Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favre Talk

You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze

 

People who know me and who read this know that I hate the Packers.  The fans drive me nuts from my grandma to that annoying guy in the office who paints his cubicle in mustard yellow.  I can't stand them and their over-glorification of everything.  That being said, I've always disliked the praise for Brett Favre and how  he's touchdown Jesus and how the light glistens off his helmet and all that crap.

One of the best games of my life was against the Packers and I've mocked the guy for the duration of this blog.

I even described Favre coming here as a nightmare situation.

Since then I have loosened up and completely changed my reaction to Favre being a Vikings.  I think it was listening to a couple Packer fans on the radio bitch and whine about Favre playing for the Vikings.  Then I heard how much Favre wanted to 'stick it' to the Packers organization and I immediately sat down in my seat and pondered that. 

If Favre hates the Packers....and I hate the Packers....doesn't that make Favre some sort of an ally?  I guess it kinda does and if he want's to beat the shit out of the Packers, I'm certainly not going to get in the way of that.  So therefore I was a little hurt when he decided to not join the Vikings a couple weeks ago.  I felt a bit rejected and I gave the existing Viking quarterbacks a very sober look because I didn't trust them. 

Then yesterday came and suddenly it felt like a dream.  Packer fans were pissed off and wanting blood and Viking fans felt like it was Christmas morning.  I also watched quite a bit of ESPN yesterday and listened to all the analysis of the Vikings.  I also did some analysis myself.

-I enjoyed the Packer whining so much that I found myself listening to a Green Bay sports radio show and all the whining going on.  Then I heard this,

"The one thing I am concerned about is if they end up winning a superbowl.  I feel that if they should win the Superbowl with Favre then that would negate our Superbowl with Favre."

The host agreed and I felt my heart skip a beat and immediately transformed into dream mode.

"And Favre throws for another touchdown to put the nail in the coffin for superbowl XLII."  Everyone in Wisconsin is now feeling like the Vikings fans did.  bwhahahahahahah

-After listening to the huge debate of wether the Vikings are better now with Favre or not I couldn't help but shake my head.  I believe it clearly makes them better not because of what Favre could potentially do but what he brings to the table.  All the Vikings have needed in the past three years is an average quarterback.  Not good, not great, but average.  TJ, Frerrote, and all those other stiffs we've put in there are not even average.  Favre at the very least makes the defense respect the air game the Vikings could have.  With TJ they defense would just stack up 9 guys in the box to stop the run and make TJ cry in his diaper.  Now Favre and his reputation for killing blitzing defenses can change all that for simply being under center.

-I find it amazing that a guy can simply get off a plane, sign a contract, and start practicing as if it's some kind of computer game.  I thought he would at least take the first day off just to blame it on logistics.

That's all I got and I can't wait for Friday's preseason game (did I just say that?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

That Time of Year Again

Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.

 

This weekend is my annual relative get-together and I'm just happy it's somewhere relatively close.  This year we're having our Christmas in August in Lanesboro, MN which is about 2 hours away from the Twin Cities.  My uncle is hosting this and he's actually done a bit of research this year.  He's actually got some activities that we can participate in with our dip contest and tons of bike trails.

The one part where he failed (in my mind anyway) was the gift exchange.  This year the gifts have a theme and they have to fit that theme.  This years theme is farming and/or gardening. 

(blink:blink)

 

Aren't gifts supposed to be something that you feel somewhat good about?  I mean I already know I'm not going to get anything worth while which makes me want to buy something incredibly stupid to begin with.  So far I'm thinking of buying a simple rake and wrapping the rake with paper so that it obviously looks like a rake.  I think that would be semi-funny.

I think what I'm going to have to do is take a walk in a nearby Target in the gardening section and see what I can find.  I might just wrap up a clay pot and put in a message that says (have fun with your big clay pot). 

Other than that I'm drawing a blank.  I could buy a load of seed but...that sounds so boring.  I did think about buying a DVD of Field of Dreams but I would be willing to bet that no one would get it.  No one got my Godfather and Glitter joke a couple years ago and whoever recieved it simply thought it was cool to get 2 DVD's.  ugh

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kurt Rambis?

I love you this hour, this hour today
and heaven will smell like the airport
but I may never get there to prove it

 

Apparently the Wolves found a new coach.  I couldn't care less in fact I couldn't tell you the last 3 coaches they've had.  Kurt Rambis is the new coach that the GM found and though I don't know much of anything about him I do have a small complaint.  When the hell did he lose the glasses?

I mean when I heard that the Wolves were persuing him I expected him to have that crazy junkie/Hanson brothers look that we remember in the 80's.  That look that looked kinda hipster in its' time.  So ugly that you have to appreciate it kinda think. 

Somewhere he went from this:

 rambis5ki bwface

To This:

kurtrambis kurt-rambis-full_getty-71797321jj011_ca_los_angele_12_29_38_am

Well what the hell is that about?  What happened to the mullet and the thick black specs?  He should at least have glasses.  It's the rule for semi-famous guys with glasses, the glasses have to stick.  Like have you seen Elton John without glasses?  He's like Darth Vador without the mask.  I could also use the Smokey and the Bandit example where Burt Reynolds has a Cavalier instead of a Trans Am.  Hell, he'd blow a head gasket just fishtailing it on the highway.

Where the hell did Kurt Rambis pull out the dignified coach look?  Not that I've had any kind of NBA basketball knowledge or anything but based on NBA's corrupted nature he should automatically gain one technical ever game whenever he doesn't wear the glasses.

I mean really, how can anyone take the guy seriously anymore?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The New Busch Stadium

On my feet to chase it down
The lights were spokes and rungs away
I stumbled back and hit the floor

 

Finally, I can start on with ballpark pictures of our road trip to Missouri.  It was hot as hell and I think my *former* car took a hell of a beating because of it.  I also found out that my car's radiator cap had a hole in it. 

No hole=no pressure=not much effective cooling in 105 degree heat.  Oh well, it's not mine anymore so it's someone else's to worry about.

Anyway I had heard a lot of praise for the New Busch Stadium.  Things like it's been sold out since it's first day in 2006 and that it's a wonderful ballpark.

 

St. Louis 2009 004 

First things first, I need a belt.

 

St. Louis 2009 155

Note to self, never get on top of the St. Louis arch when you are truly interested in the game being played down below.  I was squinting to try and read that itty bitty scoreboard on the left and I couldn't make out anything.  I did barely catch the third baseman making a play to first though which I was impressed with.  Not with the play but the fact that I could actually see it.

 

St. Louis 2009 183

The next day we actually went to the game.  We got there very early because 1, I pressured my girlfriend into it and 2, I wanted to see what the scene was like before the game.  It really wasn't all that exciting.

 

St. Louis 2009 186

They do have some cool things outside of the ballpark like this huge Stan Musial baseball which no one wanted to really stand on.

 

St. Louis 2009 188

These stone carvings were really cool too.  Do you think that in 10,000 years from now there will be aliens uncovering these stones and learning about our way of life based on Busch Stadium?

 

St. Louis 2009 191

This was a pretty nice tribute to Jack Buck.  Too bad his son is a prissy little bitch though.

 

St. Louis 2009 192

This is the Wienermoble before it smashed into that house.

 

St. Louis 2009 195

When we first entered the ballpark I was immediately semi-shocked that they did not have open concourses.  What the hell?  And this was indeed the lower deck too.  How does a ballpark get built in the 21st century without open concourses?

 

St. Louis 2009 207

They do have these little tracks out in the open where you can bypass the concourse which is pretty nice but it's still not an open concourse.  Also, I don't know if you can see this or not, but under that deck you can see PVC pipe going..where ever.  PVC pipe?  Really?  Good lord that is disappointing.

 

St. Louis 2009 206

I think this was the scoreboard on the last day of the former Busch Stadium.  Why this is important, I have no idea. 

 

St. Louis 2009 217

This was the view from our seats.  The view was decent and it was nice to soak in the sun.  Justin Morneau hit a home run about ten rows above us. 

 

St. Louis 2009 218

And the scoreboard.  Nothing fancy really.  It seems like Budweiser really dominates it though.  I guess that's why it's called Busch Stadium

 

St. Louis 2009 198

I would say this is the primary reason why this ballpark gains so much praise.  The view behind homeplate is simply amazing. 

 

St. Louis 2009 221

It's also nice that all it takes is one right turn to find one of four interstates. 

Overall Busch Stadium was nice but not as good as I thought it was going to be.  I remember the national media drooling about this place when it first opened and I guess I just think it's okay.  The open concourses and the PVC is just stupid.  I would say the only thing really unique about this place is the view behind homeplate but even that's more of a testament to the City instead of the ballpark.  I mean you would have to be a complete moron to not show the city skyline as a part of the ballpark.

What's even more surprising is that I would put this ballpark on par with US Cellular field in Chicago (gasp!).  US Cellular has all these complaints about angles and sitelines which I didn't see when I went there.  I was even surprised to find out it wasn't even the best ballpark in Missouri.  All in all if the Twins played the Cardinals in St. Louis again, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to see a game in the New Busch Stadium. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A New Dawn

I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

 

I believe it was that cross country trip that gave my car symptoms of terminal cancer.  The thing was on the verge of overheating many times, the check engine light would come on every 100 miles, and it was really starting to squeak.  I was having recollections of the summer of 2004 when something would fall off my Regal on a weekly basis.  The breaks would stick closed so after the third break job (all under warrantee) I got sick of smelling the break pads.  I got a hundred dollars for trade-in value for that car and I still think I could've gotten another hundred had I cleaned it before I drove it to the dealership. 

Now my Pontiac was acting up.  I had a guy check the light code in Nodak and he confirmed that the transmission slipped...or so the car said.  I never actually felt the transmission slip but oh well.  After that diagnose the light would come on, come off, and then come on again.  I immediately began looking for new/used cars again.  When you look up comments on a '97 grand am, let me know what you see because all I ever see are catch words like "money pit", "worst car ever", and "frustrating".  After reading each comment I found out that their problems had already happened to me and that it would only pick up in the future.

I looked at my Grand Am, looked at cars.com, and then back at my car again and figured that I really need to get rid of it.

I researched a bunch of cars online and somehow landed on the Honda Fit.  It wasn't exactly a car, wasn't exactly a minivan, but it had the best of both.  It had a rating of 9.3 on Edmunds and got great gas milage. 

I test drove it and decided that I wanted it a couple days after getting giddy about it.  The only problem was the trade-in value of my Grand Am.  As far as I'm concerned the thing was worth a Saturday afternoon, a case of Summit, and a handful of sledgehammers but perhaps the dealership thought differently.  The first thing was getting it to the dealership without that light being on.  I figure if they find out there is something not quite right with the tranny then I might not get more than a sledgehammer for the thing.  I would've been happy with $1500 but blue book values were a bit more.

I managed to take it to the dealership sweating bullets hoping to god that light wouldn't come on.  I was watching the dashboard like a hawk until I finally arrived at the dealership without a "check engine" light.  I talked to the salesman about how I wanted a new Honda and told him about my great grand am with nothing wrong with it...  After all I just washed it and cleaned out the interior so it looked like the day I bought it.  It actually looked very cool and it even glistened in the sun!

I then hand my keys to this old guy who jumps in my car and starts checking the gears, making sudden stops in the parking lot, and then takes it on the highway.  I was praying the light wouldn't come on.  Meanwhile me and the salesman are looking up the bluebook value and he said he'd try to get me $2000 for it.  I was elated and still praying. 

Guy comes back, drops of the keys, and the salesman looks at me with a sober look.

"We weren't able to get you $2000 because the tires have a small flaw so we took $200 off of that for a trade-in of $1800.  Is that okay?"

Boof (on the inside):  HELL YES!  SUCKERS!!!!
Boof (on the outside):  I suppose.

So I picked out this phat looking Honda and started the paperwork.  I had to wait for the car because they had to repair the roof after a previous storm had dented the roof. 
Whatever.  As I drove off the lot in my Grand Am it was no more than a mile down the road when the orange "check engine" light came on again.  I held my heart, took a deep breath in, and said "holy fucking shit!" as I went home.

Now I have a new vehicle and I'm kicking ass!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Boof and Brett Favre's Olive Branch

Now that you're gone
I'm left all alone
All by myself
To wander and roam

I have to admit, I've been all watching all the news, reading every worthless report, and seen just about every news story on Brett Favre. I already stated last year on how Favre throwing for the Vikings is my "nightmare scenario" and how weird it would be.  As for the latest news, I don't follow It so much for him being a viking quarterback as much as I love the drama involved. 

For instance the Vikings went out of their way to trade for Sage Rosenfels who was a mediocre quarterback for Houston.  They trade for the guy and he's now playing for the backup position?  Then there's Tarvaris who played okay last year and who knows the offense as good as anyone.  He was one dropped pass away from perhaps having an improved 2008 season.  Now he wants to be traded (bwhahahahah)

Random NFL Exec calling the Vikings: "Hey Vikes, I'll trade you this half eaten baloney sandwich for Tarvaris Jackson!"

bwahhahaha

Throughout all this news, I've learned about Favre's alleged main reason for continuing to play football:  To "stick it" to the Packers.

When I first read this I just shook it off an called him and old man under my breath.  Then one day I saw this guy walk across the street with this butt ugly packers jacket and that ugly G on his cap.  This just happened after I read a 5th time that Favre just wanted revenge on his former team.  That's when the light bulb came on.

I hate the Packers and would love nothing more than the Vikings to beat the hell out of them 66-0...and so would Brett Favre.

hmmm

 Is it right for me to hate the thought of Brett Favre playing for Minnesota?  Isn't your enemy's enemy your ally?  Do Brett Favre and Boof really share the same goals in life?

I thought all of those were brilliant questions.  It was like a Christian in North Korea finding a Christian South Korean and both wanting to hate each other but finding out they want the same thing.  Well, I don't know how many Koreans are Christian but I can assume that there's a couple...right?  Probably not.

Anyway I see it like this, I'm extending an olive branch to Brett Favre only to beat the crap out of the Packers with said olive branch.  It almost sounds biblical.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July Crap

And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right

 

Crap List

1.  Check engine light = mood

After finding out that the barometer of my mood literally switches from whether my check engine light is on, I've decided to throw myself in the car market.  I know people get frustrated when anyone uses the term, literally and I'm no exception.

"I literally pooped my pants when I saw my brother for the first time in 4 years!" 
Really?  You actually defecated in your pants?  Are you a cow?

"He literally blew my mind when he played 'piano man' for an encore!"
Billy Joel did all that?  Really?

But I actually mean it because I'll be driving down the highway singing some obscure Elton John song when that retched orange light will decide to come on.  My mood then changes to...

'Fucking Elton John!  What does he have against the name Reggie anyway? Nolan Ryan and Bernie Taupin should literally beat the piss out of him.  I mean, they should physically abuse him until every last drop of urine is out of his system.'

Then one random day the light will flick off and my frown immediately turns upside down and then it's back to singing 'Tiny Dancer'.

I know I don't need this purple Pontiac to dampen my mood.  I've always figured that the thing is purple and it should just shut the hell up and be a good car but I guess it thinks otherwise.  Therefore I've already begun looking, test driving, and researching vehicles.  I've always thought that a person's first vehicle should just be a complete piece of crap because then they can save up and buy something made in the last 20 years and it would great.  That way they can progressively enjoy cars that are newer, cheaper, and overall better than the Flintstone-mobile they've been driving.  I think that's how I've progressed with my cars.

First I had the '90 Regal, then I had my '97 Pontiac and now I'm looking at 2008/2009's.  When I bought my Pontiac I was wowed by the cd player and the equalizer which were as standard as it gets but not for me.  Now I can maybe look forward to navigation system and/or auxiliary plug-ins!

2.  Sunday's Twins game

Something didn't really add up to Sunday's Twins game.  The game went in to extra innings and Texas had a runner on 2nd with one out.  Twins took out their reliever for their knuckle ball pitcher.  The knuckleballer, R.A Dickey is a decent long relief guy but not so much with runners on which makes me wonder why he came into the game.

Could it be that Gardy wanted to simply get the game done with so they can begin their trip to Oakland?  I almost want to say yes because it seemed like a game that could go deep into the night.  I suppose it wouldn't be the best thing for a team to go deep into a night and use up their bullpen for a big fat loss but it damn it, what if they win?  They haven't swept the Rangers in like 30 years!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anyone here anymore?

When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

 

Ah, I'm back.  Hello?  Anyone here? 

So ah yeah, I guess I took a nice sabbatical from blogging for a bit.  About two months off by my lazy calculations and I've finally pulled myself up from my bootstraps (or whatever) and decided to write again.

First I should try and explain myself.  For one, the girl finished up school for the semester and I felt the need to spend as much time with her as I could.  Second, I didn't really have much to write about.  Nothing really that interesting was happening in my life (other than lovey dovey stuff) and I didn't have any fancy comments on current events.  In fact, there really wasn't much going on in the world to really talk about.  It was as if the world was going through a recession of being interesting.  Finally, I've been away for most of the last month so I really hadn't had time to blog in the first place.

First things first, I'm still unemployed.  There's really not much available in the Twin Cities and whatever pesky, meager cleaning job that is available is quickly being snatched up in no time and/or only offers peanuts.  The local job economy is so bad that in fact my girlfriend had to move back to North Dakota in order to find anything.  I don't think anyone told North Dakota that we're in a recession because after my recent visit there they seem to have jobs everywhere.  I saw something there that I haven't seen in over a year here in the Twin Cities, a 'Help Wanted' sign. 

So that's the other thing, the girl is now in North Dakota for the rest of the summer and I've decided to spend my summer in the Twin Cities continuing looking for work.  It wasn't a happy decision and god knows it was one of the toughest things I've had to do leaving an incredible girl in the thick of the only summer love I've had.  So we'll be doing the 'long distance' thing for the next 6 weeks (which sounds a bit ridiculous knowing people that have had multiple year LDR's).  It sucks and it's going to be tough but we'll get through.

The last month I had been doing a bit of travel with the girl.  We had a road trip to Missouri in which I got to be a male Twins groupee for about a week.  We followed the Twins in St. Louis and then in Kansas City.  We then came home for about 16 hours before we went to western Nodak for another 12 days.  In all somehow with all 2000+ miles the car somewhat held together with a noticeable scare of the transmission going out.  Now the check engine light is off and I'm not necessarily looking in to a new car but that could change.

So I have a ton to write about.  I have two ballpark reviews with the New Busch Stadium and the new Kauffman Stadium, Twins added a sweet sign in their new ballpark, and I got a whole crap load of fireworks in North Dakota.  So with all my sudden free time I plan on writing a bit more.  Stay tuned.  I promise.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God, I Hate that Song

Working hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Paying anything to roll the dice
Just one more time

And what does that verse have do with the song anyway?


I was wondering what I should write about today when a song came on the radio. 

Just a small town girl...

And I immediately began to cringe.  I instantly thought of all the squealing girls turning up their radio and all the guys, alone in their cars who will start to mum the words.  Then the humming turns into rhythimic bobbing of the head followed by the fist pumping.  Finally there's the vision of Tony Soprano sitting at the diner with his family which makes the nightmare complete. 
I don't think I could possibly hate a song so much as this one.

The obvious reason is because this song was the last memory of such a great television show.  The first five seasons of The Sopranos were amazing--bad-ass Italian mafia types with a chip on their shoulder over the pushy fucking bastards in New York.  Leather jackets, guns, and the meat market--you can't get much more badass than that and they end it with a stupid god damn Journey song.  If they would've ended the show with "Wheels in the Sky" for example then I wouldn't have a problem because "Wheels in the Sky" kicks ass and I'm not ashamed to admit that because I simply shouldn't be. 

But I shouldn't kid myself though, that last season (all of season 6, both parts) was so stupid and it would've taken twice the power of Shawshank Redemption in order to fulfill any sort of satisfaction for that series.  Therefore, I'm sure my frustration in wasting my time in a season of coma watching, time wasting, loose plot line hell falls on the one song that finally ended that gigantic time waster.

Another theory is that I'm a classic rock fan.  I love Zeppelin, The Who, Creedence, Van Halen, and don't get me started on Pink Floyd.  There's a decade full of great, great music and this has to be the song that keynote spans generations.  It couldn't be American Pie or Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, or Echoes.  I mean, I collect vinyl for the love of god and they couldn't pick Dazed and Confused?  What is the most downloaded song in the 21st century?  That's right, this stupid heart squeezing song about two strangers screwing in in some cheap hotel room after drinking their lonely fears away.  At least that's how I interpret it. 

I shouldn't hate a song so much because I believe that any music that makes one feel good is something great...except when it comes to this song.  But when I'm at the Twins game and they start the first ten seconds of "Don't Stop Believin'" and you hear the screams of what seems to be a New Kids concert then you're invading my baseball serenity.  When I'm at the bar and the song starts out and all the girls are shooshing everyone to hear and then they start belting out their best Steve Perry rendition. 

But it's only this song and not "Sweet Caroline" or "Livin on a Prayer" because I like those songs.  I will actually participate in the "bom bom bom" and the "whoooaaaaaaa we're half way there". 

Maybe it's because the popularity of the song, to me, signifies how I try to be different then the DSB (Don't Stop Believin) lovers.  Maybe it's because I think it's just a stupid fucking song and I wish that Clint Eastwood would point a gun at everyone listening to the song and say,
"Turn that shit off you stupid corporate trashbag"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco De May

Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.

Baaah I gotta stop playing that stupid addictinggames.com golf game and start blogging.  It's tough because I don't have a set time to blog and if I don't make a point to sit down and write I never will. 

Anyways I was going to give my 2009 mlb season preview but we're already a month into the season so... I predict the Twins will win it all!  Seriously though, I like the Royals (as does everyone else) and I hate the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, White Sox, Indians, and Rays.  If anyone else wins it all, I'm happy.

Otherwise it's barely even May and I'm already burnt out on wedding stuff.  My roommates are set to get married later this month and the planning has been a daily thing.  Even if I'm in the other room munching on jojos and watching Braveheart, I still hear a little wedding planning stuff in the next room.  I swear, with some women, it's like a disease and they just cannot stop watching wedding shows, chick flicky movies, and opening some lame wedding magazine.  One thing I cannot understand is that people save their wedding magazines.  What the hell?  At least I get to hand out yamicas at the wedding.

Then I have recently been ordained. 
I'll just let you absorb that last sentence while I go and grab a hamburger. 

(chomp, chomp)

Yeah it's true, I can now marry people which is funny because I generally hate weddings.  Now that I can marry people, I feel like making the whole process into a variety show.  Maybe if I ask Hog nicely enough, we can have stupid human tricks, Yambo, and headlines.  Of course I would need a musical side kick but whatever.  Just the chance to play Yambo would be awesome.  I mean who has ever had a bad yambo wedding experience?  I haven't heard of anyone.

Now I need to look for a bicycle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter in Nodak

And I can see you
you brown skin shining in the sun
you got your hair combed back
sunglasses on baby


This last weekend I spent Easter weekend in Bismark with my girlfriend's family.  Easter weekend is their "Christmas in July" in which everyone in the extended family get together, play cards, and talk about good times.  Me, being the one who finds my own family gatherings very awkward was in for an interesting time.  I mean hey, I'm unemployed and have nothing to do, might as well celebrate the rising of Jesus. 

I'm a bit awkward when it comes to mingling.  I remember for my Eagle Scout court of honor where me and four others invited a ton of our friends and family members.  I spent half of the mingling watching NFL live in another room (because we scheduled it on a Vikings playoff game--stupid us!). 

I am a terrible mingler.  I can't do anything but put my hands in my pockets and pretend that I'm busy doing other things and pretending not to look at anyone.  I have maybe five good minutes in me but then after that my mind wanders and I stop listening.

Relative:  So I hear you're going to school in Marshall?
Boof:  Nah I thought Final Fight was a damn good game.  The big fat guy was my favorite.

Both me and the relative slowly take steps away from each other with frowns on our faces.

Last year at our own Christmas in July I walked back and forth at our huge Picture board about 7 times just to act like I'm being occupied.  I simply am no good at walking and talking for the sake of walking and talking.  I need an activity and I can only take a couple hours of mingling before I need to get out of the room.  I don't know why it is but it's just my mild social anxiety glitch that I have.

This last weekend I walked into the hotel business room to find about fifty-some of my girlfriends relatives.  I put on my best smile and did my best to interact and it wasn't too bad.  It was actually quite nice because no one knew me and they all had legit questions.  A lot of them knew me and my girlfriend helped sandbag in Fargo a couple weeks back and they were very genuine people. 

I did find myself "pacing the picture board" a time or two when a voice behind me blurted out,
"So, I hear you're a cribbage player?" 

I turned around and there was the grandma holding a deck of cards eagerly to talk and play a round with me. 
"yes, absolutely"  I said and we sat down and shuffled the deck.

Me and the Grandma played about 8 games of cribbage before a cousin whispered in my ear,
"you know, you don't have to play with her if you don't want."  I laughed it off because this was indeed a blessing. 

I love cribbage.  Me and my old roommate played about 700 games of cribbage (in which case I think I won most :0), some of my best father/son memories are playing cribbage with my dad, and I have indeed double skunked someone in my past.  I find cribbage to be the absolute best conversation game ever and me and the Grandma were engaged in a pretty interesting conversation.  I asked her about the family, her travels, and the history.  I loved it. 

A couple games later I got text,
"Just talk about pickles and someone will come over and save you" it was my girlfriend and I just had to laugh.  If I could sit down and play cribbage with everyone then everything would be so much easier for me. 

A couple games later some others come around to me and say,
"Hey Tom, Don't you like pickles?" 
"I enjoy pickles but not right now."  haha

The next day we went to a house and I found myself in another weird mingling time.  I walked around trying to look busy when the Grandma asked if I wanted to play cribbage again. 

THANK GOD. 

All in all, it wasn't a bad weekend.  We forged our way across I-94 alright.  I didn't screw anything up and I ate some awesome grilled venison sausage.  I didn't get a chance to play pinuchle but next time, next time...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Squirrels are Going to be the Death of Me

Cuz we belong together now
Forever united here somehow

 

Yesterday I was having a bitchin day for being unemployed.  I found my curling nametag, I got my oil changed, and I got my unemployment insurance crap all ironed out (they like to ask very confusing questions).  So on my way back from the douchebag oil changing company when I was pumping my fist violently in the air to the tune of the new Kelly Clarkson song when a squirrel came daringly close to my car.

Boof singing:  I know I got issues but yo---OH CRAP! *THU-THUMP* WOAH.

I looked in my rear view mirror and I saw this little squirrel doing crazy summersaults to a nearby car.  I feel bad and I'm not even an animal lover.  I mean I don't make it a point to run over crap because I might get a flat tire and I'm anal when it comes to flats. 

So now I'm got this crazy notion that this squirrel, that I didn't finish off, went back to it's club and now I have a hundred squirrels waiting for me with mounds and mounds of acorns ready to be thrown at me. 

I'M SORRY SQUIRRELS.  I WOULDN'T HAVE HIT THE DAMN THING HAD IT NOT RAN UNDER MY CAR.  I WAS IN MY HAPPY PLACE AND EVERYTHING WAS COMING UP MILHOUSE BEFORE YOUR RETARDED BROTHER CAME ALONG.

Other than that I've been busy curling.  This last weekend we had a bonspiel (curling tournament) for players of 5 years of experience and under.  Our team consisted of my skip (leader) of my normal team with a couple others from our arch rival to form a sort of "super curling team". 

We were curling at the prestigious St. Paul Curling Club which is one of the oldest curling clubs in the US.  The St. Paul Curling Club which has great ice, lanes where people can sit in comfy chairs and watch with cameras over the "houses" to gain an ultimate perspective, and where the beer flows like wine through the streets (8 pitchers of Summit were included in the entrance fee, more pitchers were then only $2.50!).  I now consider this place to be heaven and I plan on sleeping outside the place in a tent from now on.

The bonspiel was very competitive and the first team we played were the champions from last year which seemed a bit daunting.  We played, we excelled, and we WON!  We didn't know they were the champs until drinking beers with them afterwards and someone mentioned it.  We were about on top of the novice curling world after hearing this bit of news.

Does that mean that we're capable of winning this bonspiel?

Evidently not because we got completely smoked the next day when we lost the next two games.  The team we did beat did continue winning and came within a game of reaching the finals for the one-loss teams. 

So I have huge curling fever at the moment and I'm reduced to watching crazy youtube clips of crazy shots.   

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The first few days

I will walk out of the darkness
And I'll walk into the light
And I'll sing the song of ages
And the dawn will end the night

 

Day one and two of unemployment have passed and I'm already bored out of my mind.  I cleaned up my room today and tomorrow I plan on doing more cleaning and working out because I don't know what else to do.  The job hunt is not going so well because there just isn't much out there.  I've even looked at going somewhere, anywhere but I don't want to go anywhere without my girl. 

I find that I'm back to where I was in Freshmen year of high school.  I remember we had to draw a four year plan to help pave our way into college and thus, a career.  I agonized long and hard over this because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  I have medium interests in a bunch of things but not enough to warrant them as my true passion.  I'm hesitant in starting a career in the environment because I don't think I really have a passion for it.  I mean I like being outside and learning about the how's and whys but not enough to want to make money off of it.

When I was laid off last week a number of my superiors and coworkers would shake my hand and say, "hopefully you'll come back sooner than later" meaning that things should pick up and I might get called back.  I guess I consider that to be some sort of a time limit in that I need to find a better career before they call me back in.  I didn't mind my former job but I also didn't love it either.  The coworkers were nice and helpful but they weren't lifelong material.  I don't know if I value coworkers more than the actual work because I've always said that the worst job in the world would be a piece of cake if you have great people working around with you.

I would love to own a business someday but what business would I own?  What entity do I know thoroughly enough to be a leader in it?  I figure that the internet is still going to be around in the future, so perhaps taking web design class would be a good route (maybe I could find a better template for this place).  I suppose I have some soul searching in my time off and I hope I can gain some experiences and learn some more hobbies. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cuomo Crap

And even though I know
How very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing
On the same bright star


Crap List

1.  Mario Cuomo

I spent about a week in a half watching Ken Burns' documentary Baseball which is spectacular.  It's so good that you want John Chencellor to narrate stupid parts of your own life just to make it interesting.

John Chancellor:  ...and that is when, with the gleam of his bluish grey eyes and the raw durability of his worn out work gloves, he struck the alley cat with the broad side of the shovel sending it in the hated neighbors lawn.

The documentary is about 20 hours long and it gives great detail about baseball throughout the different decades.  It was as close to baseball purist porn as it gets which had me constantly on the edge of my seat. 

One of the most moving parts of the documentary was during the 40's when the African Americans were struggling to enter Major League Baseball and the semi success of the Negro Leagues.  It gives great detail about what Jackie Robinson had to go through and how strong he was to have been through it.

The first time I started to frown was when I was watching the 40's because alongside the success of the Yankees, Dodgers, and the Negro Leagues they had about 15 minutes of Mario Cuomo playing minor league baseball. 

What the hell does Mario Cuomo have to do with anything?  I found myself sighing whenever he took over the documentary because I didn't really give a damn.  I actually would've been slightly more interested in seeing George Bush as a Yale player than Cuomo.  What really irritates me is that throughout the entire 20+ hour documentary, they only say "Twins" once and never mention "Carew", "Killebrew", or "Puckett" once.  At the time Puckett was one of the most popular players and the 91' World Series was quickly glossed over.  What the hell?  They didn't even talk about Koufax and the '65 World Series. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WBC Bits

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside

 

-I must admit, I have been ass deep in watching the World Baseball Classic since it started last weekend.  For those who don't care or figure it's boring, think again because I'll give you a brief rundown of WBC history

February 2006:  Critics pan it before it begins while countries like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Cuba start salivating for world baseball dominance. 

March 2006:  Almost immediately after the first weekend the popularity sky rockets with ESPN frantically adding games and lazy sportswriters starting to take notice.  The Domincan/Venezuela game receives more press pass requests than the Superbowl.  Chipper Jones announces that the WBC is more intense than the World Series.

Late March 2006:  Koreans booing Ichiro, David Ortiz cocks off to the Cubans, and the US loses to Canada to the surprise of the ignorant US sportswriters.  I spontaneously explode to my delight of the whole tournament.

This year is no different.  Even after the success of the first tournament, sportswriters (as worthless as they are, especially in this town) still ridicule it and would prefer watching spring training because... they're stupid.  I will admit that it didn't have the best preview with numerous players announcing tennis elbow problems, bumps on the knee, and spiders being in the WBC clubhouse scaring all the players away but these teams do have really good talent.

-Speaking of the WBC how about that Dutch team?!  The Dominicans were supposed to be the favorites in the tournament with all the power hitters they have.  They were like the steroid poster team from 2006 and now it's like they can't get through an inning without booting the ball around the infield. 

The Netherlands on the other hand were playing great baseball.  The pitching specifically was impressive by keeping the Dominicans down to 3 runs in 20 innings.  I can't help but to think that Bert Blyleven has something to do with it since he's the pitching coach.  Remember, this is the team that had a no-hitter in 2006.

Monday, March 09, 2009

More Laid Off Crap

Grasp at straws that don’t want grasping
Gaze at clouds that come down crashing
Never turn your back on mother earth

 

Crap List

-The Parents reaction

For the record, I'm doing pretty well for getting the pink slip at work.  I've been playing out my last couple days and I'm making it a point not to burn any bridges although the thought is very satisfying. 

When I told my dad the news he made sure to hold a press conference for all of his work buddies and the news went out like wildfire.  My dad should've been a reporter of some sort with the amount of people that listen to him when he has some juicy dirt. I'm wondering if my dad is on Twitter or something (a thought that would blow my mind seeing as he can't maximize a window). 

Anyway my parents are in full blown job hunting mode which is very nice of them...but very annoying of them in the same light.  My mom has just discovered Craigslist so I'm sure she's about ready to suggest the first 20 entries to anything that comes up.  I'm just very lucky to not be single because before I know I know it I'll have my dad calling me up,

"So I found this singles add on craigslist.  This one is blonde, tall, pretty swell body, and she sounds like a keeper.  She only wants 100 roses and I think roses are on sale at Rainbow!  She could be marriage material!"

...When in fact she's a full blown whore. 

I did get a phone call from my dad on whether I applied to the public works job and he had the idea where I find a job in--alright get ready for this--

Radio and TV.

(sigh)

See, the thought is that I went into college and studied radio and tv for about a year in a half while working on studio equipment which was 30 years old and this was ten years ago.  We used the Amiga for computer graphics!  I would give him credit for knowing my bio but the idea is so damn stupid that I would hope my future kids would send me in a home for saying something like that in the future.  (future kids: if you're reading this, you will have to fight me first)

After all, if construction is the biggest victim of the recession, the media is probably coming in at number 2.  Not to mention if I even did have some sort of a desire to be in the media (and I can assure you, I don't) I would've

A.  Finished school
B.  Taken an internship about 8 years ago
C.  continued to take an interest in the media
D.  Moved far, far away from my parents.

 

-Reactions to my laid off news

I'm finding that people are very uneasy around me at work nowadays.  I have the very weird situation in that I was purposely tipped off at getting laid off two weeks before hand and everyone knows about it.  What is weird is that everyone is walking on eggshells around me about the news.  It's as if they think I'm going to go insane about receiving the pink slip.  Like I would go insane about that gig.  pfff

Whenever people call me I get the inevitable elephant-in-the-room startup with,

"Hey Tom,
Uh, so I'm sorry about the news.  (insert some sort of humbling selfless comment). I'm sure you'll find your way on your feet someday, (two second pause) someday."

My mom even told me that she's "praying for me" which is nice I guess...

But I'm not dying.  It's a very uneasy feeling because I'm actually passed getting laid off and I'm looking forward to learning about something new.  I'm dreaming about different things that I could on a nightly basis and the thoughts are endearing.  Steph even messaged me with,

"So are you going to find some really fun baseball job now that you have more time on your hands?"

Oh my god that would be sweet!  See, THAT is the kind of response that wish to generate.  Even a little 'well wish' is a very nice gesture which It isn't riddled with weird cancer undertones and I don't feel like I should be mourning something.  I don't know, I'm a pretty optimistic person and I feel very confident that I'll find a better job at some point someday...someday.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Unemployment Crap

Heal me with a smile, Darling Pretty
Heal me with a smile and a heart of gold

 

1.  The Writing on the Wall

On Friday I got a call from my boss that he wanted me to come to his desk. 

I had this same call about three weeks ago.
I remember thinking that I still had some work in my area and someone even told me a rumor that I have the most work out of anyone in my department because I was on another shift than anyone.  Also, the last time I was laid off about 8 years ago I had my actual "boss" (aka: the guy who signs my checks) call me up before work started and tell me the bad news. 

As it turns out my boss just wanted to know a little info on one of my current projects that I was working on.  No bigs.

Last Friday I kept thinking,

My real boss would call me if I was getting the axe wouldn't they? 
Probably not since there's no one with a spine who is left in our company.  That worthless HR woman wouldn't even know my phone number or know what to say other than,
"Did you have to wake up for this phone call? haha"  *shudders*

I stepped up to my boss' desk and he looked at me and said,
"Ah, consider this to be your unofficial two-week notice."  He didn't feel good about telling me the news but he also knew that I could smell the bullshit if he were to delay the news.  Right away I thought of all the fears that come with being laid off like soup lines, beards, hobos, being a loser, not having enough money, and having to tell my girlfriend was the worst one to come to mind.

It wasn't like it was out of nowhere either but I had been trying to encourage myself the last 6 months that I might avoid the whole situation because I work a different shift.  Our department has dwindled from about 23 people to only 9 when me and the others pack up and leave.  It's a little frustrating to think about because we're contractors and we're expendable whereas the internal people have and ironclad agreement to stay there, recession or not.  I also believe that there's a lot of really good contractors that are worth much, much more than the jobs they're saving however it comes with being a contractor--we're there because we're expendable. 

The first day I found out the news I didn't tell any of my workers because I didn't know how I would do it.  We worked together for nearly the duration of my time there and they're great workers.  They know how I run things and they understand the level of trust that comes with the job.  In two weeks there will be another (higher paid) colleague who will lead them and who knows how much things change. 

I really hated telling my girlfriend the news because there is always a fear that they'll leave you during rough times.  There's always the fear that you'll have to handle being jobless, heartbroken, and being alone with nothing but time on your hands.  It almost feels like you're less than a man suddenly being jobless especially for me because I've generally been working since my 14th birthday when it was legal to work.  I need a job and I hate the idea of not working one.  I hate the idea of collecting unemployment or government charity.  I hate knowing that I have to put my home buying plans on hold yet again especially with the money they've giving first time home buyers.

Luckily the girlfriend was sympathetic beyond belief and gave me no doubts to my worst fears. Since her kind words I've been optimistic of leaving knowing that the options are out there and I'm not necessarily tied down anywhere by bills or leases.  At least this time around I can say goodbye to everyone compared to 8 years ago when I was told that "today is my last day".  Either way I'll work the last 2 weeks like I worked any other two weeks and see what happens in the future.  I've heard plenty of people say that the best thing that ever happened to them was being laid off.  I hope it's the second best thing for me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

SSU Bits

Gonna rise up
Burning black holes in dark memories
Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold

 

-Today I went onto the Star Tribune website which I tend to do about 3 times an hour and I found this man on the front page.  I knew that guy from somewhere and it didn't take me long to figure out where it was. 

I took one Bill Holm's classes at SSU (now southwest Minnesota State...or something) and he taught some early level literature class.  I knew he was an author himself but I didn't know he was that renown.  In fact I would actually read some of his stuff if I didn't know it would be about the prairie and life in southwest Minnesota.  No offense to SW Minnesotans but I would have to be incredibly bored to read something about the prairie.  You would have to enter me in a Russian roulette competition and only after the 4th successful round would I read a book like that.

Anyway I thought I should write a bit about him because I always respected him as a professor.  He was one of the few profs that actually cared about his students and showed a considerable amount of passion towards his teaching.  He would read various books to us and you could tell that he was having fun.  He would constantly interject commentary and quips during the book and it was always enjoyable to listen to him. 

One time he was talking to the class about how title doesn't dictate behavior.  He proved this by taking a cigarette out and smoking it in front of the class.  This was probably the norm in the 70's but in the late 90's this was a bit shocking and hilarious because he was enjoying the whole cig in front of the class.  I also remember him always talking about the character of Falstaff.  He was very funny and we often described him as Santa Claus

I can't help but to think that someone of his caliber teaching at a bigger university would probably only show up 25% of the time while his servant/TA would teach the other 75%. 

-I met up with some old coworkers from my liquor store days the other weekend.  It was really amazing how we all remembered different bits from 8 years ago.  We certainly had a bunch of characters for customers such as:

  • The bike lady:  She would show up at the liquor store on some schwinn from 1976 and buy a case of Budwieser bottles.  She then would try to balance the case from her bike and it was always funny to watch her fail. 
  • The hairy mole lady:  This lady had this hairy mole on her wrist and it looked fucking nasty.  There were these blond hairs coming from said mole and we couldn't stop looking at it from the register.  We would constantly make barfing noises and tell how the mole nearly talked to us after she left.  I know, we were really nice workers.
  • The dude that would pull up in his POS car:  He obviously had some terrible medical conditions and so we would deliver a jug of vodka and a small bottle of whiskey to his car.  He was very nice and he tipped.
  • The blatz and vodka guy:  Basically says it all, he would buy two 12's of Blatz and a jug of cheap vodka.

-It's been about a 10 days and I'm already sick of spring training.  I enjoy about one inning of spring training a year and it's always the first inning I watch just to make sure that it's really happening.  After that I find myself looking for NBA basketball...hahahah just kidding, I would never watch NBA regular season basketball.

-Speaking of books, I just raced through The Kite Runner and I've never had such a run of emotions while reading a book before.  It's excellent and it's the only time where I've had the urge to read something and at the same time not want to know what happens next.  It's heartbreaking at times and makes you want to shake your head at times at how people think.

-I remember a year ago when I was talking to someone off of Match.com.  I asked them the random question of song of the year, they didn't know but asked me in return.  I answered with three songs, one of which was "Please Read the Letter" by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.  Sure enough at the worthless Grammys (redundant) it received record of the year. 
boo-yah

-If I'm 97 and in a nursing home, I can think of no better way than to be body slammed by Verne Gagne.  After the age of 90, I don't really care how I die so the more extravagant, the better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shannon Crap

He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease
Come together right now over me


1.  Molly Shannon

Does anyone, anyone in the entire universe think that she's the least bit funny?  Whenever  you watch a show in which she makes a "guest appearance" do you ever say,

"Woah, Molly Shannon is on The Office, I have GOT to watch this week!"

I'll answer it for you in case you're still pondering the question--NO, no one has ever liked Molly Shannon, ever.  She sucks on her new show, she sucked on SNL along with that horrible armpit skit, and she sucked on Will and Grace.  Well, there was that one episode where she was copying everything Grace said in which I had a smirk but I did have a whoopee cushion in my hand too so that negates Molly Shannon.  Molly Shannon does nothing for TV or Movies.  She wouldn't even be funny if someone threw a pie in her face or a if a giant Monty Python foot came down from the sky and smooshed her...and that's usually funny! 

I'm thinking she probably gives some sort of a crazy mouth party because how else can she land guest roles and even star in her own TV show?  Looking at IMDB she's had 60 roles in her entire career. 

60 times someone said, "You know who I was thinking of to play that one role, that's right, Molly Shannon"  

2.  The hatred towards Nick Punto

Alright, I know he's probably lacking a lot of talent compared to the rest of the Twins roster and he certainly does not deserve $4M.  I hate how he slides into first base and I cringe whenever I can sense that there is an affair between Ron Gardenhire and Punto HOWEVER, it's not like he's Jacque Jones swinging at every inside fastball or he played short like my mom would.  I mean Punto did bat .280 last year while having a very suitable year in the field. 

In fact with the recent signing of Crede you could make a case for the Twins having the best left infield in the American league this year. 
Seriously.
People spend way too much time on how many homers a player hits and not on his fielding which is how I look at Punto.  For years I wish the All Star game could be what everyone secretly wants it to be:  two teams of the top 15 home run hitters in each league and try to find a position for them on the field.  Can you imagine Manny Ramirez, Carlos Lee, and Adrian Gonzalez in the same infield.  I would watch that but only for the satire of it. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

doing bits

Standing at the crossroads, trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go to find the answer,
And all the time I know,
Plant your love and let it grow.


-The writer's bloc continues as I've been hanging around the special lady friend and trying not to be a huge pig in front of her.  For Valentine's day we went and had some steak (a day where I felt proud to be a pig) and we went to the Guthrie for a god awful play.  For the record, don't ever see Happy Days even if it happens to be held in your backyard because it reminds me of high school grammar class...I probably should've paid more attention in that class.

-I've began my baseball fever '09 with me desperately trying to aquire Ken Burns' Baseball DVD collection from the library.  Surprisingly enough I hadn't seen it since it came out in '94 because I was too busy with actually watching baseball.  I caught the last ten minutes of one of the programs on the mlb channel one day and I heard an amazing version of Take Me Out to the Ball Game by (I think it was) Carly Simon.  I was looking all over for the youtube clip but apparently no one else likes it as much as me.


-I still have a job but it's very much in doubt everyday.  I'm way past the point of worrying about it since it only gives me a headache but it's interesting to say the least.  They cut down our hours to 40 and we've had a lot of our work pulled.  I haven't seen so much change on my end but days are becoming very weird with my colleagues only having 2 projects each.  Usually they juggle a load of about 5-7 at a time. 

I have to admit, it's kinda nice only working 8 hours because I have more time to be lazy now.

-In terms of the Twins, I've become more and more pumped for this season.  I've begun not to care so much about Joe Crede because...I just don't anymore.  It would be nice if they sign him but if Boras and Smith can't figure anything out, I wouldn't be surprised. 

- I just bought a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch because it was on sale.  The box also comes with a cool Lego car but I got the ugliest car out of the series. 

:[

So if anyone wants an orange Lego "23" car, let me know because I'm willing to sell it to ya.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gym Crap

Like to tell you 'bout my baby, you know she comes around,
Just 'bout five feet four a-from her head to the ground.


Crap List

 

1.  The old people at the gym

Maybe it's due to the fact that I'm the youngest person in the gym at 11am on a weekday or maybe it's because old people need something to do so they head over to the gym.  Either way the gym needs some sort of a cap because too many old people is a very bad thing.  Maybe a cap of only one person over 90, 2 over 80, and 4 over 70 at any one given time because they're only going to hurt themselves or someone else.

Take the track for example, there's always the one elderly man with a horrible limp walking and meandering down the center of the track.  Whenever I run by I have to do this crazy James Bond move in order to sneak ahead of them.  Then if them walking down the center is bad enough, they throw their arm out as if they're acting like some sort of gate keeper to the open track in front of them.  I did almost run over a small old woman one time when I came running around the corner and she stepped right in front of me.

I think this must be a old person thing because I remember trying to pass an elderly woman on the highway one time.  She was going about 30 mph as she was merging onto the highway from the onramp while other cars screamed by her.  I was the sorry ass who was going 60 when she decided to merge from the onramp and

does she look toward the road?  Nope
does she look toward any mirrors?  Nope
does she give any sort of hand signals to try and tell other drivers what she's doing?  Nope

What she did was put on her blinker and blindly steer into traffic making everyone else slow down or speed up to avoid her ignorant Buick LeSabre. 

ugh back to the gym,

So besides the slow ignorant old people on the track there's always the old people who like to pretend to lift weights.  Today I walked over to the hip sled and was amazed that there was 2-five pound weights dangling on the fabricated metal arms. 

Ten pounds.  On the hip sled.  This would actually make sense if someone weighed about...6 pounds and they wanted to try ten pounds on the hip sled but I actually know the guy who does this.  He's about 72 years old and hobbles around the gym.  He weights about 150 and probably lifts more with every step than the ten pounds he puts on the hip sled.  Not only that but the hip sled was not even pushed up all the way so whoever was using this was pumping ten whole pounds and then couldn't even push it to the top.

I remember when I was taking weight training in high school, we were figuring out our one rep max on the different weight lifting techniques.  I went to the hip sled and told the two spotters to put two-45 pound weights on per side.
Teacher:  What?  What the hell is this?
Tom:  What?
Teacher:  Guys, put another 45 on each side, come on.
Tom:  WHAT? 
Teacher:  You guys really need to start trying.

And as it turns out I did 15 reps with 270 pounds.  I kicked it in the ass so this dude should've had at least 35 pounds on either side in order to make it look like he was doing something. 

For the record I did try the hip sled with only ten pounds on there and I fake winced.  Sometimes I entertain myself at the gym.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Bits

I'm a dweller on the threshold
As I cross the burning ground
Let me go down to the water
Watch the great illusion
drown

 

-Do you think this has ever happened to Barack Obama? 

"Hey Barack!  No not you, the other Barack."

I doubt it.

-Yesterday I had a meeting with a potential financial advisor.  The meeting was at 11am so I arrived with about 30 people standing in front of the receptionists desk.  It looked like they were in the middle of an important meeting so like a turtle I poked my head through and everyone was watching Biden/Obama take their oaths.  I hadn't seen that kind of impromptu gathering since 9/11.

-The only name that comes close to Barack is the character of Baraka in Mortal Kombat II.  Baraka was the one with these huge spears for hands and he would have the most gruesome moves ever.  He had the moves that would generate the most blood.  It was kinda cute that when you defeat someone you could either A: cut off their head or B: turn them into a baby and you go "aww look at the cute little baby" while playing Mortal Kombat II.

 

-I have always had a love of talk radio and I would actively listen to the radio since I was about 10.  Tuesday one of the shows that I listened to the most was completely taken off the ticket with the host and producer fired.  Chad Hartman was kind of a pompus dorky idiot but I loved the topics that he would get into.  Plus he would talk some quality baseball during baseball season which is much more than you can say for the other shows on KFAN.  When someone like PA tries to talk baseball you get to hear this kind of stuff,

"The Twins this year come into the season with plenty of left handed hitters so they should dominate the league-beedeep.  Mauer scored about 80 points last year and they should probably move him to third yadaat.  I can't believe they didn't move to sign Manny Ramirez to a long term deal because he is baseball immortality!"

I cringe whenever I hear that stuff. 

-I just found out today that someone passed away who would work out routinely at the gym.  I don't know anyone by name there so when I read the obituary taped up at the front desk I couldn't figure out who it was.  Apparently he worked out when I did and was a dentist which doesn't really narrow things down at all.

There was the grumpy old guy who would change all three televisions to fox news and when you insist he not change one of the side tvs he'd snear at ya. 

There was also the guy who wore the toupee and would always talk gopher sports with me.  One day he came in completely bald and then the next day he wore his toupee.

Then there were the two fat guys who would talk non stop about baseball.  These guys knew there stuff but they really didn't like when I interjected things.  Still they seemed kinda nice.

I can't forget the super creepy dude who would seemingly follow me around the gym.  I would go up to the track to run and he would come shortly after.  I would go to lift weights and he would follow shortly after.  I would even shoot some hoops and he would do that in no time.  Of course he had some pretty bad teeth so I doubt it's him. 

It could've been the well dressed old man who would be eating his lunch at the table right up in front.  He was always very out going and would ask me how I am doing.  I don't think it's him but it would certainly suck if it was.

-I remember seeing this skyway hanging out in a lot just outside the U of M east bank and I was wondering why the hell this skyway was left outside.  I think it would cool to build something containing it's own skyway.  It wouldn't be needed but you could have floor 5 be cut in half with the people having to go through a skyway to enter the west side of the building.  Or maybe I could build a house and get to know my neighbor really well and then build this skyway to our houses.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

After Years of Frustration...

Sorry is the fool who trades his love for hi-rise rent.
Seems the more you make equals the loneliness you get.

 

Last week the owner of the Twins, Carl Pohlad passed away at the age of 94.  I've saved this entry for about a week (actually for about six years if you want to be technical about it) because I wanted to show some semblance of class and not rip into a guy while his family waits for the funeral. 

It's been a week so I'm just going to let it all out.

On Monday when the local media started reporting the death, they would use a headline like,

"Carl Pohlad, the man who saved the Twins, dead at 94".  Nearly every outlet used some sort of that title for their front page or intro to the story.  I bit my lip long and hard until it started bleeding because it was just too early to rip into the guy.  Afterall, for all I know he was a great family man and a dear friend.  I didn't know him personally at all except when I accidentally tried to take his seat at the metrodome when I was about 15.  He sounded like a person who was decent to his staff and actually showed some sort of loyalty to his own staff.  My qualms about him come as a Minnesota Twins fan.

The man who saved the Twins eh?  I agree however the scope of that sentence is so misleading that I would guess that Sid Hartman was the one responsible for writing it.  Actually Hartman did write such a story (two as a matter of fact) and while Pohlad probably saved the Twins in 1984 he tried his absolute hardest to rid the state of the Twins from 1997-2006.  I would like to say that last sentence was drenched in hyperbole but I can honestly say it isn't. 

This man was hell bent on moving this team and soaking the taxpayers out of whatever he could for so many years.  Say what  you want about how cheap he is as an owner, he's been considered the cheapest owner in all of sports, but as and owner he's been horrific to deal with in a fan-to-franchise type of way.  For years I was honestly worried about losing my favorite baseball team because a billionaire owner couldn't squeeze enough money out of taxpayers. 

Some would argue that he was the owner during both Twins World Championship seasons and he certainly was, and he deserves some credit but the love fest ended shortly after those runs.  I remember in the mid 90's when the team was struggling and fan support was low (wow imagine that correlation) he tried to sell the team to Don Beaver in Charlotte.  If it hadn't been for the disinterested fans in Charlotte the team would've probably moved.

Then when that didn't work he tried to up the value of the team by raising the flag for a new ballpark.  He had a plan and was willing to contribute $80M (about a third) towards the cause.  It was a good plan until someone noticed that in the fine print of the deal, the $80M was to be paid back to Pohlad by the State thus making it a $80M loan instead of a rightful contribution. 

When that didn't work and the state of baseball was reeling from bad baseball economic times his buddy, and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig asked for two teams to contract.  One team was the Montreal Expos who Major League Baseball ended up purchasing and the other was left to an owner who was to volunteer his club.  Carl Pohlad apparently was the owner to volunteer to contract the Twins so he could pocket $150M.  If it wasn't for a court order for the Twins to acknowledge their lease until it was up then the team and all it's 100 year history (because it is the original Senators team) would've been history.

The man who saved baseball!?  Really? 

If you're not fired up about those last three paragraphs then read this by Sid Hartman,

Selig recalls Pohlad as an All-Star owner

There are so many things in this column that boil my blood that I can barely contain myself.  Selig, calling Pohlad the best owner in baseball is so ludicrous that I can't help but looking on to their questionable relationship.  Bud Selig, whose family owned the Milwaukee Brewers and who accepted a loan from Pohlad which raises many conflict of interest exclamations, called Pohlad the best owner in baseball.  Selig whose family would've benefited the most from a Twins contraction by being the closest team in the upper Midwest was wondering why his legacy was stained with bad blood from the fans.  Bud Selig who would seemingly "cook the books" to show congress that Major League Baseball was losing money.  He also brought up the idea of contraction just a couple years of adding two expansion teams which probably shouldn't have been added in the first place.  This is the guy that said Carl Pohlad was one of the best owners in baseball.

The Metrodome is a crappy place for baseball and they averaged about 12,000 fans a game in the nineties.  These are 12,000 fans who would forgo a beautiful sunny day to come inside a sterile environment and watch a game on fake grass in a state where we do whatever we can to be outside no matter what conditions are outside.  These fans were watching players like Scott Stahoviak, Pat Mears, Butch Husky, and Denny Hocking.  It's amazing that even 5,000 came to watch those lousy teams.

When the Pohlad and the Twins were begging for state legislature to foot most of the bill for a new ballpark I understood both sides of the argument.  I am as pro ballpark as they come but I could understand taxpayers not wanting to help out a scummy billionaire who would seemingly would sell his soul for an extra dollar.  The guy tried to swindle us in the past so why should we do anything for him?  If he really wanted the ballpark to pass so badly then he could've foot half of the bill.  The extra money would've came back to him 2 fold with the value of the team skyrocketing.

I love the Twins, many people all over Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and even Montana love the Twins.  Carl Pohlad was a man who didn't care about the fan base in my opinion.  This is a man who tried to sell this team for a quick $150M and stick a big middle finger to the state and all the fans.  I'm sick of hearing about how he saved the team because that does not justify holding the state and fanbase hostage.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pinochle Crap

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.


Crap List

1.  Learning new games.

I'm not much of a board game/card player person.  I like the few games that I like because I understand them and I actually know some sort of strategy.  When it comes to new games, I'm about as dumb as a my dad playing Contra.  Over the break I visited my special lady friend in North Dakota and thus hung out with her family for about a week.  I've never visited a special lady friend's parents before let alone had much of a special lady friend to begin with so I really didn't know what I was up against.

I wanted to, at the very least, show that I was a competent person who only drools by accident about once a month and can say three syllable words at relative ease.  I mean, I don't want to come off as an idiot.  I would rather they wait and find out my idiocracy in time.  You see, my idiocracy is like a slow blooming flower which finally blooms after about 6 weeks.

As it turns out this family is very much into games and I tried to be as much of a sport as I could.  The first game was Yahtzee which I haven't played since I played the handheld style when I was dropping a duece during someone's house party about 6 years ago.  Even then I didn't really understand it then but I liked pressing buttons so I wasted some time.  Now I was playing with the sisters and the mother.  I know what a "yahtzee" is but other than that it takes me about two minutes to look at my paper, figure out what to cross off (and not before a bunch of head scratching), and finally I hand the cup off to the next person.

Amount of time the sisters and mom take per turn:  about 4 seconds

Amount of time Boof takes per turn:  about 3 minutes (and I usually get that wrong)

Then came the game that the family grew up on: Pinochle

I have never played pinochle before.  My gf briefly (and I mean briefly) showed me the basics of the game but it was more of a warning than a briefing.  Pinochle is one of those games that I have tried to avoid throughout most of my life in a mild protest to my dad and uncles who would sit and play cards throughout every Christmas party.  They wouldn't do anything but play 500 for about 6 hours.  No snowball fights, no catch with the football, no golf, nothing.  My dad offered to teach me 500 once but I pretty much blew him off because the only time I would ever play cards would be at these Christmas parties....

...and evidently at the gf's parents house in front of her entire family. 

Amount of time the sisters and mom take per pinochle turn:  .3 sec

Amount of time Boof takes per pinochle turn:  4 minutes

It works like this, I'm dealt all 16 cards and I look at all of them with the biggest frown I can muster.  As I frown I send out the dignified signals of "uh, hmm, uh, weeelll, I uh, I need bigger hands".  The mother meanwhile is trying her best not to tower over me and say, "Perhaps Pinochle isn't your strong suit.  Here's a ball though, perhaps you'd like to bounce it!

What was even more deflating was when the father came and helped me after many "uh's".  When the father wasn't there the mother would be like,

"okay, lay your cards down and lets see what you have." 

Somehow it felt like I was getting a diaper change strangely enough.

I finally started to kinda figure it out.  I still have a very hard time with the "10's" being a higher card than Kings but I wont have to deal with Pinochle for awhile.  That's for sure.