Longs Peak Hike Reminder

Almost 8 years ago?!  Really?!  The first time I visited my brother in Colorado I told him I wanted to do something fun and adventurous.  I wanted to sky dive, but he picked mountain climbing.  Little did I know how much I would end up loving his choice and still be doing it nearly 10 years later. 

My brother sent me a story today.  His friend took a guy up the same mountain that was my very first mountain climb.  Only they did it when there is lots of snow.  We went in the Fall.  I think we made the better choice.  Here’s the guy’s account of his trip if you want to read it.  http://footfeathers.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/raw-truth-of-nature/ His picture of the final ascent, a.k.a. Homestretch, says it all.  It’s like climbing up a ladder, but there no ladder, just a rock wall in front of your face with cracks in it to wedge your feet and hands in.  No rope either.

Reminiscing, here’s a list of my climbs and stories to match.  As you can tell by the dates, this is my Labor Day trip each year.  Kind of funny.. something about 8/31 and 9/2 must make us want to climb!  If you have some time, at least look at the pictures.  They are still breath taking to me each time I look at them.  If you have extra time, read the stories.  The first one is my account of our trip, the rest are from my brother’s perspective.  He’s a great story-teller so you kind of feel like you are there with us without the physical exhaustion part.

08/31/2001 – Longs Peak
09/02/2006 – La Plata
09/02/2008 – Yale
When there’s a website dedicated to the torrid history of deaths on this mountain, I think that suggests I will never climb this mountain again.  http://listsofjohn.com/Accidents/Longs.html

Round 1 – Purdue v Northern Iowa

A bunch of Alumni got together at Average Joe’s in Broadripple to watch the Boilermakers take on the Panthers.


Purdue didn’t start pulling away until mid-way through the first half.  You can never have enough of a lead during the tournament.  None of us were comfortable leading by 12 at the half.  The second half was a mess.  The Panthers kept creeping closer until it was a 4 point game with less than a minute to go.  Of course, we were in bonus land on fouls, but we couldn’t hit a free throw throughout the game.  You can’t shoot 70% and expect to win close games.  Luckily, we did start hitting them and ended up winning with a 61-56 victory.  Not a big enough margin… We need to come out strong tomorrow against Washington.  We’ll all be back at Avergae Joe’s.  Join in the festivities but you must cheer for Purdue!

Sabbatical 2009 – Not for now

My company annouced a 5-7% budget cut in January this year.  Everyone’s been mildly freaking out since then.  Since I’m low man on the totem pole, I told myself to expect to get sweeped up in the cuts, and if it didn’t happen, I was lucky. 

Today was the big day.  I arrived to work and found a scary old bald man sitting at our floor’s reception area where no one ever sits.  His look screamed Security because of his one piece of paper with a list and temporary work badge.  I went over to my co-workers to explain how this guy was creeping me out and to see if they’d noticed him since they sit on the other side of the floor.  They had and said that they thought one of our BAs got escorted out.  Good news for me, bad news for that lady.

We had a department meeting to get some information and luckily only 2 people from my IT division got released.  Much better than the 25 headcount last time.  So, looks as if I’m safe for now.  I had mixed feelings about this happening.  On one side, if I got let go, I could take severance, a few weeks off with pay (not 14 weeks like last time), travel again and just find a new job when I was ready!  I had a blast last year and was looking forward to potentially doing that again.  Or, I would be greatful I have a job and don’t have to go through the interviewing again even though it wasn’t so bad last time.  Guess I’ll settle in the middle and take a short trip soon to refresh myself before my next big project starts.

Back to work…

Inaugural Big 10 5K

The Big 10 threw together a 5K race to kick off the final game of the tournament at Conseco.  Being the Purdue fan and avid runner that I am, I again, tried to rope my friends into doing this race with me.  I got 8 takers this time.  Luckily, I had a very fun and creative crew, so we dressed like idiots and headed to Conseco to show our Big 10 Boiler support! 


I think our hats were a hit!  Media people were taking pictures and filming us, so I have no idea where these shots might end up. Tons of people on the street yelled for us.  Lots of “Boiler Up” as we ran by.  And it was easy to spot each other on the course and cheer each other on.  Unfortunately, the designated Purdue bar (Alcatraz) did not have beer at the water station, only water.  What’s up with that?!  We needed some carbs!

Here’s Blaine and his Chariots-of-Fire finish…


Amy had a wardrobe malfunction early in the race, but kept on for a strong finish… 


After the race, we got our carbs at Scotty’s and had some post-race beverages to start our pre-game warm-up.  The Boilers took on the Bucks in the finals.  I didn’t go to the game because I was exhausted from the weekend, but did record it and am happy to report Purdue’s first Big 10 Tourney title!  Nice work Boilermakers!  Keep the stellar game play going this week… it’s tourney time!  We looked phenominal during the Big 10 tournament.  We were in sync and lighting up the basket!  The win gave us a #5 seed for the Big Dance in the West bracket.  Calf Tat’s so happy!


Here’s how we finished in our race.  Please note this race didn’t have any bag drop offs, so Chris, a.k.a. Backpack, volunteered to race with a 20 pound pack strapped to him.  Way to take one for the team Chris!

Overall Age Group Name Pace Finish
62 41 RICK RANDJELOVIC         07:06 22:05
98 64 TREVOR BACK              07:37 23:42
138 93 ADAM POST                07:59 24:50
160 14 NATALEE FULLER           08:12 25:29
162 109 EPHRAIM WILFONG          08:13 25:33
269 60 AMY BACK                 09:09 28:28
406 211 BLAINE FREDERICK         10:29 32:36
524 246 CHRIS COONS              14:36 45:21

I Got My Tickets To The Gun Show

Not literally, but figuratively.  My friend Arrin was competing in the 2009 NPC Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.  I wasn’t able to go watch her compete two years ago, so I was definitely going this time.  6 of us made the trek to Covington Kentucky, just outside of Cinncinati.  I think you can tell which one is Arrin.


We arrived to the show around 7 pm and WOW.  I don’t know if I can even describe it.  It’s almost something your eyes have to see for yourself.  First, these men and women are the color of a golden brown turkey cooked perfectly for Thanksgiving.  I had never see this tone before except on purses and belts.  It was spray tan central.  I now, do not feel I was too tan last summer during my sabbatical.  I didn’t even recognize Arrin when I first saw her, I walked right on by her.  Second, these people are ripped!!  I only ever used the word shredded to refer to cheese, but at this show, it was to describe the muscles.  The guys could flex their back muscles into 10 different shapes that looked like some CGI movie clip.  It was amazing. 

Arrin was competing in the Figure portion.  She’s been training for months, eating only protein and veggies.  It’s a discipline I could never get to, but completely give her much respect and props for doing it!  She finished 3rd in her division, which I thought was one if not 2 spots lower than she should have finished!  I don’t know how they judge this thing, but third gets her to advance, so that’s good enough for me!  Here’s a look at her competition.  She’s 4th from the left here.  The girl to her left, won the division and the whole Figure portion of the show.  I’ll go “Tonya Harding” on her, but only if Arrin asks me too 🙂


Closer shot of Arrin and her rockin’ bod!!!


Since we were already there, we stayed until the very end to see the Super Heavyweight men.  These guys weigh over 225 pounds are are all muscle…so we thought.  There were only 3 guys competing.  The first 2 were phenominal.  Just like you see on TV.  Then the last guy came out.  I think he lost a bet or something.  This dude was a good 250 and 50% body fat.  Bless his heart and his little red banana hammock for getting on stage.  He was trying to flex and work the crowd like he owned it!  It was hilarious!  Now the key is, they award to the top 5 in each category.  So, he got third and a huge trophy!  I’ll try to find the NPC picture from the event because it is priceless.

So, congrats to Arrin!!!  I’m proud of you girl and you’ll always get 1st place in my heart!!!

Big 10 Boilers

My new friend Andrew came through with 2 tickets to the second round of the Big 10 Tournament.  Purdue played Penn State.  We split our first 2 games with them during the regular season, so I was hoping we’d blow them out this time.  And we did!  It was great!  Our offense was phenominal.  Our defense was pretty good.  PSU was shooting close to 50% at the half, but we were shooting over 60%!  Let’s hope they save some for today’s game (Illinois) and tomorrow’s (come on OSU)!

Our seats were in the balcony, but they were at the corner and a great angle to be able to see the whole court and watch the plays from up top instead of at eye level. 



A New Meaning To Cube Decor

I happened to go to a co-workers desk today a different way than I usually do.  Look what I found sunning it’s self near a window.


Introducing… Johnson.  Yes, he has a name.  And a story.  Apparently, Cinco de Mayo 2008 got a little out of hand here.  Johnson was made to wear a sombrero.  According to a co-worker, he didn’t like it.  My source says, “It was after that humiliation he took on a noticeable droop.  An elaborate rigging system involving beads was created to harness his angle and correct his posture.”  Before the engineering and creativity…


Today, he’s tied to a stake with a string.  Not sure if that’s more humilating than the sombrero?  At least he’s erect now and is able to cast his proud shadow on the world.  (See top right corner of this picture.)



I’ve been M.I.A. from the blog for awhile because by laptop died on me last week.  I just bought a $50 mouse for my mac notebook!  I mean, just as in 2 weeks ago!  Annoying!  I took the mac to the Apple store here in town.  I do appreciate the online “call ahead seating” reservation system they have going.  Saves me time from mulling around the mall trying NOT to shop while you wait for your turn.  Once I got the Genius Bar, it took the girl about 7 minutes to tell me that it would cost me $610 to send it to Apple and they’ll fix whatever is wrong with it.  Hmmmm, let’s see.

1.  The notebook is old.

2.  The notebook was free.

3.  The notebook weighs the same as a small child.

I think I’ll just get a new one.  I weighed my options of getting a new Mac over $1000, or just going back to basics and getting a laptop for under $610.  Since I basically use it for iTunes, pictures, blogging and basic MS products, I decided on a windows based laoptop.  Ta-dah…


It’s copper!  And cute!  I went with the 14 inch screen instead of the 16.  I felt like there was too much palm room on the keyboard.  It’s wireless, with web-cam and light scribe DVD labelling.  Plus if I travel with it, it will be easier to carry and get around with.  I just got it yesterday so I have yet to do much on it.  I’ll have to spend some time loading all my accessory software (iTunes, Garmin, etc) this weekend so I can get back to it! 

My Good Deed For The Day

I try to volunteer when my schedule can afford it.  (Note to self:  Make more time to help others) Today, I collected donations for the Pink Ribbon Connection at the Women’s Big 10 basketball tournament.  In exchange for a donation, you got a pink ribbon pin or a pink rubber bracelet.  However, people were very interested in my pink polo shirt… I offered it to a few people for $500 bucks but no one was willing to pay that much.  Oh well, I tried.

They had been promoting the day for quite some time and even gave out pink t-shirts to the girls that attended a basketball clinic during the week.  As luck would have it, Purdue made it to today’s rounds, so on top of feeling good for volunteering, I got to watch my first Women’s game this year.  It was pretty cool to see all the pink shirts in the stands and on the benches.  Purdue even wore pink shoe laces.  And the referee’s had pink whistles.  Here’s a shot from the game.


We were able to raise about $700 which is pretty good for walk-up donations in 2 hours.  The foundation also got a portion of ticket sales so hopefully they were able to raise a few grand for breast cancer research.  Everyone at Pink Ribbon was very nice and thankful that they had volunteers to help.  They have already slated me for a position on their Fall Fashion Show committee!  Since leaving Golden Rule, I’ve had little opportunity to do these types of things, so I’m excited to see what new opportunities I can find!

Prank Wars

I’ve pulled some pranks in my days.  So did my brother if I remember correctly (VHS tape across the street)!  For me, my prime time was in college.  I lived below a group of 3 guys that me and my girlfriends got to be friends with.  Our doors were always unlocked, so both apartments were at risk and you never knew when you’d get hit.  They would repeatedly turn off our hot water until we nailed a big blanket over our fuse box.  They stole our couch once (my parents came the next day and were quite confused).  A really good one they did was to open up 40 rolls of toliet paper in my roommates bedroom AND turn all of her furniture towards the walls so she couldn’t open any drawers.  We used toliet paper out of a trash bag for weeks… hey, it was college and we were poor!  Couldn’t let good TP go to waste!

My favorite one that I pulled on them had to do with their pantry.  During one party they had, I ripped off all the labels on their can goods.  Pears, beans, beets, soup… didn’t matter.  I took them all off!  Whatever they opened that day at that time, they had to eat!  It was great!  Who doesn’t like beets for breakfast?

All my pranks have been small scale, but maybe some day they’ll increase to this size…