Monday, January 31, 2011

127 Hours

I had been meaning to go see this movie for a while, but missed my opportunity, or so I thought. But with this movie being up for an Academy Award it was re-released and this weekend I went to see it. The movie is a true story that follows Aron Balston, who is a bit of a loner that enjoys the great outdoors. He sets out on an adventure to explore a canyon in a remote part of Utah. However, he does not inform anyone of his plans or his destination before hand. While exploring a crevasse in the canyon, a freak mishap leaves him in quite the predicament to say the least. I liken his situation to locking yourself out of you car where you can still see your keys dangling from the ignition. Well it is sort of like that, but multiplied by a million times. He soon begins to run low on water and food. Eventually realizing that his time is running out, and that no one will come looking for him for days, he must make the most extreme of decisions. His story is an extraordinary example of the human will to survive. As you leave the theater you are left asking yourself if you could have survived the same situation. On a scale of 1 to 10 this is an easy 8 maybe a 9. I highly recommend seeing this movie before it is no longer in theaters.

Friday, January 28, 2011

One for the Hunters Out There

If you are a hunter, you have to check out this link. If you are a man and a hunter and don't laugh out loud, or at least chuckle, I will give you a dollar.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Christmas Cards Part 3

Here is the last installment.
I went to high school with Jess and Matt.
I used to play soccer with Matt.I used to work at Merge with Julie.Nick and Ethan.Truz was a roomate.Bob was a college roommate. Storch was another college roommate.I think most know Jota.


I met Amy through Michel.I played kickball with Melanie


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby News

This is a bit late. But actually haven't talked to Tree since the arrival. I am not 100% sure on the date because Tree didn't put it in his email. But Tree and Heather brought their son, Logan, into the world on January 11th or there abouts. Here are are a couple pictures.
I am guessing this one was shorty after the birth since Heather is still on the table. But I give her credit, she is smiling.
You can tell from this picture that Logan is already taking after his father and is quite the cry baby. But good news, his unit is already bigger than Tree's.

Christmas Cards Part 2

More cards.
I grow up next door to Jacob.
I went to high school with Muffy.Russ I met through Krum.Tree, I guess I met him through Preston or Justus.I went to high school with Matt.I played volleyball with Ray and Kate, and I met them through Tree.I went to high school with Brian and Amy is Borky's wife's sister.I think everyone know the General and I am Mason's God father.I met Pretzel through Joe.Mark was a college roommate.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Packer Game Recap

Here are my notes from the Packer Game.
First, for some reason I thought the game started at 3:30. I was walking through the living room at 2:30 and I thought I would just turn the TV on before the game started because sometimes my TV needs to warm up, and what do I see but the game going on. The first play I saw was the last play of the 1st quarter.
I like it when I see my quarterback break loose of the pocket and then scramble for 25 yards without getting touched.
I think Lovie Smith's days are numbered in the Windy City.
He just looks clueless on the sidelines. Has a coach ever been after his team loses in the conference championship game?
Sam Shields, thank you for the interception at the end of the 1st half. Pretty big.
How about the referee that they have the in the booth with Troy and Joe. He looks like a pretty big idiot when there is a challenge on the field and he says one thing and the officials on the field say another.
Even though the Packers offense couldn't finish off their drives, it was nice to hear the groan of the crowd after each 3rd down conversion to move the chains.
I will give the Bears credit, not many teams are so confident in themselves that they hold quarterback auditions in the NFC Championship game.
Looking forward to the Super Bowl, if the Packers running game hopes to be effective, them might want to start with making sure they have someone assigned to blocking the middle linebacker. Urlacher made one tackle for a loss when no one even touched him.
In the 4th quarter they had the camera over the Bears huddle and the linemen are telling the quarterback to hurry up, and then the quarterback just calls a timeout with 10 seconds still left on the play clock. The Bears really weren't that good.
I thought the Packers played a little lackadaisical, Driver didn't seem to give too much effort into the pass at the end of the 1st half that turned into an interception. And Collins on the Bears second touchdown, I have no idea where he was going. It looked like he was thinking the ball would go over the receivers head and had himself set for an interception.
Sam Shields, thank you again for the interception at the end of the game.
Although my game MVP is the punter Tim Masthay. Hester little to no effect on the game.
How about the insult to injury of winning the Halas trophy at Solider Field. 182 games and for Bears fans this one had to sting the most.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dark Star Orchestra

Friday night I went down to the Pabst Theater with The General and Tree's brother, Ed. The Dark Star Orchestra was playing. They are a Grateful Dead cover band. Their claim is that if you close your eyes, they sound just like the Grateful Dead. After listening to them in concert, I would have to agree. The lead singer even sounds like Bob Weir, and the Jerry Gracia guy doesn't quite sound like Jerry but is close. In fact I would have to say that Dark Star sound better (tighter) than the Grateful Dead I saw in the 90's. But that would only make sense since they are much younger than the Dead in the 90's, plus they don't have heroin coursing through their veins, at least I don't think.
The band got on stage around 8:30, they took an intermission and then continued to play until midnight.
Normally they pick a Dead show from the past and play the entire setlist from that show. But on this night, they played an original setlist. Here is it is:
Hell In A Bucket
Cold Rain and Snow
Mama Tired
Mexicali Blues
East To Love You
Catfish John
Lazy Lightnin'
Supplication
Sing Your Blues Away
Keep Your Day Job

Intermission

Sugar Magnolia
Mystery Train
Man Smart, Woman Smart
Saint Stephen
Alligator
Space
Drums
The Wheel
Attics of My Life
Sunshine Dream
Going Down The Room Feeling Bad
Johnny B. Goode

Encore: Help On The Way
Slipknot!
Franklin's Tower
How Sweet It Is
We got there a little after 8:00 and the show had started before we got to some seats. It was a general admission show so you could sit anywhere. We started off in the second level at the back. After a couple of minutes I spotted four open seats in the second row on the second level. I pointed these seats out to The General and Ed, and told them to follow me. I headed straight for the seats and somehow both The General and Ed lost me. The General texted me and he finally met me in those seats. But Ed was missing for the whole first set. At intermission we were able to track down Ed.
video
After intermission, I wanted to get down to the first level, but again I lost Ed somewhere in the trip. However The General managed to stay with me. We were sitting towards the back of the theater, but they were still real good seats. If you listen to the video clip above during Sugar Magnolia you can hear The General screaming. But that must have taken something out of him. Because with at least good hour maybe more to go in the show, The General took a seat. Then I looked over at him again a couple minutes later and he was sound asleep. I even took a picture.General? General!!! GENERAL AT ATTENTION!!!! WAKE UP!!! HELLO, ARE YOU THERE? TEN HUT!!! YOU ARE MISSING THE SHOW!!! GENERAL!!!
See, he wouldn't wake up. He slept through the whole end of the show, including all of the encore. Words can not begin to describe my disappointment. Who sleeps at a concert? Alright, passing out is something completely different. The General did not pass out, he decided to go to sleep. Thursday night, I had my old college roommate, Mark, and his wife, Suzanne stay with me. They were leaving Friday morning for Mexico. And I gave them a ride to the airport at 4 in the morning. I got a text from The General Friday afternoon, "Up at 4:30? I don't see you lasting tonight." I think what he meant to text me was "Would it be a big deal if in the middle of the concert, I just took a nap". I was finally able to wake him up after the show and then found Ed. As we were driving home we were joking about The General. The General has this thing called the Armageddon list. Basically it is the people that he wants to party with if the end of the world is coming. The General is officially off my list. Here would be my conversation with The General if Armageddon was coming:
Me: "General, hey I don't know if you have heard, but the world is going to end in 8 hours."
The General: "Hey that is cool, let's hit the strip clubs and the casino."
Me: "That sounds like a plan to me.:
The General: "Great, let's do it, but first I am going to need to take a nap. I wake me up in 2 hours."

The General's official statement on this incident, which he texted to me Sunday morning, is as follows: "When you party as hard as I do, your body has to shut down at some point. I became one with the music."

So good news for my readers out there. Normally when I get tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band, I take The General with me. But I am afraid I can't risk such behavior happening again. I mean it is embarrassing. So who wants that extra ticket?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monsters of the Midway My Butt

Here are my two keys to a Packer victory on Sunday. Keep Devin Hester in check. He needs to average less than 20 yards per return. Win the turnover battle. The Packers will get 2 interceptions from Cutler. Packers win 24 - 9.
Other than the Packer game the only other event on the schedule is going to see Dark Star Orchestra tonight at the Pabst Theater. They are a Grateful Dead cover band. I have heard alot about them, but have never seen them before. Tree's older brother, Ed, is going with me. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Cards Part 1

Here are my Christmas cards of the year. I thought I would share them with all of you since the majority ofyou might know each other.
My old roommate, Joe, and Dawn.I think everyone knows Roman. Not so many his new wife, Amy.For all intense purposes, my brother in law, Tony's, family.Ryan and Jen, I played kickball with them.Leon, I worked with at Merge.Heidi is my cousin.I went to high school with Sarah.I played kickball with Rob.I met Gibby through Joe.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reader of the Year

We have a repeat winner. I always acknowledge my favorite blog reader each year. How do you become my favorite reader? Pretty easy really, just leave comments on my posts. I love comments, especially if they differ from my opinion because it gives me something to talk about. Better yet, leave me a comment asking me a question or a topic for a future post. Help me help you. (Jerry McGuire)
Here are my favorite readers of this past year. Congratulations for plowing through the ramblings of my life this last year. To get a mention you need to have left at least 10 comments. That is less than one a month.
1. Bubs - 59 comments
2. Borky - 46 comments
3. Tree - 20 comments
(By the way a quick tangent on this posting. I just learned yesterday that that Tree and Heather welcomed their son, Logan, into the world just last week. I haven't talked to Tree yet, his brother, Ed, informed me of the happy news. Congratulations Tree!)
4. Annie - 13 comments
5. Julie - 12 comments
6. Liquid - 10 comments

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Packer Game Reaction

Before the game I had said that there are three things that worried me about the game. I guess these are pretty obvious but follow me. 1st was turnovers. Winning the turnover battle is huge in any game, and I would guess that the majority of the time the winner of a football game is the team that takes care of the ball better. But as you may remember, if not for a fumble on the Atlanta goaline, the Packers probably would have won the first meeting. Second was penalties, recall the 18 they had against the Bears. Although in looking at the season as a whole for the Packers, I would call all of the penalties in the Bears game an anomaly. Finally was the ability of the receivers to not drop the ball. There had been too many drops in the last couple of games.
The very first play from scrimmage was a pass out in the flat to a receiver that Charles Woodson read like a dirty limerick, but the receiver out there all but tackled Woodson. A good possibility that play could have resulted in a pick six. Then on the Packers first possession, Greg Jennings fumbles the ball and I am thinking we are theoretically -2 in the turnover margin and I am not feeling to great about the outcome of this game.
The Packers seem to right the ship and score a touchdown, but then the special teams really stinks it up on consecutive plays, allowing a kick return touchdown and then dropping the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the 9. The offense then drives down the field methodically and scores a touchdown. I think that drive was turning point of the game number 1. It settled the team down, kept the defense off the field and pretty much set the tone for the remainder of the game.
The score is tied at 14 - 14 and the defense makes a stop and the Packers get the ball back with about 2 minutes to go in the half. I am thinking, “Alright, just get a field goal, but a touchdown would be better, and leave no time on the clock. Then we get the ball first in the second half. And with another scoring drive to open the 2nd half and we are up anywhere from 6 to 14 points.” But the Packers scored too fast and the kickoff coverage again failed to impress yet again, leaving the Falcons with decent field position and about a minute and a half to work with. Enter turning point of the game number 2. The pick six to end the half gave the Packers a 14 point lead going into the half and we still get the ball first. Another touchdown scoring drive to open the half and it was time to turn out the lights.
Rodgers played an incredible game. I really like seeing stats like “5 of 5 for 86 yards on 3rd down. And 6 of 6 for 53 yards and 2 touchdowns in the red zone.” He was calm and collected on the field and he wasn’t just slinging the ball around the field like someone I used to know. He was methodical and precise. Knowing that he will be the corner stone of the team for the next 8 of 9 years is extremely comforting.
The defense made plays when they had to. They showed a stat about mid way through the 3rd quarter about Matt Ryan. 15 dropbacks, 4 hurries, 3 sacks, and 4 knockdowns. Or something to that effect, essentially meaning that 2/3 of the time he dropped back he was getting harassed.
I don’t want to look past the Bears, but I have a hard time believing that the Packers will not win on Sunday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Final Word

I am sure some of you have seen this. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Girlfriend?

How about something juicy for a Friday? Well not really. Back in mid-December my sister-in-law, Julie's, mother and loyal blog reader, Annie, got me the number of a girl she thought that I might be interested in. While talking to Annie during Christmas, she talked this girl up quite a bit and even though I am fairly negative about getting in a relationship, I thought I would give it a shot because what else do I real have to do with my time. So I actually called this girl up one night. I only talked to her for a minute because she said that she was running out the door and had a tanning appointment, but she did say that she would call me back in an hour. At press time, she has still yet to return my call. I talked to Annie since and she said that I should try calling her back. But I am not going to do it. I have known Annie for a long time, and I am fairly certain that she talked me up to this girl, giving her no reason to think that I am anything but a white knight on his steed. And with phone technology, there is no way she lost my number. I have known a lot of girls, and check me if I am wrong, but if a girl is truly or for that matter, even remotely interested, she would have gotten back to me by now. I think there is at least one or two girls that visit my blog. Tell me I am wrong.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Packer Game

How about that Packer game? I didn’t get to watch the game live because I was skiing, and I knew the outcome before I watched the game on my DVR. But here are some notes that I made in watching the game. FOX must have brought in extra cameras for the game because it seemed like they had more camera angles than a normal regular season game. One great camera angle was zoomed in on Brandon Jackson when he scored on a screen pass. He actually had a handful of the jersey of one his blockers that he was following on his way into the end zone. Something you would never catch without zooming in with HD cameras.

I also noticed that FOX has moved the score and time box to the way out corners of the 9:16 format. I am fairly certain that during the regular season this box was in what would have been the corner for 3:4 format, that really bothered me.

I still thought it was sloppy game by the Packers. Too many turnovers and too many dropped passes. But if the Packers want to get past the Falcons they will need to take care of the ball and catch the balls that hit them in the hands. Whichever team has fewer turnovers on Saturday will win the game.

Dear Nick Collins, I realize that tackling Michael Vick in the open field is no simple feat, but I don’t think it warrants jumping around and pumping your fists when you manage to stop him after a 2 yard gain. You are a Pro-Bowler, act like it.

If the Packers can get by the Falcons, you can stamp your ticket to the Super Bowl. The Packers will not lose to the Bears. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears lose to the Seahawks.

Saturday prediction: Packer 27 - Falcons 24. Aaron Rodgers engineers a 4th quarter game winning drive.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weekend Recap

Yes, I suck and I have been a slacker on my blog. Bare with me. Not much going on. but if you are really curious here you go.

Friday after finishing a long day of work and an even longer work week, I headed for home. There wasn’t much to my Friday evening other than some pick up soccer at 9:00. We played much longer than I thought we would, not leaving the gym until almost 11:00. We played 5 or 6 games, but it was one game too long.

Saturday morning I repainted MKA’s old room. Then I got myself ready for a day of football. I had the Cotton Bowl from the night before on my DVR and then the NFL playoffs. I have said this before, if the bowl games in college football are such a great idea and no one has a problem with it, how come the NFL isn’t pushing for a post season that is set up the same way as the college bowl system. Wouldn’t it be great if after a long grueling regular season each team got rewarded with one extra exhibition game? How about having the second place team from the NFC Central (The Green Bay Packers) play the second place team from the NFC West (The St. Louis Rams) in San Diego? It would be much more fulfilling than having the current playoff system. The college bowl system aggravates me so much. But I honestly believe that within the next 10 years the bowl system will be done away with. How will that be possible you ask? It is all about the money. I noticed that many of the bowl games, including the Orange Bowl, were not sold out. These games will get to a point where it isn’t financially feasible. I also believe that eventually some schools will begin to decline the invitation to play in a bowl game because it will be costing these schools too much money to send the football team, school band and other university personnel to these games as well as the cost of hotels, food, etc. Another reason why a playoff system will materialize in the future has everything to do with ESPN. I believe they broadcasted every bowl game except the Cotton Bowl. I would think that eventually ESPN would be able to strong arm the powers that be with the NCAA into instituting a playoff system.

Getting back to my Saturday events, a little after 1:00 I got a text message from The General asking if I wanted to meet up with him for a late lunch. I said sure. The General didn’t make it to my place until 5:00. We headed to BW3s for some football, food and trivia (which I easily won). Apparently in The General’s world, late lunch occurs at around 6:30. In my world that is called dinner.

Sunday was all about skiing. I took my nephews to Alpine Valley. Nick took off to ski with some friends, so I skied with Ethan. I actually liked skiing with Ethan. He gets off the lift goes right to the run he wants to head down and away he goes. No talking at the top of the hill and waiting for no apparent reason like nearly everyone does. Who are my other favorite skiing partners? I would have to put Tree, Russ, Nate and Eric all right at the top of the list.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Head For The Hills

Anyone interested, I am headed to Alpine Valley for some skiing Sunday afternoon. Who is coming with me? I know, the Packer game is Sunday afternoon, you can record it and save an hour of your time like I am.

Jota's House

Here are some pictures that I took while I was helping Jay this past weekend. This is the front of the house.

They are still in the process of moving in, some of the stuff got moved this past weekend, which made it a lot of fun to work around everything, especially when you wanted to put quarter round along all of the baseboards with boxes stacked up against the walls. This is the dining-room.

Jay gutted the entire bathroom. Well almost. When I first got there on Thursday Jay told me he was debating about what to do with the existing bathtub. It is an old cast iron tub and it is in serious need of some cleaning, although I don’t think it will ever get truly clean. I told Jay, “If you are going to screw the pooch, screw it good. That tub has to go. Otherwise if you put new bright white tub surround walls in, it is going to make that tub look that much dirtier.” I almost had Jay convinced to get rid of the tub when Shelly stopped by. Her reaction to getting rid of the tub, “Absolutely not, I hate all of the new plastic showers. What I really want is a claw foot tub.” As I mentioned before, on Friday night just before Jay and I past the point of no return on the new tub surround walls, Jay called an audible and stopped. Just like I had said, next to the new surround walls the old cast iron tub looked absolutely filthy. But the new ceramic floor is staying and here is Jay putting in the new ceramic tile floor at 9:00 Thursday night.

Lyric of the Day: Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there. With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair. She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns. "Come in" she said "I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

This Past Weekend

First let me apologize. I have been having some internet /computer issues. But Eric stopped by tonight and I think / hope everything is fixed. And maybe I can get back to posting the fine quality reading material that you are used to. Or not.

This past weekend I got in some work around the house. As I said in an earlier post, I helped Jay with some remodeling with his duplex this past Thursday and Friday. And a couple of weeks ago, I helped my brother, Dan, put up some drywall at my sister’s house. I guess all of that work on other people’s houses got me motivated to actually work on my own house. On Saturday and Sunday I did some work around my own house. My cousin, MKA, moved out of my house last week, so I started with cleaning his old room. In case you missed it, MKA moved in with me at the end of last February. In that time, MKA had quite the shrine to himself set up in his room and he managed to liter the room with well over 50 holes in the plaster. He also somehow managed to get stains on the wall. My best guess is that it is blood, and that is about as far as I am going to expand on that.

I moved on to cleaning the kitchen. When I started cleaning out the cabinets I ran across my collection of Clingwrap and Aluminum Foil. To the best of my recollection, I have never bought either of them. I found that I have over 900 square feet of Clingwrap and 200 square feet of Aluminum Foil. I have no idea where they all came from. Here is my collection.

While in the kitchen I also cleaned my refrigerator. With MKA gone, my refrigerator is back to looking about as pathetic as possible. Here is a picture of it for you. Mind you this is after grocery shopping.

I also mounted not one but 2 paper towel holders on the cabinet doors under the sink. Why two? Because I can.

I don’t know why, but sometimes there are little things that bother me. Very often I go a little overboard on correcting these bothersome things. For example, a couple of years ago in my utility room I built a work bench. I try to keep this area as clean as possible. The best way to clean this area is with my shop vac. But for some unknown reason I find it irritatingly troubling to have to plug the shop vac in every time I use it, even though the outlets are attached right to the work bench. I took it upon myself to place a new outlet where I store my shop vac so that it is plugged in at all times. Now when I make a mess, I just need to flip the switch on the shop vac and away I go. This also allows me to sleep better at night.

Lyric of the Day:

Again the morning's come

Again he's on the run

Sunbeams shinin' through his hair

Appearing not to have a care

Well pick up your gear and gypsy roll on ... roll on

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Years

Well 2011 is here. And with it comes the worst stretch of the year. Nothing but 5 day work weeks as far as the eye can see. Not to mention frosty weather for the same length of time. But on to my New Years celebration. I was in Madison helping Jay. He and Shelly just purchased a duplex and I owed Jay a favor or two for all of the help he gave me when he lived across the street. We put down laminate flooring in the kitchen and tile in the bathroom. We also put new quarter round on all of the baseboards. And finally we installed or almost installed the new shower. Right before gluing in the shower walls, Jay called a time out to discuss it with Shelly. I was out by Jay Thursday and Friday. Friday evening I didn't leave until 9:45. I got home around 11 and went to bed. So I think I slept through the turning over of the New Year. And it didn't bother me in the least.