Thursday, April 29, 2010

Congrats, you're a seeder!

There are certain things that are distinctly say "Summer."  Ice cold beer while sitting on the porch, girls in flower dresses, grilling out, the smell of fresh cut grass and spitting sunflower seeds.  I've been a seeder since sophomore year of high school.  One of the first things you learn when you joined the baseball team was how to slide.  And the second thing was how to properly split, crack, and eat a sunflower from it's shell.  Learning was a laborious task, with many smashed and crushed seeds before you finally get one to split right on the seams.  And from that moment on it becomes an addiction.  I think most people in life get some sort of fixation that focuses on their mouth, whether it's cigarettes, chewing tobacco, gum, or sunflower seeds.  (I'm guilty of the last two).  I always carry an empty water bottle under my seat and a half eaten bag of seeds in my arm rest for when I'm driving.  It's pretty much the only thing that'll keep me awake on long drives.  Playing softball, watching baseball, mowing the lawn, discing:  you name the outdoor summer activity and I'll probably be spitting seeds on the ground. 

I've tried lots of different seeds in my time, but for my money David remains the best.  They've got the perfect assortment of flavors (I'm privy to Nacho, Jalapeno hot salsa, and Ranch), and the seems are rarely ever burnt. 

I doubt any of my readers haven't tried seeds before, but if you somehow haven't you should give it a try.  Tis' the season, after all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random Content to Appease the Masses

Been in a big writer's funk lately (obviously), so until I get my mojo back here's some a random link dump.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Work

I was going to blog about the 5k run from this past weekend.  And then I was going to blog about how my perception of distance has really changed over time.  (I think that'll be the topic for tomorrow)

But then something happened yesterday when I was leaving work.  I realized just how good of a day of work I had.  I left the building feeling great about everything that had gotten accomplished, the problems that had been solved, and the situation we were now in.

I think we try to forget the fact that we spend the majority of our adult lives working, and when that job isn't perfect it can kind of stink.

But days like yesterday keep me coming back.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where Art Thou Hal Scardino?

 For some reason we got the idea in our heads to watch Indian in the Cupboard from Netflix this week.  It's your usual "90s adaptation of a children's book," but the effects are pretty good, and I remember loving the book as a wee lad.  The actors for both Little Bear and Boone are great and play off each other very well.  But kid that plays Omri, the main character...well, he stuck out as much now as he did back then.  Looking on IMDB I found out his name is Hal Scardino, which sounds like some sort of crime boss, not a child actor of the 90s.  Further research reveals that Hal Scardino was only in 3 movies?  And nothing since 1996?  How is that possible?
Oh yeah, that's why.

Apparently Hal is a year older than me and graduated from Colombia (way to go Hal!).  However, that pic from Facebook is the most recent picture I can find from him.  Aside from obviously writing your own bio on Flixster.com (come on now Hal, "He beat them all - and got the part" and "it didn't take him long to learn his lines - and he never forgot them" were TOTALLY written by you) his online presence is practically nil.

Except for this.  I urge to you open this link in another tab on your browser so that it actually takes you to YouTube, that way you can see the ridiculous comments, number of views, etc, for THIS.  BEHOLD.

How ridiculously creepy is that??  My goodness, I felt dirty just watching it.  Whereever you are Hal Scardino KEEP RUNNING SO LORDVARKON DOESN'T GET YOU!!!

(as a sidenote:  the actor who played Little Bear also played Nightwolf in Mortal Kombat:  Annihilation.  Sweet.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Things I Learned at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo

  • Hunters LOVE dip.  There were 5 different companies there with tents setup giving away free samples (after you had confirmed you were a tobacco user, gave them your ID, phone number, and email address.  It took more to get into one of those tents than it did to get into college).  
  • Affliction and Ed Hardy designs are spreading to the world of hunting.  Both Bone Collector and Rut Junkie had some some swirly designed shirts on display.  I guess hunters go clubbing too?
  • Speaking of shirts:  I saw more Brewers t-shirts than Packers, which was very, very cool.  Fielding a competitive team the last couple years has really led to a resurgence of interest in the team.

  • This Can Cooker invention had me very interested.  The convenience of just dumping a bunch of food into the cooker, putting it on a fire, and eating it after an hour or so had me rather interested.  I don't go camping enough to justify it, but mayhaps in the future it would be work looking into.  Seriously, look how easy it is to make delicious things like Crab Legs.
  • Sadly the thing that interested me most was a tie between the sweeeet AirSoft rifles that were for sale (the look so real it's crazy) and the bear cubs that you could take pictures with (Considering how scary full size bears are they might just have the cutest little ones next to these guys)

daaaawwww

Thursday, April 8, 2010

For 3 Easy Payments of $29.99


A shift in my work schedule has awakened me to the wacky world of early morning fitness informercials.  In the last week I've seen Brazil Butt Lift, Hip Hop Abs, and Insanity (the workout so EXTREME it'll make you go INSANE).  Now, these are all brought to you by BeachBody.com, same people that do P90 (which I've tried) and P90X (which I have not). 

In theory workout videos are a good thing.  Anything that gets people in shape is a good thing, right?  Well here's the thing with those videos:
  1. Expensive.  Brazil Butt Lift and Hip Hop Abs are $75 a piece while Insanity is $145.  That is not cheap, considering...
  2. You probably won't stick with it.  We went balls deep into P90, even taking pictures with our shirts off, measuring body parts, testing how many reps we could do with every exercise.  And even with 3-4 people doing it we only stuck with it for maybe a month.  Mainly because...
  3. It gets repetitive.  The first stage of P90 had two 40 minute workouts that you were supposed to alternate every day.  Do you know how boring that gets?  Hearing the same commands and statements day in and day out is enough to drive anyone bonkers.  It appears that Insanity has 10 workouts which gives you quite a bit of variety, but most of workouts aren't so diverse.
  4. And they can be very, very hard.  There's not much of a learning curve with most of these.  The people in the videos can all perform the maneuvers perfectly (which is to be expected from athletes and models), but for someone that's not in very good shape to think "Hey, I can just order these workout videos and get started!"  Even someone who's in relatively decent shape like myself struggles with these types of videos.
There's a reason that not many people are in truly "good" shape these days:  it takes hard work!  Just buying a dvd and expecting the rest to come easy isn't going to cut it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Burning Sun

Seems like every year around this time I get some sort of sunburn.  However this is definitely the first time that I've been sunburnt while in Wisconsin.  Yesterday we took off for Opening Day 2010 to watch the Brewers at Miller Park, and you couldn't have asked for a better day.  70 degrees, sunny, slight breeze.  Downright perfect.  However, I was not expecting the familiar burning sensation about halfway through the game.  I looked around and everyone else was a darker shade of red as well, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

Until this morning, of course.  Aaaaggh.

Friday, April 2, 2010

They Don't Know How It Feels


And by "they" I mean people that live in nice weather year round.  Do you think they appreciate nice weather like we Wisconsinites do?  Doubtful.  These first really nice days of spring are on par with a butterfly emerging from it's pupation stage.  Yesterday it was so nice and sunny out I was squinting the entire time, my eyes weren't used to such beauty.  Back in college I joked that all the hot girls were like bears because they seemingly hibernated all winter and would finally emerge again on the first nice day of the year.

But if the weather is always sunny and beautiful how quick before you take that weather for granted?  Say I uprooted from Wisconsin and moved to California.  How long would it take for me to take the weather for granted?  1 year?  2 years?  No thanks.  I'd rather appreciate every spring around this time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Appreciation for Baseball

 From Jsonline.com

Opening Day 2010 is 5 days away as I type this, and to put it mildly I am excited.  Things were not always this way, however.  Despite having played baseball in high school I was never really a big fan of the sport.  I hardly watched nor listened to any games.  Too many movies and video games to really care, ya know?

This continued on into college.  Two of my roommates, Marcus and Eric, were both huge Cubs fans that would spend most of their free time playing MLB '06 on PS2 and talking about the season.  I stated absorbing some general baseball knowledge from them, and my proximity to Milwaukee made it easy to attend games, but I didn't really get too into it until the summer of 2007 when I was interning in Milwaukee.  Long days of doing nothing allowed me to read up on the team a bit, and that carried over to the first few months of my full time job.  By spring of 2008 I had read every article about the Brewers I could find that wasn't blocked at work.  We went to a rainy game in April, and since then it's been Brewers Brewers Brewers all the time.

I think I like baseball because it appeals to the two sides of me.  The one side is the kid, the one that loves browsing all the Brewers blogs and websites, reading articles and evaluating stats.  Playing pretty much every day gives me something to look forward to every morning when I see how things went from the night before.  It's good to have that constant stream of info buzzing through me.

The old man part of me loves the fact that every pitch matters.  That one simple mistake can turn the tide of a game.  That the psychologic battle between pitcher and hitter is almost as important as skill.  A nice sunny day can be made even better by sitting outside and watching the boys of summer. 

Man, now I'm REALLY excited for Opening Day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And then I found $5

I got up from my cube Tuesday to go to the lab when something near the trashcan in the hallway caught my eye;  a neatly folded $5 bill.  I looked around to see if anyone had recently dropped it but didn't spot anyone.  So I reached down to pick it up when a Project Manager I know says "Score!  That's much better than the quarters I usually find."  I chuckled and shoved the money into my pocket as I continued on my way.  My mind raced with what I could do with the money....donate it to a charity, pay for a random person's lunch, put it in my retirement account.

But I just bought a Schlitz instead.


Now, that $5 obviously was lost by someone but would they expect the finder to turn it in to the front desk?  And if I didn't grab it someone else would have and probably bought crack with it, right?