Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Know I Live In Wisconsin

Somehow, without going into deep conversation about it, my health insurance got cancelled at work. I will call it a misunderstanding and miscommunication between myself and the Human Resources Department. Anyhow, with my current health situation, I have branched out and I am in the process of getting my own independent health insurance. It was suppose to be a quick process, or so they promised me. I signed up on day almost 2 weeks ago. But they underwriter needed to speak with me and ask me some questions. Apparently Question #14 is causing some concern because I have been called twice now to reconfirm my answer. And Question #14 was, In the last 5 years have you averaged over 15 drinks for a week? I answered this question truthfully and said yes. As I mentioned, they have called to reconfirm my answer. This last time, I clarified my answer to say, that while 5 years ago I easily averaged 15 drinks a week. Are you kidding me, I could do that in an afternoon. But now, or at least since this new year has begun and I have tried to clean myself up some, I am down to about, on average 2 or 3 drinks a week. Which is actually fairly accurate. But this last time I spoke to the underwriter, she asked me, "And did you have any help with this condition?" I said, "Are you kidding? You do realize that I live in Wisconsin. 5 years ago I would be hitting 15 drinks before the weekend even go here."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I rarely use my blog for anything other than to further my personal agenda. But my good friend, Krum, has asked me to direct people to a website of his. Krum has told me that even if you aren't a triathlete "You can still sign up and banter with brownie and rust. Brownie is signing up now. Get as many people on your blog to sign up, even if they just put up a profile and say they are donkeys."

Here is probably too much information, but it is some the background of the site.

"Tridonkey started in Minnesota with a small group of people who loved to train and race triathlons. We didn’t really belong to a team or a training group, nor did any of the local fee based options really appeal to us. We trained together when we could, and added in specialized training with coaches and sport specific experts when needed.

We notice a bunch of people and exclusive “teams” out there that seemed to have lost the plot on the true purpose of sport…..the ability to relate to other human beings, achieve more as a group than an individual, and to have lots of fun! We deemed these people “donkeys”

Where did the term originate?

Ironically the term Tridonkey came from the latin word “tridonk” which originated in December of 2003 in an irish bar in Ottawa Canada. This word was first invoked minutes after a heated dispute, that was leaning towards a fist fight, as to who the greatest soccer player in the world was (Zinadine Zadan or Terry Henry). Just prior to me and my friend Declan Bonner coming to blows with 3 skinny overmatched youths, the cook of the bar appeared (apparently to help us out) shirtless and unfit, and shouted “I will knock all three of you out with one punch!”. This drunken threat of a magical punch that could knock three guys out at once stopped the testosterone in its tracks, and the five of us that were not the shirtless cook turned, looked at him, and all started to laugh. Within minutes we were all back inside sharing a pint and laughing about the “tridonk” the most feared punch in the land. The term tridonk sort of hung around for a few years (mostly between Declan and I), and then as I became more involved in triathlon, it was a perfect label for our little counter culture.

It is just as hard to push 25MPH on a full carbon bike with an aero-helmet in your 15th race as it is to push 15 MPH on someone else’s mountain bike in soccer shorts and a cotton T-shirt in your first race…both people experience the same pain, the same rush, the same confusion in being passed by someone who looks like they should not be passing you, the same sense of achievement (not that that person is the same person, nor the person writing this).

And I will argue that the inclusivity I felt from the people that took me under their wing and trained with me and put up with my lack of understanding of what it took to get to that 25MPH were the only reason I got there. 4 years of doing it all wrong was changed in under a year based on being taken in by the tridonkeys. That sense of support and good will from people you are racing with and against is a great aspect to life and to sport.

Anyone who has lined up for their first mass start triathlon knows the fear, the intimidation, the uncertainty, and the overall confusion of starting and finishing your first triathlon. We formalized Tridonkey as a means to lower the barrier for more people to join the sport and have fun doing so. It is a complex sport even though it seems straight forward. Swim, Bike, Run. But we know it is not, a million questions, a million different answers.

Without Rambling on. Tridonkey is a community, a team for everyone, you can be on an elite team and still be a Tridonkey, you can be signing up for a 5K in Delaware, or your first sprint triathlon in Idaho and be a Tridonkey. The only requirement is that you remember this is fun, you give back (to the sport, to your community, to those in need) and you have friends that will slash your tires and smack you around if ever forget your Tridonkey roots and become a full fledged donkey. Don’t get me wrong, In the end it is still a race, and during the race I want to do as well as I possibly can, but before, during and after, I will always want the best for my fellow tridonkeys. It is just nice to beat them so they have to buy my burger, malt and Belgian beers post race."

Those are Krum's words not mine. So if you are interested in joining the website here is the link:

I also have a link on my main blog page.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Freeman Party

Yes I have been a slacker on my blog. But it is only because of my health issues with my leg that I haven't been able to do anything. Walking, standing and sitting all cause me some degree of pain. That doesn't leave room for a lot of activities. But I won't bore you with any further details on my current physical situation.

Let's move on to something that is more uplifting. It brings me great pleasure to announce the return of the Antonio Freeman Party. Many people were disappointed with the absence of the party from their calendar last summer. But it is back.

I will be supplying the beer, booze, soda, juice boxes, brats, burgers and buns. If you would like to bring a side dish, it would be appreciated. I usually get a couple calls on what people are bringing, I always say bring whatever your favorite dish is. That is except my aunt Marilyn, you have been typecast and have to bring heart attack on stick. Here are the particulars:

Saturday, June 6th.

The party starts at 2:00 p.m.

Games are scheduled to being at 3:30 p.m. with dinner to follow.

The party will once again be held at my house (127 North 78th Street), and will spill over into the street for the games.

All loyal blog readers are invited and encouraged to attend. I will also be sending out invitations on evite, facebook and if you aren't on either of those I will send you an invite through the mail. But feel free to RSVP here on my blog as well.

All RSVPs must be received by Saturday May 30th.

If you don't RSVP and show up, don't plan on eating, drinking or participating in any games.

I have been having trouble sleeping, at 4 this morning I was lying in bed thinking of games for this coming year. I am running a little short of ideas, so if anyone has any ideas or requests, I would love to hear them. As always, the musical chairs will be the main event, but this year I will set aside enough time of the Rock, Paper, Scissors single elimination tournament.

Any questions or comments about the party, please do so here as a comment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It Is The Little Things In Life

We have all heard the expression that "It is the little things in life that makes it all worth while." Last night I had a discussion with The General. Our conversation quickly turned to music, and I mentioned that the stereo in my bathroom has an alarm on it. Every morning I wake up to the sounds of one of three CDs I have in that stereo. It is a collection of live bootlegs of either Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam or U2. And these CDs play all morning as I muster up the strength to pull myself out of bed, work out, take a shower and get myself out the door to face the harsh and cruel world. I can not discount the fact that in some way, no matter how small, that listening to my favorite music every morning helps me start my day. I have obviously taken for granted the fact that I have the luxury of waking up and starting my morning off that way. The General made me keenly aware of that fact by telling me, with a heavy layer of jealousy in his voice, "I don't wake up to Dave Matthews in the morning."
Every morning that I have to wake up for work is to some degree, painful. To be honest, each and every morning as the music slowly fades in from that bathroom stereo, I contemplate calling in sick. But this morning as I awoke, my first thought, as always, was disappointment in the fact that I knew I had to crawl out of bed. But knowing that The General was out there and jealous, brought a brief smile to my face.
I would also like to take a moment to thank one of my most loyal blog readers. Bubs, thanks for the text message last night. One of the funniest things I have read in a long time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday

It is April 22nd. And why is that day important. Well 37 years ago today my brother, Jeff was hatched. 37 years old. 37!!!! With the average life expectancy of a male in the US at 75 years, essentially, Jeff's life is half over. Sorry Chucker didn't mean to bring you down. By the way, the average live expectancy of a female in the US is 80. That reminds me of a joke. Why do married men die at a younger age than married women? Because they want to.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Yes I have been an incredible slacker as of late with my blog. And why? Well it is because my leg is killing me. I think I have things somewhat figured out. I now have insurance but it doesn't kick in until the end of the month. Which means I have a week and a half to suffer. I will try to get more postings in, but I can tell you right now, that I don't have much planned for the rest of the month mainly because of my health problems. Lying around the house is all that I really have planned. I am currently taking some left over drugs that my brother and sister in law had. They help a little bit. At least now when I take them before I go to bed, I am able to sleep. I guess that is all for now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where Have I Been

Sorry, I haven't checked in for a while. I have been having some issues. My sciatic in my left leg has become worse over the last week or so. No idea what I am going to do about it. Apparently I deleted all of the emails I got from HR with my company, one of which was to sign up for Health Insurance. So now I don't have any health insurance. Great. But I was told that I do have Dental Insurance. I will be spending the rest of this week working in Oshkosh. That means I probably won't be posting anything this week. Sucks to be one of my readers. Enjoy your week and your healthy legs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary

I would like to take the time to wish my parents a very happy anniversary. 44 years together. Pretty incredible. When I think back on my childhood and job that my parents did in raising myself and my brothers and sister, I am amazed. I know it was far far from easy to raise all of us. But they did do an incredible job. With the exception of myself, we all turned out pretty normal. And in looking at their grandkids, the values they instilled in us are getting past on to those kids. I can never thank them enough for all that they have done for us.
After a couple crazy weekends over the last month or so, I am planning on taking it very easy this weekend. Nothing more is planned that stopping by my parent's house on Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

We Have a Winner

Congratulations to Liz and Borky who took 1st and 2nd place in the NCAA basketball pool. Checks are in the mail.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Brewers Gyro Contest

This is one posting that everyone loves. My Brewer prediction posting for the year. Before I get to my prediction for the Brew Crew, let me get to the current status of gyro meals. The following people still have an Oakland Gyro coming to them: Sarah, Julie and Annie. I also owe Preston a gyro, not for winning a contest, but for helping me move. Please call to make reservations with me so that you can collect. By the way, I was there a week ago and it was just fantastic. My old roommate, Kevin, emailed me and asked me if I wanted to go. I was in the middle of trying to purchase my truck so I wasn't sure if I had the time. But then I thought about it and realized that you never turn down an invitation to go to Oakland Gyros.

My prediction for the Brewers is that they will go exactly 81-81. But they will sweep the Cubs this weekend. I am a little torn this year. Obviously I would like the Brewers to do well. However, a poor year will result in lower attendance next year. Which would make it much easier to walk up and purchase tickets the day of the game on a weekend. From what I have heard, tickets for a Saturday game are going to pretty hard to come by. Another plus of the team performing poorly on the field means that the parking lots will be more fun. A good team means that more and more people go into the game on time, rather than the 3rd or 4th inning arrival that I am used to. So please post a comment stating your prediction for the Brewers this year. The closest prediction to the actual final record will receive an Oakland Gyro and a large Rootbeer. Good luck.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Eric's Wedding

Eric's wedding was this past weekend and it didn't disappoint. This was Friday night. We people coming into town, we met up at the hotel bar. I think it is a sign of old age, but no one got out of control. I was back home by 12:30. This is in far contrast from Phil's wedding, where we were out until 5 in the morning. Much older and wiser.I would like to thank Eric and Anna for the 16 minute service. Easily one of the fastest weddings I have ever been to. I didn't hear a single complaint.Horn and Schoen at the bar after the service.Jota, Borky and Doug at the reception.Eric and Anna's first dance. As shocking as it might sound, but Eric can dance. Who knew?Borky and Truz. I picked Truz up at the airport at 5 Saturday afternoon and dropped him off at the airport at 10 Sunday morning. He had quite the 18 hour trip to Milwaukee.Horn and I jumping for joy over the nuptials.And Eric danced and danced and danced.Back at the hotel bar, Nate and Truz are sizing each other up.Nate locked out of the hotel while on a smoke break.Truz insisted on having a dance party back at my place, but it wasn't much of a dance party.I really wished I had got in more pictures. I also wished I would have dug into the food that was served both before dinner and after dinner. I made a mental note to get over to the food, but never got around to it. I would like to thank Eric and Anna for the great time. They brought together a great guest list. I was so happy to see everyone that showed up. I would also like to applaud Eric and Anna on their bravery for having an open bar with this group. That is an extremely risky proposition.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The New Ride

Not much to talk about. Here it is. I just brought her home.

On The Road Again

The truck saga is finally over. I was finally called back by the dealership last night at 5:00 p.m. and told that my truck will be ready to be picked up today, at the price we agreed upon on Monday. So that is of great comfort.
Last night Russ and Amanda came into town. They are staying with me for Eric's wedding this weekend. We headed to Crawdaddy's for dinner and Eric, Anna and Nate joined us. Then we stopped by another watering hole. That made this morning a little rough. As I talked to Eric last night, he continued to inform me of all whom were invited to the wedding. I am incredibly excited for tomorrow just because so many friends will be together. I should have plenty of pictures come Monday. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Jerry Lundaguard

Any loyal blog reader knows that I have been having some vehicle problems. Last Saturday I blew the head gasket on my truck. After 212,000 faithful miles, she broke down on me. Since that time I have been in search of a new vehicle. And I have been getting fisted around on it. Saturday I took a test drive, and decided what I wanted. I have never had a new vehicle, so I thought I would treat myself to one. I thought my needs were pretty simple, a black Toyota Tacoma, with an access cab, V6 with manual transmission, with either the SR5 or sport package. Shouldn't be too difficult. On Saturday the dealership that I took the test drive at, Wilde Toyota, gave me a price. I said I wanted to look around some more before making a decision. Monday during the day, I sent out emails to nearly every Toyota Dealership in the area, and they all said they could get me that vehicle. Monday evening I was in phone contact and visited a number of dealerships. I soon learned that in all of southeastern Wisconsin there was only one dealership that had a vehicle that met my requirements. But three different dealerships promised me that vehicle. I decided that Wilde Toyota had given me the most time and I would give them the last chance to come in with the lowest price. When I spoke with them Monday night, they ended up beating the lowest price I had been given. They drew up the paper work and we signed everything. All was set in place and I had a new vehicle. Here is the snag. Toyota was offering a $1000 rebate through the end of the month of March. So if it was Wednesday or later, I would lose the $1000 rebate unless Toyota continued the promotion. When I left the dealership, the sales manager said that he was 99.99% sure that he would have the vehicle waiting for me Tuesday night. He just needed to do a little negotiating with the dealership that had this vehicle and get a driver to go and pick it up. I thought for sure I would hear from them on Tuesday morning. After all this was new sale and I am sure they wanted to get it in before the end of the month and for that matter before the end of the quarter. Tuesday morning came and went without a word. Tuesday afternoon came and went, still no word. I called my salesman at 3 in the afternoon and got his voicemail, I left a message and asked him to call me back. It is 6 in the evening, I still have not heard back from them. I called and asked for the sales manager.
I said "Hi, It is Rickie, the guys who's hand you shook last night and said it was 99.99% sure I would have my truck today. What is the status?"
Sales Manager: "We have run into a bit of a problem, and we have your truck locked down, but we don't have a driver and we can't get it here until Thursday."
Me: "I left your sales man a message and he never got back to me. Last night you said I was going to have my truck today. When were you planning on telling me this?"
Sales Manager: "I really don't have an answer for you. It has been really busy today. But I will let you know when we have your truck in."
Me: "And what about the $1000 rebate."
Sales Manager: "We haven't heard from Toyota, so we don't know. But when we hear something we will let you know."

Can it be more like Fargo? It was funny because when I was talking about the price I wanted, the salesman got up and went into the sales manager's office to talk about the price and then came back. I asked him "Did he have any gopher tickets?"

So it is Thursday and I have yet to here from the dealership, and I have a funny feeling that I won't either. I am pretty shocked at the crappy customer service that I am getting.