Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soccer

Last night I had a soccer game. We battled to stay close, but ended up losing big in the end. They either had the best goalie I have ever played against, or the luckiest. I think the two weeks off between games didn't help us much either. It seemed like it was the second half before we were able to string 4 passes together. It is hard to figure out what we are doing wrong, that we haven't done wrong in the past. I don't know. The game last night was at 11:00 p.m. Before the game I was at home laying on the couch watching TV. Then I started to fall asleep, so I shut things down and set my alarm for 10:30 p.m. When the alarm went off, I really felt like just going back to bed and missing the game. But I managed to get myself motivated to play. After the game, it was so hard to get myself calmed down enough to actually fall asleep. I am sure I was up until at least 2 in the morning. So today, I am not operating on too much sleep. All for the love of the game.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back to Normal

As I said, Las Vegas was fun. It took me a couple of days to get back to normal, but I am now back. Since I now have the gambling itch, it is time to look forward to the next gambling endeavor. As any loyal reader knows, when you see this picture of me, you know that the NCAA Basketball Tournament is right around the corner. I sent out invites to my pool earlier today. If I missed you let me know and I will get you signed up. But as I mentioned in the invite, payment is required prior to the first game. No exceptions. I have let too many people slide in the past, and once their sheets are done, it is nearly impossible to get the money out of them. I can not wait to hear people complain when I delete their sheet. But consider yourselves warned.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vegas Baby Vegas

All I really have to say about the weekend in Las Vegas, was that it was fun. However it took an incredible toll on me. That being said, I had decided to jump off the grid for a while. I will be back in communication in a couple of days.

Friday, February 20, 2009

When The Saints Go Marching In...or Out

Trust me I wrestled with this decision all night. I barely got any sleep. I had myself convinced each way a number of times. When I came into work this morning I had a discussion about this project with my boss. Fortunately my boss and company made this decision much much easier for me. He informed me that my name has been linked to a number of proposals in the Midwest including Illinois and Indiana. I was also informed that we have a verbal commitment on a job in Fond du Lac that starts up in June or July that has been ear marked for me to run. Ultimately it was my decision to make, but I have made something of a commitment to my office here in Milwaukee. I just hope that this work in Wisconsin doesn't fall through. So for the time being it looks like Wisconsin is stuck with me for a while. But as I said in my last post, if this opportunity had come up two months ago, I would already be gone and in Louisiana right now.

By the way, by midnight Wisconsin time I will be on the Vegas Strip.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crossroads

In life we all come to crossroads. And we need to make decisions. In fact we have a decision everyday when we wake up in the morning. We can choose to stay in bed or get up. Trust me that is debated in my head every single day. Some decisions in life are big, some small, some easy and some hard. This afternoon I was faced with a pretty big one that I have been debating over all evening. Some of you may know that I had an opportunity earlier this year to move to Florida for work that fell through. Well this afternoon my company's office in Florida called me about a project that they would like me to be in charge of. Although it isn't in Florida. It is in Louisiana, about an hour west of New Orleans. It is the replacement of a railroad swing bridge. It starts March 4th. Yes, that is 14 days away. And would last until October. The project schedule also includes working 14 days on, 7 days off for the length of the project.


Here in lies my debate. There is no question that this project would be a great career move. And would no doubt lead to bigger and better jobs. But I would be sacrificing my personal happiness for the sake of my career. I am just guessing but I don't think there is much to do in that part of the country. Then again, if I ended up staying in this area, I would be hurting my career, as the chance of expanding my knowledge and experience with movable bridges would be lost. Plus it is only for 8 months. I have always told my boss, whenever, wherever, just let me know. Obviously I need to decide what is most important to me. Strangely I don't know what is the most important to me. What is the most important to you? I also need to make this decision quickly, in fact I have to give an answer in the morning. Really how great have things been for me since I have returned to Milwaukee? If you have been reading my blog, it doesn't take too much research into the last couple months of postings to see that thing have been pretty bored. I mean did you see the Trebuchet I made?

I know my boss wants me to stick around to help our offices construction services department grow, but I know that he also does not want to hold me back in what is best for my career. So I don't think he is going to make this decision for me.

If I didn't have my house, I know that I jump at this opportunity right away. I just hate leaving my house empty.

Funny, life is all about timing. If it was two months ago, I am sure I would have jumped at this opportunity. Now I am not so sure.

Sorry, this is one of the deeper postings that I have had in a while, but I am just trying to think out loud.

Winter Part 2

That one day of 60 degrees really spoiled me. I was in full spring mode. But this morning, I walked out of the house and got punched in the face by winter once again. Thankfully for me, I am headed out of town tomorrow night. A weekend in Las Vegas is just what I need. The forecast for the weekend looks to be delightful, especially compared to Wisconsin. There is a chance it might even hit 70 this weekend in Las Vegas. Now if I can just hit on a couple bets in the sports book, I will be good to go.

I had been having some problems with my truck over the last week or so. It has really been struggling to start. So I assumed that the battery was going. I am not even going to try to fool you into thinking that I am some sort of motorhead. I know absolutely nothing about cars. I went to Interstate Battery and had them test my battery and they told me sure enough my battery was dying. I was a bit skeptical and figured they just said that to everyone. I ended up buying a battery anyhow. After a stop by my sister's for a while, I headed home and installed the new battery. This was the first time I used my garage to actually work on my truck since I bought my house. It was also the first time I did any work in my garage since I finished working on the garage itself. As I was working in the relatively warm enclosure of my garage, I was so happy to have a garage. And as it turns out my skepticism was unfounded, after I replaced the battery my truck started up just fine. I know all of that is far from exciting, but that is all that I have going on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trebuchet Update

Here is the finished product. Well almost. I finished it up last night. But I don't know that I am all that happy with the results. I have to do a little more fine tuning. I would also like to see what a heavier counterweight will do for the performance. As I said, I built this trebuchet to throw tennis balls or eggs. According to the research I have done, the ideal weight ratio of counterweight to ammunition for a trebuchet is 133:1. An egg and tennis ball have approximately the same mass, 60 grams which converts to 0.132 pounds, times 133 is 17.56 pounds. Right now I only have 10 pounds on the counterweight. We will see what another 10 pounds does tomorrow. This is my unloaded trebuchet.Here is is fully loaded. I am actually pretty happy with the release mechanism that I came up with. It is simple and works pretty well. The other fine tuning I have to do is with the harness for the ammunition. Right now the release point is at a more acute angle than I would like. Ideally you would like the projectile to leave the trebuchet at an angle somewhere between 40 and 45 degrees for maximum distance. I only made one launch last night outside in the street. But the tennis ball did go about 100 feet. It was too cold and dark last night to sit in the street and make adjustments.

But because my readers do love a good video. I did shoot a video of it going off in my house. I also found in my research that adding wheels improves performance. Why do you ask? Well as the counterweight falls, it wants to fall in a straight line down towards the earth. Without wheels this would not happen. But with the wheels as you can see in the video the trebuchet moves backwards slightly as the counterweight drops. This produces more torque i.e, the trebuchet's arm rotates at a fast rate allowing the projectile to leave the arm at a faster rate of speed. I know that is some pretty exciting stuff. But it does help show that I sort of paid attention in college.

video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Idle Hands

Yes, that is what they say. Idle hands are the devils workshop. When Nate used to live with me, we were watching Junkyards Wars on TV one night. The mission was to build machine that would launch pumpkins a certain distance. One of the teams built a trebuchet. Since that day, I have always wanted to build one. Yesterday I was quite bored at work and I did a little research on the internet. I spent a little time putting a plan together and right after work I headed to Home Depot to pick up most of the proper materials. And it didn't really take too long and I had it all but built. I have some fine tuning to do yet. I would like to replace the swinging rod. Plus I have yet to get my hands on a counterweight. Those are items that I will most likely take care of this evening. So if all goes well, I should have it operational by the end of the week.

This is only really a prototype. I have designed this trebuchet to launch a tennis ball or an egg. I may eventually build a larger trebuchet that will have the capability of launching water balloons. A new trebuchet will be highly dependant upon the results of this current contraption.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

Here is a quick recap of my weekend. Friday, I finished work. Worked on the Temple, went home and laid on the couch and watched Goodfellas 2 (Casino). Saturday, I woke up, worked on the Temple, and cleaned my house and watched TV all night. Sunday, again I worked on the Temple, went to the ATM and then headed to Crawdaddys for dinner with my sister in law and her family. Congratulations to Diane (Jody's mom) and Glen as they announced their engagement and bought dinner.

But for you my loyal readers, things should be looking up as far as you having something interesting to read here on my blog. Friday I leave for Las Vegas for Eric's bachelor party. That should be interesting. And this weekend I booked my flight for Colorado. The weekend after St. Patrick's Day I going to get in my spring skiing for the year. Russ, has told me that we are going Apsen and Wolf Creek. I am pretty excited about that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weekend Plans

This is just a broken record. Not much new here. And I don't have anything really planned for this weekend. Sorry but it is true.

Here is a topic that I haven't touched on. After winning the league last session in soccer, my team has fallen off a bit. They merged two leagues and we are now playing with some better teams. I think our record is 2-2. Our team chemistry is a bit off right now. As the competition has improved some of our team deficiencies have become more evident and exposed. Last night in our 7-3 loss, this problem was as apparent as ever. I will be honest, my play has been less than spectacular. In fact I have yet to register a goal or an assist in any of these four games. I just need to get through the remainder of this session and then take some time off from the game. I think my body also needs to recover and get back to 100%.

Sadly that is all that I have for right now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Weird Dream

Yesterday I was a bit out of sorts. Work was well, work. But a co-worker asked me if I would help out with his indoor soccer team and sub on his team last night. However the game was at midnight. When I got home from work, I grabbed something to eat and then jumped in bed to try and get a nap in before the game. I didn't get too much sleep, a lot of tossing and turning. And when I was finally able to fall asleep, my alarm went off for me to get up for the game. I didn't play horrible, but didn't play great. I did have an assist in the 9-6 loss. Being the new guy, I wasn't getting a lot of love from my new teammates in the way of getting the ball passed to me a whole lot. After the game, at 1 in the morning the rest of the team was going out to a bar for a couple beers. I just laughed, not a chance. Even though I skipped the bar, by the time I got home, showered and jumped into bed it was still almost 2 in the morning. And of course being all wired up from running around on a soccer field for an hour, I could not sleep. As is so often the case, it seemed like I feel asleep just before my alarm went off at 6:30 this morning. However, I do recall the dream I was having just as I awoke. It wasn't too long of a dream, but I was at a county fair and I was entered into an eating contest. I was up on the stage but instead of competeting against another person, I was in a contest with a donkey. And it was a carrot eating contest. Both contestants had a bucket full of carrots infront of them and to make things fair I couldn't use my hands. I woke up just after I stuck my head in the bucket and pulled out the first carrot out in my teeth. So I have no idea if I won, but I am pretty sure I lost.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Randall Pink Floyd

Most of the excitement of my weekend revolved around Friday night. I met up with M.K.A. and Katie at Oakland Gyros for dinner. I was so excited for a Gyro. And as always it was just fantastic. Here is a photo I took on the way to Gyros. After dinner I headed down to the Riverside Theater. I was going to see the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular. It was actually pretty cool. I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but it actually did. I showed up a little late and by the time I got my ticket the show had already started. I just slipped into the back and remainder there without moving up much at all. The first half of the show was the entire "Dark Side of the Moon" Album, beginning to end. This is the very end of the first half. They had three screens at the front of the room which either showed images from videos or laser images. Bubs, I thought of you a number of times, because often the laser images where just interpretive figures of the songs lyrics, much like your Dave Matthews interpretive dance that you break out on only special occasions. This was the end of the first half.
video
The second half had some greatest hits and some of "The Wall". Now for an extra $2 you could get the "special" glasses. I would say that they were worth it. As you can probably tell in this video clip which was shot through the glasses.
video
Here is sort of a funny story about the night that makes me seem like the big idiot that I am. As I mentioned I went to Oakland Gyros before the show. And earlier in the evening I bought some gum to take care of the gyro breath. While I did enjoy the show, it was ridiculously loud. And since there is a history within my family with hearing loss, I knew I had to do something about this. I have the brilliant idea to chew up a couple pieces of gum and toss them in my ears. Yes, a dumb idea, but it did work. Then again I was walking around with gum in my ears. After the show I was walking back to my car and started pulling the gum out of my ears. As you may have guessed, the gum stuck to my ears and I the more I pulled on the gum, the more of a mess I made between my hands and my ears. I am sure you can imagine the stringy gum everywhere. That was pretty much the case.
This was the last song, I am not even sure what song it is, but the light show is again pretty cool.

video

Was it worth it? Sure, I am not a huge Pink Floyd fan. But it was fun to see and I would definitely go see it again. I will say if you are a Pink Floyd fan, that yes it is an absolute must see. It is $25 bucks at the box office the day of the show, and it has the feel of a real concert. Basically it is like going to a concert with everything but the band on stage, and the studio recordings pumped out at maximum volume.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It Is About Time

I was forwarded this link about the Preakness. The Preakness was one of the worst displays of human behavior that I have ever encountered. And for this next year and years to follow they have decided to ban allowing race goers to carry in alcohol. If you check my posting from it, you can click on the video I took. In the background you can hear Gibby claim that this will be the last year that they allow carry ins. This is a no brainer. You can count about 100 beer cans being thrown in a 26 second video. Our group was incredibly surprised, and this comes from a group that in my opinion can party as hard as any group I have been around.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Weekend Plans

I am actually in a pretty good mood this morning. As I walked into the office, I was just happy thinking that the work week was almost over and the weather should be getting better. Friday night, I have decided to head to Oakland Gyros before heading to the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular. I hope I don't have my expectations too high for a 3D laser light show. I guess time will tell. Saturday I am planning on getting a massage in the early afternoon. It has been a while since I have had one. I used to get them every other week when I was in Appleton. I think I am going to thaw out some venison tenderloin and grill those up on Saturday afternoon. Then to finish off my Saturday night, I am thinking about going to see "Taken". It has been way too long since I have done a movie review. Sunday is going to be a great day to take care of that pile of laundry.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Folding Clothes

I have to admit, I really haven't had to much to discuss as of late. Unfortunately for you, I don't see things changing much over the rest of the month. Well, at least until I head to Las Vegas on the 20th. Just to follow up on a couple things. I mentioned earlier about the clothes that I need to fold, here is a shot I took last night. This is about 4 loads of laundry. Nearly all of which is clean. I am just a bit lazy when it comes to folding the clothes. Sadly, the dresser is right at the foot of the bed. I am sure most of you headed outside today. And I am calling it. Today is going to be the coldest day for the rest of the year. Temps in the 40s are just a couple days away. I might fire up the grill on that day.

Laser Spectacular

I have brought up this topic before, but I will revisit it. I am no longer waiting on people. I am just going to throw my plans out there, and if people want to come along for the ride, there is plenty of room. This coming Friday at 8:00 p.m. is the Laser Spectacular featuring the Music of Pink Floyd at the Riverside Theater. I have already bought my ticket. If you want to go. Let me know.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Weekend Update

Friday night, there wasn't much to my evening. I finished work. Worked out. I ordered some take out from Crawdaddy's. Watched a movie and went to bed. Nothing too exciting, but that is what I was looking forward to doing. So all is well. Saturday, I again worked out, then spent the majority of the day cleaning my house. It still doesn't look that clean and I have a ton of laundry to fold. There is a mound of clean clothes on my spare bed. However, Saturday night my weekend really picked up. Krum was in town for the weekend, and I headed over to the Krumrich estate to get in some serious ping pong. It was the first time that I can recall that I ever beat Krum in ping pong. And I also took JFK behind the woodshed a couple times as well. I woke up Sunday morning in the mood to play some more ping pong. I will have to stop by JFK a little more often for some pong. Sunday I again worked out in the morning. It is good that I am getting back into the workout routine. I think the key is that I am not over doing it, and I am rarely working out for more than an hour. I have found that once you begin to absolutely dread working out, you are doing too much. Everything in moderation. By noon I was at Stu's for the Super Bowl. Over the next 11.5 hours we played cards and watched the Super Bowl.