Sunday, February 27, 2011

Favorite Day of the Year

I had a posting a while back with my favorite day of the year. I tried to look for the posting but I couldn't find it. Anyhow, I don't think I had this day on there, but it should have been. And that day is today. For today is the day that I turned the water back on to the second shower head in my bathroom. As any loyal reader knows, in the past I have had plumbing issues in the past in my bathroom. When I remodeled my bathroom years ago, I put in a second shower head in the shower. But due to the fact that I live in Wisconsin, and that the second shower head is on an exterior wall, in the past the waterlines have froze and cracked resulting in water free flowing through my walls. After the first incident, I installed some shut off switches and I have the water shut off to the second shower head from about mid December to March. My experience has shown that when the temperature gets down to about 10 degrees, I have some freezing issues. I am fairly confident that we are done with over night temps around 10 degrees. The shower head is back on and for 5 minutes every morning, I am not just a normal everyday person, but rather I live like a king. Spring I am happy to see you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is This Story Boring?

As I mentioned early this week, I spoke with my sister in law, Jody, over the weekend and she told me my blog was boring. Tell me something I don't know. But I doubt that she will find this little story boring. I also doubt that she will find it amusing.
Following up on yesterday's post, I was at Hollywood and Princess' basketball games. Afterwards we were talking in the parking lot about going somewhere for lunch. I mentioned that I would like to go to the Picnic Basket since I was out in the area and it is probably my favorite place for a sub. Jody's reaction to my suggestion was fairly negative. She wanted to go to Panera Bread for a sandwich. I tried to explain to Jody that the Picnic Basket has sandwiches. But she said she wanted to have a hot sandwich. I only get the Bomber (which is a cold sub) when I got to the Picnic Basket, so I am not all that familiar with the remainder of the menu. My argument was shot down even though I thought I made a pretty strong case that you could get a sandwich at the Picnic Basket. I left the conversation telling Dan that he was a much better man than me and agreed to go to Panera Bread with them. You can only imagine my disappointment when we got to Panera Bread at the intersection of I-94 and STH 83 in the middle of a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the place was so busy that there wasn't even a table to sit at. Imagine that, weird. Enter option #2, the Picnic Basket. When we got there we got the entire back room to ourselves. As for Jody's hot sandwich that she wanted, she went with the enchiladas. Again, Dan you are a much better man than me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Saturday afternoon I went to my nephew, Hollywood's, and niece, Princess', basketball games. First off let me say that I have been to a number of games at this gym and I never get good pictures. I posted the semi decent ones. I will say that as the kids get older their games continue to become more enjoyable to watch.
Here is Princess taking a shot. I didn't track but I think she had a couple of baskets.As for Hollywood, in watching him play I learned two things. He is always open, or so he thinks. And he never saw a shot he was afraid to take. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.My brother, Dan, coaches Princess's team. As you can see from this picture, his level of frustration gets pretty high during the game.I was surprised to see my parents there. But here they are after the game with the kids

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NCAA Basketball Pool

It is nearly that time again, so here is my annual invite to my NCAA pool. Tree reminded me to get it out early so that I won’t have any issues with people getting their money in time. I sent the invite out via Yahoo Sports. If you did not get an invite, leave me a message and I will make sure one is sent to you. If you were in the pool last year, you know that I won’t lose any sleep over deleting sheets entered by people who have not paid. In fact I will take pleasure in doing so. Check out the air on this guy.This year the entry fee will be $10 per sheet. I will pay out 75% of the total money to 1st place and 25% to second place. The rules are the same as last year. Take a look at the settings/scoring when you register your sheet. I must have the money in hand before the start of the first games on the first Thursday of the tournament, which is March 17th. That gives you nearly a month to get me your entry fee. My mailing address is:

127 North 78th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53213

Any questions, please direct them to me. Thanks. And I hope you all finish in second place.

You Said It

This weekend my sister in law, Jody, told me that my blog was boring. Circle gets the square. My blog has a direct correlation to my life and yes my life is quite boring. But here is a topic that came up over this weekend. When am I going to have all of my nieces and nephews sleep over at my house. Well kids, tell me what weekend works? I was thinking the third weekend of April 15th - 17th. That should give you all plenty of time to plan for it. Let me know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Fighter

Friday night I went to see The Fighter. I hadn't heard much about the film other than Christian Bale gives a great performance. My friend, Liz, met me at the theater to see the movie. Right after we sat down she asked me "Is this movie a true story?" I said that I didn't know. After all of the previews and as the movie started the screen goes dark, and then in big white letters across the screen it reads "THIS FILM BASED ON A TRUE STORY". At which point Liz turns to me and whispers "Hey this is a true story." I replied to her loud enough for the entire theater to hear "Yes, I know, I can read." What am I sitting there with my eyes closed?
On to the film. It is the story of a promising boxer, Mickey Ward (played be Marky Mark), who idolizes his older half-brother, Dicky Eklund (played by Christian Bale) who is a former boxer. Mickey has reached a crossroads in his career where time is running out and he will either flourish into an elite boxer or fade into obscurity. Mickey has always had his brother, Dicky, around to be in his corner and train him. But Dicky has one fault, he is addicted to crack cocaine. Dicky's journey into the dark world of drugs eventually catches up with him and he ends up in prison. With Dicky gone, Mickey forges ahead with incredible results winning his next couple fights and eventually a shot at the championship. As training starts for the shot at the title, Dicky is released from prison and once again looks to train his brother. As you watch the film you want to scream at the screen and tell Mickey not to take Dicky back.
I have never met a person addicted to crack. But Christian Bale nailed the performance. I never thought of Christian Bale as all that great of an actor, but this performance changed my mind. I recommend watching what I consider something of a dry performance by Bale in Dark Night. Then go and see this movie. It is hard to believe it is the same person. Marky Mark is good in this movie, the problem I had with is that he is the same character that he played in "Invincible", "Planet of the Apes" and "A Perfect Storm".
Still this is a very good movie. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Little Fruity

I understand how oranges came to be called oranges. I mean if you look at them, there really isn't any better word to describe them. Along those same lines of thinking, how come lemons aren't called yellows and limes aren't called greens? This is what I think about.

Life Insurance

I have recently been thinking about getting rid of my life insurance policy. I have done some research and the main reason for having it is to protect your spouse, significant other and or dependents. Happily, I have none of the above. Another reason for having a policy is to cover funeral expenses and burial costs. I have made it very clear that I do not want to go out in a box in the ground. Burn me up and spread me around, that is what I say. Here are my wishes for my final resting place. Oh, I just thought of another one. I want my ashes to go up in a model rocket. “Good Night Sweet Prince.” So with the cost of a cremation being about $1,000, which you will probably find in my couch cushions as you are cleaning out my house, why do I need life insurance? And if the couch cushions don’t cover the bill, I am sure the sale of my vehicle and home should cover the rest.
Life insurance is also handy if you have a substantial amount of debt. The only debt I currently have is by mortgage, but according to my last tax bill, my house is worth three times what I owe.
The strongest argument that my life insurance agent, who conveniently gets paid indirectly through the premiums that I pay, could make for keeping a life insurance policy was "that maybe I want to leave a legacy". Me a legacy....please.

Unless I am missing something, someone make a valid argument for keeping this life insurance which is now at about $500 a year. $500 a year, that is 5 concerts with really good seats.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

For whatever reason I could not load the video on to my blog, but I was able to get it up on Youtube. You should check it out. Here is the link.

Speeding Ticket

I recently read in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Minnesota State Law Makers have instituted a new punishment for speeders in the state. Starting this coming fall anyone who is caught speeding, instead of being issued a speeding ticket will be issued a ticket to a Minnesota Vikings football game. Upon a second speeding offense, the offender will be forced to attend that game. Initial reports already have the number of speeding citations cut by 50%.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Roads.......Ro Adds

I was at a Utility Conference this week. I can’t say that it was the most exciting morning of my life but I managed to make it through without falling asleep. Other than the presentation that I helped to put together, the next most “exciting” presentation was about the “mega” projects on the horizon for the Department of Transportation. I consider myself as something of a conduit to my readers for all things transportation. Currently the Mitchell Interchange is being reconstructed. The work is part of the $1.9 billion reconstruction and expansion of I-94 from Howard Ave. to the state line, the largest road project in state history. And if you have been tuned into our new governor, once the Mitchell Interchange is complete, the next order of business will be the Zoo Interchange. But back to the Mitchell, I have been through there a number of times and when it is done, it should be quite the engineering marvel. One unique aspect of the project will be the construction of two tunnels. Other than the Kilbourne Ave Exit Ramp, I think it is they will be the only tunnels on the Wisconsin Interstate System. Here is a link to the Mitchell Interchange Website. It is worth checking out to at least see the 3D animation of what the interchange will look like when it is completed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Helping Eric

Sunday, I helped Eric with some remodeling work on his house. Maybe that isn't the correct term. The correct term would be throwing junk out of his house. He has a D-Day of
April 20th, the due date of his first child. He is in the process of gutting the entire upper level of the house. I helped throw old drywall and insulation into that green tarp thing behind Eric in this picture. By my calculations, he is going to need about 3 more of those 3 cubic yard Home Depot haul away dumpster bags. Nate was there to help too.One we had that green dumpster bag full, Nate and Eric put up insulation while I pounded nails out of about a half a bundle of 2x4 that were the existing walls. So that completed my weekend. I didn't get a real good picture of the inside upstairs because there was so much dust (read asbestos) in the air that all of the pictures had dots on them.

Pink Floyd

Saturday my old roommate, Mark, and his wife, Suzanne came down to go with me to the Pink Floyd Laser show. I have seen it before and it is pretty cool to see.

Before the show we headed to Oakland Gyros for dinner. It is always so good. But while I was at Oakland Gyros I had a great idea for a holiday that I am going to invent. So here is my idea for a holiday, it is called "Eat Like A King Day". Basically you pick our favorite places to eat and go to each of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here is what I have come up with for my "Eat Like a King Day". Breakfast - The Original Pancake House. Lunch - The Picnic Basket. Dinner - Crawdaddy's. And then at bar time - Oakland Gyros. If anyone has a better line up I would be happy to hear it. I have yet to decide on the day of the year to enjoy my new holiday. I was thinking sometime in May so that maybe I could work off some of the food by working out, or going for a run or bike ride.

I am having trouble loading the video I shot from the show, but I will keep trying.

There was one sort of funny thing at the end of the show. Once the house lights came on, one of the guys who puts on the show came over the P.A. and said "We want to thank you for coming to see the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show. We have put on this show all over the country, and I can say without a doubt Milwaukee is close to being one of our favorite places to play." Wow buddy, thanks for the compliment.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Good Morning

It was an OK weekend for me. How about that weather on Sunday? Well February is nearly half over and that means I am only weeks away from turning the water back on to my second shower head. And once that happens that means I am back to living like a king and warm weather is soon to follow.

Friday night I literally had nothing planned. I had a couple of options. It had been a while since I had Crawdaddy's, so I ordered takeout. An order of each of the following: crawtails, brown rice, carrots, and lobster mash potatoes. Mix it up in a bowl and it is a little slice of heaven here on earth. I was going to go to a movie, it was going to be either Sanctum in 3D (it really doesn't look that great of a movie, but I do love 3D movies), or I was going to be real mature and go see True Grit and then sneak into see The Fighter afterwards, a sort of double feature for the price of one. But I actually did neither, Nate gave me a call and he was meeting Eric out after Eric had finished dinner with his wife. They both wanted to play some Golden Tee. We ended up going to Fantatics in the 3rd Ward. The place was very dead for a Friday night. No more than 3 or 4 minutes after we walked in, one of the Captain Morgan Morganettes, Heather, came up to talk to us. She asked to get a picture with us and then for us to vote for her in some contest. If you want to vote here is the link, it is something of a NCAA tournament of Morganettes. I actually had my camera with me so I had them take a picture with my camera as well. Here it is:

Nate has the Captain stance down, I got my knee a little too high. While waiting for Eric to show up, Nate and I got in 18 holes on Golden Tee. They had a newer machine. Like the one below on the right. I am used to playing on the old ones, like the one on the left.On the older machines, your hand normally glides over the ball and then slams into the monitor. Both Nate and I did the same thing on our first tries, where we were used to being stopped by the monitor, but as you can see from the pictures, there was nothing to stop us and both of us nearly flipped over the stupid thing the first time. When Eric showed up an hour later, I had my camera out and recording thinking that Eric would do the same thing, but unfortunately he must have played on one of the newer ones and learned. Sadly that was my Friday evening playing video games at a bar until 1 in the morning. I also got sucked into the Terminator game that you can kind of see behind Nate in the top picture. I think it got me for $6 or $7. I will get to Saturday and Sunday later this week.

Oh and I almost forgot, Happy Valentines Day to all of you lovers out there. I hope you get lucky tonight.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Surprise Surprise

I have to once again thank my loyal blog readers. I have to be honest, as of late I have had next to nothing to write about. I can't believe that 9 people actually came to my blog today. I have actually been thinking about quitting my blog. I don't know, it just seems like I don't have a lot to write about.

The "Would You Rather" post was just something that came to me as I was freezing in walking from my garage to my house the other night. I will take the snow over the cold any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Although I should clarify, I will take the snow over the cold as long as I can use my snow thrower, which technically wasn't part of the question. So if I actually had to shovel snow, then unfortunately I would have to take the cold, because I don't think that my back could take a week of shoveling. Speaking of my back. Friday is the one year anniversary of my back surgery. How do I feel a year later? Not horrible, but still not great. Am I glad I had the surgery? I think so, because when I first started having this back problem in the late winter / early spring of 2008, the pain was pretty ridiculous. So bad, that the only time I was really comfortable was when I was asleep.

How about on to a happier topic? Looking ahead to this weekend. What is the highlight of my weekend? Well I see that on Sunday we are suppose to have a high temperature of 38 degrees. Break out the sunblock! I dislike the cold so much that I have been saving up my garbage and recyclables for a day in which it is warm enough to walk out to the alley. Okay I will not complain about the cold any longer on this post.

Saturday evening, my old roommate, Mark, and his wife, Suzanne, are coming down from Appleton to go and see the Pink Floyd Laser Light show. I am not a huge Pink Floyd fan, but the laser light show is still pretty cool. Here is my posting from the last time I went. Check out the videos. We are planning on heading to Oakland Gyros before the show. There is always room for more if you are interested.

Thanks again to my loyal blog readers for stopping by to read my mindless ramblings.

Would you rather....

I am pretty optomistic. We are a 1/3 of the way through Feb, which means we are past the halfway point of winter. Technically winter is December 20th give or take a day to March 20th give or take. Anyhow it has been cold the last couple of days here in Wisconsin. Last night I drove by a bank with the temperature of 2 degrees. Which leads me to my question, would you rather it be really cold, like the 2 degrees it was yesterday for a week straight, or would you rather have to shovel 6 inches of snow every day for a week.
Would you rather shovel snow or deal with the cold?
Shovel snow
Deal with the cold
Free polls from

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl

Worst commercial of the Stella Artois, night was the night club scene with the guy from King Kong singing.

I recorded the game because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to the game live. I may keep the game on my DVR for a while so that if I have a slow weekend this spring I can always queue up the game. Or when Borky comes to town, so he can get an opportunity to see what a championship football team looks like.

Here is a little bit of advice to all of you for future Super Bowl games. Do not try to attend two different parties during the game. I switched parties at halftime. All I seemed to get was a guilt trip for leaving one party, and also for showing up late to the other one.

How about getting to some of the game analysis? Can you say enough about Aaron Rodgers and the game he played? Although while watching the game, it didn’t seem like he threw for 300 yards. Then again if not for the drops, he would have easily had 400 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. I think the Steelers are lucky because without those drops, this would have been the Atlanta game all over again.

After the Bush interception with 4 minutes left in the first half. I thought the Packers scored too quickly. I would have rather watched them run the clock out and only get a field goal, than score a touchdown and give the Steelers the ball back before the end of the half. As it was, the later happened and the Steelers got a touchdown and some momentum.

If there is any question that Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quarterbacks in the league, look no further than the first touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. It was a rocket on a rope, just past the out stretched hands of the defensive back by mere inches. I guess that is why they call it a game of inches. Need further evidence of Rodgers pedigree? Then take another look at the throw of equal caliber on 3rd down over the middle to Jennings during their 4th quarter drive for a field goal.

The James Jones drop early in the 3rd quarter was a no doubt touchdown. That was just the start to what was a tough quarter of football to watch.

Didn’t it seem like Mendenhall was bouncing every run he had to the outside for a 1st down?

Tramon Williams, and for that matter all players, why do you have to prove how tough you are on the field by doing something so dumb as throwing a punch at another play who is wearing a helmet. You do realize that he is wearing a helmet and a punch will not hurt right?

Here is a play that will go over looked but one that I find to be important. With about 40 seconds left in that awful 3rd quarter on 2nd down, Rodgers was flushed from the pocket and had a running back out in the flat on the left side with a defender in relative close proximity. Rather than trying to thread the ball into the running back for no gain or the possibility of the pass getting picked off for a Jack Squirekesque pick six, Rodgers tossed the ball 10 feet over the running backs head and out of bounds. I wonder if another quarterback would have done the same thing.

Discounting the numerous drops, the play of the game was the fumble forced by Pickett and Matthews.

I thought the special teams were adequate. They didn’t win the game for the Packers, but they also didn’t lose the game for them.

I think Nick Barnett has been Wally Pipped by Desmond Bishop.

Did anyone else seem to think that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were pulling for the Steelers?

Does anyone recall my prediction for the game? Someone said the Packers would win 31-21. I checked with my sources and the Packers actually won by a score of 31-25. I think I also called a couple forced turnovers by the Packers as well as Rodgers going off for 300 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Now that the game is over, let us look forward to next year and a possible repeat. And why not, they played most of the season without their number 1 running back, Ryan Grant, and their number 1 tight end, Jermichael Finley. But neither are the most important person to have back for next year. I think they Packers need to keep Dom Capers from getting scalped to coach for another team. He has been a head coach in the past, let’s hope that he is now content to be a coordinator with the Packers for the next 4 or 5 years.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Super Bowl

The big game is only days away and I won't be around for the game. I will be in Utah, but I will make sure the catch the game there. But I am sure you all want to know my keys to what will be a Packer victory. I think it is pretty easy and it
doesn't really take a genius figure it out. Win the turnover battle and keep your quarterback upright. Being in near perfect playing conditions, Arron Rodgers will have a much better game than he played in the NFC Championship game. I don't know if he will have the same numbers as in the game against the Falcons, but it would be nice. If you go back to my pre-season prediction you can see that I picked the Packers to win the Super Bowl. Don't believe me, here check it out. So I am going to stick with my prediction of a 31-21 Packer victory. Rodgers throws for 300+ yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Plus 30 yards rushing. The defense forces a fumble and an interception. Book it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Franz Klammer

On Sunday I took my nephew, Jared, skiing for the first time. I don't know that I should be the one teaching him to ski, since I'm not the greatest of skiers. I am a strong believer in the "Better Off Dead" philosophy of skiing, "Go down this way as fast as you can, and if something gets in your way....turn." Jared started out on the bunny hill for a while, but eventually we got on the main hill and he did fine. I kept telling Jared what I have always heard "If you aren't falling down, then you aren't skiing hard enough." Here is Jared on his skis.Jared said he had a good time, and I hope he means it and plans to hit the slopes again. Speaking of hitting the slopes, Wednesday night, weather permitting I am headed out to Utah for some skiing. I am staying with Russ and Amanda, and Krum, Goob and Jen are all coming on the trip too. I am really excited, it has been almost 2 years since I have skied out west.
All of this talk about skiing got me thinking of another top 7 list. How about my top 7 skiing partners.
7. Krum. Krum comes in at number 7 not because of his skiing but because of the therapy sessions that go on while on the chair lift. Krum will spill of of his life problems while waiting to get to that top of that hill. Incredibly entertaining.
6. Haus jumps on to the list even though I haven't skied with him in a long time, but he is the one who got me started skiing.
5. Marty. Sure, I will throw the Moose on the list, if for no other reason than the Moose is such a great guy. I real skiing with him once at Copper Mountain and we got split up. It had been about 2 or 3 runs since we had seen each other and I knew the easiest way to find him was to take a break under the chair lift. His version of the story was that he got on the lift with some strangers and asked them "Hey, you haven't seen a gorilla anywhere have you?" The other three people on the lift looked at him like he was crazy. But a couple of riblets later, on of the strangers said "I don't believe it, but I think that is your gorilla sitting right there."
4. Eric. The thing about Eric is that he will talk me into doing some of the dumbest things you have seen on the ski hill. In Lake Tahoe, I took some of the most ridiculous jumps just because Eric said that he thought I could do it. Secretly he knew that I wouldn't land those jumps but he just wanted to watch the show.
3. Nate. At least old Nate. If there is one thing about Nate and I, it is that we thoroughly enjoy one upping each other. So if Nate jumps off of something, I have no choice but to do the same.
2. Tree. Tree and I can drawn a lot of attention because he is so big and I am dressed up. Also because he have been known to throw down and wrestle in the middle of the lift line before. We always have a great time engaging strangers in conversation on the chair lift, especially if they are high schoolers.
1. This one is a no brainer, it has to be Russ. Russ has taken me skiing more than any other person. We have gone all over Colorado and now we are working on Utah. Plus now I have Russ wearing either the chicken or gorilla suit with me.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Coming Out of the Closet

Well I finally finished with my office. I had intended to put up the beads a year ago, but I needed to make some adjustments for that the spacing between beads was correct. Before I could do that, MKA moved in and said he didn't want the beads up. And so the closet sat unfinished. Maybe they look a little cheesy, but they are much cheaper than a new door.