Friday, October 31, 2008

Moving Update

Here is a quick update for all of my blog readers. I am in the process of moving from Appleton back down to Milwaukee. While that is going on, I will most likely be without internet. I am hoping to have the death star back up and full operational by mid next week. Which means you will have to wait until then for updates on the life that I live. Depending upon when I get home internet service you are going to miss the following exciting events from this weekend and early next week.
Tonight, Halloween: Trick or Treating with my nieces, nephews and beer. The Gwar concert to follow. I am hoping to be able to shoot some video of the on stage theatrics.
Saturday: M.K.A. plays at noon.
Sunday: My nephew, JJ's, birthday party.
Monday: Is the big move from Appleton to Milwaukee.
Tuesday: I am finishing up with everything in Appleton.
Wednesday: Me outscoring The General yet again on the soccer field.
Thursday & Friday: Working on cleaning up my house.
Saturday: M.K.A. at noon and then inviting everyone I know to my house for speed quarters.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Last night was my second game. I thought I played better than the first week. I was able to keep my shifts much closer to 2 minutes. I kept telling myself, if you are too tired to make the run get off the field. I was able to extend my scoring lead over The General. He was unable to tally a goal or an assist. I only managed one goal. I give and go where I was just able to get my left toe on the ball in the box to poke it past the keeper. I missed two fairly open shots in the first half. And at the end of the game with maybe 15 seconds left, I had pretty much a break away on the goalie. I tired to nutmeg him and he blocked it. But the ball came right back to me, so I tried a second nutmeg and that didn't work either. I believe the final score was 7-4. Our defense played much better, and as far as my defense goes, we only gave up one goal while I was on the field. A big thank you goes out to Julie, Nick, Griffin and Mark who stayed to watch my game.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Soccer Schedule

If you are out and looking for some entertainment on a Wednesday night over the next couple of months. Here is a suggestion for you, why not stop on out at the Brookfield Indoor Soccer Complex and heckle me while I play soccer. You can also heckle The General, as he is on the same team. In fact it will be easier to heckle him because he isn't quite as good as me. Actually let's be honest, he stinks. Plus there is a bonus to showing up. On two particular evenings, my nephew, Pickle, plays right before me. Here is my schedule:
Tonight, October 29nd at 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 5th at 9:00 p.m. (Pickle plays at 8:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, November 12th at 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 19th at 8:00 p.m. (Pickle plays at 7:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, November 26th at 10:00 p.m. (This is Thanksgiving Eve, cocktails will be flowing after the game at Pistol Pete's right down the road.) (If you show to this game, I will buy you a shot of my choice for each goal that I score after the game at the bar.)
Wednesday, December 3rd at 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 10th at 9:00 p.m.

My Final Dying Wish

I always get very depressed on Sundays and especially Sunday nights. I think it just comes from the dread of the anticipation of dealing with the week ahead. This past Sunday I was thinking about my own mortality. I have decided that once I past and go on to hopefully a better place, that I do not want to be buried but rather to be cremated and have my ashes scattered. Have you ever been to a wake / funeral, and afterwards heard people speak of the deceased “Boy, he didn’t look too good.” Of course he didn’t, he is dead. So that whole coffin and burial thing is not for me. So I want to have my ashes scattered. But this ash scattering isn’t going to be as easy as it sounds. I want to be scattered in a number of different places. I want my final resting places to be places where I have had a lot of fun. And places that mean a lot to me. Also as my family and friends gather in these various places to spread my ashes, I would like them to come up with a quick impromptu eulogy. I request that each eulogy ends with “So as you wished, we come here to lay your ashes to rest.” Dump out my ashes on the ground and close with “Good night sweet prince.” Just like in the Big Lebowski.

Here are the locations that I would like to call my final resting spots.

Inside Alpine Valley Music Theater. After nearly every concert I went to at Alpine, at the end of the show, I would hurry to top of the hill. It is on the top of this hill where I would sit and watch the thousands of people exit. It was also my normal meeting spot with people that went to the show with me, if we got split up.

Kettle Moraine High School Soccer Field. The game of soccer still means a great deal to me. It was in my high school years where I took the sport the most serious and was the most competitive. In my two years on varsity, my team only lost one game on that field, it was also my last game on that field.

The Island in middle of the Mississippi near Trempealeau. This is where our annual camping trip is. It is just such a relaxing place for me. And I look forward to being there every year. (Nate and Eric are going to have to take care of this request for me.)

The point out at Nate’s parent’s farm in Hillsboro. We were out there this past weekend. Every time I have been out at the farm we always make a trip out there. It is just such a peaceful place and it is a great view looking out over the valley. (Another one Nate is going to have to take care of)

My parent’s front yard. There are countless memories from my parent’s yard. I can recall us as kids, playing 500 on the hill. Trying to jump over the pine trees, which are now a least 30 feet tall. Kicking the soccer ball around or throwing the frisbee. Playing football, volleyball, ghost in the graveyard, etc.

On one of the blue runs at Copper Mountain under the Super Bee Lift. With all of the skiing that I do, I have to end up on a mountain somewhere. I think Copper is one of the places I have skied more than any other one. There is nothing better than having the MP3 player on and hitting a groomed cruiser run. (This task might fall on Russ' shoulders)

My front yard where the musical chairs takes place. I have spent nearly a 1/3 of my life in that house. The most excited I get at my party every year is when the musical chairs contest starts. For one thing, it means I am nearly done with the games and that ends my stress for the day. Plus the kids want to win so badly and it shows when they get kicked out and are crying. And the musical chairs can actually get the adults a bit more competitive than normal. No one will ever forget the Bahr girls wrestling on the ground for the final open chair.

Oakland Gyros. 5 ½ years of college, I had to pick at least one place on the east side to end up. There were so many times I ended up there at the end of the night. There was the time Storch and I ended up there at the end of the night. We only had enough money to split a gyro. We polished that off in minutes but we were still hungry. In the booth next to us some guy had ordered 3 or 4 gyros to go and he was slumped over passed out. Storch and I both walked by and each grabbed one of the gyros and took off out the door. Obivously all in attendance will also have to sit down for a gyro, extra pita and a large root beer. (Mark, Kevin and Bob should be on hand)

The Bluemound parking lot at Miller Park. Is there any better place to be in the summer than tailgating here? I would like to make the request that when my ashes are scattered here, that it is during an actual game.

On the roadway at Lake Waterville where I light off the 4th of July fireworks. I have been doing the fireworks there for quite a few years now. Last year was by far the best performance to date. It was overwhelming the feeling I got this last year as I walked up the hill after the last shell exploded and my entire extended family was standing and cheering for me. It is not just because of this past year, but because I have spent every 4th of July on this lake as long as I can remember. And the 4th is always one of the best days of the year for me. But this is also a time sensitive ash spreading occasion, obviously I want to be spread on the 4th of July.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Farm Party

I was up at Nate's parent's farm this Saturday. It has been 5 years since I have been up there. Which is far too long. It is always so relaxing once you get up to the farm. Here are the pictures.
I learned that Nate doesn't enjoy having M&Ms put in his chili. He also isn't a fan of candy corn in there either. Some one put that stuff in his chili when he got up to get a napkin. If you look you can see the M&Ms. Probably my favorite thing to do at the farm is to go for a ride back in the fields. Nate's parents now own 260 acres. They mow trails through the fields. We had a pretty big group as we went for a ride. Here is Elery in the back of my truck.
Here are Eric and Anna following behind us on the ride through the fields.
We drove out to the point which over looks the valley, and walked out there. On the walk to the cars here is Nate and Elery.
You can see Max here. He was our tour guide on the ride. When we were coming out of the valley, it is a pretty steep hill. My truck stalled out twice in 4 Wheel High. But I made it out in 4 Low, but it wasn't that easy because I had to keep my truck going forward up the hill on mud while still having Max out in front of me. I had to be careful not to run him over. But we all know that the Toyota can handle anything. You can see the row of pines up ahead. The last time I was at the farm, we did a haunted hay ride. Jay and I were running around in the fields hiding and then jumping out and scaring everyone as the tractor went by. The pine trees made a great hiding spot.
Later on back in the barn, Karyoke broke out. Here are Myra and Nate. But I must say that the song of the night was Nate and I performing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore", I was of course Babs on that one. Liquid you have to send me the video.
Here is the new barn on the farm. At least new to me. I think it is a year or two old now. We spent most of the day inside here. The upstairs is all finished with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. An absolute fortress of solitude.
A view of the farm, the old barn used to be where the pond is now.
Here is Elery in his brand new Blues Clues Halloween costume.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dawn and Joe's Wedding Reception

Dawn and Joe's wedding reception Friday night was as expected a great time. I want to thank Dawn and Joe for letting me MC and to the introductions. I also want to thank Nate, Michel, Shelly and Jota for letting me crash their dinner party. Let me just get straight to the pictures.
Nate and Michel.
The Dogger and Amy. It was Amy's first official introduction to all of "the Creeps". The General and Diane.Dawn and Bubs. Tyler, Bob and Beth.Nate and myself.
Joe and the General.
Here was part of the dance contest. It got pretty serious and was highly entertaining. I opted to take photos rather than enter.
Jota giving his all in the dance contest. I think he took 2nd or 3rd.
Shelly and Jota.

As the night was winding down, here are Nate, Michel, Shelly and Jota.Jota and I at the bar. I am sending out the vibe. Joe, I know you are a blog reader. I got a lot of pictures for you and Dawn. I will give you a disk at my party in two weeks. Thanks again. Everyone had a great time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wedding Bells

Here is what is on tap for the weekend. Tonight is Joe and Dawn's wedding in Madison. I am pretty excited about it. Sadly it seems the only time "the Creeps" get together is at a funeral....I mean a wedding. The last couple, Bob's and Tyler's were just a blast. I hope Bob gets up and give another "F" bomb filled speech. "I love you F'ers!!!" Priceless. I will make a strong mental note to take multiple pictures. Plus the wedding is on a Friday. Friday weddings always seem to be a bit rambunctious. I think it has to do with people working, they are in a hurry to get there, then feel like they have to make up for lost time, and suddenly everyone is rather tipsy. It is going to be great.
Saturday I am headed up to Nate's parent's farm. They are having a farm party. It has been at least 5 or 6 years since I have been to the farm. I think the last time I was up at the farm was the weekend that Nate got sentenced to death......I mean engaged. What is wrong with me today.
Sunday is just the long drive home from the farm. That leads into the last week of work I have up in Oshkosh / Appleton. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and I will be sure to get some pictures up on Monday.

Halloween Night

Last week during the pub crawl with Doug and Liquid, we were discussing Halloween plans. Borky is having his party up Minnesota, so that is what Doug and Liquid are doing. I am going Trick or Treating with my nieces and nephews in the early evening, but after that I have nothing planned. I had told Liquid that I was thinking about going to see Gwar at the Rave Halloween night because they always play there that night, but that I didn't have any one to go with. Liquid reminded me that it wouldn't be the first time that I went to a concert solo, no thanks to a number of my friends that have pulled up short in the past. This has led me to a new life altering decision. Instead of waiting on peopleand allowing them to hold me back, I have decided to continue to move forward. If people want to come along for the ride, they are more then welcome, I know that it is going to be a fun ride. But I am not going to limit myself because other people are afraid, or better yet have made decisions that force them to hold back in life. All that being said, this morning, I purchased my single ticket to go and see Gwar Halloween night at the Rave by myself. Tickets are still available. Obviously it would be more fun with other people, so all loyal blog readers are welcome to come along with me. I can assure you it will be something that you will soon not forget. Let me know if you are interested.
I mean look at these guys. How can you not want to go? According to their website, here is something of the history of Gwar: "Eons ago, there existed an elite group of chaos warriors who ravaged the galaxy with a boundless hatred of all things alive. They were called the Scumdogs of the Universe, and they grew in might and fury, the greatest weapon in the arsenal of their cosmic Master. But they became too powerful, and too defiant, and for their cosmic crimes were banished to the most insignificant planet in the universe...the seething mudball known as Earth. Millions of years passed, and they slumbered, until the pollution of your world de-thawed these creatures from their ageless coma...and now they stride the Earth, living gods, dedicated to one goal, the destruction of the human race, and the eradication of existence itself! Wait- that’s two goals!"
Now I don't believe I have ever actually sat down and listened to Gwar before. I know that they are something of a heavy metal band. Upon perfoming a little research on the band, here is their set list from one of their resent shows:
Battle Lust
Go To Hell
Bring Back the Bomb
Murderer’s Muse
Crack in the Egg
Short History of the End of the World
Crush, Kill, Destroy
Ham on the Bone
KrosstikaWar Is All We Know
The Private Pain of Techno (Bozo and Sawborg) Destructo
U Ain’t Shit
Eighth Lock
Rock & Roll Never Felt So Good
The Reaganator
Sick of You

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soccer Night in America

Back in June I wrote a posting lamenting for my soccer teams of the past. Last night was the first game of the revival of my old team, the Amigos. My friend, Paul, emailed me a couple weeks ago saying that he was going to put the team back together. According to my calculations it has been 3 years since this team has played together. Back then we regularly won the league. It is pretty much the same team. We have one new player who is an absolute liability, but then again we are in a rec league, and there is no reason to get serious about it. Before the game I was truly excited for the game to start. It is the same feeling I always had back in high school before games. I couldn't wait for the game to start. While I really don't think I played all that well last night, my love for the game itself came back as strong as ever.

On to the game and the evaluation of my performance. Let's get to the bad. I missed two shots that easily should have hit the back of the net. I also got stuck playing with the ball in the back by my own goal, lost the ball and the other team scored. I think that I had a couple shifts that were too long. Anything over 2 and a half minutes is really unacceptable unless it is near the end of the half or game. I need to keep these shifts down in length and run much harder while out on the field. As far as positives on the game, on one particular play where the other team got off a number of shots on the goal from close range, our goalie got out of position, I fell back into the goal mouth and saved a goal. I am not saying that I didn't use my hands, I did. But the ref didn't see it, plus I never claimed to be a very "clean" player. On to my goal scoring. Leading up to the game, The General, and I had been exchanging a number of phone calls and emails, each of us claiming that we would be registering a hat trick (3 goals). Only one of us came through on those claims. My first goal wasn't pretty at all. I got the ball alone in the penalty box, tripped over it once, by the time I got the ball out in front of me to take a shot, a defender came across to clear the ball, but in his attempt to clear the ball, the ball hit squarely off my foot and back into their goal. My second goal was equally unimpressive. I had something of a break away, took a shot that was wide left, stayed with the play and got to the rebound just before the keeper and poked the ball into the back of the net. My third goal (the last one required for a hat trick) was a thing of beauty. On a break out in transition, Eric got the ball in the corner on the left side. I made a run from the back into open space on the opposite side. Eric left me a perfect ball, not too fast, not too slow, rolling all the way across the top of the box. If I had more time to think about it, I probably would have screwed it up. Instead without thinking much about it, and not trying to over kick the ball, I dropped my head, got my knee over the ball and struck the ball with the laces of my shoe. The ball never got more then 3 feet off the ground, the keeper didn't have a chance, he turned to follow the pass to me and before he could react, the ball was hitting the back left post on the inside of the goal. I can still picture the whole play in my head in slow motion. It is plays like this that make me love this game so much. I love it enough to drive an hour and a half down from Appleton to play. Speaking of the drive, it was a rough. I didn't get back to my place in Appleton until midnight, and it was well after 1 in the morning before I fell asleep. As far as my health goes. I am feeling alright. I have a sore ankle from clearing the ball and striking another players knee in the process. But most importantly my knee, that I have been having so much trouble with, performed without much of a problem. I had a little soreness on the inside, but the pain I had been having was on the outside of my knee. So I think I am still good.

We won the game 10-7. We had a number of defensive lapses. Those will hopefully sort themselves out in the next couple of weeks, we also need to play with a little more patience and try not to push the ball forward so much.

Back to me and my scoring. Every session that The General and I play soccer together we have this little side wager. Who can score the most points. Each goal is worth 2 points, and an assist is worth 1 point. In our post game chalk talk over the phone while The General was driving back to Sun Prairie and I was headed back up to Appleton, The General suggested a poll, so here it is.
Who will win the scoring title?
The General. How could a former goalie not out score you?
Rickie. With a hat trick already, you could take the rest of the season off and beat him.
Free polls from
And if you wanted to see how The General did last night, I am sure that he will be updating his blog today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Gyro Contest

I think my new goal is to get each of my loyal blog readers a gyro. Time will tell if I reach that goal. The other day I was at work and walking across the bridge. There was a mighty wind a blowing. I have been becoming less tolerant of cold weather and I mentioned that it could pretty much snow any day now. With that being said here is the next contest. When will be the first day of measurable snow fall? That means in the Milwaukee area. I have heard that Colorado already has snow in the resorts. I, of course, will be the judge of this. But I might have to have my readers remind me of this contest. Ideally I would like to have it snow in the morning and pay up on the gyro that night. All this talk of snow does not have me looking forward to winter at all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome to Milwaukee Party Extended

I have had a great responce to my party on November 8th. I am also a bit disappointed. For those of you out there who received an Evite, I know when you look at the invitation, so if you don't mark yes, no or maybe, that means to me that you are just lazy and rude. Enough with my frustration with my "friends".
On the afternoon of the party, I am planning on attending M.K.A.'s football game in Whitewater. I have already invited Bubs to come along to the game, but he just doesn't want to go. I am now inviting all of my loyal readers to join me at that game as well. If you are interested, let me know. We will be tailgating before hand. Just think you could be spending an entire day with me. How many girls just dream of something like that? None actually.
M.K.A., I know you are a loyal reader, don't say I never tried to get people to go to your games.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Recap

I know you all are just on the edge of your seats wondering how my weekend went. Well here goes. Friday night there wasn't much too it. I cleaned my place as I had guests coming into town the next day. Saturday morning I was able to sleep in. It was the first time in a long time that I was able to sleep in, in my own bed in a while. It felt great. I had a massage appointment at 10:00 Saturday morning. What a great way to start the day. 10 hours of sleep and then a massage. I then headed to Oshkosh to see the Whitewater - Oshkosh football game. M.K.A. was playing. I met up with my aunt, uncle and M.K.A.'s girlfriend, Katie, in the parking lot a little before the game and we tailgated. I hate to say this, but the game was pretty boring. It was 17-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, and by then end of the game it was 44-3. Maybe I am just a spoiled Whitewater fan, but these games are such blowouts that they aren't very exciting. And from what I know of the remaining schedule for Whitewater, the rest of the games until the playoffs should all also be laughers. I have been giving M.K.A. a hard time for a couple weeks now, saying that I wanted him to get a personal foul penalty, and actually in this game he got one, but it was far from worth it. It was either hands to the face or blocking out of bounds. M.K.A. if you are going to get a penalty, make it worth your while, I literally want to see helmets rolling on the ground. By the way M.K.A., I spoke with Bubs yesterday. I have invited him a number of times to go to the November 8th game. He made up a number of excuses that I quickly debunked, and I finally got him to admit that he flat out just does not want to go. I know that Bubs will leave a comment saying otherwise, but who are you going to believe. So M.K.A. the next time you see Bubs, please deal with him as you see fit. I suggest making his helmet roll.
Saturday night Doug and Liquid came into town. They had Packer tickets and I convinced them that instead of driving back and forth from Minnesota all on Sunday, that they should stay with me Saturday night. When they got into town, we went out for dinner. Then we did something of a pub crawl along College Ave. It was suppose to be just until midnight, but one thing led to another and next thing we knew it was last call. Sunday we didn't get the quickest start in the world. It was probably a good thing that it was a late game. After breakfast get got down to Lambeau around 1 in the afternoon. We had some drinks at a bar pre game. I didn't have a ticket so I resorted to scalping. I didn't have a good feeling about the game, basically I thought the Packers were going to lose, so my starting price was $30. The closest I got was $40. I didn't make it into the game. But I spent the majority of the first half at this tailgate party outside the stadium. This group wouldn't let me leave and they kept throwing free beer and food at me. It was hard to even get away by the end of the first half. But I wanted to leave before the traffic and get home. That sums up the weekend. As always, I didn't take enough pictures, but here is what I do have.
Friday morning I snapped some photos of the bridge I am working on in Oshkosh. It is close to done, it does open and close on it's own now. Traffic will be on it in another couple of weeks, but the punchlist and paper work will most likely last into December. But I will be done with it at the end of the month.

M.K.A. doing what he does, kick ass. I didn't get a picture of the personal foul penalty. Liquid and Doug at the Packer game.Joe, you know this guy, the one legged scalper. I talked to him for a little bit. He can be spotted at Brewer games and is always outside the Bradley Center for any events there. He said to me "Yeah, I know you." But the tickets went faster than I expected and people broke down and gave them their prices. Of course I was waiting until the game started before I even thought about dealing with the scalpers. My favorite line I used with them was "The jets already flew by the stadium. That is part of the entertainment value of the ticket." I also told them that the Colts just scored a touchdown, which of course they didn't. But the scalpers stood their ground. One guy told me I would be waiting until Christmas if I only wanted to spend $30.This is the guy, Jon. He kept giving me food at the tailgate party. Here he is holding deep fried pork chops. They were really good.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Weekend Ahead

I have nothing to update about yesterday. I worked, went home, clean the dishes, worked out, watched TV and went to bed. Far from exciting. So let me get on to this weekend. Again not much going on for tonight. But Saturday, I have a massage in the morning. Then I am headed to M.K.A.'s football game in Oshkosh. Saturday night, Liquid and Doug are coming into town. I will show them the hot spots of the city of Appleton. That should take about 15 minutes, then we will just go to a bar. Sunday, I am headed to the Packer game. I don't have tickets but Liquid and Doug do, so I am going to see what I can do. And if we want to look even further into the future, Wednesday is the triumphant return of my old indoor soccer team, the Amigos. We haven't played together in 3 years. It will feel great to get back out on the field. Once I get the full schedule, I will post it here. All I know is that the first two games are at 9:00 and 10:00. And to make this session of soccer more exciting, The General and I have a little wager on who can do more scoring. 1 point for an assist, 2 points for a goal. Last I saw of The General, he wasn't looking all that fit. I don't think he will even be able to play an entire game. Granted I have gone through my own problems, but I am confident that I will be near top form for the first game.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I really have nothing to report. It is Thursday, what can you do. My health is improving. Last night I ran a mile without any pain or soreness. That is a good thing as soccer is less than a week away. I am getting excited about moving back to Milwaukee. That is 15 days away. If anyone has any ideas on which cable company to go with once back in Milwaukee, I am all ears. All I want are the most HD channels possible along with high speed internet for the best price. As long as I am out taking suggestions. Does anyone know what I should be for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

House Party

I did some thinking this weekend. I have made the decision and I am going to have something of a welcome home party at my house the first weekend I am home. It will be Saturday November 8th. All of my loyal blog readers are welcome to attend. M.K.A. has a game that afternoon, that I plan on attending. Festivities to start around 7:00 p.m. I haven't really figured out the food situation. Probably just some stuff to snack on and maybe some bacon wrapped pizza rolls. I will be a bit disappointed if a game of speed quarters does not break out. An Evite has already been sent out to those who's emails I do have. At last count, according to my latest poll, at least 10 people said they will show up if I have a party. I am very skeptical of that many people showing up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MRI Scan Results

Well I think I have let this simmer long enough. The price tag on an MRI scan $1533. The winner is Julie. You my claim your prize at anytime that is suitable to you. Perferrably sometime in November.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Badger Game

As predicted it was a pretty crazy weekend for me. Friday I finished up work and headed down to Milwaukee. There was a card game in the workings but first I had to get something to eat. Is there a better place to stop than Oakland Gyros? I think not. It tasted just as good as it always does. The fact that it is so good might continue to lead to more gyro contests on my blog, just because I enjoy going so much. The card game started up around 8 and I don’t think I left until somewhere around 2:30 in the morning. It is hard to leave when you are the big winner and have everyone else's money. Even though I enjoy winning at cards, I had more fun listening to Justus and Stegall who were on the tops of their respective games as far as being entertaining. Let’s be honest, they both suck at cards, but their banter during the game is second to none. I didn’t get to sleep until 4 in the morning and then I was up again at 8 to head off to my nephew, Jared’s, football game. It is Jared’s first year playing tackle football. He needs to learn how to hit a little harder, but it is just his first year.
After the game, I stopped by my parent’s house. On Friday night, my father shot and killed a 10 point buck. So I had to check that out. I got in a quick bike ride and then headed off to Madison. I met up with my buddy, Joe, in Sun Prairie. We then drove downtown, where I was to meet up with Pocahontas, Tom Brady, my brother Dan, brother in law, Tim, and Dan’s friend, Chris. We were at the Big Ten Pub until game time. The Badger game was pretty brutal, but I still had a lot of fun. At halftime, Chris and I made our way over the student section and met up with Pocahontas and Tom Brady. After the game we all headed back to the Big Ten Pub. Eventually everyone went their separate ways, but I had been playing phone tag with my friend, Trooper, all night. He was down on State Street. I finally tracked down Trooper at a bar right by the capital. I ended up only talking to him for a couple minutes as it was now bar time. It was at that point that I started walking back to Pocahontas’ place. It was much further than I thought, I ended up stopping and picking up a sub along the way. When I finally got to Pocahontas’ place it was close to 4 in the morning. It took nearly 10 minutes of phone calling and apartment buzzer ringing to finally get her up to let me into the apartment. Sunday was just a beautiful day. And I spent it driving back to Appleton and dozing off on the couch or in bed while watching TV. Here are your pictures.
The Art Museum all lit up at night.
Jared's Game. Jared is #67.Who says I never pay up. Here I am handing over the $150 to my sister for winning the Survivor League. If you complain enough you will get on the blog.Congratulation to my father. He has been hunting for 40 some odd years, and at 71 he gets his first big buck. From all accounts I have heard, this one is bigger than any deer his sons have shot. That is my dad's new best friend. I wouldn't have been surprised if he slept in the garage with it Friday night. But I don't know who was more excited about it, my dad or my mom.On to the Badger game. This is pre-game, Tom Brady and Pocahontas.Tim, Dan and Chris.As Chris and I were headed to the student section we met this lovely badger fan.

Best part of the whole game. This girl was crying and throwing up. As I was taking this picture she was shouting out, "I just want to go home." Madison's finest weren't having any of it. You think I am sadistic for taking the picture, how about the guy watching and eating nachos.Cuff her and stuff her. After this display I was talking to one of the cops. I asked him how many cops he thought he would need to take me down. He said "Just one, me." I just laughed at him.Back at the bar afterwards we ran into this fellow with the great dental plan. I thought they were novelty teeth at first. Those are some crazy choppers.Pocahontas getting a little crazy up on the table.I can't let Pocahontas out do me.Apparently my new thing is night pictures. Here is state street at bar time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, Friday, Friday

Well in case you missed the title, today is Friday. I am obviously pretty happy about it. I am also very encouraged by the number of comments I have received regarding my medical bills. Apparently I just have to bribe you people with food to get a response out of you. I am just interested in seeing how long it takes people to collect. I know that some people would want their gyro the next day, Preston. But I have a feeling some of you might not get around to it at all. But that is fine. Currently I am only the hook to buy my niece, Sarah, a gyro. And as luck would have it, I am planning on going to Oakland Gyros for dinner this evening. So Sarah if you are looking for payment, tonight is a good night. Not much else to really report, I am headed to Madison this weekend for the Badger game. I am hoping that yields at least one good story and a couple of decent pictures for you. Also this weekend is the Dedication of the Wisconsin Street Bridge, the project that I have been working on the past 4 months. If you are in the Oshkosh area, please feel free to drop by. I of course will not be there. Last night I went out to dinner with my friends, Mark and Suzanne. As I was driving home, I stopped down by the river to take some pictures. Because as you know, I am something of a photog. I thought they were sort of cool, so here they are.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Burn After Reading

This is the latest of the Coen Brothers movies. Other notable films include Fargo, The Big Lebowski and last years Academy Awards Best Picture, No Country For Old Men. I really liked Fargo and The Big Lebowski, so when a Coen Brothers movie comes out, I just have to go and see it. I really don't know how to describe this movie. Their really isn't much of a plot. I liken it to Pulp Fiction where it seems their are a number of different story lines going on, and throughout the movie they all tie in together. As best as I can summarize, a CIA analyst (John Malkovich)quits his job and begins to write his memoirs. Two nit wits (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) come across a CD with some of these memoirs on it, and they try black mailing this agent, thinking it is more valuable than it really is. Meanwhile, this analyst's wife is cheating on him with a gigolo (George Clooney), who is hitting it with anything that has a pulse. Their are a couple of murders and in the end the CIA covers up the whole thing and keeps people quiet by purchasing cosmetic surgeries. Brad Pitt plays the roll of an energetic moron wonderfully. He stereotypes the over committed personal trainer perfectly. My favorite line "He thinks it is a Schwinn." George Clooney is also very good, far from his smooth role in Oceans 11. But the best performance is by J.K. Simmons (from Juno and Spiderman) who plays the director of the CIA. He is irritated, confused and annoyed. He is very believable. You would like to think that this isn't the way that our government works, but chances are, if those walls could talk, this wouldn't be the craziest story. It is no Fargo or Big Lebowski, but if you like either of those movies, you will like this one, just not as much. I give this one a 7.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Another Gyro Contest

Because I am such a giving person, and because I love going to Oakland Gyros. I am going to give my readers yet another opportunity to join me for a feast of lamb meat. I just got the bill for my MRI on my knee for my recent knee problem. It was a full scan of my left knee. Thankfully I have very good insurance with my company and they picked up the whole tab. However, the person who comes closest to guessing the bill for this procedure will get a Oakland Gyro, and because I am in a good mood, I will even throw in the extra pita and a large root beer. But anything else or a different item on the menu, well then you are on the hook for that. So place your guesses. I will give you a week to put them in.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Minnesota Marathon Weekend

I always love going up to Minnesota. I am a multitude of friends living up there and I was able to run across most of them. I flew up to Minnesota from the Appleton airport. Yes it would have been much cheaper to drive. But had things gone as planned and I actually ran the marathon, I had determined months ago that I wouldn’t want to drive after running a marathon. It was a 45 minute flight to Minneapolis, and it was a nearly empty flight. My bag was waiting for me when I got to baggage claim. It was only 1:00 Friday afternoon by the time I got into town and everyone was still working, so I had some time to kill. I hopped on the light rail and stopped by Krum’s condo and dropped off my bags. Then I jumped back on the light rail and headed for the Mall of America. I grabbed some Chinese in the food court and then went to see “Burn After Reading” in the mall theater. I will have to post a review of this movie. Borky and Bubs, I expect the same out of both of you. After the movie I eventually met up with Borky and Mrs. Borky. They had people over and we played some ping pong and Wii. The next morning I went and registered for the marathon, even though I wasn’t going to run it. Krum said he would run it using my timing chip and number. While registering I ran into Kaker, who was also running the race. After running a couple more errands and lunch we headed back to Borky’s for some more Wii. However, while we are at lunch this conversation came up. Let me know if you think I said anything that would make the waitress feel uncomfortable.

Mrs. Borky: “How did you sleep last night?”
Me: “I slept great. That bed in your guest bedroom is great. Where did you get it?”
Mrs. Borky: “I got it at the Lumbar Yard. It has an extra thick mattress pad and was designed to be a little stiff.”
Me: “Wow, maybe I should look into getting a new mattress because I slept great. How often are you suppose to get a new mattress?”
Borky: “It is like 10 years.”
Mrs. Borky : “No it is not, I think it is closer to 5 years.”
Along comes our waitress with our drink order.
Me: “Excuse me Samantha. How old is your mattress and do you know when you are suppose to get a new one?”
Samantha: “You know I have no idea. But I think mine is in pretty good shape.”
Now my inner monologue was telling me to say, “Well what do you say we go back and put some dents in that thing.”
But in reality, I said: “Thanks.”

Mrs. Borky later told me that what I said made her feel uncomfortable for the waitress. She also felt uncomfortable when I asked the waitress what she was going to be for Halloween, as that was another topic that we were talking about the second time the waitress came to the table.

Back to Saturday evening, K.O. and Trooper were having people over. I guess you could say that it was a dinner party. There were nine of us there, and at one point during dinner the conversation switched to talking about the election and the “bail out” situation. It was at that moment where I realized that this was my first adult “dinner party”. Dare I say that it was classy and maybe there was some culture in the air. After no more than a minute or two of political talk, I helped steer the conversation towards the stupid things we used to do in college, like when Browny drove is car over the pedestrian walking bridge. I stayed at K.O. and Trooper’s place Saturday night. The plan for Sunday morning was that the 3 of us were going to jump on the bikes and ride to different spots along the course and cheer on Kaker and Krum. As is so often the case when I come to town, one thing leads to another and it becomes a late night. I woke up at 6 in the morning, but didn’t her K.O. or Trooper moving about. Plus it was raining out so I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 9:30 in the morning. K.O. was a bit hungover and in the end we ended up not even going to see any of the race. But I am going to say that this is a good thing. Seeing the race would have just got me more depressed about not being able to run it. Friday afternoon while walking around, I got a slight stabbing pain in my knee where I had had it before. It was the first time in a week and a half that I had felt any pain in my knee at all. I found that very discouraging. And when I was picking up my registration packet, there was a definite buzz in the air of people anticipating the next day’s race. It really sucks to be around that energy and not be able to participate. I know that watching all of those runners go by would have just frustrated me even more. Krum and Kaker both ran and completed the race. It was first marathon that either of them completed. I have since talked to both of them and they both told me how it went and that it really wasn’t too bad, except for about 30 minutes of driving rain. The rest of Sunday I spent at Krum’s watching football and a couple movies. When I met up with Krum at his place he had the shirt and metal that they give out at the finish line. I told him to keep the metal, but that I essentially paid $105 for a shirt and I am taking that one home with me. My flight home was Monday morning. I can say that I absolutely love flying to Minneapolis for the weekend. There is no dreaded anticipation of a long drive home that would normally build up all weekend until it is time to hit the road. I always crash at Krum’s the night before I leave so no one has to drive me to the airport. I jump on the light rail, stop at the airport, check my bag, hop on my flight and I am home in less than an hour. Beautiful.

I thought I had learned something from this latest injury. I have been telling people that I am not going to attempt another marathon. I have said that the training is just too much. But in talking to Kaker and Krum, I might change my mind. Obviously I am going to attempt to keep myself in relatively good shape. Because the body is a temple and you have to take care of the temple. I am already planning on competing in a couple triathlons next year. Nothing crazy, just the regular sprint triathlons like the ones that I completed this past summer. Those usually don’t take too much out of you as far as training, and the race itself is usually right around an hour and a half. If I am feeling good, I will take on the Lake Country Half Marathon again. That was the race at the end of August that I got hurt on. But if I can recover here, and get through those races I have planned for next summer without injury, I might just give a marathon another shot.

Finally I want to thank a couple of people for the great weekend. Borky and Mrs. Borky, thanks for letting me crash at your place. Once I am back in my house in Milwaukee, I know I will be returning the favor to Borky a number of times. Thank you to K.O. and Trooper for allowing me to sleep at their place. They really rolled out the red carpet, made dinner, dessert, and pretty much let me set the guest list for dinner. You guys are welcome to my place anytime you are in Milwaukee and you had better make the trip at least once this next year. Krum, thank you for allowing me to sleep at your place. Now your place isn’t quite as clean as the others, but it is nice to know that I always have a place to crash at, or to drop my stuff off. Plus now that I know how to get in, I don’t need to bother you to be home when I come into town. Also thanks to Krum for getting me my t-shirt for finishing the marathon that I really didn't finish, but I did pay alot for that shirt. Liquid and Doug, thanks for coming out to meet me Friday night at Borky’s. Liquid, I am sorry I didn’t meet up with you guys Saturday night. But I knew I wasn’t getting a ride anywhere until after the football and baseball games. Plus, based on my conversations with you and Melissa, you guys sounded like you had had plenty to drink and were most likely not long for the night.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Letter of Recommendation

In preparation for the presentation I had to give on Monday, my boss wanted me to get some letters of recommendation. One of the project managers that I had worked with in the past had offered to write me a letter a couple of months ago. I took him up on the offer. I know some people, frame these letters and hang them up on the wall. But I thought it was a bit comical and over the top.
I know that the letter is a little difficult to read. So let me give you a couple of phrases:
"I am completely impressed with his attention to detail, assertive decision making, and teamwork concept"
"He possess the underrated capability of interacting with project managers, superintendents, foremen, suppliers, and tradesmen in an effective and respectful manner that makes the project proceed much more smoothly. "
"The combination of knowledge, experience, and the willingness to work as a team to complete the project makes Rickie an ideal candidate to lead construction projects"
Any reactions?