Friday, January 29, 2010

MP3 Update

You may remember my earlier post on this topic. I got an email yesterday saying that my MP3 player has shipped from China. Their website says free shipping and you should receive your item in 4 - 6 days. Well it has been 10 days and the latest email says "It will take 7-14 working days to receive the item." Which will happen first, we reach a high temp in the 50s or I get my Ipod. Oh well as long as I get it eventually, I will be happy. But I do miss having an MP3 player. I use it more than I thought. I always take it with me when I go grocery shopping. I also hook it up to my stereo when I am doing stuff around the house. Plus I use it in my truck quite a bit as well.

Good News

Yes, winter in Wisconsin is a bummer. Who doesn't hate winter? It was 8 degrees the other morning. 8!!!! That is a single digit. Way too cold. I know one of the contributing factors to my winter blues is the fact that I have to shut off the water to one of the shower heads in my bathroom out of fear of the pipes freezing. Once I get that shower head back on (usually at the end of February) I feel much better.
I happy to announce that we (those of you that live in Wisconsin, I will even throw Minnesotans in with that same group) have made it through the valley. We are headed up. Don't believe me? Here is proof:

This is of course a graph of the average high temperatures courtesy of weather.com. It is a long steady climb to May and average highs in the 60s. It will be here before you know it. The days are growing longer. Technically, I should be able to see the sunset Monday after work. My sources say that sundown will be at 5:03 p.m. on Monday.

As for my weekend plans, Sunday I am going to my niece, Lindsey's, basketball game. The rest is wide open. Whatever it is that I end up doing, I will try to get some photos.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Doctor On TV

I have gone to a couple doctors to look at my current health issues. The one that I trust the most is Dr. Heather Havlik, i.e. Tree's wife. Recently she was on television. Here is the link to the interview.

It is a little weird seeing a person you know on television. Especially when they act professional.

Sunday

Sunday was much different from Saturday. But it started off the same. Cookies before working out. I just got a call from my niece, Erin, who is selling girl scout cookies. It came at the right time. I could use some. If anyone would also like to buy some cookies but doesn't know any girl scouts. Let me know and I can get you Erin's information.
I also cleaned up some leftovers from Crawdaddys. Alaskan Skatewing with scallops and lobster mashed potatoes.And then I spent the remainder of the day bundled up on the couch watching football. Doesn't that look comfortable?As far as the games go, I was pretty close on my predictions. I almost got the Colt's score right, and I was one pick away from getting Favre's interception number correct. I wouldn't have minded the Vikings making the Super Bowl, but I wouldn't be able to stomach them making the Super Bowl with Favre. So I was happy with the outcome of the game. However, the Vikings were the better team on Sunday. They just needed to do a better job taking care of the ball. In fact, if the Saint defenders weren't too busy trying to pick up the fumbles rather than just falling on the ball, they would have had two more turnovers.
And to my Minnesota friends, enjoy the next 7 months of "will he return or won't he". I am happy that my team has their quarterback position set for the next 7 or 8 years. Ia m going on the record right now. Old number 4 will be coming back to play again next year.
As far as a pick for the Super Bowl. I think that Peyton Manning is just too good. He is like having the couch on the field. I heard that in a game earlier this season he was coming up to the line of scrimmage, and before the snap he would point to which guys on the other team that were going to be blitzing....and he was right. Colts win 35 - 31 in a game that has the most combined total yards by both teams in the history of the Super Bowl.
Oh and here is the mountain of clean laundry that I was planning to fold during the games but didn't.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dan Green

As I mentioned yesterday, I was going to go into some Dan Green stories. He was the best goalie that I ever played with, even better than The General. And The General was a very good goalie, I believe he was all conference and on the Journal Sentinel All Area team. The General might have to chime in and enlighten us with his accolades.

Anyhow I played Reinders U23s with Dan Green. Kaker, Mark Thome, Krum and Justus were also on that team. I remember a game we played down in Racine. The team was pretty unorganized and we ended up playing short players that game. I think we started with 10 guys. Mark Thome got a red card which put us down to 9 guys. Then Joe Reinders had to leave at half time because we was going to Madison for something involving the UW Soccer team, so we were down to 8 guys. Eric Case got hurt in the second half and couldn't run. But because we couldn't play with 7 guys the ref said Eric had to stay on the field so he just stood by the sideline at midfield. So we were essentially playing 7 on 11...and we were winning. But being down 4 players we were just getting shelled. Green made one fantastic save after another. One play had the opponent take a shot from 20 yards out. The moment the ball wizzed past my head, I said to myself "That is a goal." I turned my head to watch the ball go in the goal. But what I saw was Dan Green 4 feet in the air, laid out with his body horizontal to the ground and he snags the ball clean out of the air. The greatest save I have ever seen with my eyes. As he rose to his feet as we were all headed up field, we all said "Nice save Green" like it was a routine save. I remember it like it was yesterday. He also stopped a shot that was going to sneak right inside one of the posts. He dove at that ball and it was moving at a pretty good pace and he stopped it with one hand that he slapped down on top of the ball. Green probably made 50 saves that day and we actually ended up winning that game, I think it was 3-1 or 3-2.

This was also the same game that Krum broke his wrist. Total Krum story. There was a light rain this day. After the game, I switched out of my cleats and I saw these young kids that were playing basketball on a court right next to the soccer field. I asked to see the ball and went up and dunked it. Don't get too impressed, the rim was only at 9 feet. Then Krum, with his cleats on gave it a shot. Not surprisingly he slipped a little bit before he jumped and he got the ball stuck on the rim. He fell backwards and caught himself with his hands and broke his wrist.

Another Dan Green story. I think it was my senior year of high school and we heard about tryouts for a soccer team in Milwaukee that Louie Bennett (a former Milwaukee Wave player) was putting together. The tryout was maybe an hour or an hour and a half long. We did a couple of drills, offense against defense and then we went into a full scrimmage. Over the course of the whole tryout, Green was in goal and took 100s of shots. He only let 3 balls get by him the entire tryout and I had 2 of them. Apparently Louie didn't think that scoring meant too much, because out of the 4 of us, I was the only one who didn't get invited to join the team.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saturday

This weekend I tried to take a picture of everything I did for the day. But by the end of the day, I was tired of taking pictures. I know, pushing that button is so taxing. So I was up and out of bed at 8:51 a.m.I started off the day with a couple of cookies. Breakfast of Champions.Then I started with my morning work out. Which consists of around 500 sit-ups and 100 push-ups. If I wake up late, those numbers are cut in half. But since I didn't have much on the schedule so Saturday was a full workout.I then get in 4 sets of curls, lunges and calf raises. Here I am pumping the pythons.I then took my daily medicine.After working out and taking my medicine, I wash the pills down with a daily morning smoothie. Here is the sad photo of my fridge. No, I didn't take everything out of the fridge for effect, it is normally this empty. Plus I am too lazy to take everything out of the fridge jsut for a picture.I got in a shower and a shave.I then thought to myself, let me see how much stuff I can get done in one day around my house. I got in 3 loads of laundry. Here I am sorting whites from the darks.Loading in the whites. "My dirty undies, the Ringer, the whites!!" (Anyone know that reference?)Of course, yes, I use the Dounty Ball. I like my clothes nice and soft.I cleaned up my work shop in the basement. Here are my three vacuum cleaners. Does anyone need a vacuum cleaner, I have an extra one?Here are the three fantasy football trophies. I had them done at the party last week, but Bubs and Chucker forgot to take their's home. And Tim never showed up to claim is last place toilet trophy.I took care of the dishes.Then I jumped into my mail. Normally I don't let it build up like this. This is about a week and half worth of mail.Check out this Gas/Electric bill. $245.44!!!!And here is my thermostat which is always set at 60 degrees. Insane.Here I am writing out some checks to pay these bills.I took out the trash and recyclables.I painted the hallway ceiling. Literally. This isn't a euphemism, sickos.I used a brush and a roller. You can see all of the new trim around the doors. It looks much better than the old painted trim.I got in some electrical work. I switched out the regular hallway light switch to a larger switch which lights up when it is off.I also put some lights up in my attic. I also put down the carpeting that was in a the spare bedroom in the attic, and I got some insulation in. But I was too itchy from the insulation to take any pictures.In the early evening, I headed downtown Milwaukee to meet up with my brother, Jeff, and his family. His daughter, my niece, Sarah, was performing with her dance team at halftime of the Wave game. Here is part of the soccer game where there was a slight disagreement between teh teams. Jeff said to me, if this was hockey they would be throwing punches. I couldn't agree more.Here is half time. Sarah is circled.It was also alumni day at the Wave game. One of the players announced is my friend, Dan Green. I circled him here. He was one of the goalies for the Wave for a number of years. Back in the day I played U23s with him. With no disrespect to The General, Green was the best goalie I ever played with. I will get into a Dan Green story later this week.I finished up Saturday with meeting up with Chris, Rebecca, Al and Vanessa at Crawdaddys for dinner. I guess you could say I had a lot going on Saturday. But Sunday was much different.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Monday Singing, Say It Isn't So

This is a little more of me singing. I know who wants to hear that. This was on a cruise ship for my friend, Joy's wedding. This has to be at least 10 years old.

video

Not only did I sing, but I danced. Here I am doing the worm around some other performers. I think this is was wrapped up the first place prize for me. Check out the amplitude of that worm. Maybe this is why my back is screwed up.

video

Friday, January 22, 2010

Old Pictures

Well they aren't really that old of pictures.
This is pretty tasteless and sick. Is that candy apple red paint or LaBianca blood. (Anyone get that reference?)I will get more pictures of the house up this weekend. I am hoping to have both bedrooms and the hallway completed over the weekend.
This is from Nancy, my godwife's, graduation party. She thanked everyone and was then asked to give a speech. I really should have recorded it on video. I think I need more video clips on the blog. I am trying to get my karyoke contest winning performance up on the blog, but the file is really big. Speaking of karyoke, here are the girls belting out "Copacabana".

MP3 Players and Football

Earlier this week, I grabbed my MP3 player to listen to and when I turned it on, nothing happened. So I need to buy a new one. I seem to go through an MP3 player at a rate of about one a year. I was always buying cheap ones. This time I decided to bite the bullet and actually buy an Ipod. I did some shopping around on the internet and found that an Ipod Nano is in the range of $135 - $150. But then I found this site: http://www.mp3playerbuying.com/
And I ordered an Ipod Nano for $50. I am a little skeptical. They get their electronics direct from China. I have a feeling that they got my money and I will never see the Ipod.

As for the rest of my weekend. Nothing really planned. I am going to try and get some pictures of my work around the house up. Sunday I will be camped out watching football. Here are my picks: Colts 28 - Jets 10. Saints 38 - Vikings 17. Favre 3 interceptions. And no missed field goals in either game.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Blues

Yes winter is starting to get to me, even though the weather actually hasn't been that bad lately. We are past the winter solstice, i.e., the shortest day of the year. That was December 21st. But the days are all blending together, it has been the same thing each day at least during the week. I have been waking up later and later. So my morning workouts have become shorter and shorter. The office is a little slow right now. And then in the evening I am just working on the house. I am hoping to have the bedrooms nearly completed by the end of the weekend.
At Christmas I got a pack of movie tickets. So with football coming to an end, I am going to try to make it to at least one movie a week. When I was living in Minnesota, I was getting to the movies nearly once a week. Plus that will give me something to write about here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Avatar

It has been a while since I made my way to the movies. Last Thursday I went to go see Avatar in 3D with Nate. I am fully on board with 3D movies. I think they are just incredible. As Nate and I were walking into the theater and received our 3D glasses, Nate made the comment,"It is in 3D? I guess I should have put my contacts in." I thought that was pretty funny, but Nate said even with the 3D glasses on over his real glasses, the 3D still looked good.
But on to the movie itself. It is long, but overall I thought it was very good. The special effects were phenomenal. I read on "imdb.com" that it was 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. I would call this movie a futuristic cross between "The Matrix" and "Braveheart". The plot is very predictable. And there is a very heavy dose of the political anthem of a global conservancy and living "green" throughout the entire movie. Still I give this movie an 8 out of 10. I may even go and see it again, more for the 3D and special effects than for the movie plot itself.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Blues

If you are having a bit of the Monday blues, I hope this brightens up your mood. As you will see, this is from 1998. Wow, that was a long long time ago. I have never claimed to be a good singer, but I will say that I am at least entertaining and have a stage presence. This is from Stu and Mary's wedding. You may want to turn down the volume. Enjoy.
video

Friday, January 15, 2010

Laser Pointer

I don't throw many of the things that have been forwarded to me on my blog. But if it is funny, I will post it.

video

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Window Install

Last week I helped my brother's old boss, Wayne, put windows in my house. These windows were ordered through my sister-in-law, Julie. I am incredibly pleased with the new windows. I am happy that I went with the casement windows in most cases over the double hung. I think they appear larger and look much better.

But that front picture window in the living room was a beast. I would guess that the new window easily tipped the scales at around 400 pounds. The big issue with the replacement of this window was what to do with the old window. Wayne and I brainstormed a little bit, and believe it or not, the solution that seemed most feasible for disposing of the window was to break it into smaller pieces and throw it all in the trash.
Here you can see Wayne working in one of the bedrooms. And what am I doing? Taking pictures and documenting the work. That is actually what I do at my real job.
Here are the new and old picture windows. That beast is 7' 4" by 5' 9".The last you will see of the old window.Again here is Wayne working and me doing nothing.

Here is the video of the window breaking.

video

There will be more pictures of the finished product in time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Favorite Reader of the Year

I am a little late on this one, and I am sure the anticipation is killing my readers. It is time for me to reveal who is my favorite reader of the year. How is my favorite reader picked. Pretty easy, it is the person with the most comments posted on my blog. Why do I love comments so much? It gives me material to work with. As you can tell from the content of my blog, it is hard to come up with things to write about. Comments, especially those which differ from my opinion give me ammunition and something to write about. I have decided to award my favorite reader with the top prize that I award any on my blog. An Oakland Gyro with an extra pita bread and large rootbeer. Hopefully that incentive will entice other to leave comments. And who is my favorite reader this year: Bubs, or as most people know him, Preston.

I will only list those that have had more than 10 comments for the year. Just think if you want to listed here next year, all you have to do is make one comment a month. Anyhow here is the list:
Bubs: 65 comments
Annie: 42 comments
Borky: 38 comments
MKA: 15 comments
Julie: 13 comments
The General: 12 comments
Tree, K-Mart and Liquid: 11 comments.

I would like to thank everyone who has left a comment on my blog. Your contribution is appreciated.

On a side note, Bubs is now up to 3 gyros. It is about time he schedules an appointment with me to claim his prizes. Too bad it isn't Justus who is owed 3 gyros, because back in my college days, I witnessed Justus eat 3 of them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stop Swearing and Drinking

An anonymous person left a comment on my blog:
"Why would you want to "stop swearing" and stop drinking? Are either really considered problems in your life."

I think that swearing makes you seem less intelligent and less classy. I also believe that if a person rarely swears, that when the time comes that they do swear, what they are saying has much more meaning. For instance, if my mom said to me "What the "F" are you doing?" I would really stand at attention and take notice.
Swearing is also an exhibit of a lack of self control. I think I told this story once before, but it fits here so I will retell it. Back in college this came under debate with my roommate, Kevin. He told me that he swore a lot because that was part of his upbringing. The people around him growing up swore, so he did to. Kevin is a very smart individual. And at that time I told him it was merely a lack of self control that he swore. Kevin did not like the fact that I said he had no self control. And for a while there he made a conscious effort not to swear, and you know what, he then started not to swear too much. I would like to ask this anonymous person what is so great about swearing? Do you swear at work? Or in front of your boss? If not, isn't that something of a double standard?

As far as the drinking goes, no, I don't think I have a problem. It is just something I want to do to see how long I can go. Another reason is that drinking can be expensive. My current home improvement project is starting to get a little expensive. I was out at a bar this past weekend for my godwife, Nancy's, graduation party. I was there for a couple hours and didn't spend a cent. Had I been drinking I probably would have dropped at least $30.

I am also highly offended by this anonymous person's comment that "If you don't swear and/or drink, really what fun will you be?" Am I to understand from this person that I am only fun to be around when I am drinking and swearing. Wow, thanks. Anything else you don't like about me? The gloves are off, you might as well let loose. Do you want to talk about the weight I have been putting on? Or the fact that I am losing my hair? Come on take your best shot, I can take it.

Packer Results

I know this one is late. But I have to pace myself on the postings otherwise I will run out of material if I post more than one posting a day. I also know that this one hurts a little bit after Sunday's game. What a great game, even though the Packers lost. With the season now complete, I can say that the Packers did the right thing in getting rid of old #4. The only good thing about the Packers losing, is that my stress level will be much lower for the remaining games. I will be pulling for which ever team does play the Vikings. I really don't want to see them win it all. But back to the topic of this posting. The review of the Packers Regular Season and the Oakland Gyro Contest. The Packers ended up finishing the regular season with a record of 11 wins and 5 loses. And here are the submitted predictions from my blog readers:

The General 13 wins and 3 loses.

MKA, Tom Brady and myself 12 wins and 4 loses.
Bubs 11 wins and 5 loses.

Tree 10 wins and 6 loses.

K-Mart 9 wins and 7 loses.

Liquid 8 wins and 8 loses.

So as you can see the winner of the Gyro Contest is Bubs. Please contact me to coordinate with me a time that is mutally agreeable between the two of us to claim your prize.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Be A Fan

I was speaking with a co-worker about the game yesterday. Why do we care about this team? Think of all the heartbreaking ways this team has ended their season and our hopes and dreams. They even have titles that the moment you hear the name, the pain comes back:

The T.O. catch.

The Rice fumble.

5 interceptions at the Rams.

Micheal Vick beat down at Lambeau and temp below 34 degrees.

4th and 26. (That one really hurts)

The Randy Moss full moon.

The Giants game final interception, last year.

And now the Arizona Shootout.

New Years Resolutions

Every year I make New Years Resolutions. I think that writing it down here on the blog helps to keep me somewhat accountable. Let's review past years.

2005. No more buffalo wings.

2006. I boycotted fast food. Especially McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell.

2007. I gave up candy, chips, soda and french fries.

2008. Stop swearing and work on my juggling skills.

2009. Introduce myself better to people I don't know. Limit my alcoholic drinks to 5 per day as well as not drinking until Las Vegas in March.

In review of my past resolutions, I have been pretty good. I have stopped and started on buffalo wings a number of times. I can't remember if I am back on or off of them right now.
Fast food I have done a great job on. This does not include Subway or Culvers which could arguably be fast food. But I haven't touched McDonalds, Burger King or Taco Bell but once since 2006.
The candy, chips, soda and french fries have entered my diet from time to time, but I am starting a new boycott of them starting with this new year.
I don't swear as much as I once did but I need to tighten that up this year.
My juggling skills are nearly non existent. I am going to try to get myself to juggle for 10 minutes everyday after work.
Introducing myself, I still am not very good at. I need to once again work at that.

So what do I have in store for myself in the year 2010.
First, is to continue on with the past resolutions listed above. I think doing all of those will be beneficial to my health and make me a better person.
Second, is to not eat after 7:00 in the evening, unless out with family and/or friends. I know, I sound like a Gremlin. But eating before going to bed is just empty calories that I don't need.
Third, this is one that Nate mentioned to me. No cheese, except for pizzas. For me to give up pizza would simply be just ridiculous. Hopefully I can do this, but it would require cutting out the most important ingredient in any Mexican dish.
And finally and this is a big one. I am not going to drink alcohol until Roman's bachelor party in May. Last year I made it until Eric's bachelor party at the end of February. Although I did have a beer in the airport before we left for Vegas. I know this sounds crazy but last week I got passed a huge hurtle in keeping this resolution. My old roommate, Truz, was back in town. On Tuesday night he gave me a call and said that he was going to stop by. Eric also stopped by. So we sat around and watched the Orange Bowl. They both had a couple beers but I didn't have a drop. So now the bar is set extremely high. If I don't drink with one of my best friends on the one night I see him for the year, well then the day that I do drink had better be more important than that. Otherwise it would just be an insult to Truz.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Gitche Gumme

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,
that good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
when the "Gales of November" came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
with a crew and good captain well seasoned,
concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
when they left fully loaded for Cleveland.
And later that night when the ship's bell rang,
could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railing.
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
when the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
in the face of a hurricane west wind.


When suppertime came the old cook came on deck sayin'.
"Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."
At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,
"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
if they'd put fifteen more miles behind 'er.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
they may have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
in the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
the islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
with the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early!"

Friday, January 08, 2010

U.P. Skiing

The week of New Years I headed up to the U.P. of Michigan for some skiing. I left Monday after work and came home Friday morning. Tuesday Eric, Liquid, Doug and myself skied at the Porcupine Mountains. I skied there my first year of college, when my brother, Jon, and two of his friends went up there. I remembered that I liked skiing there, but it was really cold and the chair lifts were slow. While many other parts of my body are starting to go, my mind isn't because it was really cold and the one chair lift that they do have was really slow. But it was still some decent skiing. Wednesday and Thursday we skied at Indianhead. Of all of my trips to the U.P. Indianhead was the one place I had never skied. But it wasn't bad at all. Just cold. On Thursday, I spent most of the day with Nate as he was teaching his son, Elery, to ski. Elery is only 3 years old. Nate had had Elery on the Bunny hill most of Wednesday, but on Thursday we took him down the big hill. While we only did 3 runs with him, it was amazing how quickly he picked it up. I also have new respect for skiing instructors. Nate and I switched off taking him down the hill. Snow plowing to keep your speed down the entire length of the hill can really burn up your quads fast. At one point I was getting Elery to ski by himself in front of me and then I would give him a little push and send him down the hill to Nate about 30 feet away. We did this a couple of times. But on the last attempt Elery wasn't stand up straight so I couldn't push him away, and then we got too close to Nate for me to avoid Nate and all three us of went down. I guess it is only fitting that Elery's first real fall is because of me. I only have a couple of pictures that I took the first day at the Porkies.
Here is the view from the top of the hill.That out there is the big lake they call Gitche Gumme, i.e. Lake Superior.Eric, Doug and Liquid.
I would have liked to have taken more pictures, but the weather was just too cold to get my bare hand out to take pictures.