Paschal Candle
side view good

During the Easter Vigil one of the first things we do is bless and candle that represents the light of Christ. Normally parishes buy them already made but a few years ago I learned how to paint them. It’s very easy. Get blank candle, sand it with very fine sandpaper so that it has a matte finish. Then paint it to your liking. There are a few elements required for its use. A Cross in the center, an Alpha and Omega at the top and bottom of the cross, the year placed in the quadrants of the cross, and the night of the vigil 5 nails are placed in the candle to represent the 5 wounds of Christ. Everything else is fluff but it does go a long way to make it more beautiful. During the Easter season the candle remains at the ambo where the reading are proclaimed and during the rest of the year it is placed by the baptismal font and it used during the baptism and funerals. This year’s candle is pretty simple but more colorful than my past candles. 

Lenten Naval
close up

This past Sunday was the 5th Sunday of lent. It has become the weekend that my parish has a 40 hour devotion which has us doing adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for 40 (or so) hours straight. To cover the overnight hours we invite your youth group, confirmation class, and this year our young adults to have a lock-in with these folks taking turns adoring our Lord. Along with being a great thing for our parish it gives me an opportunity to spend some extended time with this group. Over the last three years I have always put on a miniature game. This year was no different. The past two weeks have been very busy and so I really didn’t have an opportunity to set up a big game. This year I amazingly pulled of a Napoleonic naval game. To my great surprise the kids loved it. So much so that we played two games. The rules were very, very bare bones. I had built and painted the ships so that the sails could be removed as damage was taken. The number of sails was used for shooting and movement. And the movement was modified based on the wind direction. It was I-go-you-go initiative system. The game was fast pace and bloody with lots of dice. In fact the second game I up the damage and they rolled lots of dice. And the other receiving player rolled a save to try and alleviate the damage. We played a game of […]

3D “Game of Thrones” Board Game pt. 2
kings landing

A simple follow up post with more pictures of the tracts and and details of the board and pieces.

Another Winter Project

I have had a number of projects this winter. One of course is the 3-D board game that is complete and I should be posting some new pictures of it in about a month or so. Another project this winter was a shrine to St. Hubert at the woods. I’ve been wanting to make this for a number of years but just never go around to it. A couple of years ago we cut a poplar tree down but left the stump nice and high so that we could do something with it. I had thought of carving it but I really didn’t think I had the time or the skill to do the job that would like to do on a statue. Instead I settled on a shrine to St. Hubert. For those who do not know St. Hubert is the patron of hunters, which is ironic since his conversion had him give up the hunt. Over the years I have begun to incorporate him in and his intercessions into my prayers particularly when I hunt or am at the woods. This past year was a great year of hunting. I saw lots of deer nothing big but it was always a nice time in the woods whenever I would sit. For me seeing nature and spending some safe and quiet time in the woods is more important than getting “monster” buck. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see a big buck but realistically with my schedule it’s more likely […]

3D “Game of Thrones” Boardgame
close up pyke

Last GenCon I had a brain storm to turn the Fantasy Flight Game “Game of Thrones” into a 3D map board and use 15mm miniatures to represent the troops. The idea came from seeing a big map board of an old game called “Kingmaker” at some gaming conventions about 10 years ago. The guys who made it used miniatures to play the game and that sight always remained in my mind. So after playing “Game of Thrones” for a couple years I realized that I could make a pretty cool thing by turning this 2D map into a 3D map board. I emailed Fantasy Flight Games and got permission to do the project and I think they also plan to sponsor some games at this coming GenCon that our Club will be putting on. The Board has come along nicely. It is roughly 2 ½ times the size of the board game map. I began by buying the base board. I then cut out the map and the provinces and kept gluing them to other poster boards and building up the layers. This gave it a topographical map look and after this part was finished I added mountains and various terrain making materials to make the map to make it look life like from a ravens view, all be it a space ravens view. To represent the game components such as castles and strongholds I sculpted the pieces and then cast them. The figures I purchased and painted up to match […]

Halloween Game

Our youth group has a Halloween party every year and since coming to my parish I always put on a zombie game for the kids. Zombies are all the rage right now and there are plenty of kids who are interested in playing. It also allows me set up some the things I’ve made lately and somewhat play a game since it’s very hard for me to get together with friends to play because of distance and schedule. It was a very basic game with simple rules to play fast to try and keep their attention. 12 players split in two teams. One team was trapped on the roof of the post office. The other team was in the other corner defending a safe zone and the goal was to link up in the safe zone. The best part of the zombie game is that all the players work together to try and win. As with most games the kids played two different styles. There were the players who tried and sneak around and make their way to the safe zone and then there were the players who charged head long into danger and tried to fight their way through. The team in the safe zone tried to clear the way for the others as they moved. Sometimes they were successful. By the end of the game about five of the players had meet their end while the others made their way to the safe zone. Fun was had. And […]


I’ve always been fascinated by sailing and after going up to Lake Michigan for a couple of years I interested in learning how to sail. Lucky for me a couple at the parish had an old Sunfish sailboat sitting in their garage. The one problem was that the fiberglass body had a big hole in it so they have lent it to me to use as long as I patch the hole. Well the hole has been patched and I have gone sailing the last two Mondays. There has not been much wind these days but today was little better than last Monday. It’s fun to go out for a couple of hours and learn the ropes and learn how little wind can push me and a small boat around the lake.

A Good Couple of Days Fishing

My friend Davin and I had a chance to get out on the water Sunday and Monday. Sunday was carp fishing and he was the only one who ended the day with a fish. Lots of shots but just couldn’t get them to eat. Monday we took Piscis down the river for the first time and had the best day ever on the river. Caught tons of fish. The normal size was 12″ but some 2lbers and a 3lber were taken. we even landed a 4lber and lost another. Overall an amazing day despite the rain. In fact I caught more fish Monday than I caught in the last years combine and more than doubled my biggest small smallmouth.

Civil War Trip Day 4 and 5
new market

Yesterday we traveled north from Richmond to visit the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania battlefields. All very nice and well taken care of, Fredericksburg has suffered the most over the years. Only a small amount of it remains, but what does remain is very interesting. The old stone wall that Lee’s troops used is still there and after seeing it you can understand why the confederates won. It is a battle that stayed with the union troops because they chanted “Fredericksburg” as the confederates came at them in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. At Gettysburg the union troops had the stone wall and they won. Chancellorsville was a nice battlefield and well preserved this is the battle in which Jackson was shot by his own troops and would later die. We saw both the wounding site and the place of his death miles away. The wilderness is my favorite battlefield and battle. While it is unknown by most is was the start of Grant taking control of the eastern theater of war and so the beginning of his march to Richmond and Petersburg. Spotsylvania was his next battle and it stretched about a two week period however both The Wilderness and Spotsylvania had 15,000 casualties but unlike Spotsylvania The Wilderness only lasted two days. To end out the day 3 we raced home beating the storms that were rolling through. We got home just in time to see it roll into Richmond and as we watched out our window we lost […]

Civil War Trip Day 3
monitor gun

Today we traveled down the Peninsula. We first visited Fort Monroe on an island off the tip of the peninsula. We were unsure about this stop. It has just become a National Park and the army and the park service are swapping out duties. The old fort is pretty amazing to see. It’s in great shape and the fort’s history spans Jamestown to the present. So every war has some history at the fort. There is also a museum in the old casemates (the areas that contained the old fort guns). The museum was nice and well taken care of they did have the actual cell that Jefferson Davis was kept in after the war. On our way out we got to see an aircraft carrier coming into Norfolk. It was the George Bush and it was huge. As we ate lunch we watched it make its way to the naval base. After the fort we traveled to Newport News and visited the Virginia Maritime Museum. It had a lot of nice things that again spanned the whole history of Jamestown it the present age. The main attraction was the USS Monitor. It was the first Union Ironclad. The Monitor battled just off shore with its confederate counterpart and so made all other wooden navies obsolete. There was a large section dedicated to the artifacts from the wrecked Monitor and it even had the turret and some of the cannons. They had many examples of what ship life was like. […]