Best and Worst of the Weekend - 3 day weekend!

Best - Friday night the weekend started out great!  Date Night!  We had a great night with supper at Flying Mango and seeing Bridesmaids and going to Mullets.  Which I'll have to go to breakfast sometime to with the boy!

Saturday we woke up and Mom was still here from babysitting.  The kids (all 3 kids that is!) and I ran errands while Shawnna slept than hit the Jordan Creek Mall for the kids to play.  We got home and grilled out and took a long walk.  All during the walk Brayden ran the whole way while Addy rode her scooter.  He was tuckered out and crashed easy.

Sunday I woke up to Shawnna making snickerdoodles.  WINNING!  We hit Kung Fu Panda 2 early at 11 and then the rest of the day was spent taking the van apart to check out the radio and hanging out with some friends and then grilling some tasty steaks.

Monday I took the older kids to the zoo today to see the dinosaurs exhibit.  They were just mechanical skeletons with dinos over them.  The TRex was cool, but didn't car for the others.  It was also really packed today but we still spent a good hour there.  More grilling today and some planting out in the flower garden and it was another good day in the 3 day weekend.

Happy Memorial Day to all the veterans who served and those who are currently serving.  My Memorial Day memories usually all come back to going to the cemetery in Garwin with a poppy on my outfit.  My grandma would get up and set the wreath for the auxilury and then they'd read all the Garwin vets who have died and what war they served.  The cemetery would have the roads all lined with Old Glory and then all the vets had a little flags.  Miss those days, and wish you could go back one time.

Worst - Going to go with my allergies, they are killing me right now and well you remember the most recent.  Brayden and I struggling this weekend with them.

UPDATED - worst was also all the plumbing and gutter work I did this weekend.  My arms are sore a bit.  So is the back.

To go sports wise, what the heck is up in Columbus.  Jim Tressell resigned today, I had a feeling it was coming but then word is coming there might be more with Terrelle Pryor, oh and we still haven't had NCAA sanctions yet.

Then you have #88 in Charlotte were you thought he was ending his win less drought and then ran out of gas.  Yea, he ran out of gas.  Bad luck for Dale Jr.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Sunday the family went out to the 11am showing of Kung Fu Panda 2.  First off, how in the hell is 7 for adults and 6.50 for kids a deal?  Shouldn't the 11am matinee be cheaper?

The movie had way to many previews but that was ok.  The kids did good.  We snuck some goodies into the theater and the kids loved those.

The movie started off good, lots of action and set up the plot of the movie.  We got to see more action from Po and the Furious 5.  Eventually we got to see the problem Po would ask and have to figure out, where he came from.  The villain, a peacock who found the secret of gun powder, was starting to take on the rest of China.  Not to go into anything that would spoil the plot but the movie and the final battle could have ended 10 or so minutes earlier.  The end also sets up Kung Fu Panda 3.  The plot does well to expand on the characters and Po and give them some depth, but it wasn't as good as the first.  Still the kids liked it.

2 out of 5 stars.


Date Night

So last night Shawnna and I finally got our second date night since Ryleigh's been born.  Usually we want to get at least one a month with each other.  Mom came down and stayed with all 3 kids, they had grandma here so they had fun with artwork, or as Brayden called it, "his masterpiece."

We headed out to eat at the Flying Mango in Beaverdale.  It was a really cool little place.  You walk in and you see the chef cooking on the stove there.  Walking up from the back you can smell the grill going.  I looked at the menu a bit before and saw what they had, and I went with the Big Chop along with Southwestern Smashed potatoes and Cowboy beans, along with a Two Hearted Ale.  The chop came out and had a knife stuck in it and was about the size of a softball, and with the homemade bbq sauce it was DAMN GOOD!  We also shared a slice of Chocolate Malt Cake.  It was gone pretty quick.  Overall I liked the Flying Mango, the service was kind of slow and not very responsive, but the food was great.

Then headed to see Bridesmaids.  I've heard really good things about it, some saying it was the female version of the Hangover.  All I have to say is I laughed so hard that I had a headache and had tears later.  Kristen Wig as a lead was really solid and funny, so was Myra Rudolph, but I thought Melissa McCarthy stole the show.  She was fricken hilarious!  Probably in the lead now too for the Best Dudette on my Summer Movie Awards.   Really glad we went to see it over Hangover 2.  I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Afterwards we took the scenic route downtown, drove through downtown and saw what was going on and decided to go get a drink.  We headed to Mullets.  A cool restaurant/bar just on the other side of the river from Sec Taylor Stadium.  Heard from my buddy Quentin that it had good food, and it's owned by the same people who own El Bait Shop, so I figured they had Grainbelt!  Had a couple, Shawnna had a Monkey Tail to drink and we split some deep fried dill pickles.  After about an hour there we headed home and crashed!

It was one of the best date nights we've had since kids arrived in our life 6 years ago!  Had a great time!


US Open Best Ball Challenge

Group Name:Bushwood

My Thursday

So yesterday was one of the busiest days I’ve had in a while.  Take out the morning of going to get my Honda that just had an ignition switch replaced and the 2 hours of work.  After I left work I went to Addyson’s field day. 

Field day was always one of my favorite things in Elementary.  We had it at the football field/baseball field in Garwin or the track in Green Mountain.  It was usually the last day of school too.  We did things like sack race, running races, softball throws and fun games like that.  And we actually got ribbons for 1st-2nd-3rd place!  No everybody’s a winner thing that is brought about now.

Addy’s field day was at Pete Crivario park.  When I got there they were shooting hoops.  Now Addy is about 3 feet tall on a good day.  Lil girl doesn’t have a lot of upper body strength, had a little trouble with the hoops BUT she never gave up! 

Next up was the sled race.  2 kids pulled another on a sled to a cone and back.  Addy got lucky, she was the one who got pulled both times.  Smart since she was the lightest.  After a play break they had the potato sack race. 

Addy’s group got lucky and had holes in their sack and could run if they wanted but most of them all tried to jump.

After that was her best event (that I saw), the egg race.  She had perfect form and balance while walking with the egg. 

The final event I saw was the tug-o-war, if you haven’t seen Kindergarteners play tug-o-war, it’s a good time and should be put on Las Vegas gambling boards! :)  Overall she had a great time and did really good and was really fun watching her.

After I left there I headed home for Roto-Rooter to come to our house.  We’ve been having some drain problems that I hope that eventually after they snaked it, will come through.  I have a few things that I’m going to do to help and hopefully this fixes it. 

While I was waiting for Roto-Rooter I did one of my least favorite chores, cleaning out the gutters, and this ties into another of my least favorite chores, leaves!  We have 6 trees that are on our property and that is a butt load of leaves, and a lot find their way to my gutter.  Usually have to clean out the gutter 3 times a year.  As expected it was pretty full and with a bunch of rain in the forecast I needed to get it done.  After cleaning out the gutters and shooting water in the downspout the water wasn’t flowing as it should.  One of the gutters goes down and wraps around the house.  I unscrewed the corner piece and it was completely clogged.  With water backed up as soon as I moved it a bit it flushed a good chunk out.  A few more shots of water flushed another big chunk out.  One of the biggest messes I’ve made in a while!  But worth it.  So half of the house was done. 

The rest of the day was picking up dog poo, mowing the yard, grilling some tasty pork chops and potatoes, getting the boy bathed and PJ’d and in bed and then add on dishes and a couple loads of laundry…in bed about 930…dang it was a busy day! 

Happy Memorial day everyone!  Stay safe!


O Silent Night

You may be asking (if you were in the Des Moines area) how in the hell was last night silent?  There was lightning crackling, thunder booming and rain against the windows, add in the destructive storms going on down south and you probably think I need to be drug tested.  But oh, yes it was a silent night!

For the second night in a row, Ryleigh, our now 13.5 week old, slept through the night.  Now I’m saying slept through the night with her sleeping till at least 5am.  Monday night she slept from 930-5am and then last night amidst all the storms she slept from 1030-530.  How sweet it is! 

She’s slept through the night one night at a time maybe 3-4 times previously in the past 13.5 weeks.  Of course that made Shawnna & I pop up out of bed waking up going to check on her.  Freaking out and asking if the other person fed her or not, then high fiving the relief that YES, maybe she’s going to start sleeping through the night. 

This week though has been a streak that will hopefully continue tonight!  Addyson slept through the night at around 2-3 months and since has been a great sleeper.  Brayden was the complete opposite.  He still doesn’t like going to sleep or having that feel of being alone.  Ryleigh I hope keeps up the trend as a girl that Addy set in her baby-hood. 

Unlike Ryleigh last night, I was up quite a bit.  The thunder did wake me up and Shawnna tossing and turning, and also the impending weather that has caused so many problems the past few days.  I do hope that tonight is another story, get fresh air into the house and hope sleep through another SILENT NIGHT!


Best and Worst of the Weekend

Best - This weekend, like others seemed to fly by.  Saturday the most.  Saturday morning we had Brayden's swimming lessons at 945 and then Addy's birthday party with 3 of her friends at Monkey Joe's and our house.  Woke up around 730 with Ryliegh and then started cleaning up the house.  Got Brayden to swim lessons and Shawnna took the girls to get stuff for the party.  Brayden has been doing great at swim.  Got him home and the girls were all there ready to go.  At Monkey Joe's they had a great time.  Got home and did the pizza, cake and High School Musical thing, along with tie-dye tshirts.  They came out great and the girls, and Brayden had fun making them.
Saturday Night we had supper at our friends Kim & Jason's.  Kim made a pasta and pesto chicken.  It was tasty!  We sat on the deck in great weather and talked a lot.  The kids played like crazy and were really great.  We sat and talked and ate until about 1045.  The kids were wiped.  I had salsa sour cream spilled into my shoes and had a lot of laughs.  Great night.  Gotta do it again.

Worst - Sunday afternoon, and the weekend ending to quick.


Dinner and a Movie

So two nights ago my wife brought home No Strings Attached staring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.  I've looked for it a couple nights and wanted to sit down with her and watch it after the kids crashed.  Well she found it at a RedBox and we planned to watch it Tuesday night.  Put it in and it started out ok, outside of Ashton in a Michigan hoodie.  It was a different take on the romantic comedy "chick flicks".  By the middle it was just what I hoped it wouldn't turn too.  Getting jealous of the others "real" relationships while they were just sex buddies in the end they just end up with each other.  Yadda Yadda, same old chick flick. Glad it wasn't a theater visit, and only spent $1 on it.

1.5 Stars out of 5

Today I had what was probably the best lunch I've had in a long while during the work week.  I had banked some time and so I ran downtown on Ingersoll Avenue to the Manhattan Deli to get a Zach Johnson sandwich.  It's ham, hard salami, pepperoni, provolone and hot pepper cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and oil dressing on a hoagie. Johnson was a regular at the deli during his college years, and I know why.  The sandwich is damn good.  Also the salads they have there are a nice side!  I didn't have it this time but their cheese soup is really good too.  Also to top it off the brownies and cookies are awesome.  The ZJ is a huge sandwich, the macaroni salad and cookie all for under $10.  Lunch doesn't get much better than that!  And Masters Champion Zach Johnson agrees!  

I will put the Manhattan up against any chain restaurant out there!  


Best and Worst of the Weekend - Let's Get Freaky!

BEST - Well not much happened this weekend, but it seemed to fly by.  The best is I'm going to say being a new contributor to the Des Moines Sports Freaks!  The site is dedicated to sports, national and here in Iowa.  Blake asked on twitter for people who would like to join and contribute for this, myself and about 5 others volunteered.  We'll see where it goes.  I'll most likely do my blogs about Best and Worst of the Weekend (Sports Related) and college football and high school sports.  What I love the most.  So I hope anyone who checks this out will check out the Des Moines Sports Freaks!

Sports wise, the Bulls won with a THUNDEROUS dunk from Taj Gibson.  See Below.  Speaking of Thunder, the NBA's new star Kevin Durant staved off the upstart Memphis Grizzlies and advanced to face the Dallas Mavericks in the Western conference finals.  Oklahoma City and Dallas, a new Red River Rivalry brewing?

WORST - Well the weather.  Rain and cooler temps.  Who likes that?  Rain is good, but it makes my yard muddy.  We stayed in too much in my opinion but the kids kept busy making pictures.  By the end of the weekend I wanted to get out.  Hopefully next weekend it warms up!


Online Dynasty

Oh what technology brings us.  Remember in the days of playing video games you had to be in the same room, with in about 5 feet from the person your playing?  Not so anymore with XBox live and the crashed PS3 network.  No, you can be in Iowa (like me) and play someone in Ohio or Texas.

With that, games such as NCAA football and Madden have made it so you can have an online dynasty or franchise with others.  Right now you get your own little site on the EA Sports website.  It keeps track of stats, recruiting and basically anything in the game.  It lets you edit stories and upload highlights to make your own Big Peach!

This year is my first online dynasty I've done on the website.  Back in the day with the MWCgamers group I tried to do it online/offline but that became too much.  So I was really excited when this feature was created by EA.

I joined a league already in its 5th year, chose Iowa.  Big Surprise.  But the Hawks were a bit bare on talent.  I had a few good players, but nothing really stellar.  The OL wasn't a strength.  The QB couldn't throw on the run and I really only had 3-4 decent defensive players.  Hello recruiting?  What I usually like to do in the game is throw and play D the first few years and then recruit good OL and a back and be a good ole fashioned Hawkeye team.  But a nice fast running back is great too!

My first year included a scare vs Rutgers, a beat down of Iowa State, an upset to Central Michigan and then shoot outs and close calls all Big Ten season long.  And yes, Iowa still owns Penn State!  Beat the #17 Nittany Lions by 3, 20-17.  In my games vs other humans, I lost to Cedarville (a made up team that was imported) and Texas.  Both blow outs, both team had superior talent to me.

I finished 7-5/5-3 and earned an Outback Bowl bid where I won my 2nd bowl, beating Tennessee.  I'm now on to offseason recruiting for the 2nd time.

Like I said earlier, this is a great feature in video games now, your not just playing 1 player, your playing multi-player everywhere!  What's next?  We'll see in NCAA '12.


Best and Worst of the Weekend - Happy Moms Day!

BEST - The weekend started with me getting off work early and going to see Thor, (blogged about it).  Friday night Addy had a birthday party at AllPlay that I took her too.  Really cool she (and I) got to play video games for a half hour.  And then the meat of the weekend was the 3rd Annual trip to Omaha to the Zoo with the Anderson's for Mother's Day.

Also we sent a dozen roses to mom on Friday for Mother's day.  Thanks Mom for everything you've done for me and all of us, kids and grand kids.

The zoo was the zoo.  Omaha's is one of the best in the nation, one day can't get you everything, and in the 3 years we've done the zoo, we haven't done everything in the one day we were there.  We stayed at the Kelly Inn this year rather than the DoubleTree Guest Suites.  Plus is it has a really kid friendly pool, con is it has no suite before you get to the bed room in your room.  Can't win em all.  The kids love the pool and the slides.  Crappy thing though Shawnna didn't swim as Ryleigh was not able to get into the water being 11 weeks old.  But the kid had a blast, and burnt them self out good Saturday Night.

Sunday we swam in the morning, and had a great brunch at UpStream Brewery, so much so that I didn't eat supper Sunday Night.

It was a great trip with great friends and great kids.  Can't wait for year 4.

Worst - None


Friday afternoon I was able to go to see the newest Marvel movie, Thor, on opening day.  I got off early, was excited to get to a movie with out kids and by myself, just nice and relaxing.

As for the movie, I really enjoyed it as a movie in itself.  It's a fun diversion from the real hero setup that is in Iron Man.  I never really knew of Thor and his history.  To see how Marvel will intertwine the Hulk, Thor, IronMan and Captain America will be interesting.

Chris Hemsworth was excellent as the God of Thunder.  He had the size and strength to pull of Thor and he was great.  Anthony Hopkins was great as Odin, Thor's father.   We got to see more of Clark Gregg as Shield Agent Coulson as he was a supporting character rather than just a little blip on the radar in Iron Man.  I really liked Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Dr Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard).  My one complaint on the casting is Natalie Portman (and I love her), but it seemed like she was trying to hard to fit in that role.  We also get introduced to another fellow SHIELD member Hawkeye in the film.

If you are going to the movie remember to stay for the secret scene after the credits!

3.5 Stars out of 5.  Was really good.


Looking back at the Big Wheel!

So today I was in my boss's office and somehow we got talking about bikes and I mentioned how in my hometown at the first house I grew up in, we used to ride our bikes down the hill and jump the culvert from the neighbor's driveway into our ditch and up it to the front deck.

Looking back that was so much fun.  First off it was cool to seem like we got that much air when we jumped it.  I think sometimes we may have got a little bit.  If you have been reading this or follow me on facebook or twitter, I miss my small town growing up. I loved it.  I hate the big city and that my kids won't experience in Des Moines what I had in Garwin.  All of us who grew up there were lucky.

But after we got done talking about bikes, I mentioned that I had a big wheel too.  Not just any big wheel, a Dukes of Hazzard Big Wheel.  (somewhat like the one pictured, but more orange) I got it from my grandparents for Christmas one year.  I used to watch the Dukes every Friday night with my grandma, and even skip my brothers football and basketball games to do so.  It was my thing with my grandma.  So it was an awesome gift.  I remember going to their basement to ride it that night since I couldn't outdoors.  That spring/summer I tore that thing up!

As you can see the whole thing is mostly plastic and on the right side there was a lever that was your brake.  You could get that thing going fast enough down hill and then hit the break and turn the wheel and get some nice black tire marks on the side walk.  All I need was a bow and I was a real Duke!  What was even cooler is that our neighbor had a custom horn that had the Dukes General Lee horn!  We'd get that played for us when we drove by.  We also had the town cop living at the top of the hill.  You'd get him to sit out there with his cop car, or even just see it parked and it was like running from Roscoe P Coltrane, add in the horn and it was one heck of a ride for a 5-7 year old.

I rode that thing everywhere, all over the neighbor hood, sidewalks, driveway and even rode it to church one Sunday.  The pastor at children's time even made note to mention about the Big Wheel parked out front.

Got to say it was a great conversation with my boss and made me smile a lot and brought back a lot of great memories from my past.

Now all I need now is my real General Lee!


Who’s in your 5 - Sports Media Talent

In honor of the Sports Emmys that were awarded last night, I’m going to go with a Who’s in your 5, best Sports Media Talents right now!

5 – Chris Collinsworth – NBC Sports / Sunday Night Football – Had HUGE shoes to fill after Madden retired and has done it and has really succeeded.  Second best analyst in sports.

4 – Yahoo Sports Guys – Death to the BCS / Ohio State / Reggie Bush – No list would be complete without them.  They’ve broken more stories than any sports outlet in the past few years than ESPN and other BIG outlets combined.  Death to the BCS was a revelation on the dirty world of college bowls, and may have been a contributing factor to the Fiesta Bowl scandal.

3 – Dan Patrick – Dan Patrick Show / NBC Sports – Was getting stale at ESPN Radio, especially after Rob Dibble left, but with the new show and format has really rocketed to the top.  With NBC Sports, he still gets to do some highlights with Sunday Night Football and the Olympics.  And who doesn’t like the Dannettes! 

2 – Kirk Heribstreit – ESPN College Football – As Steve Deace and Jon Miller used to say on KXNO, he has the best job.  He’s the best analyst on the best show (College GameDay) and then also on College Football’s biggest stage (Saturday Night Football) he does a great job teaming with Brent Musburger

1 – Al Michaels.  NBC Sports / Sunday Night Football – The best, that’s it that’s the list.  To me Sunday Night Football has become the best broadcast of NFL games, and mostly because of Michaels. 

Honorable Mention – Scott Van Pelt – ESPN; Mike Tirico – ESPN; Chris Martin – Big Ten Network; Gus Johnson – CBS Sports/Big Ten; Verne Lundquist – CBS Sports; Bob Costas – NBC Sports, Mike Florio - Pro Football Talk/ESPN.

The Plunger – Worst
Colin Cowherd – ESPN Radio/ESPN – I think the ESPN thing has got to his head, he needs to take a step back and realize real life. Get away from Yankees-RedSox, USC, Florida, Dallas Cowboys.


New NFL Hawkeyes!

Because I’m upset at the NFL owners and players, I’m not going to look at how the Bears did or any NFL Teams, I’d rather look at the IOWA HAWKEYES who got drafted. 

Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, Ricky Stanzi, Julian Vandevelde, Karl Klug, and Tyler Sash all got picked up over the weekend.  I really like the situations that Clayborn (TB) and Stanzi (KC) are going into.  I thought Sash really fell a lot, but the Giants got a good player.  Wish he was a little closer in the Midwest.  DJK and a few other ex-Hawkeyes are still available undrafted free agents.  DJK I hope ends up in as a Bear, he’d be a great special teams player and fit well into the Bears offense. 

Go to GOHAWKS.com for videos on the Hawks who were drafted this weekend.

Fun Stat, Iowa has the 3rd most players drafted this past 2 years among all colleges!  Go Hawks!

Best and Worst of the Weekend

BEST - Weekend went really fast, I really don’t remember a lot of it.  Saturday the whole family went to the zoo and walked around and it was really good.  Enjoyed it a lot.  Hopefully that is a thing to come this weekend at the Omaha zoo.  Grilled out, mowed the back yard(only) and the kids played good.  We had pina coladas and chips and dip and it was good.  Brayden also had swim lessons Saturday, his first without a parent in there with him.  He did really well and had no fear of jumping in by himself and going deep into the pool. 

WORST – Friday night I was in a grumpy mood.  I played som football, lost to Illinois but then beat Penn State Sunday.  And some golf.  I qualified for the Masters on Tigers Woods 12.  Sunday also sucked.  Well kind of.  Shawnna has us on an up down day diet.  Low calorie day followed by a high calorie day.  It was rough that first day, but made it.  Today is a high calorie day.  Hooray food!

Well what a way to end the weekend.  USA!  USA!  USA!  Osama Bin Laden was killed by US military this weekend.  Bad bad dude repsonsbile for 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center and 9/11 and he’s gone.  Buried at sea now after a shot to the head.  Way to go US.  Now please just don’t make this political.  The Democrats didn’t kill Bin Laden, the Republicans didn’t.  American Military did!  Be one party, the United States of America.

Congrats to all 6 Hawkeyes who were drafted this weekend too.  Adrian Clayborn to the Bucs, Christian Ballard to the Vikings, Stanzi to the Chiefs, Vandelvede to Philladelphia, Klug to the Titans, and Sash to the Giants.  How did Sash fall so far?  Damn you Bears you should have taken him!  DJK is still a UFA.  DJK should make a team, he has great talent, please Bears do this!

Again, great to be an American!  Great scenes of all Americans around the country.  To bad our politicans can’t act that way and be one!