (and has since chosen for herself the honorific title "Queen of the Universe" - like she always does), so we turned our attention to visitor 10,001. This was more of a mystery, but it became clear after a time that visitor 10,001 was...

[wait for it]

Shannon Cerneka after all - yep, the evidence led us to no other conclusion. So, we had to turn to visitor 10,002 to find our winner, and that person is...

[insert dramatic timpani roll here]

Sydnee Re Kuster, of Bunceton, MO!

Syd, just drop us an email via the links in the sidebar to let us know how you wish to use your $30 Oddwalk merchandise prize. We won't even make you pay for shipping!

Thanks to all who played, especially those who tried so hard to win - Marianne, Monica, and others... We'll try to have another sweepstakes soon - after all, it only took us a little over 2 years to get to this milestone, how far off could the next one be?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mystery Solved!

So, Shannon and Orin have sorted out who the mysterious 10,001st visitor is.

And, of course, who the big winner is too.

We'll tell you in the morning.


Sweepstakes - Mystery Winner?

Well, Erin H was right - she was the 10,000th visitor according to SiteMeter, and can now claim in victory some honorific title of her choosing.


She cannot claim the sweepstakes prize, which is not available to immediate family. So, what can we tell, from the Oddblog comments and from SiteMeter, about visitor 10,001?

The comments on the post sure make it seem like it was Oddwalk friend Monica S, but the SiteMeter reports that visit 10,001 was in Fulton, MO - where the Cernekas live, but what SiteMeter reports about the machine that checked the blog seems to rule out their laptop as the visiting machine.

Visitor 10,001 appears to be from Fulton, MO, using a PC running Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6.0 and a screen resolution of 800x600. Also, this person (or the machine they were on) connected to the internet via The time of the visit was 10:01:49, and they left the page by clicking on, well, the SiteMeter link, not surprisingly.

Who could this be? Is it you? Let us know by 11pm central time Tuesday, 24 hours from now. You can post in the comments or drop an email, using the links in the sidebar. If visitor 10,001 remains a mystery (or turns out to be a Cerneka after all), the prize, after 11pm Tuesday night, will then go to visitor 10,002 - and we've got a pretty good idea who that is already.

Visitor 10,001 - step forward and claim your Oddblog Sweepstakes Grand Prize!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Oddblog 10,000th Visitor Sweepstakes - Sign In Here!

We're within 50 visits of having a winner! If you think you might be our 10,000th, leave a comment by clicking below - We'll know what time it was made and can link it up to our SiteMeter report, so leave an identifiable name so that if it's you, we can pronounce you the big winner!

Remember, our 10,000th visitor – or the next one after 10,000 which is both identifiable and not us or our families – that person will win $30 of Oddwalk merchandise credit to use however he or she wishes.

Good luck all, and happy Oddblogging!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Cubs Come Through Yet Again

Brandon Webb (right) and the Diamondbacks celebrate their trip to the NLCS. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The Diamondbacks are heading to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2001 after sweeping the Cubs behind a 5-1 victory in Game 3 at Wrigley Field on Saturday night. Chris Young got the ball rolling with a home run on the first pitch of the game, and Arizona's defense turned four double plays to back winning pitcher Livan Hernandez.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Seen at a Qdoba last night.

The one on the left proclaims, "New Grilled Chicken Mango Salad"

The one on the right sadly announces (at the bottom), "The Grilled Chicken Mango Salad is going away for the winter."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oddblog 10,000th Visitor Sweepstakes!

As Orin's car continues to approach 200,000 miles (199,710 this morning), the Oddblog is rapdly approaching a major milestone of its own - its 10,000 visitor, according to SiteMeter.

So, here's the deal - from SiteMeter we also get limited information about our visitors: perhaps where geographically they checked from, for how long, how they got to the Oddblog, which OS and what screen resolution was being used, etc.

We don't use this info for any reason other than to satisfy our curiosity, to try to see what people are looking for on the blog, and so forth. But perhaps we can find another use:

Our 10,000th visitor – or the next one after 10,000 which is both identifiable and not us or our families – that person will win $30 of Oddwalk merchandise credit to use however he or she wishes.

When we have that many visits, sometime in the next week or two, we'll post as much info as seems appropriate about that 10,000th visit back here on the blog. If you recognize yourself and can convince us that that was you (shouldn't be too hard), the prize is yours.

We may even, when we get quite close, throw up a post for you all to comment in with the time and place of your comment so if you're the magic 10,000th, you can be easily awarded the prize.

You can check our visits status by looking at the SiteMeter widget at the bottom of the sidebar.

Stay tuned, and keep visiting the Oddblog for your chance to win!

You know you are a youth minister when…

From Oddwalk friend Cribbly:

You know you are a youth minister when…

You get an email from a high school senior asking you to write a letter of recommendation.

But this request is by far the most amusing one I have ever received.

“…you just need to write about who I am as a person. Suave. Dangerous. Sanitary.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Chickenwire Joe Remix

Scene from an OddiBook Reassembly

Well, after we thought it was taken care of, getting an unexpected upgrade, soldering a couple joints twice... and a lot of patience, the OddiBook seems to be back in business. Rejoice!

Scenes from Huron, SD

One of the diocesan priests sports an Oddwalk sticker.
Note the intense joy.

Huron is home to the world's largest pheasant.
Note the intense terror.

Shannon and Erin attempt to interact with the surrounding mural.
Note the intense cheesiness.

Erin H does not condone hunting.

Orin's Mom Update

Hi All - Orin's mom, Eva, is home from the hospital! Orin, Erin H, and Shannon got a chance to visit her in the hospital for a day or so over the weekend before our visit to Huron, SD. Sh got home earlier this afternoon and Orin's dad and sister are there to help settle back in. Thanks for the continue prayers and well-wishes.

Inching closer...

Our friends at GIA have a web page, called GIA Presents, dedicated to some of their composers who also offer themselves as clinicians. That list now includes us! Woo hoo!

Check it out:

Also, our personal bios are here: