Category Archives: uk & ireland

An Interesting New Project

This is not a Budget related post – it more of an ARG post.  Though – it’s not quite that either.

Some friends of mine are working on a new project, which has encouraged us to have an ’emergency budget meeting’ and back our first kickstarter project.

Ok – I guess it IS a budget related post. 🙂

Anyway, in the past I’ve blogged about friends who made a feature film (Between Notes). These same friends are launching another new project – and the Kickstarter runs for another 12 days.  If you like Stories, Technology, Creativity, Storytelling, Real-life interaction, and trying to push the boundaries on how we use media to tell narratives, I’d recommend you check it out.

It’s setting is London – on the closing day of the Opening Olympics. It’s told through an App & serialized content (first of which drops on Aug 12 – the literal last day of the Olympics).  It follows the life of 7 characters.  Title: Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret.

Find out more here.

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Filed under arg, books, budget, friends, ipod, literature, reading, technology, uk & ireland


Ok, so I am still thinking about it. We had a meeting at church today. Its all pretty up in the air (to me) with the biggest obstacle being the cost.

One thing I did learn is that the most expensive part it the plane ticket. BUT, it is possible to get that via air miles even if it means individuals flying to Heathrow by themselves and then meeting up. For me, I only have about 13,000 miles earned and with an airline that does not specifically fly to Heathrow (although their partner companies do). One thing I have found out is that it is possible to gift airline miles to other people. So, my next questions is “Does anyone know someone who has a ridicules amount of airline miles earned up so that they will never use it all?” I know some people out there travel a ton for business and earn more miles than they know what to do with. If that’s you and you would be willing to possibly donate some miles for a missions trip, let me know in the next couple of days. I have to decided soon.

Again, email me (if you need my email click on “view my profile” and there will be a link to my email).

Comments, thoughts, ideas, prayers are all welcome as well.

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Filed under travel, uk & ireland

Castle Combe

When I went to England last May, we visited a small village called Castle Combe in Wiltshire. Other than hiking in the welsh mountains, Castle Combe was probably my favorite place. It is a small 14th century town.

The day was wonderful. First we visited Bath, home of Jane Austin (at one point in her life even though she did not really like Bath). Here’s Jane & I:

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Castle Combe. We had to walk down from the parking lot because cars were not allowed. It was so picturesque that I have 4 of my photos from Castle Combe blown up and framed. They now hang on my wall. I even gave some of the pictures away as gifts (which is why I have not, and will not post those particular pictures on here). In fact, Castle Combe was the inspiration for returning from England and giving family members pictures I took as gifts.

Here are a couple of photos that were not as good, but they give you a taste. The first is the main street of the village.

The second is the manor home.

The third I call “the party tree” some of you will understand. If not (as with most things in life) refer back to Tolkien.

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that is down the way from the village. It has been turned into a hotel, with an incredible English garden.

Well all this to say that I watched “Stardust” last night. Its a fantasy movie and one of the towns is a place called “Wall” it only took a handful of seconds for the character to be walking through Wall and I thought, (then stated) “That looks like Castle Combe” Later I checked, sure enough, it was! Castle Combe was also used back in the day for the filming of the Original Dr. Dolittle

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that has been turned into a hotel.


Filed under jane austen, pictures, travel, uk & ireland

Yep, Its new

I finally changed the photo for my profile picture. The other one was about a year and a half old and I finally discovered a very simple way to change it. This particular photo is, like the last one, taken by me. It is on the top of a tower at Warwick Castle.

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Here are some more photos

Here are a couple of more photos from my UK trip. None of the photos on this post were taken by me. Our UK crew set up a site that we can share pictures with each other which is fantastic especially for group photos. You just can’t take a picture with 20 cameras each time.

This first picture makes me laugh so much. We were doing a “Smile big kids were in the dungeon” photo at Warwick castle. I have no idea what Paul is doing (tall man in the back).

In this one Aaron and Paul are pretending to preach at John Wesley’s church. Fortunately for us, we got several pictures of all the preachers-in-learning from our group posing as such prior to the little man running the place coming out and telling us we could not be at the pulpit.

This is the group of us who hiked on the first day in the Welsh mountains.

Here is a sign we saw on a church in Chester. We think it was on a door that was leading down to some type of cross or something.

This is our group at warwick castle. Unfortunately, Susan is not in the picture because she was taking the photo. Other than Susan, this picture has everyone one else from the trip.

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Filed under pictures, uk & ireland

Mariners Lost :(

It was a fun day even though the Mariners did not win.

Here I am in the driveway on the beginning of my trip. First I had to walk to the metra (commuter train) to go downtown. After that I had to catch the red line (subway) to wrigleyville. I noticed an older couple and their granddaughter dressed in cubs shirts and hats when I got on the Metra. While walking to the subway I saw them again and asked if they were going to the cubs game. When they said yes, I kind of asked if it was ok if I just followed them to the red line. Upon talking, they mentioned that they just returned on Tuesday from a trip to the UK & Ireland. We determined that we were not on the same flight Tuesday, but while in England, Wales, and Ireland, we went to many of the same places.

The Famous sign outside Wrigley.

These guys were playing some tunes while fans were going into Wrigley.

I had a bit of an obstructed view. Most of the time I was able to lean forward and see what was going on at second base.

And here I am. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn the flash on.

One other thing of note, the Fray (a band I really like) played a show in Chicago yesterday so they happened to be the guest conductors for “take me out to the ballgame” in the seventh.

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Filed under baseball, chicago, mariners, uk & ireland

More pictures

This at dinner on the first night in London. I ordered Fish and Chips with a side of mushy peas. It was very good. I honestly wish I could have fish and chips for lunch today.

This is one of my favorite photos. It was taken from our trip to Westminster. I am not sure if these guys are washing the windows of the Parliament building or not. If it is parliament, then I think I pointed out the wrong building in a perivious post. I just thought it looked cool.

This photo has an entire story attached. We were in Cambridge looking at, I believe Trinity College. I guess Eric Little (from the chariots of fire story) ran around the quad at Trinity College. So we made someone from our group run around it. He was a little over halfway when the security guys stopped him. It a pretty funny sight to see. As we were watching him run, we could see the little guys across the way starting to head him off and talking into their radios. I guess as he got closer to them he yelled “I am doing Chariots of Fire” the guys yelled back “we don’t care!” They took him into their office and made him say “I am sorry, I will never do it again.” then they let him go. This photo is right before he started running. I have one of the guys heading him off, but it is really far away and the people are so small.

This was at Warwick castle. The little British kids were so cute!

This is another favorite picture. Conwy castle is the “the castle by the sea” I like to call it Cair Paravel.

At Conwy, we got to climb many of the towers.

This is a picture from our hike in the mountains of Wales. It really did feel like being in Lord of the Rings.


Filed under friends, funny, lord of the rings, pictures, travel, uk & ireland

My trip in Pictures

Ok, it has been difficult picking out the best pictures and stories to share, but here are a few.

This first picture was taken on the stairs of St. Paul’s in London. We had just gone to Evensong.

On our first day seeing the sights, we headed over to Westminster Abbey. As you can see, this is a photo of Big Ben and the London Eye. When heading to Westminster, you get out of the tube and Big Ben is the first thing you see. Also, I believe the building on the left is Parliament. When the news goes to a political correspondent here in the US, they are usually reporting from Washington. In the UK, they would be reporting from Westminster.

This is a photo of me by the Tower of London, the first castle that we were able to visit.

Here is the London Tower Bridge (not the London Bridge as it is often called by mistake). For some reason, this photo looks like I am standing infront of a picture of the Bridge, not the actual bridge, but I assure you, it is real.

This one is a manor home called Bosworth Hall. It was our hotel for 4 nights. The grounds around the hotel were wonderful and so it was fun to explore them. Bosworth also has a little parish church next door where we attended services on one sunday and then later used during our stay for a time to get together as a group and have some worship music and prayer time.

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going home

tonight is our last night here. tomorrow we head “home” to chicagoland. I will miss the greenery here as it was a nice taste of home.

I look forward to being able to post my photos. I think I have taken about 700+ pictures, but I will pick only a few of the best.

See ya!

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Filed under chicago, travel, uk & ireland


we are now in dublin. went to st. patricks cathedral this morning and are heading out to a pub to see some irish dancing tonight.

the trip has been amazing and it has been a wonderful suprize sharing it with such good new friends.

to top it all off, only on a trip like this do you find time to watch the first to parts of Lord of the Rings after spending two days hiking in the welsh mountians scrambling up hills like the fellowship.

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Filed under friends, lord of the rings, uk & ireland