Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not my favorite thing in the world to do, but ...

... sometimes you just gotta do it, right? Even though I would technically title the picture above "Diving Through Hoops" it still represents my thoughts on getting through the end of June ... and I'm not talking about spring baseball, by the way. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2013

U of M Women's Gymnastics

Two suggestions:

Number 1: if you haven't been to Rudolph's on Lindale in Minneapolis ... Go. Very enjoyable dinner (although the company may have caused me to be a bit bias - Thanks for going with us, neighbors!). The kids' chicken tenders and cheeseburger were devoured by my children. My son particularly liked the pickles (plural) on his burger. And my BBQ pulled pork sandwich was delicious, too.

Number 2: if you have a daughter who likes gymnastics, go to a University of Minnesota gymnastics meet. We went on Saturday and saw an awesome display. The Gophers (ranked #12 as of Saturday) faced off against the University of Michigan (#1), Central Michigan (#20), and Iowa State (yah, not ranked). Junior, Kayla Slechta (Shakopee, MN) and freshman, Lindsay Mable really outdid themselves, winning the vault (Slechta), floor (Mable), beam (Mable), and overall (Mable) competition. The Gophers put together a 196.8 point total, besting the top-ranked Wolverines (196.775) by 1/40 of a point. Check out the coverage:
... and lest anyone be convinced that any of the sky-u-mah bologna found it's way into my heart ...
After all, that WAS a good (but ugly) victory over the gophers earlier on Saturday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do I go pick up my son from school?


I mean, it's a full eight to ten degrees warmer that it was the past two days, and twenty degrees warmer than Monday at 4pm - which makes it 15 degrees above zero right now. But, the wind is a bit brisk at times (17 mph gusts). And I've heard they've been canceling school for this temperature in states not quite as tough as ours ... *cough* - Ohio - *cough*

It's my turn to pick up the boys - both my son and his friend who lives around the corner. But to pick them up, I have to drive a full mile to school. (I know. THAT isn't the big deal.) The real trouble is getting my daughter all bundled up to go. (Which isn't REALLY that big a deal either, I guess.)

I'm just waivering because it's Friday and I'm being lazy - I know. Plus my garage door opener finally went kapoot. "Real Feel" tells me it's one below zero, so I better go get them. I'm not really complaining, mind you. Just sat at the computer and didn't have much to blog about.

That is all. God bless :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Good weekend ... now it's cold

We enjoyed a nice weekend. Went to the MOA. Sent my daughter to dance rehearsal and a couple of birthday parties. Enjoyed church and some good stew on Sunday. Then the wife and kids had Monday off to make it an extended weekend. To top it all off, got to enjoy another night of open gym basketball. Life is good.

By the way ... did I mention that it's cold?! ... -3 right now (feels colder) ... thankfully it's supposed be back up in the 30's by Sunday and Monday (at least for a couple days). Oh well. Better than 100+ in my book. ;)


Friday, January 18, 2013

My fake girlfriend ...

So, I'm so completely tired of hearing about a fake girlfriend that a college football player may have or may NOT have known was fake. Whether Manti was 'complicit' or not in the hoax, I'm sure he's embarassed because I am completely certain that he embelished the relationship to some extent or another. That's my take. I've never had a fake girlfriend (that I KNOW about anyway), so I have no way of knowing how embarassed he should be - or how he felt about telling other people about said girlfriend. For that matter, I've never been a major college football player, so I have no way of knowing how he should behave moving forward. I just cannot imagine walking into a locker room - or the NFL draft combine - and having to take on the looks, snickers, comments, questions of so many other young men.

And speaking of having to deal with the looks, snickers, comments, and questions ... I have no idea what to say about that other guy. The sinister mister Armstrong, who cheated and bullied to an extent I'll never be able to understand, deserves very little sympathy. Let's all watch the Oprah interviews in a different way. Let's take it all in ... and then NOT question anything. Move on. Let him move on. He is NOT a Tour de France champion. He is NOT a hero for his bicycling exploits. He is NOT a good family man. What he IS? ... a very selfish and competitive person without the individual strength to do the right thing in many circumstances. His Livestrong efforts are to be commended, not his individual self. Period. Done.

Let's move on. From both.

Next news cycle please ... and maybe a POSITIVE one?!?!?!

... how about a compromise in Washington?! (Now wouldn't THAT be a surprise?!?!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On Wisconsin! Work hard. Get better. Have fun.

2012 Big Ten Standings

 BIG TEN Conference Home Away Overall Home Away Neutral vs Top 25
W L PF PA W L W L W L PF PA Streak W L W L W L W L
 Wisconsin 4 0 245 202 2 0 2 0 13 4 1197 934 Won 7 10 1 2 2 1 1 2
 Michigan 3 1 304 236 2 0 1 1 16 1 1345 996 Lost 1 11 0 2 1 3 0 1 1
 Minnesota 3 1 310 269 2 0 1 1 15 2 1297 1043 Lost 1 10 0 3 1 2 1 3
 Indiana 3 1 290 261 1 1 2 0 15 2 1452 1031 Lost 1 11 1 2 0 2 1 2 0
 Michigan State 3 1 275 252 2 0 1 1 14 3 1195 981 Won 3 11 0 2 2 1 1 1
 Ohio State 3 1 255 235 2 0 1 1 13 3 1194 925 Won 2 10 1 1 2 2 0 1 3
 Purdue 2 2 253 261 2 1 0 1 8 8 1059 993 Won 1 7 3 1 2 0 3 1
 Illinois 1 3 253 281 1 1 0 2 14 4 1330 1193 Lost 2 8 1 2 2 4 1 2 2
 Iowa 1 3 261 276 0 2 1 1 12 5 1261 1071 Won 1 9 2 1 2 2 1 0
 Northwestern 1 3 237 287 0 2 1 1 10 7 1118 1058 Lost 1 6 6 2 1 2 0 0
 Nebraska 0 4 188 245 0 1 0 3 9 8 990 1036 Lost 4 7 3 1 5 1 0 0
 Penn State 0 4 198 264 0 2 0 2 8 8 983 1055 Lost 4 7 3 0 3 1 2 0  2 


Monday, January 14, 2013

My colorful new book for my next/current masters class ...

It seems to be well-written and could be very useful, based on my limited experience reading through the first twenty pages or so. Ultimately, though, I don't do much K-8 Math Instruction - except with my own kids, I guess. Oh well. First masters class of 2013 officially began tonight. Ready to get my learn-on for the next six months! (and finish this masters program!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Haunted Garage Door

This week I figured out how to get our garage door unstuck ... and then it just keeps sporadically opening or shutting. Go figure.

At first the problem was that I couldn't get the garage door opener to shut the garage door. I had just come home and used the opener to open the door, but the opener seemed to buzz and not do anything when I tried to shut the door. So, I disengaged the carriage and we did it manually for the night. The next day I spoke with a very helpfull garage door technician on the phone who let me in on a tip: sometimes the carriage gets stuck on a head bolt on the track near the opener. Enter a little WD40 and a wrench ... and we're all good. Altered the moving distance a bit and we were golden.

Except ...

Later that day I heard the garage door opening about the time my wife would be coming home. After ten minutes of her not coming into the house, I looked out to see what was going on ... only to find the garage door sitting half open. So, I closed it, thinking maybe she had forgotten to go to the store. However, three more times over the next 24 hours, the door has magically opened. My working theory is that it's haunted ...

Or that someone in our neighborhood now has the same frequency garage door signal.

Stay tuned ;)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go Pack Go!

So, the weekend was fun! Everything started on Friday ... well, actually it probably started during the week back in Wisconsin when we figured out I was going to get to go to Lambeau this past Sunday ... however, the weekend itself started with a nice little Friday.

Friday night was a family night on the couch watching "Tangled" with my kiddos and the love of my life. Enjoyed that IMMENSELY!

Got up on Saturday and did a few things around the house with my wife. Put together the new vacuum I got for Christmas - LOVE IT - and the two of us used it throughout the first level. Also got my overnight bag ready.

Then drove a few hours to Wausau to meet up with my dad. Checked into a hotel, then hit the road for the final 90 miles to Green Bay. It was a gorgeous day, to say the least. Couldn't ask for better winter weather.

We parked a few blocks from Lambeau and walked over to meet up with my brother and his friends before the game. Had a few cocktails and then decided to get to the stadium for the game. Pretty sure I knew we had the game in hand the minute I heard Webb would play for Ponder. However, it was nice to see the Packers hold the Vikes to a FG on the first possession and then nothing else for the entire first half. Could've been a bigger blow-out, but I'll take any post-season victory.

That drive across state and back into Minnesota is OH-SO-MUCH-MORE-SPECIAL when it comes with a Packers victory over the dreaded Vikings. On to San Fran (... and then hopefully back to Lambeau in 2 weeks, if both the Pack and Russell can get wins on the road next week!)

Did I mention that former UW quarterback Russell Wilson won handly to set up next week's possible upsets and a return trip for me to Lambeau? Nice. That was Sunday. It was nice to get back and spend the day relaxing and watching football with the family. Even made a nice little pineapple chicken dish for dinner. (Oh, and the Badger men won in Lincoln ... ugly win, but a Big Ten win none-the-leass ... On Wisconsin!)

Good weekend!

Go Pack Go!

Friday, January 4, 2013

More Christmas (and New Years) in Pictures

 Skating ... Thanks Grandma and Grandpa (and Steve)!


 Grammas, and Jerry

 Ooh-la-la! Je t'aime!


 New Years

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bridge Builders

Proud of the Bridge Builders!
My son and his friend/classmate built a bunch of bridges this fall/winter and tested their ability to hold bricks. They used a variety of different shapes and styles. The one above was the final one that they got to show off today at school.
On a side note: Go Pack Go!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

I have a bunch of photos to keep sharing from winter break ... but I wanted to make sure to actually post some happenings before displaying my cute family and distracting you ;)

We enjoyed Christmas at home this year. My wife's parents came out for the week and we really relaxed. My wife even spent a full week away from her computer! Yeah! :) My father-in-law helped me use my new circular saw (Christmas present) to cut a left-over piece of wood from the kitchen to make another coat rack for the mud room. And we all went post-Christmas shopping and got some good deals on stuff for the kids and family. Love the family I married into.

Then, the in-laws headed home safely and our little family of four headed to Wisconsin for a little Christmas with my family and New Year's with the usual gang. Kids got some cool gifts from fam in Wisconsin. I even got a new vacuum. Yeah, again! I'm pretty sure my wife liked her new PJ's - she had them on the night after she opened them. And my son couldn't wait to get back to play his new Skylanders game on the Wii. It was definitely good to spend time with my brother and his fam, and my parents and grandmas as well. Love the family I was born into.

Enjoyed New Year's per the usual - went out for an early dinner at a spot in Madison we hadn't been to before, then headed back to a buddy's house for cards. While at dinner, we realized that we've been doing some form of New Year's together for a full 20 years in a row now. I know I've missed one or two, but not many - and the same can be said for most of the gang. Not sure when it will end, but for now, it's a blast to keep getting together to ring in the new year. Blessed to have such good friends.

Happy New Year, everyone!