Sunday, December 21, 2008

Milwaukee Trip recap and various photos

As I've mentioned before photo heavy blogs get to be a long pain in the butt if I want to format them so they look decent. I've loaded a bunch but if I can get things looking even remotely decent I'm going to call it good. A few weeks ago I went to Milwaukee to watch the MU v UW game. Marquette defeated the evil Badgers. It was a good trip. Here is a photo of me, Julie, and Jen. Yay to the girls!

After meeting up with the girls I went to Jay's place for the 1st annual 201 holiday party. The role of Andy Blanchard was played by David Screnar. Jay made dinner. He did well.

Post dinner and drinks we went for the obligatory family photo. We look classy don't we?

This is our non classy attempt where we tried to talk with our hands. The hand symbol means something naughty, try to guess what it is.

David LOVES his Natural Light. Natty Light to those in the know.

There was a little Mario Cart happening. Per Toad "I'm the Best!" That's for you Tabi. Anything you read/see here is not to be repeated...

They never tell you the Natty Light burns...

This a photo that's a few years old. The 201ers at Jay's wedding in classy B&W. We do look good.

This is the craziest bloody mary ever. Only in Wisconsin and only at Sobelmans.

At long last Jeremy Bates appears! Jon Horvath to the right.

Last weekend I went a Washington State game with a buddy here in Seattle. We were right on the floor, it was pretty cool. I've only had seats this good twice before: @ DePaul in 2000, and @UNC in 2001 I think? I have no idea anymore.

This was the first time I've seen a proposal on the floor from the 2nd row. Kind of funny.

There was a halftime show of some girl balancing plates and doing weird acrobatic things. It was too weird for me.

This needs a big explanation. We had an adult themed white elephant exchange here in Seattle. Emphasis on "adult" I ended up with Candy Underwear, Brian got a Cnady Top, and a Senior Psychology professor at UW ended up with the Incontinence wear. That couldn't have been planned out better than it worked out. I'm going to post the rest of the photo's in slideshow format. These might not be entirely safe for work AND they aren't for the faint of heart.

It started snowing here. I took this with my Iphone but it's kind of a surreal shot.

Gort little shawn blurl.

Rock Salt... I swear. This is a jackknifed articulating bus. It's still snowing here and I might get snowed in for the holidays, which would be different.

All the photo's from the Milwaukee Trip.

All the photo's from the Washington St. game.

And finally,

The best Christmas Song ever... it's very 201.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"He's got a board, with a nail in it!"

That is a line from an early Simpsons Halloween episode - Treehouse of Terror III to be exact - it is exceptionally appropriate today. I am not an inventor really, I can improve process and figure out how things work but to invent things is hard since my brain isn't wired that way.

Today I had my invention idea that I'm going to sell to the city of Seattle. Rock Salt and some sort of device to "spread it around" would be an amazing thing. I read the city of Seattle has a grand total of 30 snow plows (I don't know if they go out when it snows however) and the city pretty much has to fend for itself as there is no way 30 plows can keep up with any sort of snowfall in a city this size.

Because the plows can't keep up with any snow it accumulates, and when it's wet, like today, it compacts and starts turning into ice. Here is where my rock salt spreading device would be amazing! Rock salt melts snow and ice!! 2 inches of snow doesn't need to be the storm of the century! In the suburbs there is legit snow falling and up in the mountains I'm sure it's crazy. Those places are exempted from my rock salt spreading device. I think they have fascinating pieces of machinery to move snow around!!

All sarcasm aside. It's dangerous outside because people are driving on roads that are 100% iced over because they haven't been cleared. Kind of crazy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Counts as a post.

I couldn't get motivated to load all the photo's from Milwaukee so this is a half hearted attempt to mollify Jay "you need to post more often" Lackey. Look up what mollify means Jay.

There will be some classic photo's from the adult themed white elephant party. People with much better camera's than me were taking pictures so they'll be posted on here before to long.

I had lots of funny things I was going to write about this week but I've forgotten them, whatever they were. Maybe I should look into mobile blogging with my new phone or possibly getting a moleskin notebook so I can take notes about blog ideas. Effort for posting is the key.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick Update

I've got to recap the trip to Milwaukee soon and I have a white elephant party coming this weekend with rules like, "no live animals... and and naughty toys are allowed." This certainly promises to be an interesting event.

Seattle is also going to get hit by a serious winter storm this weekend. Per the news.

"Meteorologists say the Puget Sound area may wake on Monday to bone-chilling temperatures around 20 degrees with highs that day in the upper 20s to low 30s."

I can't help but laugh at references to "bone-chilling temps around 20 degrees". It -8 in Fargo the other day and Milwaukee is getting hit with snow all the time. I'm going to go stock up on frozen pizza since the apocalypse is about to begin. I'm sure there will be plenty of time to update the blog this weekend when the 3 inches of snow has me trapped in my apt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It came in the mail

I'm pretty sure my buddy Ron decided to sign me up for a catalog based on a recent conversation. When I got home today I found a Rock River Arms gun catalog in my mailbox. Seattle is a pretty peaceful town when compared to Milwaukee or Chicago and my part of town is pretty safe at that. I don't think I'll need a semi-auto LAR Rifle anytime soon but if I do I have the July 2008 retail catalog at my fingertips.

Why is are there so many random good movies on right now? Kelly's Heroes, The Godfather, Elf, A Christmas Story, Various Rocky's, Rush Hour 3, and... wait Rush Hour 3 sucks. I'm sure they get ratings or else they wouldn't keep getting aired but there must not be much in the way of good shows because most of these movies are 20 years old.

I leave for Milwaukee in a little over 36 hours. Go Marquette! Wisconsin is evil and must be destroyed!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2 weeks is a long time

I should have posted something last weekend but I was tired. To quickly recap 2 weeks ago I went to PA for work and it was less than exciting in Hazleton but it wasn't as bad I would have expected going in.

We got in late Thursday and Friday was work as usual. That night I went over to Brandon and Lisa's place to hang out and here's where things got crazy. The three of us had nothing going on and we were trying to think of fun stuff to do. After debating various things we could do, like: go for a hike, go to Mt. Rainier, go to Mt. St. Helens, drive to Vancouver, go gambling at a local casino, and after that we got a little more daring. We started checking flights and Las Vegas was expensive last minute; so we ended up flying to Oakland and taking the train into San Francisco. You read that right, at about 9pm on Friday night the 3 of us booked flights to San Francisco leaving at 8am the next day and returning Sunday evening.

Lots of San Francisco stuff was done and I got to see a friend from Milwaukee who moved to SF. Jesse Polski for those who are interested.

Here are the pictures I took in SF.

There a few too many of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz but there are some good ones in there.

From San Francisco

You can only take pictures like this if you are hanging off the front of a Cablecar in San Fran. There is way WAY less clearance on those things and cars than you would imagine. I could have touched a car or truck on the way by pretty much every time. It's a little disconcerting. Things did in SF include the shopping area, BART, Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, John Muir woods (giant redwoods), The Golden Gate bridge, Haight Ashbury, and a few other various things like the Full House row houses.

Thanksgiving was spent a Brandon and Lisa's as well. I don't have any cool photo's of that but I did make a pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, and I baked a Marie Callender apple pie. There were all decently tasty.

On Friday I bought a new Iphone. I haven't completely integrated into everything yet but it's a cool piece of hardware and the stuff you can do is pretty impressive. I can't even imagine what will happen once I start getting into the AP's they've been advertising.

I'm also behind on updating the books I've been reading. I finished Failure is not an Option, and since it's been a while since I've posted I've started and finished Devil in the White City as well. Both are excellent books and Devil in the White City is particularly good as it is a historical fact based novel that reads like fiction. I recommend reading it if anybody is looking for a good book. The next book up is undecided at the moment. I have a big stack waiting to be read but I haven't had a strung feeling about any of them yet. I leave for Wisconsin on Friday something will have to hit me by then because it's a few hours of boredom. On a random note the trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota for Christmas will end up giving me enough miles to be a frequent flyer on the new Northwest / Delta airline. That's kind of depressing in some ways.

As a bonus here are some photo's of Vancouver from Labor Day. I went up with Jay and Mary for the day and ended up having my battery die.

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Stuff

Maybe I'm turning soft in Seattle but there was white stuff falling from the sky tonight. Brrrr - that means it's COLD outside if there is snow. I just checked to see what the weather was like in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.... hahaha. I forgot what winter is like in those places.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

James Bond and going to Hazleton PA

I leave for PA in a few hours and wouldn't you know

View Larger Map

rural PA doesn't have and direct flights from Seattle. The result is a 6am flight to Atlanta and then a hop back up to Allentown PA. The downside of living on the West Coast is cross country travel. When I win my millions I'm totally going to fly on chartered jets; with my friends who will be employed in my entourage. A couple of days in PA should be interesting but if anybody has anything to do besides go to Scranton and look for the Dunder Mifflin regional office let me know.

I saw the new James Bond movie, The Quantum of Solace, it's very good but I would recommend watching Casino Royale before you go. They are basically the same movie broken into two pieces so it helps to have a refresher course.

A few years ago I learned to play Euchre and I recently found a group of people into it. It's a pain because it's kind of a combination of Pinochle and Whist, the goal is to take tricks but without bidding. There are cards buried and rearrangements of cards so a Jack is the top card, and well, it's confusing but fun.

It might be cold enough to require a winter coat in PA... ah probably not.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tom Cruise and Stuff

Election day came and went without a real nail biter on the national level. It was pretty much academic when I left work at 6pm here in Seattle and I was happy about that. 8 years ago I stayed up until 4am watching the results and Dan Rather babbling and 4 years ago I stayed up pretty late watching results roll in from various places so being able to go to sleep at a reasonable hour was nice. There were some big races local to West Coast (Prop 8 in CA and OR - WA Senate races), Washington (Governor), and Seattle (Transit, and Representative) so that was pretty interesting.

My friends went to the results event in Chicago and it sounded like a very exciting time. Whether you are happy with the results or not it is an exciting time in American politics. Barack Obama has awakening a passion in his supporters that was matched only by the passion of his detractors. There are plenty of things we as nation need to work on.

The next day we had an all company meeting and Tom Cruise showed up. He was on a publicity tour for and upcoming movie so he stopped in for an interview for the website. He didn't jump around or say anything too crazy but he goes shopping for Airplanes and Motorcycles instead of more pedestrian things like books, TV's, and so forth. He is short though. I didn't really get close enough for any photo's or anything this time but you could tell he was short when he was standing next to people on stage.

The Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) program started up about a month ago and it's the same old thing. I'm unimpressed with the school but there does appear to be a new principal in the place so maybe things will improve. They publish standardized test scores in Washington and the school I visit has some of the worst elementary scores in the state. It's depressing to spend much time in the school. I bought a "lunch" to show people what they try to feed kids today and it's pretty gross. A Gyro sounds good but when it's microwaved and sitting for 30 minutes before it's eaten it's actually pretty gross.

I booked my flight to Allentown PA on Friday and I'm heading out to our PA warehouse at the start of next week. Hazelton is a small town about an hour from anything. Rumor has it the best place to eat is Subway, which suits me just fine. I think the miles I'm getting from this trip, my trip to WI, and going home for X-mas will give me status on Northwest or Delta or whatever the new company is going to be called. I'm the lowest grade of frequent flyer!!! Yay.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baconaise and Halloween

A few posts ago I mentioned the belly dancing and how I would post photo's when they were available... here they are.

I've pulled out a few that are funny or show me looking particularly foolish.

There are a lot of photo's in there and quite a few crack me up. Thanks to Yvonne for the Belly Dancing photos.

Jay Lackey was about as excited for Bacon vs. Mayonnaise wrestling as I was; only Jay was 2000 miles away and hassling me about this blog entry. On Thursday I went to a nightclub in Seattle hosting the charity event of Baconsalt. Baconsalt is exactly what it sounds like - Salt that takes like Bacon. I haven't tried it yet myself but it sounds awesome. Apparently the number one request from customers was for Mayonnaise that tastes like Bacon. This generated a fair amount of animosity between these two employees of the Baconsalt company. I HIGHLY recommend watching this...

As you watched the tension was unbearable.

The final fight looked something like this.

There were also photo's... but for the sake on time

You can see me in the background talking to a girl with long dark hair. Charmaine works at Amazon with me and just got married this weekend. Congrats!!

I can't even begin to tell you how funny the wresting was and when mayonnaise ends up on smooth concrete it became incredibly slippery. People were falling over everywhere.

Friday night was Halloween and I busted out my lame graduation cap and gown. It's lazy but it counts as a costume. There are lots of photo's

Album number 1 Thanks to Marla for these.

Album number 2 Thanks to Jeremy for these.

for people who don't want to look through photo's of people they don't know...

You might notice the large dangling pearl earring. In 2003, after the Final Four, David, Stu, and I were walking around a mall in Milwaukee and I started talking stupid. I ended up leaving the mall with my ear pierced for 6 weeks. I know I found good people in Seattle when after some liquid encouragement I ended up re-piercing my ear using the same scar tissue / piercing spot in a bar. I would like to add that the hole was pretty much closed up when I did this and it was much harder to push through the back of my ear lobe than I would have ever thought. Cartilage is tough! For those interested I took the earring out about 20 minutes after I put it in.

Saturday night I went to Charmaine's wedding (the coworker from the Bacon v. Mayo wrestling) it's been a very busy couple of weeks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two in two days!

I have to write about this because it strikes as me being extremely weird. I found more money on the ground, which is awesome, but unlike a few months ago it's relatively useless in the short run. A few months ago I stumbled upon $25 laying on the ground which I used to treat myself to donuts. The Best Donuts are for free of course. Anyway, I found 5 Euro laying on the ground in the Subway by my apartment of all places and I can't think of a scenario that makes sense. Was this person just back from an overseas flight to Europe and stopped for a Subway Club? Or was this somebody on the way to a long international flight and they already happened to be carrying the money they were going to spend? I have no other scenario and I'm skeptical of both of those. I would have been far less confused by finding an Asian currency of some sort as both Seattle and Vancouver have a sizable and varied Asian population. The kicker is 5 Euro isn't worth the effort to convert it over to US $. I guess I need to go to Europe to spend it!

Thursday trivia has been a regular mainstay for the last few weeks with some members of the Seattle kickball folks but this week we're taking a break. We are taking a detour to watch some wrestling, but it's not normal wrestling, it's bacon mayonnaise wrestling. I can't think of anything better than watching a guy in a bacon costume wrestling a guy in mayonnaise costume in a ring containing 200 gallons of bacon flavored mayonnaise. Plus, it's for charity AND I get free BLT's AND it's going to be hilarious. They have a drink called Mitch Morgan's, the drink that inspired Bacon Salt - Maker's Mark whiskey with a bacon garnish, which I won't be trying since I am not a whiskey connoisseur. It does make me wonder how nobody from 201 or one of the assorted motley crew the we went to college with doesn't have a drink named after them. The one where David drinks fryer grease doesn't count either.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Politics and Porn - Discretion Advised

I got a photo from one of the events last weekend. Joe Biden, Me, Dave Matthews in front of an American flag. It is not photoshopped but it does look really weird with the black background that way. I decided to wear the glasses instead of contacts because I was out of saline. I'm still not 100% sold on the glasses but they are noticeable when in photo's and I'm finally used to the way they fit on face which helps out a lot.

I also joined Facebook last weekend so people would stuff asking my why I haven't joined. Other people had already invited me to join so when I was finished I already had 3 friends, it's now been a little over a week and I think I'm at 45 friends which is funny because I didn't do a single thing besides accept invitations. Let's go through the evolution of this peer to peer networks. Friendster started the madness (my account is still active oddly enough), which gave way to MySpace, which evolved into LinkedIn and Facebook. Now that I'm a Facebook person I intend to just let it run it's course. I'm not really into it but everybody seems excited that I'm on. I did have to set up a rule in my email for all the notices this thing generates. I'm lazy when it comes to things like this, which is why I don't play fantasy football, so I doubt I'll be doing tons to keep this fun.

People with delicate sensibilities should stop reading now.

The weekly alternative newspaper in town, The Stranger, is extremely liberal and relatively anti-establishment, and they put on an amateur porn contest every year. I DID NOT PARTICIPATE! They do have public screenings of the better films and I went to a screening with a few friends. I didn't think this all the way through. In addition to being a very liberal newspaper it's also edited by Dan Savage, a gay advice columnist and a political activist. Let's just say there was a little bit more gay porn than I was comfortable with but then again any amount of gay porn would have been too much. I'm not sure if I would go again next year but I would at least entertain the idea.

People with delicate sensibilities can start reading again.

I did go to a new bar/club this weekend by the name of The Funhouse which happens to also be Seattle's premier punk club. It's a scary place. Between the demented clowns (is there any other kind) and the crazy piercings and tattoo's I'm not sure I'll ever go back but it was a wild experience. The only reason I went in the first place was a friends band was playing there and we were all a little out of place. Their band had a melodica involved, which doesn't fit the demented clown motif. The band that followed was a serious punk band, they were Flogging Molly like and strangely enough the biggest, and arguably the scariest dude in the band was playing a whistle. It must have been to get the true Irish sound in their punk music.

It appears the Phillies are going to win game 4 of the World Series and take a 3 game to 1 lead over the Devil Rays. I'm going to accept all my new Facebook friends now and start reading my new book, Failure is not an Option, people who know me know that Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies. I love the story and the science involved in sending people to the moon and back. I wish I was an astronaut and when I win the lottery I'm going to pay to be on one of those space tourist flights. I did like Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and the photo of me eating the Japanese hot dog in the upper right is a stand that he visited on his trip to Vancouver.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

3 firsts

Most of the time I'm lucky if something new happens every once in a while. I don't mean little things like eating at a new restaurant - more like trying sushi or sweetbreads for example. I've never had a sweetbread myself but I'm willing to try them down the road at some point, and if you don't know what a sweetbread is you'll have to look it up on your own.

Anyway, so this weekend happened to be pretty much a planets aligning properly during an solar eclipse or something because a lot of different things happened. Some are pretty interesting others are borderline unbelievable and I'm still not sure how they all happened on the same weekend.

Thursdays I try to go to trivia with some friends I know in Seattle from kickball, and this week was a normal week. Our team came in third, which is out of the money, and we were killing a little time after and finishing out drinks when the girls from the kickball team started getting all twittery and speaking in hushed tones amongst themselves. A few minutes later a Bellydancer showed up to perform for member of the group who had a birthday over the weekend. I've never seen a belly dancer before but it was awesome. It's not dirty or trashy as some might imagine and the other patrons in the bar thought it was awesome as well. How one gets into belly dancing or hires a belly dance I'm not sure but the girls in the group of friends deserve major credit for a creative and unique idea. I'll post pictures when they are sent to me.

Friday was actual birthday celebration. I'll spare the details but it was a long night but a fun night.

Saturday afternoon brought on the next crazy thing. A lot of the same people from Thursday (trivia and kickball folks) were out an open house for Curling. That weird sport from the Winter Olympics where they slide rocks down the ice and sweep the brooms in front of the rock as it goes. I can say from my personal experience it is very fun, hard to balance yourself, and very difficult to control the rocks/stones. When the 2010 Olympics roll around a few of us are talking about going to Vancouver and trying to watch the Curling event. Team Fenson won a bronze medal in the 2006 games and are aiming for more. If you ever randomly have a chance to Curl I would definitely recommend it. I don't know why nobody thought to bring a camera but there doesn't appear to be any photo's from this event.

The final first is easily the most unbelievable by far. David's brother is actively involved in politics with the Obama campaign. There was an event in Tacoma WA and 12,000 people showed up to watch VP candidate Biden speak and later that night there was a fund raiser at a downtown Seattle hotel. I don't make enough money to roll at this kind of event but I got the VIP treatment courtesy of David's brother. Knowing somebody who works for the campaign has it's privileges as I got to see a mini concert by Dave Matthews, meet/chit chat with current Governor Gregoire, Senator Patty Murray, Dave Matthews himself, and then I got a photo op with Joe Biden and Dave Matthews. As with the other two things, when I figure out how to get the professional photo posted on here I'll post that too. It's not who you know, it's who you knows older, politically active brother who can help out with some very cool stuff. It was very enlightening to be in the social strata of upper level politics and see how passionate people are to be that engaged in something they believe in. I might have only been there for a few hours but I can see how people get addicted to access.

I might never have such a wild couple of days again but I'm pretty sure they're all going to be remembered for a variety of different reasons.

There's other stuff I could write about this is enough for today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mountain Biking

Went mountain biking yesterday, sort of. Brandon and I went to an area with "great promise and few riders" which is apparently code for unmaintained. After riding straight up hill for a mile or more I was completely blown as I don't have that kind of cardio anymore, if I ever did. Brandon on the other hand is a genetic freak and isn't even winded. We rode around for a little bit and I continued to get my ass kicked by Brandon but the fates had a plan. We went down a different trail and after a few minutes Brandon had a flat rear tire. We then took a gamble the downhill path we were on would take us back to the road. Gamble failed and we ended up moderately lost, so after walking both bikes uphill thought the jungle of overgrown brush we ended up back where we should have been. Cut up, tired, and bleeding from the legs when the overgrowth raked my legs.

My buddy ran a 2:59:59 marathon a few weeks ago so congrats to Mr. Paske for achieving his goal of a sub 3:00 by the grand total of one tenth of a second. I thing he bribed a timer or something but it still counts I guess. Rooming with a runner at MU for 1.5 years and being friends with most of the distance runners as a result means I know lots of people who run marathons... and they make me sick. Freaks.

I feel like I had a lot more to write about but when the time comes it's never that easy. I want to go to a college football game next year at a road stadium - I'm thinking either the Red River shootout in Dallas or a game at the Swamp in Gainesville. I know people around Dallas and might have a ticket hookup at the Swamp. It promises to be fun either way if I can pull it off.

A trip to Scranton for work seems to be on the very near horizon. I'll try to find the Dunder Mifflin offices while I'm there.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Seattle Beaches

Jay, from the Slackfiles blog on the right, was giving me crap about not posting an entry in a while. It is a fair criticism, after all the flunko's from the previous post left I was pretty drained and work left me a little drained mentally. It's a series of excuses but nothing blog worthy was happening and when I was getting home from work at night I certainly didn't feel like writing a blog... but I'm BACK.

When I first moved to Seattle I got invited to a beach party. I didn't think too much of it but it turned out to be one of the craziest stories of my life. I haven't told anybody about this story because it's a little hard to believe but it's fascinating.

I went to the beach party not really knowing anybody but it was pretty fun, for a while. I started talking with this girl and it was pretty fun with just general conversation and things of that nature. Unbeknown to be me, she had just recently broken up with her boyfriend. Said boyfriend showed up and started be mean to Michelle, (not her real name) and messing around with her radio. Me, being the gentleman that I am, stood up for her and told the ex to leave. It got kind of crazy, he apparently knew karate or something and messed me up a little bit. I got in a few good shots but I was left bleeding on the beach.

It turns out the guy, Brett (also not a real name) worked in the same building as me. He was a pretty big ass. Brett and his buddies would mess with me on my way to work and in the hallways and wouldn't let me talk with Michelle. It wasn't very good but things kind of settled down for a while... then came Halloween last year. There was a big Halloween party and I got this hookup from a maintenance worker at one of our buildings in the international district. The maintenance workers name was Mr. Unagi. Mr. Unagi gave me some PVC pipe, an old backpack, and a shower curtain - it worked great and nobody really knew who I was. I made a pretty bad decision but Brett was in the bathroom and I had an opportunity to mess with him. In hindsight taking a garden hose and spraying him with water was a bad idea. It ended up with me getting beat up outside work and Mr. Unagi helping me fight off Brett and his cronies. It sucked.

The next week I went to Brett's boss to tell him his employee was threatening me and such. Brett's boss was also a HUGE jerk for some reason, it took a little doing but I worked out a truce where Brett and I would be free and clear to walk around our building without fear but at the company Christmas party there was going to be a fight at the all Sound Karate Tournament. I didn't really know anything about Karate but that bought me nearly two months of piece and quiet.

It turns out Mr. Unagi is a karate teacher. He started teaching me Karate but it was using a variety of non-traditional methods. I spent a lot of time doing what seemed like chores around work... waxing, painting, sanding and things of that nature. I don't know how it worked but doing the repetitive motions of those actions gave me a basic karate defense. We progressed quickly and during the course of the fall I went on a few dates with Michelle. I wasn't from the same part of town as her and her parents weren't really fans of my upbringing. It was a little awkward but it progressed nicely during my training.

So on the day of the Karate tournament weekend I went to the event and realized I didn't officially have a belt but Mr. Unagi procured a black belt from somewhere and it was awesome. I fought in the tournament for a little while and it turned out my basic training was excellent. They actually played this song while I was fighting and it was AMAZING. The crowd was behind me and started beating some of Brett's buddies during the course of the event, it was amazing! The final couple of matches however were even more amazing.

It started out with me fighting against one of Brett's best friends, Jeff. Jeff is a solid karate guy and we had a solid, close fight going. It ended up going poorly when Jeff got some questionable directions from his jerky coach. His coach said he should try to get me knees since they were weak from hours of fighting. It was unnecessary because I probably would have lost anyway but Jeff ended up being disqualified and I was questionable because my knee was killing me!

I went in the back room and the event Dr. looked at my knee was like "you could fight but I can't recommend it, I'll tell the event people you're out" and I was so mad. It was crazy but it turns out Mr. Unagi had some natural medicine training (read chiropractic) and he went to work on my knee and leg. After a few minutes worth of work I was ready to got back to the fight. They were just about to award the championship trophy to my arch-nemesis, Brett, when a walked back out to the mat. They announced I was going to fight and the place went crazy!

Once the fight started it was pretty back and forth. I got a few points and Brett got a few points and he hit my weak knee once or twice. I survived but it really hurt kind of bad... people were yelling the craziest stuff too! One guy yelled "put 'em in a body bag Brett!" and that kind of freaked me out. I'm a pretty quiet guy and these jerks were talking about body bags and implying I was gonna die. It came down to the final point and I used my training. During the course of my training Mr. Unagi showed me a move called the flamingo and I used it to kick Brett in the face and win the final point. I was amazing! I won the all Sound Karate tournament!!


So obviously that is a little bit of a stretch. I did play a lot of kickball and ended up getting whacked a few times this season. Today in particular I ended up taking a good shot and now my arm is killing me, I think I hit my ulnar nerve really hard. Look it up.

I went to Bellingham WA one weekend to visit with my distant relation and close friends for the weekend. Happy birthday Melissa. I might be going to visit her at law school in the week or two as well. She goes to law school in Spokane WA.

A good chunk of $$ was spent at REI this weekend as I bought a camping backpack, a nice sleeping bag, and some needed accoutrement's like a sleeping pad. I don't know if I use this stuff this year or not but it was an end of season sale so I got some pretty good deals. I'm going to be a heck of a camper next season to make these purchases worth while.

Next on the list is snowboarding stuff and an HDTV. I like HD! The Twins didn't make the playoffs, the Brewers made it but lost 3-1 to the Phillies, and the Cubs got swept by the Dodgers. I think I want the National league to win know and the Red Sox to lose as soon as possible.

There Jay, I wrote a blog.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Debauchery and Shenanigans

Over Labor day a crew of MU alums and friends visited.

The cast of character is in no particular order... David (buddy from college) & Emily (friend from college and married to David), Jay (roommate from college) & Mary (friend from college and married to Jay), Jill (married to my roommate from college, John), and Brandon and Lisa (my friends in Seattle - Brandon went to college with Emily).

Emily and David used my camera on the trip and took tons of photos. I pulled a lot of photo's out for the blog but in case anybody is interested the slideshow has all the photo's in case anybody wants to see ALL the photos. (they are a little naughty in parts)

Jay also took a bunch of photo's and posted them on his blog. I'm too lazy to take photo's from his blog tonight so check his out as well. They're all different and equally funny, including some ones from Vancouver, B.C. CA. All of his photo's are available if you click this link you can see all of the photos Jay took but didn't use. (It's does require a Walgreens login)

I'm also too tired to properly format the photo blog so just bear with it. Sorry.

The first of many pictures taken with my camera. The Seattle Skyline from Gasworks park.

The girls from left to right: Emily, Jill, and Mary.

The guys from left to right: Jay, David, and me. First photo's on the blog with the new glasses I believe as well.

I don't know why I have two of the guys?

My driving the minivan. Everybody made fun of the van but it ended up being a pretty funny experience.

The troll under the bridge lives on Troll Ave. I was fascinated by the sign apparently.

Walking like an Egyptian to pacify the troll.

Scaling the troll is like climbing Everest - you do it because it's there.

On top of the troll.

The troll has a giant silver eye that is about the size of a hubcap... perhaps off the VW Bug.

On top of the Troll.

This picture was to give an idea of how big the troll really is. It's not small.

No boogers here. David on the other hand might have something going on.


The Ballard Locks.

The giant hydraulic gates that hold the water in the locks.

Jill and David pose on the locks.

"I love running water!"

"I love running water more!"

The salmon are running up the fish ladder to go spawn in their home river. These are damn big fish.

We're in the market. It's Iconic!

Here is the sign that everybody is familiar with.

David and Emily looking happy to be in Seattle.

I call this our "team photo".

Mother (#*^&$# NUTS!!!

Riding the Piggy Bank!

This Pig is slippery!

This is a keeper.

Views from the Ferry.

A cruise ship fronting the Space Needle.

The ladies on the ferry.

Looking at the needle... it's a a weird thing.

Riding the ferry is like being on a big comfy bus.

Emily found a Pug on Bainbridge Island.

I forgot his name.

Puppy love or something. Emily really REALLY wants to get a Pug.

Still more dog photos. He looks really excited for that treat Emily is holding.

It's really windy on the ferry.

It's less windy over here.

The return ride shows the clouds in the distance.

Smooching on the ferry. Awwwww.

The girls found a firehouse. It's a good thing they couldn't figure out how to turn it on.

David is feeding the seagulls. Jay has awesome photo's of this. David and Brandon.

It's OK to feed the gulls. They might have high cholesterol however.

Mary is Jack? Jack In The Box rules.

David is pondering the menu at JITB.

Laughing at David getting Jack. Let's just say returning the minivan was a trial... It was a general frustration at this point.

David settles on a Jack Taco.

Emily was NOT a fan of Jack tacos.

Safeco Field.

Qwest field. Qwest is so loud and game days they warn people their ears might start to bleed. It's deafening and David refuses to believe it.

Me moderately stuck in traffic on the way to Destination X.

The next photo's are from the top of Destination X = aka the Space Needle.

The monorail from the top of the Needle. The monorail is strictly a tourist destination, it is not a mass transit device.

This is a shot of my apartment from the top of the Needle. I really do live close.

We went wine tasting and things got a little crazy. Some are holding bottles of wine (Lisa in the back), Jay is thoughtful, Mary is modeling, I'm trying to smile, and David appears to be sticking out his tongue and Brandon is uncomfortably close to David.

From left to right: Lisa, Brandon, Emily, Me (in back), Mary, David (on Jays shoulder), Jay (loving life).

Brandon and Lisa

David found a big bottle.

We decided to "belly up to the bar"... not something you see at a winery everyday.

Mary really likes her wine.

We were in Woodinville WA. It's dangerously close to downtown Seattle.

Jay couldn't decide what to get so a sampler platter helped us out.

Mary.... being Mary.

The Lisa sandwich was fun at first.

Lisa's reaction says it all. (I wasn't expecting wet ears!)

I went to B&W to get all artistic or something.

Mary, David, and Lisa.

Mary is very confused.

B&W Smooching.

I blame Redhook for the following pictures.

Mary is trying to jump a handrail with Brandon's assistance or something. He's a doctor AND he stayed at a Holiday in Express.

Brandon is the Redhook guy?

No comment required.

David is rocking out!