Category Archives: Misc

2015 Recap & Previewing 2016

I figured with the new year’s holiday it would be a good time to recap 2015 and look ahead to 2016.

2015 Recap

On October 2nd, 2015 (IndeBrendence Day) I paid off my student loans. I graduated in May 2012 with about $26,000 in debt. I am pretty please with the speed in which I paid it off. A lot of this was me putting most of my work bonus towards it. When I first started paying it off I was paying over $3 a day in interest or close to $100 a month. Once I saw that I knew that they had to go.

I signed up for a motorcycle course and got my license in the fall. I also purchased a small dual sport bike (Yamaha XT225 in case you were wondering). This was definitely a splurge. I only rode it a few times (including on Christmas Eve) but hope to put some miles on next summer. My dad and brother ride as do many of my extended family.

I bought a plane ticket to Rwanda to visit my brother who is a Peace Corp volunteer there. I haven’t seen him since fall 2014. I am leaving in about two weeks with my Dad and two family friends. The plan is to spend two weeks exploring the country. I am really excited!

I took a relaxing trip with my girlfriend to the Apostle Island area of Wisconsin. This was the second year in a row of vacationing around Lake Superior. The big water must have a hold on me. We stayed on Madeline Island and in Bayfield. We took a kayaking trip that was a lot of fun. We also went to Big Top Chautauqua for a concert. I highly recommend that if you are in the area.

Boat on Lake Superior from Madeline Island

Boat on Lake Superior from Madeline Island

I also took a road trip to Omaha Nebraska for a family wedding. My dad, two of my Aunts and Continue reading

The closing of

I went to today to catch up on the headlines and stories around Europe only to find that the site has lost funding and will no longer be operating. Apparently it was funded by the European Commission and they ended the funding. I really liked the site because it translated articles from different languages into English so I could read from many great newspapers around Europe no matter what language the story was originally published in. The tagline of the site was “The Best of the European Press”. It seemed like a good place to get a feel of what was happening in Europe. They also went through the headlines of the newspapers and had political cartoons from different countries. I would often download the days news onto my e-reader and catch up with the old world on my bus ride to work or on my lunch break.

I am saddened that I will no longer have this source to get information about Europe. I will have to try to find another site that does a similar function. From what I read in the comments they are kind of keeping a blog called Hopefully I can find out from there if a new website is started. Do you know of any similar sites? Have you ever visited Press Europe?

Goals Page

I have recently added a goals page to the top menu. This will help me keep track of my goals and give me some public accountability. It will also help to keep me focused. I have been known to flit from thing to thing in the past.

I would like to keep the goals page to medium to long term goals that are realistic and measurable. I am not sure how well it will work but I think it will help me keep my goals fresh in my mind.

Do you have a goals page on your blog? Why or why not? How can I make mine better?


It is the season of Carmex! I am partial Carmex over Burt’s Bees and other lip balms because I am from Wisconsin and Carmex is from Franklin, WI. I like to support the home team.

I was reading the tube today and it says”apply to lips not more than 3 to 4 times daily”. I have been flouting that “guideline” every winter. When my lips are chapped I need the soothing relief!

What lip balm do you use?