Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Last One


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I don't know that blowing things up ever gets old. But this is actually the last video I will post since this was the last blasting that we have on my project. Really I have nothing else to talk about. I tweaked my back playing soccer Sunday night. That is making my marathon training suffer. Lately I have just been working, coming home, laying on the couch and going to bed. Nothing spectacular there. I am excited about the Brewers and sick of hearing about Brett Favre. And not too much planned for this weekend. Enjoy watching 1300 pounds of dynamite blast apart 800 cubic yards of concrete.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Buckhorn Camping

The camping trip this weekend was a lot of fun. I really liked the camp grounds. All of the campsites were very spread out. It was very difficult to hear your neighbors. This is unlike many state parks were the sites are right on top of each other. I just wished I would have gotten on the reservations a bit quicker and got a site on the water. Early Friday, we checked out a couple of the other campsites that were on the water and they looked great. Maybe next year I will get my act together quicker. The only major drawback to the weekend was the bugs. The mosquitoes were unbearable. I have never been around that many before. They actually chased us to the bar both Friday and Saturday night. If this had been my first camping trip, it would have been my last camping trip. The park ranger said that normally the mosquitoes aren't bad at all this time of year. I do highly recommend this state park. By far my favorite of all the ones I have been to. I wish I had taken more pictures, but these are pretty much the only ones that I got.
Liquid and Doug in their canoe.
Saturday we canoed out to this island where apparently all of the boats on the lake go to tie up. Here are Liquid and Doug surveying the area.
Jota and I just chilling out in the algae filled water.
Flo and I in our canoe. Our canoes that we rented for the day. We sort of looked like dorks paddling up to this big tie up party with canoes. But we look like dorks anyhow so it wasn't a real big deal.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Work was a Blast Yesterday


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Here is what over 800 pounds of dynomite can do.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sheepshead

Alright Bubs,
Here you go. Bubs sent me this information on the National Sheepshead Tournament in Green Bay. It takes place on November 7th and 8th. I had been waffling a bit on this, but with in the last couple of days, I have come the realization that the chances of my project here in Oshkosh completing on time are slight. More than likely I will be up in the Fox Valley until the end of November or even December. Therefore, I am planning on going. Anyone interested in coming along for the ride, you are more than welcome. I have plenty of space on my floor for you to crash at my place. I will send out another reminder as the day gets closer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mid Week Report

I actually have nothing to report to my loyal blog readers. It is Wednesday and I am just trying to make it through the week. I am looking forward to the weekend. Camping in Buckhorn State Park. There is still room it people are interested in joining us. So far it is Liquid, Doug, Flo, Axe, Suzanne, Joe, Dawn, Nate, Michel and myself. I have a half day on Friday, so I should be at the camp site by 2 in the afternoon. That is all I have to report for the week, just looking ahead to the weekend and training for my marathon. A 40 minute run is scheduled for tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Recap

It was another jam packed weekend for me. Which is good, it keeps me moving but it also wears me out. Monday night I will most likely be in bed by 8:00.

Friday after work I headed down to Madison. I met up with Joe and Dawn, we went to the High Noon Saloon. They have live Karyoke there. Tom Brady, Pocahontas and Pocahontas' roommate, Marsha also, met us at the bar just as I was getting on stage to sing. It was pretty fun to be on stage with a real band and singing. I was a little nervous, but I want to do it again. We then proceeded to go to a couple bars for dinner and drinks. Jota met us out. He showed up on his moped. At the end of the evening Jota let me take the moped out for a spin. The problem was, that I didn't get proper instructions. It was an old moped that you have to pedal to get started. I would guess that I had to pedal that bike a mile or two before figuring out how to get it started. Once I got it started and buzzed around the capital a couple of time, I had a hard time remembering where I left everyone at. I went down a number of one way streets the wrong way.

Saturday morning was the Paddle / Portage with Tree. It was a pretty crazy scene at the start with 381 canoes all taking off at once. I liked the portage part of the race the best. We ran from lake to lake right in front of the capital. As I mentioned before Tree and I did some training for the race, but decided to scrap out portage strategy 5 minutes before the race started. But it all worked out pretty well, completing the course in 55 minutes. Overall we finished 152 out of 381 canoes. In our division we finished 58th out of 113. I am not the greatest navigator when it comes to canoes, and if I could have kept us on a much straighter course, we probably could have shaved off a couple more minutes on our time. I want to thank, Tom Brady, Pocahontas, Joe and Dawn from coming out to cheer us on. And I would like to especially like to thank Jota who half way through the portage threw water on us. It would have been real refreshing if the water wasn't 100 degrees.

After the race I went to Chris and Rebecca's for their annual horseshoe tournament / shrimp boil. It is a great party. I organized the horseshoe tournament. We had two pits going, double elimination, 20 teams, and I think it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 hours to finish. My team finished somewhere around 5 or 6th place. But as always the highlight of the party is the food. Tons of shrimp. Everything was so good. Thank you Chris and Rebecca for throwing out such a great spread.

Sunday was a family reunion. Normally we have it on a lake just outside of Dousman. But with all of the water we have had lately, and the condition of the beach there, we had to move the reunion to my brother's house. In reality it ends up just being the Davies and Sherman families that show up. A good portion of the day was taken up with some pool volleyball.

Here I am getting back Friday night with Jota's moped. I was just dripping with sweat after pedaling that thing all around Madison.

I should have taken more pictures at the shrimp boil. Here is the table with the shrimp. They just kept cooking the shrimp and then would dump them out on the table and you just came up to the table and picked away.Here are 9 of my 10 nieces and nephews in a line up pool side.
And then Pocahontas, the big bully, came along and pushed them all into the water. To think people say I am mean.Let the games begin, pool volleyball.You have to spike those Focker!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Paddle / Portage

Tomorrow is the day of the big race. I am shacking up that the Magnusson Residence this evening. And getting a pre race meal in somewhere in the downtown Madison area. It should be Joe, Pocahontas, Tom Brady and myself, but if anyone else is in the area, free feel to get a hold of me for a drink. Tree and I have been practicing, that is if you want to call 1 morning of practice, practicing. The race starts at 10:00 Saturday morning at James Madison Park and ends about 45 minutes later at Olin Park. Here is the course:
I did a little research and it looks like a time of 45 minutes could get Tree and I into some hardware. The top 5 finishers of each division get awards. But I am predicting that Tree slows us down.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Question

Julie raises a very valid question. What happens to the mess in the river? Well it is the contractor’s responsibility to remove the debris from the blast. As our contract states “Remove all reinforcing steel, all concrete, and all other debris that falls into the waterway or wetland except a small pile of concrete rubble no more than three feet high and no larger than the pier footing may be left at each pier provided all reinforcing steel is removed. This rubble may provide habitat for catfish provided the pile contain large holes for the fish to maneuver through.” This has since been amended to a pile of concrete rubble no more than six feet high, per the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

I am sure you are all interested in the fish kill. According to the DNR about 100-150 fish were directly killed by the blast.

Approximately 75-85% were freshwater drum, ranging from 7-25 inches - about two dozen were over 20 inches. Approximately 10% were white bass about 7-12 inches.

Other species included:
About 10 black crappie ~ 6-8 inches.
About 5 channel catfish ~ 10-25 inches
2 walleye ~ 15 inches.
2 burbot ~ 7 inches.
One YOY blue gill

No lake sturgeon, sauger, yellow perch, carp or other cyprinids were observed.

This was taken just minutes before the blast. To help scare away fish we connected an air hose to the air compressor and plunged the hose around the pier.
Here is the blast from the water.Part of the fish kill.As for the clean up and how it is done. Using a crane and a clam bucket. It is a slow process. We are currently figuring one crane, in an 8 hour shift for 4 days should get us close to what is required. But as of this morning on the start of day 2 the top of the debris pile is about 10 feet below the water surface. They have another 10 feet to go.

Sunday is Fun Day

I had a lot going on Sunday. Oddly enough church wasn't one of them. I was up at 7 in the morning. After the basketball tournament, I felt like a 45 year old man getting out of bed. But I did get up and then hit the pavement. As I have said I am behind on my marathon training. I logged 8 miles Sunday morning. I am still trying to comprehend how I convinced myself to go running that morning. Then I headed down to Wales park where my brother was in a kickball tournament. I find it funny that he is on a kickball team. Especially after he po-pooed it when I was on a team 4 years ago. I recall trying to make a bet with him that I could kick more home runs in kickball than he could hit in softball. He backed down from that bet. After the game I stopped at my parent's house to wrap a present for Tree's daughter, Kaitlyn's, birthday party. I hit the party at Chucky Cheese's and then drove up to Appleton. I walked in my apartment and caught the end of the Brewer game, then crawled into bed for a bit. I was up at 6 in the evening and headed to my soccer game that night. Soccer went pretty well. We won 5-1. After the game I got in some grocery shopping and then finally was able to lay my head to rest at 11:00. Here are Sunday's photos.

At the kickball tournament they also had these inflatable things for the kids to play on. Nick challenged me to the running thing with the bungee cords strapped to your back. I was informed by the guy working there that I got further than anyone else he had seen that weekend. And because I did a race with Nick, I had to do one with Ethan. Here I am scaling the wall in the obstacle course. I never let the kids win. I do this because one day, most likely sooner than I want it to be, they will be beating me. It is always much sweeter to earn a win than to be given one.Here is Mr. Wonderful trotting around the bases after kicking his second home run of the game. Head down and going about his business. But as the saying goes, in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.Tree, Kaitlyn and Chucky. I brought the biggest present to the party. It was my brother's outdoor grill box wrapped up with nothing but a card, balloons and candy inside. That is how you become the most popular adult at a kid's party. All the kids wanted to open the big one first. When I showed up carrying this mammoth present, I went up to Ed, Tree's brother, and said "Which one is your present?" He pointed to a little box. I said, "That little thing. That is all you brought?"Here is Kaitlyn and Heather. Look how happy Kaitlyn is. I wish I was 3 again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Day At The Office

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I have always said that construction is usually pretty boring. It only gets exciting when something goes wrong. And when something goes wrong, that means there is a lot of paper work to deal with. This was not the case yesterday. As many of you know, I am currently overseeing the construction of the Wisconsin Street Bridge in Oshkosh. Part of this construction is the removal of the old bridge. We have gotten to the point in the project where the only part remaining of the old bridge are the 6 piers. Yesterday was the first of 6 blastings of the piers. Check out the video.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stu on Stu

Saturday was Stu's basketball tournament. Every year Stu has a 2 on 2 basketball tournament in his driveway. I want to say that this was the 7th or 8th tournament. It is a pretty exclusive club to win the tournament. And I am happy to say that I am indeed in the club. I won 4 years ago. But as is pretty well known I have incurred some health problems and my shoulder has kept me from being able to play. I always tell Stu, that if there is an odd number of people, I will play, otherwise I would rather sit out and watch. This year they needed me to play. I got Diesel as a partner. Unfortunately Diesel and I didn't fare too well. We lost to the team that eventually took second place 8-4. Won 8-0 our second game. Then lost to last year's champions 10-8. I didn't play that great. I haven't really shot a basketball in 3 years. While I am in pretty good shape, I am not in basketball shape. And in out last game, as I predicted would probably happen I popped my shoulder out. Stu has a concrete driveway and playing on that court easily takes a month or two off of your life. This tournament has been going on for years and over that time the cream has been rising to the top and this year was the best year as far as basketball talent goes. Of the 9 teams in the tourney I would say that their were 7 teams that could have won the whole thing.

Here is Bob taking it to the hole.Another shot of Bob.Not to be outdone by his baby brother, Stu going up strong. It is Stu's tournament, but he has never won. He has taken 2nd place 3 or 4 times. Here is Tree manning up on Stu. How would you like to have Tree guarding you? When we used to play in Sussex in a Tuesday night league about 4 years ago, I would always get the assignement of guarding Tree. Try pushing him out of the lane for an entire evening.
Here is Kyle taking a jumper.Kyle and Jerome ended up winning the whole tournament. It is Tuesday and I am still incredibly sore from the tournament. As I said, it was all quality players. And not small guys either. I was far from being the biggest player in the tourney. Although after this tournament, I am doing some serious consideration into actually having my shoulder fixed, possibly even this year.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Recap

I am going to do a day by day recall on this past weekend to keep my readers coming back. Today you only get the recap from Friday. I knew this was going to happen this summer. My weekends are just jam packed with stuff going on. And then it takes me nearly the entire work week to recover. Friday after work, I drove down to Milwaukee to meet up with Tree, his brother, Ed, and his nephew, Travis. I got down a little early and go in a run. I have that marathon in October and I am bit behind on my training. But I should be alright if I keep on pace with the training regiment that I currently have going on. I got my run in, about 4 or 5 miles. Meet up with Tree and company at my house and then we proceeded down to the parking lot at Miller Park. I think we were parked by 4:30. Travis had just turned 21 and I had been hearing some tall tales he had been telling Tree of his drinking exploits. I felt it was time to debunk some of these stories. We were in the parking lot until the 5th inning of the game. During that time we grilled out, made a number of new friends and made good use of the beer bong. Our parking spot was right on the isle so we had plenty of foot traffic. We offer up the beer bong to nearly everyone that walked by. Once we finally go into the game, we found our seats and I mixed up a couple of Captain and Cokes. Shortly after sitting down, my mission was complete and Travis was throwing up. Pretty nasty. I have made a commitment to myself since the weekend of the 4th. And that is that I am cutting back to drinking just one night a week, at least until after the marathon. While it is still debatable if I have a drinking problem or not, I am not going to discuss it. That is about as trivial as my weight problem. Here are some photos from the weekend. Ed is flexing and doing a beer bong. A multitasker.This is Doc. He is 67 years old and we convinced him to do a beer bong. 67 years old and he was just as fast as Travis.
But I don't think that Doc was pulling in the ladies like Travis. Look at this stud.Before heading into the game, me, Travis, Ed and Tree.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 6th

While Tom Brady and I were sitting around the firepit early the morning after the 4th, he inviting me at least 6 times to go to the Brewer game with them on Sunday. And even though I said yes that I would go everytime, he continued to ask me. The Shermans had planned a full day down at Miller Park. Pocahontas called me to tell me where they were in the parking lot. I was going to just park in one of the lots and meet up with them, but I had my rollerblades still from the race with M.K.A. that didn’t happen. I parked up on Wisconsin Ave and rollerbladed down to meet them. I almost never drink on a Sunday, but the Shermans were ready to go, which made me join right in. I suppose I was asking for it by bringing my beer bong with me. They all had bleacher seats out in left field. Around noon, I strapped my rollerblades back on and went looking to scalp a ticket for the game. I took my beer bong with me, my hope was to get someone to give me a ticket for letting them use my beer bong. That didn’t pan out. It was pretty slim pickings out there looking for tickets. I only found two and they both wanted face value. Well I am not going to pay that. I ended up having to deal with the “professional” scalpers. But I did managed to get them to give me a $14 ticket for $10. I was actually pretty happy to get a ticket out of them for under face value when it was still an hour before game time. I did learn one thing. If you rollerblade around Miller Park before the game with a beer bong, you can pretty much go from aisle to aisle and tailgate party to tailgate party and drink for free all day just by letting them use your beer bong. You can also get a free brat or two. I might have to implement the plan again the next time no one wants to go to the game with me. We ended up have a much wilder tailgate party than I was expecting for a Sunday afternoon. Once in the game, the Shermans made some extra room for me to sit with them, and it was a great game. I think it was 11-6 with a lot of hits and scoring. The weather was again beautiful just like it had been all weekend. Another great day to close out a great weekend.

M.K.A., Jared and Tom Brady playing pepper.
As I said the Shermans weren't holding anything back even though it was a Sunday. Here is an on slaught of beer bong pictures. Remember this is on the Sabath. My uncle Dave.Poe.Justin.I even decided to show them how it is suppose to be done. Pocahontas.Here is a quick group photo before going into the game.Tom Brady and Pocahontas with Robin Yount.Here I am doing pullups on the bat of the Robin Yount statue. I quickly learned that they (event staff) do not like it when you do this.

July 5th

The party just kept on going. After helping with some clean up at my aunt’s, I cleaned myself up and headed into Milwaukee. We met up at Nate’s and grilled out on the deck. I was so tired, and I really should have went down into their basement and got in a quick power nap. But I didn’t, I just struggled trying to stay awake and had a couple drinks. At 4:00 we headed to Eric’s to drop off the cars and grab the free shuttle from a bar down the street. While waiting for the shuttle, I struggled to get a drink down at the bar. Once I got on the shuttle I started to feel pretty awful. I was sweating (more than usual), my head was pounding from a headache, and my stomach wasn't really all that settled. Being on this school bus shuttle didn’t help at all. We were getting bounced around pretty good. We had to stop at 2 more bars on the way to Summerfest. By the time we got to the festival ground we had been on the bus for at least a half an hour. I was in bad shape. I let everyone from our group get off the bus before me and as we were walking to the gate, I was behind everyone. Then I threw up. I took two more steps and threw up again. They of course were all in front of me and had no idea. I was then able to hold things in until I got the port-potties and really let things go inside of there. I am not even inside of the festival grounds yet and I am struggling hard. My mind is racing trying to figure out how I can get out of this. With Borky in town from Minneapolis, Nate having a get out jail free card to use on this evening, and Eric just being there, it wasn’t going to be an option to go home. There is no way any of them would have excepted any excuse for me to leave. We go into the festival grounds and headed up to the deck at the Water Street Brewery. I was able to sneak my flask of Captain Morgan’s in, but I didn't have any need or want to use it at this point. We stayed at Water Street Brewery for an hour maybe an hour and a half. The entire time I was leaning against the railing just hating life. Every time I burped I was scared it was going to catch a hitch hiker and I would puke over the railing on to the people down below. Again my mind was racing trying to figure out how to get out of here. I thought about going and laying down in the grass under an RV that was parked across the way from where we were standing. Everyone kept telling me that I looked horrible, and that they had never seen me be so quite before. I really don’t think I said more than 20 words for the entire time we were up on the deck. I was freezing and finally Doug and I went for a walk looking to buy some sweatshirts. As we were walking to the Summerfest shop I nearly gave Doug my flask to drink, because I was thinking that I wasn’t going to use it, someone should. But after walking around a bit, and after getting a sweatshirt on I started feeling a little better. Then we met back up with the group at Jo Jo’s Martini Bar. My headache was no gone and my stomach was settling. I looked at someone’s watch and it was almost 8:00. It was 6:00 when we got off the shuttle. I told everyone by 8:20 I will be fine. I lost a bet to Borky so I had to buy him 3 rounds that night. He just finished his drink and wanted me to pay up. I gave him a $20 and told him to get 2. By 8:20 I had two chocolate martinis down and I was well on my way to a good evening. We stayed at the martini bar until around 10 when we broke up in to two groups, I stayed with Nate, Doug and Liquid and we went over to watch Cheap Trick. I managed to polish off that flask with out any problems. We closed down Summerfest, took the shuttle back to Eric’s and then cabbed it back to Nate’s. We arrived at the Hardwick residence just after 2 in the morning. The night at Summerfest which looked like it was just going to be a horrible ordeal, ended up being a very good night.

Borky, his annual pilgrimage to Summerfest. It may suck getting here, but once you are here you are happy.Borky, Nate, Me, Doug and Eric. I was back to normal by this point.Liquid, Andrea, Liz and Amy.As I was walking back from the bathroom, I saw this guy not having a very good time. I just had to take a picture. His girlfriend was a little mad at me, then I explained to her that I was taking a picture of the water fountain. I also mentioned that I was in that very same condition only 2 hours earlier. This did little to comfort them.Doug, Nate and Liquid.Here I am with a new friend that I met at the Cheap Trick concert.Amy is half Japaneese, half Irish. That is some combination.Nate and I tried working our way up to some good seats at the end of the concert. This is as close as we got before the show was over.Doug and Lisa, making out hard.