Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Football - 'Tis the Season

Saturday we had tickets to the Badger game, which was homecoming. It was good to be HOME. And the beautiful thing about this season is our location - we walk to the game!!! Katie and I stopped for a brat on the way.

We sat with Matt and Amanda at about the 5 yard line.

Then since we didn't get enough of the Cranney's (and b/c we don't have cable), Katie and I went to their place Monday night for Brett Favre Day - I mean Monday Night Football. Did you see that game?!?!?! Some people were a little critical of the Brett Favre Love-Fest, but I can't get enough of him. Think about it - he's going to be gone very soon and then everyone's really going to miss him. He's a living legend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Adventure One on YouTube

Last April I documented a little bit of our trip to Europe. Well then I got home and put together a video and posted it on YouTube. I thought I'd link to it here.

Adventure One

Fair warning -- it's 10 minutes long, but the music is great.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kitchen Essential - Custom Apron

A man's place is in the kitchen. Sure, Katie is 10 times the cook that I am (ask for her jambalaya). But men need to feel comfortable and proficient in the kitchen. When I purchased my cast iron skillet and chicken fryer, I started to look at cooking in a whole new light.

Well cooking can get messy. So an essential item is an apron. You don't work in the garage in your best jeans and collared shirt, do you? An apron is the uniform of the kitchen, and it's as manly as you make it. Fortunately I have an unbelievably talented wife, so I had her make me a custom one.

In my kitchen, breakfast is sacred. Eggs, sausage and hashbrowns are usually on my skillet to start my day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


About three years ago, I bought a mountain bike with the consultation of a good friend, Andrew Tainter. He and I found a bike at Budget Bike Shop for about $600. Andrew said the components were really good, especially for the price. The bike was a really good deal, especially for an entry-level bike.

The next three years I used the bike occasionally for commuting and leisure rides around town. I knew I had this performance bike that was not being utilized. Then Matt Ehn called.

He said he and his roommate were going mountain biking in Kettle Moraine. I joined them for my first single-track experience about a month ago. We had such a blast! The John Muir Trails are considered by most to be the best in the state. Mens Journal calls it the best in the Midwest.

Single-track is the term for mountain biking over an area of... single track. At the John Muir Trail, they have 4 or 5 different routes from 3 to 10-mile loops. The single-track takes you through open prairies, and then into the woods. You go up and down hills of varying degrees with a few obstacles in the way: branches and limbs laying across the trail, pits filled with mud, tree roots, and all shapes and sizes of rocks.

This time when Matt and I went, we got better at picking up good speed. But when speed and obstacles come together, you have crashes. We both fell a couple times, but no big injuries. Matt's shoulder took on a small tree - the tree won.

We only got a couple pictures b/c we're still so excited to be on the track, that we don't pull off to the side and take some better action shots. Hopefully there will be better shots of the single-track in the future.

For an excellent workout, take a mountain bike on some single-track. I can honestly say that those two rides were some of the most fun I've ever had. Matt and I were laughing the whole way and extremely "stoked" when we got to the bottom of a big downhill run that was littered with boulder-moguls as you weave in and out of trees and around hairpin turns.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inaugural Trip to Lambeau (regular season)

There are some things in life that I just get "geeked" about. The Packers and Lambeau field are right at the top of the list. The history of the Packers is fascinating to me. Did you know that Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the U.S., doesn't have an NFL team, and Green Bay, the 257th largest, does?!?! That is so awesome (thanks Rick Reilly).

My dad and I went to Lambeau quite a few years ago for a pre-season game on a Monday night. They played the Browns. I'll never forget my first trip to Lambeau field. As cool as that was, pre-season just isn't the same as the regular season.

Two weeks ago I successfully bought tickets from a friend at work. Katie and I made plans for the Sunday night game. I could write for pages about our experience. If you've ever been there, you know how cool it is. Let's put it this way: Katie started to get REALLY excited about the atmosphere - she ended up admitting how cool it is there, it's just special. She went on to say Badger fans are lame - Packer fans are where it's at.

She's right. Fans tailgating at Lambeau are just different - in a cool way. All that green and gold never looked better. Everyone's really nice. It's fanfare at it's best. We at at Brett Favre's Steakhouse - good burger. Our seats were fantastic. Ok, they were average, but I would sit anywhere in that stadium.

John Madden was doing the game for NBC - here's his famous touring bus.

Here we saw A.J. Hawk getting dropped off and entering the stadium.

So they're playing the Bears, which made this sign the biggest laugh of the day.

So we've all heard about the season ticket waiting list. If you put your name on the waiting list today, you would be number 74,659. An average of 70 people give up their tickets every year, which means you'll have your tickets by the 3074 season.
Luckily you'll still catch Brett Favre's last year.

Sadly, we all know the Pack lost its first game of the season to the arch rival Bears. But I can honestly say that my first regular season game was so memorable and special - there's extra excitement around the team this year with their great start. And Brett Favre is a living legend. Even if I had the opportunity to get season tickets, it would be hard - the time, the money, and the impossibility all are stacked against me. But getting to Lambeau once every couple years would be the way to go for me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Four Pillars of a Man's Heart

I just finished reading a book I put down four years ago. I was given Four Pillars of a Man's Heart in 2002 and for whatever reason, I never finished it. Boy, am I glad I picked it back up. When I read, I'm an underliner - everything that catches my attention gets some ink. It really helps me so I can re-read sections and cement it into my head. And this book got it's fair share of my ink.

The Four Pillars, described by Stu Weber, are foundational for men to hold in balance. As men, we need to carefully discern which pillar needs our attention at any given moment, with any given person, for any situation.

-- A man of vision and character... a King.
-- A man of strength and power... a Warrior.
-- A man of faith and wisdom... a Mentor.
-- A man of heart and love.. a Friend.

Here's a little synopsis of the book. I don't like giving things away, but if this gives you a good idea of the content of the book, then mission accomplished. Fantastic book!

Weber's background is in the military and he's an outdoorsman, so he's got some great stories. For any man looking to learn about four Biblical pillars of manhood, check out this book.