Girls State Basketball Picks

This week starts a two week run at The Well that will crown 8 High School Basketball Champions.  This week is the girls, next week the boys.  Below are the brackets and my picks for the championship games.

1A - Lynville Sully over Martensdale St Mary's
2A - Roland Story over Montecillo
3A - Ballard over Mt. Vernon
4A - Des Moines East over Ankeny

Best and Worst of the Weekend - And the Oscar goes too

Best – Best of the weekend, hmm….other than relaxing at home and not having to go to the hospital and just sitting and playing games with the kids and being able to take a nap, that was my best.  Enjoyed the fact that my daughter got to go hang out with her cousin and aunt going to the Justin Bieber movie.  A big best that I didn’t have to go.  Ryleigh is doing great just need to get her to sleep during the night and get comfortable.

Worst – Worst is probably the fact that I think Brayden is getting sick again, another sinus infection.  I think we are going to have to go to an ENT and think of him getting tubes.  Sucks when the little guy gets sick.  Another worst was the weather.  Snow, again?  really?  I don’t mind the cold, and the frozen ground, but when it snows/melts/freezes/melts it gets muddy outside.  I don’t like that.  Dog brings in dirt than.  Final worst is I didn’t get out to 34’s in Ankeny to see the band Nice Bangs with some friends.  Would have liked to have got out but wasn’t able to with the new born and the wife on the c-section.

Oscar Thoughts –
  • I want to know what James Franco was looking at all night, he seemed to be looking up to the right every time he was on TV as host, except when he was in a dress. 
  • Toy Story 3 I thought was the BEST movie last year, I’m glad it got the best animated movie, but why wasn’t Mega Mind or Despicable Me not nominated either?
  • I gotta see the Fighter and 127 hours!
  • Social Network got screwed!   Why are we giving British crap Oscars?  This is the fricken USA! 

I said this on my facebook profile and will say it here again too.  THANK YOU MOM for everything you helped with this past week.  With the older kids in the morning and the night, with the laundry…it seemed the clothes that were worn one day were cleaned and folded by the next morning…with the suppers and with Ryleigh and everything I haven’t mentioned.  Truly thank you mom! 

To end today, Happy Birthday Dad!  Thank you also for everything you do that I don’t say thank you enough for.  And Happy 82nd Hayden Fry!  Best days of my childhood were Saturdays in the fall going to Iowa games with my dad.  We’d leave about 730 for an 11 am start, hit up the Amana’s for breakfast, park down by the softball field and walk up to Kinnick and get in to watch the warm-ups and the band play.  After the game we’d drive home and listen to Zable and Soundoff, and check off our picks for the weekend to see how we did.  When we got home we’d grill up some steaks with mom, and watch the late game on ESPN in the basement.  Loved those days!  Hope to relive them with my son too!


Oscars Predictions

The Oscars are coming up and thought I’d throw out my predictions on 6 biggies, because well the others don’t matter really.  And why is there a best picture and best director?  Shouldn’t those 2 be intertwined?  So I’ll be making picks on Picture, Actor, Actress, Sup Actor, Sup Actress and Animated movie.  Of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture I’ve only seen 3(Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3), want to see 3 others (127 Hours, True Grit, The Fighter), the other four I guarantee I won’t watch.  I did see the Golden Globes though so I kind of have an idea of what movies are rolling in the awards.

Below my predictions are all the nominees.
Best Picture –  Kings Speech wins, though I think The Social Network/Fighter/True Grit could upset…and how did Jerry Maguire ever get nominated for an Oscar?
Best Actor – Jeff Bridges – going for the upset, back to back, and he was screwed by the Golden Globes
Best Actress – Annett Bening, don’t know why, she won the Globe
Best Sup Actor – Christian Bale, won the Globe, Batman gets the Oscar!
Best Sup Actress – Amy Adams, her co-star won the Golden Globe, she gets the Oscar.
Best Animated – Toy Story 3, slam dunk though I did like How to Train Your Dragon

Best Picture
127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Christian Colson
Black Swan – Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, and Brian Oliver
The Fighter – David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and Mark Wahlberg
Inception – Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas
The Kids Are All Right – Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, and Celine Rattray
The King's Speech – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin
The Social Network – Dana Brunetti, Ce├ín Chaffin, Michael De Luca, and Scott Rudin
Toy Story 3 – Darla K. Anderson
True Grit – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Winter's Bone – Alix Madigan and Anne Rosellini
Best Actor
Javier Bardem – Biutiful as Uxbal
Jeff Bridges – True Grit as Rooster Cogburn
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network as Mark Zuckerberg
Colin Firth – The King's Speech as Prince Albert/King George VI
James Franco – 127 Hours as Aron Ralston
Best Actress
Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right as Nic
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole as Becca Corbett
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone as Ree Dolly
Natalie Portman – Black Swan as Nina Sayers
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine as Cindy
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter as Dicky Eklund
John Hawkes – Winter's Bone as Teardrop
Jeremy Renner – The Town as James "Gem" Coughlin
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right as Paul
Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech as Lionel Logue
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – The Fighter as Charlene Fleming
Helena Bonham Carter – The King's Speech as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon/Queen Elizabeth
Melissa Leo – The Fighter as Alice Ward
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit as Mattie Ross
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom as Janine "Smurf" Cody
Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich


Best and Worst of the Weekend - Ryleigh

A little late, but its worth it.

BEST - Well if you haven't heard by now, my 3rd child, second daughter, Ryleigh, was born on Friday morning.  She was born at 1054 and 19 3/4 and 8pds 1 oz.  Full head of hair, a beautiful little girl.  She's been great the few days she's been around.  Really hasn't cried at all.  She has lost a little weight but that is to be expected, is eating great.  Has a little jondis but nothing to be to concerned about.  The nurses were great and very helpful all weekend long.  My mom has been great all weekend staying with my other two kids and taking care of them.  My mother in law came down and so did my sister-in-law and grandma-in-law.  My dad even came down, he didn't make the trip to the hospital the last 2 births but came down for this one.  He's scared to death of babies but I really appreciated him coming down.  It was great spending an hour or so with him.  Addy and Brayden have been great too.  Brayden has been a bit of a little of a 3 yr old but that's what he is.  I will blog a little bit more about her and the whole experience later when I have more time.  But that is my best.

Worst - Me, my throat has continued to bug me which is I'm sure a sinus infection or something related.  The house, well at least Brayden and I just can't seem to shake it.  Sucks.  So I couldn't be involved as much as I wanted to be at the hospital and holding and cuddling Ryleigh as I wanted too.  Also a worst, my wife had some issues with her spinal and got a spinal head ache.  She really had it rough this time.  With Brayden we left a day early, she was up and ready to go.  This time, really was out of commission and didn't want visitors or anything.  Today though they took blood from her arm and shot it back into her spine and the headache was gone.


My Daytona 500 pick is.....


He’s due at Daytona in the big race.  I can see Dale Jr or Gordon winning too, and I think it will come down to 2 of the 3, but I’m feeling that this is Tony’s year.


Cliff Notes for Life

So I don’t agree with ESPN’s Radio Colin Cowherd much anymore (in fact I rarely listen to him) but I did hear something today via podcast that I agree with him on.  We are living in a cliff notes society.  Especially for those of us who are working 40+ hours a week, come home to kids and their activities and then try to have an actual relationship with your spouse.   People don’t have as much time to themselves anymore.  Do we want more, YES!  But what does a person cut out? 
My life I’ve seen has changed with this ever since my first daughter was born in 2005.  Prior to then I had been to about 95 Iowa football games.  That was my thing.  I knew  what my wife says is useless information (~disclaimer the useless junk I know wont be going away I dont think, but the addition of useless junk will be much less~).  Not only on sports, but on movies, quotes and other stuff.  Why did we memorize all the Super Bowl winners and MVPs, or quotes from all these shows and movies.  Was there a need to do that?  Now, NO.  With smart phones and the internet we have all of the information accessible to us WHENEVER WE WANT.  Wikipedia, IMDB, ESPN.  All places you can go and get whatever info you want.  So why memorize it?  This is scary because most of what Cowherd talked about I agree with.  Who has time to sit down and watch all the games.  Who has time to see EVERY play.  Who has time to watch movies over and make sure they get the lines down and memorize them to drop them to your buddies? 
Ever since kids, I’ve been to 7 Iowa games in the past 5 years.  Would I love to go to more, yes, easy answer.  But where’s the time?  Also Colin goes into talking to his wife getting home, asking “How was your day?”, (Now maybe this is a male thing too along with our society)  there is no need to “well I had to readjust my chair at my desk” or “the computer shut down and I had to restart it.”  It’s not disrespect, its I don’t have time to take it ALL in with everything else going on.  There are things I want details on such as vehicles when needed but really just give me the cliff notes version. 
When it comes to sports, I want to watch as much as I can, but I know with my kids and life I can’t commit to all that.  I watch as much as I can, which is still enough, and get the rest on Sports Center. But sitting down to 11 hours of football every Saturday and Sunday just isn’t going to happen.  Watching every March Madness game either. 
It’s not just sports, its tv.  I don’t watch shows every night.  I have a 3-5 that I watch religiously or even DVR and then watch them later.  But I can’t commit to 3 shows Mon, 2 Tues, 5 Wed, 4 Thurs.  That’s too much.  Movies, I have a lot I want to see and usually over a year after they are released I can get to see it.  I can’t schedule them in to my life, it’s a go by go thing. 
So I agree with Colin, give me the cliff notes version on most things.


Little Debbie is a Bitch!

So it’s February 15th (Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad) and its almost 50 degrees out.  Last year this time is about when I started my diet and working out.  My goal, to get to 180-190 pds.  I hit it.  I was in great shape for me.  I was running and lifting and playing softball.  Felt great.  Getting up at 445 to get to the Y to work out 3-4 days a week.  My diet was no pop, lots of water.  Lemonade or a beer at home.  I had a set breakfast and snack.  Lots of fruit and lunch was salad and cottage cheese every day.  NO FAST FOOD.  At night I didn’t eat any junk and didn’t eat after 7pm.  I had a goal of running the 5k at Dam to Dam and to look good at my cousins wedding.  I didn’t really want to look like a penguin.  An actual penguin.  The transformation was great.  I felt better, thought I looked better.  My temperament and stress levels and handling were better. 

Working out I felt less stress on myself.  I got less headaches, and I didn’t get as sick.  I could wake up and not feel 100%, go work out and then come home and shower and I felt like a whole new person.  Then fall and football and holidays hit.  Damn you Little Debbie Christmas trees!  And then add in my mom and wife’s baking and cooking, and not getting to the Y and my bum knee.  And then come now I put on 10-15 pds of the 40 I lost. 

So today with 3 days till my new daughter is born, I’m recommitting again.  I have a 15 year class reunion the day of dam to dam this year, so no go on that.  But I want to play softball again, or some.  I have the healthy active life style I still want to show my children.  This year my son can be in Bam Bam, my daughter is going to be doing things such as dance and she wants to do soccer again.  I want to keep them busy and active (and wear them out :P).

So here we go, I’m going to get the diet going again.  I’m going to get to the Y again 3 to 4 days a week.  I’m going to get back to where I was.  I don’t think it will be easy, it was hard last time, it will be hard again this time too.  But I want to do it.  I don’t have as much to lose to get to my goal this time, but then again, I can always go further.  I still haven’t had a pop since Jan 22, 2010.  As much as I want to blame little debbie, it’s really all on the man in the mirror. 

So body, here I come.  I’m going Ivan Draggo on you!  Without the roids.  (I would say Rocky but he trained in a meat locker and ran up a Russian mountain)


Best and Worst of the Weekend

Addy watching Hannah Montana
 BEST – It’s only a few days now till Ryleigh arrives. Best for a couple reasons. She’ll be here, and the wife won’t be so dang uncomfortable anymore! Addyson and I went and made a build-a-bear teddy bear for her. Her room is ready. Shawnna nested or something and cleaned the whole house. Maybe not nesting but maybe it was just wanting to clean? :) I can hope huh. Brayden has been doing great with potty training and I think we are going to go to just night time pull-ups for a little bit, then it’s all undies and boxers. Also finally the weather is gorgeous! No More Snow! Also got to sit through another viewing of Hannah Montana the Movie, not my pick, my daughters. She loved it again.

WORST – The weather! It’s melting all the snow and making mush of the yard, and also revealing where Hayden went poo and where I get to clean up coming up. Woo hoo! I need a good freeze to freeze it all so it’s not as bad picking it up. The one bad thing I hate about the melting snow. Also Brayden has his allergies acting up and he just looks and feels miserable. Wish I could take it away from him.



BEST – Going to start with the hour or so that the kids and I were out playing in the snow.  It was fun to get out there with them and see them do snow angels and throw the snow around and dig snow volcanoes as Addy put it.  The Hawks won at Indiana!  First time the Hawks have had back to back Big Ten wins since 2007!  Hawks were down 58-48, then went on a 16-5 run to end the game.  Big win for Fran and the boys.

 The Super Bowl, it was a good game which I’m thankful for.  Remember when the game was all blowouts and over at halftime?  The past 4-5 years we’ve had classics!  Please NFL see what is going on and don’t lock out!  Favorite commercials – Faith Hill’s flower commercial, the Darth Vader VW Kid, and the NFL fans with all the TV shows.

WORST – Going back to playing in the snow, I was playing with Brady and then I look over my shoulder and see Addy sitting there pouting.  I go to ask her what’s wrong and she said “you like Brady more than me”  Really a kid says that and how am I not supposed to feel bad?  Really?  I was just playing with her and now went to play with Brady and she dropped that on me.  OUCH.

Super Bowl Thoughts

The best team on Sunday won.  With 3 turnovers, that's a huge hole to dig out of and try to win.  That being said before the 3rd, I thought Pittsburgh was going to go down and score before Mendanhall fumbled.  Heck when the Steelers and Big Ben got the ball back down 6 I had visions of Super Bowl 43 and thought that they would March down the field and get title #7.  Then the yellow hanky came out on the kick return.  The Steelers had plenty of penalties that killed drives Sunday and that penalty on the return was probably the biggest.  Good chance I think you can see both teams making deep runs again next year.  Congrats to the Packers, hard to hate them being a Bears fan, respect them.   I'm calling it right now, the Thursday night opener in 2011 on NBC will be Chicago at Green Bay.   I miss football already.  


Super Bowl Prediction

Who will add to their banner?

Well I was hoping for a different match up in Dallas, really wanted my Bears there, and it would have been fun to have them vs my brothers Steelers, but the Packers won, I picked them there in the preseason to get beat by the Colts.  My brother picked the Steelers over the Packers back in September, and while I didn't agree with him then, I'm going to agree with him now.

It's nothing against Green Bay.  I thought that Clay Matthews was the best defender in the NFL this year and Aaron Rodgers, despite what Colin Cowherd thinks, is a top 3-5 QB in the NFL.  It's just that I think Pittsburgh Defense plays big enough in big games and Big Ben will make the plays to help the Steelers to their 7th Super Bowl Championship.  They are the gold standard in the NFL when it comes to how an organization should be run.

My pick: Pittsburgh 27 - Green Bay 24


Red, Secretariat and some more....

The last 2 movies I've seen from Redbox have been really good ones, and both star John Malkovich.  First one I saw was the action comedy RED and then next Secretariat.  First with RED, I kind of knew what I was getting, an action comedy with Bruce Willis.  Willis with a gun, it had to be decent right?  And it was.  But John Malkovich's crazy character stole the show for me.  Helen Mirren, ehh, could have done with out her, her with a gun didn't just seem right.  Maybe Betty White?  Even so it was a good fun movie to watch, and Malkovich's character alone is worth the watch.

Tonight was Secretariat, movie of the greatest race horse in the history of horse racing. Like with SeaBiscuit, it gave a story on the owners and trainer along with the horse.  And it was pretty good, even if it was "Hollywood"  What they don't mention in the movie is that Lucien, Ronnie and the stable had the 1972 Kentucky Derby and 1972 Belmont winner Riva Ridge in their barn.  But what fun would that be and where would the drama be?  Still it was a great movie.  Again John Malkovich was great.  Really liked the Eddie character and Diane Lane was great too.

Some other movie notes
-I posted on the casting of Anne Hathway and Tom Hardy in the final Nolan Batman film, Dark Knight Rises, and mentioned I'd like to see a 4th with Joseph Gorden-Levitt as the Riddler....well I may get my wish!

-Some Captian America talk here

-Hugh Jackman to be a stockier Wolverine in 'The Wolverine'