Monday, January 15, 2007


I remember becoming a Vikings' fan....that miserable, Chicago-Cub-like-never-win-a-championship existence. It was during the early days of the frantic Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Foreman, Purple People Eater reign. Four Superbowls, four Superbowl loses, all in the '70's and not a Superbowl since. However, I was hooked to this team and forever more shall remain that way. Even though this franchise causes stomach problems the Purple Pill is not a part of my daily regiment.
Now, for the little guy in the picture it started innocently enough with a trip to the movie theatre...."Invincible" was the show of choice that day. If you're not familiar with the movie it's the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year old bartendar in Philadelphia during the days when Dick Vermeil became coach. Papale answered the call the day Vermeil conducted open tryouts and he made the team. Great movie...and enough to hook a 7-year-old into picking the Eagles as his favorite team. He became Vince Papale later in the day after taking a green marker and writing Philadelphia Eagles on the front of a white t-shirt and Papale on the back....he wore it with pride several days in a row. His mother pried it from his clutches, put a little soap and water to it and gave it back for more wearing. For him it was appropriate attire no matter the occasion, sleeping, football in the yard, wrestling, school, church, a trip to the dentist, you name it. A higher authority nixed the wearing of the shirt to school and church. Even though he still likes to wear the self-made jersey he got upgraded to the McNabb jersey in the picture. We call him McBrick. He calls himself an Eagle fan. Is it the same cementing of a fan I experienced back in the day? Only time will tell. We watched the Eagles journey through the playoffs this season ending with the loss at the hands of the Saints. A great game and a great disappointment to McBrick. After watching the clock tic-down on the end of the season for his Eagles he shuffled upstairs with his head down and his tail tucked between his legs and crawled into bed still wearing his Eagles jersey and said, "will the Eagles play again next year?", and I said, "yeah, it'll be a brand new season", to which his reply was "I don't think I can wait that long." I think the hook has been set....deep.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


What do they say about life? It's the simple pleasures that mean the most. Now, another question. Does anything look peculiar, strange, off about this picture of my garage? For most of you the answer is probably "no". Other than maybe the fact that one of my cars is missing. Was it stolen? Now that would be both strange and off. But, no, it wasn't stolen. What's peculiar, strange and off about this picture for me is that there's actually a space to put another car in my garage. We've lived in this house for more than 5-years and it wasn't until last week that I realized that, yes, it actually is a two-car garage! Further more, two cars actually fit in this two-car garage. You see, my interpretation of the description of this house when we bought it was that it had a one-car garage with extra storage space. So, true to my interpretation of the description that's how I used it. My wife's car was parked in the garage and the other half was used as storage. Or more accurately it's where we put stuff when we didn't know where else to put it. It wasn't uncommon to see the door to the garage open and shortly there after see a random object hurled over the roof of the van (which occupies the empty space seen in the picture) into the abyss that was previously known as the "storage" space. There it would sit....and sit....and sit. The Leaning Tower of Pisa or a house of cards had nothing on the balancing act I performed on some of the boxes and such we "stored" in our "storage" space. It was a true engineering marvel. I wouldn't, however, allow small children near our "storage" space for fear of bodily harm. Or because I didn't want to be sued. Bones heal but money is just gone.

O.k., I admit it, I was just unorganized. There, I said it. I feel better, don't you? I finally came to that realization and wanted to do something about it after the calendar turned to 2007. It wasn't a resolution either. So, I put on my fire retardant suit, increased my life insurance policy, kissed my wife and kids, threw a Milk Bone to the dog and went out into the cold, dark room that I was forevermore determined to call my two-car garage. Unfortunately after sifting through all the rubble I didn't find any long lost Rembrandt or 10,000 original shares of Wal-Mart stock that was worth millions. But what I did find was that when cleared, there was enough space in that room for another car! VICTORY!

After sweeping up the last bit of trash (and the amount of trash could be measured in metric-tons) I was ready to steer the gold Highlander into its' new home. Now, we have an outside dog named Maggie. She's lived outside her entire life. She likes it outside. She does come into the house on occasion and you can tell right away that she knows it's a foreign place. When she comes inside she gets low to the ground and walks fast and she's soon at the back door again ready to get back to more familiar territory. My gold Highlander had the same reaction. It did take the car a few nights to get adjusted to it's new surroundings. I actually had to mop up a wet spot the next morning...but it's learning.

You can't see it very well, but there's a new shelf in the garage as well....more organizational activity. And there's more shelving to come. Man, I feel like Tim the Tool-man Taylor. I did sustain an elbow injury due to patting myself on the back too much. But, it is the simple pleasures that make a difference, right?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


So it's the new year and that's generally the time you give yourself goals for the upcoming year. My first goal is to start the healing process after watching my Sooners lose to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl with a 2-point conversion in overtime! By the way that's after a 45-yard hook-and-ladder play for a game-tying touchdown with less than 30-seconds to go in regulation! I can't look at the newspaper or anything Sooner related on the Internet for the next couple of days. This healing process should be over soon and then I can get back to my regularly scheduled new year's resolutions...I hope.

I'm definitely ahead of the power curve this year in terms of my resolution because I made it for '07 when I plunked down my cash back in early September of '06 for IM Wisconsin. If I let myself think about it it's truly crazy on many levels. First of all, it's insane for me to logically think about swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bike for 112 miles and then being relieved that you only have the 26.2 mile run left. On top of that is the fact that I paid handsomely for the privilege. So, needless to say 9-9-07 is my resolution...Ironman Wisconsin. This resolution should be to just finish...but I want to do better than "just finish" which, to me, is defined as crossing the line within the 17-hour time limit. My goal is to finish in less than 13-hours. Crazy? Probably, but hey, aim high!

Monday, January 01, 2007


1-1-07...The big event is 9-9-07. It's on!