27 September 2011

Labor Day Week 2011

Whoa, what's that? It's a three day holiday. I started my Monday off with lunch and a walk with Maggie out west. Lunch was Old Chicago and the walk was up the 144th street path.

In the afternoon there was a party for Kimee's sweet 16. The first event was bowling, then we headed over to Shannon and Scott's for the birthday celebration.

Rachel helps Ally, though I'm not sure she cared what she scored.

Teenagers are good at pushing boundaries.
Kamber shows this off with a pudding and hamburger combination.

Good Kimee...

...funny Kimee...

...don't mess with me Kimee.

I took a birthday sized bunch of pictures for Kimee at her party, if you'd like to see them, you can find them here.

Tuesday I went up to the hospital to visit Kevin, he was out of intensive care, and I was pretty happy to see other people were visiting him. I stayed for a little while, then came home and worked on uploading pictures from Kimee's party.

Wednesday was the last of my fantasy football drafts, I think I did pretty well in this one, it wasn't that hard to do considering I had the first pick in the draft. The weird part of the draft is that Peyton Manning went #4 in the draft even though it was pretty well known that he wouldn't be playing for quite a while this season.

The rest of Wednesday and Thursday were pretty boring except for the whole start of the NFL season thing.

Friday after work I went and visited Kevin again right after work, again I was happy to see people there visiting him. I went home and then to the dance, but I didn't do much dancing because of the Midnight Run at, you know midnight. Rachel and I met at the Eagles and then walked over with Jillian to the starting spot. I heard that they were expecting about 500 entrants and got almost 2000.

Rachel and I pre-race! We're running for you Kayleen!

Having a last name high in the alphabet has it's advantages. Rachel and I planned to run together the entire way, and we did ... although, I finished ahead of her by three seconds. It was fun, and I'd do it again. While walking back to our cars, we saw some people just leaving the dance at the Eagle's and sat and talked for half hour.

Saturday morning I got up and went and visited Kevin again. Since I was in the area I went shopping over in Shadow Lake and came home and ... um ... felt like cleaning. It's rare, but when it happens, I clean. Just before 1700 I went up to Saint Joan of Arc parish for Mass and to enjoy their annual parish 'Sausage Fest'. Frank won $250 at pickles, that should keep Brianne hating him for a while. I had nothing to do on Saturday night, so several of us ended up meeting at Mic's for karaoke. Sarah A. has decided to do Mic's karaoke world tour (like the Old Chicago world tour, but with 250 songs) and she got a few in and so did I.

Want to know why I went to Mass on Saturday night? It's easy, da Bears playing at noon. The first three games of the year looked brutal, and I thought I'd be happy winning one of the three ... so that's a good start winning one of one. Right after the game I headed downtown to the Eagle's lodge and the final Cowtown meeting and lodge clean up. I did about 90 minutes of work, and then headed home.

23 September 2011

August / September Bridge Week 2011

The beginning of September and the end of hot weather. I like it warm, don't mind hot, don't mind humid, I'll stay out of the sun, but that has more to do with my skin than the temperature. I celebrated the start of the last week of summer by working. Yay.

Tuesday I finally gave up on my 'lower back' pain and made a doctor's appointment. After all was said and done, I have been diagnosed with a problem with my hip alignment, and I'll be seeing a physical therapist for a while. I call it bad muscle memory, and I'll have to build up new muscles to help get everything aligned correctly.

Later in the day was Ben's birthday celebration. We ate at Upstream, I finally found a beer there I didn't care for, the seasonal Saguaro Southwest Wit. I drank it quickly because I didn't like it, I'm not certain that was the right thing to do, but hey, it got me to a better beer quicker. We had a nice dinner and then traveled up to Mr. Toad's for drinks until around 2230.

Wednesday after work was my first fantasy football draft of the year, my work league. There are six of us in a points only league, so the draft went very quickly. On the way home I picked up dinner in honor of Troy's birthday.

Thursday after work I went right over to Maeg's house right after dinner and we played a game of Mansions of Madness. As much as I like Arkham Horror, you'd think that I would have an strong opinion on MoM, but really I'm kind of meh on it. I was into it for about ten minutes of play time, but it wasn't as interesting as a lot of other games I play. When we finished, with a win, I let myself get talked into a quick game of Race for the Galaxy. Surprise! I lost, but I felt like I was doing well, does that count?

Friday after work I went to Mic's for Bente's birthday celebration. Guess what! They have food there and karaoke starting at 1800. I sang three times before 2000, and was quite happy about it. I did Diamond Rio's "One More Day" (because it started out country), Tom Petty's "Free Falling", Staind's "It's Been a While", and then after 2000 I managed to get one more song in, Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea".

Bente's birthday 09-02-11 31 of 35 - VK
Bente gets the best back up singers when she does
Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Photo credit: VK

VK, Joe, and I left there and went over to Village Inn and VK sat on one side and Joe and I on the other and we entertained her for about 45 minutes with our chatter. I'm not really sure what we talked about, because it was late, but it was highly entertaining.

Saturday morning I slept in until noon. After I finally pulled my carcass out of bed, I went over to Rachel and Jason's housewarming party. I hadn't seen Hugh and Sarah since the wedding, but they were there with the their baby. The house was very nice in a quiet neighborhood with a strange kind of vibe. The funniest part was when I was sitting there and in walked tall Frank, we both looked at each other as if to say 'why are you here. I was there because of my friendship with Rachel, but he was there because he has known Jason for years. I came home and decided that I needed to get some lawn work done. After mowing and cleaning up, I went up to the hospital to visit Kevin. I don't think he remembered much of the visit, but he did remember it.

Sunday morning I woke up earlier than I expected that I would, so I went for a walk. I got back in time for fantasy football draft number two, this one for Kaleb's league, a ten player head to head league. I felt I did pretty well picking second, and history is on my side in that league with a first and a third place finish in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

After the draft and a nap, I went to Mass up at St. Vincent de Paul and Bente and VK met me there. The reason that I decided to go to Mass there is because Jenny was having an end of summer party at her house. I was a little late because Mass was at 1700 and the party began at 1730, but I was just in time for the food to be ready to eat. Hugh and Sarah were there, so if you're keeping score, I hadn't seen them in ten months, and then twice in one two days. After a good meal, the adventure began.

Matt and I played a game of two handed frisbee, despite the appearance
of this picture, we actually did catch them both at the same time. Photo credit: Matt

The neighbor cat came to visit, leading to this very strange picture.

We played a game of Telestrations, which became
oddly specific with some strange drawings. Photo credit: Matt

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There were the usual shenanigans, of course, I wasn't involved at all. Both photos credit: Matt

I haven't been in much of a picture taking mood lately, but fortunately, Matt has, you can see all his photos of Jenny's party here ... and that was the end of two thirds of my holiday weekend.

09 September 2011

~ Hiatus ~

It's now the new improved hiatus message. This one has NFL predictions. I think there will be a short break in my posting due to busyness, look for the return of the Onion Skin News in October (or before).

Here are my annual NFL predictions (although I can't find the one from last year):
North: Baltimore
South: Tennessee (this is probably weird, but no one looks good)
East: New England
West: Oakland
Wild Card: Pittsburgh
Wild Card: Jets

Champion: New England

North: Green Bay
South: New Orleans
East: NY Giants
West: St. Louis
Wild Card: Chicago
Wild Card: Dallas

Champion: New Orleans

Superbowl Champion: New Orleans

Fourth Week in August 2011

Another slow starting week with a big finish. Monday was my 'Wernerversary', nine years at Werner, and still enjoying working here. There was no big celebration ... but my PTO was full again. After work I went to the grocery store and then came home and cleaned up.

Tuesday morning I woke up with a migraine around 0715 or so, I took my medicine and stayed home in the morning. I woke back up around 1045 and felt fine. I ran some errands and went into work. After work I went over to VK's and traded cutting her lawn for dinner. Nearly the entire time I was cutting the lawn, thunder was rolling, but nothing was getting closer than two miles nor was any rain falling. When I got to the last stripe though, there was a loud boom behind me, and as I put the mower in to the garage a downpour began. Talk about your good timing!

Wednesday after work I ran, my goal was to run 2.6k (13 laps around the track). It went by fairly quickly, so I just kept going ... and going ... and going, and I made it all the way to 5k (25 laps)!!! The last 300 meters was pretty difficult, but I did it. I ran too fast, I hope to slow it down a bit as I run more. I thought when I started running that if I had pain, it would be in the following order; back, knees, lungs, feet, hamstrings, ankles, booty, or quads ... what I am getting is pain in my calves. I wouldn't think that would give me problems, but by the time I got home I could hardly move them. The best part of this story is that I now feel that I am prepared for the Midnight Run on September 9.

On Thursday I enjoyed a nice quiet day at home.

I needed to get home immediately after work on Friday to help Troy, which means of course that I got a call right at 1800 and had to work late. Fortunately, I was still able to help Troy move the speakers from our home to the Eagles Lodge. Once the hard work was done, Troy and I went over to the nearby Smoke Pit and ate. During dinner I got a couple of 'where are you texts', so I finished up and headed over to the Eagles lodge. I arrived early enough to participate in the lesson, meet some newbies, dance the night away, and then stayed late enough to clean up. Then for a semi-traditional trip to the Donut Stop, I like that place much better since smoking is no longer allowed. There were several people playing Scrabble and The Game of Things. I sat at the table where they were playing The Game of Things, and it was quite entertaining.
Q: Things you should never say to a teacher.
A: ...but you gave that paper an A last semester.
Nice ... and hilarious. Not all of it was family friendly, but if you're bringing your kids to the Donut Stop at 0130, probably you aren't concerned about that sort of thing.

The plan for Saturday was to go with Troy to Worlds of Fun. When that fell through, it meant that I could go to Matt's birthday celebration events. First up, meeting Matt at Stella's Diner in Bellevue to see him try to eat The Stellanator.

Here he is at the beginning, The Stellanator is six 6.5 oz burger patties, six fried eggs, twelve pieces of bacon, six pieces of cheese, grilled onions,
lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeƱos, and peanut butter all on a bun served with
a basket of fries, and you have 45 minutes to eat it all.

Now Matt is no eating slouch, he's won the Cowtown Jamborama Corn Eating contest more than once and I thought if anyone I knew could do it, it would be him. I gave him about a 40% chance of doing it. Unfortunately, it was fairly obvious about fifteen minutes in that he wasn't going to make it, he already looked uncomfortable and was slowing down. He finally waved the white flag as time ran out. He immediately said that there would be no rematch, but I don't think he gives up so easily.

Later we reconvened (I've used that word two weeks in a row) at his house for drinks and ice cream ... in no particular order.

IMG_0462 IMG_0463
Happy birthday Matt!

My pictures from the events of the day can be found here, Matt has quite a bit more, including the Friday dance here. I left Matt and Viv's after one round of Telestrations (which is a fun game to play with Dan and Matt, they are both such wonderful artists) and headed over to Kaleb's game night, where ....

...I played a game of Telestrations ... hmmm. I also played a game or several of Crokinole. We quickly ended up in the basement playing many very competitive games of 'Round the World Ping Pong' (where I got bruises and cuts) and Rock Band until 0330. The most challenging part of 'Round the World Ping Pong' comes from who you are lined up against, you have to pay attention because if I get lined up against CJ, I can hit the ball to him with any amount of spin or trickeration, then run around the table and next time I hit the ball I get Maggie and I'd better not hit a mean shot to her. It keeps you on your toes ... and the floor.

Sunday morning I got up and went to church with Teri at St. Columbkille at noon. Father Kevin was the priest, and I saw several people I knew there, including the second week in a row I ran into someone I used to work with at Cox cable. Later in the afternoon I went up to Benson to a meeting of Cowtown Jamborama volunteers. It was the usual meeting stuff, except that Christy and Ryan brought Mirabel and she drew a picture of me.

I think the resemblance is amazing!

After the meeting, I drove over to VK's, delivered some kitchenwear that got left at our house during the annual party the week before, visited for a while, and then came home and walked a little bit before heading off to bed.

07 September 2011

Third Week in August 2011

On occasion our company warehouse gets entire shipments of items, which they resell it at reduced rates to our employees, on Monday, the item was flowers. For my lunch hour, I drove to the warehouse and bought 24 dozen roses at a greatly reduced price. I sold off a few dozen to coworkers, gave a half dozen to the boss, and removed about 15% that weren't very healthy or good looking. I split what was left of them with VK still ended up with my desk covered with roses and three dozen at home too. At least my office smelled good for once. I took the half that VK bought over to her house and we had dinner.

Monday was also the end of my exercise streak. I had gone over 40 days in a row (since June 25th) being active each day, but I finally took a day off on Monday.

Tuesday morning at work I went to get my CPR / AED recertification. I can tell you that they have really simplified how to give CPR over the years. I commend the people who put together CPR training because they have obviously looked at what works and what doesn't, and what people will do and what they won't, and designed it around what helps people live. I truly believe in making things as simple as they can be effectively designed. After work on Tuesday I blogged and did lawn work.

Wednesday after work I ran. I can hardly believe that I actually stayed at work to exercise. I never have imagined myself to be that kind of person. I ran 17 laps (3.4k) in 22:19, I was quite happy with the way this session went.

Thursday after work I went to dinner with (tall) Frank at Swine Dining in Old Towne Bellevue. I really like that place. I thought I was pretty hungry when we got there ... and I must have been right, I plowed right through that food like it was nothing. The chicken was really good, and if you haven't heard, I think the sides are amazing. The real story of the day was the rain storm. Part one had hit before I left work, but it had come from the northwest through downtown Omaha, sliding to the east of Bellevue. A couple of friends of mine on the Iowa had considerable property damage from the first part of the storm. Part two came through while Frank and I were eating. The building did lose power as we were finishing our meal. The rainfall was pretty incredible, and driving down Mission Avenue was a lot closer to jet-skiing than driving.

Friday after work I went to the regular dance. I learned that Cecily likes for people to be excited to see her. I had a very nice time with all sorts of pleasant surprises while I was there, the kind you treasure in your heart, not on your blog. I ended up leaving around 2300 because I knew that Saturday would be such a busy day.

Saturday morning I got up early and went to the annual ALS walk. This year it was at Werner Field, so unlike past years, parking was not an issue. We walked around the ballpark, and then outside the ballpark around the 'neighborhood'. My employer, Werner, sponsors us to walk, and I go with the the same people every year> Ellie from the cafe, and her kids, who I see once a year. The first time I walked with that group I accidentally flipped up a water bottle and hit Ellie's daughter in the head ... and once again, a legend was born. Now her kids can't wait to see what I'll do this year ... sigh.

I came home, cut the lawn, helped clean up in the basement, and got ready for the annual Nothnagel party. The bad news (for readers) is that I didn't take any pictures. The good news is that I was too busy helping to set up the place and then playing football, frisbee, and water balloons with the kids. This year the party featured a band, The Blacktop Ramblers. Fortunately, other people took pictures.

Mobile Uploads 6 of 42 - Troy
Not quite Jake and Elwood, but pretty darn awesome. Photo credit: Troy

Matt and Vivian arrived after they got done with the Iowa State Fair, and Jenny came after the Keith Urban concert (She did not bring Mr. Urban with her). Photo credit: Matt

This is how I felt about 0130. Photo credit: Matt.

Indeed by the time 0100 rolled around, I was very worn out. I made it until 0145 and then I went to bed. It didn't quite break up the party, but many people left. I remember when that party went until 0515, only 0300 this year, people are getting old.

Sunday morning I got up and went to church with Frank and Joe before heading over to the annual Saint Stanislaus Polish Festival. We met and parked at the K-Mart parking lot at 50th and L, then rode Ollie the Trolley over to the church. On the trolley I saw a coworker from when I worked at Cox Cable. She said the department had changed a lot. Her daughter, whom I haven't seen since she was 7 was with her and all grown up. There were quite a few of us, and we cut into line where Brianne was holding us a place. I say that line jumping, although ethically questionable, was a success, the only drawback was that they were out of potato pirogues as we got to the front of the line.

Only about 45 more minutes in line.

Person, Place, or Thing 2010/2011 128 of 129 - Julia
Julia and Maggie discover the joy of pickles tickets! Photo credit: Julia

I am of the opinion that they should move the Polish fest to someplace that people can walk around at. It was just too crowded there. For those of you who wonder, I did not win anything in the raffles or pickles, but I wasn't feeling it either. We ended up hanging out until almost 1600 under the tent. People came and went, and I didn't really notice how many total were there, but I appreciate all my friends who showed. We took Ollie the Trolley back to the parking lot.

Several of us who were at the Polish fest reconvened at Ruth's house for the annual JIVE appreciation dinner. JIVE is the volunteer organization for Omaha Jitterbugs. It's very nice of the board to treat us to a nice cookout. Maggie and I arrived at the same time and I walked in to find Honey laying on the floor.

Honey isn't too sure about this whole peek-a-boo thing.

Ruth and Ken have lots of pretty flowers.

There was certainly a lot of good food. Photo credit: Matt

Honey was very sure she liked this.

The weather was perfect, the food was great, and so was the company. I took some pictures which can be found here, and Matt took pictures that can be found here.

My car developed a problem in the middle of the day with the clutch pedal. I figured out pretty quickly that it was just the pedal, but it did cause a few moments of consternation. I was able to figure out a semi-permanent solution, which involves me not driving like a clutch popping moron. A permanent solution will be to replace or jury rig a bracket to keep the clutch pedal from popping out of place. The semi-permanent solution will probably also be good for the long term health of the transmission.