Coed Softball - Night 1

Had our first and second games last night in the Indianola Coed Softball league.  Little handy tip, if you have softball game, make sure you know where your glove is before the game.  I ran to Wal-Mart to get  a special on a glove. 

The first game I was late for and didn’t get in.  My daughter had swim lessons and we have about 4 more guys this year so we didn’t do too much swapping.  We lost the first game by 1 run, a phantom run that ump said was there.  The next game we had vs. last year’s league runner-up.

We were the visitors and I lead off.  Got a single.  Next batter got out, but the guy after the girl moved me to 2nd.  Next up was Emmalee and she hit it to 3rd, the 3rd basemen didn’t go after me, I hit third and rounded home.  1-0 good guys.  Well that was it….we lost 16-1.  My next at bat I looped it in between 2nd and RCF, 2 girls, and thought I had it dropped in there, but then the RF(a guy) came swooping in and got it. 

Defensively I played SS and LF.  At SS I had 3 pop ups and got them all.  Had a few that I ran over in to RF, maybe a little faster I get them.  In Left Field, a girl came up.  She corked one pretty good, I made the mistake of taking the first step forward, and looked up and it was over my head.  I then got running back and eyed the ball into my glove with a diving catch.  Had a few others I could have dove for but was just a hair away.  Those upset me more than the joy of the diving catch.

After a beer and brat headed home.  Love the originals from last year, we got some newbies I’m sure that will blend in well too.

2011 Batting Stats.


Game 2


Best and Worst of the Weekend

Best – Well most of the whole weekend.  Saturday the older kids and I did a tour of the city with our “Pirate Gold” and went and did a lot. 

We hit the Zoo, the Sculpture Garden, the Capital, the Botanical Center and then the new Ped Bridge by Wells Fargo arena.  We got some coins at the zoo and I called it our Pirate Gold to play a game with them and too keep Brayden interested and focused when he got a little crazy.  But we had a great time.

So we started out at the zoo, and wow are they changing some things up there.  The little walking area they had with the peacocks is all getting redone to an Australian Outback deal, and then the sea lions aquarium is a big mud pit, and it should look really good when it’s all done.  Will it be Omaha?  No…but it should be nice.  The kids and I went and hit up all the animals.  The kids favorite was the monkeys…I liked the otters but boy they stunk. Cool to see the giraffes out.

Then we started to trek downtown.  We drove around the sculpture park and Addyson noticed the new sculpture, so we got out and looked for some places to hide  our pirate gold.  The new sculpture looked pretty cool, and I still think the Letter Sculpture is pretty cool.  The kids just ran and that was cool too.

Next up we wanted to go get some cannons for our Pirate Gold, so we stopped up at the Capital.  It’s pretty cool what they’ve done all around up there.  It’s really person friendly to walk up too.  We stopped by the statue of Lincoln and Tad, and I asked Addy, who is that, her response “Is it God and Jesus?”  Kind of appropriate response for the weekend.  After that it was up to the cannons, or shooters and Brayden called them.  He loved them.  Addy wasn’t as impressed but we walked around and saw most of them.  There are still some monuments there we can go see.

Then we headed off to the botanical center.  They have a scavenger hunt for kids that you can do when you are there, and I told the kids when we completed it, it would lead us to the perfect spot to hide our pirate gold.  Addy and Bray looked all over and completed the tasks and enjoyed the trip this time more than the last time we were there. 

Finally we parked by the Chinese Culture Center and the ped bridge over the river.  I told the kids it was a Chinese Pirate ship and they wanted to go explore it.  We got there and I told the kids there were Pirate ghosts there that we had to keep away from our gold.  We got our trip there cut short due to potty breaks and ended up going home after our Pirate Car got blown up.  So it was a fun Saturday with the kids so we might have to recreate this some weekend.

Easter then was great!  The morning we did the egg hunt and kids mowed down too much candy.  Shawnna made a great lunch.  Ham, mashed potatoes with ham gravy, green bean casserole, cherry pie too.  Mom brought wedding potatoes, Sue brought cake and a relish tray.  The meal was great.  Then we had the kids do the Just Dance for kids on the Wii and they showed off their moves.  Then the real fun happened.  Wii Bowling!  Dad got into it.  He and Brendan were trash talking.  Brendan was rolling and then when dad got the hang of it, he was whipping up on people.  Dad had the belt, and then Shawnna beat him by a few pins.  Then Brendan wanted one more shot, Shawnna beat him by 90 pins.

Ended the weekend with Celebrity Apprentice.

WORST – So on Thursday I apparently misplaced or lost Shawnna’s wedding ring and tore apart the bed room and can’t find it, and it sucks.  One she wants it so she can wear it again since she couldn’t when she was pregnant, and it was the ring she wore when we got married so she feels bad that she doesn’t have it.  I’m going to tear the kids rooms apart tonight to try to find it.  Also LAUNDRY sucks.


Best and Worst of the Weekend, a fresh coat.

BEST – Well most of the weekend was really good.  Friday afternoon we had a team bowling event, got 2 drink tickets and I was able to get another ticket and a beer purchased for me.  Afterwards I went to a bar with some co-workers and had some beverages.  Later that night my mom was in town and watched the kids so Shawnna and I went out to Dos Rios.  Had some more cervasas there, along with steak asada tacos and homemade guacamole.  Great time. 

Saturday was spent painting and redoing the stairs.  The stairway downstairs we repainted yellow and white to clean it up. The stairs got a fresh coat too, and then we took up the old blue runner and stair rods and put down a nice new runner and rods.  I added a piece of black trim at the bottom.  Upstairs we repainted the living room and dining room and ceiling.  We have two walls that are now a redish/rust color and then the others are a grey color.  That was most of Saturday and Sunday.  My mom stayed with us all weekend to help, and I’m grateful for that.  We had Scornavaccas pizza Saturday night.  Bray and I went to pick it up and sat at the bar and had a drink.  He had a Shirley Temple and me a Miller Light.  He told me that he wanted to do that more, just me and him going out.  Hopefully soon we will too.  Sunday the kids had play dates at Monkey Joes and came back wiped out but on a second wind.  I need their energy.  Sunday night ended with me helping out my buddy Jason move a couple fridges and then cleaning up paint drops and sitting with Ryleigh and watching The Donald and the Celebrity Apprentice.

WORST – Worst I’m going to go with me.  Lack of sleep got me really frustrated Saturday afternoon with the kids.  And the weather and the painting and stairs kept us inside.  I know I’ve mentioned it before and how in the world did my parents deal with me?  My son is just like me, I must have drove them nuts!  This maybe isn’t a worst but the lawn is growing a bit, but I REFUSE to mow when its colder than 55 degrees.  Sorry, not gonna do it.

Another worst or something I’m upset about.  Do you ever feel that you lose out on relationships with people for no reason?  They just drift away.  I feel this way in a couple of close ones I have right now.  First is like a feeling of being replaced.  And why?  Because I’m not supportive of that life style, should I say “hey, you need to grow up” or something like that?  I think that there will be regret later in life with some decisions but it’s not my life.  Second is like a mystery to me.  People I think get to busy and try to please EVERYONE and forget about friends.  Like I said I don’t know if that is a worst but something that is really bothering me right now.

Sports nuggets…I only watched about 2 hours or so of tv this weekend, but saw some highlights.

Ouch, the 2 Memphis Redbirds who collided at Principal Park hurt me watching it, their heads rattled off each other.  Said on the news last night that one of them had facial fractures and had to have surgery.

Cubs, haven’t watched them yet this year, it just doesn’t feel like baseball yet.

Harrison Barnes is coming back to UNC, thank you!  College Basketball needs more of this, and I hope the UNC big 3 come back next year too.  I tweeted this earlier after the UConn Huskies won the championship, but I’m picking UNC to win the NCAA Championship.  The Final Four is in New Orleans, and NOLA and UNC Basketball have a magic feeling together.

NASCAR had a heck of a finish.  About 5 cars all clumped up together at the finish line.  It was like the ending of the first race in Cars with King, Chick and Lightning all tying.  Jimmie Johnson won by a hair with the help of Dale Jr.

Big XII got a new tv deal that will help get all their conference football games on tv, at least on FSN.  BUT what Cyclone fans and Big XII fans don’t know is that the deal isn’t for games on the national FOX channel.  Your only on a cable sports package that is regional.  Big Ten is still NATIONAL and has the best deal on ABC/ESPN.  I think that in a few years when the Big Ten’s deal with ABC/ESPN is up you will see FOX pay big money and the Big Ten will have 2-3 national games on Fox every weekend.  Fox has the Big Ten championship game, they want in the college football scene, they’ll throw money at the best conference in the nation.

NBA playoffs, who cares till the conference finals.


We are too dependent on oil.

Shocker huh?  Yea well we are.  And no one seems to care or they do and make statements, but don’t DO anything.  We have hybrid and flex fuel vehicles that only 10% of the population can afford.  The rest of us are throwing money in to a tank and sending it straight to the middle east.  Something is wrong with that. 

Government is touting Ethanol, which for Iowa and farmers, is good.  But the cost to produce it isn’t really a savings, at least right now.  The politicians do this for one reason, the Iowa Caucuses.  Kiss up to the farmers to get their vote.  So we have that, or we have the way to expensive hybrids vehicles. 

What needs to be done?  A couple things.  If we are going to continue with the automobile, the hybrid and flex fuel vehicles need to be dropped in price, get more of them out on the highways.  The hydrogen car too.  You can’t just have the “rich” be able to afford these, because there are more middle class families that can’t afford it and will still be dependent on oil.

Mass Transit needs to become something again in our society.  Larger cities such as New York and Chicago have the subway and L, but towns like Des Moines and Minneapolis and Kansas City need it too.  I’m going to have my examples be for Des Moines since I’m here.

If I didn’t have to take kids and I had an option to go park someplace close to my home and then hop on some mass transit to work, I’d do it.  I’m sure it would save me gas money rather than driving every day 30 mins each way.  My car would have less wear and tear on it.  I hope that others would be willing to use it too.  Maybe Des Moines is too small for that, but I think it would work.

Then there is mass transit other than air lines to other cities.  I know there are all these proposed railway systems and 36 billion just got cut from the federal budget for it, but I think this would be something that would work. 

There are networks or proposed networks more so in the East and south and west, but nothing for the Midwest really outside of the Chicago Hub Network.  That is proposed to connect Chicago to Iowa City.  But I’m here to say stretch it a little further.

Des Moines is a central city that is a key connector to a lot of great cities.  Minneapolis to Kansas City or St. Louis.  Denver to Chicago.  Along those rails are Omaha, Lincoln, Iowa City, and could extend to Madison and Milwaukee or up to South Dakota maybe.

Here in Des Moines it takes me about 2 hours to drive to Iowa City, 5 to Chicago and 4 to Minneapolis.  If they could cut those in half and make it very affordable like 20-30 bucks or so, how easy would it be on a Saturday morning to hop on a train, an hour later you’re in Iowa City and at Kinnick for a football.

Trips to Chicago or KC or Minneapolis would be easier for me and my family.  But the key is to making it affordable and safe and reliable.  You need to make the users feel like they aren’t going to get mugged like on a subway in New York.  Your also going to have to make the cars with bathrooms for obvious reasons.  And make it a better option for a family to jump on the train than to hop in the car.  Make it AFFORDABLE.  I also think they would need to make cars and seats child and young child accessible.  Child Seats or something.

Now I’m going to throw in my sports view.  Looking at the above map, how many Big Ten fans are connected now for this railway system I proposed?  Nebraska, Minneapolis, Iowa City, Madison, Chicago and Champaign are all connected, along with Indianapolis, home of the Big Ten Championship games.  Hello, Big Ten, support this too!

So that’s my idea, political pitch for the moment.


NBA Playoffs

So the NBA regular season is done, and the 3 month odyssey that David Stern calls the playoffs is now starting. 

For the first time post Jordan, the Bulls are the #1 seed in the East.  The Heat Trio are #2 and Boston #3.  I’m sure that Stern will try to rig it to get Miami to the finals.  In the West the Spurs are the top team and the NBA will try with all their might to keep them down.  They are a great team though.  I think this is Tim Duncan’s last run.

Early before the year I picked Lakers over Heat, and I think I’m going to change that now.  Here’s my playoff picks.

WEST                                                                                            EAST
Spurs over Grizzlies                                                                 Bulls over Pacers
Thunder over Nuggets                                                             Magic over Hawks
                 Mavericks over Trailblazers                                                      Celtics over Knicks                     
Lakers over Hornets                                                                 Heat over 76ers

Spurs over Thunder                                                                Celtics over Heat
Lakers over Hornets                                                                 Bulls over Magic

Spurs over Lakers                                                                     Bulls over Celtics

Spurs over Bulls in 7
Tim Duncan MVP


What sports year would you go back and relive?

Sitting around the past few days watching highlights of the 1986 and 1975 Masters with Jack Nicklaus I was wondering, if I could go back in anytime to watch a year’s worth of sporting events, what year would I choose?  There are a lot of good years or seasons.  2002 Iowa football may be my favorite all time.  The 90s with the Bulls runs and the clash of Dallas-San Francisco in the NFL.  Go back to watch Kid Griffey in the mid 90s tearing it up?  I know my dad would go back to 1961 being a Yankee fan with Mantle and Maris.  Then I came up with mine.


The year the Hawks were #1 in football.  Beat #2 Michigan 12-10.  Chuck Long’s bootleg vs Michigan State.  That whole season would be great to relive.  I was only 7 when it happened, and would like to have experienced it more.  I remember those last moments of the Michigan game.  My dad was in between the tv and the radio with Zabel and Podolak, he couldn’t watch or hear.  After that kick went up and through the uprights, my house went nuts.  It was dark out afterwards but my brother and I so pumped turned on the lights in the back yard and went out and played catch. 

It was also the year the Bears went 15-1 and won Super Bowl 20.  Oddly enough, what I remember most about that year was waking up the Tuesday morning after the Dolphins game and asking my brother and dad if the Bears won.  They didn’t and I was crushed they lost.  Also I remember the Fridge.  He was the next BIG thing.  The touchdown runs and blocking for Walter at the goal line.  Watching the 2 playoff games with my cousins and then the Super Bowl.  Loved every moment of it!

Wish we could go back in time, but I know that we can’t, and I wish that I was older to appreciate what happened then, but I have the memories that I have and thinking back I get a smile out of them.  

What year are you going back to?


Best and Worst of the Weekend – A tradition like any other…..

Best – Saturday afternoon, evening and all day Sunday.  Friday was like a blur when I got home.  Saturday afternoon the kids and I got out and played more wiffle ball, got in the sun and the breeze and it was great.  Grilled pork chops and had beans and hasbrowns and ice cream, even a walk and it was GREAT!  Sat down and watched Little Fockers with Shawnna, a nice relaxing night.  Sunday was more of the same.  I did nothing!  Loved it.  Well other than dishes and make breakfast and lunch.  I relaxed.  I sat down and watched the last round of the Masters, something I remember doing with my dad and enjoyed every second of it.  When Tiger was charging I even called Dad to see if he was watching.  Shawnna even sat down and watched some with me, calling Rory McIlroy (a pimply faced kid).  Even made some fresh egg salad sandwiches for lunch.  Congrats to the kid who won the Masters, we won’t be seeing you again.   She was awesome too on Sunday, she did a boat load of laundry all day long, and really appreciated it!  The kids and I played outside (till we almost got blown away) and inside and it was nice.  I wish I could have started the weekend over with Sunday instead of having Saturday morning. 

Worst – Well the worst was me.  Saturday I was tired, stressed out from work and just hearing crying and whining and I didn’t handle it well…I feel bad that I kind of ruined the morning atleast by blowing up when I should have just stepped away.  Luckily the afternoon was a different story and I napped and it wasn’t so bad.  If anyone heard Mt. Matt explode, I’m sorry…One thing I know I need to work at.  

Little Fockers – well it seemed like the worked too hard to get this one.  The first one seemed to just flow so great and was funny all around.  The 2nd I thought you could feel that they were trying a little bit too much, this one, really didn’t need to be made.  They should have stayed with 2 Fockers instead of 3.


Grab your popcorn...

The snow has melted….well for some of us, the NCAA tournament is over and the Sun is coming out.  Also with that trailers are starting to hit the airways.  So I took a quick gander at the calendar and what movies will be rolling out this summer that I’m going to be marking on my calendar that I want to go see.

It all starts out on May 6th with THOR.  One of Marvel’s singular films that helps set up the super hero montage that is The Avengers.  I think this movie will be decent, but the one question I have is how are they going to tie a mythical character like Thor into the real world that is already set up with Iron Man and kind of The Hulk?

Next is the 4th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean on May 20th.  A cash cow for Disney, I hope this one is more like the first pirates than the 2nd or 3rd.  They were a disappointment for me, but the first one was amazing.  Please be more like the first. 

May 27th is a double feature weekend or sequels.  Kung Fu Panda 2 (which apparently is 2 of 6 Panda films to be made?) is going to probably steal the box office with all the kids wanting to see this.  I loved the first one, hope this one continues it.  I’m sure it will.  Then the Hangover 2 comes this weekend also.  Really can you get better than the first?  I think they are taking a big risk at damaging the first with the second.  If it flops, I think it hurts the first one.  Hope they know what they are doing.  That being said, still hope I laugh my ass off at this one.

A week later, X-Men:The First Class.  Jump back about 30 years from when X-Men came out when Charles Xavier and Magneto are buddies and just building the X-Mansion and school.  As an X-Men fan I’m going to question this one a bit.  The first X-Men were Cyclops, Beast, Jean Grey and IceMan.  That changed a bit with a young IceMan in the first 3 movies.  Then apparently Emma Frost is in this movie and older than when she was in Wolverine?  How’s that fly?  Also they have 2 sequels possibly green lit after this movie too? 

June 10th comes Super 8.  JJ Abrams (Star Trek) teams up with Steven Speilberg for a movie I really know nothing about.  The trailers don’t show much but I like that, don’t show us the whole movie in a trailer.  Will be interesting to see what this one is all about.

Another week, another movie..here comes Green Lantern.  DC Comics gets away from Superman and Batman and puts another star on the big screen.  Ryan Reynolds (also plays Marvel’s Deadpool) dons the green ring in from what I’ve seen from trailers, looks like a fun movie, I’m going to say kind of like the first Fantastic Four movie.

June 24th I’m sad to say has what I’m going to target as looking to be the most disappointing movie of the summer that I’ll be seeing…Cars 2.  Mater and Lightning travel the world and racing but then become spys?  I’m not sure how this one is going to fly.  But since my boy loves Cars, we will be seeing it.

Transformers 3 Dark Side of the Moon comes out on July 1st.  This one has to be better than T2 mostly because it can’t be any worse.  The first Transformers was a huge hit, 2+ hours of awesomeness.  The second film I didn’t really care for, the story sucked, some of the jokes were bad….it was like the Megan Fox show off show and to many robots that didn’t get enough air time to get more in depth into the story.

The final movie I’m looking forward to this summer (as of right now) I have the highest hopes for.  It was screened and got rave reviews apparently.  Another Marvel film that is to lead up to the super hero montage, the Avengers….Captain America.  Chris Evans takes the role of Cap and Hugo Weaving the Red Skull.  Tied into this movie is bits from Iron Man and the Hulk.  Which makes me confused as to how Thor is going to tie into it.

Again at the end of summer (around the middle of August) I’ll again be doing my Summer Movie Awards so hopefully I’ll get to all these 10, and maybe a few more. 

2010 Summer Movie lineup
·         Thor – May 6
·         Pirates – May 20
·         Hangover 2 – May 26
·         Kung fu panda 2 – May 27
·         X-Men first class – June 3
·         Super 8 – June 10
·         Cars 2 – June 24
·         Green lantern – June 17
·         T3 – July 1
·         Capt America – July 22


Best and Worst of the Weekend

BEST – We finally got outside and played in the yard and busted out Brayden’s wiffle ball and t set.  He did pretty good, and so did Addy.  Then I unleashed some warning track power on the balls too.  Those big bats are pretty fun to swing around.  All was great till Addy lined a shot off her brother’s head.  He got right back up.  The weather for the most part was great, and I got to break out the shorts.  Hell it was 87 on Sunday.  My stop at the grocery store included brats, shrimp and Old Style…a nice ole middle finger to Old Man Winter!  The old style was pretty tasty.  I also went to work out Saturday and ran again, and I can definitely feel it on my ass and legs.

WORST – Needing a break!  Damn I know I take a lot on my shoulders and know I can usually handle it.  Lately things have been mounting and maybe getting outside more and running will help.  I know crushing some softballs will help and also kids listening would always help more too!

This weekend took the kids to go see HOP.  The Easter bunny movie.  It was cute for a kid move, Addy loved it, Brady I think got tired a little bit after half way through as we had to walk about half way through as we had to walk out of the theater.  But as for the movie.  I didn’t realize Russell Brand was E.B., he is hella annoying to me, but as a fluffy rabbit, his voice is ok.  Kelly Cucao (Big Bang Theory) did really well in her role, but James Mardsen, what happened?  His roles seems to be changing after he was cast as Cyclops in the first X-Men movie.  He should have complained more and had his Cyclops role expanded as much as Wolverine.  Both are great XMen characters but Cyclops seemed to be minimized and then his roles have not been the same, IMO.  And since when does the Easter Bunny have a sleigh and ride around like Santa?  That is another thing I didn’t like.  The kids will like the movie, but I give it about 2 stars out of 5. 

NCAA Championship Game
For the second year in a row the Butler Bulldogs are in the championship game, this time vs the UConn Huskies.  Jim Calhoun is going for his third title as the top dog in Storrs.  Butler has taken the reigns from Gonzaga as the best mid-major program and it’s not even close anymore.  Connecticut is on a run like no other.  5 straight wins in the Big East tournament verse ranked teams to win the Big East Crown, now 5 wins in the NCAA tournament. 

I’m picking (and cheering) for Butler to win, but I think if I was a betting man I would put money on UConn.  If UConn wins I think that Calhoun walks into the sunset and retires.  But here’s to a good game and go Butler.